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Admiral - Lack of updates - Request for unlocked bootloader & source code

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Journeyman

Admiral - Lack of updates - Request for unlocked bootloader & source code

I posted this on the Motorola forums & was told I should post it where Sprint is more likely to see it, as they seem to have the final say. So I'll do a more or less copy & paste:

I recently saw the news, and I'm going to add my own personal disappointment, but there's nothing to be done to get Motorola to write an update.

As an alternative, I would like to request that Motorola release a user downloadable bootloader unlocker, and source code, so that the community can start work to keep the Admiral current. Specifically the CyanogenMod team.

As an essentially abandoned product, I see no harm to Motorola in doing this, and I'm not saying that the unlocker tool should be pushed to users, I'm saying it should be something that the user should have to CHOOSE to do. That way, users that do not feel the need to do so, will continue to have a pure, reliable (sort of - see my Test Message not Sent post), Admiral experience. But for the portion of users that consider themselves "power users", or "tweakers", I see this as a gratious move on Motorola's part, and would restore some of the goodwill that was lost by not providing the Admiral with even one version upgrade.

What I really fear, is that in the next 6 months, Motorola or another manufacturer, will release a portrait qwerty phone based on Android 4.0, and I'll be drawn to it, given the abandoned status of the Admiral, and I'll have to settle for a lesser keyboard, one that doesn't quite work as well, or for some other trait that I can't stand, just because of the benefits provided by ICS.

In my view, Motorola could even charge for such an unlocker. $5 and I'd buy it. And as far as the source code is concerned, and I'm not really clear on how the open source license works, but aren't all manufacturers required to release the source code for devices running Android? Either way, it seems like that would be a satisfactory compromise to this issue, and wouldn't cause any support headaches for Motorola, since anyone who chooses to run a custom rom would be aware that they're losing out on their support. Win-win. At least as far as I can see. That way, people can brag about their Motorola (advertising in action), and it doesn't cost Motorola extra money in development. (let the community do it)

13 REPLIES 13
Highlighted
Wizard

shouck_forums wrote:

I posted this on the Motorola forums & was told I should post it where Sprint is more likely to see it, as they seem to have the final say. So I'll do a more or less copy & paste:

I recently saw the news, and I'm going to add my own personal disappointment, but there's nothing to be done to get Motorola to write an update.

As an alternative, I would like to request that Motorola release a user downloadable bootloader unlocker, and source code, so that the community can start work to keep the Admiral current. Specifically the CyanogenMod team.

As an essentially abandoned product, I see no harm to Motorola in doing this, and I'm not saying that the unlocker tool should be pushed to users, I'm saying it should be something that the user should have to CHOOSE to do. That way, users that do not feel the need to do so, will continue to have a pure, reliable (sort of - see my Test Message not Sent post), Admiral experience. But for the portion of users that consider themselves "power users", or "tweakers", I see this as a gratious move on Motorola's part, and would restore some of the goodwill that was lost by not providing the Admiral with even one version upgrade.

What I really fear, is that in the next 6 months, Motorola or another manufacturer, will release a portrait qwerty phone based on Android 4.0, and I'll be drawn to it, given the abandoned status of the Admiral, and I'll have to settle for a lesser keyboard, one that doesn't quite work as well, or for some other trait that I can't stand, just because of the benefits provided by ICS.

In my view, Motorola could even charge for such an unlocker. $5 and I'd buy it. And as far as the source code is concerned, and I'm not really clear on how the open source license works, but aren't all manufacturers required to release the source code for devices running Android? Either way, it seems like that would be a satisfactory compromise to this issue, and wouldn't cause any support headaches for Motorola, since anyone who chooses to run a custom rom would be aware that they're losing out on their support. Win-win. At least as far as I can see. That way, people can brag about their Motorola (advertising in action), and it doesn't cost Motorola extra money in development. (let the community do it)

Intresting, i read your post, and if i get what you`re saying it sounds like there`ll be no more updates for this handset?  Do i have that right??  Really, i was hoping there would be a maintainence revision to fix some of the issues this unit still has (wifi randomly disconnecting, and GPS not reliable...actually, nearly useless).  From what i can infer here, it now looks like another really sweet unit is headin` for that great cellphone heaven called "EOL land", which i think is kinda sad.  Now as to rooting the handset, i personally wouldn`t do that unless i had someone with more smarts there to help me, reason being that if ya get it wrong in a root, ya may very well "brick" a perfectly good unit (`least it was till the attempted rooting...so much for a nice unit) and if that happens ya lose the warranty and any support from the provider.  HOWEVER, i can see why some would wanna try to do that, given that the handset makers and providers seem unwilling to respect the handsets and the folks that use `em, one can easily see why folks would go "off the board" and to the XDA thingy and use a leaked version of (for instance) ICS, i can dig that .  Now i hope sincerily that there`ll still be a maintainence update for this unit, it would be a shame to just blow off this `un, as it has much potential.  TK241

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Journeyman

TK241 wrote:

shouck_forums wrote:

[...]

And as far as the source code is concerned, and I'm not really clear on how the open source license works, but aren't all manufacturers required to release the source code for devices running Android? Either way, it seems like that would be a satisfactory compromise to this issue, and wouldn't cause any support headaches for Motorola, since anyone who chooses to run a custom rom would be aware that they're losing out on their support. Win-win. At least as far as I can see. That way, people can brag about their Motorola (advertising in action), and it doesn't cost Motorola extra money in development. (let the community do it)

[...] it sounds like there`ll be no more updates for this handset?  Do i have that right??  Really, i was hoping there would be a maintainence revision to fix some of the issues this unit still has (wifi randomly disconnecting, and GPS not reliable...actually, nearly useless). [...]

shouck_forums: I am not a lawyer or Android expert, but my understanding of the situation is that Motorola is required to release source code modifications they make to the opensource components of Android, GNU/linux, or other opensource software they distribute/sell. They do this here: http://sourceforge.net/projects/moto-xt603.motorola/files/ . The problem is that they aren't required to release source code for their proprietary applications (e.g. Motoblur--which some people would probably cite as a positive thing) or hardware drivers. The lack of driver sourcecode (or alternatively even just driver binaries compiled for the Linux kernel/ABI used in ICS) are the really big problem that makes it very difficult for third parties or individuals to do more interesting things with handsets, such as build their own ICS ROM in a case where the manufacturer hasn't released it. Sometimes people are able to sufficiently hack things to work without manufacturer support, but it can take a great deal of time, effort, and expertise, and is why you may see people talking about <next version> ROMs for phones where, for instance, "everything seems to work great except the cell radio, the camera, and GPS, but it's awesome!" It would indeed be fantastic if Motorola would release source code for their drivers, however, it's additionally my understanding that certain parts, like the CDMA radio, are subject to some sort of license restrictions that are inherently prohibited from being released open-source (since CDMA requires royalties/licenses to use).

TK241: I believe Motorola actually is currently in the process of testing another maintenance update / release for the Admiral, but they're not going to expend the effort to release ICS (or future Android versions) for the Admiral. In other words, they may fix a handful of egregious bugs (the proverbial "low-hanging fruit"), but probably have roughly 10% of the time of one engineer assigned to "sustaining/support" for Admiral (complete guess). If you're having specific issues, I'd encourage you to post about them here and on Motorola's Admiral Owners' Forum: https://forums.motorola.com/hives/b9da20a015/posts .

Highlighted
Wizard

omegadrh wrote:

TK241 wrote:

shouck_forums wrote:

[...]

And as far as the source code is concerned, and I'm not really clear on how the open source license works, but aren't all manufacturers required to release the source code for devices running Android? Either way, it seems like that would be a satisfactory compromise to this issue, and wouldn't cause any support headaches for Motorola, since anyone who chooses to run a custom rom would be aware that they're losing out on their support. Win-win. At least as far as I can see. That way, people can brag about their Motorola (advertising in action), and it doesn't cost Motorola extra money in development. (let the community do it)

[...] it sounds like there`ll be no more updates for this handset?  Do i have that right??  Really, i was hoping there would be a maintainence revision to fix some of the issues this unit still has (wifi randomly disconnecting, and GPS not reliable...actually, nearly useless). [...]

shouck_forums: I am not a lawyer or Android expert, but my understanding of the situation is that Motorola is required to release source code modifications they make to the opensource components of Android, GNU/linux, or other opensource software they distribute/sell. They do this here: http://sourceforge.net/projects/moto-xt603.motorola/files/ . The problem is that they aren't required to release source code for their proprietary applications (e.g. Motoblur--which some people would probably cite as a positive thing) or hardware drivers. The lack of driver sourcecode (or alternatively even just driver binaries compiled for the Linux kernel/ABI used in ICS) are the really big problem that makes it very difficult for third parties or individuals to do more interesting things with handsets, such as build their own ICS ROM in a case where the manufacturer hasn't released it. Sometimes people are able to sufficiently hack things to work without manufacturer support, but it can take a great deal of time, effort, and expertise, and is why you may see people talking about <next version> ROMs for phones where, for instance, "everything seems to work great except the cell radio, the camera, and GPS, but it's awesome!" It would indeed be fantastic if Motorola would release source code for their drivers, however, it's additionally my understanding that certain parts, like the CDMA radio, are subject to some sort of license restrictions that are inherently prohibited from being released open-source (since CDMA requires royalties/licenses to use).

TK241: I believe Motorola actually is currently in the process of testing another maintenance update / release for the Admiral, but they're not going to expend the effort to release ICS (or future Android versions) for the Admiral. In other words, they may fix a handful of egregious bugs (the proverbial "low-hanging fruit"), but probably have roughly 10% of the time of one engineer assigned to "sustaining/support" for Admiral (complete guess). If you're having specific issues, I'd encourage you to post about them here and on Motorola's Admiral Owners' Forum: https://forums.motorola.com/hives/b9da20a015/posts .

Well, i did hear that there`ll be an update to allow PTT roamming, it was supposed to have started rolling out on the 18TH of last month, but i checked today and still no update, so ether i`m missing something or they`ve delayed it for some reason, which i couldn`t even begin to guess what it might be.  Like i said, i do hope they`re not just gonna let this `un go quietly into that great land of EOL`ed handsets, there`s too much potential in the Admeral.  Question for y`all, has anyone seen the supposed (read, roumored) update yet?  Just wondering after i checked and didn`t get the update today, as i was thinkin` it was already out there (as reported on phonescoop.com).  Intresting.  TK241

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Wizard

hey all, guess ya could call this post "the great disappearing PTT roamming update", as now we`re well into July and still no update, or words on when we will see it, as i`m hoping this will happen soon.  I can only think now that they`re gonna just let the Admeral slide into EOL land, which, IMHO would be sad, but i don`t make the decisions for Sprint.  Has any other Admeral owners out there even gotten the update yet, and if so how`d it go?  If no one has then i`d not be too suprised, as like i said, i`m thinkin` this is just the "lead effects" of this handset going EOL.  Thoughts?  TK241  P.S.  I`d LOVE to be proven wrong here, that would totally make my day .

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Sprint Employee

I was hoping to have an answer for you by now, unfortunately I am still waiting. I will post back with any detail I am given, which may be little because we generally will not comment on works in progress.

No longer working Community Response.
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Wizard

RC1024 wrote:

I was hoping to have an answer for you by now, unfortunately I am still waiting. I will post back with any detail I am given, which may be little because we generally will not comment on works in progress.

Yeah, i can understand part of it, they gotta test out the update to make sure it`ll work, i get that.  I just wish they wouldda said nothing across the board, rather than telling us that there would be an update starting June 18TH, updating JUST the Kyocera units, while leaving the owners of the Admeral more-or-less hanging from the light racks while we wait...and for what, so we can be told, "oh, we`re sorry, the Admeral has been EOL`ed after all, sorry for the inconvienence"?  Seems that`s what has happened before, for example, the venerable I1, what happened?  One update and it was done...yep, it went into EOLville kinda fast, so you can understand my cyincisim just a smidgen, and ya can see why i`m getting kinda curious, i just hope this isn`t another case of "one and it`s done". as that would be a weak move, as i`ve said, nobody really wants a featurephone anymore, unless you`re on a REALLY TIGHT budget or a prepaid user (and i`m sure most of us aren`t ).  Anyway, guess i`ll continue to wait patiently and see just when this update will get here, and see what crops up.  TK241

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Sprint Employee

TK241, Honestly I have talked to people as recently as today that have never considered using a smart phone. And I would not be discouraged by a phone being EOL, I’ll likely get an answer soon, and I will post what I can regarding this.

No longer working Community Response.
Highlighted
Wizard

RC1024 wrote:

TK241, Honestly I have talked to people as recently as today that have never considered using a smart phone. And I would not be discouraged by a phone being EOL, I’ll likely get an answer soon, and I will post what I can regarding this.

Hey intresting there , as up untill kinda recently i was one of `em, i wouldda NEVER even given a passing snort to using a smartphone untill the Android OS came along, i was a "dumbphone" user always.  And i can dig what you`re saying about not being discouraged about a handset bing EOL, it`s just that in the case of the Admeral there`s too much potential here, and i`d hate to see it wasted.  I can be patient for a while, i just want to play around with PTT roamming, just to see how it`ll work for me (i`m sure it will be the best thingy since sliced bread ), i have another question for ya, but i`ll send ya a pm on that shortly.  TK241

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Wizard

Hey , just thought of this one, what of the possability that the update really DID happen and i missed it?  I was up north when it inially came out on June 18TH, and from what i read of another post on the samsung forums (kinda related re, offered an update and user rejected it), up in NW WI i`m roamming, and so i couldn`t get any updates anyway, thoughts?  Just kinda curious i guess .  Thanx!  TK241  P.S. My theory is that the system attempted to send me a indication that the update was availible, but since i was in a roamming area i couldn`t recieve it, the system (Sprint system) would thus interpret this as a rejection by the user and now i`ll have to wait till the cycle runs.  Thoughts?

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Sprint Employee

Hello TK421, I still have no additional info, I will keep my ear to the ground, so far nothing about an update for the Admiral.

No longer working Community Response.
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Journeyman

sorry friend you know how I can get my XT603 spc need to change my prl for better reception but nobody wants to help me and do not understand why you could you?? I would greatly appreciate it 

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