Motorola Backflip update to Android 2.1 is here!

Motorola Backflip
Motorola Backflip

It took long enough

Motorola finally released the Android 2.1 update for the Backflip. Until now, we had to deal with the ancient Android 1.5 (cupcake), which wont let us use many of the new features and apps the 2.1 and 2.2 users have. After a few simple steps, you can now update to 2.1 (eclair). So far, this update is not an OTA (over the air) update, which means you have to manually install it. Don't worry, it isn't that hard. You can go to either AT&T's site or Motorola's site for full instructions and warnings. Also, read the list of new features at the bottom of this page to be sure you really want/need to update.

How to update your Backflip

It's actually pretty simple:

  1. Read Motorola's instructions and warnings first. These steps are to give you an idea of the installation process. The Motorola site has much more info than listed here and I highly recommend reading their instructions before doing anything. The link to Motorola's official instructions and download is to the upper right.
  2. Make sure you have 100Mb free on your SD card and 40 MB internal phone storage. The update will permanently take up about 40 MB of internal storage, so you will have less room from now on :(
  3. Download the update from Motorola's site (93 MB zip file) to your computer. Don't unzip it at any point.
  4. Make sure your phone is fully charged. It may use up a lot of energy during the install.
  5. Plug your phone into the computer with the USB cable it came with and make sure you choose the "USB Drive" option when it asks you what to do.
  6. Copy the file to your phone. It should be copied to the root directory. That means it can't be in a folder on the SD card. The phone will only look in the top level for updates. Make sure it is still named "", or it wont work.
  7. After it is done copying, unmount the phone from the computer ("safely remove" the USB drive for Windows users). Then unplug your phone.
  8. From the Home screen, press Menu, select Settings, select About Phone, and then select System Updates.
  9. It will take a minute for the phone to read the update. Then, select Copy. Next, tap Install Now.
  10. Your Backflip will restart and begin installing the update.
  11. It can take a long time for it to install and may seem to be frozen at points, but be patient. You must let it finish or it could be permanently damaged.
  12. It will restart again. It can take a while. Be patient.
  13. When you see the Motoblur login, it is done installing. Wait for your phone to connect to your AT&T service (the top of the phone will show "3G" or "E"). Then login. I couldn't remember mine, so I made a new one. This might take a while also. Be patient.
  14. You now have Android 2.1 (Eclair)
  15. You will have to set up a lot of things just like when you first got the phone. You have to setup your Google info again, ringtones, volume, wallpaper, security, widgets, icons, etc. Your contacts, text conversations, and apps will still be there. You might need to tell the contacts list to list all contacts. Mine showed only my Facebook friends and I thought I lost my phone numbers.
  16. Delete the update file from your SD card so it wont interfere with future updates. (connect it to the computer with USB again and delete "")
  17. I restarted mine one more time after I got everything the way I wanted, because I noticed it had low free memory. After it loaded again, it was back to normal.

Is it worth it? What's new with 2.1 Eclair?

Personally, I think it is totally worth it. My Backflip is like a whole new phone. Here is a list of some of new features and apps that came with this update:

  • It's compatible with many, many more Apps
  • Google Navigation with voice entry (very sweet!)
  • Google Voice Search
  • More widgets, including switches to turn on/off Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, and Airplane mode.
  • Existing widgets are improved
  • You can resize your widgets
  • Sticky note widget that allows you to leave notes on your home screen quickly (nifty)
  • The stupid Yahoo search is gone. It's Google, as it should be.
  • Animations are turned off by default, which seems to make it faster.
  • Improved Gallery
  • Better keyboard with voice entry
  • Improved Browser also with voice entry
  • More options in the Settings menu
  • You can make the green light around the USB port flash as a notification
  • New look and feel so you can still be cool with your friends that have new phones
  • Doesn't seem to be slower than Android 1.5. It actually seems faster!

My Backflip was rooted, will it still be rooted?

No, it will not be rooted anymore. Mine was rooted, which was a miracle, but the whole Operating System is replaced with this update. You will have to Root it again. I plan on doing mine again, but I'm sure it will be a while, because I don't really care anymore. If I do Root it, I'll make an article and there will be a link to it on this page. I suspect you can root it like any other Motorola Android 2.1 device, but I have no idea if this true.

More by this Author

Leave any questions, comments, or anything I missed below. Thanks. 11 comments

tyrant1800 6 years ago

I updated my phone and the search mic that is one the on screen keyboad only stays on it for a few min then I have to turn my phone on and off to get it to come back why is that

daywalkerFL profile image

daywalkerFL 6 years ago from Orlando, Florida Author

that happened to me too. I figured out that my task killer app was killing one of the google apps that allows it to show up. I can't remember what it was, but I think it had "voice" in the name. If i remember correctly, it was "voice search". Not sure though. leave a post when/if u figure it out please, or more questions

tyrant1800 6 years ago

My voice search is still on and it still does it so a got rid of the task killer and I still have the same problem

daywalkerFL profile image

daywalkerFL 6 years ago from Orlando, Florida Author

I looked around a little and this problem happens to others who updated to android 2.1. It seems to work at first and then it just disappears for no good reason. So far, the only thing I could find was that you need to check in your SETTINGS/LANGUAGE & KEYBOARD/ANDROID KEYBOARD to see if the option is checked. I don't seem to have this option though. Also I saw some posts telling me to check SETTINGS/TEXT-TO-SPEECH to see if it's installed. I have an option called "Install voice data" which is grayed out for me because it is already installed. Not sure why text-to-voice might help, but its worth a shot. My problem was certainly from Task Manager killing "voice dialer" and/or "voice search". Double check to make sure your task killer is actually gone. Good luck.

tyrant1800 6 years ago

Thank u for trying to help everything on my phone is like u said said yours is install voice data is grayed out android key board is checked and the task killer is gone so I don't no what the deal is but its really starting to upset me lol

daywalkerFL profile image

daywalkerFL 6 years ago from Orlando, Florida Author

Other phones that got the 2.1 upgrade had this problem, even from other companies. Supposedly there is an option you can check in the settings/language & keyboard/android keyboard, where it says "Voice Input". I don't see it anywhere on my phone. I don't have an option to turn it off or on, as far as I can tell. I got that info from a droid site which is made by motorola and should be similar to the backflip, you would think. I guess the best I can tell you is to make sure the voice search app is running and, if that doesn't work, try to download a free keyboard that has the voice option. Some people have said that just installing an app that uses voice to text will bring back the microphone on the android keyboard. I looked at all my downloaded apps and I don't have any of these. The closest I got is "Text-To-Speech Extension" which is obviously is not Speech-To-Text. Try downloading the "Text-To-Speech Extension" to see what happens. This was supposed to be the way to get speech-to-text to work on the HTC Hero after the 2.1 upgrade. I already had it from before the upgrade to run Google Translate, which might be the reason I haven't had your problem. Now that I think about it, I believe Google Translate has Speech-To-Text. I deleted it because I didn't use, I was just curious, but the Text-to-speech extension is still there. Sorry I couldn't find more, the update is only a month old so we'll see more people with this problem and a solution, I'm sure.

tyrant1800 6 years ago

I was wondering is there away i could reinstall the 2.1 update to see if that will fix the problem

daywalkerFL profile image

daywalkerFL 6 years ago from Orlando, Florida Author

I couldn't tell you if there is a way. I'd just take a break and wait a couple weeks. Then search around again. It's a new update.

tiaan 6 years ago

i downloaded the file onto my pc and to my SD card but when i go to the "my phone" option there isn't an option for System Updates. How can i install it now ???

Vivek Monteiro 6 years ago

i dont hav an option fo system update in my motorola backflip

xy 5 years ago

Witch motorola site?

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article