Motorola Backflip update to Android 2.1 is here!
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.
- Motorola official Backflip update to 2.1 information and download
Click here to download the update and read the full instructions
How to update your Backflip
It's actually pretty simple:
- 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.
- 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 :(
- Download the update from Motorola's site (93 MB zip file) to your computer. Don't unzip it at any point.
- Make sure your phone is fully charged. It may use up a lot of energy during the install.
- 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.
- 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 "Blur_Version.3.0.1390.MB300.ATT.en.US.zip", or it wont work.
- After it is done copying, unmount the phone from the computer ("safely remove" the USB drive for Windows users). Then unplug your phone.
- From the Home screen, press Menu, select Settings, select About Phone, and then select System Updates.
- It will take a minute for the phone to read the update. Then, select Copy. Next, tap Install Now.
- Your Backflip will restart and begin installing the update.
- 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.
- It will restart again. It can take a while. Be patient.
- 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.
- You now have Android 2.1 (Eclair)
- 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.
- 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 "Blur_Version.3.0.1390.MB300.ATT.en.US.zip")
- 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.