Motorola Mobility

Well this is tough news. Motorola Mobility has been maintaining an update chart and evaluating its current device lineup as to which devices should go forward with Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean. Just a few days ago, they delayed several devices having previously said they would get the upgrade in Q3. Now, they have announced the Atrix 4G, Photon 4G and Electrify will not be receiving the update and will be remaining on Gingerbread.

This is not good news.  We hope this is just a difficult transitional period for Motorola and that they will learn from this. We bet that they will, but that still doesn't help all of you who currently own these devices.

So we feel for you and we'll be here to help you install unofficial updates. You'll probably want to sound off in the forums, and we don't blame you, so here are the links:

Their update chart has also been updated to reflect the changes.

Source: Motorola Mobility

There are 93 comments

wizocodes says:

I was forced to get an Atrix 2 when I had to send my Atrix 4G in for insurance. I like the 2, but the 4g was better, IMO. I am rather pissed for you A4G owners! At least you can throw Neutrino ROM on it!

Lehjr says:

Only CM7 based. Anything CM9/10 based will never be fully functional without the proper kernel source and drivers. And without an official release, our odds of getting that are next to none.

dorelse says:

I'm not sure why you're so eager to cheer lead for them, with the whole 'Difficult transition' line.

The fact is that Google/Moto have a dual core phone with plenty of CPU & memory and they are choosing to screw a bunch of us.

I'll be using their $100 rebate the next time I visit the bathroom. Last Moto device and I buy, this whole upgrade lottery has left me very frustrated with Android in general.

I had better support from on my Pre...and that's a very low bar to get over.

littleemp says:

It's not so much with android, but with third party devices in general. The A4G is my last non-Nexus Phone. I am done with all of them, not a single one gets a pass with their horrible support.

Here's me hoping one of our talented devs can pull off something amazing and hack the HW Accel on the kernel using the source from one of the other tegra 2 devices. And that's a slim chance if there has ever been any.

XChrisX says:

Unless you have Nexus you won't get but maybe 1 software upgrade max. It's done this way to keep users upgrading to new devices regularly. It's pathetic really. It's discouraging to anyone considering adopting an Android device.

Fine, except that any Motorola phone is pretty much NOT a third party device anymore. This is all on Google.

Spork1673 says:

that may be kinda true but they are not in the line of a nexus ... those get the updates before most other phones

vnangia says:

This is exactly right. There are still phones being sold today with the Tegra 2 and 1GB of RAM today as mid-range phones, and for some pre-paid carriers, the top of the line phone. They all ship with ICS and JB. This is entirely about Motorola screwing us by trying to sell a new device rather than supporting loyal customers.

If this is about one of the three people who use webtop not getting webtop, do an HTC and make it clear that if you upgrade, then no webtop.

Definitely the last Motorola phone. And that iPhone 5 is looking mightily appealing, especially since it looks like whenever iOS 7 comes out, the phone will still be supported, unlike Motorola.

ArgonNJ#CB says:

I think the lesson here is Motorola only cares about it's top of the line models on Verizon. The mid level crap the other carriers get are dead ends when it comes to updates. If ever there was a reason not to buy Motorola, this is it.

Jotokun says:

Amen. When the Atrix came out, it was billed as their flagship model on AT&T.

I want to know their definition of "flagship".

ArgonNJ#CB says:

Motorola Flagship phones only come out for Verizon. Every other model is second class. Why else would the Atrix HD for AT&T ship with a tiny 1750MAh battery when all the Verizon ones ship 2200 and above. BTW, I hope everyone who bought that device likes ICS, because that is all you will ever have with that too.

Lehjr says:

For Motorola, "Flagship device" is similar to a "captain's log". They proudly brag about it for awhile, then flush it into oblivion, even if it required several courtesy flushes.

Jotokun says:

Well... that's bull@#$%. If the Xoom can run JB with almost identical hardware, why not the Atrix? I've been running CM9/10 on mine for a while and its pretty good, but its definitely quirky. The dev community desperately needed the drivers that the official release would have provided if these 4.X roms are ever to be solid. As it is, no video recording, no finger print scanning, quirky hardware acceleration and no chrome.

I've been tolerating CM10's quirks thinking it'd only be another month or two of oddness... and now I have to wait till the end of my contract when I switch carriers to get a device with solid 4.X? I'm now torn between staying on my current rom or downgrading to CM7.

This will definitely be my last Motorola phone. That $100 is a complete insult considering you can only use it towards ANOTHER Motorola phone. After something like this, who in their right mind would want to stick with them?

littleemp says:

I know what you mean... But I've gotten used to the amazing things offered in JB... I don't know what to do either.

M3wThr33 says:

Aaaand Motorola just goes to solidify how I will never buy their products ever again.
I have a Xoom, which I love, on Jellybean... because Google controls the firmware on it, like a responsible dev.

Brianflys says:

Yet the XOOM2 aka XYBoard 8.2 wifi that google controls gets NOTHING!

Motorola support is worthless! Do not buy their products. Let them fail.


Google doesn't control the Xyboard. It's a Verizon-branded device, unlike the OG Xoom, which was a Google Experience Device.

OmegaWrex says:

I'm kind of glad my atrix broke two weeks ago and I picked up an hspa+ galaxy nexus,or else I would have flipped a shit.

XChrisX says:

Google should step in namely Andy Rubin, and mandate timely updates. It's ridiculous every time I see a device getting an upgrade to ICS when Jelly Bean is out.

This is a major issue for Android phones. And Google needs to step up and demand releases of its newest software.

dorelse says:

You know...what's really releasing the news late on a Friday on Pacific time.

biln says:

cause all these cell phone companies put out 100 phones a year and they cant keep up with them all, and too bad only 1 or 2 phones are decent. all the rest have the hardware of 2 years ago.

ArgonNJ#CB says:

What do you expect from Motorola. They can't even seem to get the latest OS on a phone they haven't even released yet. Their great RAZR HDs coming out next month will be shipping with a year old OS. They are nothing but fail.

And this is why I've lost all faith in Android. If the OEM Google purchased can't promise fair updates on hardware that clearly can support the software why should I stick around?

ArgonNJ#CB says:

Google bought Motorola for their patents, not to improve the Android experience.

doesn't make it okay.

dorelse says:


broncop3t3 says:

This was what I was waiting to hear. Now upgrading even though, there is not LTE in Boise will not be such a hard decision.

t1.8matt says:

This is exactly why I ditched my Bionic for a Nexus, leak after leak of ICS which was supposed to be out in the beginning of Q3 and now they'll be lucky if they get it by the end of Q4 like Moto is promising. It's really sad, I started android with Motorola and they lost a long time customer who bought 4 versions of their phones.

Shadow Death says:

Photon users are gonna be PISSED! That phone needs a whole lot of Hardware Acceleration lovin'. The UI that phone has is complete crap when it comes to animations.

akts says:

.. and this gives me another reason to leave moto for samsung note 2. Eh, who am I kidding. I was going anyways. Sucks Moto lied. I can now sell it and recoup cash for the new note.
It just sucks that I am going to another co. that is as bad at updates.

b737thurman says:

+1 too bad Moto won't give me that $100.00 toward the Note 2.

Sad news! My Photon really rocks, I was looking forward to an official ICS build for 4G support on CM9, guess I'll have to do without.

Gekko says:

i will always buy Nexus devices. it's the best way to future-proof yourself.

The first one was enough. Turned off T-Mob last night, now trying to figure out if I should eBay it or have the kids use it for games, despite its lack of space.

To update large apps such as Google Maps, I would delete other big apps such as Flipboard, revert the Google Voice update to stock, then reinstall if there was there was room.

The general customer for these devices doesn't even know what ICS or JB is. Only us Android diehards care about these updates. If it's that big a deal, root your phone and flash a ICS rom. If this IS a major disappointment, consider it lesson learned and buy a Nexus device next time.

KahneFan says:

Very true. I have a Photon and upgraded my wife to a EVOLTE - if I told her she had ICS on her phone she would be looking for a towel to wipe her phone off.

Ha, same thing here. Updated my girl's Evo 4G to an ICS rom and I told her she had a version of the OS on her phone now that wasn't even supposed to be on there. Her response: "Can I get on Facebook?" I give up...



brandogg says:

Some of you guys are acting like babies. The Atrix came out nearly two years ago. The Photon and (presumably) Electrify sold pretty terribly. I've only seen two of them in the wild, ever, and it was the same person who owned both of them.

I do agree that Verizon gets the best Motorola phones though, but to be fair, Verizon is the best it makes sense. Actually they make GSM variants for all of their high-end VZW phones too (aside from the Bionic), so you can get one if you really want to...unless you're on Sprint, but who actually uses Sprint for quality anyway?

Timelessblur says:

Atrix 4g was billed as a top of line device. Atrix 4G was not even 9 months old when ICS was announced and Motorola more or less has promised it was going to get ICS. First it was 2Q, then 3Q then cancelled.

Jotokun says:

This. It may have not been a Verizon device, but it was heavily described by Motorola as a flagship and so it should have been treated like one.

wezra says:

I know this really stinks. But don't feel you are alone. I have the HTC One S on T-Mobile and was told, in the T-Mobile store by a sales rep., that the One S was going to be T-Mobile's flagship HTC phone until ealy 2013. Right! Now I see they are getting the Quad-core "X" version in a few weeks. I went in the store the other day to buy a new case, as they are dumping all the One S accessories now, and he literally couldn't look me straight in the face. I am wondering how any of these carriers can look anyone straight in the face.

Now, I guess I can't complain too much as my One S is now over 5 months old and in Android land that makes it completely outdated. And there inlies the problem with Android... too many phones too quickly. Although I am far from an iPhone fan, that is where Apple is using its head. One new phone a year with one major OS update yearly. I guess if we are all going to support Android the key is to pick the best phone you can at any given time and stick with it for a year... or when ever your upgrade is and forget all the new stuff coming out all around you during that time. That is what I have to do with my One S. I am certainly not going to pay upwards of $500 to get the new HTC phone just to have the latest and greatest.

In short... you guys with the the Motorola phones are not the only ones stuck with outdated phones a week after you buy it!

Get a nexus. New update every year just like the iPhone. Nuff said.

Unless you're an N1 owner such as myself: all out of ROM and SOL.

Jotokun says:

At least that one was because the hardware couldnt handle it. I believe the N1 had insufficient flash storage without repartitioning, which is a very justifiable reason to not update. This is much worse, as the hardware is completely capable of running 4.X.

As an Atrix 4G, Atrix 2 and Atrix HD owner he has a point there. This last shaft we received from Motorola for the Atrix 4G and ICS got me to thinking about Android as a whole compared to other companies (mainly Apple). If you really think about it, it's quite possible Apple really has the hardware and software upper-hand with updates and such.

Everyone says Android is better because of numbers, they sell the most and have the most activations. Which is possibly true, but how do they get those numbers? By makeing thousands of phones through hundreds of OEM's and multiple carriers. Where as with Apple it's 1 phone (used to be) 1 carrier which has now become 3 carriers.

Let's put Android into that prospective and say the ONLY phone/tablet they sell is Nexus phone and Nexus tablet (which means no more Kindle Fire, Samsung Tab, etc) just those two devices and let's throw them on Verizon only as a starting carrier like Apple did with AT&T. When looked at by the numbers, there is no way Android would ever survive, they will flop like a fish out of water with the rest (i.e. Microsoft, RIM, Symbian, etc).

So it's no surprise a lot of us are pissed off and struggling in an on-going battle that will never be won with the OEM's from the consumer stand-point. Just like with every business it is all about numbers, it's just unfortunate that the company that can get their numbers right is Apple. Hopefully Google will one day bring hope to the mess they brought with Android and lay the hammer on manufactuers. Take control Google, believe me I am in no mood to go back to my iPhone but at the rate you are going it's sad that I will probably head that way...Or maybe a windows phone who knows.

P.S. Google...You purchased the mess that is called Motorola, take charge and get their heads out of their a$$es for pete sake! This is more painful and a bigger disappointment to watch than the unravelling of prohibition occur.

OmahaPlaya says:

I think it's still going to take a little more time for Google to get Motorola right as far as there updates and the actual hardware.

CharlieTX says:

The biggest improvement I ever made in my cell phone was dumping the Atrix 4G and moving to the Galaxy S3.

turco320 says:

WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!????? bye bye Android, Switch to iPhone...

JobiWan144 says:

Don't do it, man! Just get a Galaxy Nexus (unlocked GSM version) if you really want timely OS updates. $350 from the Play Store + $45/month for a Straight Talk plan & SIM card, and you will be rocking Jelly Bean on still-acceptable hardware.

alexnaoumi says:

I have a s3 so it doesn't apply to me but I dost understand. The photon 4g certainly is capable of running ics

pappy53 says:

This is one reason that iPhone is hard to beat. Yearly updates on just about every model.

ISS2 says:

I love android to death, but it's a shame that the 256 mb 3gs can have ios6, but the barely year old 1gb ram and processor atrix gets no ics love. The quality on that phone is horrible, screens dying like the plague on that phone; that's probably the real reason they didn't upgrade it. The atrix line has had 3 phones in an 18 month period, it's ridiculous...

Incognitum says:

ZOMG, did someone piss in everyone's cereal? If you want ics PUT IT ON YOUR PHONE! The only update that mattered was when they released the unlocked bootloader. Besides which, the Atrix is 2 years old, how long do you plan on keeping it anyways? I love the fingerprint reader, but it was never adopted by developer, and the specs are getting tired anyhow. How's about moto spends the extra man hours to bring a high-end qwerty slider to ma bell.

Jotokun says:

Here's the problem with your statement... the current 4.x roms arent that good. Not dissing the great devs we have, but there's so many features missing and quirky behavior that only those spoiled by 4.X can use them as daily drivers. Besides, ICS was promised when the Atrix was less than a year old and we've been waiting patiently since then. They could have just told us from the start and saved us time deciding whether to stick with it or sell on craigslist and try to get something with actual support.

Lehjr says:

There's nothing tired about the specs. No ICS or JB ROMS for the Atrix 4G are fully functional without the proper kernel source and drivers and you don't get those until after an official release. If it was that easy, it would have been done by now. Most people can't upgrade every year when they're stuck in a 2 year contract.

CoolBeit says:

The other problem is that lots of atrixes (mostly warranty replacements/factory mine) have bootloaders that cannot be unlocked. You can find threads about this problem on xda. So, motorola blocked bootloader unlocking AND stopped supporting their phone. I cannot think of a more a$$hole move.

jabwtv says:

I agree

Very poor support by Motorola, it speaks for itself. I learned my lesson by buying a Droid X2, which also is not receiving ICS upgrades, and is sorely neglected, less than 2 years old. No more Motorola. As much as I love Android, will chose future phones very carefully, if at all.

jabwtv says:

This is very disappointing. No more Motorola phones for me. How do you put ICS on the Photon? I would ask in the forums bur every time I try to post in the forums there is no box for the message. My contract ends in October 2013 so what should I do?

Jotokun says:

Look on XDA. The Atrix/Photon community there is pretty active and they'd be more than happy to help you out. Just read the stickies first, they probably will have all the info you need to unlock your bootloader and get recovery set up.

dorelse says:

Is 4G working on ICS yet?

Jotokun says:

No clue, I have an Atrix, not a photon. Last I heard 4G does not work yet.

jabwtv says:

thank you very much

dorelse says:

Me too. Bought the Photon based on it being one of Sprint's best devices at the time. My contract is up on 10/13 as well. I'm not into modding my phones, so I'm stuck...which is fine, my choice, but I'm done.

Honestly...fool me once...shame on you. I won't be fooled by Android OEM's again. Its either Nexus, iPhone or WinPhone for me going forward.

Too bad too, I really wanted the Moto 8.2 Xyboard based on Moto's build quality, but I'm off that train.

bonanzabucks says:

What a shame. I'm a former Photon owner and decided to upgrade to the GS3 after Google announced they wouldn't be supporting the lapdocks anymore. This latest announcement is just icing on the cake for my decision. Too bad, because the Photon really was a great phone.

Chef Android says:

As a Photon owner I am beyond disappointed with Moto. As for all of us who were forced into buying a phone under false pretenses or being lied to, too bad we couldn't sue Motorola for dicking us over. I love the Android platform so when I get to upgrade next fall I wont jump ship and go iPhone like everyone else. I am going to do my research and hopefully go Samsung or HTC. Or whatever the must have device is out on Sprint. Another way I look at is this, they could of pushed out the update and who knows probably could fried our phones. Them where would all of us ATRIX/Photon/Electrify owners be. In quite a pickle. Ok. Rant done. Everyone try and have a good day.

It's announcements like this that poison Android's reputation.Sadly,it's not only Motorola but really every manufacturer.Does HTC,Samsung,or even Sony have a better track record?

Timelessblur says:

sadly yes they do. Motorola track record is by far the worse. It is not hardware wise as motoblur is not as intesive as Samsung touch wize and that runs just fine on the Galaxy tab 10.1 Hell it made the tablet better.

This is greed and crap. All the other manufactures sadly are doing better.

ElCunado says:

Fuck Motorola! They were being a cocktease all these months making me believe id get the ICS update on my O.G. ATRIX. This is the last Motorola device ill ever purchase. I hope they close down their phone division with their lack of innovation! If it wasnt for their simple idea of "bigger batteries" they would be like RIM. The RAZR Maxxx saved their asses.

Timelessblur says:

It is high time Android central start taking a hard line on crap like this. STart calling the manufactures out on it. This is not because the device can not run it. This is motorola saying FU to the consumers. I say post huge charts and each manufacture track record and make it crystal clear how they are acting. There is NO EXCUSE for this other than greed. I will not touch anything from them again. Google had a chance to make things better but it is pretty clear even google does not care about updating phones.

I wouldn't rely on Android Central in backing us up in the matter. They would much rather continue to receive free devices from manufactuers than to stand against the wrong and have to start paying for their devices like the rest of us because they stood up against the manufacturer and called them out.

Timelessblur says:

Sadly I kind of agree with you. This would be a great time for them to rip in to Moto. There is no excuse for this othe rthan greed. They (moto) promised update 6-7 months ago then changed their mind very last minute.

Really they have the contacts and easily could get multiple android sites to come down hard on them for this.

Djleal25 says:

Welcome to android based phones....
You want regular updates on android get a nexus device and get screwed over by all the companies that make phones better ....
Sad to see devices that just came out not even getting the latest technology.
Evens apple 3gs phone is still receiving updates..

beantown says:

As a very proud Photon 4G owner, I'm not disappointed that the Photon 4G isn't going to get ICS, and to be honest I'm very content with gingerbread. The Photon 4G in my humble opinion has been a GREAT phone. I can already do 100 times more with it than my previous phone (HTC EVO 4G), all without being rooted. So the fact that Motorola isn't going to release ICS for the Photon 4G - at least to me, isn't the end of the world but more of a sigh of relief.

Jotokun says:

Its pretty clear you havent used 4.X. Your right, Gingerbread still works fine. The problem is, the 2.3 > 4.0 update was huge. It was like a complete OS overhaul, and made things far nicer to use. This is almost like when Microsoft denied HD2 owners from upgrading from WinMo 6 to WinPhone 7.

jabwtv says:

Are there any stable ROMS for ICS yet for the Photon?

Jotokun says:

Define stable... on all three phones, camera is spotty, camcorder is a no period and the hardware acceleration is kinda jittery. Also, no chrome support. But for everyday tasks not involving the camera, the ICS/JB roms are ok. Check out Joker's and Bill's roms.

philbw says:

I walked into a Sprint store the day the Photon 4G came out with the intention of buying one. Played a around with some other (albeit older) options. Settled on the Nexus S 4G instead because it just felt better and looked nicer. After reading this article on my Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean equipped NS4G I'm glad I made that decision.

Glerp says:

It's reasons like these why I'm going to be buying a Samsung for my next phone, I'm stuck on ATT. Really Motorola?? This sucks. I've had the Atrix for almost 2 years, awaiting the ICS update patiently, and now you back out. Part of me saw this coming, but I ignored my better judgement and actually thought they were going to keep their word.

My upgrade is middle of November. Now I just have to decide whether I'm buying the GS3 or the Note 2...

F you Motorola, I won't be looking to buy another handset from you for a very long time.

Rob White says:

And yet another black eye for the Android enthusiast community. Somebody suggested above that this site start calling out manufacturers for this type of inaction. Have you read the articles? Listened to the podcasts? It won't happen folks. Accept this as quite possibly the biggest flaw in Androids many flaws or found another platform. I have zero faith in any manufacturer or carrier to get updates right. Even Google has dropped the ball with the Nexus phones. And to want Android Central, who makes their livelihood off ofAndroid & Google, to advocate openly for seismic change on this platform?!?! I got some sweet ocean front property in Kansas for sale too. Any takers? I didn't think so.

Bottom line is Android will never get this right. No manufacturer has a good track record with update times or cycles. Carriers are even worse. There is a reason, several actually, that Apple walks away with all the profits & mindshare. Activations & total units to market mean squat to the enthusiast users. Once they learn or embrace a different platform Android will become the new WinMo phone or even worse Palm/WebOS. Don't believe it? Just how many Android vendors are making big profits again? Nuff said.

motoGEEKer says:

fortunately, I was one of the lucky ones to get the ICS soak on the A2. I have been voicing my distaste for about a month now. Motorola has banned me from their Facebook already. This whole thing stinks. The "rebate" deal is an absolute joke, and if I even stay with Android, it definitely won't be with Googarola. I'm done being lied to. That Window's Phone 8 is looking more and more attractive. Peace out, #motoFAIL.

randyw says:

All phone manufactures-HTC,Motorola,LG ect. I don't care which one, want people to buy New Phones. They could care less about upgrading phones that are more than a few mounths old. Thats why I switched to a Nexus.

Even4steven says:

Rather than wait to be disappointed by any android phone, I sell my old phone on Ebay and buy another the same way. Honestly, I do not want a 2 year old phone regardless of the operating system. I get an upgrade from Big Red once every 20 months, so I do this after my phone is a year old or so. The phone world changes so fast that it makes no sense to keep one for 3-4 years, Apple or Android. The monthly fees are much more expensive than the cost of the phones. I have the Galaxy S3 and a year from now, I will be selling that and moving on instead of bitching about not getting upgraded to whatever.

Seggzy says:

the worst part is now telling my friends that i told would be getting the update... that they are not now.

done with moto.

Seggzy says:

the only way google could "get on OEM's asses" is to close source... witch we are not about.

Tigrisan says:

Well, this just sucks.

s-smurf says:

I'm an Atrix 4G owner. I'm definitely moving to iPhone... Moto & Google can go to hell..

christianttt says:
A unified campaign backed by developers and you requesting Ice Cream
Sandwich & Jellybean updates, source code, and unlocked bootloaders
for the owners of Atrix MB860, Atrix MB861, Atrix ME860, Electrify MB853
,Photon MB855, DROID X2, MB870, XT882, MT870

upndwn4par says:

Not Happy With Motorola?

Don't just get mad, get involved!

A unified campaign backed by developers and you requesting Ice Cream
Sandwich & Jellybean updates, source code, and unlocked bootloaders
for the owners of Atrix MB860, Atrix MB861, Atrix ME860, Electrify MB853
,Photon MB855, DROID X2, MB870, XT882, MT870

Joke of the Day!
How do you install the Google Calender App on an 8 month old Tegra2 Moto?

You hit it with a hammer and by a 2 year old HTC Incredible S!
(Out of 44 phones released by major manufacturers in 2011 that have been upgraded to ICS or better, only two are Moto's. This isn't even including the Nexus line. HTC, LG, Samsung and even ZTE, of all people, seem to be able to upgrade their Tegra2 phone to ICS. Wow Moto, even ZTE can upgrade their phones to ICS where you can't!)

Zipster90 says:

This is the last straw for me for both Moto and Android. Hell, even Google, too. The Motorola Mobility buyout was just a greedy patent grab and won't improve Android's terrible segmentation in the slightest. The $100 rebate on a new phone is laughable. I've only had this phone since February! Guess I'll have to go with iPhone.