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Motorola Removes Almost All Moto Bloat in Jelly Bean for DROID RAZR, Goes With Stock Google Apps Instead [Changelog]

Screenshot_2013-03-07-09-01-23

According to the flood of emails that have hit our inbox,  the soak test of Jelly Bean (Android 4.1.2) for the original DROID RAZR and RAZR MAXX has officially begun. We don’t exactly know when it’ll arrive for all users who are not a part of the Motorola Feedback Network, but assuming this test goes smoothly, it shouldn’t be long. And for your sake, I hope you aren’t waiting more than a week, as the update rids the device of almost all Moto-inspired bloatware, turning it into a device that even an Android elitist snob would be proud of. If this update isn’t a sign of the “new” Motorola, then I don’t know what is. 

Below, you’ll find the full changelog for the update. The “enhancements” and “fixes” sections are filled with typical goodies and all, but the “changes” section is what should really get you going. Motorola has decided to remove the Social Location app, MotoActv, MotoPrint, Alarm and Timer (replaced by stock Google Clock), and Verizon Video on Demand. They also killed off the My Gallery and My Music apps in favor of the stock Android Gallery app and Google Music. MotoCast is no longer integrated into anything on the device, including the Files app. It’s now a stand alone app (it has been enhanced to be much more powerful). They also killed all of sorts of widgets that you likely weren’t using anyway, as they were tied to many of these now-deceased apps.

Outside of the debloating, they made Chrome the stock browser, brought in Google Now, enhanced Voice Search, improved the camera greatly (better panorama too), improved network connectivity, fixed contact sync, and sooooo much more.

The build number is 98.72.16.

This is quite the update. It may shock some of you to see so many major changes, but this is the direction Motorola wants to go. Less “Moto” branded software, more stock Android. We can’t argue against that.

Update:  Here is the update file and instructions for those running the X-mas Jelly Bean build.

motorola razr jelly bean

Via:  Motorola

Cheers Justtyn, S, P, C, M, D, Z and so many more of you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/nicki.f.eckert Nicki Fitch Eckert

    So, are you telling me that we can no longer stream our music using Motocast thru the Google Play Music app??? We have to now download everything to our SD card? Unfortunately, this isn’t cool with me as I constantly used the “My Music” app to play the music that streamed through Motocast and if I log in to Motocast to listen to my music there is no way to shuffle the songs :(

  • Lunkerlady

    An awesome upgrade (regardless of the fact that it took me forever to figure out how to turn off the stock keyboard haptic feedback). Love my original Razr MAXX even more now.

  • max f

    what happened 2 talk to text and phone to phone beaming

  • David Hollingshead

    The instructions say that if I don’t get the notifications to download it through About Phone > System Updates but it says I’m up to date… confused.

    Also, I’m worried that Jelly Bean has increased the font size and spacing, letting less info show on my screen at a time and making me scroll more (see Chrome browser difference on RAZR and Galaxy Nexus).

  • Felicia

    I haven’t received the OTA Update yet.. When will it be airing?

  • snunicycler

    Thank God, the mygallery crap and mymusic app are going away.

  • Robert Delaney

    Google buys Motorola, waits until it runs the course of products in its pipeline, hints at a Motorola X phone, then release JB to older phones that would normally be ignored by old Motorola and Verizon all together.

    Good times they are a coming.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sergey.nenashev.94 Sergey Nenashev

    Good news,finally Motorola removes its bloatware

  • chris125

    Good seeing Google taking control. Now just to wait and see what they can really do with their first moto/google phones

  • http://twitter.com/StacyAnnM Stacy

    A Future Motorola NEXUS device will happen yay can’t wait

  • Joe L

    So does that mean it is coming to the razr maxx also or just the razr?

    • huskerhog

      Both. I received the soak test upgrade this morning on my RAZR MAXX.

  • huskerhog

    Google Now voice search will not work while I’m on WI-FI at work. I’ll try it again at home

    • JohnPA2006

      Probably a firewall rule on your works wireless network blocking.

      • huskerhog

        No. Everything else comes through fine on work WI-FI.

  • http://www.facebook.com/hill3829 Kevin Hill

    Droid Bionic?

    • Bionic

      Likely April

  • Finire

    Getting rid of Verizon apps? Awesome! Maybe we will see some decent improvement now that Google is actually taking over the product line.

  • paul_cus

    Hooray…too bad I don’t use the RAZR for anything more than an alarm clock now. Still, nice to see, Motorola.

  • super_ninja_1

    Did they remove Circle widget? I love it!

  • http://www.hammertechnologies.net/ Chase Johnson

    With Moto being under Google control now, I dont see why they have any overlay and not use vanilla Android. Weird.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=500698751 Paul Hansen

      Verizon encourages “unique” interfaces (read: skins) for their phones and won’t approve much without them.

      • http://twitter.com/Belatukadro Justtyn Hutcheson

        It is not just Verizon, it is in the best interest of the OEM to create software enhancements that set them apart from their competition. Whether their vision is one you agree with or disagree with is a matter of opinion, but through that mechanism great strides have been made in Android development in a shockingly short period of time.

    • Jeremy Martin

      All those changes bringing it more back to stock and you still have a complaint? If i had to guess its because they are still Motorola as Google stated and Blur is their “thing”. Seems to me like they made huge strides though removing a lot of unneeded bloat.

      • http://www.hammertechnologies.net/ Chase Johnson

        Not a complaint. Just stating that Im surprised that they arent just giving what the vast majority of people want. Being straight Android.

        • http://twitter.com/Belatukadro Justtyn Hutcheson

          Unfortunately, its not “what a vast majority of people want”. Perhaps here on an enthusiast website, but as far as consumers en-masse, they typically think stock AOSP is just another “skin” like Touchwiz or Sense. And while I do like JB+ AOSP, I still prefer some of the enhancements from the different OEMs, and think they each serve their purpose. Choice is what sets Android apart from iOS and WP8, so I would never advocate anything that reduces our choices.

  • Kenny Larson

    While my old Droid2Global was crap software-wise, that thing was built like a brick. I never had it in a case, dropped it all the time (butterfingers) and the thing never cracked or died on me. I would love a well made Motorola Nexus. I want almost as much as I want a Sony Nexus.

  • BulletTooth_Tony

    Well… if there’s one thing that stood out as utterly garbage on Blur, it was their gallery. Huge improvement right there alone. Hopefully they keep their own email app tho.

  • huskerhog

    The phone seems to work much faster now. I had some serious lag problems before the upgrade.

    • tharealoc

      Project Butter!

  • Joe

    They kept Smart Actions right? I find it more reliable than Locale and Tasker.

  • thomas

    So does this mean when 4.2.x hits my razr maxxhd it’ll lack the laggy left screen quick settings, since 4.2 has them already?

  • iSuppress

    Motorola from BLURRED to SHARPED.

    from plastic qwerty DROID OG to amazing hi-end made in USA Motorola Xphone (bezel-less edge-to-edge).

    from DynaTAC 800OX 1983 to Motorola Xphone 2013.

    • Danrarbc

      A little unsharp mask can work wonders

    • cornflahkes

      The OG had loads of metal, and ran stock Android.

  • sunupe

    I’m sooo glad that this update is around the corner. If all is true, I will NOT switch to the Galaxy 3/4. I will stick with Google/Moto a little longer….but if the “X Phone” turns out to be a bust…ba bye!!

    • http://twitter.com/Belatukadro Justtyn Hutcheson

      I think their next release will be the biggest for Motorola Mobility since the StarTac and flip Razr. They are losing marketshare, good will, and money, and only a truly superior device (not just competitive) and an outstanding marketing push will put them back on top.

  • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B
    • Danrarbc

      Is it just me or have the OEMs really turned themselves around in the last couple of years when it comes to updates.

      The Galaxy S2 getting JB, S3 gets moved up to the next release of Android pretty quickly each time, Moto getting JB out for even the original RAZR pretty fast all things considered. It seems better than it used to be.

  • Akashshr

    Motorola FTW!! Never owned a non motorola phone! Except the Nexus 4! :P

  • philnolan3d

    While this is really nice news I am still annoyed that’s is not the latest version. I could really use that Photosphere feature in 4.2. I will be also a little sad to see the current gallery widget go away.

    • J. Gilbertson

      There’s still a Photo Gallery app. Also, yes Photosphere would be cool but all the problems that they had initially with 4.2 on the Nexus devices I wouldn’t want it right away on my phone. Granted my wife’s Nexus 7 has been running solid from what I hear I wouldn’t mind just jumping straight to KLP. Although, unless there are any significant problems with this latest update I think our future is no more updates or just security patches.

      • philnolan3d

        Yes the Photo gallery is fine, but I like the gallery widget that is currently on my phone. I’m hoping that is still there. Then again now that I think of it my tablet has stock 4.1.2 (Motorola Xoom) and that also has the same widget, so maybe that’s not being removed.

        • http://twitter.com/Belatukadro Justtyn Hutcheson

          There is a “Photo Gallery” 3×3 widget that comes with the stock gallery app.

          • philnolan3d

            Does it show random images from a facebook or other feed like the Motorola one?

          • philnolan3d

            But does it show images from a feed like facebook or Flickr?

  • huskerhog

    After I installed upgrade, Google Now was showing an update for Google Search, but was also saying that is was incompatible with my phone. I uninstalled updates to the Google Play Store and to Google Search and was then able to update to the newest version of Google Search that works with Google Now. I now have the upgraded version of Google Now.

  • Matreyu Hermano

    Nice. Now I’d be more inclined to purchase a Motorola again. I hate crapware. I got a vzw Galaxy Nexus, but I hate the battery life and radios. My wife’s Droid 4 gets LTE where I cannot.

  • Jason Harris

    Got the JB Leak OTA version this morning. Update went fine and voodoo kept root.

  • John Jenness

    Wow…didn’t expect this. Especially since the leak had all the junk.

    • Detonation

      Which junk are you referring to? The stuff listed in the changelog was also removed in the leak.

  • hkklife

    Yes, yes ,yes!! Now all we need to see is the Bionic updated to JB as promised and they will have returned to the top of my list! Almost makes me want to go and pick up a cheap used RAZR Maxx for the wife.

    Just curious, was the awesome Webtop 3.0 that finally became awesome under ICS also a casualty?

    • http://twitter.com/Belatukadro Justtyn Hutcheson

      Nope, webtop 3.0 is still there, but it hasn’t been touched as far as I can tell, including bug fixes. :-(

    • Verizon

      Webtop is still in the December leak and isn’t listed anywhere in this info so I would assume it is still there.

  • Detonation

    FYI December leak build was 98.72.8, this one is 98.72.16

  • http://bjunity.org/ Bill B

    So nice to a big chunk of Sanjay Jha’s remaining legacy go swirling down the drain.

    • Danrarbc

      It’s like it was all a Blur now.

      • http://twitter.com/Twitteninja Zargh

        Motorola has been taking some Smart Actions.

        • Buckoman

          Yeah, now that Motorola has sided with Google Now, their next phones are going to be awesome to the Maxx.

      • 640k

        Snicker… Blur. I get it.

      • http://Twitter.com/ContestsAccount bigrob60

        Even though it’s still early, you have won the internets for the day.

      • EC8CH

        remember Ninja Blur??? HAHAHAHAHAHA

        • Stevedub40

          Ha! I remember that very well. That brings me back to the Howard Forum Days

        • Rob Watkins

          Yuck!

      • Rob Watkins

        LOL! Thats funny!

  • http://twitter.com/Defenestratus Defenestratus

    If this is the direction of Moto in the future, I may have to give them more serious consideration for my next phone – even though the Droid X2 was just a horrible device.

  • http://ndavis.nerium.com/ Nerium Brand Partner

    Can’t wait for this update!! Especially if they fixed some of the connectivity issues where it drops 4G and then won’t reconnect till I go to airplane mode.

  • http://twitter.com/vdefender Taylor A.

    Well it looks great! Very AOSP like. NICE. However only 4.1!? lol thats gotta suck for you guys who have it. It will probably never see 4.2

    • http://twitter.com/Belatukadro Justtyn Hutcheson

      We’ll see. No Motorola device has 4.2 yet (hell, no non-nexus phone has 4.2), so I can’t fault them much. I assume that the 2012 Razr’s will be getting 4.2 around Q2, with the 2011 Moto’s getting it around Q3. Just a guess though, based on their current 6-month-ish update cycle. All things considered, that’s not a bad gig.

    • Verizon

      We are talking about devices that came out in late 2011/early 2012 and were originally running Gingerbread. The update to ICS took longer to come out than the update to Jelly bean did. I don’t see any other manufacturer moving this fast to update phones, especially ones that have been out over a year.

  • Cliff Wynne

    Wowwwwww….. I’m in shock…

    • Danrarbc

      And Motorola is in… Stock.

  • http://twitter.com/Twitteninja Zargh

    #HOLOYOLO

    • baconslayer09

      DAE AOSP?

  • Danrarbc

    Good on ya Moto. Maybe my next phone will be one of yours if you can get off of Verizon’s teat.

  • Detonation

    The leak from December had most of this stuff removed too. I was thinking maybe it was just a test build and they hadn’t finished it yet, but I’m glad its gone for good. The only complaint I have is the Alarm though, Moto’s Clock/Alarm had some nice features over stock, including a built in timer (yes I know 4.2 has this but this is 4.1) and the “use increasing volume” option.

    • Verizon

      There have always been certain areas where I think stock Android is a bit behind the custom UIs. The alarm clock/timer feature is definitely one of them.

    • http://twitter.com/Belatukadro Justtyn Hutcheson

      I was a sad panda that they got rid of the timer, but its a small price to pay for the rest of the improvements.

      Here’s to a quick update to 4.2!

      • Verizon

        I’m just glad they didn’t pull Motocast or Smart Actions from any of the updates. I use both of those a ton. I’m hoping they either keep adding those to future phones or make them available in the market.

        • http://twitter.com/Belatukadro Justtyn Hutcheson

          Agreed, those two are great pieces of software that work and are value-add to the device. The only way I see them not continuing to keep them in the future is if they are supplanted by a stock Android version.

          • Verizon

            Which might be even better really.

      • Sean Carey

        anyone HONESTLY think that we will see 4.2????/

        • sunupe

          NOPE!!! I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t see my MAXX getting anymore JB love!!

        • http://twitter.com/Belatukadro Justtyn Hutcheson

          I think that it is a possibility, and would bring Motorola a huge amount of word-of mouth goodwill. No device in the Android world has seen four major version updates. Imagine a device that shipped with 2.3.6 getting 4.2.2?? That would be epic, and truly beyond compare. Even the Nexus S official support was dropped at 4.1.2.

          • Guest

            My Motorola Xoom has had 4 major versions and a couple of minor updates in between.

          • http://twitter.com/Belatukadro Justtyn Hutcheson

            My apologies to the Xoom, which ironically is a Motorola device, albeit one they didn’t do the software for.
            I suppose I should have said “phone” rather than “device”, but the fact that there is only one device with that record would still make the situation extraordinary.

    • philnolan3d

      Yes i use that “use increasing volume” every time I need an alarm.

    • http://twitter.com/havens1515 Randroid

      Check the Play Store for alternatives. I use this one: It has a timer, stopwatch, and increasing alarm volume.

      https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.alarmclock.xtreme.free

  • tjcz

    and so it begins GOOROLA onward and upward!

    • http://profiles.google.com/adamtruelove Adam Truelove

      Let’s hope this is just a first step toward phenomenal Motorola hardware running pure stock Android.

      • Austin Warren

        Phenomenal? Far from it. But i am hoping for stock.

        • http://twitter.com/redbullcat Phil Oakley

          Moto’s hardware and design may not have been phenomenal for the past few years, but they sure have they potential, together with Google, to make it phenomenal.

          • http://twitter.com/Belatukadro Justtyn Hutcheson

            IMO, the build quality has been phenomenal, as well as the signal quality. Other hardware (screens & camera sensor) have been middle-road/sub-par, and the design has at least been unique if not pleasing to all. Looking forward to a Googorola device, though.

          • http://www.facebook.com/vanhouse David VanHouse

            I’m only responding so I can say the word phenomenal

          • http://twitter.com/Belatukadro Justtyn Hutcheson

            Phenomenal is a phenomenal word isn’t it?

        • http://www.facebook.com/archercc Ryan Stewart

          What? Their phones are tanks. I may not like the visual styling of them but its hard to argue that they dont put out a quality product hardware wise.

          Sure they arent specs beasts but there is more to a phone than that. I would have loved an unlocked, Nexus version of the Razr Maxx prior to getting my N4.

        • chris125

          read his comment again. He said lets hope that happens. Because yes right now moto hardware is lacking

        • http://profiles.google.com/adamtruelove Adam Truelove

          Very good?

      • http://twitter.com/JohnnyACE562 GRAND MASTER SEN$Ei {{-_-}}™

        The OG Droid lives on. {{-_-}}

        • http://twitter.com/Belatukadro Justtyn Hutcheson

          in all our hearts, and a few pockets I’m sure.

    • EC8CH

      RELEASE THE GOOMOTOX!

  • Rodeojones000

    This is indeed great news. But when I read the headline on my Twitter feed (only 1 cup of coffee in me so far) I thought it read, “Motorola removes almost all Moto Blur.” Imagine my excitement after reading that.

  • Jeff

    Will our phones receive the update if we installed the leak from December?

    • http://twitter.com/Belatukadro Justtyn Hutcheson

      Yes.

    • Guest

      Yes

    • Melambar

      Yes. There are 2 different update files being pushed out. One for the official ICS build and one for the December OTA

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      Yep, I’m about to post the update file for those running the December build. :)

      • Detonation

        Someone leaked the soak test update? Sweet

        • Verizon

          Ferb, I know what we are going to do today!

  • http://twitter.com/PackFanJason Jason

    Love hearing this. Hate having to deal with my wife’s Razr with the crap that’s on it. They need to hurry up and push this update. I bet she likes the Razr far more with it being decrapified.

  • Joel Zehring

    If I were in the market for a new phone, I would actually have a tough time deciding between a Motorola device and a Nexus 4.

    • Tony Allen

      Really.. really would you? I mean you still are blocked by an encrypted bootloader.

      • Verizon

        Not everyone cares about the bootloader. Then again, not everyone understands what a locked bootloader actually does.

      • http://www.facebook.com/tenorman69 Bryant BlueJay Ri’chard Jr

        But if you’re not into all the kinds of things that use unlocked bootloaders, you’d have no problem.

      • Joel Zehring

        I ran an unofficial CM9 build on my old Optimus V. Now I’m running stock Sense on my HTC One V. I don’t miss CM9 that much.

      • http://twitter.com/Belatukadro Justtyn Hutcheson

        OG Razr/Bionic/D3 are getting CM10.1 nightly’s thanks to the work of hashcode and dhacker. Locked bootloader be damned.

      • tharealoc

        the nexus 4 is pretty, and an awesome phone, but some of us just prefer motorola…nothing wrong with that

      • Fitzgerald42

        who the hell cares? bootloader?
        Much rather have my fine Motorola hardware than the Nexus 4.

    • Geoff Johnson

      How are you having a tough time deciding? Motorola devices are on Verizon and the Nexus 4 is for everything but Verizon.

    • Mike

      My girlfriend is getting a new phone in the next month. Doesn’t want a huge phone. RAZR M it is! Who cares ab out unlocked bootloaders when you have something so damn close to stock Android. Only reason I ROM my S3 is to get rid of godawful ugly TW..its pretty useful but makes my eyes bleed.

  • http://twitter.com/kevin52495kc Kevin Jin Choi

    Good Guy Motorola

  • MIke

    Should I assume the Bionic should be receiving it soon now?

    • http://twitter.com/Belatukadro Justtyn Hutcheson

      Assume away, but my money is on the Droid 4 then the Bionic, based on the way the ICS update went.

    • TC

      good one…

  • Dan

    This is great

  • avinyc

    It’s a trap!

    • http://twitter.com/Belatukadro Justtyn Hutcheson

      Of course. I think everything is a trap. That’s why I’m still alive.

      • http://profiles.google.com/adamtruelove Adam Truelove

        You can always hide in the fire swamp.

        • http://twitter.com/Belatukadro Justtyn Hutcheson

          No one can survive in the fire swamp

          • http://twitter.com/havens1515 Randroid

            Nonsense. You’re just saying that because nobody ever has.

    • J2000pro

      For tethering apps that may be true. I noticed when the update leaked back in December that people who received it commented in the play store that it broke Fox-Fi and SVTP wireless tether.

      • http://twitter.com/Belatukadro Justtyn Hutcheson

        Fox-Fi has spotty compatibility with Jelly Bean in general. Other wireless tether apps work. Also, if rooted you can do the entitlement check fix and it still works on 4.1.2.

        • http://www.facebook.com/steven.elliott.524596 Steven Elliott

          Wifi Tether on the Play Store. Requires root, but the best I’ve used to date.

    • JolleyMan

      Everyone went with The Princess Bride, but I immediately thought of Admiral Ackbar. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dddAi8FF3F4

      • avinyc

        I know, that was my intention as well! Oh well, it still worked out:)