A few days ago, we told you that Google/Motorola decided not to update the Atrix 4G and Photon (Electrify) to Ice Cream Sandwich – both smartphones were released only last year. That was certainly a surprising move not because we haven’t seen it before, but because Motorola is now a Google subsidiary, and we would expect the Android maker to offer more support to its customers, especially when it comes to software upgrades.

Sure, Motorola is making amends with the crowds by offering $100 cash back when trading older devices that won’t be officially upgraded to Jelly Bean for newer Motorola handsets. But we have no idea whether the program also applies to handsets that will not get ICS either.

Not to mention that some Atrix / Photon owners may still be locked into a contract and therefore not ready to upgrade and take advantage of such a project.

Luckily, where there’s a will there’s a way, although we have no idea whether the following trick will work. xda-developers member Julian Fernandes has kickstarted a campaign to convince Google/Motorola to release whatever work was done for the Atrix and Photon on the software upgrade front, so developers can use it and create unofficial Ice Cream Sandwich and even Jelly Bean builds for the Atrix and Photon.

Here’s what the straightforward campaign – available at www.updatemymoto.com – says:

In 2012 Motorola announced an upgrade to our devices, Atrix and Photon, to Ice Cream Sandwich. Now they have changed their stance, leaving us with an outdated version of Android.

With this campaign, we are asking for a leak of what was been done already or a compatible Tegra 2 kernel for Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean. With these files, we can develop a working version ourselves.

You can help us to achieve that. Share this campaign in your blog, social network, show it to your friends or file a BBB complaint. Let’s grab Motorola’s attention!

Will the campaign work? Well, if it gets enough traction it just might. But will Google support such initiatives from developers?

What’s clear is that you can certainly help and spread out the word, especially if you’re one of the many Android users that has been annoyed at least once at their carriers and/or OEM makers for not upgrading a certain device past a certain Android version. What will you do?

Thanks, tipster!

  • Hey Chris, thanks for the article! :)

    • kervation

      I think this is great. One more reason to love the Android community. I have a rooted GNex on Verizon so I am running the latest version of Android but I know how it feels dealing with slow update or no updates when it comes to software. I will be certainly trying to do my part to get the word out.

  • Rick Kay

    The thing is, Moto promised an upgrade that any Atrix owner could use. I don’t want to root my phone, I know it’s cool but I don’t have the knowledge to do it. I just expected (foolishly) that they would keep their word. My contract is up, on the Samsung and the Galaxy s iii. It’s a shame, I’ve owned Motorola phones since the original RAZR.

  • Steve Hall

    I will never own another Moto again. I was running a custom ICS Rom and went back to stock for some beta testing for Motorola . In this test was the hidden lock to prevent running any more custom Roms. That was bad but what made it worse was when they lied and pulled the plug on us after pushing back our updates. motonomore.com

    • Jei Arc

      i feel you i did the same thing, however with newer tools i was able to root and unlock the later firmware and installed JB. and trust me JB makes this phone feel like a new phone.

      • Sean

        I was looking into this earlier this year because Motofail was taking so long but as I understood it back then the ota 2.3.6 locked the phone from custom roms. Ive never actually flashed a ROM before and I heard that doing so disables the finger print scanner, web top and there is no camera. Can you point me in the right direction? what tools did you use. will the camera still work..etc? Thank You

        • Jei Arc

          I used moto-fastboot in combination with CWM recovery (v 5.0.2 i think) to get root and unlock the bootloader, but the one issue that took me the longest to figure out was that the system would not allow me to go into recovery mode either stock or CWM, it was all because of a shell program, that will lock access at reboot. So i used ES file explorer to delete that file (you need to change the setting in order to get root access and search the root folder) the file is located in /system/etc i think is called instal***.sh i am sorry can’t remember the exact name. Once that was cleared i was able to go into recovery with no problem and from there it was just a matter of selecting the best ROM available i went with… hmmm sorry i had to search i used EPINTER JB rom based on CM10 and i have no issues with the camera, truly i have not tried the finger print scanner and i do not have a web-top accessory, but from reading the rom it would seem is available. if you need some help let me know. and truly the Atrix with JB is beyond awesome to the point it compares with the GN fluidity and Google Now works nicely, maybe your mileage will vary but JB gave new life to Atrix. VIVA EL MODS!!!!

          • Jei Arc

            oh i forgot, with the new JB on the Atrix i converted an iPhone user to Androis XD i simply told him imagine this is 2 year old hardware and he was sold!!! he was using his iPhone 4S and was thinking to buy the 5 now he is looking to buy the GSIII but i told him to wait a month to see the new Nexus i want him to be a full convert :D

  • ed

    Moto, do no evil and do the right thing.

  • swtrainer

    And motorola has the nerve to run an ad adjacent to this story offering $100 off on Droid Razr as if I’d ever buy another moto product…Google…Motorola…you really screwed up here…what dishonest liars!

  • traverler

    i got the photon cause i thought when google teamed up with motorola, great things would happen. what a disappointment. are we to expect the same for the razor in
    a year?
    for every phone rooted i’ll bet 5 are sold to “nonrooters” by word of mouth.
    i have convinced that many to go with sprint/photon. what a mistake. no more, i am going back to htc, easy root, great roms.
    and many of my friends will too.

  • Done with liars

    I was excited when i got my atrix 4g i thought i would not need another phone for at least three years. Guess i wont go moto again.

  • Jack

    I would be really surprised if it worked, because it would likely require them to release code they don’t want released. From what I have read about the $100 offer, it sounds like it.’it’s only available for brand new phones and won’t help anyone who purchased their phone more then a couple of months ago or more recently. I have an Atrix 2, and even though it was purchased this year, I don’t think that I will quality because the Atrix 2 came out near the end of 2011. I should have gone with S3

  • Chris

    Moto Just make Photon/Atrix a Generic “Nexus” type phone give us a Jelly Bean with correct modem/drivers/etc…and no fluff. And the $100 for trade in does nothing for Sprint Customers…there isn’t another Motorola device to even trade into right now!!! (Photon 4G LTE with Keyboard…that won’t get Jelly Bean either? yeah Right!)

  • ganesh sha

    We hope Google and Motorola will support at least for unofficial ICS or JB release for Photon…..

  • b4bad

    Moto users are getting tired of this stupidity and arrogance.

    Help us fight back!


  • Bye Bye Motorola, I just got a Samsung Galaxy S3 and I love it. NO MORE MOTO FOR ME!!!

  • Remember that they are now owned by Google!

  • Ashuaria

    hhurrahh we got Atrix 4G ICS Leak!!!!!!!!!