AT&T Bumps Google, Adds Yahoo To Motorola Backflip


We knew about this back in December 2009 but for some reason the interwebz has just now deemed it newsworthy, so we’re reminding you – we didn’t miss it!

With almost every Android handset out there a consistent theme underlies some of the core applications installed by default – Google. Whether it’s the Google Search Widget, start page on browser launch, GMail or the rest of Google’s app suite, it is quite clear that the Big G has leveraged their OS to shoehorn search into handsets. But Android is an “Open” platform and even Google isn’t safe from getting the axe – AT&T is replacing all of Android’s Googleness with Yahoo.


Yahoo has replaced Google as the default search provider throughout the phone. It’s crazy: the home screen widget, the browser, everything’s been programmed to use Yahoo. We love us some irony, but golly, we’d prefer Google searches most of the time.

Yuck. Lucky for us it’ll probably be easy to get around – just download a Google Search widget, touch, drag, replace and you’re good – right? Maybe not, I haven’t how prominent and deep the Yahoo implementation goes, but I’m eager to see.

I can just picture Steve Jobs snickering in his corner office.

[Via Engadget]

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. yet another reason not to buy the Backflip. Yahoo integration + heinous form factor = flop.

  2. Yet another reason why I hate AT&T even though I’m an AT&T customer… I figured when they added Android they’d package it with Bing or Yahoo.

    That’s why I’m only buying unlocked phones from now on, since I don’t want an AT&T-crippled phone and I’m stuck with AT&T as a network.

  3. I see this as a good sign. Not that I prefer Yahoo, but it’s promising that it was feasible to replace Google in their own open source SDK.

    Of course, they can’t exactly replace Gmail since Yahoo’s mobile email offerings are…meager at best and barely functional at worst.

  4. Hopefully its a sign that yahoo will finally enable us android users IMAP mail like we should have had from the start.

  5. Its kinda funny. I’m not at all against diversity of offerings. I hate the way Microsoft has its hands in everything for instance. But in this case its really like throwing out the best solution for something lesser just for the sake of diversity. And its probably due to some pressure from Apple no doubt to hurt Google. In the end it will only either hurt the customer by having to use a poor service or AT&T if the phones don’t sell. Then AT&T will come out and proclaim that because their Android offering didn’t sell that Android doesn’t sell.

  6. guarantee it’s an apple move, i could see jobs black mailing ATT to take the next gen of their flagship phone away from them if they didn’t strip anything google search from the phone after what has recently been going on… you know what this means though… i GUARANTEE google won’t give a flying HOOT when it comes to fixes on the backflip, not that they do much phone patching anyway but i KNOW this phone won’t even register in their thoughts

  7. There is many examples of jobs ass kissing.Just check out Engadget article on Virgin Air choosing HTML5 over Flash didn’t virgin mobile Canada just get the Iphoney last month coincidence I think not.I personally like both you know the tyranical tyrant Jobs had a hand in that decision.Iphoney is old and tired already and the Tampad is tired and all toghether unappealing in my eyes so they should just call it a day already,long live ANDROID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Yahoo experience=fail

  9. meh… I’ll would just root it and run stock android OS on it… stock sucks anyways… :)

  10. This might be a little exageration, but can we say that maybe Steve Jobs told AT&T that if they use “Google’s Software” they will take the iPhone away or something around those lines. So AT&T went around it, by still having Google’s software but changing the core components to Yahoo.

    *note* The screen in the pic still has a gmail icon on it.

  11. @covert, take off the tinfoil. ATT and Yahoo are partners, and have been long before this. There was never any question if phone on ATT network would use Google or Yahoo

  12. WOW AT&T; Way to make a terrible phone even worse.

  13. Well, in it’s soul, it’s still an Android phone with Yahoo (albeit an ugly phone). Isn’t Android supposed to be an Open Source OS meaning that manufacturers and carriers can do whatever they want with the phone even if it isn’t in a positive way? All I have to say is “Welcome to Android, Yahoo users!” Google still makes the money. Plus, not everything needs to be a fight against Apple. This OS proves that no matter what you use, it is open to making it available to everyone’s preferences.

  14. Yahoo = fail
    I will stick with my TELUS hero on at&t

  15. Michael B, Word of advice, You might want to Consider the impressive Droid on Verizon, or the upcoming nexus one, incredible, eris, & whatever else comes up this year. Think that should answer your question. No cripple, real deal. Even t-mobile if that floats your boat. The backflip is already a fail.

  16. I’d have to agree with the Yahoo = FAIL…

    Yahoo has some serious leg work to do if they think they can bring it to Google! Google rocks, and I think AT&T is making a mistake, but it won’t be the first, or last time they do. Watch the diminished function on the phone due to Yahoo kill sales on the handset and then AT&T/Yahoo will complain about Google. You gotta love it.

    Just mho…

  17. it still shows gmail and google maps on the homescreen thought…?

  18. I’m with you, Michael B, I hate AT&T even though I’m a customer. AT&T branded phones are complete shit, the last two of my phone have been unlocked and I will never again consider getting a phone that’s not unlocked.

    I’m curious to see how AT&T-branded Android phones will turn out. Android is open-source, but I don’t know how congruent open source will be with AT&T’s practices, as they tend to completely lock their phones up with permanent AT&T apps and unchangeable settings that limit the full use of the phone. That may have to change with Android, but only time will tell.

  19. Let’s recall some history. When Verizon won the C wireless spectrum in 2008, outbidding Google’s $4.6 bn bid, Verizon agreed to open its network to Android devices. Soon afterwards, the monopolist, ATT, followed, saying it too would open its network up to Android devices. ATT did the minimum to keep the FCC off their back and this approach to including Yahoo search in the Android handset is their way of snubbing their noses at Google. Cheap shot. Consumers will figure out how to optimize their screens quickly. Who wants to settle for second best. I note with irony that Google launched a Google Labs US only app called Google Gestures yesterday, allowing for search by your hand gesture. What idiot will want Yahoo’s inferior and market share falling search functionality when Google’s is so superior? Gesture from Google will also fire up speculation of the rivalry with Apple because it is rumored that their next iPhone in July will have gesture technology.

  20. This just makes no sense whatsoever. Who uses Yahoo search these days anyways? And what about voice search, which I for instance use all the time?

  21. Wow, “interwebz.” All of the really cool pre-teens use that word on MySpace. Unintentionally.

  22. I like the idea behind Android that allows this. I think that’s awesome. But geez. Way to go out of their way to make a phone unappealing.

  23. i want an android phone, but who knows when another one will come out, they really puhed to the end of Q1 to release their first. I can always use this as a stepping stone to ATT’s power android phone. I’ll just have to root this phone to get the stupid yahoo shit off, haha!

  24. I noticed that too, David. Why leave gmail and Google Maps if T is so anti Google and pro Yahoo?

  25. How do I Root this phone and get rid of the yahoo stuff?
    I just got it, and before start using it I want to upgrade it and get rid of the ATT stuff.

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