AT&T Warning: Motorola Backflip Isn’t An Open Android


attbackflipWe were always worried about Verizon Wireless suffocating their Android handsets – but they didn’t. Over the weekend it was AT&T’s turn to launch their first ever Android handset, the Motorola Backflip, and customers are starting to complain about the phone being somewhat crippled. That is… AT&T has removed features that SHOULD be available on the phone by default but chosen to block for one reason or another.

We knew the Backflip was on Android 1.5 and replaced Google Search with Yahoo Search… fine, it’s not the end of the world. But today we’re hearing reports from around the web that not only does AT&T prevent you from deleting their branded apps from your phone, you’re also not able to download non-market Android Apps. You know the option in your settings “download from unknown sources”? Doesn’t exist on the Backflip – you simply can’t do it.

This is sure to make a lot of customers upset and it’ll be interesting to hear if AT&T offers an official reasoning, but my guess is they want to “control” the experience a bit more to protect their customers. Suppose someone finds (on a random website) a “bank account phishing app” and have their identity stolen – you’re pretty much screwed, right? But if AT&T only allows apps through Android Market then they could likely track any malicious activity back to a developer account/individual.

I’m not defending AT&T and saying it’s the RIGHT thing to do, I’m just explaining what I assume their line of thinking to be. This brings the Android experience on AT&T closer to the iPhone experience although Android Market itself is still much less locked down than the App Store. I’m wondering if AT&T will be taking this same approach on ALL of their Android Phones or whether they’re trying to “ease in” to Android or what the deal is.

Here is the frustrated response from an XDAer:

[Android] Motorola Backflip – DON’T BUY, HERE’S WHY!

OK, so I’ve been using a Kaiser/Tilt with Eclair on it for awhile. I’ve spent countless hours drooling after the Nexus One. When AT&T finally got the “Backflip” from Motorola, I just couldn’t resist. I took the plunge.

I should’ve known better. I have plenty of AT&T horror stories, and this is the same carrier that wont allow you to tell your Java apps NOT to ask for permission more than once (making Opera mini a PITA but the only usable browser for it).

There is NO option to install applications from untrusted sources. This means anything on your SD card, downloaded from the web or over your wifi at home WILL NOT WORK. Naturally, you also cannot use the “su” command in terminal.
Motoblur is nice I guess, but the uninstallable AT&T paid apps, the limitations of 1.5 firmware (ie: no google navigator, no voice search) and the locked-to-yahoo-search-bar are enough to get me to say NO to any further AT&T abuse.

With the Kaiser’s bloatware, they removed/hid apps from you so you wouldn’t try to use them and replaced them with their crapware.

AT&T does not know the meaning of “open” and they do not understand Android. You are not buying an Android phone when you buy from AT&T.
You are buying a device LOCKED to a market with a smaller number of applications that the iPhone (I don’t use Apple products either ) forced to use a lesser search engine for your most convenient option and subject to losing any application that was once on the market but then removed. You can’t install your own apps or even test them on your device. Period.

Also on my first day of using it I got a number of “Force Close” messages including on the built-in applications (ie: Motorola’s flavor of the desk clock).

It’s decent hardware, it feels pretty zippy to me, but this is exactly why I WONT buy an iPhone.

Screw you, AT&T. I will make sure that everyone I know is properly informed about this crippled device that is nothing like the Android experience is supposed to (expected to!) be.

/endrant phew, going to go breathe for awhile.

This certainly isn’t a welcome development for AT&T Android fans – will this change anyone’s mind who was thinking of getting the Backflip or an upcoming AT&T Android Phone?

[XDA via A&M]

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. Putting on the tinfoil hat for a moment… Any chance Apple had some influence in this? :)

  2. If Google self-releases the Nexus One running on AT&T 3G, then I’m in. Only time will tell though. Perhaps the new Nexus One will run on CDMA/GSM like the BlackBerry Storm? Again… only time will tell. I just really hope that Google _does_ release the Nexus One for AT&T 3G, and it would be really nice to be able to have it be subsidized by AT&T, but if this lockdown happens to the Nexus One, I just might move to VZ. Ridiculous.

  3. No worries simply root it and place a custom ROM on top of it. This is why android has root.

  4. It’s AT&T this surprise’s anyone??? their bread and butter is Iphone’s to release a phone that if they’d left it alone would spank the Iphone in many ways (not all but many) would be a dumb thing for them to do, instead they chose to cripple the hell out of it which in turn makes the iPhone look that much better (even though its not) it’s actually very smart thinking on AT&T’s part.

  5. Android gots a large variety of phones including Nexus and AT&T won’t touch Nexus seeing as its only sold online via google. AT&T could never make iPhone look good, hell they are the main reason aside from apple as to why iPhone fails.

  6. and why i wont buy it!
    they have 4 more phones to release to be able to keep me as a customer.. if they fail on those, myself and many others i know, will leave.

  7. I truly can’t wait for the day that you can walk into a store and get a sim card and the people in the store don’t even ask you what phone you plan to use it in. Even if that store ends up being Walmart so be it. I really have no problem getting updates through a USB cable from the company that made the OS.

  8. Yeah so I talked to a Motorols “level 4” support guy and he said I can’t install apps from the web because “due to carrier” the untrusted source option is not available in the application settings. The support guy didn’t know this, and had to figure this out while I was on hold. This phone is otherwise nice, but the only reason I wanted this phone was so I could script with it, not something I can do with the iPhone. I’m returning the phone today.

  9. I meant “Motorola” not “Motorols”

  10. Damn. And here I was ready to jump on the bandwagon. ATT and Andriod was sounding good. i did not want to change carriers. I am so anti Apple. Forced to live in their world when you buy any one of their devices. i like my freedom. People are idiots when they buy into Apple. They just don’t get it. I bet 200 apple lubbers will respond to this post as “Not True.”

  11. Like Ma Bell, I got the ill communication…

    Well done, AT&T. /golfclaps

  12. Hey Xeni, what do you mean it’s your guess that’s AT&T reasoning? What did AT&T say when you emailed/sms’d/called them?

  13. I didn’t get a reason from Motorola, I didn’t call AT&T. I will be going to the store today, but those guys were clueless and couldn’t answer basic questions about the phone when I bought it.

  14. How can they lock the search bar with Yahoo?

  15. oi….. here we go again. apple must seriously be scared ****less right now. so far that they have to destroy android to give it a bad rep. not to mention the at&t 3g network is pathetic as is. now they are just making things worse.

    when will they learn open is better.

  16. I would not be surprised to see other reasons this phone will flop pop up. Then AT&T will proclaim that Android just doesn’t work despite success every where else as Apple pulls their strings. From the form factor to what you’ve told us in this article this phone is ass backwards (pun intended). And who is coming up with these designs over there at Motorola?

  17. This is inherent, and what should be expected to occur, with an “open” and un-(er, Apache)licensed software.

    IMHO, it’s a well-valued trade off for the diversity and breadth of the Android-based hardware and software flavors that are beginning to hit the markets.

    Don’t like an iteration of the hardware/software/carrier combo? Wait a week for the next announcement of another Android platform. The poorly executed ones will fail, and perhaps even a US carrier will get a clue as to why, and perhaps make a more enticing brew next time around.

  18. well… that’s Android… Anyone can use it however they want it. So if AT&T want to cripple the software… then the user is free to root it… and use it however they like… But AT&T’s choices on android implementation will lose them customer’s for sure.

  19. As I scrolled through this article on my Droid, only word coming to mind was ‘Ha!’
    AT&T already earned ire of Apple crowd as ‘the company that ruined iPhone’. They apprently want to add ‘the company that messed up Android’ as well.

  20. It’s coming to Canada with TELUS shortly. I’m sure it won’t have bloatware in it.

  21. I have an HTC Hero from Telus, and I have to give Telus its due here. There is no Telus branding on it, no crapware, no crippling. It’s an Android phone the way it was meant to be. Let’s hope Telus stays on track with the backflip

  22. Well I guess this is bad news for Sony-Erickson. Time for a neutered X10?

  23. Typing this with the swype beta that I downloaded yesterday on my nexus one…. I love android and T-mobile been a customer 6 years straight…. I really hope that at&t loses alot of customers over this and realizes android is a far superior os than apple os….

  24. oh and the Dell Mini 5.

  25. This Moto Backkflip is a joke, AT&T carries this phone just to satisfy android fans, but guess what, it is not good enough for me, AT&T stripped the phone from every default feature that comes with, and they substitute them with their own stupid expensive apps.
    I will buy it this phone, AT&T is for apple, Android phones (change the service to Verizon) they have the high end Android phones.

  26. @jMAT,

    Someone suggested that Backflip would only suggest signed firmware and would be impossible to root.

    Piece of t-sh.

  27. I know a lot of the people that work for AT&T and was even able to buy the Backflip this past Friday, two days before it officially launched. Overall, I really like the phone, but, ended up showing the people in the store what it is about, since they have had absolutely NO training on the Backflip, or even Android in general. They were told that the next training will be for the iPad.

    As I stated, overall it works well. Only a couple of forced closes, and only or two since installing an task manager.

    It was very irritating that I cannot remove their software, though I didn’t know about the inability to install software other than from the Market.

    Visual voicemail isn’t working, but, I haven’t called them about it and plan on today.

    Also not happy that the news RSS feeds cannot be set-up on MotoBlur the same way as I did with a borrowed Cliq. On the Cliq it was simple, quick, and easy. I haven’t been able to get any of the RSS feeds to work at all, and don’t have even have an option for a Twitter feed the way MotoBlur is suppose to have as a base.

    Hardware is actually solid and the keypad is rather nice. It has a sort of an overlay so each key is part of the keyboard so there is virtually no possibility of individual keys being lost or broken. I wasn’t really worried about it anyway since I use to keep my Blackberry in my pocket a lot and didn’t worry or have a problem with those keys.

    Camera is very nice, if not a little slow to launch.

    Still deciding if I am going to keep it and most likely depends on when / if other Androids get launched before my 30 days.

  28. I am a Blackberry developer. I know it is not the greatest platform to develop on, but the reason I chose to develop for the BB is that it allows user to install application from any source. I was going to look into the android platform. With this at&t thing, I guess I might be wasting my time.

  29. Aviator168- besides BB liberal app policy (and inferring that’s why you don’t develop for iPhone/Touch) I’m curious to hear why you choose to develop for BB exclusively when that market share continues to be shaved and paid apps are available in such quantity for other Android platforms. With similar limitations on WebOS, can you really make a living developing for a single OS and eschew Android?

    I’m not trolling, sincerely interested in a developer’s opinion-

  30. I mourn for AT&T customers they will never know the true joy of having an open android phone like us T-Mo/VZ customers do. I thought AT&T was making a change when they adopted Android into to their family but I see they are up to their old tricks treating Android like the ugly stepchild they never really wanted.

  31. To Angry Man,

    Like I said. We are also going after Android as well. There are requirement for our applications.

    1) Be able to run in the ground
    2) Be able to be install from our website

    iPhone does not meet 1 and 2 (and don’t talk to me about jail break the iPhone). The only platforms that meet these two requirement are BB and Android.

  32. well we all knew this was going to happen. I for one am glad. att doesnt deserve to get android! i was furious about the lancaster but i was relieved and laughing when i heard that att’s first android was going to have moto blur on it

  33. What I’d like to see, is if I buy an unlocked uber-phone… have the choice of getting a Verizon voice plan and then say maybe a T-mobile or Sprint data plan…

    Man is this post off article topic or what?!

  34. @Jim R i have the telus motorola milestone and same here no branding at all i love it and i dont even mind that its non-rootable because theres no bloat and i can install different home apps (i use launcher+ with 5 homescreens vs default 3 screens

  35. Looks like they are going to do the same thing to dell mini 5. http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2357905,00.asp

    “The Dell Mini 3 is a small, slim Android-powered smartphone, with a big touchscreen and a sharp profile. The versions already released in China and Brazil have been heavily customized, to the point of no longer even being able to download apps from the Android Market. AT&T has announced that it will be getting a Dell phone which looks exactly like it. Its phone will be able to download Android Market apps but may not have the standard Google array, said Bill Gordon, Dell’s general manager of small-screen devices.”

  36. I tested out the Motorola Backflip and there is no CHINESE language (no traditional, no simplified either). This is an android ophone why no Chinese Languages on it. iphone has them all, WHY NOT Android phone so I decided not to get it and I MIGHT change all my 6 phones to Amother carrier if in the next few months the HTC and DELL did not come up with Chinese in the Android phone. I don’t really care what the default search engine is??? Well of course I don’t like the idea that they lock everything down too!!! Why AT&T, you better watch out, once the Android phone is as slick as iphone all the people going to run….. Right now Sprint is offering everything for $69.99 including unlimited call, unlimited sms and unlimited data and unlimited GPS too. AT&T, are you watching your competitors????? Please wake up!!!

  37. @ Aviator,

    Thanks for the feedback, your previous note seemed to relay that you were considering writing off Android after one carrier’s botched execution. I see everyday what I think is a pretty big base of power uses that are tethered to a BB whether we like it or not through our company, but have enough resources and inclination to carry another device for personal use. I have 20 subordinates on my sales team, all but one carries another device. Other competing teams within my company have similar demographics. I imagine this mirrors many others in a potential market. Many of these purchase apps by the dozen (on both the official Apple and Android Markets), but don’t want to hassle with jail-break or root, and most have returned their Pre’s in favor of some Android iteration. I would assume that Android is the biggest potential market after iDevices.

  38. First off, this isn’t Apple’s doing. If Apple tried to force this, Moto wouldn’t have to sue them: the DOJ would do it for them for anti-trust. This is all AT&T. In fact, it probably made Apple’s life easier, considering their own restricted app store. Just one more criterion for [dis]approving apps. And as for those who say, “just root it,” yeah, good luck with that. But mostly, all of the people who will be outraged by this amount to nothing. You don’t want to hear it, but you’re not that important, and if they don’t get your business, they’re as likely happy to not have you around complaining as not. I doubt there are enough people who care enough about this to even register on the sale’s numbers. Most just want a phone.

  39. Not many people i know install apps outside of the market, however, the few i know that do write code, were easily able to install apps on the backflip outside the market using a simple adb command, no modding required.

  40. I like how this made news, even though it’s easy to get around using ADB (head to XDA, there’s a fix already!)

    Yet, the Motorola Milestone’s locked bootloader was deemed unworthy to gain a mention over the past month people have been trying to submit it here and to other sites. Why bother having a “tip us” or “contact us” button at all if you’re going to ignore what comes in, Rob?

    You could’ve saved a number of people who are now very upset they’ve just bought a Telus Milestone which they can’t root or apply custom ROMs to.

    Hell it was even reported on BoyGeniusReport of all places – check their review where they go into the whole boot loader issue http://www.boygeniusreport.com/2010/03/07/hands-on-with-the-telus-motorola-milestone/

  41. OK, so in what way can we voice our objections to AT&T in any type of meaningful way? Start a petition or a sit-in or a hunger strike. Maybe if we all gathered in Ralph’s front yard with signs, pitch forks, and torches.

    I have been faithful to AT&T for many years, days after they launched GSM (well AT&T Wireless anyway.) Back then GSM coverage was, to say the last, ‘spotty’. But it worked for me as I didn’t travel anywhere and liked the better GSM phones, which were waaaaay cooler than any CDMA carrier had. I had the first phone (Nokia) that could play MP3s off of a memory card (I think it held about 30). First with a camera (Sony-Ericsson attachable camera). First with Bluetooth (people always thought I was talking to myself). First, and at the time only, Symbian phone with Nokia. Nokia’s with fold-out keyboards for texting. Probably many more, very cool phones.

    Now AT&T takes one of the greatest ideas in years for cell phones and they squash it like a bug. I was so excited that they finally were on the Android band-wagon and this….. sigh

  42. This has Steve Jobs written all over it.

  43. To Ben,
    The coolest and the most useful apps are usually outside of App-Market. You know, those ones that carriers don’t want you to have, like internet radio/TV, VoIP, Video phone, direct music streaming from another phone, and many more.

  44. @Aviator168

    Not to disagree with you…but you can install these apps via adb onto the backflip… http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=643866

  45. I read this using my iphone. Yes it’s a piece of shit but it’s the best they have I really am terrified for the dell mini five. That is my dream phone and I thought it would be atts flagship but if they do this to the five then AT&T I’s screwed over

  46. Oh no! we must warn the Xperia X10 before it lands on AT&T!!

  47. I’m also hoping for a nexus one for at&t 3g…. but stories like are making me lean closer and closer to a quad band Palm Pre Plus….

  48. Yet one more reason to be happy that I switched from AT&T to Verizon a year ago.

    I bought the first iPhone when they came out and actually loved the phone. But too many AT&T fuck ups and crappy service that never improved in the 6 years that I was with them was enough to make me give up the iPhone.

    My BB just didn’t fill the void that my iPhone left. But now I have an HTC Eris and would never trade my Andriod phone for anything: not even an iPhone.

  49. Thanks for this enlightenment. Up to today I’ve been really wanting a N1, but I thought I might wait for the possible AT&T version. I still want the N1, but my confidence that it’ll be a true Android experiece is now near zero, even if N1 actually becomes available for AT&T 3G (not likely).

    No I don’t trust AT&T an this one. I’ve been AT&T customer for default reasons. My current contract is expired and I have no reason to re-up. This article and the comments have helped me realize what I suspected all along. T-mobile here I come… unless I wait for Verizon N1… probably not. (I have non-Android related issues with Verizon.)

  50. Anyone with AT&T should do what i did. Buy an unlocked telus hero yes it’s a bit pricey but you get AT&T 3g, and you just need a dumb phone unlimited plan since they can’t recognize the phone and won’t force you into buying a smart phone data plan.

  51. i bought the phone yesterday and believe it or not im actually pleased so far. Touch screen is great and you never even have to flip out the keyboard if you dont want. There is a lot of shitty att progs(lol) on it but the phone is actually super fast. I just saved google to my default browser homepage, since the browser opens up and launches google in under a second anyways. a lot of apps in the market (way different front the crap store apple has, i had original and 3g). I got it for $99(Love Best Buy Mobile and theyre instant rebates!!) and due to ATT messing up didnt even lose my upgrade ( Hello Nexus One/Desire!!). From the looks of it, this is att’s attemp to ease into android. they dont have to please apple for long cuz it looks like Apple might be releasing a 4G iphone on Verizon this summer. but with nexus one and Desire coming out they cant limit them because that will effect sales. plus nexus one will be sold online with no skin over the OS. and it also looks like google might start selling nexus one in stores as well. back to the point the Motorola Backflip is an ok phone for the time being, but probably not for the hardcore Android fans, we’ll get out Nexus One and/or Desire real soon!

  52. oh and @scorrpio AT&T didnt ruin the iPhone. Apple ruined the iPhone! lol screw them and their suckpad

  53. I’m pretty happy with my Backflip so far, but I can appreciate many of these concerns. A phone that fits my needs are kind of limited, though (there might be other options I’m overlooking, though). I need to be able to have simultaneous voice and data for my job, so I’m limited to either AT&T or T-Mobile (unless I carry two devices, and I’d rather not). I had T-Mobile years ago and thought the voice service was great, but the data and SMS/MMS service was unreliable at least here in the Dallas area. I have a co-worker that has a G1 and says things have gotten better, but he still has occasional problems with either slow data or SMS/MMS messages taking several minutes or longer to arrive – which won’t work when I need to receive critical work pages. My only other option seems to be a BB, but the browser sucks (I haven’t tried Opera Mini, though) and their IMAP implementation is a hack. If anyone has any suggestions, I’d like to hear them.

  54. This phone is designed for dumbphone converts who don’t want an iPhone for whatever reason. The type of people who will pay $30/month for a data plan and use 30MB, not 30GB. It is not designed fore hardcore Android users like those who post to this blog. With ATT’s data usage isssues, they probably don’t want the Android fanboy demographic at this time.

  55. @Ben,

    Are you telling me to tell my customers to install the SDK in order to install my application? I rather not make that kind of money.

  56. Why set such hard restrictions? The whole point is to gain some of the Apple market. When will they realise?

  57. Wait a second! Are you saying Best Buy is selling the Moto Backflip?

  58. I am on AT&T because my wife wanted an iphone and I have an HTC Magic unlocked from Rogers in Canada and am incredibly happy with it – Especially since it got upgraded with SenseUI recently. No force closes, great phone. It just shows that Android CAN work on AT&T, but between AT&T and Apple they will ruin it. Unfortunately, my magic set me back $600..

  59. @shawn1224 Apple Fail, Android Win…

  60. This is a shame. I’ve been with ATT for a long time. As a company they have been very good to me. They are also the only reliable GSM service in my area. I’ve thought about switching to Verizon, but the huge discount ATT gives me for my employer that verizon won’t and the fact that I frequently use voive and data means I won’t.
    I almost fell into the iPhone trap until my gf got one. I was using a semi smart S60 v3 Nokia flip at the time and the only things that were an advantage for my own uses were the faster processor and slightly easier web browsing due to a full keyboard. Opera Mini kicked its ass in every other way, especially once I figured out how to make it a trusted app. I’ve since upgraded to an E71 and my reception is better than her iPhone and I can still multitask with my apps. Something the iPhone still can’t do that Symbian has been doing for years and Android started with in 1.0. Sure I may not have as many fun functions, like Pandora, and some of the games, but I still have last.fm, office apps, adobe reader and best of all: a physical keyboard.

  61. A big problem with the iPhone, iPod, and iPad is that they can do multiple apps at the same time.

  62. it’s real simple. Get a device (droid) & carrier that supports Android for what it is.

    I was reading the Sunday NYT’s Backpage. A full ad for the Backflip. No Mention of Android what-so-ever. They don’t need android, You may not need them.

  63. @ Jeremy…good points…good points

  64. I meant iPhone, iPod, and iPad is that they cannot run multiple apps at the same time.

  65. I so much didn’t want to buy an iPhone and waited for this phone with anticipation…only to read now that AT&T blew it.

  66. Wow unbelievable. I too have waited and waited for android on AT&T and just ordered the phone and guess what? I’m not even gonna open the box when it comes I’m just going to do a return to sender. I’m piiissseeedd. Anyone ever heard of “THE OPEN HANDSET ALLIANCE”?!?!?!?!?!?!? Come on AT&T get your heads out of your ass.

  67. I reiterate cyberphone’s sentiment: If the HTC Desire is similarly crippled, and the GSM Nexus One isn’t subsidized, then I’ll have to leave AT&T after 15 years with them.

  68. hahahahaha…thnk god i just switched to SPRINT….only reason i had ATT was for the iphone….let me tell you i luv MY hero an moment ON SPRINT…ATT CAN BURN BABY BURNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN

  69. Just got a Moto Droid on Friday (3/12/10). Absolutely love it. 3G is fast, a couple of apps had force close, but really great phone and it’s thankfully not on AT&T’s network. Great job Moto and VZ.

  70. AT&T is a super lame company. Iphone is a waste of time. Droid rules because u can root it which is so much better than a jailbroken iphone. for one you can unroot a droid, unlike a jailbroken iphone and you have ultimate control over the phone. The backflip is junk and s is the rest of the AT&T line.

    Verizon is the best

  71. i bought the backflip on the 8th march im thinking of returning it i cant even log onto yahoo messenger or windows live if im on wifi and i get error messages constantly and the screen is starting to get all faded

  72. Does anyone know how Sprint’s android platform compares to that of Verizon and T-Mobile. I am with AT&T and used to be with Verizon but made the switch because of the Iphone. I was bored of it after the first month. I heard Sprint is getting 4G so I’m assuming it’s going to be better for Android users?

  73. I already bought it. I wish I had read this site first…

  74. I just used Bump to install a non market app from a friends android phone, that combined with adb makes the whole “non market apps” argument pretty weak

  75. AT&T! Listen to your customers! If you don’t stop destroying every decent device that comes to your subpar network, we’re all going to leave! I really hope AT&T releases something that will compare with Sprint’s HTC Evo 4g… that thing is amazing! Why does AT&T deem it necessary to botch every phone they sell?

  76. i was wonder if i bought the backflip unlocked would i still be able to download any of the apps….even tho that i would be on another network? or do i have d be on AT&T

  77. @2FR35H If you read the article, it says they blocked root access in terminal. you cannot use Super User (su).

  78. Haha! I have this device with TELUS in Canada. I get everything minus all the bloatware, suckers!

  79. AT&T has 1.5 on the backflip because Motoblur does not support 2.1 yet. 2.1 will be released for Backflip in 3rd Q2010. But yes the AT&T software does suck.

  80. First let me sound wrong because I’ll have to explain myself before anyone understands – I love my backflip – now for the understanding. I am stuck with an AT&T contract for another 6 months. I spent the first 18 months of my contract suffering over a blackberry I thought was supposed to be so great – it was a royal pain in the arse and very limited and slow. The backflips camera is far superior albeit slower. The amount of apps in the market far out number and are far superior to the blackberry’s. I came from sprint – I HATED THEM AND WILL NEVER GO BACK NO MATTER WHAT PHONE THEY OFFER – I hate AT&T now too and if they don’t offer a real android within the next 6 months I’m jumping off their boat also. I love the android for what it has to offer and I am really starting to hate AT&T for what the have done to it (I’m a recent convert – only had my backflip for a couple of weeks) I’ve played with several IPhones and I’ll take my backflip anyday. But like I say – AT&T has 6 months to change the err of there ways or they’re losing $300+ a month – I pay the bills and I’ll switch my whole family! I’m the only one who uses a smart phone so the phones the rest of my family uses can be duplicated anywhere.

    Sorry AT&T this is your only notice! Like someone above said, I’m a programmer and I was looking forward to writing some apps for it. But don’t worry AT&T I would never root a phone – no sir (-;

  81. I’m pretty sure they won’t miss your “whopping $300” a month…Perhaps had you taken the time to actually do some homework before just buying a phone you had no idea of what it was capable of doing, you would not hate ATT. Since you left 18 months ago…they have not gone out of business, and I’m fairly certain ATT will be safe from bankruptcy as well.

  82. Yes AT&T bites the big one. Love the coverage but hate the company. I too will be leaving when my contract is up, can not take the BS anymore. I had my home phone number ported over to a cell to save money, only $10 / month as opposed to $60/month, and used the upgrade to get my son a new phone. By using Google voice for the voicemail on home/cell phone, that phone number doesn’t need a phone. I asked the sales guy if porting my home phone number to cell would interrupt my DSL service. “No” was the response … I had him confirm that with me 5 more times. One week later, my DSL is shut off …. uggg! Took a week for them to get the service back to me, and now they want to charge me $40 / month for the DSL rather than the $25 I was paying. WHY? Because it was not really their fault that their AUTHORIZED Radio Shack drop out didn’t understand the process. I finally got someone to compensate me for my troubles by giving me a Moto-backflip since I’m a programmer and wanted to develop apps. So here I am with the most un-customizable phone ever, though I am able to load apps directly from the android SDK. I moved from the un-democratic iphone to android just for that reason, and now I find out … I’m still screwed.

    Leaving AT&T … f-d me one too many times.

  83. Just bought a backflip that was unlocked last week. I did’t have a problem downloading anything off or on the android market. I have t-mobile service and didn’ t have to change anything to run my mms or sms. Usually with other unlocked phones I run into some problems. I love this phone but didn’t like that I didn’t have many profile settings. I resolved it by downloading a free profile manager app off the market. Otherwise it’s a pretty decent phone.

  84. I’ve just purchased 2 brand new, unlocked MB300 Backflips for small business phones but I have not received them yet. I do have AT&T service, but purchased phones outside the plan from an independent retailer. I hope I’ll be free and clear of AT&T’s limitations on non-AT&T products, but that remains to be seen, I suppose. I would like to know the name of the free profile manager app and any other useful everyday apps. I’m fairly new to the smartphone/android market and definitely not a tech guru, but educating myself as I go along.

  85. The Wireless Advocates weasel who sold me my Backflip said I would love it. I think she saw how old I was and assumed I wouldn’t know what I was missing anyway. I HATE this phone. I hate not being able to get more than 1% of even DROID apps, or DL *any* app they haven’t approved. The single Twitter client available to me is Tweetcaster, which force closes every five minutes. When my contract is up I will NEVER deal with AT&T again. Do NOT buy a Backflip if you want a smartphone. You’re getting a glorified ordinary cell phone.If you spend a lot of time on the Internet, you’ll be extremely frustrated. It will literally drive you back to your desktop. It did me.

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