Rooted Motorola XOOMs to Receive 4G Upgrade, Here’s an SBF File Anyway


We were victims of quite a scare when it was suggested that rooted Motorola XOOM users would not be able to get their free 4G upgrade. While many weren’t concerned considering how easy it is to unroot, it was still a bit of a downer.

Motorola’s saying that’s not the case, though: rooted users can still send their XOOMs in to get the upgrade. The caveat is that you won’t get the software upgrade that may be required to enable the radio that they’ll still install. (We’re sure a ROM or two will pop up anyway, and it’s believed that any OTA upgrade will still prompt rooted users. Installing the update would cause you to lose root.)

Motorola says that you may unroot your device before sending it in if you wish to have the firmware upgrade applied. Thankfully, an SBF file for the tablet has been leaked for those who wish to return to stock. (And for those who somehow find themselves with an $800 paper weight.) You can download the file here. [Droid Life 1|2]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. It’s my understanding, however, that while the SBF returns the device to stock, it does *not* re-lock the bootloader.

  2. User01: They probably don’t care about the bootloader. Their only reasoning for requiring a non-rooted tablet for them to install the software update would be because that’s how they tested the update.
    A rooted Android device throws in too many variables they haven’t accounted for. And, since they’re doing it for free, they don’t want to waste time troubleshooting why app X keeps crashing after the update was installed on each and every tablet. I don’t blame them, really.

  3. Looks like I was right after all… It’s nice to see proper reporting.

  4. Jimmy nailed it. It makes no sense for them to do it any other way.

    The fact that they’re being so chill about rooted Xooms is a very good sign. They’re embracing the hacking community, which is a complete 180 degree change in their stance on the matter. There’s plenty of people who don’t buy phones if they’re locked. Let’s see if HTC can step up to the plate with their tablets, otherwise they might loose a few fanboys.

  5. I was just sharing an additional piece of info :)

    With regard to the 4G update, the bootloader doesn’t look like it’s going to an issue and I agree with Jimmy that the main reason there’s a resistance to rooted devices (for this or anything) is the support and testing complexities.

    There are discussions going on in the Moto communities forums that Moto may make a full “factory” image available for complete recovery including being able to re-lock the bootloader. In case that need ever comes up.

    However, Matt: I don’t think that Moto is embracing the hacking community any more or less than in the past. I would love for Moto to become more open and flexible but I don’t think this is a particular sign of that. I would also love to be wrong about that, though. :)

    The Xoom is a “Google Experience” device (like the original Droid) which means minimal/no modification to stock Android and kind of a de facto reference/dev platform so complicated lockdowns/lockouts are avoided.

    Most of the other Moto Android devices since the original Droid and the new ones coming out now are not open like this.

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