Yesterday, Motorola officially announced the long-awaited rollout of Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean to the original Droid RAZR and the RAZR MAXX smartphones, stating that the update would be distributed in phases. There were reports of Jelly Bean soak tests being conducted amongst select owners of these devices, and to make things official, Motorola has gone on record on its blog about these two devices getting bumped up.
The update will bring up both devices to Android OS version 4.1.2, and will bring new features like Google Now, a revamped notifications system which allows for expandable and actionable notifications, Project Butter which gives a smoother and more responsive overall experience, and Google’s Chrome Browser which will replace the stock Android browser. What is most interesting though, is that Moto seems to have gotten rid of its trademark MotoBlur apps suite, replacing it with stock Google Apps instead. As you must must be aware, Motorola was taken over by Google in May last year, and this shift towards using stock Google Apps seems to be a result of Google’s ownership of Motorola. At least, that’s what we think.
If you’ve been a Motorola user, you should be familiar with MotoBlur, which is an Android UI replacement developed by Motorola. It has been present on all Android devices, except perhaps the Motorola Xoom WiFi, which was developed in collaboration with Google as the lead device for Android 3.0 Honeycomb, and what could be called a non-Nexus branded Nexus device. Recent iterations of Motoblur, as seen on newer devices, appeared to have been toned down, and sported a more stock-Android-ish look as seen on Nexus devices.
With the new Jelly Bean update for the Droid RAZR and RAZR MAXX, there seems to be a considerable amount of what could be called Motorola bloatware that has been removed, and replaced with Google alternatives. What this also means is that sans all the heavy themeing and the bloat, plus Google’s Project Butter included with Jelly Bean, these devices should feel a lot more responsive and smoother in operation. Android purists would certainly be grinning when they hear this, and this could be the beginning of the end for the MotoBlur UI. Not to mention, what could be in store for the rest of Motorola’s device arsenal.
Here’s the official changelog which will tell you exactly what to expect from this update.
As you can see, there are quite a few changes there, and from what I can tell, this is certainly going to make your device feel a lot more snappy than it used to. Certainly looks like Moto devices are set for good times ahead.
Motorola has also released a fix which helps users who received the accidental Jelly Bean update on Christmas Eve, to update to the latest build of Jelly Bean. If you happen to be one of those unlucky fellas, you can head over here and go through the instructions on how to apply the fix.