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Dec 052011

Did you really think the Motorola DROID BIONIC would be left behind in unofficial upgrades to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich?  Or, did you even believe that Motorola would serve Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich to the DROID BIONIC ahead of everyone else?

Motorola did pledge that the DROID BIONIC won’t be tucked away in the closet when it starts releasing Ice Cream Sandwich upgrades to its recent devices.  But, we never had any precise release date to look forward to.

The good news is that Android 4.0 can now be run on the Motorola DROID BIONIC.  Thanks to dhacker29, a developer and member of RootzWiki, an unofficial build of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich for the DROID BIONIC is now available.

The software is still an alpha preview build (version Alpha 5), and according to the developer, not everything is completely working yet, although the following do work already:

  • Graphics and display (said to be working smoothly)
  • Android Debug Bridge (ADB), which is handy for development tracking and debugging
  • Touchscreen
  • Capacitive buttons
  • Charging indicator
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • external SD card
  • Gallery app
  • Instant screenshot functionality (a built-in feature of Android 4.0)
  • Reboot menu

Apart from those listed above, nothing else works or is completely functioning.  The developer is saying that getting Wi-Fi and the internal SD card to work is next on the list.

Upgrading the DROID BIONIC to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich

If you want to put Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on your Motorola DROID BIONIC, read on for the instructions.  Take note, however, that Android TidBits makes no guarantee that the procedure will work for you.  Bear in mind, too, that performing the procedure can void your warranty and can even make your phone completely non-functional.  So, proceed at your own risk.

Bold enough, aren’t you?  The procedure involves two general steps: installing Safestrap and flashing the custom ROM for Ice Cream Sandwich.  Follow these steps:

  1. Download  This file contains the custom ROM for Ice Cream Sandwich for the Motorola DROID BIONIC.  Do not extract the ZIP file.
  2. Copy the ZIP file to your phone’s SD card.
  3. Remove all other Bootstrap apps on your phone.  Certain bootstrap apps can conflict with Safestrap, so make sure they’re not on your phone before you attempt to install Safestrap.
  4. Download Safestrap 1.06 for the DROID BIONIC.  The file is an Android Package (APK) file.  Install it on your DROID BIONIC.
  5. Follow the installation prompts.  Once installation is done, tap the “Install Recovery” button.  This will install Safestrap Recovery, which is what you will use to flash Ice Cream Sandwich to your DROID BIONIC.
  6. After installation, reboot your DROID BIONIC.  You will see a new bootup screen.  While the splash screen is showing, enter Safestrap Recovery by tapping the Menu button.  You have 10 seconds to tap the Menu button and enter Safestrap Recovery, otherwise your phone will boot normally.
  7. Create a backup before you proceed to the next steps.  It is a wise idea to have a backup that you can use for rolling back your phone to a functioning state after a disaster happens.  Using the Volume Up and Volume Down buttons, navigate to “Backup and Restore.”  Press the Power button to select it.  Start creating your backup.
  8. Enable “Safe System” in the Safestrap Menu.
  9. Navigate to the “Mounts and Storage” menu and choose to format the /system directory.
  10. Navigate to the main screen of Safestrap Recovery.  Select “Install ZIP from SD card.”  Then, locate on your SD card, select it, and start installing it.  Wait a few minutes for the installation to finish.
  11. Back in Safestrap Recovery’s main screen, select “Wipe Date / Factory Reset.”
  12. Reboot your phone normally.

After you go through the steps described above, your phone should now have Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.  As has already been mentioned, the custom ROM is still an Alpha 5 preview build, so don’t expect it to be completely functional and bug-free.

Don’t Have a DROID BIONIC? No Problem!

Want to have a Motorola DROID BIONIC to play with? You can get one for yourself at a heavily slashed-down price of $50. See more details about the Motorola DROID BIONIC on Amazon.

Photos courtesy of Engadget

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