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I have a T-Mobile branded Motorola Charm (MB502) phone that I bought for my wife. It's a capable little device, but it's being slowed down to a crawl by MotoBLUR. I'd like to know if there is a way to remove all BLUR software, preferably by overwriting the firmware with a de-blurred version.

It's been updated to the latest firmware and rooted via SuperOneClick. Here are the relevant details from the phone's "About" screen:

System Version: Blur_Version_2.3.9007.MB502.T-Mobile.en.US
Model number: MB502
Baseband version: EPU93_U_03.3B.02
Build number: BASIL_U3_03.90.7

I know of at least one de-blurred version that can be flashed with RDSlite, from and-developers.com. Unfortunately this version "BASEM_U3_01.12.4" doesn't work on T-Mobile Charm and (almost) bricks it after flashing, requiring a re-flash to the base T-Mobile sbf. Also, on xda-developers thread a dev managed to build a working version of Clockwork Recovery for the Charm. However, there are no ROMs available for it yet.

So my question is this: For the lack of any 3rd-party ROMs, is there a way to safely remove all BLUR apps and references from Charm?

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What if you just used a different homescreen launcher? Like ADW.Launcher or Launcher Pro? –  Sparx Apr 3 '11 at 8:39
    
I'm afraid it's well beyond the launcher app. I already use LauncherPro Plus, but the phone is still incredibly slow because of all the useless crap Motorola puts on it. BLUR spreads its roots throughout the system. The useless social apps (Happenings, MySpace, etc.) are woven into Motorola's own system apps like Dialer, Contacts, Calendar, etc. and are impossible to remove or replace with Android's stock apps. –  Chahk Apr 3 '11 at 15:33
    
There are alternatives - Dialer One as an alternate dialer / contact manager. GoContacts has also emerged as an alternative. –  Sparx Apr 3 '11 at 16:56
    
This might help: supportforums.motorola.com/message/157915 –  Lie Ryan Apr 14 '11 at 13:10

2 Answers 2

While I don't know how to kill MotoBlur, if you are rooted you can use Titanium Backup to remove the crappy system apps that run all the time. Just open Titanium, click the offending app, and click Uninstall. Only remove apps that aren't needed for the system to run, of course.

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I am aware of how to remove the apps via adb. The problem is that many system apps on the Charm are heavily integrated into BLUR, and will cause instability if they are removed. For example, after removing Happenings.apk I could no longer edit contacts. The contacts app would FC. The same is true for other parts of the system - removing a useless app from /system/app/ causes some seemingly unrelated process to become unstable. I guess what I need is a list of system apps that are truly "safe" to remove. –  Chahk Apr 10 '11 at 21:44
    
That's really unfortunate. It sounds to me that you're not going to have much luck without a custom ROM. –  Matthew Read Apr 11 '11 at 13:52
up vote 0 down vote accepted

It looks like someone has finally managed to get CyanogenMod 7 (Android 2.3.7 Gingerbread) ported to CHARM and Flipout phones (they are very similar in hardware.) This thread over at XDA has all the details:

  1. First of all your device should be rooted with SuperOneClick or any other method (if you don't know how to do it search on google)

  2. Download Flipout System Recovery from the market.

  3. Download CM7 ROM here. https://docs.google.com/uc?id=0B_9PV...xport=download

  4. Download Google Apps here https://docs.google.com/uc?id=0B_9PV...xport=download

  5. Put both the CM7 ROM and the Google Apps on the root of the sdcard.

  6. Open FlipOut Recovery and select Install Recovery System. Grant it superuser permission. After that select Recovery Boot

  7. Wipe data, cache and open Advanced and wipe Dalvik cache

  8. Select "install zip from sdcard" - "choose zip from sdcard" - select the CM7 ROM and go to - yes - and wait until finish installation, then use the same procedure to install the Google Apps.

  9. Repeat step 7 again.

  10. Reboot and enjoy CM7.

I am happy to report that this tutorial works, and completely replaces the MotoBLUR firmware of Motorola CHARM with CyanogenMod 7. It's not perfect (rotation is "sticky", there is no way to disable the back-track, etc.) but it functions well enough to be considered "working".

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