Moto X 2013 scores Android 5.1 update too unofficially

We know by experience that official Android 5.1 update for 1st Gen Moto X isn’t far, but we’re guessing that if you’re given the 5.1 treat right away, you’d gladly accept it. Right? Well, the unofficial Android 5.1 update has already made its way towards the original Moto X users, via CyanogenMod 12.1 custom ROM and its nice set of features.

Motorola is the best there is between Android OEMs when it comes to software updates. Some of the Moto devices have received Android update sooner than a Nexus or two got that from Google. And while you’ll miss features like touchless control on a custom ROM like CM12.1, you’ll still have plenty of features to look forward to.

Be sure to follow the guide carefully to install the ROM, because it’s trickier than usual.

What about official update release?

The original Moto X should receive the official Android 5.1 update pretty soon. Within 45 days, if we’re to guess. April ’15’s end or early May should be when your device knocks a notification about 5.1 OTA update.

5.1 Update for Moto X 2014 is undergoing a soak test right now, so that device should get it in two weeks maximum. Then, after few next weeks, Moto X 1st Gen should be receiving it too.

Benefits and drawbacks of the unofficial update

You get to use Android 5.1, that’s the main advantage. Yes, you’d get it eventually, sooner than Samsung and LG flagship devices, so that’s essentially a benefit of an early access to 5.1. Other than that there’s not much. You get stock UI on the custom ROM, which is same on official Motorola update too. Users of Samsung and other OEMs see this as big advantage because they get rid of company’s custom UI on these ROMs but that’s not the case here. Another benefit is of the features offered by CM12.1, which are many and pretty useful ones.

On the sour side, though, you will lose touchless control feature of Motorola. And you’ve to unlock bootloader, which voids warranty, but is required for TWRP recovery’s installation, something that you need to be able to install CM12.1 custom ROM.

Still, for the feature-set and new experience, it’s worth it.

Removing the unofficial update?

You can download the official firmware back by looking for it on Google, and installing it using the software like RSDlite, that will remove the recovery and ROM both.

Though, the easy thing will be download and install a custom ROM that uses Motorola’s official firmware as base and is completely unmodified except for root access. These kind of ROMs are best if you wanna switch back, as you cna install them very easily using the TWRP recovery itself, and you’ll also have touchless control working.

Note: You know, because this ROM is not an official Motorola Android 5.1 update for Moto X 1st Gen, chances are it could contain few kinks at some corners. Any major bugs will be reported below.

  • None

Download the ROM file in .zip format from here, the source page where you could also keep a tab on all of the development about the ROM, and also any current issues with the ROM along with their available fixes, if any. Also download the Android 5.1 Gapps of your choice, and flash them after the ROM — they contain Google services and apps which cannot be part of the ROM.

Supported devices
  • Motorola Moto X 2013, 1st Gen
  • Don’t try on any other device whatsoever

Warning: Warranty may be void of your device if you follow the procedures given on this page. You only are responsible for your device. We won’t be liable if any damage occurs to your device and/or its components.

Important Note: Backup important files stored on your device before proceeding with the steps below, so that in case something goes wrong you’ll have backup of all your important files.

  1. Transfer the ROM file to your device’s internal storage and remember the location where you save it.
  2. You need TWRP recovery for this. Get it from here. There’s good instructions set there, too. For more help, Google is your friend. Don’t reboot phone after installing the recovery, instead, go directly to recovery mode from the fastboot mode you’re in, using the command over ADB: adb reboot recovery. Or, you can simply select the recovery option and reboot using the hardware button.
  3. Make a backup. Once in TWRP recovery, take a backup of your current ROM. Select Backup, then do a “Swipe to Back Up” on the bottom of the screen. Wait for the backup to finish, it’s a time consuming process.
  4. Wipe your device. Once the backup is finished, do this: tap on Wipe, then Advanced wipe, and then select Cache, Dalvik/ART cache and Data. Then do the “Swipe to wipe” at bottom to ready the device for ROM flashing by erasing the cache, dalvik cache and data in one shot.
  5. Install ROM now. Go back to the main menu of TWRP recovery and select Install. Navigate to the file where you saved your ROM’s zip file, select it and “Swipe to Confirm Flash” on the bottom of the screen. Now wait until the flashing process finishes.
  6. Go to back to recovery’s Main menu, select Reboot » select System.
  7. Reboot back to recovery mode.
  8. Also flash the Gapps the same way as ROM.
  9. Go to back to recovery’s Main menu, select Reboot » select System.

Your device will now reboot with Android 5.1 update, thanks to CM12.1 custom ROM.

In case you need any help over this, let us know. And, you can thank the user Megatron007 for sharing this.

Android 5.1 update is also available on:
  • 2567 Posts
Kapil still loves his Galaxy S2 i9100! No, really. And Galaxy Nexus! Need we say more what kind of guy he is? And he's also a die-hard Liverpool FC fan. Email:
  • steve

    Running good. Make sure you flash cm11 first or you will get into a bootloop. I am afraid once the official lollipop comes, it will also update boitliader and we won’t be able to flash kit kat again

  • Andrew

    Hello. I just flashed CM11 and then Google Apps. The phone is on, but the blue Cynogen Logo is just sitting there flashing. What happened?

    • try this, flash a CM11 ROM first, then CM12.1 ROM, and then reboot it. Do the wipe of data, cache, dalvik cache and system before flashing even the CM11 first. Let me know.


  • Andrew

    Thank you! Everything is up and running except one thing. All functions of the phone work, but I cannot make or receive phone calls nor can I text. Data works perfectly fine, but the phone says there is no SIM inserted. In settings, my phone number will not show up and it says I am out of service.