Motorola moving towards the 'Google Experience'

Motorola's latest releases continue to move away from the company's unsuccessful customisations of the Android platform, and closer to a pure "Google Experience".

Motorola's latest releases continue to move away from the company's unsuccessful customisations of the Android platform, and closer to a pure "Google Experience".

The new Razr HD and Razr M feature surprisingly few user interface customisation compared with Motorola's nearest competitors in the Android space. After recently being acquired by Google, Motorola will become the face of the Android experience, according to senior vice president of product management Rick Osterloh.

Rick Osterloh, Motorola's SVP of product management.(Credit: Motorola)

"Next year, our aim will be to be as close to the Android experience as we can be," said Osterloh. "We think users love the Android experience, so we're going to try to give them [that], and it helps with our strategy to get updates to market as soon as possible."

Motorola won't offer a pure Google Experience though, like Google's Nexus range, and it will give itself room for change if it feels the platform needs it.

"We also think there are areas that we might innovate. If Android isn't solving a consumer problem, for whatever reason, we might try to fix that." said Osterloh, pointing to Motorola's Smart Actions app as an example. This app is primarily a power management tool, which lets users create actions, like switching off connectivity features, when certain triggers are met. These triggers may be the time of day, the geo-location of the phone or related to a particular state, like remaining battery life.

Early Motorola Android handsets came with cloud-based syncing software MotoBlur pre-installed, which customers were forced to use with a non-exitable log-in screen when new phones were activated. The feature was clunky to use and not particularly useful, and was panned by critics around the world.

MotoBlur started disappearing last year, when the company shifted its focus to a new peripheral platform called WebTop. This software addition to Android allowed users to plug their phones into WebTop docking accessories and augment the Android experience onto larger screens, like connected computer monitors. But WebTop and its accessories have also gone the way of the Dodo bird.

"We're going to support people who have bought [LapDock accessories], but it's not a main focus for us now." said Osterloh.

In line with this shift of direction towards the Google way, Motorola also announced yesterday that it will make Developer Editions of its new phones available. These phones are designed to give greater system access for devs working on new apps or Android-based ROMs.

Joe Hanlon travelled to New York as a guest of Motorola.

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About the author

Joe capitalises on a life-long love of blinking lights and upbeat MIDI soundtracks covering the latest developments in smartphones and tablet computers. When not ruining his eyesight staring at small screens, Joe ruins his eyesight playing video games and watching movies.

 

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