Motorola plans to upgrade its gray matter in 2012

Hoping to refine its smartphone software smarts, Motorola says it plans to teach its handsets nifty new tricks in the coming year.

Motorola has made the claim that it will bring upgraded cell phone smarts to its upcoming line of handsets.

Billed as "Smart Actions," this feature is designed to help smartphone beginners remove complexity from their devices.

For example you'll be able to tell a phone to automatically turn the ringer down at work, or up its volume after multiple missed calls. As Motorola Senior VP Alain Mutricy told Ina Fried of AllThingsD, tackling these functions is certainly possible through menus and Android settings wizards, but he said, "You need to be a geek to do that."

Well I'm not sure if I buy the logic behind this notion. I do admit that one of the major detractors to Android, besides fragmentation and a myriad number of manufacturer-made skins, is sometimes it can feel plain clunky. Champions of iOS are always annoyingly quick to point this out. Smart Actions is not exactly new, either, and was on the original Droid Razr.

Even so, I'm used to the way Android works and often am thrown for a loop when I pick up an iPhone or Windows Mango phone--just for a few moments, though, to be honest. Perhaps this new initiative to bring Smart Actions to all Moto phones is a result of Google buying Motorola Mobility last year, and the software giant can't help adding its love of advanced engineering into the mix. Or maybe this is just another way phone makers hope to differentiate their designs from competitors--Motoblur reborn!

If so, it's not the first time this approach has been taken. Remember HTC and the way it touted all the ways it tried to make Android and even old Windows Mobile devices more intuitive--placing the phone on its face to fire up the speakerphone during calls and all that? I'm not sure how useful this was or how handy Smart Actions will prove to users.

I do know these functions are also planned for the new Droid Razr Maxx . Check back soon for a full review.

Editors' note: Updated January 26 at 9:15 a.m., to clarify site attribution.

About the author

Brian Bennett is senior editor for appliances at CNET and reviews a wide range of household and smart-home products. These include everything from microwave ovens, blenders, ranges and coffee makers to personal weather stations. An NYC native, Brian now resides in bucolic Louisville, Kentucky where he dreams of someday owning the sparkling house of the future.

 

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