Motoblur name to fade into obscurity, but bloatware to remain?

Motorola may scrap the Motoblur brand when talking about its phones and tablets, but the software may still continue to exist in the background.

Motorola is making a token gesture to improve the kludgy Android interface overlay that is Motoblur. The company's bespoke UI will no longer be talked about, due to "public feedback", yet is unlikely to disappear any time soon, Engadget reports.

We're sadly used to the untapped potential of Android-sporting mobile phones being bogged down by bloatware and unnecessary interface 'enhancements'. Motorola may not be the worst culprit but the fact that, officially at least, we should be writing Motoblur in all capital letters suggests far too much importance has been placed on the software. You'll notice we've refused to follow this trend.

We first saw Motoblur on the Motorola Dext back in 2009. It's since been seen on a variety of handsets ever since. We've never been madly keen on it so were quietly excited when we heard of its possible demise .

The Motorola Xoom managed to escape Motoblur , being "a Google experience device" with optimised Android Honeycomb , however recent comments from Moto's CEO Sanjay Jha suggest Motoblur (whether named or not) will be an essential diagnostic tool, if nothing else.

Perhaps that's really what's happening here. Motoblur will no longer be touted as a selling point -- instead consumers will expect plain Gingerbread on smart phones and Honeycomb on tablets -- but will instead fade into the background (perhaps as an app) and provide troubleshooting and performance services Motorola and other developers can use.

Launching hardware that runs Android out of the box would be a much simpler strategy for Motorola, particularly with Ice Cream Sandwich on its way. This would leave it free to develop its own mobile OS and related hardware devices should it so desire.

Jha has already stated his belief in the importance of "owning your OS... provided you have an ecosystem, you have all the services and you have an ability and the scale to execute on keeping that OS at the leading edge."

It's worked for Apple, of course, but it's debatable whether any other single manufacturer could pull it off in today's marketplace. Nokia's Symbian and MeeGo are all but on the ropes and it's now a three-horse race between Android, iOS and Windows Phone .

About the author

    Andy Merrett has been using mobile phones since the days when they only made voice calls. Since then he has worked his way through a huge number of Nokia, Motorola and Sony Ericsson models. Andy is a freelance writer and is not an employee of CNET.


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