Motorola to Drop Focus on BLUR



It looks like Motorola’s policy of not officially naming MotoBlur as a feature on the Droid X will carry over to their entire line of smartphones going forward. At their Q2 earning’s call, Moto co-CEO Sanjay Jha stated that looking towards the future, the focus on the custom user interface would be dropped. The point Jha made was how difficult it is to showcase Blur in a simple 30-second ad, and because of this the company would focus more on differentiating their Android products rather than the flavor of Android they run.

While no exact words from Jha suggested the Blur would be dropped entirely, Android’s Gingerbread update promises to bering an all-around improved stock user interface that will de-emphasize the need for custom skins created by OEMs. Recent word from HTC promised that their HTC Sense would continue to develop and be pushed on their Android devices regardless of Google’s changes in Android 3.0. However, given Google and Motorola’s close working relationship, there is a chance that Jha and crew may be considering a complete phase out of Blur.

Will anyone miss Blur if it goes away? What differentiates an Android phone more, the hardware or the user interface?

[via Android and Me]

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  1. As long as there is some sort of cleaner ui replacement, i am all for it, i think sense is better than blur.

  2. omg yes!!! thank god. now htc and samsung just need to follow suit.

  3. Naw, good riddance to Blur. I mean it was a nice experiment but now that we know we’re better off without it and how clunky it really was its all good and I’m happy that Moto realizes it. I”m not really a fan of Sense UI either really tho., Generally I’m a stock Android fan.

  4. Nice headline =)

  5. Get rid of blur/sense/whatever…make awesome widgets/apps that come free on your own phones and that you can sell to the everyone else. It will get rid of the upgrade gap while still giving you a promotional edge, and allow you still make money when people don’t buy your phones.

  6. htc had better keep sense.

  7. I think they’re going to give each phone a special UI skin..

  8. I think they all should drop their UI overlay and just put them in the Market for users to download if they wish to. That would make it so much easier for them to roll up updates to the system and software. I don’t like Sense at all but like HTC’s devices. If Sense was something I could just uninstall I would love their devices even more (along with the crap the carriers FORCE you to have CityID, Blockbuster, Amazon kindle/mp3, etc)!

    These Android devices should be user customizable, not carrier/manufacturer mandated


  10. What most people don’t understand is that it doesn’t make a phone harder to upgrade if there’s a custom skin on it. The firmware needs to be optimized for the device anyway. For instance, you can’t magically upgrade from Google’s SDK images.

  11. I don’t really like HTC sense neither on my desire, I just like the Widgets there are amazing that’s about it though. Tweetdeck is soon to be released to android there wouldn’t even a need to have friendstream. Same goes for all social Widgets of OEM’s. If I want something fancy I’ll stick to launcher pro or ADW launcher.

  12. I think the power of Android lies in the ability to customize it, including replacing the core apps (like the keyboard and dialer). If Google puts together a solid version of the stock user interface, then I think OEMs should just leave it alone, and maybe offer their custom UIs and/or apps as third-party add-ons, if they must. That way everyone gets a consistent experience out of the box, and can customize at will from that point forward, replacing the launchers and whatever other apps they choose. That would also promote faster OS updates, due to not having to wait for integrated custom UIs to be updated as well. At the very least, the custom UIs should be unintegrated, so they can be replaced with the stock UI or another third-party UI easily. That said, custom UIs could still be a big business for companies like Motorola or HTC. For example, how many people out there wish they could get HTC Sense UI on their Droid or Droid X? I’m sure there’s a few people. If HTC adapted Sense UI to work on any Android phone, and put it up for sale in the Market, I’m guessing a lot of people would buy it.

  13. Why?
    Some people like Sense and TouchWiz.
    Not everyone is in love with the Vanilla UI.
    Funny thing is, most people that I know that say they love the standard Android UI and hate any of the other UIs are usually the first people on the market downloading Launcher Pro or ADW. What happened to that “I Love Vanilla Android”? lol

  14. I wish all android phones were stock with it being your choice to install whatever widgets etc you wanted. I hope my next phone is stock android with Android 3.0, hopefully motorola. I hope they go back to the business model they used with the original Droid being open and stock because they do make the best hardware.

  15. In a perfect world stock Android would improve and be ubiquitous. I’m not a fan of Motorola phone designs so hopefully there will still be HTC phones without sense like nexus. Htc has spent a lot to develop sense so they aren’t thinking clearly. It’s bad business to force your customers to remain behind in the firmware line…personally I refuse to do it. Android makes great improvements, even when they slow to annual updates, people will want them ASAP. Not months down the line. It’s stupid of HTC to be stubborn about this. It can’t be that hard to give us a choice.

  16. I sure hope this means Blur will go away. Then I might be able to consider a Motorola phone again. I just spent 5 minutes fighting with Blurs keyboard editing this on the soon to be returned X. What a pile of crap.

  17. @ Jeff J

    Couldn’t have said it any better myself. cheerio.

  18. Downloading custom skins manually is too complicated for mainstream people. Device manufacturers wouldn’t risk losing those people.

  19. @Jeff J

    This. Pleases all camps. Those that love the moto/htc/samsung interfaces get them, those that hate them can easily uninstall them.

  20. @Will S
    You do know you can use different keyboards on android, don’t you? I think the droid x comes with swype as well as motorolas multitouch keyboard, in addition to stock android. look on xda forums for the HTC IME or check out the market for Smart Keyboard Pro.

  21. Finally! i have a motorola cliq XT and still have android 1.5 because this stupid motoblur is slowing it down!!! get rid of that crap!

  22. BLUR and all 3rd party customizations should DIE.

    BRAVO to Motorola for recognizing that it can provide faster software updates to consumers without having to re-modify stock Android with their different colored widgets and other nonsense. I suspect Sony and Samsung and some others will be much slower to learn this lesson.

    Now Motorola, UNLOCK YOUR BOOTLOADER and become the consumer favorite.

    Fortune favors the bold.

  23. @msgnyc

    The Android UI is much more than home screen.
    I had Sense, I changed the home screen but the rest of Sense UI was still there and it got on my nerves.

    The lock screen annoyed me a bit but the contacts app annoyed me the most.
    Both these were a downgrade from the default Android in my view.

  24. Say hello to my little friend google, f u c k motorola and costume UI, they blow!!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. I personally don’t see a problem with OEM UI’s. However, those who are not completely committed to making upgrades as soon as possible (i.e. Motorola and Samsung, don’t even get me started on LG) should drop their skins as soon as 3.0 comes, provided it’s good enough to stand on it’s own. 2.2 came out only in late June, but HTC had it up and running on two devices (EVO and Desire) in a month, with possibly a third (D. Incredible) coming shortly. However, the Droid X, Droid, Ally, All Galaxy S variants, and a few others have almost no idea as to when to expect theirs besides a vague “this year” tag.

  26. I’m a Cliq (w/ Blur) owner. As I’ve found apps I prefer, hardly use the Blur features anymore. As it seems to be one of the big hold ups for Motorola pushing Android update, I say good riddance! Buy the phone for its physical features, then customize it yourself with the apps you chose.

  27. Is anybody else kinda concerned about Android 3.0’s promise to so called make customizations obsolete? Yea they did get the guy from WebOS though I don’t think there was anything amazing about the look and feel of it. But it just seems a really tall order to have this single UI style that supposed to just wow everybody. I wish they’d concentrate on making the system completely themeable(sp) similar to how Gnome works on Linux. Let the manufacturers or anybody else for that matter create themes that work across the OS and skin every widget in every app that does not have its own styling. That way you can differentiate your phones without delay on updates and the user can turn it all off and go with stock or download a new theme from the market.

  28. Everyone except Motorola knows, that is the BLUR features that are slowing down the updates. You cant see, one nice comment to motorola in facebook. They`re just loosing and loosing costumers.

  29. I don’t use the stock UI regardless of the phone I use. I have 3rd party ones that I purchased and like more than the stock.

  30. This is a great move. Android doesn’t need vendor specific GUIs. H/W manufacturers can still differentiate on quality, specs, price, and carrier availability, Custom UIs only fragment the market.

    The end user can customize all day long with third party products, so these guys were adding zero value.

    I bought the Droid specifically because it ran bone stock GUI and in hindsight I’m thankful I did.

  31. look for more people friendly stuff from moto.

    they’re are all scared for their jobs.

    ‘old slash and burn’, carl ichan bought a big block of moto shares last week.

  32. I actually like Sense. If you notice in the Market these third party apps make everything similar to Sense. It really doesn’t matter to me. But I am a Evo owner and my phone jams. I stop downloading the 3 party skins. There is always something not working correctly on them anyway. Now I will admit I would like to turn it off sometimes but not get rid of it all together. The widgets for Sense are really good. They need to scrap Peep and try it again. The worst Twitter app out.

  33. I don’t think Motorola is going to abandon their custom UI, as you can see, the Droid X still has one, and all signs point to the Droid II having a custom skin. They just aren’t going to market it as a “feature” anymore, and they seem to aim at making the customizations less obtrusive; hopefully they are also making the customizations easier to port between Android versions. because I really doubt they plan to drop it.

  34. And this is a win! Now HTC please follow and remove Sense!

  35. hopefully this will help to cut the time until a new release is ported to Motorola devices. That would really distinglish them to others…and if they then have the power to force the providers not to modify the OS, but push it directly to the handsets (like google had planed this with the nexus one) … haven.

  36. Some of these comments are funny considering the fact that the HTC Evo got updated before Moto Droid with vanilla android…….So much for sense slowing down updates anymore(I hope:))

  37. Down with Blur. Bullshit social network interface. Down with pre installed apps that i didn’t want. Droid one was perfect STOCK. Droid X owner now.

  38. @Da Beast
    Completely agree with you. Everyone complains how it is the custom UIs fault (sense included) as for why updates take so long to reach phones.
    Isn’t it only HTC currently pushing out the 2.2 updates to their phones without Sense (N1) and with Sense? You should complain more about the manufacturers and carriers delaying updates more then the custom UI.

  39. HTC had 2.2 before everyone to work it on nexus one. The droid had leaks of froyo before the evo was even released. I think moto just wasnt as committed in brining it to the original droid when the replacement is just around the corner that is being released with froyo.

  40. many people buy HTC over others simply because it has Sense. Nobody can say that about the other custom UI’s…either you’re going to do it really good or just don’t bother.

  41. If Motorola do this, I will definitely buy Motorola from now on. I cannot stand all the custom interfaces, and I think HTC Sense and Sony Ericsson Timescape are the WORST. Motoblur and Touchwiz and the Dell UI are not as bad, but I would still prefer a standard flavour of Android!


  43. Launcher Pro removes any real issues I have on my Droid X, and can replicate sense pretty well, so stock UI ftw imo.

  44. I really care little what moto does at this point…they lock the bootloader as a way to stop their devices from living past their support for them! So we are left with little choice but to upgrade! What happens when 3.0 comes? Mt dx has no way to run any newer bootloader unless moto says so!! Why do I have to run the bull crap apps they tell me to?? I could get some serious speed from this thing if we could mod the “open source” os as I thought Google intended!!! Or was that just a way to compete with webos until the time was right?? Personal, if this keeps up. Im done with android altogether!! Moto? Well I will never trust a bs company with such dirty policy as the ones they practice EVER again!!!

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