5 Things I Want to See Out of the Google/Motorola Marriage


When news broke Monday that Google would be acquiring Motorola Mobility, a rush of glee rushed through my body and I started imagining all the great things that would come from the acquisition. And then I read the press release.

Right now, Google’s playing this with the patent angle – Motorola has 17,000 of them and Google needs all that they can get. But for $12.5 billion, there has to be more to this than just patents. I like to believe that Google and Motorola could have worked out an exclusive licensing agreement for a smaller sum of dough, so the “wishful thinking” side of me started wondering what Google would do with Motorola once the patent wars die down.

The sudden (but sure) death of MOTOBLUR

Honestly, I’d probably be satisfied with Motorola continuing to operate independently as long as there’s a clause that says MOTOBLUR has to die a horrible, fiery death. I did say I liked the new version of BLUR (that comes on top of 2.3 on recent and newer handsets) in a recent Motorola DROID 3 hands-on piece, but I would rather see some pure Gingerbread, Ice Cream Sandwich and whatever else is in the pipeline. The phones themselves are fine, Moto.

A Motorola Nexus Phone

I believe if anyone can deliver a truly great Nexus phone, it’s Motorola. This kind of ties into the MOTOBLUR section above, but beyond the software I’d want to see a beast of a phone by Motorola with all the works. NFC, dual-core, lollypops – the holy trinity and then some. Andy Rubin said the Nexus bidding process will remain the same, meaning other OEMs will have just as much of a chance as Motorola in getting the Nexus 4 (whatever it may be) to store shelves. But I like to believe that Motorola has an edge over others the next go-around and I wouldn’t mind seeing it at all.

Less Crappy Phones

Look, Motorola, we get tired of seeing you release quirky devices and “budget” smartphones that see minimal support. Stop. Become a premium smartphone company and focus your sights on the whole “quality over quantity” idea. Release good phones for all major carriers and support them for more than 2 months. Stop damaging your reputation by putting out phones that you don’t have the manpower to properly support. A bit of good public perception can do wonders for your business. Hopefully Google can at least help Motorola improve software support for the devices they bring out.

A Motorola Nexus Tablet

While the smartphone Nexus program probably isn’t going to change for a while, the tablet market might be wide open. For the time being, Honeycomb tablet customizations are minimal, if even done by OEMs who put them out. They are putting out updates fast and Google doesn’t need to maintain a pure Android tablet. That could change a ton once Google brings out Ice Cream Sandwich and the source code we’re promised will come along for the ride. I should note that certified OEMs already have the ability to customize Honeycomb so we’re hopeful the minimal customization we’ve seen from the likes of HTC and Samsung remain true once Ice Cream Sandwich comes out, but we certainly wouldn’t mind a Motorola Nexus tablet if not.

Google to Smack Apple in the Face

Sure, Motorola’s 17,000 patents weren’t enough to stave off Apple and Microsoft’s legal attack dogs, but I like to think that’s because Motorola doesn’t know that they can use a patent that Apple and Microsoft may be infringing on to fight back. (Wishful thinking that they missed a prime patent or two in that huge pile of patents?) Perhaps with Google’s lawyers, they can comb through their newly-acquired portfolio and find some incrimination on these patent trolls to keep them at bay just as Samsung and HTC seem to be having some degree of success doing.

That last part is about all we can probably look forward to at this point, but perhaps with time (and the lack of a need to proactively defend themselves from the trolls) they’ll get bored and find some more creative things to do with Motorola. If you’ve got some “wants” of your own, let us know in the comment section below!

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Android cable boxes? Motorola’s set top box division was included in the deal.

    1. This is a real darkhorse here but I agree and really hope to see google tv based set top boxes. Current STBs are generally horrible and woefully outdated.

    2. That’s an aspect i was not thinking about, but it would be a welcome change if you ask me.

      Motorola is one of the major providers of STB’s to the cable industry, this could be a viable resurrection of Google’s waning STB venture … maybe a Chromium Linux based box.

      Just think, you log into your cable box with your gmail account, and blam … everything is there, contacts, email, just like your phone, tablet, and Chrome browser on your PC ….. please Google, read this

      I smell a potential new direction for the cable industry, a win/win for Google

  2. Amen on the death of Motoblur. Leave the software to Google. Concentrate on the hardware. Don’t pretend to be something your not.

  3. The marriage of Android and Chrome!

  4. And Android boxes in Nokia and RIM. With Motorola, which has some enterprise credibility and Android innovations, Google can enter the enterprise easier. As a result, RIM increasingly looks like the odd man out. Nokia is already under fire as it waits for Windows Phone 7 to gain traction. RIM is betting on QNX as an operating system. Google is indicating that the wireless market is a two-platform race. And those two horses are going to be Android and iOS.

    1. I think Rim has two options. Put their patents into a separate company and generate revenue from them through licensing fees with everyone in the wireless industry. Or end up being acquired by another company – possibly Microsoft or Samsung.

  5. Agreed!! To HELL with motoblur!

  6. nexus and moto phones that can utilize webtops that run chromeOS

    1. Exactly what I have been thinking about for quite some time now! From what I understand, Moto is the only OEM that is implementing a Webtop service. Google can really take this and implement Chrome rather that FireFox which is already on Webtop.
      What would be even better is using ChromeOS rather that Webtop. I believe that you can run Android on top of ChromeOS but you can not run ChromeOS on top of Android. Hopefully Something like this can be done. Android Phone, but when docked, ChomeOS with Android services….

  7. just to let you know motorola also has 7,000 patents that are pending approval so if they all get approved the patent portfolio will be increased to 24,000 and that is worth it…Plus google didnt just acquire moto just for patents but they needed this so they could help optimize the android platform have their own testing on cell phones and be in every step of the process

  8. I actually like Blur. I like Blur, Touchwiz and Timescape(this being my favorite) because it makes the already boring look of Stock android look a lot more better
    and give it more functionality.

    So i do hope blur does not die anytime soon. Just improves as it has been doing.

    I don’t think they should make less :”crappy phones” because then they will become Apple in the sense of ONLY appealing to one target audience. I just think those “crappy phones” should be supported more as you stated above.

    and i don’t think they are crappy phones. I think they are basically what they are…low end phones.

    1. A lot more better eh?

  9. 1. Kill motoblur
    2. Become a high-end smartphone maker only (2-3 Phones per year) (1-2 tablets per year)
    3. Make Motorola phones more physically appealing

  10. I want to see 2 words start appearing more and more: “White Spaces”

  11. There is one thing I want to see:

    All current Motorola Androids to get a Nexus-like update (unlocked bootloader, stock Android, etc)

    1. unlocked bootloader was the first thing I thought of when I saw this title.

  12. Moto must terminate Blur altogether if it hopes to regain market share. Blur alters more than the look and feel. It changes the core apps’ functionality. Right now on the Droid X, even after a Gingerbread update fix, the camera app remains mostly ruined (it defaults to landscape regardless of how you set it). The Contacts app will not permit adding or editing birthdays and anniversaries, and scrolling the edit screen is so bad it’s useless. The music app still crashes the handset. The messaging app still has issues. Moto fixed very little, if anything, of this mess. Moto knows all about these problems and has since the GB rollout. Three months later, and the phone is still a lame punchline to a bad joke.

    What good is a cute skin when the device is such a dismal failure? Call a turd a rose. Did the smell change?

    1. Well, your opinion of Blur isn’t universally shared, so your comment doesn’t really ring true. Sorry.

      1. The article did ask for an opinion. I don’t think opinions can be right or wrong. Plus, I agree; blur isn’t totally terrible but I would absolutely choose AOSP over it.

      2. His opinion is actually pretty much universally shared, if you haven’t used a Vanilla Android device then you wouldn’t notice how much MotoBlur inhibits performance. It’s pretty shitty though.

        1. I guarantee if I take a poll of 1000 mobile phone users maybe 10 will know what Blur even is, so no I don’t think scrapping blur is going to change the bottom line much.

          1. The question isnt whether people know what it is… All they know is their phone is laggy and buggy, then that becomes what Android is to them. If Blur wasn’t there that same test group of people would enjoy their phone so much more.

          2. Given sales figures chances are people are already experiencing that same or even laggier performance on a Galaxy S or HTC Sense device. Blur is the lesser of at least 2 evils in my opinion.

          3. If that were the case, how come you don’t see the same public hanging of their skin as is the case with MotoBlur? I am not a fan of any skin I should add, I root and flash, I just find Blur to be the worst of the worst that coupled with their locked bootloader is a lose/lose.

          4. I could write paragraph after paragraph on possible reasonings for that but at the end of the day I think it’s perception. People whine and complain about blur from the days of the devour and the backflip and then act like what came out of the box on the Droid X2 is the same shit. I’ve seen video of the atrix outperforming a sensation even before it got GB, and from personal experience the verizon moto droids were never outperformed by the Droid Inc, or the Evo. It can really only be perception being spread by people who hated blur before and haven’t touched it since before the droid x.

            edit: whoops this was supposed ot be in reply to that last comment

          5. You’re saying outperform in terms of quadrant scores or benchmarks that are unequivocal to most people. I am speaking of it’s buggy software and the fact that it adds nothing useful to the experience, the phone would undoubtedly be better without it. I am in no way, as stated earlier, advocating on behalf of a skin. A rooted and flashed fascinate would’ve destroyed a Droid X or Incredible in performance. TouchWiz is a problem, and although Samsung also filled their GS1 variants with bloat, some of the additions were neat while as stated MotoBlur is generally disliked by all and really doesn’t add to the experience as much as it detracts. I can see though from your posts we will have to agree to disagree.

  13. I am hoping for 1 and 3, and I dont care about 4, tablets are not my thing…for now at least.

  14. How about something that doesn’t have to do with cell phones or tablets, let’s say like Android optimized for cars! I honestly believe if they did that then the shitty Microsoft Sync that I have in my car would die.

    1. right on, man. looks like we were thinking on the same track at the same time.

    2. that would be awesome but we wouldn’t see it anytime soon.. plus does Google have any relationships with car manufacturers?

    3. Please excuse the awful link, with limited signal i couldnt find the exact site.


      I think what i read previous is that Saab had made and is testing a new vehicle with a fully working android system on board… Google it, it is out there :)

  15. I think it would actually be interesting to see Moto (eventually) ditch handsets completely. Start paving the path to all of the other android laced electronics Google has been talking about. This would obviously negate any tensions there might be with the other OEMs and also give the opportunity to Google to start infiltrating non traditional hardwares with the Android brand.

    1. Like what I said in my post? Android in cars would be perfect.

  16. I’d like to see a high end Moto device made available for T-Mobile, with unlocked bootloader and vanilla out of the box.

    1. Motorola has routinely and relentlessly shafted tmobile. They gave t-mobile their first Android device (Cliq) only to give Big Red the Droid which is like a civic to a Porsche. The Droid had very light touches of Blur while the Cliq oozed with MotoBlur infection. Since then Verizon has gotten the Droid follow-ups the X series, the bionic on the way and all T-Mobile has is the Defy and the Cliq 2 and XT. It’s disgusting. Even ATT with their horrible Android marketshare and sales reps that really refuse to sell anything other than iPhones got the Atrix, which I don’t particularly like, but is obviously better than a Cliq 2.

      1. I don’t know the Defy is a pretty nice phone!

        1. Defy is and always has been a midrange phone…

  17. One things for sure, they have ONE shot at coming out the gate as googlerola with topnotch devices. i think google i/o 2012 will need to be AMAZING regarding devices.

    1. Not sure I agree that they only have one shot, after all this is Google and Motorola not Eminem. They are big enough that they can release a crap device or two and still stay alive. Would be nice to see them come out strong though.

  18. 5 is the only one I care about. The rest I don’t even see as important. People always whined about motoblur but after watching an Atrix outpace the Sensation in a comparison I realized that 9/10 times people just exaggerate it’s shittiness. I don’t do tablets, and if I do it’ll be an Ipad2(not my decision, my company decided to go with iOS to launch their new products).
    I’m not planing to buy a crappy phone, and I don’t give a crap about what anyone who does says. That’s like listening to someone who bought a Vega or a Pinto start talking shit about the ZR1 or a FordGT.

    1. Sense sucks… I don’t get how it gets so much positive reviews. It’s slow, and bloated.

      1. It is pretty slow, but compared to TouchWiz, MotoBlur (Herpes), and whatever they call the LG skin (which is a knockoff of the already bad TouchWiz), Sense is clearly better than the rest and adds the most user friendly touches to the skinned experience. I always root and flash anyway, but MotoBlur really is the worst of the worst. Their handsets would be so much better if they stopped overlaying it. It’s just not useful, really annoying and childish looking to boot.

        1. the ignorance >< have you even used touchwiz 4.0?

          1. Ignorance is calling someone or something said ignorant without knowing the facts, I own a Galaxy S 4G, and have used both the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Galaxy S 2. I’m not a fan of any skin, it takes away from the simplicity I love about Android or any of my phones for that matter. Ignorance is calling something ignorant because you disagree. You my friend are an idiot. TouchWiz has some nice touches (no pun intended) but as a whole it’s intrusive and doesn’t offer much over stock android save for the camera functionality and lock screen (which is why I flash ROMs so I can get what I want without the carrier saddled bloat). Then again, this is just my opinion, isn’t that the purpose of a forum?

      2. I think Sense is almost just as fast as ASOP, but I use CM7 instead because I totally hate the Sense web browser.

        1. What “sense” does that make, you know you can install browsers from the market right?

      3. Really, because High end sense devices seem to perform equal to their competitors with the same hardware. I have never experienced lag with my thunderbolt, and have ran Sense 2.0,2.1,and ported 3.0 on it.

        1. well I will disagree to say you never experience any lag is not correct I garuntee you have experienced lag when I had my thunderbolt it lagged…because of sense….

      4. I agree sense is way to bloated right now and does nothing to add to the experience its too much and even on high end devices it slows it down and lags….

        1. Actually sense 3.0 is pretty great, like great enough that I’ll have a hard time deciding when CM comes out…

  19. “Less Crappy Phones”

    Like the Triumph? On paper, this phone is all win. In practice? It belongs on Failblog.

    1. Win and fail in the same post? Really? Let them die already….

  20. FYI, Motorola is already actively countersuing both Apple and Microsoft, citing patents that they’ve infringed. Do a search for “Motorola v Apple” or “Motorola v Microsoft” for more info.

  21. Points 1 & 3 are subjective. What you think is crap others like, and what you like others think is crap. Who is right? Simple answer: Buy what you like, let others buy what they like. Thinking something you don’t like should be eliminated just because you don’t like it is pretty narcissistic. You’re not alone in the universe.

    Points 2 & 4: dream on. Google keeps saying that MotoMob will be run as an independent entity. Google isn’t about to favor MotoMob and piss off the whole ecosystem.

  22. “Hopefully Google can at least help Motorola improve software support for the devices they bring out.”

    Software *support*, you say? True, Motorola has awful software support. And Google offers….what?? Don’t hold your breath for those improvements.

  23. I know that its a long shot but unlocked bootloaders would be amazing.

  24. I know its a long shot but unlocked bootloaders would be amazing.

    1. Not really a long shot they already said they would do it and have already begun doing it.

      1. When did they say this?

        1. Nevermind. I found it:

          “dragonzkiller: Just got a response from VP of Mobile Software at @motorola. They will still be pursuing the unlocking of bootloaders before end of year”

  25. Motorola also has the idea of webtop and inproved phone docks.
    If that can become native in android it would be awesome!

  26. Honestly, I think a great start would just be unlocked bootloaders.

    I think if the true Droid phones, or other premium Motorola Android phones, came unlocked, both the developer community and average user would benefit. The Droid X was only half as popular as it should have been.

    1. The problem is we are the only ones that care about that, I bet 99% of buyers dont factor a bootloader into their mobile phone purchase.

  27. Isn’t the Xoom sort of a Nexus tablet since it’s a “Google Experience” device? What would be the point of a Nexus tablet then?

    1. Unfortunately it’s not, only the Xoom Verizon 3G in US is considered GED, all other Xooms across the world are not and it still pisses me off that Moto did not inform buyers of this untill a month after release.. I pre-orderd (could not return the device anymore) so feel pretty cheated about this, especially considering the Asus tablet got 3.2 before the non US 3g Xoom even got 3.1.
      Moto support had been bad before but their Xoom support is the worst i have ever encountered.

  28. I’ll touch on 2 of these. First Blur. It’s not that bad folks. Use a Samsung phone with Touchwiz for a while. The difference is phenomenal. That said I do like a stock experience but side by side with the over rated Sense or Touchwiz I’ll take Blur.

    Now to number 5. Patents, patents patents. Moto has a bevy of them. And I don’t care what that German blogger Florian Mueller says there are patents in that stack somewhere that Apple & Microsoft know they are in trouble over. Like 3g radios that Moto has a patent on. How many phones do Apple & Microsoft have that don’t rely on 3g?

    1. you cant be serious. Touchwiz>>>>>>Blur

      1. Hey if you like it I’m happy for you. At least we have choice with Android.

      2. TW looks to much like an iPhone for my liking

        1. Touchwiz makes so many improvements that aren’t just the launcher. It would be naive to say that’s all it did

    2. thisismy next agrees with you about the new ui from moto

    3. On some other forum which I forget there was a lawyer (prob more a law student ;)) explaining diff between copyright, trademark, patents. And convincingly argued that copyright protects innovators, and trademarks protect brands. But patents just slow down innovation; they are blurry, vague and totally nonsensical. I believe the “bad bad” EU? Germany have scrapped patents for software as it makes no sense. Only the rubbish USA hold on to it. So was what that lawyer explained.

      However to your point: Moto may have a lot of patents awarded that Apple relies on, but how are you so certain that Apple hasn’t already licenced these since, uh, many years, and pays for it?

      Even with Goog/ Moto alliance, there’s still a skew in the system. Apple can easily afford to licence Google/ Moto patents as, say, $5-10 licence fees per handset would little change iphone price as a percentage. However, if Google/ Moto, Samsung and other Android makers would be forced to fork out $5-$15 per Android licence to Apple/ Microsoft, then Android would no longer be “free”.

      So that’s the core attack of Apple: It would probably be illegal for Apple to blatantly refuse to have Android licence their (Apple’s) patents, so the current court cases could never be the end of Android — as some fee would have to be negotiated. BUT the very act of licencing (against money) destroys the very core tenet of Android, namely being a free OS (for OEM’s).

      The solution lies in the US Congress changing (or dropping) US patent law. But congress is overrun with lobbyists. Eg Apple had in the past lobbied with congress AGAINST the patent law but now have massively changed their tune … and as you know, in the US the fund-raising for campaings of members of parliament (against the opposing party but also against rivals in your own partie’s ranks during the primaries) are absolutely key. So I have little hope for US patent reform. And Obama is a sitting duck what with him losing his crapple-A rating … he’s not gonna rock the boat on ANY controversial topic until well after his re-election campaign (which is no certainty at all).

  29. What about the phones interacting with the IP tv boxes Motorola is publishing all over the world mixed with some Google tv love!!!

  30. Buy Tmobile and be awesome.

  31. How ’bout a webtop in which the handset is connected below the keyboard to function as a mousepad? That would be a worthy rival to netbooks. Just wishful thinking.

  32. I have a feeling all of the above is going to happen. Google is way better with customers than Motorola.

  33. I would love to see the integration between phone and tablet (just like the Grid 10 and Grid 4) to be standard with their new products. Also, UPnP and/or DLNA included by default, so that communication between tabs, phones and Google TV would work right out of the box.

  34. Motorola Nexus Defy! Waterproof and impact-resistant Nexus phone would be great.

  35. it’s obvious that all custom ui’s typically blow, i don’t want them at all period…if t-mobile was good in upstate ny i would have to consider them but unfortunately i’m stuck on verizon since the service area dominates the northeast where i travel via car frequently….back to custom ui and bloatware BS…especially in comparison to vanilla (stock) android; they’re slow…they’re bloated with junk…they’re just not the same as stock android….therefore they’re annoying…motorola’s success with the OG droid was cuz it was stock android on vzw…basically it was the first real smartphone vzw had to offer since blackberry’s have always sucked and windows mobile (prior to wp7) was horrific…they should release a stock android phone every year…some people such as myself have phones paid for by our employers and rooting is not a realistic option in that case…i got the OG droid on launch day nov2009…i’ll be getting the bionic or the vigor…been holding off for awhile now..

  36. the people who like blur/touchwiz/sense probably never used stock android much….heh

    1. I have and stock android is ok but it’s lacking quite a few things that these UI tweaks provide. One of them being the horrible dialer in aosp vs the excellent sense dialer. Camera is pretty bad in aosp as well. Personally I’d like to see sense, tw, blur, etc be installable apk’s.

  37. oh and it’s the same reason why the xoom and galaxy tabs are nowhere’s close to the asus eee pad transformer…leave the software to google and the product is best for us consumers…continue to put stupid spins on the ui and tweak the experience then it ends up a shittier experience…

  38. Perfect marriage! The smooth cool G is going take the edge of the M. What we will end up with is pure perfection. No matter what the changes are, I have no doubt, this is very good for the Android community.

  39. It would be good if Motorola released the phones with the current Android OS version at the same time and stop making us wait for updates that may or may not work properly on the hardware. I continue to refuse the GB update for my Droid X after what I went through when it got the Froyo update (the version it was supposed to have when it was released as “the first phone with Flash!). Not gonna do that again.

    1. I’ll never understand people afraid of updates… Just make a backup first!

  40. Wouldn’t mind seeing 3 different Nexus Primes from Moto, Samsung, and HTC. Since they’re all trying to bid to make it, there should be 3 great protypes out there. Plus, it would keep HTC and Samsung from getting jealous.

  41. I don’t know what you mean about Motorola coming out with phones and then not supporting them. A lot of phones just got Gingerbread. Just look at examples. The MyTouch 4g just got gingerbread and was released last November. The Atrix was released in February and got Gingerbread at the same time. That’s just one example. I think they do fine on updating their phones. Better than most companies. There isn’t one company that does a good job with this, but Motorola is a little bit faster than the rest. It also depends on carrier too, so i have to keep that in mind.

    Awesome idea webtop running chrome!! That should be number 1 on the list!!!

  42. Tablet, tablet, tablet… that’s it. Give me something like the Galaxy Tab but without the overlay/crapware, and I’d buy it.

  43. I have a far different perspective here. Try this: Google just bought the Atrix, Atrix Dock, Atrix Netbook Dock. I would open license that and make it standard for Android Phones. I would get a TV dock out and a Car Dock out with a partner like JVC or SONY, etc, to integrate android into a headunit. That Motorola Dock could be what we really need.

  44. I see this and I see a #6: WebTV v2.0. Microsoft and Dish partnered to make the WebTV back in the early 2000s, but computers were too limited at the time. But NOW, with Android/GTV tech and Motorola’s STB division, this could really take off. Plus, they may already have a distribution channel, as Dish offers the Revue with DVR integration built-in. Anyone else think this is a good idea?

  45. Can say I’d like to see a motorola Nexus. I’ve never had great luck with Motorola phones. I’m not saying their build quality sucks or anything but they just don’t’ seem to last very long.

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