May 23rd, 2012

It gets a little lonely running the late night shift here at Phandroid. Since, like most people, I have an opinion on everything and since I was feeling a bit chatty — I figured I’d share with you guys my thoughts on exactly what we should expect from the now complete, Google/Motorola merger: absolutely nothing.

Okay, maybe that’s being a bit harsh. There are some big changes taking place. For one, Google is replacing current Moto CEO Sanjay Jha with Dennis Woodside, Google’s previous president of Americas region. There’s also rumblings — though nothing official — that a handful of top level Motorola executives will also be given the boot, replaced with fresh new Googlers.

Sounds great right? Google, now finally in full control of Motorola, has nobody to stand in their way. This is what is leading some “Android enthusiasts” to believe that this will become Android’s new golden age. With Google at the reins, it makes sense that will now finally start pumping out shiny, new, vanilla Android devices from Motorola’s factories, right? Not quite. And I’m not saying this because I don’t want it to happen. Really, I do. It’s only because of Google previously mentioned that they would continue to operate Motorola as a separate entity (just filled with ex-Google execs). And I’m inclined to take them at their word.

Moto Blur UI Is Here To Stay

Love it or hate it, Motoblur isn’t going anywhere. And who could blame ’em. The thing is, not only do manufacturers rely on their custom UI’s and skins to differentiate themselves from the competition, they also need it to sell their devices to carriers. The thing that most of us forget, is that carriers are the ones in control. They’re the ones that purchase these devices from OEM’s, who then offer them to us, the consumer. In a way, that means, they’re the real customers, not us. Sounds crazy, right? And without those custom UI’s you hate so much, not only would consumers begin seeing all Android devices as the same (with little need to upgrade), carriers wouldn’t know the differences either. Sure, you can upgrade the specs and change up the designs, but that only goes so far. More needs to be done to create a unique product and altering the look of the OS is where custom UI’s come in.

Multiple Nexus Device Rumors Muddy Things Up

Lately, there’s been some chatter around the interwebs that Google could be partnering with manufacturers to introduce Nexus devices across multiple hardware configurations. In my mind, this is the best and only option for OEM’s to not only keep churning out their unique UI’s for the masses, but shut up Android enthusiasts like myself, who are constantly demanding a stock Android experience from every single manufacturer under the sun. Think abou it. That’s really the only way to make everyone happy (even though, we all know it’s impossible to please everyone). The masses get their custom UI. The 1% get their stock Android. After all, Android’s greatest strength has always her been options. But if this is true (and I sure hope it is), that’s yet another reason why Google will not being using Motorola to pop out stock Android devices and take over the world. Sorry, folks.

Googorola, Let Our Bootloaders Go

My only request (or hope, rather) is that with a greater Google influence, maybe we’ll see start seeing Motorola keep their promises and make a new dedication to unlocking bootloaders on their devices (where carriers permit it). This would allow Android enthusiasts — the ones who are the most opposed to custom UI’s — to get rid of Motoblur, and flash clean, stock, AOSP ROMs like CyanogenMod or AOKP. To me, that would usher in a new golden age of Android, taking things back to the days of Android development, when ROMs flowed aplenty, and the we were only limited by “devs” like Drizzy and JAC.

Make Firmware Updates Go Kicky Fast, Okay!

But really, that’s just me with my head in the clouds. I’m a realist. And I realize carriers are more than likely to blame for locked down devices than the OEM’s. That’s why I don’t think much more will come out of Google’s now complete acquisition of Motorola than a focus on fewer devices — and no, not a single Nexus device. They’ll all be running Motoblur. Which leads me to my second request: at least speed up the process for timely firmware updates. This is an area that not only manufacturers have been blamed for, but Google as well. Given that Google would never alienate current Android partners by doing too much to favor Motorola (one of the reasons we haven’t seen a Nexus device from them just yet), maybe they could show these partners how timely updates are done. This would create competition by nothing more than a company offering faster updates. That way consumers win, Google wins, everyone wins.

So that’s abou it for me. What about y’all? What do you guys think will come out of the merger? Realistically, what are some of the things you expecting to see (or just plain hoping for) from the new, and Google improved Motorola?

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