Since the first Android phone was introduced back in 2008, the HTC Dream, we have experienced many new flavors. From Vanilla (stock Android) to Motorola’s MotoBlur and HTC’s Sense UI, there are now many choices out there that can open up the Android experince.
Motorola’s first Android phone, T-Mobile’s Cliq, released in 2009, brought with it a new Custom UI. Now Motorola has 10 Android phones running their custom UI. 5 of these phones are on the T-Mobile network (Cliq, Cliq 2, Cliq XT, Defy, and Charm). While the other 4 are on AT&T (FlipOut, FlipSide, BackFlip, and Bravo) and Verizon has the Devour.
More after the break
With MotoBlur took social networking to a whole new level. Upon starting an Android phone that runs MotoBlur you are prompted to create a MotoBlur account. Creating an account opens many different options such as being able to add social networks such as Twitter, FaceBook, and MySpace, along with the ability to add email accounts such as Gmail, corporate, and any other email account. With being able to add so many different accounts it makes staying up to date quite easy no matter where you happen to be. Another benefit of being able to add your personal accounts is there is no need to have to download extra apps from the market to stay up to date on what is important. Also if you have to do a factory reset or switch to another Blur powered phone your accounts follow along with no need to re add anything but your Google account.
Motorola also made it easier to access certain options via the website www.mymotoblur.com. You login with your MotoBlur ID (email address you signed up with) and password, and once logged in you have the option to import contacts into your MotoBlur address book, locate your phone in the event it is lost or stolen, and also securely wipe your personal information. MotoBlur is the only custom UI for Android that gives you this much power over your phone.
Another added benefit of MotoBlur are the custom widgets. You are able to place widgets such as Social Status, Happenings, Messaging, and News directly on your home screen. The Social Status widget gives you the ability to update your status to any of your social networks you have connected to Blur. The Happenings Widget lets you easily follow your Twitter Updates, FaceBook News Feed, or Myspace status all via the widget. The Messaging Widget displays the unread messages in your universal inbox. These include Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, corporate email, and any other email accounts that may have been added. MotoBlur’s News Widget I find to be the best News Widget. You are able to add custom feeds along with being able to choose from different bundles and channels. The bundles are basically collections of news feeds on certain topics such as Technology, Entertainment, Sports, and News. Channels are a list or feeds sorted by different channels such as Digg Mobile, Fox Sports, Travel Channel, and USA Today. With the ability to add so many feeds easily it makes staying up to date on the news that is important to you easy.
MotoBlur has came along way with their Phone book. On their first Blur phone, The Cliq, the phone book was a mess due to it not only including your main contacts but also the contacts for your social networks. On the Cliq you are able to choose different groups to display such as Facebook or Twitter, but it will default to all contacts. Another drawback was not having the ability to choose which contacts you wanted to display and which ones you didn’t. However, on the Cliq 2 they added the ability to hide certain contact lists or just a certain contact. By doing this the address book is much more manageable than before.
Overall, I truthfully find Blur to be one of the custom ui’s for Android. It has everything I need plus with having a Blur account makes it easy to move to a new phone with out the added need to re add my accounts. Plus with the benefit of being able to stay up to date on my social networking so easily is a big plus in my book. I look forward to what Motorola has in store for Blur in the future.