It was a big shocker the other day When Motorola's CEO explained the new direction Lenovo is taking the company. Rather than focus on Motorola, Lenovo wants to push Moto and Vibe as Lenovo's main smartphone brands. This statement missed some of the nuance apparently, so Motorola has a blog post up on the matter. Long story short, the Motorola name isn't going away completely.
Out with the old and in with the new. That's just about the best way to describe the latest update to the Google app for Android TV. Version 2.0 doesn't seem to bring much in the way of features, but what it lacks in functional changes is more than made up for with visuals. Basically everything having to do with a search interface looks at least a little different, if not completely. If you're eager to try it out for yourself, there's an APK Mirror link at the bottom. Otherwise, take a gander at a few screenshots below.
New microphone – Left: old version, Right: new version.
Logitech is older than I am. Not too much older, mind you - the Switzerland-based computer accessory company was founded in 1981 - but old enough that I can remember my dad using a Logitech keyboard on the home-built desktop he ran on a desk in the closet, back when having a computer in the living room was still a social faux pas. When the entire family upgraded to laser mice, an insane and futuristic luxury in the early 2000s, the friendly Logitech logo was emblazoned on all of them.
Google's material design, which I've written about a number of times, has generally been received well by designers, developers, and press alike. We've seen numerous apps adopt it, developers explain and evangelize it, and users react positively to it.
Still, there have been nagging questions about the new design philosophy. A big one, and one that could potentially be a stumbling block for adoption, is the question of branding. Some voice concerns that material design may overshadow existing brands if implemented to Google's spec, or that it's too difficult to brand a "material design app."
Someone recently asked me what I thought about the relationship between branding opportunities and material design, and while I was able to come up with a short version of the answer, there are a few different things packed into this issue that are worth exploring.
As nice as Google Play Music All Access is for music lovers (and it's gotten considerably nicer since essentially being merged with YouTube Music Key), the branding is a bit of a mouthful. We've been sent a series of tips that indicate that Google may shift the name sometime in the future... but don't hold out for something particularly ingenious. According to our tipster, the new name might be "Google Play Music Unlimited," as indicated way back in July of last year.
At least some of the portions of Google's support text refer to "Google Play Music Unlimited," particularly the newer email messages sent to customers.
Google doesn't want developers naming their apps in ways that could imply association with or endorsement from Android, so instead of the Android Music Player, it prefers Music Player for Android. The idea is that this distinction makes it clearer to users that the folks who make Android had nothing to do with the creation of this particular app.
Now the Big G has expanded this guideline to all other brands. Android developers who visit the company's support page on the topic will see a new section dedicated entirely to this.
This change especially affects developers who create apps that integrate with a social network.
A few days ago, it was confirmed that Google had started asking manufacturers to brand boot animations with a specific "Powered by Android" lockup as part of Google's Mobile Services license. Samsung's Galaxy S5 and HTC's new One M8 both carry the branding, and today Motorola's Moto X and Moto G have joined the party, but Motorola has something else in store as well - a new boot animation just in time for April Fools Day. The animation features a UFO, bigfoot, and the Loch Ness Monster, all exposed by Motorola's spotlight. Check out the full sequence below.
The updated animation sequence comes in an update to Moto's Boot Services app on the Play Store.
If you take a look at Motorola Mobility's company branding, you'd be hard-pressed to find much that's changed since Google bought them almost two years ago. Today that changes... a little. The Verge found the logo above in the site for Techweek, a Moto-sponsored technology show taking place in Chicago on June 27th. The new logo surrounds the familiar "M" with a segmented color wheel, and swaps out the all-caps name for a softer font with "a Google company" beneath it.
In truth, Motorola's rebrand does very little to change the actual company logo - and why should it? The Moto "M" has been around in one form or another or decades.
We've mentioned a couple of times on this site that when it comes to the battle of HTC versus Samsung, advertising is of paramount importance. Why? Because people who don't read blogs with names like 'Gizmondo,' 'Android Cops,' or 'The Precipice' have no idea what makes the Galaxy S IV better than the HTC One or vice versa. In fact, more often than not, the average Joe looking to buy a new item in a field he has no expertise in has just one question: what's a good brand?
Marketing is the art of getting people to know and trust your brand.