Happy New Year! It's that time again; with the new year comes our new annual prediction post. I tackled this last year, and rather than do a bunch of crazy, pulled-from-thin-air predictions, I ended up with a link-filled research-fest for the year. It worked out pretty well, so that's what's on the docket for today. First though, I'll take a look and see just how many of last year's predictions and rumors came true, and provide some updates for the more important topics.
"I love my lapdock. It's easily the best piece of technology that I've purchased in the last ten years," said no one ever. And Motorola knows that, so they're getting rid of Webtop.
The reason (as if it's not already clear)? Lack of adoption, or in Motorola's words, "adoption wasn't strong enough." That's a nice way of saying "no one bought this crap." In all fairness, though, it makes sense, considering the direction Android is going in - ICS bridged the gap between smartphone and tablet, which basically eliminated the need for something like Webtop in the first place.
Motorola introduces a novel idea with its Atrix phone: a lapdock. The idea was simple. All these Android app can be extremely productive, so why limit them to a single, small screen? Plug your phone into the lapdock, use its frankly-over-powered processor to run a larger screen with a keyboard and trackpad. Well, that's exactly what the ClamBook does. Only it does it way better.
As you can see in the renders above, when most phones are plugged in, you're presented with a tablet-styled UI.
Have you ever used the Webtop feature built into a number of Motorola's newest devices? According to CEO Sanjay Jha, not many users are actively firing up the desktop-in-a-cellphone feature - less than ten percent, to be exact. Makes sense, though, as it's basically a watered-down desktop experience, and no one really wants that.
According to Jha, Moto is aware of the issues with Webtop and wants to make it more useable.
If you've been holding out on getting a bundle of goodies to go with your Motorola ATRIX, there is good news. AT&T has just dropped the price of the ATRIX's Entertainment Centre/Webtop Access bundle down to a cool $99. That's down from the original $190 price tag, and still lower than Amazon's offering of $140.
The kit includes an HD Multimedia Dock, cordless mouse, and Universal Bluetooth keyboard. If you want to get your hands on this hot deal, head over to the product page at AT&T.
The upcoming Motorola Photon 4G for the Sprint network has been made available for pre-order on Wirefly. While a ship date isn't listed, we know the Photon is being released on the 31st - meaning you can probably expect to receive yours on or a little before that date, if you opt for overnight shipping. $180 will get you on the list for the Photon, but you'll have to be a new Sprint customer to swing that deal.
Motorola is preparing to release its first over-the-air update for the ATRIX 4G (beta signup link here, open until Friday at 12PM EST), which should be exciting news for owners of the device, though it may end up inspiring more angst than joy.
The ATRIX 4G has been known in particular for two problems since its release: first, a lack of HSUPA (high speed upload) support in the software and, second, poor voice quality on phone calls.
At the leading edge of this new wave of dual-core superphones is the Motorola Atrix. One of the major innovations of this device, besides the next-level processing power and fingerprint scanner, is Webtop - the desktop-style interface available when the Atrix is docked. By plugging into the HD multimedia or laptop dock (sold separately of course), you can interact with the phone on a larger display while using an internet browser, file explorer and Facebook in a pseudo-desktop environment.
In an investor call today, Motorola's CEO Sanjay Jha revealed two interesting tidbits: first, that the ATRIX 4G's Webtop app and accessory are going to be made available for more Motorola devices in the future, and second, that Gingerbread updates for all of Motorola's high-end Android devices are in the works.
On the former, it may be hard for some to get excited about more Webtop action, as the ATRIX 4G's has been dubbed overpriced and "gimmicky." However, it's important to realize that if Moto plans on continuing to offer Webtop accessories and software, they will also continue improving them.