Motorola Inc.’s Motoblur service for Android-based smart phones is coming soon to Canada. The content delivery service will arrive on three Motorola handsets – the Quench from Rogers Communications Inc., the Dext via Telus Corp. and the Backflip through Bell Canada Inc.
Launch dates haven’t been announced, but the devices are scheduled to become available in the first half of this year. The national Motoblur campaign will kick off on May 17, said Rick Gadd, vice-president of mobile devices business for Motorola Canada, at a recent press event in Toronto.
Motoblur, which runs on top of Google Inc.’s Android mobile OS, aggregates contacts, activities and messages from various online sources, like social networking sites and Web-based e-mail accounts, into unified streams and databases of information on Motorola devices. Motoblur widgets allow users to interact with the external sites without having to open additional apps or browsers.
Contacts, for example, are merged into a single database on the phone and kept current through automatic syncing and real time updates. Select a contact from the address book and you view not only their contact information, but also their latest status update, profile picture and a complete record of your communication history.
The “social status” widget lets you update a status on multiple sites at once. The “messages” widget merges e-mail, text and social site messaging into single threads. The “happenings” widget merges activity like status updates, wall posts, friend feeds and photo uploads from multiple locations into a one live stream.
Motoblur also supports various battery modes so you can opt, for example, for things like longer life or better performance. Broadband is used more efficiently by reducing the need to visit and load Web sites through a browser.
An online portal for Motoblur allows users to remotely wipe data off phones or use GPS tracking to pinpoint the location of a phone in the event of loss or theft. The service also performs backups of contact information, messaging, log-in details and customization settings, which you can automatically transfer over to a new Motorola device.
Motoblur is Motorola’s “secret sauce,” said Gadd. “With Motoblur, we are focused on differentiating the Android experience … and delivering a unique experience that is not only different but compelling,” he said.
The service currently supports Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Gmail, Yahoo and Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync.
Users can continue to add whatever other applications they want from the Android market, said Sue Forbes, vice-president of apps and experiences at Motorola, at the event. “All of this is based on Android -- what we’ve done is extended that operating system with Motoblur,” she said.