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Motorola blames third-party apps for slow performance of phones, finds salvation in Motoblur

Posted: , by Victor H.

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Motorola blames third-party apps for slow performance of phones, finds salvation in Motoblur
Motorola Mobility is Motorola's division responsible for its handset business and while smartphones have been booming lately you can’t say the exact same thing about Moto's financial results. On one hand, the company has released a couple of well-balanced smartphones like the Motorola Atrix 4G, but on the other hand performance on some phones has remained sub-par. Sanjay Jha, CEO of Motorola Mobility, found the one and only reason for that… in poorly coded third-party applications which are not filtered on the Android Market. By downloading them, users overload system resources and end up having a slower phone overall. Jha mentioned that 70% of people who return handsets running Android are actually suffering from third-party app problems.

"For power consumption and CPU use, those apps are not tested. We're beginning to understand the impact that has," Jha stressed. The solution? As surprising as it might sound – Motoblur. Motorola’s Android UI skin has more than just the obvious purpose of boosting the looks and social functionality of a Moto-branded device – it’s also to be used to control third-party apps and their ability to greedily consume the majority of your handset’s resources. The company plans to collect this data about used applications and issue a system warning when it detects an application that uses say 35% of your memory: "We are getting to the place that we should be able to warn you," Jha added.

Motoblur has largely been the company’s attempt to differentiate in the crowded Android market. But Jha mentioned while Android as a whole is developing very fast, standing apart from all other phone makers is increasingly hard: "The negative is all of us are competing extremely hard to get more market share and attention," Jha clarified. What’s your opinion about the Motoblur skin and do you find its planned filtering function safe and needed? Don’t hesitate to voice your opinions in the comments below.

source: PC World

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posted on 03 Jun 2011, 08:09 5

1. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4172; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


I love HTC Sense, that's my favorite. I have played with my friends Motorola Droid X2, my other friends Motorola Atrix 4G & it's not as bad as people make them out to be. I have also played with my friends Samsung Epic 4G & that is ok also. I have never had a problem using any of those skins. They all seem intuitive & get the job done. Again I own a HTC Evo 4G with Sense & it's never failed me. All my friends seem to be very happy with their phones. The only one I have yet to play with is an LG phone. I am not sure how the LG skin works. I read that it's similar to the Samsung's Touchwiz. I just don't know!

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 08:13 1

2. CaliforniasBest (unregistered)


Motoblur and the locked bootloaders are the two reasons Moto will fail in the mobility wars. HTC is king and now that they are officially open with their bootloaders going forward plus now allowing devs access to Sense, they will only eat more marketshare. Combine in Samsung, LG stepping up, thats bad for Moto. Had Moto released the Droid X2 with open bootloader, and no Motoblur, I would have picked one up in a heartbeat.

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 08:41 1

7. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4172; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


I think Motorola is smarter then you give them credit. The mobile industry is a copy cat industry. Once Motorola sees they are losing market share they will unlock the bootloader. Everyone as you say is doing it, so why not Motorola if they stand to benefit from it. I have a feeling Motorola will unlock their phones. It's only a matter of time. Again I am speaking with reason, I can be completely wrong & Motorola can go the way you say. I just don't think they will shoot themselves in the foot that way. Well I hope not! Motorola makes great products & it would be a shame if they were to keep this policy going.

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 10:20 3

13. Sniggly (Posts: 7113; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


You apparently missed the memo where Moto announced before HTC that they'll start unlocking bootloaders. Also, the revamped MOTOBLUR is fantastic, much better than old Blur. I've been very impressed with its look and performance.

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 10:30 2

15. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4172; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


Great I had an inclination that I saw that somewhere. I just couldn't pin point it. I was right about Motorola they ARE smarter then what people make them out to be. Good for Motorola!

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 10:34

17. Sniggly (Posts: 7113; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Yeah, they made the announcement right after running a poll where they asked what customers want and the customers all said "unlocked bootloaders!" There's no indication when that'll happen, but I think it's going to be soon. Might even be one of the Bionics "enhancements" they're talking about.

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 12:04 3

20. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4172; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


Exactly Motorola owes its success to its fan base. I respect a corporation who takes the time & asks its fan base what they want. The people have spoken & Motorola is going to do the right thing. WOW if that Bionic has an unlocked bootloader....

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 08:14

3. protozeloz (Posts: 5378; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


*facepalm*

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 08:33

5. clevername (Posts: 1428; Member since: 11 Jul 2008)


I've only been using a stock android nexus 1, and I've only played with blur briefly, but it seemed unnecessarily redundant to me. Not to mention I don't know anyone nor ever read about anyone that actually likes it except for poster number one here. This makes it sound like Sanjay is in denial again.

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 08:58

9. protozeloz (Posts: 5378; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


I don't have much against many skins but moto's claim is not that smart.... if people are seeking for third party apps its because their stock app aren't just enough to supply someones demands one example is Facebook the nearest desktop experience id though an app called flow that allows me to do the same things as the site (almost) that app created form an 'Amateur developer' is capable of.... if they want people not installing apps to do what their stock experience do then they should make the experience better... so people have no need to get 3RD party apps that do what their skin is supposed to do

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 10:31

16. Sniggly (Posts: 7113; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Jha isn't saying "don't download third party apps." He's saying "some of those third party apps you download use WAY more battery and memory than they should." Which is probably true. I don't know if it's the sole cause of any performance issues Motorola's phones have, but I'm not going to dismiss his claims out of hand.

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 08:40

6. remixfa (Posts: 13930; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


motobur isnt that bad. its the bootloader BS that is shooting motorola. Of course people that actually root their phone are probably less than 20% though. Motoblur actually adds the most actual new functionality of any of the skins. It has the most business class additions to Exchange and other things as well. While sence may be the prettiest to most people, motoblur is the most useful. Touchwiz is somewhere in between.

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 08:52

8. cc16177 (Posts: 312; Member since: 09 May 2010)


I wish I could agree because I do prefer Motorola to HTC generally and the only reason I picked up my TB was to try and get locked into unlimited 4G (we'll see if that even works).

But I will say that HTC Sense does a MUCH better job with my corporate email than my Droid X did... I could go into details but in general every thing I need to do with my email is easier with Sense.

PS. I have no real complaints about blur, although I generally did prefer stock Android.

posted on 04 Jun 2011, 13:44

38. remixfa (Posts: 13930; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


the enhancements for exchange support are not on the user end. they are on the control end. The company gets blackberry level control of exchange through the extended motoblur services. As far as the user experience its all pretty much the same

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 09:10

10. protozeloz (Posts: 5378; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


Motorola Had s strong concern to user security and they are partially right, maybe all they need to do is unlockable boot loader (Like SE) i think id the best of both worlds

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 10:03

11. conn (unregistered)


Currently own a htc desire s wich is brilliant and i love htc sense, not sure about motoblur, bit of a waste of time to me but like the stock gingerbread version on friends nexus s.

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 10:28

14. Sniggly (Posts: 7113; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


This is interesting news. I don't know if Jha's statements are correct, but I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. New Blur (on the DROID X and 2) is awesome, in its looks and performance. And Gingerbread took care of the rest. I'll check out any power/memory consumption check system Jha wants to introduce. And I do trust the man, seeing as how he's completely turned Motorola around. And Phonearena, you're being disingenuous about Motorola's financial performance again. They've cut their losses in half compared to last year.

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 11:20 1

18. zerovampire311 (Posts: 42; Member since: 22 Jun 2009)


I'm a sales floor rep for Verizon, and I just finished slightly less than a year with a Droid X. Motoblur is a curse. From the time I got rid of it, I tripled my battery life and everything ran worlds faster. The fact is, Motoblur is additional programming. It's extra skins, extra apps, and none of it as optimal as Motorola thinks it is.

Look at simple things like flipping through your menus and sliding through the app tray. It should be fluid, with maybe 1-2 seconds of loading time (to a title screen or something of the sort) for an app. Every phone I've seen with Motoblur has choppy animations and anywhere from 2-10 seconds loading time on a basic app. The major problem is inconsistency, as has ALWAYS been with Motorola (excluding the original Droid, which was AOSP and set the standard for Android).

Not to mention phones like the Devour and the Citrus, they're such a waste of market share. When you have a cheap handset like that, cheap people will buy them. Cheap people are often loud people, and that hurts Motorola. I already have customers who refuse Moto handsets because of phones like the W755 (That purple or grey flip that a million people had, and a million people exchanged 4+ times). Look at the booming success of the original Droid. All stock, no blur, no bloat. It still outperforms some of the cheaper handsets today.

Get a clue Motorola, and quit trying to defend your abomination.

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 12:15

22. Sniggly (Posts: 7113; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


I've also sold for Verizon and hope to again. MOTOBLUR hasn't been perfect, but for the functionality it offers I'll take it over stock Android or any other skin, especially since it's been revamped. I don't know what you're talking about on the W755. It was a great phone with relatively few defects compared to other phones of its time. I knew a lot of people who swore by it. I agree that the Citrus and Devour both suck, but that's because of their hardware limitations, and in the Devours case, simply poor design.

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 11:24

19. Whateverman (Posts: 3223; Member since: 17 May 2009)


I've said it once and i'll say it again. Motorola makes great hardware, but horrible at software. The original DROID worked perfectly because it was stock. Then came the Devour and MOTOBLUR... and it wasn't bad, but that was defininently when they saw all the slowing down and restarts. Motorola just needs to own up to the fact that they can't make software that just works, with or without third party apps!

With that said, Gingerbread had made all the difference on my DROID X. It works perfectly and not one restart yet. So maybe they're getting better at it. We'll see.

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 12:11

21. Sniggly (Posts: 7113; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


The Devours problem was more hardware related, I think. The CLIQ ran virtually the same hardware, and mine never saw all the issues that the Devour did. I do agree that Gingerblur is a lot better than Froyoblur though.

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 12:27

23. Thump3rDX17 (Posts: 2160; Member since: 10 May 2010)


the only problem with the Devour was that it didn't sell well because it wasn't a "Droid" branded phone. the only thing the original Droid had over it was it's screen but the Devour's processor was faster than the Original Droid and it had superb build quality and a much better keyboard so i got that assuming it would be a much better phone when it got updated to the version of Android the Droid was running. wrong! they decided to keep it at 1.6 and i got a Droid 2. i'd have that phone TODAY if it had gotten the support i think it should've got.

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 16:02

26. Sniggly (Posts: 7113; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


The Devour also had a high defect rate, less memory and a smaller memory card.

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 17:06

28. Thump3rDX17 (Posts: 2160; Member since: 10 May 2010)


oh, the forums was the cause for that, we all made up defect problems to get it replaced with a Droid 2 when it became EOL and we learned it was staying at 1.6. i had to send back like 3 to get my Droid 2. :P i had my old 16 GB SD card from my other phone so that was never an issue and i never had insufficient internal storage.

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 18:44 1

29. Sniggly (Posts: 7113; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Lol, I doubt that was the case. I can't remember a single Devour I sold that the customer actually kept. :P

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 19:19

30. Thump3rDX17 (Posts: 2160; Member since: 10 May 2010)


you can look it up, lots of people did it. :p

posted on 04 Jun 2011, 07:23

34. protozeloz (Posts: 5378; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


Off topic :

Is your pick from the Scott Pilgrim book?

posted on 04 Jun 2011, 09:27

35. Sniggly (Posts: 7113; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


I've been wondering that too, lol. :)

posted on 04 Jun 2011, 11:44

36. Thump3rDX17 (Posts: 2160; Member since: 10 May 2010)


yeah, it's Wallace, he's cool. :3

posted on 04 Jun 2011, 12:15 1

37. protozeloz (Posts: 5378; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


Haha knew it :3

posted on 04 Jun 2011, 13:51

39. remixfa (Posts: 13930; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


the difference is that the motoblur is more than a skin like Sense and Touchwiz are. It actually connects to moto at all times and does quite a bit more.

The biggest problems with blur are the hardware limitations. It needs a bit of horsepower to run properly. I'd say 1ghz (non-snapdragon that is..) is the bare minimum to run blur on.... Id really say without a dual core or an overclocked single core its not going to be as buttery smooth as people want. That is why the other phones like the devour and such have sucked. They dont have the horsepower to run android properly, much less blur on top of it.

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 12:45 2

24. luis_lopez_351 (Posts: 951; Member since: 18 Nov 2010)


stock android is the best :)

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 13:52

25. GBJones (unregistered)


Moto are losing market share because of their disastrous hardware fails (Atrix voice quality & Defy earpiece the latest) and then their even more disastrous attempts at trying to cover up the problems.
Motoblur is functionally very poor, and that's why most users it seems dump it for a 3rd party launcher like ADW or Go.
Mr Jha, the way to differentiate yourself in the market is through innovative hardware not a laggy UI no one wants.

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 16:03

27. Sniggly (Posts: 7113; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


And what about Motorola's hardware hasn't been innovative lately?

posted on 04 Jun 2011, 13:59 1

40. remixfa (Posts: 13930; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


actually, if they allowed unlocked bootloaders and super amoled+ screens, id have no problem with picking one up.

sorry, but after super amoled, im not going back to regular LCD :)

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 21:47

31. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 3033; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)


lol I remember seeing someone with a Devour and the screen would switch between homescreens and open apps by itself. We joked and said the phone was possessed.

I really did like the build of the phone and the keyboard was a lot better than the Droid but the screen was too small and the screen resolution horrible. They should have kept stock android. Until 2.3 on my X, I have been saying that about every android phone motorola has made.

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 23:08

33. Sniggly (Posts: 7113; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


*Does a happy dance because new Blur is a hit among customers, if not the fuddy duddy reviewers*

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 22:29

32. MorePhonesThanNeeded (unregistered)


Jha is correct as not every app is fine tuned to run perfectly on their phones, well the ones that attempt to do what the phone already has built into in software wise. I have a Droid X and it runs just fine and without hiccups and I find the blur on it to be very useful, the built in widgets work impressively well. I just think sometimes people like to complain about things just to complain, my brother had the original Droid and upgraded to the X and he loves his X. Not everyone likes the stock android, which leaves you to fish through which apps works best for your phone. The basic software on the X is fine and does all you need, while it could do more the stock stuff isn't bad at all.

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