Motorola Mobility attempted to push its Webtop smartphone accessory with the DROID Bionic, RAZR, ATRIX and Photon smartphones earlier this year. Compatibility issues and a high price tag, however, ultimately led to poor sales. And late last week, the Google (GOOG)-owned device manufacturer confirmed to CNET that it has quietly killed off the accessory. Motorola’s Webtop software allowed select smartphones to be docked into a laptop-like accessory for access to a larger display and full keyboard.
Motorola’s Lapdock was undoubtedly a cool idea — it let users plug their smartphones into a laptop dock to view their smartphone interface on their laptop — that had one gaping flaw: No one ever used it. Now PhoneNews reports that Google (GOOG) has decided to pull the plug on this not-ready-for-primetime innovation and notes that Verizon (VZ) has started selling the Lapdock at the fire sale price of $50. Unnamed sources have also told PhoneNews that Google has ordered the Webtop software used to interact with the Lapdock removed from all of Motorola’s new big-name smartphones including the Droid RAZR M, the RAZR HD and the RAZR HD MAXX. More →
Motorola has pushed out Android 2.3.4 (Gingerbread) to the Motorola ATRIX 4G. The update adds a number of new enhancements unrelated to Gingerbread, including support for 1080p HD video playback, a re-designed home screen with white backgrounds for easier reading of text, an enhanced photo gallery, the ability to dismiss notifications one at a time, a faster Webtop browsing experience, enhancements to the dock icons and more. To update, make sure your ATRIX 4G is connected to a Wi-Fi network and then go to Settings > About Phone > System updates > Download. Read on for a link to Motorola’s website, which includes the full release notes on software v4.5.91. More →
Photos not cutting it? Don’t worry, because your pals at BGR just spent some up close and personal time with the new Motorola Photon 4G. Sprint and Motorola teamed up to take the wraps off this sleek new smartphone earlier today, and we have to say, we’re impressed. With a 4.3-inch qHD display, 1GHz dual-core Tegra 2 processor, 16GB of storage, an 8-megapixel camera, a secondary front-facing camera, support for Motorola’s webtop solution and, of course, a 4G WiMAX radio, this really might be the smartphone to beat this summer. Check out the first video hands-on of Sprint and Motorola’s first 4G device after the break! More →
While it just was made official moments ago by Sprint CEO Dan Hesse and Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha, we were able to snag some hands-on time with the 4G beast earlier this morning. For starters, the Motorola Photon 4G features a 4.3-inch qHD display, 1GHz dual-core Tegra 2 processor, 16GB of storage, an 8-megapixel camera, front-facing camera, and support for Motorola’s webtop solution, which will allow the phone to power a full Firefox browser on your HDTV. As far the feel, the device is extremely solid and we’re loving the futuristic styling of the design, complete with angled corners. Also, the glossy bezel contrasts beautifully with the rubberized soft-touch case back. The phone runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and felt incredibly snappy during the time we spent with it. The Motorola Photon 4G is scheduled to launch this summer, though pricing information has not yet been announced. Don’t let that get you down, though — we have a gallery full of hands-on photos below!
UPDATE: Check out our video hands-on with the Motorola Photon 4G, too!
Reviewers and early adopters seemed to agree that Motorola’s Webtop laptop dock for the ATRIX 4G was both very nifty and very overpriced. At the same time, we were all intrigued when Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha said back in February that all of the company’s high-end smartphones would be compatible with the quirky Webtop laptop dock beginning later this year. Last week, Jha reiterated these intentions during the company’s earnings call, noting that the Webtop dock is one way Motorola will set itself apart from other manufacturers of Android-powered smartphones. “In the Android ecosystem, there is a need for us to differentiate,” Jha said. “[With] Atrix devices with the Webtop and lap-dock we really think there is an alternative way of viewing the convergence between mobility and computing. And we will continue to focus on that.” Jha continued, “You will see multiple devices from us in the second half… and we will expand the range of our lap-dock devices so we cover a broader price point, addressing both enterprise tiers as well as more consumer tiers.” That note about covering a range of price points may be the key factor here, and we’re anxious to see how Motorola will make this accessory more accessible while still refining the experience. More →
According to Sanjay Jha, Chairman and CEO of Motorola Mobility, the company will begin including Webtop functionality on all “high performance” smartphones in the second half of 2011. Webtop is the name Motorola has given to the application that provides an interface between the laptop-dock accessory — currently being used by the ATRIX 4G — and a smartphone device. Mr Jha also went on to note that the only reason Webtop was not included on the DROID BIONIC was due to “time constraints”; no word on if the BIONC will get a laptop-dock of its own down the road. If we could make one request of Moto, it would be this: please make a universal laptop-dock. We don’t want our gadget drawers littered with antiquated Motorola phones and laptop-docks in a few years. More →