Tag Archive | "motorola atrix"

Productivity with the Motorola Atrix 4G on the Road — Avoiding the “iPad Stance”

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I recently had a late evening flight delayed which left me with about an hour before boarding. While waiting in the lounge I thought I’d seize the moment and catch up on some work. Unfortunately I had forgotten my AC adapter for the laptop and, in the interests of saving weight, decided to not bring the tablet. Running out of power is the curse of the mobile worker and that’s why all day computing on a device has been such a sought after feature. I had my Motorola Atrix with half a charge in battery which meant I could easily do all my work and even watch a movie on the flight home with battery to spare, but it would all be on the small screen.

As an experiment rather than give up I decided to try to get my tasks accomplished using the phone only. I had to check some emails which would undoubtedly require responses, check on my RSS feeds, and I had some things I needed to add to a document I have been working on.

Having resigned myself to the fact that I would have to use the small on-screen keyboard I actually found it surprisingly easy to do so. Consumption of content was simple, the high resolution and good brightness of the screen made reading simple. With the text an appropriate size in the RSS reader and the ability to zoom in on web pages the phone does a great job of making an hours worth of reading easy.

I spotted two or three people using iPads and they were all in what I’m calling the “iPad stance”: holding the device at uncomfortable looking angles to allow reading. I can’t imagine getting any really productive work done on this style device and even consumption of content would be made hard by the form factor and screen resolution.

 

I prefer a laptop form factor for lengthy reading tasks because I find it easier to operate without having to hold the device. That’s what appeals to me so much about the Asus Eee Pad Transformer; tablet when you need it, laptop when you need it.

I think things would have been made easier if I had taken the lapdock along but that is almost laptop-sized and would have been a burden if I had taken it in addition to the laptop. I think the Atrix lapdock is a neat device but it seems to be like taking a laptop with you from a weight and size perspective but with half the features of a laptop.

I responded to emails, surfed, texted and read and then watched a couple of TV shows on the flight. All on the phone and still had juice in the battery at the end of the day. Maybe next trip I’ll try taking a small mouse and a foldable keyboard with me and leave the laptop on the desk where it belongs.

AT&T Promises All Android Phones Released in 2011 to get Android 2.3 Gingerbread, Atrix Update Available Starting Today

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android version chartGood news for all Android owners: AT&T says that all Android devices that they offer that were introduced in 2011 will be upgraded to Android 2.3 gingerbread, and those updates start today beginning with AT&T’s version of the Motorola Atrix which they call the Atrix 4G.

You may be saying “What the heck, Ben, I’m not even on AT&T, this has nothing to do with me you jerk! inch Ah… but you should take a moment to realize that this is good news for anyone who uses an Android device, and I’ll tell you why.

According to Google, 80.5% of Android device’s that accessed the Android market over a 14 day period (ending July 5th) were still running Android 2.2 or below. Now that AT&T is announcing these updates for their phones, the pressure is on for other carriers to follow in their footsteps.

What we can only hope will ensue is competition between carriers to show that they have the best update record, and with this announcement, AT&T is about to be the leader in that regard. I’m doing my part by putting this news in the headlines in the hopes that Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, and other carriers around the world will realize that keeping devices updated in a timely manner is really important to the people purchasing these devices (you can do your part by spreading those headlines).

Having the latest firmware on Android means access to the latest features, the latest apps, and usually the most secure version of the software.

Google announced integrated video calling in Google Talk back in May, but only approx.. 2.2% of Android users were running firmware that could even use the new feature.

So you see my point… even though this particular bit of news might not impact you directly (if you aren’t on AT&T), it is one small step on the way to ensuring all Android devices are receiving timely updates.

Currently, 18.6% of devices accessing the Android Marketplace are running Android 2.3+ (this isn’t including Honeycomb [3.0+] devices), that’s way up from the 2.2% we saw back in May. Once Android 2.3+ devices pass the 50% mark, developers are going to begin expecting the tools and features available to them with 2.3+ and hopefully we’ll quickly see new Android devices being released with 2.3+ pre-installed instead of them being released then (hopefully) updated.

Anyway… AT&T announced, in one of the one of the only press releases I’ve ever seen with a funny title (“AT&T Customers to Enjoy Gingerbread inch), that the following devices will be updates to Android 2.3:

  • HTC Inspire 4G
  • LG Phoenix
  • Motorola ATRIX 4G
  • Pantech Crossover
  • Samsung Captivate
  • Samsung Infuse 4G

It’s nice to see a company releasing a press release that involves them actually doing something for their customers rather then simply making claims that they are better than their competitors.

It isn’t clear whether or not this has anything to do with the update alliance that Google is supposedly working on; I still think Google and partners need to market their update promises intelligently to target the majority of customers who don’t read tech blogs and don’t know which companies tend to update their devices.

The Most Exciting Thing I Saw at CES: The Motorola Atrix’s Webtop Experience

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atrixAt this years CES, Motorola announced a number of devices. We saw their Xoom tablet that they’d been teasing prior to CES; we saw their latest Droid phone, the Bionic. But the coolest thing I saw from all of CES this year (not just from Motorola) was their upcoming Atrix smartphone.

Chippy briefly wrote about the Atrix from the show floor, but it’s presence on our site was otherwise lost in the avalanche of news happening during those days. Now that the dust has settled, I can safely say that the Atrix represents something that I’m very excited about. Chippy called it “phone as a CPU inch and I think that’s a great analogy for it.

Motorola is calling the Atrix “the most powerful smartphone in the world inch, and it had better be as it aims to act as a companion device while you’re on the go, then dock on your desk at home for a desktop computing experience.

This idea isn’t new; those familiar with the ultra mobile PC category know about the advantages as an ultra portable device that’s also their desktop. Palm actually tried (well, tried to try) something similar with cellular devices back when they announced their Foleo, but it was widely criticized and eventually canceled. It seems, however, that we’re just starting to reach the point where the smartphone platform has become powerful enough to make this a reality. The Motorola Atrix is just one step in a longer path of truly ubiquitous personal computing, but we’re on our way soon and the experience will hopefully improve from this point on.

So before we talk too much what the Atrix represents, let’s look at the device itself. Here’s the official specs, straight from Motorola:

  • Android 2.2
  • 4 inch capacitive touchscreen @960×540
  • NVIDIA Tegra 2 AP20H Dual Core CPU @ 1GHz
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 5MP auto-focus rear camera with dual-LED flash (capable of 720p recording)
  • 0.3MP front facing camera
  • 4G HSUPD speeds

A powerful phone no doubt, but also a low-powered computer. Stick it in the laptop dock to get a full keyboard, full screen, and desktop computing environment, complete with a fully functional Firefox browser (not the mobile version, this is legit Linux Firefox). There’s also an HD dock which can hook the phone up to any HDMI monitor or TV, and give you three USB ports for keyboard/mouse/etc. as well as audio output:

atrix laptop dock

atrix hd dock

For more on the Atrix experience, have a look at Engadget’s video:

As you can see, the desktop experience certainly isn’t the fastest in the world, but beyond the device itself, the Atrix is representing an exciting push for ubiquitous personal computing, from one device,  in the main stream and I cannot wait to find out where it leads us.

There’s obviously performance and battery life concerns with this sort of solution, but given the right speed and battery longevity, could this sort of phone-as-a-CPU computing paradigm work for you? Would it improve or stifle your work flow? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

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