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Motorola aims new Linux phone UI at replacement market

Jan 3, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive

The user interface (UI) on Motorola's latest Linux-based mobile phone includes concessions to mainstream interface design aimed at increasing appeal in the replacement market, writes MobileBurn editor Michael Oryl in a brief review of the UI found on a prototype of Motorola's forthcoming high-end,… WiFi-enabled A910.

(Click for larger view of Motorola A910)

The A910 is Motorola's new high-end, WiFi-enabled phone, announced in July along with two other Linux-based designs. Like older Motorola phones, the A910 includes a user interface designed in-house by Motorola, on top of Trolltech's Qt/Embedded development framework and graphics library.

According to Oryl, Motorola's A910 eschews the hardware “menu” button found in earlier interfaces, in favor of a softkey “menu” button like most phones have. Oryl sees this and other interface capitulations as a ploy to increase appeal in the replacement market, by making Motorola's Linux-based phones feel more familiar to users accustomed to other brands.

Orly has been critical of the user interfaces found on earlier Motorola Linux-based mobile phones.

The new A910 UI also features layered sub-menus, similar to those found on PCs, rather than the full-screen submenus used in early Motorola UI menu hierarchies. Additional improvements include better scrolling of long menu options, and a more wizard-like UI paradigm for task-based menu items, such as synchronization.

Despite improvements, the A910's UI still retains a few quirks, Orly writes, such as the use of check-boxes rather than radio-buttons for settings lists where only one item at a time can be selected. Slow performance could pose another problem, although Orly concedes that performance cannot be properly evaluated on a prototype.

To find out more, and to see screenshots of the A910 prototype's new UI, read the full story, here.

Thanks to Eugenia Loli-Queru for bringing this story to our attention.

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