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The Moto X smarter than the average smartphone
AFP
June 01, 2013
First Published: 10:01 IST(1/6/2013)
Last Updated: 10:06 IST(1/6/2013)

Motorola has finally confirmed the X Phone and claims it will be a "contextually aware" game changer that can predict a user's needs and respond automatically.



Motorola's chief executive, Dennis Woodside, revealed at D11 that Motorola is launching a new flagship Android device and that it will be called the Moto X. He also claimed that the revolutionary device was in his pocket but refused to take it out. Consumers will have to wait until October, when it is scheduled for launch, to get a closer look at it.

There have been literally hundreds of rumors about this fabled phone in terms of its specifications and revolutionary features and although Woodside was careful to neither confirm nor deny any of the more outlandish reports surrounding its abilities, he did say that the phone's killer feature would be its contextual awareness.

"It knows it is in my pocket or out of my pocket, and can anticipate use cases so it knows when I may want to take a picture and fires up the camera," he explained.

Considered by many, and in particular Motorola Mobility's parent company, Google, as the future both of search and of consumer technology in general, contextual awareness is the next step in smart devices. Asking a smartphone a question rather than typing in a search query, automatically sending device users an alert or news based on their geo-tagged location -- in other words removing the computer or technology interface from computing and technology.

The Moto X will use a range of built-in sensors that will tell the phone when it is in a pocket, when users are holding it up to their face to take a photo and when it is in a car or on a plane and automatically behave to suit. So, in a car, it will switch to voice activation and launch the navigation app and when it's in a pocket it will shut down.

As such, the Moto X builds on the work Google has already done with Google Now, its contextual search and concierge service, built into the latest version of its Android smartphone and tablet operating system. The service uses GPS data, the contents of the user's Gmail account and calendar plus their search history and preferences to ‘push' information to the phone's display -- weather forecasts, traffic jams, sports scores, special offers at shops and restaurants in the immediate vicinity. It will even load up boarding passes and movie tickets as the device crosses the threshold of an airport or cinema. The Moto X will add contextual features to these contextual services.

It also serves as further proof that the specifications war is over. Until recently, the only way to judge two Android smartphones was on the resolution and size of the screen, the speed of its processors and the amount of RAM on board. Now, with the latest devices from Sony, LG, HTC and now Motorola, the focus is on services and features, meaning it will be much easier for average consumers to make an informed decision as to which handset is right for them. And that can only be good news.

However, there was one piece of bad news: the Moto X, as well as all new Motorola handsets, will run a custom skin interface rather than stock Android -- an admission that will no doubt disappoint many hardcore Android fans.


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