Motorola whacks laptop-like phone dock
No one wants laptop-style keyboard accessories for their phones. Or, rather, no one wants Motorola Mobility’s version. The Google-owned handset maker last week admitted it had canned the product.
The system debuted in 2011 as an add-on for Motorola’s Atrix smartphone. The handset docks into the accessory to provide processor, memory, storage and connectivity, while the dock itself have the user a full-size keyboard and 11.6in, 1366 x 768 screen in a netbook-style clamshell form-factor.
The unit’s operation was mediated by Motorola’s Webtop software, which included a customised version of the Firefox web browser, a file finder and such. We quite liked it, but few others did, it seems.
Said Motorola in a statement: “Adoption has not been strong enough to justify continued resources being allocated to developing Webtop on future devices [and] we will no longer be including Webtop on our products moving forward.”
Hopefully, this will mean a rush of low-cost Lapdocks go onto the market as retailers clear out their stock. Which is good news for folk with a Raspberry Pi, which can be easily configured to support the Motorola accessory's keyboard and screen. ®
It would have been easy to sell this.
If it had had an Apple on the back. Then it would have been:
>a bargain at $499/ €479/ £549
Mind you, there's still a chance that Apple will have had invented this earlier on in the future*.
*This reverse temporal pre-inventing business shakes up all the grammar (which isn't much to start with) that I have control over...
Maybe if they'd docked it in place of the touch pad then it would have been a lot better - serving as touch pad, 2nd display, programmable keyboard, you name it.
Maybe if they made it universal so any android phone could run it, then it'd be a bit better :)
All of the above...
The laptop docks have all been left wanting.
They should have been cheaper*, worked with, at the very least, the sub set of motorola** phones that were intended to work with laptop docks and use the phone as a track pad and more... not to mention a bit more stylish as they all look odd with phones jammed on the back, they have all felt a bit clunky...
*Cheaper than a notebook.
**There was no technical reason for Motorola to make their own range incompatible.
"You simply have no idea what an Android phone will come with, where the ports will be, what version of software, what facilities they have etc. etc."
Car stereos solved this a long time ago. You know an Android phone comes with Android, so this would need to be baked into the OS and not a 3rd party add on. By baking it into the OS, Google get control of any hardware standards and can use a "Windows Logo" style requirement with manufacturers when licensing the Android name/Google applications.
Every Android phone has either mini (older devices) or micro USB so providing a MicroUSB port is the way to go. The manufacturers would then just need a "face plate" that provides the physical dimension compatibility. This could also handle adapting mini to micro USB if needed.
You could even have it so the face plate can be used as another poster said, as a touch pad if it's a phone, or, if it's a tablet, hooks onto the side of the screen to provide a 2nd monitor.
There are plenty of options when you think about it. The advantage of the above is it could even support iPhones/iPads too, assuming Apple were on-board with the standard.