Editorial by Michael Oryl on Wednesday December 21, 2005.
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A couple of weeks ago while at an event in Seattle, I had the chance to check out Motorola's upcoming WiFi enabled A910 handset. The A910 itself is worth discussing, but what I want to talk about in this piece is the new user interface that Motorola is rolling out on it.
Yes. Finally. A new UI from Motorola.
For starters, gone is the dedicated menu button and its 4 horizontal lines icon. The menu key, while making some sense, was always a point of contention for users looking to possibly move to a Motorola phone from one that was built by another manufacturer. Over the years Motorola has made a number of concessions of this type, such as swapping the position of the red and green call buttons. This isn't to say that Motorola was wrong in putting the red button on the left, just that everybody else did it the other way around. Which is what they do now. Well, the same situation applies to the menu button. I think it is a fine idea, even if the icon was not too clear, but the fact that none of the other major manufacturers made use of a similar design meant that Motorola handsets were always different from what non-Motorola users were used to.
And since Motorola is looking to gain market share, they have to woo consumers that currently use phones made by other companies. The easier they can make the transition, the more people that will be willing to try one of their phones. Or at least that is the theory. As such, the menu key is gone and the new UI uses the right softkey to get to the main menu. The left softkey brings up options that can be accessed right away from the standby screen.