Ah, what a difference a couple years can make. After earning notoriety for is frustrating MotoBlur skin, the manufacturer has made strides on the Android user interface front. Its next attempt, known by many as “BlueBlur,” was a far better experience, if only because the original user interface could hardly get any worse. These modest improvements aside, though, we’ve always wondered how the company would make its mark on Android 4.0, a newer version of the OS that ushered in a major redesign. Would Motorola once again choose a heavy, proprietary skin, or would it be more heavily influenced by its new Google overlords and develop a UI more in line with stock Ice Cream Sandwich?
Unfortunately, Motorola kept us waiting in suspense longer than any other major OEM: Samsung, HTC, Sony and (gasp!) even LG have already started shipping devices loaded with skinned versions of ICS. But while Motorola popped the update onto one specific tablet earlier this year, it only managed to push test copies of Ice Cream Sandwich to a handful of Droid RAZR and Droid RAZR Maxx devices before Jelly Bean was announced. Even now, we still haven’t seen how the now-antiquated firmware will look on new Motorola handsets (though we hopefully will find out with the upcoming Atrix HD, RAZR HD or Photon Q). We have to wonder if the drawn-out acquisition process put the outfit in an awkward holding pattern, preventing it from cranking out fresh handsets and accompanying firmware updates.
So is HelloMoto making a grand entrance by being the last to show up to the Ice Cream Sandwich social? What makes Ice Cream Blurwich tick? We’ll take you through the major elements of the user interface to give you a sense of what to expect when your Motorola phone is ready to make the jump.
Gallery: Motorola ICS skin overview