Not Motoblur

We kind of have the feeling that we're going to be repeating this until we're blue in the face, so let's start now: The Motorola Droid X does not run Motoblur atop Android 2.1. Nor does it run "Ninjablur" -- a bad rumor that went around a while ago -- or "Unicornblur" or any other kind of "Blur." It's just a customized UI with some pretty cool tricks up its sleeve, actually.

Check out the video after the break, where you can watch a widget be resized directly on the home screen, just like you would a desktop window. And then there's Motorola explaining to us that it's not running Motoblur. Have we mentioned Motoblur's not on the Droid X? That'd be a good thing to point out, we think. 

[YouTube link]
There are 57 comments

crxssi says:

I love the concept of resizing widgets. For example- I like that famous HTC clock, but would prefer it to not take up so much space (it was probably designed with a smaller screen than the Evo, in mind). It this a function of the widget, the OS, a UI overlay or some combination?

JLG1985 says:

I know I'm a say late and a dollar short here but TRUTH BE TOLD - BLUR IS... BLUR IS... IS RUNNING on any Droid 2 and Droid X!

Let's read just some of the APK's provided by our buds in the forums!
These are actual apps within the "system" folder that was posted as part of the Droid X Dump which will run on 2.1 ONLY:


I know this may sound silly but didn't I/we just read that Moto released a statement basically guaranteeing Droid X WASN'T and Isn't running ANY version of Blur? Is it just me, am I the only one seeing this?

For what it's worth, I'd suggest those of us who nabbed an EVO 4G has pretty much made the right choice by grabbing the PREMIERE Android phone to date. Happily, both the EVO 4G ans Droid X hve rendered the iPhone 4 obsolete 3 weeks PRIOR to it's actual release of June 24, 2010. Know I can take pleasure and enjoy Apple's return to nonethingness. Hey Apple, your "attempts" to spin the truth has finally gotten noticed - you'llget exactly what you deserve.


LR7 says:

Hey Phil do you know if the X is running NinjaBlur???

Just kidding, thanks for clearing that up. I was just listening to the latest podcast and I agree that there are a lot of folk boo-hooing about the false notion that X is running Blur. Now PhilBlur on the other hand...

zero efx says:

Someone, somewhere, is weeping in joy because they are not running, Blur.

Sooo.... Phil. What you're saying is that the X does not have Blur... right? I mean... I kinda get a little hint of that being your message here.........

For reals, though; resizable widgets = win. I was originally dead set against not even considering the X because of Blur (c'mon, that crap is about as attractive as a rainbow sequin dress on cracked out hooker...)... no blue = X for me... maybe...

newdroidnewb says:

Damn, nice for all you future DroidX owners:)
Not nice for me who passed up returning Incredible because I didn't want DroidX with blur:(

Saiyajin says:

Ahh c'mon. :-) The Inc is still a kick ass phone. Yes the X is bigger, but at least imo its still in the same league and the Inc, apart from screen size and maybe the graphics processor (can't remember the Inc specs right now). That said, this is a great change without blur and should be a great phone, but I think think inc still rocks.

While I was thinking about getting the Inc, this X here comes out and now I'm at a total loss, I mean should I wait a couple more months for a phone with a front facing cam? The vid chat option seems like a great idea but I don't see myself using it often. So whats the worlds votes, Inc, X, or wait for a couple more months before getting rid of my blackberry 8330(A curve that is)

Crimson says:

Of course its not running Motoblur.. its running iOS 4.

MikeV#AC says:

Actually its running Windows

john_ecko says:

I love the way you can re-size all your contact widgets on the homescreen too.

rader023 says:

Who cares what they call it. They are still running something on top of android. Not saying its bad, but not that surprising they wont call it blur.

MowDownJoe says:

I'd call it Blur Lite. Since it has elements of Blur (specialized Launcher with bottom dock, resizable widgets that were mentioned in the Flipout video to be part of Blur for Eclair) but it doesn't have all the fattening parts. They're probably just distancing themselves from Blur for Cupcake.

borgey401 says:


cvgz says:

They don't fool me it uses the same skins as blur on the keyboard and dialer and numerous other little things! They just dropped the ridiculous battery draining social aggregating and blur account integration. So they dropped the OS/UI overlay and kept the skin.

Writermind says:

It's you guys website and so you can do what you like, but it seems to me an inordinate amount of time is being paid to the Droid X, a phone that is only marginally 'different' than the EVO 4G which is hardly even mentioned except in passing.

The last podcast was like a huge infomercial for the Droid X.

What gives?

Sprint's the #3 carrier in the US... maybe? Dunno.

crxssi says:

Android Central will probably shift focus when each new phone comes out. It is only logical. Change marches on...

htc_prep says:

Every 3rd article is something about the evo. Which I have and love. and to be honest I'd probably get sick if the evo was all they covered. Im an all around Android enthusiast.
Back to the topic at hand this concept of resizing the widgets is a smashing good idea... I kinda wish the genius crew @ HTC came up with this idea so they wouldn't have to worry about being sued when customers gripe they want that feature and they give it to us a year from now...

If you want info solely on the evo check out the site:

Grape Drank says:

Those pretty much look exactly like the widgets of motoblur 1.5 which lays on top of android 2.1. Sounds to me like they have motoblur on there without calling it motoblur, probably due to the fact that there is no motoblur account to centralize all your social networking stuff.

matrix2004 says:

Android Central what the fu@%? It does have Moto Blur, its not the same version as other phones. The widgets you're showing on the homescreen are part of it. The files in the phone are named 'blur'.

Jayare says:

they dropped the name blur because the bad rep that came with it.
good call on their part but it's still no vanilla android.
resizable widgets look nice, hopefully it can be integrated into other UI's.

JeffDenver says:

I dont have a problem with custom long as I have the option of turning them off and using vanilla android. Why is that so much to ask?

crxssi says:

EXACTLY! Give users a CHOICE. It really isn't difficult. Especially when the decisions they are making affect performance, battery life, and user interface.

htc_prep says:

I agree with you. Even to I am a proud HTC fanboy and love the idea of sense, I wish, even though odds are it won't happen; the ability to download a stock Android, and sense enabled version of gingerbread when it debuts (or even froyo) for my evo.

robertw0925 says:

If its not blur than why do most of the apps in the system dump from yesterday start with the word blur in the app. Don't believe me. take a look at the dump. Download from alldroid

gcims says:

Good comment. I was thinking thru this article that the original UI HAS to be in there to some degree of depth. I makes little sense(no pun) from a financial and efficiency stand point to scrap all the Blur UI files and start coding from scratch. Just tear out the stuff you dont want, keep the stuff you do and write new stuff to fill in the gaps and make it look original. "Blur" fingerprints will be all over the place scanning the file names in the dump.

***The big question I have is: Can it be switched off out of the box?***

Not just the skin, like some Sense devices, but actually strip everything off to the side leaving on, ONLY THE PURE Android OS. And without having to root the phone. I would love to see this option on a device, even if it required rebooting the phone when you switch from one to the other UI.

Am I off base here? Please let me know because I like to learn and welcome constructive guidance and correction.

Chaos5 says:

Then why is the notification bar look like "motoblur" and the widgets and the bottom menu, phone, contact area have a different skin? Is this removable? Not that it matter this phone will own anyway!

josuearisty says:

So, how can we call it?

Darkseider says:

I kinda liked UnicornBlur personally but Vanilla Android + some cool widgetyness is OK by me too!

bigbill25 says:

Custom UIs, regardless of name, means a longer wait time to get an Android update! That's the fatal flaw with Custom UIs...


mupi says:

I don't think this is entirely true.

Look at how long it took to get the Droid to 2.1, and that's without any "custom" UI.

Also, they have Blur running on 2.0/2.1, but they haven't yet updated Devour. (there's quite a story there, but the short version is stay away from that, even without blur). And they clearly have sense running on 2.1 (EVO), but where's the 2.1 love for the Eris? And don't forget, N1 still doesn't officially have 2.2, despite the lack of any custom UI; as far as I can tell, Droid isn't any farther behind in that race, right now. Clearly it isn't "just" about the custom UI.

Although I wonder if there really *IS* such a thing as a "vanilla" android UI. Think about it, Droid is about as "vanilla" as they come, but the first thing almost every one puts on it anyway is a new launcher, because *there's not enough screens* But is that a "vanilla" Android UI thing, to only have 3 home screens, or is that a "custom UI" thing?

1088933 says:

Wait it doesn't come with turtleblur?!?! I'm in love

hotkoko says:

what the heck is BLUR

htc_prep says:

It's a custom overlay built into Android that aggregated almost every social site you could think of into one widget and integrated profiles into the contact list. Except there was no real definition from what site the info was being pulled from and bad timelines... ie blur was a better term for mess. Because none would by somethin with messyUI STAMPED on the back. A bad answer to sense and A better response to touchWIZ.

gmilliken says:

can you change the tow icons beside the launcher? who wants phone and contacts?!

Agreed... Dialer + Contacts = Redundancy.


gbhil#AC says:

it's called PhilBlur. :)

johnolesen says:

blur. no blur. ninja blur. shadowblur. vaginablur. batblur. whatever. this phone is at least 13 different kinds of bad ass

dacp283 says:

Just because some the apps and files are assimilated with blur doesn't mean its blur. This not blur but definitely draws some references to it by visuals only. Blur itself was the social networking mess of a ui. Without that concept in it its just looks no mess. Good lord some of you need ridilin freaking out over some icons reminiscent of Motorola's catastrophe.

erik10002 says:

is that skype i see, where can i get it???

You can't get it because Skype signed a deal with the devil.... sorry, I mean Verizon. Skype "CLAIMS" they will be releasing it for various platforms for people outside of Verizon but don't hold your breath. I am waiting for someone in the XDA community to hack it out, if they haven't done already.....

steveymacjr says:

Sascha Segan over at states in his review that the Droid X does have Blur...
Decisions, decisions, who to believe, PCMAG or Android Central...OMG i can't decide...sigh

gcims says:

You GOTTA believe Phil and Android Central over that little rag of a newsletter! Way more journalistic credibility on this site with these folks. I line the bottom of my bird cage with PC Mag. I dare you to try doing that with Phil OR AC!

(pssst, Phil....since I lost that EVO 4G give-away, consider this my entry for the free Droid X coming up in a couple weeks. It'll be better since I'm already on Verizon, thanks).

Impulses says:

Heh, it's all semantics people, get over it... They're not calling it Blur because they know the stigma that the press and online news sites have now attached to that name, but it's still a skin of some sort that affects several different areas of the phone (not just the launcher). Obviously it appears to be an improved skin w/o some of the bloat of phones like the Backflip, so the name change (or lack of a proper name) is not out of place.

Anyway, I'm not even certain that all the crying about how Sense/Blur/TouchWiz/whatever tend to delay phone updates is really valid... Phones like the Moment still took months to receive 2.1 even tho they ran stock Android, so ultimately the manufacturer's overall process and the carrier validation process are a much bigger obstacle to the updates than whatever custom work the custom skins require.

Daniel0418 says:

They can take the name away, thats fine. However it still has a skin and the skin looks like Motoblur. So to me it still has Motoblur. Though I do think this looks $%^&ing nice.

sjcea says:

There is no skin just Motorola widgets , this phone is bad ass !!! No blur means rapid fast updates , I will be buying a bunch if these !!!

jedisrus says:

Not stock Android so I wouldn't be holding my breath for rapid fast updates.

macsmister says:

In the press release they say the X has special Skype integration. I wonder if that means you can use Skype when your WiFi radio is on. Not being able to use Skype with WiFi on is killing me on my Incredible.

edit: Just to clarify I'm not talking about being able to make VoIP calls here. I just want to be able to use Skype at anytime (regardless the state of my WiFi radio).

storm14k says:

Didn't read all the comments so this may have been said. But this may be the beginning of the OEM's keeping their customizations at the app level. With the way Android's apps work they should be able to do this. If they do I'm sure that makes their upgrades to the underlying OS faster. It also means you are free to replace what you don't like.

I've said it before but I think Google should build something like an app pack where you can completely replace the experience on your phone with a single download.

Take a look at the running services with an appropriate app. You'll see Blur listed. Also, check this out:

"Another interesting takeway from Droid X launch, was the total absence of Motorola Blur custom user interface from the event. When asked about it, Sanjay Jha, Motorola CEO, confirmed that MotoBlur is running on Droid X, but it has been hidden from the user."

"Motorola must be the first to see the writing on the wall, and let Google take over the overall user experience. Motoblur is now just another Android app, that comes pre-installed on the handset. It does what it does pretty well, some Droid X users may love it. And, if they keep investing and developing it, Blur service can be a good point of differentiation for Motorola. But, by relegating the Blur to an Android app status, Motorola can move much faster both with OS, and Blur app upgrades."

Sounds like it's a different and lite version of blur to me.

erik10002 says:

well for now i am just using nimbuzz for skype and it works for voice only and through my wifi it's pretty good. if anybody outside verizon wants to use skype then i highly reccommend nimbuzz.

(motorola milestone, telus, calgary, alberta, canada)

anuraj1 says:

It most certainly has Blur, whether they call it that or not. Here is a thread with a screenshot of the system dump. It contains plenty of Blur apps.

JeffDenver says:

Yeah, this article is misleading. It obviously has a custom blur-like UI...stop hiding behind the semantics Android Central... Its irritating.

lol. Who's hiding? (And what are we hiding, and why?) We've used Blur (albeit not the new one just yet). We've got the Droid X right here. And old Blur and the Droid X (and we're betting it continues with the new Blur) are definitely NOT the same UX. As for the system files, yeah, we know exactly what's in there, because they came from our forums. And as is mentioned in this story, the new MotoBlur shares some attributes of the Droid X UI, at least in that there are widgets that can be resized on screen. And that's a pretty cool feature.

We'll see how the UX of the new Blur is. And if I'm wrong, and it turns out it's the exact same UX as what's on the Droid X, then you can all say "We told you so" and be all proud of yourselves. I'll sleep just fine. :p

I was actually looking forward to blur. I have had 3 sense devices and I am through with HTC, for the moment and moving back to android.

I was hoping this would be good enough for me to use social networking like the cliq and backflip and such.

Oh well, still getting it :)