Motorola Atrix 4G Leverages Webtop App for Larger Screen

Motorola's Atrix 4G smartphone sports a nifty Webtop application that lets users access their handset's content from a bigger screen. Analysts aren't impressed.

Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha was effusive in his praise of the Motorola Atrix 4G smartphone. The Android 2.2-based handset is shaping up to be the most attractive Android smartphone AT&T will have ever launched when it lands this quarter.Jha on Jan. 5 at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show raved about the Atriz 4G's 4-inch qHD display and 1GB of RAM. He said the handset's dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor will make it the most powerful smartphone.But Jha, who has turned Motorola's fortunes around by hitching its wagons to Android, was most excited about the Atrix 4G's ability to port its content to a larger computer screen, courtesy of a new Motorola Webtop application and docking stations.Jha showed how users can tether Atrix 4G to their computers or laptops with a docking station to access and manage their phone's content on a larger screen.This is done via the Webtop application, allowing users to run their Android applications, browse the Web with the Mozilla Firefox 3.6.13 browser, send instant messages and make phone calls, all at the same time.U.S.-based Atrix 4G consumers may leverage the AT&T U-verse Mobile application, which allows them to schedule recordings, download and watch hit TV shows on their smartphones.Business users with an existing Citrix account may use the Citrix Receiver application in the phone to access virtual desktops as well as Windows, Web and office applications hosted on Citrix XenDesktop."This design allows us to deliver an unprecedented level of integration between your smartphone and your computing environment because it is one and the same thing," Jha said.Industry analysts failed to share Jha's enthusiasm for the Webtop application.Analyst Jack Gold told eWEEK that while the market will see more Webtop-type devices-even RIM's Playbook has such a feature coupled to BlackBerry-it's not clear how receptive consumers will be to the technology."It means having to buy two "things," a phone and an accessory," Gold said. "It's been a hard sell to do that, especially if the accessory had a significant cost attached to purchasing (and using) it. So we'll have to see how popular it will become. I think there may be more demand for business users than consumers, at least initially.""I think that docking stations to translate content to bigger screens will be of minor importance," Gartner analyst Ken Dulaney told eWEEK. "What I think will really take off is when we have the equivalent of WiDi on notebooks for transmission of HD content. People hate wires."The Motorola HD Multimedia Dock has three USB ports and an HDMI port to provide connections to a keyboard, mouse, speakers and HDMI- (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) compatible monitor.The Motorola Laptop Dock sports a 11.6-inch screen, full keyboard, speakers and a 36Wh three-cell battery that provides up to eight hours of battery life.PC Magazine tested both docking appliances here.