Tips to start building a Motorola device you always wanted

"Hello Moto" can now be heard coming from a smart looking wearable.


Since 2011, the telecommunications giant Motorola has operated as two separate entities, Motorola Mobility and Motorola Solutions, after having lost over $4 billion USD (nearly $5.2 billion in AUD) in two years. It is Motorola Mobility that is now overseeing the development of mobile phones and smartwatches around the world.

Founded in 1928, the Chicago based Motorola Company was first known as Galvin Manufacturing Corporation. Their initial focus was on radio, and making them work off of household electricity rather than batteries. This led to a car radio, which was aptly named Motorola. The car radio became so popular that the company decided to change their name and use Motorola to represent their brand.

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Motorola’s rise in the mobile phone industry

In 1991, Motorola introduced the world’s first working prototype for a digital cellular system. This was followed by the first commercial digital radio system in 1994. This system combined paging, cellular communications and voice dispatch in one radio network and mobile phone. They continued to enhance mobile phone technology with the first handset to use to combine the Linux operating system with JAVA. These were considered to be the first fully functional personal digital assistants intended for retail sale.

Despite being a major contender in the mobile phone market, the Motorola Company had severe financial problems from 2007 until 2009 and decided to split the company in half. Motorola Mobility was subsequently purchased by Google for $12.5 billion dollars, who then sold it to Lenovo in 2014.

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Motorola smart phones

The Motorola Company was responsible for some of the most widely popular mobile phones ever marketed. These included flip phones and the Moto RAZR, an ultra-thin flip phone that sold over 120 million units and made Motorola the second largest mobile phone distributor in 2005.

Next was the Motorola smartphone, using an Android operating system. There are three available in Australia, the second generation Moto X, second generation Moto G, and Nexus 6. Each features full colour large displays, voice activated commands, and sleek designs.

  • Moto X. With the Android OS Lollipop v5.0, the Moto X brings the latest in mobile phone technology to your hand-held device.
  • Moto G. The Moto G features a quad-core processor that lets the user quickly change from one task to the next.
  • Nexus 6. With a stunning 6 inch HD display, this is the ideal smartphone for watching videos or reading e-books.

There is also a Moto E and Motorola Droid smartphone, but these are not readily available in Australia. If you did want to purchase one, you would likely have to pay for it to be 'unlocked' in order to have full functionality.

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The Motorola smartwatch

The first smartwatch to be introduced using Google’s Android Wear, the Moto 360 is a classically designed watch overflowing with smart capabilities. The round face is timeless, and does not stand out as a wearable. Yet when synced with your mobile phone you will see just how intelligent it is.

As with all Android Wear smartwatches, the Moto 360 gives you notifications from your smartphone at a quick glance. Messages, calls, weather and alerts are all displayed on the round face. It also takes from its smartphone features with voice control. Simply say 'Ok Google' and get started on telling the smartwatch what you need done. You can even use the built in GPS to get turn by turn directions to your next stop.

The Moto 360 has a heart activity app that measures the number of steps you take and tracks your progress day to day and week to week. While not the most advanced fitness tracking platform available right now, people looking to casually keep up with their fitness will appreciate this feature.

The battery life of the Moto 360 will get you through the day, and charges in a handy dock at night. While charging, the time is always on display and makes a good bedside table watch. You can shower with the smartwatch on, as it is IP67 water resistant. When first launched in Australia in October of 2014, the Moto 360 retailed for $329 AUD. It can now be found at retailers like Kogan in a variety of colours and bands including:motorola-bands-smart-watches

  • Silver with a grey leather band
  • Black with a black leather band
  • Chrome with a chrome wrist band
  • Black with a metal black band

The Moto 360 is only the beginning for smartwatches coming from Motorola. The brand has a trusted history in telecommunications, and a reputation for bringing innovative ideas to life. Keep listening in the future and you will likely hear the unforgettable 'Hello Moto' sound coming from someone’s wrist, if not your own.

Motorola is responsible not only for the first car radios, but also for walkie-talkies, and important defence electronics. Some of their biggest clients over the decades have been police departments, governmental departments and large corporations. By 1943 their main business was in the production and distribution of radios and televisions, but they were always looking forward to the next technical opportunity.

Motorola communication products have been useful in dozens of industries, including space travel. American astronaut Neil Armstrong spoke his famous ‘one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind’ using a Motorola transceiver. By the 1980’s, they were adding to the growing computer market by helping to power devices being developed by Apple, Hewlett Packard, and Commodore. It was also during this time that the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved the first commercial mobile phone, the DynaTAC 8000X.

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