Motorola eyes expanded app dev for Cliq phone

The company plans to open up APIs for its newly introduced Android-based device

Motorola plans to expand software development possibilities for its newly announced Motoblur software, which puts social networking capabilities on the company's Cliq mobile phone. But the company expects that subsequent devices will be offered with more of a business application bent, a high-ranking Motorola executive said Thursday.

Motorola plans to open up APIs for Motoblur, said Sanjay Jha, Motorola's co-CEO and CEO for mobile devices, in an interview after a presentation at the GigaOM Mobilize conference in San Francisco.

[ Earlier today, Motorola announced the Cliq, the company's first Android-based handset. | Learn about Motorola's mobile SDK plans. ]

"Over a period of time -- we're not there yet -- we'll allow the APIs to be available so people can develop many more applications than we can think of ourselves but it'll take us a little bit of time to mature ourselves to a place that we could open up APis," Jha said.

Motoblur and Cliq were unveiled at the conference on Thursday. Motoblur synchronizes such activities as contacts, feeds, e-mails, messages, and photos from different sources including Facebook, Twitter, and corporate e-mail. Motorola calls the device "the first phone with social skills."

Motoblur is based on the Google-backed Android platform for mobile systems. Motorola would offer an additional SDK for its APIs beyond what is available for Android, Jha said.

He acknowledged, however, that Motoblur is more geared to consumers and "prosumers" than the business application market. A prosumer is a consumer who uses their phone for both work-related and non-work activities.

"I think you we will see us address [the business] market with subsequent devices," Jha said. Enterprise-level systems require different capabilities and Motorola is working on these types of units, said Jha.

During the conference, Jha cited context awareness as a capability that would become more critical in two years. "We have the ability to know what users want more and more as we interact with them more and more," he said.

Other important factors for smartphones will be building of trust with consumers. Systems for health care, fitness and multimedia will become more critical as well, he said.

Google's Andy Rubin, vice president of engineering, said moving the Web forward as a platform would be of importance in coming years. Services based on the HTML 5 specification, he said, will expand the base of developers for cell phone-based applications.

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