Google today said Android 5.0 Lollipop, which will ship on the Nexus 6, Nexus 9, and Nexus Player, will be made available to the Nexus 5, 7, 10, and Google Play edition devices in the coming weeks. Motorola also said it will update many of its devices to Android 5.0 Lollipop, including the Moto X (1st Gen and 2nd Gen), Moto G, Moto E, as well as the Droid Ultra, Droid Maxx, and Droid Mini. Timing on the updates is not available.
Google today announced Android 5.0 Lollipop and with it the first few devices to run the new operating system, the Nexus 6 and the Nexus 9. The Nexus 6 is a large-screened smartphone made by Motorola. It has an aluminum frame and a 6-inch quad HD display with a 13-megapixel main camera. The camera includes optical image stabilization and HDR+ for improved low-light shots. The device has stereo-speakers with high-fidelity sound and comes with a turbo charger for fast charging. Google claims the device can get up to six hours of battery time after plugging it in for just 15 minutes. The Nexus 6 will be available for pre-order in late October and in stores in November. Google will sell an unlocked version through the Play Store, and the Nexus 6 will also be sold by AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon Wireless. The device costs $649 at full retail, which is $200 more than the Nexus 5. The Nexus 9 tablet is made by HTC and features an 8.9-inch 2048 x 1536 screen with a brushed aluminum design. It is run by a dual-core Tegra K1 64-bit processor with each core clocked at 2.3GHz. Other features include an 8.0-/1.6-megapixel camera configuration; BoomSound speakers; dual-band Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, and LTE; and a 6,700mAh battery. The Nexus 9 will be available for pre-order on October 17 and in stores starting November 3. The Wi-Fi model starts at $399.
Verizon Wireless has revived its Droid Does web page in order to tease an upcoming handset announcement. The site features a clock counting down to Noon on October 28 when, ostensibly, Verizon will show off the new phone. In recent years Motorola has been the only company to manufacture Droid-branded handsets for Verizon. The last three phones bearing the Droid name were last year's Droid Mini, Droid Maxx, and Droid Ultra.
AT&T today said the Moto G with LTE will be available online and in stores on October 10. The device will cost $180 with no contract, $7.50 per month with AT&T Next 18, $9 per month with AT&T Next 12, or $80 with a one-year contract. The Moto G with LTE is last-year's G with an LTE radio added for faster wireless networking. It has a 4.5-inch 720p HD screen, quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor, and 5-megapixel camera.
Microsoft has filed a suit against Samsung seeking to collect $6.9 million in interest. According to Microsoft, Samsung delayed payment of $1 billion in smartphone patent royalties owed Microsoft. When it did finally pay, the company omitted the accrued interest. Samsung believes Microsoft violated a 2011 patent-licensing agreement the two companies struck when Microsoft agreed to purchase Nokia's handset business in 2013. Microsoft's new legal filing asks a judge declare it didn't violate the 2011 agreement and demands Samsung pay the interest on the late patent royalties. Most makers of Android smartphones pay Microsoft patent fees due to several Microsoft technologies contained in Android devices. Motorola is the only company not paying patent fees to Microsoft, and the two companies are still embroiled in legal proceedings.
Verizon Wireless today announced that its variant of the Moto X will be available beginning Friday, September 26. Customers can order preconfigured versions of the device, or use Moto Maker to design their own. Verizon is selling the 16-GB model for $99 with a new contract and the 32-GB version for $150 with a new contract. Verizon also plans to sell the Moto X through its Verizon Edge plans, which require monthly fees. Last, customers who sign up for a More Everything plan with at least 1GB of data will receive an extra 1GB of data per month for up to 24 months.
Republic Wireless has begun notifying customers that it will soon sell the Moto E smartphone from Motorola. The Moto E is Motorola's entry-level handset and features a 4.3-inch display with Gorilla Glass 3, a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon 200 processor with 1GB of RAM, and 4GB of internal storage. It comes with a 5-megapixel camera that can capture panoramas as well as 720p HD video. The phone also includes support for a microSD card up to 32GB, an FM radio, and a 1,980mAh battery that Motorola claims is good for a full day. The Moto E runs Android 4.4.4 KitKat, but is limited to 3G data. Republic said the Moto E will cost $99 when it launches in October.
Cricket Wireless today said it will sell the first-generation Moto G on September 19 for $150. The first-gen G has a 4.5-inch screen, 5-megapixel camera, and Snapdragon 400 processor. It supports Cricket's LTE service.
Motorola recently published a version of its new Moto Voice app that is compatible with the 2013 Moto X, as well as the Droid Ultra, Droid Mini, and Droid Maxx. Moto Voice, formerly Touchless Control, combines several of the key functions found on the 2013 Moto X, such as the Active Display, Google Now voice prompts, and Google Assist. It allows users to customize their own catchphrase; and adds voice command support for YouTube, Facebook, and WhatsApp; allows users to switch modes via voice commands; and includes support for Moto Hint and Moto 360. Moto Voice requires Android 4.4 KitKat and is free to download from the Google Play Store.
Motorola today said consumers can order some of its new products beginning September 16. The Moto X for AT&T and the Moto X Pure Edition will both be available for ordering on Tuesday. The AT&T Moto X costs $99 with a new contract, and the Moto X Pure Edition - which runs stock Android 4.4 KitKat and features an unlocked bootloader - costs $499. Other carriers plan to announce availability soon. In addition to these handsets, the Moto Hint wireless earbud and the Moto Turbo Charger will also be available. The Hint costs $149 and the Turbo Charger costs $35. Last, Motorola said the Moto 360 smart watch will be back in stock on Tuesday, though quantities are limited.
In a rare peek behind the curtain, Motorola reveals early prototypes of its phones, as well as phones that never saw the light of day. Explore a full gallery of prototype Motorola phones and watches, including a RAZR flip-phone for Android, phones made of cork, and early versions of the Moto 360 watch.
Last year's Moto X was a major turnaround point for Motorola. Building on the critical acclaim of the first model, the company is back at it with the second generation Moto X. The display, processor, and camera specs are all improved, and it's been upgraded to a metal frame that forms the sides. You can still customize it with colors and wood, and now leather as well. But how is it in person? Read on to find out.
Motorola's first Moto G has been their best-selling phone ever. It's just enough phone at a really great price. Now they're back with a second generation that ups the screen size and throws in a memory card slot and stereo speakers. We give it a quick whirl to see how it works in this hands-on.
Motorola today announced a revamped Moto G with a larger 5-inch screen, memory card slot, and dual front speakers. The 2nd-generation Moto G also upgrades the main camera to 8-megapixel and the selfie camera to 2-megapixel. The new Moto G retains the 3G-only radio and same Snapdragon 400 1.2 GHz processor. The phone comes with either 8 or 16 GB of internal memory and either black or white. The rear cover snaps off and eight color options are available as accessories, as well as covers with a flip-over screen cover that automatically locks and unlocks the screen. The Moto G goes on sale today for $180 unlocked.
Motorola today announced the 2nd-generation Moto X. The new Moto X sports a larger, 5.2-inch AMOLED full-HD screen, Snapdragon 801 processor, and 13-megapixel camera with 4K video capture. It's also thinner and sports an aluminum frame and sides and Gorilla Glass front with a curved beveled edge. The new Moto X is available with custom color combinations and materials through Moto Maker, now including leather backs and custom accent colors on the front. New infrared sensors allow the phone to automatically wake up and show the time when your hand is near the front, and wave gestures silence calls and alarms. The hands-free voice activation phrase can now be customized to something other than "OK Google Now". Turbo charging can add eight hours of battery life in just 15 minutes. A best-shot feature captures several photos before you press the shutter, and uses face recognition to automatically suggests a better shot if you were late to capture. The new Moto X will be available with Moto Maker customization on both AT&T and Verizon. It will cost $99 on contract or $499 unlocked and ship later this month.
Verizon Wireless is offering a handful of its handsets the ability to include push-to-talk, walkie-talkie features. The service, called Push To Talk Plus, is available to smartphones including the Motorola Droid Maxx, Samsung Galaxy S5, and Casio G'zOne Commando beginning today. Other phones, such as the Kyocera Brigadier, will gain the feature down the road. According to Verizon, the service is powered by Kodiak Networks and offers fast call setup times, improved voice quality, and encrypted calls. Users will be able to join existing PTT calls, as well as rejoin calls they left. The service is being offered to business customers, who need to reach out to their sales representatives to initiate service. Push To Talk Plus costs $5 per month per line, though Verizon is offering six months for free to those who sign up soon.
HTC has recently pulled some of the core applications out of its Sense user interface and made them available separately through the Google Play Store. Both the Sense keyboard and Sense clock apps have appeared in the Play Store in recent days, which can now be updated independent from full OS upgrades. Google and Motorola have taken similar steps with some of their apps, such as their camera apps. HTC already offers a handful of other apps via the Play Store, including Gallery, Blinkfeed, Sense TV, and Dot View.
Motorola today announced the availability of a digital tattoo that can be used to unlock the Moto X. The tattoo is actually an adhesive based on VivaLnk’s eSkin technology. It is about the size of a nickel and adheres to the skin for about five days. Users need only tap the Moto X against the digital tattoo, which has a shimmery, metallic design, to unlock their device. According to Motorola, the tattoo is waterproof and can be used during activities such as swimming and jogging. The digital tattoo was created by Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects group in cooperation with VivaLnk. VivaLnk sells the tattoos in packs of 10 for $10. It was first announced last month.
Cricket Wireless, which is owned by AT&T, today announced the availability of the Nokia Lumia 630 smartphone. The 630, which is a variant of the Lumia 635 (being sold by T-Mobile and MetroPCS), will reach Cricket stores on July 11. Cricket is offering the Lumia 630 for free with a $50 mail-in rebate card. The device is an entry-level Windows Phone with a 4.5-inch screen and 5-megapixel camera. Cricket is also offering discounts ranging from $20 to $50 on a wide selection of handsets, including the ZTE Sonata 4G, Prelude, and Overture 4G; the Moto G; the Nokia 520 and 1320; and the Samsung Galaxy Express 4G. Cricket is the new brand name being used by AT&T's former Aio Wireless unit. AT&T is transitioning Cricket's CDMA customers to its GSM network so it can eventually repurpose Cricket's spectrum. All the devices covered by Cricket's new promotion operate on AT&T's GSM network.
Motorola Mobility USA and Motorola Deutschland have been ordered to stop selling mobile phones in Germany after they were found guilty of infringing on a patent. A German court said Motorola's devices are improperly using patented antenna technology owned by LPKF Laser & Electronics AG. It's not clear when the sales ban goes into effect, nor exactly which devices are impacted. Motorola is involved with numerous patent lawsuits around the world, and is in the process of being sold by Google to Lenovo.
Google today provided a deeper look at what Android Wear - its platform for wearable devices - will be able to do. Android Wear will first be deployed on smart watches, with LG, Samsung, and Motorola making the first wave of hardware. Much of Android Wear's functionality comes from Google Now and its voice-controlled searches and actions. The user interface includes multiple screens that are accessed by swiping up and down, and back and forth. Many of Android Wear's initial powers will center on interacting with smartphone-based notifications. The Google Now functionality adds tools such as voice reminders, voice search, and similar powers to the platform. Android Wear supports third-party apps thanks to the full SDK, which Google made available to developers today. The apps are automatically installed on Wear when the corresponding version is installed on the associated smartphone. The LG G watch and the Samsung Gear Live will be available for sale later today, with the Moto 360 arriving later this summer. Google didn't provide details about the hardware, but they can be ordered via the Google Play Store.
Motorola today made a new version of the Moto X available with more internal storage. The Moto X can now be purchased with 64GB ($449), 32GB ($399), or 16GB ($349). The Moto X does not support microSD cards.
Motorola today announced that the Moto X, G, and E handsets can all expect to receive the Android 4.4.3 KitKat update in the days ahead. According to Motorola, the update brings a new dialer, several new theme colors, as well as stability, framework, security fixes, and enhancements to the power profile capabilities. The update also improves camera image quality for the Moto X, gives the Moto X and G the ability to pause/resume video capture, and gives the Moto X and Moto G access to the Moto Alert app. The system update is only available to the T-Mobile variant of the Moto X to start. Motorola didn't say when it will reach other vesions of the Moto X. The update is free to download and install.
Motorola today indicated it will close the Ft. Worth factory used to assemble custom-designed Moto X handsets by the end of the year. Motorola opened the plant a year ago and at its peak employed about 3,800 people. The move allowed Motorola to offer four-day turn-around times on Moto X handsets created with its online Moto Maker tool. According to Motorola's Rick Osterloh, however, slow sales of the Moto X meant the company never achieved the economy of scale it needed to operate the plant. "What we found was that the North American market was exceptionally tough," said Osterloh in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. Motorola will continue to make the Moto X at facilities located in Brazil and China. Osterloh didn't say if the Moto Maker tool will vanish along with the Ft. Worth plant. Lenovo is in the process of acquiring Motorola from Google. The sale is expected to be completed by the end of the year. Lenovo plans to use the Motorola brand on its future smartphones destined for select markets, such as the U.S. and Europe.
Verizon Wireless today announced the launch of XLTE service, which is a new way for the company to market its dual-band LTE network. Verizon Wireless initially deployed LTE in the 700MHz band. Verizon's build-out of LTE in the 700MHz band is functionally complete. Verizon began rolling out LTE on its 1700MHz AWS spectrum late last year, and has been slowly adding markets over time. As of today, Verizon says it has initiated service on its AWS spectrum in half its existing LTE footprint. Moving forward, Verizon Wireless will market its dual-band LTE coverage as XLTE in much the same way that Sprint is marketing its tri-band LTE service as Sprint Spark. According to Verizon, XLTE markets offer consumers far more headroom thanks to dramatically improved capacity. With twice the spectrum to work with, XLTE markets can deliver faster peak data speeds when compared to Verizon's 700MHz-only LTE markets. Verizon said a number of its most popular devices are already compatible with its XLTE service, including the Samsung Galaxy S4, S5, and Note 3; the Apple iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c; and the Motorola Droid Maxx, Ultra, and Mini. Customers who own these devices don't need to do anything in order to take advantage of XLTE. They'll automatically connect to Verizon's dual-band LTE network where it is available. Non-XLTE devices will still be able to access Verizon's LTE network as normal. Verizon will continue to roll out XLTE to more markets over time. Verizon didn't say how long it will take to build-out its AWS LTE coverage. Verizon acquired the AWS spectrum from a consortium of cable companies in 2012.
Apple and Motorola today dismissed all patent litigation between them. The companies told a court overseeing several lawsuits that the claims should be dismissed. Though the two smartphone makers agreed to drop their lawsuits, they did not reach a cross-licensing accord. Motorola first sued Apple over smartphone technology in 2010 and Apple responded with a suit of its own. Neither lawsuit resulted in a verdict. Further, the two companies agreed to work with one another on select aspects of patent reform. Motorola is currently owned by Google, but it is in the process of being sold to Lenovo.
Motorola recently made a new application available to its smartphones called Moto Alert. The idea behind Moto Alert is to allow users to quickly send alerts to people to provide basic "I'm OK" messages. For example, the app can be set to send periodic notifications with the user's location data so people know where the user is and can act if necessary. The app supports distinct locations, such as home, work, and school, and can be set to automatically fire off messages to loved ones when the user departs or arrive at those locations. The recipient does not need to have Moto Alert installed in order to receive the notifications. Motorola envisions the app as a useful (and free) tool for parents to keep tabs on their children or their elders. Moto Alert is exclusively available to the Moto E at launch, but will eventually be made available to the Moto X and Moto G.
Motorola today revealed the Moto E, a low-cost Android smartphone that offers better specs and a lower price than much of the competition. Here are our first impressions.
Motorola today announced the Moto E, a new low-cost handset meant to put a nail in the coffin of feature phones. The device bears a familial resemblance to last year's Moto X and Moto G, but downgrades specs to further drop the price. Motorola is offering 20 different interchangeable rear covers to allow for personalization of the phone, which is splash proof and scratch proof. The Moto E features a 4.3- inch display with Gorilla Glass 3 and a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon 200 processor with 1GB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage. It comes with a 5-megapixel camera that can capture panoramas as well as 720p HD video. The phone also includes support for a microSD card up to 32GB, an FM radio, and a 1,980mAh battery that Motorola claims is good for a full day. The Moto E runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat and Motorola is guaranteeing at least one major system update in the future. The Moto E will be sold by 80 carriers in 40 countries in the next few weeks. It does not support LTE networks, but does support HSPA and CDMA in various geographies. The Moto E costs $129. Motorola also announced a refresh to the Moto G, which adds support for LTE and microSD cards. The Moto G + 4G will sell for $219 and goes on sale in early June.
Consumer Cellular today announced that it has increased the size of its retail footprint to 750 Sears locations. Consumer Cellular said the newest locations will offer a wider selection of devices and colors. In addition to the expanded retail presence, Consumer Cellular is adding the Motorola Moto G to its lineup. Consumer Cellular is selling the Moto G for $150. The Moto G can be purchased online or in Consumer Cellular's Sears locations.
The European Commission today ruled that Motorola had broken the law by suing Apple over standard essential patents. Apple had agreed to license Motorola's patents, but when the two companies couldn't agree on a price, Apple used the patented technology anyway and was eventually sued by Motorola. Motorola sought to block sales of Apple's products in Europe. The EU has determined that if a company agrees to license a standard essential patent, the patent holder must do so at a fair and reasonable rate. Moving forward, companies that cannot agree on licensing terms will need to enter arbitration and can no longer file lawsuits against one another. The EU accepted a pledge from Samsung today also, which won't seek an injunction against Apple for standard essential patents. "The so-called smartphone patent wars should not occur at the expense of consumers," said EU Commissioner Joaquin Almunia. "While patent holders should be fairly remunerated for the use of their intellectual property, implementers of such standards should also get access to standardized technology on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms." Standard essential patents are those necessary for certain things, such as smartphones, to function properly. The European Commission did not fine either Motorola or Samsung, but it clearly wants patent abuse to end.
A U.S. appeals court has revived a patent-related lawsuit between Apple and Motorola Mobility. The case was summarily dismissed by the presiding judge in 2012 due to what he called a lack of evidence proving damages. The court of appeals revived an Apple complaint against Motorola and a Motorola complaint against Apple. Apple alleges that Motorola is violating four of its patents, while Motorola says Apple is violating one of its patents. The Motorola patent at issue is considered standard essential, which means it is required in order for phones to work and must be licensed at fair and reasonable rates. It's unclear how the cases will now proceed. Smartphone companies often battle one another in court over patents and both companies have other cases pending with rivals.
Motorola Solutions has signed a patent-licensing agreement with Microsoft that will allow it to use Microsoft's intellectual property in its Android and Chrome devices. Neither Microsoft nor Motorola Solutions identified the patents at issue, nor the cost of the licensing agreement. It is important to note that Motorola Solutions is not Motorola Mobility. Motorola Solutions makes enterprise-grade mobile products for businesses, some of which run Android and/or Chrome. Just last week, Motorola Solutions agreed to sell its enterprise business to Zebra Technologies for $3.45 billion. Motorola Mobility is currently owned by Google and makes Android smartphones. Motorola Mobility is on deck to be divested by Google to Lenovo in the months ahead. Motorola Mobility has staunchly refused to sign a licensing agreement with Microsoft, as it believes its own patents cover the disputed technologies.
The CTIA Wireless Association today said a number of handset makers and wireless network operators have agreed to a basic framework that will eventually provide consumers with better anti-theft tools for their smartphones. The Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment is meant to deter theft while also giving phone makers and carriers room to innovate. All the companies agreed to implement a baseline anti-theft tool preloaded on (or downloadable to) all wireless smartphones manufactured after July 2015. This tool will let consumers: remotely wipe their data; render the smartphone inoperable to unauthorized users; prevent reactivation without owner's consent; and reverse the inoperability of the device as well as restore the data to the device in the event it is found by the owner. Consumers will also be free to use whatever third-party anti-theft tools they wish in addition to those provided by the phone maker. All signatories will make the baseline anti-theft tool available with all its core features. The initial batch of companies signing the commitment include: Apple; Asurion; AT&T; Google; HTC America; Huawei; Motorola; Microsoft; Nokia; Samsung; Sprint; T-Mobile; U.S. Cellular; and Verizon Wireless. Some of those who haven't signed include Kyocera, LG, Sony, ZTE. A number of lawmakers lauded the commitment, which arrives several months after Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler mandated that wireless companies come up with such a solution or face regulatory intervention.
Motorola today named Rick Osterloh as the company's President and COO. He replaces former CEO Dennis Woodside, who left the company after Google announced plans to sell Motorola to Lenovo. Osterloh will run Motorola's day-to-day operations until the sale with Lenovo closes. It's unclear what Osterloh's role will be after Lenovo acquires Motorola's phone business. Osterloh reports directly to Google's board of directors.
Republic Wireless today announced that Moto Maker will be available to its customers beginning April 1. Moto Maker is an online tool that allows people to customize the appearance of the Moto X Android smartphone. In addition to offering Moto Maker, Republic is running a promotion that will give the first 2,000 people to use Moto Maker a free upgrade to a wooden back panel. The wooden backs are normally a $25 upgrade. The 16GB model costs $349.99 and the 32GB model costs $399.99.
Microsoft and Dell have inked a patent-licensing agreement in which Dell has agreed to pay Microsoft royalties for sales of devices based on Google's Android and Chrome operating systems. Android uses some patents that are owned by Microsoft, and most major handset makers have already signed similar licensing agreements with Microsoft. Motorola is the last major hold out because it believes its thousands of mobile patents negate the need to license Microsoft's. Terms of the agreement between Dell and Microsoft were not disclosed.
Motorola recently updated its camera application for the Moto G, Moto G, and several Droids. The app has a single new feature: users can now press the volume button to take a picture. The app is free to download from the Play Store.
Motorola and AT&T have begun pushing Android 4.4.2 KitKat to the Moto X. The minor system update adds the ability to print documents/images via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or internet printers; improves battery life; resolves a bug that led to email sync delays; and fixes a bug that caused data connectivity to fail outside the U.S. The update can be installed over the air.
LG and Motorola today both followed Google's revelation of Android Wear with news of their involvement with the project. LG showed off the G Watch, its take on a smartwatch running Google's Android Wear platform. LG said its device will be the first Android Wear product to launch, and it is expected to arrive during the second quarter of the year. Motorola announced the Moto 360 (pictured), a circular timepiece that pays homage to the past while also looking forward to the future. Neither LG nor Motorola provided specifics about their devices, other than to say they will incorporate Google Now voice commands and rich notifications that are part of the Android Wear OS. Both companies said more details about the watches will be revealed over time.