Verizon Wireless has activated LTE 4G on its AWS spectrum in dozens of markets, reports GigaOm. Verizon Wireless lit up AWS-based LTE in New York City earlier this year, but has recently expanded the number of markets to include many of the major metro areas east of the Mississippi River, as well as a number along the west coast. In the majority of these new markets on the east coast (Atlanta, Boston, Washington, D.C., et al.), Verizon has tripled capacity, while in several western markets (Los Angeles, San Francisco) it has boosted capacity by 150%. This means more people can connect to the network in the same location and can access data at faster speeds. A handful of Verizon's existing smartphones (Apple iPhone 5s and 5c, Samsung Galaxy S4, Motorola Droid Maxx, Mini, and Ultra) can already access Verizon's AWS-based LTE network, and Verizon said software updates will add this functionality to others. Moving forward, most new Verizon smartphones will be able to reach LTE in both the AWS and 700MHz bands.
The wood-paneled variant of the Moto X should hit Motorola's Moto Maker site in the coming weeks, according to Reuters reporter Sinead Carew. The Moto X was first announced this summer and can be designed with custom colors, accents, wallpapers, and inscriptions. Once available, customers will be able to select from several different woods to form the rear cover of the phone.
Motorola today made the Moto G Android smartphone available for sale through its web site. Consumers can buy the device directly from Motorola. The Moto G costs $179 for the 8GB model and $199 for the 16GB model. The Moto G was announced earlier this month. It has a 4.5-inch 720p HD screen, quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor, and 5-megapixel camera. The Moto G ships with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, but it will be updated to Android 4.4 KitKat early next year. Motorola is selling the unlocked GSM model only. Wireless network operators will sell the CDMA variant in January.
Motorola recently announced that the Android 4.4 KitKat system update is now being delivered to the AT&T version of the Moto X. KitKat was made available to the Verizon and T-Mobile versions of the Moto X earlier this week.
Motorola today announced that it has entered into an agreement with 3D Systems, a company based in South Carolina, to back its Project Ara modular phones. The two companies aim to create a continuous high-speed 3D printing production platform and fulfillment system for the modules needed to build Project Ara devices. 3D Systems will amp up its 3D printing facilities to include conductive and functional materials that can be used by Ara smartphones. Motorola announced Project Ara last month. Ara modular phones will be based on an endoskeleton, which is the structural frame that holds all the modules in place. Device owners then can add modules - an extra battery, new processor, keyboard, display - to the endoskeleton to create their device. Motorola already teamed with the Phonebloks community and hopes to offer an alpha version of its Module Developer's Kit (MDK) sometime this winter. Motorola believes that Project Ara will lower the barrier of entry for hardware makers and result in a vibrant, open community that will let people create unique and compelling devices.
Motorola has made its Moto Assist and Moto Connect apps available to more of its devices by publishing them in the Google Play Store. Previously, they were only available on select devices, notably the Moto X, as preinstalled apps. Moto Assist is a tool that lets device owners set certain times when they shouldn't be bothered, such as when sleeping, in meetings, or driving. Moto Connect is a utility that let's people see incoming text messages and calls in their computer's Chrome browser. Both apps are compatible with the Moto X, Droid Ultra, Droid Maxx, and Droid Mini. Motorola also recently made the Moto X Camera and Touchless Control apps available in the Play Store.
Motorola today announced that Verizon Wireless has begun to deliver the Android 4.4 KitKat system update to its variant of the Moto X. KitKat includes a new phone dialer, more gallery options, a broader selection of emoji and changed keyboard behavior, new focus controls for the camera, and a revised launcher, among many other changes. Motorola did not say when other variants of the Moto X would have access to KitKat.
Republic Wireless today announced that the Motorola Moto X is now available for sale. The device costs $299 and is being offered without a contract. In addition to the new handset, Republic Wireless is making new service plans available today. The first plan includes unlimited talk, text, and data on Wi-Fi only for $5 per month. The second includes unlimited talk and text on Wi-Fi and cellular, and unlimited data on Wi-Fi for $10 per month. The third includes unlimited talk, text and data on Wi-Fi, plus 3G cellular for $25 per month. The fourth includes unlimited talk, text and data on Wi-Fi, plus 4G cellular for $40 per month. Republic also still offers its original $19 plan only to the Motorola Defy XT. Republic Wireless, which is a Sprint MVNO, uses a combination of cellular data and Wi-Fi to pass VoIP-based calls through the internet rather than through traditional voice networks. The Moto X includes improved voice call quality over Wi-Fi, and makes significant improvements to call hand-offs between Wi-Fi and cellular networks.
Verizon Wireless today said via its official Twitter account that it will offer the Moto G beginning in the first quarter of 2014 through its prepaid service.
Motorola today announced the Moto G, a device that Motorola says delivers a premium experience at one-third the price of today's flagship devices. The Moto G resembles the Moto X, which Motorola released earlier this year, but is more affordable and targeted at consumers who are on a budget. It has the same curved back, Gorilla Glass, and waterproof nano-coating to protect the internal components from moisture. The screen measures 4.5 inches and includes 1280 x 720 pixels. The G is powered by a quad-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 processor with 1GB of RAM and has a 2,070mAh battery. In includes a 5-megapixel rear camera and 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera. The device ships with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and Motorola is guaranteeing an update to Android 4.4 KitKat. Unlike the Moto X, the Moto G has removable back covers, which can be interchanged for customization. Motorola is selling the unlocked 8GB Moto G on its web site for $179 and the 16GB version for $199. The device goes on sale in Brazil and select European markets this week, with other Latin American and European markets to follow several weeks later. The Moto G won't be available in the U.S. until January 2014.
Motorola has expanded the availability of its Moto Maker tool to customers of Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless. Moto Maker lets people customize a Moto X smartphone online and have it delivered to their house. The Moto X offers a range of different back panels, accents, and screen-customization options. Motorola says there are more than 2,000 unique variations of the Moto X. Orders will be assembled at Motorola's Ft. Worth plant and shipped to most customers in four days. Moto Maker was an exclusive to AT&T customers for several months. Further, the price of the Moto X has dropped from $199 with a contract to $99 with a contract. Last, Motorola confirmed that the Moto X will be updated to Android 4.4 KitKat in the near future.
Motorola's support site revealed that the handset maker plans to update some of its more recent smartphones to Android 4.4 KitKat. Among those to be updated are all variants of the Moto X, as well as the Droid Mini, Ultra, and Maxx. The latter three are sold by Verizon Wireless. Older phones, such as the Droid Bionic, RAZR Maxx, and Droid 4, will remain on Android 4.1.2. Timing for the update will depend on the carrier and the exact model in question.
Google today announced the Nexus 5, a new smartphone that runs Android 4.4 KitKat. The handset, manufactured for Google by LG, is similar to the LG G2. It features a 5.0-inch full HD display that is protected by Gorilla Glass 3. It is powered by a 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor with an Adreno 330 GPU and 2GB of RAM. Significantly, the Nexus 5 adds support for LTE, and it is compatible with the LTE networks run by AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile in the U.S. It also includes Bluetooth 4.0, dual-band Wi-Fi, GPS, and NFC. The Nexus 5 has an 8-megapixel camera with a optical image stabilization, HDR+ for improved colors, PhotoSphere, and a 1.3-megapixel user-facing camera for selfies and video chats. It also features some of the innovations seen on the Motorola Moto X, such as Touchless Control. This lets users say "OK Google Now" to wake the phone and launch Google Now voice searches. The Google Nexus 5 is available for preorder from the Google Play Store. It ships November 5. It is being sold in both black and white. The 16GB model costs $349 and the 32GB model costs $399. It will also be sold by several online retailers, such as Amazon.com, and brick-and-mortar retailers, such as Best Buy. Sprint and T-Mobile have announced that their own variants will be available shortly.
Google today published the Motorola-developed camera application for the Moto X as a stand-alone app in the Google Play Store. By pulling the app out of the operating system and adding it to the Play Store, device owners will be able to update the camera without being beholden to system updates, which can often become bogged down in carrier approval processes. The app, which is free, has been updated with a brightened camera viewfinder so it's easier to see, enabled Quick Capture for businesses, and bug fixes.
Motorola today announced Project Ara, a new initiative with the goal of developing an ecosystem that creates and supports modular handsets. Motorola says it wants Ara to do for hardware developers what Android has done for software developers. Motorola says Ara modular phones will be based on an endoskeleton, which is the structural frame that holds all the modules in place. Device owners then can add modules - an extra battery, new processor, keyboard, display - to the endoskeleton to create their device. According to Motorola, it has been working on Project Ara for a year and has already completed the technical work to make Ara a reality. It is teaming with the Phonebloks community and hopes to offer an alpha version of its Module Developer's Kit (MDK) sometime this winter. Motorola believes that Project Ara will lower the barrier of entry for hardware makers and result in a vibrant, open community that will let people create unique and compelling devices. Project Ara is similar to what Modu hoped to do with its own modular devices several years ago. Modu, however, ceased operations in 2011 and sold some patents to Google, which now owns Motorola.
Moto Maker, Motorola's online tool for designing and customizing the Moto X, is now offering to import iPhone users' contacts and calendar data. During the design process, Moto X customers can choose to enter their AppleID/iCloud credentials and Motorola will port the data to the customer's Android/Google account and install the data on the Moto X before it ships to the customer. This way, when the device arrives, it will already be synced and ready to go out of the box.
Scratch Wireless, an MVNO that runs on Sprint's network, today launched a new service offering that promises to deliver free calling, texting, and mobile data. Scratch is selling a single phone, the 2012-era Motorola Photo Q for $269, and lets customers make calls, send text messages, and surf the web all for free when connected to a Wi-Fi network. When Wi-Fi isn't available, Scratch Wireless devices will roam onto Sprint's network, where text messages will still be free, but voice and data cost extra. According to Scratch, it offers daily and monthly voice/data plans that can be used on Sprint's network when the user roams away from Wi-Fi. The 24-hour plan costs $1.99 for 30 voice minutes and 25MB of data, and the monthly plan costs $14.99 for 250 voice minutes and 200MB of data. Scratch does not have an agreement in place with Wi-Fi aggregators, such as Boingo, so customers are on their own to map out Wi-Fi hotspots and availability. Scratch does not require contracts or recurring monthly fees.
AT&T today said that a software update is available to its variant of the Moto X. The update makes a significant number of improvements to the camera, including white balance, exposure, and better low-light focusing. In addition to the camera, the update also improves the responsiveness of touchless control, and fine-tunes the accuracy of the Find My Phone feature. The update is be to rolled out gradually over the next few days.
Motorola may not yet be out of the woods with respect to an on-going patent dispute with Microsoft. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit today ruled that the U.S. International Trade Commission used faulty reasoning in a patent case brought against Motorola by Microsoft. The appeals court says the ITC was correct in finding that Motorola did not infringe on three patents, but said it "erred" in determining that Motorola did not infringe on a fourth patent pertaining to graphical computer interfaces. The appeals court has asked the ITC to reconsider its evaluation of the fourth patent.
Motorola today began delivering a system update to the T-Mobile variant of the Moto X that makes improvements to the camera and other functions. According to a change log posted by Motorola, the camera-specific improvements include changes to white balance performance, focusing in low-light environments, and faster switching between the main camera and the secondary camera. The update also brings improved accuracy and responsiveness to Touchless Control, better voice call quality, and other enhancements. According to Motorola, the system update will be pushed out by other carriers in the near future.
Republic Wireless today announced that it will soon offer the Motorola Moto X for $299 without a contract. Republic is an MVNO that uses Sprint's network and offers unlimited everything for $19 per month. Republic Wireless uses a combination of cellular data and Wi-Fi to pass VoIP-based calls through the internet rather than through traditional voice networks. The Moto X includes improved voice call quality over Wi-Fi, and makes significant improvements to call hand-offs between Wi-Fi and cellular networks. Republic did not say exactly when the Moto X will go on sale. Republic Wireless also announced that it will be overhauiling its service plans in November. The first plan includes unlimited talk, text, and data on Wi-Fi only for $5 per month. The second includes unlimited talk and text on Wi-Fi and cellular, and unlimited data on Wi-Fi for $10 per month. The third includes unlimited talk, text and data on Wi-Fi, plus 3G cellular for $25 per month. The fourth includes unlimited talk, text and data on Wi-Fi, plus 4G cellular for $40 per month. Once the new plans launch, Republic will continue to offer its original $19 plan only to the Motorola Defy XT.
Motorola today announced that the Moto X smartphone is available to T-Mobile subscribers, though they'll have to purchase the device from Motorola's web store. Motorola is charging the full retail price of $599.99 for the T-Mobile version. The black version is available now, and Motorola says the white version will be available soon. T-Mobile itself is not selling the Moto X. The Moto X is already available from AT&T, Sprint, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon Wireless.
Sprint today announced that the Motorola Moto X will be available online and in stores beginning Friday, September 6. Sprint is charging $199 for the 16GB Moto X, but will offer a $100 credit toward the purchase of a Moto X to those who port their number from another carrier. The promotion runs for a limited time. Sprint is selling both the black and white variants, and said that its customers, too, will have the opportunity to customize their Moto X with Moto Maker in the months to come. Sprint was not more specific about Moto Maker's availability.
Microsoft says a jury awarded it $14 million in damages against Google-owned Motorola over standard-essential patents. Microsoft alleged that Motorola was overcharging for the patents, which are required to be licensed at fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory rates. The jury agreed. Motorola must now pay Microsoft. Microsoft was pleased with the outcome, but Motorola said it would appeal the decision. This marks the second case that Motorola has lost to Microsoft over patents. It lost another last year that pertained to Wi-Fi.
Verizon today announced that it will make the Moto X available online on August 29, and in stores "in the coming weeks". AT&T launched the Moto X last week.
The Motorola Moto X became available at AT&T stores today, as well as online via the Moto Maker web site. Moto Maker allows AT&T customers to custom-design their own Moto X. When first announced earlier this month, Motorola said that custom Moto X orders would arrive within four days. Now, however, Motorola has changed its tune a bit. The company took to its blog to state that high demand may delay orders. "We'll be working hard to get your customized Moto X to you as quickly as possible. We expect that because of high demand, initial shipping times may vary. But we will get that down to 4 days or less as soon as we possibly can." Phone Scoop ordered a custom Moto X and waited a full week before it was delivered. Motorola also said that the Skip, its NFC-based tap-to-unlock accessory, will be included free with the initial batch of Moto X orders. Last, Motorola said that it is doing its best to bring back the engraving feature, which it had to drop due to quality issues. The Moto X costs $199 and $249 for the 16GB and 32GB variants, respectively. It will also soon be sold by Sprint and other carriers in the U.S.
Motorola today indicated that it will not offer custom engraving for the Moto X once Moto Maker launches later this week. Custom engraving is one of the features touted by Motorola as a way to individualize each Moto X. The company said that its test runs did not produce results with which it was happy. It hopes to offer the engraving feature some time in the future.
AT&T today announced that the Motorola Moto X will be available beginning August 23. The black and white versions will be sold online and in stores on the 23rd, while the customized version can be ordered via Moto Maker beginning the 23rd. Moto Maker lets customers design their own Moto X with different colored back plates and accents, as well as add customized greetings, wallpapers, and signatures on the back. AT&T is charging $199.99 for the 16GB version and $249.99 for the 32GB version. With AT&T Next, the 16GB model will cost $27 per month and the 32GB model will cost $32 per month.
Motorola today announced Skip for the Moto X. Skip is an accessory that makes maintaining device security a little easier. Skip is a wearable, thumb-sized clip that pairs with the Moto X and unlocks it with a tap. The device is paired to the Moto X and set up as a "safe device" with the Touchless Control feature of the Moto X. Motorola is pitching the Skip as an alternative to using passcodes or PIN locks to secure the Moto X. The Skip comes with three "dots" (NFC tags) that can be placed in spots such as an office, car, or nightstand for easy unlocking. According to Motorola, only Skips that have been paired with the Moto X will unlock it, and they can be unpaired at any time. The Skip and Skip dots will only be available directly from Motorola.com. Motorola said that they will be included free with Moto X's that are custom designed with Moto Maker, but only for a limited time. Motorola didn't say how much the Skip will cost.
Motorola today provided more information about planned developer editions of the Moto X. The consumer versions of the Sprint, T-Mobile, and U.S. Cellular Moto X variants will ship with unlockable bootloaders. Motorola will offer two developer variants, a Verizon Wireless Developer Edition and a general North American Developer Edition. Developers will need to purchase the developer editions directly from Motorola via its developer web site. The devices will need to be manually unlocked. According to Motorola, unlocking the bootloader, even on the developer edition handsets, voids the warranty.
T-Mobile indicated that though the Moto X is compatible with its network, it will not sell the device directly to consumers at its retail shops. "The Moto X optimized for T-Mobile's 4G LTE network will initially be available through Motorola's channels," said Chief Marketing Officer Mike Sievert in a statement provided to AllThingsD. "We do not plan to stock Moto X devices immediately in our stores, but are working closely with Motorola to make the Moto X a great experience for T-Mobile customers. Any news about distribution in our stores would come at a later date." Sievert did not say if the Moto X could be purchased via its Equipment Installment Plan, which requires a down payment followed by monthly payments. Motorola said that the device would be sold by all four major U.S. carriers, plus U.S. Cellular. AT&T and Sprint have announced their intent to offer the Moto X, and U.S. Cellular has listed the phone on its web site. Verizon Wireless, which recently announced a trio of Motorola-made Droids that share some features with the Moto X, has yet to provide specific details about the Moto X's availability on its network.
U.S. Cellular has named itself as the fifth U.S. carrier to sell Motorola's new Moto X phone. Pre-orders start today, and it will be available "later this month" in white and black for $200 after instant rebate.
Verizon just announced "Moto Maker coming later this year" in reference to the new Moto X phone. Moto Maker is the online customization tool that lets buyers select custom color combinations - including real wood - and engraving for a Moto X phone.
Motorola claims the new MOTO X was made just for you. It is a curious phone that offers useful new software features and some compelling hardware options. Here is Phone Scoop's first look.
Motorola today announced MOTO MAKER, an online tool that will let people create their own, unique version of the MOTO X smartphone. The MOTO X is being sold in either black or white from most carriers, but AT&T customers will be able to use MOTO MAKER to choose from 14 different back panel colors, several different accent colors, and other options that make the MOTO X their own. Verizon has announced that it will get the option later this year. MOTO MAKER does not cost any extra money to use, and Motorola says most custom-designed phones will ship within four days. This is possible because the MOTO X for the U.S. market is being assembled at a facility in Ft. Worth, Texas. Though components come from all over the world, including 16 different states, Motorola says the MOTO X is an American-made product.
Motorola today announced the MOTO X, a smartphone that was "designed for you." The MOTO X represents the first device created by Motorola from scratch after it was acquired by Google last year. Motorola and Google focused on developing several key features for the MOTO X that they believe will delight users. First, the phone's size and shape were calculated to fit the average hand as comfortably as possible. It is thin and lightweight. The X includes what Motorola calls Touchless Control. With Touchless Control, owners can speak a catch phrase to wake the device and initiate a voice command. The voice command can be to make a phone call, ask for directions, read emails, and so on. Motorola developed a special, low-power processor that is able to enable this feature at all times without draining the battery. The X has a Quick Capture camera that can be woken up quickly with a gesture. The idea is to pull the phone from your pocket and be ready to take a shot within two seconds. Another key feature is the Active Display, which Motorola recently showed off on its Droid smartphones for Verizon Wireless. Active Display lets owners see the clock and certain notifications on the lock screen. Last, the X can be custom-ordered with various colors and accents (AT&T model only). In terms of specs, the MOTO X has a 4.7-inch 1280 x 720p HD display and a 1.7GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor with 2GB of RAM. It includes Motorola's X8 architecture, which has a separate GPU and contextual core to handle extra processing tasks for the sensors. The main camera rates 10-megapixels and the user-facing camera rates 2-megapixels. Both can record 1080p HD video. The X has a 2200mAh battery that is sealed in. Storage options include 16GB or 32GB, but there is no expandable memory. The X supports dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy, GPS, and NFC, and will be sold by AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless. The 16GB model costs $199 and the 32GB model costs $249 with a contract. It will be available in late August or early September.
Verizon and Motorola today announced this year's trio of Droid phones. Like last year's RAZR HD, the Droid Ultra is the thin one. The Maxx has the great battery life, and the Mini is the smaller model with the 4.3-inch display. Otherwise they have a surprising amount in common. How do they stack up against the competition? Read on for our first impressions.
Verizon Wireless today announced the Droid Ultra, Droid Mini, and Droid Maxx, all made by Motorola. The Ultra (shown) is thinner than last year's RAZR HD, at almost 7 mm thin, which Verizon calls the world's thinnest LTE smartphone. The Maxx is thinner than last year's RAZR Maxx HD, yet has more battery life (48 versus 32 hours.) The Mini replaces the RAZR M, and is the smallest and cheapest of the three. The Ultra and Maxx have 5-inch 720p displays, while the Mini has a 4.3-inch 720p display. All have a unique processor configuration that allows sensors and voice activation to operate while the phone is idle. The main processor in all three is a 1.7 GHz, dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro. The Ultra and Maxx have AMOLED displays that can activate just a small section to show time and notifications while using minimal battery life. The Mini has a TFT LCD display. All three have 10-megapixel main cameras, plus front cameras. The Mini will sell for $99 on contract, the Ultra for $199, and the Maxx for $299. They are available for pre-order now, and will ship August 20th.
Verizon is holding an event today in NYC to announce the "next generation" of one of its "most popular family of devices." We're expecting new Droid phones. Leaks point to a couple of new models from Motorola, but we won't know for sure until noon Eastern. Follow the news at it happens here.
The Bluetooth Special Interest Group today announced that LG has joined the organization's board of directors. Specifically, Minsoo Lee, chief research engineer for standards and technology at LG, will fill the new seat at the SIG's board. The Bluetooth SIG's board is composed of 11 different companies spread around the globe, including Apple, CSR, Ericsson, Intel, Lenovo, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia, Nordic, Toshiba, and now LG Electronics. The group has more than 18,500 member companies.