Motorola Moto X (regional CDMA)
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.
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.
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.
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 today announced the College Collection, a series of pre-designed Moto X handsets that reflect the colors of more than 40 colleges and universities. Motorola also added nine more back colors and three new accent colors to allow for further customization of the Moto X. In addition to the expanded color palette, Motorola is selling clear cases with school logos and team names, which can accompany the matching handset. Last, college students who register with a .edu email address will receive a $60 discount on the price of their College Connection Moto X. The Moto X can be customized for $399, but is available for just $49 with a two-year agreement with select carriers.
Motorola made a small update available to its Touchless Control application. The improved software adds several new features, chief among them the ability to respond to a "What's Up" or "Read Notifications" voice command, prompting the device to read new notifications aloud. The notifications feature is available in English, Spanish, and Italian, with other languages are supported in beta. The update also improves the software's ability to detect the end of speech for better accuracy and faster responses. Touchless Control is available to the Moto X, Droid Ultra, Droid Max, and Droid Mini. It requires Android 4.4 KitKat.
Motorola today released Android 4.4.2 KitKat for the U.S. Cellular variant of the Moto X. The update adds cloud printing, improves battery life, and resolves an email sync issue. The OS boost also includes several bug fixes. The update is free to download and install.
Motorola today updated the Gallery application that's installed on its Android smartphones. The app has a refreshed design that offers larger thumbnails and faster, simpler navigation between galleries and photos. The Motorola Gallery, which is free to download from the Google Play Store, is available to devices running Android 4.4 KitKat, including the Moto X, Moto G, and the Droid Ultra, Droid Mini, and Droid Maxx.
Motorola today dropped the off-contract price of the Moto X to $399 for the 16GB model. This new price point is available to customized devices that work across all the major carriers. Motorola believes the unsubsidized Moto X is a good alternative for those who may be ineligible for upgrade pricing due to their contract, or for use with prepaid or month-to-month services. The Moto X has been available since August. The new price does not apply to the bamboo model, which starts at $499 for the 16GB model.
Motorola today began offering bamboo as an option for customized versions of the Moto X. Though the company originally said a handful of different wood materials would be available, bamboo is the only option listed on the site as of today. Choosing bamboo instead of plastic adds $100 to the cost of the Moto X and 14 days to the manufacturing time. Motorola did not say if more wood options would become available. Aside from the wooden back covering, all the standard options are still available for customizing the Moto X.
Motorola today updated the Touchless Control application that's found on the Moto X. The improved application accepts more Google Now commands without requiring users to unlock their phones first. According to Motorola, personal information, such as emails and messages, are still protected by the PIN code, but users can speak their PIN code to unlock the device via Touchless Control. The app also offers a new alert tone when users say "OK Google Now." This version of Touchless Control is available only to devices running Android 4.4. KitKat and up.
Motorola has provided an update to its camera application for Android devices. The camera app, which is the one that comes on the Moto X, for example, now lets users control focus and exposure manually by dragging the focus ring around the viewfinder. The app now locks exposure during panorama capture and adds more languages. The update also fixes several bugs. The Motorola camera application is free to download from the Google Play Store.
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 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'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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.