4 years ago

Customize your Moto X: A Moto Maker Preview


We walk you through customizing your Moto X with the new Moto Maker website

Never mind the specs. Never mind the software. Your Moto X is a beautiful butterfly, unique in the world. Rather, it will be, once you get done designing it.

That's where Moto Maker — eventually live at www.motomaker.com — comes in. 

We caught a very brief glimpse of it at Motorola's launch event in New York City a couple weeks ago. Now, we've gotten a better look at how you'll be able to add some color to your Moto X, with a preview of Moto Maker. 

The good news is that everything's pretty self-explanatory, and as easy as can be. You pick your colors for the back, front and accents on the phone, add an inscription on the back, and a custom message on the boot screen (or don't, if that's not your thing), choose some accessories if you want, and you'll have your one-of-a-kind phone within four days.

Motorola hooked us up with a preview code for Moto Maker. We'll walk you through it.

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch again rumored for IFA


Samsung wearable again rumored to debut at Unpacked in Berlin on September 4

Following reports out of Korea about a Samsung smartwatch known as the Galaxy Gear heading to IFA next month, Bloomberg has today chimed in with their own report. Their sources have informed them that it is called the Galaxy Gear, and that we will indeed be seeing it debut at Samsung Unpacked in Berlin on September 4. 

The report goes on to share more details, that again back up earlier reports, suggesting the Galaxy Gear will be able to make phone calls, surf the web and handle emails, all running on Android. After last year's surprise arrival of the Galaxy Camera at Unpacked, we wouldn't be at all shocked to see Samsung pull something else out besides the expected Galaxy Note 3. Whatever happens, we'll be live from Berlin next month to bring you everything that goes down. 

Source: Bloomberg

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4 years ago

Motorola Skip will be free (at first) for custom Moto X owners


After a little bit of a false start yesterday, Motorola has officially announced Skip, its thumb-sized NFC clip that'll let you unlock your Moto X quickly and easily. Tap your phone to it, and it unlocks. (Of course, your thumb can do that, too, and not cost $20.)

But along with each skip purchase you'll get three "Skip dots," which Motorola says will create a "Trusted Zone" for your Moto X, allowing it to stay unlocked while it's within range. So put one in your car, and you won't have to unlock the phone, for instance.

If you snag a custom Moto X through Moto Maker, you'll get a free Skip (and the Skip Dots, we presume) with your phone. For now, you can have it in any color you want, so long as it's gray. More colors care coming this fall.

Source: Motorola

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4 years ago

Three UK reaffirms 4G price promise, says Q4 launch on target


Seamless 4G rollout for customers with compatible devices

As Vodafone and O2 prepare to offer 4G services at a premium, rival network Three has restated its plans to roll out LTE connectivity as standard for existing customers. In a statement given to UK blog Coolsmartphone, the operator said it was on-track to begin switching on 4G during Q4, at no extra cost to users, and without requiring a new SIM.

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4 years ago

Asphalt 8: Airborne launching August 22


Dev offering the chance to win pre-launch download codes for Nexus 7-optimized racer

First unveiled at Google's Nexus 7 and Android 4.3 event in San Francisco a few weeks back, Gameloft's Asphalt 8: Airborne was due to be released back on Aug. 8. Obviously that didn't happen, however there's now a new release date on the cards — next Thursday, Aug 22.

But if you can't wait that long, Gameloft is giving away a pre-launch code to one lucky winner, who'll be able to play the game before anyone else. To enter, you'll need to subscribe to the developer's YouTube channel and fill out the form on its website.

Asphalt 8 is one of the new Android titles optimized for OpenGL ES 3.0, the new 3D graphics standard included in Android 4.3. The title promises 180 events, 47 licensed cars and social integration, including  Facebook support.

Source: +Gameloft; Gameloft blog

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4 years ago

Motorola has a snazzy desktop dock for the Moto X, too


Another Moto X accessory goes on sale before the device itself.

Motorola is going another step in the direction of having a full accessory lineup for the Moto X at launch now with the new Griffin "PowerDock" for the device. There are very few frills here, and what we see from the two product shots included in the listing are a basic base with a Micro USB plug to charge the phone and a cradle in the back to hold it up at a steep angle. Around the back you can see another Micro USB input for the power adapter into the wall, just as we'd expect.

This dock is prominently displayed as being made by Griffin, just like the car dock, so we have to assume that we may see an even broader lineup of Moto X-specific Griffin accessories in the pipeline. Remember the phone isn't even on sale yet, so we applaud Motorola for having accessories ready to go out of the gate — we certainly can't say the same for Nexus accessories over the years.

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4 years ago

Moto X car dock goes on sale for $40 direct from Motorola


Basic 'Navigation Dock' with few frills made specifically for the Moto X.

It seems Motorola is gearing up for the launch of the Moto X more than ever, and has released its second official accessory for the device. Even though you can't buy the phone yet, Motorola has put up for sale an official car dock, made by Griffin specifically for the Moto X.

The accessory looks like a basic suction cup mount with a grippy plate that is adjustable for "all but the bulkiest cases" for the phone and an adjustable arm to pivot the phone towards you. The dock will enable car mode when the Moto X is placed in it, and naturally the extra software features for hands-free use should work just fine as well.

The dock is selling for $39.95 directly from Motorola at the source link below.

Source: Motorola; Via: Moto X Forum

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4 years ago

Moto X 'Skip' unlocking accessory now available for $20


Unlock your phone via NFC with a tap on this wearable accessory.

Motorola has just put up an odd Moto X accessory for sale called the "Skip" which unlocks your Moto X when you take it out of your pocket. The "wearable accessory" clips onto your shirt or pants near where you keep your Moto X in your pocket, and unlocks the device via NFC when you swipe past it. Yup, that's all it does and Motorola is asking $20 for this accessory to boot.

A support document showing setup and troubleshooting information for the Skip indicates that it's simple to set up by tapping your Moto X to it once and following the settings prompts. But we're still unsure how this is any notable amount faster to unlock your phone than pulling it out and hitting the power button with your thumb. Presumably you'll have to hold the phone for some amount of time over the NFC antenna in the device to make sure it works.

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4 years ago

Chromecast app update aims to fix discoverability issues


OK, folks. If you've got a Chromecast but have had issues getting it to connect to certain devices, it's time to update your Chromecast app. Google's put forth some new code that should fix some discoverability problems.

Looking through our ever-busy Chromecast forums, it looks like this should help out a few folks. Have at it.

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4 years ago

LG G2 will have wireless charging in Europe ... well, sort of


Verizon wireless charging exclusive seems to stretch beyond U.S. borders.

It was a bit of a letdown to hear today that Verizon had locked up the exclusive on wireless charging with their own logo-laden LG G2, but luckily there's hope for the billions of people in this world not on Verizon. LG has confirmed with Pocket-Lint that the manufacturer will be making an accessory available to give wireless charging capabilities to the handset, at least in Europe.

Now this seems a little odd for Verizon to have a worldwide exclusive on wireless charging, but we have to at least give a small bit of credit to LG for making something else available. (Naturally, we would have preferred if LG didn't cave to such a crazy demand.) Unfortunately at this time LG was unwilling to confirm the pricing or release date of such accessory, even as the phone gets ready to go on sale next month.

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4 years ago

Google Translate adds Hindi and Thai handwriting input, camera input for four more languages


Further expanding the methods of communication with a single app.

Android is an operating system that is truly global, and Google is expanding the capabilities of Google Translate today to reflect that by adding important new languages. First are two new languages that can be used for handwriting recognition, and those are Hindi and Thai. It's especially important for handwriting recognition for languages such as these because they have a non-Roman character set that is difficult to use on a standard keyboard layout.

Today's update is also expanding the capabilities of Google Translate's "camera input", which reads languages you capture from physical objects with your phone's camera, to Afrikaans, Greek, Hebrew and Serbian. With these new capabilities in Google Translate for six more languages, Google is adding to an ever-expanding list of foreign languages that can help people communicate whether they're traveling or hosting travelers themselves.

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4 years ago

Google and Microsoft fight over Youtube app, again


Windows Phone Youtube app claimed to violate Google's terms of service, nonfunctional in the meantime.

Google and Microsoft haven't been the best of friends lately, and the latest incarnation of this broken relationship is Google shutting down the Youtube app on Windows Phone yet again. If you'll recall back to the first time the companies clashed over Youtube, Microsoft had pretty much done a one-off app after being frustrated with Google's lack of Windows Phone development.

Now after re-releasing an official app after collaboration with Google, Microsoft has seen the same fate. A statement by Google indicates that Microsoft is still breaching the terms of service for creating a Youtube app, even though Google was involved in the development:

"Microsoft has not made the browser upgrades necessary to enable a fully-featured YouTube experience, and has instead re-released a YouTube app that violates our Terms of Service," says a spokesperson. "It has been disabled. We value our broad developer community and therefore ask everyone to adhere to the same guidelines."

Microsoft, naturally, doesn't see things the same way. Posting to Microsoft's TechNet blog, David Howard seems to think that Google is taking an unfair look at Microsoft in order to focus on Youtube for Android and IOS. Together with the recent quarrels over Gmail and Google Maps, we're unfortunately in for a long road of fighting between Google and Microsoft.

Source: MicrosoftWPCentral

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4 years ago

GIF Chat launches on Android, offers looping video clips and text messaging


Another way to show off your 6-second video skills.

The group messaging app space is full of great choices, but GIF Chat is trying to get in on the craze with its own set of features. Walking the line between apps like Snapchat which only do short video clips and fully-featured voice, video and text chat apps like Viber, GIF Chat offers group chatting with up to 6-second looping video as well as text chatting.

Given it's name, GIF Chat naturally focuses on the video aspect of the service, with plenty of features for recording and editing videos. Using either front or rear cameras, you can collect up to 6-seconds of video, select the playback speed and even set how many times it will loop — 1 to 10 times or never — before disappearing.

GIF Chat launched on iOS last week and is cross-platform compatible with the Android version, which is also a nice feature. The app is free and displays ads at the bottom of some pages from time to time, and there's no indication of whether or not there will be a paid, ad-free version. Ready to try another group messaging client? grab a download from the Play Store link above.

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4 years ago

In pictures: Huawei Ascend P6 vs. Apple iPhone 4S


Is it borrowing designs, or just inspiration? Some of the similarities are surprising.

It's no secret that there are design similarities between the Huawei Ascend P6 and the iPhone, but how similar are they? Well naturally the screen sizes and operating systems differentiate them pretty well, but there are certainly many points where the likeness between the two is uncanny.

Particularly, you can see almost exact similarities with the metal banding around the sides, the camera and speaker grille at the top of the phones. The similarities go further with an iPhone 5, which is simply taller and thinner and therefore looks more like a typical 16:9 Android phone to begin with.

Stick with us after the break for a full gallery of the Huawei Ascend P6 with an iPhone 4S.

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4 years ago

'Dots' game comes to Google Play, Amazon Appstore


Another great and simple puzzle game makes its way to Android.

Popular iOS game "Dots" is making the move to Android today, and its bringing with it a new game mode as well. Well-known and enjoyed for its simplicity, Dots has basic puzzle-style gameplay based on connecting dots with the swipe of a finger to build up bonuses and points. The standard gameplay gives you 60 seconds to connect as many dots and get the most points.

New to the game in its move to Android is a "Moves" mode, which gives you a limited set of moves rather than a limited amount of time. It's another way to think of the game that's a little more relaxed. The game is free in both Google Play at the link above, as well as the Amazon Appstore for Kindle Fire owners at the source link below.

Source: Dots (Amazon Appstore)

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