The next version of Android is bringing a lot of visual options to the table, and they're not just for Google to play with. Buried deep within the KitKat 4.4 API (level 19) is the ability for apps to request translucent system UI overlays, specifically on the top notification bar and the bottom navigation bar (if your device has one). You can see this feature in action in all the promotional photos of the Nexus 5's homescreen, where the wallpaper is visible form the top of the screen to the bottom.
Seemingly following in Google's footsteps, Motorola has released one of its phones' core applications on the Play Store today, in the form of Motorola Camera. Unlike Google's apps, though, it doesn't seem likely the Motorola Camera app will be making its way onto non-Moto devices - it's only compatible with the Moto X.
Likely, the app is simply a way for Motorola to quickly update the camera software on its smartphones without having to develop its own app updating system, similar to the practice it began by putting Touchless Control on the Play Store.
As we're all still trying to come to grips with Motorola's newly revealed modular phone platform known as Project Ara, the folks at Phonebloks aren't missing a beat. They've uploaded a new video that explains a bit more about how they teamed up with Motorola. Also, there's a quick peek at Project Ara.
When Phonebloks started talking to companies about how to make the concept real, the Phonebloks guys found Moto was particularly interested.
So you've lost your Motorola phone - whether it's the Moto X or the latest DROID handset - and you need to find it in a hurry. You could fire up the Android Device Manager on a computer and get a precise, GPS-pinpointed picture of where your phone is on a map, but if you already know the phone is still at home, this is overkill. Instead, you could now just shout Ok, Google Now, find my phone!
Remember Phonebloks and how we all had a good laugh about how unworkable and idealistic it was? It turns out Motorola has been working on a similar project for the last year, and it's called Project Ara. This is really happening.
If you thought that the Moto X was too expensive at $199 for an on-contract phone, you're in a vocal majority. After a couple of months on the market, Motorola would seem to agree. The Moto Maker customization site was updated with the banner below this morning, dropping the price for the customized AT&T model down to just $99.99 for the 16GB version. The AT&T-exclusive 32GB model is also cheaper at $149.99.
Update: Best Buy didn't waste any time updating their prices on the newly-reduced Moto X. The prices for the various carrier versions of the Moto X below are now $0, $100 off the retail value.
We're getting into the stretch of the calendar that deal hunters spend all year preparing for: the pre-Christmas consumerism smorgasbord. It seems to be happening earlier and earlier, and Best Buy is getting in on the action even before Halloween.
The Moto X marked the spot for the the company's Google-centric rebrand earlier this year, and it looks like the naming convention may stick around for future models. The US Patent and Trademark Office is showing a new trademark filing from Motorola: the "MOTO G." This doesn't indicate that a new phone is coming, but it does mean that Motorola is interested in using that particular name for a future product.
The first OTA update for Moto X has been making the rounds, already landing on T-Mobile, Sprint, AT&T, and US Cellular. Now the enhancements are landing on Verizon devices. The delay is not at all surprising, really. When you have the best coverage in the country, you're free to take your time with these things. Verizon has all but made this philosophy corporate policy.
Wall Street analysts always read the tea leaves to come up with predictions of how a company will perform each quarter. If said company does better, investors are happy. If it does worse, investors are angry. The financial system is really based on our primal urges. Today, investors are very happy with Google. The company that spawned Android announced Q3 earnings last night that beat expectations, and the markets are going wild – Google stock is currently trading over $1000 per share.