They've done it with the camera. They've done it with Touchless Control and Migrate. They've even done it with the FM Radio from the brand new Moto G. Now Motorola is moving even more of its proprietary phone apps into Google Play Land, presumably to allow for more frequent and reliable updates. Today Motorola Assist and Motorola Connect, both exclusive to the Moto X and Verizon's new Motorola DROID phones, are available on the Play Store.
Update: DROID Mini owners are also eligible for the 50GB Google Drive promotion. The smaller device is receiving an OTA update that largely resembles that of the other two Verizon-exclusive Motorola handsets.
It may be exciting to receive a new OTA update, but many don't quite live up to the thrill of seeing the notification appear in our status bars. This is one of those updates. No, it doesn't miraculously roll out KitKat to the DROID Ultra and the DROID Maxx ahead of everyone else, but it does provide users with a preloaded promotion offering 50GB of Google Drive storage.
Some Moto X owners weren't particularly happy to learn that a recent OTA with improvements to the camera also had the undesirable consequence of breaking root acquired through PwnMyMoto. Fortunately, the creator of PwnMyMoto, Justin Case, is back with an updated root method that works on the latest Moto X update and should be compatible with all recent Motorola firmwares.
Update: RockMyMoto is confirmed to also work on the latest firmwares for the Droid Maxx, Ultra, and Mini.
There's a lot to like about Motorola's Verizon-specific DROID line. They don't have the most groundbreaking specs, but they're covered in Kevlar and they feature Motorola's excellent radios and battery life. If you're looking to get your Active Notifications on for not much cash. Amazon has some massive discounts on the three new models. New Verizon customers can pick up the long-lived DROID MAXX for $69.99, and svelte DROID Ultra or the compact DROID Mini for just a penny.
So it looks like quite a lot of you were waiting on the Developer Editions for those new Motorola phones. Just over one day after Motorola posted the Developer Editions of the Moto X and the DROID MAXX on the company's official store, all three phones are unavailable. The Verizon Moto X Developer Edition is marked as "Out of Stock," while the GSM Moto X DE and the DROID MAXX DE are marked as "Coming Soon."
Motorola seems to have vastly underestimated the demand for these phones and their unlockable bootloaders, even at the hefty unsubsidized price of $649.99 for all three models.
If you've been eyeing up those new Motorola devices, but want a more open experience, now is your moment. Motorola has added listings for the fabled Verizon and GSM Developer Edition Moto X units and a Developer Edition DROID MAXX. All three phones clock in at $649.99.
The DROID MAXX is Verizon only, but does have an unlockable bootloader and a cool "Developer Edition" badge. The Moto X developer handsets come in either GSM or Verizon flavors, but only the Verizon version is currently in stock.
Motorola hasn't been shy with the apps as of late. They've published a handful of new ones in the last few weeks, most of which are exclusive to the multi-carrier Moto X and the new family of DROIDs for Verizon. The Skip app went live just a few hours ago, but the latest is possibly the phones' most visible feature, Touchless Control. It lets the new Motos react to voice while the phone screen is off with the command "OK Google Now."
Don't get excited: the app is absolutely and emphatically only for the Moto X, DROID Mini, DROID Ultra, and DROID MAXX.
Remember the "Zap" feature that Motorola and Verizon hyped up during their latest press conference? You could be forgiven if you don't - the local sharing app is a solution looking for a problem, and it's only for the new DROID phones. Like the previous Moto-exclusive apps, Droid Zap has popped into the Play Store long before the launch of the DROID Ultra, DROID MAXX, or DROID Mini.
Why have it in the Play Store?
You can't have them in your grubby little paws just yet, but as soon as the new Motorola DROID phones from Verizon are ready to ship, you can get them at a big discount from Wirefly. If you pre-order one of the devices now, you can save $50-100.
The DROID Ultra (red or black) is going for $149.99, which is $50 off Verizon's price. The Mini is also $50 off, at just $49.99.
We've known for a while what Verizon was going to announce today, but the company just made it's new Holy Trinity of Motorola Droids official: the Droid Ultra, Droid MAXX, and Droid Mini. As expected, all three are successors to last year's Droid M, RAZR HD, and RAZR MAXX. While the Mini is basically in a league of its own, the Ultra and MAXX are kindred spirits, essentially only being separated by battery capacity and thickness.