Motorola's sale to Lenovo doesn't seem to have dampened its resolve for speedy Android updates. After upgrading the 2013 DROID line to the latest version of KitKat earlier this week, it looks like the Moto X and the Verizon-only version of the Moto G are getting ready for the same treatment. We've been sent alerts that some users are being invited to a "soak test" for Android 4.4.4, which means that a full rollout is probably a few weeks away at most.
Android 4.4.4 is just a minor security update, but what's the point of buying these Nexus and Google Play Edition devices if you can't have the latest and greatest no matter how minor the update? The Google Play Edition Moto G is finally living up to expectations with an OTA to Android 4.4.4. Just like the LG G Pad Google Play Edition (that's the LGGPGPE for "short"), this device is making the jump straight from 4.4.2 to 4.4.4.
Motorola's newer phones have a lot of little touches that improve the overall experience, one of which is the boot services app. Sounds boring, right? Well, it is most of the time. The exception being days like today when Motorola uses boot services to push out a new boot animation. This time it's got a World Cup theme.
Yesterday we brought attention to an issue with Motorola's international devices wherein the carrier ID would be displayed in the status bar all the time, making the notification area almost useless in many circumstances. Well, Motorola VP Punit Soni happened to notice the post and chimed in with an update – it turns out Motorola is rolling out a fix in 4.4.3.
Alongside the launch of the brand new super-budget Moto E, Motorola also announced an improved variant of its marginally more expensive Moto G. The updated version is now equipped with an LTE radio and an SD card slot. Naturally, the price of the LTE model is also a bit higher at $219, which is still a bargain. Oh yeah, now it also comes in white!
This is certainly a boon to those seeking a low-cost device, but don't want to settle on 3G speeds.
Update: Amazon's pre-order page has been updated, and now it appears the Moto G LTE will be shipping out on June 3rd (next week). Nice.
The Moto G is probably the best deal in low-end Android hardware at the moment, but its modest specs are missing one vital component: LTE connectivity. It looks like Motorola is aiming to fix that omission, admittedly with a slight premium. LTE versions of the previously 3G-only phone are now on Amazon in a pre-order form, set to ship on June 30th for $219.99.
Republic Wireless saw success with its offer of the Moto X last year, and now the carrier has made good on its promise to start selling the low-cost Moto G. For a mere $149 you can get the 8GB Moto G on Republic with no contract and cheap WiFi calling.
Republic Wireless piggybacks on the Sprint network, but augments that with WiFi calling when you're connected to a network. Unlike other VoIP solutions, Republic Wireless can hand-off a call from WiFi to cellular if you lose connection.
After launching the Moto X at $299 late last year, Republic Wireless is moving on to Motorola's other current handset. The Moto G will be available without contract for $149 sometime in April and voice plans on Republic Wireless start at just $5 per month.
When the Moto X launched on Republic it still cost over $500 from Motorola. Thus, it was a pretty big deal to sell it for just $299.
One of the biggest advantages of Motorola's latest phones is that they've been rapidly updated to Android 4.4. But at least some owners of the low-cost Moto G are having serious issues after updating to 4.4.2. Many posters on the official Motorola support forums are saying that their phones are intermittently dropping all cell signals, and in some cases even losing connection with the phone's SIM card. These issues were not reported before the Android 4.4 update.