The keyboard-packing Droid series is one known to most any smartphone fan. Over the past two years, we've seen the Droid 2, Droid 2 Global, and the Droid 3 all hit the market in an attempt to recreate the popularity of the the original Motorola Droid, all to no avail. All three handsets seemed to just miss the mark - be it lack of 4G or not enough RAM to please enthusiasts and power users.
Motorola Atrix users should be expecting an OTA update this evening (or at least sometime soon), according to Motorola's Global Portal (corroborated by reports from Atrixforums.com). The update evidently includes a handful of improvements, from the "latest Google Android security fixes," to stability improvements, as well as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Messaging, and Contacts enhancements. Here's the full list of highlights from Motorola's site:
For those who are curious, this update will break root access.
Back in October of '11, Motorola confirmed the first devices set to receive Android 4.0: the RAZR, Bionic, and the XOOM. While the Wi-Fi XOOM is the only of the mentioned devices to have already received the update, Moto just added a slew of other devices to that list, including:
- RAZR MAXX
- Droid 4
- Photon 4G
- Atrix 4G
- Atrix 2
- XOOM Family Edition
- XOOM 2
- XOOM (3G)
- Xyboard 8.2 (Wi-Fi and LTE)
- Xyboard 10.1 (Wi-Fi and LTE)
- Droid 3
- Droid X2
- Milestone 3
- MT917 (China)
- XT928 (China)
- MT870 (China)
- XT605 (China)
- XT822 (China)
While the bulk of those devices are still "in evaluation and planning" (which means that they could be deemed too "underpowered" for ICS and dropped from the upgrade path altogether), an approximate release schedule is available for some.
Earlier today, the EU gave the OK on the pending Google-Motorola deal, even if it did so with a bit of hesitation. The U.S. has now followed suit and approved the deal, leaving only the Chinese to put the stamp of approval on before El Goog will fully own Motorola Mobility.
Google first announced its plans to purchase Motorola Mobility back in August of 2011. The proposal was met with skepticism from many companies, though Google has vowed to control Motorola as a separate entity and keep the playing field level for companies that wish to participate in the Nexus program.
Google just got one step closer to finalizing its acquisition of Motorola Mobility with approval from the 27-member European Union. Google still needs approval from the U.S. and China, as well as a few other key jurisdictions, before it can bring Motorola into the fold, but at the moment things are looking rosy for the Big G.
The EU did express some hesitations about the deal, however. EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia had this to say in a statement to the press:
A little over two years ago, a phone hit the scene that changed Android forever. That phone was, of course, the Motorola Droid. It almost single-handedly put Android on the map. Its QWERTY slider made it one-of-a-kind, and Android 2.0 was the hottest thing smoking. Fast-forward two years and three keyboarded QWERTY Droids later, and what do we have? The newest generation of Does, the Droid 4.
While some may argue that past Droids have been a letdown, The D4 fulfills many, if not all, of the requests made of the Droid line (on paper, at least).
The latest RAZR-looking, 5-row-keyboard-sliding, LTE-packing Droid incarnation - the Motorola Droid 4 - went live today on VZW.com and at Verizon Wireless stores nationwide. The Droid 4 is the first LTE-enabled device in the family which makes it much more appealing to those of you who have been shying away from Moto's iconic line due to data speed constraints.
The Droid 4's full specs include:
- 1.2GHz dual-core TI OMAP4430 processor
- 1GB of RAM
- Android 2.3.5 (Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich upgradable in the future)
- 4-inch qHD "scratch-and-scrape resistant" display with Gorilla glass
- 16GB internal memory, up to 32 GB microSD card supported
- Full 5-row LED edge-lit laser-cut QWERTY keyboard
- 8MP rear shooter with 1080p HD video capture
- 1.3MP 720p HD front-facing camera
- 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi
- 179g (6.31oz)
- 2.8 (w) x 5.0 (h) x 0.5 (d) inches
- CDMA 800, 1900 EVDO REV A/LTE B13 700
- 1785 mAh battery
- Talk time - 12.5 hours, standby time - 8.5 days
Compared to the Droid 3, this device is faster and better all around - it has a faster processor, supports faster data speeds over LTE, and doubles up on the RAM (1GB vs 512MB).
Earlier today, when I read comments from Motorola executive Christy Wyatt over on PCMag explaining that lagging software updates could be blamed in large part on hardware variation, my first response was "really?" Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Motorola has iterated so much hardware in the last year that it has actually promised to cut down on the number of versions of Android handsets it will make.
Specifically, Wyatt made a point of the obvious fact that when Google releases the source code for Android, the only devices it will readily compile on fall into the "Nexus" category.
The first Droid-branded tablet duo, the Droid Xyboard 10.1 and 8.2, are both in line to receive an update from Big Red. The OTA includes basically the same features for both:
Nothing says 'love' like a sleek new Android device, and when it comes to sleek, few meet the very essence of the word the way the Motorola RAZR does. It's fast. It's thin. It's a RAZR. And we have a couple to give away, courtesy of GetJar, the home of GetJar Gold and top-notch free apps.
Free apps. Free phone. What more do you need? Oh, yeah. Details.