Google's Advanced Technology And Projects group (ATAP) in charge of Projects Ara and Tango, recently transferred to Google after the sale of Motorola Mobility to Lenovo, has the best motto ever (at least when it comes to divisions in large, publicly traded companies).
If your phone was already one of the very first devices to get the latest version of Android, do you really need a custom ROM like CyanogenMod? If you're shouting "YES" at the screen right now, you'll want to know about the first nightly builds available for the Moto X. The CM team has published CM11 nightlies for the Moto X on T-Mobile (XT1053, which is also the standard unlocked GSM edition) and for Verizon (XT1060), though the later needs to be a Developer Edition.
We've been trying to keep our heads up about the Lenovo-Motorola deal, but let's be honest: news like this is not encouraging. A Wall Street Journal report claims that Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside, whom many had credited with the company's impressive new product lines in 2013, is leaving for Dropbox. Woodside began working for Motorola after more than ten years at Google, succeeding Sanjay Jha after Google acquired the company.
The Wall Street Journal cites three anonymous sources in its detailed report, but Google confirmed the news shortly thereafter.
Android 4.4.2 is reaching the Moto X on T-Mobile today, which passed the recent soak test with flying colors. The update notification will be presenting itself soon, but you can also just head into the settings and check for updates manually. Yes, this is one of those rare times the update button will actually do something.
Motorola's Droid Zap, an exclusive feature for Verizon's 2013 DROID line, always seemed a bit on the limited side. Maybe that's because only those three DROID phones could actually use the service - other phones could receive photos from nearby users with the Zap app, but only the DROID Ultra, DROID Mini, and DROID Maxx could send them. Today Moto has seen the light and made both sending and receiving photos possible for any phone.
The Motorola direct price on the Moto G is great, but some carriers have opted to sell the phone even cheaper in an attempt to lure customers. US Cellular is following Verizon's lead today in offering the Moto G for just $99.99 off-contract. It's live on the US Cellular website right now and will be in stores February 10th.
The Moto G is $179 from Motorola as an unlocked GSM device, so you're saving a fair amount if you don't mind sticking with USC.
Mobile news hounds, you'd better start getting the popcorn ready - Mobile World Congress starts in just over two weeks. Following Samsung's confirmation of their Unpacked event, Motorola has also scheduled a press event for the Barcelona trade show on Tuesday, February 25th.
Then again, maybe popcorn won't be necessary. According to Pocket-Lint, Motorola will have no major announcements to make at the event, which probably means no new mobile hardware at Mobile World Congress.
Fans of Google in general and Android in particular are still reeling from yesterday's announcement that Motorola is being sold to Lenovo. Google acquired Moto just two years ago, and while its time within Google has been beneficial, it's clearly not going to become the official mobile hardware arm that many had hoped for. But there's no reason to think that the big G is out of the hardware game altogether - in fact, at least one report says that another recent acquisition may be accelerating it.
Google may have just sold Motorola Mobility to Lenovo, but it seems the giant may have kept one of the manufacturer's juiciest pieces (besides patents) to itself.
According to Pocket-lint, Lenovo has confirmed that Google will be keeping Moto's Advanced Technology and Projects group, notably responsible for Project Ara, the modular phone project announced in October in collaboration with Phonebloks, and other experimental ventures.
The team, led by former DARPA Director Regina Dugan is said by the Verge to be heading to Google's Android team, reporting to Sundar Pichai.