Smartphone theft is a growing problem. With more and more people carrying around a $500 gadget in their pockets, muggers and pickpockets are targeting smartphone owners for a quick and easy buck on the aftermarket. Municipalities all over the country have noted the rise in cell phone theft, and so have the manufacturers. But as CBS News reports, when Samsung built in a user-accessible kill switch to deter thieves, the CTIA and the five largest carriers in the country wanted nothing to do with it.
There are a number of themes in Android news so common that we can almost pre-write the posts. One of the near certainties has always been that Verizon is going to take forever to update its phones. Well, that's why this news is so surprising. KitKat is coming to the Moto X on Verizon first, and it's happening today.
The Moto X is one of those rare devices that skips the spec war in favor of a more elegant approach. This device has interesting voice and notification features most other devices can't touch. If you're a Verizon customer with a hankering for active notifications and touchless control, today is your lucky day. You can grab a Moto X on Big Red for zero dollars with a new contract.
Motorola has made a splash in the mobile world today, thanks to a ridiculously cheap phone that appears to be pretty good. (Shocking!) The $179 Moto G was announced in a live event this morning, with availability in Brazil and parts of Europe today, and a worldwide rollout continuing into early 2014. The company published the first ad for the Moto G on its YouTube channel.
The ad highlights the phone's customizable backplates first and foremost.
After months of AT&T exclusivity, the Moto X can now be customized on all four major American carriers. The Moto Maker website now includes models for AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint, with custom color choices for the front panel, back panel, and accents. The Moto Maker tool also includes the engraving option for the rear panel that was heavily promoted during the device's reveal.
The options are the same as the customized AT&T model: black or white front and a choice of 18 colors for the rear and 7 accent colors for the power and volume buttons and the ring around the camera.
Update: Motorola posted the following tweet earlier today, which indicates that the engraving feature is coming soon to Moto Maker. The custom engraving option was removed shortly before the device launch after being heavily promoted.
The Moto X got a price drop on all American carriers late last month, bringing the on-contract price down to $100 for all American carriers (though you can find it cheaper at some retailers). It looks like Motorola is following suit with the unlockable developer versions of the phone, which are sold directly from the manufacturer and without subsidy. Previously the Developer Editions were $649.99, but you can now pick one up for $549.99.
It's not often that I get to fit the entire changelog of a software update in the headline, but today's the day. Verizon has shared details about an upcoming update for the Galaxy Note 3 that does two things - strengthens connectivity and improves sound quality. Though Verizon hasn't provided a proper software version number, the build hitting devices is apparently VRUBMJ7.
Anyone could sell someone else's tablet. The Nexus 7s and the Galaxy Tabs of the world may not have the brand recognition of the iPad, but consumers recognize them enough to know they want them, and it doesn't take much effort for a carrier to take an LTE version and push it to consumers. But this isn't enough for Verizon, as it has decided to sell a small tablet bearing its name and its name only.
If you're still rocking a DROID RAZR M on Verizon, get ready for a little OTA update action. This phone may be last year's news, but it's not forgotten. Well, at least not completely. No, it's not getting an update to 4.2 (let alone something newer). Instead, this is mostly a maintenance update.