We were told that Motorola's new flagship would be coming soon, and we have not been disappointed. According to a press release issued this morning, the Moto X will be available at AT&T retailers and in the online store on August 23rd. Customers can order a customized model from the Moto Maker website, or use special kiosks in stores to begin the color and text selection process.
The 16GB model of the Moto X will be $199.99 on a two-year contract, with the AT&T exclusive 32GB version running $249.99.
If you like the idea of being able to upgrade your phone once a year instead of every two, AT&T is more than happy to oblige with its Next plans... for a price. But adoption must have been a bit more tepid than they anticipated, because the monthly payments for phones on the Next plans seem to have been reduced without fanfare. Most phones have had their monthly finance-free charges reduced by a dollar, but some of the flagship phones have $5 reductions, scaling up to $60-100 in savings depending on when you upgrade.
Pre-paid smartphone users were in an uproar a few months ago when Straight Talk stopped selling AT&T SIM cards to new customers. At the time, all we were able to ascertain was that the cards were sold out online, but a few retailers like Walmart still had some in stock. Well, they're back – in a limited sort of way.
When you go through the sign up process, the website will only show you T-Mobile or AT&T cards for a given ZIP code.
LG had hardly introduced its new G2 flagship when they mentioned that it would come to the "big four" American carriers, meaning AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint. They're bringing the fight to Samsung in this carrier-driven market. T-Mobile has confirmed the statement in the LG event: there's already a basic website dedicated to the new 5.2-inch Android handset, complete with the compulsory information signup. There's currently no date or price for the phone on any carrier.
In preparation for reporting on the general state of the Moto X bootloader, we reached out to AT&T for an official statement on the matter. We know that many potential buyers want to know whether they can fully modify their phones, especially after the HTC One X and Galaxy S4 were denied unlockable bootloaders on the carrier. Here's what they said in reply:
To ensure a safe and consistent experience on your wireless device, we do not support unlocked bootloaders.
The One VX was a rather quickly-forgotten mid-range handset released only on AT&T in the US, and we haven't heard much about it since its announcement. Those who purchased what is best called HTC's follow-up to the One S, though, will be pleased to know that an Android 4.1 update is head their way starting today. You can see HTC's announcement of the update, software version 2.21.502.1, here. Of course, Android 4.1 brings awesome stuff like Google Now and expandable notifications.
The AT&T-branded variant of the HTC One has a new maintenance update available, bringing the device to version 1.26.502.15. HTC's official announcement and update instructions can be found here. This is the second OTA update to be issued to the AT&T version of HTC's flagship handset, and the changelog is but a single item long. That item? "LTE Enhancements." Hooray! (?)
One of the coolest features for the Moto X is Motorola's Moto Maker system, a website that allows buyers to customize the color of the front, back, and accents for the phone. At launch it will only be available for the AT&T model, but Motorola is planning to expand availability to other carriers later in the year. Check out the video for the system below.
Verizon has already confirmed that they're getting access to Moto Maker, via a tweet from the official Verizon News account.
While the AT&T Galaxy S III received its Android 4.1 update way back in December 2012, it still had yet to get the Samsung "Premium Suite" upgrade with the much-vaunted multi window feature. Starting today, that update is rolling out - a full two months after even infamously-slow Verizon managed with its own S III. Better late than never, I guess.
Here's AT&T's brief changelog:
Software update includes
Multi Window: You can open two different apps at the same time into two different windows on the mobile screen.
The Isis mobile payment platform backed by AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile hasn't exactly taken off, but that's to be expected: today it's only available as a trial program in Austin and Salt Lake City. The latest press release from Isis announces that the NFC-powered platform will expand nationwide later this year, though a specific date was not mentioned. Isis is widely regarded as the reason that Google Wallet remains inaccessible to most Android users on the networks of its three founding companies.