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.
We figured that Motorola would be among the first to roll out Android 4.4 updates to their phones, considering the company's relationship with Google. But I don't think anyone suspected that the company would begin rolling out software updates within the month. According to an anonymous tipster, Verizon is beginning the soak test process for the Android 4.4 update to the Moto X, a strong indicator that it could be sent to all the Moto X units on Verizon within a few weeks.
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.
Remember when everyone was pissed off that the Verizon version of the Galaxy Nexus couldn't use Google Wallet because of "security concerns"? ISIS Mobile Wallet, the alternative carrier-sponsored NFC payment system (and the reason that last sentence was equipped with sarcastic quote marks) is finally available, just two years after Google Wallet was coincidentally blocked by the carriers that are pushing ISIS. Nice work there, fellas.
ISIS has been in a beta testing mode in limited markets for just over a year - the necessary Android apps have been available on the Google Play Store since then.
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.
Tweeps! Get ready to express yourself. Literally! pic.twitter.com/QzSBNhXe5A
— Motorola Mobility (@Motorola) November 10, 2013
We've known since launch that the Moto Maker customization tool for the Moto X wouldn't be an AT&T exclusive forever, and it looks like that period is just about to expire.
You might not be able to activate the Nexus 7 on Verizon, but Big Red is more than happy to offer its own branded alternative to the best 7-inch tablet available. The Ellipsis was announced a couple of days ago to the raucous applause of absolutely no one, and now it's officially on sale. You can pick one up for $149.99 with a two-year contract, or a surprisingly low $249.99 off-contract.
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.
We've received an official statement from Verizon on the ongoing Nexus 7 LTE / Verizon saga, a story that has gone silent in the months since Verizon promised the device was being certified for the network. Today, we've finally been given official word from Big Red on what the problem is, and let me say: you're not going to like it.
According to a Verizon spokesperson, during certification it was discovered that the Nexus 7 had a "systems issue" that presumably would have caused it to fail Verizon's testing.