Have you been waiting with bated breath for news of the Verizon Wireless Moto X? Well, Big Red has made its Moto X signup page live so you can get the "latest information" on the device. I'm sure that's accurate. They wouldn't take your email, then wait days after the official release date is announced to let you know, right? At least not again.
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.
You can't have them in your grubby little paws just yet, but as soon as the new Motorola DROID phones from Verizon are ready to ship, you can get them at a big discount from Wirefly. If you pre-order one of the devices now, you can save $50-100.
The DROID Ultra (red or black) is going for $149.99, which is $50 off Verizon's price. The Mini is also $50 off, at just $49.99.
For most people, a black phone is fine. The slightly more trendy might be drawn to a clean white exterior. But not you. Oh no, you want a phone that's brown like fine Corinthian leather. A phone that you can feel proud to hoist above your head and exclaim for all the world to hear that you are a man, and this is a man's phone! Ladies will probably like it too, but for different reasons.
For the couple of years, Samsung's cheaper, smaller handsets have been sold mostly on America's small regional carriers. It looks like Verizon is bucking that trend by bringing the Galaxy S4 Mini, a phone that's related to is big brother in name only, to US consumers. Engadget was tipped with some photos and screenshots of the phone "in the wild," with a pretty convincing set of Verizon logos and a boot-up sequence.
Update 2: Verizon has confirmed that it is in fact an update to Android 4.1.2, not Android 4.2, as the screenshot below now reflects.
Update: It sounds like this may be an Android 4.1.2 update, not Android 4.2. The build number JZO54M is, according to Google's own codename site, an Android 4.1.2 build (specifically, Android 4.1.2 R2.1). Sounds like Verizon done goofed. We've reached out for confirmation, but I'd be skeptical if the Verizon XOOM suddenly bunny-hopped from Android 4.0 to Android 4.2.
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.
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.
If you updated your Verizon Galaxy S4 to the latest over-the-air build, or bought one after it was already installed, you might already be aware that it's been especially resistant to root attempts. Savvy power users have stayed well away from the updated VRUAME7 firmware, which makes rolling back to an earlier build impossible. But as is so often the case, two enterprising XDA-Developers posters have solved at least some of the problems, and released a new rooting method for the latest OTA.
For many power users, 16GB just doesn't cut it any more, especially when the world's leading smartphone manufacturer insists upon using a third of that for its customized Android build. Combine that with a still-outrageous premium for those few models that of phones that include extra storage, and you've got a recipe for frustration. But the Galaxy S4 situation just got a little less rage-inducing, at least if you're a prospective Verizon customer: both Amazon Wireless and WireFly have dropped the 32GB version of the Galaxy S4 to $199.99 on-contract.