Motorola hasn't forgotten about those devices that aren't part of the "Moto" family. The Droid Maxx, Droid Ultra, and Droid Mini on Verizon are getting the Android 4.4.4 update starting today. Even the Moto X hasn't been given the go ahead yet.
If you've bought a DROID phone from Verizon and Motorola at some point in the last two generations, you've got an update coming soon. The carrier posted update materials for all 2012 and 2013 Motorola DROIDs: RAZR M, RAZR HD, RAZR MAXX HD, Mini, Ultra, and Maxx. The older phones are getting upgraded to Android 4.4.2, while the newer DROIDs just get a stability update.
Assist is one of the core apps that Motorola has dropped into the Play Store, which means it can be updated as needed. It's gotten a few tweaks already, and today another update is rolling out. This time it should make the meeting mode more useful for users with more than one calendar.
The meeting mode in Assist will automatically silence the phone and auto-reply to messages (both optional) when you are in a meeting.
Yet another Motorola app has been added to the Play Store, but it's not as glamorous this time. MotoCare will now be kept up to date on all supported devices, and it's getting a new (slightly more descriptive) name – Motorola Help.
This app contains basic how-tos, tips, and support information. There is an option to call Motorola support directly, or start a chat session. That's more than you get with most OEMs.
The Touchless Control feature on the Moto X and Verizon's 2013 DROIDs (Ultra, Maxx, and Mini) is already one of the coolest Android manufacturer add-ons around. Today it gets just a little cooler: the Touchless Control app was updated to add a "What's up" command. This voice command will make your phone read out the unread notifications in your status bar. This should be great for hands-free updates while driving. Or bathing.
Motorola has been taking advantage of the Play Store to distribute updates to a number of stock apps including the camera, Assist, and Touchless Control. Now the newest addition to the Play Store has popped up, and it's the stock Gallery app with a new coat of paint. The old one looked just like the stock Android/Nexus app, but now it has a light KitKat vibe.
They've done it with the camera. They've done it with Touchless Control and Migrate. They've even done it with the FM Radio from the brand new Moto G. Now Motorola is moving even more of its proprietary phone apps into Google Play Land, presumably to allow for more frequent and reliable updates. Today Motorola Assist and Motorola Connect, both exclusive to the Moto X and Verizon's new Motorola DROID phones, are available on the Play Store.
Some Moto X owners weren't particularly happy to learn that a recent OTA with improvements to the camera also had the undesirable consequence of breaking root acquired through PwnMyMoto. Fortunately, the creator of PwnMyMoto, Justin Case, is back with an updated root method that works on the latest Moto X update and should be compatible with all recent Motorola firmwares.
Update: RockMyMoto is confirmed to also work on the latest firmwares for the Droid Maxx, Ultra, and Mini.
There's a lot to like about Motorola's Verizon-specific DROID line. They don't have the most groundbreaking specs, but they're covered in Kevlar and they feature Motorola's excellent radios and battery life. If you're looking to get your Active Notifications on for not much cash. Amazon has some massive discounts on the three new models. New Verizon customers can pick up the long-lived DROID MAXX for $69.99, and svelte DROID Ultra or the compact DROID Mini for just a penny.
In our review of the Motorola DROID Ultra, we labeled it a phone in search of an audience. Still, if you like the Moto X but prefer capacitive navigation buttons, or you like the larger display that the DROID Ultra offers, then maybe this phone is for you. If this is the case, listen up. Amazon has dropped the price of the handset down to $99.99 with a new two-year contract, a full $100 off the normal price, and they're offering it in black and red.