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.
That didn't take long. Just 2 days after Justin Case released a root method for the Moto X, Droid Ultra, Droid Mini, and Droid Maxx, he's already back with a hack that bypasses write protection. By disabling the write protection afforded by the bootloader, it becomes possible to flash 3rd-party ROMs, themes, and other mods. In other words, the flood gates are open for the modding community.
Much like MotoRoot, PwnMyMoto is packaged as a single app that must be sideloaded with adb.
Since Dan Rosenberg declared his intentions to stop publishing exploits for Motorola devices, fans of the OEM have been wondering if there will be much of a future within the modding community. While the distant future is still very foggy, Justin Case has come to the rescue with his own rooting method for Motorola's latest salvo of devices. His simple-to-use app roots the Moto X, Ultra, Mini, and Maxx.
I'm sure most of you are here to get your phone rooted, so let's go straight to the instructions.
The Motorola DROID Ultra is a strange beast, at once a preview of Motorola's Google-centric future and a connection to its recent independent past. While its specifications and software features are nearly identical to the ubiquitous Moto X, a unique design and Verizon exclusivity (along with the DROID Mini and DROID MAXX) means that it shares a market position with previous DROIDs... a position that's somewhat irrelevant these days.
So why would you choose a DROID Ultra over the Moto X?
Motorola hasn't been shy with the apps as of late. They've published a handful of new ones in the last few weeks, most of which are exclusive to the multi-carrier Moto X and the new family of DROIDs for Verizon. The Skip app went live just a few hours ago, but the latest is possibly the phones' most visible feature, Touchless Control. It lets the new Motos react to voice while the phone screen is off with the command "OK Google Now."
Don't get excited: the app is absolutely and emphatically only for the Moto X, DROID Mini, DROID Ultra, and DROID MAXX.
Remember the "Zap" feature that Motorola and Verizon hyped up during their latest press conference? You could be forgiven if you don't - the local sharing app is a solution looking for a problem, and it's only for the new DROID phones. Like the previous Moto-exclusive apps, Droid Zap has popped into the Play Store long before the launch of the DROID Ultra, DROID MAXX, or DROID Mini.
Why have it in the Play Store?
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.