Like a lot of manufacturers that hope to sell phones in developing territories, Motorola adds FM radio functionality to its budget models, currently including the Moto E and the first and second generation of the Moto G. And as is the vogue for manufacturer customizations, the developers at the company have published their custom apps on the Play Store for easier updating. Today the built-in version of the FM radio app gets an update adding some much-needed features.
Much to the chagrin of cell carriers and hardware manufacturers, there are still many in the Android community that choose to delve into the world of hacking and modding their phones. Owners of the Verizon Moto G are certainly in this crowd, and they've been eagerly awaiting a reliable method for unlocking their bootloaders. It turns out that their wait ends today. Sunshine, a tool built by Justin Case, Beaups, and others to unlock HTC and Motorola phones, just gained support for the Moto G on Verizon.
Boost Mobile has announced that it is now pushing out the Android 4.4.4 over-the-air update to the Moto G. This release will bump users of the affordable handset up to the latest version of Android, bragging rights that plenty of more powerful handsets can't provide.
Android 4.4.4 is a bug fix update, so don't look for anything particularly exciting. Some stability issues and security vulnerabilities have been addressed, but that's not something that's really going to stand up after rebooting from the update.
The new Moto X makes a good first impression, but that's as much to do with the software as with the hardware. Luckily, owners of last year's Motorola devices won't be left in the dust. Motorola's Punit Soni has confirmed that all the new software features will be ported to the last generation devices, provided there is hardware support.
Motorola's apps are exclusively available to its devices, but some of the more affordable handsets take a while to get some of the provided features. In this case, the Motorola Assist and Contextual Services apps have recently been updated to bring Driving and Home mode support for the Moto G and the Moto E. To understand what this means, we must first take a look at what both of these apps actually do.
The Moto G is easily one of the best choices on the market for a low-cost smartphone. One of the more appealing aspects of the handset is that it's essentially unlocked and free of carrier ties (in most cases, anyway), allowing users to more easily do all the things that carriers attempt to block on their branded handsets.
Among those things is rooting and ROMing, and now CyanogenMod 11 nightlies are rolling out for the Moto G 4G GSM.
If you're looking for a good, affordable device, it's hard to beat the Moto G. It's running KitKat, has a very one hand-able 4.5-inch display, and now comes with LTE. On Amazon, this little guy will set you back $220, but it looks like Best Buy is trying to get rid of some backstock, as it recently dropped the price to $180. That's an LTE-enabled Motorola device running KitKat for less than two hundred monies.
It's never a bad thing when phones get the latest version of Android software, and Motorola seems committed to sending it to their devices sooner rather than later. After the usual Verizon soak test a couple of weeks ago, the updated ROMs are ready and apparently flying out to both the high-end Moto X and Verizon's customized CDMA Moto G. If you don't see the update alert in your notification bar, you should sometime over the next few days.
Motorola's sale to Lenovo doesn't seem to have dampened its resolve for speedy Android updates. After upgrading the 2013 DROID line to the latest version of KitKat earlier this week, it looks like the Moto X and the Verizon-only version of the Moto G are getting ready for the same treatment. We've been sent alerts that some users are being invited to a "soak test" for Android 4.4.4, which means that a full rollout is probably a few weeks away at most.
Android 4.4.4 is just a minor security update, but what's the point of buying these Nexus and Google Play Edition devices if you can't have the latest and greatest no matter how minor the update? The Google Play Edition Moto G is finally living up to expectations with an OTA to Android 4.4.4. Just like the LG G Pad Google Play Edition (that's the LGGPGPE for "short"), this device is making the jump straight from 4.4.2 to 4.4.4.