Today was the rumored date for the Android 4.4 update to hit US Cellular's Moto X, and in this case the speculation was right on the money. Motorola has updated the help page and release notes with OTA details, and Motorola's Punit Soni also confirmed the rollout on Google+.
The Moto X is undeniably one of the most important Android devices of 2013, and it's probably also one of the best. This phone can be had for a pittance on-contract, but many prospective buyers were disappointed the off-contract cost was so high. If $500 for this phone seems like too much, Republic Wireless is offering an alternative. The Moto X on this Sprint MVNO is just $299 and you can walk away at any time.
Update: Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside posted an apology for the Cyber Monday failures on the Motorola company blog. The company is also extending extra savings on accessories for the affected days. Here's a snippet:
Update, 12-2 7:30 PM Pacific: Moto Maker has been slammed all day, so Motorola is planning on offering the Moto X discount again on both Wednesday and next Friday.
Update, 12-2 9 AM Pacific: The deal is live, and discounted Moto X phones for all carriers are now available. You can get contract-free 16GB models in the Moto Maker website for $349.99, or upgrade to 32GB for $399.99. Developer editions for Verizon and GSM networks are $399.99 in the Motorola Store.
Maybe the black slabs of glass and Kevlar that are Verizon's 2013 DROID lineup aren't doing it for you. If that's the case (and you haven't already bought a customized Moto X), you can now pick up either the svelte DROID Ultra or the pint-sized DROID Mini in shades of white. The capacious DROID Maxx, surprisingly, is still only offered in black.
Unlike some of the early leaks of the white Ultra model, this one seems to be white all over, as opposed to white on the glass panel with a black body.
Motorola surprised us earlier this week with an early launch of the US version of their impressive Moto G budget phone. If you ordered one and want a little protection and/or flair for your new gadget, the accessories section of Motorola's official store has been expanded with shells (backplates) and flip shells for the Moto G. Like the phone itself, they'll ship out on December 2nd.
The shells pop on and off of the back of the Moto G, not unlike the faceplates that were sold for old Nokia candybar phones.
We had previously heard that the US version of Motorola's shockingly inexpensive Moto G would be headed to the United States in January, a couple of months after some international markets. It looks like Motorola couldn't wait until next year and has started selling the phone on its website. You can order the US version of the GSM phone now, and it's set to ship on December 2nd.
The phone is being offered in 8GB and 16GB versions, with the low price of $179 and $199, respectively.
I think we were all a little impressed and surprise last week when Motorola announced in rapid succession that the AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile variants of the Moto X were all getting Android 4.4 immediately. They even beat Google's own GPE devices to an OTA. That's kind of incredible.
The fact that Motorola is now Google-owned probably had just a little bit (OK, a lot) to do with this, but the company's renewed attitude toward Android updates is something enthusiasts have been begging for in an OEM for years now.
Hurry up, ladies and gentlemen! If you sprint to Walmart between November 20th and 26th, you can apparently pick yourself up a very vintage Moto X running none other than Android 2.3. Those on-screen buttons and #HOLOYOLO accents look pretty spiffy on this fine Gingerbread device, don't they?
Curiously, on November 29th, the same phone not only drops to half price for Black Friday, it also gets a ninja upgrade to Android 4.2 and a $100 Walmart gift card (which is actually a pretty good deal since you're effectively netting 50 bucks - after signing a contract, of course).
Following close behind the arrival of KitKat for the Moto X on both Verizon and T-Mobile, AT&T has now announced that it, too, is pushing out an OTA. Between Verizon's version of the handset getting the update before anyone else and the Moto X getting Android 4.4 pushed out before the Nexus 4 and both Google Play Edition devices, there is a lot to be surprised about here. Surprised, and impressed.