OnePlus listed several features as notable when it announced the One in an unnecessarily drawn out fashion earlier this year. One of those items was the selection of StyleSwap covers. The battery in the OnePlus is non-removable, but the back was designed to be replaced with other finishes and materials. However, manufacturing issues have caused the company to cancel the StyleSwap covers completely after a long delay. OnePlus explains on its forums that this isn't settling—no, this is just "complicated decisions."
In addition to a handful of new Chromecast-supported apps announced by Google, Sling Media is getting in on the action. According to this blog post, the Slingplayer app for Android smartphones now has Chromecasting capability. Though the latest update for the app itself was way back in July, Chromecast support is often enabled via a server-side switch, so it should be working now. Compatible Sling hardware includes the Slingbox M1, 350, 500, and SlingTV.
Punit Soni, VP of product at Motorola, just announced on his Google+ page that he is departing from the company. It's unclear why he's leaving or where he's going, but it's safe to say that everyone loved the work he did at Moto, and his influence on the company was definitely felt. He made it a point to essentially bring Motorola back from the dead where customers were concerned – timely updates and a good consumer experience were his top priority.
Just yesterday we saw Motorola flip the on-switch for Moto Maker for the new Moto X here in the US. Customers can head over to the site right away to design a phone that suits their tastes and purchase the unlocked model directly. This time around, eager shoppers in the UK, France, and Germany won't have to wait forever in hopes of tweaking their own version of the flagship. Moto Maker for the new flagship has gone live across the pond, even though the phone is not yet available for purchase everywhere just yet.
It looks like Republic Wireless is going for the Motorola hat trick: in addition to last year's flagship Moto X and mid-range Moto G, the American hybrid MVNO is now planning on selling the low-end Moto E to its customers. According to this post on the official Republic blog, the carrier's customized version of the Moto E will go on sale next month for $99, $30 cheaper than the retail GSM model.
Hot on the heels of Sprint's launch of the Galaxy Tab S 10.5, AT&T announced that it will begin selling both the 8.4- and 10.5-inch LTE variants online and in stores beginning September 26. The carrier is also taking pre-orders for both tablets right now with a shipping date of September 23.
Big Blue is only selling the tablets in charcoal gray, so if you were hoping for white, you're out of luck.
Getting the kernel source code for devices is something of a rite of passage for new Android phones. In the United States and other parts of the world with heavy smartphone penetration, the focus is on the big, flashy flagship models - the sooner the kernels are published, the sooner those ROM makers can get cracking on custom ROMs and kernels. But considering the immediate response that Google's Android One program has received, I think those phones may turn out to be some of the most popular ROM recipients around.
People seem to love gigantic screens on their phones - just ask Samsung (or Apple). And of course, plenty of customers want phones that are cheap, or at least cheaper than the flagships. And the one thing that everyone wants is longer battery life. ZTE and T-Mobile are going to try to please the intersection of these market segments with the ZMAX, a big phone with a big battery and (impressively) a small price tag.
Motorola really happened upon a great strategy with the OG Moto X when it added core features to the Play Store. It allows Motorola to update functionality without waiting for a full OTA, and other OEMs have been following suit. It's going to be much the same with the new Moto X—four new listings have appeared in the Play Store for this device.
The Galaxy S5 on Verizon got an update barely one week ago that bumped it up to Android 4.4.4, but another is rolling out today. The new OTA with version number KTU84P.G900VVRU1ANI2 adds a few tweaks to functionality and resolves some bugs. It also gets the GS5 ready for VoLTE calls.