It looks very likely to be the case that Motorola will be charging a little extra for the wooden backs on the Moto X, and by a little, I mean in the neighborhood of $50 compared to the plastic X. Is there $50 of wood, workmanship, and assembly there to justify this premium? Of course not. It's an option that, like most "premium" add-ons for everything from cars to kitchen appliances, is there for those people willing to pay to get it.
Here's one we haven't done before for the weekend poll - wireless charging. As Qi wireless charging slowly becomes more and more popular, more handsets and tablets are supporting the standard. The big barrier to entry for many, though, are the charging pads that such devices require in order to take advantage of the feature. They aren't usually cheap if you choose to go with official OEM accessories, and even 3rd party solutions don't exactly come in at bargain-bin prices, and the few that do yield less than consistent results.
You may have noticed the new version of the Play Store app (4.3.10) has a little tweak. It now lists apps that you've updated recently near the top of the list (right under pending updates). How recently? We asked a Googler who confirmed it's 7 days. Is that maybe a little long?
This weekend's poll is easy - now that the dust has settled, the reviews have been published, and the bugs reported, did you buy the refreshed Nexus 7? I'm going to do my very best to accommodate you all in terms of poll answer choices, too, I promise.
Me? I didn't. I thought about it. I was actually determined to impulse-buy one if I could convince a Staples, Office Max, Best Buy, or RadioShack to sell me a unit a few days before they were supposed to go on sale (there were also AP-related motivations there, of course).
On Friday, Google dropped a small bomb on Android users everywhere by introducing the Android Device Manager service. It's been a part of Google Apps for your Domain's device administration interface for quite some time now, though, so the product itself isn't new - it's just being newly introduced to regular ol' consumers like you and me.
What's it do? It shows you where your phone is, lets you make it ring, and lets you wipe it.
The new Nexus 7 does not support Google Wallet - officially. Why? It lacks the hardware component necessary to securely store your payment credentials for NFC transactions, aka the "secure element." The AT&T and Google Play Edition HTC Ones don't have this element, either.
The latter, to me, is something I can understand finding a bit annoying. The former, though - that being the new Nexus 7 - really isn't.
With no DROID 5 in sight for an unveiling at next week's Verizon festivities, it seems the writing is on the wall for the form-factor that basically got Android off the ground: the QWERTY slider phone.
It's been nearly 4 years since the original DROID and HTC G1 debuted, two phones that really carried the Android platform in those early, uncertain days. It seemed, perhaps, that the trend the Sidekick (aka Hiptop) started in 2002 might continue on into the true smartphone era, side-by-side with the increasingly popular touchscreen slab (which at that point really just meant the iPhone).
As smartphone storage capacity grows on average with each passing year, many manufacturers have begun to abandon the microSD card slot on flagship handsets. Google itself has taken multiple opportunities to trash expandable storage as a "messy" feature that, from the standpoint of the people who actually develop Android as a profession, is not worth the problems it creates.
This has been a major point of contention between Android enthusiasts and Google, particularly when it comes Nexus devices.
After much speculation about "customizable" hardware, earth-shattering specifications, and groundbreaking construction materials, everything we've learned about the Moto X to date has been pretty... mundane.
No one seems to have nailed down a concrete list of specifications for the device, with rumors varying anywhere from Snapdragon S4 Pro - the chip powering the Nexus 4 - to NVIDIA's Tegra 4i. I'd like to point out that the latter basically isn't possible if the phone is being released this year, as when I spoke to NVIDIA 6 weeks ago, they said the first Tegra 4i devices will be coming in "early 2014." (That revising an earlier estimate of "Q4 2013 / Q1 2014.") However, there is some possibility, of course, that a Tegra 4i version will come at a later date.
This weekend's poll is simple, and quite related to a poll we had at the beginning of this month. After weighing the pros, cons, and costs of a Google Play Edition Galaxy S4 or HTC One, did you end up dropping cold, hard cash to get your hands on one? These "vanilla" Android devices provide a Nexus-like user experience on what are likely the two best Android phones currently on sale, something enthusiasts have been clamoring for since, well, probably before I ever started writing for Android Police.