Beta tests for new software releases aren't anything new for Android phones or tablets - they're often referred to as "soak tests," especially when manufacturers and carriers are involved. According to an anonymous tipster, Motorola is instituting a new confidential test program, giving at least some users access to much earlier updated builds for Android phones. Our source says that he or she was invited to test out a KitKat 4.4.2 build for the DROID RAZR M.
Good grief, AT&T, you're not usually so far behind the pack. I imagine your Moto X customers, who've had to wait behind their counterparts at Verizon, Sprint, US Cellular, and T-Mobile/unlocked carriers for the update to the slightly newer version of KitKat, aren't pleased. But if an updated Motorola support page is any indication, it looks like the Android 4.4.2 over-the-air update may be coming very soon.
Assist is one of the core apps that Motorola has dropped into the Play Store, which means it can be updated as needed. It's gotten a few tweaks already, and today another update is rolling out. This time it should make the meeting mode more useful for users with more than one calendar.
The meeting mode in Assist will automatically silence the phone and auto-reply to messages (both optional) when you are in a meeting.
During the Q&A section of Motorola's Moto 360 Hangout today, a few interesting questions surfaced. In typical industry fashion, however, Motorola wasn't quite ready to give any sort of definitive answers on many of them. Still, there were a few small gems in the mix, including a big one on everyone's mind: will it work with all Android devices, or just those manufactured by Motorola? The answer was very clear: it will work with all (assumingly current) Motorola devices, as well as all others running Android 4.3 and above.
Almost perfectly timed with Google's Android Wear announcement, Motorola has laid out its new smart watch plans. The Moto 360 is a round smart watch running on Android Wear that you will be able to actually purchase this summer. I know, this seems like the future all of a sudden.
Google has just announced its plans for Android wearables, and this could make all those other smart watches look like they're standing still. Android Wear is an open Android-powered platform that lets developers plug into existing apps and take advantage of Google services like Now and voice search. There is a preview SDK available right now, and Google says wearables based on this platform are coming in 2014.
OK, Indian readers, we know you've been waiting a long time for this. Earlier today Indian online retailer Flipkart posted an ad for the Moto X, announcing that it would be available starting tomorrow, March 19th. The price starts at 23,999 rupees for the 16GB in five colors, according to this Flipkart tweet. That's at least in the same ballpark as the US version - it's just north of $390 USD.
Yet another Motorola app has been added to the Play Store, but it's not as glamorous this time. MotoCare will now be kept up to date on all supported devices, and it's getting a new (slightly more descriptive) name – Motorola Help.
This app contains basic how-tos, tips, and support information. There is an option to call Motorola support directly, or start a chat session. That's more than you get with most OEMs.
After launching the Moto X at $299 late last year, Republic Wireless is moving on to Motorola's other current handset. The Moto G will be available without contract for $149 sometime in April and voice plans on Republic Wireless start at just $5 per month.
When the Moto X launched on Republic it still cost over $500 from Motorola. Thus, it was a pretty big deal to sell it for just $299.
Sprint customers who are upgrading or opening an account in stores will soon have the option of customizing a Moto X. Starting March 14th (that's tomorrow) Sprint will be issuing codes to customers in stores so they can go online and design a Moto X. There are a few caveats, though.