Designing a custom Moto X with a 4-year old using Motomaker

by Robert Nazarian on
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Most of the tech bloggers were given an opportunity yesterday to customize a Moto X using a Beta version of Motomaker. We already did a thorough hands on at the Motorola event a couple of weeks ago so I didn’t take this opportunity to give you another boring hands on. I decided to bring my 4-year old son along for the ride and let him customize it the way he wanted. This video isn’t going to be as professional as my other videos, but it is an example of someone diving right in without playing with it for an hour before turning on the camera. We just opened the site, went through our selections, and order it. We didn’t get into the engravings or the wallpapers, but you can see more about that stuff in our previous hands on.

I have to be honest in saying that ordering a custom phone was a lot more fun than I thought it would be. Motorola might be onto something really big here as I can see a lot of people having a blast with it. Plus, the Motomaker site is very easy to use. Unfortunately, it’s only available with the AT&T version, but hopefully it will open up to more carriers soon. Hit the break to see what my son came up with.

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Hands on with the LG G2

by Robert Nazarian on
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LG finally took the wraps off the G2 today in New York City. Due to a plethora of leaks, there wasn’t much to learn about the G2 other than a few UX features. The 5.2-inch Full HD IPS display is absolutely gorgeous and the device appears to be pretty snappy thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC. Specs aside, the G2 is about “Learning from you” with many customization features such as slide-to-slide to making things really quick and easy with Text Link.

The 5.2-inch display is very big, so one handed use is always a concern. LG has your back. With the backside volume and power buttons, it will be easy for you to use this massive phone with one hand. LG found that most people keep set their index finger at the back of the phone when using it so it seemed natural to put the controls there. Of course the .10-inch bezel helps keep the overall size at bay.

Other new features include KnockOn, which allows you to turn on your display with a knock knock on the display. Answer Me will turn down your ringer and answer your phone automatically as you bring it closer to your ear. You will also find some of the familiar stuff like QSlide and QRemote (on G Pro). It’s time to stop the talking and see what this beast is all about. Hit the break for the complete hands on.

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The Moto X is a great phone, but it has one fatal flaw: The price

by Robert Nazarian on
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We pretty much knew everything about the Moto X from all the leaks and last week’s DROID announcement. There was really nothing to be surprised about except for one thing, and that one thing happens to be the biggest disappointment with the phone: the price. We heard rumors of $299 off contract, which made perfect sense based on the specs of the phone. Instead we got $199 on contract. I’m sorry, but that is way overpriced when you consider the Galaxy S 4 and the HTC One have better specs and are priced the same.

Motorola might argue that the Moto X will give the user a better user experience with it latest features, clear pixel camera, and battery performance, but it doesn’t take away that the specs are subpar and don’t warrant the same price as other phones that offer more. I was absolutely shocked when Rick Osterloh announced the pricing and said that it would not be available in the Google Play Store. I was sure that it would be offered for $299 and carriers would offer it on contract for either free or at worst, $99. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. Word is that Motorola is working on a cheaper version of the phone. Cheaper? This one is already perfect, just price it right.

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Hands on with Motorola’s motomaker, customizing your Moto X couldn’t be easier

by Robert Nazarian on
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Sure you can go into a carrier store and pick out a black or white Moto X, but how much fun is that? The real fun is choosing one of 18 colors for the back plate. You can even choose a different color for the accents. If you really want to get personal, you can add your name to the back plate as well. You can do all this and so much more with the motomaker website. Among customizing the outside appearance you can also add a message for the boot screen and pick what wallpaper you want to be the default when the device is shipped. It’s really quite simple. Motorola reps were comparing it to building your own car. Some of us have a closer relationship with our phones so why not make it more personal by getting what you want?

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Hands on with the Moto X

by Robert Nazarian on
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After many months of speculation and leaks, we finally got our hands on the Moto X. It’s being touted as the phone that Responds To You, is Made For You, and is Designed By You. Motorola and Google really felt that smartphones today are powerful, but unfortunately not all that smart. They set out to create something different and I think they nailed it.

The processor is scaring away the hardcores, but this phone is plenty fast. The x8 mobile computing system may include a dual-core Snapdragon S4 Pro, but it’s so much more. With the included quad-core Adreno 32p GPU, and two additional cores for natural language and contextual processing, the Moto X is going to give you solid performance in not only speed, but battery life. Speaking of battery, it’s has 2,200mAh, which doesn’t sound like much, but it will give you 24 hours of use.

On top of that, you get an amazing camera with Clear Pixel technology and the ability to search, set a reminder, set your alarm, call someone, and open apps, and so much more without every touching the device. It’s time to finally see the Moto X in action. Hit the break to check it out.

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Hands on with the DROID Mini, DROID Ultra, and DROID MAXX [Video]

by Robert Nazarian on
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We finally got our hands on the new DROID line from Motorola and Verizon. The “RAZR” name is officially gone so they are simply called the DROID Mini, DROID Ultra, and DROID MAXX. It looks like these phones are going to be very similar to the Moto X in that it’s all about the features and ease of use rather than the specs. As to specs, we are looking at a display of 4.3-inches for the Mini at 720p (1280 x 720) and 5.0-inches for both the Ultra and MAXX, also at 720p (1280 x 720). All models feature the Motorola x8 mobile computing system that features 8 cores, but it’s not an octa-core. It has 2 app cores, 4 graphics cores, 1 contextual core, and 1 natural language core. Basically it’s a 1.7GHz dual-core processor. All models include 2GB of RAM and the Mini and Ultra get 16GB of storage, while the MAXX gets 32GB. You won’t find a microSD slot on any of the models. All three models will also feature a 10MP front camera and a 2MP front camera. The camera features clear pixel technology for faster processing and better low light performance. As to battery, the Mini has 2,000mAh, the Ultra has 2,130mAh, and the MAXX has 3,500mAh. You can expect 24 hours from both the Mini and the Ultra, while the MAXX will give you 48 hours.

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Contest: Win a Simpsons: Tapped Out Skinned Amazon Kindle Fire courtesy of Electronic Arts and TalkAndroid [updated with winner]

by Robert Nazarian on
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Amazon_Kindle_Fire_Simpsons_Tapped_Out_Skinned_TARecently, Electronic Arts launched The Simpsons: Tapped Out game in the Amazon Appstore, and they skinned a few Kindle Fires to celebrate. We happen to have one of them thanks to Electronic Arts, and we are giving it away to one of our lucky readers. It’s the 7-incher with 8GB of internal storage.

All you have to do is comment below telling us who your favorite character on the show is. It couldn’t be any easier. You have until Monday, July 8th at 12:00pm EST. We will then select one winner at random. Just make sure the email address in your account is a real one because that is how we are going to contact you.

BTW, if you’re not familiar with The Simpsons: Tapped Out game, you need to check it out. It’s actually one of Jack Holt’s favorite games. The game’s premise is that Homer accidentally caused a meltdown wiping out Springfield. It’s a city building game, and you guessed it, you need to help rebuild Springfield. It’s a free download in the Amazon Appstore or the Google Play Store.

Good Luck!!!

We have a couple of more images after the break.

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Contest: Win one of twenty copies of MyBackup Pro courtesy of Rerware and TalkAndroid [updated with winners]

by Robert Nazarian on
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MyBackup Pro continues to be one of our favorite apps for backing up precious data. It’s simple enough for the casual user and powerful enough for those that love to change ROMs often. Recently, Rerware updated MyBackup Pro with the new “Migrate” feature that allows you to transfer your data from one device to another if it’s on the same WiFi network. My Backup Pro normally costs $4.99, which is a steal when you consider everything it does. Just check out our hands on review to see.

When the folks at Rerware came to us and said they would like to give a free copy to twenty of our lucky readers, are we going to complain? Hell no, so here’s your chance to grab a Free copy for yourself. We are going to keep this one very simple. Just comment below telling us which phone you are using right now. What could be simpler? You have until Wednesday at 12:00pm EST. We will then pick twenty random winners and announce them here. Just make sure that you are using a real email address because that is how we are going to contact you.

Hit the break for a hands on video showing you how the new “Migrate” function works as well as a funny commercial spot.

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Win one year of Slacker Radio Premium from TalkAndroid and Slacker Radio [updated with winners]

by Robert Nazarian on
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I know there are a lot of music streaming apps available today, but my personal favorite is still Slacker Radio. It not only gives you the flexibility to make your own stations, but they offer so many curated stations for every imaginable genre that you can think of. We have given away premium Slacker accounts in the past, but this time we have something special. One of our lucky readers will win one full year of Slacker Radio’s premium service. Normally priced at $9.99 per month, the premium service gives you unlimited song skips, mobile station caching, ABC News, ESPN Radio, song lyrics, songs on demand, albums on demand, single artist stations, caching albums & playlists, and created playlists. Slacker Radio was also gracious enough to give one month subscriptions to five runner ups. That’s a total of six subscriptions to give out.

All you have to do is head over to our forum thread and reply with your favorite song right now. You have until Thursday June 27 at 12:00pm EST. We will then pick one winner at random for the one year subscription followed by five random runner ups for the one month subscriptions. Nothing could be easier. The best part of it is that it doesn’t matter whether you listen to Slacker Radio via Android, iOS, Google TV, a Roku, your desktop, or any other compatible device because your upgrade will be effective on all devices. Just make sure to use a real email address for your account so we can get in touch with you.

Click here to enter

More information on Slacker Radio

Update:

Congratulations to the following winners:

Grand Prize – 1 year of Slacker Radio Premium

MCNPorter – Axel Rudi Pell – “Dont Say Goodbye”

 

Runner Ups – 1 month of Slacker Radio Premium

LudwigRocker – KISS – Rock and Roll All Night

Bruhaha – Vampire Weekend – Diane Young

psipher – Nine Inch Nails – “Came back haunted”

DIXZ06 – Bob Seger – “Old Time Rock and Roll”

jillm – The Beatles – She’s Leaving Home

 

Each of you will receive an email with your codes as soon as I get them. Probably by tomorrow. Thank you all for playing and look for another TalkAndroid contest soon.

The reason behind Google’s purchase of Motorola is finally coming to fruition

by Robert Nazarian on
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Last week I wrote a story about my thoughts on where I think the Nexus line is headed. Google was never a hardware company, but when Android was at its infancy, Google got into it for investing in cutting edge hardware along with their partners to guide the ecosystem. Fast forward to now and things have changed a lot. Google no longer needs to guide the ecosystem. Companies like Samsung, HTC, LG, and Sony are doing just fine in investing in the latest and greatest. It is this reason that I believe Google will not release a Nexus phone moving forward, and instead, let OEM’s release Nexus Editions for their current hardware. The reason for all of this is quite simple, Google isn’t a hardware company, they are an advertising and service company.

A recent article at DigiTimes suggests that my conclusions were right. They are reporting that Google will cut a lot of the resources and money they have spent on handset development and shift it to improving its software and core business. Just take a look at this year’s Google I/O for further evidence. Hardware was never mentioned other than the Galaxy S 4 Nexus Edition. Yes, the reason was because they wanted to “concentrate on developers” since it is a developer conference, but it’s obvious that hardware isn’t going to be the focal point anymore, at least for handsets. They will still invest resources in other newer and developing technologies like Google Glass, set top TV boxes, and smartwatches.

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