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

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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

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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]

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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]

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]

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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]

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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

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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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Here’s why the Nexus 4 will probably be the last Nexus phone

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Yesterday at the D11 Conference, Android and Chrome head Sundar Pichai unveiled the HTC One Google Experience phone, which is now the second phone like this to be announced. The next obvious question from Walt Mossberg was, “Does that mean you aren’t going to make anymore Nexus devices?” Pichai answered by saying the goal behind Nexus was to invest in cutting edge hardware along with their partners to guide the ecosystem. He closed by saying “That will continue as well.” Correct me if I am wrong, but the word “phone” was never mentioned. I heard “devices”.

Let’s rewind to October of last year when a report from AndroidandMe said that the LG Nexus was on the way and a new Nexus Program was in the works. The rumor was that Google opened the Nexus program to all OEMs. Based on these latest phones from Samsung and HTC, it’s safe to say that this rumor held true. There were some things about it that were wrong as in the OEM skins (TouchWiz and Sense) would be part of a customization center, but it appears Google is heading into a different direction with the Nexus program.

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Updated DROID DNA, not the HTC One, will land on Verizon this summer

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I know there has been so much speculation on if we will see the HTC One on Verizon, and if history repeats itself, we won’t ever see it. What we will see is a Verizon’s version of the Butterfly 2 (or Butterfly S). It could be called the DROID DNA Plus or the DROID DNA 2, but it won’t be a One phone. As far as when we will see this bad boy, it will probably be sometime in July. How am I coming to these conclusions? All you really need to do is look at the most recent releases with Verizon regarding HTC devices.

Verizon is on a pattern of releasing two HTC devices per year (July and November). The Rezound was released on November 14, 2011 and the DROID Incredible 4G LTE was released on July 5, 2012. Lastly, the DROID DNA was released on November 21, 2012. The other thing you will notice is that all three phones were exclusives to Verizon, which is what they like. That is probably going to change by the end of this year, but more on that in a bit.

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Contest: Win 1 of 10 tickets to Lookout’s Annual Kickoff party at Google I/O [Updated With Winners]

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It’s hard to believe that Google I/O is only a couple of weeks away. The conference itself is always a exciting, but you can’t forget the parties either. Lookout’s Annual Kickoff party is always a blast, and we are excited to offer our readers a chance to get a ticket because it’s one you don’t want to miss. If delicious food, unlimited drinks, great entertainment and cool giveaways sounds like fun to you, then you will want to enter this contest right now. We have 10 tickets (plus one guest) to give away and the details are as follows:

When: Tuesday, May 14 at 7:30 pm
Where: Terra Gallery, 511 Harrison Street, San Francisco, CA
What: Lookout’s annual Google I/O kickoff party. Drinks will start flowing at 7:30 pm at Terra Gallery in San Francisco and we’ll have tasty food and awesome entertainment. Free giveaways for the first 200 who show up at the door (arrive early: we had a line around the block last year!). *Please note that this event is 21 and over.

The only caveat is that you need to get yourself to San Francisco on your own because travel arrangements are not included.

To enter, just comment below on what you want to see at this year’s Google I/O. Is it a newer Nexus 7, Key Lime Pie, a Nexus Q 2, or something entirely different? We will take entries through May 3rd at 12:00pm EST. We will pick 10 random winners shortly after.

**Be sure to use a real email address for your account because that is how we will contact you.

Good Luck!!!!

Update

Congratulations to the following winners….

Markus Holden

Eileen

Pradaman Shorey

chris

Taggard Andrews

Carlos

Nudo

Tuan Nguyen

Roger Leek

Joshua Barta

You will receive an email with instructions shortly, and be sure to say hello because I will be there as well!!