We were very excited when Motorola announced Project Ara last month, which could bring modular smartphones to fruition in the near future. We have an update that is making us even more excited, and that is that Motorola has entered into a multi-year development agreement with 3D Systems. 3D Systems will be the exclusive fulfillment partner for Motorola, and will manufacture 3D-printed Ara smartphone enclosures.
We still don’t have an idea of when we will see modular smartphones from Motorola and 3D Systems since they are still in the developmental stage, but it’s certainly nice to know that things are moving along. Hit the break for the full presser.
A mystery Samsung device has been spotted in Europe with the model number SM-G7105, much like the Chinese one that had the model number SM-G7106. This new leak has the 5.25-inch smartphone packing 4G LTE radios, a 1.2Ghz quad-core processor, 1.5GB of RAM, and Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. The cameras come in at 1.9MP for the front and 8MP on the back. There are no additional details, but we think it’s safe to say that this is slated to be a mid-range smartphone.
There’s no question the Chromecast might be the coolest new device of the year, but the lack of apps is a little disappointing. The reason is because the SDK is still in preview, which means apps can be developed, but they can’t be released without Google’s approval. Eventually the SDK will be released, which will open it up to all sorts of stuff, a day we are eagerly looking forward to.
Now that day might be very close because Google is hosting a Chromecast Hackathon in Mountain View on December 7th and 8th. They have invited a number of developers, including Koushik Dutta and Thomas Kjeldsen. We have highlighted a few apps that Koush created in the past including AirCast.
Motorola is continuing their trend of moving apps to the Play Store for quicker updates. They already moved the Motorola Camera as well as Touchless Control, and they just added Motorola Connect and Motorola Assist. Motorola Connect syncs your phone to Chrome so that you can read and reply to texts as well as see who is calling you on your desktop. Motorola Assist will take certain actions when your driving or in meetings. For more information on both, see our Motorola Guides: Motorola Assist / Motorola Connect
These apps are only available for the Moto X and the new line of DROIDs, the DROID MAXX, DROID Ultra, and DROID Mini. If you own one of these phones, you don’t need to download the apps since they are already on your device, but we do have the Play Store links for reference.
Play Store Links: Motorola Assist / Motorola Connect
The Android based Ouya gaming console is still relatively new, but it’s never too early for a good update! Just days after the announcement of a limited edition white version of the console, an update to the software of the system has been announced that brings a revamped UI and USB storage. The update is called Abominable Snowman.
The new UI brings a new white theme, getting rid of the old orange color scheme. The wallpaper and featured games in the UI can be updated on the fly, and game tiles are now much better organized. It is also much easier to see which games are new and which have updates. Future updates are also set to start being incremental, so you should be getting updates on your Ouya much more often.
With the holiday shopping season upon us, Dead Zebra is ready to serve up a new series of collectible figurines for the Android fan. Series 04 is similar to last year’s Series 03 as Dead Zebra has teamed up with artists like Andrew Bell, kaNO, Kronk and Scott Tolleson from last year and new artists like Kong Andri, Sergio Mancini, Fakir and Shawnimals. Dead Zebra only says the new collectibles will be available for order or purchase in the next few weeks. If you are looking for a gift for an Android fan or need to give someone an idea of what they can get you, check them out. Read more
Google rolled out some minor changes to Google Play today in hopes they will have a big impact for tablet users looking for apps that have been designed to take advantage of the larger format available with a tablet device. First, they have changed the default view to put the “Designed for tablets” list at the top of the page when a user visits the store from their tablet device. The setting can be changed back to all apps or games if a user would prefer that look. Read more
Today, ESPN has unveiled a brand new app. Actually, its a revamp of their very popular ScoreCenter app. Now it is named after their marquee program, SportsCenter. The UI has been refreshed and ESPN highlights the already excellent features that include instant updates on games, breaking news and analysis, options to receive notifications, integration with Twitter to provide up-to-date analysis. The Holo standard is also being used here and the Clubhouses feature is now very clean and attractive.
Hit the break for a video, screenshots, and download links. Read more
Today, 3 out of the 4 top US wireless carriers (T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint) have announced that they will stop charging users for receiving spam texts. While the announcement was made today, it actually won’t fully take into effect for at least a couple of days from now, or as much as a couple of weeks. It’s no secret that getting random spam texts can be quite the nuisance and could potentially cost you money. This move creates very good PR for these 3 companies.
As to why Verizon has yet to jump on board with this, here’s an official statement from a Verizon representative regarding this issue: