A behind-the-scenes look at Motorola’s U.S. Moto X factory in Texas [Gallery]

The Verge has a great behind-the-scenes look at Motorola’s Moto X factory in Texas that is currently pumping out around 100,000 units of the new flagship device per week. We reported this morning that Motorola is currently shipping a disappointing 100k units a week, so it’s not that surprising to learn that around 200,000 square feet of the factory is not being used.

To accomplish this, Motorola partnered with Flextronics to refab a factory in Texas formerly used by Nokia. In a mere six months, the factory was completely updated and transformed to Motorola’s specifications, which including the hiring of 2,500 workers to make it run. Motorola did not actually make a final call to do manufacturing in the US until late 2012, but the factory was operational by August 6th of this year. The factory currently puts out about 100,000 devices per week, but Motorola says that it’s possible to scale it to tens of millions of units. Given that more than half of the over 400,000 square foot factory floor sits unused right now, that’s not too hard to believe.

It also spoke with Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside about why bringing assembly to the US was crucial for the Moto X’s MotoMaker customizations features.  Read more

Motorola shipping (and not necessarily selling) a disappointing 100,000 Moto X phones a week

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Reuters reports that Motorola is currently shipping 100,000 Moto X handsets a week – though not necessarily selling this number.

Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside said “When you set up to ramp a factory you need a plan, and we have shipment targets we need to make with our carrier partners, and where we need to be right now is 100,000 units and that’s where we are.”

Woodside would say only that direct sales to customers were “substantial”. Either way, we suspect the company must be secretly disappointed in the numbers …  Read more

Google Play Music update adds ability to create radio stations based on genre

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An update is rolling out to the Google Play Music app that bumps it to version 5.2.1204L. Notably, the update adds the ability to create new radio stations based on music genres. Previously, the radio functionality was only available for use by songs, artists, or your past listening history. It’s important to note, however, that an All Access subscription is required for unlimited radio use. Both iTunes Radio and Pandora have had the genre-based station feature for sometime now, so this is a much welcomed feature for Google Music.

Also new in the update is an improved download queue. Now, you have the ability to pause, resume, and cancel songs that are being downloaded at any given time.

  • All Access Genre Radio is here! Go to Radio or Explore, pick your favorite genre and enjoy unlimited radio based on the music you love.
  • New download queue that allows pausing, resuming and canceling

The update is available now on the Play StoreRead more

Roku for Android app allows streaming of video to set-top box – from some devices

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The latest Roku for Android app allows video as well as audio and photos to be streamed to a Roku set-top box – but only for a limited number of devices.

Play your video from select Android devices to your Roku player. Supported models include: Samsung Galaxy SIII, Samsung Galaxy S4, Nexus 4, HTC One, and Nexus 7 (2012 model). Video playback requires Android 4.0 or later …  Read more

Moto X ‘Lazy Phone’ ads highlight ‘no touch’ interface, quick look camera

Motorola just released a trio of humorous ads touting features of its Moto X phone that don’t come in other phones. Above, highlights the abilities of the Moto X to respond to voice commands without touching the device. Two more goodies below show the shake to camera and quick look features. Both are great. Read more

Slimmer bezels mean Nexus 5 will have larger screen but smaller size than Nexus 4

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Developer Jack Underwood took the dimensions from the recent FCC approval of the LG D820 that has been pretty much confirmed as the Nexus 5 and compared them to the Nexus 4. The result? Despite a larger screen size with higher resolution, the Nexus 5 is actually smaller in every dimension.

If there were any lingering doubt about the match between the casings shown and the device slipped into the KitKat video, the animated GIF below seems to provide conclusive proof …  Read more

FCC approval appears to confirm Nexus 5 is made by LG – with impressive specs

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The mystery over whether the Nexus 5 is made by LG or Motorola appears to have been solved by FCC approval documents. The documents refer to the handset as the LG ZNFD820, but all the signs point to this being the replacement for the Nexus 4, expected to be launched in the next month or so. Google recently slashed the price of the existing handset, with the 8GB model going out of stock for good.

It appears to match the video grab we caught earlier this week.

Engadget points out that the casing images appear to be an excellent match for the phone which Google apparently inadvertently included in the KitKat promo video that it swiftly withdrew. The specs also look likely for what we expect to be a significant upgrade to the Nexus 4 …  Read more

Moto X lands on Sprint tomorrow for $199, new customers slash off an extra $100, Moto Maker in coming months

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Sprint will begin carrying the Moto X smartphone beginning tomorrow (Friday, September 6th), the company announced today. The phone will come in either black or white, and it will cost $199 from Sprint.

Improved customization for the Moto X is available via AT&T, but Sprint says that it will support Moto Maker in the coming months.

Distancing itself from the other carriers that offer the Moto X, Sprint says that customers that switch to Sprint (and port their phone number) from another carrier will get the phone for $99.

Press release below:

Read more

PayPal for Android redesigned, adds ability to pay at local shops

Today, PayPal has announced a significant update to its Android app that is much simpler.

Feature-wise, the app update focuses around mobile payments. With a new “Shop” tab, users of the new PayPal app can find restaurants, shops, and venues that support paying with PayPal. On top of that, some of these shops even support purchasing and paying for food or another item before walking into the store.

As explained to TechCrunch, some of these shops even support coupons. Ordering ahead includes the nice benefit of skipping the line. Another feature that goes nice with the “Shop” feature is the ability to pay a restaurant bill via the app.

A bill-me-later option has also been added. The new update is now available on Google Play. 

Read more

Hands-on with the new S Pen multitasking features for Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 & Note 10.1 2014 Edition (Video)

With last night’s introduction of the new Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 edition, both devices got spec bumps, better displays, and a new leather-like textured back– but Samsung isn’t introducing any radical design changes. It’s not exactly surprising– it did the same with the Galaxy S4– and the upgraded specs will only help the company continue the success it’s had with the stylus focused devices. However, the real stand out features of the new Notes come in the way of S Pen features accessible through the new “Air Command” function. The feature pops up a radial menu from just about anywhere when hovering the S Pen and clicking its button, and the menu will let you access a few handy (gimmicky?) new features for multitasking and quickly saving content. Samsung is focusing on the new S Pen features in its ads for Note 3 and new Note 10.1, and we decided to go hands on in the video above to get some first impressions. We quite enjoyed using the new S Window feature to open apps in a sizeable window within another, but some shortcomings with the new multitasking features might make them more gimmicky than a faster alternative to other solutions with third-party apps. You can also quickly access Quick Action memos and Screen Write for annotating screenshots, nice additions to the radial menu but nothing that we couldn’t do with the S Pen previously.  Read more

Samsung announces Galaxy Gear smartwatch at IFA 2013

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At UNPACKED 2013 Episode 2, Samsung just announced the Galaxy Gear smartwatch, the “next evolution” of Galaxy. The device has an on-board 1.9 megapixel camera that can take pictures and video memos, a pedometer feature, and security measures that allow you to require the Gear to be nearby when you want to unlock your Samsung phone. More highlights:

  • Built-in speaker and microphone for phone conversations
  • Super AMOLED 320×320 touch screen
  • 4GB storage
  • 512MB RAM
  • Uses Bluetooth 4.0

The Galaxy Gear will launch globally September 25th for $299 along with the Galaxy Note devices. It looks like leaked press images that we reported on earlier. Read more

Samsung unveils the Galaxy Note 3 and 10.1 2014 edition with updated specs across the board

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Samsung’s JK Shin today announced the Galaxy Note 3 at IFA today with improved LTE radios, better enterprise capabilities and improved specs. The Note 3 has a 5.7″ 1080p screen (up from 5.5″), 3GB of RAM (up from 2), 13 megapixel camera, 32/64GB storage, 3200mAh battery and a leather-like rear cover. It is also thinner and lighter even with the bigger display.

Samsung also updated the Note 10.1 2014 edition with better speakers, leather cover and display.

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September 25th is the launch date and the products will roll out globally in October. Press releases and videos follow: Read more