More Moto X Phone details leak, customization options include color, engraving, and wallpaper

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Back in May, we reported on many of the customization options that would be coming with the Moto X Phone. Our sources claimed the device would be offered with 25+ color options in the form of skins/protections, and now ABC News is reporting something very similar, but with a few more details.

According to the report, users will be able to buy the device in a variety of colors, just as we said earlier. One of the colors will be used for the back case and the other for the trim. Much like with iPhones, iPads, and iPods, users will be able to have a custom message engraved in the back cover, which is something we’ve yet to see with Android devices. Finally, users will supposedly be able to upload a custom photo and have their device arrive with that photo set as the wallpaper.

More details were also offered regarding the sensors that the X Phone will feature.

The biggest tricks of the phone come with what Motorola has been doing with the hardware sensors, sources say. Instead of having to fumble to find the camera icon or button, users will be able to flick the phone to launch the camera. There are also added voice capabilities, which leverage Google’s advanced voice recognition technology. The phone is said to be smart enough to know when you are driving and will automatically launch the speakerphone function.

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Samsung reportedly buys Boxee for $30 million (Update: Confirmed)

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Update: The acquisition has now been confirmed by Samsung. In a statement to the New York Times, the company had the following to say:

“Samsung has acquired key talent and assets from Boxee. This will help us continue to improve the overall user experience across our connected devices.”

According to a new report from Israeli business site The Marker (via The Jewish Press), Samsung has purchased Boxee, the company behind the home theater PC software and set-top box that lets users stream content on their TV and computer. The report claims that Samsung paid around $30 million for the company and will continue to employ Boxee’s 40 workers.

Boxee has been looking for a buyer or more funding for the past few months. It was reported last month that the company had found a buyer, but this is the first specific information we have heard about a possible acquisition.

Samsung is an interesting buyer for sure. More than likely, the company would use the team’s talent to improve its Smart TV software, but it’s also possible that the two companies could work on some sort of video streaming service, as well, possibly based off of Google TV.  Read more

Samsung S4 shipments reportedly pass 20M in less than 3 months, company eyes 100M

Graphic: theverge.com

Graphic: theverge.com

Several Korean news sites are reporting that the Samsung S4 has now passed 20 million shipments. Samsung’s flagship handset, launched in April, hit 10m shipments by the end of May and it appears that the pace has scarcely slowed since – almost matching that of the iPhone 5.

As ever, we have to caution that Samsung cites shipments rather than sales, meaning that unsold handsets stored in warehouses get counted, but in general carriers and retailers don’t like to sit on large inventories, so sales shouldn’t lag shipments by too big a gap …  Read more

Motorola shows off first ad for Moto X Phone, teases a phone “designed by you”

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Click to view the full ad

Motorola’s latest flagship device, the Moto X Phone, is set to be released sometime this fall, but despite not having released any images of it, the company is getting ready to run its first ad for the phone. The ad, as shown by Ad Age, shows some definite Google influence, as well as the logo we reported on last month.

The ad is centered around the Fourth of July festivities and focuses on the fact that it is made in the United States.

“What we are doing which is very different is assembling [Moto X smartphones] here in the U.S. in our assembly plant in Ft. Worth, Texas,” Motorola’s VP-global brand and product marketing Brian Wallace said in an interview. “What better time than July 4th to come with a message like that?”

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HTC confirms the One S will not be updated to Android 4.2.2, further damages its reputation

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HTC has announced some very bad new for both both its customers and its reputation. The One S will not see an update to Android 4.2.2. Even though the device was a flagship just a year ago, it will remain on Android 4.1 and Sense 4. In a statement, HTC had the following to say (via: The Unwired)

“We can confirm that the HTC One S will not receive further Android OS updates and will remain on the current version of Android and HTC Sense. We realize this news will be met with disappointment by some, but our customers should feel confident that we have designed the HTC One S to be optimized with our amazing camera and audio experiences.”

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Pebble smart watch announces Best Buy as exclusive retail launch partner, available online today & in stores July 7

Yesterday we noted that Best Buy retail sources indicated the popular ‘Pebble’ Bluetooth smart watch would be landing on at least some of the retailer’s store shelves this weekend. Today Pebble and Best Buy have finally made things official by announcing the partnership that will bring the most successful Kickstarter-backed device of all time to both Best Buy online and across all its U.S. brick and mortar locations.

It’s definitely big news for the company ahead of Apple’s rumored smart watch, as well as Sony and others getting deeper into the space. The exclusive retail partnership with Best Buy also marks Pebble’s first retail launch of the device after raising over $10.2 million from around 68,000 backers on Kickstarter. Read more

Droid Ultra device teased by Motorola, invites us to ‘think thin’

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We already know that Motorola is planning for the X Phone to be its flagship device for later this year, but it looks like the company has at least one other device or variant planned. Motorola has created a page on its website dedicated to the Droid Ultra, an unreleased device. Motorola teases that it is thin, but tough as steel, yet no offers no other information.

Droid Ultra
Think thin
Available in a bunch of glossy colors, this high-grade DuPont Kevlar body proves you can be even thinner and still be tough as steel.

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Asus rep reads exact same specs (except late July release) for next Nexus 7 as previous KGI report…coincidence?

A successor to the Nexus 7 was a no-show at Google I/O this year, but that doesn’t mean a V2.0 of the tablet isn’t coming soon. Back in May, we reported that according to a KGI analyst, Google was planning on announcing the Nexus 7 2 at I/O with a full 1900×1200 HD display, a lighter and thinner body, with a Snapdragon 600 processor, 4Ah battery and both front and rear (5MP) facing cameras. The second version of the Asus tablet was also slated to be the first device with Android 4.3 on it.

Although this is all a rumor, a curious buyer decided to ask an Asus live chat representative if they had any idea what the specs were. Despite the fact that chat representatives don’t normally have access to upcoming products, one offered up the exact same specs as above:

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Interestingly enough, the spec sheet they repeated matches the same exact spec sheet that KGI reported on in May. The chat rep. also said that we should expect to see version 2 of the tablet sometime in Q2 of the year, specifically late July.

Chat representatives don’t typically know future product roadmaps, especially specs, so it’s more than possible that this chat rep. simply Googled KGI’s report and reported it back to the person they were chatting with. On the other hand, they could both line up because they are both right. We’ve contacted Asus and we’ll be sure to report back any news.

Google Play Edition ROM ported to Verizon Galaxy S4

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Last week we told you about the HTC One variants receiving stock Android ROMs based off of the Google Play Edition model, and now it’s the Galaxy S4’s turn. A developer over at XDA has successfully ported the ROM found on the Google Edition Galaxy S4 to the Galaxy S4 on Verizon. It’s a tad unclear as to whether it is based off of the Android 4.3 build that leaked last week or the Android 4.2.2 build that it shipped with, but we’re inclined to go with the latter.

The developer has a variety of ROMs available, some with themes and rooted, and some totally bare like you’d get on a Nexus device.

Keep in mind that this is a port and there may be some bugs here and there. Whether or not it’s stable enough to run as a daily driver is purely up to you.  Read more

Skype passes 100M installs on Android, celebrates by updating app with all-new design

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Skype on Monday announced that its Android app has been installed more than 100 million times, and to celebrate, it is pushing out a major update. The 4.0 update for Skype adds a totally new and redesigned interface that is focused on putting conversations first. In addition to the visual changes, the app has been “rebuilt from the ground up” to be faster and more reliable.

We’ve completely redesigned Skype for Android to be faster and easier – especially when you’re trying to fire off a quick message. Everything is at your fingertips. As soon as you open the app, you’ll notice the clean new look listing your recent conversations – just tap on one to catch up and reply. When you tap or swipe over to the Contacts or Favorites tabs, tapping on a person brings you right into a messaging window so you can start a conversation. And from there video calls, voice calls and everything else are just one tap away.

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Microsoft releases major update for OneNote app on Android

Mircosoft has just announced a major update to its OneNote app on Android. In a post on the official Office blog, the company announced version two of the app that includes a host of new features.

First off, the update adds a much more rich editing experience. Now, files and formatting look the same across all devices. This includes things such as text, graphs, tables, borders, and more. If you draw on a note with a Windows tablet, the markings are then visible on your other devices, as well. All devices now support the ability to sync notebooks with Office 365 and SharePoint, as well as the ability to share files with other Office users. OneNote also now lets multiple people edit a note at the same time, much like Google Drive.

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