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

Screen Shot 2013-09-05 at 2.01.35 PM

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

Screen Shot 2013-09-04 at 10.11.44 AM

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

Screen Shot 2013-09-04 at 1.08.16 PM

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.

Screen Shot 2013-09-04 at 1.13.05 PM

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

HTC’s woes continue with arrests and alleged Chinese government conspiracy

Tom_Chien_Blog

HTC’s former VP of Product Design Thomas Chien (photo: HTC blog)

Taiwanese company HTC has not been having a happy time of late. Senior departures, including its COO; a halving of market share since 2011; former UK execs setting up a rival company; disappointing Q2 financials; and the possibility of the first ever loss in the company’s history in Q3.

But the latest saga in the company’s troubles read more like the plot of a soap opera than real-life. First, several of HTC’s former lead designers were arrested last week on suspicion of fraudulent expenses claims and leaking of trade secrets. Now Engadget reports that one of those arrested, ex-VP of Product Design Thomas Chien, may have been involved in a conspiracy with a Chinese municipal government to use both the trade secrets are purloined cash to create a rival smartphone company in China …  Read more

Google apparently slips unannounced Nexus phone in its KitKat video

Screen Shot 2013-09-03 at 6.38.18 PM

Earlier today, Google announced its upcoming Android 4.4 KitKat software update. In tandem with the announcement, Google posted a video that showcases the unveiling of the KitKat statue at the company’s headquarters.

At about 38-39 seconds into the video (embedded below), a Google employee is seen taking photos or video recording the statue with an unknown Nexus device (on the left).

Close-up shot

Close-up shot, click for larger

The backplate seems similar to that found on the new Nexus 7, and the camera lens appears to be larger than the current-generation Nexus 4. Speaking of the camera, Google executive Vic Gundotra previously hinted at major advances in the Android camera department:

Screen Shot 2013-09-03 at 7.10.39 PM

The unannounced phone also appears larger in size, so perhaps the new device will sport a bigger screen.

The next Nexus phone is rumored to debut in Q4. The video below has been pulled since this report was published, perhaps indicating that this was a true leak.

Here’s a copy of the video:

And here’s the new phone blown up:

Nexus-5-leak-prototype-video

Thanks, Michael!

Read more

Android 4.4 has a name: KitKat

BTQIADeCUAAJ3WN.jpg-large

Google’s SVP of Android, Sundar Pichai just announced over 1 billion Android activations and the name of the next Android operating system on Twitter. Android 4.4 will be named after the Nestlé KitKat bar. A giant “chocolate” Android statue has also appeared alongside the previous Android mascots on Google’s campus.

As far as the changes in Android 4.4, Google says they are trying to “make an amazing Android experience available for everybody,” but so far there’s no indication of what that actually means.

To celebrate, Nestlé and Google have teamed up to giveaway a Nexus 7 and Google Play Store credits in specially-marked Kit Kat bars.

Galaxy Gear smart watch photos confirmed as prototype as more details emerge

samsung-smartwatch

GigaOM has confirmed suspicions that the leaked photos of the Galaxy Gear smart watch were indeed of a prototype device made available to developers. The actual device being launched on Wednesday will be a much more finished product.

Battery-life was also added to the things we now know about the watch.

  • High quality OLED displays will show the full spectrum of colors.
  • The display will be around 2.5 inches diagonally (and 3 inches diagonally including the case.)
  • It will be powered by a dual core processor, probably a Samsung Exynos 4212 dual core 1.5GHz with Mali-400 MP4 GPU.
  • It has a camera and a microphone integrated into the strap and even tiny speakers.
  • It has Built in NFC and Bluetooth 4.0 LE
  • The Gear is powered by Android 4.3, with keyboard featured turned off.
  • The device won’t have a browser and will need the phone to tether to the Internet.
  • It will need a Samsung device with a watch-focused app store to install apps on the watch.
  • It has a built-in accelerometer and other sensors that will allow it to act has a quantified self device.
  • Expect battery power to be 24 hours with modest use, but around 10 hours with more active usage …  Read more

Purported photos of Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Gear fitness-oriented watch leak out

samsung-smartwatch

As Samsung’s September 4th unveiling of its Galaxy Gear smart watch approaches, some purported photos of the device have been obtained by VentureBeat. The device is expected to carry a 2.5-inch display, dual-core processor, and fitness functionality.

According to VentureBeat‘s report the watch is a “smartphone companion” that is meant to compete in a world of Nike Fuel Band-like devices. The design is described as fairly basic:

Read more