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:

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LG’s new G Pad 8.3 might be the best mid-sized Android tablet yet, we go hands-on

When LG announced its new G Pad 8.3 ahead of the IFA consumer electronics show this week, it didn’t seem to get as much attention as the company was perhaps hoping for by releasing the news before anyone had a chance to get a look in Berlin. The good news is that after playing with the device today, our first impression is that the new G Pad could be serious contender for the best Android tablet on the market. In fact, it might even give Apple a run for its money for those looking for an iPad mini Android alternative that doesn’t compromise on build quality.

The aluminum on the back gives the device an extremely high quality finish that puts it more in the iPad and HTC One build-quality category, and the 1920 x 1200,  273 ppi, Full HD WUXGA display might be the best in the mid sized tablet category. The device packs in 2GB of RAM, a 1.7GHz quad-core processor, and we didn’t have any performance issues in our hands-on with the tablet today. It comes in black and white (as pictured above), and also offers some of LG’s unique software features like QPair for connecting a smartphone to the tablet and receiving calls, messages, and more on both devices.

The real beauty of the design is that the 8.3-inch display doesn’t feel much bigger in your hand than a 7-inch tablet thanks to a nice thin bezel, and it is still easily pocketable wherever your 7-incher can fit. It’s hard to give a recommendation on the Android 4.2.2 tablet since we don’t know pricing yet, but if it’s price competitively with the Nexus 7, LG might have just made the #1 or #2 Android tablet for the year and heading into next. Hopefully we have good news to report when pricing gets announced at launch time in Q4. Read more

Google Drive revamped for iOS with improved previewing, file sorting, searching

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Google has redesigned its Google Drive application for iPad, and iPhone, and iPod touch to appear more in-line with the designs of the company’s other apps on iOS. The new design focuses on improved previewing of files, and it also includes improved management and sorting of files.

Also new is improved landscape editing support, copying links to files, and the overall sharing of files with other people.

The update also brings an enhanced focus on searching through files:

And last, we brought search to the forefront of the app so you can find the exact file you’re looking for, whether you’re on a small iPhone or a larger iPad. And remember, Drive search recognizes objects in your images and text in scanned documents. So the next time you’re looking for photos of that trip to the Statue of Liberty, just enter the phrase “Statue of Liberty” and your photos will appear – voilà!

The update is available for free on the App Store.

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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. 

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Google charged $14.5M for abusing Motorola FRAND patents in Microsoft case


CNET reports that Microsoft was awarded $14.5 million from Google Motorola for the abuse of the fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) patents by Google.

A federal jury in Seattle ordered the Google-owned handset maker to pay the software giant $14.5 million in damages for breach of contract for failing to license at reasonable terms standard essential patents covering wireless and video technology used in the Xbox game console. However, the award is half the $29 million in damages Microsoft had sought.

If Google didn’t get any value from FRAND patents from Motorola, what did they get? 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

Hands-on with Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smart watch (Video)

If you haven’t heard by now, Samsung just announced its Galaxy Gear smart watch at its Unpacked 2013 event in Berlin and we were able to get a little bit of hands-on time with the device after the show. We were quite impressed with the build quality of the watch, and we’re hoping Samsung is able to work out some minor kinks with certain touch screen gestures not always behaving as expected. For the most part Samsung has done a great job of simplifying the UI of apps its including on the device, but sometimes that simplicity leaves a little to be desired for those of us used to interacting with our smartphones on a daily basis. We weren’t able to try any of the fitness features of the device in our limited time with the Gear, but the majority of apps we did play with were simple and intuitive. S Voice wasn’t playing nice, but, again, we hope Samsung will put a little bit more polish on some of the included software before it gets in the hands of users.

All in all, it beat out most the Bluetooth smart watches we’ve tried simply based on the hardware and excellent implementation of apps with extremely simplified UIs. It does, however, have the same problems a lot of other bluetooth smart watches have: it’s much bigger than your standard, traditional wrist watch, and that’s a big hurdle for people that might not even wear a regular watch day-to-day in the first place. The Galaxy Gear will launch for $299 later this month and we plan on bringing you a full review soon. Full specs and details here.

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

Live from Samsung’s Galaxy Gear IFA 2013 press conference

We’re in our seats live at Samsung’s Unpacked 2013 press conference taking place in Berlin and things are about to kick off. We already know that the company will be unveiling its new Galaxy Gear smartwatch, but up until now details on the device haven’t been confirmed. Leaked rumors point to varying specs for the prototypes floating around, so we’re excited to see exactly what Samsung has packed into the smartwatch. That, and expect some other new Galaxy announcements. We’ll have the latest in our live blog below and full coverage on 9to5Google: Read more