Custom Moto X now available on all major US carriers as AT&T’s MotoMaker exclusive ends

MotoMaker

When Motorola launched its first smartphone as a Google company with the Moto X back in August, the big stand out feature for the device was the ability to apply over 2000 customizations at the time of purchase. Motorola let users pick the front, back, and accent colors, match headphone and case colors, and more all though its MotoMaker.com online ordering tool. Unfortunately, until today the MotoMaker tool was exclusive to AT&T with other carriers only selling white and black models of the Moto X.

The good news is AT&T’s exclusivity window has now officially ended and starting today you can order a customized Moto X through Moto Maker from all major US carriers including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon. Read more

HTC One successor, the M8 coming to all four national carriers next year?

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Even as HTC promises that next-year will see the return of lower cost handsets in an attempt to boost their fledgling business, the flagship successor to the One is also on the horizon. A tweet by @evleaks teases the HTC M8 for AT&T “unsurprisingly destined for AT&T, among others.” In a response to a secondary inquiry about a potential Verizon offering, the Twitter tipster responds that all four carriers should see a release by the end of the first quarter next year. Considering that all four national carriers carry the HTC One right now, it’s not inconceivable to think that the same will happen for its successor.

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Google makes it easier for Android & iOS devs to deploy cloud backends w/ Cloud Platform updates

Google is making some improvements to its Google Cloud Platform today that will make it easier for developers to provide cloud services across apps on multiple platforms. After first launching a preview of Cloud Endpoints earlier this year, Google announced today that the web backend solution for app developers has moved to General Availability. Cloud Endpoints provide developers with an easy way of building a simplified cloud backend to deploy across their web, Android and iPhone apps: Read more

Editorial: Please save $100 and only buy the Nexus 5 from Google’s Play Store

54910-nexus5Look, don’t take this the wrong way as I’m not suggesting buying the Nexus 5 from your carrier of choice is a bad move, except that’s exactly what I’m saying. The thing is, it isn’t even the carriers fault as they are simply passing on their cost of the Nexus 5 purchase from LG/Google directly to you. Sprint and T-Mobile have both confirmed that their cost of the Nexus 5 is $450 indicating that Google is subsidizing their pricing of the Nexus 5 via the Play Store. Just like last year’s Nexus 4. 

Yes, there is an argument to be made that not having to fork over the entire up-front cost is something that could appeal to many potential Nexus 5 buyers. However, in the long run I’d rather see customers saving the extra $100 and putting it toward apps, accessories or paying the electric bill. It’s likely Google is taking the $100 loss in the hopes of pushing customers into the Play Store where they will grab apps, books, movies, magazines and all the other things Google will make a profit on. More Nexus users means more Google Maps and search use, more money, more money…

9to5-image 2013-11-10 at 9.47.41 AM[Ed. note: If you want to save even more money, T-Mobile still offers a super secret Web only $30/month pre-paid plan (meaning little-no taxes) that works great with your Nexus 5.  You have to scroll to the bottom of T-Mobile's plans page to find it---->.  It includes unlimited data (throttled at 5GB), unlimited texts and a sparse 100 minutes of talk time.  If you aren't a talker, you are looking at $360 for a year of unlimited data + $350 for the best Android phone (under $60/month total) out there!]

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T-Mobile’s Nexus 5 arrives Nov. 14 online, Nov. 20 in-stores for $450

Today T-Mobile has made things official for availability and pricing on Google’s recently launched Nexus 5. Arriving for online orders Nov. 14 and in stores on Nov. 20, T-Mobile will be offering the 16GB Nexus 5 for $41.99 down with its usual monthly payments of $17. That brings the total cost of the device on T-Mobile up to $450, around $50 more than Google charges for the 32GB model and $100 more than the 16GB model on Google Play. That’s not unusual, however. Google has long subsidized the cost of its Nexus devices sold through Google Play. Read more

Poll: Do you like Google+ comments on YouTube?

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As news spread this morning that one of the original YouTube founders, Jawed Karim isn’t fond of Google+ YouTube comments, it begs the question what others think. The introduction of the new comment system led Karim to post his first comment on the site in 8 years:

“Why the fuck do I need a google+ account to comment on a video?”

Now, at first glance I’d say I agree with him, it just seems like another opportunity for Google to push its social media service right under a nose. On the flip side, there’s little argument that YouTube’s comment section is a black hole of the internet. If there’s even a remote possibility that Google+ can improve the quality of the conversation on YouTube, I say hell yes.

It remains unclear is Karim is truly the man responsible for the comment or if someone hacked his account. With the news that Feedly suddenly backtracked using Google+ authentication based on initial feedback, the question remains whether or not Google is making the right move pushing their service on YouTube?

So what say you, is Google+ the right comment system for YouTube? Would you like to see them spread to a blog like this one?

Google Glass prescription, fashion, & sport lenses coming early 2014 from Rochester Optical

Glass-Rochester-Optical

Update:  Google reached out to us to say there is currently no relationship between Google Glass and Rochester Optics

When Google recently announced the second generation Google Glass rolling out to those in its Explorers beta program later this year, it also noted that the wearable will fully support a new line of prescription frames. Now, Rochester Optical, a NY-based manufacturer of lenses and eyewear products, has teamed up with Tim Moore of VentureGlass who struck a deal with Google to provide “custom prescription, fashion, and sport lenses” for Glass. Moore announced the news today on his Google+ page with the image above and linked to a press release from Rochester Optical.

As a state-of-the-art optical laboratory, one of the first wearable technology items Rochester Optical will be producing are custom prescription, fashion, and sport lenses for Google Glass, available for purchase in early 2014

With Tim’s proven background as co-founder of social media agency SayItSocial and founder of Venture Glass, he will provide tremendous value to Rochester Optical in their endeavors in both the retail and the online space. His company, Venture Glass, a wearable technology company, was chosen by Google for their Google Glass project.

While the new Glass will be available later this year, Rochester Optical’s press release notes that its lenses for the device will available to buy in early 2014.  Read more

Android remains a big part of future gaming, but is NVIDIA’s Shield part of the future?

nvdidashield

As the world prepares for the arrival of the XBOX One and Playstation 4, NVIDIA’s CEO reminds us that Android still has a role to play in the future of gaming. Speaking on an investor call, NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang pointed at the company’s Shield gaming product as its means of growing the Android gaming ecosystem.

“Shield is our initiative to cultivate the gaming marketplace for Android,” Huang said, as quoted by ZDNet. “We believe that Android is going to be a very important platform for gaming in the future, and to do so we have to create devices that enable great gaming to happen on Android.”

Speaking to that tune, Huang called Android the “most versatile operating system that we’ve ever known.” NVIDIA hopes that the Shield, the small Android tablet connected to a game controller will continue to stare down the portable gaming hardware released by Nintendo and Sony. A recently released software update added more functionality for the device to run games via larger screens including televisions, making it something more in lines with standard living room gaming machines. NVIDIA obviously hopes that it can push developers to build gaming experiences designed specifically for its Tegra platform.

With Qualcomm seemingly dominant in the mobile space, Huang’s comments about Android and gaming may be correct, but the question remains whether or not the Shield is the right product to capitalize Android and its gaming future.

via ZDNet

Twitter rolling out Android alpha program, only allowing current beta users access

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Twitter is sending out notifications to current members of its Android Experiment Google Group inviting them to take part in a new alpha program. For the moment, the alpha program is only open to members of its current beta group which opened up in August of this year.

Beta users have been using early versions of Twitter since August often receiving buggy versions of an app that changes frequently. The note sent to users invites them to try the Twitter app at the earliest of stages providing “an opportunity to provide direct feedback and collaborate with us via a forum, so you can take a more active role in testing out bugs.”

Twitter highlights that it is only accepting users from inside the beta program: “We’ll be accepting requests to join on a first come, first served basis, and we’re turning first to you and other members of the Android Experiment Program.”

So, Android Twitter app beta testing people’s, have you checked for an invite?

via TheNextWeb

Feedly, our favorite Google Reader replacement adding Google+ (and others) sign-in

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Update: That was fast. Feedly has officially backpedaled on its decision to switch to Google+ sign-in after feedback from users:

[Update: the fact that this changing is forcing users to create a Google+ profile and that Google+ is not available in some companies and on some Google Apps domains outweighs the benefit of being about to login more seamlessly across devices. So we are going to rollback this change later this afternoon - Friday 1:00pm PST. We will try to make it optional in the future for some users who like Google+. Thanks for the feedback].

Feedly, our runaway favorite and the most popular Google Reader replacement is adding Google+ authentication to the service. A new post on Feedly’s blog indicates that as Google transitions from OAuth sign-in to Google+ so too will Feedly.

We are following on Google’s lead and transitioning feedly from Google OAuth to Google+ login. You will see this transition surface on cloud.feedly.com this week and on Android and iOS later this month.

The company teases that the introduction of Google+ authentication will “open the door to some interesting sharing features we have been working on.” That’s not to say Feedly is ignoring alternative log-in sources as well as the same post indicates they are also working on adding Twitter, Facebook and WordPress login options.

Are you starting to you use Google+ sign-in around the web? Read more

Photos of mid-range Moto G leak ahead of next week’s launch

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Usually reliable @evleaks has struck again, with a claimed photo of Motorola’s mid-range Moto G handset, due to be launched on the 13th.

The specs are rumored to comprise a 1.2GHz Snapdragon processor, 8GB storage, 4.5-inch 720p screen and a 5MP camera. An off-contract price of £135 ($217) has been suggested in the UK, which would make the handset an appealing proposition for those who want decent specs at an affordable price.