It turns out that the rumors were spot on, Motorola’s new handset is indeed a 4G LTE version of its popular Moto E smartphone, but that isn’t the only improvement made to Motorola’s low cost offering.
As well as faster data speeds in a budget package, the second generation Moto E moves up from a dual-core to 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processing package. Internal memory has also been improved from 4GB to 8GB and the display is now also a tad larger at 4.5-inches, rather than 4.3-inches. However, the display’s resolution remains the same at 960 x 540 (qHD) resolution.
As for data connectivity, the handset will work on the following network bands:
- GSM/GPRS/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
- UMTS/HSPA+ (850, 1700 (AWS), 1900 MHz)
- 4G LTE (2, 4, 5, 7, 12, 17)
For software, the new Moto E comes with Android 5.0 pre-installed, which mostly resembles a stock Android experience. Motorola has also seen it fit to make a few cosmetic changes to the handset, although the general appearance remains mostly the same. The phone now only has one silver bar for the earpiece, dropping the one at the microphone, and the microSD and SIM card slots can now be access by removing a side panel rather than the rear cover.
The second generation Moto E is listed on the Motorola website with a retail price of $149.99, but prices will apparently start from just $119.99, according to the video below. The handset is available in black or white color options.
I’ll leave you with Motorola’s promotional video for the new Moto E.
The Google Calendar app for Android is getting a pretty significant update in the next few days. The new update brings a few much-needed features and improvements like a new 7-day week view, pinch-to-zoom, the ability to add Google Drive files to events and many more. Here’s a full changelog for the new update:
- See more events at a glance with 7-day week view and pinch-to-zoom
- Add Google Drive files to events. Drive will even check if everyone can open them
- Control whether birthdays from Google+ are shown in settings. You’ll also see the same changes on the web next week
- A new option to show week numbers in settings
- Import .ics files sent to you in Gmail and other apps
Specifically, the 7-day week view should be a welcome change to most users since Google previously got rid of the full month view in the smartphone version of the app. If you’re interested in checking it out, the new view can be accessed in the settings menu. Moreover, pinch-to-zoom functionality is another great enhancement. Now you can see more events in the 7-day week view, but unfortunately the feature isn’t available for any other calendar views in the app.
Google says the update is rolling out now and should reach everyone in the next few days. If you’d like to check for your update, head to the Google Play Store link below.
One of Microsoft’s latest pairings sees British group, Clean Bandit, teaming up with Lumia for various promotional activities. One of the more amazing ones is the video for latest single, Stronger, which throws no less than 50 (yes, 50!) Lumia 930s into the mix on a Bullet Time rig. And the effects are amazing.
Curious about what it was that Motorola wanted to send out to various members of the press? If you hadn’t figured it out by now, it’s related to the Moto E 2015 launching today.
We received our box earlier this morning and took a few pictures of what it was that we opened. In short, it’s like being invited to an actual press conference at the Motorola headquarters in Chicago. The inside resembles the layout; bricks, seating, and layout is pretty consistent with the real deal.
As part of the kit we received a lanyard and USB drive with images, press announcement, and reviewer’s kit. Additionally, the phone we have is white and the Motorola Bands we were sent are turquoise and raspberry. All in all, it’s a pretty nifty way of unveiling a new low-cost LTE experience.
Look for our review in the coming days!
LG has just started rolling out the much-anticipated Lollipop update to all unlocked variants of the G3, located in Canada. This upgrade brings the latest version of the Android operating system, together with a multitude of new features, bug fixes and stability improvements.
Hit the break for the full changelog.
- Bold and colorful interface.
- New notification options.
- Longer battery life.
- Increased security against malware.
- Automatic device encrytption.
- Settings for multiple device users.
- A new quick settings drop-down menu.
- Improved internet and Bluetooth connectivity.
- Voice activation when screen is off.
To download the update, make sure you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network. Then, from the home screen, press the Menu key, followed by Settings. Scroll to the bottom and tap ‘About Device’, followed by ‘Software Update and ‘Update Now’.
Come comment on this article: LG G3 now receiving Lollipop update in Canada
Apple appears to be gearing up for a big marketing push for the Apple Watch ahead of its April launch, featuring the device on several magazine covers. The Apple Watch made its U.S. magazine cover debut earlier this month in the March issue of Self, and it’s also being featured in a multi-page spread in the March issue of Vogue.
The Apple Watch is shown on multiple pages of the magazine, depicting different watch casings and band designs in clean ads that feature nothing but the Apple Watch itself. The images are actual size, giving readers an idea of how big the watch is in real life.
There’s a heavy focus on Apple Watch bands, several of which are depicted in close up images that show off details on their construction. The Milanese Loop is featured on one page, while the navy-colored Leather Loop is shown on another page. The Apple Watch sport with a green band is also shown, as is the fitness interface for one of the Apple Watch’s built-in fitness apps. Yet another page features the rose gold Apple Watch Edition with a Rose Gray Modern Buckle band.
It’s likely that several other publications beyond Self and Vogue will be featuring the Apple Watch in the coming weeks as the device’s April launch date approaches. Apple has targeted fashion and fitness markets thus far, and is expected to market the Apple Watch to a wide range of potential customers.
Up until this month, Apple’s Apple Watch marketing has been somewhat reserved, limited to an appearance at Parisian fashion boutique Colette in September and the Vogue China cover in October, but the company appears prepared to begin more serious marketing efforts.
As we reported last month, Apple asked some developers creating content for the Apple Watch to have their apps completed by mid-February, possibly to have apps ready to go for marketing purposes or an upcoming event. Apple also invited select developers to its Cupertino headquarters to put the finishing touches on Apple Watch apps and it may be gearing up for a series of Apple Watch popup stores in various locations around the world.
The continued rise of smartphone and tablet adoption and the addition of Podcasts as a stock app on iOS 8 has resulted in significant growth for podcasts in the United States, reports Ad Age. Overall consumption of podcasts experienced 18% growth in the U.S. between Spring and Fall 2014 as Americans now listen to approximately 21.1 million hours of podcasts per day, according to Edison Research.
The resurgence of podcasts arrives around a decade after the audio format became established for iPod and iTunes, and the sudden rise in popularity has some podcast makers excited. “Creatively, we are entering a new golden age,” said Matthew Lieber, co-founder of the podcasting startup Gimlet Media. “In terms of the golden age of the business,” he added, “we’re just getting started.”
A direct beneficiary of the so-called “podcast renaissance” is Serial, a spin-off of This American Life that has amassed close to 72 million downloads since it started being aired last fall. Serial is based upon a Baltimore murder case in 1999, in which detectives arrest the ex-boyfriend of a high school senior that disappears after school one day. All twelve episodes are available through iTunes and on the Serial website for free.
While we may be entering the “golden age” of podcasts, the report finds that brand advertisers are still spending significantly less dollars on the medium than more traditional forms of media such as broadcast television, radio, newspapers and magazines. Advertising agency ZenithOptimedia reported last year that podcast ad spending growth would remain flat through at least the next two years.
Podcasting has been an advertising backwater. A ZenithOptimedia report from June 2014 — before “Serial” debuted — said podcast ad spending would remain at $34 million annually through 2016. That’s a small fraction of what marketers earmark for other media. Ad buyers and media executives say about 80% of the ads played during podcasts are direct-response, prompting listeners to visit a website or call a 1-800 number. Only 20% represents brand advertisers.
The rise in popularity of podcasts is attributed to several other factors, including the wider availability of connected cars that make in-car listening to podcasts much easier for daily commuters. New York Magazine noted last October that the renaissance of podcasting goes hand-in-hand with the improved quality of podcasts, as more content makers turn to the platform as a cheaper alternative over hosting a TV show or radio show.
Podcasts emerged around 2005 as episodic audio series that can span anywhere from a few minutes to several hours in length. Apple users with an iPhone, iPad, iPod, Mac or other device to listen with can subscribe to podcasts through iTunes to receive the latest podcasts. A wide range of podcasts are available in iTunes based on genres such as news, technology, fashion, food and restaurants, general talk shows, education and more.