Today we saw the announcement of three new devices from Motorola: the Moto X Style, Moto X Play, and the new Moto G. However, for consumers in the US, we are only getting the Moto X Style. For whatever reasons, Motorola is not advertising it as such here in the states.
A quick trip to motorola.com/us/home leads you to some new banners and such, advertising the new Moto G (seeing as it’s the only phone of the aforementioned three available now). Glancing down the page you see something that says “Express yourself with Moto X Pure Edition” with a link to “Learn More”. After today’s announcement, many Android blogs and websites seem to be confusing things for consumers here in the US regarding what exactly they should be looking forward to. Hopefully I can clear that up!
What is the Moto X Pure Edition?
“Moto X Pure Edition” is not a new term used by Motorola. For last year’s flagship, that was the version of the phone purchased directly from Motorola’s website that was unlocked, off-contract, with no carrier branding, ready to use on any carrier using GSM radios (mostly nerd-talk, if you don’t understand that just ignore it). That is essentially what is happening with the newest Moto X, except this time Motorola is taking it a step further.
Now, in the US at least, the Moto X Pure Edition is the only Moto X you can buy, and refers to the Moto X Style announced this morning. This means that Motorola’s newest flagship will not be available in carrier stores, only on motorola.com, amazon.com, and bestbuy.com. The only brick-and-mortar store the Moto X Pure Edition will be available in is Best Buy stores. Furthermore, the Moto X Pure Edition can be used on any carrier. Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, or any other carrier that sells SIM cards can be used with this phone.
Motorola says that most consumers care more about their Android smartphone being “pure” than anything else. So, Motorola is taking this to the furthest places it can, by selling the Moto X Pure Edition.
Any other reason I should care?
Short answer: yes.
Motorola’s new flagship is openly embracing the no-contract model carriers have been introducing, and are essentially snubbing any carrier’s desire to have a version of their phone made specifically for them. No longer do you need to have the right Moto X to use on your carrier, because that doesn’t exist. The implications are huge.
For those concerned about how much this will cost, don’t fret. The new Moto X Pure Edition starts at $399. No, that is not a typo.
For those concerned about dropping $399 right away, you also shouldn’t fret. Motorola for awhile has been offering ways to set up a payment plan for their phones, and Best Buy has similar options as well.
Too Long; Didn’t Read: The Moto X Pure Edition is the only Moto X available in the US (the one announced as the Moto X Style this morning), and is not being sold by individual carriers, but rather is available online and in Best Buy, unlocked and ready to use for whatever carrier you’d like.
Thoughts? Drop us a comment below.
A new app called Galaxy-Sync that handles syncing Outlook data onto your mobile devices has been announced as one of the most secure ways to keep your Outlook info synced up. It’s unique in that it works by syncing everything locally as a security measure, so your data is never transmitted wirelessly or into any cloud servers where it’s more vulnerable to being breached or attacked. It’s pretty odd to see lack of wireless as a feature in 2015, but in this situation, it makes sense.
The app is optimized for the Galaxy S6 Edge, but it’ll work with many other Android devices. It offers a free trial with limited features with a one-time license fee for the full version.
If you’re looking for a secure way to get your Outlook data onto your phone, this might be worth checking out.
Come comment on this article: Galaxy-Sync is a program for keeping your Microsoft Outlook data synced across mobile devices
Google has removed document editing from the mobile web version of Google Docs, opting instead for a banner encouraging users to download the official app from the Play Store. The move makes sense, since that’s how they’ve treated Sheets and Slides for a while now. But if you were hanging on and still editing your Google Docs in Chrome, looks like you’ll have to install the app now.
To be fair, the app offers way more functionality and just generally runs much better than the web view version. It might be bad news for someone dealing with a phone or tablet that has very limited storage space, but I’d imagine if they were heavy document editors, they’d probably be willing to upgrade to keep the functionality.
Come comment on this article: Google removes document editing in mobile web version of Docs, pushes for app installation instead
Intel and Micron unveiled a novel new kind of non-volatile data storage device during a press conference on Tuesday. The chips, dubbed “3D XPoint” (pronounced “cross-point”), are being touted as the first new class of “mainstream memory” to hit the market since 1989. These new chips could soon speed up everything from cell phones and SSD laptops to genomic sequencers and supercomputers.
The new chip forgoes traditional transistors that make up the core of modern flash memory. Instead, the material that makes up each Xpoint memory cell changes its physical properties to either have a high or low electrical resistance, which represents 1’s and 0’s respectively. What’s more, the multiple layers of these cells are stacked in a 3D crosshatch pattern that allows each cell to be addressed and rewritten individually. See NAND works by shifting single electrons to either side of a “floating gate” to change from a 1 to a 0 and back again. The problem is that this process prevents users from changing the state just one memory cell — you have to wipe rewrite an entire block of cells simultaneously. But by addressing each cell individually, Intel reports that the new chip can perform 1000 times faster than conventional NAND and last hundreds of times longer before breaking down. The crosshatch design (below) also allows Intel to stack the layers 10 times more densely than regular NAND.
“One of the most significant hurdles in modern computing is the time it takes the processor to reach data on long-term storage,” Mark Adams, president of Micron, said in a statement. “This new class of non-volatile memory is a revolutionary technology that allows for quick access to enormous data sets and enables entirely new applications.”
Intel sees the chips initially helping speed up big data applications like fraud detection, real-time data analysis and disease tracking. The Xpoints are reportedly already in production, though there’s no timetable for when they’ll reach your next laptop.
Between showing off three new smartphones and two seemingly random pairs of Bluetooth headphones, it’s safe to say Team Motorola had a pretty busy morning. Still, we wanted even more insight into the thinking that went into the new Moto Xs, the company’s push into direct sales and the future of interacting with our phones, so we tracked down SVP of Software Seang Chau to help peel back the curtain covering the meat of Motorola’s machinations.
Engadget: The mantra for some parts of the tech community is that “software is eating the world.” What’s Motorola is doing in software that sets you apart from everybody else making a cheap smartphone?
Chau: That’s something we put a lot of thought into. The crazy thing about the mobile ecosystem is that 90% of smartphones that are being sold are on Android, and when everybody’s on Android, Google basically levels the playing field every time. They keep adding more capability, not only to the Android platform, but to Google’s mobile services. As a software leader at Motorola, I’m trying not to compete with Android. The reason why we call ours a “pure Android experience” rather than just “pure Android” is because we make a lot of changes that aren’t visible. What really enables the software that’s eating the world is fantastic hardware.
Now we have our services too, but those kinds of things — especially software-only features — are relatively easy to mimic or copy, or they get sucked into the platform eventually anyway. Accelerometer-based wake up got sucked into [Android] L and the Nexus 6. We had Bluetooth unlocking too as these things get sucked into the platform, we have to remove them! We try not to focus too much on software-only features now. What we do — and see people try to copy — is focus on our always-on capability.
We’ve got Moto Voice, where you just talk or make motions and gestures or you just approach it and wakes up — those kinds of things, you can’t copy in software and if you try, you’ll just kill your battery. We put a lot of effort into always-on, and I think that’s where we’re going to continue focusing a lot of our software efforts.
Engadget: Between Siri, Alexa, Google Now and Cortana, there’s been a seismic shift in how we interact with our devices. What’s your take on how the future of interaction looks for something like a smartphone?
Chau: I think Cortana is getting there. I think Google Now is starting to get there. Cortana from a context-awareness standpoint — by the way, full disclosure, I just came here from Microsoft in January — the context-based search that’s available on Bing and Cortana is something that’s not quite there with Google and Siri and those kinds of things. Natural language processing — NLP — is going to be where people are going with search and smartphone capability and interaction. I’m talking to you, I should be able to talk to it [gestures to phone] and it knows that “Oh, he might be talking to me now, and if it makes sense, I’m going to do it.”
For us, it’s going to be even more about context, figuring out the user’s context and helping them so that it’s not interrupting you when you don’t want to be interrupted. Right now we’re sitting here, it knows I’m talking to someone, so it won’t bother notifying me because I’m busy. Notify me later!
Engadget: Actually, let’s circle back to something you mentioned a little earlier. Stuff that Motorola has done in software have been subsumed into Android as a larger entity, so does it feel like you’re still sort of a mobile skunkworks for Google?
Chau: Well, you know what’s interesting? I wasn’t there during the Motorola/Google period, but what I’ve been told is Google kept Motorola kind of at arm’s length because they didn’t want any of the other OEMs to feel like they were giving Motorola any special treatment. What I’m told now is our relationship with Google is better, because now they just treat us like any other OEM and they’re not trying to avoid us! The chance of favoritism isn’t there so now we’re back to a good relationship with Google and the Android guys, which is fantastic! Subsuming the functionality into Android — it’s fine. We’ll just focus on the other thing. It makes the whole ecosystem better, and we’re OK with that.
Engadget: Speaking of the ecosystem, you’re starting to do something interesting stuff with this direct-to-consumer sales approach–
Chau: But it’s not just a sales approach, right? We had to think about how we were banding it as well. We decided we were going direct-to-consumer because all the carriers now are moving toward this T-Mobile/UnCarrier model where they’re not subsidizing anymore and contracts aren’t there and people can move between carriers as they see fit depending on who’s got the better price. Not only are we trying to get a better relationship with consumers, we’re going to give them a better relationship with their carrier. You buy one phone and now you can stick any SIM you want in it in the US.
Going with that retail and distribution model is fantastic for us. And the big impact for software is, I don’t need carrier approvals anymore to push out updates! So now I can push out updates and upgrades like Android M quicker because I don’t need to go through a carrier’s submission process. I still go through all my quality checks and all that, but I don’t need a carrier to tell me I can upgrade my phone.
Engadget: So are carriers going to sell locked-down versions of the Moto X Style?
Chau: Moto X Style will be exclusively available online and in Best Buys. There are no preloads, no other versions in the US. Isn’t that great? Because we can cut out the middleman, we can deliver a better price too.
Engadget: It seems like figuring out distribution is one of the last things that happens when you make a phone, but you’re saying the decision to sell straight to us happened early and informed other decisions.
Chau: You know, Moto X has always been our flagship and we wanted to make it as available as possible to as many people as possible and have a direct relationship. What we found was people who used MotoMaker to customize their devices really loved the experience, so we really wanted to open that up to everybody and allow us a faster upgrade path. Our online sales were doing well enough that we said “You know what, for our flagship, for the thing we want to customize the most that has the best design and specs — let’s go direct-to-consumer.” We’ve been doing so well in Brazil and India, we figured since the US carriers are starting to move in that direction anyway, let’s shoot ahead of the duck.
Edgar Alvarez contributed to this report.
Filed under: Mobile
VSCO Cam has offered some community features powered by its Grid tool on top of its regular photo-editing chops for some time now. Today, though, the company added a new way to interact with your fellow VSCO snapshot enthusiasts. With updates to both the iOS and Android apps, VSCO Cam delivered Collections: a feature that allows you to curate your favorite photos from other users. Grid provides a place to share your images in a minimalist format for all to see, but with Collections VSCO pulls in snapshots you like from other photographers to build a separate library. When you’re scrolling through the photos in Search or Explore, simply double tap to save one before publishing it to your Collection.
You’ll have the option to review the images you’ve selected before doing so, just in case you need to make some last-minute adjustments. If someone selects one of your photos for their Collection, you’ll receive a notification and you’ll have the option to remove it if you’d like. Updates for both Android and iOS are available now via Google Play and iTunes, respectively. And if you need a step-by-step tutorial, you can peruse that right here.
Camera quality has plagued the Moto X line ever since the first device launched back in 2013, and Motorola has since been trying to fix that problem. While the 2014 Moto X’s camera wasn’t anything to write home about, Motorola fans have been patiently waiting for the company to up its camera quality.
Thankfully, the newly-announced Motorola Moto X Style might finally be the camera Moto fans have been waiting for. The new flagship device has already been put to the test by the folks at DxOMark, and the results are actually quite good. The Moto X Style’s 21MP rear-facing camera, complete with dual-LED flash, has earned itself a second place spot on DxOMark’s rankings.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge is sitting in the top spot with an overall score of 86, while the Moto X Style and Samsung Galaxy Note 4 are tied for second place with a score of 83. When it comes to photo-taking abilities, the Moto X Style supposedly does a great job with preserving detail and keeping noise to a minimum, while also offering accurate autofocus, white balance and exposure in all lighting conditions. According to the camera testers, areas that need improvement include: slightly unstable autofocus when using the flash, slightly over-exposed photos when using the flash, and some photos show saturation in areas of blue sky.
Don’t miss: Moto X Style vs Play: what’s the difference?
The Moto X Style won’t be available to the public until September, which means DxOMark has been performing these tests on pre-release software and hardware. These results might be subject to change by the time retail units become available. Even so, it’s still nice to see Motorola’s flagship smartphone take on the best of the best on the camera front. If these rankings change in any way, we’ll be sure to let you know.
Now that you’ve seen what the Moto X Style can offer, do you think you’ll pick one up in September? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Are you looking to try your hand at mobile video game development but aren’t exactly sure where to begin? Getting a start on your career shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg, which is why you should check out this massive Game Developer Bundle in the AA Deals Store.
Offering 15 separate courses in game development training, this bundle consists of $539 worth of online courses. The best part? You can pay whatever amount of money you’d like for all fifteen courses. As long as you beat the average price (currently hovering around $6.15), you’ll get instant access to all applications. Here’s what you’ll get if you beat the average price:
- ‘Game Development for Non-Coders’ 5-Course Bundle – Feeling Code Shy? Build Games with Zero Programming Required! ($128 value)
- Unity 3D Game Development & Design 4-Course Bundle – Reel in the Downloads with This Powerful Game-Building Engine ($225 value)
- HTML5 App & Game Development 6-Course Bundle – Build Games for Any Platform or Device & Have Fun Doing It ($186 value)
It really couldn’t be any easier to kickstart your career! If you’re interested, head to the Android Authority Deals Store for more information.
Today Motorola unveiled the Moto X Style, the company’s new high-end offering designed to compete against both mainstream rivals like Samsung and LG, as well as the number of growing Chinese OEMs that are pushing down pricing while offering premium experiences. In many ways, the Moto X Style hits all the right boxes. One of the latest Qualcomm processing packages? QHD? Compelling extras like waterproofing and quick charging? Check, check, and check. Even better, it is said to cost just $399 in the US, rebranded under the name Moto X Pure Edition.
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This leads us to wonder, has Motorola just created a flagship killer killer? Last night OnePlus unveiled its next-gen follow-up to the OPO, the aptly named OnePlus 2. While it got a lot right, including pricing, the OP2 also made sacrifices such as the lack of QHD and lack of quick charging support.
In many ways the two phones are very comparably spec’d, but there are some very real differences. To better illustrate how the two differ, let’s take an on-paper look at their spec sheets:
|Moto X Style (aka Moto X Pure)||OnePlus Two|
Quad HD (2560×1440) resolution, 515 ppi
|5.5-inch LCD, Full HD|
|Processor||1.8 GHz hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor
Adreno 418 GPU
|1.8GHz Snapdragon 810|
|RAM||3GB||3 or 4 GB (depending on storage option)|
expandable via microSD up to 128 GB
|16 or 64GB storage|
|Camera||21 MP rear-facing camera with dual LED flash
5 MP front-facing camera
|Waterproofing||Yes, IP52 certified||No|
|Software||Android 5.1.1 Lollipop||OxygenOS based on Android 5.1|
|Dimensions||153.9 x 76.2 x 11.1 mm, 179g||151.8 x 74.9 x 9.85 mm, 175g|
|Price||$399||$339 (16GB), $389 (64GB)|
Probably the biggest advantages the OP2 holds over the Moto X Style are the processing package (810 vs 808), the fingerprint scanner, a new type-C port, it weighs a little less, isn’t as thick, has a slightly bigger battery, has 1GB more RAM (at least with the 64GB OP2), and costs a little less. On the flipside, the Moto X Style has quick charging, NFC, is waterproof with IP52 certification, has a much more impressive cam, has a QHD display, and has a microSD slot.
For many, it comes down to which of these extras you put more value in. Personally, I think the Moto X Style holds the edge. Stuff like Type-C is nice, but not exactly necessary. Weight and thickness matters little to me. The Snapdragon 810 is technically better, but the real world differences are arguably quite minor. On the other hand, I love having the option of microSD, and while QHD and IP52 waterproofing aren’t essential, I find them more compelling than the OP2 ‘extras’.
It’s also important to note that the Moto X Style is about the same price as the OP2 and requires no invites. Furthermore, US consumers will be able to use the Pure Edition model on any major US carrier — something you won’t find with the GSM-only OP2.
Of course, opinions vary wildly and I completely respect that. For those on a super tight budget, the $10 – $60 savings could make the OP2 a clear winner. For others, fingerprint scanners might be considered a must have, or perhaps the 5.5-inch screen as big as they are willing to go, and the list goes on. What side of the coin do you land on? Which is the ‘true flagship killer’: Moto X Style or the OnePlus 2? Let us know what you think in the comments.
More and more smartphones are launching with all-metal bodies, and that’s for good reason. Many people prefer a smartphone made of metal over, let’s say, one that’s made of glass or plastic. This unfortunately poses quite the problem when it comes to charging your device wirelessly, as the metal chassis gets in the way of current wireless charging methods. But if a recent announcement from Qualcomm proves true, we might soon be able to charge metal devices wirelessly.
This solution, which uses Qualcomm’s WiPower technology, is compliant with the Rezence wireless power standard. Qualcomm’s WiPower can operate at a frequency that’s more tolerant of metal objects that come between your wireless charger and your phone. While the company’s description as to how this tech actually works is a bit lacking in detail, for the most part, the wireless charging process seems to be similar to other methods.
This new technology also allows multiple devices to be charged at once, as long as they’re in range of the wireless charging pad.
Qualcomm is making this technology available from today for all companies who would like to adopt the Rezence standard. Many companies have been adopting Qi and PMA charging methods over the past few years, so it’ll be interesting to see which manufacturers adopt this new charging tech. Be sure to check out the video attached to this post to see it in action.