The new Moto X will not be available on the Sprint network
By Evan Selleck
While the Moto X had some exclusive aspects to its launch in 2013, eventually it became available for all of the major wireless networks. The safe bet before the announcement of the new Moto X this year would have been the same thing would be the case this time around, but it looks like that might not be the case after all.
According to the official Motorola Mobility Twitter account, replying to a question from a Twitter user regarding a launch date for the new Moto X for Sprint, that won’t be happening. The tweet is pretty straightforward in its message: “The new Moto X won’t be available on the Sprint network.” So, just like that, any hopes that Sprint subscribers would be able to get their hands on the new hero device from Motorola have been dashed.
@griffithgg The new Moto X won’t be available on the Sprint network. Thanks for checking in.
— Motorola Mobility (@Motorola) September 17, 2014
Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean it will always be the case. It does mean, though, for right now it looks like there aren’t any plans to bring the device to the Now Network. And, as it stands, the only pair of carriers to announce support for the new handset are AT&T and Verizon. Technically speaking, though, the 4G LTE-connectivity will work on T-Mobile as well in the GSM unlocked variant.
Are you a Sprint customer that was hoping to get a new Moto X?
Sprint customers will not be able to get the new Moto X
Last week, Motorola introduced their newest flagship device, the new Moto X. The Motorola website however did not offer details about the price tag or where you could go to place an order.
Since then, AT&T has been accepting Moto X pre-orders with the device shipping to customers starting on September 23rd and being available in AT&T stores beginning September 26th. Rumors also exist about Verizon releasing the Moto X on September 25th.
It was assumed that US Cellular and Sprint were closely behind both AT&T and Verizon with a release date for the Moto X. But according to GigaOM and Motorola Mobility, Sprint will not be selling the Moto X at all. Last year, Moto X was available for Sprint. GigaOM notes the possibility of Motorola being upset at Sprint for the issues that Motorola had with last year’s Moto X and Sprint’s Spark network.
Source:: android authority
Galaxy S5 and Note 4 reportedly getting Android L in late November or early December
By Andrew Grush
Historically Samsung hasn’t exactly been lighting fast with updates, and a lot of that has to do with the fact that its devices don’t just run stock Android, they run Android with TouchWiz on top. Preparing and testing a custom build like this takes extra time, or so that’s usually the given excuse.
With Android L, Google released a developer preview months ahead of the expected final release and many believed this could be the beginning of changes that could see OEMs push out updates quicker. For those curious when Samsung might roll out Android L to its 2014 flagships (Galaxy S5 and Note 4), a new report from SamMobile claims it could be coming towards the end of November or early December.
Most of the rumors suggest that the final build of Android L should debut sometime in early October, likely alongside the HTC Nexus 9, and so that makes Samsung’s supposed timeframe reasonably speedy — if it’s accurate. SamMobile says that the news comes from their “insiders” but even if this timeline is legit, delays happen and this could simply be when unlocked versions will see the update with carriers getting it much later.
Either way, we’d say there’s a good chance that at least the Note 4 and Galaxy S5 will see Android L this year, but we wouldn’t get our hopes up just yet.
Source:: android authority
OnePlus One will be available through a pre-order system from October
OnePlus announced on its blog that it’s going to adopt a pre-order system for the OnePlus One starting in late October. This is the official confirmation of the estimation offered by OnePlus reps during a Reddit AMA session in August.
In the blog post, Carl Pei, director of OnePlus Global, reiterates the reasons the company opted for an invite system, which Pei calls a “blessing.” The system, Pei says, allowed OnePlus to minimize inventory risks that could jeopardize the entire company if not addressed.
Currently, OnePlus only manufactures devices it has solid orders for, and that has its advantages. But the invite system has also caused a great deal of frustration among customers and has probably cost OnePlus countless potential orders.
Now OnePlus plans to open orders for the One in late October, for a limited time. While supplies last, the device will ship immediately. After supplies run out, customers will be able to pre-order, with shipping times depending on demand. There won’t be a limit on how many devices can be ordered during this window.
While Pei doesn’t specify it, it looks like OnePlus will keep the invite system going forward.
The pre-order system appears to be another method of cutting risks – by having orders concentrated in a short time window, OnePlus can plan production batches without risking accumulating costly inventory. Sure, in an ideal world, would-be OnePlus One buyers should not have to worry about invites and limited-time order periods. But that’s the price one must pay for getting a high-end phone at a mid-range price.
Source:: android authority
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Source:: android authority
OnePlus One pre-order system coming in late October
By Sean Riley
Despite some unfortunate PR here and there, the OnePlus One has been a hot device this summer due to the inexpensive price of the relatively high-end hardware. Perhaps contributing to some of the OnePlus One mania (within a certain subset of Android users anyway) was the scarcity of the device: the only way to purchase it was by receiving an invite.
Despite the recent news that their StyleSwap cover plans have been scrapped, things are apparently looking up for OnePlus, as they are finally prepared to open the floodgates (a bit) in late October by moving to a pre-order system. Interestingly, the invite system will remain in place and allow you to line jump those that have placed a pre-order, so the bitter complaining about invites will persist a bit.
As with all things OnePlus, this isn’t exactly a normal pre-order system in that they won’t just continuously accept pre-orders. Instead, there will be windows of opportunity for you to make a pre-order and if you get in early on that window, you will likely have a device shipping almost immediately. Those that hit later in the pre-order window will receive an estimated ship date before they actually submit their payment.
I don’t think there’s any question that OnePlus are producing this hardware on slim margins, which necessitates having guaranteed sales before producing more phones, but at the same time these convoluted ordering systems do feel like a sales tactic. But hey ,it does seem to be working for them, so I can’t really fault them for continuing with it.
At this point the real problem for them is likely to be the new options available by the end of October/November, and in particular a new Nexus phone that would be targeting a similar demographic.
Are any of you still looking to get your hands on a OnePlus One? If so, what do you think of the pre-order system?
9 best Facebook apps for Android
By Joe Hindy
Facebook and Facebook Messenger have officially broken up. It was a move that made a lot of people mad because they didn’t want to download a separate app just for messaging. However, there is also an opportunity here. Since you get Facebook Messenger by itself, you can start looking around at other Facebook apps to take care of the main interface. There are also some other fun things you can do with Facebook. Here are the best Facebook apps out there.
Facebook Home done better.
- It’s an Android launcher with Facebook features instead of a Facebook launcher with Android features.
- It’s still pretty integrated to Facebook for those who want that.
- Automatically fetches Facebook things so you don’t have to do it.
- Allows you to do things like put icons and widgets on home screens which Facebook Home could not do.
- Buggy for some devices, laggy for mid range, low range, and older devices.
- If you don’t want that much Facebook in your launcher then you won’t like this.
- Some people are having login problems.
- App hasn’t been updated since January 2014 and we’re not sure if it’s still being supported.
Alias Facebook Home Launcher is an attempt by developers to fix all the horrible things Facebook did with their Facebook Home app. It more closely mirrors an actual Android launcher experience with Facebook features baked in as opposed to a Facebook experience with a few Android features baked in. It’s free to try and it’s 4.0 rating in the Play Store is an entire mark higher than Facebook’s attempt.
Sometimes official is the way to go.
- Despite its problems, the official app is the only way to effectively use some features. Power users pretty much have to use this.
- They have been actively trying to improve their interface and app performance.
- It generally works as expected.
- Works better with phone integration stuff like Samsung’s SNS.
- The design could still use some work.
- Various connection and login errors.
- To maximize battery life, force close the app after using it and go into the settings and turn off the auto-play video feature. Otherwise this will eat your battery.
Of course there is always the option to stick with the original Facebook app. It’s had a long and storied history of problems but in their defense, they are trying to do better. The official app does have a wakelock problem that will drain your battery if you’re not careful. It’s also the only way to get some of the more proprietary features in Facebook. If you’re a Facebook power user then this is sadly your best bet for now.
They don’t call it Slow for Facebook.
- Small file (2MB), low RAM consumption, and movable to SD card fixes two of the official app’s worst problems.
- Customizable experience finally lets you theme your Facebook and configure your own buttons.
- Security pin feature prevents people from snooping.
- Push notifications is an optional add on which is nice for those who don’t use it.
- Messenger is integrated so you can go back to using just one app.
- Buggy for some people but that’s to be expected.
- Most people seem to like it except for ‘one little issue’ that always seems to be different so your mileage may vary.
Fast for Facebook is an up and coming Facebook app with over seven million downloads to date. It preaches quickness over features and thus you may find some of the more niche features are missing. For casual users, this is a great substitute to the official Facebook app. It makes up for it by letting you do things like customize your experience.
[Price: Free with in app purchases]
Almost there but not quite.
- Great for casual users who don’t need all of the power user features.
- Multiple font and theme options allow for customization.
- Facebook Messenger is integrated into the app.
- Holo UI which is a nice change.
- Various bugs and issues reported here and there.
- While the design overall is nice, there are individual design elements that could use a little polish such as private chats.
Flipster is a Facebook app that almost gets it right. It doesn’t have the power user features of some of the other apps but it does have some solid features such as themes. There are some problems but this is a list of Facebook apps which means all these apps have their problems.
[Price: Free with in app purchases]
Been around since good old days.
- Has many features, including 6 themes, multi-account support, and contact syncing.
- Decent interface. You won’t be getting lost using this app.
- Supports all the basic stuff, including chat.
- Developers are more than willing to explain issues via their blog which is actually quite informative to how Facebook works.
- Buggy on some devices, laggy on others.
- Chat feature comes in a separate app like the official app.
Friendcaster has been the go-to Facebook replacement app since the good old days. It’s been slowly evolving with growing design trends and the like and remains one of the most popular Facebook replacements to date. It has more non-Facebook features than any of the other replacement apps and it even has a few themes.
Take back your photos!
- Download many, many photos all at once. There is even a dedicated option for more than 1000 photos.
- Perfect for anyone wanting to backup their Facebook photos or migrate to a new service.
- Developers have an FAQ for frequent issues in the app description which we …read more
Source:: android authority
QHD equipped Verizon Droid reportedly set to arrive in October, fast charging in tow
By Andrew Grush
Motorola has been pretty busy as of late, not only releasing next-gen iterations of the Moto G and Moto X, but also possibly working on a Nexus smartphone as well. Recently there has also been talk about a new Droid for Verizon’s network, one that will reportedly offer pretty bad-ass specs including a QHD resolution on a 4.6-inch display and a Snapdragon 805 processor with 3GB of RAM.
It’s still unclear if the rumored specs are actually correct, but there seems to be more evidence pointing towards the so-called Droid Turbo’s existence, including a new report from CNET that claims the phone will be unveiled next month. The news of the October launch allegedly comes from “people familiar with the matter”, along with word that the handset will offer up quick charging technology.
Honestly, we can’t say we are too surprised about the quick charging claim, as the @DroidLanding twitter account recently reactivated and tweeted the following message: “Faster charging is a big deal. That’s why we made it a bigger deal. #waitforit”
Aside from fast charging, the latest available SOC, 3GB RAM and a QHD resolution, the Droid Turbo is also said to offer up a 20MP rear cam, 2MP front cam and is said to be the only Droid device coming this year. That’s certainly a break from tradition, and this could also mean we won’t be seeing a “Maxx” model this time around. That said, it’s certainly possible that Motorola could bring a massive battery to the Turbo, in addition to quick charging tech — though that’s just speculation on our part.
If the Droid Turbo really ends up with the specs attributed to it in rumors, anyone interested in picking this one up in lieu of a Moto X (2014) or another 2014 flagship device?
Source:: android authority
Why are OEMs trying to force the smartwatch revolution?
By Simon Hill
Technology companies work hard to bring us a better future. They lie awake at night worrying about how they can make our lives easier, how they can provide us with the next killer gadget to boost our productivity, and put a smile of wonderment on our faces.
Oh no wait…. no that’s wrong. Technology companies work hard to make money. They lie awake at night worrying about how to part us from our hard-earned cash, how to sell us more gadgets, and put a profit-generated smile on their faces.
Smartwatches are the next big thing
Everyone and their dog is making a smartwatch right now. The analysts are falling over themselves to predict a surge in sales.
- IDC suggests wearables will sell more than 19 million units this year, rising to 112.9 million by 2018.
- Gartner reckons that 40 percent of wrist-worn devices will be smartwatches by 2016 (to put that in perspective the traditional wrist watch market was 1.2 billion last year, so nearly 500 million smarwatches within two years).
- NextMarket Insights suggests that 15 million smartwatches will ship this year and that will grow to 373 million by 2020.
- Canalys reports that shipments of wearable bands (which it divides into basic and smart) are up 684 percent in the first half of 2014.
Do you know how many smartwatches shipped in 2013? Strategy Analytics says 1.9 million and many of them were bundled with a smartphone by Samsung. The first half of this year has seen shipments of 1.7 million.
It is early days, but we’re not seeing a great deal of evidence that this is the wearable technology everyone has been waiting for. We’ve certainly moved on from the days of Seiko’s wrist computers back in the 80’s. Current releases eclipse Microsoft’s efforts from just a decade ago. But is this really the year of the smartwatch? The demand looks distinctly limp, but there’s a reason for that.
Early adopters as beta testers
The first wave of a new category is almost always pretty bad. There are teething troubles to work out. Manufacturers need feedback to understand what features people really want and there can be a difference between what they think they want and what they actually use. Large scale production brings prices down, research enables smaller and sexier designs, and third-parties develop clever software and accessories that take things in new directions.
We can’t really judge the future smartwatch market based on the current smartwatch market. They are mostly chunky and ugly.
We can’t really judge the future smartwatch market based on the current smartwatch market. They are mostly chunky and ugly. Their main purpose is to save you from having to take the smartphone out of your pocket. The more features you cram in the worse the battery life gets. More big OEMs will launch smartwatches in the coming months and they’ll refine their lines. Traditional wrist watch manufacturers will get in on the act and take things in a more stylish direction. Let’s face it there’s plenty of room for improvement.
Why are they pushing smartwatches?
The smartphone market is saturated. It’s coming down to a battle between price and brand. As prices fall and commoditization kicks in OEMs profits are squeezed hard. Smartwatches present two important opportunities:
- A new product category is a new market to exploit.
- A smartwatch could also be a differentiator that sells your smartphone over another.
Obviously we don’t need smartwatches. And OEMs can’t make us buy them. Just as they couldn’t make us rush out for new 3D TVs and smartphones. Even with a wave of hype they have to make something desirable for it to really catch on and it remains to be seen whether they’ll pull that trick off with smartwatches or not.
Where’s the USP?
There’s definitely a lack of really compelling killer features for this first crop of smartwatches. There are two basic directions they seem to be taking.
Some are essentially miniaturized smartphones or extensions of your smartphone and it’s not clear that they really offer anything that’s unmissable. If your smartphone is Batman, then they’re Robin, and we can all do without Robin right?
The category that is gaining some traction is fitness trackers. A smartwatch can track your activity more effectively than a smartphone. It is convenient to wear and forget about and you can sync data later to review it. Devices that just include a few activity sensors can run for days and even weeks between charges. They don’t have to be chunky and they don’t have to be so expensive.
If smartwatches could match the battery life and style of some fitness trackers then they’d be taking off a lot faster.
How big will smartwatches be?
If the OEMs can’t sell them directly then they’ll bundle them up as enticements to buy more expensive items like smartphones. We’re already seeing this happening. There’s also a growing momentum as more and more OEMs release their wares.
The original iPhone sold about 6 million units in its first year. Do you think the Apple Watch will sell more? A quick glance at analyst predictions reveals expectations of anywhere from 10 million to 50 million sales of the Apple Watch alone in 2015.
Android Wear is gearing up for a big year. Expect the same strengths as you see in the wider Android smartphone market – a range of different prices, hardware permutations, and form factors.
Smartwatches will carve some kind of market out, when this many OEMs throw this kind of weight behind a new product category it’s not likely to completely fail. We just don’t know big it will be.
Remember that the marketing machine never gets tired. It will pursue you endlessly. Maybe you are craving a smartwatch and you just don’t know it yet. How will you feel when everyone else has one? You said you’d never buy a mobile phone. …read more
Source:: android authority
FCC proposes raising definition of broadband to 10Mbps
Last week, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler spoke to Multichannel News and talked about wanting the definition of broadband to be at least 10Mbps down for rural areas in the US and 25Mbps down for developed markets. This means that any Internet Service Provider (ISP) who accepts Universal Service funds from the FCC (government subsidies) should offer at the minimum 10Mbps down.
The FCC’s current definition of “broadband” Internet is 4Mbps down. Originally, the FCC defined broadband as anything faster than 200kbps, then upgraded that definition to 768kbps down. It was only in 2010 that the FCC officially defined broadband to mean 4Mbps down.
Although AT&T and Verizon urged Wheeler to abandon this proposal, Wheeler has now told the US House Committee on Small Business that he will not abandon his goal of raising the definition of broadband.
“We have proposed increasing the throughput in order to get Universal Service funds from 4Mbps to 10Mbps for precisely the reason that you mentioned, that you can’t have a digital divide. When 60 percent of the Internet’s traffic at prime time is video, and it takes 4 or 5Mbps to deliver video, a 4Mbps connection isn’t exactly what’s necessary in the 21st century. And when you have half a dozen different devices, wireless and other connected devices in a home that are all going against that bandwidth, it’s not enough. What we are saying is we can’t make the mistake of spending the people’s money, which is what Universal Service is, to continue to subsidize something that’s subpar.” – Tom Wheeler (per Ars Technica)
The proposed upgrade in download speeds would only apply to future grants.
The ISP’s will fight the proposal in anyway that they can, since raising the definition will force ISP’s to show their lack of deployment and competition across the country.
Just take a look at how AT&T and Verizon view this subject.
“Given the pace at which the industry is investing in advanced capabilities, there is no present need to redefine ‘advanced’ capabilities,” AT&T wrote in a filing made public Friday after the FCC’s comment deadline (see FCC proceeding 14-126). “Consumer behavior strongly reinforces the conclusion that a 10Mbps service exceeds what many Americans need today to enable basic, high-quality transmissions,” AT&T wrote later in its filing. Verizon made similar arguments. – DSLReports
In the past, the FCC has struggled to raise the definition bar.
- When the FCC was trying to raise the broadband definition from 768kbps or to 4Mbps, ISP’s complained loudly.
- When the FCC was giving out millions for one of the Connect America Fund phases, ISP’s like Windstream refused to take all of the money ($775 per install) because the FCC wanted to bump up the definition of an area to “unserved” if that area couldn’t receive 6Mbps down and 1.5Mbps up, instead of 3Mbps down and 768kbps up.
- The FCC was chastised by the American Cable Association for wanting to raise the definition of broadband speeds to 6Mbps down (for the definition of “unserved”) by claiming that such speeds meant additional “government-supported overbuilding”….whatever that means.
Basically, ISP’s and phone companies have their markets cornered and don’t want taxpayer cash changing that equation.
But let’s be happy that the cable industry has finally come around to wanting the FCC broadband definition to mean actual speeds and not advertised speeds. Back in 2009, the cable industry’s primary lobbying group (National Cable & Telecommunications Association) pushed for the FCC definition to remain at 768kbps and 200 kbps. The NCTA also wanted the FCC definition to be defined by the speed advertised and not the speed actually delivered. Wait, what?
…the Commission should continue to look at maximum advertised speed rather than some measure of “actual” speed. In the Notice, the Commission observes that advertised speeds “generally differ from actual rates, are not uniformly measured, and have different constraints over different technologies.” – National Cable & Telecommunications Association
Source:: android authority