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All posts tagged "motorola"

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Motorola Xoom 2 Reviewed!

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Android Slates/Tablets & Accessories" @ 06:30 AM

"What's this oddly curved box we see before us? Ah, yes, it's Motorola's (joint) second attempt at the Android tablet game."

Engadget has their review up of the Motorola Xoom 2. Is it the tablet you're eyeing this holiday season? If so, check out their thoughts and let us know what you think!

Tags: motorola, xoom2

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Androinica Reviews the Moto Droid Razr

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 11:30 AM

"With the Droid Razr, Motorola attempts to marry the game-changing attributes of its two most important brands of the modern smartphone era. The phone is once again sleek and sharp like the latter half of its name would imply, but bold and limit-pushing like the former. So how successful is Motorola at merging form and function in its latest phone?"

If you're not familiar with the Droid Razr it's a very thin Android phone that packs a powerful 1.2GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM along with 16GB of storage and it comes with an additional 16GB card. It also has a 540x960 4.3" display. This review covers a little bit of everything about it. One thing that's noteworthy is apparently the Droid Razr has better battery life than any other LTE Android phone. The reviewer also said the call quality was "really good", better than he is used to, and he doesn't mind the UI that Moto put on this thing adding that it has some nice features - much improved from the old Blur that so many people hated. On the downside he didn't love the Super AMOLED Advanced qHD display.

Read the full review for all the details. Will the Droid Razr be your next phone?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Engadget Reviews the Droid Bionic

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 10:00 AM

"It's been said that absence makes a heart grow fonder, so it was with very willing and eager hands this week that we received the Droid Bionic, Motorola's latest high-octane, robot-themed assault on Verizon Wireless subscribers."

With a dual-core 1GHz CPU, 1GB of RAM, about 23GB of usable storage space, a 960x540 4.3" screen, 1700mHA battery, LTE 4G, and 1080p video recording the Droid Bionic is a very respectable device. Engadget has a nice review with lots of photos and video that goes into detail about things like performance, battery life, and accessories - including a WebTop laptop dock thing like the Atrix.

I generally like what Motorola does with their hardware. In this case I'm not sure about the CPU/GPU choice. Also I think the VGA front facing camera was a bad choice. I would expect a 2MP front facing camera on a high-end phone. I've seen the PenTile screen on the Droid X2 and I like that. Check out the review and let us know what you think. Is this the Droid you've been waiting for? If you bought one I'd love to know how you like it so far!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Androinica Reviews the Droid 3

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android Talk" @ 10:00 AM

"I’ve never used the original Droid, and I’ve only heard good things, so the prospect of using an official Droid was exciting. The first week, however, I couldn’t get into the phone right away. I rarely took the Droid 3 with me because it seemed sluggish, but I finally buckled down to figure it out and came away modestly impressed with the third version of one of Motorola and Verizon’s most popular brands."

This is a good concise review of the Motorola Droid 3. Though I'm not a fan of physical keyboards on phones in general I really don't like them without dedicated numeric keys. I was glad to see they finally fixed that and added a new top row with numbers. I'm also glad they added MicroHDMI. The fact that it can record 1080p video is a nice touch as well. Also, I was glad they finally bumped the screen up from 3.7" to 4". I think screen size is so critical when you're using your finger, and not a stylus, to push on-screen buttons. I was very surprised that the reviewer found it slow at first. I haven't used it but wouldn't have expected that from any dual-core phone running Gingerbread.

Do you have a Droid 3? If so, what's your favorite feature? How has the performance been? If you don't have a Droid 3 does it have the features you're looking for?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Will a Google-Motorola Merger be a Disaster?

Posted by Jake Ludington in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 10:00 PM

Integrating the software engineering culture of Google with the hardware manufacturing business of Motorola Mobility will certainly face some challenges, but will it go down in history as one of the biggest merger disasters of all time? Henry Blodget seems to think so when he says, "But if Larry plans to keep Motorola and operate it as a stand-alone business, as Google said on the conference call yesterday, look out. This deal could easily end up in the same Hall of Shame that enshrines AOL Time Warner and many more of the worst mergers in history."

Patents may be the only part of this deal Google cares about. If it's about patents, there's really nothing interesting to talk about and a disaster is highly unlikely.

From an Android OS perspective, Google owning Motorola won't change much. While Google may insist on a more specific Android experience on Motorola hardware, it still needs HTC and Samsung to make sexy devices or the market for Android phones won't grow. Maybe Google will subsidize Xoom sales to grow the Android tablet market. The biggest problem facing every Android tablet I've tried so far is that it feels unfinished, which is partly due to the fragmentation. Having Google dictate a software release schedule for a set of tablets would push the other tablet makers to keep pace with adding Android features. I'm guessing here, but none of that sounds like a disaster.

The Motorola set-top box business looks like a bigger opportunity than phones. Google hired away some of the people who built Microsoft's Mediaroom IPTV product back while I was consulting for Microsoft IPTV. If Google can provide a mature enough TV experience with in-house set-top boxes, they may be able to steal some business from Microsoft, assuming Google has patience for the lengthy sales cycle. The cable companies all buy either Motorola or Tatung set-top boxes, so Google has a great in to offer their own complementary software. Or maybe we need to imagine an Adwords business that offers more direct television ad buying where Google cuts the cable providers in for a slice of the action. Again, nothing that sounds like disaster.

Blodget may be right that the Motorola culture won't mix with Google. But if Google isn't trying to mix culture, there is opportunity for Google software business units to work directly with Motorola hardware business units. What do you think? Will buying Motorola break Google?

So What Happens When Google Buys Something?

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Android News" @ 05:30 PM

"Google's $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola will be its biggest acquisition ever - more than four times the size of DoubleClick, the previous leader. But over the last decade, Google has been one of the biggest-and most successful-acquirers in the tech industry, and owes a lot of its success to these smart buys. Its core search advertising platform and most of its biggest new businesses, including Android, YouTube, and display advertising, all come from other companies."

Yesterday's Google Grab of Motorola Mobility may have you wondering what will happen now. If you want to see Google's track record of 16 recent acquisitions (and where they are now), check out this interesting Gizmodo piece. Obviously if anything it proves that no one really knows what will happen over time after Google decides it needs to eat up another company!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Latest Xoom 4G LTE Upgrade Rumor Says September is the Magic Month

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 10:00 AM

"We just received word that Motorola XOOM 3G owners could will see an email from either Moto or Verizon today with details about their 4G LTE upgrade. According to our source, the email will inform them that the upgrade will not happen until September"

If you were one of the first to buy the Xoom you're probably disappointed that you've had to wait this long. The good news is, there is a light at the end of the tunnel! Verizon has announced that the LTE upgrade will be available in September. At least the Xoom did get Gingerbread 3.2 and it has at least some support for use of the MicroSDHC card slot. If you have a Xoom I would be interested to know if the lower bandwidth of 3G has been a real problem for you. Do you think it's holding you back or are there a lot of things you're not downloading because it would take too long?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Feature Removed with Droid X Gingerbread Update

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android Talk" @ 04:00 AM

"The Droid X update from from Froyo (340) to Gingerbread (459) left out the feature of being able to flip the phone to silence an incoming phone call. After receiving a warranty replacement phone with the Gingerbread update pre-installed, I called into Verizon to ask where the feature had gone. I was trying to copy all settings from the old Droid X. I was transferred to a level 2 technician who understood the feature I was describing and noticed it was missing in the Gingerbread update. He contacted and transferred me to Motorola tech support. After explaining the situation to the Motorola support agent, he contacted an engineer who confirmed the feature was not present in the current version of the Droid X Gingerbread update. He asked me if I wanted to flag the feature for possible inclusion in a future update. This wouldn't be interesting except for the fact that I got the impression nobody had noticed this feature was missing until I called." - via email to Android Thoughts from Neville Williams

This is interesting. Was there some reason they couldn't implement the feature on Gingerbread? Did someone at Motorola decide this was a feature that nobody used? I'm sure there are countless possible options but it is a little disappointing that they wouldn't have let people know that the feature was removed with Gingerbread. The thing that seems most strange about this is that the flip to silence feature didn't work correctly when the Droid X was released. Well, it did but not always I think. They actually fixed it, so flip to silence worked correctly. I would have thought they would have ditched the setting then rather then fixing it. So it's just odd to me that they bothered to fix it and then took it out all together. Personally, I think it was a cool idea but for me it's just as easy to hit a volume button on the side to silence a call. I actually prefer that because I can see the notification LED when it's face up. Did any of you use the flip to silence feature? Do you know of other features on the Droid X or other phones that have been lost with official OS updates? Btw...Thanks to Neville for sending this in.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Get Your Popcorn Ready: WiFi Xoom Gains Access To Google Movies

Posted by Jason Lee in "Android News" @ 11:00 AM

"Hard to say why Google chose to roll its Movies app out first to 3G-packed tablets sporting Android 3.1 (a smaller testbed, perhaps?), but it looks as if it won't matter for much longer."

This is good news indeed. I was super excited when I saw the update show up for my Xoom. I haven't rented a movie yet but if there is ever anything I want to watch that isn't on Netflix this is the way I would prefer to do it. There are other video and movie rental services online but I'd rather not enter my credit card into yet another web page or online service. I already have Google checkout setup. I'm not sure exactly how much I'll use this as I haven't rented a movie in over 10 years but I like having the option. Anyone rented anything yet from this new service?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Droid 3 is Coming! Three Tutorial Videos Leaked!

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 04:00 AM

"Verizon and Motorola have kept a tighter lid on the Droid 3 than many recent smartphones we've seen, but a nice big leak just sprang from the bottom of the pot -- startup gadget blog PhonePads obtained three tutorial videos of the five-row QWERTY slider strutting its stuff."

The Droid X2, Droid Incredible, and even the Bionic which won't be out for a while have had lots of information released early about them. We haven't heard much at all about the Droid 3 until now. Three training video's have leaked out. It looks like Motorola has blocked access to them now so you may not be able to watch them anymore but those videos did give us info about what to expect. It now has an 8MP rear camera that is apparently an upgrade over the one in the Droid X or X2. It also has a 5-row physical keyboard now, the 5th row providing numbers. They have taken away the physical camera button, like Moto did with the Droid X2. Oh yeah, and the rear camera can record 1080p video! And what good is HD video recording without an HDMI port - so of course they threw in a MicroHDMI port too!

I'm not a fan of devices with physical keyboards in general but if I was going to buy one, this is looking pretty good. What do you think?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Xperia Play, LG Revolution, and Droid X2 are on their way to Verizon

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 07:00 AM

"Our friends at Verizon just reached out to share with us the upcoming May release schedule for a variety of new devices including the DROIDX2, LG Revolution, and Xperia Play."

It sounds like there is a good chance we'll be seeing three high-end Android Phones coming to Verizon this month. The Droid X2, LG Revolution, and the Xperia Play (PlayStation Phone). The Droid X2 has a Dual-Core Tegra 2 CPU/GPU which should give some excellent performance but this phone has no front facing camera. The LG Revolution uses a second generation Snapdragon and while it's single core, it should be no slouch, not to mention it has 4G. One major selling point of the LG Revolution is it will be the first Android Phone to support Netflix streaming. The Xperia Play comes with game emulators and a slide out game-pad with two analog controls as well as the other standard Playstation buttons and dpad.

Are you waiting for one of these three phones? I'm not sure which would be my pick. I'm not a fan of 4G since it doesn't make a difference most of the time and it hurts battery life, plus Verizon has had some issues with their LTE service. I love the idea of the Xperia Play but want to try one first and see what games are actually available for it once it's released. It will ship with Gingerbread so that's a plus. I like the sound of the Droid X2 with the Tegra 2, qHD LCD display, and 768MB of RAM, but I know the lack of a front facing camera would be a deal breaker for some. What are your thoughts?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Motorola Releases Update for the Xoom

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 07:00 PM

"A Motorola XOOM update will be made available [today] that brings a bunch of fixes to the device including Bluetooth support on Google Talk and for a mouse, proxy support, and a new picture transfer protocol."

A PDF from Verizon introduces the latest update for the Motorola Xoom Android tablet. Is has a number of fixes like for HTML display of POP3 email as well as a few new features like support for a Bluetooth mouse. I'm not sure how Android would be with a pointer but it would be fun to at least try. I wonder if they have a way to do two finger gestures with the mouse, like rotating the display in Google Maps...anyway, it's great to see that so many issues are addressed. The update is only 28MB, which doesn't sound too big to me. Unfortunatly it doesn't add support for the MicroSD card slot. I'm not sure what's up with that since apparently the MicroSD card slot is fully functional out of the box on the Asus EeePad Transformer. Please let us know if you give this update a try. Does it work as advertised, do more, or less?

Are Pigs Flying? Motorola to Offer Unlockable Bootloader for All Phones?!?!

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 11:00 AM

"The Motorola Locked/Encrypted Bootloader Policy petition was started on the 10th March 2011 and in just over a month has accumulated 8,500 signatures. There has been numerous coverage from Android specific news sites and has even spurred on a Facebook page that has over 500 supporters with the sole purpose of bombarding Motorola’s Facebook page with bootloader questions."

Irwin, an Austrailian Android user, has started a petition and has gotten 8,500 signatures by people who want an unlocked bootloader from Motorola. It still looks like the carriers could get in the way but here is part of the actual response from Motorola: "It is our intention to enable the unlockable/relockable bootloader currently found on Motorola XOOM across our portfolio of devices starting in late 2011, where carriers and operators will allow it." That sounds pretty good to me! Moto has had plenty of other requests to free their bootloaders as well such as this poll they did on their Facebook page and just maybe all of it has paid off. With the recent news of HTC starting to lock bootloaders could this change of heart by Motorola have some people changing camps with their next phone purchase? Would it make you switch?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Droid X Gingerbread Update Kills Root

Posted by Kevin Jackson in "Android Talk" @ 02:00 PM

"This story is one of those strange things that probably sounds worse than it is. The report is that the official OTA Gingerbread update for the Droid X is now rolling out, but it comes with a caveat that it will kill root access if your phone is rooted."

Good News: Gingerbread is now available for the Droid X!

Bad News: It kills root access.

Another cautionary tale; if you root your phone, it could be taken away at any time by the manufacturer in an update. The better news is that there is always a developer community trying to re-root phones that lose the ability and they do love a challenge. Otherwise the update looks to be pretty decent, with generally good results. If you're rooted and want to keep it, though, you may want to wait until the community comes up with another exploit.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Tough Android Tablet To Be Beta Tested By Motorola

Posted by Karey Westfall in "Android Slates/Tablets & Accessories" @ 08:30 AM

"We've been keeping our eyes on Motorola's plans to sink its claws into the enterprise market for at least the past couple of months, and it looks like the company is ramping up its efforts with a rugged Android tablet fit for the workplace."

Of course Motorola couldn't keep themselves from developing an Android tablet as tablets become more and more popular. Word has it that Motorola will be beta testing a new durable tablet that will withstand drops up to four feet, water splashes and excessive dust and temperatures. Along with those features, the tablet has been rumored to include Gingerbread, a 7 inch screen, rear and front facing cameras, 1 GB RAM and Bluetooth and USB connectivity. Sounds like Motorola is trying to appeal to customers who live rugged lives or have jobs outside of the office.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Is the Xoom Incomplete and Overpriced? I Hope You Try It Out and Decide for Yourself!

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android Talk" @ 05:00 PM

"When Apple products come to market, they are complete. They have a full set of included applications that make them useful, and the key parts that folks want are finished. They also come out at premium prices, which typically set the most you can charge for a similar product."

The quote above gives you an idea of what to expect. I've used the Xoom and I think it's a great device. I think it has better hardware than any iPad. Some of that is fact like screen resolution, cameras, and RAM, and some of that like size is personal preference. I've used the iPad and I don't think its OS is very well designed for a tablet. Bad notifications, no widgets, and requiring another machine with iTunes for some functions are just a few critical flaws in my opinion. Anyway, if you're thinking of buying a Xoom it may be good to read a viewpoint from an Apple die-hard to see what an iPad user thinks of it. That may give you a more balanced view of the Xoom and fewer surprises. I don't agree with his point on sales numbers at all. I don't agree with a number of his points actually but I'll let you read it for yourself. You can let me know what you think!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Have a Droid X or Droid 2? You Can Have Gingerbread Now!

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 09:00 AM

"Is your Motorola Droidphone hungry for some Gingerbread? Well, the lucky little guy can now get its taste with the recently released Android 2.3 builds for Droid X and Droid 2 from My Droid World. Droid Life's got all the details, including a hands-on video (provided after the break) and complete instructions for rooting your device and downloading the OS."

Motorola has a pretty good track record of getting OS update out and it looks like they're keeping up their development work. Android 2.3, Gingerbread seems to be nearly ready, if not completely finish, for the Droid X and Droid 2. The build has leaked out and you can install it on your phone now if you want! I'm excited about Gingerbread not just because of what Google is bringing to the table in it but also because of the many changes that Moto made to the Blur UI. As you can see in the screen shot you can now create groups in the app tray. It also gives you four buttons at the bottom of the home screens instead of three (phone, app tray, contacts) and three of the four can be changed to anything you want! There's more but that's what got my attention. Have any of you installed the leaked Gingerbread update? How's it working for you?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Today's Smartphone is Tomorrow's Laptop

Posted by Kevin Jackson in "Android Talk" @ 05:00 AM

". . . the Atrix does take one giant step towards allowing us to work and play without an x86-based desktop or laptop. By plugging the Atrix into the proprietary $400 laptop dock depicted here-which lacks a CPU or storage, and only has a chiclet keyboard, touchpad, battery (which automatically charges your phone), and an impressive 1366x768 screen."

Here is a review of the Motorola Atrix 4G from Maximum PC. A lot of ink has been spilled over the phone and its shortcomings, but one thing really stands out about this device; I believe that we are seeing the next generation of mobile computing. Smartphone processor speed is quickly catching up with many lower end laptops and netbooks (Netbook? What's that?) and with cloud storage becoming ubiquitous, it is only a matter of time before we slip our primary computer (at least the brains of it) into our pockets when we leave the office or the house. The Atrix 4G, with all its inadequacies, is just an early step in this convergence.

How about you: will you give up your laptop for a smartphone and a dock? Let us know if the forum.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Milestone Finally gets an Official Froyo Update

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 08:00 AM

"Flash Player 10.1, a faster browser and mobile hotspot capabilities await the intrepid updater, but Motorola warns that any DRM-locked media you have on your SD card will be lost. Weirdly enough, there's also a caution that "users may experience some adverse effects associated with the upgrade which could include slower operation of some phone functions and applications.""

This is great news for all Milestone owners across the pond! I don't understand why it took Moto this long to get Froyo ready for the Milestone when they had it for the Droid back in August or something like that. I guess it has to do with one carrier over here verses many over there. Anyway, it's finally available. It does seem a little odd to me that apparently the upgrade is via a connected computer and not over the air as most of us are used to over here. That last line in the quote warning about the possibility of "some adverse effects" is a little disconcerting though. Did you install the update? Let use know what you think!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

WiFi-Only Xoom at Staples on March 27

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 07:00 AM

"So as was mentioned previously, it was looking like Staples was going to be selling the wifi-only XOOM some time in early April, but from the flyer above it looks like it may be sooner on March 27th."

Unlike some others out there I actually think the Xoom is a good device. It may have been released a little early but I don't mind waiting for some updates and in my mind it has no competition - there is no other official Honeycomb tablets and I don't think iOS is worthy of running a smartphone let alone a tablet. Yeah, I understand I'm in the minority. Anyway, I'm not sure how official a picture of a newspaper ad is but it looks pretty official to me. Will you be running to Staples on March 27?

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