Dear Carriers, If You are Going to Take Features From Phones to Make Money, Give Us Options to Get Them Back

Last week, we featured a deal for an unlocked LG G3 that could be snagged on eBay for $500. We picked one up because international versions of phones not only seem to receive updates much quicker than their counterparts here in the States (a topic for another day), but this is the model of the G3 that features wireless charging out of the box, something US carriers (Verizon and AT&T in particular) removed so that they could make extra money off of customers like you and me with accessories that add features like this on.

Once the device arrived, I slapped it on the Qi wireless charger that never leaves my desk, just to test the functionality on a G3. Sure enough, it worked without hassle straight out of the box. I didn’t need to slap a new cover on or attach a case, it just charges as if the feature is built-in, which it is. While this should have brought immediate joy, it also brought on a substantial amount of anger even quicker. Why? Because carriers in the US have robbed us of features like this for years to help them make an extra buck or two. And while I’m fine with companies trying to get richer (I’m sure we all would do the same), the way they go about it frustrates the hell out of me. What I mean is that if you are going to dumb down my smart device, so that you can charge me for accessories to make it smarter, give me some damn choices.  (more…)

Verizon Moto X Android 4.4.4 Update Now Available to All, Here is the Changelog

Verizon has gone ahead and approved the Android 4.4.4 update for their variant of the Moto X, making it available this morning to all. The update, which first hit soak testers on Friday, includes improved camera picture quality by improving photos taken in fluorescent lighting and enhancing the dynamic range. It also introduces an option for pausing and resuming videos during recording. Finally, a new dialer with a new graphical layout and colors has been introduced.

The update jumps the device up to build 210.12.41.

To check for the update, head into Settings>About phone>System updates>Check for system updates.   (more…)

Journey is a New Journaling App With a Material Design State of Mind

Journey, a new journaling app released to Google Play, wants you to rediscover the joys of writing about your life through the “warmth and humanity” of its beautiful UI. As I mention, this is a journaling app, but after spending a few moments with it, I think you will agree with its creators that the design certainly makes you want to start documenting your life adventures.

The app features a Material Design-like interface in parts. The top navigation bar screams MD, as does the tablet interface, but the rest of the UI should be very familiar to those who have used Android apps at all over the last couple of years. There is a slideout navigation drawer, “+” button to add new posts, action overflow menus to access more options, and simple swipe navigation to get between entries.  (more…)

Monday Poll: Would You Buy a 5.9-inch Motorola Nexus?

The phone pictured above is the 5.9-inch Oppo N1. It’s huge. The reason you are seeing this today is because the rumor of the month suggests that Motorola and Google have teamed up to produce the next Nexus phone as a 5.9-inch whale codenamed “shamu.” I know that you have all been waiting for Motorola to finally get their chance at a Nexus, but it’s pretty clear in the comments of our post this morning that you are torn based on the thought of holding a 5.9-inch phone on a daily basis. Some of you love oversized tablet-like phones, others despise them.

So, what are your thoughts on a 5.9-inch Motorola Nexus? Would you buy one? Would love to hear reasons for buying or passing in the comments.

Would you buy a 5.9-inch Motorola Nexus?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Rumor: Motorola Finally Gets Its Nexus, a 5.9-inch Whale

The rumor you have been waiting years for has arrived – Motorola is said to have created the next Nexus phone, a massive 5.9-incher under the codename “shamu.” Call it a parting gift or whatever you want from Google as they ship Moto off to Lenovo, this could be your chance to finally get a Motorola Nexus, assuming you would want one that is that size.  (more…)

T-Mobile Launches Own “Best Ever” Family Plan, 10GB of Data Plus Unlimited Talk/Text for $100

T-Mobile’s John Legere is just as sick of seeing AT&T ads for their “Best ever prices” family plan as you are. To try and directly compete with that plan, T-Mobile will launch their own best ever-like pricing, with a new family plan that runs just $100 per month for four lines, yet includes the same 10GB of data as the competitors, along with unlimited talk and text.

For comparison, T-Mobile put together a chart to show you how this new plan beats out not only AT&T, but also similar plans from Verizon and Sprint. Since the chart was created by T-Mo, you have to take it for what it is. However, it does show the major points here, like price, which is $60 lower and the 2.5GB of data per line, with no overages. T-Mobile is still giving away unlimited data and text in over 120 countries with this plan, plus they are letting you stream music from many of the top music services without it counting against your data.  (more…)

This Week in the Life of DROID: 7/25/2014

Another week has come and gone in the Android world, leaving us with a lot of good news to think about over the weekend. The highlight from this week might be Verizon’s announcement of its “network optimization,” after we broke the story yesterday. If you are not a grandfathered Verizon customer, however, there was plenty of other things to keep you busy over these past five days.

Other news surrounded NVIDIA’s announcement of the SHIELD Tablet and SHIELD Controller, with our full review of the devices coming up very soon. In addition, we may have gotten out first look at Motorola’s upcoming Moto X+1 smartphone, Google looks to have finalized its purchase of Twitch for $1 billion, and LG announced a G3 model for overseas markets that features a Snapdragon 805 processor.

Here are the highlights in case you missed anything.  (more…)