Reminder: HTC One (M8) In-store Available Expands Beyond Verizon Today

Verizon’s exclusive hold on in-store availability of the HTC One (M8) comes to an end today, the day before Samsung’s Galaxy S5 hits retail outlets. That means you should be able to walk into an AT&T, T-Mobile, or Sprint store and get your paws on smartphone luxury, as we like to call it. It may be too tall for our liking, but that doesn’t mean this isn’t a finely crafted device with a build quality unlike any other.

Starting at $199 on-contract (or $599 full retail at some locations), the HTC One (M8) is now widely available. AT&T and Sprint should have it today, with T-Mobile in-store availability happening tomorrow.

If you haven’t yet, be sure to read our HTC One (M8) review.

Project Ara MDK Gives You All the Dirty Design Details on Their Small, Medium, and Large Phone Plans

The Project Ara team released an MDK for the modular phone concept today, to get developers extra ready for next week’s 2-day Ara developer conference. In the MDK, you’ll learn all there is to learn about making modules for the phone. Everything from power consumption to measurements to where you should place your module’s label are outlined in an 81-page document. It’s detailed and technical for designers, yet awesome and interesting at the same time for you and I.  (more…)

Motorola Considering Benefits Packages With Free Phones, Rewards, Gift Cards for Credit Account Holders

Participants in Motorola’s Credit program are receiving surveys this week that detail future benefits which could potentially change the program dramatically. We’re talking benefits like free phones, discounts on products, gift cards, phone exchanges, free redesigns, invitations to Motorola events, and more.

The survey was passed along to us by two members of the program, so we were able to see exactly what Moto has in store. There are two possible new programs, one that involves Rewards and another that is more of a “benefits package” called “Elite.”  (more…)

Mailbox Coming to Android for Free Today (Updated: It’s Live!)

Dropbox announced this morning that it is finally bringing Mailbox, an incredibly popular iOS mail application, to Android and the desktop (Mac only). The apps should both arrive today, though the links on Mailbox’s website are not yet live.

For those new to Mailbox, think of it as a new way to attack your inbox, which can at times be very overwhelming. Mailbox lets you quickly swipe items away that you’d like to trash, archive, or get back to at a later date. For items that you have snoozed, you’ll see them automatically appear back in your inbox when the time is right, so that you can focus “on what’s important now.” The goal is to hit “Inbox Zero,” an inbox that hasn’t nothing left in it.  (more…)

Motorola Announces Rick Osterloh as New COO (Updated)

Motorola, in a blog post that has since been pulled, announced today that Rick Osterloh has been named President and COO of the company. Up until today, Osterloh was most recently the SVP of Product for the company, which means he helped lead the charge for their “reinvigoration” over the last year with products like the Moto X.

The announcement points out that Osterloh has been with the company for 7 years, leaving an “insider” in house to lead them forward with a pending takeover from Lenovo on the way. As you know, now-former CEO Dennis Woodside stepped aside to take the COO job with Dropbox back in February, shortly after the Lenovo acquisition was announced.

I’m not exactly sure why they pulled the announcement, but we caught the full text of it before they did so.

Update:  The post is now live. (more…)

T-Mobile Announces Simple Starter Plan, $40 for 500MB of Data and Unlimited Talk/Text

This morning, T-Mobile kicked off three days of new Uncarrier announcements by introducing their Simple Starter Plan. The new affordable plan runs just $40 and lands customers with unlimited talk and text, plus 500MB of 4G LTE data. Keep in mind that T-Mobile also doesn’t do data overages, so should you hit the 500MB cap, they’ll only throttle you for the rest of your billing cycle rather than charge you extra. (Edit: This plan appears to be different than other T-Mobile plans. Normally T-Mobile would throttle you, but this seems to be a hard cap. If you want more than 500MB of data, you’ll have to purchase more.) (more…)

LG G2 on AT&T Receiving Update to Fix Google Wallet Tap & Pay Issues

For whatever reason, the Kit Kat update for the LG G2 on AT&T left out Android 4.4′s Tap & Pay settings menu, even though the device should have no problem using Host Card Emulation to make mobile payments. There are work-arounds, for sure, but most involve sideloading hacked Google Wallet apks or flashing a custom ROM. For those who were expecting the functionality out of the gate, life has been a bit frustrating.

Things are changing today, thanks to an update that AT&T is pushing to the G2. The changelog is minimal, but does say specifically that it involves “updates to Google+ and Google Wallet.” At least one reader has already confirmed that Tap & Pay is now working. (more…)

My Verizon Updates With 3 Widgets, Randomly Asks for Root Access

Verizon’s My Verizon app received an update today that introduced three widget styles. You may recall that Verizon finally brought back their auto-refreshing data widget to this app a few weeks back, but this time they are giving you choices in how that data is displayed. You can view your data consumption through a bar, half-circle meter, or simply as a number.

To switch between widgets, you’ll have to grab the single widget entry in your widgets menu. Once added to a screen, you can tap on the widget, then hit the Settings icon in the top right corner to tell the app which widget to display.  (more…)