Verizon VoLTE and Advanced Calling 1.0 Now Live, Place HD Voice Calls on the Galaxy S5 or G2

Verizon officially launched Advanced Calling 1.0 this morning, which is an odd way of saying that their VoLTE and HD Voice services are now live. Talk about over-branding. Anyways, Advanced Calling 1.0 is Verizon’s suite of calling features for Voice over LTE (VoLTE) that includes HD Voice calls and Video Calling. The software suite comes as a part of an over-the-air (OTA) update for devices, with the Galaxy S5 and LG G2 currently sitting as the only two supported. You can find all of the launch details at this report.

Advanced Calling 1.0 is a free add-on for your line of service, as can be seen in the opt-in screen below. Once added, nothing else on your account changes, so no, Verizon won’t be using Advancing Calling to try and squeeze you out of your unlimited data.  (more…)

Verizon Grants Early Upgrades for Customers With November 15 or Earlier Dates

Because of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Verizon may have changed your upgrade date to a full two months earlier than you were expecting. According to a handful of sources, Verizon has made upgrades available immediately to customers with upgrade dates showing on or before November 15.

If you don’t want a new iPhone, don’t worry, as Verizon is making any phone in their current line-up available to upgrades if you meet the November 15 requirement. You could go with the LG G3 (review), Galaxy S5 (review), or even wait a couple of weeks for the new Moto X or Galaxy Note 4.

Feel free to check your account to confirm.

It’s Official, Microsoft Acquires Makers of Minecraft for $2.5 Billion

Made official early this morning, Microsoft is set to purchase Mojang, the makers of Minecraft, for a smooth $2.5 billion dollars. In Minecraft, a survival sandbox game, players must forge and build whatever they see in their imaginations, using blocks that they collect with pickaxes, axes, shovels, and swords.

Over the course of just a few years, Minecraft has grown from a small community of players to an entire marketing machine, complete with versions available on many platforms, as well as merchandise in Target and countless other retailers. Since 2009, Minecraft has seen 100 million+ downloads on PC alone, with nearly 2 billion hours played on the Xbox 360. In terms of popularity, not many recent games stack up to Minecraft.  (more…)

Contest: Win a Moto 360 From Droid Life (Day 1 of 5)!

We teased this last week on Twitter, but should you not follow us there, welcome to the week of Moto 360 giveaways here on Droid Life. We have five of them to give away – one for each day. We know how hard the Moto 360 is to come by, so we wanted to make sure a handful of you could walk away with one without having to fight the online ordering process, or more importantly, pay the $250 price tag.

We have three silver/grey models and two all-black units to give away. There are no sponsors. This is just pure giveaway action for the DL community. We really do love you this much.  (more…)

Google Launches Android One Initiative, for the Next 5 Billion People Without a Smartphone

Back at Google I/O, Google announced an upcoming initiative titled Android One. Its purpose, albeit an aggressive one, is to get a smartphone into the hands of every human on Earth, allowing everyone on this planet the same access to the Internet’s full resources of information.

This week, Google has officially launched the platform, complete with affordable hardware and carrier partnerships based in India, with even more to come in the Philippines, Indonesia, and South Asia (Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka) by the end of the year.  (more…)

New Moto X on AT&T and “Pure Edition” Pre-Orders Start Tuesday – Moto Hint, Turbo Charger Too

Motorola announced this morning that the new Moto X – both the AT&T and “Pure Edition” models – will be available on pre-order starting Tuesday, September 16, along with the new Moto Hint and Turbo Charger. Moto will also re-stock the Moto 360, though it will again be available in limited quantities. Shipping dates will vary depending on the product you order will be provided at checkout, according to Motorola. (more…)

Tip: Send SMS and MMS in Gmail or the Chrome Hangouts Extension Using Your Google Voice Number

With the Google Voice and Hangouts merger in full swing (again), most of you who use a combination of the service are now noticing an added benefit – SMS and MMS through both Gmail and the Chrome extension for Hangouts. If you have a Google Voice number that has now been associated with Hangouts, you can choose to send an SMS to contacts, assuming you have attached a number to their contact information.  (more…)