Interview: Motorola Talks Big 2013 Moments, Choice, Value, a Love for Stock Android, and the Future

During last week’s CES, I had a chance to sit down with Motorola executives Steve Horowitz (SVP software engineering) and William Moss (director of corporate communications) to talk the year that was, what they took away from all that happened in 2013, their thoughts on wearables, and where we are headed in 2014. Our chat was a brief 30 minutes, but we managed to cruise through all sorts of topics including how they managed to update the Moto X to Kit Kat in under three weeks.

I think you’ll notice a theme quickly emerging throughout that most of you will all be fans of:  Motorola wants to do more of the same, which means continuing to provide value and choice with a stock Android experience anchoring it all. While they wouldn’t give up their roadmap for 2014 (don’t worry I tried to get it), I think it’s safe to assume that we’ll see MotoMaker stick around, new choices of materials will be a part of the scheme, new features will be added onto their suite of Touchless Control and Active Display, and prices will remain as good as ever.

Let’s run through it. (Sorry for the delay, but man, do I have new love for professional transcribers.) (more…)

AT&T Says Its Sponsored Data Program Does Not Violate FCC Net Neutrality Rules

As you can imagine after coming under fire shortly after being announced, AT&T is defending its new Sponsored Data program, claiming that it does not violate the FCC’s Net Neutrality rules. FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said within hours of AT&T making it official that his organization would take a deep look at the program to make sure there are no reg flags being raised. Should they see something that would raise an eyebrow or two with companies paying for customers’ data, they are prepared to intervene. AT&T issued a statement in response through Jim Ciccioni, AT&T senior EVP of External and Legislative Affairs (holy title), and has said that they are “completely confident” that they comply and that the program is meant only to benefit customers.  (more…)

And That was CES 2014.

Our time in Vegas for CES 2014 has come to a close, folks. Things were slow on the mobile front, as they have come to be during one of the biggest tech shows on the planet, but we still had a great time and managed to get our hands on a few things here and there. New trends were made clear, carriers went to battle, and the phone manufacturers we all care about continued to save their big announcements for their own events as to not share any spotlight.

In case you missed any of our coverage, we’ve compiled some of the highlights for you below.  (more…)

T-Mobile Makes It Official: Will Pay Early Termination Fees for Families to Bring Service Over

We are finally finished with the T-Mobile UnCarrier 4.0 press event, so the news is already official. T-Mobile is indeed going to pay Early Termination Fees (ETF) for families who transfer service from AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint. Word of this move has been reported a number of times, including from us thanks to a reader who spotted an ad for the initiative last night(more…)

Nuance Unveils Swype and Dragon Mobile Assistant for Smartwatches

For users of smartwatches, text input is usually handled completely by voice dictation, given that the screens are quite small and people’s fingers would have a hard time hitting the correct keys. In some cases, privacy is a concern, and you never know who could listening in on your conversation. For those people, Nuance announced Swype for smartwatches during CES this week in Las Vegas, allowing installers to use their fingers for text input, just like on a full-size smartphone.  (more…)

Vizio Introduces Portable Smart Audio: Bluetooth Speakers With Built-in Android Displays

Vizio, a company mostly know for affordable TVs, is attempting to combine both the Android and Bluetooth speaker game at the same time this year with the announcement of their new Portable Smart Audio speaker lineup. And when I say “both” I’m talking about Bluetooth speakers with built-in touch-screens that run Android 4.4 “Kit Kat” and have access to Google services. Think of a Jambox or Braven speaker with an Android tablet or phone attached.  (more…)

Video: Sony Xperia Z1S and Z1 Compact Hands-on and Quick Look

Just like every other year, Sony has a major presence at CES in Las Vegas, as they announced two new Xperia devices at last night’s press event. The two phones are named the Xperia Z1S and the Xperia Z1 Compact. The Z1S is confirmed to hit the U.S. on T-Mobile’s LTE network, but there is no confirmation if we will see the Xperia Z1 Compact come to the States.  (more…)