Tag Archives: Motorola

patent

A settlement between Apple and Samsung may be on the horizon

The long and drawn out battle between Samsung Electronics and Apple over the ownership of various intellectual properties may be coming to a close.

According to The Korea Times Samsung and Apple have resumed discussion of settling their patent disputes. Recent developments such as Apple’s deal with Google show that times may be changing on how these types of disputes are handled. There is a different air surrounding these discussions compared to the countless court battles and negotiations that preceded.

With Apple dropping its disputes with Motorola and Google this new settlement with Samsung is looking like a final settling. Samsung as part of the Google Android Alliance will most likely get a similar deal.

Whether Apple is trying to negate the negative publicity of being a patent troll or saving time and money, the optimistic view is that if negotiations go well this may be the beginning of the end of the patent wars that plague the IT world.

Sources: TalkAndroid, The Korea Times

Muktware_Phonebloks_Modular

Google gives a sneak peak at Project Ara development

Project Ara (Phonebloks) and modular pieces of tech in general are gaining steam. So far, we’ve known that we will be able to swap specified parts of our smartphones, which will result in longer lives for our phones and less waste as a result of our tech lusts. Today, Google revealed some of the work that was going on behind the scenes with their ATAP (Advanced Technology and Projects) group. The Ara team members (read ‘nerds’) took the time out to demonstrate the sliding ‘blocks’ of their prototype or very early build of the devices, and they have not deviated a whole lot from the initial drafts, but there were significant bits of information included.

Firstly, the team has decided upon an electro-permanent magnetic system to hold the blocks in place, as opposed to clips or grooves of some sort. The product of this ingenuity features an easy to slide part that won’t give you any trouble to remove or insert if needed. Best of all, if your battery dies, your processor or memory should not fall out of your phone because of the power loss — thank you Google ATAP. This is very important for widespread adoption and gaining the trust of the public.

The ATAP group confessed that they have fallen in love with the somewhat rugged and practical aesthetics of their modular designs, and have decided that it should not be covered, but rather revealed for consumers and onlookers to gaze upon. The icing on the cake lies in the use of 3D printing from a company called 3D Systems. Yes, they’re working on printing the parts of your modular phone in the colour and texture that you desire. Can you imagine printing the parts for your own phone one day?

The most important thing to note is that Project Ara is very real, and several companies, teams and geniuses are working together to bring this phone to us in a beautiful package. With the Project Ara Developer Conference set for this month, we are going to see and or hear a lot more about this phone(s) and what the package should entail. It’s amazing to think about all the technological advancements that Google is invovled in — pretty soon, they might say that they can provide internet access from the sky using balloons, or that they have cars that drive themselves. Oh Google, you’re so crazy. 

Image Source: Wonderfulengineering

moto360

Sony, Samsung won’t use Android Wear in their watches

Every mobile company is desperate to bring a ‘usable’ smartwatch to the market. While companies like Samsung did bring their smartwatches to the market, these devices are still half-baked products which ‘try’ to do a few things. These are no where close to the way smartphones have become a viable alternatives of PCs. These watches are nothing more than a side-kick or assistant to your smartphones. Then came Google, doing what it did with Honeycomb to address the immediate need of a tablet OS. Google announced Android Wear, an OS optimized for smart watches. One would expect that entire industry will embrace it, but that’s not what seem to be happening.

While Samsung has already distanced itself from Android when it comes to smartwatches and will be using their own OS – I really don’t know why instead of banking on the huge ecosystem Android already has – now Sony is also not much interested in Android Wear.

According to reports, Sony will use its own Android-based OS for smartwatches instead of adopting Android Wear. The company told CNET, “We’ve already invested time and resources on this platform, and we will continue in that direction.”

That doesn’t mean Sony is distancing itself from Google. The company clarified in a separate statement to the same publication, “We’re excited about the potential of Android Wear to extend the mobile OS experience into wearable devices. While we are currently focused on our in-market wearable offering, including SmartWatch 2, we continue to work closely with Google as a key partner and continue to evaluate opportunities across a number of areas as we extend our SmartWear Experience.”

These two Asian giants supposedly want to have more control on their own wearable computing instead of letting Google dictate the terms.

However, companies like LG and Motorola are betting big on Android Wear and have already announced their devices running Android Wear. Motorola’s watch has already gained praise from potential buyers. It will be interesting to see how much traction Android Wear gets in the smartwatch market.

What do you think, should companies adopt Android Wear instead of creating their own OS which will more or less create vendor-lock?

Motorola

Motorola prepping to release 6 inches phablet in Q3

It was long back when reports surfaced about Motorola working on a 6.3 inches phablet. So if we have forgotten about the device, we cannot be blamed, since not much was known about the device that time. Only thing known was that a 6.3 inches device, dubbed Motorola XPlay will be rolled out by 2014. However, it seems that the device is being prepped up for release this year.

The same source that leaked details about Moto X and Moto G has revealed that a 6-inch phablet is all set to be released in the third quarter, that is, anytime between July and September this year. While it is indeed a Motorola phablet, we still don’t know if it is the same XPlay with a 6.3 inches screen. It is noteworthy to mention that Motorola was readying XPlay to pit it against the 6.4 inches Sony Xperia Z Ultra to grab the title of the largest screen phablet.

Since the third quarter is not too far, we can expect more details coming out in the days to come. Let us just hope the Motorola brings a power-packed device that can give tough competition to the solid guys out there! Are you excited?

Source: PhoneArena.com

moto360

Everyone loves Motorola’s Moto 360 Android Wear watch

Till now smartwatches look more or less like Apple’s iPod Nano, square and ugly. Motorola and Google are going to change that. The company which redefined smartphones with MotoX concept has revealed its first smartphones powered by Android Wear.

Lior Ron, CVP Product Management of Motorola, says, “Most importantly, Moto 360’s iconic design, featuring a round face and premium materials, feels comfortable and familiar on your wrist. It’s everything you need, with a look that you want.”

Moto 360 is getting appreciation for its design and style – which tells what smartwatches should look like. When you are not using its smart features, it looks just like a watch.

The watch will be available this summer and looking at other Motorola products it should be affordable.

Muktware_Mwc

Top Android Releases at MWC

MWC is now behind us. OEMs showed up, showed off, and some left lasting impressions while others did not. Throughout the barrage of announcements and revelations, there are some products that we feel were more note worthy than others. Products that you, our readers might consider in the not too distant future. Products that we envision showing up in even our homes when they are released. I will now highlight a few products and announcements that stood out, but for the sake of simplicity, I will group the products by OEM rather than by category. If I failed to cover your favorite OEM, please don’t hold it against me as there was much to cover. Without further delay, why don’t we get right into it?

Samsung

We all know about the might of Samsung, and I will not dwell on it here. They were very present at MWC, and they presented quite a number of tech pieces to us. The main device presented was the all new Galaxy S5. By main I mean that it was not only Samsung’s number one device, but also the chief device of the entire MWC. As expected, it bested the S4 with a slightly bigger screen, faster processor and a better camera. Added features like a finger print scanner and the ability to check your pulse rate at the back of the phone are just the icing on the cake for me. The S5 is not expected to be released before April of this year, but based on recent reports, fans are already enlisting their names to get their paws on the next best thing, and to be honest, we can’t blame them for it.

Gear_Fit

The Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo and Gear Fit, although members of the Tizen OS, are the descendants of the Android based Galaxy Gear, and we felt like they should be included here. The Gear 2 and Neo are a lot like the original Gear in terms of the design language. One would be forgiven for mistaking one for the other. The new offerings have lost weight, the camera on the Gear 2 has been moved from the wrist band to the watch to enable swappable bands while the Neo drops the camera altogether. While these are without doubt some fine pieces of tech, the Gear Fit was the one to steal the show, and was also awarded as the ‘Best Mobile Device‘ at MWC. Like many before it, it will track your movement, workouts and help you to get in shape once you’re willing of course.

Sony

The creators of the PS4 felt like they had a point to prove, and that they did. Sony introduced the Xperia Z2 at MWC, and it’s a stunning piece of machinery. The Z2 continues with its solid build quality and not only that, but it improves on its predecessor with small upgrades. The upgrades all blend together to offer a nice package. The screen has increased from 5 to 5.2″, the memory has been bumped up to 3GB, and it comes with a Snapdragon 801 processor. The screen resolution remains the same at 1920 x 1080, but the battery is now a whopping 3200 mAH, which should be enough to get the average user, and even some power users through the day.

Sony wasn’t done with the their offerings and they also released what many consider to be the thinnest tablet of all at a mere 6.4mm thickness. The Z2 Tablet, like the phone, has a Snapdragon 801 processor in tow as well and also the 3GB of memory. Digital noise cancellation when used with a headset, and a host of accessories will be available including the now mandatory keyboard cover. Sony has been known to produce dust and water proof electronics in recent times, and they have not deviated from this winning formula with their latest phone and tablet offerings.

Muktware_Xperia_z2

LG

With the success of the Nexus 4, 5 and the G2, LG has risen to prominence and is ever aiming for Samsung’s crown on the Android throne. Shortly before MWC, LG launched the G Pro 2 in Korea and we soon learned of its awesomeness. It packs a 5.9″ screen, a 1080p resolution, a 13 megapixel camera and comes with 16 or 32GB of onboard storage, even though you can add more via the Micro SD slot. Like the Note 3, you’ll be able to shoot 4K videos and of course, Android 4,4 KitKat is on board. The G Pro 2 suprisingly features the Snapdragon 800 processor clocked at 2.26 Ghz, 3GB of Ram and, like the Z2, contains a 3200 mAH battery. There is no mistake that this phone is a direct competitor to the Note 3 and all other phablets for that matter.

Nokia

I know that some of us may have scratched our heads at the sight of Nokia being one of the Android OEMs, but, as of MWC 2014, Nokia may be considered as such. Please note that doing so may come with some consequences depending on who your friends are. Nokia launched their ‘Nokia X’ line of Android phones at MWC this year, and the Android community has not been fully receptive of it, but, that was to be expected. The X, X+ and XL are poorly specked when compared to today’s average smartphones, and they are clearly a sign of Nokia testing the waters out before investing in any real hardware for the Android market.

Muktware_Nokia_XL

Members of the Android community have long wished for a Nokia made handset that runs Android out of the box, but few wanted it to be a forked version. Sadly, that’s exactly what we got. A forked version of Android that looks more like Windows Phone than Android itself. That said, Nokia has claimed that it will run about 70% of the Play Store apps, which, if my math is correct, is in the region of at least 700,000 applications. Like some members of the Lumia line, these phones are also geared towards the low end market but it has to be priced competitively because we now understand that the Moto G is doing pretty well right now.

Asus

The most noteworthy of Asus’ contributions at MWC was the Asus PW100 Nexus 7 dock. The dock features wireless charging and can be used in both landscape as well as portrait mode, although it will only charge your Nexus 7 in landscape mode. If you can get past the $90 price tag (or there about), then I have reason to believe that you will love this device. Based on reviews, the build quality is amazing —  something that we’ve come to expect from Asus, and we’ve also learned that it works with the Nexus 4, 5 and other Qi compatible devices that you may own.

Motorola

I waited patiently for Motorola’s conference, and then even more for their revelation of a new product, but it did not come. There was none. Instead, they did reveal some bits of information. For example, they will be making a smartwatch that will actually look good; something that all good watches do. A 2nd generation Moto X is also expected in August of this year and, considering the splash that the G and the X made in 2013 and even now, we have high hopes for Motorola’s next set of devices. Although no new hardware was presented at MWC from Motorola, they did let us in on their future products, and this was worthy of an honorable mention.

As we await the release dates for some of the devices that were shown at MWC; the S5, Gear Fit, Z2 and G Pro 2 were the stand out performers of the week. There’s very little to separate those at the top these days. Screens, sizes and specs are generally similar at this point, but it just means that OEMs have to try a bit harder to differentiate themselves from the pack. Tell us readers, which device got you excited? Are you going to buy any as soon as they’re released or are you waiting for that Motorola watch to be unveiled? Feel free to let us know.

Image Sources: Mashable, BGR

motorola-smartwatch

MWC 2014: Motorola promises stylish smartwatch by year end

As the war over wearables heats up, Motorola reveals plans to launch a smartwatch that “people would actually like to wear” by the end of 2014. During a press session at the ongoing Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Rick Osterloh, the senior VP of product at Motorola Mobility, talked about the company’s plans promising to address two things—style and battery life—with the new device.

Taking a clear swipe at rival tech firms Samsung, Sony and Huawei who also showcased their wearable devices at the event, Osterloh branded their products “ugly”.

“They are all extremely ugly. We are trying to solve the problem of style,” he said.

One of the biggest users’ problems is there are not wearables they can actually wear. Addressing this, Motorola aims to come up with a range of smartwatches that will look “like jewellery”. The goal is to provide users with the hottest items in the burgeoning wearable device market.

Past this, the US mobile phone company didn’t share any other detail about its upcoming smartwatch. But going by the company’s track record with Droid and Razr devices, we can only conjecture that Motorola’s 2014 smartwatch will be supermodel thin and made available in a variety of colours.

Google will start teaching people how to build phones, Motorola’s Project Ara lives one

Motorola sent a wave of excitement when they announce project Ara which allows people to add latest components to their smartphones, keeping the hardware as up-to-date as is the software. When Google announced its plans to sell Motorola to Lenovo there were concerns around this project (though Google was keeping it).

Now Google has announced its plans for the project. The Android maker will be organizing the first Ara Developers’ Conference, to be held April 15-16, 2014.

Google’s “Advanced Technology and Projects” page tells more about the event, “The Developers’ Conference will be held online, with a live webstream and interactive Q&A capability. A limited number of participants will be able to attend in person at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.”

Given it’s ‘online’ nature more people will be able to participate in the event and those who are around can always get on-to-one experience.

It’s really an exciting development.

Dennis_Woodside

Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside to join Dropbox

Googler Dennis Woodside, who stepped up to head Motorola Mobility replacing Sanjay Jha, is leaving the company to join Dropbox as its first CEO. Google recently sold Motorola unit to Lenovo and it was unclear what senior leadership of Motorola would do.

Prior to taking over Motorola Dennis was the Vice President of Google’s America Operations. He joined Google in 2003.

Under Dennis’ leadership Motorola did shook the industry with MotoX, MotoG. The devices gained popularity very soon and it looked like he had rebooted the company successfully. It seems Google was just polishing the company for sale.

As far as Dropbox is concerned, they don’t have any CEO so getting an experienced executive like Dennis may help the company expand even further beyond cloud storage markets.

Muktware_Moto_G_US_Cellular

Moto G on sale for $99 from US Cellular without contract

Motorola’s Moto G has been on a tear recently. Not only has the device launched in the lucrative Indian market, but it has also been released on a few US networks as well with US Cellular being the most recent. The good news for customers is that the phone can be had for as little as $99 off contract. This price is the same as Verizon’s request for the device, and is sure to turn more than a few heads.

If you’re interested in having the device, please note that you will need to be on one of US Cellular’s off-contract plans like the $50 offer that nets you 500MB. Despite the show of interest in Motorola by Lenovo, it hasn’t stopped the company from forging ahead with their plans to compete in not only the high end market with the Moto X, but also to have a strong presence in developing markets with the Moto G. The funny thing about the G is that it’s so good that even customers in developed countries are in pursuit of the device, and this is a good sign for Motorola.

We’re not quite certain of what will happen in the next few months with Moto and their team, but we do know that they have set a solid foundation in the past six months, and if Lenovo plays their hand well, which I’m sure they will, then Moto will be a powerful force in the not to distant future. I just wonder what Motorola is going to announce at the MWC on the 25th of this month. Hopefully it’s a device that turns the game on its head; again.

Sources: US Cellular