Google is selling Motorola Mobility to Lenovo, giving the Chinese smartphone manufacturer a major presence in the US market. Lenovo will buy Motorola for $2.91 billion in a mixture of cash and stock. Google will retain ownership of the vast majority of Motorola’s patents, while 2,000 patents and a license on the remaining patents will go to Lenovo. At the deal’s closing, Lenovo will pay Google $660 million in cash and $750 million in stock, while the remaining $1.5 billion will be paid out over three years.
Google-owned Motorola has sent out press invites in Europe to an event in London happening January 14th. The company says it is announcing an “addition to the European Motorola family of products.” Specifics are hard to come by, but we have plenty of rampant speculation.
Motorola’s “Assembled in America” label for the Moto X is the result of their Texas facility, which is responsible for the Moto Maker and carrier versions of the Moto X. From the Street View tour you can see that the massive building is wide open, with stations comprised of massive bin collections with individual parts.
The Moto X is assembled, personalized, and shipped from this facility, where it supposedly arrives in a matter of days. The tour itself only gives you the ability to wander around the upper balcony of the facility, but from there you can zoom in on just about everything and see what is going on.
Motorola is starting 2014 the near year right by dropping the retail price of its flagship Moto X Android smartphone to $399. The Moto X is the new Motorola’s flagship device for mid-2013. It’s an 4.7-inch handset with a curved back, powered by Motorola’s unique “X8″ processors, with a 720p RGB AMOLED display and a 10-megapixel “ClearPixel” camera.
Moto X brings new always-on voice features to the table, allowing you to initiate calls, check Google Now and perform other tasks with out powering on the screen. In addition, a new notification system allows the phone to pulse icons on the screen, showing you exactly what’s waiting for you.
Motorola is taking its increasingly-clever advertising into the print world. A new magazine ad for the Moto X will run in the January edition of Wired that goes a step above other plain-old printed paper advertisements. 150,000 issues distributed across New York and Chicago will contain a completely interactive Moto Maker experience, with touch points that change the color of a Moto X displayed prominently on the page.
While the Moto G launched just earlier this month with Android 4.3, Motorola isn’t wasting any time keeping the device’s OS up to date – they’ve just announced an Android 4.4.2 OTA for the company’s super cheap entry-level handset, mere weeks after the phone itself was unveiled. Here are the changes Motorola’s touting as part of the update:
Verizon has taken to Twitter to announce that the Droid Ultra, Droid MAXX and Droid Mini will start receiving their over-the-air updates to Android 4.4 KitKat from today. The update is rolling out “in phases” according to the Verizon.
In addition to the new Android OS features, today’s Droid update includes a new version of the Droid Zap sharing utility with a revamped interface.
Motorola has updated the Touchless Control app in Google Play, and this time around it’s more than juts a bug-fix. The latest version of the application allows for more commands to work while your phone is locked, and the ability to speak your PIN number to unlock it. The change log:
More Google Now commands now work without having to unlock your phone first. Personal information such as emails, messages, and contacts are still protected by your PIN or password.
Say your pin to unlock your phone when using Touchless ControlNew listening tone when you say “OK Google Now”Compatible only with Android 4.4 KitKatBug fixes