Just a short while after the launch of the RAZR Motorola has announced that two new Android phones are due to be released very soon. The Motoluxe and Defy Mini both run on Android Gingerbread. Neither phone is quite as cutting edge as the RAZR but they are nice additions to Motorola’s burgeoning Android range.
The Motoluxe is a large 4 inch touchscreen phone that will be ideal for web based features and Android apps. The phone runs on quite a slow 800MHz processor but is fairly well endowed in 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity. It also has a pretty decent 8 megapixel camera and a VGA front facing camera.
While the specs may not be amazing the Motoluxe is certainly a stylish phone, and has a unique ‘lanyard slot’ at the bottom right of the screen that will light up when you have a missed call, new message or email. This is a bit like the light indicators that used to be included on the exterior of flip-phones, and it is a wonder why this useful feature has not been included on more touchscreen phones. The lanyard slot allows you to quickly check whether you need to read a new message or check a missed call without actually having to walk across the room to pick up your phone.
The Defy Mini is a smaller version of the earlier Defy released in 2010. The Defy was a rugged phone, a phone designed to withstand the worst that Mother Nature had to throw at it (as well as your own cack-handedness). Being able to endure high volumes of dust, being held under water for extended periods and shrugging off drops to the floor that would leave other phones weeping into a thousand pieces are just some of the reasons that rugged phones have become popular with mountain climbers, divers and fans of other outdoor pursuits.
Until the Defy though, these rugged phones were pretty basic. Probably more basic than a phone you had ten years ago, but Motorola showed it was possible to bring this durability to touchscreen smartphones. The Defy Mini is the same sort of thing, albeit quite a bit smaller, which probably makes it even more ideal for outdoor activities.
The Mini is a little bit slower than the original Defy and the camera isn’t quite as good, but it does come with a more modern version of Android (Gingerbread) and the same decent Wi-Fi and 3G connections. Most importantly though, for when you find yourself lost on a mountaintop somewhere, the Defy Mini has a far superior battery life compared to the original for talk time and standby.
Both phones will feature MotoSwitch, which evolved out of Motorola’s earlier MotoBlur system. MotoSwitch has adopted ideas used on Facebook that will display contacts and app icons more prominently on your phone the more you interact with them. So if you have one contact that you phone ten times a day and another that you sent a single message to 8 months ago, your regular contact will be easier to access from the phone’s homescreen.
The two phones are due to be released in the coming weeks in Europe, China and Latin America, although Motorola has not released any price details just yet. When these phones are finally released you will be able to get them in the UK from mobile phone comparison website Best Mobile Contracts.
The Motorola XOOM which has already started shipping to all its customers who had pre-ordered is now open to the public market from Verizon with a 2 year contract for $599.99 as well as an LTE version for $799.99. This stunning tablet powered by the Android OS may prove to be a threat for the Apple iPad. Motorola is very strict when it comes to unlocking a bootloader, but that’s not the case this time.
All those proud owners of the XOOM tablet who wish to modify it now can happily do so by following this quick guide. Please make a note that by doing this can get your warranty voided.
Step 1 : Download the Motorola USB drivers and the Android SDK first.
- Download the USB drivers from here. (you will have to register on the website or else you can google it and find it for yourself as well.)
- Download the Android SDK from here.
Step 2 :
- Switch off your XOOM tablet.
Step 3 :
- Press and hold the volume down button while simultaneously pressing the power button.
- Keep it pressed down even when your XOOM turn on as this will display some starting fastboot protocol text on the top left section of the screen.
Step 4 :
- Now open a command window in your sdk\tools folder, not the platform tools. You may need to copy some DLL files, that depends on when you get the SDK.
Step 5 :
- Now type this : fastboot oem unlock
Step 6 :
- Please read the warning message on your screen, use volume up if you wish to do so.
That’s it, you now have a fully unlocked XOOM and can add in all sorts of applications now.
The absence of Apple at the Mobile World Congress has definitely given Google’s Android the definite edge over its competitors at the show in Barcelona this year. With the MWC for this year coming to a close today, everyone who’s been at the event has only one thing to say – Android is brilliant. With Nokia disbanding its own phone OS Symbian and partnering with Microsoft for Windows based Nokia phones, they did not have anything to offer this year. Almost every phone, be it the Motorola Xoom or the Samsung Galaxy S or the Sony Xperia Play smartphones or the Samsung’s second generation tablet or LG Slate, everything has been Android. There was Blackberry Playbook that was not running on Android but spoke of including Android apps and HP’s Tablet – TouchBook that did not use Android but WebOS.
So, this MWC belonged to Android completely.
The push-based user interface developed by Motorola – MotoBlur has now three added features to it. These new features are aimed at increasing the connectivity with the various social networking services like Facebook and the associated contacts. The three new features which have been added are Aloqa, Connected gallery and Connected Music and these new features are sure to enhance the users connectivity with the device.
Aloqa is a location based feature which will allow third party applications to feed users with the local data like restaurants, cinemas, deals, places etc. Connected Gallery integrates photos and videos from various softwares like Picasa, Flickr etc. and allows the user to browse through all the photos at once rather than having to open them individually. Connected Music allows users to tell friends visually what song they are listening to, buy tracks and also stream lyrics while playing tracks.
Motortola Atrix and the Cliq 2 users can upgrade their MotoBlur software for these added features.
The security on Blackberry phones is impeccable, there is no doubting that. So, Motorola is planning to do the same with its Android phones – make them as secure as possible for which they have bought 3LM. 3LM is a security device developer that designs security softwares for Google’s Android based phones, thus making the Android devices as secure as Blackberry. This is in fact a good move by Motorola as it is planning to implement the phone’s startup security on the phone itself than asking users to buy a security application from the Android Market Web Store.
3LM apparently is planning to start security solutions for other companies that produce Android based smartphones as both Motorola and 3LM do not want a conflict with other companies about security solutions for Android devices.
Android’s growing popularity is making everyone design products for the OS now. Adobe is planning to do a mobile compatible flash player for Android 3.0 based tablets. Flash Player 10.2 – the mobile version of the flash will be integrated into the hardware allowing it to decode the video which would save the battery power by a fair margin when compared to the software doing the decoding.
Also, Blackberry devices are also expected to get the Flash Player 10.2. At the moment, the version is being tested intensively on the Motorola Xoom, various other netbooks and the Blackberry PlayBook. As of now, this version of the flash is going to be released for the above mentioned devices, while the other devices have some compatibility issues which will be dealt with accordingly.
Adobe has already mentioned that Android users across the world have downloaded the flash version for their devices 20 million times in the six months after the launch.
The launch date of the new Motorola Xoom is nearing – February 24. Motorola Xoom adevrtisement was also launched yesterday at the Super Bowl. The advertisement was a clear dig at Apple’s walled garden and its products. The advertisement promises that Xoom is “The Tablet to Create a Better World“. But, is it really?
For all the people who have watched the advertisement, you might have observed that along the one minute duration of the ad, you mostly see people dressed in white rather than the actual features of Xoom and in what way it is a better tablet when compared to any other. Also, it is being rumored that the Motorola tablet is going to be priced at 800$. Agreed that it has got 32 GB memory, two cameras and 4G LTE, but 800$?
Another flying rumor about Xoom is its Wi-Fi, which according to sources would only function when you subscribe to a Verizon data plan. Hello Moto! How do you plan to create a better world with so many constraints?
The Motorola Atrix release date has been confirmed as 6th March, if not earlier by the telecom giant AT&T. The pre-orders for the same will start on February 13. AT&T would be selling the new 4G smartphone from Motorola at 200$, provided the customers also take a service contract of two years. If the customers are prepared to spend another 300$, AT&T will also provide them with the Motorola dock which can be used to power a full scale laptop using the Atrix handset.
Atrix boasts of features and specifications that include a 1GHz processor, 1 GB RAM and 16GB internal storage which can be further extended to 48GB using the SD slot. Although, the most anticipated accessory with the Atrix is the dock which comes with USB ports, a keyboard and a screen.
Looks like laptop producers are going to have a tough time ahead with these new gadgets taking over the computing market as well.
A sneak preview of the Motorola Xoom advertisement is now available on youtube before it is going to be officially launched this Sunday at the Superbowl. The preview of the ad starts in the year 2011 and clocks back to 1984, ironically the year Apple’s Macintosh ad also appeared on TV. The ad further goes on to say that there are a lot of similarities between 2011 and 1984 when we get to see a few of the Xoom’s features flying around. The preview ends here showing the Motorola logo and a caption below which reads, “It’s time to live a free life“.
If you can remember, Motorola’s ads that one got to see at the CES 2011 also took a dig big time at Apple’s iPad. In that particular ad, iPad was called a giant iPhone and the latest one moves a step forward or should we say backwards.
Motorola has definitely made it a point to target Apple as far as their ads are concerned.
Google is upping the anti against Apple on all fronts. Freshly, Google has updated its Android Market Web store to take on Apple’s App store. Google has now introduced market.android.com, its new web store that can now be accessed on web browsers as well. Previously, users were only able to access the 100,000 offerings on their Android phones alone. Apart from browsing, one can also send the links of the applications to their respective phones.
This new market store is going to make its debut on Motorola’s Xoom which is going to be the first tablet on Google’s Android 3.0 Honeycomb platform. Motorola Xoom was recently unveiled at the Consumer electronics Fair held at Las Vegas. Google is planning to launch more models that would be using Android Honeycomb some time next month.