Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Download: Moto G Gets Android 4.4.2, KitKat, in Record Time! And more.

We don’t know about you, but over the past few weeks we’ve had visions of KitKats dancing in our heads. We’re excited to tell you we’re starting to roll out Android 4.4.2, KitKat—the very latest version—TODAY on Moto G!

What better way to kick off The Download—a regular feature that gives you the scoop on the many software updates we are rapidly cranking out. In addition to the roll out of KitKat on Moto G, our software team has been busy as elves in a workshop shipping new features for you.

Here’s the latest Download, issue 1:

Android KitKat Comes to Moto G - Our KitKat family is expanding! When we launched Moto G last month, we committed to delivering Android, KitKat, to devices by early 2014. We are thrilled to start delivering on that promise early. Starting today, we are rolling out Android 4.4.2 to Moto G phones bought on Motorola.com or Amazon.com in the U.S. KitKat will come to other Moto G carriers and regions soon as well. This latest version of Android brings some cool new features, including printing emails and photos from your phone. Read our release notes for detailed information.

This update continues our effort to get our users the latest Android software as fast as humanly possible. We began by pushing KitKat out to Moto X users on Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, just weeks after Google announced the new OS—and our most recent expansion over the past few weeks includes Moto X on US Cellular and Sprint and DROID ULTRA, DROID MAXX, and DROID MINI. We also started to roll out the software in Brazil for retail devices. More carriers and regions will follow very soon.

For more information on KitKat and deployment on Motorola devices, check out our software upgrades page.

Enhanced Touchless Control - With our latest update to this feature, customers who use a device PIN to lock their phone can use Touchless Control without entering the PIN first. Don’t worry—no personal information is divulged without a PIN. And, you can also use your voice to enter your PIN. Go to the Google Play Store for more information.

Spreading Holiday Cheer - We’re getting into the holiday spirit! Turn your Moto X running KitKat off and on—and experience a little cheer with our new start-up animation. For those with a Moto G, download the Motorola Boot Services application from the Google Play Store to take part in the animated holiday tidings.

More Camera Goodness for Moto G and DROID - We’re taking the latest Camera features on Moto X on KitKat and making them available for Moto G, DROID MINI, DROID MAXX, and DROID ULTRA. This brings some enhancements photographers will love—such as Drag to Focus and Expose (manual exposure and focus with just a touch), locking exposure during Panoramic shots, and additional language support. Check out the Google Play Store for more information.

Improved Active Display - We’ve squashed some bugs! Active Display—battery-friendly notifications that fade in and out when the phone display is off—is now optimized for KitKat and works better than ever. It’s all part of our mission to listen to our users and iterate quickly. Go to the Google Play Store for more information.

More Kernel Sources! - Over the last few weeks, we released the Android 4.3, Jelly Bean kernel source for Moto G, and yesterday we released Android 4.4, KitKat kernel source for Moto X. Enjoy your custom ROMs!

The Download - Yeah, that is pretty recursive if you ask me. But our last big feature is a regular software blog which provides you with the latest on all the cool, shiny, new features and upgrades that are headed your way. Subscribe in the upper right column to stay up to date on the latest.

The last few months have been quite a wild ride. We are working hard to continually improve the experience on Motorola devices and look forward to hearing from you. Your feedback will be heard and acted on. Feel free to comment here or on our profiles on Google+, Twitter, and Facebook.

Posted by Punit Soni, Product Management

Disney Legend Glen Keane Joins Motorola’s Spotlight Stories

To animate means to bring to life.

Glen Keane’s work seems larger than life. As the creator and animator of beloved Disney characters such as Ariel from The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Pocahontas, the Beast from Beauty and the Beast, and Tarzan, Glen has drawn more than figures on a screen. He has made the stories and characters of our childhoods. He gave us imaginary friends, admired heroines, misfits in search of understanding, and at least a Halloween costume or two.

At Motorola’s Advanced Technology and Projects group, we believe in the power of storytelling, so we’re building new stories made specifically for mobile. Not stories made for the big screen but shown on a small one. Not flat content. We’re building interactive, immersive stories made for your smartphone.

So we’re excited to announce that Glen—the artist behind so many classics—is working with us to push the future of animation with an original Spotlight Story.

Expected to release the middle of 2014, in this third Motorola Spotlight Story, Glen is going back to the drawing board. Literally. Together with the engineers who unlocked the graphics technology that made our first Spotlight Story, Windy Day, possible on the Moto X, we’re pushing new edges. The raw emotion of the hand-drawn line brought to life in our technological world. And yours.

What will happen when a master animator of the big screen jumps to an innovative, mobile canvas? We’re excited to see.

Stay up to date with Spotlight Story happenings on our Tumblr or join our Google+ community.

Posted by Baback Elmieh, Technical Program Lead, Advanced Technologies and Project (ATAP)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A phone as unique as you: Now Featuring Bamboo for Moto X

You’re different. You go against the grain. So you need a phone that’s as unique as you are. That phone is here. Introducing Moto X with Bamboo.

We’ve always had fun experimenting with different materials in our devices. From DuPont(TM) Kevlar(R) to aircraft-grade aluminum, we love to push the envelope and bring you quality materials that have a meaningful purpose or unique sense of style. Bamboo represents new territory for the smartphone industry and expands the thousands of customization options available via Moto Maker. Since each back is made from real Bamboo, no two devices will ever be the same - it’s truly a smartphone as unique as you are. 



Starting now, the Bamboo back option is available online for January delivery. Initial quantities are limited, so order yours today. And because it’s designed by you, you still have all the great customization features offered through Moto Maker. Choose your accent and front colors, memory, even include a custom signature on your bamboo back. Then choose your carrier -- Verizon, AT&T, Sprint or T-Mobile.

Moto X with Bamboo will be available online only*, for $199 with a new two-year contract with Verizon, AT&T and Sprint, or unlocked with no contract for as little as $0 down with special financing terms.**

Moto Maker provides new and unique design opportunities that enable self-expression like never before, so stay tuned for more design options and materials in the new year.

Additional questions? Visit our FAQ.

Posted by Lior Ron, CVP Product Management


*Not available for use with Moto Maker redemption PINs purchased in-store

**$0 down and zero Interest on all purchases if paid within 6, 12, or 18 months. Interest will be charged to your account from the purchase date if the balance is not paid in full within the promotional period.

Subject to credit approval. Deferred Interest Minimum Payment Required Promotional Plan: Interest will be charged to your account (at the standard variable apr 28.99%) from the purchase date if the purchase balance is not paid in full within the promotional period or if you make a late payment. Minimum monthly payments are required for this plan during the promotional period. At no time will the minimum monthly payment be less than $25.00. Minimum Interest charged is $2.00 per credit plan. Required minimum $549 pre-tax purchase for the 18 month credit plan. Motorola Credit Accounts are offered by Comenity Capital Bank who determines qualifications for credit and promotion eligibility. US residents only. Not valid on previous purchase.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Our 2-Day Holiday sale is almost here.

We’re eager to tell you more about our Moto Maker holiday price promotion (formerly known as Cyber Monday deal). This week we’ve put a lot of work into designing a simple sale that avoids rushed checkouts and frantic phone selection, so that you can take your time customizing your Moto X without racing against the clock.

Here’s how it will work:

At 12 pm EST Wednesday (12/4) and again at 12 pm EST next Monday (12/9), a customized Moto X will be $150 off the no-contract price. You’ll also get 30% off select accessories—including cases, headphones, and wireless products—when you use the promo code THANKS. We have bumped up the number of sale devices available. The promotion will last as long as quantities are available each day.

Here’s what you do:
  • Go to motorola.com/holiday2daysale and register for the promotion starting at noon EST on the two sale days. You will know right away if quantities are still available.
  • Once registered, you will be emailed a promo code within a few hours. This code is active for one week.
  • Go to Moto Maker and design your phone within the one week window (take your time and have fun!).
  • At checkout, enter your one-time promo code to receive $150 off the no-contract price in the shopping cart. (Your code only works once and for one phone.)
  • Submit your order to get rocking with your custom Moto X in time for the holidays. Moto Maker will provide an estimated delivery date while you design your product and again at checkout. You will also receive an email when we start assembling your device as well as when it ships.*
We’re excited to share this promotion with you and can’t wait for you to get your Moto X. Visit our FAQ page if you have more questions.

Follow our Twitter, G+, and Facebook for the latest on the sale.

*Shipping times are subject to parts availability.

Monday, December 2, 2013

We owe you an apology.

I want to apologize to our customers and fans for the issues we experienced on our website with our Cyber Monday promotion. I want you to understand what happened, and what we are doing to rectify the situation.

First, we misjudged the overwhelming consumer demand for Moto X, which was far greater than we expected. 

Second, our pre-sale site testing was not sufficiently extensive. Testing failed to reveal weaknesses caused by large volumes of concurrent orders flowing through the MotoMaker customization engine.

Thus, when we opened the promotion this morning, an extraordinary spike in concurrent orders caused our website to go down. We couldn’t fulfill orders. The site became unstable. While some orders were filled, many customers tried all day to place their orders, unsuccessfully. Customers were left frustrated. 

We have since found a solution that we believe addresses the concurrent order issue. Motorolans are hard at work right now, implementing that solution.

Here is what we are going to do: Starting at 12 pm EST/9 am PST this Wednesday, we will relaunch the $349 promotion. To help make up for this major inconvenience to shoppers, we will also add an additional promotional day on Monday, December 9. We will double the quantity of phones available, while supplies last, to allow as many people as possible to take advantage of the promotion. We’re also extending the 30% off offer on accessories to these two days. 

Please note that MotoMaker.com will open up for regular business tomorrow (Tuesday, December 3). We will stay the course on our regular sales as we restore our promotional prices for Wednesday and Monday.

Stay tuned to our Twitter, G+ and Facebook pages for more updates. We understand people want frequent communications from us so we will do a better job at keeping you informed.

On behalf of all Motorolans, I apologize for what occurred today. I appreciate your understanding as we get this fixed in time for Wednesday and Monday. 

Posted by Dennis Woodside, CEO