US Cellular has managed to take the already low-cost Moto G and make it even more affordable with the launch on its network. The Moto G is sold for $189.99 but includes a $90 discount when paired with a No Contract Price. Customers who plan to use the device with US Cellular can save money by buying directly from the carrier rather than getting the Motorola model. They'll still have a smartphone with Android 4.4 KitKat, a 4.5-inch 720p display, a 1.2 GHz quad-core processor, and a 3G-only data connection. Full Moto G review available here.
Sprint-owned MVNO Boost Mobile has temporarily lowed the cost of its 4G LTE plans. Boost will charge customers $35 per month for its unlimited talk, text, and data plans. The discounted rate will last only for the first six months that service is active. Customers will then go to the standard $50 rate and be able to low their bill down to $40 if they make 12 on-time monthly payments. Any 4G LTE-compatible Boost phone is eligible for this deal, which runs from now until March 31, 2014.
The Google Nexus 5, previously sold only in black or white color options, is now available in red - bright red. LG and Google today announced that the new color option is available for purchase in 16 GB or 32 GB variations. It will not be sold everywhere, but LG says customers in the UK can purchase the red Nexus 5 from Carphone Warehouse starting February 5. People in the US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Australia, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, and other places in Europe can order from Google Play at varying dates this month.
AT&T today announced a $100 per line bill credit for any customer that starts a new line of service on the wireless network. New and existing subscribers get an automatic $100 credit on a bill when signing up for an AT&T Next, BYOD, or a standard two-year agreement. The temporary offer runs from now until March 31, 2014. The $100 credit will be reflected within one of the first three billing cycles.
Microsoft has announced that Skydrive - the cloud storage and synchronization service that stores files on PC, mobile apps, and the web - is being rebranded to OneDrive. Microsoft says the renaming is happening because it better communicates that users can store all of their photos, videos, and documents in one place, and it "best represents our vision for the future." The service will continue to operate as is and will not require users to do anything. Microsoft says it will begin transitioning to OneDrive soon.
Verizon Wireless will be the exclusive carrier of the Rose Gold edition of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Samsung previously announced the Rose Gold version for other markets, but in the US, only Verizon customers will be able to purchase the phone. The new Note 3 color option will have a white face and back with a rose gold outer rim and accents, matching a similar option for the Galaxy Gear smartwatch. Price and release dates have yet to be confirmed, but you can expect that information to arrive soon.
AT&T has a short promotion that will see the cost of the Moto X and the LG G2 drop to $0 when purchased with a new agreement. The deal removes the $99 down payment typically required of the phones, and it can also be used to get an AT&T Next installment plan that requires 20 monthly payments of $26.50. AT&T will offer the G2 and Moto X for free on contract until January 31, 2014. The promotion makes it possible to get two of the better Android devices released last year for no up-front cost other than activation fees and applicable taxes.
Google will soon introduce an update to its Chrome browsers for PC and Mac that will add many of the benefits of Google Now. It will make the enhanced search and reminder features available on mobile or the desktop, reminders and news alerts in tow. Google has included Now it the latest version of Chrome Canary, the developer version of the browser that often serves as a launching pad for new features. Anyone anxious to try it out now can download Canary and follow the steps outlined by Google OS blog, which first spotted the new features.
Motorola Assist, the app that recognizes when its user is driving and turns on a limited interruption mode, has added the ability to respond to text messages with voice commands. Assist previously read messages aloud but didn't include a hands-free option to reply; the latest update uses speech-to-text to transcribe messages without having to take hands off the wheel or eyes off the road. Users of the Moto X and 2013 Motorola DROID Ultra/Maxx/Mini can download the app to use the new feature.
Motorola and its carrier partners have lowered the price of the Moto X because of special promotions that began in November. Today the price drop becomes permanent thanks to Motorola's decision to lower the price to $399. From now on, all Moto X purchases at carriers or through MotoMaker.com will cost $399 without contract. The company is also offering an optional financing program on its website that will sell the phones for $0 down with payments spread out between 6, 12, or 18 months.