Deal: 2nd Gen Motorola Moto X with Walnut or Teak backplate now at $399.99 unlocked

Deal: 2nd Gen Motorola Moto X with Walnut or Teak backplate now at $399.99 unlocked

If you’ve been holding back on purchasing a second-generation Motorola Moto X (2014) until a nice deal rear its head, Motorola is now offering a $125 discount when purchasing an unlocked smartphone with a Walnut or Teak backplate.

This deal brings the total cost of a 2014 Moto X with 16GB of integrated storage space down to $399.99, which is actually $100 less than what you have to pay for the unlocked version with a plastic back. If you need more internal storage space, you can opt to update to 32GB for $49.99 extra.
While you can purchase the smartphone with AT&T, Verizon, or Republic Wireless carrier choices, you can also opt for the Pure Edition, one that comes with a near-stock Android experience and is compatible with AT&T’s and T-Mobile’s LTE networks.
If you need a refresher, the 2014 version of the Motorola Moto X comes a 5.2-inch AMOLED display running at 1080 by 1920 pixels (Full HD), a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset paired with 2GB of RAM, a 13MP primary camera, a 2MP front-facing shooter, and a 2300mAh battery. If this deal sounds tempting, make sure to check out our full Motorola Moto X review.
With the third-generation Motorola Moto X rumored to be unveiled in the upcoming months, this deal could well be a sign that Motorola is looking to clear stocks before unveiling an updated version of the handset. According to some rumors, the third-generation Moto X will come with a 16MP primary camera with optical image stabilisation, a 5.2-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 1440 by 2560 pixels, and a Snapdragon 808 chipset.

HTC Suffers Worst April in Six Years, One M9 to Blame


HTC One M9
HTC One M9

Many people have been writing HTC off for a few years, but over the quarters the company has managed to make a profit and confound critics. The Taiwanese giant did that by launching well spec’d handsets with blazing designs, generally adding something interesting to the market. The One M7 and One M8 led that charge with all-metal designs and flagship specs.

The new One M9 delivers both of those things, but it is merely an updated One M8 and if we were being harsh we could argue it is outright pointless. In a market where Samsung and LG are making huge strides, and upstart companies like Xiaomi are becoming increasingly compelling, the need for HTC to stay fresh and relevant is vital. However, with the very disappointing One M9 the company failed to do that. Through the last month (the One M9?s first on sale) proved that as HTC recorded its worst April in over six years. It comes off the back of a profit making first quarter and analysts are obviously pointing to the lack of interest in the One M9 as the problem. Revenues collapsed 38.6% compared to the same month in 2014, $439.95 million from $719.24 million last April. Sales fell 32.26% from $652.44 million in March and the One M9 is failing to match the One M8 last year. During its first month on sale the 2014 One M8shifted 8 million units, a very good figure, but the One M9 has plunged 32.26% and only moved 4.75 million units. The problem HTC clearly faces now is that its new flagship is not two months old and is not being welcomed by the consumer. Will the company be forced to delivering a second flagship this year, or can it afford to wait it out until next year? Expect a marketing blitz to try and drum up interest in the One M9, or at the very least a solid high end device launching this fall, if not a full flagship.

Only one Nexus device in history had a microSD slot, do you know which one it is?

Only one Nexus device in history had a microSD slot, do you know which one it is?
While every rule has its exceptions, it’s generally fair to say that when Google is serious about something, it tends to stick to its decision. Certainly, microSD cards in Android devices serve as one such example — Google hates those. Alright, perhaps ‘hate’ is too strong a word, but the search giant has made it clear on several occasions, directly or indirectly, that it feels they are an inferior alternative to flash storage, and one that is prone to misbehaving and causing all kinds of monkey business. When that happens, users typically blame either Android, or the manufacturer of their phone, even though counterfeit/low quality microSD cards are often to blame.

So dead serious is Google about microSD cards, that out of the 10 Nexus devices to date (set-top boxes excluded), only one ever had a microSD card slot. Indeed, none of the Nexus tablets have one, and neither does the Nexus 6, nor the Nexus 5 or 4, and not even the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S that precede them all. This leaves us with only one answer — the HTC-made Nexus One.
That’s right, out of all these devices, only the Nexus One — the very first Nexus device — had the option to expand upon the 512MB that came on board with it. That was all kinds of important, since the card could fetch you up to 32GB on top of that claustrophobic half gig. By the time the Samsung Galaxy Nexus was released (8 months down the line), internal storage had gotten cheaper, so we had 32GB available from the get-go. In short, it’s been over 5 years since we last saw Google agree to a microSD card.
It’s entirely possible that, should it ever come down to Google making the choice, microSD card will become extinct. And it’s not just the maker of Android that sees the benefits of ditching the slot — as mentioned, manufacturers do usually bear the brunt of any related complications, not to mention that there’s quite some money to be made in selling phones with larger capacity storage. Combined with the ever more ubiquitous cloud, that’s enough incentive for handset makers to drop them. Whether we like it, or not.

Tinder’s flimsy defence for burning older users


At the beginning of March Tinder launched its premium Plus service and to the shock of some older users, the dating app was charging them almost the double the amount of users under 30-years-old or younger.

At day two of TechCrunch Disrupt in New York City, Tinder Founder and CEO Sean Rad explained the tiered pricing was intended to “provide a discount for younger users.”

First introduced on March 2, Tinder Plus launched in the Untied Kingdom and United States bringing an ad-free experience for those who paid. Tinder Plus also introduced premium features such as undoing your last swipe and Passport, which allows for matching with users around the world.

One of the most controversial elements of Tinder Plus was its tiered pricing. For example, the premium service in the UK comes with the starting price of £3.99 a month for anyone younger than 28 years old and £14.99 monthly for everyone else. Americans, meanwhile, are charged $9.99 if they’re under 30 and $19.99 for everyone 30 and over.

The move was largely bemoaned by existing older users, however Rad elaborated that Tinder is still experimenting with it’s premium service pricing.

“Our goal is increase the age range and get more users to use Tinder Plus and what this means is offering discounts to different users,” Rad said.

Connecting in more ways

Beyond launching a new premium service giving users super powers, Rad explained Tinder is working on improving matches.

“We decided to curve your behavior with right swiping and we focused a lot on improving the quality of matching to help you understand how valuable a match is,” Rad said. “What we realized is if we can get our audience to be more thoughtful in who they are liking, it would have a broader ecosystem impact.”

Though Tinder is widely used for hook ups and finding matches for a relationship, Rad hopes to expand the uses of the matching application.

“We think more broadly about how we connect people period and there’s other ways of doing so,” he said. “One of the ways is to double down in what we’re doing […] but in the coming year I think you might see different ways of leveraging Tinder to connect with people.”

Google wants to organize your life with Timeful, its fourth to-do list

Timeful Google Android app

Pretty soon we’ll need a list to keep track of all of Google’s to-do list apps now that added Timeful, Inc. to its already bursting ranks.

Timeful is supposed understand your schedule, habits and needs, according to search engine company, and work across Inbox, Calendar and other Google software.

“You can tell Timeful you want to exercise three times a week or that you need to call the bank by next Tuesday,” said the search engine company.

“Their system will make sure you get it done based on an understanding of both your schedule and your priorities.”

The Timeful app will remain available for Android and iOS as the team works to integrate its time management technology more broadly into Google’s app suite.

What’s different with Timeful

timeful app

Timeful is the fourth to-do list platform being pushed by Google, but it’s supposed to be different in that it wants to understand your day. Everything else from Google is rather static.

Google Tasks is still part of Gmail and, stealthy, one of the best to-do list organizers out there. Google Reminders can be added via Search, Calendar of Inbox, but has no central hub.

Google Keep launched two years ago as a notetaking app with to-do list functionality. It’s a more colorful Evernote clone with limited functionality.

Will this new app tie them altogether with machine learning or will it become just another option within Google’s increasingly splintered ecosystem? Timeful will tell.