December 4, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Verizon and Motorola shocked us mid last month with the rather expedient Android 4.4 KitKat update for the Moto X. Three days later, we saw T-Mobile follow suit. Then later that day, AT&T joined the KitKat Moto X party as well. Curiously, we haven’t seen an official KitKat update from America’s third-largest carrier: Sprint. Now the fifth-largest carrier, US Cellular, has begun its phased roll out to Android 4.4 KitKat on the Moto X.
Just like what we’ve come to expect from KitKat on other variants of the Moto X, the US Cellular version is only very lightly modified from stock Android. As such, Motorola is largely preserving most Google services, only complementing them when beneficial. This can be seen in the revised calendar app, featuring drag-able exposure controls, and the new “find my phone” feature that we’ve seen on the other variants.
According to Motorola’s Version History page the update is also “coming soon” to the Sprint variant of the device. Unfortunately, no timetable has been given–either by Sprint or by Motorola themselves. That said, we can’t see the carrier holding back for too long, especially after every other major US carrier has already begun the rollout.
Finally, the update for Republic Wireless’s version of the device is also coming soon. The carrier stated on its official Twitter account that the update is expected in “early 2014.” Unfortunately, what exactly constitutes “early” will vary depending on who is asked, and only time will tell when the update will finally come.
Even with the mild delays in certain carrier variants, the KitKat update has made it to most Moto X units in remarkable time—no doubt a testament to Google’s influence on the company’s operations. Are you a Moto X owner? What are your thoughts on the KitKat update timing? Why do you think Sprint and Republic Wireless are taking so long? Let us know in the comments below.
Getting a new phone can be likened to a ritual in many ways. After ripping apart the delivery packaging and bubble wrap, delicately removing the sticky tape, opening the phone’s box, finally holding the glorious new device in your hand, and then feeling the slight jolt of vibration when you turn it on for the first time, you come to realize that there’s still quite a long way to go before it’s ready.
So rather than sitting at the PC for the next couple of hours researching the individual steps for the more commonly accessed actions, you may want to check out XDA Senior Member stillthisguy‘s Moto X Toolkit. With this PC-based tool, Moto X owners are able to perform an extensive list of some of the more common actions. Actions include but are not limited to:
If you’ve just received your brand new Moto X and want a tool that streamlines the setup process, check out stillthisguy’s Moto X Toolkit in its original thread for more information and download.
November 25, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
The T-Mobile and AT&T variants of the Moto X get Android 4.4 KitKat, hitting the public not long after it was released for the Verizon model! That and much more news is covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this weekend. Included in this week’s news is the announcement that Sony is expanding its KitKat rollout list to include more Xperias and that the Xposed Framework now works with Android 4.4!
In other important news, Jordan talks about the article talking about how XDA Elite Recognized Developer jcase has rooted the Moto X Android 4.4 KitKat. There is another article talking about how jcase also rooted the Oppo N1 with just a single APK. Be sure to check out other videos on on XDA Developer TV. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
November 23, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
After a fortuitous change of heart no doubt due to the influence of its new parent company, Motorola is now becoming one of the good guys. Along with their newly found acceptance of third-party developers, the company has also been pumping out KitKat updates for its flagship Moto X at an impressive pace. We were first shocked to see the Verizon model receive the first non-Nexus KitKat OTA update. Not too long after, we saw the T-Mobile and AT&T variants follow suit.
One thing is always a bit troublesome when upgrading Android firmwares, though, and that’s reacquiring root access. Thankfully, this has proven no major challenge for XDA Senior Recognized Developer jcase, who has managed to root the Android 4.4 update on the Moto X using what he is calling SlapMyMoto. SlapMyMoto is essentially a modified version of the previously covered RockMyMoto, an exploit package that was originally created to root the Moto X after it had received the 4.2.2 camera update.
It is important to note that SlapMyMoto is currently in a BETA release. What this means to end users is that while the root method works, it involves a rather convoluted procedure. In other words, non-techy users would be best served by holding off for now, while jcase readies a more permanent solution. But if you try this and you run into problems, jcase recommends flashing back to the 4.2.2 camera update. That said, this process is more risky than previous versions. And of course, don’t accept any OTAs after using this root method.
If you’ve been eagerly awaiting root access on your newly KitKat-laden Moto X, head over to the development thread to get started! Again, please keep in mind that this root method isn’t for the faint of heart. But if you follow the steps properly, you’ll be rewarded with a freshly rooted piece of that KitKat bar.
[Many thanks to jcase for the heads up!]
Good Guy Motorola—and surprisingly stand-up individual AT&T! We were initially quite shocked to see the Verizon variant of the Moto X become the first non-Nexus device to receive an official taste of Android 4.4 KitKat. This was an incredibly timely release, as it even beat out the official OTA for the Google Nexus 4, as well as both Google Play edition devices. Not too long after, we saw the T-Mobile variant follow suit with its own KitKat update.
Now, we’ve gotten word that the update to Android 4.4 KitKat is officially available for the AT&T variant of the Moto X, skipping the previously rumored soak test phase. Just like the Android 4.4 updates previously seen on the other variants of the Moto X, this update is for the most part quite similar to stock Android. There are a few Moto X-specific OEM additions, but nothing to make you wonder if it’s really Android you’re looking at. Chief among these additions is a renovated camera app that has gesture controls for focus and exposure.
Have you already updated your Moto X to KitKat? If so, how do you like it? How do you feel about Motorola’s extremely timely updates? Let us know in the comments below!
[Image courtesy of XDA Forum Member bsinc1962]
November 22, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Well, hello there, Moto! It seems like we’re seeing quite a new Motorola as of late, and we can’t help but think that this may largely be due to Google’s influence. First, we saw the Verizon variant of the Moto X become one of the first non-Nexus devices to receive Android 4.4 KitKat. Next we saw Motorola promise to deliver the 4.4 update to some of its older devices. And just yesterday, we saw the company revisit some of its questionable warranty policies.
Now, Motorola is continuing this trend by extending the KitKat love to the T-Mobile variant of the Moto X. Just like what we saw before on the Verizon update, Motorola wants to keep the update relatively close to stock Android. In other words, they wish to complement, rather than compete with, existing Google services. Similarly, it looks like AT&T users will soon get in on the action as well. As XDA Forum Member dansskittles shared a few days ago, some AT&T users are now receiving Email invites to participate in the Android 4.4 soak test.
We hope this trend continues. But for now, good job, Moto. Head over to the Moto X forums to get in on the discussion or look for captured OTA files.
November 19, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Pinch me; I must be dreaming. Could it actually be? Is the Verizon Moto X really the first carrier-branded device to see official Android 4.4 KitKat love? Is this the same Verizon that even managed to make the term “Nexus” somewhat of a misnomer?
Well, it seems as if the largest US carrier may be in the process of turning a new leaf. After all, we recently saw Verizon become the first major US carrier to update the Samsung Galaxy S 4 to the latest flavor of Jelly Bean, version 4.3. Now, the same can be said for the carrier’s variant of the highly regarded Moto X.
Rather than the previously leaked information regarding a soak test, this update will make its way to users in the form of a staged rollout delivered via OTA. And while most will have to wait for the update to appear, some users have already reported receiving the update notification on their devices.
The strategy behind the Android 4.4 update for the Moto X was to “build on a pure Android foundation and complement existing Google services, not compete with them.” As such, the build is similar to stock Android, but with a few device specific additions. Some of the key highlights for the update include:
- An improved phone dialer. Now you can search for contacts directly from the dial-pad and easily see and tap on those you contact frequently.
- More gallery goodies. KitKat packs in some cool, new gallery effects—such as Posterize, Highlights, and Edges. You can even use the Draw feature to annotate your photos freehand with your finger.
- New Hangouts app. All of your conversations now in one place—texts, video calls, and other chats all together in one app. Plus, you can now send animated gifs and share your location.
- Color emojis. For when words aren’t enough, the Google Keyboard now includes colorful characters to send in text messages and other communications.
- Drag to focus and expose. An updated camera app lets you control both the focus and exposure of your photos. Simply drag your finger to set just the right exposure and focus point.
- And more… Restyled status and navigation bars, new full-screen mode, and enhancements to Motorola features like Touchless Control.
We can’t sufficiently underscore the significance behind this update’s impressive timing. After all, this news comes before any of the Google Play edition devices receive their updates. Furthermore, while factory images for Android 4.4 on the Nexus 4 have been posted, the official OTA has not been released. The Verizon Moto X update certainly sets a good example for how carriers and OEMs should operate.
Head over to the Official Motorola Blog for more details. Let us know your thoughts on the update’s timing in the comments below, and don’t forget to visit our Moto X forum to get in on the discussion.
[Via: The Verge]
You know that splash screen boot logo that comes up right before your boot animation? Well, that customized logo is simply a bitmap image that is stored in a location where most users will never venture. XDA Elite Recognized Developer jcase located the file responsible, and as it turns out, you don’t even need root access to modify it.
Jcase shared the simple instructions required to backup the default image, “de-customize” the bootloader image, and to flash a new logo. New logos must be in BMP format and be the same size as the original image, which is 720 x 1280.
Please note that to backup the current logo, you do indeed need root access. Flashing a new one, however, is a simple fastboot command that does not require your device to be rooted.
To get started, just head over to the original thread. If you are rooted, you should perform a backup of the boot logo, just in case you ever want it back.
November 6, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
When Android 4.4 was released alongside the much anticipated Google Nexus 5, we knew it wouldn’t be long before we saw the goods distributed to other devices. Shortly thereafter, we saw some unofficial builds for several Nexus devices, as well as a few others. Now, a leaked build of Android 4.4 KitKat has appeared for the T-Mobile variant of the Moto X.
The leak comes to us courtesy of XDA Senior Member TheOrangeRemix. User response appears to be mixed, with Senior Member mentose457 initially having trouble with data and calls when not performing a full wipe during the upgrade process. However, a full wipe seems to fix these issues. And once everything was up and running, mentose457 reports the leaked ROM to be nearly fully functional.
Please note that this is intended for the T-Mobile variant of the device. Users of other variants of the Moto X should proceed with caution before flashing. Special care must be taken to modify the flashall.bat file to not flash the modem to something incompatible. If you do try flashing this on a different variant of the device, be sure to have a good backup handy and also report your findings in the thread.
Make your way over to the firmware thread to get started.
Not too long ago, we talked about how XDA Elite Recognized Developer jcase managed to root and bypass the write protection on the Moto X and the latest Droid phones with PwnMyMoto. Motorola then issued an update to the camera, which also patched the exploit used by PwnMyMoto, leaving those who have received the update and had not yet rooted in a bit of a bind.
Well folks, jcase has done it again with RockMyMoto. The root method uses Saurik’s Cydia Impactor, and involves a decent amount of ADB commands. There are quite a few steps required, and both the phone and PC must be on the same network. That said, the instructions are clearly laid out, and jcase has even provided a video detailing the steps required to achieve root on patched Moto X devices.
It is important to keep in mind that because this is a much more involved root process than the previously covered PwnMyMoto, it is only meant for those who have already received the Camera update. If your device hasn’t been updated, just use PwnMyMoto. And if you’re unsure, try PwnMyMoto first.
Visit the RockMyMoto root method thread to get started.
November 1, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
What an exciting day we had yesterday. As was widely speculated, the Google Nexus 5 was finally released, which means that you can finally put that F5 key to rest. However, the new device wasn’t the only important announcement yesterday. We were also given a nice dose of the next version of Android, version 4.4 KitKat. Now the question in everybody‘s mind undoubtedly turns to when their device will get the update. Luckily, we now know the roadmap for certain key devices. READ ON »
September 20, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Good things are happening to the Moto X. Not too long ago, we talked about how XDA Elite Recognized Developer jcase released the PwnMyMoto Write Protection Bypass for the device. Now, we are happy to report that a leaked Android 4.3 dump for the device has appeared.
Before we get into the leak, let’s rewind a little bit to the device’s launch. While the device is inherently exciting due to Google’s direct involvement during development, many were saddened to learn that it would launch on an earlier version of Jelly Bean, not the recently released Android 4.3. That said, we knew it wasn’t long before Googorola shared the tastiest flavor of Jelly Bean with its subsidiary’s newest flagship.
While 4.3 still has yet to come in official form, those wanting to get an early taste can do so thanks to XDA Forum Member TheOrangeRemix, who came into possession of a recent Android 4.3 engineering build for the T-Mobile Moto X. From there, XDA Senior Member jimmydafish turned it into fastboot flashable boot and system images.
Naturally, as this is prerelease, do not expect a completely bug-free experience. To that end, user reports seem to indicate that the official 4.2.2 ROM runs faster. That said, the engineering build seems to carry interesting camera tweaks, as well as the expected benefits of 4.3 itself.
September 16, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
When the Moto X was released, many were upset to learn that despite Google’s positive influence during development, the device was still not truly open. And let’s be honest, there were never any false pretenses about the state of Motorola’s state of developer friendliness. However, it looks like master hacker and XDA Elite Recognized Developer jcase has done it again.
Not too long ago, jcase created MotoRoot for the Droid lineup. This used the previously covered Android bug 9695860 to gain system user. Then, a symlink attack created by jcase himself was used to obtain root access. Today, however, a better solution has appeared.
Courtesy of jcase once again, PwnMyMoto begins by using bug 9695860 (just like its predecessor) to gain system user. It also uses the symlink attack featured in MotoRoot to gain root access. New to PwnMyMoto, however, is what happens next: After gaining root, a bootloader vulnerability is exploited, allowing for write protection on the /system partition to be bypassed. And in the process, the stock recovery is removed, preventing unwanted future OTAs from interfering with the rooted state.
Naturally, any unauthorized modification carries with it an inherent risk. However, if you wish to root, you must take these risks in order to free your device. To get started, head over to the linked threads below. Congrats to jcase on the great work once again!
[Many thanks to jcase for the tip!]