Unleash the Moto X

W​hen Motorola changed their logo it signified more than new marketing! It showed a change in their whole phone design mentality and that is obvious with their new Moto X. I was recently invited to a “secret” event on the Google campus by the ever fabulous Guy Kawasaski (eep!) to get to see this new phone up close!

Before we get to the phone… Can I say how the geeky me was so stoked to meet Guy Kawasaki??!?! There was an audible squeal when I got an email from THE Guy Kawasaki inviting me to Motorola event. This was my first visit to the Google campus so that it totally geek worthy to begin with. When I got to the event I sat next to Kristi Yamaguchi and got a picture with her but it still didn’t beat meeting Guy Kawasaki! Ok, onto the phone.

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The new Moto X design is steeped in the results of multiple studies. Instead of focusing the phone design on solving a specific problem Motorola focused the Moto X on the end user. So they looked at studies on start screens, camera use and even hand size to influence the physical and functional design of the Moto X. There are lots of cool things that this phone will have (no, I haven’t really gotten my hands on it for a full user test yet) but I wanted to look at just a few of the most noteworthy to me.

1)Touchless Control: This phone will be listening for your voice all the time! I could get into the tech on the new X8 system including how 1 chip is a low drain chip that listens but you probably don’t care about that. What you do care about is that when you say “OK Google Now” you then get the phone’s attention and it is there to serve you! Of course you can do standard phone stuff with the Touchless Control (call, text, etc) but you can also activate the power of Google! Including all the normal Googling of facts.

2)Voice Training: One of my issues of using the S Galaxy voice features is that I have to turn off the radio and shush everyone in the car and then hope it works (I have found it buggy). Well, Motorola has worked in a solution to this with the Moto X. It has a 3 step training process so your phone can distinguish your voice among the crowd. I watched this work and I am so excited. No more holding it close (it has a great range too) in order to make sure the phone hears me and only me. I could even set it on the counter away from me while I cook or clean.

3)Active Notification: One of the things the studies told Motorola is that people turn their phone onn and off with in 15 seconds over 50 times a day! They were checking the time or finding out why their phone buzz/beeped/shook. They also found that everyone puts their phone facedown during meetings (and I thought it was just me;). To make our phones work better for us all you have to do is flip the phone to see the time and notifications. If you want you can then unlock it or the screen will just shut back off in a few seconds.

4)Quick Capture: Back to the studies to find out that it takes on average 4.5 seconds to 10 seconds to go from your pocket to being able to take a picture. In order to get that to 2 seconds they created “Quick Capture”.  You start with a specific gesture with the phone as it comes out of your pocket (it is basically a twist) and then touch anywhere on the screen to take a picture. It is that easy. Which means it will be easier to catch those action shots or silly things someone is doing before they realize you have the camera ready;).

5)Moto Maker: Siting the Ikea effect, Motorola is now allowing us all to design our own phone! You can go to the website and start choosing colors. You have 2 choices for the front plate, many choices for the back plate and even accent color choices. They also have custom clear covers you can order plain or with an accent color and even color coordinating accessories from other vendors. You may not walk out of the store with the phone (you can customize in store or at home) but you will receive it with in 4 days! In order to do this Motorola had to change all their manufacturing and bring it domestic. They are the only phone assembled in the United States!

This is just my first look at the Moto X and you can be sure I will be posting more as I get my hands on it!!! I appreciate Motorola bringing me out to Google to partake in this fabulous event!!! If you want to see what someone else thought of the even and the phone make sure you check out my friend TerriAnn’s great post on the event over at Cookies and Clogs!

Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Giveaway

mophie juice pack powerstation
Recently I was very blessed to receive the opportunity to attend a gathering of bloggers at Verion’s headquarters recently! We were there to learn what great things Verizon is doing and to give them feedback. They blessed us with some great gifts while we were there. One is my brand new Samsung Galaxy S4 along with some cases. They also gave me a Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation and they gave me an extra to give to one of my fabulous readers!!!

So what is a Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation? It is similar to an external battery for your phone or any device that can be charged via usb cord. It has a 4000 mAh charge ability and works with just about all Android and Apple phones and tablets.

I was recently traveling to the Savvyblogging conference in Cincinnati and then straight onto Berkeley for the Disney on the Road event. So I was living out of my suitcase. I was using my Mophie on the planes and all around town. I have quickly become dependent on the safety of having a nice back up battery at all times.

So how would you like to win one? Just go through the Rafflecopter to enter!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks to Verizon for the awesome Mophie to giveaway! While they gave me the prize, the words are all mine! Prize will only be shipped within the US!

5 Must Have Apps for Productivity on a Droid

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I recently got a new HTC Droid DNA to use from Verizon. While I love trying out new phones but no matter how shiny they are, you need some apps to get some work done! Lets face it, how I justify paying for a phone plan is because I can get some work done! But my 5 apps are not the ones just for cranking out work but the most helpful;).

1) Gmail: Gmail is my first, must have app! I find that the built in email client on the phone never works as well. Checking email is the biggest task I can knock out on my phone!

2)Hootsuite: Hootsuite enables me to tweet not only for myself but for my social media clients! It helps me to also monitor everything so that we don’t have a Burger King incident;).

3)Facebook: Ok, it may not totally be work but being able to deal with my Facebook on the go means that I don’t have to take the time to deal with it when I get home!

4)Wordpress: Ok, I don’t do a lot of blogging off my phone but I can edit mistakes and moderate comments. I hate knowing I have a spammy comment on a blog post and have to leave it there because I don’t have access to my WordPress!

5)Pinterest: I know Pinterest sounds like an odd must have app but hear me out. Being active on Pinterest is getting to be more and more important in the blogging world but it can easily suck up so much time (rabbit hole anyone;). By accessing Pinterest primarily on mobile devices helps limit the amount of time I waste!

There are near misses that I didn’t put on the list like SkyDrive, OneNote, and Pages. They are all important too but these are my first 5! What are your first 5 apps on a new phone?

(Disclosure: I am an ambassador for Verizon and they sent me the Droid DNA to use! All words and opinions are mine!)

A Look at the LG Spectrum

Recently I was gifted a brand new LG Spectrum 4G Android Phone and I love it!!! In the spirit of full disclosure my last phone would overheat and just shut down randomly. So some of my fascination could just be in my judgement the LG Spectrum 4G Android Phone really is a solid piece of technology!

At first look this is a sturdy phone! I am a little paranoid but I always really protect my tech… except this time. It feels solid in my hand and is big enough that you don’t feel like you will drop it easily. The screen is Corning’s Gorilla Glass. So that is pretty hard to scratch! The glare is pretty minimal in the sunlight and the resolution is very crisp. With a screen of 4.5 inches, the screen actually functional. I don’t want to have to squint or scroll a ton to see anything! It actually becomes more functional due to the size and readability alone.

Then there are the insides to take into consideration. This thing is fast and runs clean! It has an updated Gingerbread OS and has no problems keeping up with me at all! There isn’t a lot of memory built into the phone (4 gb) but it comes with a 16gb sd card! I have loaded it up with apps and music and there is still plenty of room.

Then there is one of my favorite things. The built in rear facing camera is 8 mega pixels! To compare, my Canon point and shoot only has 10. It also will take 1080p video too. It has a forward facing camera too but it isn’t quite as good.

I have become so much more productive since I have started using the Spectrum! I am able to write on it (I am writing this on it:), take pictures on it and even vlog from it. I am also traveling lighter. No longer do I have to carry a purse large enough to also hold of camera and a Flip camera.

My final analysis? A definite thumbs up! It gives me a solid performance. It is like carrying a little, but sturdy computer that fits in my girlie pockets.

(Disclosure: Verizon provided me with the phone but not the opinions. They are all mine!)