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In Brief

Moto X front top

Unless you want an all white or an all black Moto X handset, there’s no need to visit an AT&T retail store. On Tuesday, Motorola announced an upgrade to its Moto Maker site, allowing customers to customize and order a phone online. The site will check your AT&T eligibility for upgrade pricing or you can order a no-contract Moto X at $579 or $629 depending on the storage choice.

I’ve already tested the process and it correctly verified my upgrade eligibility, just as Apple’s online iPhone store would. A free Motorola Skip accessory is also included for a limited time.

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Whenever a company is party to a big M&A deal, layoffs always follow. Sprint confirmed with Bloomberg on Tuesday that it is cutting 800 jobs, but claimed that this doesn’t have anything to do with redundancies produced by its massive three-way tie up with SoftBank and Clearwire. Sprint told Bloomeberg it’s trimming its customer service workforce because it’s getting fewer complaints into its call centers. A big reason for the drop off could be the shutdown of its Nextel iDEN network last quarter, which likely generated calls from millions of customers about to lose service.

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With Android being so customizable, some enthusiasts figured it’s pretty easy to replicate the unique features found on Motorola’s Moto X smartphone. That’s not the case at all, however, as Russell Holly proves over at Geek.com. Holly tried various third-party apps advertised as offering similar features but found that none provide the same functions, are as stable or as battery efficient as the Moto X.

In Brief

You can already stream content through an iOS device to Google’s Chromecast and now it’s a little bit easier to set up the small HDMI dongle from an Apple device. Google introduced a new free Chromecast app for iOS on Tuesday that lets you find, set up and manage Chromecast settings from iOS. This functionality was already available in a web browser but the custom application makes it simpler to work with Google’s $35 streaming device. You’ll need to be running iOS 5.1 or better to install and use this software.

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BlackBerry’s Q10 smartphone finally makes a stop at Sprint, with the carrier announcing sales starting on August 30. Sadly, Sprint customers won’t benefit from the wait to get the Q10, nor from the relatively low BlackBerry 10 device shipments the company announced in the second quarter. The handset with full QWERTY keyboard will still cost $199.99 with a two-year contract. Other carriers sell the handset for the same but also offer the full-screen
BlackBerry Z10 for $99 or less.

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