Google announces Android One program to create high quality, affordable smartphones in developing markets


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Today at Google I/O, Sundar Pichai announced a new program called Android One. The program will launch in India in the fall with partners including Karbon, Spice, and Micromax. The Android One Software Experience includes stock Android like what is found on Google’s Nexus devices with Play apps auto-installed with automatic updates. The program is intended to create high quality, affordable smartphones for developing markets using easily available parts to keep cost down. As an example, Pichai showed off a sub-$100 smartphone featuring a 4.5-inch display with dual SIM, SD card slot, and FM radio. After launching in India, Google will expand the Android One program. Read more

Numbers from Google I/O: Over 1 billion 30 day active users, 62% of overall tablet market

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Today Google kicked off its opening keynote address from for its Google I/O developer conference with an update on some company numbers since last checking in. Here’s a break down of some numbers and updates announced by Google’s head of Android and Chrome Sundar Pichai during today’s keynote including over 1 billion active users over a 30 day period. That is a measurement that’s replacing the activation numbers per day it usually announces: Read more

New press render shows what could be the Moto X+1, possibly to be unveiled at I/O

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We’ve been hearing quite a bit  recently about the upcoming Moto X+1, which is expected to be Motorola’s next flagship smartphone. Now, 9to5Google has received what appears to be a promotional render for what is said to be that device from a source we consider reliable.

While a lot of information has already been leaked about this phone, one new feature revealed by this source is the apparent inclusion of a front-facing speaker at the bottom of the phone, though the purpose for that hardware (beyond possible music playback or speakerphone support) is still uncertain.

The source says it’s possible this phone will be revealed at Google’s I/O developer conference. If that’s the case, it would make sense for promotional images to start floating around about this time as the company prepares to unveil the next-gen device.

We’ve also gotten our hands on two separate images from a second render from the same source which is embedded below:

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Google to unveil at least one Android TV-powered set-top box during Google I/O


Earlier today, Bloomberg published a profile of Android head Sundar Pichai in which it was stated that Google has several Android TV announcements slated for its I/O developer conference tomorrow. The WSJ has now published another report corroborating the earlier profile. According to the report, Google on Wednesday will unveil at least one “small set-top box” running its new Android TV operating system.

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Google reportedly making moves to boost Android’s appeal to business customers


Google I/O is literally hours away and while we expect to see several things at this year’s conference, one of Mountain View’s biggest talking points could be improving Android’s appeal to business customers. To accomplish this, Google’s head of Android, Sundar Pichai is in talks with companies like Qualcomm to develop chips that store confidential information such as passwords and user data, so they won’t be as vulnerable to hackers, according to The Information.

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Report: Samsung’s “Gear Live” Android Wear smartwatch specs & July 7 release date leak

Android-Wear-01Following a report that Samsung was preparing to launch one of the first smartwatch products running Google’s new Android Wear platform, another report today follows up with what it says its branding and full specs for the device. A translated report from claims the Samsung Android Wear product will be dubbed “Gear Live” and begin selling on July 7 following an unveiling sometime this week at the Google I/O developer conference.

The report, which claims Samsung will unveil the device as one of the first products running the Android Wear OS, also shared full specs for the device that include a 1.63-inch display, 4GB of storage, a heart rate monitor, and a 300mAh battery: Read more

Nokia announces the X2, a quasi-Android smartphone with mid-range specs


Today Nokia announced the X2, the Finnish company’s second attempt at producing a smartphone that plays nice with Android. Not to be confused with Motorola’s flagship circa 2011, Nokia’s new device features a 4.3-inch ClearBlack WVGA display, a 1.2GHz Snapdragon processor, 1GB of RAM, 4GB of storage space and a 5-megapixel shooter with an LED flash. Available in a broad range of colors, including green, orange and black, additional hues are scheduled to be launch after its release.

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Sundar Pichai to Tim Cook: Android’s not a toxic hell stew, it’s just a more popular operating system

Sundar-Pichai-02Bloomberg Businessweek just published a lengthy profile and interview with Google’s head of Android and Chrome Sundar Pichai and within addressed some of Apple’s recent comments about Android. While much of the conversation circled around what we can expect from Google at this year’s developer conference and Sundar’s scheduled keynote address — wearables and TV will be a big focus— Sundar was also asked his thoughts on Apple’s recent announcements at its own WWDC developer conference earlier this month.

While noting that much of what Apple announced for iOS 8 were features that Android already had— third party keyboards, widgets, etc— Sundar said shipping a new version of Google Play every six weeks makes Android allows them to “move the platform faster than anyone else and provide a consistent layer for developers.” Next he addressed Tim Cook’s claim from WWDC that Apple is gaining lots of new customers from Android switchers: Read more

Chromecast adds streaming support for PBS Kids, DailyBurn, Stevie, and Deezer


Google this morning announced that its $35 streaming stick now supports four new services. Starting today, you can now cast content from PBS Kids, DailyBurn, Stevie, and Deezer to the Chromecast. DailyBurn users will now have access to all of the service’s HD workout videos to stream to the Chromecast. DailyBurn offers virtual workout classes raining from 15 minutes to over an hour-long with a variety of activities, such as cardio, yoga, and dancing.

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Galaxy Tab S review roundup: amazing screen, design, battery-life; poor software & performance


We recently gave you an early hands-on video look at Samsung’s new Galaxy Tab S announced earlier this month and due to go on sale on 27th June from $400. With the reviews now in, we thought we’d give you a round-up of the verdicts …

Engadget loved the screen, the battery-life and portability, but criticized the performance, ‘temperamental’ fingerprint scanner and fiddliness of the optional case connection.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S is good. Really good. With long battery life, a stunning screen and an especially thin and light design, it’s a near-perfect product. My main hang-up is that the performance doesn’t always feel as brisk as it should […]

In addition, the fingerprint scanner, though nice to have, can be temperamental — so much so that I’ve more than once locked myself out of my own tablet. That said, I believe Samsung can address these two minor performance issues via a software update. And even if it doesn’t, this is still an excellent piece of kit …

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Play Store revenues more than doubled, almost all of it from in-app purchases


New data from App Annie shows that revenue from apps downloaded via the Google Play store more than doubled between the first quarters of 2013 and 2014 – and that a staggering 98 percent of it comes from in-app purchases in apps that were free to download.

Games continue to dominate the charts, accounting for 40 percent of all downloads but 90 percent of revenues, up from 80 percent last year …  Read more