Motorola sends invites to August 1st X Phone event

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Motorola has just sent out invites to an August 1st press event in New York (via Business Insider). The invite simply reads “Moto X,” so it seems pretty clear what the star of the show will be. You can even see the back of the device in the lower right corner of the image. It’s also worth noting that the X in “Moto X” is very similar to past Nexus devices, which shows some Google influence.

The X Phone hasn’t exactly been the best kept secret by Motorola. We’ve seen numerous leaked images and specs for it, with Google chairman Eric Schmidt even caught using the device in public. The X Phone is expected to be highly customizable and affordable. At the AllThingsD conference in May, Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside teased that it would be available on all major U.S. carriers and be manufactured in Texas. Yesterday, Motorola tweeted a picture teasing the USA manufacturing process.

As far as release dates go, we’ve seen documents suggesting an August 23rd launch for Verizon and an August 26th launch for U.S. Cellular, and now that we know when the event is being held, those dates seem pretty plausible. Read more

Report claims Sony readying Carl Zeiss camera lens attachment for smartphones w/ built-in 20.2MP sensor

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A new report claims Sony plans to launch an attachment for smartphones that will include a camera lens with built-in sensor, battery, and memory, and connect to a smartphone over NFC or WiFi. The report comes from SonyAlphaRumors, which claims this rumor comes from its top sources (opposed to some of the other stories it often posts from anonymous tipsters and less reliable sources).

There aren’t a ton of details about exactly how the lens would work in terms of integrating with a smartphone, but we’d imagine it would come with a companion app to drive the experience. The report claims it will pack in the same 20.2 MP sensor and Carl Zeiss lens as its $750 DSC-RX100M II digital camera, indicating its price tag might be on the high-end compared to similar camera lens attachments. Another version with a “smaller sensor and larger zoom” is also reportedly in the works.

The site notes that “You can mount it on the smartphone but also use it separately,” which we assume means it will act as a wireless viewfinder of sorts. Read more

Next-gen Nexus 7 specs leak: 1.5GHz quad-core, wireless charging, SlimPort 1080p support, Android 4.3

7-19-2013nexus7productinfo2Previous leaks already provided a look at some of the specs coming in Google’s next generation Nexus 7 tablet that will likely make an appearance at the company’s upcoming July 24th event. We already heard it would come with 1.2MP and 5MP cameras, 4GB of DDR3L RAM, Android 4.3, and start at $229 when it finally hits stores. Today’s leak, via Engadget, provides more specifics:

According to the pic, there’s a quad-core 1.5GHz CPU with the still-unannounced Android 4.3 as the OS. The 7-inch screen size remains, though it’s unclear if there’s a resolution bump to accompany it. Also on board are a pair of cameras: 1.2MP up front and 5MP around back. The two more unexpected tidbits are the addition of Slim Port support for playing 1080p video on your TV, as well as wireless charging.

It’s all but confirmed that we’ll be seeing the new device during Breakfast with Sundar Pichai next week, as the latest retail leak shows that stores will start receiving the device on the 20th.  Read more

Huawei on government allegations it aids Chinese espionage: ‘That’s Racist!’

Photo: Huffington Post

Photo: Huffington Post

Chinese electronics company Huawei has responded to claims by both US and UK governments that it is involved in state-sponsored hacking by describing the allegations as ‘racist corporate defamation.’

It has been suggested that Huawei may be directly supplying information to the Chinese authorities, based on knowledge gleaned about communications networks when supplying networking equipment, with some suggesting that the equipment itself may contain backdoors designed to allow access by the Chinese government. The House Intelligence Committee went as far as advising US companies to stop doing business with Huawei …  Read more

Leaked US Cellular doc points to August 26 launch for Moto X

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The teases for Motorola’s much rumored, upcoming Moto X smartphone keep coming. We already got a look at the device in the hands of Google’s Eric Schmidt, and a leaked video from Rogers confirmed an August release date and some exclusive features like always listening voice control. Today we get what might very well be proof of a solid release date for the device with a leaked memo from US Cellular (via AndroidCentral) pointing to an August 26th launch.

Earlier this month, another document allegedly leaked from Verizon pointed to an August 23 launch for the device, which likely means we’ll see the device launch on a number of carriers that week.

Read more

Larry Page talks numbers, Motorola, Chromebooks & more at Q2 earnings [Transcript]

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Many expected Larry Page to talk about the upcoming Motorola Moto X smartphone at today’s earnings call, but unfortunately Page didn’t have much to say about the project. Other than saying he’s very excited about what unit has in store, Page didn’t spend long talking Motorola, possibly because it reported a $342 million operating loss and got rid of around 10K employees during the quarter.

Page did talk numbers– most of which we already knew– such as 900M Android activations (1.5M a day) and 750M Chrome users. He also confirmed that Google Play has surpassed 50B app downloads, a milestone that we knew the service was about to hit. Page said the company paid more to app devs in 2013 than in all of 2012, although he failed to mention any specific numbers.

As for Chromebooks, Page said the product line is growing fast and generally avoiding the general PC trend, but again didn’t provide a lot of specifics.

Head below the break to read Page’s full comments from the earnings call: Read more

Gov’t officials & security experts attempt to crack LoJack anti-theft app on Samsung Galaxy S4

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Last month, three days before Apple, Google and other technology companies were scheduled to meet government officials for a summit on increasing smartphone crime, Apple announced at its developer conference that iOS 7 would include a brand new theft deterrent feature. At the meeting in June, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon announced the “Our Smartphones Initiative” to bring together police and other government agencies to help tackle the problem. Now, Gascón and New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman are hosting the first meeting of the group and attempting to crack not only Apple’s new “Activation Lock” feature, but also LoJack running on a Samsung Galaxy S4 (via Cnet): Read more

LTE-capable LG Optimus F3 now available from Virgin Mobile for $180 off-contract

LG Optimus F3

Virgin Mobile has announced that it is now carrying the LG Optimus F3 for $179.99 when purchased with its “Beyond Talk” plan, which runs $35 a month and includes unlimited data and messaging. 

The Optimus F3 is packing a 1.2GHz dual-core processor with 4G LTE capabilities and Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. It has a 4-inch IPS display that helps it keep a “user-friendly form factor.” The home button can also light up in various colors depending on any missed notifications you have, such as texts, calls, and more. Finally, LG is touting that the 2,460mAh battery will last for 16 hours of talk time. 

For $180, the LTE capable Optimus F3 seems like a solid choice for budget minded customers.  Read more

Leaked Android 4.3 build available for Nexus 4 – get it while it lasts

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A link has been posted in the XDAdevelopers forum of an Android 4.3 build for the Nexus 4. This follows an earlier leaked version for the Google Edition of the Samsung S4 and likely more before google’s July 24th unveiling.

While the dropbox link posted to the forum soon stopped working, MoDaCo has mirrored the file on MEGA.

Posted just this morning on the XDA-Developers website, the build is currently in TWRP backup format so you’ll need to ensure you have the custom recovery installed, push the files to your TWRP backup directory on /sdcard and then restore …  Read more

HTC teases it has a “little bit of news” coming tomorrow

On Twitter, HTC’s UK division has just posted a teaser for an announcement it has coming tomorrow. The company says that it will have a “little bit of news tomorrow.” This seems like a not-so subtle hint that the HTC One mini will be the center of attention, especially when given the image, which shows an HTC One variant just barely sticking out of someone’s pocket.

We’ve heard a lot about the smaller HTC One. The phone will supposedly feature a 4.3-inch display (versus the 4.7-inch panel on the original device), 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, and a 4MP UltraPixel camera. Several reports have already pegged the device for a launch sometime this month, and with this tweet, that appears to be coming to fruition.

We’ll be sure to keep an eye out for an official HTC One Mini announcement tomorrow.  Read more

Right on cue, here’s your new Nexus 7 in images and video

In what has been a crazy day for Nexus 7 successor leaks, Android Central has just posted a gallery of images of what it believes is the next Nexus tablet. The report claims that the device will again be manufactured by ASUS and come in 16GB and 32GB models.

The tablet features two cameras, a 1.2MP shooter on the front and a 5MP rear facer, made by Chicony.

As far as specs go, the Nexus 7 v2 is listed as having a Qualcomm APQ8064 motherboard with a Snapdragon S4 pro processor. The device is also said to have a whopping 4GB of DDR3L RAM, though Android Central notes that these specs may not be final. The tablet will also supposedly feature stereo speakers. These specs are exactly the same as what KGI analyst Mingchi Kuo predicted way back in May of this year.

Design wise, the device features a look similar to the original model. The volume rocker and power button are on the left hand side, while the microUSB port is on the bottom. It appears to be relatively thick for a 7-inch tablet and is made out of what looks like a rubber material…. Read more