Audi, Google expected to announce Android-based in-car entertainment system

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A new report out of the Wall Street Journal indicates Audi and Google will jointly announce a new in-car entertainment and information system at next weeks Consumer Electronics Show. The aim of both companies is to “allow drivers and passengers to access music, navigation, apps, and services that are similar to those widely available now on Android-powered smartphones.”

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The 9to5Google top Android stories of 2013

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As the clock continues to click away to January 1st, we’re taking a look at our last top 9to5Google subject post of 2013. This time around we’ve saved the best for last as we look back at the last year in Android and the top 5 most read stories as determined by you, the 9to5Google reader. Perhaps the inevitable news is that 3 out of 5 or 60% of the top stories surround KitKat and its release. There were quite a few happenings in Android this year, but none more notable than the launch of the latest version of Android which has long been known as Key Lime Pie. Ultimately, Google decided on KitKat and announced the release with a partnership with the KitKat candy bar…which is exactly our kind of partnership. Facebook took its own stab at Android this year with Facebook Home and the HTC First, a story we’ll get to a little later on. I think it’s safe to call 2013 more of an evolutionary year in Android more so than revolutionary, but still another year where the platform surged in growth and adoption.

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Android developers blog highlights “Beautiful Design Winter 2013 Collection” on Google Play

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For the second time this year, Google’s Android Developers Blog is highlighting some of the best designed apps for the Android platform. We all know that app design guidelines can be used to ensure a great user experience so it’s no surprise Google chose 11 apps this time around that “go above and beyond the [design] guidelines.”

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Google sues Apple/Microsoft-backed consortium Rockstar, not the makers of Grand Theft Auto

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Google is making moves this week to protect its Android partners as the Apple, Microsoft-backed “Rockstar” patent group seeks to sue numerous Android partners. Google has asked a San Jose court for a declaratory judgement to rule that Google and thereby the Android ecosystem does not violate seven of Rockstar’s patents.

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Android 4.4 now rolling out to the Moto G, here’s what’s new

Last week, Motorola announced that the Moto G would soon begin to be updated to Android 4.4 KitKat. Today, it looks like the update has finally started rolling out to users, as both Seth and I have received the update on our respective Moto G devices. The update comes in at roughly 191MB and bumps the device to build number 172.44.4.en.US.

New in the update are many of the changes we’ve come to know and love in KitKat. For one, all the new white-gradiants are present, replacing the blue, as is the new transparent notification bar. Not included is the new launcher found on the Nexus 5, though Google touts that as being exclusive to Nexus devices. You can always side load it, of course. Motorola also touts that new camera controls, such as manual focus and exposure, are included, though that was also included in an update to the Motorola Camera app on Google Play.

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And the best OEM of 2013 is…LG or Motorola?

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While the world may be looking at Samsung with loving eyes thanks to the wild success of the Galaxy line, I wouldn’t call 2013 the year of the Samsung. Instead, I’m prepared to give that title to the folks at Motorola with a dose of LG on the side. There’s little question that Motorola roared back this year with the Moto X and the Moto G just boosted their game at the very end of the year. That’s not to say LG didn’t have a great year, but with the success and great reviews of the Nexus 5 comes disappointing sales of their flagship the LG G2.

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Amazon offering $5 Appstore credit for downloading any app, freebies include Where’s My Perry, Angry Birds Star Wars II

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Through the holidays, Amazon is offering a $5 App Store credit to anyone who downloads an app from the newest version of the company’s Android Appstore. The promotion will run from December 24th through December 28th. The $5 credit will be valid on any apps, games, and in-app purchases in the Amazon Appstore (via SlickDeals).

In addition to the $5 credit, Amazon is also offering more many paid apps for free over the next week. On December 25th, Amazon will be offering a “Free App of the Day Welcome Pack,” which includes things like a note taking app, alarm clock, and more. On the 26th, Amazon will be offering Office Suite Pro 7 for $.99, down from $4.99.

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Twitter tipster shows off another image for Nokia’s rumored Android device

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Perhaps one of the greatest “what could have been” stories in recent (tech) times is definitively the question of what Nokia would be like today had they gone with Android over Windows Phone? There’s little question Nokia’s fortunes might have changed dramatically and as a result, the fortunes of every other Android OEM not named Samsung.

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