Google once again facing anti-trust investigation in Europe over Android marketshare

Android-L-Preview-Nexus

Google is no stranger to anti-trust lawsuits—especially when it comes to the popularity of its Android platform and the first-party app installation requirements to which it holds third-party handset makers—but European anti-trust regulators are preparing to bring a case against the search giant over that very issue.

It’s already been established in previous cases that in order to use the latest version of Android on their handsets, manufacturers must agree to also install a set of Google-branded apps, such as YouTube and Gmail. The European anti-trust regulators argue that this is an abuse of Google’s 80% marketshare that should be stopped.

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Samsung scores a trio of patents for smartwatches with round faces

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A lot of Android Wear enthusiasts are holding out for the Moto 360 strictly because of its casual appearance. So far most smartwatches have square faces that make them look more like a gadget and less like a fashion statement. While that may work for some people, others are looking for a timepiece that compliments their wardrobe, hence the Moto 360’s popularity. However, some recently awarded patents suggests that Motorola’s forthcoming smartwatch may eventually receive some round competition from Samsung.

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FreedomPop brings its free voice, text & data plans to tablets including a $199 Samsung Galaxy Tab 3

FreedomPop-Galaxy-tab-3

FreedomPop, the carrier offering free and cheap data plans on Sprint’s network, today announced that it’s bringing its free voice, data, and text plans to tablet users starting with the iPad mini and Samsung Tab 3. Since LTE iPads only support data over their cellular connection, the carrier provides iPad users with Apple headsets with mics for making calls and an app that routes calls/texts through its own VoIP platform.

While there are competitors like Skype that enable VoIP calling on iPads already, FreedomPop has a couple things going for it. The company’s CEO Stephen Stokols notes that “unlike some apps, we actually provision a new unique phone number and enable voice mail, number porting, etc, on it” …  Read more

Samsung & Apple lose share to smaller Chinese OEMs in Q2 smartphone shipment numbers

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Following releasing its second quarter data for tablet shipments worldwide, IDC today released its Q2 2014 report for smartphone shipments during the three month period that ended in June. The numbers line up with Apple’s fiscal Q3 earnings call that took place earlier this month where the company reported iPhone sales of 35.1 million units for the quarter. With 295.3 million units shipped total during Q2, IDC notes that both Samsung and Apple lost share to the smaller Chinese manufacturers: Read more

SwiftKey updated with performance improvements and new themes

SwiftKey

SwiftKey received an update today that resolves some of the keyboard app’s recent performance issues. According to the software’s changelog, users should experience improved typing, loading times, translations, and several other bug fixes for glitches that caused force closes. In addition to some much needed technical improvements, SwiftKey announced the availability of five new themes: Spotlight Purple, Edge Green, Pulse Yellow, Pulse Pink and Hazy Pink.  If you’re interested in upgrading the look and feel of your keyboard, the outfit is holding a special summer sale that discounts prices on select themes by up to 33 percent.

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