LG unveils ICS-powered LG Optimus G for AT&T and Sprint networks [Gallery]

LG just announced its “PC-like” LG Optimus G coming to the United States on AT&T and Sprint networks.

The 8.4-mm thin, LTE-capable smartphone runs Ice Cream Sandwich, and it packs Qualcomm’s 1.5 GHz Quad-Core CPU Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2GB RAM, 32GB storage memory, Bluetooth 4.0, and a 2100 mAh Li-Polymer battery. Oh, and the LG Optimus G boasts a 4.7-inch True HD IPS Plus display.

AT&T’s variant has an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, but Sprint will only offer a 13-megapixel camera. Software features range from a QSlide Function for showing two different screens simultaneously to taking brief notes on captured documents or photos via QuickMemo.

Unfortunately, there are no additional details regarding color options, pricing, or availability. So, check out the press releases below and keep checking back for more.

A gallery is below, too.

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Google officially launches Google Wallet for web content

We knew it was coming when Google leaked a rough draft of its blog post announcing the feature, but today Google is making things official for Google Wallet for web content. The experimental feature will allow Google Wallet users to purchase web content ranging from 25- to 99 cents for individual webpages with a 30 minute instant refund window, ads, and perpetual access to content for users.

On a website highlighting the new feature, Google explained how the process works. Content owners will be able to embed a Google Wallet banner on a webpage, provide users with a free sample of content, and offer users the ability to purchase with one click. Google has examples of the banner already implemented on websites, including this page on peachpit.com.  When visiting, users can scroll about half way down the page before the banner appears and the user is prompted to pay with Google Wallet. Google noted that users wanting to sell content for more than $1 should instead use its digital goods/games option.

The company already has a few partners using the Google Wallet for content solution, including Oxford University Press, DK publishing, and Pearson’s Peachpit. Publishers interested in offering their web content can submit a partner inquiry hereRead more

YouTube rolling out improved Content ID & new appeals process

YouTube is rolling out some nice improvements for content owners by announcing on the Official YouTube Blog some improvements to Content ID and a new appeals process for copyright claims. YouTube launched Content ID five years ago allowing content owners to upload reference files to automatically identify user-uploaded videos that contain content belonging to them. In a blog post, YouTube explained an updated appeals process would allow users to address rejected disputes related to claims detected by Content ID:

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Google patent filing illustrates Google Glass-like smart watch

Another day, another patent filing. Better yet—another watch patent.

Between the Pebble, Sony, Nike, and even Apple’s spin on the wearable Nano, there are plenty of smart watches going around these days. Google—however—wants to kick it up a notch. A new patent surfaced recently that depicts a Mountain View-branded wristwatch with Google Glass-like capabilities.

The timepiece, according to design filings with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, features a transparent display that doubles as a second screen when flipped up from the base. The displays give access to Google apps, such as Gmail and Maps, and they provide real-time data for directions, notifications, products, etc.

Yes, this also means Google would have another platform for serving up ads. Enter the Google Glass similarities. The patent filing indicated the smart watch could track users’ surroundings, and it would then offer related products, points of interest, information, or practically anything else aggregated and related to the watch’s GPS coordinates.

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Google touts Google Map API on new Morethanamap.com website

Google Maps API Product Manager Ken Hoetmer shows off Google’s new Mapping API website: Morethanamap.com.

Through morethanamap.com you’ll learn how developers can embed popular Google Maps features like Street View, public transit directions, location data, and advanced data visualization capabilities into their website or app. The interactive demos on morethanamap.com show how these features are ready to be added to any website or app.

With Apple’s switch from Google Maps to its own mapping solution, Maps have been thrust into the foreground. Google hopes to build on its strengths by getting developers (more) involved. There are many videos on the #Morethanamap Google Plus page.

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Google launches Chrome customer support and CardDAV sync protocol for Apps customers

Google is making some big improvements to the customer experience for Google Apps customers by using its Chrome browser. Over on the Official Google Enterprise Blog, Google’s manager of Google Apps Technical Solutions Engineers Fred Beckebanze announced the company is adding both phone and email support for App customers with questions about Chrome. In the post, Google explained customers could now receive support for “Chrome installation, functionality, security, browser policy settings and Google Apps interoperability for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.”

In other Google Apps news, customers will now have access to the CardDAV protocol that Google rolled out to iOS and other devices last week. Google’s description of the protocol, which allows easier syncing of Google contacts to third-party clients, is below:’
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T-Mobile to solve its LTE problem by merging with MetroPCS

It looks like the No. 4 and No. 5 U.S. carriers will now be one if they can get by Federal Communications Commission regulatory approval.

Both carriers are big Android supporters (neither carry Apple’s iPhone); MetroPCS’s 3G network is CDMA, but T-Mobile’s is HSPA+, so they will not be able to share signal with customers on each other’s network. T-Mobile is likely thinking long term, though, considering Metro PCS has been building a LTE network since 2010. The knock on MetroPCS is that it does not have the backhaul to support the speedy LTE lines. T-Mobile could come in handy there.

It is not clear if the combined entity would surpass Sprint to become the country’s third-largest carrier.

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Google reveals plans to sell web content with Google Wallet

Google reportedly published and then removed a rough draft on its Google Commerce blog about it soon allowing Google Wallet users to purchase Web content, but 9to5Google was able to grab a cached version of the deleted post.

“Today we are announcing Google Wallet for web content – an experiment designed to help content creators bring more of this high-quality content to the web,” announced the company in the draft. “Google Wallet has several interesting features that help your readers feel comfortable buying your web content.”

A few of the features include:

  • Buy web pages individually —Users can buy what they desire with prices ranging from 25 cents to 99 cents.
  • Instant Refund if they don’t like the content — Available within 30 minutes of purchasing, but Google is keeping a close eye to prevent excessive refunding.
  • Long preview content — Search engines rank articles based on the free preview content, so users should make long previews to rank well.
  • Rich obfuscated content —Users can show what is available for purchase in an obfuscated version of the page.
  • Single secure payment method — Allows users to buy web content with the same Google Wallet account linked across all Google products.
  • Provide perpetual access — Content belongs to a user for forever once bought, and Google even provides an archive service to support perpetual access if website expires.
  • Compatible with ads — Allows ads to run alongsidpreview content, so users can get an ad impression without relying on folks to buy the content.

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New Chrome Beta includes improved real-time audio/video calling, HTML5 track support

Google announced on the Chromium Blog today a new Chrome Beta release that includes a number of new features to make it easier for developers to create web apps with HTML5 video and audio/video calling. In the blog post, Google’s Justin Uberti explained the new release of Chrome now includes the PeerConnection API that allows developers to implement real-time voice and video calling features without using a plug-in:

Together, PeerConnection and the getUserMedia API represent the next steps in WebRTC, a new standard which aims to allow high quality video, audio, and data communications on the web. Check out this funky video chat demo to see how the PeerConnection API can be combined with other web technologies to create fun new video chat experiences. To start the video chat demo, send the url to a friend.

As for HTML5 video, today’s Chrome Beta update includes track support that provides developers with an easy way to include metadata, chapters, captions, subtitles, and other features in HTML5 video content using HTML DOM and JavaScript. Google also announced it added the Media Source API for adjusting video playback backed on network conditions. In the image above, we see a video enhanced with track to include a Google Map and StreetView.

More benefits of track support and a demo video is below:

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Study: Samsung Galaxy S III sales spike following Apple verdict & iPhone 5 launch

A new report out of research firm Localytics today suggested sales of Samsung’s Galaxy S III have been growing on a weekly basis with huge spikes following the Samsung/Apple trial and the iPhone 5 introduction. As highlighted in the graphic above, Samsung experienced a 16 percent increase in growth the week of the Apple trial verdict, when compared to just 8 percent the week before, and an average of 9 percent per week since Aug. 1. After the launch of the iPhone 5, new device growth for the S III again jumped to 15 percent compared to 0 percent growth the previous week.

That combined with the slowdown in new Galaxy S3 growth seen leading up to Apple’s announcement (week-over-week new devices were the same as the previous week, resulting in 0% growth) suggest that many consumers were waiting to hear about the new iPhone before making a decision… Note that the average week-over-week growth of 9% means that every week 9% more Galaxy S3 handsets were added than the week before. This also means that the growth effects are cumulative, so while the Samsung device’s weekly new device growth slowed some weeks, it is still adding handsets at a remarkable rate.

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Time Warner Cable and AT&T want Google’s Kansas City Fiber deal

A new report from The Wall Street Journal claimed AT&T and Time Warner Cable are approaching Kansas City officials in an attempt to get the same deal Google has for its Google Fiber gigabit Internet service in the city. According to the report, the companies are after the same free office space, assets, and infrastructure, and government employees the city has agreed to provide Google:

Among the sweeteners granted Google by both cities are free office space and free power for Google’s equipment, according to the agreement on file with the cities. The company also gets the use of all the cities’ “assets and infrastructure”—including fiber, buildings, land and computer tools, for no charge. Both cities are even providing Google a team of government employees “dedicated to the project.”… For the past few months Time Warner Cable has been negotiating with Kansas City, Kan.,to get a “parity agreement” granting it the same concessions as Google got, the city and the company says. Time Warner Cable has already signed such a deal with Kansas City, Mo… AT&T also has approached Kansas City, Mo., for the same deal, according to a person familiar with the matter.

People power: Gmail goes live in Iran after one-week block

Theocratic countries have blocked Google’s products left and right, but a new report from Reuters today indicated Iran is lifting its one-week-old block on Gmail due to a flurry of official complaints.

According to Reuters:

Iranian authorities have reopened access to Google Inc’s email service a week after blocking it, a government official and Iranians said on Monday.

Iran maintains one of the world’s largest Internet filters, blocking access to tens of thousands of websites on the grounds that they are criminal or immoral, but the block on Gmail had even prompted complaints in parliament.

Gmail reportedly went live again for Iranians Sunday night, after an official announced on Sept. 23 that Iran would block YouTube throughout the country “until further notice.” Committee Member Mohammad Reza Aghamiri told the Mehr news agency that Gmail’s ban was an ” unintended consequence” of trying to block YouTube. Various local news agencies attributed the banning of YouTube to a controversial anti-Islam film posted on Google’s video-sharing platform.

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