Report: Nexus 7 with 3G just 6 weeks away as Wi-Fi models hit Taiwan

Google’s popular Nexus 7 tablet, if you believe Paul O’Brien at MoDaC,  will get a 3G update sometime in mid-October just in time for the holidays. O’Brien specifically said 3G, but it would not be surprising to see 4G radios in there. In fact…it would be a huge mistake not to include at least HSPA+ radios, especially with Apple’s iPad mini on the horizon likely including a LTE option.

It would be interesting to see Google throw together a Chromebook-type plan from Verizon and other carriers in the U.S. and abroad. Google and Verizon offer users 100mb free each month for the first year on Chromebooks, but the deal probably hinges on Verizon exclusivity, which would be bad.

Meanwhile, three different carriers in Taiwan began taking pre-orders for the Nexus 7, which is made by Taiwanese-based maker ASUS.

That is a bad mockup, obviously. ->

Google honors Maria Montessori, whose teaching methods were used to educate both Google founders

Today’s Google Doodle is a special one that honors the 142nd birthday of Maria Montessori:

Montessori education is characterized by an emphasis on independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child’s natural psychological development, as well as technological advancements in society.

In a Wired article, called “An Unconventional CEO“, Steven Levy interviews former Google Vice President Marissa Mayer, who commented on Montessori.

“You can’t understand Google unless you know that both Larry and Sergey were Montessori kid,” Levy explained. “She’s referring to schools based on the education philosophy of Maria Montessori, an Italian physician born in 1870 who believed that children should be allowed the freedom to pursue their interests.”

“In a Montessori school, you go paint because you have something to express or you just want to do it that afternoon, not because the teacher said so,” articulated Mayer. “This is baked into how Larry and Sergey approach problems. They’re always asking, why should it be like that? It’s the way their brains were programmed early on.”

ICS-powered Kyocera Rise lands on Virgin Mobile for $99 without contract

Virgin Mobile USA now offers the Ice Cream Sandwich-powered Kyocera Rise for $99 without a contract.

The handset notably boasts Google Play access, and it features a touch slider with a QWERTY keyboard, 3.5-inch HVGA LCD touchscreen, 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon Processor, 500 mAh Li-Ion Battery, 3.2-megapixel camera with LED flash and video capture, 2GB SD card and microSD card slot with up to 32GB support, and Wi-Fi and Stereo Bluetooth connectivity.

Check it out: Kyocera Rise

The Rise is compatible with Virgin’s prepaid unlimited data and messaging Beyond Talk plans starting at $35 per month, and it is available at select retailers, online, and in Virgin Mobile stores. It will also roll out across national retail outlets starting in late September.

Not a bad price for a prepaid Android device equipped with ICS, eh?

A gallery is below.

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Reuters: Larry Page and Apple’s Tim Cook are communicating on patents

Google CEO Larry Page and Apple CEO Tim Cook are reportedly in talks regarding mobile patent disputes between the companies.

According to Reuters, which cited “people familiar with the matter,” both chiefs spoke on the phone last week while more discussions between “lower-level officials” are also underway:

Page and Cook are expected to talk again in the coming weeks, though no firm date has been set, the sources said. One source told Reuters that a meeting was scheduled for this Friday, but had been delayed for reasons that were unclear.

The two companies are keeping the lines of communication open at a high level against the backdrop of Apple’s decisive legal victory in a patent infringement case against Samsung, which uses Google’s Android software.

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Too bad to be fake: Amazon’s new Kindle Fire spotted? [Photo]

The Verge just posted a purported image of the new Kindle Fire:

We’re being told that a “pair” of Fires is likely — a 7- and a 10-incher — though it remains unclear whether both models will be introduced at the same time.

Amazon revealed earlier today that it “sold out” of the popular Kindle Fire eReader, which runs on a forked version of the Android OS, with additional news about the device supposedly capturing 22 percent of U.S. tablet sales. Amazon also recently announced a press conference for Sept. 6 in Los Angeles. The company typically holds media events for hardware launches, so many expected new Kindles, including an iPad-sized version or maybe even an Amazon phone, to come down the pipeline.

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Amazon’s Appstore for Android launches in Europe as Kindle Fire sells out claiming 22 percent of US tablet sales

Amazon has a bit of exciting Android-related news today: The mega online retailer announced the launch of its Appstore for Android in Europe and revealed its Android-powered Kindle Fire is currently sold out after gobbling up nearly one-fourth of United States tablet sales.

The Appstore opened in Germany, France, Italy and Spain for access to Android apps. Amazon also opened key features to European customers, such as: localized content and store for each country, popular Amazon benefits like “Free App of the Day, personalized recommendations, and one-click payments.

“Amazon has spent years developing innovative features that help customers find and discover the products that are right for them and have applied that know-how to the Amazon Appstore. We’re delighted to extend that experience to our European customers,” said Vice President of Amazon Appstore Jim Adkins in a press release.

As for the Android-powered Kindle Fire—it is the “most successful product launch in the history of Amazon.com” after capturing 22 percent of tablet sales in the U.S. With that said, Amazon recently announced a press conference for Sept. 6 in Los Angeles. The company typically holds media events for hardware launches, so we expect new Kindles, such as an iPad-sized version, or maybe even an Amazon phone, to come down the pipeline.

“We’re grateful to the millions of customers who have made Kindle Fire the most successful product launch in the history of Amazon,” said Amazon.com Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos in a press release. “Kindle Fire is sold out, but we have an exciting roadmap ahead—we will continue to offer our customers the best hardware, the best prices, the best customer service, the best cross-platform interoperability, and the best content ecosystem.”

The Kindle Fire debuted less than one year ago with a huge catalog of multimedia content including 22 million movies, games, books and more.

Check out the full press releases below.

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Google looks to sell Motorola’s set-top box business for as much as $2B

It was rumored earlier this year that Google looked to sell Motorola’s set-top box and television equipment business. Google is continuing its plans to sell, as Bloomberg reported this afternoon. The Mountain View-based company has hired firm Barclays to look for buyers. Google is said to be looking for up to $2 billion in the deal, but the sale is in its very early stages so the exact terms are not clear.

Since Google and Motorola’s $12.5 billion deal went official this summer, Motorola has gone through several changes company-wide. The most notable change was when up to 4,000 employees were laid off…on top of 30 of Motorola’s 90 facilities worldwide being shut down. Furthermore, there have been several executive changes as the company looks to get back into creating some serious mobile devices. Selling off their television business may help them reach that goal with extra cash in hand. [BloombergRead more

Samsung’s Galaxy Camera unveiled: Everything you love about Android in a point-and-shoot camera (hands-on!)

With Nikon and Polaroid getting ready to launch their Android-powered cameras as early as September, Samsung officially unveiled its entrance into the market today in Berlin with its first dedicated point-and-shoot running Android. While recent rumors pointed to the possibility of a device with specs close to those announced for Nikon’s Coolpix S800c, Samsung unveiled a 4.8-inch device with specs closer to its own Galaxy S III.

We were able to get some hands-on time with the device and were quite impressed…to say the least. Put simply, the Galaxy Camera is everything you love about an Android device in a quality point-and-shoot camera (minus voice calling). It includes full Google Play access, Wi-Fi/3G/4G (HSPA+), and voice control on a full-sized display like the Galaxy S III.

More specs below and hands-on BELOW:

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Samsung unveils bigger and better 5.5.-inch Galaxy Note 2 with Jelly Bean and redesigned S Pen

Samsung officially took the wraps off its next-generation Galaxy Note today with the introduction of a bigger-and-faster Galaxy Note 2. While it is not a huge departure from the previous generation, the new device packs a larger 5.5-inch HD Super AMOLED display while introducing an even slimmer frame at just 9.4mm.

While the majority of Samsung’s presentation focused on the new redesigned S Pen and features, it also made a point of explaining its goals for the device. Samsung said its device included three emerging customer desires: Better & Faster Discovery, Advanced Multitasking, and Free Capture & Expression.

To meet goals for the Galaxy Note 2, Samsung introduced a number of new features mainly geared to faster multitasking and creative expression using a new, longer S Pen that sports a better grip and rubber tip. On top of being greeted with a contextual page for performing multiple tasks upon pulling out the S Pen, it now includes a previewing tool called “Air View” that is accessible in many apps. So, when hovering over videos from your videos app or photos from the redesigned gallery app with the S Pen, a preview will now pop up within the same window. The feature is further useful for visually searching a scene within a video without stopping or losing your place.

One other interesting new S Pen feature allows you to quickly enter a command using the S Pen. Holding the Pen’s button and drawing a line up activates the feature and provides a new dialog where you can jot down, for instance, “@Jason”. This could then open the email app with your contact details for Jason preloaded.

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Sony adds ICS-powered Xperia T, Xperia V and Xperia J smartphones and Xperia Tablet S to its lineup [Photos]

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Sony Mobile Communications just unveiled a new range of Xperia smartphones and its first Xperia tablet at IFA in Berlin.

“This year’s IFA marks an important milestone for Sony and Sony Mobile Communications. Xperia smartphones are at the heart of Sony’s mobile strategy of delivering a consistent user experience across devices, enabling consumers to easily and quickly access the world of entertainment that Sony delivers,” announced Sony Mobile President and CEO Kunimasa Suzuki in a press release.

The Xperia Tablet S is set to release Sept. 7, and the Xperia T will also launch globally over the next few weeks, where as the Xperia V and Xperia J will launch globally in Q4 2012. Pricing details are not available at this time.

Check out the devices below.

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Nielsen: Google dominates Mobile Maps…for now

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According to the latest Nielsen survey, Google is dominating the Travel Mobile Apps usage space, which in turn represents 95 percent of travel smartphone usage (the other 5 percent being mobile web usage—which Google also dominates). The numbers below show Google’s Maps app on both Android and iOS (to be clear the Maps app on iOS is built by Apple and pre-iOS 6 uses Google’s map tiles).

It will be interesting to see what happens to this data when Apple’s iOS6 goes final next month and all of those iOS users use Apple’s maps by default. I anticipate a major slide unless Google presents a compelling Maps application for iOS that keeps Apple users coming back for more. Read more

T-Mobile Galaxy SII gets mobile wallet support!…for ISIS

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The folks at Google Wallet cannot be too pleased about this. Long after the rollout of Google Wallet, it is still almost impossible to get the app on any phone that does not run on Sprint’s network. ISIS, a competing mobile platform, counts carriers AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon among its supporters. The group seems to block any competing mobile wallet platform on their devices…even Google’s platform.
T-Mobile Support via AndroidPolice