Google’s MVNO to offer pay-per gigabyte plans, rollover data, accompanying app, more

nexus2cee_project_fi_hero_thumbGoogle’s wireless network has been rumored for several months now, with the most recent report claiming that it hopes to offer free international roaming. Android Police has now dug into a leaked app from Google that appears to pair with its wireless network. The app offers information regarding the payment structure, activation, and more.

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SolarCity offers free Nest smart thermostat to first 10,000 new customers in California

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SolarCity has partnered with Nest to offer a free Nest Learning Thermostat to the next 10,000 customers in California to sign up for solar panels.

This special offer combines two home energy solutions that can cut power bills as well as homeowners’ carbon footprint, and allows homeowners to experience these benefits with one easy package through SolarCity. 

The offer includes the company’s no-upfront-cost deals – the only conditions are that you have a Nest-compatible air-conditioning system and that you agree to connect Nest to SolarCity, most likely to allow it to collect anonymized data …  Read more

Alcatel OneTouch announces April 21 pre-order date for Idol 3, promo $250 price tag

 

Idol-3-X2-premium_5.51Alcatel first showed off its Idol 3 budget smartphone at Mobile World Congress about a month ago, and now the company has come out to announce the phone’s availability and pricing. The 5.5-inch version of the phone will be available for pre-order unlocked at an exclusive online price of $249.99 starting on April 21st, and orders will start shipping in May. Retail price for the phone will be a slightly higher $279. Read more

On Apple Watch review day, Google announces Android Wear watch faces cross 1000…and straps!

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Google is trying to prevent Apple Watch news from stealing 100% of the spotlight with some minor Android Wear advances today including announcing over 1000 watch faces available for Android Wear.

Function and fashion. The watch has always been a great mix of both, and with Android Wear, we’re working with an ecosystem of manufacturers and developers to help you get more done and dress things up, right on your wrist. Today we’re adding even more ways to express your personal style.

There are now more than one thousand different watch faces available for Android Wear—from ones that match your clothes, to ones with napping cats, to ones that show the stars. To help you find your favorites, we’ve expanded our hand-picked collection on Google Play. So try a watch face on for size, and change things up as often as you want.

Google is also getting into the curated strap game with a number of different options from different makers:

Most Android Wear watches use industry standard 22mm bands, so you can choose almost any strap for your device. Starting this week, you can also explore a curated set of options from E3 Supply Co., Worn & Wound, and Clockwork Synergy.

While these definitely aren’t what I’d call Watch platform differentiators, it is good to see Google isn’t giving up without a bit of a fight.

YouTube Kids app “deceptive to children,” say consumer groups in FTC complaint

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The YouTube Kids app, launched in February to provide access to family-friendly videos on both Android and iOS, has been accused by around a dozen consumer groups of being “deceptive to children” in the way it mixes ads into programming. The NY Times reports that a formal complaint to the Federal Trade Commission is expected to be filed today.

[The complaint] argues, in essence, that YouTube is using advertising tactics like “host selling” – having cartoon characters sell products inside their show – that would be illegal if they were on television instead of online.

The groups argue that the app should be held to the same standards that apply to TV shows …  Read more

Entire Star Wars saga headed to Google Play this Friday with tons of new bonus material, pre-orders now available

Disney announced today that the entire Star Wars saga will finally be available for digital HD download later this week, marking the first time ever that the films have been offered in this format. As confirmed in the TV spot above and the Google Play tweet below, the entire collection will be available to purchase from the Google Play Store this Friday, with pre-orders already up and running for $89.99.

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Android co-founder Andy Rubin announces Playground Global, a tech hardware incubator

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It was announced last year that Android co-founder Andy Rubin was leaving Google to pursue his interest in starting an incubator for startups interested in building technology hardware products. The Wall Street Journal reports today that Rubin is launching a tech incubator called Playground Global LLC. Rubin’s company hopes to provide support and advice to tech startups in search of a helping hand.

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Google reportedly looking to offer free international roaming with its MVNO

Google Personal Search

Reports of a Google MVNO have been circulating for a few months now, with Google itself even adding fuel to the fire. Today, The Telegraph reports that one of Google’s goals with its wireless network is to offer free international roaming to its customers. The report claims that Google is in talks with Hong Kong-based Huchison Whampoa, the owner of Three and soon O2, regarding its ambitions.

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Next version of Chrome will stop trusting many Chinese websites as Google responds to security breach

cnnic

Users trying to connect to many websites in China through Chrome will soon see a message that the website’s security certificate is not trusted, advising against proceeding.

In a far-reaching response to a recently security breach, Google plans to cease recognizing all web security certificates issued by the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) – which includes many government, banking and ecommerce sites in the country …  Read more

Report: EU preparing to file antitrust charges against Google

File photo shows people walking by a YouTube sign at the new Google office in Toronto

According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, the European Commission is preparing to file antitrust charges against Google. The charges come after a five-year long investigation that’s stalled three times and caused strong political divides in Europe.

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