Google confirms stock Android HTC One launching June 26 on Google Play for $599


Live from his D11 interview today (live blog here), Google’s head of Android Sundar Pichai just confirmed the rumors of a stock Android HTC One. The device will officially be launching on Google Play on June 26th, alongside Samsung’s Galaxy S4, for $599. HTC also announced the device on its blog today:

Response to the HTC One has been phenomenal with reviewers praising the gorgeous design and innovative features. We’ve paired the stunning all-metal unibody with innovative HTC Sense features and the result is something truly remarkable. Now, we’re excited to offer HTC fans and admirers alike a new experience on what we think is the best hardware available today.

The stock Android HTC One will come with 32GB, an unlockable bootloader, and will be SIM-unlocked for GSM networks like T-Mobile and AT&T when it goes on sale at the end of next month– the same day as the recently announced stock Galaxy S4. The new stock ‘Nexus experience’ HTC One will initially only be available to users in the US.

You can see how the new Nexus experience HTC One stacks up against the Developer Edition and SIM unlocked version direct from HTC in the comparison chart below: Read more

Controversy as Google shifts to publicizing critical vulnerabilities after just 7 days



The Verge spotted a controversial post on Google’s Online Security Blog in which the company says it will now publish security vulnerabilities discovered by its security researchers after just seven days rather than the existing sixty.

The policy affects what Google terms “critical vulnerabilities under active exploitation” – in other words, weaknesses that can do Bad Stuff to users and which are already being used by attackers …  Read more

Hit pirates where it hurts – in their pockets, argues Google



Google has responded to calls from entertainment companies to block torrent sites from search results by arguing that it would make more sense to starve them of ad revenue.

TorrentFreak (via BGR) reported on a debate in which Google’s UK Policy Manager, Theo Bertram, said that attempting to block pirate sites from search results is ineffective, because the same content immediately reappears on a new site.

“Blocking websites, I don’t think is as effective as going after them as a business,” he said, using the now-defunct Megaupload as an example.

“The supply that was going to Megaupload had simply shifted to a whole new range of middle-ranking pirate sites. My worry is if we’re going after them one at a time with blocking, you start getting into the whac-a-mole thing.” …  Read more

Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside introduces Moto X at D11 [full video]

The big news out of the event was obviously the Moto X but there was a lot more to talk about.

European Commissioner “almost 100% certain” to reject Google’s antitrust proposals


EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia has told the European Parliament that he is “almost 100% certain” to reject the proposals Google has put forward to address concerns that it is abusing its dominant position in web search to stifle competition, reports Bloomberg.

Google’s proposals, described in more detail in our previous coverage, effectively amount to a commitment to:

  • clearly separate sponsored links from organic search results, and to link to rival search services
  • allow publishers to choose what content is included in Google’s various search results
  • allow website owners to sell advertising from competitor companies alongside Google ads
  • allow advertisers to manage search advertising campaigns across competing platforms … Read more

Latest Opera desktop browser powered by Chromium – interesting Stash & Smartbox features

Opera has released what it describes as a ‘sneak preview’ of its latest browser, Opera 15, available for both Windows and Mac. As we reported last month, it is powered by Chromium rather than the Presto engine Opera had used for earlier versions.

While Opera is still a significant player in the mobile market, it has fallen out of favour in the desktop market, with a market share of just a few percent, well behind Chrome, IE, Firefox and Safari. Version 15 introduces a couple of new features that Opera hopes may change that … Read more

Talking Schmidt: I’m rather perplexed by tax avoidance debate


In the latest in our Talking Schmidt series, Google exec chairman Eric Schmidt has told the BBC that he is “perplexed” as to why anyone should debate why a company that “tries to do the right thing” would route all its UK adword sales via Ireland to halve its tax bill.

What we are doing is legal. I’m rather perplexed by this debate, which has been going in the UK for some time, because I view taxes as not optional. I view that you should pay the taxes that are legally required. It’s not a debate. You pay the taxes … Read more

Report: Google planning to develop wireless networks, low-cost Android devices for emerging markets


According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Google is now in the middle of a new project that will see the company develop wireless networks in emerging countries including sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. Google plans on teaming up with local companies to develop the wireless networks, which are said to use airwaves normally reserved for TV, but will first have to get government approvals:

Some of those efforts revolve around using certain airwaves reserved for TV broadcasts to create wireless networks, but only if government regulators allowed it, these people said. Google has long been involved in public trials to prove the technology—which operates at lower frequencies than some cell networks, allowing signals to be more easily transmitted through buildings and other obstacles and across longer distances—can work. And it has begun talking to regulators in countries such as South Africa and Kenya about changing current rules to allow such networks to be built en masse.

The report mentions that Google is also “building an ecosystem of new microprocessors and low-cost smartphones powered by its Android mobile operating system to connect to the wireless networks,” although it didn’t offer up any other specific information on the devices.

It also points out a Google X project that takes advantage of “special balloons or blimps, known as high-altitude platforms, to transmit signals to an area of hundreds of square miles,” but it’s unclear whether or not the two projects are connected. Read more