Best Buy inventory system suggests new Nexus 7 to arrive July 30th

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According to Best Buy’s internal inventory system (image above), the next-generation of Google and ASUS’s Nexus 7 tablet will go on sale on or around July 30th. The new Android 4.3 tablet will likely be formally introduced as soon as tomorrow at a Google-held event in San Francisco.

The device will likely include a higher-resolution display, and improved camera system, 16GB of storage, and a $229 price-point.

Earlier this week, a Best Buy flyer advertising the product leaked, and based on the days in which Best Buy normally rolls out its flyers, a July 30th launch date was suggested. This inventory shot seems to add weight to that.

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Verizon officially announces Droid MAXX, Droid Ultra, and Droid Mini, preorders start today

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At its event today in New York City, Verizon announced three new Motorola DROID devices coming to the carrier, which isn’t much of a surprise if you have been following the latest rumors. When Verizon sent out invites to the event earlier this month, the carrier hinted that we’d be seeing new Droid devices, and we speculated we’d be seeing the Ultra, Mini, and Droid MAXX that had floating around in recent leaks. Confirming our suspicions, Verizon just made things official and announced pricing and availability for three new devices:

DROID MINI: A compact design with an edge-to-edge 4.3-inch HD display and wireless charging capabilities.

DROID ULTRA: The thinnest 4G LTE smartphone available, measuring 7.18mm, and with a 5-inch HD display. The ULTRA will be available in Black and Red models.

DROID MAXX: Features wireless charging and a 3500mAh battery that gives users nearly two days of battery life on a single charge, making it the longest lasting 4G LTE smartphone available.

The devices pack in much thinner dimensions than their predecessors, as well as some new software features and many of the upgraded specs we’ve been hearing about leading up to today’s launch. Motorola confirmed that the MAXX will come with the 48 hour battery life that was previously rumored, while still coming in at 9 percent thinner than the last generation MAXX. As for software, we see some of the new features we’ve seen in leaks for the Moto X, including: quick access to your device’s camera by twisting your wrist twice, and the ability wake the device hands-free with the “Ok Google Now” command. Also included is the new Touchless Controls and Active Display alerts: Read more

Verizon announces its fastest FiOS plan ever, still not close to Google Fiber and costs 4 times as much

As much as people wish it would change, Google Fiber is only available to a select group of cities, which means that the rest of us are stuck with other alternatives, like Verizon FiOS. Today, Verizon has announced its fastest tier of FiOS to date, but it’s still not as fast, or cheap, as Google’s offerings. Dubbed Quantum, the plan offers theoretical download speeds of 500Mbps  and 100Mbps uploads. For comparison’s sake, Google Fiber offers one gigabit both up and down.

Where Verizon’s offerings really differ, however, are in price. FiOS Quantum requires that you have a “double play” package, which starts at a whopping $309.99 a month. For a “triple play” bundle, which in includes phone service, the price jumps to $329.99. Both those packages also require a two-year contract. Google Fiber, on the other hand, costs $70 a month for just internet, and $120 for internet and TV.

The 500Mbps/100Mbps plans are available “in parts” of every existing FiOS market, with Verizon looking to bring it to more places soon.  Read more

Google (mostly YouTube) accounts for a quarter of all North American internet traffic

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According to new data from analytics firm Deepfield (via Wired), Google services now account for an incredible 25% of traffic on all internet providers in North America. Not only is that significantly more than Netflix, it’s a huge increase from the approximately 6 percent Google held just three years ago. As noted in the report, Google now measures in at more than Netflix, Facebook, and Twitter combined, but mostly due to YouTube: Read more

Samsung schedules first developer conference for Oct. 27-29 in San Francisco

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Samsung has just announced that it will be hosting its first developer conference later this year in San Francisco. While we assume that the event would include typical developer sessions for Samsung’s Android/TouchWiz devices, it looks like we’ll also be getting a look at the latest from across the company’s other product lines as well. Samsung isn’t saying much, but it is teasing “what’s next” for developers, hinting that we’ll be seeing at least some new developments with its SDK and developer tools.

The event is scheduled to take place at Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco from October 27-29. Registration isn’t yet open, and no specific details on what we’ll be seeing at the event, but you can sign up on Samsung’s website now to get notified when more information becomes available.

Google gears up for public Glass launch with investment in chipmaker Himax

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In another sign that Google is gearing up for the public launch of Google Glass, Reuters reports that the company has taken a stake in Taiwanese chipmaker Himax, a specialist in display driver chips with particular expertise in controllers for LCOS micro-displays used in head-mounted displays.

Google Inc will take a 6.3 percent stake in the unit of Taiwanese chipmaker Himax Technologies Inc that develops display technology for devices such as Google Glass, Himax said.

The investment will help fund the production of liquid crystal on silicon chips and modules used in head-mounted devices such as Google Glass, head-up displays and pico-projectors, Himax said in a statement …  Read more