T-Mobile’s un-carrier initiative for tablets arriving in November, 200MB of free data/month, devices for $0 down

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T-Mobile today announced that it is launching a new un-carrier initiative for tablets next month (November). The plan will offer tablets to T-Mobile customers (new and existing) for no money down. Like with smartphones, the customers will be able to pay for the device over the life of a 24-month plan. T-Mobile is yet to provide pricing specifics for tablets other than the iPad, but those details will arrive soon. What is known now: customers on T-Mobile with tablets will be able to get 200MB of data per month for free. T-Mobile recently announced the Simple Choice international unlimited data free roaming plan, and T-Mobile will likely support this for tablets.

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LG’s upcoming G Flex smartphone w/ curved display leaks in new photos and video

We’ve been seeing more and more leaks for the now confirmed LG G Flex smartphone, which will be the company’s first to sport a top-to-bottom curved display and compete with Samsung’s upcoming curved Galaxy Round device. Today we get perhaps our best look at the device with Argentinian news site Telefe Noticias posting a hands on video with the device and TheVerge obtaining a few high quality shots from the publication.

A few hardware features confirmed from the hands-on: The display apparently measures 6-inches diagonally, while the device also features buttons mounted on the rear of the device like’s LG’s new flagship G2.

The device is expected to launch in South Korea in the coming weeks, but there’s no word on availability for the rest of the world. LG hasn’t confirmed that the device in the video above is the real deal, telling TheVerge it’s “unsure of the device’s veracity and would have to contact the company’s Argentinian office to confirm if it is “the real thing.” Head below for more high quality images: Read more

Tesla CEO says they will upgrade Model S browser to Chrome, will add Android emulator to car

From Electrek:

Tesla CEO Elon Musk was speaking in Germany when he caught a question about developing Apps for the Model S car. Musk said that it was likely that Tesla would open up an Android emulator after it did other things like localization and upgrading the browser to Chrome.

The Model S 17-inch capacitive display currently runs on Linux so porting Android or even iOS apps isn’t incredibly hard.

He also called Fuel Cells “Such Bullshit” Read more

Google now threatening to pull Adsense accounts of those who mention YouTube downloaders

We got quite a nasty letter in the mail from our Adsense reps today. It is pasted below:

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The problem was that someone in our forums had posted a link to”Your Sound” an iOS App Store app which allows people to download Youtube videos (we deleted the post but screenshot is below the fold). This move seems to be part and parcel to Google’s statement that it  would cut funding from crooks.  Your Sound has since been removed from the App Store and there would be no way of getting this app from the post in any case.

Still, for mentioning a YouTube downloader, we could lose a revenue stream. That doesn’t quite seem fair.

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Vic Gundotra hints new Hangouts for Android coming soon, urges Android users to get along with iOS users


When Google rolled out a big new update for iOS on Friday, it introduced incoming and outgoing voice calls through Google Voice and number of other new features for the app. Android users made it clear that they weren’t exactly happy that they didn’t receive an update, but since Google’s Vic Gundotra responded with a hint that a new Android version of Hangouts is on the way.

In a comment responding to complaints from Android users on Google+, Gundotra hints at upcoming announcements for Android saying, “I promise you will be happy soon.”

He also asked Android users to not get upset when the company releases iOS products and urged Android and iOS users to get along with each other. “There are a lot of them. And they are good people.”

Gundotra’s full comment is below: Read more

Google closing up Android to stem fragmentation, defend against competitors and *gasp* make money

An interesting story from Ars Techinca examines the state of Android as an open source project and how Google is attempting to better control fragmentation of the platform. According to the report, Google is moving to help maintain its control over the platform from competing companies like Amazon and others that are using Android but forgoing Google’s services. The result, according to the report, is Google will bring more aspects of Android out of the Android Open Source Project and designate them Google services:

Google has always given itself some protection against alternative versions of Android. What many people think of as “Android” actually falls into two categories: the open parts from the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), which are the foundation of Android, and the closed source parts, which are all the Google-branded apps. While Google will never go the entire way and completely close Android, the company seems to be doing everything it can to give itself leverage over the existing open source project.

Google search has long been a victim of moving away from AOSP, and the recent introduction of Google Play Music means Google is no longer updating its AOSP music app either. Ars notes that Calendar is the most recent app to move to closed source, while the Google Keyboard and Camera appear are moving in the same direction. The screenshots above show AOSP versions of the app mentioned above vs Google’s latest closed source versions. You’ll notice that Google tends to abandon the AOSP versions of the apps once relaunching them under the closed sourced Google services banner.

What does this mean for Android going forward? Google is making life much harder for Amazon and other third-party manufacturers that want to build a competing version of Android without Google’s services… Read more

Google announces Q3 2013 earnings: $14.9 billion revenue, $3.64 billion in net income


Google just released its earnings report for Q3 2013, announcing $10.74 per share on consolidated revenue of $14.9 billion. That’s compared to the 19% year-over-year growth with $14.11 billion in revenue it reported last quarter, and up around 12% from the $14.10 billion in revenue it reported in the year ago quarter. It’s also slightly higher than the average of around $14.80 billion in revenue and $10.35 per share Wall Street predicted.

Google also reported $3.64 billion in net income (up from $2.96 billion last year), $56.52 billion in cash and cash equivalents, and operating income of $4.34 billion (29% of revenues), up from $3.76 billion in the same quarter last year.

Google had another strong quarter with $14.9 billion in revenue and great product progress,” said Larry Page, CEO of Google.  “We are closing in on our goal of a beautiful, simple, and intuitive experience regardless of your device.”

Of the $14.9 billion in revenue it reported for Q3, Google’s sites and other services accounted for 92% of consolidated revenues, or $13.77 billion, while Motorola accounted for the remaining 8%, or $1.18 billion. Goog also reported a $248 million operating loss for Motorola, which is around 21% of the unit’s revenues and up from a loss of $192 million last year.

Larry Page also announced during the earnings call today that YouTube revenue is now at 40% on mobile up from just 25% last year.

Google’s headcount is also down again this quarter to 46,421 full-time employees (42,162 in Google and 4,259 in Motorola Mobile) from the 44,777 full-time employees it had in June.

GOOG closed the day hovering around 888, down approximately 1%, but shot up over 50 points in after hours trading to over 940 and rising.

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The full report is below: Read more

Google posts earnings call live stream, analysts expect $14.82 billion in revenue

Google is set announce its earnings for the third quarter of 2013 in less than an hour, and ahead of its call with investors, the company has posted a live stream of the call on YouTube. Last quarter, Google reported $14.11 billion in revenue, which was up 19 percent year over year. The number was, however, lower than the $14.45 billion that Wall Street was expecting.

This quarter, analysts are expecting revenue of $14.82 billion, up from $11.33 billion in the third quarter of last year. Analysts expect a net income of $3.5 billion, or $10.35 per share, up from the $3 billion, or $9.03 per share, year over year.

We’ll have all of Google’s announcements when they are made, which is slated to happen at 4:30 ET. Read more

Opinion: With results like these, does Google+ have a future?


Following a report back in July showing that Google+ gets only 2 percent of social sharing, new figures from Shareaholic (via Marketing Land) reveal that the service drives an average of 0.06 percent of all referral traffic. This contrasts with Facebook at 8.11 percent, Pinterest at 3.24 and Twitter at a surprisingly low 1.17.

Google+ traffic is also growing at a far slower rate than other social media.

Shareaholic also says that Google+ is growing the slowest as a referral source at just 6.97 percent over the past year. Referrals from Facebook (58.81 percent), Pinterest (66.52 percent), Twitter (54.12 percent) and YouTube (52.86 percent) all grew more than 50 percent since September 2012.

Viewed against a backdrop of Google’s aggressive promotion of the service, making it virtually impossible not to have a G+ account by linking it to every product the company has, it does make me question whether Google+ has a long-term future …  Read more

Amazon partnering with HTC for highly rumored Amazon Phone

Amazon has long been said to be working on a smartphone carrying its brand, and it looks like it HTC could be its hardware partner.

That’s according to a report from the Financial Times, which cites people familiar with the project in saying that three different smartphones are currently in development with one being “at an advanced stage of development.”

“We have been very focused on building our own brand, but we have also been very open to co-branding and collaborating with carriers and other technology brands,” HTC chief of marketing Ben Ho told the Financial Times, but declined to comment on any specific relationship with Amazon.

Shipping a phone with both the HTC and Amazon logos would mean more than just branding for the phone, as Amazon would be able to take over much of the Android operating system experience as it has done with the Kindle Fire tablets. HTC partnered with Facebook earlier this year for the not-so-popular-now HTC First featuring Facebook Home, but borrowing software features from the Kindle Fire like Mayday, an Amazon support service for users, could prove valuable to both HTC and Amazon and be very appealing to new users in a saturated smartphone market. Read more

Google to track mobile app usage via Mobile Meter app

Image: digitallifeplus.com

Image: digitallifeplus.com

Google has confirmed it’s working on a Mobile Meter app for both Android and iOS to allow it to monitor how smartphone owners use mobile apps. But no need for any privacy panicking: the app will be available only to those who have opted in to Google’s Screenwise paid market research panel, reports Engadget.

The Mobile Meter apps will replace an older method that allowed panelists to participate, helping Google measure media consumption across all screens but with more accurate results on mobile. Both the Android and iOS apps will be submitted to their relevant app stores in the near future, although only panelists will be able to actually use them …  Read more