Google to announce Q1 2014 earnings results on April 16th

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Google has announced that it will be holding its Q1 2014 earnings results conference call on April 16th. The call will take place at 1:30 PM Pacific Time.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (March 28, 2014) – Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) will hold its quarterly conference call to discuss first quarter 2014 financial results on Wednesday, April 16th at 1:30 p.m. Pacific Time (4:30 p.m. Eastern Time).

A webcast of the call will be available, and we’ll have live coverage of the announcements at that time.

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Review: HTC One (M8): Excellent hardware improves, confusing software worsens

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If hardware quality was the only factor in buying a phone, you could stop reading right here and go out and buy the HTC One M8 – it is the best looking, best built (AFAICT after 3 days) phone out there, bar none.

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The front will look familiar, if elongated, to current One owners. It still has separated stereo speakers which incidentally are again the best you’ll hear in a phone by a long shot, but the screen is bigger and unfortunately so is the bezel around the screens.

That extra length tallies to a centimeter taller than its predecessor making an already big phone now almost phablet-like in stature. Add to that HTC’s insistence of putting a power button on top of the phone which you must shimmy up and down to reach and you’ve got yourself some usability experience issues before you even turn on the phone.

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The back of my gray “stainless steel” unit matches up nicely with my fridge in the kitchen. I mean that in the nicest possible way. It looks gorgeous, though I’m not sure I’d say the same for other color variations offered, particularly the gold model. The improved curves are super nice in the hand and also look the part. You’d almost forgive how long this thing is…almost.

The M8 may not be terribly repairable by iFixit standards, but HTC has your back with a pretty impressive repair plan called HTC Customer Advantage. In it, you get a free screen repair within 6 months, a somewhat vague promise to keep Android updated to the most recent version (the website says “We are committed to keeping you current” but at the show they said 2 years of upgrades), and 25-50GB of extra Google Drive space.

Besides the length coupled with the power button, I’m still a huge fan of the exterior. But then there is the interior with HTC’s insistence on Sense 6.0 and this new 3-camera system… Read more

Report: New Android devices require “Powered by Android” branding for access to Google Mobile Services

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Following rumors that Google was preparing to starting forcing manufacturers to brand new devices with a “Powered by Android” logo, AndroidPolice today posted what appears to be evidence of the new requirement. Not every device using Google’s Android OS will have to bear the logo, but those that use Google’s Mobile Services— just about every Android smartphone from the major OEMs— will soon have to do so as part of Google’s updated requirements. Android has long been split into two distinct pieces: The Android Open Source Project that allows OEMs to freely use Android on their devices, and the closed Google Mobile Services, which gives access to Google Play services and Google branded apps like Maps and Gmail for manufacturers that agree to various guidelines.

It appears manufacturers are already putting the logo on new devices, although there’s no direct evidence that the device makers are required to do so. The Powered by Android logo appears of the startup screen of the new Galaxy S5 (as you can see in the screenshot above), as well as HTC’s new M8, but AndroidPolice notes it’s not on the Verizon variant of the device. Other reports claim that some devices show the logo on the startup screen every time the device is turned on, while others only show it the first time. There doesn’t appear to be strict guidelines about where the logo has to appear, but today’s report claimed sources say the branding is indeed mandatory.  Read more

Philips announces first 4K TV lineup running Android will arrive in Q2

Philips has just revealed some details of an upcoming 8000 series lineup of TVs for 2014, which will likely be the first lineup of Ultra HD TVs that hit the market running Android. Philips has three models running Android- Full-HD 8100 and 8200 Philips TVs and the Ultra HD 4K 8800 series— all of which come packed with Google Play store access and Google services like Chrome, YouTube, Google Play music and movies, and search. Read more

Android 4.4 KitKat now rolling out to AT&T Galaxy Note 3

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AT&T has just announced that Android 4.4 KitKat is now rolling out to its Samsung Galaxy Note 3 variant. The update is rather basic and includes all of the interface tweaks we’ve come to expect with KtiKat, including the transparent notification bar. The update also adds a new full-screen immersive mode and support for colored emojis.

Other new features include integrated cloud printing capabilities and the ability to quickly access the camera from the lock screen. You can also now choose a default messaging service if you have more than one app installed. AT&T is also touting improved GPS performance with the update.

  • Improved user interface: The latest version of Android includes enhancements such as re-styled status and navigation bars, a new full-screen-immersive mode, color emoji support, improved closed captioning support, stronger security and smarter power use.
  • Default messaging app: Choose a default messaging app when multiple messaging services are installed.
  • Improved GPS performance
  • Enhanced music access: Full screen album art and media controls are available from the lock screen when listening to music.
  • Camera access: The camera can also be accessed directly from the lock screen.
  • Location menu: An integrated location menu enables users to easily activate GPS and share location details.
  • Wireless printing: Integrated support for wireless printing available in enhanced settings.
  • New sound controls: Set sound for specific Samsung applications in enhanced settings.

If you own an AT&T-branded Galaxy Note 3, you can head into Settings>About Device > Software Update > Check for Updates to update. Though, it is gradually rolling out so it may not be available for your device yet.

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Timehop now available on Android, lets you relive your social networking past

Popular iOS app Timehop has finally made its way to Android today. Timehop is an app that allows you to see what you were posting on a variety of social networks exactly one, two, three, and four years ago. The app requires that you log in with your Facebook account, but can connect to Twitter, Instagram, and Foursquare to see what you were posting.

Timehop helps you celebrate the best moments of the past. What were you doing a year ago today? Two years? Three years?Timehop brings together your old photos and posts from your iPhone, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Foursquare and replays your past a day at a time. You’ll quickly fall in love with checking your daily Timehop. Give it a try today!

You can only view your posts from one, two, three, or four years ago, not anyone else’s, which is somewhat disappointing. But Timehop says the point of the app is to be somewhat of a time capsule for your social networks. If you want to bask in your social network awkwardness, the app is available on the Play Store now.

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Amazon sends out invites for April 2nd event, set-top-box unveil expected

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Amazon has been developing a set-top-box product for several months, and the company appears set to take the wraps off of it next week. Amazon has issued invitations for a media event to be held at 11 AM EST on Wednesday April 2nd.

The invite reads “please join us for an update on our video business,” and the couch and popcorn seems to point directly to a new video watching product. Last year, we reported on trademark filings that seem to indicate that Amazon has considered calling the device the “FireTube,” which blends nicely with the company’s other “Fire” branded devices.

The box is expected to feature applications, the streaming of Amazon Prime video content, games, and it may be controlled by either smartphone apps or a dedicated hardware remote control. The new product comes amidst work from both Apple and Google on their own new boxes. Like the Kindle Fire, it is likely that the set-top-box’s software will be based on the Android OS.

We’ll have live coverage of the proceedings next week, so stay tuned.

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Google says government requests for user data up 120%, explains how it responds to search warrants

Google today updated its Transparency Report with new data on government requests and also posted the video above today to provide a simple overview on how it responds to U.S. search warrants. In the updated report, Google says that requests from government for user information are up 120 percent since it first started publishing the data back in 2009.

Google notes that it’s “also seeing more and more governments start to exercise their authority to make requests” and that it’s working with other organizations to introduce surveillance reform: Read more

Turkish government blocking YouTube in Turkey

Following the block of Twitter in Turkey by the nation’s prime minister earlier this month, Turkey’s telecommunications authority is now taking steps to block YouTube in the nation, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The move came just hours after a leaked recording published on YouTube purporting to show a conversation where Turkey’s foreign minister, spy chief and a top general appear to discuss scenarios which could lead to a Turkish attack against Jihadist militants in Syria.

This comes just days after Turkey requested that Google remove videos from YouTube that criticize the Turkish government. Google responded by refusing to accommodate the government of Turkey’s request.

Yesterday, a Turkish court ruled that the ban against Twitter should be lifted within 30 days while many users were already using DNS workarounds to access the service. Read more

Twitter announces photo tagging, multiple photo uploads per tweet rolling out to Android users

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Twitter has announced a few new features for its Android app today. Users with the latest update to the Twitter for Android app will soon see the ability to select up to four photos at a time to upload when composing a tweet. These photos will be displayed as a collage on the tweet’s detail screen.

Along with the multi-photo support, users are also now able to tag other people in their photos. A new “who’s in these photos?” button allows you to add the username of other people in the picture. Photo tags won’t take up any characters in the body of the tweet, so the full character count will be available for composing a message.

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Google I/O site goes live, new random registration system open from April 8-10

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Update: Registration is open April 8-10. Google’s first draft of its blog post mistakenly said April 7-9.

After briefly announcing some details earlier this month, a website for the upcoming Google I/O developer conference has just gone live with more info on registration. Google previously announced it would implement a new registration system that would randomly select applicants to avoid tickets selling out in minutes, and today the company provided more info on the system in a blog post. It also announced that registration will be open from April 7-9 April 8-10:

Now, on to what I know you’re waiting to hear about most. A month ago, we mentioned that this year’s registration process would be different. You won’t need to scramble the second registration opens, as we will not be implementing a first-come-first-served model this year. Instead, registration will be remain open from April 7 – 9 and you can apply any time during this window. We’ll randomly select applicants after the window closes on April 9, and send ticket purchase confirmation emails shortly thereafter.

Starting at 5:00am PDT on April 8th  until 5:00pm PDT on April 10th, you’ll have the chance to register for your shot at a ticket. If you’re lucky enough to get one through the new registration system (Google will randomly select on the 10th), you’ll pay $900 for general admission or $300 if you’re a student.

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