Samsung Galaxy NX Camera available in the US starting October for $1,599/$1,699 w/lens

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Samsung announced today that the new Galaxy NX camera that it first showed off at a London event back in June will soon become available in the US after landing in the UK this month. Starting October, you’ll be able to pick one up for a hefty $1,599 (body only) or $1,699 with the bundled 18-55mm lens. This is the first time Samsung, or just about any big camera manufacturer, has released a professional mirrorless camera system running a full-blown Android OS. The device follows the more consumer friendly and less expensive compact Samsung Galaxy Camera it introduced last year. To navigate through the Android 4.2.2 UI, the Galaxy NX packs in a 4.8″ HD TFT LCD touchscreen display, 1.6GHz quad core processor with separate image signalling processor, hybrid autofocus, and a 20.3mp sensor. The device will also support 13 interchangeable lenses from the NX line and a brand new 10mm fish eye lens. And what good would an Android camera be without built-in Wifi and LTE capabilities? The Samsung Galaxy NX is definitely an interesting move for Samsung and we plan on bringing you a full review of the device soon.  Read more

Google remains digital ad king, Facebook making gains in mobile, no one else close

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Increased competition in digital advertising doesn’t seem to be hurting Google: the company is on track to increase its market share to almost 33 percent this year, with a commanding 53% in mobile advertising. The projections were made by research company eMarketer based on an analysis of company reports, though both dollar and percentage figures are slightly down on its earlier predictions back in June …  Read more

Hugo Barra resigns from position at Google, will join China’s Xiaomi

Image: Wired.com

Image: Wired.com

According to a new report from AllThingsD, citing “sources in position to know”, one of Google’s top Android executives is leaving the company. The report states that Hugo Barra, who was the vice president of product management for Android, will soon be departing the company to join Chinese phone maker Xiaomi. Xiaomi produces its own high-end Android-based devices, though with a heavy custom skin on top. Barra originally joined Google in 2008 as a group product manager, having previously worked for speech firm Nuance, and has moved up the totem pole since then.

This news comes on the heels of Andy Rubin, the creator Android, stepping down from his position earlier this year. Given that Android is Google’s top product right now, Barra’s decision, especially when coupled with Rubin’s departure, will undoubtedly cause some tension within the company. Barra often appeared on stage at Google events, most recently at the second-generation Nexus 7 unveil.

AllThingsD also says that Barra tendered his resignation only recently, but that it was before he ended a romantic relationship with another Google employe. It is now believed that Sergey Brin, who recently split from his wife, is currently involved with Barra’s ex.  Sticky.

Update: Barra’s G+ statement:

A new Android chapter

After nearly 5½ years at Google and almost 3 years as a member of the Android team — the most amazing group of people I’ve ever worked with in my life — I have decided to start a new career chapter.

In a few weeks, I’ll be joining the Xiaomi team in China to help them expand their incredible product portfolio and business globally — as Vice President, Xiaomi Global.  I’m really looking forward to this new challenge, and am particularly excited about the opportunity to continue to help drive the Android ecosystem.

It has been an amazing ride and true honor to be part of the Android team at Google, and I especially want to thank +Andy Rubin , +Hiroshi Lockheimer , +Sundar Pichai and +Vic Gundotra for their phenomenal support and mentorship over the years.

+Android team, I will truly miss you all!

Sundar Pinchai’s statement:
Congratulations to Hugo on his exciting new adventure. We’ll miss him at Google but we’re thrilled that he’s sticking with Android. Best wishes Hugo!

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Sergey Brin splits up with wife with ties to Google

It’s never fun when personal matters become issues for a company but founder Sergey Brin owns a lot of voting stock in Google and a split in his family could send a lot of his $22.8B in wealth and power off to parts unknown. According to AllThingsD, wife Anne Wojcicki had a prenup. so a risk to Brin’s voting share of the company would seem to be minimal. The couple is reportedly still married though living in separate residences.

The report goes on to say Brin is now with someone else he met at Google.

Wojcicki’s sister, Susan, is SVP of advertising and commerce Google (and one of the original Googlers and provided the garage where Brin and Page got their start) so there’s even more stickiness to deal with if things do get sticky.

 

 

 

Google drops Nexus 4 price to just $199 for 8GB, $249 for 16GB

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Google has just announced that it is cutting the price of its Nexus 4 in Australia, Canada, Germany, Spain, Korea, the United States, and the UK. The device now runs just $199 for 8GB of storage and $249 for 16GB in the United States. Previously, it was priced at $299 for 8GB and $349 for 16GB.

Even though the Nexus 4 was released nearly a year ago, it’s still very solid smartphone, and will continue to get updates directly from Google for a long time to come. The device is powered by a 1.5GHz Quad-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor with 2GB of RAM and an 8MP camera.

Google is expected to announce a new Nexus device sometime this fall, though exact details still remain up in the air. Some rumors point to Motorola manufacturing the device, while others claim that it will be LG again.

At the same price as many phones are on-contract, the $199 off-contract Nexus 4 is a great deal. It’s available on Google Play now and will ship within 1-2 business days, though that may change depending on demand. Read more