And the best OEM of 2013 is…LG or Motorola?

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While the world may be looking at Samsung with loving eyes thanks to the wild success of the Galaxy line, I wouldn’t call 2013 the year of the Samsung. Instead, I’m prepared to give that title to the folks at Motorola with a dose of LG on the side. There’s little question that Motorola roared back this year with the Moto X and the Moto G just boosted their game at the very end of the year. That’s not to say LG didn’t have a great year, but with the success and great reviews of the Nexus 5 comes disappointing sales of their flagship the LG G2.

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Samsung’s Knox smartphone security system could be breached by a children’s game – security researchers

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Samsung’s Knox security system, designed to allow it to compete with Blackberry for government and corporate business, contains a vulnerability that could be breached by something as simple as a children’s game, say security researchers at Israel’s Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

Knox is designed to provide a secure storage area in the phone for sensitive data, protected from apps installed outside it. The WSJ reports that an app installed outside the Knox container could be capable of recording all data communication taking place inside Knox – “even a relatively unsophisticated app, such as a mobile game aimed at children” …  Read more

Google giving away free music in its December Deals – tho’ apparently only in the U.S.

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Google Play is giving away free music with its December Deals, offering a mix of free downloads and free streaming. The tracks appear to be updated weekly, so there should be time to grab more next week.

It’s looking like the freebies may be US-only, however: when you visit the same page in the UK, you get the same promise in the header, but the listed tracks (which number five rather than ten) come up at their normal price …  Read more

Amazon offering $5 Appstore credit for downloading any app, freebies include Where’s My Perry, Angry Birds Star Wars II

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Through the holidays, Amazon is offering a $5 App Store credit to anyone who downloads an app from the newest version of the company’s Android Appstore. The promotion will run from December 24th through December 28th. The $5 credit will be valid on any apps, games, and in-app purchases in the Amazon Appstore (via SlickDeals).

In addition to the $5 credit, Amazon is also offering more many paid apps for free over the next week. On December 25th, Amazon will be offering a “Free App of the Day Welcome Pack,” which includes things like a note taking app, alarm clock, and more. On the 26th, Amazon will be offering Office Suite Pro 7 for $.99, down from $4.99.

Other deals include:  Read more

Twitter tipster shows off another image for Nokia’s rumored Android device

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Perhaps one of the greatest “what could have been” stories in recent (tech) times is definitively the question of what Nokia would be like today had they gone with Android over Windows Phone? There’s little question Nokia’s fortunes might have changed dramatically and as a result, the fortunes of every other Android OEM not named Samsung.

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Google beats Apple as most talked about company in 2013

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As 2013 wraps up, we’ve seen a variety of different year-end info graphs and data, most of which comes from Google itself, such as the top search terms. This afternoon, Dow Jones has released an info graphic displaying the most talked about companies in 2013.

Google was able to narrowly beat out Apple this year. Google received 123,769 media mentions this year, while Apple received 120,451 mentions, up from 114,954 in 2012. Google saw its biggest spike in mentions came in May, which as we all know, is when Google I/O took place. Other notable technology companies include Microsoft, who received 84,174 mentions and IBM, who came in with 48,734 mentions.

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The 9to5Google top ‘Google’ stories of 2013

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As we look to the end of 2013 and turn around to see the Google of the last year, we know it’s been a good year. Forget concerns over Google’s purchase of Boston Dynamic’s Robotic program and the joke notion that Google and Skynet will eventually be one. This is a company that surpassed the 1,000 share price in the stock market and brought Google Glass to market as a new form of wearable technology. With these stories and more in mind, let’s take a look at the top 5 Google stories on 9to5Google in 2013. These stories were selected in order by the amount of traffic they had in a single 24 hour period and don’t necessarily reflect the importance of the story itself. In other words, these are the stories you read the most over the course of this year.

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AllCast now available on the Play Store, allows Android users to beam local content to Apple TV, Xbox, and more

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Earlier this month, ClockworkMod developer Koushik Dutta made his AllCast app available in beta to people willing to provide feedback on the app. This morning, however, Dutta released the app to the Play Store, making it available to everyone. AllCast is free to download, although there is a $4.99 premium option available to remove ads, splashscreens, and the limit on video length.

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Samsung believes popularizing the Galaxy Gear begins with getting the girl

For a moment there I didn’t think I would find a creepier marketing spot than Nokia’s Lumia 2520 “mullet.” Well, Samsung has gone and taken “creepy marketing spot” to a whole new level with “Are You Geared Up?” The 2.5 minute features two guys, one with the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear smartwatch, the other with just a run-of-the-mill smartphone and of course the bombshell blonde.

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The 9to5Google top Android smartphones of 2013

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To say that 2013 has been an interesting year in the world of Android would be putting it mildly, but has it really been a banner year? The release of Android-oriented products like Google Glass, Google Hangouts/revamp of Google+ and the beginnings of Google Retail led the way for a whole new approach for Google to take on the competition.

As we look back at the Android-based smartphones that launched in 2013, there isn’t any one handset that truly stands out as a market revolution. Instead, 2013 saw improvements and innovation on existing brands and lines that were already incredibly popular. For example, the Galaxy S 4 which kicks off our list below didn’t really raise the bar over the Galaxy S III in a truly big way, but it did improve on an already market-leading experience from the Galaxy S III.

So without further adieu, here are the 9to5Google’s top Android smartphone picks for 2013: Read more