Amazon has never been a company to provide specific sales numbers, but their just-issued press release shows us that Android, Kindle and Chromebooks dominated their holiday shopping season. Surprisingly, or perhaps not surprising at all is the Chromecast, which is the best seller in the Computers and Accessories category outselling the company’s own Kindle Fire lineup as well as Apple TV and the Roku 3 Streaming Media player.
By now it’ll come as absolutely no surprise that Google has gone all in on Google+, it’s clearly a major part of the company’s future roadmap. We know that with the evolution of every new feature on Google+, it’s one more step in the search engine giants plans to allow the don’t-call-it-a-social-service to dominate the social world.
RapGenius, a popular lyrical website that recently earned $15 million in venture fund capital is now firmly in the sights of Google’s webspam team. Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s webspam team says his company is investigating RapGenius for attempting to improve its position on search result pages by scamming links. RapGenius, a business highly dependent on search engine traffic could suffer severely if Google decides to take permanent action against the site.
Google is making moves this week to protect its Android partners as the Apple, Microsoft-backed “Rockstar” patent group seeks to sue numerous Android partners. Google has asked a San Jose court for a declaratory judgement to rule that Google and thereby the Android ecosystem does not violate seven of Rockstar’s patents.
Oh the weather outside may still be frightful, but inside the morning after Christmas is definitely delightful. Now that Christmas music is put back onto the shelf for next year, what Android, Chrome, Google-related goodies did you get for your holidays?
Last week, Motorola announced that the Moto G would soon begin to be updated to Android 4.4 KitKat. Today, it looks like the update has finally started rolling out to users, as both Seth and I have received the update on our respective Moto G devices. The update comes in at roughly 191MB and bumps the device to build number 172.44.4.en.US.
New in the update are many of the changes we’ve come to know and love in KitKat. For one, all the new white-gradiants are present, replacing the blue, as is the new transparent notification bar. Not included is the new launcher found on the Nexus 5, though Google touts that as being exclusive to Nexus devices. You can always side load it, of course. Motorola also touts that new camera controls, such as manual focus and exposure, are included, though that was also included in an update to the Motorola Camera app on Google Play.
Google’s Chrome browser and Chrome OS had another banner year in 2013 and with the Chromebook continuing to grow in popularity, 2014 looks to be even better. There’s little question that along with the growth of the Chromebook, Chrome as a web-browser continues to delight users the world over. With a bevy of new features and improvements in 2013, Google has its work cut out to improve on it next year. So without further delay, let’s take a look at the year’s top Chrome and Chrome OS stories of 2013 as determined by the number of pageviews each story incurred:
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.
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 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
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
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.