Google’s Nexus 5 rumored to boast Nikon camera tech and branding

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Google’s much-discussed Nexus 5 might boast Nikon technology, according to a new rumor.

Phonearena reported on a tip Monday that claimed the handset’s camera module would feature a “triple camera sensor thing” and Nikon branding. The anonymous tipster also said the camera would be the Nexus 5’s main selling point.

It is worth mentioning that Google Senior Vice President of Engineering Vic Gundotra hinted at the camera quality of upcoming Nexus devices on his Google+ profile last month. When asked by a commenter about whether a future Nexus could replace a DSLR, Gundotra responded: “We are committed to making Nexus phones insanely great cameras. Just you wait and see.”

Also remember that Google and Nikon joined last year to launch the Android-powered, point-and-shoot Nikon Coolpix S800c. Google even acquired Nik software in 2012, which Nikon gave a minority equity investment to in 2005, as TechCrunch noted.

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Google preparing to launch ‘Google Keep’ note taking app for Google Drive?

While we have yet to get all the official details from Google, we get hints at a new feature today that could be headed to Google Drive via leaks from the Drive source code discovered by 1E100. Within Drive’s source code are hints at a new service dubbed “Google Keep,” including links to a new icon for the service, an Android app, and at one point the Google Keep web app itself. Google has since removed the evidence, but our friends over at Android Police were able to capture the screenshots above before Keep was taken down.

There is some evidence that the app would include Evernote-like functionality, with one screenshot revealing an “Add to Keep” function for webpages. The app otherwise appears to provide functionality with color-coded notes, the ability to add and save pictures, create lists, share, etc.

The app could also launch as a standalone Android app, because 1E100 discovered http://g.co/keep redirects to https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.keep. We’ll keep you posted if we hear anything official from Google about Keep.

A few more screenshots below:

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HTC turns to the press to talk smack about Samsung and the Galaxy S IV

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Even before the Galaxy S IV was announced, HTC was on Twitter readily talking smack about the impending Galaxy S IV announcement. HTC’s first jab at Samsung started with the retweet of Yves Le Jan’s now infamous “Toys R Us” tweet:

As soon as the actual phone was announced, the floodgates opened and HTC decided to pull an all-nighter by tweeting anything negative it could about the device.

But HTC didn’t just stop at Twitter to spread the hate. In an interview with BusinessInsider, HTC’s President Mike Woodward had some harsh words for Samsung. When asked about his thoughts on the Galaxy S IV, Woodward said, “It feels very iterative. It looks a lot like the Galaxy S III…We were pleased to see no innovation in the design itself.”

HTC seems to be very glad about the Galaxy S IV’s plastic design, as one of the main selling points of the new HTC One phone is its all aluminum chassis.

While HTC seems to be cooling off its Twitter account, expect to hear more rhetoric from HTC as the Galaxy S IV starts to become available to the public.

Oh, and don’t forget Apple. Read more

Samsung Galaxy S4 profiled against iPhone on ABC news

This is what the normals are seeing.

Google preparing subscription news service on Google Play to rival Apple’s Newsstand?

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It looks like Google might be repairing a new section in the Google Play store specifically for news content in subscription and issue form. While Google already has a dedicated Magazine section on the Play store, AndroidPolice first noticed clues in code for the web version of Google Play that hint Google could be preparing to launch a new service dubbed “Google Play News.”

While we don’t get much information about the service, we do learn Google Play News could offer “issues” and “subscriptions”. This makes us think the company could be preparing a subscription news service that rivals Apple’s Newsstand on iOS. Apple currently offers both issues of newspapers and magazines in subscription form through its Newsstand app.

It’s not clear how exactly the Play News section would differ from the existing Magazine section, but AndroidPolice noted that the Google Play code points to the section having its own heading color. This suggests it will indeed be a dedicated category on the store.

As I’m sure you know, the Play Store is color themed – Books are blue, Music is orange, etc. So the most important question a discovery like this raises is “What color will the News section be?” It turns out we can actually answer this one thanks to the Play Store CSS (mirror). It’s yellow. The News section will be yellow.

It’s a possibility Google will eventually merge this new newspaper feature with magazines like how Apple’s Newsstand app works, but we’ll have to wait to find out for sure what Google officially has planned for the service.

‘People want Android, not Windows Phone’ says Samsung’s Mobile Chief

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Samsung’s Mobile Chief has some harsh words directed towards Microsoft. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, J.K. Shin said that Android devices such as phones and tablets are outselling Windows Phone devices and there is a clear demand for Android over Windows. 

The exact Q&A goes as follows:

WSJ: What about your relationship with Microsoft? Has it changed after Nokia began to work more closely with Microsoft on Windows devices?

Mr. Shin: Smartphones and tablets based on Microsoft’s Windows operating system aren’t selling very well. There is a preference in the market for Android. In Europe, we’re also seeing lackluster demand for Windows-based products.

While it’s clearly no surprise that Android devices are outselling Windows devices, the harsh words come just months after lackluster sales of the Microsoft Surface RT and Pro. According to a report this morning from Bloomberg, “people with knowledge about the companies sales” are saying that Microsoft has sold about 1.5 million Surface devices total. Also keep in mind that Samsung just announced the Galaxy S IV, the successor to the best-selling Android phone on the planet, which’ll be sure to gather up some massive sales for Samsung.

Samsung announces Galaxy S IV with 5-inch inch display, Octa-core processor and late April release

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The curtain was just pulled off the Galaxy S IV at Samsung’s Unpacked event in New York City tonight. Confirming the leaks and teasers we’ve seen over the last week, the Galaxy S IV’s design is similar to the Galaxy S III aside from a few minor aesthetic tweaks.

The Galaxy S IV weighs just 130 grams and it’s only 7.9MM thick. In terms of specs, it will come in two colors at launch—Black Mist and White Frost. It’ll also include 4G LTE and HSPA+ 42MB, like the S III. It will also feature a 5-inch inch super AMOLED HD display at 441PPI, and, at launch, it’ll ship with Android 4.2.2 Jellybean and be available in 155 countries on 327 mobile carriers by the end of April.

Other specs include a 2,600mAh battery, as well as a 13MP back camera, 2MP front, an IR blaster, and 8 sensors including a temperature and humidity sensor.

The Galaxy S IV will ship in three available models—16GB, 32GB, and 64GB —each with 2GB of RAM, and it boasts a 1.6GHz Exynos Octa-core chip or a 1.9GHz quad-core Qualcomm depending on the market.

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Google adds Phrasebook feature to Google Translate

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There were hints late last month that Google was planning on adding new features to Google Translate and today the company announced a new feature for the service called Phrasebook. Rather than having to translate the same words and phrases time and time again, Phrasebook allows users to save a set of translations for quick and easy access. Google explained how the features works:

It’s easy to start using Phrasebook. Simply click the star under the translated text to save the translation in your Phrasebook. To view your Phrasebook, simply click the Phrasebook icon above the upper-right corner of the box containing the translation.

Click any phrase in your Phrasebook to load it back in the translation area. Using the Phrasebook controls, you can filter your phrases by language pair or search for a specific phrase. You can also easily listen to each phrase by hovering over the entry and selecting the text-to-speech icons.

Google could soon be adding more features to Translate as last month hints were discovered that Google is working on an option to select a dialect for certain languages in its text-to-speech feature within Google Translate. There were also additional dictionary features that have yet to be implemented.

Digg is building a replacement for Google Reader

digg-logoWhile some people may still be working through various stages of grief on the news of Google killing its Reader project, the folks at Digg are doing something about it.

We’ve heard people say that RSS is a thing of the past, and perhaps in its current incarnation it is, but as daily (hourly) users of Google Reader, we’re convinced that it’s a product worth saving. So we’re going to give it our best shot. We’ve been planning to build a reader in the second half of 2013, one that, like Digg, makes the Internet a more approachable and digestible place. After Google’s announcement, we’re moving the project to the top of our priority list. We’re going to build a reader, starting today.

This could get interesting. Read more

Google breaks up Maps and Commerce unit, Jeff Huber is out

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According to a report from the WSJ, Google is breaking up its joint Maps and Commerce unit. Additionally, Jeff Huber, the executive that ran the unit, is leaving his position.

The mapping unit will become part of the Google search team, led by Alan Eustace, and the commerce unit will be tucked into the advertising group, led by Susan Wojcicki, one of these people said.

Today’s news follows Andy Rubin’s departure from the Android team yesterday. Like Rubin, Huber is heading to Google X. The announcement was made internally via the same email that announced Rubin’s departure.

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