Samsung S4 wins both fastest smartphone and best battery-life in UK consumer group’s tests

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Which?, a highly-regarded UK consumer research organization, found the Samsung S4 to be both the fastest smartphone on the market, and the one offering the best battery-life – a pretty impressive combination.

Using the industry-standard Geekbench 2 software, the S4 comfortably came out on top with a score of 3,188 against the 2,798 of the second-placed HTC One. Graphics for both speed and battery-life after the break …  Read more

Huawei Ascend P6 Google Edition reportedly coming soon

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In wake of the Galaxy S4 and HTC One Google editions going on sale this week, Huawei now says it is working on a stock Android device. According to Kevin Ho, Huawei’s handset product division president, speaking to Pocket-Lint, the company is working with Google to create a Google Edition variant of the Ascend P6. Just like the other variants, this device would run stock Android Jelly Bean.

“We are working with Google to analyse the possibility of bringing out a Huawei Ascend P6 with Google Edition,” Ho told the blog.

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Leaked Android 4.3 build now available for Google Play and European Galaxy S4 variants

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Earlier this week, the Google Play edition Galaxy S4 was finally released to the public, and while it isn’t in the hands of any consumers yet, Android 4.3 is now available for it. Fansite SamMobile has gotten its hands on a leaked Android 4.3 build for the Google edition Galaxy S4 and put it up for grabs. Within a very short amount of time, the ROM was ported to the European GT-i9505G Galaxy S4, as well.

The screenshots published by SamMobile don’t show any notable changes in Android 4.3 over Android 4.2.2. As more and more people install it on their Google edition and European Galaxy S4 variants, however, we can expect a few differences to be noted. For the time being though, it looks like Android 4.3 is a very minor bump from Android 4.2. Read more

A first look at Google’s planned new London HQ

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AHMM, Google’s London architects, have submitted plans for Google’s proposed new $1.6b London HQ, to be built alongside St Pancras International station which serves as the Eurostar terminus for high-speed rail services to Paris, Brussels and Lille. Google bought the 2.4-acre plot back in January.

The artist impressions of the building look surprisingly conservative given the client and a city that has approved some pretty funky buildings, among them the Gherkin and the Shard, though AHMM’s description of the vision for the building does make it sound more interesting than it appears.

Google’s new workplace sits upon a retail plinth punctuated by three generous light filled volumes. These entrance halls serve up and into a looped three dimensional promenade that wraps its way along, around, through and up the building’s six to ten office floors, connecting cycling ramps, cores, workplaces, major shared amenities and a large roof garden in an easy and enjoyable journey that encourages encounter.

More photos below …  Read more

Google developing gaming console, wristwatch, TV products as it eyes hardware competition from Apple

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The Wall Street Journal has issued a large report today that details several new hardware products that Google has in the pipeline. According to the report, Google’s latest hardware efforts are being developed in order to match rumored upcoming hardware offerings from Apple (like new entries into the TV and wearable computing spaces). Some future Google hardware, according to the report, includes:

Also in the cards is a next-generation of the Android OS that is designed to appeal to low-cost devices for emerging markets. As for Apple, the Cupertino-based company is shipping a redesigned iOS 7 this fall and is also rumored to be working on a lower-cost iPhone. The WSJ report also notes that this new version of Android could appear in new devices like notebook computers and home appliances such as refrigerators. Google is said to also be working on various other hardware, though this will be separate from the Google-owned Motorola Mobility.

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T-Mobile sends out invites to July 10th press event, teases its “boldest moves yet”

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T-Mobile has just sent out an invite to a July 10th press event in New York City. The invite doesn’t offer many details as to what we can expect, but the carrier does tease that we will see its “boldest moves yet.” It could be that announcement has something to do with its Uncarrier plans, as we’ve heard whispers of a “phase two” happening on July 14th, but it seems unlikely that an event would be held for just that. It’s also possible that the company will simply be formally announcing the Xperia Z, which we’ve heard will come on July 17th.

We’ll be sure to let you know whatever T-Mobile announces that day, no matter what it is.  Read more

Google announces new BYOD features for Android devices

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As more and more companies start allowing employees to bring their own smartphones and tablets into work, Google is obviously looking to capture a portion of that enterprise market. The company on Thursday announced several new features for the growing bring your own device, or BYOD, market.

Comprehensive mobile device management is included with Google Apps for Business, Government and Education. Organizations large and small can manage smartphones and tablets – including Android and iOS – right from the Google Apps Admin console, with no need for special hardware or software.

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‘Google has a very active R&D programme with regard to electric vehicle technology’

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From Electrek,net:

Interesting bit from a BBC Interview of Lord Drayson of Drayson Racing who had just set a record of over 200MPH in his lightweight electric car. In discussing a conversation with Google Chairman Eric Schmidt ahead of the record breaking run, Drayson said:

“Google has a very active R&D programme with regard to electric vehicle technology so it’s great that one of the world’s leading technology companies came to our event today,” Lord Drayson added.

Will Google be giving Tesla a run for its money or is the former Parliament member confusing self driving car and mapping technology with that of electric vehicles? It would seem silly at this point to count Google out of any industry but we’re thinking there probably won’t be too many Electric Vehicles coming of of the X Labs.  Except maybe this one:

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The ins and outs of Google, infographics on Google buying and then killing

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It’s no secret that Google has a tendency to buy a lot of companies and it is now getting a reputation for shutting a lot of products down. In fact, we’re just a few days away from its biggest closure to date in Google Reader. iGoogle, the customizable Google homepage, is also set to shut down this November. Earlier this year, the company closed up Google Talk and replaced it with Hangouts. Google has always said, however, that it “celebrates its failures,” and there have sure been a lot of them. Marketing company WordStream has put together an infographic breaking down all the services Google has closed up, including the dates they were shut down…then be sure to check the new companies Google has been buying up below… Read more

3 million HD videos at the same time – the capacity of a new Google-backed fiber link in Asia

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Google is one of the consortium members behind a new 28Tbps undersea fiber link connecting China, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Singapore and Brunei with Japan – where it connects to the existing transpacific fiber to the U.S. The total length of the link is 5,530 miles.

The six fiber pairs have a combined capacity equivalent to simultaneously streaming three million HD videos. That’s quite a lot of bandwidth.

While most of the investors are local telecoms companies – China Telecom, China Mobile, Hong Kong’s Donghwa Telecom, Globe in the Philippines, SingTel, and TOT in Thailand – Google has its own reasons for wanting the link …  Read more

Google Now appears to be coming to Chrome very soon

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We’ve seen hints of Google Now coming to Chrome for a long time now, but it looks like we are getting very close to a launch. CNET has discovered a pop-up notification within the developer build of Chrome that says, “Enable Google Now Cards — Would you like to be shown Google Now cards?”

The prompt appears to be hitting those running the developer channel build of Chrome on both Windows and OS X. On Windows, the card appears in the status bar along the bottom, while on OS X it is in the menu bar up top. Google Now on the desktop could allow for directions to appear for a location you just searched or sports scores for your favorite team, which is similar to what it does on mobile.

Also on Windows is a control panel setting for controlling which web apps and extensions are allowed to send notification. This includes services like Gmail, Twitter, Google Calendar, and more. This could mean that Google is looking to open the notification technology to more and more apps.  Read more