Deal: HTC One V $50 off contract Virgin smartphone at Radio Shack

From 9to5Toys.com:

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Radioshack has the HTC One V no contract smartphone for $49.99 with free shipping on orders over $50.  That’s the lowest price we’ve seen on this product or any smartphone of this quality. Note this is out of stock online but available for Site-to-store.

Even without a Data plan it would make a heck of a nice Android powered iPod-like device. Read more

Google-Motorola working on new flagship ‘X Phone’ to take on iPhone 5

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According to the Wall Street Journal, Google-Motorola is working on a new smartphone that is internally known as ‘X Phone’. It is aimed at Apple and Samsung’s latest flagship devices. Details seem to be slim, but here are some of the key points:

  • X-Phone, and an eventual X-Tablet, are separate from Motorola’s long-existing Droid line.
  • Some early plans for the device were scrapped over supply chain and manufacturing concerns.
  • Project is led by Lior Ron, a former Google Product Manager.
  • Motorola wants the phone to have panorama photo capabilities and improved color saturation, but these have been found to affect battery life.
  • The companies wanted to use bendable and ceramic technologies, but these plans are apparently difficult to implement.
  • Launching sometime in 2013.

The original report has more detail and background information. (Image: Chris Voss)

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Amazon Instant Video now available on LG Google TVs, with more devices on the way

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As the holidays quickly approach, Mountain View-based Google has rolled out Amazon’s Instant Video service to the Google TV. Google is beginning with LG’s line as the first batch of supported devices and promises more will be able to download Instant Video soon. It’s worth noting Amazon has always had an app placed on the Google TV, but it just loads Amazon’s web page which users have found works half the time thanks to Flash.

For those unfamiliar, Amazon Instant Video offers United States customers 140,000 movie and television titles, all of which are available to rent or purchase. The users that will really benefit from this addition is people who buy and store their media with Amazon, rather other services like Google Play, and Kindle Fire owners who don’t have access to anything but Amazon.

There’s already a long list of devices that support Amazon Instant video, including Xbox 360, PS3, and many TVs, so LG Google TV owners will definitely be pleased. To add the app to their Google TV, the media-obsessed can download it from Google Play.

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Distimo: Google Play closing the gap on App Store with tremendous 43 percent growth in daily revenue

Distimo-2012-Year in Review-02Analytics firm Distimo is out today with the full results of its year-end 2012 app analytics report (via Fortune). While Apple is still the clear winner in terms of revenue, Google Play showed significant growth in the last four months. Its daily revenue grew 43 percent in 20 major markets. Apple’s growth was smaller, increasing daily revenue by 21 percent, but Distimo’s numbers show Google still has a long way to go:

On a typical day in November 2012, the revenues in the Apple App Store exceeded $15M USD, while in Google Play the revenues are just below $3.5M USD in 20 of the largest countries in both app stores… Even though the growth in revenues in Google Play in the last four months is close to that of the Apple App Store in 2012, the growth in daily revenues in the Apple App Store was higher than the total daily revenues in Google Play when comparing absolute daily revenue values.

As for the most popular apps of 2012, Distimo said Asian publisher Naver was able to beat Draw Something’s record of 1 million users in nine day. Its app, Line Pop, got 1.75 million downloads in the first 72 hours. That’s something that took Facebook nine months to accomplish. The app also brought over 1 million in revenue for the developer in 12 days.

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To round out the year in review, Distmo breaks down revenue by category in the charts below: the top 10 most grossing cross-store publishers, the top 10 publishers and apps by downloads on Google Play, and the top five highest growing countries by revenue. There aren’t many surprises:
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Polaroid exec confirms mirrorless Android-based camera will debut at CES

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On Tuesday, rumors surfaced that camera manufacturer Polaroid was set to enter the Android-based camera game with a new mirrorless solution, surely firing up the Android and camera fanatics alike. Today brings better news. Without confirming any specs, Polaroid CEO Scott Hardy confirmed the rumor in a statement to Imaging Resource, announcing: “There will be an Android powered, interchangeable lens camera introduced by Polaroid at CES 2013.” The camera is rumored to feature an 18-megapixel sensor and 3.5-inch LCD for photo perusing, all while running Android 4.0 as the base operating system.

The main players in the Android camera game right now are Samsung’s Galaxy Camera and Nikon’s s800c—both of which have received mixed reviews. But, with higher megapixels and interchangeable lens system, what is to stop Polaroid’s solution from being all that? We’ll make sure to bring you a full hands-on as soon as we can, as 9to5Google is your prime spot for all-things Android at CES 2013. [Imaging Resource via Gizmodo]

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Google rolls out ‘See Inside’ button in search results for quick access to indoor imagery

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Google is rolling out a new feature to make it easier to access indoor “Street View” imagery for businesses by including a “See Inside” button next to search results for those who have opted into the program. Google has worked with businesses to capture 360-degree imagery of the interior of retail locations, and it recently started promoting the feature in Maps and more services. As highlighted by Google in the tweet below, search results displaying listings for businesses will now include a “See Inside” link to quickly jump into the indoor Street View mode.

Google gets $2.35B of its Motorola purchase back with its sale of Motorola Home to Arris

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Google got $2.5 billion of its $12.5 billion Motorola purchase price back today with the sale of the Motorola Home division to Ariss.

The sale—on the surface—is a curious one: Motorola’s Home business makes cable boxes, and Google and its Google TV division clearly have an interest in this area.

The deal is $2.05 billion in cash and a $300 million stake in Arris for Google.

There will be a call to discuss the sale at 6:30 p.m. EST.

The press release follows:

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Google makes Quickoffice iPad app free to Google Apps for Business customers

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Google made some announcements today regarding its work with the Quickoffice team since acquiring the company in June. On top of noting work to take advantage of Quickoffice conversion technology in Google Docs, Google launched a free version of the QuickOffice iPad app exclusively for Google Apps for Business customers today. There are also free iPhone and Android versions of the app for creating and editing Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files coming to Apps customers in the near future:

Converting old files to Google Docs, Sheets and Slides is the easiest way to share and work together, but perhaps not everyone you work with has gone Google yet. To complement what you can do with Google documents, we’re also making it easier for you to make quick edits to Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint files without conversion. Starting today, the Quickoffice iPad app is available for free to all Apps for Business customers, and iPhone and Android versions are on the way.

Vice President of Google Enterprise Amit Singh welcomed the announcement on his Twitter account: “Customers can now get Quickoffice for free. No need to license microsoft for your ipad.”

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NORAD-less Google will still track Santa this Christmas

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NORAD, the self-touted official Santa Tracker, went with Bing Maps instead of Google Earth this holiday season, but Google isn’t getting left in the dust, as the folks in Mountain View launched its own count down to Christmas Eve with Google Santa Tracker.

According to the official Google blog, a team of dedicated Google Maps engineers developed an algorithm to track Santa’s annual trip around the world this Christmas:

On his sleigh, arguably the fastest airborne vehicle in the world, Santa whips from city to city delivering presents to millions of homes. You’ll be able to follow him on Google Maps and Google Earth, and get his stats starting at 2:00 a.m. PST Christmas Eve at google.com/santatracker.

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Redbox Instant by Verizon Android app live on Google Play as $8/month streaming service launches in private beta

Verizon and Redbox confirmed on the official Redbox Instant Twitter account that the new unlimited streaming service is rolling out gradually starting today. The $8-per-month Netflix competitor will provide unlimited streaming and four physical DVD or Blu-ray rentals ($9 a month for Blu-ray) and will be available through the browser as well as mobile apps. A Redbox Instant by Verizon Android app is already available on Google Play. There is also a free one-month trial included.

It is unclear what kind of content deals are in place for streaming, but we do know the service will offer content from Warner Bros., and EPIX.

If you’re interested in taking advantage of the service today, you’ll have to sign up for the private beta on the Redbox Instant website.

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