Verizon confirms Motorola Droid 4 available Feb. 10 for $200

We said last week there was a possibility the Motorola Droid 4 would land on Verizon starting Feb. 10, and it looks like the rumors were true, as Verizon confirmed in a press release today that the device would be available this Friday for the rumored $200 on a two-year commitment.

If you need a refresher: The 4G LTE Motorola Droid 4 packs in a 4.0-inch qHD display, 8-megapixel main camera with 1080p video, front-facing camera, and a 1.2 GHz processor. The biggest differentiator is its full five-row QWERTY keyboard. The Droid 4 will run Android 2.3.5 out of the gate with an upgrade to Android 4.0 ICS in the near future. You will be able to grab the device starting Feb. 10 through Verizon brick-and-mortar stores and

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Today’s Dickens Doodle leads to Free Book search

You may have noticed Google’s doodle today in celebration of the 200th birthday of British author Charles Dickens consisting of classic characters from some of Dickens’ most famous works, including Pip from “Great Expectations” and Ebenezer Scrooge from “The Christmas Carol.” However, what you may have not realized is that today’s doodle is sending many people to a Google product rather than the typical web search.

In this case, clicking the Dickens doodle is directing many users to a Free Google eBooks search. Normally when clicking a doodle, Google directs users to a web search for a related word or phrase. Therefore, in the case of today’s doodle, clicking the image would normally have taken a user to a web search for “Charles Dickens.”

With that said, as you can see from the screenshots above, clicking the Dickens doodle leads to a Free Google eBooks search listing instead with various results for the query “dickens.” This action may be the first time Google has promoted, or linked to a product other than a web search, from a doodle.

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WSJ: Motorola wants 2.25-percent of iPhone sales, representing over $1B in 2011

Following a brief injunction in the Motorola patent case forcing Apple to remove products from its German online store, a judge shortly after suspended the injunction and Apple claimed it would appeal the court’s original decision “because Motorola repeatedly refuses to license this patent to Apple on reasonable terms.” So, what were the terms of Motorola’s license agreement that Apple considered unreasonable?

Foss Patents reported earlier that court documents revealed Motorola was requesting an approximate 2.25-percent royalty from Apple, and today The Wall Street Journal confirmed the number, which would represent over $1 billion in iPhone sales during 2011. The proof comes from a letter dated Oct.17 and filed with a California court, although it does not list specific devices that would be affected. WSJ reported lawyers see the high royalty request as a way to “force a settlement or disrupt business,” and Foss Patents said Motorola likely wants Apple to deny the request so it can seek injunctions. In comparison, Microsoft is now collecting an approximate $5 royalty on over 70 percent of all Android smartphones sold in the United States, accounting for 2 percent of a $250 device.

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IDC says Samsung was 2011’s top Smartphone vendor, here are the numbers

Analytics firm IDC just released a report covering the top five smartphone vendors by shipments and market share for Q4 2011. Apple not surprisingly takes the top position. According to IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker, smartphone vendors shipped 157.8 million units in Q4 2011, and 37 million were from Apple— accounting for 23.5-percent market share in the quarter.

As for competitors, the report showed Samsung was not far behind Apple with 36 million units shipped and 22.8-percent of the market worldwide. However, while taking the top position in the market thanks to the iPhone 4S launch, Apple also set a new shipment volume record for the entire industry during the quarter. The report cited the initial delay bringing the launch closer to the holiday season and the addition of new carriers as reasons for the device’s strong demand. Despite that, Samsung was still able to come out on top for FY 2011, edging Apple out by under a million units…

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Google launches official page for Google+ developers

Just as the Android team launched an official Android Developers page on Google+ last week, the Internet giant today announced a similar page for developers writing add-ons for the Google+ social platform. The Google+ Developers page is now alive and kickin’, ready to spread the message and keep developers in the loop with everything related to the Google+ platform.

Chris Chabol, the lead of the Google+Developer Relations team, noted in a blog post that the team plans to host regular hangouts every Wednesday at 11:30 a.m to 12:15 p.m PDT to talk about the +Platform. This helpful web resource will also allow people to share tips and tricks with the community. The platform team will also share announcements pertaining to Google+ developer events, platform updates, conferences and hackathons, as well as photos and videos of the events.

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Gigabyte City back on track: Google ready to ‘lay fiber’ in KCK

Google announced last spring that Kansas City, K.S., landed the search engine’s super-speed Internet project, but disputed details within the original agreement created a troublesome 10-month delay. However, it now seems KCK is finally fiber-ready.

Google claimed it would begin KCK customer signups for the service in the fourth quarter of 2011, and the company planned to power-up the fiber optic network in the first quarter of 2012. For a while, it seemed those plans would not come to fruition, but Google announced in an official blog post today that it is ready to lay fiber now.

“We’ve measured utility poles; we’ve studied maps and surveyed neighborhoods; we’ve come up with a comprehensive set of detailed engineering plans; and we’ve eaten way too much barbecue. Now, starting today, we’re ready to lay fiber,” wrote Google Access General Manager Kevin Lo.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based Company said it plans to stretch thousands of miles of cables across Kansas City, K.S., and Kansas City, M.O…

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Microsoft says Dynamics CRM Android app is arriving in Q2

Software giant Microsoft will release in the second quarter a high-profile productivity tool for Android-toting business professionals. Accompanying Microsoft’s CRM Dynamics 2012 platform update is a preview guide that specifically mentions Android support, as noted by ZDnet. The document also includes a screenshot depicting Dynamics CRM mobile client for iPad (as seen on the right). In addition to native clients for Android devices and iPads/iPhones running iOS 5.x, Dynamics CRM will also be available on devices powered by Microsoft’s Windows Phone software.

As opposed to a web client that comes with significant limitations, the mobile client comes with all the bells and whistles so it should be Godsend for road warriors. Many businesses rely upon Dynamics CRM to manage their interactions with customers, clients, and sales prospects. Dynamics CRM mobile client will be priced at $30 a month per seat versus rival Salesforce’s mobile client which starts at $65 a month per seat.

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HUD Google Glasses are real and they are coming soon

Terminator glasses

We detailed the first information about the Google [x] Glasses project in December.

They are in late prototype stages of wearable glasses that look similar to thick-rimmed glasses that “normal people” wear.  However, these provide a display with a heads up computer interface.  There are a few buttons on the arms of the glasses, but otherwise, they could be mistaken for normal glasses.  Additionally, we are not sure of the technology being employed here, but it is likely a transparent LCD or AMOLED display such as the one demonstrated below:

In addition, we have heard that this device is not an “Android peripheral” as the NYT stated.  According to our source, it communicates directly with the Cloud over IP. Although, the “Google Goggles”  could use a phone’s Internet connection, through Wi-Fi or a low power Bluetooth 4.0.

The use-case is augmented reality that would tie into Google’s location services.  A user can walk around with information popping up and into display -Terminator-style- based on preferences, location and Google’s information.

Therefore, these things likely connect to the Internet and have GPS.  They also likely run a version of Android.

Since then, we have learned much more regarding Google’s glasses… Read more

Samsung sends out invites for press event on Mar. 22 in France

While it’s likely not for the delayed Samsung Galaxy S III, that we now know won’t debut at the Mobile World Congress later this month, Samsung has sent out invites to several French Android blogs for an event scheduled for Mar. 22, 2012. The event will take place just weeks after MWC wraps up on March 1.

Earlier this month a leaked press shot of a mystery device surfaced pointing to an unveiling in Barcelona, where MWC will be held this year. The announcement on March 22 being held in France could point to a regional announcement, but we’ll have to wait until next month to find out for sure.
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Google and the Super Bowl: Mobile browsing, YouTube uploads skyrocket

Americans were busy consuming record amounts of chicken wings and dip during yesterday’s big game, but they were also mobile web browsing more than ever before.

According to an official Google blog post, United States viewers used their tablets and smartphones to Google the Giants and Patriots, halftime acts and the best Super Bowl advertisements.

“In fact, around 41 percent of searches related to [Super Bowl ads] that were made during the game came from mobile devices, up from 25 percent for the same time the day prior,” wrote software engineer Jeffrey Oldham.

The Super Bowl XLVI streamed live for the first time this year, and a soaring spike in related searches came with the flagship circumstance. Predominate searches initially came from desktop devices, but mobile devices leaped forward as the four-hour game launched into full swing.

Read below for more details on Google and the Super Bowl.

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Google adheres to censorship in India

The world’s largest democracy is asking Google and 20 other companies to respect a law passed last year and bar offensive material online after a private petitioner decided to sue them over potentially insulting images to Hindus, Christians and Muslims.

Google, YouTube and Blogspot removed some content from India-based websites Monday to adhere to a court directive that cautioned a China-like crackdown, according to Reuters (via The Globe and Mail). Google has not name the blocked websites.

“(Our) review team has looked at the content and disabled this content from the local domains of search, YouTube and Blogger,” said Google spokesperson Paroma Roy Chowdhury to Reuters.

The Indian law passed last year makes Internet companies responsible for user content posted online and allots 36 hours to remove any offensive content…

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