Android Lollipop for Nexus 7 (2012) now available as factory image leaks ahead of time

Nexus 7

While official Android Lollipop factory images for the all-new Nexus 9 and Nexus Player were made available earlier this month, users with other Nexus and Google Play Edition devices are still waiting on Google to seed the update. In the meantime, Nexus 7 (2012) owners are in luck, as an Android Lollipop factory image for the tablet has leaked ahead of its official release. Read more

Google CEO hints about upcoming Motorola phone features

Larry Page

Google CEO Larry Page just wrapped up his opening comments during the company’s Q4 2013 earnings call taking place right now. While noting that “managing our supply better” is a priority (see Nexus 4 supply constraints), Page also hinted at some possible upcoming Motorola smartphone features. Page said Motorola is working on the following two areas: better batteries and impact-resistant designs.

I am excited about the business. In today’s multi screen world, the opportunities are endless.  Think about your device.  Battery life is a huge issue.  You shouldn’t have to worry about constantly recharging your phone.  When you drop your phone, it shouldn’t go splat.  Everything should be a ton faster and easier.  There’s real potential to invent new and better experiences.

Page also said Motorola’s new CEO, Dennis Woodside, has a built a “world-class team” that is currently exploring these new opportunities: Read more

Google looks back at 2012 with compilation Google Doodle

Screen Shot 2012-12-31 at 2.42.54 PM

It is New Year’s Eve (for some still, anyway), and Google has created yet another Doodle on the homepage to look back at the most noteworthy Google Doodles of 2012.

Google celebrated a multitude of events this year via its interactive and awe-inspiring Google Doodles, such as: the 200th Anniversary of Grimm’s Fairy Tales, 161st Anniversary of Moby Dick’s First Publishing, 107th Anniversary of Little Nemo in Slumberland, 79th Anniversary of the First Drive-in Movie, and more.

Many of the year’s most talked about Doodles are re-imagined in Google’s latest masterpiece above. Visit www.google.com to browse the other notables. Google also posted a link on the homepage to Zeitgeist 2012, so Web surfers can “watch and remember the biggest moments of 2012.”

The Internet Giant’s 12th annual Zeitgeist report provides insight into the most popular search queries over the year. Get more Zeitgeist data in the video below, or just check out 9to5Google’s full breakdown of the stats.

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Google Q1 2012 earnings: $10.65 billion in revenue

Google just announced its Q1 2012 earnings before the live call set to start at 4:30 p.m. EST.

The Mountain View-based Company is reporting revenues are up 24 percent year-over-year. Revenue is at $10.65 billion, and net income is at $2.9 billion for the quarter. Sites owned by Google generated $7.31 billion in revenue, which accounts for 69 percent of total revenues. International revenues for the company totaled $5.77 billion (or 54 percent) of total revenue.

As of today, Google has $49.3 billion in cash or cash equivalents. The company also had 32,467 full-time employees at the end of 2011.

You can read the full press release after the break:

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StatCounter: Android is now double iOS in China

According to analytics service StatCounter, which measures billions of hits monthly across 3 million websites, Android now accounts for over 24 percent of mobile device usage in China—more than double the amount of iOS devices. The report of the top eight mobile operating systems in China shows Android usage spiked in February 2012 and took Android from 23.08-percent in January to 25.89-percent in February. Over the same period, iOS grew just one percent to 12.79-percent. While the month-to-month increase alone is not shocking, noteworthy is the fact Android came in at just 6.87-percent in October 2011. Meanwhile, iOS hovered around 12 percent since March 2011.

Apple is making a big push for its mobile devices in China this year, and the growth for both iOS and Android is obvious with China now the No. 1 country for activations on both platforms. In January 2011, China accounted for just 8 percent of total activations for iOS and Android. According to Flurry, China now accounts for 24 percent of activations as of March 2012 with the United States coming in at No. 2 with 21 percent.

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Google’s taking a nap: Not one buyout in four months despite 79 acquisitions in 2011

Google must be napping to reenergize for its upcoming Motorola Mobility acquisition, because it has not completed a single buyout in 2012 despite purchasing 79 companies last year.

Google filed its 10-K with the SEC in January that revealed the Mountain View, Calif.-based search engine spent $1.9 billion (including stock and cash) on 79 acquisitions in 2011. The more notable purchases were ITA Software for $676 million, and Apture, Katango, and Clever Sense. That means the Internet giant bought six to seven companies a month in 2011. In contrast, it obtained four companies a month in 2010 for a total 48 acquisitions worth $1 billion.

With that said, Google has not picked up a single company since Dec. 13, 2011—roughly four months since its last investment. If judging Google’s spending habits over the last two years, the firm should have already completed 16 to 28 buyouts in 2012 to bulk its portfolio of interests. The company still has time to flash its money, though, as it grabbed roughly 25 of those 2011 acquisitions after the year’s third quarter.

More information is available below.

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‘Best of the Grammys 2012′ on Google Music: 59 cent songs and $3.99 albums

With the 54th Grammys set to take place this Sunday, Feb. 12 at 8/7c on CBS, Google Music is getting ready for the big show by offering a selection of 59-cent songs and $3.99 albums from some of this year’s nominees selected by the The Recording Academy. You can visit the Best of the Grammys 2012 page in the Android Market now, and access dozens of albums and songs from artists like Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj, Codplay, Mumford & Sons, and David Guetta.
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Samsung concept shows off transparent, flexible, 3D AMOLED displays

Samsung today released the video above showing off a flexible, transparent, concept device that might be the company’s own take on Microsoft’s recently released Productivity Future Vision 2011 concept video.

Judging by a rough translation of the Korean video, the device would be a flexible, foldable, 3D capable sheet of glass (approximately 10-inches) with context sensitive UIs. Of course we’re not likely to see anything close to Samsung’s concept in the first batch of flexible displays, which are expected from the company sometime in 2012. However, the concept is yet more proof that Samsung is, at the very least, strongly considering bringing a flexible device to market. Samsung originally showed off their flexible AMOLED tech at CES 2011 with the 4.5-inch displays seen in the clip below:
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BlackBerry QNX smartphones getting Android apps “early’ 2012?

We’ve known for quite some time that RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook tablet would have access to Android apps via the QNX platform and the Android app player. However, today a report from Bloomberg suggests sources have confirmed the company will introduce “QNX phones in “early” 2012″ that will also have support for Android Market apps.

The report notes the devices will be getting the same Android player as the PlayBook only “tweaked to fit the different screen size and resolution of various BlackBerry models”. The app player would also come pre-installed to avoid frustrations similar to that surrounding the PlayBook launch.

RIM has been on a huge decline in recent months and is quickly losing market share thanks to outdated BlackBerry OS, and less then stellar sales of their current smartphone lineup. This is why it’s not surprising they aren’t shying away from embracing the Android Market’s 250,000+ apps, a number approximately six times higher than RIM’s App World. They are even supporting iOS devices with their latest version of BlackBerry Enterprise Server.

From the report:  Read more