YouTube losing support on older devices as Google begins sunsetting Data API v2

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Google announced today that it is beginning the retirement process of YouTube’s Data API v2, and that means that some older devices, including older Apple and Google TV set-top boxes, will no longer be able to access the video streaming site. The change is also going to affect users of older gaming consoles and iOS devices as the deprecated built-in YouTube apps will be unable to access the service… Read more

Nokia plans a second coming to right the Elop wrong and build Android phones

The Nokia Brand phone company that Microsoft subsumed may be on the verge of a comeback to phones if recent rumors prove true.  According to a recent report, the new/old Nokia will begin producing phones as soon as it is contractually able to do so and those phones unsurprisingly will run a flavor of Android.

Unlike other patent houses that do little more than license intellectual property, Nokia Technologies has designed new products and licensed them to other companies. So far, these ambitions have been small in scale. The division has released just two products — an Android program called Zlauncher and the N1, an Android tablet design it licensed to another manufacturer that is selling it under the Nokia name in China. Its return to the market is likely to employ a similar tactic.

But insiders said those two products are just the beginning.

“They have a lot of great stuff in development,” said Richard Kerris, a former Nokia executive who also consulted for the company until last year as part of his last startup.  “It gave me complete confidence that Nokia is a company that is not going away.”

While Kerris said he couldn’t go into specifics, he said people will be blown away if some of the stuff he saw comes to market.

If you consider Nokia’s N1 Android tablet, the first to use the newly popular USB-C type of interface, which apparently, it can release outside of its Microsoft agreement the rumor isn’t surprising. In fact, it is pretty obvious.

But this whole episode really stinks to me. Microsoft’s Stephen Elop moved to Nokia in 2010 from Microsoft. Within months, he wrote a frightening memo that the company had to shift courses and eventually move to Microsoft’s shifting phone OS which was as disastrous a decision as it could make. Then, as the value of the company was rapidly depleted based off of that poor decision, the smartphone part of the business with Elop in tow gets bought by Microsoft at a steep discount.

Now, a lifetime later in mobile phone years, Nokia is doing what it should have done a long time ago and move to Android. Perhaps there is still some life left in the company.  We’ll see. Read more

You no longer need an invite to buy a OnePlus One (yep, that was the exciting announcement)

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OnePlus has been teasing an announcement for a few days now, but like last month’s tease for a new gaming product that turned out to be a very early April Fool’s joke, this one also turned out to be rather an anti-climax.

Starting today, the One will be available without an invite. Forever.

That’s right. In our first big celebration of the One’s successful year, we are opening up sales globally for everyone, every day of the week.

The company said that it felt it had “matured” sufficiently to handle the increased demands of open sales …  Read more

Sony announces its Xperia Z4 flagship w/ Snapdragon 810 SoC, very familiar design

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The Xperia Z4 smartphone isn’t exactly a secret, but now Sony has come out to officially announce the device in Japan. It’s basically the smartphone version of the Xperia Z4 tablet that was announced in March, and like that device, it doesn’t seem to be much of a visual overhaul compared to its predecessor. It does pack some pretty hefty upgrades on the inside, though, including an upgraded SoC and front-facing camera… Read more

Google acquired Athena Wireless in February, likely to bolster Fiber and MVNO ambitions

Google finalized a deal to acquire Surprise, Arizona startup Athena Wireless Communications in February of this year, according to reports. The company has been around for several years and has spent much of that time building wireless LTE and small cell technologies that can move data at gigabit Fiber-like speeds. The acquisition is an obvious one for a company such as Google that is continuing to build out its Google Fiber infrastructure and has plans to announce its own MVNO… Read more

Google announces ‘Works with Google Cardboard’ program to unify third-party viewers

Get Cardboard – Google 2015-04-16 13-06-52

Google Cardboard is getting pretty popular, and Google has today announced a new program called “Works with Google Cardboard” that unifies all the third-party viewers that have cropped up with a cute little orange badge. But beyond the visual representation of the program, it’s an attempt by Google to bring together the various variants of Cardboard and make sure they’ll all work with the many available Cardboard apps (and app developers can play along, too)…

Read more

Google’s ‘Field Trip’ app updated with Android Wear support

Google’s Field Trip app updated with Material Design | 9to5Google 2015-04-16 11-29-50

Niantic Labs is the group within Google that’s behind the famed Ingress augmented reality game, but they have another app that definitely gets a lot less attention. It’s called Field Trip, and it lets you quickly and easily find places of interest around your physical location. You don’t even have to use the app yourself—it runs in the background and automatically lets you know when you’re getting close to “cool, hidden, and unique things in the world around you.” Now, the app will send those notifications to your wrist… Read more

Two major carriers opt out of Microsoft’s deal w/ Samsung to pre-install apps on the Galaxy S6

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You may recall last month that Microsoft announced a major partnership with Samsung to include a number of mobile apps on the flagship Galaxy S6 out-of-the-box. While bundled apps may be considered bloatware for many consumers, the deal meant Microsoft’s Android apps would gain a lot of exposure for adopters of arguably the best 2015 Android smartphone. The results of that deal may vary, though, as two major carriers have introduced roadblocks to some of Microsoft’s apps for their versions of the Galaxy S6… Read more