Microsoft appears to be blocking Google as default search option on select Lumia devices

 

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Microsoft is reportedly blocking Google as a search engine option on some of Nokia’s new Lumia handsets. Windows Phone devices ship with Bing as their default search engine without an option to change platforms. Prior to Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s phone making division, the Finnish company provided users with an option to change a Lumia’s search engine via its web browser, but this appears to be gone from some devices.

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Nokia announces the X2, a quasi-Android smartphone with mid-range specs

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Today Nokia announced the X2, the Finnish company’s second attempt at producing a smartphone that plays nice with Android. Not to be confused with Motorola’s flagship circa 2011, Nokia’s new device features a 4.3-inch ClearBlack WVGA display, a 1.2GHz Snapdragon processor, 1GB of RAM, 4GB of storage space and a 5-megapixel shooter with an LED flash. Available in a broad range of colors, including green, orange and black, additional hues are scheduled to be launch after its release.

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Google, Android manufacturers agree to participate in “Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment” program

 

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Google has agreed to back a new initiative along with a host of Android manufacturers and all of the major U.S. cellular carriers that would require all smartphones manufactured after July 2015 to come with specific anti-theft features. The program is the latest attempt to prevent theft of smartphones, which some have blamed for increasing crime rates.

To this end, Google introduced the Android Device Manager application last year, allowing users to locate or wipe lost or stolen devices. Today’s agreement between the carriers and handset manufacturers essentially states that all parties will ship this type of system on new phones.

Specifically, the required anti-theft measures are broken into four kinds:
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The rumors were true: Nokia X phones run Android … but only just

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Rumors of Nokia launching an Android phone seemed unlikely for a company acquired by Microsoft, but the company today announced not just one Android device, but three: the Nokia X, X+ and XL. The company’s flirtation with Android does, however, appear to be a token one – not that Microsoft is pleased.

The three budget phones are effectively hybrid devices. Not only have they been given an overlay designed to make them look like they are running Windows Phone, they aren’t even running a standard version of Android and won’t be able to run apps from the Google Play store …

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Leaked photos claim to show Nokia’s Normandy Android smartphone in the wild

We’ve already seen a few leaked press shots claiming to show Nokia’s much rumored Android smartphone and UI often referred to as the “Normandy” project. Today we get what appears to be the first shots of the device in the wild and better look at the device’s mix of Lumia and Asha design traits. The images above come from a thread on Coolaxap.com where leaked images of Windows devices have popped up before.

While nothing is official, recent reports said the device could debut as early as this month at the Mobile World Congress event that runs through February 27. We’ll be bringing you coverage from MWC next week and updates on Normandy as we find out more.  Read more

Nokia teases ‘X’ phone ahead of expected Android announcement at MWC next week

Ahead of its scheduled announcement at Mobile World Congress on Monday, Nokia is teasing what we expect to be its first venture into Android handsets.

What has been codenamed Normandy, an Android variant with a Windows Phone-like user interface seen on Nokia’s recent smartphones, is being branded as Nokia X according to information shared by evleaks and mirrored by Nokia’s promo (seen above).

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WSJ: Nokia’s Normandy Android phones finally coming this month

normandyNokia could finally show off those Android-based “Normandy” smartphones we’ve been seeing surface lately. The company will debut its rumored fork of Android later this month at Mobile World Congress, according to The Wall Street JournalThe event kicks off in two weeks in Barcelona, Spain, and runs through February 27th.

Nokia, whose devices and services division was acquired by Microsoft last fall, had been working on the Android phones ahead of the acquisition, WSJ says. Nokia has been the primary handset maker for Windows Phone OS-based smartphones since dropping its own OS years ago, and even its Android fork borrows heavily from the signature Windows Phone design as seen in recent leaks. Read more

Are these images of Nokia’s Normandy Android fork UI?

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The story of the Nokia Normandy project to get Android on low cost smartphones got some more real today with yet another leak of the phones, this time with some OS shots on them. If what we’re seeing is legit, and most evleaks are, this one has two SIM card slots and very thick custom overlay.  I can’t wait to see if these are released so I can not buy one.  Read more

Nokia Normandy, the fabled Android-based device shows off its OS

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Rumors of Nokia’s fabled-Android device persist and with a new leak the rumor mill will continue to spark. Courtesy of WPDang, the Nokia Normandy looks to run a “forked” version of Android which likely means no direct access to the Play Store. Ultimately, that doesn’t surprise us given that the potential for a Google-approved Nokia device seems like a crap shoot in a post-Microsoft acquisition world.

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Twitter tipster shows off another image for Nokia’s rumored Android device

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Perhaps one of the greatest “what could have been” stories in recent (tech) times is definitively the question of what Nokia would be like today had they gone with Android over Windows Phone? There’s little question Nokia’s fortunes might have changed dramatically and as a result, the fortunes of every other Android OEM not named Samsung.

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Samsung believes popularizing the Galaxy Gear begins with getting the girl

For a moment there I didn’t think I would find a creepier marketing spot than Nokia’s Lumia 2520 “mullet.” Well, Samsung has gone and taken “creepy marketing spot” to a whole new level with “Are You Geared Up?” The 2.5 minute features two guys, one with the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear smartwatch, the other with just a run-of-the-mill smartphone and of course the bombshell blonde.

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