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David Beren

January 2, 2014

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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Samsung’s efforts to dominate every technology vertical continues this morning as the company announces the successor to the original Galaxy Camera, the Galaxy Camera 2. The new model of the Android-based shooter includes an upgraded 1.6GHz quad-core processor, 21x Optical Zoom, 2GB of RAM, Dropbox support for more memory and a 16M BSI CMOS sensor for “vivid images which are both rich in color and sharp in detail.”

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Everyone can use an Echo Dot: Just $50!

Samsung is generally one of the best companies to visit at the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas. The Korean giant arguably puts on some of the best shows and has one of the largest individual display areas for any company in attendance. That’s all well and good, but a new post by the company’s “Samsung Tomorrow” blog is capturing our attention.

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Glass-tutorial

 

There’s been no shortage of critique regarding Google Glass, its future, privacy, and of course cost. A new Google+ write-up by the most famous “Glasshole” Robert Scoble raises a number of issues relating to Glass and the potential for it to be both wildly popular and doomed before it even gets started. Scoble lists a number of reasons why it’s possible that Glass could be both successful or find itself on the shelf of great Google products that were introduced before their time.

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January 1, 2014

With the acquisition of the company in September, Bump and Flock CEO and co-founder David Lieb quietly announced last night that both apps were shutting down effective January 31st. According to a brief blog post on the Bump site, Lieb says his team is “deeply focused on our new projects within Google” and given that the acquisition appears to be talent-driven, the shutdown comes as little surprise.

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Motorola is kicking off 2014 with a piece of excellent news as the Moto X drops to $399.99 without contract. Rick Osterloh, the company’s Senior Vice President just announced the news on the company’s official blog stating Motorola has “hearing a lot recently from people who want a new premium smartphone at a reasonable price without having to wait for a contract upgrade.” Motorola is taking the bull by the horns and dropping the price down to a level that is arguably one of the best price tags we’ve seen on a premium device in some time.

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December 31, 2013

As the hours tick away to the end of 2013, Google Play Music is still offering a few freebies to help ring in the new year. Under the “Best Tracks of 2013,” Google is giving away some of the following songs:

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December 30, 2013

As the clock ticks away to 2014 and with just a few days separating us from the start of CES, a new competitor is throwing its hat into the smartwatch category. Archos, a company that doesn’t quite elicit the same name response as Samsung or Apple will be “unveiling a selection of smartwatches starting at under £50 or $82 US dollars.”

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By all accounts the Consumer Electronics Show kicking off in the next 10 days is looking to be fairly tame. While its true there could be dozens of surprises in store, the hype thus far has been pretty timid and I don’t see many of my colleagues expecting a wild ride as has been the case in years past. That’s not to say CES won’t be filled with exciting announcements of new products by hundreds of companies all converging on Las Vegas for one week in early January.

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As Google’s Chairman Eric Schmidt makes his own predictions for 2014, I’m turning the subject over to you…the 9to5Google reader. There’s absolutely no shortage of topics to cover or “what ifs” for Google in 2014. Given the various branch directions that Android, Chrome OS and the company itself can go, it’s a loaded question. With recent reports indicating Chrome OS is on the rise, could we see Microsoft running scared in 2014 against the impending threat of low-cost hardware with an operating system that costs manufacturers absolutely nothing?

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Google’s Chairman is back with a microphone courtesy of Bloomberg TV making his predictions for 2014. There’s little question Schmidt has made some bold statements lately, including how to properly switch from the iPhone.

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December 29, 2013

A new report out of the Wall Street Journal indicates Audi and Google will jointly announce a new in-car entertainment and information system at next weeks Consumer Electronics Show. The aim of both companies is to “allow drivers and passengers to access music, navigation, apps, and services that are similar to those widely available now on Android-powered smartphones.”

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Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside is in the precarious position of living up to incredible expectations as a Google owned company while still keeping the Motorola name in the spotlight. In an interview with the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, Woodside talked that very issue and more.

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Hey Verizon customers, keep a special eye out on Big Red’s “end of year” savings as there are a few goodies to be had. First off is a new sale on the Moto X similar to what the carrier ran in November offering the device for $49.99 with a two-year agreement.

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December 27, 2013

Have you wondered how Google calculates those sometimes kinda/sorta/maybe accurate estimated time of arrival quotes on Google Maps? Of course you have, I know I have and thanks to Quora and former ex-Google engineer Matt Laroche (via BGR), we have something of an answer:

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android-key-lime-pie

As the clock continues to click away to January 1st, we’re taking a look at our last top 9to5Google subject post of 2013. This time around we’ve saved the best for last as we look back at the last year in Android and the top 5 most read stories as determined by you, the 9to5Google reader. Perhaps the inevitable news is that 3 out of 5 or 60% of the top stories surround KitKat and its release. There were quite a few happenings in Android this year, but none more notable than the launch of the latest version of Android which has long been known as Key Lime Pie. Ultimately, Google decided on KitKat and announced the release with a partnership with the KitKat candy bar…which is exactly our kind of partnership. Facebook took its own stab at Android this year with Facebook Home and the HTC First, a story we’ll get to a little later on. I think it’s safe to call 2013 more of an evolutionary year in Android more so than revolutionary, but still another year where the platform surged in growth and adoption.

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Screen Shot 2013-12-27 at 8.20.26 AM

For the second time this year, Google’s Android Developers Blog is highlighting some of the best designed apps for the Android platform. We all know that app design guidelines can be used to ensure a great user experience so it’s no surprise Google chose 11 apps this time around that “go above and beyond the [design] guidelines.”

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December 26, 2013

Years after Android hit store shelves and even after the lengthy and sometimes arduous update process has been detailed, HTC releases a new infographic taking a look at the whole process from beginning to end.

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Amazon has never been a company to provide specific sales numbers, but their just-issued press release shows us that Android, Kindle and Chromebooks dominated their holiday shopping season. Surprisingly, or perhaps not surprising at all is the Chromecast, which is the best seller in the Computers and Accessories category outselling the company’s own Kindle Fire lineup as well as Apple TV and the Roku 3 Streaming Media player.

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By now it’ll come as absolutely no surprise that Google has gone all in on Google+, it’s clearly a major part of the company’s future roadmap. We know that with the evolution of every new feature on Google+, it’s one more step in the search engine giants plans to allow the don’t-call-it-a-social-service to dominate the social world.

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