Seth Weintraub

@llsethj

Publisher and Editorial Director of the 9to5 Sites.

  +SethWeintraub (850,000)

Seth Weintraub is an award winning journalist and blogger who won back to back Neal Awards during his three plus years  covering Apple and Google at IDG’s Computerworld from 20072010.  Weintraub next covered all things Google for Fortune Magazine from 2010-2011 amassing a thick rolodex of Google contacts.

It turns out that his hobby 9to5Mac.com blog was always his favorite and in 2011 he went full time adding his Fortune Google followers to 9to5Google.com and adding the 9to5Toys.com gear and deals site.

For 15 years, Weintraub was a Global IT director and Web Developer for a number of companies with stints at multimedia and branding agencies in Paris, Los Angeles, New York, Sydney, Hong Kong, Madrid and London before becoming a publisher/blogger. Seth is a licensed single engin private pilot, certified open water diver and spent over a year traveling to 60 cities in 23 countries. Whatever free time exists is now guaranteed to his wife and two sons.

More at About.me.

Tips: seth at 9to5G.com, or llsethj on IM

August 29

GOOG: 772.15

2.61
Stock Chart

Update: David Drummond has now stepped down from Uber’s board, according to an Uber statement given to The Information.

In an interesting note from The Information (paywall), we learn that for around a year, Uber has been shutting out its Alphabet board members from board meetings. Google and now Alphabet through its GV arm own a single digit percentage of Uber through early stage investments. That investment also allowed Google to secure a board seat at Uber. That in turn has made a somewhat uncomfortable relationship as Uber **ventures** more into mapping and autonomous driving and Google’s autonomous driving picks up steam, perhaps even for big-rigsexpand full story

August 19

GOOG: 775.42

-2.08
Stock Chart

Admittedly, I haven’t had enough time with the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 to be able to get used to it as a daily driver. As with all of the other reviews including Dom’s, we’re under a week in over here. But that doesn’t mean this thing hasn’t blown me away in a lot of respects. Nor does it mean that it is flawless.

Today is the first day you can pick it up at Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint and AT&T in the US and through your favorite retailers, and I know a lot of you have itchy trigger fingers.

The question: Should you get this smartphone? expand full story

August 4

GOOG: 771.61

-1.57
Stock Chart

The Indian Smartphone numbers from Strategy Analytics this evening paint a grim picture for everyone (Apple) except Google’s Android OS. In Q2, over 97% of smartphones ran the Android operating system. That’s up from ‘just’ 90% a year ago.

Apple, meanwhile, actually fell significantly in shipments from 1.2M in Q2 2015 to just 800,000 in Q2 of 2016 – a whopping 35% drop.

Woody Oh, Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “Apple iOS fell 35 percent annually and shipped 0.8 million smartphones in India in Q2 2016. Apple’s smartphone marketshare has halved from 4 percent to just 2 percent in India during the past year. Apple iOS will need to reduce iPhone pricing to cheaper levels, attract more operator subsidies and enlarge its retail presence through Apple stores or online channels if it wants to regrow significantly in the future.”

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9to5mac 

April 18

GOOG: 706.63

0.40
Stock Chart

Google has some big announcements at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) this week. Chief among them in my book is the announcement of the Google Cloud CDN going into Beta. This is big for Publishers (like us) who want to speed up delivery of images, audio and video and will take on big players like Amazon’s CloudFront, Akamai and Telco solutions.

Cloud CDN enters Beta

We’re launching Cloud CDN Beta, allowing your media content to be pushed out to Google’s network edge and cached close to users. As always, data travels via Google’s network and reaches users who expect instantaneous access to images and live-stream video experiences. Cloud CDN is also fully integrated with Google’s global load balancing and enterprise-grade security to distribute media workloads anywhere they originate, so jobs never get bogged down.

Google is also teaming up with Autodesk to increase rendering speed in Maya by up to 10x… expand full story

March 18

GOOG: 737.60

-0.18
Stock Chart

Just some quick site news: We’ve moved our commenting system from native Wordpress comments to Disqus *waits for applause* …

Why?

WordPress is easier for us because it is integrated into the WYSIWYG CMS and the inline comments (vs. iframe Disqus) help with search engines (read: Google), so WordPress makes a ton of sense…on the surface.

But we’ve been seeing lower than normal engagement in the comments over the past year and the #1 reason why is that people just don’t use WordPress commenting. The #1 commenting system both in numbers and in my opinion, in features is Disqus. We love the moderation, the voting and a host of other stuff you can build when your product is comments.

We had considered using Google Plus comments but Google’s inclination to change things there without notice made it too big of a risk. Also, if Disqus is a hit here, we’d like to move it to our other sites as well which may not be as friendly to Google products. We’ve also looked at the other big commenting engines but in the end, kept coming back to Disqus. We hope it helps foster conversation here.

What do you think? (Comments below!) expand full story

March 12

GOOG: 726.82

14.00
Stock Chart
9to5toys 

February 24

GOOG: 735.30

-2.76
Stock Chart

Update: A Google rep now tells us:

Our Policy Team has taken another look at this and decided to reinstate ad serving to your site. No further action is needed.

Please reach out if you still have any issues with ads on your site.

So we’re back..for now – but obviously we’re exposed and it might make sense to make a change anyway. Stay tuned. 

Some big site news everyone! At around noon today, our ads stopped working. They run through both Google’s Doubleclick/Ad Exchange network and Adsense. We’ve had a long and fruitful relationship with Google’s ads department, so when these type of issues do come up every few months, a few panicked calls and emails to the account rep of the moment can fix things. (And because our network does well into 6 figures/month, if we are vigilant we usually get to talk to a human!)

But this time was different. We have learned that Google’s Public Policy Team has decided that, after 5 years of publishing under the 9to5Google name, we have been violating their trademark. Sure we’re on Google+, News, Apps, Ads and just about everything else Google as 9to5Google but I guess something changed.

We are a news site dedicated to covering Google, not trying to masquerade as Google, so we’re appealing this decision (and if you know anyone at Google please have them run this up the ladder). But there is a big chance we’ll have to change our name. Obviously we’ll do a redirect so you can enter 9to5google.com in your browser and shouldn’t have to update your bookmarks feeds or Twitter or anything.

In the meantime, if we do have to change our name, what should we change our name to? 9to5G.com is probably the easiest. But perhaps we should embrace the bigger company name: 9to5Alphabet.com. Obviously that has the same risks. We could also just reduce ourselves to as few of characters as possible with 925.co? Or maybe we lose the 9to5 and go 24/7? You tell us!

Excerpted sad email from account rep follows: expand full story

February 21

GOOG: 742.09

4.49
Stock Chart

With LG’s G5 event out of the way, Samsung’s will be the last major Android-related event of press day at Mobile World Congress 2016. The event begins at 10AM PST / 1PM EST and will be streamed by Samsung in a variety of ways…

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February 1

GOOG: 718.81

21.04
Stock Chart

A report today is saying that Google wants to become more like Apple in its Nexus lineup of phones and tablets – that is to say it wants more control over the marketing and building of its products. But can Google build up its hardware engineering at the same time without alienating its hardware/carrier partners and even Apple? … expand full story

electrek 

December 21, 2015

GOOG: 747.77

8.46
Stock Chart

From 9to5Toys:

If you are looking for a last minute deal for Android-loving Christmas recipients, Amazon has matched the lowest price we’ve ever seen on  the Marshmallow Nexus 6 phablet at $249.99 shipped in Cloud White or Midnight Blue.

Until very recently, this was Google’s flagship phone and it still has enviable specs and gets the first updates.  Whether you use this as your main phone or a burner/development/extra/kids/parents phone, it still holds up very well and includes fast charging Micro-USB, a huge 6-inch display, front stereo speakers and much more.

You can get it with plenty of time for wrapping and putting under the tree. Prime will get it there by the 23rd.

If you want to got full bore, the 64GB is also available for $299.99, also an all time low. If you are after something smaller, grab the Moto X Gen 2 leather for the same price.

Of course, if you are looking for the latest and greatest, You can grab the Nexus 6P for $50 off hereexpand full story

December 17, 2015

GOOG: 749.43

-8.66
Stock Chart

Easily one of the best Android devices on the market, Amazon today offers the Moto X Pure Edition 32GB Android phone for $349.99 in Black or White.  The White and Bamboo edition is available for just $25 more (a worthy add on in my opinion). That’s $50 off and a very unusual discount for this highly rated phone with 21MP Sony Camera that works on all 4 major US networks. Other Features:

  • 5.7″ Quad HD display + stereo sound: Immerse yourself in entertainment with a vivid, edge-to-edge display that’s enhanced by rich stereo sound.
  • 21 MP camera: Take crystal-clear pictures and get great results in any light.
  • TurboPower charging: Get the world’s fastest charging with TurboPower(TM) technology for up to 10 hours of use in just 15 minutes of charging.
  • All-day battery: Power through the day without stopping to recharge.
  • Advanced water protection: Never let spills, splashes, or rain stand in the way of using your phone.
  • Pure Android(TM) experience: Android(TM) as it was intended – without unnecessary clutter from preloaded apps or software.
  • Moto enhancements: Simplifying what you’re doing. Anticipating what you’re going to do. Your phone does it for you.

 

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December 11, 2015

GOOG: 738.87

-10.59
Stock Chart

A great read and important message from the newly minted, foreign-born CEO of Google.

I walk around the campus where I work and see a vibrant mix of races and cultures. Every one of those people has a different voice … a different perspective … a different story to tell. All of that makes our company an exciting and special place to be, and allows us to do great things together. We are urgently working to become much more diverse, because it’s so important to our future success. I firmly believe that whether you’re building a company or leading a country, a diverse mix of voices and backgrounds and experiences leads to better discussions, better decisions, and better outcomes for everyone.

Head over the Medium for the rest.

9to5mac 

October 29, 2015

GOOG: 716.92

3.97
Stock Chart

Alphabet/then Google CEO Larry Page spilled the beans on Motorola’s big product announcement way back in 2013 on an earnings call justifying the purchase of Motorola:

“Think about your device. Battery life is a challenge for most people. You shouldn’t need to carry around a charger to make it through the day. If your kid spills their drink on your tablet, the screen shouldn’t die. And when you drop your phone, it shouldn’t shatter.

“Having just seen Motorola’s upcoming products myself, I’m real excited about the potential there. In just under a year, they have accomplished a lot, and have impressive velocity and execution.”

Unfortunately, Google capitulated to Samsung and sold off the Motorola division to Lenovo early last year.  That doesn’t mean that the things Motorola was working on stopped.

In fact, there’s a very real possibility that Page was referring to a shatterproof Google-branded Moto Nexus 6, but the shatterproof technology wasn’t ready for launch…just like the fingerprint reader that also wasn’t.

Fast forward to this week and Motorola along with its Droid carrier partner Verizon debuted two new Droids, the Droid Turbo 2 and Maxx 2. I’ve been using both phones since the event and have a pretty good viewpoint on their role in the Android ecosystem.

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October 28, 2015

GOOG: 712.95

4.46
Stock Chart

Unfortunately I don’t have too much to add on the experience of the HTC One A9 first look I posted last week. A TL;DR is that it looks a lot like an iPhone but nevertheless is a solid usable device with very respectable features at a very reasonable (although temporary) $399 price. The downsides are that it isn’t top-of-line specs, camera is just good (but not great), and of course HTC Sense and all the carrier garbage is still going to likely be on the phone you get (unless you opt for the unlocked version).

But really the One A9 is breaking new ground for HTC… expand full story

October 25, 2015

GOOG: 702.00

50.21
Stock Chart

I’ve had the HTC One A9 in my hands for a few days but didn’t want to give my initial thoughts until the Taiwanese smartphone maker pushed an update fix to the Android 6.0 phones yesterday.

I’ll get the obvious out of the way right off the bat: Yes, for better or worse, it looks like an iPhone 6. Sure, HTC invented the antenna strips with the M7 a few years ago and there are significant differences like the size (5-inches, halfway between the iPhone  and iPhone Plus models) camera placement at the center top as opposed to corner and oval fingerprint reader instead of Apple’s circle. But the rounded edges speaker grill, colors and other design tweaks look way too much like the iPhone.

In fact, I’ve mistaken the A9 for my iPhone on a few occasions over the past few days and the A9 is black and my iPhone is white/silver! The iPhone resemblance is a big bummer because HTC has long taken pride in their distinctive, if not overly-heavy, phone designs.

Now that that’s out of the way, there are plenty of things to like about the new One A9, including the size as I mentioned before being right in between the two iPhone models. For me, 5 inch screens is the sweet spot, no question. HTC has removed most of everything else around the screen so this is really a svelte phone. The curves feel great in the hand, the buttons are placed perfectly. The power button has a distinct feel so you won’t mistakenly hit it when you are trying to turn up the volume.

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9to5toys 

October 23, 2015

GOOG: 702.00

50.21
Stock Chart

I hadn’t seen the new site which also includes talks stretching back years almost like a Google “Ted Talks”. Some great videos so you can lean back and watch over the weekend.  expand full story

October 21, 2015

GOOG: 642.61

-7.67
Stock Chart

Not to be confused with (Red) Youtube or RedTube, Google announced a new streaming Netflix competitor today dubbed YouTube Red.  The service will also include YouTube streaming music which is also Google Play Music all access which currently carries a $9.99/month price tag so the effective upgrade is $0 for streaming videos and much more… expand full story

October 19, 2015

GOOG: 666.10

3.90
Stock Chart

The Moto G has always been a great deal but it hasn’t been paired with the best budget carriers to date. In what might be a big holiday seller for mid-tier users, Sprint subsidy Virgin today began offering 3 new Android smartphones including the Moto G 3rd gen. for $150, the HTC Desire 626s for $130 and Huawei Union at $80.

The standout here is the Moto G which I absolutely loved (with a few caveats) which retails at $180. The 5-inch phone is pretty close to flagship level last year with a few missing bits. The 5 inch screen is perfect sized but the lack of NFC payment options might be a turn off. It shares the camera of the Nexus 6 and it is IPX7 waterproof to 3 feet for 30 minutes.  Hopefully Virgin won’t mess with the almost stock Android and provide timely updates (fingers crossed)

That $30 you save you can pay your 1st month of usage on the 3 gig 4G of data plan (see plans below). While Sprint’s network may not be the strongest in all areas, I’ve found it to be improving rapidly lately.

The Moto G will almost certainly be the first Android 6.0 device on Virgin and at $150 down and $30/month a great gift idea for the kids/parents/grandparents out there. Alternatively, if you want to use an Android device like an iPod touch (without a carrier) this is the first $30 discount we’ve seen. expand full story

electrek 

October 1, 2015

GOOG: 611.29

2.87
Stock Chart

We’re here at the Lincoln Center Walter Reade Theater to cover what has been rumored for quite some time and announced just last night... expand full story

September 29, 2015

GOOG: 716.92

3.97
Stock Chart

Today’s Google event was chock full of new products and services many of which were leaked ahead of the event. While most of the new items had been covered in recent days (casemakers were ready), Stephen, Cam, Jordan and Chance did an excellent job rounding up the unexpected too. Some things that stood out:

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