January 26

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If Gmail was Google’s answer to email in 2004, Inbox is how the company wants everyone to do email in the future. Like Google Now, it has intelligent features that make it easier for regular users to manage their email. An update today makes search smarter so that users don’t have to dig around their messages to find something.

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Sony will be acquiring an Israeli chip maker called Altair Semiconductor for $212 million, the handset maker announced in an official press release this week. Altair Semiconductor is known for its advancements with LTE (Long Term Evolution) modems. They’ve been working on making LTE chips that are faster, with lower power consumption, all while at a lower cost. This possibly means that Sony can deploy LTE technology to markets that may not have it as of yet. The acquisition is slated to be all wrapped up early by February 2016, just a few weeks away.

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electrek 

Google has announced a new philanthropic partnership with NetHope aiming to help Syrian refugees in Germany get reconnected by making 25,000 Chromebooks available to nonprofits. The goal — as described on the Project Reconnect home page — is “to help refugees as they strive to rebuild their lives, by facilitating access to education and information resources on the web.”

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9to5mac 

LG announced its Q4 2015 earnings this morning and revealed that although the company as a whole saw growth and profitability, the mobile division made a loss. LG made $308 million in Q4 thanks mostly to strong performance from its Home Appliance and Air Solution Company.

Despite LG’s mobile division making a loss of around $39 million, LG managed to sell 15.3 million smartphones globally in the fourth quarter, bringing its total for 2015 up to 59.7 million units. That’s slightly better than 2014, when LG managed to sell 59.1 million smartphones. Sequentially, fourth quarter sales were up 12% on the third quarter, thanks to strong performance in North America, presumably as a result of launching the V10 flagship smartphone and holiday season sales…

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