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4 years ago

Google says Motorola downsizing may be more expensive than anticipated


Motorola has been undergoing significant "restructuring" for awhile, and Google recently said that even more than expected. Google increased the estimated cost of severance-related charges from $275 million to $300 million for the third quarter, and that another $40 million in facilities costs were possible. Google addressed these changes in a statements.

"Motorola has continued to refine its planned restructuring actions and now expects to broaden those actions to include additional geographic regions outside of the U.S. ... Motorola continues to evaluate its plans and further restructuring actions may occur, which may cause Google to incur additional restructuring charges, some of which may be significant."

Between the uphill battle of making Motorola profitable and the patent disputes that it has exposed Google to (nevermind defended them from), it's getting harder to see the $12.5 billion acquisition as a good idea. On the other hand, Motorola wasn't in particularly good shape when Google acquired it; one can only imagine how much longer Moto would have lasted on their own. 

What do you guys think: has Motorola still not had a chance to prove itself as a worthwhile investment to the Android ecosystem, or is it becoming too expensive for Google to reasonably keep around? Was the acquisition worth it for the patents alone, or are we likely to see some really excellent devices come out of Motorola with Google behind them? 

Via: Reuters

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4 years ago

Motorola acquires facial recognition company Viewdle


Motorola recently confirmed that they've acquired Ukranian facial and gesture recognition developer Viewdle for an undisclosed amount (though rumor has it that the deal went down for between $30 and $45 million, and that Google and Motorola have been considering snatching Viewdle for the last couple of years). None of Viewdle's apps, including their augmented reality game or their social camera app, are showing up in Google Play or on any of their product pages. A Motorola rep issued a statement on the acquisition:

"Motorola Mobility today announced that it has acquired Viewdle, a leading imaging & gesture recognition company. Motorola and Viewdle have an existing commercial agreement and have been collaborating for some time. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.”

So far, the only real facial recognition technology we're seeing in Android is for unlocking the device, but Viewdle has clearly explored the space in a number of directions that Google and Motorola could take. Tagging photos from the camera, touchless gesture recognition, and augmented reality are just some of the areas Viewdle has been working in. Best of all, some of their technology can work locally on the device, so you don't even have to rely on a data connection to get these things working. We saw the technology in action last year, and it seemed to be working pretty smoothly. 

So, how would you guys like to see Motorola and Google implement these features in Android? Are they simply additions to the native camera app, or should they be folded into something like Google Goggles? There was a lot of concern over privacy awhile back when Google first started about facial recognition; are you worried about Google and advertisers knowing what you look like? 

Via: TechCrunch

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4 years ago

Amazon opening Appstore to Japan, accepting submissions now


Amazon today announced that it is accepting app submissions for distribution in its Appstore later this year in Japan. That'll bring a strong alternative source of Android applications to millions of people, as well as a potential new revenue source for developers.

No word on when downloads will be made available; Amazon merely said "later this year."

Source: Amazon

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4 years ago

TomTom navigation now available for some Android devices


Popular dedicated navigation software arrives on Android, but many devices are incompatible

TomTom has launched its popular navigation service for Android on Google Play, bringing stand-alone offline navigation for many territories around toe world to the platform. Unlike Google Maps navigation, the app doesn't require a data connection to work, instead storing all the relevant data on your device. Maps are priced at around $50 per territory (between £31 and £50 in the UK), and come with host of features, which naturally includes turn-by-turn directions in multiple languages. There's also TomTom's "HD traffic" overlay, a 3D driving view and "fast" on-device route calculation.

However, a wide range of popular Android devices aren't compatible with TomTom's apps, including the HTC One X and One S, Google's Nexus 7 and Galaxy Nexus, Samsung's Galaxy S3 and Sony's Xperia S. Bizarrely, the just-launched Galaxy Note 2 is compatible. And we can also confirm that the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S, HTC One V, Samsung Galaxy S Advance, Sony Xperia P and Xperia U are marked as compatible, which makes for a rather haphazard selection of phones.

To see if you phone is supported, check the Google Play link above to view the U.S. and Canada version. Other territories are linked on that same page.

We went hands-on with the TomTom app for Android at IFA 2012 in August. Be sure to check out our hands-on report and video to learn more about what to expect form the app.

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 launches on Vodafone UK


Vodafone UK sends word that it's just launched the Galaxy Note 2, Samsung's latest 5.5-inch phone/tablet hybrid device. The device is available on Vodafone's "Red" price plan from £47 per month, which includes unlimited calls and texts, and 2GB of data. Other tariffs are available, although you'll pay an up-front fee for the phone if you go this route. For example, £33 per month will get you 600 minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB, with a £150 up-front fee for the Note.

Currently, Voda's offering the Galaxy Note 2 in "marbel white" only -- there's no sign of the "titanium grey" version available from other vendors.

For more on the Galaxy Note 2, check out our hands-on coverage.  We'll publish our full review later today.

Source: Vodafone UK

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4 years ago

LG and Whirlpool end refrigerator war and settle patent dispute


LG and Whirlpool have settled their latest patent dispute, leading to the dismissal of three separate infringement lawsuits in Delaware and New Jersey district courts. This looks like the end of years of courtroom battles between the two companies over refrigerator technology, and will allow the two to keep bringing the consumer a choice when it comes to buying appliances.

The complete terms of the agreement are confidential, but we're happy that the dispute was ended without the need for either side to go thermonuclear. 

Source: LG Newsroom

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4 years ago

LG Optimus L9 leaked for T-Mobile


If you can remember back to Mobile World Congress, we first saw the LG Optimus L9 and it's fancy Quick Translator app. Later at IFA in Berlin, we had a little hands-on. Tonight we see it with T-Mobile branding plastered across the top bezel. We have no idea about any potential release date or price, or if this will even become "official" any time soon, but we do have a press render of the LG P769.

The specs on the L9 aren't quite up to the same mark as the Optimus G, but it's still a more than capable device. A 4.7-inch qHD IPS display with a Gigabyte of DDR2 RAM, all powered by a 2150mAh battery should chew through just about anything you can throw at it.

We'll keep an eye out for more about this one, but for now the picture will have to suffice. 

Source: @evleaks

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4 years ago

This is what a T-Mobile branded Galaxy Note 2 will look like


The Galaxy Note 2 is big, it's bad, and here's a few shots of it with T-Mobile branding. Same beastly specs, same great screen, and same release date -- unknown. Think of this as a way to tide you over until we get some official word. A couple more pics after the break.

Source: T-Mo News

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 receiving small OTA update


The Galaxy Note 10.1 has had some mixed press since its release. Today, the Note is back in the news, but in a good way. Users in our forums are reporting that their Galaxy Tab 10.1's are pulling down a small OTA update -- about 75MB in size -- that's bringing a few much needed bugfixes to the device. Although the update keeps the device on Ice Cream Sandwich, it looks to fix compatibility with 64GB SDcards, change some UI issues that keep menus from moving and fixes a bug that would show/hide the keyboard erratically.

Have a Galaxy Note 10.1 laying around? Head to the settings menu and check for an update, you may just be greeted with a 75MB download. If you receive the update, hit up the forums and let us know how it goes.

More: Galaxy Note 10.1 Forums

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4 years ago

How to follow the 2012 Presidential Debate on your Android device


Although I'm not much into politics, there is plenty of good reasons to be following along with the 2012 Presidential Debate. If you're looking to tune in and hear which each of the candidates, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have to say there is no shortage of ways to do so on your Android device be it, via audio or via live video. Jump below to find out more about how you can tune in.

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4 years ago

Best Android phone for a former Apple user, S-Voice blunders [From the Forums]


Just in case you missed out on some of the Android news today, now is the time to go ahead and get yourself fully caught up. Here on the blogs and in the Android Central Forums there is plenty to talk about. Have some questions? Need some help or just looking to chat Android? You know where to go, check out some of the threads below to get started.

We've got nearly 1 million members helping members and nearly 2 million posts in our Android Forums. Are you one of them? Join today!

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4 years ago

AC's OUYA username contest winner is ...


A couple weeks back we decided to look to the wisdom of our readers for help in picking a username for Android Central's OUYA username. The response was overwhelming, and after looking through all of them we have come up with a winner. An awesome site like AC needs an awesome username, so here's your winner:

LloydOfTheRingspicked by AC reader glazedfaith.

Besides the admiration of all of us here for thinking up such a great gamertag, you've got a couple goodies headed your way. Namely an OUYA console of your own, and while your waiting for the spring delivery date, a Nexus 7 to keep you busy. Be sure to check your inbox!

Let's all congratulate glazedfaith, and be sure to keep en eye out for more contests from your pals at AC. We love them as much as you guys do!

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4 years ago

US Cellular Galaxy S3 getting a minor update that might have Google Wallet on board


US Cellular is gearing up an update for the Galaxy S3 (Galaxy S III), and while it's not Jelly Bean, it could be a pretty big deal. Besides the normal tweaking things, fixing old bugs, and introducing new ones that a maintenance release always brings, there's some evidence that this update will bring Google Wallet officially to the phone. This would mark the Galaxy S III as the first carrier approved device outside of Sprint to have official support.

First, let's talk about the update. It's definitely coming soonish, as it's already listed at US Cellular's Android downloads page. The new baseband will be R530UVXLI4, and be available OTA or via Samsung's Simple Upgrade Tool for Windows. There's no official change log, and the download isn't live from Samsung just yet, but the information is there and can't be unseen. We're pretty sure it is coming, and if we suggest you get ready and start checking for an OTA.

Now, about that Google Wallet. Android Police has a leaked internal document showing that Google Wallet will be included in the update, and that it's going live today. That's a big deal, as it's the first time a carrier besides Sprint decided to give Google's NFC payment process a chance. Other carriers have been putting time and effort into the ISIS payment system, and Verizon has actively attempted to keep users from keeping and updating Wallet on the Galaxy Nexus, doing everything short of blocking the app through Google Play. What this means for the future of Google Wallet is anyone's guess, but it's a move towards wider adoption ad that's a good thing.

Are you a US Cellular subscriber? Have you seen the update yet? Be sure to shout out in the comments and in the forums to let others know your experience.

Source: US Cellular; Android Police

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4 years ago

Sprint and AT&T getting the LG Optimus G


LG today announced that Sprint and AT&T will carry the Optimus G, the 4.7-inch Android smartphone we saw announced last month. (See our hands-on from the launch in South Korea.)

AT&T will get the version of the Optimus G that sports an 8-megapixel camera. (Other regions are getting a 13MP shooter.) That makes a difference, because the 8MP camera is flush with the body of the phone, whereas the 13MP lens sticks out slightly. Sprint says it'll carry the 13-megapixel version. (See our pre-production Optimus G camera test.)

Both phones will run on their respective carriers' 4G LTE networks and sport the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 pro processor at 1.5 GHz. They've got 2 gigabytes of RAM and a 2100 mAh battery. AT&T's phone will have 32GB of storage, as will Sprint's.

No word on pricing or availability yet for either carrier.

We've got hands-on video and more pics after the break.

Source: AT&T, PR Newswire

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4 years ago

Pantech Element and Pantech Burst get Ice Cream Sandwich update


Happy ICS day, Pantech Burst and Pantech Element, owners! The update to Android 4.0 for Pantech's smartphone and tablet are currently available through home page, or you can dig around in your on-device system settings to see if you can initiate the upgrade from there. So, what's new? 

  • Enhanced Home screen canvas switcher edit functionality(In the preview of home screen panels, users can change a main home screen panel).
  • Enhanced Multitasking and Notifications functionality.
  • Enhanced User Interface : Virtual buttons in System bar, contextual options in Action Bar.
  • Support for Face Unlock. (Burst only)
  • Improved text input and spell-checking (Android keyboard)
  • Control over Network data and Powerful web browsing
  • New! Self mode and Panorama capture mode in camera.
  • New! Time-Lapse recording function in video camera.

Anyone using either of these devices and itching to download? You can hit up Pantech's front page to get started. 

Thanks spudaj!

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