Headlines

3 years ago

T-Mobile Moto X owners receiving soak test invitations

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Wider availability of the update likely not far behind the soak test

We've begun receiving tips from those who are using a Moto X on T-Mobile (aka the unlocked GSM model) that a soak test software update is on its way. This would be the first update since it made the jump to Android 4.4, and given the recent move to Android 4.4.2 on some variants of the Moto X that could be what we're looking at here.

Motorola has been pretty good about quickly releasing the soak test  — or just jumping straight to broad availability — after it sends out invitations to participate, so we shouldn't have to wait long to see. If you aren't part of the Motorola Feedback Network to get in on the soak tests, don't worry, your update should be heading out soon provided the soak test goes according to plan.

Thanks, Anonymous!

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3 years ago

Go eyes-on with Google Glass in Atlanta on Feb. 8 and 9

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A free and simple way to try before you (potentially) buy

If you've been dying to get your hands face on Google Glass to see what all the fuss is about – without spending $1500 – and you're around Atlanta next weekend, Google's got you covered. On February 8 and 9 the Google Glass tour swings by The Foundry and Puritan Mill in Atlanta to give eager folks a close up look at Glass. 

If you're interested, you'll need to RSVP for the event – head on over to the source link below – and choose from a list of designated time slots. If you're curious to see what happens at these events, check out the video after the break taken at the Durham, NC Glass Tour stop. So who's heading out in Atlanta next weekend? 

Source: Google Glass tour

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3 years ago

Best Buy offering $50 gift card with upgrades and number ports

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Register in February and take advantage for the whole of 2014

Best Buy is offering a promotion right now that'll be of interest to anyone upgrading their phone at some point in 2014. Simply register the number that you'll be upgrading – porting the number to another carrier also counts – and you can get yourself a $50 Best Buy gift card that can be used towards the cost of your new phone on AT&T, Verizon or Sprint. 

Simply register online between February 2 and February 15 to take advantage of the promotion. Then, so long as you upgrade or move your number to a new carrier some time before December 31 you'll get your $50 gift card that can be used towards the cost of buying and activating your new phone. New lines and new numbers aren't eligible to take advantage of this promotion, but it's perfect to help trade up at some point in 2014. 

Source: Best Buy

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3 years ago

Amazon boasts $25.59 billion in sales for Q4 2013

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Prime Instant Video added more content; still no Kindle sales numbers

Retailer, online services seller and Kindle maker Amazon has just released its Q4 2013 earnings, and it's another huge holiday quarter. In the final three months of 2013 Amazon posted $25.59 billion in sales, up 20 percent year-over-year. The quarter also saw Amazon post a relatively-rare operating income of $510 million, up 26 percent year-over-year, with net income being $239 million.

As for the non-financial quarterly news, Amazon is reporting a record-setting holiday season for its Amazon Prime shipping service, which now has "tens of millions of members." Prime Instant video added over 7,000 movies and TV shows to its catalog, now totaling 40,000 items. Moving to Kindle Fire, Amazon says that response time for its new Mayday help button was just 9 seconds on Christmas day even under the influx of new devices. As always, it has not released any Kindle sales numbers.

Source: Amazon

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3 years ago

Motorola's final quarter under Google: $1.24 billion revenue, $384 million operating loss

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Employee numbers dipped to just 3,894 by the end of the year

Google has just reported its Q4 2013 earnings, and as we head into the earnings call we wanted to break down what is likely Motorola's last full quarter under the Google umbrella. In all, there are very few surprises with its financial results. Motorola posted $1.24 billion in revenues for the final quarter of 2013, down from $1.51 billion in Q4 2012.

In the end that led to a $384 million operating loss (-31 percent of revenues) on the quarter, compared to a $152 million loss (- 10 percent of revenues) in the year-ago quarter. This more or less falls in line with the operating losses Motorola has been seeing since Google acquired it, even as it shaved off portions of the company that it didn't need.

Although Motorola brought over 20,000 employees to Google when it was purchased, that headcount was down to just 3,894 in Q4 2013 according to the earnings release.

Source: Google

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3 years ago

Google Q4 2013 earnings: $16.86 billion revenue, $3.92 billion operating income

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Earnings are up across the board; Motorola's final quarter was an operating loss of $384 million

Google has just released its Q4 2013 and full year 2013 financial results, with increases in both revenue and income. For the fourth quarter, Google reported revenues of $16.86 billion, up 17 percent year-over-year. Operating income was $3.92 billion, or 23 percent of revenues. Net income rang in at $3.38 billion, up from $2.89 billion in Q4 2012. CEO Larry Page released the following statement along with earnings:

"We ended 2013 with another great quarter of momentum and growth.  Google's standalone revenue was up 22% year on year, at $15.7 billion. We made great progress across a wide range of product improvements and business goals.  I'm also very excited about improving people's lives even more with continued hard work on our user experiences."

Google-owned site revenue was up by 22 percent year-over-year to $10.55 billion — that's 67 percent of Google's total revenues. Paid clicks were up about 31 percent in the quarter, with cost-per-click dipping roughly 11 percent year-over-year.

The now-sold Motorola contributed a $384 million operating loss in Q4 2013, which is about on par with previous quarters but is a big jump from a loss of $152 million in the year-ago quarter. The release also notes that the final employee headcount for Motorola was 3,894 — compare that to the over 43,000 in Google proper.

Source: Google

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3 years ago

Stock Talk: Motorola was just a drop in the bucket for Google

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Yesterday Google surprised us all with its announced plans to sell what’s left of Motorola to Lenovo for $2.9 billion. Since others have already done a great job of explaining how Google didn’t actually lose that much on the entire deal, I won’t rehash the math. Instead I’d like to focus on what I think of this whole situation.

When Google first bought Motorola, it seemed pretty clear that patents were a big part of the motivation. Given the threats posed by competing players (which are not gone), that rationale made sense. Because Google is holding onto most of the patent portfolio, we could easily argue that the primary reason for the transaction is still perfectly intact.

When it comes to hardware, I never quite understood what Google was thinking. It seems too much like they were trying to walk down the center of the road without having to pick sides. Google has many great manufacturing partners who are building quality Android hardware, and buying Motorola was viewed as a competitive threat.

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3 years ago

Foursquare now offers one-tap delivery ordering with GrubHub Seamless

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Integration still limited to an in-app browser, but it works

In an effort to become more of a "one-stop shop" for all things restaurants and places, Foursquare is now integrating with GrubHub Seamless (formerly two services, now combined) for food delivery. If you're not familiar with the services of GrubHub Seamless, its a company that works as a middleman between restaurants and customers to deliver food. At no cost to the recipient, GrubHub Seamless will pick up your food at the restaurant and deliver it — hopefully from the restaurant's point-of-view increasing sales.

Now when you search Foursquare for a local restaurant in one of the hundreds of cities where GrubHub Seamless is available, you'll see a small "GH" or "S" icon under the contact details if the delivery service is available. Unfortunately right now that button simply loads up the mobile ordering site inside the app, but it does work. If you want to narrow down your search and have a better chance at finding a place that has delivery available, be sure to append your search with "delivery" — i.e. "Chinese food delivery."

You can grab the latest version of Foursquare from the Play Store link above.

More: Foursquare

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3 years ago

Logic Instrument launches new enterprise Android devices with guidance of Archos

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Two revised lines of devices building on the Archos hardware platform

Logic Instrument, a Paris-based company, is taking some guidance and help from Archos to expand its mobile device offerings running Android. The company's plan is to focus in on two segments — Industry and Defense, and Enterprise. Industry and Defense is obviously a lineup of rugged and tough devices, while its Enterprise line focuses on security and MDM.

For the Industry and Defense segment, Logic Instrument is announcing the Fieldbook E1, a tough 10.1-inch tablet and the Fieldbook H1, a rugged phone. The E1 is water and dust resistant, as well as rated for drops from up to 6 feet, while the H1 has a rugged exterior, tempered glass screen and a 3500mAh battery quoted for 2 full days of use.

On the Enterprise side, a new tablet, the Logic 101 XS2, and phone, the Logic 50 Helium 4G, look to essentially be rebranded Archos devices. The 101 XS2 is a 10.1-inch tablet with a detatchable keyboard that is pre-loaded with office and document software, while the 50 Helium 4G has a 5-inch display, 1.2GHz quad-core processor and LTE connectivity.

Logic Instrument plans to show off its new range of products, as well as a revised distribution strategy, at a handful of trade shows, including MWC at the end of February, 2014.

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3 years ago

Watch Google's Q4 2013 earnings call with us live at 4:30 p.m. Eastern!

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Google's Q4 2013 earnings call — this is where it wraps up the last three months of last year's finances — is this afternoon. That's all well and good, as there should be some interesting stuff, and many mentions of the word "billions." But it's the (slightly) more relaxed Q&A session that we're really looking forward to, seeing as how Google has purchased Nest and sold Motorola in the first few weeks of the year. 

So. We've got the earnings embed above, and we'll have a liveblog-style chat after the break, so we can all kibitz together.

The call kicks off at 1:30 p.m. Pacific time — that's 4:30 p.m. on the East Coast. See you there!

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3 years ago

Red Nexus 5 appears slated for Feb. 4

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It looks like the red Nexus 5 may hit Google Play on Feb. 4, according to this week's internal Sprint Playbook.

The headline pretty much says it all — "2/4/14: Google Nexus 5 in red available in Google play stores." Still nothing official, of course, and things have changed before. But we did recently see the red Nexus 5 out of the box, So stay tuned.

So, who's buying?

Thanks, anon!

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3 years ago

Sony Cyber-shot QX10 high ISO images and 1080p recording put to the test

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Sony started offering the V2.0 firmware for its Cyber-shot QX10 and QX100 cameras just yesterday, so we've loaded it up on our QX10 and given it the quick once over. For the QX10, we're looking at new 1080p video recording functionality – which it just enables for you – and an increase in ISO on still images from 1600 up to 3200. 

Up top you'll find a sample video shot at 1080p, and below a sample of images shot at ISO 3200. Honestly with the video, there doesn't seem to be any big improvements over the previous 720p only mode. It's not great conditions right now for shooting, but it does a decent job.

It's basically dark outside at the time of shooting the stills, but the QX10 hasn't done a bad job all told. All we've done to the below images is resize to 2048 wide, but as you'll see the detail really isn't that bad and it isn't nearly as grainy as we might have expected either indoors or outdoors. We had the QX10 strapped to a tripod, but considering the actual light outside it didn't do a bad job at all. 

At high ISO you're going to be making concessions over the quality of your photographs, but the relatively inexpensive QX10 has done a better job than we might have expected it to. 

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3 years ago

The Mobile Nations Community Update, January 2014

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3 years ago

Report suggests Nest team to become Google's core hardware unit

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Tony Fadell and team to stay together and work on hardware projects at Mountain View

Google and hardware seems to be a never ending news topic of late, and less than 24 hours from announcing the sale of Motorola to Lenovo talk turns back to Nest. Acquired earlier this month for $3.2 billion, the questions immediately turn to; why? Well, according to a report from the folks at TechCrunch, Google has just acquired its brand new core hardware team. 

Google will keep the Nest group intact inside the company. The new division will still work on hardware devices, but not necessarily thermostats or smoke detectors. In fact, Google would like Fadell to work on gadgets that make more sense for the company.

Tony Fadell's background alone makes him a prime candidate to take charge of any hardware projects at Google. Having been on the original iPod and iPhone teams, he's certainly well equipped. What any of these future products may be will no doubt keep everyone guessing for a long time to come. For now, we can enjoy current Nest products, and know that the team that created them is in a place to do great things. 

More: Two weeks with a Nest Thermostat

Source: TechCrunch

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3 years ago

This week's sidebar poll: What are you playing your Android games on?

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Which screen does your gaming thing?

I made myself a little New Year's resolution that I'm going to make sure to have some fun with my work at least once a week. Sometimes that could involve the band saw, other times playing some of the great games we find in Google Play. Phil put the kibosh on the band saw, so this week I wanna talk about games.

We all play at least a few of them. (You, in the back. Quit lying.) Some of us play a lot of them — maybe too many. There are loads of different types, and the Play store has filled out nicely compared to where it was even a year ago. Open the Google Play app on your Android, and you'll find a game you want to play.

I'm curious what you guys are using to play them. Is your phone your lifeline and your game center? Or do you need the real-estate that only comes with a tablet? Thus, a poll was born.

You'll find it in the sidebar to the right, or after the break for mobile-friendly-loving. Fill it out and let us know.

Me? It's hard to beat the Shield, but since most games aren't optimized for the controls, I'm all about the 7-inch tablet.

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