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4 years ago

You can safely ignore Wall Street — Google is doing just fine

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Stocks show expectation, not always reality

Late last week Google reported its Q2 results. If you’ve been reading any of the financial headlines then I couldn’t blame you for thinking the latest set of financial results was troubling. The traditional tech and financial media is ripe with stories about how the Mountain View search giant missed revenue estimates, fell short on earnings and is seeing pressure on the price per click it charges advertisers.

As is often the case in financial reporting, the headlines don’t match reality. If you happen to be a shareholder (as I am) then you can rest assured Google is chugging along just fine. Android users need not worry, as the mothership is poised to make more money than ever before, ensuring lots more awesome product development.

The quick numbers: Google brought in $14.1 billion in quarterly revenue, and this includes Motorola, which was acquired in 2012. Wall Street was expecting Google to bring in $14.4 billion, so the top line was mildly disappointing. But here’s what most headlines miss: Google is primarily an advertising company that cares about long-term quality. Sometimes it changes its policies and kicks some lousy advertising to the curb. That’s what it did in Q2, forcing some advertising partners to either comply with the new rules or leave. Google does this semi-regularly, and it has a small effect on revenue for the quarter. 

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4 years ago

The 'new' SIM card exploit probably doesn't concern you

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Cracked encryption allows hackers to potentially clone your SIM, priovided you're still using an out-dated encryption protocol.

Over the weekend some news broke about an exploit that affects millions of phone users. Apparently, the encryption used has a flaw that allows a hacker to clone the encryption credentials of a SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card, potentially allowing them to clone your SIM card and retrieve things like information about your plan and payments, or identify you on the network.

It sounds scary, and it is for the 500 million affected SIM cards in the wild. But like any good security scare worth it's salt, there's a lot more to the story than we're hearing. Click through and we'll talk about it a bit.

Source: Security Research Labs

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4 years ago

AT&T announces new 300MB and 2GB Mobile Share data tiers

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New data plan options go live online July 26, in-store starting today

In an attempt to get more people moved over to its "Mobile Share" data plans, AT&T is filling out the bottom end of its offerings with two new data tiers. Slotting in at $20 and $50 per month, new 300MB and 2GB tiers fit in along the previous 1GB and 4GB options to give customers more choices when selecting data plans.

These plans are directed at accounts with smart phones -- unlike the data-only plans -- and include unlimited talk and text, but of course require an additional fee per device to connect to the account. The fee starts now at $50 per smart phone added when at the 300MB data tier, and goes down in $5 increments until you hit $30 per smart phone at 10GB and above.

It makes the 300MB shared tier a pretty poor value, and will likely only work to push customers up towards the 1GB and 2GB tier if there are any more than 2 phones on the account. The new tiers go live starting July 26th, but AT&T's website indicates that you can call or go into an AT&T retail store if you would like them a few days sooner.

Source: AT&T

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4 years ago

LG offers a sneak peek at the G2 - it will learn from you, as long as the video doesn't give you a seizure

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This video from LG promises the G2 will learn from you, but take your Dramamine before watching. 

We're all looking forward to seeing what LG's next -- dubbed the G2 (don't call it an Optimus) -- will have to offer. We thrive on details and specifications. LG's latest video teaser doesn't give us a lot of those, but it does focus on how the G2 will learn from you. That is, if the video doesn't give you a seizure first. 

We'll be on hand come August 7 when LG unveils the G2 in New York. For now, hit the break to see the latest video.

Source: LGMobileHQ on YouTube; LG's countdown page

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 Student Edition bundle includes keyboard and dock

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Available for the first time in white, bundled with a Bluetooth keyboard and dock for $349.99

Samsung released a special edition of their Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 yesterday, dubbed the Student Edition. Coming in a special color, white (not previously available in the U.S.), the tablet is bundled with Samsung's own Desktop Dock and slim Bluetooth Keyboard. Software freebies are part of the bundle as well, which include a copy of Polaris Office, 50GB of Dropbox storage for one year, and a three month subscription to streaming content provider Hulu Plus.

Marketed towards students, Samsung touts the bundle's laptop-like functionality without the laptop-like heft, and over $100 savings over buying each bundle component separately.

The Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 Student Edition bundle is available now at Best Buy, Amazon, Wal-Mart, Toys ‘R’ Us, BJ’s, P.C. Richard & Son and Office Max for $349.99.

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4 years ago

Belkin announces Android compatibility for their WeMo automation products

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In the future, home automation is going to be common place. Our Android phones can already control our TV's and unlock and start our cars, and now they can turn our lights on and off. Using Belkin's WeMo line of Wifi enabled switches and receptacles and the corresponding smartphone app, you can sit in your comfortable chair and control appliances and lights around your house using your local home Wifi or cellular network. The Android app is set to release today at 1PM PT today on Google Play, and be available right here

In addition, the products are compliant with IFTTT to enable a complete web app solution limited only by your imagination. This sounds really cool. So cool in fact, that I just ordered two of the switches and we'll have a closer look at how they work (provided I don't electrocute myself installing them). Stay tuned for that, and find Belkin's press release after the break.

More: Belkin

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4 years ago

The HTC One official car dock

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Here's a quick look at the official HTC One Car Dock. It's a car dock, for the HTC One. And if you're at all familiar with HTC's car docks for its other devices, you should be right at home here. 

There's nothing grossly different about the functionality here. It's got a substantial base that either suctions itself to your windshield, or to your dash via an adhesive disc. (I usually opt for the windshield, but then again I swap devices more than most normal folks.) You twist the textured ring at the base of the dock to trigger the suction mechanism. (It's easier to do when you're actually mounting the dock, so don't worry if you can't just get it to work in your hands.) There's a ball joint to allow for a full range of movement and positioning of your phone, and there's just enough friction to keep things from moving when you don't want them to.

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4 years ago

Canonical announces the Ubuntu Edge, complete with Indiegogo funding campaign

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Canonical's dual-booting halo device will bring the specs every enthusiast has been asking for, provided it meets the $32 million funding goal

We just got off a call with Canonical, the folks behind the Ubuntu operating system, where we learned all about their latest project -- The Ubuntu Edge. The Edge will be an extremely high-spec'd convergence device, which dual-boots both Android and Ubuntu, and is ready to attach to a monitor and keyboard to make a full featured desktop replacement.

The Edge is being announced as an Indiegogo campaign, and Canonical is looking for a whopping $32 million. Mark Shuttleworth, Canonical founder, spent a while talking about this decision, as well as where Ubuntu is in the mobile world. Read past the break for more, as well as a few videos and more pictures.

The Ubuntu Edge indiegogo campaign page

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4 years ago

Google buys stake in Google Glass chip manufacturer Himax

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Google will hold a 6.3 percent interest of the liquid crystal on silicon chip manufacturer

Today an agreement was signed with Google by Himax Technologies for an investment agreement that will result in Google holding a 6.3 percent interest in the company's subsidiary, Himax Display Inc. (HDI). HDI is the current supplier of the LCOS (liquid crystal on silicon) chips and modules that are used in Google Glass.

Google's investment in supplier HDI will "fund production upgrades, expand capacity and further enhance production capabilities." It seems Google is being proactive about potential manufacturer bottlenecking issues that have plagued other companies in the recent past.

There is an option in the agreement for further investment by Google, which will allow additional purchases of stock -- at the same price -- to give Google up to a 14.8% interest of HDI. Expect much more news as Google Glass gets closer to consumer hands (or heads).

Source: GlobeNewswire; Via: Engadget;

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4 years ago

T-Mobile's HTC One gets fix for LTE data, stability

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T-Mobile today announced an update to its HTC One that works on a trio of issues. Here's what's new in software version 1.27.531.11:

  • Software stability
  • LTE and reception
  • Processor enhancements

The update keeps things on Android 4.1.2 — we're not expecting 4.2.2 in the U.S. for a little while still — and weighs in at 247 megabytes.

Source: T-Mobile; more: HTC One forums; Thanks, Steve!

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4 years ago

Review: The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini

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Is Sa​msung's latest 'Mini' a mid-range champion or a disappointing compromise?

For better or worse, we've arrived in a world where smartphones with the word "mini" in their names also have 4.3-inch displays, once considered huge. The Galaxy S4 Mini is one of the first such devices to pass across our desk, having been launched at a glitzy London event alongside two other "Galaxy S4" smartphones — the S4 Active and S4 Zoom. Superficially, the Galaxy S4 Mini looks like its name would suggest — it's a "miniature" Galaxy S4. The design, software and build quality remain mostly unchanged in the Mini. But as with any smaller, cheaper phone, corners have been cut in places. Specifically, the Mini's screen has a lower resolution, there's less internal storage, and certain heavily-advertised S4 features are missing.

Samsung's Mini may be first to market, but it'll soon be joined by the HTC One Mini and (probably) Motorola's rumored Droid Mini, among others. So is the this device worthy of the premium brand it's been gifted, or is it just a jumped-up mid-level phone? Find out after the break in our full-sized review of  the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini.

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4 years ago

Samsung Developer Conference to take place this October

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Samsung has unveiled its own developers conference, to be held in San Francisco, Calif. this October. According to the new teaser site at SamsungDevCon.com the conference will run from Oct. 27-29 at the Westin St. Francis Hotel on Union Square. It'll allow developers to "engage with industry leaders" and "collaborate with fellow developers," according to the official promotional materials. That's as specific as things are getting right now, but more info should be provided in the run up to the event. We have been told, however, that this isn't a mobile-only developer event. It'll span multiple product categories.

For the moment, interested devs can now pre-register for updates on the official site to learn when registration opens.

Source: SamsungDevCon.com

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4 years ago

Sony Xperia U now available for £125 in the UK

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A quick heads-up for anyone looking for a solid entry-level handset — Sony's Xperia U is now available for £124.99 from UK retailer Expansys. That'll get you a basic but capable Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) smartphone, with a 1GHz dual-core processor, 512MB of RAM, a 3.5-inch WVGA display and a 5-megapixel Sony Exmor R camera.

It's not going to win any prizes for tech specs, but the Xperia U is a nicely-designed handset that features Sony's unique glowing "transparent element" as part of its design. In our review last May, we praised the performance and build quality, and since then it's been upgraded to ICS, giving it a new lease of life. If you're after a decent, inexpensive Android phone, we can certainly think of worse ways to spend your money.

Source: Expansys

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4 years ago

Start your week with the Greatest Android Podcast in the World!

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It started like most any other podcast, really. Shooting the breeze, recapping the week's Android news. Same as it ever was. But did you ever wonder what happens when breaking news hits while we're recording? That's what happened on Friday, and it was handled with the poise and grace you'd come to expect from us. That is to say, Alex took charge while the rest of us banged our heads against the table in excitement. Or something like that.

Anyhoo. Give our latest podcast a listen. Or, watch the video, if you prefer. And remember that you can do both directly from the official Android Central app!

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4 years ago

HTC reorganizes U.S. division, establishes new 'emerging devices' unit

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Jason Mackenzie back in charge of HTC America in latest executive shuffle

HTC is reorganizing its U.S. operations with the addition of a new unit focused on "emerging devices" and a new lead role for global sales boss Jason Mackenzie, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. An internal email from CEO Peter Chou obtained by the newspaper states, "Effective immediately, in addition to his current duties in supporting me with global corporate strategy, Jason Mackenzie will lead HTC America."

Mackenzie previously served as HTC's president of the Americas region prior to moving to a global marketing and sales-focused position. Last November he moved to his present role as President of Global Sales.

The email goes on, "Mike Woodward will lead Emerging Devices, a newly established business unit that will focus on innovative new HTC products and global distribution strategies." The WSJ says there's no specific information on precisely what the emerging devices unit will focus on, but the name suggests a possible expansion into other product categories for HTC.

The latest executive reshuffle follows several high-profile departures at the Taiwanese manufacturer, including former EMEA President Florian Seiche, Asia CEO Lennard Hoornik and Chief Product Officer Kouji Kodera. The company's Q2 financials showed a modest improvement upon the dismal previous quarter, aided by the high-profile HTC One launch, however year-on-year profits fell 83 percent.

Whatever the new "emerging devices" unit eventually comes up with, HTC's immediate future is focused on smartphones. The company recently announced a smaller, less expensive version of its flagship device, the HTC One Mini, and Android Central understands that a larger version with a faster CPU -- the HTC One "Max" -- is to follow in September.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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