3 years ago

Join us this afternoon for the Greatest Android Podcast in the World!


The Great 30-minute Google Outage of 2014 scuttled the Android Central Podcast last week, and Florida Ice Storm 2014 threatened it this week, but we're going to give it another go today. And we've got just a wee bit more news this week. Mainly, Google's unloading Motorola on Lenovo. Plus, we'll give Andrew a hard time for saying something unpopular about Motorola (gasp!), Google and Samsung play nice with patents, a slew of single-source rumors we might or might not believe — and a whole bunch of your questions, answered live.

Join us live at 4 p.m. EST (that's 1 p.m. on the West Cost) at this Hangout on Air link.

And yours truly will be hopping on a Hangout with Mashable earlier in the day to talk Android, so stay tuned for a link for that.

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3 years ago

Sony's PS4 companion app for Android gets live video feed support


Live with PlayStation now available in app, kind of

Sony has pushed out an update to its official PlayStation 4 companion app for Android, with the headline new feature being the inclusion of "Live with PlayStation" video feeds in the app. Well, sort of in the app. You can browse the gaming streams from within the PlayStation app, but those broadcast via UStream will open up in the UStream app should you have it installed. Twitch.tv streams will open up in the browser of choice on your Android device. 

Additionally, Sony now says that video notifications are supported under "What's New", and it now won't automatically connect to your PS4 while in standby mode and fire it up. Grab the latest version from the Play Store at the link up top. 

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3 years ago

Galaxy S4 + S4 Mini 'black edition' with leather-effect back coming to Russia


Pitch black GS4s come with 100 percent less glossy plastic

Perhaps our biggest gripe with the Samsung Galaxy S4 — in hardware terms, at least — was its glossy, plasticky back cover. The S4's rear panel was a magnet for fingerprints and smudges, and just didn't feel very nice in the hand. So imagine our delight this morning to see the device above — the "black edition" Galaxy S4, sporting a soft-touch, leather-effect back like the Galaxy Note 3.

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo gets official in Poland


A Note 3, but not quite as we know it

We already know this one isn't coming to the UK, but Samsung has quietly announced the Galaxy Note 3 Neo over in Poland. To look at, it's virtually identical to the regular Galaxy Note 3 we know and love, but the display has been shrunk ever so slightly. The Neo has a 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display, down from 5.7-inches on the regular Note 3, and the resolution is also down at 1280x720. 

What's inside depends on whether you're looking at the Note 3 Neo 3G or the Note 3 Neo LTE+ version.

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3 years ago

Moto X down to £299 at UK retailer after launch day price drop


Clove selling Motorola's latest for £80 less than the standard price

When the Moto X was first announced for the UK market, many were less than thrilled at the initial launch price of £380, in light of the phone's highly competitive pricing elsewhere. But today there's good news for UK buyers wanting to pick up a Moto X without parting with quite so much cash, as one UK retailer has the device for £80-90 less than the price elsewhere.

Clove Technology, which initially listed the device at £330, has knocked its Moto X price down to £299 plus shipping today. Existing orders, Clove says, will have the £30 difference refunded, and devices will begin shipping from next Monday, Feb. 3. So if you can wait out the weekend, this would seem to be among the best deals around for picking up the Moto X in the UK. Clove's stock is of the 16GB black model — the white model is exclusive to Phones4u for now, and Motorola has previously told us that the 32GB version won't be coming to the UK.

More: Moto X review; Hands-on with the Moto X in London

Source: Clove Technology

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3 years ago

Cover lock screen replacement adds music controls for KitKat devices


Update brings most requested feature to lock screen replacement

Cover, the popular Android lock screen replacement, has just released an update to version 0.1.8 which brings along music controls. For devices running Android 4.4, KitKat, the all-new feature will allow you to take control of your Pandora, Spotify, Rdio or Sonos audio without the need to unlock your device. Working with nearly every music app available, Cover will recognize when audio is playing and will pin the icon for the application to the bottom of the screen. Next to the icon are controls for skipping songs, both backwards and forwards, as well as a pause button, and on the right side you will find the album art.

Coming in as one of the most requested features, Cover is very excited to make these available to everyone. To make use of the new feature you will first need to update the app and then activate the feature. Activation is quite simple and from the settings you will look for the Music Controls addition and then grant permission to Notification access.

Unfortunately, Cover has yet to be able to implement support for Android 4.1 - 4.3 devices as there is no standard way to access the music that is being played in those versions, so to keep the experience the best possible they are keeping it KitKat-exclusive for now. If you are using Cover, be sure to update today and activate the music controls.

Source: Cover

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3 years ago

T-Mobile Moto X owners receiving soak test invitations


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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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