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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3 years ago

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


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


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


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

3 years ago

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


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?


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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3 years ago

T-Mobile, this is the wrong way to try to gain customers


Instead of focusing on the great things it already does, T-Mobile continues to waste its time poking fun at AT&T.

When T-Mobile sent out its intentionally odd and misquoting press release Tuesday to drive home the point that it really, really doesn’t like AT&T, it may have taken things a bit too far. There's a thin line between poking the bear and putting off potential customers. Making up quotes from a rival company's CEO might well have crossed that line — even more so when you're criticizing a company with over three times the customers and dozens of times the earnings.

But it's not just this one-off situation that is a cause for concern ... I'm worried that T-Mobile may not know when it's the right time to tone down the language and scale back the stunts.

You see, T-Mobile — mostly lead by the antics of CEO John Legere — has been doing its best to mix things up in the U.S. wireless industry. That's been a very good thing. What started as simply beating the other carriers by announcing genuinely consumer-friendly prices, service terms and network performance has been cast in the shadow of rude ads, foul language and now a pointless low-blow press release.

These actions certainly get attention, but do they translate into long-term customer growth and improved public opinion of the T-Mobile brand? I'm not so sure they do.

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3 years ago

SwiftKey makes the leap to iOS with SwiftKey Note


No, your eyes do not deceive you. SwiftKey — long one of the favorite third-party keyboards on Android — has made the leap to iOS after teaming up with Evernote for SwiftKey Note.

Don't worry, SwiftKey for Android isn't going anywhere. (Between you and me, they've got great stuff in the works.)

For more on SwiftKey Note, hit up our friends at iMore.

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3 years ago

EA launches Dungeon Keeper for Android globally


Rebooted PC classic now available worldwide on Google Play

EA has announced that Dungeon Keeper for Android (and iOS) is now available globally, following a limited rollout in some regions towards the end of 2013. The game is thematically similar to classic titles on which it's based, but the mobile version of 'Keeper is more about tower defense and strategy building than the PC originals. Nevertheless, you're still building your own subterranean lair and recruiting creatures do battle against the forces of good, which is the essence of Dungeon Keeper.

The game is free to download, but uses in-app purchases, so you'll likely have to part with some cash if you intend on playing it for any length of time. Check the download links below to pick up Dungeon Keeper in North America or the rest of the world.

Source: Business Wire

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia Z1 and Z Ultra updated with white balance setting


Other changes include improvements to Wifi, Bluetooth streaming and the stock email app 

Just a month after the Sony Xperia Z1 and Z Ultra were updated to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, there's a second 4.3-based firmware rolling out to both handsets. Sony has confirmed via Twitter that the update is rolling out in stages starting today, with "display, BT [Bluetooth] music streaming, email, Wifi improvements," among other changes. The only real difference we've noticed on our European Z1 is the addition of a "white balance" option under display settings, allowing users to tweak the color characteristics of their screens.

The update to version 14.2.A.1.136 seems to be available only through Sony's PC Companion and Mac Bridge apps at present — presumably an over-the-air rollout will kick off in the near future.

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3 years ago

Sprint Spark is coming home to Kansas City, launching today


A quick heads up for folks out in Kansas City, that from today Sprint is launching its Spark LTE service in your neighborhood. With theoretical data speeds of up to 60Mbps on supported devices, Sprint promises that customers across its hometown will see a "noticeable difference" in their data speeds in the coming months. 

Of course, with Sprint Spark, also comes the Sprint Spark data indicator in place of the regular old 3G/4G. And it sure does spin a lot. Kansas City becomes the 12th market to launch Sprint Spark, and while theoretically you should be able to get up to 60Mbps download speeds, our own experience so far has been somewhat more reserved. 

Head on past the break for the full press release. 

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3 years ago

Tesco Mobile offers free 4G LTE to all contract customers


Good news for anyone in the UK with a contract on Tesco Mobile — the network has announced that it's to ditch its £2.50 surcharge and offer LTE services to all postpaid customers for free. Tesco Mobile is operated by the supermarket chain of the same name but runs on O2's airwaves, so you should be good for 4G coverage wherever O2's got it deployed. Customers will still need to be on a contract with Tesco Mobile, however, as the network isn't yet offering 4G on pay as you go.

Tesco Mobile offers a variety of Android phones on contract, as well as 1 and 12-month SIM-only deals for between £7.50 and £20 per month, which gets you between 500MB and 3GB.

via: Recombu; More: Tesco Mobile

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