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31 Dec 12 3 LG Nexus 4 Features You May Not Know


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Below are the three features that you may not know your LG Nexus 4 have.

  1. Google+ storage – Photos can take a lot of storage space in your precious LG Nexus 4 with very limited internal storage. However, you can upload the photos you took in your Google+ account. This is also a good feature in the event that you lose your LG Nexus 4.
  2. PhotoSphere – The PhotoSphere is the update that Jelly Bean 4.2 brings with it 360 degree photos. LG Nexus 4 already enabled users to take panoramic photos. However, PhotoSphere takes this a step further and you can take photos of what is above and below you making sure you do not miss anything.
  3. Gesture typing – This is another feature unique to Jelly Bean 4.2 update and it brings a new keyboard in the style of the Swype keyboard. This feature allows you slide over the keyboard when typing the words. If you want to enable it, just go into settings and then choose Enable Gesture Typing on your LG Nexus 4.

On the other hand, some reports said that search engine giant Google is already working on the successor of the popular LG Nexus 4.

Google has been releasing Nexus smartphones and tablets over the years. Since it was launched, the Nexus line has included handsets from HTC, Samsung, and LG. However, it seems Google may be using the recently-acquired Motorola for its next phone.

Wall Street Journal quoted unnamed sources that a new device is on its way from Google-owned Motorola. These people say Motorola engineers are hard at work on a “sophisticated” handset codenamed ‘X phone.’ However, it is still unsure whether the device will be a Nexus-brand phone.

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Article source: http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/419322/20121231/lg-nexus-4-features-specs-2-jelly.htm

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18 Jun 12 Would Samsung ever leave Android?


The Galaxy S III from Samsung.

(Credit:
CNET)

Samsung Electronics’ new CEO called for the company to redouble its focus on software, which could hint at a move away from
Android and toward its own proprietary operating system.

Samsung has long desired to push its own integrated hardware and software experience, investing in its Bada operating system and selling devices in select markets. But the popularity of Android, which powers its most successful smartphone and
tablet devices, including its flagship Galaxy S III phone, means the company can’t exactly quit the platform.

Samsung has been steadily investing in its own proprietary software, an initiative that new CEO Kwon Oh-hyun fully supports.

In his inaugural speech, Kwon said the company needs to have particular focus on serving new customer experiences by strengthening its software capabilities, user experience, and design, according to the Wall Street Journal.

A completely integrated product would allow Samsung to have full control over every detail of the device, and wouldn’t leave it so dependent on an outside company for the latest software. In addition, its own platform would allow it to stand apart from a sea of devices running on the same software.

The ideal scenario for such a model, of course, is Apple, which builds its own hardware and software with iOS. On the flip side, companies such have Research In Motion, Palm, and Nokia have struggled with their own proprietary software. Palm has largely disappeared, while Nokia switched to Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system, with the struggling RIM the only one attempting to stand apart with its BlackBerry operating system.

The pressure is likely on for Samsung to develop its own operating system now that Google has officially acquired Motorola Mobility, which means its partner will also be a competitor with the potential to access earlier versions of Android. Google has said it would continue to be neutral when it comes to Android, while Samsung has said it is looking forward to the legal cover Motorola would bring to the Android community.

Privately, Samsung executives have said they expect to compete with Google on the device front, making it increasingly important to differentiate. While Samsung already customizes Android a bit with TouchWiz, the company could do more to veer away from the standard Android user experience.

Whether that’s a good thing is unclear. Many Android fans prefer a “stock” experience, which leaves the software alone. But handset manufacturers believe they need to set themselves apart to avoid getting lost in the sea of generic-looking devices.

Samsung could take it a step further and move toward its own operating system. As the largest smartphone manufacturer in the world — outselling even Apple — it certainly has the heft and reach to pull it off.

Article source: http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57455054-94/would-samsung-ever-leave-android/

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19 May 12 Android 5.0 will launch this fall with five Nexus devices: Report


When Android 5.0 “Jelly Bean” launches this fall, it will appear first on several new mobile devices sold by Google itself as part of the “Nexus” line.

That’s according to a Tuesday story in the Wall Street Journal, which reports that Google is shifting its Android strategy so that it will not only give select mobile-device makers early access to new releases, but will also sell the resulting devices unlocked directly to consumers.

As many as five manufacturers may get privileged access to new releases of the mobile operating system, in fact, with an eye toward creating a “portfolio” of Nexus lead devices including both smartphones and tablets, the WSJ reported, citing “a person familiar with the matter.”

Google aims to sell those gadgets online and contract-free directly to consumers in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, but retailers may be involved as well, the report suggests. U.S. Thanksgiving is reportedly the target date for the launch.

So Long, Fragmentation

While Android has clearly done enormously well, inconsistency and fragmentation are among the chief complaints about the Linux-based mobile operating system. This new strategy could ensure that more Android phones are running the latest version of the OS; it could also help other manufacturers create their own custom builds more quickly.

Such a strategy would also restore a significant degree of control back to Google, which has long been at the mercy of wireless carriers for pushing updates to consumers, as well as for decisions as to which apps can be included on the devices they carry. Verizon Wireless, for example, doesn’t allow the Google Wallet app on Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus device.

In addition, the new tactic could minimize device-makers’ concerns over Google’s pending Motorola Mobility acquisition, since it won’t be just Motorola getting early access to new releases.

Not Without Risks

Bypassing wireless carriers, of course, has the potential to enrage the carriers themselves.

Then, too, there’s the proven difficulty of selling handsets online to consumers, who have indicated in the past that they prefer to be able to touch them and try them out before buying.

Still, the shift could be an exciting one, removing as it would any disadvantage Android might face in its ongoing competition with Apple, which has always been at the opposite end of the spectrum when it comes to controlling its ecosystem.

A more unified front could also help in Google’s ongoing legal battles over Android.

Your Move, Tizen

I spoke briefly with Google spokesman Christopher Katsaros this morning for confirmation, but he declined to comment on the story.

Meanwhile, I can’t help but wonder what effect all this may have on the other mobile players, including most notably Linux-based (and Samsung-backed) Tizen along with Mozilla’s own Boot to Gecko. If nothing else, it seems to me it might encourage them to step up their own efforts.

It looks as though competition in the mobile market just became tighter.

Article source: http://www.itworld.com/it-consumerization/277142/android-50-will-launch-fall-five-nexus-devices-report

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19 May 12 Dear Google: AT&T Locked Down the Best Android Ever, And It’s Your Fault


So pretty. But so locked down. Photo by Ariel Zambelich/Wired

The HTC One X is a wonder of a phone — sleek and thin with a brilliant screen.

And yet it comes pre-loaded with so much unremovable bloatware, you’d swear that Microsoft was involved.

But no, the ATT Code Scanner, the ATT Family Map, the ATT Navigator and ATT Ready2Go and more are pre-installed and unremovable, thanks to, well, ATT — with a tacit assist from Google. ATT also shipped the phone with a locked bootloader, meaning that the modder community has to expend days and weeks to find a way to load new custom Android versions on the device, despite the handset manufacturer HTC’s recent pledge to stop using locked bootloaders.

It’s time for this to stop and it’s Google’s job to do it.

Since Android is open source software, ATT and HTC are free to install it on any handset they choose. But like any high-end Android phone, the HTC One X is Google-certified so it can ship with pre-installed Google software, including the Play App Store, Navigator, Gmail and others. It’s not that hard for handset makers and carriers to get that approval — in fact it’s too easy.

The whole promise of Android was that it was an open ecosystem — a contrast Google loves to draw with Apple’s closed system.

At the Google I/O conference in 2010, Google vice president Vic Gundotra intimated that Apple had become the Big Brother it promised to smash.

“If you believe in openness, if you believe in choice, if you believe in innovation from everyone, then welcome to Android,” Gundotra said. “If Google did not act, we faced a Draconian future where one man, one company, one device, one carrier would be our only choice.”

But carriers, who strangled handset and mobile application innovation for years until Apple wrested control from them, can’t stop themselves from bloating and crippling phones — including the ones Google touts as exemplars of openness.

That means Android is now primed to get a reputation as a throwback to the old days of mobile phones — when devices shipped with all sorts of crapware designed to make money for the carriers, no matter how annoying or useless the app was.

Google has been trying to fight this by creating a so-called flagship phone — the Nexus line, a lean, clean, pure Android phone that comes with few, if any, carrier-chosen apps. According to a Wall Street Journal report this week, Google’s now set to expand the program so that all the five major manufacturers will have one. These phones run pure Android, with no skins, and with bootloaders easily unlocked. If you want to install a Wi-Fi sharing app on a Samsung Nexus, no problem, no matter what your carrier’s policy is on their use.

That lets Android hackers like the Cyanogenmod and XDA-Developer communities tinker away — whipping up new features, creating battery-saving radios and removing the crud from devices. That’s what open source looks like.

Google launched Android, in part, hoping to undermine the power of the carriers. Selling the Nexus One online to outmaneuver the carriers failed, but since then Android has been on a tear. Now Androids are everywhere, and at least for the time being, no real Android phone could ship with commercial and critical success without Google services.

And it’s now time for Google to use that market power to constrain the carriers and keep Android open and free. As the Free Software Foundation says, “When users don’t control the program, the program controls the users.”

Google could easily update the requirements for including Google’s proprietary apps to require carriers to sell Android phones that allow users to have root, remove skins and provide accessible, unlocked bootloaders. Throw in a requirement that carriers include only a very limited number of carrier-branded and sponsored apps, and then you have a pretty good way to keep Android from being tarnished by the biz guys at the carriers.

If Google wielded their power and changed their requirements, there would be another positive side effect — a world full of devices that can be tinkered with — even if most users never get any farther than removing ATT Family Map the day they buy their phone. Which, sadly, can’t be done today on what’s arguably the best Android phone ever.

Article source: http://www.wired.com/opinion/2012/05/google-android-open/

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17 May 12 Google shifting its Android strategy, seeks to fix fragmentation


Google is changing the way it approaches the production of new Android smartphones, seeking to end fragmentation among phones running the many different versions of its OS.

For its upcoming line of Nexus smartphones and tablets, Google will give early access to up to five manufacturers in order to bring some form of unity to the devices running the Android operating system.

Previously, Google would work with a single manufacturer at a time, helping it produce a lead device. This strategy produced successful phones, but it also left the market with many slightly different versions of Android.

All that variance has made it difficult for developers to create apps that work for every version of Android, and many Android users often get stuck with phones incapable of updating to the newest versions of the OS.

How bad is this fragmentation? Check out OpenSignalMaps, which created a graphic showcasing the many different versions of Android phones, to get an idea. Though the number of devices that appears is a bit exaggerated due to a variable, the amount is impressive.

Google will also begin selling phones to consumers itself as part of its effort to bring unity to the Android family. The search company also hopes both of these strategies help improve sales of Android tablets, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

RELATED:

Google launches new smarter search

Google Chrome heading to iPhone, analysts predict

Google may sell tablet computers to boost Android use

Follow Salvador Rodriguez on Facebook or Twitter

Article source: http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-google-android-strategy-20120516,0,2069577.story

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13 Apr 12 Sony Android SmartWatch And inPulse Pebble Compared (VIDEO)


Sonyandroidsmartwatch

On Wednesday a Kickstarter campaign for the inPulse Pebble, a smartwatch that is compatible with both Android and iPhone, met with almost instant approval and reached its fundraising goal of $100,000 in just two hours. Now, Sony has announced its own smartwatch that is designed to sync solely with Android.

The devices are similar in that they both run applications that sync with smartphone operating systems and allow for control of those apps from a convenient wrist-mounted display. So is there an advantage to buying a smartwatch that works with one leading device instead of two?

In short: No.

Let’s be realistic — the mere fact that the Pebble works with two operating systems puts the Sony watch at a disadvantage, especially since the watches are both priced at $149, according to the Web sites of inPulse and Sony. A user who wanted the flexibility to move from Android to iPhone or vice versa would be better served by the Pebble.

There are other key differences. The Sony watch has a snazzy touch display, but the functional e-paper watch face of the Pebble is viewable in direct sunlight. The battery life of the Pebble claims to last for seven or more days, while a CNET review of the Sony device puts its longevity at two days, max.

In terms of aesthetic differences, the Sony watch offers a variety of colored watch bands to liven up its product, while the Pebble so far only comes in three colors — with a fourth to be decided — but has customizable watch faces.

The watches appear to offer similar apps, such as remote controls for music and stats displays for jogging and cycling, and both companies plan to release a software development kit so that more applications can be created.

However, in a video (above) by the Wall Street Journal‘s Digits blog, Ina Fried of AllThingsDigital surmises that developers “are only going to build [apps] if [the watch] starts selling well.” With the competition offered by the Pebble, that might be a big if. The only thing that Sony seems to have going for it is that its Android-compatible watch is already available for purchase.

While the Digits blog reporters seem skeptical of the usefulness of smartwatches in general, the enthusiasm for the Pebble is undeniable: At time of writing, the Pebble Kickstarter had drawn more than $1.9 million in pledges, having surpassed $1 million in just 28 hours.



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Article source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/13/sony-android-smartwatch-inpulse-pebble-comparison_n_1423643.html

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24 Jan 12 Emmett Dulaney: The genius of Google


ANDERSON, Ind. —
Sometimes, when you encounter genius, you can do nothing but smile. The smile on my face this week ran from one ear to the other. To explain why, I need to give a bit of background information:

At one point in time, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser was the browser to use when on the Web. With market share in the 90 percent range, developers had to make certain that their applications ran in that browser or they risked losing any hope of an audience. While there were a number of alternative browsers available, most were tailored to one niche or another and dismissed by the masses. Microsoft was accused of unfair practices for bundling IE with every operating system and giving it away for free. They persisted in their practice, but made occasional concessions with both the Federal Trade Commission and the European Union.

Firefox came out and a great many lauded it as the Internet Explorer killer. Finally, it was proclaimed, there was a serious contender that worked on every platform and many viewed it as a superior product to IE, allowing it to gain noticeable market share. When Google released its own browser in 2008, named Chrome, many scratched their heads and wondered why the company would waste their time and efforts on such. Proving the naysayers correct, one year later Chrome only managed to obtain less than 5 percent of the market.

In the meantime, American businesses and institutions struggled with the recession. They cut back their IT budgets and made what resources they had last longer than they might in times of expansion. Microsoft had trouble convincing businesses — and even home users — to upgrade desktop operating systems from Windows XP to either Vista or Windows 7. In fact, even though Windows XP is now a decade old, it still amounts to close to 40 percent of the Windows operating systems in use today.

One of the ways Microsoft has tried to encourage purchases of the newer operating systems is by weaning out the support for XP in favor of the newer operating systems. Internet Explorer, for example, can only run through version 8 on Windows XP, while version 9 requires Windows Vista or Windows 7 to install.

So where does the genius come in? During the economic downturn, many found an immediate cost savings by doing away with their in-house email programs in favor of the free, customizable, version provided by Google.

 At Anderson University, for example, we — like so many other educational institutions — migrated to a customized version of Gmail branded as RavenMail. This week, I suddenly found that changes to RavenMail meant that I could no longer interact with it using IE 8. Since the institution-issued laptop runs Windows XP, I can’t upgrade to IE 9 and AU will not buy a new operating system for me to be able to access my email. The only suitable alternative is to switch from IE to Chrome: an alternative facing many of those in the 40 percent still using XP.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Chrome is now the second most popular browser in the world and IE’s market share is now down to only 40 percent. Chrome is also the only browser to offer desktop notifications for RavenMail, and a few other features that make it difficult to be without. Genius. Pure genius.

Columns from the Falls School of Business at Anderson University  appear Tuesdays in The Herald Bulletin.

Article source: http://heraldbulletin.com/business/x1296866037/Emmett-Dulaney-The-genius-of-Google

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