Some hawk-eyed hackers noticed something strange this morning: the factory images for the Nexus 4 seem to have disappeared from Google’s developer site. A factory image is a file that allows you to restore your device completely to stock in case something goes wrong while hacking and tinkering with your device. Interestingly, the Nexus 7, Nexus 10, and Galaxy Nexus factory images are all still available to download, indicating that the Nexus 4 factory images were deliberately pulled by Google to make some changes to the core code. Could it be that Google is trying to completely disable the recently discovered 4G antenna? We hope not. It’s anyone’s guess really, what Google is up to. Anyone have any good theories?
Source: Google Developers
Is a smartphone that utilizes both a regular LCD screen and an e-ink screen possible? Russian wireless carrier Yota Devices wants to remind you that yes, yes it is possible with its new YotaPhone concept. Under the hood, the smartphone has a dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 processor, 2GB of RAM, an LTE chip and a 12-megapixel rear camera. However— the real kicker of the device is its two displays— one on the front, one on the back. The front display holds a 4.3-inch 1,280 x 720 (720P) display, while the rear one can display a full e-ink content. It appears the rear display will be best suited for displaying key information tied to a user’s everyday life like appointments, playlists or other things of that nature.
While the concept is indeed interesting, prospective customers will need to go through quite a wait before the device can get in the palms of their hands. The YotaPhone is expected to go on sale in Q3 2013 in Russia, while other markets internationally will see the device sometime after that. More details can be found in the presser once you hit the break.
If you’ve been looking to snag yourself a smartphone that’s bigger than normal, but find devices like the DROID DNA or Galaxy Note II don’t quite strike your fancy, then OPPO may just have the device for you. The Chinese giant has launched its latest device called the Find 5– a superphone with you guessed it a 5-inch IPS display with 441ppi that’s the most noteworthy feature of the device. In addition, the Find 5 has additional bells and whistles like a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064 chip, 2 gigs of RAM and Jelly Bean. While it’s nearly identical to the DROID DNA specifically– there are some other things about the Find 5 that distinguish it from the competition: the 13MP camera and sound output. The 13MP camera supports full HDR photography unlike other smartphones, while the Find 5 offers full support for both Dolby 3D and Dirac HD sound– giving users a cinema-quality sound wherever they go. Very impressive indeed.
The phone may be attractive, but many of you are thinking that the device must come at a princely sum, right? Well the device is expected to have a premium price, but it’s likely going to be far less expensive than the competition at or around $500 for the US and Chinese markets. Oh and OPPO plans a major launch of the Find 5 sometime in early 2013 across select markets— so it just means you won’t need to wait too long for the next great thing. You can find additional details in the presser after the break.
Google News is an extremely popular source for news articles, with Google citing 6 billion pageviews per month to linked articles. And with the growing popularity of tablets like Google’s own Nexus 7, it would only make sense for some adjustments to be made for those to conform to each other. According to Google, that’s exactly what’s going to happen over the next few days, too. The Google News site will be redesigned to better fit tablet sized screens, with a more spaced out layout for articles and gestures to find new articles and switching between sections, for example. It will also feature the “Explore in depth” feature that allows you to look at similar stories to a specific article.
All in all, definitely something to look forward to if you frequent Google News. At first it will only be available to US users, however, and it’ll take a few days to roll out to all users. Check news.google.com to see if it’s working for you on your tablet.
Guy Kawasaki, a former Apple employee who played a key role in marketing the Macintosh in the mid-eighties, has had some very interesting things to say about Android of late. He aggressively promoted Macs during a crucial time in Apple’s history and helped create the Apple fanaticism we know today. But like Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Kawasaki has expressed his admiration for the Android OS. Kawasaki has actually taken it a step further and has stopped using iOS devices altogether.
“I fell in love with Android on the smartphone, and then I got a Nexus 7 and started using Android on the tablet as well. To me the great irony is that Apple’s slogan was `Think Different,’ but today if you think different you’re looking at Android,” said Kawasaki. He said he originally made the switch for LTE but now that Apple supports LTE he’s not going back. He said, “I won’t switch now, because I think Android is better.”
Hulu has been pretty content with their Android app lately as it hasn’t seen much of an update in quite a long time. But in the shadow of some looming competition, it looks like Hulu is trying to improve the experience with a few new features on their Android application. The biggest new feature in Hulu’s latest update is kid-friendly; there’s a new section dedicated to things younger viewers want to watch, as well as the ability to lock out some of the more mature content. If you let your children watch videos on your phone or tablet, this is going to be a pretty useful feature. They’ve also added in some new discovery tools, which makes it easier to find something to watch if you just can’t decide on a movie or show. Overall, a nice update to the application. Hit the break for the download links.
Reporting on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street, show host David Farber indicated negotiations between Sprint and Clearwire have been heating up in the last few days. Sprint, which already owns a majority interest in Clearwire, has been rumored to be working on a deal to buy out the remaining shareholders. Discussions with some of the other major parties, like Bright House, Intel, and Comcast, have been held in an effort to work through some of the complexities of a potential buyout. According to Farber’s sources, Sprint is trying to gain complete control over Clearwire in order to have access to Clearwire’s spectrum.
Sprint is poised to become a subsidiary of Softbank, probably in March or April 2013. Individuals familiar with the negotiations think the closing of the Softbank deal and the Sprint/Clearwire deal should occur at the same time. In order to provide appropriate notice, Sprint will likely need to issue a statement before the end of the year. Clearwire’s debt holders noted the company did not call First Lien Notes yesterday, adding to the speculation that Clearwire does not anticipate being an independent company for much longer.
The New York Times released an update to their official app today, taking it up to version 3.0. The biggest changes involve optimizations for tablet devices. The app has been redesigned to adapt to different screen sizes. This is accomplished by changing layout properties like the number of columns displayed, adjusting image sizes, and typography scaling.
The Sky Go app, which lets Sky TV subscribers in UK & Ireland stream on demand and live TV to their Android device, has added 14 new devices to the list of supported devices. The updated app is now compatible with both the Nexus 4 and the Nexus 7. The update includes an improved user interface and navigation. Other devices now supported include the HTC Desire X, HTC One X and the Samsung Galaxy SIII.
Sky Go is currently available on all iOS devices and the Xbox 360 so it’s nice to see it working its way through more Android handsets. If you guys can watch the Doctor Who Christmas special, The Snowmen, I will be VERY jealous.
Play Store Download Link
We were going through our countless emails in the Talk Android inbox and stumbled upon a Verizon announcement of its new toy— the Samsung Galaxy Camera. Though we had already seen a hint here and another one there-– we finally know Big Red’s camera is very much real and on the way. Aside from the built-in LTE radios, this variant of the camera is no different from AT&T’s version. Though Verizon fails to mention which processor is powering the device (we suspect it’s the same Exynos quad-core processor), we do know the device will have a 16-megapixel sensor plus 23mm Samsung lens and 21X optical zoom… and a whole lot of Jelly Bean running the show.
The device will go on sale this Thursday the 13th and run customers a cool $550.00 which is priced a bit higher than the AT&T version, but then again— you do get that awesome Verizon LTE radio. In addition, Verizon is celebrating the announcement of the device by offering a special promotion where customers will be able to add a Galaxy Camera to a “Share Everything” plan for a mere $5 per month, making it an attractive option to share all those precious holiday moments with your families and friends.
So any of you folks giddy or excited yet?