HTC hires former marketing head at Samsung to be an adviser

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Poaching is something very common in the mobile industry. A company comes along and plucks an executive out of another company to work for them. It happened to Android’s VP of product development, Hugo Barra, when Xiaomi swooped in and stole him from Google. Now, it looks like HTC is doing the poaching to Android’s biggest force.

HTC has hired Paul Golden, Samsung’s former head of marketing. His role will be as an adviser to Cher Wang, the chairman. Golden will not be a full-time employee just yet. For now, he is being contracted for three months of work. What marketing can be done in three months is beyond me, but that is why it is likely Golden’s stay gets extended for a longer period of time.

Source: Bloomberg

Google, NASA test Project Tango equipped SPHERES in Zero G

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Although just recently surfacing publicly, Google has been working on their Project Tango smartphones for a while now. Not all of that research and development on the 3D world sensing phone was confined to the Google campus though. Turns out Google has been working with the NASA Ames Research Center to integrate the Project Tango technology onto a robotic platform called SPHERES. The SPHERES platform is intended to be a zero-gravity autonomous unit. Read more

Motorola to introduce new ultra-thin smartphone very soon

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The Moto G (pictured above) is Motorola’s best selling smartphone, but they have something else up their sleeve. A new phone has been approved by Brazilian authorities and is only 6.2mm thick. It will will also feature a 4.3-inch (unknown resolution) display, an unknown 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage, 5MP rear camera, 1900mAh battery, and Android 4.4 KitKat.

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A very low-priced Nexus phone might be in the works

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Flagship phones always get the center of attention, but lower-tier phones are growing in popularity, especially in developing countries. Over the last year there has been a trend in better quality low-tier phones, such as the Moto G.  Now it looks like Google might have something in the works as well.

A report out of China has Google partnering with MediaTek for a very low-priced smartphone. Those of you that generally buy flagship phones are probably not familiar with MediaTek. Like Qualcomm, they are makers of mobile processors, but they are generally found on budget phones. This rumored phone is expected to sell for only $100.

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Sony adds Xperia keyboard to the Play Store for Xperia devices

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Sony is keeping up the trend of OEMs adding their stock apps to the Play Store to be updated individually. The latest to hit Google’s servers is the keyboard application for Xperia devices. So far, it doesn’t look like they’ve done too much beyond just throwing the app up for download, but in the future, they’ll be able to quickly and efficiently push out updates for devices.

The keyboard is what you’ll find on Sony’s Xperia devices, completely with emoji key and swipe typing. It’s not the most featured keyboard in the world, but some people like the stock options.

If you own an Xperia device, keep an eye out for updates to your keyboard. If you’re tired of waiting for any updates from Sony, you may want to check out our updated keyboard guide to keep you busy in the meantime. Read more

The Philips W6618 has a 5,300 mAh battery – the largest in a smartphone

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Batteries that have a capacity of 4,000 mAh or more are normally only found in tablets. Earlier this month, one smartphone emerged with a 5,000 mAh battery – the Eton Thor. Well now there’s a phone with an even bigger battery! Introducing the Philips W6618.

The device released just yesterday, and only costs about $273. Unfortunately, apart from the battery the phone really isn’t that great, with Android 4.2, a display resolution of 540 x 960, 1GB of RAM and 4GB of storage. Despite these features though, the battery almost makes up for it all. In fact, the device can run for a whopping 2 months on standby, or 33 hours of talk time.

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Verizon Droid MAXX now available in high gloss red and black with chrome accents

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Verizon has announced that they’re adding two new color schemes for the Droid MAXX to their phone lineup. You’ll now be able to purchase the long-lasting device in high gloss red and black with chrome accents. The black looks pretty similar to the current color offered, but the chrome accents make a very nice touch, and the red is a relief from the usual black and white colors we see on devices. Read more

Updated WatchOn app for Galaxy S 5 now available in Play Store

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Samsung has uploaded a redesigned version of their WatchOn application to Google’s Play Store. Samsung doesn’t use the Play Store to distribute as many apps as, say, Motorola, but we do see the occasional app hosted on Google’s store front.

The redesigned app features a ton of purple and fits in with the flat aesthetics of the Galaxy S 5, and is, of course, available only to the Galaxy S 5. If you like the newer design of TouchWiz, you’ll definitely like this update. If you’re not crazy about the flat, colorful design? Well, you may want to pass on this one.

To see more, hit the gallery past the break.

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Google holding internet scavenger hunt for a chance to attend I/O in June

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An internet scavenger hunt is right up Google’s alley. And that is what the company is doing to give people a chance to attend Google I/O in June. The company has deployed links through its developer site and finding one will either reward you with a spot in the Google I/O lottery or a pleasant rejection message. The spot in the Google I/O lottery will provide an opportunity at purchasing a $900 ticket for Google’s showcase.

For an example, click here to see a link that is taken.

Source: Android Police

Hulu Plus, Crackle, and Showtime to be added to Amazon Fire TV voice search this summer

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Currently, Amazon’s Fire TV’s unified voice search feature only includes a few content catalogs, limited to Amazon’s own catalog and VEVO’s selection. The feature is great, but to be truly successful, it’s going to need more than two content providers to make it stand out. To fix that, Amazon has announced today that Hulu Plus, Crackle, and Showtime Anytime will be added to the unified voice search feature this summer.

The addition of three major content providers is nice, and since it’s happened so quickly, it (hopefully) shows that Amazon is going to work hard to get a ton of partners on board as quickly as possible.

Hit the break for the full press release. Read more