Yesterday we reported on rumors that Google may be looking to purchase the popular messaging app WhatsApp. According to WhatsApp business guy Neeraj Arora, sales talks with Google are not being held. Arora says there are no plans, or even discussions, at this time around Google buying WhatsApp for approximately $1 billion. Other than denying the rumors, Arora provided no other information. Next week WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum is schedule to speak at a conference in New York City. Hopefully he will be able to share some new information about the future direction and plans of the company in light of these recent rumors as well as last December’s rumored buyout by Facebook.
Xiaomi is a Chinese manufacturer of MIUI-powered smartphones, and has announced two new smartphones. Predecessor to the Mi2, the Mi2S has been upgraded with a better processor and camera. The Mi2A is more affordable and also features a slightly larger display. Here are the specs of both phones:
- 4.3-inch 1280 x 720 display
- 1.7GHz Snapdragon 600 quad-core processor
- Adreno 320 GPU
- 2GB RAM
- 16 or 32GB internal storage
- 13 megapixel rear-facing camera
- 2 megapixel front-facing camera
- MIUI running on top of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
- 2,000 mAh battery
- Available in five different colors
The new version of the Play Store that
source: Android Blog
Looks like Google might be in the hot seat again because competitors filed a new antitrust complaint against them in the EU alleging that the Android OS gives an unfair advantage for Google apps. The complaint was filed by Fairsearch Europe, which consists Microsoft, Nokia, and Oracle. Lead lawyer for Fairsearch said that Google is using Android “as a deceptive way to build advantages for key Google apps in 70 percent of the smartphones shipped today,” He is referring to the fact that Android OEM’s have a contractual obligation to place Google-branded apps such as Maps, YouTube, and Drive in “prominent default placement on the phone.”
Yesterday we got a better understanding of the specs for the Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8, but only a general idea for the Galaxy Mega 6.3. The Mega 6.3 will have a 6.3-inch PLS HD display, a 1.7GHz a dual-core CPU, an 8MP rear camera, 2MP front camera, and a 3,200mAh battery. The RAM is listed at 1.5GB, which is very odd since most phones have either 1GB or 2GB, and nothing in the middle. It will me much thinner than the Mega 5.8 as it comes in a 7.9mm as opposed to 9.7. We can expect to see it in two versions, with (GT-9205) and without (GT-i9200) LTE and will be available in your choice of black or white.
The Galaxy Mega line appears to be aimed at the budget conscious consumer that wants a phone with a larger display, which is a good market to be in right and now and a very smart move by Samsung.
Android competitors like to point to Google’s Play Store as a source of spam. There’s no question that Google’s approach of vetting apps later does provide an environment in which spam can enter into the equation, but Google isn’t a company that tolerates such apps. Turns out there was some serious purging in February as nearly 60.000 apps were removed from the Play Store. This is the highest such number for a month ever, and we have no idea how many of these apps were actually deleted by Google themselves. The total represents apps that were deleted from publishers as well, but since the number is so high, you have to assume Google played a big role in them.
Why the deletions? Google isn’t going to tell us anything about it, but it could be from spam as well as other violations from their Terms of Service. It probably isn’t all about spam, but Google does have a section in their TOS regarding spam:
App developers are finding more and more ways to take advantage of Widgets in Android. As any Android fan knows, Widgets are one of the major benefits of using Android over iOS. Widgets give us the ability to preview apps without having to open them time-and-time again (wipe the drool from your chins Apple fanboys [and girls]).
As awesome as Widgets are, developers continue to strive to make them that much better. Applay, headed up by XDA Senior Member liorry, has done just that with its “Overlays” app. Overlays enables users to “take any existing widget and effectively pin it on top of any currently running application.” Hit the break for a gallery of images and download links for both the paid for and free versions of the app.
Google Fiber, the ridiculously fast 1 gigabit internet/phone/television service provided by our favorite search giant, now has a new city on its list. Austin, Texas will be next in line to receive Google Fiber, joining Kansas City and the Missouri Metro. No official rollout date yet, but you can bet we’ll keep you updated as soon as we hear something. Hit the break for the full press release.
If you’ve been looking for a tablet to fit into a low budget, ASUS has an answer for you. The MeMo Pad, a 7 inch Jelly Bean powered tablet that’s similar to the Nexus 7, was announced in January, and you can finally get your hands on one for just $149. It only has a 1,024 x 600 display and 1 GHz single-core processor, but hey, it’s cheap. It won’t beat the Nexus 7 anywhere in specs, aside from the micro SD card slot, but it does beat the Nexus 7 in price. And you can even get it in four different colors, which is a plus for some customers.
source: The Verge
Not to be outdone by the competition, Tumblr rolled out their newly redesigned Android app today on the Google Play Store. The latest iteration brings with it some pretty amazing updates. The app, which is available immediately for download, has an all new “post anything” screen that lets users post:
- Text (with a single tap)
Advanced controls will also enable users to save drafts, queue posts, and customize tweets. Hit the break for a screenshot of the new “post anything” screen.
If you’ve been keeping an eye out for either of Sony’s latest flagship phones, we’ve got some good news about the Xperia ZL, just a day after hearing that the Xperia Z may hit our shores relatively soon. The Xperia ZL, which is the non-waterproof/dustproof cousin of the Z will be hitting Cincinnati Bell on May 1st for $249 with a two year agreement. It’s taken awhile for either of these devices to land on any US carriers, but even with Samsung and HTC fighting for the attention of consumers, I still think the Xperia ZL will move a few devices. It’s definitely a high end option for someone looking for something a little different.
The XL will come sporting a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, a 5-inch 1080p screen, and that stunning 13 MP camera. It also still has the LTE and GSM bands to work on any carrier in the States, (Band 4 for T-Mobile LTE and Band 17 for AT&T) but there’s no word on if the device will be sim-locked or not. Hopefully not. Hit the press release below for all the details, and be sure to mark the 1st on your calendar if you’re planning on picking one of these up.
T-Mobile’s newest wireless plans have certainly gone without notice from its competitors, so it’s expected that we’ll see an onslaught of ads highlighting that there are more than a few alternatives out there for folks to choose from. In addition to its incredibly inexpensive monthly plans, Virgin Mobile is trying to entice customers by offering a sweet $100 credit to any existing T-Mobile customer that wants to switch services. All that’s needed? T-Mobile customers will just need to bring their phone number over to Virgin Mobile in order to be eligible— that’s it.
Naturally T-Mobile’s mobile plans will offer the most bang for the buck in the long run for most folks (in terms of overall value), but at least Virgin Mobile is giving consumers yet another chance to save an extra dollar or two.
We already know that Google’s revamped all-in-one chat service is very much real and definitely on the way, but we finally have a concrete idea of how it will look when it is unveiled to the masses, courtesy of some leaked screenshots obtained by the gang at techradar. As you can see in these screenshots, the new version of Google Chat service will feature a complete revamped to its UI by including a more threaded messaging style and the use of newer graphics which include the use of new emoticons to be used by both Babel chat and a Hangout within Google+. Oh and Google seems to be intent on getting feedback as quickly as possible by including a “What do you think about Babel in Gmail?” notification when you over over the Feedback button.
Unfortunately, there are no additional details to confirm anything else (such as what Google is doing with WhatsApp) for now, though all indications point to the arrival of Babel sooner than we think.
T-Mobile launched its new Simple Choice plans last month and according to an internal document, Best Buy will offer the new plans by the end of its fiscal year, February 2014. Until then, Best Buy will continue to offer T-Mobile Classic plans. For customers wanting a Simple Choice plan, they will only be available directly from T-Mobile online or through one of its retail locations. Also, if you are on a Classic plan and want to stay on it, purchasing through third-party retailers like Best Buy are your only option. T-Mobile is wanting to move completely away from its Classic plans and contracts altogether, but it’s going to take time to fully transition over to this new, no-contract model.