A Rumor Revisited: Will Google release several Nexus phones from multiple manufacturers? I hope not.

A few months ago, before Google released its most recent Nexus phone, the LG Nexus 4, there were several substantial rumors floating around that Google was planning on opening its Nexus line to multiple manufacturing partners. It all started with a report from the very credible Wall Street Journal and the rumors went something like this: Google will offer its “Nexus” name and early access to the latest stock Android builds to any OEM who is willing to play by Google’s rules and build their phones with a minimum set of specs set by Google’s team. There was said to be five new Nexus phones from five different manufacturers (LG, HTC, Sony, Samsung, and Motorola) all released on November 5th (Android’s 5th birthday) and they’d each be sold in Google’s new Play Store. Sounds pretty plausible, right? Android had finally grown up as an operating system, and now it was time to get the pure Google experience on as many powerful flagship phones as possible, while bypassing the manufacturers ugly and unconventional skins. To be honest, when I first read this rumor I was beyond excited. I absolutely love stock Android (post Ice Cream Sandwich) and was salivating about the fact that I’d get to choose from several top of the line hardware variations for my next Nexus.

Samsung Galaxy Note II Developer Edition slated for Verizon

Following in the footsteps of the Samsung Galaxy S III on Verizon, Samsung appears to be ready to release a Developer Edition of the Samsung Galaxy Note II. A special version is needed due to Verizon locking the bootloader, effectively blocking developers who need an unlocked device for testing and development purposes. The new version has been revealed just over a week after the Galaxy Note II’s bootloader was cracked. Samsung is listing the 16GB Developer Edition on their web site, although there is no information regarding an expected date of availability.

source: Samsung

Sprint Sums Up 2012 LTE Rollout, Lists Additional Cities Rolling Out Soon

It’s been quite a busy year for Sprint, namely building out their LTE network, not to mention that little acquisition. Now that 2012 is winding down, Sprint is reporting that there are 49 total markets now with LTE service, and more than 150 on the horizon. Additionally, 70 markets have seen improved 3G service including better signal strength for both voice and data. In their latest presser, they also revealed 36 more markets that’ll see LTE light up ‘in the coming months.’ Hit the break for the full list.

Featured Android Game Review: Pretty Pet Toy Store [Casual]

Animoca, the makers of the popular Pretty Pet Salon series has come out with a fun little Christmas game in the same vein called Pretty Pet Toy Store. The game is very similar in that it’s half puzzle have time management. The difference is that this time Cuby and friends need to make sure all the children are able to get their presents in time for Christmas. and that won’t necessarily be an easy task.

The main character, Cuby, is in charge of nine toy stores. At the start of the game you will be on your own, but as you make money you can level up and hire more of Cuby’s friends and upgrade the stores. As the children walk into the store, you have to drag each one to the appropriate station, provide the service, and get them checked out. Stations are toys in a sense. You will find xylophones, teddy bears, toy cars, and more. You will have to move quickly because you can’t leave any kids unattended for too long because they will get angry and walk out. That’s the time management aspect of it, but it’s also partly puzzle since you have to decide what services to conduct first and in what order to make sure everyone is satisfied. Adding to the challenge is that some children need more than one service or toy.

Samsung releases new commercial for Galaxy Camera starring James Franco

Samsung has been working hard lately to release some clever commercials detailing their new products’ features, and today its Samsung’s new Galaxy Camera‘s turn to be in the limelight. The commercial was uploaded to Samsung’s Youtube page this morning and stars famous actor James Franco. In it, Mr Franco is cruising around a party and bumps into various scenarios where his Galaxy Camera’s features come in extremely handy. The use cases are actually pretty realistic and I could see why some of you photo buffs might want to pick one of these guys up. Samsung does a good job showing you the great features of the camera, while garnering a chuckle or two while you watch. Check out the video below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXF-9ILA9zM

LG & Google Release Product Movie Highlighting Nexus 4 Features

 

I mean sure we’ve seen some unprecedented success and some minor criticism regarding the Nexus 4’s initial popularity, but we hadn’t seen an actual advertisement highlighting the device’s capabilities… until now. LG recently came out and released a product movie which demonstrates the device’s full potential. In addition to seeing the features like the quad-core processor and 2 gigs of RAM in action, LG & Google also puts the gorgeous IPS+ display, panorama camera function, navigation function, WiFi display and Android Beam on full display.

All in all– the product teaser video highlights all of the features that we’ve all come to know and enjoy, except now the rest of the mainstream world can finally see what all the fuss is about. I’m sure you’re all itching to see the video, so hit the break to see the Nexus 4 really strut its stuff.

Google Launches Santa Tracker App, Gives Us All Reason To Stalk St. Nick

 

As we inch closer and closer to Christmas Day, it’s only natural that we have an idea of how to track jolly ol’ St. Nick— and Google allows us to do just that with the launch of its Santa Tracking app. From Monday, December 24th, all of you kids (both young and old) will be able to follow Santa as he is riding on his sleigh all across the world, delivering gifts to all. The neat thing is that users of the app will be able to track Santa’s journey all through the power of Google Maps. So there is the hope that maybe, just maybe– you may be able to see Santa riding over your own neighborhood and home.

The app is available in the Play Store now for all Froyo+ devices, though you won’t be able to follow all of Santa’s shenanigans until sometime Monday afternoon. If you are eager to grab the app and don’t mind exercising some patience, hit the link below to grab the app today.

 

 

Play Store Download Link

Motorola patent claim ruled ‘invalid’ by ITC judge in lawsuit against Apple

While Motorola and Apple have had their fair share of courtroom drama in the past, today may finally see some of it put to rest. The two have been engaged in a heated legal battle over the past couple of years, with the most recent of which centered around a touch-related UI intellectual property.

Today, Judge Pender of the International Trade Commission ruled that, while Apple did infringe on said patent, there would be no legal ramifications because Motorola’s claim is ‘invalid.’ The reason behind the decision stems from the fact that Motorola holds another, older touch patent very similar to the one in question, yet it was not included in the original filing.

So, it appears the Apple legal team will be celebrating a successful year in the courtroom over Christmas. Although, its entirely possible to prolong the ordeal if Motorola chooses to appeal the ruling over the coming weeks.

Source: Bloomberg

China is Android’s number one market, with US coming in at a distant second

According to a study done by Informa Telecoms and Media, China is the number one market for Android phone sales, with two out of every three devices sold in the Red country being powered by the Android OS.  Last year, one third of all Android devices sold across the world were sold in China alone. The competitors’ platforms come in at far more minuscule numbers: Apple’s iPhone is at 5% market share, and Windows phone nabs a mere 1%.

The US is China’s closest competitor for Android market share with 11% of the global total, and the numbers are growing each year. Informa anticipates that in 2013, one in every two devices sold in the US will be powered by Android. In all, smartphone numbers are up despite a downturned economy…because what makes you feel better like a shiney new gadget to play with? We’ll see how these numbers look at the end of 2013, but it looks like Android dominance is unstoppable.
Source: Informa Telecoms and Media

Samsung announces it will drop injunction requests against Apple in European countries

On the same day that Samsung received mixed news regarding the Apple v Samsung fight here in the U.S., the company announced they are dropping their requests for injunctions barring sales of Apple products in several European countries. In courtrooms in the U.K., Germany, France, Italy, and the Netherlands, Samsung is withdrawing requests for injunctions “in the interest of protecting consumer choice.” That statements sounds like Samsung has decided to start walking the walk and not just talking the talk when it comes to letting the market, and not the courts, decide which technologies will prevail with consumers.

Samsung releases official 3000 mAh extended battery for Galaxy S III

This news should make power users and heavy gamers happy: Samsung has officially released an extended battery for your Galaxy S III. The extended battery boosts your phone’s battery to a capacious 3000 mAh, nearly a third more than the 2100 mAh battery that ships with the device. That should easily be enough to get heavy users through a full day, and average users through at least two full days of normal usage before your S III gives up the ghost. Besides the added battery life you get a built in NFC chip, an enlarged back casing and the peace of mind knowing that your battery was made specifically for your phone. Samsung is asking for $64.99 to make this battery yours. That may seem a little pricey, but if you’re one who is always worried and wondering if your phone will make it through the day, it may be worth your bucks. Any of our readers planning on picking one up?

Source: Mobile Fun

Huawei Ascend D2 to be shown at CES

Huawei’s Senior Vice President Richard Yu has revealed the company plans to introduce their forthcoming Huawei Ascend D2 Android-powered smartphone at CES 2013. Yu refers to the Ascend D2 as a “dream phone,” probably due to the specifications. The new handset will sport a 5-inch 1080p display, a 1.5GHz quad-core cpu, 2GB of RAM, a 13 mega-pixel camera, 2,900 mAh battery and will be loaded with Android 4.1.1 according to details found on the web site for Chinese certification agency TENAA. Yu expresses some concern in his posting on microblogging site Sina Weibo that the Ascend D2 is too costly and will be seen as a niche phone intended for “super” users.

Based on the specifications that have been revealed thus far, is this a phone in which you would be interested?

source: Sina Weibo, TENAA

Google Play Music Brings Music Match Feature To The US

You might be thinking, doesn’t Google Play Music already stream my own music back to me? Yes it does but now it does it in a way that has a few hidden bonuses. Not only does matching the music in your collection with music in Google’s library mean all of your music will be played back at 320 kbps, it also eliminates the need for the long upload process. As a guy who still has tracks ripped at 128 kbps, this makes me very happy.

Google launched Play Music, including the music match feature, last month in Europe. The free service has a 20,000 song max. If that’s not enough music for you, check out our guide to the best music streaming options out there.

Source: Google Play on Google+

Run Jelly Bean 4.2.1 on your Kindle Fire

As mentioned in this space before, it never ceases to amaze what the developers over at XDA can cook up. One dev’s latest feat is actually getting Jelly Bean to run on the ‘outdated’ 512MB RAM equipped Amazon Kindle Fire. As with a lot of hacks, there are some features missing (at the time of this writing) such as Swype keyboard, USB camera support, and photo sync.

However, you do get the benefits of Google Now along with a straight port of basically the exact ROM being pushed to Nexus 7 and 10 users. The process itself is very much like flashing other ROMs on other devices, so those that are familiar with it will feel right at home. If you need to brush up on your rooting skills, you can check our guide and dictionary to assist. Click the source link below for the full list of instructions.

source:  XDA