Back at Google I/O we were introduced to Android One, an initiative from Google to give smartphone manufacturers guidance on how to build quality Android experiences using affordable hardware and updates directly from the Google mothership. At the time, Sundar Pichai explained that the program would be launched in India with three hardware partners - Spice, Micromax, and Karbonn "this fall," with other territories coming later.
It looks like Samsung is at it again. The company that unveiled a successor to the Galaxy Gear after only a few short months is already planning on releasing yet another smartwatch. This time the wrist-bound device should function as a standalone phone and not require something to pair to. According to the Wall Street Journal, we can expect it to drop sometime this summer.
This product, which follows behind the Galaxy Gear, Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, and Gear Fit, will differientiate itself by shipping with a SIM card and the ability to place calls.
Besides the TalkBand B1, Huawei introduced three other devices in their MWC presentation - the MediaPad X1 7.0, MediaPad M1 8.0, and the Ascend G6. The first is pegged as a phone/tablet hybrid, the second just a tablet (capable of Wi-Fi calling and SMS), and the third a budget to mid-range phone.
We'll take a quick look at all three, but let's start with the MediaPad X1.
MediaPad X1 7.0
The X1 "combines the functionality of a smartphone and tablet" in its aluminum alloy body, and besides Huawei's own suite of software enhancements with Emotion UI 2.0, has plenty of specs worth looking twice at.
Getting in some early news, Samsung has - as part of CES 2014 - announced its new Samsung Smart Home service, a means by which users will be able to control all their connected home appliances (from refrigerators to air conditioners to smart light bulbs) through a single app on their compatible smartphone, tablet, smart TV, or wearable device.
To start, the service will cover three main areas, which Samsung identifies as Device Control, Home View, and Smart Customer Service.
As if you needed another reason to lust after the Nexus 5 and/or Android 4.4, Google just announced a huge new feature for the default Phone app in KitKat. The new version of the dialer/contacts app will match incoming numbers against Google's various databases to provide an automatic caller ID for businesses using Google Places, as we've already seen. But starting next year, this feature will be applied to people as well.
For a smartphone operating system, Android hasn't always had the best features for, you know... calls. One of the especially annoying omissions has long been caller ID, but Android 4.4 takes a big step toward fixing that. If you get a call from a business that Google knows, it lets you know on KitKat's incoming call screen. Neat.
Courtesy of an anonymous tipster, we've got a nice weekend treat for those caught up in Nexus season rumor hysteria. A document, purported to be an internal Service Manual for the LG-D821 and posted to scribd, gives us an in-depth look at the next Nexus phone.
There's a lot of technical information, flow charts, diagrams, and photos of silicon here, but there are a few things worth picking out before you dive into the full document.
Back in February, we detailed the specs of the the Neptune Pine, a strangely-named smartwatch that doubles as a smartphone. If you've been chomping at the bit in anticipation of wearing this monstrosity's 2.5" display on your wrist, the time has come. The Neptune Pine is now available for pre-order at NeptunePine.com, lightening your bank account to the tune of $335 for the 16GB version or $395 for the 32GB model.
Note from Artem: Mark Murphy, also known as CommonsWare and CommonsGuy, is one of the top 10 contributors to StackOverflow (he's currently #8). He's the Chuck Norris of Android development, with over 300,000 StackOverflow reputation points. I am honored by his decision to accept my offer to join the AndroidPolice team of contributors.
The User Defense series of posts will highlight relatively easy ways in which users can improve the privacy and security of their use of Android devices.
The leakiest and one of the most mysterious phones in recent history just got a little less mysterious as @evleaks dropped the first official press renders onto our sleepy heads late Friday night. The OS is close to stock (it's Android 4.2.2 for now, but we fully expect 4.3 soon after its release), the cameras are where they're supposed to be, the on-screen buttons make us happy, and overall, it's not such a bad-looker for a mid-spec, affordable device.