In the Android Police review of the OnePlus One, we called it "the best flagship you can't buy." That will change soon: the independent and often divisive manufacturer has finally seen fit to set aside its invitation system and start selling phones the old-fashioned way. Pre-orders will be available via OnePlus.net starting on Monday, October 27th at 15:00 GMT (8 AM Eastern time).
But it just wouldn't be OnePlus without some needless complication, right? Read More
For some of us, breaking a smartphone is unimaginable. For others, it's only a matter of time. Either way, it could pay to have your ducks in a row. Samsung has introduced a new device replacement plan, and since no less than 107% of the world's phones were made by the manufacturer, a good number of people could benefit from this. But it won't come cheap.
Samsung's "Protection Plus Mobile Elite" plan costs $99.99 and provides coverage for two years. Read More
People talk on Twitter, they crack jokes, they share pictures, and they even try to sell things. Just as users used to have to link out to images before the service started offering that service natively, users will soon be able to make purchases without having to hop out to another site. Twitter is currently testing a feature that will embed a buy button directly into tweets.
When a user decides they want to buy something, Twitter will prompt them for their shipping and payment information. Read More
You've seen the breathless coverage. You've read Google's hyperbolic marketing. You've seen countless demonstrations of why Google Glass is the future. And if you live in the United States, you can finally get one without jumping through limited access hoops or begging for an invite, if only for one day. Google's Glass Explorer program is open to US residents 18 and older from right now (9 AM Eastern, 6AM Pacific) until the end of the day on April 15th. Read More
An international mega-corp like Google buys companies like the rest of us buy coffee. Google's latest latte is SlickLogin, a startup that aims to make authentication simpler and safer by using sonic login codes on phones. The details of the purchase aren't public just yet, but SlickLogin's site confirms that "the [team] is joining Google."
SlickLogin's system is unique: it uses a cell phone as an authentication key with the help of nearly-silent audio codes sent via computer speakers. Read More
Rakuten is often referred to by western media as "the Amazon of Japan." That description seems more and more apt given some of the mega-retailer's recent purchases, including Canadian e-reader company Kobo. Yesterday Rakuten announced that it had purchased Viber, an up-and coming voice-over-IP company with apps on Android, iOS, and Windows, among others, for a whopping $900 million.
Viber is primarily a Skype competitor, though it also offers text and picture messaging, group chat, and cross-communication between mobile and desktop operating systems. Read More
Yesterday social gaming giant Zynga purchased NaturalMotion, developers of notable mobile games including the CSR Racing series, Backbreaker Football, and the official Jenga game for iOS and Android. TechCrunch reports that the $527 million purchase includes $391 million in cash and 39.8 million shares of Zynga stock. NaturalMotion operates offices in London, Oxford, Brighton, and San Francisco.
Zynga has plenty of apps for iOS and Android, notably Words With Friends and the official sequel to Draw Something (which Zynga got from another acquisition, OMGPop). Read More
In an odd bit of M&A news, the developers at Bitspin announced that the small company will be joining forces with Google. Whether Google has purchased the company outright or merely hired its Zurich-based development team isn't clear, but in either case, the big G will be benefitting from their impressive user interface experience soon. Google has not commented on the situation, and there is no dollar amount posted on the Bitspin website. Read More
A report in L'Expansion claims that Google has finalized the acquisition of FlexyCore, an optimization company based in Rennes, France, for 16.9 million Euros (just over $23 million USD). Google confirmed the sale to GigaOM, but did not comment on the price or purpose. The French website says that Google has been processing the acquisition for over a year and finally closed the deal earlier this month.
FlexyCore is a five-year-old company founded by Gilbert Cabillic, a former head researcher for Texas Instruments. Read More
No one likes to be last. The LG G2 was originally slated to become available online from T-Mobile on September 18th, nearly a week after competitors Verizon Wireless and AT&T were to start offering the handset. AT&T already jumped the gun when they started offering sales online a week ago, and now T-Mobile is offering the G2 at the same time as everyone else, at least online.
Unlike AT&T and Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile offers the G2 for $99.99 upfront. Read More