We've been seeing leak after leak about Google's rumored unified messaging service. Now, as more details get seemingly confirmed and and we even get a look at the possibly near-finished app, clearly this is the time for Google to acquire a competing IM service, right? Well, not so much, according to AllThingsD. As it turns out, Mountain View is not about to buy WhatsApp, a company that makes a product that Google is currently nearly done building itself.
It seems that no company can keep a secret for very long. With I/O fast approaching, Google and ASUS are in the spotlight again as details creep out about a pending refresh to the Nexus 7. According to Reuters, two undisclosed sources have leaked plans for a likely release date around July with pricing as low as $149. The tipsters also let slip that the revised tablet will be packing an unspecified Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and that Google hopes to ship 6-8 million units before the start of 2014.
Well, that didn't take long. Just a week after Samsung announced its newest flagship phone, we get rumors of the Mini version of the same. As before, it's not just a smaller version of the phone, but a lower-specced version as well. In fact, in terms of the display, the rumored specs are much lower. 960x540 to the tune of 256ppi. In other words, exactly half the resolution (the GS4 packs 1920x1080) and a little more than half the ppi (441ppi).
There's no denying that wearable tech seems to be where it's at among industry analysts. Indeed, the concept of wearable devices separate from smartphones and tablets has piqued the interest of many would-be users. Pebble's smartwatch drew some pretty significant attention, and rumors of more advanced watches from both Samsung and Apple have fueled buzz for several weeks.
The rumor mill is hot today after a comment on XDA caused some to worry that CyanogenMod would not arrive for the new Galaxy S4. XpLoDWilD took to the forums to respond to questions about the difficulty of developing for the handset. The comment appeared to be speaking on behalf of TeamHacksung (the sub-group within CM that deals with devices like the SII, Note, SIII, Note II, etc.), other CM members were quick to point out that no one person has the authority to speak for the entire team.
Well, we're little more than a week away from Samsung's Galaxy S IV Unpacked event in New York. You know what that means: rumors, leaks, and the like are all starting to pour in like mad. This go around we're seeing supposed screenshots from the U.S. version of the GSIV, which showed up on GSM.Israel.co.il. Sure, it's a curious place for a U.S. device to make its debut, but the shots are convincing nonetheless.
Rumors are tricky things. On the one hand, one of the best ways to verify that a suspicious-looking leak is legit is to examine the track record of the leakster. On the other hand, when an image comes out that's nothing but a rounded rectangle with a few gradients, it should be assumed that the picture is complete bunk or, at best, resembles a real device by virtue of adhering to predictable patterns.
As we get closer and closer to Google I/O, speculation inevitably ramps up about what Mountain View will be unveiling this year to set the Android world on fire. The most likely plans involve boosting Play Store features and availability, given the recent push not only to expand into new countries, but to frame the Nexus line as a great content consumption platform. If Fortune is right, then Google may have a huge axe to swing in that battle with not one, but two different subscription music services coming soon.
Now that Android has matured to the point of being solid in its own right, manufacturer skins don't rely so much on fixing the problems with the OS as they do creating their own platform. In order to differentiate from the competition, the new Galaxy S needs to do things the One series doesn't. While HTC focuses on improving its audio and visual performance, Samsung is attempting to boost its wow factor by improving on its eye-tracking technology.
Andy Rubin, you coy devil. I suppose we could ignore those rumors about Google retail stores if you ask nicely and bat your eyes at us. That's what the head of Android would like us to do, anyway, as he spoke at Mobile World Congress stating that "Google has no plans [for a retail store] and we have nothing to announce."
Why not, though? This sure sounds like a good idea to a lot of us in the Android fan world.