Google, for all its skill in the realms of mobile search, advertising, email, and even operating systems, has never been particularly good at the social thing. Even now, I suspect, someone at Google is fuming at the notion that the company "isn't very good" at messaging or social networks and pointing animatedly at the tens of millions of Google+ and Hangouts users. The problem is and has always been that for whatever success Google has had in social and messaging platforms, it is constantly undercut by the actions of Google itself that say otherwise. There is near-yearly reworking, redesigning, or branching off of these products in ways that very strongly suggest they aren't getting the results Google's Alphabet overlords consider acceptable. Read More
According to the Wall Street Journal, Google is working on a few things. They are, according to the world's most infamous tipster "People Familiar With The Matter," working on an Android-powered video game console. And a smart watch. And a new Nexus Q. And the possibility of Android-powered appliances (like refrigerators). And Laptops. And, oh yeah, low-cost phones for developing markets.
Typically we avoid reporting on too-good-to-be-true rumors, but today's alleged revelation is a real whopper. Since it comes from the Wall Street Journal – which often comes through on rumors – it might just be worth keeping an eye on. Read More
If you thought Google Fiber sounded like a game changer, you may want to keep an eye on this story. According to the Wall Street Journal, which has a history of having well-placed sources, Google has held talks with Dish Network discussing the possibility of partnering on a wireless carrier to compete with AT&T, Verizon, and all the rest. At first, it sounds like a pipe dream. The kind we've been hoping for since the G1. Thing is, this time, it has a shot of not being complete bupkis.
Before we get into why this might be true, though, let's take a look at why it might be false: for starters, according to WSJ's own sources, the talks are not very advanced and "could amount to nothing." Keep in mind companies talk to each other all the time without releasing products. Read More
The rumor mill giveth and the rumor mill taketh away. Late Sunday night, a commenter on our site posted a surprising confession: he was the source of several rumors regarding Android 4.2. Initially, we confirmed that this commenter was the same who had sent us some different yet equally fantastic stories. Our batch hinted that Robert Downey Jr. might have been hired to introduce the new Nexii for the next couple years, for example. Now, Android & Me has posted a retraction of the initial article stating that Android 4.2 would contain a Customization Center and Project Roadrunner.
However, the commenter known as Peter claimed that a certain set of Android rumors were not a part of his elaborate and entertaining ruse. Read More
Just last week, Sprint finally lit up its LTE network. Not before selling a number of LTE-equipped phones, however. If you were worried about Sprint's ability to keep up with the big dogs in the race to expand LTE coverage, the WSJ has some comforting words for you. Wait, did I say "comforting"? I'm sorry, I meant worrying. Very, very worrying.
The long and short of it is, Sprint simply doesn't seem to have enough spectrum to keep up. The initial LTE rollout covered 15 markets, compared to Verizon's 330 and AT&T's 47. Despite the rather distant third-place position, Sprint hopes to have coverage in all areas by the end of 2013. Read More
I know the subject of Twitter buying another company is not directly related to Android, but considering the importance of the social service in our day-to-day operations and the target of the rumor being TweetDeck, a crowd favorite when it comes to Twitter clients, I thought I'd give this one a mention.
According to a report published today by The Wall Street Journal, Twitter is reportedly in talks to buy TweetDeck for $50 million. This comes after relatively recent news of UberMedia's $30 million bid in cash and stock. As we've seen, UberMedia and Twitter don't have the best rapport, so keeping TweetDeck out of UberMedia's hands may well be in the best interest of Twitter itself. Read More
The smartphone is slowly becoming the "all-in-one" gadget, however one big gap that still exists is the inability to easily make purchases directly through the device instead of using cash or credit cards. According to the WSJ and "people familiar with the matter", Google is working with MasterCard and Citigroup to fill this void by using the still nascent NFC (near field communication) technology to develop a new mobile payment service.
Customers using Citigroup cards will be able to activate an app developed specifically for NFC enabled Android smartphones. This app will allow users to pay for their purchases by waving their NFC enabled Android smartphone over a contact-less reader. Read More
Way back in July, Lookout released the results of a study on app security, and found that many apps have access to user data that they have no need for - suggesting that there was plenty of potential for illicit information use. Two months later, a group of researchers from Intel, Penn State, and Duke came forth with data showing just that: 15 of the 30 apps tested sent GPS data, 7 sent unique hardware information, and a few sent more private information such as phone and SIM numbers.
Fast forward to today - the Wall Street Journal has released the findings of a very similar study they conducted, and the results are surprisingly similar. Read More