We first reported on Android Silver back in April this year as an attempt by Google to premiumify Android phones with more Google branding and stock software in partnership with OEMs and US carriers. The program was supposed to launch early next year, and according to our source, would even entail custom retail booths in carrier stores, supplied and funded by Google. Google would also provide marketing assistance, customer support, and help carriers with sell-through, providing employees training on selling and teaching customers how to use Silver devices.
Update: Because there is apparent confusion about this, Nexus TV is not Android TV. Nexus TV, a cancelled project which is now known as ADT-1, is hardware. Android TV is software. Nexus TV would have run Android TV, as the ADT-1 does. Android TV is not directly implicated in this news, but it is obviously relevant. This is about a hardware team at Google - not a software one.
It's always interesting to hear internal Google gossip, and The Information's got a couple of tidbits this morning that are worth looking over.
The Oppo N1 was a bit hit and miss: its gigantic frame and unconventional swiveling camera were interesting, but it turned more heads thanks to a special edition that came with the CyanogenMod ROM pre-installed. In David Ruddock's review, he praised the screen and build quality, but had to take away points for the gimmicky rear touchpad, latency, and lack of LTE. We've been interested to see what Oppo would show off next, and GSM Arena seems to think they have a sneak peek at exactly that.
The last we heard of an HTC smartwatch, it was a replica of a rumor, a render of a render posted by the now-retired Evleaks. Then Pocket-Lint reported that HTC had scrapped plans for a Qualcomm Toq-based watch, according to "sources familiar with the matter." If all that wasn't nebulous enough for you, now Cnet says that HTC's watch is coming back, scheduled for a release sometime next year.
For years now, we've been drooling over Sony's high-end hardware and gorgeous industrial design, only to be bummed since the phones rarely come to the United States. Sony and T-Mobile have a pretty good relationship, as evidenced by yesterday's announcement that the new Xperia Z3 would launch on the carrier in the US. But according to a recent post from PC Mag, Verizon may be getting some Sony phone hardware for the first time in years.
Yep, you're reading this right: Android Wear 2.0. It's happening - and soon. According to an unnamed source, we're going to see OTA updates for some Wear devices on or around October 15th. We don't know what's in Wear 2.0 (but GPS and Bluetooth headphone support are good bets), which devices are getting it and exactly when, but it is happening. We also can't be sure Google is going to necessarily call it "Wear 2.0" - more that this is going to be the second major release of Wear (though it's entirely possible Google will call it Wear 2.0).
It's been less than six months since Sony announced the top-of-the-line Xperia Z2 back at Mobile World Congress, but it looks like the company may be ready to release yet another iteration at IFA in Berlin. A Facebook fan page (reported by the reliable XperiaBlog) posted photos of what looks a lot like the next Xperia superphone, the Z3. A sticker on the device includes specifications, though there's no way to confirm them.
The low-cost Ouya game console got a big start a few years back when it raised more than $8 million on Kickstarter. When the console actually came out in mid-2013, the results were less than impressive. Ouya has gone through a number of changes since then, but now Recode is reporting that it has entered acquisition talks with a number of companies in the US and China.
Earlier last month, we posted an exclusive story about Google's explorations into a product called "Workshop," which would allow users to customize snap-on cases and live wallpapers for their Nexus phones. The effort would be a major step-up in what has historically been an inconsistent lineup of accessories for Google's devices.
From information made available to us, it appears Google plans to continue upping the offerings when HTC's nine-inch Nexus tablet becomes official.
Update #1: The Wall Street Journal is now corroborating and confirming TI's story.
Update #2: It's official, Amazon is buying Twitch for $970 million in cash. The acquisition is expected to close in 2H of 2014.
Amazon.com to Acquire Twitch
SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 25, 2014-- Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) today announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire Twitch Interactive, Inc., the leading live video platform for gamers. In July, more than 55 million unique visitors viewed more than 15 billion minutes of content on Twitch produced by more than 1 million broadcasters, including individual gamers, pro players, publishers, developers, media outlets, conventions and stadium-filling esports organizations.