22
May
motorola_droid_x1

Today, Google announced that its acquisition of Motorola Mobility had officially closed. Make no mistake, this merger is something of a shotgun arrangement - and the offspring conceived out of wedlock is Android. So, how did we get here, two and a half years after the first DROID?

A Brief History Of Motorola And Android

Motorola was once Google's model manufacturer partner. At least in the US, it produced what was the most popular "first generation" Android smartphone, the original Motorola DROID.

19
May
motorola-logo_thumb

When we last heard about Google's deal to buy Motorola, the EU  and the US had approved the deal. The one major market we were left waiting on is China and now, according to the Associated Press (known around here as "the other AP"), the country's regulators have given Google the green light. The deal is now expected to close next week.

The biggest asset of the deal is, of course, Motorola's 17,000+ patents.

17
May
googleiotiny

In case the parade of trade shows and device announcements in the first half of the year aren't enough to keep you excited, Google I/O stands as the centerpiece of Android and Google hype. If you're just too eager to see what's going to happen late this June, then here's something to whet your appetite: The Google I/O schedule is now live at Google's developer site.

2012-05-17_12h27_26

The schedule includes information for all tracks, including Android, Chrome, Google TV, YouTube, and all your other favorite Google products.

16
May
googlemusictiny

Well, that didn't take long. Earlier today, we reported that Google was limiting the number of devices that can be deauthorized from your Google Music account. The official limit on Google Music devices was 10 active devices, with the proviso that up to 4 devices could be removed from your account every year. As of this moment, the Google Music help page still echoes this, but Google might be back pedaling.

16
May
googlemusictiny

The problem with any account-based music streaming service, from a corporate standpoint, is that end users are a shared password away from getting access to free media. Really, who hasn't shared their Netflix account once or twice? In an effort to prevent this kind of abuse, Google Music (likely at the request of the music labels) has instituted a cap on the number of devices you are allowed to deauthorize: Four.

15
May
galaxy_nexus_banner_005

This is the sort of quasi-rumor (it's fairly detailed and comes from the Wall Street Journal, so we're inclined to trust it) that makes me happy to be an Android fan.

According to the WSJ, Google is in cahoots with up to five device manufacturers to provide early access to the next iteration of the Android OS (Jelly Bean, we assume) so it can have an entire "portfolio" of Nexus devices ready by Thanksgiving - that's late November for those without turkey day.

11
May
google_play
Last Updated: October 13th, 2013

A new version of the Android Play Store (formerly Android Market) with version 3.5.19 is now rolling out, replacing 3.5.16. We haven't seen a new Play Store for over a month, but what changes it contains compared to its predecessor is not clear at the moment. I've examined all the menus I could think of and didn't find anything new, so improvements are either under-the-hood or so subtle it'll take a whole AP community to find them.

10
May
2012-05-10 13h26_02

In a continued attempt to make Android more viable as an entertainment platform, Google is working on a social gaming app in the same vein as Apple's Game Center, if Business Insider's sources are to be believed. The app would be a huge boon for social gaming on Android. As the platform grows, and gaming along with it, Google risks losing a golden opportunity to be even more deeply embedded within one of the biggest growth markets in mobile.

09
May
2012-05-09 16h40_32

You guys remember Google TV, right? It's the project that every CEO and their mothers stood on a stage with to declare war on Apple's AppleTV hobby? Yeah, those guys have been pretty quiet since about that platform for a while now. Sony, however, got up the nerve to announce a new Google TV box at a special event in Palo Alto. Where "announce" means "say some words near, without actually talking about."

gtvsony2 gtvsony3 gtvsony4

Details one the device are scarce.

02
May
playtiny

If you prefer not to give Google your credit card info, and would rather consolidate all your Play Store payments into one big carrier bill, then we've got some good news for you. Google just announced an expansion to the carrier billing system that now includes the ability to charge books, movies, and music to your carrier bill, in addition to apps.

2012-05-02 13h33_59

The full list of carriers that support the new billing is above.

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