When gigantic multinational corporations buy one another, the process is a bit more complicated than grabbing a new couch off of Craigslist. Lenovo announced its intention to buy American phone manufacturer Motorola off of Google back in January of this year, less than two years after Google itself acquired the then-independent Motorola Mobility. Today the sale is final and approved by all necessary regulatory agencies, with a combined price of $2.91 billion in cash, credit, and stock.
Left to right: Lenovo Execute Vice President of the Mobile Business Group Liu Jun, Lenovo Chairman and CEO Yang Yuanqing, Motorola Mobility President and Chief Operating Officer Rick Osterloh
Motorola and Lenovo both have "welcome to the team" blog posts on their respective websites. Read More
Xiaomi isn't letting its devices' limited geographical availability get in the way of its heated competition with other brands for worldwide smartphone sales. As reported by both the IDC and Strategy Analytics, the Chinese manufacturer has shipped the third most smartphones in the world in Q3 2014, leapfrogging LG, Lenovo, and Huawei, and only trailing behind Samsung and Apple.
This shouldn't come as a surprise: Xiaomi has been on a roll for the past year. Before snatching the third global spot, it had already surpassed LG as the world's fifth largest smartphone manufacturer in Q2 2014 — only three months ago. Read More
Buyers of the Huawei Ascend Mate2 in the US are fuming today over news that there won't be a KitKat update for this device. It's not unusual for older devices to be left in the dust, but the Mate2 was announced in early 2014 and only went on sale for US consumers in June of this year. Huawei has shown some interest in breaking into the US market as of late, but the Chinese OEM is going to have trouble if this is the kind of support we can expect.
Amazon seems rather ecstatic about giving its users a lot of free software lately. Not content with one free app of the day, the Appstore multiplied that by forty, got the total savings over a Franklin and Hamilton combined, and is giving you until Saturday to grab as many as you want. Granted, some of the apps and games were previously offered during one of the store's daily deals, but this is a good opportunity to catch up if you missed them earlier. The offer appears to be available across all countries — I have at least confirmed that it's live in the US, Canada, the UK, France, and Australia. Read More
Update, 10:30PM CST: Wow, it looks like Google really dropped the ball on this one. While previous Play Store launches have been problematic, today's Nexus 6 pre-order has left the vast majority of prospective buyers high and dry. Google seems to have sold out of a low initial stock almost instantly, and there was never a single point in the afternoon where you could reliably go to the Play Store and pay for a phone.
We ran an informal poll over on the Android Police Google+ page, now at over 1000 replies. If our readers are any indication, approximately nine out of ten people who wanted to pre-order a Nexus 6 today were unable to do so. Read More
Chinese manufacturer Oppo has been making a name for itself thanks to some unconventional designs on top solid hardware (on paper, at least). The latest round of upgrades for the company's product lines are novel, to be certain: the new Oppo R5 is the latest phone to steal the coveted "world's thinnest" title, and the N3 uses a new rotating camera that's positively unique. But do these features actually make the phones desirable, or are they mere gimmicks? You be the judge.
First, the Oppo R5. At 148.9 × 74.5 × 4.85mm, it is in fact the (pause for echo effect) thinnest smartphone ever. Read More
We've been seeing bits and pieces (and fully functional prototypes) of Google Stars for a long time now. The tool, which for now acts as a replacement for Chrome's bookmark manager, has been in development even longer, but it looks like the Chrome extension might finally be ready to roll (assuming it doesn't get pulled again) as Google released "Bookmark Manager" to the Chrome Web Store earlier today.
Despite the new name, the extension takes over chrome://bookmarks just as before, with options to organize bookmarks into folders, give those folders descriptions, and even share folders with others. Of course the interface for adding a bookmark is also updated. Read More
Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides have all received some love today, though the visual changes here are minor. For the most part, these apps were already all material-ed up, and while this update does dot some i's and cross some t's, it doesn't quite leave us satisfied. Fortunately that's not all there is to see here.
Let's get the biggest visual tweak out of the way first. Yes, Google has changed the hamburger menu icon in the action bar. No, it still doesn't match the majority of its other updated apps.
Put bluntly, it's squished, and this doesn't change regardless of whether you open the sidebar. Read More
Months ago, we posted a rumor about "modular actions" set to come to Google's Search app (now just called Google) along with "Ok Google Everywhere" functionality that would allow users to activate search from anywhere on their device. The latter has already been implemented, but Google is still inching toward the former. With the technically unreleased Google app, the search interface can overlay apps from which it is called, but Google today announced another step forward - the ability to let apps hook into search by accepting voice queries from the user.
The solution is a mere six lines which, when added to the AndroidManifest.xml file, will allow a user to say something like "Search for pizza on Eat24" to open the corresponding app (in this case Eat24) to pizza search results. Read More