When Google bought Nest, a company known for trying to reinvent the way people control the heating system in their home, people scratched their heads and wondered what Google would do with them. Five seconds later, we all realized that Nest is actually just a bunch of ex-Apple employees, meaning they know how to build things that people actually want to buy. According to TechCrunch, Google’s probably not going to let Nest continue working on thermostats, but instead it’ll put the newly acquired employees “to work on gadgets that make more sense for the company.”
Author Archives: Stefan Constantinescu
How do you boost sales of a product that’s already been out on the market for a few months? Launch it in a new color. That’s exactly what Google plans to do with the Nexus 5. Admittedly when I first heard this rumor I thought it was total BS, but now, thanks to Android Central, it appears legit. One of their readers sent in a photo taken from what appears to be an employee only Sprint email saying that a red Nexus 5 will hit Google’s Play Store on February 4th. That’s this coming Tuesday.
Qualcomm, the company that probably made the chip inside the phone in your pocket, has just posted their fiscal Q1 2014 financial results. Note that they actually cover the fourth calendar quarter of 2013. So how did they do? Revenues are up 10% year over year, but net income is down 2%. How is that possible? Easy. A significant amount of the revenue Qualcomm generates comes from licensing their patent portfolio. The amount of money a company pays is usually calculated as being a percentage of the final price of a device. If everyone is buying a cheap phone, that means less money in Qualcomm’s pocket.
Those tiny blue links to cheap Canadian prescription drugs is how Google pays their employees. The company’s Q4 2013 financial results say that money made via those little blue links is up 31% compared to the same quarter a year ago. The problem is that the money earned from said links decreased by 11% during the same period. Wall Street doesn’t care, however, since they’re happy that Google just keeps on growing like an unstoppable imitation Viagra dispensing machine.
Phones have been getting bigger for years. You know that, I know that, and consumers with small hands definitely know that. Companies have only recently started responding to complaints about large screens with “mini” versions of their flagship phones. There was a Galaxy S III mini, Galaxy S4 mini, HTC One mini, and so on and so forth. According to @evleaks, HTC is planning to release a mini version of their next flagship phone, codenamed M8.
The word “Android” means different things depending on who you ask. For some, it’s the open source software project that Google maintains. For others, it’s the operating system plus Google’s various services preinstalled. And for a select few, it’s the software on a Nexus device. Let’s just focus on the first two definitions. Amazon’s Kindle, despite being powered by Android, doesn’t come with a Gmail app, doesn’t come with a Google Maps app, and it doesn’t have access to Google’s Play Store. Those kind of devices, powered by Android, but stripped of Google, made up 32% of all Android devices shipped in Q4 2013 according to ABI Research.
After weeks of leaked spec sheets, images, and operator store signage, Samsung has finally made the Galaxy Note 3 Neo official. What is it? It’s a phone that looks a lot like the Galaxy Note 3, except that it has a smaller 5.5 inch screen that outputs 720p instead of 1080p. The Snapdragon 800 has also been replaced. If you get the 3G version of the Neo, you’ll get a 1.6 GHz quad core Exynos chip. If you get the 4G LTE version, there’s a weird six core chip in there that’s actually made up of two ARM Cortex A15 cores and four ARM Cortex A7 cores.
Every once in a while, you’ll read a press release that burns itself into the back of your mind. Microsoft buying Nokia. Sony Ericsson turning into Sony. And then the strangest of them all, Google buying Motorola. Less than two years ago, when that news dropped, you heard a silence in the air as every tech journalist around the world stopped typing away and started thinking about what just happened. Why would Google, who lets anyone use Android to make a phone and/or tablet, buy a phone maker? Is Google trying to become Apple? What’s Samsung’s reaction?
When Google launched Android way back in 2008, it was a mess. Companies like HTC, Samsung, Sony, everyone really, knew that the new OS was incomplete, so they created “skins” in an attempt to polish Android and give it some additional functionality. You’re probably familiar with HTC Sense, Samsung TouchWiz, and Sony TimeScape. During the next few years, however, Google rapidly improved Android, to the point where “stock” Android, aka Google’s vision of what Android should look like, is widely heralded as being the best version of the operating system.
Google’s search engine is arguably the best search engine on the planet. Microsoft’s been trying to catch up with Bing, but even if they do, which they probably never will, how will they get people to switch? Easy, just throw money at them. The “Bing Rewards” program was launched in Q3 2010 and offered to give people virtual currency that they could then convert to gift cards or charitable donations simply for using Bing. Today, that program has now been extended to Android and iOS.