Sundar Pichai, (Google's Lord of Androids and Chrome), had something else to share besides their new carrier service, Nova. He confirmed that Google is creating the API for their own improved mobile payment system and it will be called Android Pay.
Pichai described Android Pay as more of a framework for mobile payments than a specific app. Google's intention is that it will become a full service on which other companies will be able to build their own payment system. Initially it will utilize NFC technology, but Google plans to introduce other options in the future. More than likely this service (and Google's carrier service) will be officially unveiled during Google I/O later this year.
While the name is unoriginal, it actually makes sense to keep it simple. If consumers hear Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or Android Pay, they will automatically know you are talking about mobile electronic payments. It keeps it brand specific, yet indirectly standardizes the naming convention. It's very clever, and is much better than Isis, Softcard, or LoopPay.
Yesterday Samsung officially unpacked the new Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 Edge. They announced a few new features, but overall it seemed as if there wasn't really much to see. One feature that stood out was the Edge notification colors on the Galaxy S6 Edge. This feature was just built into an app and released by developer "forgin". This app brings the edge notifications to calls, and will soon bring the notification to contacts as well. This brings colors to the edges of your screen with incoming calls. You have the ability to set a custom width and color with the app as well. Head to the link below for the download.
Xiaomi has come a long way from their MIUI Rom humble beginnings back in 2010. They are now worth $46 Billion, and now outsells Samsung in China. They have also been developing many other products like TVs, headphones, and even a smarthome ecosystem. They operate on a Low-Cost Model aiming to acquire as many users whom they can sell services to in the future. This means they can offer a higher specd camera at a lower price. The Yi Action takes 16mp stills and 1080p video at 60fps. That is compared to the GoPro entry level camera which sells for $130 which takes 5mp stills and 1080p video at 30fps. The camera is waterproof up to 40meters just like the GoPro. While this is an awesome sounding camera it isn't likely that we will actually be able to get our hands on one. This will be sold in China only in the ordinary flash sale style that we have seen from Xiaomi in the past.
Google's Android & Chrome boss, Sundar Pichai held a talk at Mobile World Congress today. During his discussion he shared that Google will indeed become a mobile carrier. The service is tentatively called "Nova" that will be an MVNO (mobile virtual network operation).
He shared that Google's intention isn't to be a big competitor to Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint. Instead, he likened the Nova service to Google's Nexus line. The intention is to help guide the industry by establishing some benchmarks that Google would like to see the other carriers adopt. He included the example of carriers adapting the ability for Wi-Fi signals to automatically pick up phone calls when the carriers' own networks drop them.
He explained, “We want to experiment along those lines. We don’t intend to be a network operator at scale. We are actually working with carrier partners. Will announce something in the coming months.” He also added that Google wants to bridge the gap between mobile networks and Wi-Fi perhaps by leveraging their own Fiber network.
It will be interesting to see what kind of example Google can set in this arena. It's a tough hill to climb, but if they can execute the way they are with Google Fiber, it could be a great thing for the whole industry.
Today was a pretty big day for CyanogenMod at Mobile World Congress. CM has been a corporation now for the past couple of years. In this short time they have seen all kinds of growth and also all kinds of changes. Today they have announced a few pretty big changes. Firstly they announced that they will be embracing a more current style based on the openness of Android. There will be a new logo, new font, and new geometric shapes. It looks like we will see a total design overhaul here.
Secondly and more importantly CyanogenMod has announced a new partnership with Qualcomm. This will mean that CM Os features will be present in a new Qualcomm Reference Design. This means that OEMs will be easily able to implement CM OS features on their devices. This agreement paves the way for CyanogenMod to make their way to a handful of Mid tier and entry level devices. CM still plans to make their own flagship devices with OEMs.
I won't bore you with useless commentary on the state of Root for the Note 4. We will get right to it. The big news here is that there are still a handful of developers and security experts that are hacking away at this. While they are still a few steps off they have made a bit of progress. In order to root the AT&T and Verizon Note 4 both a kernel exploit and an Android OS exploit will be needed. We now have a confirmed kernel exploit. We also have a method to apply the same exploit. Currently the developers for this root method are working on an Android exploit that will grant us System UID in order to apply the kernel exploit and write root. Their is not a confirmed Android exploit, but there is a current target. The focus now is to create an apk that can deploy the root method simply for everyone. This is exciting, but we may still be waiting a while.
We have reached the mountain top, Google and Motorola teamed up to give us arguably the best nexus phone to date. Is it the best android device, no, but it is the best nexus and for nexus fans that is enough for now especially with the specs and performance being up to par with the top smart phone devices in the market. One of the reasons we wanted a Motorola Nexus was because of Motorola's long track record of building a solid device with the best radios on the market. And what better way to be able to really enjoy your nexus than actually being able to use it, unlike the Samsung Galaxy Nexus whose radio were horrendous. And though the LG Nexus 5 was a step up I still had issues where I would lose a signal in areas. But my Motorola Nexus have performed greatly as of now and the radio performance allow me to get signals where my past three phones (Nexus 5, Note 2, Galaxy Nexus) have failed. But one other company known for solid radio performance is HTC and as of late they are also doing good in the build quality. I am leaving the jury out as far as battery performance but my nexus 6 battery is not as good as I had hoped, though it still is performing well. Lately with phones like the note providing 32 hours of performance our expectations for battery life have raised even though there was a time where manufacturers struggled to get 8 hours out of a LTE smartphone (*cough* Thunderbolt). But with HTC clawing back trying to regain their top spot in the...
A couple of years ago Google took on the task of creating their own social network and catered their software around supporting it. Unlike Twitter and Facebook, Google plus has not gotten the traction it projected despite all the efforts Google has made. So the question now is with David Besbris vacating his role as head of social and identity, will Google plus continue, or will Google just keep Hangouts and photos and abandon the rest of the project?
Do you use Google Plus?
Why, in your estimation, has Google failed in their endeavor of creating a viable social network?
SanDisk announced a 200Gb Sd card that will run $400. Unfortunately in an age where more smartphone manufacturers are abandoning external storage I have to wonder if this is a little too late especially when you can buy a 1TB external hard drive for about $65 bucks at Best Buy and attach via otg cable. So I have to ask if we need a 200 GB sd card and is it long time for manufacturers to make 64gb internal storage the base option for high end smart phones?
The past few months our news team have been bringing you every tidbit of information about the Galaxy S6 and I applaud @dgstorm for staying on top of it and I know he will continue to provide more coverage and reviews of MWC this week. But we now have the S6 here and it is basically what we thought so post your likes and dislikes as well as if you plan on buying it in the S6 thread posted below.
Nexus Huawei rumors: When I think about Huawei I think about Cricket as that is the brand you see with low cost carriers, so rumors that they may make a nexus have me split. On hand it makes sense since Google is trying to launch their wireless service which is geared after the people not wanting to pay high dollar for coverage. Most people who look to low cost carriers are also looking for a low cost device and Huawei have been doing that for awhile. Also it gives another company a chance to get some spotlight as well as allow Google to further reach into the Chinese market. Where I am concerned is that the Nexus will take a large step back from high end to being affordable.
Huawei Watch: This thing is a beauty and is giving both the Moto 360 and the G Watch R a run for its money. (Moved video to 2nd post) Making me second guess my concerns about Huawei making a nexus but maybe I should wait for more real world reviews. We started discussions about the watch yesterday but now that videos are being posted...