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Google focuses its attention on Android

At today's Google I/O conference, the tech giant announced a number of cool new features for its market-dominating Android Operating System along with a special version of the recently introduced Samsung Galaxy S4.
 
Google will sell a fully unlocked version of the Galaxy S4 (complete with unlocked bootloader) and a completely stock version of Android. Being that this is a fully sanctioned Google device, you can expect prompt updates, something that isn't always the case when you have to deal directly with the device manufacturer.

 
Google's version of the Galaxy S4 will be available from the Play Store beginning June 26 at a price of $649. The device will come with 16GB of storage and will operate on either AT&T or T-Mobile's wireless LTE networks.
 
Moving on to Android, Android chief Sundar Pichai announced that the mobile operating system is on track to hit 900 million device activations for 2013. This compares to 100 million activations in 2011, and 400 activations in 2012. In addition, Picahai revealed that over 48 billion apps have been installed to date on Android devices (2.5 billion of which came within the last month).

 
Google is looking to go head-to-head against Apple's popular Game Center with its only gaming service: Google Play Game Services. The new Android gaming serve will features cloud game saves, achievements, matchmaking, and of course, leaderboards. Developers will not only be able to implement these features on Android devices, but also on iOS devices as well.

 
But the big news for developers is no doubt Android Studio (based on IntelliJ). This is a brand new development environment aimed at making developing apps easier for both tablets and smartphones. As developers tweak their code, they can see real-time changes to their apps. The Android Studio will also provide optimization tips, referral tracking, integration with Google's Analytics service, revenue graphs, and the ability to offer beta testing with staged rollouts.

 
Google also introduced a new subscription music service: Google Play Music All Access. Users can stream music on-demand at a price of $9.99/month. Those that choose to sign up before June 30 can get a slight discount to $7.99/month. If you just want to get your feet wet in the service, there is also a 30-day free trial.

Source: Google



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Deep disappointment
By karimtemple on 5/15/2013 2:04:01 PM , Rating: 1
I cannot tell you how much more I wanted a Nexus 5 than this. UGH!

Nothing like a $300 price premium (vs. Nexus 4) to make you realize how unimportant 1080p is on a phone.




RE: Deep disappointment
By Cheesew1z69 on 5/15/13, Rating: -1
RE: Deep disappointment
By EnzoFX on 5/15/2013 2:22:26 PM , Rating: 4
His point is that it's not $300 important. See how the first part of his sentence matters?


RE: Deep disappointment
By kingmotley on 5/15/13, Rating: 0
RE: Deep disappointment
By inighthawki on 5/15/2013 4:06:46 PM , Rating: 3
I see no indication that his post implied otherwise anyway:

quote:
I cannot tell you how much more I wanted a Nexus 5 than this. UGH!


RE: Deep disappointment
By mikeyD95125 on 5/15/2013 5:59:36 PM , Rating: 5
Seriously, do you relativists need him to say "IN MY OPINION..."

Of course it is his opinion, he just said it.


RE: Deep disappointment
By Cheesew1z69 on 5/15/13, Rating: -1
RE: Deep disappointment
By Cheesew1z69 on 5/15/2013 4:54:58 PM , Rating: 5
DT, PLEASE put an EDIT option... this is 2013... every site has one.


RE: Deep disappointment
By geekman1024 on 5/16/2013 4:23:12 AM , Rating: 3
They believe that "You are what you speak", so no Edit.


RE: Deep disappointment
By bah12 on 5/16/2013 10:41:50 AM , Rating: 5
Holy crap Cheese you got a 5. See DT your readers/posters want an edit button so bad that they'll even up rate Cheese...truly telling.


RE: Deep disappointment
RE: Deep disappointment
By Goty on 5/15/2013 2:51:58 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Nothing like a $300 price premium (vs. Nexus 4) to make you realize how unimportant 1080p is on a phone.


And a faster CPU. And a faster GPU. And better battery life. And a user-replaceable battery. And expandable storage. And LTE.

There's probably more that I forgot to list but I think that should make things a little (read: a LOT) easier to swallow.


RE: Deep disappointment
By karimtemple on 5/15/2013 3:05:54 PM , Rating: 1
*slightly faster

All welcome sacrifices for saving $300 (before the savings on service). We can't all be wealthy.

By sacrificing LTE I've literally cut my phone bill in half. I routinely pull over 6mbps and it's widely sufficient. My phone is from 2011 and I have not replaced the battery. The battery is fine. I admit I have a 64GB microSD, but only because I could. 32GB is a more-than-enough sweet spot for like 99% of people. 16GB probably covers 95%.


RE: Deep disappointment
By Goty on 5/15/2013 7:52:46 PM , Rating: 3
You forgot the other four or five benefits I listed. Also, you pay more for LTE?

Having a user-replaceable battery is more about not having to worry about whether or not you have access to a charger when you start running low on juice 8 hours into your day, which is a common issue for the kind of people this device is aimed at.

Speaking of the target market for this device, they certainly don't fall into your "95%" or "99%" categories. This is a device for those power users who truly want the best device on the market.


RE: Deep disappointment
By karimtemple on 5/16/13, Rating: 0
RE: Deep disappointment
By Goty on 5/16/2013 2:27:59 AM , Rating: 2
I'd respond to the rest, but I'm having a hard time accepting your apparent inability to count.


RE: Deep disappointment
By karimtemple on 5/16/2013 8:18:55 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
And a faster CPU. And a faster GPU. 1 And better battery life. 2 And a user-replaceable battery. 3 And expandable storage. 4 And LTE. 5


I responded to all that stuff except #2.


RE: Deep disappointment
By superflex on 5/16/2013 1:10:40 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
This is a device for those power users who truly want the best device on the market.

Then shouldn't they get the HTC One?
I didn't see a Gold Editor's Choice Award for the plastic fantastic S4.


RE: Deep disappointment
By jimbojimbo on 5/16/2013 11:17:23 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
32GB is a more-than-enough sweet spot for like 99% of people. 16GB probably covers 95%
I don't care. I only care about what I want and I need it to accept my 64GB micrSD card.


RE: Deep disappointment
By karimtemple on 5/16/2013 11:27:19 AM , Rating: 1
I don't know what to tell you. Someone walks up to me and offers me an SD card slot or $300, I'm taking the $300.


RE: Deep disappointment
By jimbojimbo on 5/16/2013 11:28:20 AM , Rating: 2
You're right, the microSD slot is the ONLY thing this model has compared to any other Nexus phone.


RE: Deep disappointment
By karimtemple on 5/16/2013 11:32:55 AM , Rating: 1
Mostly, yeah. That and LTE. The rest is a bullet list comprising nothing of note. It astounds me that $300 is so marginal to you people, lol. I guess the economy is back.


RE: Deep disappointment
By Cheesew1z69 on 5/16/2013 1:12:19 PM , Rating: 2
Bigger screen, quad core, so it's not "mostly"...


RE: Deep disappointment
By karimtemple on 5/16/2013 1:14:44 PM , Rating: 2
0.3 inches. The Nexus 4 is also quad-core. Again, really marginal stuff here. $300.


RE: Deep disappointment
By ven1ger on 5/16/2013 3:32:06 PM , Rating: 2
Not sure what the problem is. For those that can purchase the Nexus S4 at its price, then that's their choice. If you want cheaper with less features that's your choice. I think for a lot of people that were on the fence of the G4 will probably go with the Nexus S4 instead even for the $50 extra price tag. Hell, I would if I wanted a G4.

I bought the Nexus 4 for my daughter a couple of months ago, didn't really consider the G4 as price was a bit much but for those that can afford it, why not make the plunge.

Nothing wrong with choices, and I wouldn't begrudge others because they see more value in those additional features for the pricetag than you or I would.


RE: Deep disappointment
By karimtemple on 5/16/2013 3:46:36 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is that I wanted a Nexus 4 with a bigger screen, lol. I'm still on my Note 1 because I didn't want to drop over half an inch.


RE: Deep disappointment
By ven1ger on 5/17/2013 4:26:03 PM , Rating: 2
What about the Note 2, that was something my younger daughter wanted instead of the hand me down Vibrant. The Note 2 looked very nice and reviews were very positive on it, I even gave my older daughter the option of the Note 2 or Nexus 4 but she chose N4.

It's nice to have many good devices to choose from as everybody has their personal preferences.


RE: Deep disappointment
By karimtemple on 5/17/2013 4:59:33 PM , Rating: 2
The Note 2 was basically just two more of the same cores. Quadcore doesn't interest me too much right now on phones, just superior cores. I was also really looking forward to having Google Experience hardware. Samsung is truly awful at supporting AOSP.


RE: Deep disappointment
By Mint on 5/15/2013 3:03:59 PM , Rating: 2
Samsung isn't going to cannibalize S4 profits by letting Google sell the same device for far less. The Nexus 4 was a steal, so it's unfair to compare with that.

Besides, there's a whole bunch of additions other than 1080p. It has a 5" screen vs 4", a much faster processor, much bigger battery which is also swappable, a microSD slot, and LTE.

I'm pretty sure that some of the shortcomings of the Nexus 4 were the reason that LG gave Google such a good price, because if it was as good as the Optimus G it would've had the same or higher price.


RE: Deep disappointment
By karimtemple on 5/15/2013 3:12:38 PM , Rating: 2
The Nexus 5 rumors were all based on more LG hardware. The Nexus-ized Optimus G Pro (or something) like how the Nexus 4 is the Nexus-ized Optimus G.


RE: Deep disappointment
By BRB29 on 5/16/2013 8:06:51 AM , Rating: 1
It's not hard to figure out what the next phone will be packing since their choices are limited.


RE: Deep disappointment
By WinstonSmith on 5/16/2013 10:08:12 AM , Rating: 1
"The Nexus 4 was a steal, so it's unfair to compare with that."

Not so much that it was a steal, it was just priced more like where all phones like it should be priced. An S4 costs $244 to make. It's only because fools put up with absolutely insane markups that allow unlocked S4s to be sold for $650-700.


RE: Deep disappointment
By Cheesew1z69 on 5/16/2013 10:32:54 AM , Rating: 1
Yes, those markups don't include, R&D, marketing, other various things. Not at ALL. /s


RE: Deep disappointment
By WinstonSmith on 5/18/2013 10:32:58 AM , Rating: 2
Other consumer electronic devices with similar production numbers don't have a nearly 300% markup. Not even close.

The reason these cost so much is because people pay it. Period.


RE: Deep disappointment
By Cheesew1z69 on 5/18/2013 8:27:04 PM , Rating: 2
As pointed out to you :

quote:
That's just the component costs. How much to assemble, test, package, ship,etc. Not including R&D (design) and NRE for the equipment to make such items.


iPhone parts cost 199 roughly - costs 650 .... it's cost less than the S4 and still costs the same retail... what's your point again exactly?


RE: Deep disappointment
By Cheesew1z69 on 5/18/2013 8:39:22 PM , Rating: 2
It appears it only about 170 to make the iphone 5...

Since I can't post a link because DT has this absolute ridiculous notion it's "spam" :

quote:
Apple's iPhone 5 16GB costs roughly $168 to make, but you end up paying $649 The iPhone 5, it turns out, isn't that much more expensive to churn out than its iPhone 4S predecessor. It costs about $35 more per unit; the phone's new A6 processor accounting for the bulk of that at $28. That brings the total manufacturing cost of the least expensive iPhone 5: the 16GB, up to an estimated $167.50, according to UBM Tech Insights. It's a decent amount of money, for sure. But $168 feels like a mere drop in the bucket when you stack it up to the phone's retail value of $649. Talk about a markup. As Venture Beat points out, some of that dough does go back into Apple's operations and marketing funds, but at the end of the day, it still ends up amounting to one hell of a profit. Need proof? Well, just in the last quarter alone Apple brought in $8.8 billion in net income, all thanks to its loyal fans overlooking the company's steep price tags. And those folks have no intentions of jumping ship, as proven by iPhone 5 pre-orders selling out in 60 minutes flat on Friday. The most notable differences in the sixth-generation handset are its larger 4-inch display, thinner body and totally redesigned “Lightning” dock connector.


Fix this DT, it's getting realllllllllllly old that links are being detected as spam.


RE: Deep disappointment
By theapparition on 5/16/2013 11:14:06 AM , Rating: 2
iSupply teardown =/= the cost to make

That's just the component costs. How much to assemble, test, package, ship,etc. Not including R&D (design) and NRE for the equipment to make such items.

If you sold items you made in your garage for raw material costs, you'd go broke fast.


RE: Deep disappointment
By WinstonSmith on 5/18/2013 10:35:57 AM , Rating: 2
See my comment above about the markup for other consumer electronic devices.


RE: Deep disappointment
By WinstonSmith on 5/18/2013 10:45:22 AM , Rating: 2
Before making claims based upon hunches, use the Internet to make sure you aren't just pulling something out of your arse:

Nexus 7 manufacturing cost - $152
Nexus 7 retail price - $199

Like I said, cell phone buyers are suckers and the entire industry is a huge ripoff including the service providers.


RE: Deep disappointment
By theapparition on 5/20/2013 10:06:26 AM , Rating: 2
Since I work in the industry, I have a little more insight.

Manufacturing cost still doesn't justify the end cost for an item. What about the 100's of millions of R&D that went into developing the product.

The cost to keep the factory lights on, and inventory in the warehouse? Employee cost, as well as benefits.

Think next time you do 10 minutes or research on the internet and then pull incorrect conclusions out of your arse.


RE: Deep disappointment
By WinstonSmith on 5/18/2013 10:53:59 AM , Rating: 2
Oh, and before you come back with an excuse about production number differences, let me lay it out for you:

S3 - 50 million units sold @ HUGE markup
Nexus 7 - 7.6 million units sold @ at typical consumer electronic markup

Like I said, cell phone users standing for and paying 300% markups for unlocked phones = SUCKERS .


RE: Deep disappointment
By Cheesew1z69 on 5/16/13, Rating: 0
RE: Deep disappointment
By WinstonSmith on 5/18/2013 10:34:55 AM , Rating: 2
My point? My point is not to complain about the S4 specifically, my point is complaining about prices across the industry, allowable only because suckers are willing to pay them to have the latest cool, prestige device.


RE: Deep disappointment
By Silma on 5/15/2013 6:40:02 PM , Rating: 2
Way too expensive for a plastic phone that will be yesterday's news in a couple of months and used a year, perhaps 2 at the most with 0 resell value. At this price tablets and ultrabooks become attractive.


RE: Deep disappointment
By theapparition on 5/16/2013 11:16:25 AM , Rating: 2
Zero resale value, huh?

By that logic, I should be able to pick up any SGS3 for nothing now. Guess I shouldn't try too hard.


RE: Deep disappointment
By retrospooty on 5/15/2013 6:53:22 PM , Rating: 2
"I cannot tell you how much more I wanted a Nexus 5 than this. UGH!"

So... Then wait for the Nexus 5 to come out. LG is already signed on to build it. Its not like this replaces that. This is just an option for an S4 without Samsungs bloat. DOnt want? dont buy.


RE: Deep disappointment
By Wolfpup on 5/16/2013 11:08:37 AM , Rating: 2
Wish this listed side by side specs with the Nexus 4. It would have to be a big upgrade for me to bite. The Nexus 4 is already a pretty high end, competent phone, soooo...

Very cool Google continues to release these though, as personally...well, I'm not a fan of Android period, but no way I'll touch anything but a Nexus.


RE: Deep disappointment
RE: Deep disappointment
By Makaveli on 5/16/2013 5:21:16 PM , Rating: 2
Add me to the list of people.

I don't give a Flying F*** about 1080p on a 5 inch screen.

But to all of you that like watching movies and a small ass screen all the power to you.


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