Print 80 comment(s) - last by SirKronan.. on May 22 at 12:09 PM

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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By jjlj on 5/15/2013 2:16:15 PM , Rating: 2
My thoughts exactly. I thought part of the reason for Verizon going to LTE was to eliminate network compatibility issues. I guess it won't be until VoLTE is standard.

By Spuke on 5/15/2013 2:48:53 PM , Rating: 2
Super lame!!! I was also expecting a Nexus 5. Can't have the HTC One, no Nexus 5, and no unlocked GS4. Why am I on Verizon again?

By Cheesew1z69 on 5/15/2013 5:07:14 PM , Rating: 2
Why am I on Verizon again?
Great service? Fast LTE?

By Darksurf on 5/15/2013 5:48:19 PM , Rating: 3
Not where I live! Verizon is Mediocre at best, Plus Verizon insists upon locking the crap out of as many of their phones as possible and not providing updates.

All at the low low price tag of "more expensive than everyone else!"

Switching to Straight Talk in August. With the right phone and sim, its AT&T without the AT&T price tag ;).

By BRB29 on 5/16/2013 8:08:35 AM , Rating: 2
Verizon is usually good in the city where other carriers suck. If you live outside the city, sometimes even Sprint has better coverage.

By StormyKnight on 5/16/2013 8:31:37 AM , Rating: 2
Having great service and speedy LTE doesn't mean much if you don't have decent phones to go with it. Verizon also has to have their fingers in everyone's pies. When they can't bloat a phone with all of their crapware, they get all moody like a room full of teenage girls at that time of the month devoid of chocolate.

Unless something changes, you'll never see another Nexus device offered by Verizon. Not that it would matter. They'd cripple it one way or another if they did if not just denying quick updates.

By BRB29 on 5/16/2013 10:03:12 AM , Rating: 2
Phones have bloatware regardless of carrier.
The only gripe anyone can have against verizon is slow updates(even with Nexus) and high price. What you get is faster 4G and more coverage.

It's up to you what works better. For me, I value the better coverage rather than the $10-20 I save.

By BRB29 on 5/16/2013 10:05:17 AM , Rating: 2
Forgot to say there's plenty of phones to choose from. They don't have every phone but there's certainly enough of a selection.

By Schadenfroh on 5/17/2013 5:13:16 PM , Rating: 2
That is the thing, Nexus should be pure Android... when the Galaxy Nexus on Verizon first launched, Verizon blocked Google Wallet (they had their own service, didn't want competition), shipped it with apps installed that were not AOSP, charged extra for tethering, and required that updates go through them instead of having them issued directly from Google due to their proprietary CDMA radios. The result... the Galaxy Nexus being several updates behind some non-Nexus / AOSP devices.

By corduroygt on 5/19/2013 5:08:04 PM , Rating: 2
Verizon has no problems offering the iPhone which they can't change at all, so I don't see how they would not offer another Nexus phone as well.

By Schadenfroh on 5/16/2013 10:50:43 PM , Rating: 2
Yup, Verizon is the only carrier that works at my parents' home and a variety of other locals. The only place I had trouble was in West Virginia on a mountain cabin trip. Oddly enough, worked fine in the TN Smoky Mountains.

But, since I live in a major metro area, I'd be all over T-Mobile's contract-free service with a Nexus 4 if not for the fact I'm grandfathered into an unlimited 4g LTE plan with Verizon.

By SirKronan on 5/22/2013 12:09:54 PM , Rating: 2
I totally hear you!! I wish we had better phone choices!! Of course "better" to me might not be better to everyone, but shoot...

Verizon is just not a friend of unlocked/developer Android phones as much as our GSM counterparts are. I was really hoping the Nexus unlocked S4 would work on VZ too. I have to buy my future phones outright if I want to keep my unlimited data anyways, so why not buy a phone that will be "pure" Google???

I hate that Verizon is so good. Seriously. I get fast LTE and perfect voice coverage in little towns I work in over by the Teton mountains in Wyoming!! The coverage is outstanding. Were it not so, I would gladly drop Verizon and its high prices for another carrier with more attractive phones.

Phones that DON'T block services I actually use like Google Wallet... I have to root and install custom ROMs just to make Google Wallet work. This would be beyond frustrating if I didn't actually enjoy putting custom ROMs and themes on my phone. I would consider ISIS ... oh WAIT! It doesn't work on rooted phones???

Stupid. Stupid Verizon. Stupid Verizon with your superior network ... I hate and love you at the same time.

"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings

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