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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RE: Deep disappointment
By Goty on 5/15/2013 2:51:58 PM , Rating: 5
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
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
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
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.

"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)

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