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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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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.

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