Google Announces "Pure" Galaxy Nexus S4 for $649, Android Updates
May 15, 2013 1:42 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.
"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that." -- Microsoft COO Kevin Turner
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