Nexus 7 Trade-Ins Suggest Lots Of Upgraders To New Model, Little To No Interest From The iPad Crowd

nexus7-refreshed

The new Google Nexus 7 is a big improvement over the original with a bunch of additions like LTE and a super high-resolution display – the best in tablets, in fact. And that’s driving a lot of first generation device owners to trade in their old Nexus 7, according to gadget buy-back site Gazelle. There was a 333 percent spike in the number of Nexus 7 tablets traded in compared to the same day last week, for example.

Between Tuesday and Wednesday, that spike was even higher – a 442 percent jump in Nexus 7 tablets happened between the day before Google’s official unveiling of the new model, and the day of. The Nexus 7 trade-in activity spiked so high that it made up nearly a quarter of all trade-ins for non-iPad tablets since the site began accepting them earlier this year.

Wednesday, the day Google made its announcement, was also the biggest Nexus 7 trade-in day at Gazelle to date, beating the next biggest day by 380 percent. That previous record was set when the new Nexus 7 leaked on July 17, which clearly prompted early adopters to take advantage of a small head start ahead of the big reveal.

The news means that Google Nexus 7 owners are probably happy with their devices and eager to grab new ones, by trading in their last-gen devices to fund their purchases, but there’s another stat that tells another side of the story: Gazelle saw no appreciable increase in iPad trade-ins on the new Nexus 7 launch day. That means Google probably isn’t luring iPad owners away from the iOS fold.

It’s probably not surprising to longtime tablet space watchers that the new Nexus 7, with all its apparent merit, isn’t an iPad killer. The Apple camp seems happy where they are, but the tablet market has plenty of room to grow; we’ll see if Google can expand outward, or if it’s mostly eating its own Nexus tail with this new model.

Facebook to Remove Messaging From Mobile Apps, Force Download of ‘Messenger’

Facebook Messenger

Facebook is taking its standalone app strategy to an extreme new level on Wednesday. It’s starting to notify users they’ll no longer be able to send and receive messages in Facebook for iOS and Android, and will instead have to download Facebook Messenger to chat on mobile. In an on stage talk I did with Mark Zuckerberg in November, the EO revealed an explanation for today’s change that Facebook’s PR team referred me to: “the other thing that we’re doing with Messenger is making it so once you have the standalone Messenger app, we are actually taking messaging out of the main Facebook app. And the reason why we’re doing that is we found that having it as a second-class thing inside the Facebook app makes it so there’s more friction to replying to messages, so we would rather have people be using a more focused experience for that.”

Read the full story at TechCrunch.

Google Acquires Assets of Green Throttle Games: Is an Android Console On the Way?

Green Throttle Gaming

Four months after Santa Clara-based Green Throttle Games slowly shuffled off this mortal coil, PandoDaily has confirmed that its parts and labor have been quietly scooped up by Google as a possible asset in the increasingly warming arms race between tech giants to create the perfect set-top TV box. Green Throttle Games launched in late 2012, the brainchild of Charles Huang of Guitar Hero fame and Matt Crowley and Karl Townsend, who worked on the initial iteration of the Palm Pilot. It was backed by $6 million in series A funding, led by Trinity Ventures and DCM. Green Throttle sold a custom Atlas controller, which worked alongside its Android Arena app via bluetooth. It was criticized for being late into the space, too far behind competitors like OUYA and PowerA but the founders insisted that its point of difference was that it had made its software developer kit available to developers to innovate on its platform.

Read the full story at Pando Daily.

Nokia’s X family of Android-forked devices targets price-conscious customers in growth markets

Nokia11 520x245 Nokias X family of Android forked devices targets price conscious customers in growth markets

The most exciting, and bizarre, of Nokia’s announcements today at the Mobile World Congress belonged to the much-rumored Nokia X handset – and a surprise addition of another two peers, the X+ and XL – all of which run an operating system based on Android.

The devices are targeted at the “affordable smartphone” segment of the market and run the Nokia X OS platform – a forked version of Android that includes the Fastlane UI found on Asha devices.

The Nokia X’s hardware itself is aligned with its ‘affordable’ smartphone tag, offering a 1GHz dual-core processor, 4-inch 800 x 480 pixels IPS display and a 3-megapixel fixed focus camera on the rear. There’s also 4GB of on board storage and 512MB RAM.

NokiaX1 2 730x1091 Nokias X family of Android forked devices targets price conscious customers in growth markets

However, clearly the most notable thing about the device is the Nokia X software platform, which will run many standard Android apps.

In fact, Nokia told TNW that only three APIs have been changed, so if a developer isn’t making use of these, no changes are needed at all.

However, as the Nokia X is not an ‘Android’ device in the truest sense – it doesn’t have Google Play certification – apps need to be loaded onto the device from Nokia’s own app store, which will have a special section for apps that run on devices in the Nokia X family.

The word ‘family’ there is a telling one – this won’t be the only device to ship under the Nokia X branding and running the custom OS, despite the fact that Microsoft’s purchase of Nokia’s device business is expected to close by the end of this quarter.

“X signifies the cross over between three worlds: Android apps, Nokia design heritage and Microsoft services. It’s a family of affordable smartphones…today we’re talking about the first one, but there will be more [in 2014].”

In addition to providing largely unfettered access to Android apps, there are also a few exclusive apps like Mix Radio and Here Maps pre-installed on the device.

Other than loading apps via Nokia’s app store, users will also be able to download them from third-party app stores like Yandex or side-load an APK directly onto the device from a computer.

Where, when, how much?

NokiaX1 730x1044 Nokias X family of Android forked devices targets price conscious customers in growth markets

While it’s aimed primarily at developing markets, Nokia confirmed to TNW that the Nokia X will be a global handset, but with some omissions, namely: North America, Korea and Japan. So, there’s a chance you could see it land in the UK and Europe at some point, but if you live in North America and are interested, it looks like you’re not in luck for now.

“In North America we’re remain extremely focused on Lumia and generally speaking, Lumia remains our primary smartphone strategy.”

For other markets, the phone is due to go on sale next month, priced from 89 ($122) before taxes.

How did this happen??

Nokia told us that launching an Android-derived phone fits neatly with Microsoft’s ambitions to break into emerging markets and bring the next one billion users online.

“The essential reason in Microsoft being interested in Nokia mobile phones and not just Lumia is that they are also [looking to] connecting the next one billion [people] to the cloud; to their cloud services like Skype and Outlook and such.

Our strategies are very much aligned, what we bring to the table is a very wide reach into these growth markets, to price points and consumers that typically know the Microsoft brand but might not have personal experience of it simply because they could not afford a product or service before.”

So, although the idea of Microsoft supporting devices that run an Android-based OS might seem a bit unusual at first, when considered in the context of locking one billion people into using its cloud services, it makes a little more sense.

Visit our MWC 2014 page for more coverage

Google’s ‘Back Up My Data’ Gives the NSA and FBI Easy Access to Your Passwords

Android Crying

If you’re using Google’s “back up my data” feature for Android, the passwords to the Wi-Fi networks you access from your smartphone or tablet are available in plaintext to anyone with access to the data. And as a bug report submitted by an employee of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) on July 12 suggests, that leaves them wide open to harvesting by agencies like the NSA or the FBI. “The ‘Back up my data’ option in Android is very convenient,” wrote Micah Lee, staff technologist at the EFF. “However, it means sending a lot of private information, including passwords, in plaintext to Google. This information is vulnerable to government requests for data.” The Backup Manager app stores Android device settings in Google’s cloud, associated with the user account paired with the device; the Backup Manager interface is part of the core Android application API as well, so it can be used by other Android apps.

Read the full story at Ars Technica.

New Nexus 7 Leaked Again, Will Be Available for Sale from 31 July

Its literally raining rumors when it comes to the new Nexus 7. We have seen the leaked photos, specifications and what not. A new rumor suggest that the much awaited second generation Nexus 7 tablet will hit the shelves on 31st July with the price tag of $269, for the 32GB model. On the other hand, the 16GB model is expected to be priced at $229.

nexus 7 specs

Galaxy Note II To Skip Android 4.2.2 Update, Will Get Android 4.3 Instead

A few days back, a rumor suggested that a number of Samsung devices will skip the Android 4.2.2 Update and will be updated directly Android 4.3. It looks like the rumor turned out to be correct, at least for Galaxy Note II. Australian carrier Telstra has announced that the Galaxy Note II 4G will indeed skip Android 4.2.2 and will be updated to the “newer version” of Android, which is expected to be Android 4.3. Rumors have it that the search engine giant will unveil Android 4.3 very soon along with the second generation Nexus tablet.

galaxy note 2 update

Motorola Send Invites for Moto X Press Event on August 1

Finally, we have some sort of confirmation about the upcoming Moto X. Motorola has started sending out invites for its press event that is scheduled on 1st August in New York. The not-so-secret Moto X has been the center of attraction from past few weeks. We have seen all sorts of things – images, teasers, videos and what not-related to Moto X. We have even seen Eric Schmidt using the infamous Moto X a few days back.

Motorola Gets A New Logo

Rumor: Samsung to Launch Snapdragon 800 Powered Galaxy S4 Globally

Many Galaxy S4 users were disappointed with the fact that the Snapdragon 800 powered beast was later released for South Korean audience. If you dont know, Galaxy S4 is announced in different versions: GT-I9500 that is powered by Exynos along with GT-I9505 that features Snapdragon 600 SoC. A new leak suggests that Samsung will unveil Galaxy Galaxy S4 (GT-I9506) with LTE powered by Snapdragon 800 with a clock speed of 2.3GHz, similar to the one that was released in Korea.

s4 antutu benchmark