All About Android 147

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All About Android
Episode 147

Contents

All About Android 147: The Broadway of Barcellona

Guest

News

Yes, a lot of people wrote in to the show to tell us just how unfortunately times our episode was last week considering how the very next day, Google laid a bombshell press release that pretty much put the kibosh on almost all of our analysis and conjecture from the evening before… What am I talking about?
Lenovo bought Motorola for roughly $2.91 billion. Google originally paid $12 billion for Motorola a few years ago, but they did also sell the set-top box division for $2.35 billion almost a year ago. Google says it will retain the majority of the roughly 17,000 patents that it acquired when it bought Motorola, with which, Google CEO Larry Page said the company would "continue to use to defend the entire Android ecosystem."
Google also keeps Motorola's Advanced Technology group which includes the Project Ara modular phone project.
Lenovo has been a strong tech stock, but news of this purchase has seen shares plunge more than 16 percent, so confidence isn't strong from investors.
A Fortune interview with Lenovo CEO Yuanqing Yang had some great insight as to what to expect from Motorola:
How the deal happened:
Right after Google bought Motorola I invited Eric Schmidt to have a dinner at my house. I told him, "If you think you want run the hardware business, you can keep the business; but if you are not interested in the hardware business, we definitely can handle that, take over that." He remembered that, and two months ago, he sent me an e-mail. I called him back, and he asked me, "Are you still interested in Motorola?" I said, "Definitely." We started to discuss it. I went to Silicon Valley many times. Larry Page invited me to his house to have a dinner. Very quickly -- in just two months -- we closed the deal.
Branding:
No decision on if the phones will have the Lenovo brand or Motorola, but likely keeping Motorola. Possibly "Motorola by Lenovo."
Customization:
In my understanding, Motorola does customization of phones [in the U.S.]. If that is what the market needs, we will definitely keep that. It is a good model, so we may replicate that in other markets. Can Lenovo, now #3 smartphone maker worldwide with Motorola compete with Apple or Samsung? Definitely, over time. Our mission is to surpass them.
Sources are telling Re/code that Samsung and Google had discussions at CES this year that may have led to an agreement that may see Samsung toning down its customizations and actually featuring Google's service in a more prominent way than they have in the past. This in light of Samsung's new Magazine UX that dramatically changes the look of their devices, something that alarmed Google and supposedly prompted the discusses. One source went on to say that their relationship has undergone "a sea change in the last few weeks."
Consequently, Samsung unveiled four new tablets today, all of which include the new Magazine UX with no option to disable the interface:
Galaxy Note Pro (8.4 and 12.2 models) and Tab Pro (8.4 and 10.1). Samsung's scheduled release of these devices was likely too far along to make any changes to the Magazine UX, IF that IS in fact their newly hatched plan. If phones are announced in the near future with Magazine UX, it could be an indication that Samsung is sticking to its guns and continuing to show just how differentiated they are from other Android offerings.
If you're interested in those tablets, look for the wifi models to launch Feb 13 starting at $399.99 and going all the way up to $849.99 for the 64GB Note Pro 12.2.
Speaking of Samsung, last week we discussed Google's 10 year patent cross licensing deal with the company. Today's news expands on that as Google reached a long-term agreement with Cisco that covers "a broad range of products and technologies." The cross-licensing deal is structured such that even if the patents are sold to another company Google and Cisco are still protected from them. Patent trolls beware.

Tweet

I was literally minutes away from ordering a moto x when I heard about this (Lenovo news) on wednesday. Is it still worth it? http://twitter.com/DougForsyth/status/429420185489915904

Hardware

28:05

Google had its fourth quarter earnings call last week, and there was some talk about the success of the Nexus 5 with CFO Patrick Pichette saying multiple times that the Nexus 5 performed very strong during the quarter, continuing by saying that Google was very happy with its sales. The Chromecast was Google's best selling product of the quarter, no doubt thanks to its low price and impressive capabilities.
Hardware and Play Store sales are some of the fastest growing revenue sources for Google at the moment.
And if you have waited this long to get a Nexus 5, you are being awarded with a new color choice: Red! Available today for the same price: $349 16GB, $399 32GB
Ready for an all new broadway extravaganza brought to you courtesy of Samsung? Unpacked 5 is schedule for February 25 from Barcelona and will likely feature the unveiling of the next Galaxy Phone, the S5.
Rumored specs: 5.25-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED (2560×1440 pixels) which pushes beyond 500ppi (quad HD), 32/64 gb memory, 3200mAh battery, 16MP camera, 3GB of RAM, plastic and metal versions, running KitKat and its new TouchWIZ UI.


Email

35:17

Renaming ""Nexus"" is one thing, but dropping them altogether is another. Google Play Edition devices are NOT the same as Nexus devices. The only thing in common is they appear to run stock Android and they are sold on Google Play. Here are some of the reasons Nexus is so great:

Google doesn't post binaries or factory images for Google Play Edition devices. They do for Nexus devices.
Google Play Edition devices don't have a straightforward unlockable bootloader. For example, the HTC One still requires S-Off, the GS4 still requires Odin, and the Sony Z Ultra still requires an unlock code from Sony. Nexus devices unlock exactly the same super easy way, regardless of the manufacturer. You can really see how Nexus devices are pure Google, while the Google Play Edition devices still have a ton of manufacturer influences.
Google Play Edition devices are usually based on hardware for a specific carrier, therefore lack the wide diversity of radio bands the Nexus devices have. Nexus devices specifically have many bands to work on a wide variety of carriers.
Google Play Edition devices don't have the consistent navbar, internal battery, no sd card slot the Nexus devices have (fragmentation much?). Nexus devices are true Android how Google envisions it.
Do we need to mention price?

Regardless of what they are called, thinking they are the same thing and can be put in the same category is simply not true.


rmkilc


Apps

38:33

Google Play Services 4.2 released yesterday and it brings with it something we've asked for MANY times on the show. Developers can now integrate their apps with the Google Cast SDK, allowing anyone to cast their app to the big screen by way of Chromecast. Cast all the things!
Speaking of casting all the things, it only took 12 hours for Koushik Dutta to integrate the Chromecast capability BACK into Allcast. For those who don't recall, shortly after the release of Chromecast, Koush released Allcast which allowed users to cast media from their local device up onto the screen directly. Shortly after release, Google made a change on the backend that basically shut down Allcast's access to the Chromecast. With the public SDK, Koush returned the functionality with about 20 minutes of work. Consider this a must-have app if you have a Chromecast.
The Maps/Waze integration continues! Now Maps will tell you when it recognizes a faster route while you are on the move. "Faster route now available. Save 10 minutes. Accept?" It's called Navigation with Dynamic Rerouting.
If you have been waiting for Pebble to throw a bone to Android users by way of an app store, wait no longer. The beta version of Pebble's Android app is available through their site and gives Pebble owners access to more than 1000 apps for the smart watch.


Email

55:54

Hello everyone, I was listening to the Mike and Mike show on Espn radio this morning and Mike Golic brought up a excellent point/problem with all smartphones. If your phone has some type of lock on it (pin or pattern lock etc) you can only make an emergency call. What if YOU were the one involved in the emergency? How do the authority's get hold of your ICE (in case of emergency) contact(s)? As you all know there's no way to override the lockscreen except to make an emergency call.

So is there an app that could possibly allow emergency responders to see and call your ICE contact(s)

Thanks,

Michael Descala



Android Arena!

59:00

Sponsors

Production Information

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