Ever since day one of Apple, Steve Wozniak was very much at odds with how Steve Jobs wanted to run the company. Wozniak was all about free and open source, Jobs was about design and marketing and making money. So a couple times a year, Woz makes some comment that completely goes against what Apple is all about now, so it’s not surprising when he recently commented that Apple would be smart to make varieties of iPhone with Android. The problem with that is that Android is becoming less and less open source every day, with only the most basic OS framework as part of the current version, and that’s all mostly from 1.0 or 2.0, everything else is slowly being rolled into the Google Play powered closed-source you-gotta-pay-to-put-it-on-your-phones chunk of code. The future is quickly turning into whose ecosystem you’re buying into and Google’s not giving that away for free.
Motorola hasn’t really set the world on fire since it was acquired by Google a few years ago. Yeah, the Moto X is a pretty damn good Android phone, but it’s not a game changer. But with Ara, they haven’t just launched a single smartphone, but an entire open hardware smartphone platform that very well could set the world on fire, by opening up smartphone development in the way that Android did and on the same grand scale.
Right now when you get a new smartphone, you have to choose between the best camera, best processor, screen size and resolution, battery life, etc etc. But with the Ara platform, you’ll be able to upgrade your smartphone bit by bit cheaply and easily just like you can with a PC. Swap out the camera, swap out the battery, swap out a screen, swap out the processor just as easy as popping together pieces of Lego.
Even though a very thorough repair manual for the Nexus 5 leaked last week, so we know every bit of technical information, until a few days ago, we hadn’t seen the phone itself or the price. Thanks to some butter-fingered person behind the Google Play store, images of the Nexus 5 have hit the web, including a small home screen look at Android KitKat and a price of $349.
Oh, you didn’t think the dreams of easy entry into the game console market was going to stop with the Ouya did you? Now Mad Catz wants a piece of the action with the Mad Catz MOJO, a sleek little black and blue Android powered console that lets you play your Android games and listen to your Google Play music through your TV. You or your grandmother will be able to snag one of these December 10 for $250.
Today Google went all crazy on some product and software updates. In addition to the Chromecast, Google also announced a brand new Nexus 7 that is thinner and sports an HD screen. And they announced Android 4.3, which is already available for all Nexus devices.
There’s already a fairly popular Android based game console, the Ouya, and there are dozens of Android based smart watches, but with expectations that Apple will be releasing its own smart watch and hopefully loading up the Apple TV with games and apps, Google isn’t about to miss out on the action. Rumor has it that they’re working on their own first party Android game console and smart watch.
Now that Microsoft has established its own mobile platform, you might think they might try and leverage their strong library of first party games, but it looks like they’re first going to be converting games like Age of Empires to iOS and Android. But considering the piss poor share of Windows Mobile on mobile devices (note that the fucking Blackberry Playbook has the same number of users as the Microsoft Surface), it’s probably just good business sense to start with Apple and Android first.
Android is in your phone and in your tablet, but what about on your desktop? Taking up the market space that was supposed to have been occupied by Linux— a desktop computer at a lower cost by using an open source OS— here is the HP Slate 21, a 21 inch desktop/tablet hybrid with Android built in.
The Slate 21 was just announced this morning in Beijing, so there aren’t a whole lot of details yet available. It’s a 21.5-inch, 1920×1080 kickstand-toting all-in-one equipped with Nvidia’s Tegra 4 SoC and running Android 4.2.2, and that’s all we’ve got for now.
If you like the Samsung Galaxy S4, but you’d rather have a native Android experience, if you want all the Samsung UI stripped away, if you want a pure Android device that gets Android updates when they happen and not when the manufacturer can fit it into their schedule, Google announced yesterday that they’ll be selling a pure Android version of the S4 on Google Play.
If you want one, it’s $650, because it’s unlocked, not on contract and not tied to any carrier, but if this is what you’ve been dreaming of, it might be worth it.
While the FCC has been talking about loosening rules about cell phones on planes, security experts are now warning that a properly configured Android phone could take control of the electronics of an airplane. Well that could be a problem.
Facebook held a press conference today to announce their big secret Android phone thing and it wasn’t any hardware, at least not from them. Instead, they unveiled the new Facebook Home Android skin, that takes your normal boring Android, makes it look nicer, gives it a new app launcher and makes keeping up with your friends on Facebook quick and easy and really really good looking.
The backer units of the Ouya console have shipped and if you’re curious about this little Kickstarter funded Android powered machine, Engadget has a hands on. Ouya goes on sale for everyone in July for just $99, so if you want to see what this thing can do, head on over to Engadget for a bit. Just as long as you promise to come back.
Every time Mark Zuckerberg opens his mouth, people expect him to announce a “Facebook phone”. And when last week, Facebook announced an upcoming mysterious Android project, it might have been safer than before to assume it might be hardware. But wrong again… it’s most likely a Facebook-centric Android home page for your Android phone.