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Posts tagged ‘Nexus’

17
Apr
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What would a HTC Nexus phone look like? Greg Ives thinks he Knows


htc nexus phoneThere’s been a lot of noise about Nexus phones and manufacturers ever since the Nexus 5 was released. Who will the next Nexus phone be made by? What version of Android will it be running? This is all just pure conjecture, but it keeps the rumour mill turning. I know that I personally don’t believe LG is going to be making any more Nexus phones (read my reasoning here), and probably one of the crowd favourites to take up the Nexus line of smartphones would be HTC; whether there’s any truth to that is up to you. And if you were wondering what a HTC Nexus phone might look like, Greg Ives thinks he has a pretty good idea.

The above concept render was made by Greg Ives (not to be confused with Apple head designer Jony Ive) and features a very HTC-esque smooth metallic design for the body and some very familiar icons on the screen. These icons of course are the alleged improvements that Google is planning for the Android icons, though we’re not really sure when, or if, these icons are going to arrive.

All the same, at least we have food for thought. What do you think about the Nexus phone situation? Do you think a HTC Nexus phone is on the cards? Let us know your opinion in the comments.

Source: Google+ via Concept Phones

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20
Mar
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Looking back: A brief history of Google’s Nexus devices


Sometimes when a smartphone is released, it is very easy to tell what the manufacturer was aiming for. Unlike some popular lines of smartphones like Samsung’s Galaxy S series or HTC’s One series, Google’s Nexus line has received some interesting feedback over the years. Does the term ‘Nexus’ mean what it did when Google started this line? Which one of these devices was truly iconic for it’s time? Let’s take a look back.

HTC Nexus One

Nexus_One

Introduced: January 2010

Android version: 2.1 Eclair – 2.3 Gingerbread

Notable hardware features: HTC used their familiar build for the time – matted plastic with brushed metal accents. Oh, and a trackball. It also sports a 3.7-inch 480×800 AMOLED (or Super LCD) display, 1 GHz Qualcomm Scorpion CPU with 512 MB RAM, 1400 mAh battery, and a 5 MP camera.

How it was sold: The One was sold mainly for developers and launched as $529 unlocked, and offered a “pure Android” experience with an unlockable bootloader. Also, this was Google’s first attempt to sway people to buy a device online without seeing in stores. Perhaps a bit ahead of its time, the Nexus buying experience would evolve over the years.

Despite the lawsuits and patent troubles, the reaction was very positive. These were some of the best specs anyone has ever seen on a smartphone. Everything was great about the phone except for the price, even by today’s standards.

Samsung Nexus S

wpid-Google-Nexus-S-Review.jpg

Introduced: Nexus S: December 2010, Nexus S 4G: March 2011

Android version: 2.3 Gingerbread – 4.1 Jelly Bean

Notable hardware features: Samsung opted for a slimy hyperglaze plastic for their first Nexus, with a slight curve to the screen. It also has a 4-inch 480×800 Super AMOLED display, 1 GHz Samsung Exynos 3 processor, 512 MB RAM, 1500 mAh battery, and a 5 MP camera.

How it was sold: The Nexus S was sold for $530, while the Nexus S 4G was sold for $550. The jump to Gingerbread didn’t change a whole lot, at least talking about the user interface.

At the time, it was one of the best smartphones to date. The first model didn’t support HSPA+, which was a big negative. However, Google seemed to remedy that by offering a 4G model in the coming months. This one wasn’t a huge step up from the One, at least originally, but it did keep users interested in the Nexus line.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus

galaxynexus

Introduced: November 2011

Android version: 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich – 4.3 Jelly Bean

Notable hardware features: Samsung’s second iteration of the Nexus came at us with a completely different design – still plastic, but more textured on the back plate, still keeping the slight curve of the screen and a (very) heavy bottom. This one sports a 4.65-inch 720×1280 Super AMOLED display, 1.2 GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor, 1 GB RAM, 1750 mAh battery, a 5 MP rear-facing camera, and a 1.3 MP front-facing camera.

How it was sold: The G-Nex was sold for $399 at launch. Probably the biggest selling feature of this one is the software. The jump from Gingerbread to Ice Cream Sandwich is still the biggest UI overhaul to date, adding tons of new features/improvements.

Due to the software, the Galaxy Nexus became hugely popular. Now, every phone has it’s faults. But it seems to be more apparent than ever in this Nexus. The batter life, though a big jump from it’s predecessor, is terrible. There is no way a smartphone user could get through an entire day on a single charge. That’s to be expected, given the time this phone was relevant. But the phones being launched at roughly the same time had tremendously better battery life that this one. Also, when Android 4.4 Kit Kat was announced, Galaxy Nexus owners were distraught to hear that their phones wouldn’t be receiving the update.

ASUS Nexus 7 (2012)

nexus_7_official_720

Introduced: June 2012

Android version: 4.1 Jelly Bean – 4.4 Kit Kat

Notable hardware features: Google decided to rope in popular tablet/laptop manufacturer, ASUS, for their first take at a Nexus tablet. The back was a soft-touch plastic with a golf-ball like texture. It has a 7-inch 1280×800 IPS LCD display, 1.2 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor, 1 GB RAM, 4325 mAh battery, and a 1.2 MP front-facing camera.

How it was sold: The Nexus 7 was announced at Google I/O for $199, bringing Android 4.1 to the table. With the addition of Google Now and other enhancements, the Nexus 7 was a very attractive tablet, especially for the price.

For years, Android tablets have had a big problem. The lack of tablet-friendly applications was a huge negative for Google’s first iteration at a Nexus tablet. Ultimately, the tablet did very well with the common consumer. It was a big change in the Nexus family – not only was it not a phone, but it was aimed at the average consumer. Also, the $199 price point was an invitation for developers to pick one up and start working on tablet-friendly apps.

Samsung Nexus 10

Nexus 10 1

Introduced: October 2012

Android version: 4.2 Jelly Bean – 4.4 Kit Kat

Notable hardware features: Google had Samsung make their 2nd Nexus tablet. This one has a rubbery-soft (very grippy) plastic and front-facing speakers. It has a 10.1-inch 2560×1600 True RGB Real Stripe PLS LCD display, 1.7 GHz dual-core Cortex-A15 processor, 2 GB RAM, a 9,000 mAh battery, a rear-facing 5 MP camera, and a front-facing 1.9 MP camera.

How it was sold: This one was supposed to be announced with the Nexus 4 in an event in New York, but it was cancelled because of Hurricane Sandy. It was still announced later that day for $399. It was running Android 4.2, a notable step up from Android 4.1.

The Nexus 10 was popular, but still carried the same unfortunate handicap that the Nexus 7 had. If the lack of tablet-friendly apps wasn’t apparent enough on the first Nexus 7, it was made very clear on this one. Suffice it to say, it is getting better, but at the time that this tablet was released, it was difficult to find apps that played nicely with a big screen.

LG Nexus 4

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Introduced: November 2012

Android version: 4.2 Jelly Bean – 4.4 Kit Kat

Notable hardware features: LG’s first Nexus was beautifully designed. It offered a glass back with a dotted, almost sparkly look to it. It also offered plastic bezels and a screen that curved slightly around the edges. LG”s Nexus has 4.7-inch 768×1280 IPS LCD display, a 1.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2 GB RAM, a 2,100 mAh battery, an 8 MP rear-facing camera, and a 1.3 MP front-facing camera.

How it was sold: Launched alongside the Nexus 10, the Nexus 4 was originally sold for $299. Still aiming at developers, this Nexus offered a very small price point – something the average consumer would be very fond of. It also offered Qi wireless charging – a Nexus family first.

For $299, you’d be hard pressed to find a better smartphone for the price. But for Google to reach that price point, they needed to make some sacrifices. One of those being the lack of 4G. Weird, right? Nexus phones that were released a couple years prior had 4G capabilities, but why not this one? Google seemed to think the HSPA+ support would suffice. There wasn’t much else that didn’t make it on the phone, though. It was a decent step up from the Galaxy Nexus, and showed people that they didn’t need to fork over an entire paycheck for a smartphone.

ASUS Nexus 7 (2013)

Nexus 7 1

Introduced: July 2013

Android version: 4.3 Jelly Bean – 4.4 Kit Kat

Notable hardware features: ASUS got a shot at making a second Nexus tablet. It has a soft-touch back, two long speakers on each end, as well as a big ol’ camera on the back. It has a 7-inch 1920×1200 IPS LCD display, 1.5 GHz quad-core Krait 300 processor, 2GB RAM, a 3950 mAh battery, a 5 MP rear-facing camera, and a 1.2 MP front-facing camera.

How it was sold: The 2013 Nexus 7 was announced at an event called “Breakfast with Sundar Pichai”, Google’s current Senior Vice President, overseeing Android, Chrome and Apps. It launched for $229 – a $30 price increase from the first generation tablet. This one brought Android 4.3 Jelly Bean to the table and a much-improved screen. 

The Nexus 7 (2013) has been Google’s most popular tablet to date, fixing just about every gripe that consumers had with the first generation. The speakers are loud and very difficult to cover up, the screen received a much-needed upgrade, and the bezels shrunk on the sides, making the tablet’s screen pop much more. With help from more and more tablet-compatible apps, this device marked Google’s entrance into the mainstream tablet world, offering an affordable, yet glorious competitor to others such as the iPad.

LG Nexus 5

nexus_5-threesome

Introduced: October 2013

Android version: 4.4 Kit Kat – 4.4.2 Kit Kat

Notable hardware features: This is LG’s second attempt at making a Nexus phone. The Nexus 5 offers a soft-touch back and a big camera on the back, much like the Nexus 7 (2013). It also offers a 4.95-inch 1920×1080 IPS LCD display, 2.26 GHz quad-core Krait 400 processor, 2 GB RAM, a 2,300 mAh battery, an 8 MP rear-facing camera with OIS, and a 1.3 MP front-facing camera.

How it was sold: The Nexus 5 was announced in a Google+ post for $349, and went on sale in the Google Play Store immediately. It launched with Android 4.4 Kit Kat, and drew people in with its exclusive “Google Now Launcher”.

The Nexus 5 became popular very quickly, mostly due to its price and hardware upgrades. Much like the 2013 Nexus 7, Google fixed most of the complaints users had from the Nexus 4. The addition of 4G bands, a slightly bigger screen, and more durable hardware were it’s best features, by far. The meaning of the term ‘Nexus’ began to change due to the Google Now Launcher. Though still aimed at developers, the consumer market took this one by storm. Google not only offered a cheap price point, but they added exclusivity with some of the services that came with it. Instead of offering a phone with a “pure Android experience”, they opted to give a “pure Google experience”.

Honorable Mention: Google Play Editions

Google Play Edition

Between the Nexus 4 & 5, Google announced the first ever Google Play Edition smartphones – the GPe Galaxy S4 and the GPe HTC One. Bringing a quality Android experience to top of the line hardware, the GPe phones are a force to be reckoned with… until you look at the price. The GPe Galaxy S4 was announced for $649. Suddenly, the term ‘Nexus’ doesn’t mean cheap anymore. Or, wait… is this a Nexus? 

With the promise from Google to receive timely Android updates, the GPe smartphones took an odd spot in the Nexus family, quickly dubbing themselves as the red-headed step children of the group. You love them because they offer a great hardware experience, but that price… oh man, that price. Google is still continuing to announce GPe devices left and right, so here’s the question – what’s their end goal?

Here’s my take, although I may be wrong; it’s the only answer my brain wants to accept as correct. Google has been releasing GPe devices for a while now. At first, it seemed normal for the S4 and HTC One to get the Google treatment. Premium hardware and software, where could you go wrong? Then they started announcing some really odd editions like the Moto G, for instance. The Moto G was already basically a Google-ified smartphone. It ran mostly a stock experience, give or take a few features. So why would they release it?

Manufacturers don’t receive code until the day it’s announced to the public. So with the odd addition of the Moto G to the family, swooping in before they’re whisked off to Lenovo, it gives all of the main hardware manufacturers early code that they wouldn’t have gotten already. Google didn’t have to add any of those phones to their lineup to make any money… they did it for the greater good – early updates for all.

What’s next?

So, does the term ‘Nexus’ mean what it did 4 years ago? Not really. But that’s not a bad thing. There will always be room for the Nexus line in the hearts of pure Android enthusiasts, developers, and consumers who aren’t fond of 2-year agreements. Sure, there are rumors that the GPe devices will take over the Nexus line sometime next year, but one thing is certain: we will always have access to the pure Android experience that we all love.

Sometimes it’s just nice to take a look back and reminisce about devices we love, no? Which of these devices is your favorite? Do you have anything to add about (what I consider to be) the best smartphone line ever? Leave a comment below and we’ll talk!

The post Looking back: A brief history of Google’s Nexus devices appeared first on AndroidGuys.

19
Mar
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Google expands Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 sales to more European countries


Google may have wowed the world yesterday with the introduction of Android Wear, but it turns out it also had some Nexus-related news tucked away too. Already available in 13 countries around the world, the search giant has quietly expanded sales of the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 across Europe, listing them on the Play Store in eight new markets. These include Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden, giving customers the option to bypass operators and grab themselves an unlocked Nexus device direct from Google. With the Chromecast finally on sale outside of the US and an influx of Android-powered wearables on the way, Google’s finally making it easier for Europeans to start investing in its expanding product family.

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Via: Android Police

Source: Google Play Support

18
Mar
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Google announces Android Wear, a Nexus-like platform for wearables


Google’s getting into smartwatches in a rather large way. As previously reported, the search giant is extending its Android platform to more wearables than just Glass. In a blog post that went out today, Google announced Android Wear, which is essentially a way for the company to extend its mobile OS to a new category of devices while offering a lower cost for developers and users — think Nexus for smartwatches. Of course, smartwatches are just the beginning, Google acknowledged that there’s plenty more to come, but it was ” starting with the most familiar wearable.”

One of the most eye-catching features we’ve seen so far is the same always-listening experience that we’ve enjoyed on the Moto X. Anytime you need to do something with your watch, just say “OK Google” and everything from pulling up nearby gas stations, to restaurant reservations are just a quick voice command away.

Developing…

[Image credit: Getty Images]

But there’s more to Wear than just putting voice search on your wrist. As the rumors have suggested, it pulls in contextual updates as well, just like Now — putting the power of its preemptive search a quick glance away. Obviously it also pulls in notifications from messaging apps like Hangouts or your social networks. But the real power lies in the ability for developers to extend their applications to your Android-powered smartwatch. For example, Google is already promising that “favorite fitness apps” will offer real time speed and distance tracking. (Get on that RunKeeper!)

We’re still waiting to get details on specific watches, but features like these (and many more) have to be incredibly power efficient to ensure your new fancy piece of digital jewelry actually lasts longer than a day. Expect to start seeing devices working on the new platform sometime next quarter (as luck would have it, Google I/O will be held at the very end of that quarter). And, fingers crossed, maybe Google will announce that Now is opening up to third parties as part of its wearable push.

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Source: Google

18
Mar
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LG G Watch to launch next quarter with Android Wear


Over the last two years, LG has established a storied history of collaboration with Google. The two companies have worked together on three devices (two Nexus smartphones and a Google Play edition tablet) and today we’re hearing about the fourth — a smartwatch. LG’s latest piece of handywork, known as the G Watch, features Google’s new wearables platform called Android Wear. LG’s keeping quiet on the specs and other details of the new device, but the above image at least gives us a sneak peek of what we can expect. Just by looking at the Now-like flight information on the watchface, we can tell that Google Now features prominently on the platform. And just like on the Moto X, users will be able to initiate voice commands by simply speaking “OK Google.”

LG wants the G Watch to act as a “low barrier to entry” for developers, while offering a Google experience to users at the same time; this likely means that when the watch arrives sometime next quarter (exact date and pricing remains unknown), we can expect it to sell at a rather competitive price point. “The opportunity to work with Google on LG G Watch was the perfect chance for LG to really pull out all stops in both design and engineering,” said Dr. Jong-seok Park, CEO of LG’s Mobile Communications division. “We’re confident that a well-designed device has the potential to take the smart wearable market by storm.”

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6
Mar
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Mirror Beta Now Allows You to Use Chromecast to Mirror What’s on Your Nexus 5


mirror-nexus5-chromcast

Chromecast is one of those little devices that many of us wonder how we survived without. To be able to control your TV and watch movies from your phone or tablet, is just a nerd haven for excitement. The only thing that can make it better is if you can just display everything that is on your device through your Chromemcast. Sadly we can only achieve that with certain apps that have Chromecast support, but developer Koush is now making that mirroring possible.

Koush unleashed an update for Mirror Beta today, for anyone with a Nexus 5 to mirror their homescreen onto their TVs. I must stress Nexus 5, because that is the only device capable to do this awesome task. Koush claims, “This is because Nexus 5 is the only phone on the market that has a hardware vp8 encoder.” You do have to be rooted as well, which is something I have yet to do on my Nexus 5. Laziness I suppose, but I am going to play the “I’m too busy” card.

So head over to the link provided below to give it a try if you rock a Nexus 5 in your pocket. Let us know if works for you. Also check out his brief demo video.


Koush G+ Page

5
Mar
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The Nexus 6 is rumoured to be a “lightweight” version of the upcoming LG G3


nexus 6Already this year, we’ve heard multiple rumours that the LG G3 is already planned for a release in mid-2014, some placing it for release in May and some assuming it will come in June. Traditionally, LG‘s flagship devices, at least starting with the LG Optimus G, have served as the basis for the Nexus line of smartphones: the LG Optimus G became the Nexus 4, the LG G2 became the Nexus 5, and logic would say that a LG G3 would give credence to a possible Nexus 6 device. Today, Gizmodo.de has fanned the flames of this rumour by saying that the manufacturer of the Nexus 6 will be LG and that it will be more “lightweight”.

Seeing as the Nexus smartphones are generally made from slightly cheaper, lighter materials, it’s not surprising to hear the suggestion that any new Nexus device would also be more “lightweight”. As for specifications, assuming the Nexus 6 would possess the same internal hardware as the LG G3, it’s expected that these devices will have a 2K resolution display, some kind of a 64-bit processor and a 16MP camera. With Google I/O happening in late June as well, these rumoured time-frames do open up the very real possibility that a new Nexus device will show up at Google’s inaugural event.

What do you think about these rumours about a Nexus 6, or even a LG G3? Let us know your opinion in the comments.

Source: Gizmodo.de via Phone Arena

4
Mar

Paranoid Android 4.1 beta released with reworked PIE controls for KitKat


There are plenty of options when looking to run a custom ROM on your Android device and one of the most popular, besides CyanogenMod, is Paranoid Android.

Official PA ROMs only support Nexus devices, so if you don’t see your device in the downloads, it’s not supported by the main development team, but there may be a port and you just need to search the forums.

Up until recently, the latest PA ROMs based on Android 4.4 KitKat were primarily a stock experience, but today an update was released, PA 4.1 beta, bringing one of the ROM’s killer “flagship” features, PIE controls, its stock navigation replacement.

According to PA, PIE is “a simple, straight-forward replacement of the navigation bar that optimizes the screen space available to the user.”

PIE is basically a fully-customizable replacement for the on-screen navigation buttons and stays hidden off-screen, only seen with a predefined gesture that can come from any of the four sides of the device.

Via Google+, the PA development team said that it faced some problems with the immersive mode introduced in KitKat, and has now released a redesigned version to match the KitKat design philosophy. Instead of porting the feature to its KitKat ROMs, PA completely redesigned the feature for the new version of Android.

PIE controls are now fully-integrated into the core UX with the introduction of “on-the-spot preferences,” so PA users no longer need to sort through endless settings.

Additionally, it gives users status information at a glance when your status bar is hidden in immersive mode, plus the stock Google Now swipe up gesture is now integrated.

If you’ve never tried out Paranoid Android before, be sure to check out 4.1 beta on your rooted, unlocked device, which is now available for the Nexus 7 2013 (Wi-Fi and 4G), Nexus 7 2012 (Wi-Fi and 3G), Nexus 5, Nexus 4, Nexus 10 and the Galaxy Nexus (GSM, Sprint and Verizon). Be sure to grab the latest Gapps as well.

Downloads via +ParanoidAndroidCorner

The post Paranoid Android 4.1 beta released with reworked PIE controls for KitKat appeared first on AndroidGuys.

27
Feb

Have a Nexus or GPE device? Download the Google Now Launcher OFFICIALLY from Google Play


When the Nexus 5 was announced the launcher looked a bit different from what people are used to seeing on a stock Android device.We’re used to seeing the same launcher on basically every Nexus device, so it was a bit of a shocker when Google unveiled the new look.It was running the Google Now Launcher with a few more features than the original “stock” look.

Well, Nexus and Google Play Edition device owners rejoice – the Google Now Launcher is finally official! You can grab it from the Google Play Store today, but only if you have a Nexus or GPE device running Android 4.4.

With the GNL, you can swipe left to access Google Now from your main homescreen. Long press on a blank space to access wallpapers, widgets, and settings. And the app drawer is now only used for apps.

No word yet as to whether or not they will release it to non Nexus/GPE devices, but I couldn’t see that happening.

The post Have a Nexus or GPE device? Download the Google Now Launcher OFFICIALLY from Google Play appeared first on AndroidGuys.

27
Feb
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Official 2013 Nexus 7 Wired and Wireless Docks Launched by ASUS


We all sit on pins and needles, not really, for the next Nexus tablet to come to fruition. Rumors have talked about an 8-inch variety, an announcement at Google I/O, HTC being the winner of the design for the next one and plenty more. Heck, I was just reading over at IBTimes that the Nexus 8 will be at I/O with Android 4.5. June is a long ways away. For those living in the real world right now, ASUS has finally brought forth two docks for your coveted 2013 Nexus 7. Both should help you bide the time until we see what Google is up to.

The first is a charging stand

  • Slide-in Design for horizontal or vertical viewing.
  • HDMI out to view content on your TV or PC monitor
  • Comes in Black
  • Dimensions: 218 x 106 x 77 mm
  • Weight: 142g

ASUS 2013 Nexus 7 Dock ASUS 2013 Nexus 7 DockASUS 2013 Nexus 7 Dock ASUS 2013 Nexus 7 Dock 

Next up is the wireless charging PW100

  • Pyrimid design
  • Qi Standard
  • LED status light
  • Comes in black
  • Dimensions: 75 x 65 x 84 mm
  • Weight: 115g

ASUS 2013 Nexus 7 Wireless Charging Dock PW100 ASUS 2013 Nexus 7 Wireless Charging Dock PW100ASUS 2013 Nexus 7 Wireless Charging Dock PW100 ASUS 2013 Nexus 7 Wireless Charging Dock PW100 

The wired dock will set you back a modest $50. Which isn’t bad considering it offers the HDMI out and two view options. The wireless PW100 goes up a bit for the wireless aspect to $90. Both via Amazon.

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Head over to ASUS for a closer look at the wired dock and the wireless PW100.

Via Liliputing

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