Google launches 2013 Nexus 7 with 1080p display, wireless charging, more

Google used their Android and Chrome event this morning to announce the 2013 version of the Nexus 7, a wildly updated version of its popular tablet first released last year.

The new tablet will keep its 7-inch display, run on the latest Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, and include a 1080p resolution, a large upgrade.

Under the hood is a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro, 2GB RAM, and Adreno 320 GPU, NFC, dual cameras 1.2/5MP, dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi and wireless charging support if you have a Qi-compatible charger. Additionally, the Nexus 7 supports OpenGL ES: 3.0, which supports higher-quality reflections, lens flares and other shading during gameplay.

Google thinned down the device somewhat, by 50 grams and 2mm, and the ugly bezel from the original is slightly reduced, as well. The rubber, gripped back from the original is gone, as well, replaced by a softer-touch finish.

The tablet will be available July 30th, starting at $229 for 16GB/Wi-Fi-only and moving up to $349 for a 32GB/LTE model.

Pre-order through Google here (if stock comes back): Google Nexus 7 via Google Play


Getting Office 365 subscription? Microsoft is bundling Xbox Live with it

Microsoft has announced it will be bundling Xbox Live Gold with its subscription Office 365 service.

Between this week and September 28th, any customer who purchases a 12-month Office 365 Home Premium subscription or the student 4-year Office 365 University subscription will get 12 free months of Xbox Live Gold.

So far, the offer is available in the US, Canada, Europe, Asia, and Australia. To make sure you are eligible, check here.

The online subscription includes access to full versions of Word, Excel and Powerpoint and has reached over one million subscribers.

Android 4.3 will be a minimal update

Thanks to a new leak, we have a strong idea of what will entail the upcoming Android 4.3 operating system update.

4.3, which is still part of Jelly Bean, will be a minor update ahead of Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie, which is still expected for later this year.

A welcome update (as all Nexus users can attest too) is the update to the dialer. The phone will now automatically suggest your contacts as you dial numbers, like it used to before 4.2. You currently have to type out the full number or head to contacts to search.

It is important to note that the new dialer autofill will not be turned on by default.

Additionally, the camera application will come with new minor updates. Another cool update is a setting that you can allow your Wi-Fi to be turned on to get a lock on your location before it is automatically turned off again. Apps will not send you push notifications asking you to try to hop on a Wi-Fi network anymore if you have that setting enabled.

In a move that was likely spurred by the launch of Google Glass, 4.3 devices can now utilize Bluetooth Low Energy to save battery when linked to Glass or smartwatches (for example).

Video via source:


VLC app now available again for iOS

VLC, one of the most popular media player applications of all-time, is finally available again in the Apple App Store.

VLC for iOS is now available across the world as long as you have iOS 5.1 or later. The app is supported across the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.

The new app, version 2.0, is open-source just as its desktop counterpart is, and the code will be made available online, licensed under the Mozilla Public License Version 2 and the GNU General Public License Version 2.

Apple pulled the first version of the VLC app in January 2011 because of conflicts with parts of the GPL license and the App Store’s own rules. Being licensed under the MPLv2 should eliminate all those issues.

“We worked hard with all major copyright holders to not repeat history and we are confident to have achieved this goal,” VideoLAN noted, via TNW.

VideoLAN notes that the new app is much faster than version one, and can support all video files that the desktop does. The desktop version has been downloaded over 1 billion times.

Google: 1.5 million Android devices activated daily

Speaking during the company’s quarterly earnings conference call, Google CEO Larry Page revealed some strong figures for Android.

Page says 1.5 million Android devices are activated daily, extremely strong growth from last year’s similar report.

Additionally, the company says 900 million Android devices have been activated since the operating system launched in 2008, with 1 billion expected in the very near future.

At last year’s I/O conference, Page noted that 400 million devices had been activated.


Baidu buys app distributor for $1.9 billion in largest Chinese Internet takeover, ever

Chinese search giant Baidu has announced the biggest Internet company takeover in the nation’s history, purchasing Android app distributor 91 Wireless.

The company will pay $1.9 billion for the company, which should help them keep market share against rivals like Tencent, Alibaba and Qihoo.

91 Wireless is majority owned by gaming firm NetDragon, and NetDragon has been actively exploring spinning off the subsidiary. 91 owns community websites, is the largest third-party app distribution platform in China and also offers e-reader software and customized launch screens for handsets.

The company was able to get so big in China due to Google’s limitations in the nation. The official Google Play store is open for business in China, but does not carry paid apps.

There are an estimated 750 million smartphone users in China, with Android making up a majority.

Google surprisingly misses earnings estimates

Although the company delivered very strong earnings, Google missed analyst estimates by a large margin, and the company’s stock is currently down over 4 percent as a result.

For the Q2 2013, Google reported revenue of $14.1 billion and net income of $3.23 billion. Analysts had been expecting $3.6 billion in profits and $14.6 billion in sales.

Despite missing estimates, revenue was up 19 percent year-over-year, extremely strong growth for a company worth over $300 billion.

Looking into the numbers, total ad revenue jumped 15 percent and paid clicks were up 23 percent year-over-year.

Google’s hardware division, which includes Motorola Mobility, accounted for a measly $998 million in revenue. That figure is expected to grow with this year’s launch of the Moto X.

Vancouver startup offering cheap gigabit Internet

Vancouver startup offering cheap gigabit InternetOneGigabit, a new Vancouver-based startup, will offer fiber Internet speeds of one gigabit, equal to Google’s pilot speeds in the U.S., and over 60 times faster than the average Canadian household.

More importantly, the company will charge only $45 to $65 per month, with no bandwidth caps.

It was recently reported that the average monthly Canadian Internet bill is $54 and the average downstream speed is 16.6 Mbit/s. A gigabit connection will have speeds of up to 1000 Mbit/s.

Fiber connections remain limited in Canada, as only certain neighborhoods have availability. The big three Canadian ISPs, known to be complete ripoffs no matter what they offer, sell fiber packages with download speeds of up to 250 Mbit/s for $115-$200 per month.

OneGigabit and its founder Eric Kunkhe plan to negotiate with real estate owners and developers in an effort to expand fiber connections to more citizens.