According to a new report in The Information, Google is poised to return to China with a new version of its Android smartphone app store as well as Android Wear software for wearable devices there. The move would represent a major step for Google, which has been absent from the Chinese market-- the world's largest smartphone market-- since 2010.
What if your smartphone knew which apps you used most often, and temporarily deleted the ones you didn't use much at all from your phone by pushing them to the cloud, freeing up storage space in the process? What if it did the same thing for your old photos you never look at? Those are the kinds of innovations that startup Nextbit hopes will win it converts in the cutthroat smartphone market as it prepares to sell its first phone, called Robin.
BlackBerry CEO John Chen admitted that his company's smartphones still do not give customers access to enough apps to be competitive with Apple's iPhones or those running Google's Android platform. And while Chen stopped short of confirming that the company is producing a phone running on Android, new photos of the rumored gadget popped up online.
Google is facing more pressure in search, and not just because Microsoft beat it to the punch and late last week updated its Bing search app for Android that mimics many of the features of Google's forthcoming Now on Tap feature. Both Google's and Microsoft's efforts aim to give users information about people and places and let them take actions based on the context of what they are viewing in mobile apps. According to a Re/code report, which cited unnamed sources familiar with the situation, much of the original team that built Google Now has left the search giant.
Smartphone sales growth was its weakest in the second quarter since 2013, according to research firm Gartner. That's mainly due to the first-ever slowdown in the Chinese market, the world's largest for smartphones, and while Apple had a strong quarter in China, OEMs that rely on Google's Android software saw their fortunes slide, and Android overall recorded its weakest growth ever in the quarter, Gartner said.
BlackBerry's Android phone just got a bit more real. BlackBerry may release a touchscreen phone with a slideout keyboard that runs on Google's Android software in November with the support of all four Tier 1 carriers, according to posts from known and pretty reliable leaker of mobile device details Evan Blass, also known as @evleaks.
Google's decision to reorganize itself and split out its businesses under a parent company called Alphabet and to put Sundar Pichai in place as the new CEO of the core Google business could have long-term implications for Google's Android mobile operating system, but they likely won't be felt for a while.
What role will Google and Apple play in unleashing developers as the Internet of Things spreads? There is still some question of whether mobile dominance will be carried over to IoT. Special report
Startup Cyanogen (a 2015 Fierce 15 winner) is hiring veteran engineering talent as it continues to develop an alternative version of Google's Android operating system. The firm announced that it picked up two senior engineers, Stephen Lawler, who will serve as senior vice president of engineering, and Karthick Iyer, who will be vice president of global systems.
Huawei is working with Google to develop a new Nexus-branded smartphone that showcases Google's new Android M software, according to a report from The Information.