Google on Wednesday confirmed that its next-generation Android operating system will soon become available as an update for the Nexus S and other Gingerbread phones. Engadget reports that Google executives Gabe Cohen and Matias Duarte have both confirmed that an update is already in the works for Google’s previous-generation Nexus smartphone, and the same process being used to update the Nexus S from Gingerbread “theoretically should work for any 2.3 device.” Google took the wraps off Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on Wednesday morning during an event in Hong Kong, and the new version of its popular mobile platform features a host of improvements over Gingerbread and Honeycomb. The company also unveiled the Galaxy Nexus smartphone alongside Samsung, the device’s manufacturer. More →
Google recently announced that its Google Wallet NFC mobile payment service now accepts a host of new retail locations, including American Eagle Outfitters, Foot Locker, Jamba Juice, Guess, The Container Store, Toys”R”Us and OfficeMax. Previously, the payments were only accepted in a handful of Walgreens and Subway sandwich stores in San Francisco and New York. In addition, Google says its Offers service, which provides discounts at each location, is also available in a number of the aforementioned retail outlets. Users can purchase a smoothie from Jamba Juice for $2 or take 15% off at Macy’s, for example. Unfortunately, Google Wallet is still only available to owners of Sprint’s Nexus S 4G, but we hope to hear more about Google’s NFC plans during its joint Ice Cream Sandwich press conference with Samsung in Hong Kong tonight at 10:00 p.m. EST. A video of Google Wallet in action follows below. More →
Google Wallet, a new near-field communications (NFC) based payment system created by Google in partnership with MasterCard and a number of additional partners, is now available on Sprint’s Nexus S 4G. Google Nexus S users on AT&T and T-Mobile are left out in the cold for now. MasterCard confirmed that an over-the-air update is being pushed to the Nexus S 4G on Monday that will automatically install the Google Wallet app. Once it is installed, users can enter in their MasterCard information and use their Nexus S 4G to make tap-and-go payments at 300,000 PayPass locations around the world. Initial users will receive a $10 bonus on their Google Prepaid MasterCard accounts for being an early adopter, too. Google also announced on Monday that Visa, Discover and American Express have provided their NFC specifications so that those payment options can be added to Google Wallet in the future. Read on for a quick video of Google Wallet in action. More →
Swype released the latest version of its popular software keyboard exclusively for Sprint Nexus S 4G users on Tuesday. Swype now supports new app gesture features, shortcuts, dictionary management, automatic noun capitalization and more. Users, for example, can now move from the Swype Key to “t” and then “w” to automatically launch Twitter. The shortcuts feature allows you to select all by moving from the Swype Key to “a,” and cut, copy or paste using similar gestures. We tested all the new additions on a demo Nexus S 4G with the Swype preloaded, and we liked the new features but we still can’t get the hang of typing quickly with it just yet. It’s unclear when the latest Swype iteration will be available for other Android handsets, but Nexus S 4G owners can update immediately. Hit the jump for a quick video of the new features in action. More →
Best Buy has announced a special one-day sale that will put any of the three versions of Google’s latest own-branded smartphone in your pocket for free. The T-Mobile Nexus S, Sprint’s Nexus S 4G and the new AT&T version of the Google Nexus S can all be had for zero dollars from now through midnight tonight, Central Time. Of course a two-year contract will need to be signed in order to take advantage of Best Buy’s 100% subsidy, and with new Nexus phones looming on the horizon, that could be a tricky proposition. Those willing to roll the dice for sexy pure Google handset likely won’t be disappointed, however. Google’s Nexus S smartphone features Android 2.3 Gingerbread, a 1GHz Hummingbird processor, 16GB of internal storage, dual cameras, a 4-inch WVGA display and an integrated NFC chip. In the case of Sprint’s version, the sleek handset also features a 4G WiMAX radio. Best Buy’s full press release follows below. More →
Sprint dropped the price of its Nexus S 4G smartphone to $99.99 on Friday. The Google-branded smartphone originally made its debut on Sprint on May 8th for $199.99. The Nexus S 4G offers a “pure Google” experience and runs the latest Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) operating system. It also sports a 4-inch AMOLED display, a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 16GB of internal memory and support for Sprint’s 4G WiMAX network. If you’re looking for a solid device that’s going to be constantly updated with the freshest OS builds from Google, the Nexus S 4G is a good bet — and its new $99.99 price point just makes it a bit sweeter. More →
Apple on Friday filed a new patent infringement lawsuit in South Korea alleging that multiple Samsung products are infringing its patents. “It is no coincidence that Samsung’s latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging,” an Apple spokesperson said regarding case. The move is the latest in an ongoing legal battle in which each company claims the other is making unlawful use of protected IP. Apple struck first back in April when the Cupertino-based technology giant sued Samsung, claim it copied “Apple’s technology, user interface and innovative style in these infringing products.” Samsung responded just one week later by filing countersuits in South Korea, Japan and Germany, and then in the U.S. as well. Both companies are thought to have grounds for legal action, but their close relationship stands to take a hit as a result of the feud; Apple is currently Samsung’s largest buyer of LCD components. More →
In April, Apple filed a lawsuit against Samsung for intellectual property violations and alleged that Samsung’s Galaxy S, Nexus S, Epic 4G, and Galaxy Tab products, among others, were copycat devices that all-to-closely resembled Apple’s products. Now, the Cupertino-based firm has expanded that initial lawsuit to include several more of Samsung’s devices, including the DROID Charge, Exhibit 4G, Galaxy Ace, Galaxy Prevail, Galaxy S, Gravity, Infuse 4G, Nexus S 4G, Replenish, Galaxy Tab 10.1, and the Galaxy S II. Here’s the kicker: Apple also believes Samsung’s hardware QWERTY sporting Sidekick 4G is infringing on its intellectual property. Apple argued that Samsung has products that “blatantly imitate the appearance of Apple’s products to capitalize on Apple’s success.” Samsung responded to the original lawsuit in April and said it is “responding actively to the legal action taken against us in order to protect our intellectual property and to ensure our continued innovation and growth in the mobile communications business.” Read on for taste of Apple’s revised complaint. More →
Google has been working on a mobile payment service for quite some time now, and the company is finally ready to take the wraps off of the first iteration of its contactless payment product. Google has been buying up talent — and someone spilled the beans this past Tuesday — so we can’t say the announcement is likely to come as much of a surprise. Yes, Google is expected to finally take the wraps off its Google Wallet service, which will use NFC-based technology to allow consumers to pay for goods with their cell phones. According to reports, Google’s preliminary pilot will launch in partnership with Sprint, utilizing the NFC-equipped Google Nexus S 4G, and it will be available in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, D.C. to start. Want to know more? So do we… and we’ll be reporting all the action as it unfolds right here in this post. Hit the break for our liveblog of Google’s press conference, which will start just before 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time, and don’t forget to refresh the page often for the latest updates! More →
Sources speaking with Bloomberg claim Google is finally ready to take the wraps off its mobile payment service. According to a new report, Google will host an event on Thursday, May 26th to introduce its new service, which will initially be available only to Sprint subscribers in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, D.C. who own the company’s Nexus S 4G smartphone. The system will be NFC-based, and Bloomberg did not specify which retail partners would support Google’s initial offering. Google has made a series of moves leading up to the imminent announcement this week, such as its recent acquisition of stealth Toronto-based start up Zetawire, which had filed a patent for “a payment system, an advertising system, and an identity management system” combined into a single product. While Google’s preliminary offering might not include unique technology such as Zetawire’s, it’s safe to say the Internet giant has a lot in store for us as it enters this emerging space. BGR has not independently confirmed that Google plans to introduce a new payment service, but we have received an invitation to a press event taking place on Thursday and we’ll be on hand to cover it live. More →
Sprint’s latest Android smartphone, the Google Nexus S 4G, is now available across the country from Sprint retailers, Best Buy Mobile locations, and online. Google’s Samsung-built Nexus sequel features a 4-inch Super AMOLED display, a 1GHz Hummingbird processor, front and rear-facing cameras, NFC support and Google’s Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) operating system. The new Sprint version of the device features the exact same specs as the older Nexus S, but with the key addition of support for the carrier’s 4G WiMAX network. The Nexus S 4G is available immediately for $199.99 on contract or for $549.99 free and clear from Sprint — or for $149.99 on contract from Best Buy. Also, be sure to watch for our full review of the Nexus S 4G, which should be ready soon. More →
Sure we’ve had some up close and personal time with the Nexus S 4G before, but now we can finally spend some quality one-on-one time with it as we compose our full review. So far we’re impressed with the speed at which we can zip around Android 2.3.4 (Gingerbread), and we still love the contoured glass display. We’ve definitely been spoiled using the Super AMOLED Plus screens on the Samsung DROID Charge and the Samsung Infuse 4G, but our Nexus S 4G unit’s AMOLED display has a noticeable yellow tint that would bother us even if we hadn’t been using Samsung’s newer screens. Some users reported yellow discoloration on the original Nexus S after applying the Gingerbread update, so we’re hoping this could be a software fix or something that’s only limited to our phone. We’ll be working on a review over the next few days, but in the meantime be sure to check out our hands-on photo gallery.
Sprint on Tuesday announced the imminent availability of its latest Android-powered smartphone, the Google Nexus S 4G. First unveiled last month just ahead of CTIA Wireless 2011, the Nexus S 4G is Sprint’s version of the second Google-branded Android smartphone, and it features the same impressive specs with one important addition: 4G WiMAX compatibility. Other key specs include a 4-inch Super AMOLED display, Android 2.3 Gingerbread, 16GB of internal memory and a “raw” Google experience with no manufacturer UI layers. The Nexus S 4G will be available from May 8th via all Sprint sales channels for $199.99 with a two-year contract. Hit the break for the full release.