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Google Skunkworks Working on 'X Phone,' Reports WSJ

timothy posted about a year ago | from the put-a-robot-on-it dept.

Google 97

The Wall Street Journal says that Google is not quite content to be just a name printed on certain Android phones, and has set some of the cellphone engineers from Google-owned Motorola Mobility to work on a high-end project known internally as the 'X phone.' The rumored phone, says the article, "is due out sometime next year," and is meant as a technology flagship for Android phones, incorporating more innovative features than typical phones, such as advanced gesture recognition. Some of those features, like a flexible screen, have reportedly already been dropped from the design, though. If the X Phone materializes, a tablet is expected to follow.

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I bet that name sticks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42374833)

The Google xPhone.

Re:I bet that name sticks (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42374907)

The Google xPhone.

Shouldn't it be a gPhone (Google), mPhone (Motorola) or aPhone (Android)? I see xPhone being too easy to confuse with "my ex-phone" (previous phone) or "my ex's phone" (previous relationship). Of couse the they could call it the [a-hj-z]Phone.

Re:I bet that name sticks (1)

chronokitsune3233 (2170390) | about a year ago | (#42374977)

It's just that the letter X has served as great marketing. X = unknown. Personally I'd rather see what the X factor is than the G factor. Plus G....just reminds me of grandma and grandpa, which makes me think it's for old people.

Re:I bet that name sticks (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42375057)

Plus G....just reminds me of grandma and grandpa, which makes me think it's for old people.

G-spot ?

Re:I bet that name sticks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42375067)

I kind of thought that the Optimus G was a tough name - as in, Optimus Gangsta. They're robots in disguise, but they rep for the Dirty South.

I just hope that they quit whining about LTE and suck it up this time. Yes, the US carriers use different bands. No, no amount of petulance is going to change that. Either have a few different versions or a neato software-tunable radio.

pay wall (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42374835)

ugh.

Re:pay wall (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | about a year ago | (#42374987)

ugh.

Hmm, no paywall issues for me... I got to read the whole article at WSJ, and I'm not a subscriber or registered with them in any way. Perhaps you should check your cookies or javascript settings.

Re:pay wall (4, Informative)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year ago | (#42375235)

"AMIR EFRATI of the Wall Street Journal writes: Engineers at Motorola are hard at work on a sophisticated handset—known internally as the "X phone"—but the Google Inc. unit is running into some obstacles in its effort to provide more potent competition for Apple Inc., said people familiar with the matter. Seven months after being acquired by Google for $12.5 billion, Motorola is designing its marquee handset with cutting-edge features to stand apart from existing phones when it is released next year, these people said.

But while Google is known for swift execution on the Web, its new hardware unit has run into hurdles associated with manufacturing and supply-chain management that have caused the company to rethink some initial plans for the X phone, such as using a bendable screen, these people added. The previously undisclosed development effort is a key facet of Google's strategy for boosting the minuscule market position of the cellphone pioneer, based partly on bolstering quality while reducing the quantity of Motorola products.

Motorola is primarily working on two fronts: devices that will be sold by carrier partner Verizon Wireless, such as the "Droid" line of smartphones, and the X phone, these people said. Motorola is also expected to work on an "X" tablet after the phone, the people added. Meanwhile, Google must manage complex relationships with smartphone makers that use its Android mobile-device software—particularly with Samsung Electronics Co., a Motorola rival that has become the No. 1 smartphone maker with Google's help."

Re:pay wall (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42376615)

AMIR EFRATI

That's not a name. That's a bad scrabble hand.

Re:pay wall (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about a year ago | (#42377281)

The joke works better if the name isn't easy to sound out and doesn't consist mostly of high-frequency letters, the first 15 of those being ETAON RISHD LFCMU.

(BTW, my source for that nugget of info is Herbert S. Zim's Codes and Cryptography, which I read as a kid. Still remember that bit from it, thirty-odd years later. Wow.)

Duh! (4, Insightful)

mspohr (589790) | about a year ago | (#42374837)

It would be real news if they weren't working on a new phone.

Re:Duh! (4, Informative)

swillden (191260) | about a year ago | (#42375571)

It would be real news if they weren't working on a new phone.

It would be real news if Google's Motorola division weren't working on a new phone, but this implies that the Google X labs (which are working on Google Glass, self-driving cars and other projects) are working on a phone. That's different. Motorola is clearly working on the next incremental improvements to the smartphone, but Google X is all about radically-different directions. I find it hard to think what could be done differently enough to justify Google X interest, myself.

Re:Duh! (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | about a year ago | (#42375615)

Given the Google X provenance, wouldn't that indicate this phone is going to be more of a technology concept, as opposed to a "flagship" phone you can buy?

Re:Duh! (1)

swillden (191260) | about a year ago | (#42378077)

I don't think so. Google Glass is supposed to go on sale next year, I believe, though it wouldn't surprise me if it slips into 2014. The self-driving cars are definitely still in the concept phase, but that's because it's going to take a long time to address the legal questions.

Re:Duh! (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about a year ago | (#42375939)

I find it hard to think what could be done differently enough to justify Google X interest, myself.

The rate of growth in phone technology has been impressive enough lately that there's probably still a lot of room for new ideas. I can't personally think what major new advances are possible, either--but I'm willing to bet that someone can. The smartphone is a long way from being a mature technology.

Well, okay, actually I can think of something that I'd like to see: a device that looks like a phone, which can then be unfolded into a tablet, which can then be unfolded into a laptop, which can then be unfolded into a desktop. But that would require a flexible screen, and it sounds like Google's given up on that for the moment. Should be interesting to see what they come up with, though.

Re:Duh! (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year ago | (#42376323)

Yes, but no matter how new and novel the ideas are, Apple will claim that they infringe on their patents. Unless - - - a phone that looks and feels like a jellyfish? I dunno - maybe Google can make the idea sound appealing. I'm somewhat averse to the idea of holding a jellyfish to my ear.

Re:Duh! (0)

rebot777 (765163) | about a year ago | (#42376123)

I'm so sick of smart phone companies today blindly copying apple and other best selling phones without innovating at all. When I look at my smart phone I see so much room for improvement that nobody is trying to capitalize on. The two biggest examples I can think of is the lack of a phone that can be used all day, or a phone with a real camera lens on it. Both are easily doable with today's technology but nobody will pull the trigger, mostly because they think it will be too bulky. Guess what, the iPhone was huge when it came out and nobody cared. The S3 is huge but they still refused to add any girth to it so they could compete on thickness because that is what apple is doing. It's so stupid.

Re:Duh! (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year ago | (#42376197)

I find it hard to think what could be done differently enough to justify Google X interest, myself.

Maybe it'll be like the Q - it'll do Google Chat and Gmail video calls really well, but it won't make regular phone calls nor do SMS.

Re:Duh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42376937)

Radically different? Perhaps it will make you listen to a 30-second ad before you can take or make a phone call!

Now there's a killer feature that'll boost Google's revenue!

Re:Duh! (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year ago | (#42378173)

Radically different? Perhaps it will make you listen to a 30-second ad before you can take or make a phone call!

Now there's a killer feature that'll boost Google's revenue!

Hmm..., a 'free' Google smartphone that's completely funded by ads. I can see that happening relatively soon in the marketplace. The consumer receives a killer smartphone (at no cost), google gets 'targeted ads' money to support it, free calling/internet for the consumer.... Sounds like a win/win concept. You should get a patent going for this idea

Re:Duh! (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about a year ago | (#42386375)

It's a dumb idea. There is no good way enforce that someone watches or listens to an ad. An ad just before calls is bound to be frowned upon given it would hold up calls that could be a matter of life and death.

I hope the TV ads are better (2)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#42374851)

Than the stupid MoTo ones where you rule all the machines or you're a secret agent if you buy their phone that will be outdated in a month by a newer model

The real long term plans unfold... (2, Interesting)

jkrise (535370) | about a year ago | (#42374881)

So Google is not only content with releasing an open source operating system which other hardware vendors can use to build phones and tablets. They are also parallely working on their own designs and implementations to take full commercial benefit of the platform they have created. Good to see.

Re:The real long term plans unfold... (4, Interesting)

tooyoung (853621) | about a year ago | (#42374995)

And if Google's new phone is successful enough, Samsung and other phone makers can incorporate the design elements into their phones.

Re:The real long term plans unfold... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42375075)

...or not. That is quite a lot of speculation. They may indeed want a larger piece of the pie for themselves now that the ecosystem is healthy.

Re:The real long term plans unfold... (1, Interesting)

jkrise (535370) | about a year ago | (#42375313)

How does that follow? Many Android phone makers are content with just doing enough to compete with closed platforms of competitors; and not implementing many possible features taking advantage of the 'open' nature of Android, and Google's other offerings besides Android. Some like HTC have caved in, screwing their customers in the bargain, which is a long term setback for Google's Android platform.

By building a complete phone themselves, other patent wielding companies would have to sue Google (or Motorola Mobility, which is Google anyway) directly, which is a tougher proposition fraught with risk for the patent aggressor, given Google's resources compared to say, HTC.

Re:The real long term plans unfold... (1, Troll)

21mhz (443080) | about a year ago | (#42375885)

Samsung, for one, innovates: they leave wide-open memory access holes, enabling third-party applications to do anything with the user's phone, potentially going beyond what the user intended them to do.

Re:The real long term plans unfold... (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year ago | (#42376211)

And if Google's new phone is successful enough, Samsung and other phone makers can incorporate the design elements into their phones.

The purported Microsoft model, in other words.

Personally I think Microsoft (and now Google) are just trying to figure out how to keep their partners happy until they're ready to cut ties with them - so long, and thanks for all the fish!

Re:The real long term plans unfold... (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about a year ago | (#42386393)

What makes you think that? Google is a company that even holds a design patent on its homepage. Don't pretend google is some happy company that is more interested in helping the community because that's not true.

Re:The real long term plans unfold... (4, Insightful)

jiteo (964572) | about a year ago | (#42375061)

I'm pretty sure the only long term plan Google has it to own all the data. Phones and phone OSes are just ways of achieving that.

Re:The real long term plans unfold... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42375563)

Bingo.

Just like iPhones and iPads are just distribution channels for iTunes, the Android phones work the other way: your data is flowing to the mothership.

What I'd ask what is the data actually used for? The message often is "more relevant advertising". Really?

Re:The real long term plans unfold... (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year ago | (#42375739)

Own ... not really, but have access to as much as possible, absolutely. It's what they do. Once again, you don't need to install any of the Google software on Android, nor do you need to use their search engine. Ad tracking is a separate matter, and applies across browsers and OSes unless you block all cookies and javascript. That doesn't just apply to Google's ads either though.

Re:The real long term plans unfold... (1)

snowball21 (2186378) | about a year ago | (#42375497)

I'm sure Google only open sourced Android due to the length of time to market it would have taken them to produce a competitor to the iPhone all on their own. It certainly worked a treat in stunting the iPhone's considerable growth, but just imagine what Apple's mobile market share would have been without stable/functional Android wielding devices being available ~2009. HTC should take as much, if not more, credit as Google for Android's success.

Re:The real long term plans unfold... (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#42375823)

Except that the early versions of Android weren't iPhone competitors (copies), they were Blackberry competitors (copies).

Re:The real long term plans unfold... (1)

snowball21 (2186378) | about a year ago | (#42376093)

As far as I'm aware the first phone released with Android OS was the HTC Dream/T-Mobile G1 (UK) and it had 1.5/1.6. This iteration of Android had an iPhone-eque look and feel. Maybe you're referring to the initial goal of Android Inc. at conception, prior to Google's investment?

Re:The real long term plans unfold... (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#42376383)

I'm referring to the prototypes demoed in a Google video.

Re:The real long term plans unfold... (1)

snowball21 (2186378) | about a year ago | (#42376731)

Oh ok, so something like this from 2006? [theverge.com] I can't find a video, but that's the phone, and Android version details, they apparently revealed during the Oracle trial. I agree the prototype phone *looks* like a generic Blackberry but the OS implemented "functional apps included the dialer, home screen, messaging app, contacts, and an early example of Android's ubiquitous WebKit-based browser; implementations of Google Talk, Gmail, Calendar, MMS, "chat-based SMS" (presumably a threaded messaging app), and POP email".

Considering this was before the iPhone was released I suppose you could technically say that it was developed as a competitor to the Blackberry.

technology flagship (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42374885)

In other words, a lawsuit magnet.

Will this be our N900 sucessor? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42374887)

Will we finally get something open and completely hackable?
Bomb proof like Nokia with crazy great features like FM radio transmitter or IR remote control?
I vote for FRS radio tech too, that would be a great way to zap GPS coordiantes or low res pics between users even out of service area.
At the end of the day though there will be the bloated commercial apps which plague the Android/IOS communities,vs the grassroots stuff that is still buildinggreat stuff for Maemo/Meego.
When will there be another N900 with all of the apps alll of the tech but not the bloat and spyware.

Re:Will this be our N900 sucessor? (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year ago | (#42375041)

I've read the phone is first going to be ATT branded, so don't expecr it to be open and hackable.

Re:Will this be our N900 sucessor? (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year ago | (#42375139)

I've read the phone is first going to be ATT branded, so don't expecr it to be open and hackable.

Oops, I got that wrong. Motorola's working on a Verizon phone, and the company internally named X devices. http://gadgets.ndtv.com/mobiles/news/google-reportedly-working-with-motorola-on-x-phone-x-tablet-308598 [ndtv.com]

Re:Will this be our N900 sucessor? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42375433)

Google publicly declared they would not work with CDMA carriers for their premium brands because their (Sprint's & Verizon's) update policies are completely incompatible with both Google's and the customer's (that's you and me) interests. As such, seems unlikely Verizon would be the goto carrier for their premium brand, let alone premium branded technology. So if your assertion is true, what has suddenly changed with Verizon which made Google do a complete 180?

Re:Will this be our N900 sucessor? (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year ago | (#42375591)

Google publicly declared they would not work with CDMA carriers for their premium brands because their (Sprint's & Verizon's) update policies are completely incompatible with both Google's and the customer's (that's you and me) interests. As such, seems unlikely Verizon would be the goto carrier for their premium brand, let alone premium branded technology. So if your assertion is true, what has suddenly changed with Verizon which made Google do a complete 180?

I didn't know that. According to one of the articles I read, Motorola is developing a phone for Verizon Wireless. Perhaps they have a pre-existing relationship from before Google bought them?

Re:Will this be our N900 sucessor? (1)

rjr162 (69736) | about a year ago | (#42375295)

Didn't the Nextel phones have a built in frs mode for when you were out of cell service range.... Pretty sure they did

Re:Will this be our N900 sucessor? (1)

tftp (111690) | about a year ago | (#42378803)

Didn't the Nextel phones have a built in frs mode for when you were out of cell service range

As I understand those were not FRS functions. FRS, being 450 MHz, ,won't even work with higher band antennas.

I had a Sprint phone right around the time of acquisition of Nextel (I was using Sprint from 1999 to 2008, I think,) and the phone (Sanyo something) had the PTT button. I read the manual about what it does. The function was entirely tied to the cellular network. (Why would a carrier compete with itself by providing a convenient alternative to air minutes?) The intent was to provide communication between members of a group without dialing, by just pushing a "Talk" button. Still, it was not like a radio - one had to take turns speaking, and this was enforced by the hardware. (An FRS radio does not prevent two or three people to transmit simultaneously.)

My current phone, one of LG flip phones, also has this "PTT" button (and this is on the AT&T network.) This is also a paid feature. When I accidentally press it, the text asks me to open the phone and do some steps to sign up. I never needed this function and don't know how it works.

Re:Will this be our N900 sucessor? (1)

rjr162 (69736) | about a year ago | (#42379131)

Yeah I know the ptt worked over cell tower, and but I swear I remember my friends one Nextel Motorola phone also had basically a frs mode (not sure if it was compatible with standard frs radios but I doubt it) that basically worked ad hoc with other Nextel phones with the same capability. I it had a 2 mile range I want to say and I don't recall if you had to 'pair' the devices you wanted to be able to communicate or not.

I really wish I could remember which model of phone he had

Re:Will this be our N900 sucessor? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42379155)

Actually with a quick search I found some stuff

It was called direct talk. The second link is right to a Nextel pdf about it (its for off network use and works pretty much just like frs but on 900MHz and at 7.5 watts

Http://www.google.com/search?rlz=1Y3XIUG_enUS514US514&client=ms-android-samsung&sourceid=chrome-mobile&ie=UTF-8&q=nextel+phone+with+frs

Re:Will this be our N900 sucessor? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#42376191)

Will we finally get something open and completely hackable?
Bomb proof like Nokia with crazy great features like FM radio transmitter or IR remote control?
I vote for FRS radio tech too, that would be a great way to zap GPS coordiantes or low res pics between users even out of service area.
At the end of the day though there will be the bloated commercial apps which plague the Android/IOS communities,vs the grassroots stuff that is still buildinggreat stuff for Maemo/Meego.
When will there be another N900 with all of the apps alll of the tech but not the bloat and spyware.

Hmm. Let's look at your TV remote. Yup, just as I suspected, 500 buttons.

An important ingredient to achieve "Touchdown!" (1)

bogaboga (793279) | about a year ago | (#42374903)

The phone should be aesthetically beautiful. I know the internals will be well taken care of.

In othewords, the phone should be catch one's eye. Not some generic ugly slab.

Re:An important ingredient to achieve "Touchdown!" (5, Funny)

binarylarry (1338699) | about a year ago | (#42375005)

Thanks, we were going with the generic ugly slab approach but after reading your comment, we've decided to make it look good.

-- Google xphone team

Re:An important ingredient to achieve "Touchdown!" (1)

node 3 (115640) | about a year ago | (#42377635)

It's funny because it's true!

Though I do like Motorola's slab designs, and at least some aspects of Google's Nexus devices (though it's not all that clear how much of that is Google's doing).

Re:An important ingredient to achieve "Touchdown!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42375077)

And also make sure it comes in pink

Re:An important ingredient to achieve "Touchdown!" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42375689)

My "DICK" comes in pink!

APK

PS => I also come in BROWN if you are interested?

...apk

Where is my news ? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42374925)

I submitted a news on Slashodt and this is not yet online ?
Video [youtube.com]

H-Y-P-E-!-! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42374961)

What's new there ?? Nada !!

Surface Pro is where it is at man !! And it is right around the corner !! You want it !! You need it !! You want to need it !! It is yours !!

The next awesome phone... (2)

Overzeetop (214511) | about a year ago | (#42374999)

The next awesome phone will not be a tech geek's wet dream. It will not have 40 custom notifications types. It will not be "customizable" or "programmable" as we currently know it. If Google shoots for the technology demo handset, it will miss the entire modern use for electronics, which is to simply be an extension of your mind. I don't mean that is some telepathic, sci-fi way, but rather a device which is so well integrated that the actual interface never gets in the way and doesn't require set up.

And geeks will hate it.

Re:The next awesome phone... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42375085)

Geeks absolutely LOVE what never gets in the way. A thing which is as powerful as a 10 year old laptop and doesn't do half of what a 10 year old laptop could do, has something that gets in the way.

Example: I want NOT to give an app I just got from the play store access to my friggin contacts, so maybe if i make a chroot for it somewhere... except i have no root by default, and to get root I have to download a random blob from teh internets.

This gets in the f.ing way.

Re:The next awesome phone... (4, Insightful)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | about a year ago | (#42375097)

"The only 'intuitive' interface is the nipple. After that it's all learned." — Bruce Ediger

What you wish will never be. Unless you want to suck on your phone, of course. But other than that, there is no interface that won't "get in the way". Until you learn it. Then it will be sublimely easy to use. To you. Not necessarily to anyone else.

The best we user interface designers can do is to try to minimize the number of times you have to poke your finger at your phone to get it to do what you want. Unfortunately for us, we have to do that for 6 or 7 different usage patterns, so nobody is ever happy. Teenagers text exhaustively. Old people want to make phone calls. Geeks want to tether all the time. Somebody in there mostly uses their phone to play games. Somebody else mostly uses their phone as a camera. And everybody thinks every feature they use are the important features and none of the other features are important.

Do we try to make the phone learn you? As it turns out, that's even more obnoxious. About when you've learned where everything is, it adapts, and changes things. Trying to guess what you want is counterproductive, to say the least.

So.... we give you set up options. Move stuff, change stuff, rearrange stuff, until the stuff you use most often is easiest to get to. Or not. You could just leave it alone.

Anyway, quit complaining, or we'll make your next phone shaped like a boob. Intuitive.

Re:The next awesome phone... (2)

swillden (191260) | about a year ago | (#42375593)

"The only 'intuitive' interface is the nipple. After that it's all learned." — Bruce Ediger

And the nipple isn't all that intuitive, either. Babies have to learn how to latch on correctly. In recent years, where young mothers often don't have the support of their mothers and other older women around to help them teach their babies, this has led to the creation of a new career: Lactation consultants are employed by hospitals to help teach mothers how to teach their babies to use the nipple.

It's all learned.

Re:The next awesome phone... (1)

russotto (537200) | about a year ago | (#42376115)

Geeks only hate easy to use things which are "an extension of the mind" when those things fail to extend geeks minds. If the geek tries to use the device and finds it inadequate but with just a small modification it would be great, and then finds the device is not amenable to modification, that's when the geek hates it for lack of customizability.

Found 2 story links (2)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year ago | (#42375023)

Not an awful lot of detail yet, just that it's probably going to be officially announed in March 2013.

http://www.engadget.com/2012/12/21/motorola-x-phone-x-tablet-rumor-android-smartphone/ [engadget.com]

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2413528,00.asp [pcmag.com]

Re:Found 2 story links (2)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year ago | (#42375107)

From NDTV: " Google Inc is working with recently acquired Motorola on a handset codenamed "X-phone", aimed at grabbing market share from Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter. Google acquired Motorola in May for $12.5 billion to bolster its patent portfolio as its Android mobile operating system competes with rivals such as Apple and Samsung. The Journal quoted the people saying that Motorola is working on two fronts: devices that will be sold by carrier partner Verizon Wireless, and on the X phone. Motorola plans to enhance the X Phone with its recent acquisition of Viewdle, an imaging and gesture-recognition software developer. The new handset is due out sometime next year, the business daily said, citing a person familiar with the plans. Motorola is also expected to work on an "X" tablet after the phone. Google Chief Executive Larry Page is said to have promised a significant marketing budget for the unit, the newspaper said quoting the persons."

http://gadgets.ndtv.com/mobiles/news/google-reportedly-working-with-motorola-on-x-phone-x-tablet-308598 [ndtv.com]

Re:Found 2 story links (1)

rjr162 (69736) | about a year ago | (#42375331)

Wasn't Motorola the company that picked up one of the lead developers of CyanogenMod a year or so ago?

Re:Found 2 story links (1)

breeze95 (880714) | about a year ago | (#42378571)

Wasn't Motorola the company that picked up one of the lead developers of CyanogenMod a year or so ago?

No, that was Samsung.

microSD card (5, Funny)

kc8tbe (772879) | about a year ago | (#42375065)

Maybe in addition to flexible screens, a brain scanner, and antigravity, this Nexus phone will finally feature the latest in high-bandwidth media transfer technology. An unnamed source tells me this wireless technology will take the revolutionary form of a small, fingernail-sized chip that can be easily inserted into and removed from the phone. Many gigabytes of data from the cloud can be stored on the chip and then transfered between the phone and other compatible devices such as phones, tablets, and notebooks. Some media sources have speculated that this pioneering technology may even allow users to access their media when an Internet connection is not available, although experts have cautioned that the technology to implement such a feature will not be available until 2015 at the earliest...

what took them so long? (1)

qaqa (980561) | about a year ago | (#42375069)

With the Moto acquisition, Google should set the bar by putting out segment defining handsets. There hasn't been too much of innovation outside of Google in the android space. Time for Google to show what's possible with Android + Moto's phone making experience.

Re:what took them so long? (1)

green1 (322787) | about a year ago | (#42377449)

Motorola already made the absolute best hardware handsets out there. Their problem was the complete lack of after sales support, and their awful software customization, and lock down. Those 3 things are things that Google knows how to fix. Not sure why nothing decent has come out yet...

Re:what took them so long? (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about a year ago | (#42386421)

Google sucks at support too. They only just came up with phone support for customers years after realising no one wants to get support off some shitty message board.

Re:what took them so long? (1)

green1 (322787) | about a year ago | (#42392271)

When I said support I meant more like software updates and such, but you are right on that part, Google doesn't provide any real support for their products.

"such as advanced gesture recognition" (4, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | about a year ago | (#42375159)

Isn't this a software feature that can be incorporated in all phones? Is this the beginning of Google keeping the best for itself, as MS used to do, and only releasing the second rate product to others?

It is inconceivable that Google can't release software and technical specs to the OEM and have these phones produced. The only thing I can think of is this is going to be another incompatible version of Android, i.e. most phones are not going to upgrade to it, so the best way to handle the PR is to make it sound like a new special version.

Apple really screwed the pooch by making smart phones look like computers, in terms of the ability to upgrade the software. It would have better to simply have the expectation of upgrading the phone every two years to get an upgrade, with simple updates given between those times. It would have made the carriers much more happy, knowing users would have to sign a new two year contract to get the latest software. Even better if updates were every 18 months so customers would just build up contracts. As it is, I my phone is two years old and still run current OS and has many of the current features. I will upgrade soon because it makes no sense not to if you are paying monthly tarrifs.

Re:"such as advanced gesture recognition" (1)

rjr162 (69736) | about a year ago | (#42375355)

Considering the S3 already supports some gesture features such as swiping the screen from leftto right wwith the side of your hand takes a screen shot, but double tap the top of the phone to go to the top of a page, place phone face down to mute any audio (say if you're in a meeting and forgot to shut the ringer off), and while in text just put the phone up to your ear to dial, plus others I haven't used yet and/or forgot about

Re:"such as advanced gesture recognition" (1)

BradleyUffner (103496) | about a year ago | (#42379123)

They have already started keeping the best for themselves. They touted PhotoSphere and the new tracing keyboard as a part of Android 4.2, yet those features are not part of AOSP and can only run on Nexus Devices (without hacking or fiddling with APKs).

Re:"such as advanced gesture recognition" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42380139)

Apple has made up for it's expectation of the ability to upgrade the software by deciding only specific hardware should be able to access the Siri cloud services despite the fact there is no technical reason why pre-existing hardware wouldn't be able to use the same service.

Apple also failed in "making smart phones look like computers, in terms of the ability to upgrade the software." Usually a computer OS can be downgraded if you have issues with the so-called "upgrade." One of the iOS upgrades rendered the iPhone 3G almost completely useless because it killed the performance and responsiveness of the phone. Later Apple released "fixes" that helped some of the performance issues but ultimately never restored full responsiveness.

More recently, the iPhone crowd learned to distrust Apple's upgrades with iOS 6. Shortcomings of the "upgrade" have lead to Google Youtube App and Google Maps App both making it to the top of the Free Apps category. Others got hit with excessive data usage charges as part of the iOS 6 "upgrade."

Customer service worse than the wireless carriers' (2)

msk (6205) | about a year ago | (#42375517)

Unfortunately, if both my own experience and that of Consumerist submitters is accurate, Google is even less responsive to individual customers than the big wireless carriers.

It's sad.

Android phone paired with Chrome OS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42375623)

If Googorola installed the Chrome OS alongside Android, and allowed it become a PC when in dock, that might be interesting to me (similar to the Ubuntu for Android concept).

Probably for the best (2)

wicka_wicka (679279) | about a year ago | (#42375643)

This is great news. It's frustrating to look at the lineup of Android handsets and see all the different ways the various OEMs have taken a good platform and ruined it. It's even more frustrating when you find the magical Phone That Doesn't Suck and ask yourself if/when it's going to get OS updates. Android is a mess and Google needs to take back some control.

I got a feeling (2)

Orion Blastar (457579) | about a year ago | (#42376735)

that Google will be adding all sort of 'sensors' to the cameras and microphones using a special DSP chip to process the information. You won't just have voice commands, but you will be able to make gestures with your hands in an ASL type of control using the camera. It would come in handy for the deaf and possible it can translate ASL into text as well for faster typing. Non-Verbal commands I think is what they might call it. There will most likely be ASIC chips added for SHA-256 hashing so it could process Bitcoin mining and solve SHA-256 hashes for other reasons as well.

Need to DSP to translate ASL? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42380479)

What you need a DSP to translate ASL... Age Sex Location? Sheesh doesn't google have any good software devs?

How about a better battery? (1)

nick0909 (721613) | about a year ago | (#42377155)

Can I just get a phone that I don't have to recharge every 8 hours if I actually use the thing? More apps, more features, more browsing all means a worse experience because it is a wireless device that I always have to have plugged in for power.

X ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42378953)

What happened to Z ?

Why not 'Z'Phone ? 'Z' pronounced by 'English' speakers sounds close to the word See.

So had the Geniuses at GooG applied for a trade mark on 'ZPhone' they, i.e. GooG could have made a pretty penny on licensing 'ZPhone' to the World.

Without any hardware or any 'Phone'. Just the name would have garnered them Butt Loads of $$$$$ in the ButtZilions category.

Butt, Alas, it is not a Butt to be for GooG. ;(

XD

XPhone will always mean Windows (XBox) Phone to me (1)

elabs (2539572) | about a year ago | (#42379033)

I wish Windows Phone would have been named the XPhone instead, after Microsoft's hippest product, the Xbox. I'm not alone. I've seen the same sentiment dozens of times on blogs and on twitter.
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