This Week In Android: Jan 21st-27th

It’s another week, and another series of updates in our beloved ecosystem. This week saw fourth quarter earnings from Google, the release of the sequel to fan-favourite Temple Run and the news that Siri was very nearly an exclusive features of Android phones running on Verizon. Let’s take a look.
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Google Announces Q4 2012 Earnings

Google this week announced earnings for Q4 of 2012, revealing they attained $14.4 billion revenue (up 36% over last year). Of that, $5.99 billion came from the United States with the remainder coming from international markets. $12.91 billion were “advertising and over” revenues whereas a $353 million loss was contributed by Motorola Mobility. $8.64 billion came from specifically Google-owned sites whereas partner sites headed up $3.44 billion (18% and 19% year-on-year, respectively).

Across the industry, Verizon reported a $4.23 billion loss in Q4, in the face of record subscriber growth with a high of 2.13 million new postpaid subscriptions. 23.3% of its customers have devices able to access Verizon’s next-gen connectivity, up from 16.5% last quarter.

Inside Google’s HQ.

Galaxy S4 in March/April?

Although details are largely unknown right now, sources have pointed to March 22nd as a date for the unveiling of the Samsung Galaxy S IV (going on to ship in the following month).

Specifics of the device remain unknown, although a 2,600 mAh battery has been pointed to and an optional dock/back cover that will include a wireless charging facility shortly after launch.

The current flagship: Galaxy S3.

Siri: The Verizon Exclusive

This week, reports broke that, prior to Apple’s acquisition of Siri, Verizon wanted to launch the app on its lineup of Android smartphones. Again, prior to Apple’s purchase, Verizon contracted with the original owners of Siri to bring the virtual voice exclusively to its line of phones.

The news comes from The Huffington Post in a feature that also explained its beginnings as a US Defense Department project and eventual evolution into a flagship feature of iOS.

Siri on iOS, a feature introduced in iOS 5.

Pebble Watches Start Shipping

In news that will appease backers of the Pebble smartwatch project, the makers of the device announced it’s finally started shipping. The company announced that the first batch of black watches will be shipped out to the earliest backers of its Kickstarter project.

Although only 500 watches were shipped in this initial wave, Pebble will continue to send out devices once administrative issues in the shipping process solve themselves. The associated app is now available through Google Play.

The journey to shipping has been long for the Pebble smartwatch, but the day has finally dawned.

Temple Run 2 Launches on Android

After being initially launched on iOS last week, the sequel to highly-popular game Temple Run was released onto the Play store this week. Like its iOS counterpart, it’s completely free.

The game includes new graphics set in a sky-based environment, new obstacles — and, yes, they’re more annoying than the original — more powerups, more achievements and special powers for the characters. But users have reported bugs with the game, not running on all devices.

Temple Run 2 also features a much bigger monkey.

Skype for Android Updated

Finally, Skype for Android was updated this week. The update for tablets brings new portrait video calling and introduces support for more languages. The update also brings a handful of bug fixes and performance tweaks, and is now available through Google Play.

Skype.

Are you planning on picking up an S4 in April? What’s your high score in Temple Run 2? Let us know in the comments!


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