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Google reports 70 million Android tablet activations as it confirms app downloads have passed the 50 billion mark (Original)

It seems like just 10 weeks ago that Google was reporting a total of 900 million Android activations. Well, now the company's back, once again outdoing itself with some fresh figures. Today, we're hearing that more than 70 million Android tablets have been activated to date. Meanwhile, Google has surpassed 50 billion app downloads in the Google Play Store across all Android devices, and there are now more than a million applications available in the store. Additionally, the company claims that in the first half of this year, one in two tablets sold worldwide was an Android product. With no way of confirming that figure ourselves, we'll stand on that tablet activation figure, as it represents a pretty sizable jump for Google: at the end of 2012, tablet activations were still somewhere below 40 million. That's all for now as far as stats go. We'll leave you to gawk at that super tempting new Nexus 7.

Filed under: Tablets, Google

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Skype Passes 100M Android Installs and Launches Redesigned 4.0 (Original)

Just recently, we reached a major milestone. Skype for Android is now installed on over 100 million phones worldwide. And we’re so thankful – reaching such an achievement would be impossible without the support of our users, and we continue to put you and your needs at the heart of everything we do.

Today we’re bringing 100 million of you a step further on our journey into the future. Last week we discussed how Skype’s Mobile Future demands a modern design that puts conversations first, focuses on quality & performance, and delivers a common set of experiences across multiple platforms and devices. Today, we’re excited to deliver in two of those areas with the all-new Skype for Android 4.0.

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Modern design, putting conversations first.

We started to reimagine what Skype would look like back when we launched our Windows Phone 8 app late last year. Our focus was simple: we wanted to deliver an app that makes your interactions easier and puts conversations first. Our Android team saw this great work and wanted to deliver an equally bold, beautiful, and modern design in this latest Skype for Android release.

We’ve completely redesigned Skype for Android to be faster and easier – especially when you’re trying to fire off a quick message.

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The App Store’s 50B Downloads Vs. Google Play’s 48B: Android Closes The Gap (Original)

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Apple had a bit of a head start when it came to mobile software sales, since it launched its App Store earlier than the Android Market — now called Google Play. The gap between the two, which was more pronounced in terms of initial downloads, has begun to close. Today both Play and the App Store announced very similar milestones.

Apple has been counting down to its 50 billionth app download for a while now. In fact, the assets were leaked via the Apple website backend code earlier today, so we all knew it was coming. Coincidence that it would land on a Google keynote day? That’s hard to tell, but Google had its own milestone to announce: 48 billion downloads announced onstage at I/O today.

The announcements give us a unique opportunity to compare download numbers from both stores on as equal footing as possible, and the result is a snapshot of two app stores that are neck and neck — at least in terms of straight downloads.

That doesn’t take into account paid vs. free apps, or how much revenue each makes from ads and other sources. But as you can see from the graph, it marks one area at least where Google used to trail considerably but is now catching up.…

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Google TV officially updated to latest versions of Android and Chrome, faster updates promised going forward (Original)

Google TV officially updated to latest versions of Android and Chrome, faster updates promised going forward

It apparently wasn't big enough to garner a mention earlier today, but Google has now followed up its slew of I/O keynote announcements with the news that it's moving Google TV to the latest versions of Android (that'd be 4.2.2) and Chrome. What's more, it also says that it's "refactored" Google TV so that its OEMs can update their devices to future versions of Android faster than they're currently able to -- in a "matter of weeks rather than months," according to Google. Likewise, Chrome for Google TV will now be on the same six week upgrade cycle as its desktop counterpart going forward, and it'll also now come with support for hardware-based content protection.

As for those with existing Google TV devices, though, the company's only saying that they can expect to see updates in the "coming months." We've yet to hear from most Google TV manufacturers themselves yet, but LG has chimed in to say that it will be updating its devices to Jelly Bean sometime in the third quarter of this year. You can get a look at what the update will bring in the video after the break showing off high performance apps enabled by NDK support, and an LG remote control app that has two-handed control for games and updates reflecting the action on-screen.…

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Apple Bagged 57% Of $12.5B In Smartphone Profits In Q1; Android 43% – Samsung 95% Share Of That, “More Than Google” (Original)

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Apple continues to lead both as the single-most profitable smartphone maker, and by default the most profitable platform, taking 57% of $12.5 billion in smartphone operating profits in Q1, according to figures out from Strategy Analytics today. Android took 43%, equating to $5.3 billion, Neil Mawston, chief analyst with the firm, tells TechCrunch.

The figures come as analyst houses are releasing various estimates for how smartphones have been selling in Q1. Strategy Analytics have published some numbers that tell the story in a different way.

Yes, Android is dominating smartphone sales (Gartner’s figures yesterday noted that Google’s platform took nearly 75% of all sales in the three month period). Yes, Samsung continues to widen its lead against Apple — now at 31% of all smartphone sales. But it still has a ways to go before it tops Apple, which has built its brand as the premium offering. (One possible reason why it has resisted up to now launching a low-cost, more cheaply made handset.)

Within the Android portion of smartphone profits, Samsung is taking ever the bigger lion’s share. Its $5.1 billion in operating profit works out to 95% of all Android revenues, and 40.8% of all smartphone operating profits overall.…

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Google Announces It Has Reached 900M Android Activations, Sundar Pichai Calls It “Most Popular Mobile OS In The World” (Original)

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Today, Google announced that its Android operating system has reached 900M activations. This is a 500M increase from last year’s announcement. At one point, Google said that it was experiencing 1M Android activations a day.

These activations have brought in 48M app installs for developers who have launched on Google Play, which is why the I/O conference exists. As we noted yesterday, Google is making its move to try and sway developers to select their OS first, rather than its competitor Apple.

Android and Chrome boss, Sundar Pichai, took the stage and discussed how far Google has come with Android:

Android started with a simple goal to bring open standards to the world. Today, it is the most popular mobile operating system in the world.

The company was quick to point out that there are 7B people in the world, so they have a long ways to go as far as installations.

As Google gets more distribution through different types of devices, be it smartphones, tablets, video game systems or Glass, the open nature of the platform is clearly working. Getting into emerging markets will also be easier for Google, as its operating system can be placed onto lower-end devices and doesn’t require new yearly phone launches to start the distribution cycle again.…

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Watch out WhatsApp, BlackBerry Messenger is headed to iOS and Android this summer (Original)

BlackBerry will release a BBM application for iOS and Android device this summer, bringing its popular messaging app to other platforms for free, and for the first time.…

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DirecTV to add voice control to iOS and Android apps (Original)

DirecTV has announced that both its iOS and Android phone apps will receive updates this summer that will add voice search capabilities, with tablet apps to follow sometime thereafter.…

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MightyText, “The iMessage for Android,” Targets iCloud With New Cross-Device Photo And Video Sync (Original)

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Today, our lives are spread across a growing array of digital devices, from smartphones and laptops to tablets and connected TVs. While each device tends to perform certain tasks better than others, as we use tablets to read books and shop, laptops for work-related tasks and smartphones to check the weather, stocks and email, increasingly, our devices are working together in concert and becoming interchangeable by keeping us connected to the cloudy Web. Yet, in spite of the fact that we live in an increasingly connected and multi-platform world, when it comes to texting, we find ourselves locked in to our phones.

As former Googlers, Maneesh Arora and Amit Sangani set out to develop a solution for those who find themselves sending and receiving text messages and phone calls all the live-long day, while, in turn, giving Android users an open, cross-device equivalent to Apple’s iMessage. In 2011, the two co-founded and launched MightyText, a cross-platform app that today works natively on Android tablets and phones (and as an extension for Firefox and Chrome), and allows Android-ers to view and reply to texts regardless of what device they happen to be using.

Given our growing reliance on our digital gadgets, by offering a tool that allows users to send SMS, MMS and make calls from your PC, Mac, Kindle, Galaxy S III and even your iPad, MightyText has been quick to find an audience and has grown steadily since launching officially in July of last year.…

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TokBox Brings WebRTC To The Cloud, Enables Multi-Party Video Chats & SIP Interop (Original)

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Telefonica’s TokBox announced a huge upgrade to its OpenTok on WebRTC service today. TokBox’s new cloud-based Mantis media distribution framework is designed to overcome some of WebRTC’s limits with regard to video distribution. By default, WebRTC is a peer-to-peer platform, but that makes it hard to scale video chats beyond two participants. With Mantis, TokBox essentially puts its own cloud infrastructure in the middle of these calls and is then able to route and manage calls that include multiple participants without using a prohibitive amount of bandwidth and using a complicated mesh-based architecture.

In the future, as TokBox CEO Ian Small told me earlier this week, this will also enable TokBox to shape video streams according to the different users’ bandwidth conditions and the developers’ needs. “With Mantis, what we’re doing is putting smarts into the WebRTC infrastructure,” Small said. “Today, we’re routing traffic. Tomorrow, we’ll shape traffic.”

On cool feature Mantis already enables today is SIP interop, so developers will actually be able to write WebRTC-based apps that allow users to call in from their standard phone lines. This, for example, is useful for video conferencing services where you can now have a number of WebRTC-based video streams and a few participants on regular phone lines simultaneously.…

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