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Will Android users feel welcome in Facebook's Home?

Jon Gold | April 8, 2013
Gather 'round, all you Chat Heads! Plus, the rise of Jelly Bean, Samsung phones with even bigger screens, and new Nexus rumors galore.

A look at the device's specs on AT&T's website reveals that it's a perfectly acceptable mid-range phone with 4G connectivity. The price tag, combined with the general hype surrounding today's announcement, made me think it might be a more impressive handset that was being subsidized by Facebook, but I guess it's just your average midmarket device. (But it's available in four different colors!)

Google has just been granted a patent on a battery-saving feature that can actively dial down display settings -- lowering the resolution, turning off animations and visual effects and even displaying nothing but blacks and reds at the extreme end. Given the move toward bigger and more power-hungry displays in Android phones, this seems like it could be very helpful - though Google's patent implies that it'll only be present on Nexus devices.

Jelly Bean now accounts for more than 25% of all active Android installs. While the much-older Gingerbread is still the most-used version, Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean are cutting into its lead, together making up over half of the install base.

According to a report from the ever-busy SamMobile, Samsung is working on "Galaxy Mega" devices, which will feature 5.8- and 6.3-inch screens, but it knows little more than that. I can't imagine why Samsung would need another outsized line of Android devices, but perhaps these are just codes for new-model Galaxy Notes or something. Hard to say anything too definite.

Google's next Nexus phone is the latest to get the zero-bezel rumor applied to it, with PhoneArena passing along a tip that the Nexus 5 will pack a 4.5-inch, 720p screen that takes up 88% of the frontal surface area, along with an outsized 2,800mAh battery and a 9MP CCD camera.

Reuters said Wednesday that it has anonymous sources saying a next-gen Nexus 7 tablet will go on sale in July, with the aim of keeping the pressure on Amazon and Apple in the low-end tablet market. The new Nexus 7 will have assorted hardware upgrades, as well as a Qualcomm SoC instead of an Nvidia Tegra, reportedly for "power reasons."


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