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article imageWhat's new with Android?

By Alyssa Sellors     Aug 2, 2014 in Internet
All you have to do is turn on the TV to see the battle among smartphone providers. Apple and Android in particular have been at each other’s throats for a while and watching it play out is interesting to say the least.
But what’s new with Android as they gain more and more popularity?
Microsoft’s flop of the Nokia X Series
In recent Android news, Microsoft’s launch of the Nokia X2 Android phone has experienced a serious flop. Started as an experiment by Microsoft, a recent press conference with the Executive Vice President of Microsoft's devices unit, Stephen Elop, reveals a new shift and focus on more high-end phones after they killed the Nokia X series of Android smartphones. Tech times reports that now that Microsoft is in complete control of Nokia, the now dead Nokia X series will now be converted to Lumia Windows Phone smartphones from here on. Many thought the entire acquisition odd in the first place, but Microsoft has assured existing Nokia X series owners that the company plans to support existing Nokia X devices, despite the fact that they have no plans to develop any new Android smartphones. In an article by ZD Net, covering this news, the author poses the question as to whether Microsoft’s platform can gain traction in emerging markets where Android plays well; a very good question moving forward and one that time will only tell.
Rising to the Top?
Despite issues with Android and the market for the Nokia X Series phone, The Next Web is reporting great news for Android, citing a market research firm Strategy Analytics, who put out new numbers for the second quarter of 2014 that estimates the Android platform’s share of the global market at a record 84.6 percent. The showdown with Apple iOS seems to be getting to the company, with shares of Apple iOS falling from 13.4 percent in 2013 to 11.9 percent at this same time this year. Microsoft is also falling short, dropping from 3.8 to 2.7 percent. Unfortunately, where there is good news, there is also bad. Tech Crunch is reporting on an investigation that may break out in Europe over Android and its “dominant position.” This investigation would only be triggered if Android is found to have over 80 percent market shares in the European market; however some analysts say Android accounted for only 73 percent of all smartphones shipped to Europe in the second quarter. The Guardian is also reporting on this issue, in an article entitled “Google facing European antitrust scrutiny of Android device deals,” highlighting further the report that claims Google is “abusing Android’s large market share to promote its own services.” These accusations come from the large increase in market worldwide shipment of Android smartphones, as well as a supposed requirement to preload Google’s apps and services on devices of partner phone providers. While this news may have Google sweating just a bit, most analysts are confident no investigation will take place.
Free Apps!
This may be the best Android news yet. Amazon is once again offering a new month of free Android apps, but you only have two days to claim the more than $100 worth of free apps, complimentary of Amazon. The Amazon app store already gives away one free app per day, but has recently decided to give away 30 apps, for free to all Android users. This batch of 30 apps features the “Summer Self-Improvement Bundle,” with themed apps on nutrition, health, sleep aids, and other related apps for improving yourself in a variety of ways. Engadget highlights a few others offered this month, like the popular read-it-later app, Instapaper, for self-improvement by way of smarts. Gizmodo also raves for Instapaper, but also mentions the $30 app, Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary as a definite smart choice. Other top favorites include Little Piano Pro, Essential Anatomy, and the Ultimate Guitar Tabs and Tools.
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