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Hottest Android news and rumors for the week ending Nov. 2

Jon Gold | Nov. 2, 2012
Although Google had to call off its formal Android event due to a historic hurricane slamming into the Eastern Seaboard, all of the major announcements it had been planning were nonetheless made online. In case you haven't been paying attention, that means the LG Nexus 4, Samsung Nexus 10, updated Nexus 7 and -- last but not least -- Android 4.2 were all released as predicted.

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As expected, Google also refreshed the Nexus 7 lineup, adding a 32GB model and optional HSPA+ connectivity. The prices also changed -- a 16GB Nexus 7 is now $199, the 32GB Wi-Fi-only model is $249, and the 32GB with cellular data retails for $299. By comparison, a 16GB Wi-Fi-only iPad Mini is $329. Ouch.

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Android 4.2, or "not Key Lime Pie," is an incremental update that nonetheless provides some cool new options. The introduction of built-in gesture typing -- which should be very familiar to anyone who uses Swype -- is a major plus, as are the improvements to Google Now and performance tweaks. Photo Sphere is undeniably impressive, even though I don't see it getting a lot of day-to-day use, and actionable notifications are very slick, as well.

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Samsung just does not stop launching new phones -- this week's entry is the Galaxy Premier, which is basically a Galaxy S III with slightly watered-down internals and Jelly Bean out of the box. Unfortunately for U.S. consumers who might be interested in a cut-price Galaxy S III, the Premier is currently only available in Eastern Europe, and no plans for a North American release have been detailed.

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Samsung may also be preparing to release a 7.7-inch Galaxy Note tablet, according to documents cited by The Droid Guy. Little is known about the device or its potential capabilities, however, and The Droid Guy notes that it may not even be slated for release in the U.S.

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I'm hoping Intel's new foray into the Android world -- in the form of the Motorola RAZR i -- will continue, if only because I'd really like to have a phone with this 48-core monstrosity of a processor powering it. As the folks quoted in the article point out, however, making sure there's software out there that can take advantage of such a processor is easier said than done, and the whole thing is pretty much still on the drawing board anyway.

 

 

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