Opinion: Google’s forthcoming Android Wear rebirth will be similar to the Pixel launch

Google’s Pixel event has come and gone. With it, Google introduced its first solely self-branded smartphone, claiming that the Pixel and Pixel XL bring the very best that Google has to offer — for the moment, at least — in both hardware and software. It’s a refreshing move from a company that has traditionally only sold hardware built in partnership with OEMs, and it’s finally a sign that Google wants to take a serious top-to-bottom design approach with its future products.

But what about its other product lines? Google replicated the Android strategy with Android Wear a couple of years ago, and in that case the company has yet to release any Android Wear hardware that has its name on it. The company never even did a “Nexus” Android Wear device to give OEMs an idea of what Android Wear would look like if Google did it themselves. That’s about to change according to recent reports, perhaps as soon as the first quarter of next year…

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ASUS reportedly planning to launch a Tango-ready ‘ZenFone AR’ smartphone at CES

Lenovo was the first manufacturer to launch a Google Tango-enabled smartphone (it became available publicly just a couple weeks ago, actually), but now it looks another OEM is about to enter the fray. According to a Digitimes post (which you should definitely take with a grain of salt, as usual), ASUS is planning to launch a Tango-enabled phone at CES early next year…

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Accelerated Mobile Pages will support ads in time for next month’s launch

Next month’s launch of Accelerated Mobile Pages on Google Search will support ads right out of the gate. AMP, an industry effort to speed up and improve mobile web pages, has garnered the support of many tech companies and publications. The latter will have full control over ads on AMP pages and get accompanying statistics.

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Comment: How BlackBerry fixed the Keyone ahead of its launch today

BlackBerry’s big release for 2017 is the Keyone, and it has all the potential of being the best phone the company has ever released. In my review earlier this month, I had a lot to say about the device, some of it good, some of it bad. However, now that we’re on the day of launch, I thought it’d be worthwhile to take another quick look at the phone now that the company has been able to adjust things under the hood.

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High-res Xiaomi Mi 5 16MP camera sample shared ahead of launch, by company chief

Hugo Barra, Xiaomi’s global VP, hasn’t been shy about teasing features for the upcoming Mi 5 smartphone. Xiaomi’s next flagship is being unveiled at an event in Barcelona, at MWC 2016. He’s already told us that the phone will come equipped with Qualcomm’s latest flagship processor, the Snapdragon 820.

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Leaked Samsung teaser points to Feb 21 Galaxy S7 launch event

A handful of companies have already announced their intention to launch devices during (or before) MWC 2016 in Barcelona in a few weeks’ time. LG and Huawei have both sent out invites, while rumors are that Sony also has something planned. But, Samsung — a company which for the past few years has used the conference to launch its Galaxy S range — has been quiet so far…

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Google and NetHope launch Project Reconnect, making 25,000 Chromebooks available to Syrian refugees in Germany

Google has announced a new philanthropic partnership with NetHope aiming to help Syrian refugees in Germany get reconnected by making 25,000 Chromebooks available to nonprofits. The goal — as described on the Project Reconnect home page — is “to help refugees as they strive to rebuild their lives, by facilitating access to education and information resources on the web.”

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