Author Archives: Nate Swanner


Pichai running Google sounds like the best thing ever

Pichai running Google sounds like the best thing ever

Sundar Pichai was once tasked with a huge job: watch over Android, but also keep tabs on Chrome. Android One? That was his baby. Getting Android and Chrome working together in a more cohesive fashion? Also his thing. Pichai has now been tasked with heading Google’s entire product lineup, which encompasses just about everything you see, touch, and use via Google. Though it’s being positioned as CEO Page’s wish to focus on the bigger picture, here’s why this is a much bigger deal than it may seem right now.

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T-Mobile complains about low-band spectrum auction

T-Mobile complains about low-band spectrum auction

T-Mobile CEO John Legere talks a lot of smack. On stage, he’s a cyclone of cursing and boasting, snide remarks about the competition, as well as a complainer and apologist for T-Mobile. The company he leads seems to need all that help, too. As much as Legere brags up T-Mobile, signs of just how limited their service really is peek out now and then. In asking the FCC for more spectrum at a better price, T-Mobile is also admitting they’re not very competitive — but not humbly so.

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Rooms v. Room: Facebook accused of stealing

Rooms v. Room: Facebook accused of stealing

Have you tried Facebook’s latest app, ‘Rooms’? There seems to be a bit of turmoil about it, as a competing app claims Facebook pinched quite a bit of what Rooms is from their app, the similarly named Room. The team behind Room claims they weren’t working with Facebook, either, suggesting Facebook possibly heard about Room via a third-party, like a Venture Capital firm. However Rooms came to resemble Room, their CTO and Co-founder is none too pleased, and is suggesting his company may take legal action.

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Leaked Rite Aid docs say Apple Pay may never come

Leaked Rite Aid docs say Apple Pay may never come

Earlier today, we told you about Rite Aid disallowing Apple Pay from their point of sale terminals. At the time, it seemed to be an NFC issue, wherein Rite Aid was simply not prepared to accept any form of NFC payment (news of Google Wallet not working at Rite Aid bolstered that suspicion). Via leaked documents, we learn that Rite Aid has no technical issue with NFC payments, but Rite Aid’s involvement with a competing platform is to blame for your inability to use Apple Pay at their stores.

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Nest acquires Revolv, expands Works with Nest program

Nest acquires Revolv, expands Works with Nest program

The connected home race is starting to tighten up. After Samsung acquired SmartThings for $200 million earlier this year, Revolv has been acquired by Nest. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. This is the second big purchase for Nest this year, after snapping up Dropcam in June. Like Dropcam, existing Revolv units will be implemented with the Works with Nest initiative. Unlike Dropcam, Revolv will no longer be available for purchase, and is being pulled from circulation in the wake of this deal.

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Deezer acquires Stitcher, speeds podcasting initiative

Deezer acquires Stitcher, speeds podcasting initiative

When it comes to streaming, Stitcher is a name you hear pop up quite a bit. The streaming audio service is a popular place for podcasters to peddle their channels and shows. Stitcher is now part of Deezer, the streaming service that concentrates on music playback. The deal makes Deezer one of the better overall streaming service around, encompassing both music and podcasting. The move immediately gives Deezer ownership of the top rated Android podcasting app, and the second place podcasting app on iTunes.

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iTunes sales down 14% — it’s time for Beats!

iTunes sales down 14% — it’s time for Beats!

Apple’s iTunes used to be one of the biggest deals in digital. Prior to streaming music apps and services, we were left to purchase music the traditional route, buying singles or albums via iTunes, which did little more than un-clutter our offices from towers of CDs. Over time, the Spotify, Pandora, and Play Music All Access’ of the world have eaten into iTunes’ business model, as we more toward a monthly fee and unlimited streaming. A new report suggests Appel is feeling the pinch, and iTunes sales have dropped dramatically.

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Apple Pay news: Amazon in, Rite Aid out

Apple Pay news: Amazon in, Rite Aid out

All the excitement over Apple Pay doesn’t reach as far as some would have hoped. Previously, we told you about Amazon’s reluctance to allow their Amazon Rewards Visa — issued by Chase, a day-one partner for Apple Pay — into your digital wallet. There is relief on that front, but Apple Pay has lost a retail partner in the mix of it all. Rite Aid is no longer accepting Apple Pay payments, but it seems to be more an NFC issue than one with Apple Pay.

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GTAT outlines settlement with Apple

GTAT outlines settlement with Apple

Sapphire glass; you want it, Apple wants it, but their partner couldn’t deliver. In the long, slow burn that is GT Advanced, there are very few winners. Hundreds out of work, GTAT is now in bankruptcy court, and Apple is left searching for another Sapphire partner, which probably delays the material seeing your phone (and could delay the Apple Watch). Apple and GTAT have settled their business relationship, which is now available for all to view. Save for one small redaction, we get a bit of insight about GTAT biting off more than it could chew.

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Apple looking to keep Sapphire hopes alive

Apple looking to keep Sapphire hopes alive

The Apple and GT Advanced partnership might be dead, but the Sapphire plant in Arizona could still live on. Apple is reportedly seeking a way to keep the plant alive, possibly even producing Sapphire glass as planned. Though GT won’t be involved, Apple is reportedly looking into how they can reap benefits from their sizable investment. GT, which owns the equipment and is selling it off to pay Apple back the $439 million paid via a loan in their partnership agreement.

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