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nexus-7-2-press-official-leak.jpgTaking the wind out of Google's sails, BestBuy have jumped the gun and released official press shots and specifications for the Google Nexus 7 2 tablet on their website.

Spilling the beans ahead of the widely-expected official confirmation from the big G itself, the Nexus 7 2 is set to include a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon Pro S4 8064 processor with Adreno 320 graphics and 2GB of RAM. A 5-megapixel rear-facing camera makes its first appearance in the Nexus 7 line, alongside a 1.2-megapixel video camera on the front.

Sticking to the 7-inch screen size, the Nexus 7 2 will use a 1920 x 1080 Full HD IPS LCD screen, up from the 1280 x 800 screen in the original. Measurements are listed as 114.3 x 200.6 x 7.6mm. with a weight of 317.5g.

The brand-new Android Jelly Bean 4.3 will be the tablet's operating system, do we'll have to wait until later today for the official details on what this latest release includes.

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 are both included, but so far there's no sign of a 3G or 4G model. Model variants are instead dictated by storage space, with both 16GB and 32GB on offer. Contrary to earlier reports, there's no HDMI output either.

Best Buy will be selling the tablet at $269.99 for the 32GB version, and $229.99 for the 16GB version.

We'll have full confirmation of these details and more a little later in the day, so keep your eyes peeled. For now, check out the latest leaked press imagery of the Google NExus 7 2 below.

Thumbnail image for nexus-7-gen-2.pngCheap-as-chips, but offering performance and build-quality that hadn't been matched in the 7-inch Android stakes upon its release, Google's Nexus 7 was (and, indeed remains) one of the finest 7-inch Android tablets on the market.

Now a year on since its release, the rumours surrounding a successor to the ASUS-built slate are hotting up, with a Nexus 7 2 seemingly sitting just over the horizon. While we wait for official confirmation of the device from the big G, we've pooled together all the info, leaks and rumours we could find into this post to give you a good look at what to expect from the forthcoming slate.

Design and build

For the most part, the Nexus 7 2 looks to retain a very similar design to that of its predecessor. Heck, there's only so much you can do with a 7-inch tablet design, and with the original Nexus 7 being comfortable in the hand, that's no bad thing.

Still a tough plastic rectangular slate according to the press shots leaked by EvLeaks, the tablet looks set to keep its predecessor's matte-back finish, with a vertical Nexus logo across the rear and a smaller ASUS logo horizontal on the back. Both front and rear cameras feature, while the tablet seems to be finding inspiration from the Kindle tablet range by offering stereo speakers, placed (when held in portrait orientation) at the top and bottom of the tablet, facing backwards. An eagle-eyed Twitter user also spotted a new notifications light, sitting at the bottom of the tablet, in a recent Google+ Hangouts promo videos. 16GB and 32GB models are expected, as well as Wi-Fi and 3G versions. Considering how pretty much every major mobile and tablet device now supports 4G LTE connectivity too, expect a 4G variant to be released at some point too.

Screen

The Google Nexus 7's 1280 x 800 screen was top-notch at launch, but with even 5-inch smartphones packing in a full HD display, it's looking a little less sharp than the competition. The Nexus 2 looks to rectify this, with Android Central claiming to have got hold of a spec sheet showing the new tablet to have a full-HD 1080p 7 inch display. That'd give the tablet a 323ppi, making it one of the sharpest on the market, and pulling it in line with Google's hi-res Nexus 10 device.

Processor and RAM

Both processor and RAM seem set to get a boost in the Nexus 7 sequel, with a leaked product sheet passed on to Engadget revealing that the Nexus 7 2 should ship with a quad-core 1.5GHz processor. With the Nexus 7 housing a NVIDIA Tegra 3, could the Nexus 7 pack in the new NVIDIA Tegra 4?

As for RAM, conflicting reports put it between 2GB and 4GB. 2GB is pretty standard among high-end Android devices these days, so 4GB would be an impressive spec, if potentially overkill.
nexus-7-2-specs-leak.jpgCamera

No-one in their right mind should be using a tablet as a camera, and Google and ASUS spared us the indignity of watching morons walking around snapping away with a rear-mounted camera on the original Nexus 7 by only equipping the tablet is a low-resolution front facing one.

That doesn't seem to be the continued plan with the Nexus 7 however, with the EvLeaks image clearly showing a rear camera in the top corner. Engadget's leaked spec sheet tips that to be a 5MP unit.

Operating System

Plenty of sources have revealed that the new version of Android, Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, is doing the rounds in the wild on test devices, and it seems almost certain that the Nexus 7 will be the device to officially launch it.

What's new then? Not too much really, though the reworked operating system is expected to improve touch sensitivity for smaller icons and buttons, include new dialler options and introduce Bluetooth Low Energy and OpenGL ES 3.0 support. There's also the potential for a new camera app, which chimes well with the introduction of the rear-mounted snapper.

Features

For the tablet's key features we once again turn to the Engadget leak, which suggests the tbalet will be compatible with wireless charging devices, as well as offering a slim port for 1080p output to a HD TV. There's no fancy S-Pen like you'd get with a Samsung Note, but the Nexus 7's core performance has always been the most important aspect of its success. Expect NFC connectivity to be a returning feature too.

Price

One of the most attractive features of the original Nexus 7 was its price, with the 16GB Wi-Fi version currently sitting at an inexpensive £159. The Nexus 7 2, according to a number of retailer leaks will be slightly more pricey. Expect to pay $269.99 for the larger 32GB model, according to an OfficeMax leak, which would likely push UK pricing beyond the £200 mark for that model. That would still be a great price for the tablet, should these proposed specifications prove to be true. A leaked BestBuy advert however states that the tablets will start at $229.99.

Release date and launch

Google have a press event set for July 24, which means we could see the tablet launch as soon as this week. As for release, a Staples leak suggests that the company will be selling the tablet from July 31 - an exact week after Google's expected announcement. Sounds legit to us! A BestBuy leak puts the launch a day earlier on Tuesday July 30 though.

We wil be bringing you all the official Google Nexus 7 2 news as we get it, so keep your Tech Digest browser tabs open!

nexus-7-gen-2.pngImages purported to be of the next-generation Nexus 7 tablet have leaked online, showing off what appears to be the final design for the follow-up to the popular Android tablet.

Perennial leakers EvLeaks have got their hands on a leaked press shot of the tablet, seemingly confirming that the Google/ASUS partnership has delivered a device that looks incredibly similar to its predessecor.

Speakers sit at the top and bottom of the device, with the headphone jack sat also along the top. Both front and rear cameras feature, with the Nexus logo sitting around halfway down the back, with an embossed ASUS logo at the bottom.

In terms of specifications, previous leaks have said to expect a full HD 1080p resolution screen, a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2GB of DDR3L RAM, a Slim Port for 1080p video playback over HDMI, and wireless charging. Android 4.3 looks set to be the operating system of choice, which is expected to be announced alongside the new tablet. Both 16 and 32GB variants will be available, with a leaked BestBuy advert stating the tablets will start at $229.99 and become available from Tuesday 30 July.

Google have a press event lined up for 24 July. Expect to hear more then.

roswellgoogledoodle.jpg
Today, Google celebrated the 66th anniversary of the Roswell UFO incident with their newest doodle, delighting conspiracy theorists the world over.

Delivered in the form of a small point-and-click adventure game, you play the role of a small alien-like character that moves around the Roswell town, collecting parts to rebuild your space ship and fly away.

This isn't the first doodle to be a game from Google. There was the Pacman anniversary doodle and the Chinese new year (Snake) doodle, both of which can be found using...Google.

The Roswell incident took place on July 8 1947 when several witnesses reported seeing flying saucers over Roswell, New Mexico. The incident sparked years of conspiracy theory and speculation, as well as numerous movies and even a rather naff TV show of the same name.

There are a few interesting and comedic secrets, or easter eggs as some would call them, hidden in the doodle, so it's worth playing through it and trying out different things. (Hint: Use the radioactive canister with the animals!)

To check out the entire library of Google Doodles, click here.

google-android-logo.jpgLooking to move even further into the hardware manufacturing market alongside their software concerns, the Wall Street Journal are reporting a trio of new products on the way from Google, including an Android games console, Android wristwatch and new Nexus Q media player.

Citing "people familiar with the matter", the Wall Street Journal claim Google have been closely watching the interest around the likes of OUYA, as well as looking to pre-empt rumoured plans that Apple will be looking to add games console functionality in a forthcoming Apple TV update.

A Bluetooth powered Android smartwatch, offering second-screen functionality to smartphone owners is also said to be in development, alongside a cheaper, improved Nexus Q player that could feature integration with the Google Play store for music and movie sales over a HDMI TV connection.

At least one of the new products is expected to launch this Autumn alongside the new Android Key Lime Pie release.

The report also suggests Google are looking to expand their global market through the manufacture of own-branded low cost Android devices, and hints that Google will be making it easier for brands to include Android functionality in other home appliances such as refrigerators and laptops, with HP a key new party interested in designing Android-based laptops.

maurice-sendak-google-top.jpgGoogle's search engine homepage today celebrates the work of Maurice Sendak, author and illustrator of children's classic 'Where The Wild Things Are'.

Putting together an animated Doodle to celebrate what would have been the late author's 85th birthday, the standard Google banner is transformed into a wheel of monsters and characters from Sendak's books dancing along above the search bar.

Many of the characters featured are lifted from Sendak's 'Where The Wild Things Are', which has gone on to sell 17 million copies since first being published in 1963. In 2009 it was also turned into a movie, directed by indie darling Spike Jonze.

Sendak died last year, aged 83.

Click here to check out the impressive Google Doodle. If you'd like to check out previous Google Doodles, you can find the archive here.

white-nexus-4-thumb.jpgThe speculation regarding the manufacturer of the next Nexus handset continues today, with fresh rumours coming in stating that LG will indeed be making the Nexus 5 for Google, despite contradictory statements from LG top brass earlier this week.

According to Daum, LG are already testing a prototype handset for the range, claiming that Google's Larry Page has already been given a demo unit to assess.

The news comes just days after Won Kim, the vice-president of LG mobile in Europe, told All About Phones that the company did not need another Nexus phone in its range.

Hinting that LG's masterplan with the Nexus 4 had been to raise the profile of their own handsets, one that's apparently been a success, Won Kim said:

"The Nexus 4 was a great success despite the production problems for us and Google. However, we do not need such a marketing success again."

It's a trail blowing hot and cold at the moment, but given the relative success of the Nexus 4 (estimates put sales at around the 3 million mark), we'd imagine LG wouldn't be so keen to kill of hte partnership just yet.

google-play-music-all-access.jpgreview-line.JPGIt's been on the cards for months, nay, years even, but Google have finally unveiled its own music streaming service, not-so-snappily titled Google Play Music All Access. Though there's still much to learn about the search giant's new music offering, here's a quick guide to everything revealed about Google Play Music All Access so far:
review-line.JPG"Millions" of songs

To take on the mighty Spotify, who've proved that music streaming is a viable business model (and revolutionising the distribution of music in the process), Google have had to amass a gigantic library of tracks for streaming in Google Play Music All Access. Though the company haven't pinpointed a precise figure, they have revealed that "millions" of tracks will be available to playback through the service.

And, having secured licensing deals with major publishers including Sony, Universal and Warner, top artists including everyone from Justin Bieber to Cheatahs will be available to stream.

"This is radio without rules," said Chris Yerga, Google's engineering director. "It's as 'leanback' as you want to, or as interactive as you want to."

Features

The service will support user curated playlists, and can also be used in conjunction with the Google Music locker to access your own personal library of tracks that have been uploaded to Google cloud services. Their will also be a "Radio" feature, mixing together a playlist of songs based on user-set parameters such as genre or favourite artist, and an "Explore" feature that will offer music recommendations based on your taste.

google_play_music_all_access.jpg

Compatible devices

As you'd expect, Google Play Music All Access will be available to user's of Google own Android operating system across tablets and smartphones, as well as through web browsers on PC and Mac. It's not yet clear yet whether Google will offer app versions of the service to Apple's iOS devices, or to the Windows Phone or BlackBerry 10 platforms.

Pricing

Google's streaming service will cost $9.99 a month (roughly £5.60), giving unlimited access to the millions of songs in the library across all a user's compatible devices. Those who sign up for the service before June 30 will get a reduced monthly rate of $7.99 a month, an attempt by Google to court early adopters away from rival Spotify, whose own Premium service costs $9.99. No pricing however has been revealed outside of the US, but we'd imagine it's just a case of swapping those "$" signs for "£" signs instead. We always have to pay a bit more, right? It's our lot in life.

Free Trial, but no "Freemium" ad-funded option

First-time users of Google Play Music All Access get a 30-day free trial with the service, letting them test all its features before deciding on whether or not to commit to a subscription. However, unlike Spotify, once that's up, you've got to cough up the cash to continue listening - Google will not be offering an ad-funded option for freeloaders.

For a new service like Google Play Music All Access, a "freemium" ad-funded offering is both a blessing and a curse, allowing you to expand the reach of your service and court more potential customers. However, it has its problems too - why pay for the cow when you can have the milk for free? Spotify, for instance, has over 24 million users, but only million of them pay to play.

Launch

Google Play Music All Access is available now in the US, and will roll out to more countries soon. No word yet on a UK launch, but we'll keep you posted.

google-play-games.jpgGoogle are looking to make multiplayer gaming a bigger part of the Android ecosystem, with a new service called Google Play Games uncovered by Android Police.

Part of Google Play Services (v3.1.36), the update will add in multiplayer features such as notifications, matchmaking and game invites (naturally channelled through Google+ circles, of course), as well as other features including synced game saves over the cloud to multiple Android devices, console-like achievements and finally public and Google+ circles centred leaderboards.

Said to be rolling out gradually over the coming days and weeks, it's not yet clear which games will tie into the new services, or whether it will be a global feature set for all games.

The timing however is perfect, as Android begins to establish itself as a notable gaming platform with the release of the crowd-funded Ouya games console and plug-and-play Game Stick.

It also gives Google the chance to more competently take on Apple's strong gaming credentials, with iOS's Game Center features offering similar functionality to what seems set to be present in the Android alternative.

With Google's annual I/O conference kicking off this week, expect all the details to be ironed out in the coming days.

google-maps-makeover.jpgGoogle are planning a significant re-design for the web version of their incredible Google Maps service.

Google Operating System, a blog dedicated to all things Google, have uncovered evidence to suggest that Google will be doing away with Maps' current sidebar layout in favour of full screen maps.

Additional information, such as location details and directions, will appear as layover windows that float above the maps.

The new system will also offer users a filter option, plucking only the most recommended amenities or points of interest from a cluttered map, and highlighting places flagged up by Google+ circles pals.

While the report doesn't pinpoint exactly when the new-look will land, it hints that next week's annual Google I/O conference could see the re-design debut.

racist-app-thumb.jpgUPDATE:
Google has informed us that the offensive app has now been flagged for investigation, and issued this statement:

"We remove applications that violate our policies, such as apps that are illegal or that promote hate speech. We don't comment on individual applications - however, you can check out our policies for more information."

We're still awaiting a response from developers Viper Gaming.

The original story follows.
review-line.JPG
We've covered some bad apps over the years, usually because they're either comically awful or attempting to rip you off. Sometimes they're both. But it's not often we pick up on an app just because it makes us so angry.

But that's what "Racist Jokes" on the Google Play store has inspired us to do, made all the worse by the fact that Google seem to be making money from it.

As spotted by app expert (and former Tech Digest writer) Stuart Dredge, it's full of the sort of naff, unfunny and (most importantly) massively offensive jokes that should be left in the notebooks of "naive" (to put it euphemistically) comedians of the 1970s.

Now, there's much to recommend about the Google Play store being open to all sorts of submissions, allowing for a wide range of apps that would never make their way onto Apple's App Store. Sometime that means they're just a bit rubbish, down to poor quality control, but sometimes it means that you can get hold of great Android apps that give you far more control over how your phone works than you ever could on iOS, down to that very same open nature.

But when horrible stuff like this slips through the cracks, it makes us wish Google paid a bit more attention to what's going up, and what's putting cash in their pockets.

Racist Jokes costs 0.63p, and with Google taking a 30% cut of its estimated 1,000 to 5,000 current sales tally, the company are actually making money out of bigotry.

The argument that, by writing this post, we're giving the app some sort of profile, is somewhat valid, but if such horrible content is allowed to go onto the Play store unchecked, how else will it ever be policed? A quick search on the store shows there are at least two similar apps already on the Google Play store, and no obvious parallel on Apple's App Store.

While the Cupertino company's App Store approval process can sometimes seem draconian, at least it sets standards that prevents this sort of rubbish going up.

The Racist Jokes app has so far only had a few thousand downloads, and you could argue that the Play store polices itself through the user submitted ratings.

Racist Jokes currently has a score of 3.5 out of 5. It doesn't take a master mathematician to figure out that's an above average score.

So what if an easily influenced youngster comes across this relatively high scoring app looking for what's advertised as an opportunity to "get in on the comedy"? There's freedom of speech to consider, but also the potential this app has to cause upset and inspire hatred.

We believe it shouldn't be allowed. In the UK, the app may even fall foul of Racist and Religious crime laws according to CPS guidance.

We've contacted the developers Viper Gaming for comment, and have contacted Google too. We'll update this post once we get a response.

NookHD+-top.jpgNook HD and Nook HD+ owners rejoice! You're finally getting access to the Google Play store.

Arguably the last feature holding the slates back from being "proper" Android tablets, the duo will also get a smattering of other Google goodies, including YouTube, Gmail and Chrome apps, as well as integrated Google Search.

The update also brings the wide range of books, magazines, movies and music available from Google's store to the tablets.

"By adding Google Play to NOOK HD and NOOK HD+, we are offering our customers even more great entertainment on our award-winning tablets," said William Lynch, chief executive officer of Barnes & Noble.

"Now with access to more than 700,000 apps and the best reading experience available, both are must-see products for entertainment lovers looking for high-quality tablets at incredibly low prices."

The Nook tablets currently use a highly modified version of Android, much like the Kindle Fire tablets, pushing the Barnes & Noble content to the fore.

Earlier this week, Barnes & Noble slashed the prices of their tablet and eReader ranges. A limited offer to coincide with the "Get London Reading" campaign, the Nook HD and Nook HD+ are now sitting at £129 and £179, while the Nook Simple Touch GlowLight eReader is priced at £69 and the Nook Simple Touch eReader a bonkers £29.

Google_Glass_Watch_Patent.jpgGoogle Glass appears to be not the only wearable tech project Google are working on, with a new patent for a smartwatch from the search giants being unearthed today.

Titled a "Smart-watch with user interface features" by the USPTO patent, it looks like Google will be looking at ways to combat any potential iWatch threat that Apple may be putting together.

The patent shows a few details of what Google may have planned for such a device too.

Recognising that it's "a platform with limited space available for user input", the patent outlines a watch with two touchpads sat either side of the display face, allowing for ambidextrous comfortable operation of the wristwatch, no matter what hand it sits on, much like the button-flanked Amazon Kindle eReader with keyboard.

Another obvious feature would be to pair the watch with Google's Glass headset, allowing control of the button-shy specs to be handled by the watch. However, given gesture based apps like wink-photography-capable Winky now hitting the head-mounted platform, perhaps such additional hardware will be superfluous to Glass's needs.

With Glass already confirmed to support Android, pairing the specs with a smartphone or a wrist-based connected device makes sound sense though. Expect to see a crossover device like this to land alongside Glass before long.

android_logo_banner-top.jpgGoogle's Android OS has claimed the biggest slice of the tablet market share for the first quarter of 2013.

Analysts over at IDC have seen Android tablet sales account for 56.5% of all tablets sold in the first three months of the year, while Apple's iOS slates sat in second with 39.6% share.

However, with Apple the sole manufacturer of iOS tablets compared to the multitude of Android tablet manufacturers, Apple stayed the single biggest tablet selling company, shipping 19.5 million devices and even out doing IDC's own optimistic predictions.

Samsung hit second place on the manufacturers list, shipping 8.8 million units, with Microsoft hitting the top five for the first time, managing to shift 900,000 Windows-based Surface RT and Surface Pro tablets.

"Sustained demand for the iPad mini and increasingly strong commercial shipments led to a better-than-expected first quarter for Apple," said Tom Mainelli, research director of tablets at IDC.

"In addition, by moving the iPad launch to the fourth quarter of 2012, Apple seems to have avoided the typical first-quarter slowdown that traditionally occurred when consumers held off buying in January and February in anticipation of a new product launch in March."

Total tablets sales over the quarter hit 49.2 million, a 142% year-on-year increase that overshadows sales of even the first 6 months of last year.

google-glass-blonde-lady.jpgAs if a "cheeky wink" wasn't already a creepy enough gesture as it was, it's now gained the ability to power stealthy perv-photos the world over thanks to the Google Glass augmented reality specs.

Developer Mike DiGiovanni has put together an app called Winky for Google Glass dev kits that allow a user to power up the specs from standby and take photos just by winking.

You can see the system in action here.

Of course, a rather prolonged, deliberate wink is required to activate the function (otherwise blinks would be firing off photos all the time), but it's great that hands-off controls are being implemented into the glasses even at this early stage. That's where these things become really useful, right?

As DiGiovanni believes, this "really changes things" for Google Glass, bringing it a step towards the sort of gesture-based functionality that made Android and iOS so simple to use with their tactile hardware. What it doesn't change however, is the privacy concerns already associated with Glass - if a wink ever was a playful gesture, anyone wearing Glass that sends one my way will be treated with great suspicion.

If you're lucky enough to have a Glass developer kit, you can grab the Winky source code here.

Google Now hits iPhone and iPad

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google-now-ios.jpgGoogle's superb Google Now digital personal assistant service is now available for the iPhone and iPad.

Landing as an update to the iOS Google Search app, Google Now has until this point been an exclusive feature of Android versions 4.1 and above.

Tapping into your Google accounts (Gmail, Calendar etc), your search history and current location, Google Now presents you with cards offering all manner of information, from the weather, local transport updates, sports results, meeting reminders (with directions) and local amenities. You can tweak the app to show you content more relevant to your needs, dismissing information that's not required.

One of the best things about Android, you may be surprised that Google has opened it up to Apple users. But ultimately Google wants as many people as possible using its services and viewing its ads, so it's ultimately an inevitable release. Anyway, Android users still get the superior version of Google Now, where it runs constantly in the background, pushing notifications and a readily available stream of relevant information at users from a single long-press of the home button.

Recently uncovered code has also suggested that Google Now will soon launch as the default view of the desktop Google homepage for users signed in to the search engine's services.

Grab the updated iOS app by clicking here. Those with the Google Search app already installed on their iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices will get Google Now through an app update.

google-glass-blonde-lady.jpgTime to revise those Christmas wishlists, as Google have revealed there's still quite a wait until their futuristic Google Glass spectacles go on sale.

Speaking to Radio 4's World at One time over the weekend, Google's executive chairman, revealed that it'll be around a year until Glass goes on sale to the general public, laying to rest rumours that Google Glass may launch before the holiday period this year.

Right now, Google Glass is in the hands of a select number of testers as part of the Glass Explorer program. Picked between developers, people of note and members of the general public from social media channels, each successful candidate for the Glass Explorer program also had to cough up $1,500 for the privilege. The Explorer program will give Google a chance to perform some real-world testing with the technology before it goes into mass production and widespread usage.

Indeed, Schmidt is aware that there are potential privacy issues involved with such a disruptive piece of technology. Speaking during the radio show in reply to questions of privacy concerns, Schmidt agreed that "the fact of the matter is that we'll have to develop some new social etiquette. It's obviously not appropriate to wear these glasses in situations where recording is not correct."

Last week a plucky Google Explorer candidate looked to make a quick buck by listing a pair of Google's glasses on eBay. It had attracted more than £59,000 worth of bids before being pulled due to breaking Google's Explorer Program terms and conditions.

google tax avoidGoogle have defended their UK tax-dodging practices following calls that they should pay a greater amount of tax in line with the wealth and earnings of the company.

Despite being valued at $268.4 billion (£176bn), Google have needed only pay £6 million in corporation tax for a year's trading in the UK. In these times of austerity measures, many have called Google's minuscule tax bill farcical. But the company's executive chairman Eric Schmidt has justified their company's accounting techniques on the basis that many UK businesses use UK services.

"Britain has been a very good market for us," Schmidt told the BBC.

"We empower literally billions of pounds of start-ups through our advertising network and so forth. And we're a key part of the electronic commerce expansion of Britain, which is driving a lot of economic growth for the country."

Schmidt also wagged a finger at other big companies using similar tax-avoidance techniques, stating that they have to come under as much scrutiny as Google if at all:

"The same is true for British firms operating in the US, for example. II think the most important thing to say about our taxes is that we fully comply with the law and we'll obviously, should the law change, we'll comply with that as well."

With both Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page worth around £15 billion each, the UK tax bill would look like pocket money even if coming out of their own wallets. But Schmidt has a point; until UK law is changed so as to prevent such exploitation, the likes of Google will milk the tax system for all its worth. Lobby your local MP if you want to see some changes - here's a good guide to getting them to take notice of you and your concerns.

nexus-4-interface-2.pngGoogle's Nexus 4 was one of the best Android phones available last year, putting top-specs in a cut-price handset. According to SIDHTech, it now looks as though Google are looking to give the smartphone a 2013 makeover, updating the storage and network capabilities of the sought after phone.

The original Nexus 4 came in only 8GB and 16GB sizes, but the rumoured new addition to the line will double the storage capacity up to 32GB. The Autumn launch of the handset also saw 4G LTE connectivity a bizarre omission, and that too now will be rectified in the 32GB version.

These networking upgrades will come compete with CDMA support, giving the handset compatibility with as wide a range of high-speed networks as possible.

The revised Nexus 4, which may well have been on the cards since the line's initial launch (itself beset by stock shortages), is expected to land during Google's annual I/O conference in May.

This year's I/O conference is also expected to see the unveiling of the latest build of Android, 5.0 Key Lime Pie, and it's possible that the revamped Nexus 4 could ship with the newest version of Google's mobile operating system baked in.

We loved the Google Nexus 4. Read our in-depth analysis on the top notch Android mobile by clicking here.

Google-apple-maps.jpgGoogle's executive chairman Eric Schmidt has revealed that his company are still keen to have their Google Maps service reinstated as the default mapping application on Apple's iPhone.

Speaking at an AllThingsD mobile conference on Tuesday, the Google top dog said his team are pushing Apple to become the default maps service once again.

"We would still really like them to use our maps," said Schmidt. "It would be easy for them to take the app in the store and put it as their basic one."

However, Schmidt declined to confirm whether or not official talks on the subject were taking place with the Cupertino smartphone manufacturer, as well as declining to comment on why Apple choose to launch their own alternative service.

Apple dropped Google Maps as the default mapping service from iOs devices in September 2012 with the launch of iOS 6. The mobile operating system update saw Apple install their own Apple Maps application as the default cartography service instead.

However, the launch of Apple Maps was much derided, thanks to the applications inaccuracies and blurry satellite photography.

So fierce was the backlash that Apple CEO Tim Cook was forced to issue a public apology, pointing to the Google Maps web service as al alternative.

When the default provider on iOS devices Google Maps wasn't available through the App Store, but following the pull Google made the service available through the Apple store. Upon the iOs version of Google Maps' release, it was downloaded over 10 million times in just 48 hours. It's also credited with boosting iOS 6 adoption by 29% following its launch.

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