Android this week: Nexus Prime launch; Google’s mobile growth; universal translator

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Samsung and Google jointly delayed a U.S. press event last week that was expected to see both the next version of Android as well as the first phone to run it, dubbed the Nexus Prime. The actual name may vary based on which network operator carries it, but the Prime is anticipated to raise the bar as a flagship Android handset.

I received direct word of the event postponement and now have an invite for the rescheduled event. As it’s slated for Oct. 19 in Hong Kong, I’ll have to pass on attending, but will have an update after the news hits thanks to a live video feed.

The Nexus Prime has already appeared in a video demonstration that loosely validates some of the rumored specifications, such as a 4.65-inch display with 1280×720 resolution, on-screen software buttons in place of capacitive or hardware buttons, and the Ice Cream Sandwich version of Google Android.

Google’s quarterly investor call took place this week, with CEO Larry Page saying Ice Cream Sandwich was “soon to be released.” Other interesting Android data shared by Page indicates Google’s growing momentum in the mobile market:

  • 190 million total Google Android devices have been activated.
  • Mobile revenues for Google have grown 2.5 times in the last 12 months with an annual run-rate now topping $2.5 billion
  • Google Maps has expanded in August by 40 countries, now supporting 130 nations.

Of course, the populations across that many countries often speak different languages. Google Translate for Android gained broader support for an experimental feature that allows two people to converse in real-time, with both speaking in their native language.

 
Conversation mode already supported English and Spanish, but this week gained a dozen new languages: Brazilian Portuguese, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Polish, Russian and Turkish. The software requires a button press before each person speaks, but can greatly assist when visiting a foreign country.

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