Google Wireless Service May Require Nexus 6
Google's forthcoming wireless service will only be available to the Nexus 6 handset at launch, reports the Wall Street Journal. Citing sources familiar with Google's plans, the Journal says Google's wireless service will "weave together" access from T-Mobile and Sprint's cellular services, in addition to WiFi. The service won't be available to older Nexus handsets, such as the LG-made Nexus 5 and Nexus 4. The Nexus 6, made by Google's former Motorola unit, went on sale last year and is available directly from Google online. At the Mobile World Congress trade show this week, Google's Sundar Pichai confirmed plans to offer wireless service on an experimental basis. He likened it to the Nexus device program, about which he said, "Our goal here is to drive a set of innovations which we think the system should adopt." Android 5.0 Lollipop is able to automatically pick the best wireless service (cellular or WiFi) based on a given app's needs. Google did not comment on the Journal's report.
Qualcomm's RF Front End Popular with Phone Makers
Qualcomm today said a number of leading handset makers have adopted its radio frequency front-end. Some of the OEMs include Google, HTC, LG, Samsung and Sony Mobile.
Google Home Max Now Available for $399; Verizon Discounts LG V30
Verizon Wireless today began selling the Google Home Max in-home assistant and speaker. The Max relies on the same Google Assistant that powers the Google Home and Google Home Mini devices, but packages the voice-based tool in a larger, music-focused box.
Verizon's Moto Z2 Force Scores Android 8 Oreo Upgrade
Verizon Wireless today began rolling out the Android 8 Oreo system update to the Motorola Moto Z2 Force. In addition to the core Oreo features, including notification dots and picture-in-picture, the update makes improvements to productivity, performance, and notifications.
LG Packs Google Assistant Into Its Smart ThinQ Speaker
LG today showed off a new smart speaker that will be available in early 2018. LG is calling the ThinQ Speaker its "first premium smart AI audio product" thanks to the addition of the Google Assistant.