Phandroid Android Phone News, Rumors, Reviews, Apps, Forums & More! Fri, 31 Oct 2014 23:15:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Watch this: Samsung Galaxy S5 running leaked Android 5.0 Lollipop build [VIDEO] Fri, 31 Oct 2014 23:15:15 +0000 Samsung Galaxy S5 back DSC05780

When Google showed off Android 5.0 Lollipop’s new Material Design aesthetic during this year’s Google I/O, the first thing we thought about was how this would translate to the custom skins offered by OEMs like HTC and Samsung. Just before we kick off the weekend, the boys at SamMobile are quenching a little bit of this curiosity with an early look at Android 5.0 Lollipop running on the Samsung Galaxy S5.

This is actually the second time they’re showing off Samsung’s version of Lollipop, although this one is much more recent build. Although it’s still an early version of the software Samsung will eventually roll out to their Galaxy line, it clues us in on exactly what the OEM has in mind for their version of Google’s Material Design UI and really, it’s not half bad.

The current version of the TouchWiz running on the Galaxy S5 we found was actually much easier on the eyes and in some respects, not too far — at least in color scheme — to what Google introduced in Lollipop. The newly leaked version of Lollipopped TouchWiz shows a similar TouchWiz interface, only with small design tweaks to the Settings, Calculator, Dialer and more. Here’s what SamMobile noticed was changed from the previous leaked Lollipop build:

Samsung Galaxy S5 Android 5.0 Lollipop 1 Samsung Galaxy S5 Android 5.0 Lollipop 2 Samsung Galaxy S5 Android 5.0 Lollipop 3 Samsung Galaxy S5 Android 5.0 Lollipop 4
  • New Note 4 fingerprint lock screen
  • New system-wide font — similar to the original one, but a tad thinner.
  • New animations, much smoother than before — there’s a screen off animation present as well.
  • Google Search bar in recents menu
  • Brightness slider in notification center has a new yellow color — while changing the brightness, the notification centre disappears and allows the user to view the content beneath it.
  • Removed “Interruptions” from Sound settings
  • Gallery: Media can be sorted using new filters including Pets, Events, Scenery, Documents, Food, Vehicles and Flowers.
  • Music: Improved UI
  • Clock: Navigation bar icons are now accompanied by text
  • Calculator: Removed square grids which surrounded the numbers and symbols
  • Contacts: New search box
  • Stock Material Design inspired applications receive colored status bar
  • Android Lollipop theme’s core green elements replaced with Samsung’s blue color
  • Settings: Improved UI, new icon color
  • New UI for setting wallpaper from home screen
  • Better spacing between options in power off dialog

For more image comparisons, make sure to check out the post on SamMobile but in the meantime, check out their hands-on video below.

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Google’s Copresence leaked, send content directly between nearby Android and iOS devices Fri, 31 Oct 2014 21:28:11 +0000 copresence_optin_tos

There have been hints that Google was working on a new service for transferring data between users in relation to their the individuals’ location. Dubbed “Copresence,” footprints of the new service have now been discovered hidden inside the latest Google Play Services update.

According to the data, it could allow for both Android and iOS devices to communicate with each other, sending miscellaneous files, pictures or other media via Bluetooth or even over WiFi — presumably WiFi direct given the 2 devices pictured below are at a bus stop.

A treasure trove of files were not only discovered inside the new Google Play Services apk (complete with introduction images), but also APIs in the Chrome Dev channel. Apparently it may not even require a Google account to login, again, a good indication that it will be cross platform. Of course, this is all opt-in (as revealed by the image file names).

Google Copresence

Typically, when 2 people want to send each other files this is usually done by uploading files to a cloud service like Google Drive — where they’re then saved, then having the other person download said media. In an age of privacy, not everyone wants to upload media to the cloud. Using Copresence, users on iOS or Android can send files directly to one another, possibly even communicating in other ways like voice messages. Totally private and secure.

No word on when we can expect Copresence to launch, although with although the XML files and Chrome APIs suggest it could be coming really soon.

[via Techaeris]

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Motorola DROID Turbo battery life test: nowhere near 2-days, but still pretty great Fri, 31 Oct 2014 20:39:51 +0000 Motorola DROID Turbo Battery Life DSC07228

We’re getting ready to charge up our newly purchased Motorola DROID Turbo for the day, but before we do, we wanted to share some personal battery life stats with you from our first day with the device. By now we’ve all heard Motorola and Verizon’s claims of 2-day battery life on the Turbo, one of the reasons we rushed out to buy the phone on day 1. So, just how true are those claims? Well, as to be expected, they’re a bit overly optimistic. In our first day’s use, we didn’t get anywhere near the 2-day battery life as advertised but what we did get wasn’t all that bad either.

After about 21 hours, our battery life was down to around 17% and still kicking. We know. On the surface, that doesn’t sound too great considering the DROID Turbo is outfitted with a substantially large 3,900mAh battery but there are multiple factors to consider, one of which is our screen on time: a little over 5 hours.

Motorola DROID Turbo battery life Day 1

Now, we’re not big phablet users but coming from a reasonably sized smartphone that is absolutely unheard of in our experience. Typically we only see around 2 hours of screen on time (full brightness) from most of our Android devices in the same amount of time with light or normal usage.

With the DROID Turbo, we were doing quite a lot with it (installing apps, playing video games, streaming YouTube, taking pictures, browsing Imgur). It’s not extremely heavy usage, but definitely more than we’d do on any other device where battery life is always something you keep in the back of your mind (“Should I watch this YouTube video? Nah, better wait until I plug in just in case“).

Another factor to consider is we had the brightness on nearly full blast the entire time we were using the DROID Turbo. And while battery life will never, ever, be the same for any 2 people (we know, you get 2 days of battery life on your old MyTouch 4G with blah, blah screen on time — whoop-dee-doo), we wanted to give you a rough ballpark figure of what we experienced from the Motorola DROID Turbo on the first day. We know battery life is a major deciding factor for many when it comes to their next smartphone purchases.

Our guess for why battery life wasn’t all that groundbreaking? The phone’s overkill 1440p display. We can only wonder how things would have looked on the Moto X (2nd Gen) with the same sized battery. Keep in mind we still have our full review coming soon, in which we’ll be sure to take into account multiple charging cycles and will report back our findings. Stay tuned!

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Virginia judge rules police can order a suspect unlock their phone via fingerprint (but not passcode) Fri, 31 Oct 2014 19:52:11 +0000 Galaxy S5 Fingerprint Reader

On Thurdsday, a Virginia Circuit Court judge made a fairly groundbreaking and eye opening ruling involving the police asking someone to unlock their secured smartphone. According to the judge, demanding a suspect to provide the passcode to unlock their phone would be unconstitutional, while a suspect providing their fingerprint to unlock their phone would be fair game.

For those living under a rock, iPhone users since the iPhone 5s have been able to secure their smartphones using a fingerprint, a feature Apple calls TouchID. This was seen as a more convenient, but still plenty secure method of locking a smartphone to keep one’s data secure. If you’re a suspect detained police in Virginia, that’s not the case.

This relates back to the case of a man who allegedly strangled his girlfriend and police believe, may have recorded the act with this smartphone. Because his phone was locked with a passcode (and not a fingerprint), the defendant’s attorney argued that it was protected by the Fifth Amendment given that it would require a suspect to divulge knowledge. This is not in the same category as a person’s identity, which includes DNA, handwriting, or — you guessed it — fingerprints, all of which are within the bounds of the law.

While it would be easy to scoff at iPhone (or even Samsung) users who use fingerprint locking on their devices, keep in mind that Apple has a safeguard for anyone who hasn’t unlocked their phone in 48 hours which requires a secondary passcode be entered in the event that TouchID is enabled. That still gives police plenty of time after a suspect has been apprehended to require a fingerprint for unlocking.

How do you guys feel about the judge’s ruling? If you have a Samsung device, will any of you start using passcodes over the fingerprint scanner to secure your phone? Keep in mind, the NSA is watching this post. We kid…. (we think).

[Ars Technica]


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Droid Turbo available, Nexus pre-orders, Halloween, and more [From the Forums] Fri, 31 Oct 2014 19:50:52 +0000 fromtheforums

This Halloween there isn’t much scarier than going to order a Nexus 6 only to find it out of stock. If that’s you or if you are among the lucky few to secure your new Google smartphone, this week’s From the Forums is for you. Also, we take a look at Droid Turbo discussion and what’s happening around Android Forums for Halloween.

New Droid Turbo Forums


Droid does and continues doing over at Android Forums. The brand that put Android on the map is back in a big way with the Droid Turbo. How does it stack up the very similar Nexus 6? Does it really get two full days of battery life? What about accessories and apps? Find out the answer to all these questions and more over at the very new Droid Turbo forums.

Nexus 6 now available for pre-order


The Nexus 6 went up for pre-order this week (and quickly went down after inventory ran out). Those awaiting shipment and those awaiting their next opportunity to purchase the handset have convened in our “official” Nexus 6 pre-order thread. As the thread title so aptly puts it, those waiting need some place to chat and pass the time until devices are in hand.

Why would you root a Nexus device?

google nexus devices

Here’s a scenario that seems a little backwards to some: why purchase an unlocked Nexus device from Google only to root it? After all, aren’t these the very Android devices designed to be most open to development right out of the box? We won’t spoil the various responses, but needless to say, those that do choose to root their Nexus phones have strong opinions as to why.

Happy Halloween


The Halloween hijinks are alive and well this year. Did you know HTC has a special treat for Dot View case owners? Do you have your own opinions on the scariest games for the season? Share your costume, you spooky stories, and more as we celebrate this ghoulish good night.

And more…

Have fun trick-or-treating, indulging in a bit of mischief, or whatever other costumed debauchery might present itself. But remember, in your sugar (and possibly alcohol-induced) hangover state, be sure to check out Android forums this weekend and throughout the week as we head into November. Sign up for an account, start some threads, and you might be featured here next week.

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Mobile Roar 68: CurrentC drama, DROID Turbo, and Nexus 6 pre-order disaster Fri, 31 Oct 2014 19:32:32 +0000

Apple Pay has brought mobile payments to the mainstream, but is the mainstream ready yet? A service called “CurrentC” is blocking Apple Pay and Google Wallet are many retail stores. What gives? Motorola has rekindled their relationship with Verizon to pump out another DROID, but we wonder why the DROID Turbo was not the Nexus 6. All that, and much more, in this episode!

Big News

Quick Hits


App Picks

Follow Us


Hear us on Stitcher Radio
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Add RSS feed
Download MP3

MR show 68

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You can now watch Google Play Movies & TV on your Roku Fri, 31 Oct 2014 17:52:26 +0000 roku google play

With the Nexus Player and Chromecast, we always thought of the Roku as a competing product, one that Google would like to stomp into the ground. That’s not entirely true. Today, Google announced that they’re bringing Google Play Movies & TV to the tiny streaming set top box (Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the United States only).

Roku Google Play Movies TV

Just hop on over to Roku’s Channel Store and you should find it listed. The coolest part? Google Play Movies & TV also supports the Android app’s new Info Cards. Press pause and watch as the actor’s name that appears on screen is revealed on your Android device. Pretty damn cool. Also, Google is giving away a free copy of X-Men the movie for anyone who signs in using their Roku.

Roku says Roku TV support is coming soon and the full list of supported Roku players can be found below.

  • Roku 3 (4200X)
  • Roku 2 (2720X)
  • Roku 1 (2710X)
  • Roku Streaming Stick, both HDMI (3500X) and Roku Ready (3400X, 3420X) versions
  • Roku LT (2400X, 2450X, 2700X)
  • Roku 2 HD (3000X)
  • Roku 2 XD (3050X)
  • Roku 2 XS (3100X)
  • Roku HD (2500X)

via Roku

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DROID Turbo will tout its battery life as the “Moto Maxx” outside of the U.S. Fri, 31 Oct 2014 17:28:18 +0000 gsmarena_002

Motorola has always been one to release their U.S. devices in other parts of the world. The original DROID was released to the rest of the world as the “Motorola Milestone.” Now it looks like they will be releasing the DROID Turbo outside the U.S., but with a name that touts the battery life.

An invite to a November 5th event clearly shows the “ballistic nylon” back of the DROID Turbo. GSMarena reports that the device will be called “Moto Maxx.” In all other aspects the device will be identical to the model we had hands-on with for Verizon

The Droid Turbo comes with a 5.2-inch Quad HD AMOLED screen, Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 quad-core processor, 21-megapixel camera, and a 3,900mAh battery which is supposed to last 48 hours. If you live outside the U.S., are you interested in the Maxx?

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Google gets fined for showing cleavage in Street View Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:09:11 +0000 street cleavage

No, you are not reading The Onion. This is a real story.

Google has been fined by a Canadian court for using a photo in Street View that contained a woman and her cleavage. The woman in the photo claimed that she was so embarrassed it caused her emotional damage and a bout of depression. This all started in 2009, by the way, but today the case has finally been settled.

What kind of ridiculous amount of money did Google have to pay to make this woman feel better? A mere $2,000. The woman was hoping for more, but the judge did not buy her story about emotional damage and depression. If you don’t want to be embarrassed by cleavage maybe you shouldn’t sit on your front porch in the middle of the day in a low cut shirt.

[via GigaOm]

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Amazon blames poor Fire Phone sales on the pricing, ignores other problems Fri, 31 Oct 2014 15:55:37 +0000 fire phone design

Despite its name, the Amazon Fire Phone has not been a hot seller. Last week Amazon shared financial data with investors, and they reported a huge quarterly loss. The Amazon Fire phone was likely not the lone culprit of the poor numbers, but it certainly did not help. Amazon themselves have talked about why they think the Fire Phone hasn’t sold as much as they hoped.

“I think people come to expect a great value, and we sort of mismatched expectations. We thought we had it right. But we’re also willing to say, ‘we missed.’ And so we corrected.”

- Amazon Senior VP David Limp

The $200 price of the Fire Phone was definitely a surprise move. Amazon usually prices their products very competitively, as we’ve seen with the super cheap Kindle Fire line. Still. that was hardly the only problem for the device. The UI is weird and clunky, the hardware is very uninspiring, and they advertise it on TV with kids. I’m not really sure that depicting kids using your device is a message they wanted to send.

The good news is that the Fire Phone can now be had for free with a new contract. Does that sweeten the deal any more? Only time will tell. What do you think of the Amazon Fire Phone?

[via Fortune]

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Best Android games from October 2014 Fri, 31 Oct 2014 15:11:28 +0000 gamesOCT

Previous Best Games of the Month

The weather is starting to get a little chilly, which means you may find yourself spending more time indoors. Don’t worry, we’ve got plenty of new games from October to keep you busy. The makers of Angry Birds roared back into relevance with two new games this month, a couple of classic old school games made the jump to Android, and a bunch of other great games were added to the Play Store. Check out the best games from October right here!

Angry Birds Transformers

angry birds transformers

Hold your applause. Angry Birds Transformers is officially available for Android. More of a run-and-gun shooter, the game accomplishes what it set out to do: provide Android users with an easy pick-up-and-play time killer. You control the blaster of a chosen Transformer as he bolts down a level, blasting pigs in the background as they balance on physics-based platforms.



Botanicula follows the adventure of five botanical creatures (named Mr. Lantern, Mr. Twig, Mr. Poppy Head, Mr. Feather and Mrs. Mushroom) who are trying to save the last seed of their home tree from evil parasitic creatures that have infested their home. This game started on PC, and has since migrated to iOS and Android.

Cars: Fast as Lightening


Race fast and free as Cars characters with nitro-charged arcade racing. Build your own 3D Radiator Springs, home of Lightning and his buddies. Watch it go from a humble town to a thriving city. Drive into a true Cars experience, capturing the fun personality of the characters that kids and fans have come to love, including Mater, Francesco, and more.

Champ Man 15

champ man 15

The world-famous Football Management game just received a major upgrade, with tens of thousands of real players available to sign and over 440 clubs from 23 playable leagues. Nurture and develop your players, design training programs for the team or target individuals for specific work, choose formations, give tactical instruction and then watch how all of this affects your overall team performance on match day.



Doggins is a quiet little adventure game about a terrier, time travel, and a villainous monocled squirrel. Explore the moon, sniff some things, and unravel a plot to sabotage the history of human invention. It’s an incredibly original story and game. If you love dogs and time travel you need this game.

Dragon Quest II

dragon 2

The second installment in the celebrated Dragon Quest series finally comes to Android. Explore fair lands and foul dungeons in this all-time classic RPG. Every wondrous weapon, spectacular spell, and awesome adversary in this rich fantasy world is yours to discover in a single standalone package. Download it once, and there’s nothing else to buy, and nothing else to download.

Galaxy On Fire: Alliances

galaxy on fire

Galaxy on Fire – Alliances puts you in the role of an up-and-coming Commander of the Terrans, Nivelians or Vossk. Determined to claim and conquer a hitherto uncharted part of the galaxy known as the Shroud Nebula, you will set out to seek fame and fortune beyond the final frontier. Forge a strong alliance and assist one another in the epic pursuit of space domination.

Haegemonia – Legions of Iron


In Heagemonia Legions of Irons, the player has to explore and conquer the galaxy as the head of his fleet, planning colonization, terraforming planets, managing his resources and deciding on the appropriate technological research to lead mankind where he wants it to go. Research, combined with a top-notch spy network, will enable the player to survive in a stellar system which is much more dangerous than it would first appear to be.

Next: H-S

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What do these Halloween photos tell us about the Nexus 6’s camera? Fri, 31 Oct 2014 14:38:27 +0000 It’s one thing when a company presents carefully curated (and possibly edited) photo samples to show off their latest phone’s camera capabilities. It’s another when a representative of the same company posts a few casual shots to a social network. Which, we might ask, is the more accurate representation of the camera’s true nature? If you believe the latter, see Matias Duarte’s recent Google+ post in which he showcases his pumpkin carving skills and, simultaneously, the Nexus 6 camera.


Making these photos even more telling is the fact that they are night shots — the bane of many a smartphone photographer. While plenty of Android devices boast perfectly capable daytime shooting modes, it is when we transition into the dim lighting of the night that we really get a sense of the limits of any particular camera sensor. While it is important to note that Duarte is not presenting these photos in order to directly show off the Nexus 6 camera (and therefore they may not be representative of the best the phone is capable of), one could argue that this example of “real world” use says more about the latest Google phone’s photo capabilities than any set of PR-selected photos could.

We have mixed feelings about the results. As far as nighttime photos captured with a smartphone are concerned, these are pretty good. You can see plenty of detail out of the darkness, but there is a good deal of graininess. The resolution is there but it’s fuzzy around the edges. The colors don’t exactly pop, but the sensor is obviously sensitive enough to capture subtle differences in shadow and light. Needless to say, the Nexus 6 isn’t blowing us away here, but it seems perfectly capable of grabbing some decent photos in darker lighting conditions (anyone who wants amazing nighttime photos will need a more powerful camera setup than what’s available on the smartphone market, in any case).

What says the peanut gallery? Do these photos get you excited about the Nexus 6 camera, or do they leave you wanting more?

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Samsung announces Galaxy A5 and A3 with metal unibody design, 5MP front facing cameras [VIDEO] Fri, 31 Oct 2014 05:04:10 +0000 Samsung Galaxy A5 kids

We’ve heard about Samsung’s A series many times in recent months. The subject of countless leaks, tonight, on the eve of Halloween, Samsung is formally announcing their metal-clad Samsung Galaxy A5 and Samsung Galaxy A3.

Samsung says the new phone line feature a more “trendy” design aimed at a younger demographic (probably those who love the look of the all metal iPhone) thanks to an all metal unibody exterior and a side profile Samsung says is their thinnest smartphone yet (because paper thin smartphones are still a thing). The Galaxy A5 measures in at just barely 6.7mm thin, while the A3 is 6.9mm (same as the iPhone 6). Yeah, these things are slim. There’s 5 colors too (no doubt limited by region): Pearl White, Midnight Black, Platinum Silver, Soft Pink, Light Blue and Champagne Gold.

Samsung Galaxy A5 Pearl-White Samsung Galaxy A5 Midnight-Black Samsung Galaxy A5 Platinum-Silver Samsung Galaxy A5 Soft-Pink Samsung Galaxy A5 Light-Blue Samsung Galaxy A5 Champagne-Gold

The other interesting hardware spec is the front facing camera. Samsung opted for a 5MP shooter on the front because the kids, they’re all about the selfies nowadays. You know what the kids aren’t into? The smartphone spec arms race we saw this year. There’s no 2K displays or octa-core processors to be found on these devices. No, sir. The A series is all about style and aesthetics. Here’s where we’re at in terms of hardware:

Samsung Galaxy A5 hardware

Samsung Galaxy A5

  • 1.2GHz unnamed quad-core processor
  • 5.0” HD SAMOLED
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB internal storage w/ micro SD card slot (up to 64GB)
  • 13MP rear / 5MP front facing
  • LTE Cat 4
  • NFC (LTE model only)
  • 2,300mAh battery
  • Android 4.4 KitKat

Samsung Galaxy A3

  • 1.2GHz unnamed quad-core processor
  • 4.5-inch qHD SAMOLED
  • 1GB RAM
  • 16GB internal storage w/ micro SD card slot (up to 64GB)
  • 8MP rear / 5MP front facing
  • LTE Cat 4
  • NFC (LTE model only)
  • 1,900 mAh
  • Android 4.4 KitKat

Samsugn Galaxy A3 hardware

Samsung mentioned that while the new Samsung Galaxy A5 and A3 will definitely be headed to China, availability will also be limited to other select markets as well (although was mum on details). Check out Samsung’s hip new promo video below and be sure to let us know what you think about the new A series.

[Samsung Tomorrow]

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The SNES classic Secret of Mana is now available for Android, but you probably wont like the price Fri, 31 Oct 2014 01:28:37 +0000 Secret of Mana cover front

There’s nothing that brings back feelings of nostalgia like firing up a good old fashioned Super Nintendo game. The combination of 16-bit visuals and old-school soundtracks can instantly teleport you to a time when life was all about pogs, slap bracelets, and memorizing time tables. After launching for iOS back in 2010, Square Enix was kind enough to finally bring the 1993 classic Secret of Mana to Android devices.

Secret of Mana cover back

Featuring a Zelda-like top-down view and real-time battle system, Secret of Mana was a breath of fresh air from Square Enix’s typical turn-based RPGs. The release shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, Square Enix announced an Android port was due sometime in the fall back in August.

Available for a cool $9 on Google Play, Secret of Mana features a slightly tweaked interface (perfect for potato fingers) and 360-degree character movement (original game only had 8-directional movement). No fancy high-res visuals here, this is 16-bit gaming at its finest. Link down below.

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Android founder Andy Rubin is no longer working at Google Fri, 31 Oct 2014 00:29:36 +0000 andy-rubin

After Andy Rubin helped build the best mobile operating system the world has ever seen, it took many by surprise when he decided to leave Android last year to pursue other ventures, building robots within Google’s secretive X labs. Today, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the Android co-founder is now leaving Google entirely, creating an “incubator” for new hardware-based startups.

It’s not really directly Android-related per se, but given Andy Rubin is the Godfather of Android, we’re sure this comes as a major blow to Google and the people who’ve worked closely with him for so many years. Google CEO Larry Page had this to say on Rubin’s departure:

“I want to wish Andy all the best with what’s next. With Android he created something truly remarkable—with a billion plus happy users. Thank you.”

According to Jessica Lessin of The Information, Rubin was looking for more freedom from his robotics unit, similar to the independent anti-aging company, Calico. Best of luck to him.

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