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Worldwide Android News 09/19/14 – Phones4U, Google Maps, Moto X and More!

September 19, 2014 - Written By Tom Dawson

 

Google Play Newsstand Now Offers Paid Content in India and Expands in Europe

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Google has expanded paid content in its Play Newsstand this past week, with it introducing four new countries now able to get access to paid content. The four new countries are: India, the Netherlands, Russia, and Spain. This brings the full list up a little bit, with mostly the Americas and Europe making up the full list, which you can always take a look at here.

Phones 4U Closes Stores and Falls Into Administration

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At the beginning of the week, it was announced that Phones4U had fallen into administration as the High Street retailer was left with no network to sell phones with. EE made a fairly surprising withdrawal from the store which, after the exit of Vodafone had left with essentially no phones to sell their customers. The large amount of debt that investors had laden the retailer with couldn’t have helped any further, and as of writing the administrators, PwC, are still looking at their options which could involve selling off different parts of the company to separate bidders. The companies website has been taken offline, with a more detailed and thorough contact breakdown now in place of the one we saw earlier in the week. It’s been sad news for the 5,560 employees that will more than likely lose their jobs, but with the market almost reaching saturation, it’s unfortunately not a surprise to many of us to see this happen. If you’ve purchased a device from Phones4U with the company’s insurance or something like that then it’s best to take a look at their website to see who to call and of course, your network will take care of you as well.

Kogan Offers ASUS’ Chromebook C200 Online in Australia

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ASUS’ Chromebook C200, the fanless, Bay Trail-packing 11.6-inch version is now available in Australia. Online retailer Kogan is selling the device for AU$359 and for that price, it’s not too bad a deal. Unlike other 11.6-inch Chromebooks there’s a slightly clock speed at 2.4 Ghz and the trackpad is much larger and presumably more comfortable to use. Other than that though, this is just a Chrome OS device like the rest, with only 2GB of RAM, sadly. Overall though, it might make a decent laptop for around the house and simple web browsing.

Google’s Chromecast Now Available From Google Play in Hong Kong and Austria

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The Chromecast has undoubtedly been a big success for Google, and now it’s spreading its wings just a little bit further. The innovative little guy is now available in the Play Store in Austria and Hong Kong. It’s clear that Austria has the better deal here, with the country being able to access lots of Google content to use the Chromecast, whereas Hong Kong only has Movies and no TV shows as of yet. Still, we’re sure local developers will love to get Chromecast support now that it’s more readily available. As always, you can check which devices are available where from Google’s handy list.

Motorola Starts Selling Devices Direct in the UK; Fires Up Moto Maker for New Moto X

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Motorola started selling devices directly in the UK earlier this week, starting with the new Moto G at just £148.99, which is still a great price for an unlocked device of its caliber. Unfortunately though, this is the 3G version, so it might be worth waiting for the 4G version to arrive if that’s important to you. Elsewhere though, you can create your dream Moto X with Moto Maker as that’s now live on their UK website. Even though you can’t build one yet, you can certainly go ahead and put together something nice and cool and then purchase it at a later date. Either way, it’s a good start from Motorola, that’s for sure.

Google Maps Navigation Launches in 19 New Countries

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For some reason, Google seems to think that Trinidad and Tobago are two countries, which is why their support lists 20 new countries, but we’re a little more pragmatic and we’re calling it a square 19, thank you very much. Either way, this is a pretty big deal, turn-by-turn navigation has been a big selling point of Android for a long, long time and now it’s finally going a little more global. The majority of the new nations that can now be told where to go at each junction are in the Caribbean, Africa and South America. Those new countries? They are: Botswana, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia and Tanzania, the Bahamas, Bolivia, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago, Fiji, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Malta.

New Moto X Appears on Motorola’s Australian Website

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The enterprising folks down under at AusDroid have discovered that the new Moto X is listed on Motorola’s website, but you need the right URL to find it and there’s little else listed other than a handful of specs. It’s basically a placeholder page, but this could be a hint that Motorola is following suit as they did in the UK and will be selling directly to customers in Australia. After all, it wouldn’t be a bad idea and with manufacturing set to move to China soon, it’d be much easier to ship the devices over to Australia.