Google Makes Q1 Profit, Misses Wall Street Predictions



Google revealed its financials for the three months comprising the first quarter of 2015, and the company continued to see both revenue and profits grow. However, like recent periods the company failed to perform as well as Wall Street analysts had predicted.

The Search giant brought in total revenue of $17.3 billion during the three months ending March 31st, which represented a 17% increase over the same period in 2014. Profit for the quarter was at $4.45 billion, a sizeable 26% hike over the performance from this time last year. Google performed slightly below estimations, with Wall Street predicting revenue of $17.5 billion, but even so share prices rose 3% in the wake of the results. As is often the case, Google makes the most of its revenue from ads, whether that it through search or through services on its Android mobile platform (Android actually makes no direct cash for the company). The Google Play Store is becoming an important part of the company’s financial success with the outlet up 23% in Google?s “other” category. Google has actually revealed that it slipped from the fourth quarter of 2014, the company says that is because the decline of the Nexus brand. Neither the Nexus 6 smartphone flagship from Motorola or the HTC built Nexus 9 tablet are selling well, although it is worth noting that they are not exactly meant to. Despite that blip, Google as a whole is in rude health and the company has even increased job posts by some 9000 employees from last year.

Operating income, operating margin, net income, and earnings per share (EPS) are reported on a GAAP and non-GAAP basis. Non-GAAP operating income and non-GAAP operating margin exclude stock-based compensation (SBC) expense from continuing operations. Non-GAAP net income and non-GAAP diluted EPS exclude SBC expense from continuing operations, net of the related tax benefits, as well as Net Loss from Discontinued Operations. These non-GAAP measures, as well as free cash flow, an alternative non-GAAP measure of liquidity, and non-GAAP constant currency revenues and growth, are described and reconciled to the corresponding GAAP measures at the end of this release. The following summarizes our consolidated financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2015 (in millions, except for per share and shares outstanding information; unaudited)


Google Search gives higher rankings to mobile-friendly web pages starting today

Google Search gives higher rankings to mobile-friendly web pages starting today
If you’re a developer, you best be working on some mobile-optimized pages for your site if you want to get a good placement on Google Search. That’s because starting today, Google will give a higher placement to search results that feature a site with mobile-friendly pages. This all started back in November when Google started to label search results that feature a site optimized for mobile devices.

In March, Google announced that it would start using today a new algorithm that ranks a web page higher in search results if it is optimized for mobile users. Such a page has text that doesn’t require a smartphone or tablet user to zoom-in, or scroll left and right to read. Think of how much easier it is to read a site that has been build for a smartphone or tablet screen.

According to Google, the new algorithm affects search results on all mobile devices, and in all languages globally. The new rankings apply to individual pages, not entire websites. Google adds that the quality of the web page’s content and how it matches up with the search query are still important factors when it comes to ranking a website. Thus, pages not optimized for mobile could still rank higher than pages that have been made mobile-ready.

Google says that if you haven’t yet optimized your site to mobile, you might experience a drop off in traffic. But once your site becomes optimized for mobile, Google will “re-process” your web pages and you will then hear the ka-ching, ka-ching of the cash register once more.

Why Apple’s timepiece is not called the Apple iWatch

Why Apple's timepiece is not called the Apple iWatch
When speculation first surfaced about an Apple built smartwatch, it was thought that the device would be called the Apple iWatch. In light of other products like the Apple iPhone, Apple iPad and Apple iPod, the iWatch moniker seemed to be a no brainer. Even right up to the very day that Apple first unveiled the device, it was considered a foregone conclusion that the product would be called the iWatch.

So it was a big surprise when Apple unveiled the Apple Watch last September. As it turns out, the reason why Apple could not use the iWatch name is that OMG Electronics had applied for the iWatch trademark in September 2012. The company was attempting to raise funds to produce a smartwatch on crowd funding site Indiegogo during September and October of that year. OMG was seeking to raise $100,000 and only was able to raise $1434.

In June 2007, a New York based company called M.Z. Berger & Co. filed to trademark the iWatch name, but was successfully shot down by Swiss watch maker Swatch. The latter argued that the iWatch name would cause confusion with Swatch buyers. In the EU, a firm named Probendi has owned the rights to the iWatch name since 2008. On its website, the company threatens to take legal action against any company that uses the iWatch name in the region. As it is, in Switzerland the Apple Watch name is protected by a trademark owned by Leonard Timepieces which could delay the launch of the device in that country.

“Probendi Limited is the sole entity lawfully entitled to use the name ‘iWatch’ for products such as ‘Apple Watch’ within the European Union, and will promptly take all appropriate legal actions to oppose any unauthorized use of ‘iWatch’ by whomever for that kind of products.”-Warning on Probendi’s website

So if anyone asks you why Apple did not call its smartwatch the iWatch, now you know the answer. Of course, Apple has never said whether it made a bid to buy the iWatch trademark from the current holder in each region like it did with the iPhone and iPad. With the iPhone, Apple had to make a deal with Cisco for the rights to the name. With the iPad, Cupertino accidentally had secured the rights only in Taiwan and had to pay off a company called Proview for the iPad name in mainland China.

Huawei SnapTo hands-on

Huawei SnapTo hands-on

Here in the US, Huawei is still commonly known to do a lot of business in the entry-level segment of the smartphone market. Normally, we’re dealt with aggressively priced on-contract phones, but this time around, they’re going the no-contract route with the Huawei SnapTo, which was just announced recently. During Pepcom’s DigitalFocus event held in New York City, we caught up with the Huawei folks to check out this new, affordably priced device.

Contemporary, that basically sums up the SnapTo’s design. It doesn’t try to be ornate or extravagant, evident by its straightforward design language, but at least it doesn’t exude that downright cheapo feel. Sporting a plastic body, one that features a pleasant “leather-texture finish” with the rear, it helps to offer a grippy feel in the hand – while the smoother plastic bezel around the sides is a nice contrast. Needless to say, the design won’t earn any awards, but like we mentioned already, it’s merely straightforward and ordinary.

The 5-inch 720 x 1280 display is passable for most things, but it’s clearly a low quality panel in there. Why’s that? Well, there’s a subdued tone with the display, one that results in giving it a profound colder tone – so whites exhibit a bluish hue. Viewing angles aren’t that great, made more obvious by the visible distortion at wide angles. And finally, it just lacks the pizazz to capture our attention. At the very least, however, 720p resolution dishes up enough detail.

Running Huawei’s customized Android 4.4 KitKat experience, it’s fashioned in the way that everything is accessed through the homescreen. Meaning, there’s no dedicated apps panel, so all the icons are placed on the homescreen. Considering this is geared towards the entry-level segment, we’re not totally surprised that the experience is pretty superficial in what it offers. It’ll handles all of the basics, but don’t expect an array of secondary features to supplement the usual Android stuff.

Rounding things out, it feature a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 chip, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, 5-megapixel rear camera, and a 2-megapixel front one. All in all, this is something that would appease those on a tight budget – more so if they prefer the no-contract route. Slapped with a $179.99 outright price, you can pick this phone up soon through a handful of online outlets.

Spock’s ‘Live Long and Prosper’ will be your next favourite emoji


Leonard Nimoy, the actor famous for playing Star Trek’s Spock, passed away in February this year, but his legacy will live on in the latest versions of Apple’s OS X and iOS operating systems via an emoji based on his famous gesture.

This will allow people – regardless of whether or not they are Star Trek fans – to include the V-shaped salute in text messages and emails.

The salute was actually included in a batch of new characters by the Unicode Consortium, a group that standardises code for text on computers, in 2014. It is up to individual companies to include the new characters on their platforms, and it looks like Nimoy’s death has spurred Apple to include his salute in tribute.

Motorola intros the Moto Selfie Stick: wood, leather, and a touch of class

Motorola intros the Moto Selfie Stick: wood, leather, and a touch of class
An old legend has it that for every smartphone owner who hates selfie sticks, there are 100 others who constantly use them. Motorola seems to be well aware of this legend, as it just unveiled its first selfie stick, naturally called Moto Selfie Stick.

Now, the Moto Selfie Stick isn’t like the other sticks out there. It’s assembled by hand, and comes in several variants, including one that’s made out of real wood and is dressed in hand-stitched leather (this would make a great pair with that red leather Moto X, wouldn’t it?). As Motorola puts it, “a selfie stick is not just an accessory, it’s an extension of who you are,” that’s why it’s crafting these products as works of art.

So, when will you be able to buy these pieces of art, and for how much? Motorola doesn’t say, but the video embedded below (which, we must ad, is quite brilliant) is proof that the company is seriously serious about the Moto Selfie Stick. Will you get one?