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Call it diversity or fragmentation, there’s no getting around the fact the mobile scene’s become riddled with Android-powered handsets. Nearly 4,000 in fact. A recent report from OpenSignalMaps has tracked some 3,997 unique phones, tablets and other connected devices powered by Google’s mobile OS. And while this wide range of gadgets has helped Android become a frontrunner in the mobile race, it’s also caused a staggered ecosystem to maintain. Google hopes to address the issue by selling its flagship Nexus phone directly to consumers, working the gamut of major handset manufacturers for simultaneous launches. In the meantime, we still have a few noteworthy developments from HTC as snapshots of their Desire handset are leaked, while the Japan-based Seraku works on an Android-powered mirror.
Google Nexus devices
The Wall Street Journal dropped a bombshell earlier this week, citing unnamed sources that have revealed Google’s grand scheme for addressing fragmentation in the Android marketplace. It looks like Google will be promoting its flagship Nexus device later this year, rolling out its next OS version, 5.0 Jelly Bean. As part of their strategy, Google will offer early access to the major handset manufacturers, avoiding favoritism even in light of their pending acquisition of Motorola Mobility. There’s no pricing expectations for the Nexus just yet, but Google will sell the Android device unlocked, which means you’ll pay more for the device but you’ll be free of carrier contracts that lock you in for two years. You will, however, need to go to your carrier of choice for a phone and data plan.
HTC Desire C
Moving forward with its One Series, HTC is reportedly working on the Desire C. Possibly next in line after the HTC One V, the Desire C could be one of HTC’s most budget-friendly handsets to date. Leaked images show a 3.5-inch 480x320 screen, a 600Mhz processor, 512MB of RAM and 4GB of storage. The camera is expected to come in at five megapixels, it uses a 1,230mAh battery, and runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The Desire C is likely to replace the Wildfire in terms of HTC’s cheaper devices at an expected retail price just under $260.
Seraku Android-powered mirror
There are all sorts of connected devices out there, from watches to microwaves. But we haven’t seen too many mirrors hit the scene. Japanese company Seraku is changing the Android market with a prototype of an Android-powered mirror. It uses RF proximity sensors to detect where your hands are placed, so you don’t have to smudge the mirror surface to navigate the reflective screen. Demoed at the Smartphone and Mobile Expo this week, the mirror also has a meter that displays water flow and temperature information. The display itself is a separate LCD monitor overlaid with semi-transparent glass. Seraku doesn’t have a commercial product just yet, but they hope to revolutionize bathrooms and hair salons the world over.