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Hottest Android news and rumors for the week ending Sept. 28

A relatively quiet week in Android phones nevertheless made a big splash in terms of tablets. The undoubted highlight is the news, via DigiTimes, that Google may be planning two new versions of the Nexus 7 -- one priced at the current $199, the other at just $99.

LAST WEEK: Hottest Android news and rumors for the week ending Sept. 21

AMAZON'S NEW TABLETS: First look: Amazon's new tablet lineup

Assuming that it's reasonably well-constructed and has a feature set comparable to that of the current Nexus 7, a sub-$100 tablet could be a huge seller for Google. However, I have a hard time seeing how they trim the price that far without taking a major loss on every device. Although the Nexus 7 shows that Google has an ability to trim unneeded features in the interest of keeping the price point low, I simply don't know what else they could cut out without serious compromises on functionality.

Actually, I'm curious, readers -- where COULD you economize on the Nexus 7? Feel free to shoot me an email, listed at the end of the piece.

Still, if Google pulls it off, it would be a major coup -- and a major setback for both Amazon and Apple, the company's chief rivals in the tablet space. Amazon's new Kindle Fire lineup would wind up in the same place as its predecessor -- released to generally positive reviews, superseded months later by the Nexus 7 -- and Apple's oft-rumored iPad Mini would likely be priced out of the market, since I haven't heard anything to suggest it'll cost less than $200.

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Citing Spanish-language site MovilZona, Android Authority suggested that LG could be working on a new Nexus phone based on its recently released Optimus G.

The impressive Optimus G, which should be available before the end of the year in the U.S., would be an interesting choice for the next Nexus, which runs the latest version of Android without any manufacturer modifications or tweaks, particularly since it would be LG's first entry into the Nexus lineup.

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The alarming news that your phone could be completely reset by a single line of code on a website caused more than a little stir in the Android world, especially when it was revealed that devices other than the Samsung Galaxy S III could be affected. (Also, that device has since been patched.)

You might want to head over to the page linked here to find out whether your phone or tablet is vulnerable -- apparently, the technique uses the phone's dialer to perform actions without the user's knowledge. That could potentially include a factory reset, which would mean kissing everything you have stored on the device goodbye.

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Verizon Galaxy Nexus Jelly Bean update: It's here! It's here! Actually, it was "here" last week but Verizon didn't break the news until after I'd published, unmannered boors that they are.

Finally, the biggest U.S. carrier has the latest version of Android on the latest Nexus phone. Almost three months after the fact, but hey, the smartphone world is known for its sedate pace, isn't it? Oh ...

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Email Jon Gold at jgold@nww.com and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.

Read more about software in Network World's Software section.


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