Is Nokia secretly planning to sell Android phones again?

In today's Android roundup: Nokia may be clandestinely plotting to reenter the Android phone market. Plus: Amazon gives away 30 free Android apps, and HP engineers a luxury Android smartwatch designed by Michael Bastian

By , ITworld |  Mobile & Wireless, Android

Microsoft's purchase of Nokia's mobile division gave most of us the impression that Nokia was done with mobile phones. But suspicious job listings posted on LinkedIn recently may indicate that Nokia is planning a mobile comeback, and it might be based on new Android phones.

According to NDTV:

PhoneArena, citing a Russian publication, notes that out of the posted LinkedIn job listings, few have already closed - indicating that the Finnish company found the fitting professionals. The report claims that one of the job openings at LinkedIn for a photography engineer says that the company is in search of "a mobile photography engineer with experience writing camera drivers for Android."

Lastly, the report suggested that the hiring process is being carried out by team that designed the recently released Nokia Z Launcher, which is compatible with smartphones running Android 4.1 or higher.

More at NDTV

Nokia might make Android phones again

Is it just me or does this strike anybody else as being more than a little funny? Microsoft spent a lot of money buying Nokia's mobile division, but it didn't get the Nokia name permanently and it killed Nokia's Android products not too long after taking over. Now it seems that Nokia itself might rise from its mobile grave and return to the Android market.

If Nokia returns to Android, it has to wait until 2016 to do so. Apparently Nokia cannot use the Nokia brand for mobile devices until after December 31, 2015. So it makes perfect sense for the company to begin laying the groundwork for new Android products in 2016 by hiring new staff now.

So did Microsoft get taken for a ride here or what? It's possible that Nokia conned Microsoft into doing it a favor by getting rid of a division it didn't want any more, and by ridding the company of Stephen Elop as CEO. It's too early to know if Nokia is really going to return to the Android market. But don't forget that old saying that where there's smoke there's probably a fire.

I suspect that it may be Nokia that has the last laugh here. Take that Stephen Elop!

Amazon gives away 30 free Android apps
GeekWire reports that Amazon is offering 30 free Android apps in its app store.

According to GeekWire:

Bargain shoppers with Android phones have 30 reasons to give Amazon’s Appstore a shot over the next two days. The company is offering a suite of apps worth more than $100 for free to anyone who uses its online storefront.
The apps span a wide variety of categories, and include Sonic the Hedgehog, popular read-it-later service Instapaper, Kayak Pro and FlightRadar Pro. In addition, Amazon is offering a couple of big-ticket apps which cost more than $20 each – Essential Anatomy 3 and the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary – as a part of the sale as well.

More at GeekWire

Amazon free apps for Android

This looks like a pretty good deal if you want to give Amazon's app store a shot. I doubt it will really draw many people permanently away from Google Play, but you have to give Amazon credit for trying.

Here's a complete list of the free Android apps in Amazon's store:

Allrecipes Dinner Spinner Pro
Bills Reminder
CalenGoo
Carcassonne
Convertor Pro
Daily Workouts
Docs To Go Premium
Drawing Pad
Essential Anatomy 3
Food Diary and Calorie Tracker PRO
Fraction Calculator Plus
Flightradar24 Pro
Home Budget Manager
Instapaper
KAYAK PRO
KeepTrack Pro
Language Coach
List Master Pro
Little Piano (Pro)
MathsApp Graphing Calculator
My Alarm Clock
Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, 8th edition
PDF Max
Photo Editor+
Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing
To-Fu Fury
Ultimate Guitar Tabs and Tools
Weather Live
White Noise
WiFi File Explorer PRO

I believe that this free app giveaway is over at the end of the day. So grab them now if you want them!

HP's Android compatible smartwatch
Engadget reports on Hewlett-Packard's gorgeous luxury smartwatch.

According to Engadget:

Despite their utility, smartwatches remain a geeky niche item thanks to a certain lack of je ne sais quoi. However, HP is partnering with a retailer called Gilt to build an Android and iOS compatible smartwatch that may finally tick the style box, thanks to US designer Michael Bastian. He'll take care of the design, which will feature a circular, 44mm stainless steel case and three swappable bands: black rubber, brown leather, olive green nylon and a limited edition black.

More at Engadget

HP luxury smartwatch
Image credit: Engadget

Wow, I have to admit that that is one beautiful smartwatch! Frankly, I've been a bit of a luddite about all of the wearable stuff. The watches I've seen so far have been rather ugly and drab looking, but this one might be the model that gets me interested in buying one. I generally prefer black so this watch hits the color sweet spot for me.

Of course looks aren't everything, and it has to perform enough useful functions to provide real value to users. Still, the HP watch is definitely easy on the eyes and it should be very interesting to check it out after it's been released. At the very least it should spur other smartwatch manufacturers to improve their offerings in a design sense.

If you want to get a heads up about this Michael Bastian designed smartwatch, you can sign up on the Gilt site for sale updates and other information.

What's your take on all this? Tell me in the comments below.

The opinions expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the views of ITworld.

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