Hottest Android news and rumours for the week ending November 30

Why Google should be commended for making the online shopping process much more harrowing

The most disturbing thing about online shopping, to me, has always been just how easy it is. A couple of clicks, a brief glance at a credit card number, and bang -- there's an order of chicken wings on the way to your door. It's too easy, frankly, as my bank account balance and expanding waistline can attest.

Which is why Google is to be commended for making the process much more harrowing, at least in the case of the Nexus 4. If you haven't heard, the initial production run apparently sold out in about five minutes, ticking off Android fans around the world who weren't quite quick enough on the trigger.

MORE ANDROID: iOS app revenues still four times higher than Android, but Play store growing fast

But then! Google apparently got everything sorted out and the Nexus 4 went back on sale as of Monday -- upon which the Play store began to produce weird error messages and behave erratically, swallowing shopping carts and generally making a nuisance out of itself.

Still, at least it's all ironed out now, right? Well, mostly -- the site appears to be working normally, but you'll still have to wait awhile until you get your hands on your Nexus 4. The 16GB version will ship in four to five weeks, according to the Play store, while the 8GB version will ship in eight or nine.

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A report from the China Commercial Times has touched off widespread speculation that Google is planning to absorb Chrome OS into Android. The report states that Google is readying a sub-13-inch touchscreen Chromebook, blurring the lines between laptops and tablets.

Although there's no direct evidence of Google's plans to merge Chrome OS and Android, some have pointed out that there's plenty of circumstantial evidence to suggest that this is, in fact, the case.

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The Galaxy S 4 rumor mill continues to swirl, though the International Business Times is calling shenanigans on the whole "leaked specs" rumor.

Given the apparent fixation of the lower-level rumor sites on the Galaxy S 4, I'm a little surprised that there's no story making the rounds about the GS 4 being an injectable nano-device that lives in your bloodstream, because pretty much everything else is out there already. Some of the rumors might be right, but mostly by accident -- the only thing that looks remotely credible is the idea that it'll come out sometime early in 2013.

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Data, data everywhere -- the news that the iPhone 5 had quickly removed the Galaxy S III from its place atop smartphone sales charts came early this week, surprising almost no one. According to one analyst firm, the Galaxy S III was briefly the top-selling smartphone in the world -- the first to dethrone the iPhone even briefly.

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While the iPhone is back on top, its bigger cousin might have more reason to sweat the competition, according to ABI Research, which released a report on Monday saying that Android devices are rapidly closing in on the iPad in the tablet market.

(Hat tip: TechCrunch)

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Facebook is apparently encouraging employees to use Android devices instead of iPhones, in what TechCrunch is calling a DroidFooding campaign. If this prompts changes for the Android app, I'm all for it.

(Hat tip: TechCrunch, again)

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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