Google Cancels Android Event Due To Hurricane

Nathan Eddy is a contributor to eWeek and TechWeekEurope, covering cloud and BYOD

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Google has cancelled a Monday event in Manhattan due to Hurricane Sandy, but Microsoft is going ahead with its Windows Phone 8 launch event

Search engine giant Google announced the cancellation of a hotly anticipated media event in New York City, originally scheduled for Monday, 29 October, at 10:00 a.m. EST, as Hurricane Sandy barrels its way up the East Coast.

In a short message sent to media representatives, the company explained the hurricane was the reason for the cancellation. “We are cancelling our Monday morning event in New York due to Hurricane Sandy. We will let you know our plans as soon as we know more. Stay safe and dry, The Android Team,” the statement read.

Hurricane warning

On Friday afternoon, New York governor Andrew Cuomo issued a state of emergency for the entire state, while NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg has been warning residents of potential flooding in low-lying areas of the city. The Android event was scheduled to take place at Basketball City at Pier 36 on the west side of Manhattan.

The specific details of the event were kept under wraps, although Google dropped a few hints that could reference Google’s Play store, where Android users can download apps to smartphones and tablets.

In the run-up to the event, speculation grew that Google would launch a new tablet or smartphone to complement its Nexus 7 device or unveil the latest version of the Android mobile operating system, known as Key Lime Pie. This weekend, photos and a brief video purportedly showing a 10-inch Nexus tablet, manufactured by Samsung were posted on the web.

The tablet is expected to have a Samsung Exynos 5250 processor, a 5-megapixel camera, 16 GB of storage and a variety of connectivity options, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and near field communications (NFC) technology, which allows mobile devices to establish radio communication with other smart devices by touching them together or bringing them into close proximity.

Windows Phone 8 launch

While Hurricane Sandy may have postponed Google’s big day, rival Microsoft is going ahead with its Monday media event in San Francisco, where the company will debut the latest version of its mobile operating system, Windows Phone 8.

Although the event is expected to focus on the operating system and the release of the software development kit (SDK) for developers, Microsoft could also take the opportunity to unveil its own branded smartphones running Windows Phone 8. The company recently showcased a 10-inch tablet running Windows RT, the Surface, which has been generating considerable buzz.

The last major press event in the technology world also concerned tablet computers. Earlier this month Apple debuted the iPad Mini, designed to compete in the low-cost 7-inch tablet space where the Nexus 7 (pictured) and Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD tablet have been finding success.

The iPad Mini still costs considerably more than the sub-$200 (£124) starting point for the other two tablets, but Apple is likely betting its brand, superior build quality and hundreds of thousands of applications available through their Apple App Store will prove irresitable to customers looking for a tablet device in a more compact form factor.

The Wi-Fi-only edition of the iPad Mini starts at $329, and in the pre-order period the white version sold out almost immediately.

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