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Google’s New Wireless ‘Charging Orb’ Might Be the Coolest Product Shown Off Today

Matias Duarte coming to Google to head up Android’s user interface was a huge acquisition for all us Android fanboys. Not only has he helped Android to grow up and into its own, but he has influenced many things about the OS since he arrived to help with Ice Cream Sandwich. His former job at Palm has never been more evident before today with Google’s new Charging Orb for the Nexus 4, which looks eerily similar to the Touchstone Charger.

Using the Qi charging standard, Google has created a half-orb that magnetizes to the back of the Nexus 4 for easy charging by just setting your phone on it. The new feature in Android 4.2 named “Daydream” will be activated when set on this dock and the phone will display information from Google Currents and Google Now. There has been absolutely no word on pricing or availability for this accessory but if you’re like us, you are waiting impatiently until it is announced.

Ready to move to wireless charging yet with your Nexus 4?

Via: The Verge

  • zulu208

    damnit, why can’t we get a wireless charging station for the gnex?!

  • Sean Livingston

    I will surely buy this phone when I get the money. Having been on LTE for about a year, it is certainly extremely fast. However, I have realized that I don’t really need to pay such a premium for it. I’m not streaming youtube videos most of the time, I only really use it to stream music; I visit tapatalk quite a bit.but there is nothing that I need it for. LTE just makes it faster for me to vainly consume media, which usually turns out to be a waste of my time anyways. I have heard good things about HSPA+, and I have heard that this phone supports HSPA+ 42 as well, even tough play store says only 21. I read somewhere that it also supports 42, can’t remember where though.

    It does make downloading those ROMs on the go faster though, lol.

  • panicswhenubered

    Time to try and order a Qi orb and a replacement cover for a Nexus4, then do this: http://www.ifixit.com/Story/3056/Galaxy_Nexus_Wireless_Charging

  • sliders7


  • I really hope this Charging Orb takes off and doesn’t disappear like the Q did. This is clearly the most exciting news out today.

  • Won’t Daydream keep eating into battery? Isn’t it like the screen remaining on even when you are doing nothing on it, or am I missing something?

  • joejoe5709

    Cool stuff. If it doubles as an HDMI dock that would be even better!

  • jrronimo

    For anyone that didn’t use a palm device with a touchstone, this is pretty much the greatest thing ever. I’m sold.

  • randompsychology

    webOS is making it’s mark on Android, that’s for sure. Not a bad thing though. Anyone else hear “Exhibition Mode” when they said “Daydream”?

  • moozicmon

    This + GS3 wireless charging case (you’ll find ’em on EBAY) = AWESOME. Definitely announcement of the day.

  • mbaldwin85

    I don’t care what accessories come out for the N4, it still doesn’t excite me. The pricing is great but no LTE and only 8 and 16gb? The 32 on my G Nexus will keep me from ditching it

  • paul_cus

    new wave Touchstone

  • youareme7

    Really stoked for one of these charging solutions to catch on. Might be getting some nokia Qi chargers for the N4. Like the stand and the fatboy pillow; hopefully this gets the price to drop for them.

  • mikeym0p

    I’m glad it’s native on the N4, I cant wait to get wireless charging pads for my car and room.
    I’m also really happy they’re using LCD screens as Daydream and the desk clock that I would normally want displayed on my phone would destroy AMOLED

  • droyd4life

    People, we understand there is no LTE. But it costs $299.99. That’s INSANE for these specs! You simply cannot beat this phone for the price, it dominates.

  • Hello Palm wireless charger.

  • Turb0wned

    Can you Verizon people just shut up already. Stop your crying and ether switch or get a Razr or something.

  • I have one of those for my HP Touchpad. . . .

  • Corey Hass

    Palm Pixi back cover guts ($3) + S3 back cover + touchstone ($6) = wireless charging S3 for under $10


  • Matthew

    So that’s what they decided to use the Nexus Q for. Cut it in half and make it a charger.

  • Randy

    No LTE means no purchase, sorry

  • Jeff Tycz

    I guess they have to use all of those unused Nexus Q cases somehow

  • cswin72
    • youareme7

      sadly i don’t think the palm docks are Qi compatible. They were proprietary.

  • Tom Ball

    If they made a compatible GNex cover I’d be all over this… Perfect for me desk.

  • Gus

    What do you get when you cut a Nexus Q in half?

    • First thing I thought about when Matias whipped this thing out. Lol.

      • Justin W

        Careful with what your whipping out. xD

    • FortitudineVincimus

      the joy of paying $20 more?

      • Guest

        I just ordered one of the old Palm Touchstones off of Amazon for $6, since they’re probably going to be somewhere around $50.

        • Tony

          The Touchstone isn’t Qi compatible.

    • 4n1m4L

      R.I.P. nexus Q. Gone from the play store. Likely ne’er to return.

  • Wicked accessory. Hopefully it catches on for most Android OEMs

  • Mike

    I believe his first version of Android was really Honeycomb, not ICS. Hence why those features (blue “tron” look…) have been brought forward into ICS and JB.

  • Lee

    Will it ever work with Nexus tablets? That could be cool to have sitting on the work desk streaming me information.

    • MentatYP

      Yeah, a universal Nexus wireless charger would be awesome. AFAIK nobody is saying anything about this working with the Nexus 10 so it probably won’t.

  • Bill Mitchell

    I’ll have to wait and see how the reviews are, but I’m seriously considering switching to at&t right now. Being able to pick up a phone for $300 off-contract is just incredible and exactly what I need to be able to continue my gadget addiction!

  • bose301s

    If they release a Galaxy Nexus kit to convert it to wireless charging and can use this then maybe.

    • People have modded G-Nexes with the inductive charging coil from a Palm Pixi. If it’s compatible with this base (and I don’t see why it shouldn’t be), it’s just a matter of choosing one of the two or three methods or developing your own. I’m considering it myself.

  • theentropic

    I would put a case on my GNex if it would be compatible with that….

  • FortitudineVincimus

    I made something like this for my SGS3 for less than $8 thanks to the post on XDA and using an old Palm Touchstone and a Pixi wireless back plate… Right in front of me I have my SGS3 sitting on a Palm Touchstone wirelessly charging. I have a second one in my bedroom as well.


  • Adam Klein

    Damn it…Verizon…damn it

  • MikeSaver

    Is there absolutely no way this will work on the GNEX?

    • Adam Metzner

      Nope. Doesn’t have the hardware. You can hack it into it yourself if you want, thats what I did.

    • Mack

      Maybe. I know there is a mod some people did to get the Palm TouchStone to work with the Galaxy Nexus. The same mod would have to be done (involves magnets and copper/inductive tape) for it to work though.

  • Rich Koos

    And google just partnered with Powermat today! or the powermat wireless charging alliance

  • Liderc

    Doesn’t matter, Nexus 4 fails without LTE and low storage.

  • Finire

    Will the N4 be available on Verizon without LTE? I’m not at a huge loss of LTE being that it’s been spotty coverage for years, and my LTE radios have practically gone to waste.

    • FortitudineVincimus

      Heck no.. VZW is done bringing on non LTE capable phones.

      • hkklife

        Yup, the HTC Rhyme and the Droid 3 (both in 2011) were the carrier’s final 3G releases. It’s all LTE from here on, baby!

    • Adam Metzner

      Verizon is going all LTE in the future. VoLTE is the next step. That why it isn’t going to to have a phone on verizon they have to have 2 radio techs that switch seamlessly. (aka waste of battery)

    • Mack

      Nope. Wish it would hit big red though.

  • Butters619

    It really depends on pricing. I can buy a crap ton of Micro USB cables for $3-4 a piece and have a spare every where I go.

  • RumbaCembe

    I dont have LTE in zimbabwe anyways…Whats the exchange rate on yams to USD?

    • will bartlett

      use google…

    • Lee

      As soon as I get my money from the Nigerian Prince, I will buy the phone for you. I will have more money than I know what to do with.

  • very cool indeed. i would be down for this for sure. i cant tell you how many times i dock and undock my phone every day. use of the charging pins for my Gnex for something like this would REALLY come in handy.

  • droidify

    Awesome, now if they will just make it available. I love how all Nexus devices have pogo pins and virtually zero accessories that can use it.

    • nightscout13

      I know right?

    • michael arazan

      Should be universal for all nexus devices, like the powermat is and other charging pads. I think they would sell a lot more if any android phone could be used with it.

      • Mark Renouf

        It’s better, it’s Qi-compatible so it should work with any Qi-standard charging device. So potentially any accessory for the Lumia 920 and any other Qi-standard charger out there. (But how well remains to be seen.) I’d love to see wireless charge pads show up everywhere (airport, coffeeshop, in cabs).

    • Mark Renouf

      I have the car cradle and the landscape dock for Galaxy Nexus. Both work well. The Nexus S did not have pogo pins. The Nexus One had a drop-in dock. I suspect you’ll see something for this phone (though it’s less necessary now with wireless charging, remote video display, wifi-direct, etc).

  • Mack

    Damn if it wasn’t for my unlimited data on Verizon…

    • Lee

      Off contract purchase??

      • jayray78

        Its not compatible on VZW’s network.

      • Mack

        Not sure what you mean by that. I’ve pretty much accepted that I’ll be buying phones off-contract from now on to keep my unlimited data, Hence why I have yet to use my upgrade. Basically as long as I have a way to keep unlimited data on Verizon I have no reason to switch to a carrier with less coverage and no LTE.

        • I’m in the same boat as you, but still considering switching. Mainly because Verizon still charges me out the wazoo, even if it’s less than new subscribers would pay. $50/mo on T-Mobile sounds pretty sweet.

          • Mack

            It does sound good but where I live, T-Mobile is just as bad if not worse than Sprint.

      • thats what im doing keeping my gs3 on vzw and getting prepaid with tmobile.

    • Sean Livingston

      cancel it, buy phone, go to straight talk.

      • PhillipCun

        there is a HUGE difference in quality

        • Justin W

          Are we talking a BAD difference? I’m interested in flipping to Straight Talk, and will probably do so anyway, but how bad is it?

          • Rich Koos

            The service and coverage will not nearly compare to Verizon’s

          • PhillipCun

            @jt122333221:disqus Verizon has always been the best wireless provider in the states in terms of fastest network and most reliable coverage. They spend the most money upgrading their networks than any other carrier.

            They been rated number one for a long time. Not to say Straight Talk isn’t good, but in terms of quality nothing comes near Verizon.

      • Justin W

        My plans exactly.

    • Larizard

      no stick with ur unlimited data

  • Neomastermind

    I want it. It’s not anything new, but I want it and the N4.

  • Artune

    For some reason my Galaxy Nexus is looking quite small all of a sudden -_-

    • Jake

      Not to me. Just picked up a brand new on eon craigslist for $250 since the N4 won’t be on big red. I’ll keep it for the next year hopefully get an LTE nexus then. I have an upgrade to use but, gotta keep that unlimited data somehow.

  • Somehow incorporate this for the Galaxy Nexus and I’m in.

  • David Hussey

    This is the ONE thing that makes me miss my Palm Pre. Thank you Matias Duarte for your continuing influence.

  • No, NEED LTE. Can’t be without ever again

    • Droidzilla

      I just tried out a Galaxy Note II on T-Mobile HSPA+ the other day, and it ran at over 20Mbps download speeds. That’s as good as I ever get on Verizon LTE.

      • Really? Well damn, this comment may have just pushed me over the edge.

        • Droidzilla

          Check your area; YMMV. Best bet is to buy it and try it for a week or so (most telnets have a 14 day return policy). If it doesn’t work, at least you know and you’re probably only out something like $30-50.

      • i get 70mbps down on my gs3 on vzw lte

  • I want a N4 for almost just this reason.

    Or I want this for my Galaxy Nexus.