ArsTechnica highlights the hack on the Samsung Galaxy Gear watch so that it breaks out of the ‘walled function garden’ that Samsung placed it in, and allow it to almost any Android app. As wearables becomes the new technology battleground, the battle between ‘companion’ and ‘standalone’ will continue… just as the old one-box or two-box challenge dogged the PDA/mobile field at the turn of the century.
Posts Tagged ‘android’
Since launch, Windows Phone has always had the games under the Xbox Live banner. So why release one of their own Xbox Live titles on Android?
The smart thing to do would be to build up an Xbox ecosystem over a number of mobile platforms which includes Windows Phone. Microsoft’s work with Unity to help the cross-platform development tool is probably the biggest signpost. By growing Xbox as a whole, but working with a middleware engine that allows fast cross-porting between Windows Phone, iOS, and Android, Microsoft can increase the reach of the gaming brand, and at the same time enhance the software catalogue on Windows Phone with the marquee names being released across the three ecosystems at the same time
More thoughts over on All About Windows Phone.
The Nook HD, now available for just £79 for 8GB in the UK, is a nice piece of kit. It’s not cutting edge, but it does the job, its comfortable to read on for long periods, and with the inclusion go Google Play, you can be sneaky and install the Kindle app if you’re locked in to Bezos’ ecosystem.
It is possible to use the Nook HD and Nook HD+ as purely Kindle readers, which does feel a touch subversive as a user, and I did wonder how sales from the Barnes and Noble store have performed since the opening up of the Kindle. Interestingly Managing Director Jim Hilt told me earlier this month that “sales have not been diminished with the inclusion of Google Play.”
Barnes and Noble still has a significant number of apps available through the Nook Store, but having Google Play available should give the switched-on user more confidence to buy a Nook. If for any reason the Nook ecosystem was switched off, the inclusion of Google Play, and the ability to side load content and apps over the USB cable would mean the tablet would still be usable.
Read more on my recent Forbes article.
As if the world of smartphones wasn’t satisfied with Microsoft buying Nokia, Google have announced the new version of Android (v4.4) will be called…
Seriously was Google so annoyed that nobody had written about Android for eight hours that they just rolled out the wackiest, craziest, idea possible? With Kit-kat advertised on every Android handset, and Nexus handsets advertised on ever Nestlé chocolate wafer bar for the next few weeks, it reminds me of the sort of crazy moves Google used to pull on April Fools Day in the past.
I’ll be interested to see how the Nestle boycott around baby milk (babymilkaction.org) will impact on Android.
It might be a derivate of the regular Galaxy S4, but the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini is a nice size in my hand, does all the basic smartphoen tasks well, and burns through the battery far too quickly.
A few extra millimetres of depth would not have spoiled the lines of the S4 Mini, but would have allowed a larger battery compartment to be placed into the design. FInding another 200-300mAh with slightly more volume would have made the S4 Mini a handset that can get through the day without the user having to make any compromises in how they use the handset.
Samsung’s designers had it easy with the S4 – they just threw everything into the chassis, and made it as big as it needed to be. The S4 Mini needed a bit more style, a bit more love, and some rational decisions. This smartphone is quite simply, a fantastic idea that needed more focus on it’s own achievable goals from Samsung. And it didn’t get it.
My full review is over on Forbes.
Fascinating write up from Lookout on the professionalism of the Android malware industry in Russia:
Organized groups of Android malware authors are operating like startups: tapping multiple individuals or organizations for specialization in different business areas, leveraging online tools for promotion and developing affiliate programs. At least one Russian malware “startup” has been discovered earning tens of thousands of dollars per month and operating thousands of websites through their affiliates.
This is one advantage to well curated app stores – if you restrict your downloading to these sources then you’re far less likely to be caught out by these apps. If you find something you like or someone sends you a link, remember to search for it in the store, rather than following the link.
Classy footnote from Marco Armenti, as the ‘high sales / low use’ questions around Android tablets continue:
I offered to give my Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire to Betaworks in the Instapaper acquisition, but they had so many of both sitting around already that they declined. Tech companies with mobile apps can practically tile walls with outdated Android devices. They’re the new AOL CDs.
So Android Tablets have a market share (in sales) of around 56%, but in terms of browser share they have 28%, in terms of the share of mobile advertising it drops down to 14%. What’s gone wrong, or do desk drawers really like the Nexus 7?
ZDNet ask “Can any tablet OS challenge Android and iOS?”
Hold on a minute. That’s the second question. The first question is “Can Android’s tablet OS challenge iOS?” and right now I still think the answer is not yet definitive. Just because lots of manufacturers have pushed out Android tablets onto store shelves around the world does not mean it’s established. I could ship twenty million Palm OS handsets and be ‘established’ given that logic (or 2.7 million BlackBerry 10 devices…).
The iPad range is established, and users are comfortable. I’ve yet to see indications that any other manufacturer has stepped up to deliver an Android tablet system that a significant number of consumers would buy, as opposed to pockets of Xperia and Galaxy fans around the world.
James Kendrick takes a look back at the historical bane of computing (keeping your hardware drivers current on your Windows based desktop), and draws contrasts both to Microsoft’s Windows 8.1, but also issues in the Android ecosystem.
The mobile space today, with the majority of customers who are not tech-savvy, calls for a change to the ecosystem. Continuing the way it is currently, both in the Windows and Android ecosystem, is a recipe for disaster. The time to change is now, no matter how it upsets hardware partners. Once customers are lost due to the way things are, they will not come back. A great user experience is not a luxury, it is a requirement.
Looks like either the techies haven’t learned, or the business model for new hardware outweighs the idea of updating sensibly specced hardware that’s only a few years old.
Not sure if it’s cutting edge comedy or actual coverage of Sony’s new 6.4 inch HD screened Xperia Z Ultra on BBC News:
Those concerned about using such a big device for quick tasks are also offered an optional bluetooth add-on which can be paired to the handset using NFC (near field communication) to make calls, view text messages or stream music.
Sounds like Sony have (re)invented the mobile part of a mobile phone.
Over on Forbes…
To recap, I’m taking a narrative approach to reviewing the Samsung Galaxy S4. By using the device in day to day life, rather than a forensic examination of every single feature, I’m hoping to get a better feel of the device as a tool to be used every day by ‘normals’, rather than racing to meet a deadline and working down a bullet point list of new features… This week, after some surprisingly nice weather in Scotland, I’ve been out and about with the S4 and seeing how the camera performed.
On Friday there were more Vines shared on Twitter than Instagram photos. According to Topsy Analytics… there were about 2.37 million links to vine.co shared on Twitter over a 24-hour period as of about 11:30 pm PT Friday night. That’s well ahead of the 2.14 million links to instagram.com that Topsy counted in the same 24 hours.
What changed? I suspect the increased user base through the release of Vine on Android on the Monday before these numbers has a lot to do with it. Let’s see how many of those new users are retained in the next few weeks. If Vine is going to go anywhere, it needs to retain the curious.
The internal inquiry say everything okay, and blames it all on Android fragmentation.
While the BBC must do all that is reasonably practicable to ensure that viewers can access its on-demand content in a range of convenient and cost-effective ways, this did not necessarily mean that it would always be expected to launch new features on different platforms simultaneously.
Nothing to see here, carry on, please stop pestering our mobile developers who can’t handle the multiple variants issue. At least the BBC Trust promise to watch the mobile app during 2013… Which is nice of them.
It’s a €350 Android phone, with a 4.3 inch screen a dual-core 1.2 GHz processor, 16MB of on-board storage, and 1 MB of Ram. pretty middle of the road specs for an Android 4.2 device. But it’s a ‘fair’ phone…
The first-ever Fairphone combines social values with smart, radically open design that considers the full lifecycle of the product. Worker welfare initiatives and conflict-free minerals put people first every step of the way. Transparency is paramount, from materials and production to pricing.
One to keep an eye on, not for pricing and tech, but to see if people will go for a project like this, or simply grab the latest Galaxy from Samsung.