Monday, November 28, 2011
Take it, and it is immediately clear that they are accompanied by the quality of the phone. It 'quite a handful to 136 x 68 mm, but nice just 9mm thin. Size, is also surprisingly lightweight 135g, mainly because of the case made entirely of plastic. 4.65in capacitive touch screen takes up most of the front and almost disappears when the phone is turned off, when it was shiny polished black glass.
And what a display. This is a Super HD AMOLED number, with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels, all crammed in less than 316ppi. It is larger than 0.3in Galaxy S II Samsung logo and a real breakthrough on this phone, 800 x 480. With a wide viewing angle, it is probably the best screen you'll see on any mobile phone today.
At the bottom of the screen is touch-sensitive panel with only two of the four-cylinder as standard control of Android (and back home), more multi-tasking button, which displays all open applications as thumbnails. The buttons disappear when the display is not in use, adding that effect glossy black when the rest of the phone. Loss of control of research and the App is not too much trouble, as the menu options are now pop up in different applications and application is available on-screen widgets.
From the beginning, you are in doubt that it is Ice Cream Sandwich. Where updates over the last three years has added features and fixes glitches, this version has a new look, but looks somewhat like the Honeycomb version 3.0 which was shown on the shelves.
This is a more sophisticated, however, a number of nice little touches that not only is better, but helps you work more intuitively and - where the image of your face to open the device, for example, the action appears in applications like Google Maps which allows you to access the main menu to go to the first.
Seoul: South Korea's Samsung Electronics has launched Monday at the home of its new Android-powered devices Galaxy Galaxy note, and said it hopes to sell up to two million.
The BlackBerry phones, BlackBerry OS 7 and improved, as well as promising, the BBX consolidated platform, and even an Apple-esque leaks about the new phone (codenamed London) are not sufficient to satisfy your end-users, attract new mobile applications, and influenced by a great cultural change. Even Windows Phone 7 is gaining momentum, thanks to the engaging user experience, as well as a healthy and growing list of applications.
Corporate IT is finally changing its position on the world's mobile-centric BlackBerry. Or, as Eric Zeman, InformationWeek recently declared: "Since the iPhone replaces BlackBerry Boardroom, iPass says."
It is time to take a closer look at the candidates to replace BlackBerry. For several weeks, I tested the iPhone 4S (AT & T), Google Android (Gingerbread version) running on a Samsung Galaxy SII (version T-Mobile and the other AT & T) and run Windows Phone 7.5 on a radar 4G HTC (T-Mobile) and Nokia Lumia 800 (not available in the U.S. yet).
I tried to actually use the phone every day, rather than spending time researching the different glasses and try all its features. In other words, this comparison focuses on ease of use and convenience of every platform. In fact, there are many useful features that I found and could not find room for this comparison. I hope to share some of the comments section of our readers' as well.
They are, in fact, the BlackBerry user through and through. I used one in years past, sometimes to test some of the other platforms. I recently moved my full-time loyalty to the iPhone smartphone, 4S, thanks for shedding of corporate IT policy, the parent company of InformationWeek, TechWeb.
I did my best to mimic the experience of the phone in any environment. It 'a little' harder than it sounds, because many of the underlying services - notifications, location-based services, social networking integration, and so on - different from each other. Tongue and all of them to use Wi-Fi, GPS, mobile communications and applications.
Smartphone choice comes down to a handful of elements: the design, overall user experience, business support available applications and security, and a mixed bag of other features - including the camera, cloud services, voice activated services, and performance issues such as the speed of the browser.
There is one more thing: Some buyers care much about the concepts of transparency - the ability to run applications that want to use the phone with any network, change the phone without any restrictions. Other buyers want only the most simple, error-free experience, and do not want to deviate from the preset choices. Neither is wrong, it's just a personal decision, and tell the truth, some do not even know that it is a choice that can be done.
In this regard, Apple and Google sit on opposite ends of the spectrum, the one that controls all the applications on the mobile operating system (Apple), the other creates a somewhat 'open, which is used in many mobile ecosystem quite easy to apply ( Google). Microsoft is sitting in the middle, choosing not to produce phones (for now), but very strict rules about the hardware operating system works.
These are difficult decisions, especially since most people have to live with the choice of two years (the duration of contracts for standard transport) in these two years, everything changes again dramatically.
You can not go wrong with any of these platforms, from an end user perspective. I chose the iPhone for now because it marries my personal and professional a manner which may amount to another platform altogether. But Android is damn close, and with Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0), it can actually exceed iOS. In fact, if Samsung Galaxy Nexus is an even better version of the Samsung Galaxy SII, I would have waited to make my final choice. And in another year, keep it as Nokia and other manufacturers best equipment for Windows Phone 7 as Microsoft continues to improve its operating system provided with Apollo, I regret my choice again.
Friday, November 25, 2011
to move. 5.3 "screen is small enough to fit in your pocket, but also provides a large enough area for editing a spreadsheet, browse and play back HD video. Read on to find five reasons why the Galaxy should see the next Android device !
1.Massive HD screen
Yes, packets Note Galaxy in a huge screen. What's even better is that the screen is AMOLED variety. AMOLED screens offer deep blacks, richer colors and this effect is especially fun on the screen by mass.
Note: a special weapon hidden inside its thin shell. E-Pen is an accessory that allows users to draw, write and take notes on the screen immediately. A small button on the side allows the functionality that continues to rely on a legal pad to take screenshots from any part of the operating system.
Note Galaxy is powered by one of the fastest processors on smartphones currently. The processor of the note is lightning fast at 1.4GHz Dual Core and are able to do almost anything you throw at it. 1080p High Note may video clips on his screen profile 720p due to the combination of a powerful processor and graphics chip. You'll have no problem playing the latest HD movies and games Android. The specification also makes it eligible for an updated Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) in the near future!
On the inside amazing rapid and massive screen, the note is expected to be very poor in the department of battery life. However, the combination tablet phone is just a consequence of the 2500 mAh battery Stunner.
5.Perfect media device
Galaxy is apparently the best portable entertainment device that can be obtained on the market today. Back of the device includes an 8 megapixel camera that shoots 1080p video too. The front has a 2-megapixel unit of video calls and self portraits.
Note Galaxy sells for Rs 34,999 in India and comes with a free leather case included. This is a fair price to pay for what is probably the most unique device to hit the market for a while. Get it if you want a device that would replace both your smartphone and tablet.
The main reason employees want Android, iPhone and iPad especially because they know they can do a better job with them. Smart CIOs will cut through the confusion and see the iPad for what it is: a chance to leave the trappings techniques that have isolated the part of business for decades.
"Some of the best of us will say good riddance" to the old ways, Aaron Freimarkt, IT director at Apple Tekserve services company that helps Fortune 1000 companies adopt iPad, told me recently. "Now we are able to focus on people with a productive with technology. "
Presentation: 15 Ways to work is iPad
Android devices follow the same trajectory of the rocket carrier and the iPhone. MobileIron vendor Mobile Device Management says he gained 1,000 customers in the new company in the last 10 months. At least 50 percent of the clientele is MobileIron to deploy Android devices, especially in the pilot programs. (Today, Apple says nine of the 10 Fortune 400 companies are deploying or testing iPhone and iPad).
"As companies prepare for 2012, we expect increased pressure to adopt Android," said Ojas Rege, vice president of products MobileIron. "There will be a maximum of Android devices coming to the company after the holidays and a peak in the second half of the year, several devices are updated."
It is, Fired Up Android owners to help get the Android devices currently in pilot phase for the use of large companies next year. All this raises the question: Is Android devices ready?
History 2011: Mobile Malware
The opening of the Android platform, as well as many variations of the operating system, devices, and carrier configurations, have joined forces to create a rich breeding ground for malware - despite claims to the contrary by Chris DiBona, Google open source manager of programs. Trend Micro, for example, reported a huge increase of 1410 percent in the number of threats Android January to July this year.
"Google's Android OS has become a magnet for malware," Constantine von Hoffman writes CIO.com Blogger. "The domain of the smartphone platform is a change in security risk much bigger than Apple's iPhone."
To be honest, Good Technology, Chief Technology Officer Nicko van Someren icon predicting Apple's iPhone, often predicted the malware-free App Store because of a curator, but also made the target of attacks in the coming year. He cites the ability to jailbreak your iPhone with one-touch Jailbreakme.com, which will open the device for malware.
"The technology uses Jailbreakme.com potentially useful for the ungodly," says Van Someren. In other words, the malware authors may be able to jailbreak the iPhone without the owner's knowledge.
Presentation: The best iPhone applications for the 15 Busy CEO
Researcher Charlie Miller recently wrote a malicious program that looked like a tool for monitoring the stock market and obtained from the watchful eyes of the procedure for checking App Store. The app will connect to its server and allow it to download malware onto your iPhone. Thus, Miller has shown that malicious programs that may already exist in the App Store.
DSI in a difficult situation
Android providers are working to strengthen security problems. "We will see an increasing number of actions taken by suppliers and manufacturers such as Google phone to lock down systems and are less vulnerable to malware," said Van Someren.
But therein lies the rub. The DSI bump up against people who want their consumer rights to Android devices in the network, until the suppliers for Android devices as close to prepared as possible for the company. The discrepancy between these two forces will be in a difficult DSI next year.
Just take a look at the $ 200 Amazon Kindle Four shelf, which by many accounts, must have a great holiday season. Four New Kindle owners will probably want to receive at least the courier on the device running a custom Gingerbread Android 2.3 OS. Consequently, the Kindle Four potential burn in the company.
Consider the technical criteria for evaluating MobileIron devices to support in its suite of mobile device management: A system must be able to encrypt data, configure e-mail remotely, lock protection support password and wipe, configure, secure, install applications, and establish the identity by a certificate.
The blade idea is powered by a 600 MHz processor and has a 3.5 inch screen, while 280 ID Idea is powered by a 528 MHz processor and includes a 2.8-inch screen. The two devices running Android 2.2 Froyo and other specifications are identical on both devices. They include a 3.2 megapixel camera, expandable memory of WiFi connectivity up to 32 GB with a microSD card.
These units come preloaded with Facebook, Twitter, Orkut, YouTube, Opera Mini and TV applications Idea. Users can also get an exclusive agreement, which includes 3,500 INR data on the value of free services for 3G subscribers idea to buy a RS. 259 pack to use this offer.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray analyst said Monday he believes that Google's Android Market has generated about 7 percent of gross income the Apple App Store has been since its inception.
"In other words, it appears that Apple has about 85-90% market share in dollars spent on mobile applications," he wrote in a note to investors. "While Google has closed the gap in terms of dollars spent on the application last year and we believe will grow faster than Android smartphones from Apple, we believe Apple is able to maintain 70% dollar share of mobile employees in the next 3-4 years. "
"So, with a total of approximately 6.75 billion downloads to date, we believe, some 90 million of them were paid apps," he said of Android. "By way of comparison, we believe Apple generated $ 4.9 billion in gross sales since inception through September quarter, and 14% of application downloads on App Store overall was paid apps. "
Regarding the average selling price, suggesting Munster are numbers that Android users pay more for a single application, but you pay less for applications in general. The 50 best-paid Android applications have an average retail of $ 3.79, compared with an average retail of $ 2.01 on the Apple App Store.
Based on the fact that Google has 200 million Android devices in total, Munster estimated that there are an average of 34 applications on each device Android. This compares with about 71 programs each device IOS.
In June, Munster were interviewed developers Annual Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, and found that 47 percent of respondents to develop applications for Google Android and Apple iPhone OS. But, all 45 developers, said he spoke to the iPhone OS is the easiest platform to develop and to gain the best application.
Stressing the importance of mobile application stores in the future, an estimate is required platforms, like iPhone OS and Android for the production of 14 billion dollars in direct sales in 2012. Although the number of applications downloaded from Android is expected to exceed iPhone OS App Store, Apple iPhone, iPad, iPod touch platform is expected to generate $ 2.86 billion, profits for the year 2016, compared to only $ 1.5 billion Android.
Ask him how he sees Android head and is convinced that the open source operating system will be mobile ubiquitous, powering digital devices across the board - refrigerators and heaters for any mobile device.
"Let's see what power ... even cars, perhaps," said the promoter of 24 years, Android Portugal. In Bangalore to attend and deliver the keynote address at Droidcon India, the first International Conference of Android in the country, Diogo Ferreira believes that Android has the potential to transform the digital world as we know it. For example, speaks of a Cisco presentation where he saw a smartphone with a tablet built into it (which is done in Android), so when you go to a meeting, you can take the pill from the phone and they do. Being open source, Android, he said, has the potential to go far. "The interesting thing is that is so open that if you want, you can simply take the code and take in any direction."
Mr. Ferreira, who is currently pursuing his doctorate, is a well known name in the Android community. In addition to developing applications that have been popular, and contribute to meaningful code, the developer of young people is part of an open source community, CyanogenMod, which maintains a version of Android Community.
Aftermarket firmware for mobile phones based on Android operating system, Android CyanogenMod is a distribution that can be installed on the device at the time of purchase (not pre-installed or modified for Android devices is in progress). Although it functions - such as private browsing, or something as simple as an FM radio, which the manufacturer may choose whether to accept - not in the official Android-based firmware provides manufacturers like HTC and Samsung. The Android versions offered by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are often greatly modified. Mr. Ferreira says that the distribution of CyanogenMod likely to change. It also serves as a platform for developers who can create what they want and put it on their own equipment. For example, he points out, if you're worried about privacy and follow-up, you can use your own custom version of Android, which "provides a complete control device." Even if the industry was not very favorable third-party firmware development, things began to change. Mr. Ferreira pointed out that some manufacturers such as Sony Ericsson, Samsung and LG are very favorable.
Android has problems with "hardware interface" and the general perception that it is still an operating system for geeks is something that Mr. Ferreira is quick to reject. He believes that often erroneous comparisons. For example, he said that when the inevitable comparison with the iPhone is made, people compare the low-end processing equipment slower with the iPhone. "It's not a fair comparison." In fact, if you compare a high end gadget, Android offers an experience much smoother and faster, he said. The cracks in the interface, it adds , is currently undergoing major improvements to Google.
While distributions like the one he is working to "play tricks" to give a better experience on hardware less expensive, says he has still many bottlenecks. But ideally, he believes that an open platform, Android should be able to bridge the gap between high-end phones and cheaper. "So even if the performance is not optimal, should people who can not afford an iPhone could be a part of the ecosystem," he insists.
Another major challenge facing open source operating system is to maintain the cohesion between the different versions (or modification) of the operating system. For example, there are many versions of Android that OEMs are different (as KindleFire Amazon), so what happens when there is a change to Android? "For Android itself, the main challenge I foresee is the business of maintaining different versions and competing Android, Android may end up with more than its nearest competitor itself." In an ideal open, this problem does not exist. CyanogenMod, for example, have provided patches for Android, while Android operating environment - the area of telecommunications and gadgets - is closed by default.
Ice Cream Sandwich
Earlier this week, Google released the code of Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). Mr. Ferreira said to be one of the new developments on the block, and is eager to see what the hackers are now going to do with this new code base.
We see synergies with Google TV (which is also based on Android), Chrome (Google netbook OS), Android, he says. It 'just a matter of time before all these services are beginning to converge, it seems, Mr. Ferreira.
Amazon has a few rough edges to smooth out the Android, but in my experience has not gone far enough to compete with iPad elegance and polish. Again, it was not necessary: $ 199, Amazon Kindle fire did not have to be big. It was pretty good.
I hope the conflagration Kindle for months. I have an iPhone and iPad 2-one, and have spent some time with other pills also: Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9, Motorola Xoom and Research in Motion Playbook in particular. But what I really wanted something that looked more like my second-generation Kindle in hand, but with the ability to run some applications and sometimes watch videos. Lighting the fire seemed to do the trick.
Except that it does not work. Although nearly half a pound lighter than the iPad 2 actually feels heavier, much due to its rectangular shape. It remains in your hand anywhere near as good as the second iPad much more I can only imagine how much more painful to keep Kindle will fire big rumors.
Also disappointing that the issue of weight is the software is much worse. Amazon has forked Android and put a lot of work to smooth the user experience. But not enough. Even in an area that should shine on Amazon - the experience of reading books - the interface is slow and clumsy, with a delay between the cracking towers page / reader.
This is actually exacerbate the approach to applications by Amazon. Android already behind Apple's App ecosystem hard, but most of the large, branded applications that use are available for Android. Not only the fire. Amazon has yet to bless many of them, and it is difficult if not impossible for the mainstream user to install applications. In some cases, such as Google Apps, Amazon seems to consciously without them. In others, probably has not had time to accept them yet.
In both cases, it is boring.
Yet, I think this affects the fire passed. The basic price of price of $ 199, Amazon is likely to be presented with the tablet "when Volkswagen," as Jason Perlow of ZDNet writes. No, not as polished as Apple's "Mercedes-esque" experience IOS, regardless of its size (a heavy, bulky fire-fighting equipment) or inside (awkward experience forked Amazon Android). But $ 199, will the masses find out? It is not likely.
Also, do not forget, most of the world does not have an iPhone, and has not had to "Mercedes" experience. All the problems they have identified the problems of comparison, for the most part. If users have not played with an iPhone, it is unlikely to be too upset about how the light falls Kindle iPhone experience.
In any case, there is some evidence that the fire there is cannibalizing sales of other tablets, the iPad does not. If someone wants the iPad, it seems, is likely to continue to buy. At least so far.
It is, after all, how the smartphone market has played. The iPhone has had its own for a while, gradually gave way to the Android-based devices that charge over 50 percent of this market.
it. And for those who could afford it, was the slim, stylish Razr hip everywhere. Motorola today launched another strong Razr (known as Droid Razr in other parts of the world) that run on Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and at a price of Rs 33,990.
Droid Razr is another smartphone that significant surface similarities with other people who came before, that the latest Bionic Droid. Its biggest selling point is its slim profile, a large 4.3-inch display, 1GB of RAM, 1.2 GHz dual-core processor and 8-megapixel camera back.
Motorola Motorola RAZR comes with MotoCast app that allows you to stream or download content from your PC directly to your device, so that your personal content is always at hand. Watch movies on a screen that features a wide range of colors than most LCD HDTV. And when you're tired of looking (as if), using the front camera cinema-quality 720p HD video and 8 megapixel rear-facing camera with even greater record 1080p HD video to create movies, all specific Technology Image Stabilization To make your life to art without breaking a sweat.
Not only is the thinnest RAZR boast 4G phone 7.1 mm, is also scratch-resistant screen made from Corning, and is supposed to be water-repellent coating. This is to keep them in order after it was accidentally left pants pocket trip through the washing machine is one thing that I tested. It 'also a return Kevlar. But I do not expect that to stop a bullet more than I expect to make a call after the fall through the centrifuge.
The screen is similar to the Razr bionics. I always find the screen a little busy and too complicated. A new feature on the Razr that lists your favorite contacts as image icons at the top of the screen helps you to add some simple configuration to a non-scrambled. Just a touch on a photo, and call or text messages almost immediately. Unfortunately, the simple features seem to stop there. This is an overload of social media. Multiple screens are able to throw as much information about you at all times, since it is difficult to understand what is happening.
For example, a screen so that everything we do constantly scrolling pictures your friends have posted on Facebook. Unauthorized and unnecessary. About 90 percent of the time, I do not say what cute or cute friends Cat Picture display when I look on Facebook. Why should I see flashing on my phone screen when all I want is to check my e-mail or text a friend who has seen me personally?
On the positive side, is the RAZR certainly one of the lightest phones I've ever tested. So I initially found below just weight alone. But he seems to have the stature to give performances on any smartphone a run for its money. He no doubt, and if it is the smartphone for you depends on how deep you want to be involved in social media.
The simplicity of the first models Droid and yes, the iPhone seems to follow the KISS (Keep it simple, stupid) method of communication. The Razr seems to be a conflict with its simple, rugged exterior, but with a cacophony of software and applications to keep you tapping, turning and imprisoned at the point of the media frenzy.
The RAZR series was released in 2004 and became a huge worldwide success. Allegedly, Motorola has sold over 130 million units of the unit, one of the most clamshell phones sold worldwide. Motorola RAZR 2, marketed as a stacker and smoother than the previous Razr, was launched in 2007. The new handset is expected to be the main initiatives of the company in the smartphone segment is witnessing fierce competition from Apple and Samsung.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
The Paris-based father named JeanLouis who uploaded the video commented that, to his daughter, a magazine is an iPad that doesn't work properly. As JeanLouis's daughter grows up, so, too, will the iPad.
While many predicted it would kill laptops, or lower-priced laptops called netbooks, that hasn't been the case. Tablets have become a device unto their own, with many using them for leisure activities, like reading, playing games, browsing the web, or watching videos.
But tablets are more than just computing devices. Because there is a vast market of hundreds of thousands of programs easily accessible on the devices through application stores, they can be an educational tools for a preschoolers, full of games and interactive stories for children. They can be notepads for an artists, photo or video editors, and even a way to keep in touch with friends or family using a video-calling application like Skype.
All of this can be done with a computer as well, but there's something about the tablet that has people changing their habits, said Duncan Stewart, the dean of tablets for Deloitte Canada Research.
He said that people are reading, playing games and watching videos much more on tablets than they would ordinarily on personal computers.
Stewart explained the tablet has made computing more interactive because of its touch screen. Removing the keyboard has also eliminated a psychological barrier, making the tablet a more personal experience than a so-called personal computer.
"Just touching a tablet is a more intimate experience than using a computer," Stewart said. "We hold tablets right up to our bodies, and so it comes into our personal zone of intimacy."
While the surge of tablets has dominated many news reports, it's still too soon to talk of them becoming mainstream, said Stewart, Deloitte Canada's director of Technology, Media and Telecommunications.
There are about 1.3 computers or laptops for every Canadian, Stewart said, while tablets are owned by just about seven per cent of the population. He predicted that by 2016, about 30 per cent of the population will own a tablet. By then, there will be 1.5 billion laptops, netbooks and desktop computers worldwide, as well as 400 million tablets and 4 billion phones, about half of them smartphones.
"It's unlikely to have the ubiquity of the PC even five years from now," Stewart said. "Nobody wants to read a tab for 10 hours per day or type on one for 10 hours per day."
Stewart's insight into the tablet industry has been impressive. Even before the iPad was officially announced, he predicted 2010 sales of tablets would reach 12 million units in North America; the actual figure was 12.1 million.
Before the iPad made its debut in 2010, tablet computers had been around for many years, and many of them worked on a Windows operating system. However, they weren't as responsive or as user friendly as the current generation, and for that reason, they didn't catch on with consumers, having cumulatively sold just about one million units worldwide.
Billed as neither a phone nor a computer, Apple launched the iPad to much skepticism.
Critics said it was too high-tech and no one would want to read on it, because it wasn't a Kindle, which at the time exclusively used its own version of electronic ink that was designed to be easier on the eyes than a white computer screen. Others said the iPad was useless, because it wasn't quite powerful enough to be able to replace a computer.
Today, there are about 70 million tablets in the world, with the iPad accounting for about three quarters of them, according to the technology research firm Gartner.
The tablet is seen as a companion device by most, and not a replacement to a computer. Sales figures bear this out, because as tablets surge in sales, so do desktop and laptop computers.
While Apple created a new product category with the iPad, it also helped boost a new industry of application developers, as millions of software producers and game developers now sell their products in the application stores for both Apple and Android. As the market for tablets grows, the app industry is poised to become one of the most lucrative in the world, with revenue from app stores expected to triple to $15.1 billion this year, according to Gartner. It seems everyone, from magazine and book publishers to gaming companies is looking to develop a mobile application.
One of those to get into the industry early was Montreal's Budge Studios.
Michael Elman, one of the company's founding partners, said when he saw the announcement about the iPad in 2010, he knew he needed to develop for that platform,
He and two other partners decided to forge into the world of apps. Budge Studios produces educational video games and interactive story books aimed at preschool children for use on iPhones and iPads.
"When we first started the company, I thought, apps are pretty big on the iPhone, they might be big on the iPad as well," Elman recalled. "We didn't know how big it would be, and it has just been insane."
Elman said he sees firsthand how his target market will react with his products, because he has a threeyear-old daughter he can use as a test subject. In fact, many people who work at Budge also have young children at home.
"It's extraordinarily natural for (children) to use (an iPad), to the point where when they see a computer, they try to tap the screen, and make it do what an iPad does," Elman said. "At that age, they can't use computers, but I've seen children of people who work here turn on the device, navigate to the program they want to open, open it, choose a scene, play a game, and then close it again. Everything about it is super easy to use and intuitive."
Elman said the payoff for Budge has been extraordinary, as the studio landed licensing agreements with partners like Nickelodeon to design storybooks and games for popular brands like SpongeBob SquarePants, and Dora the Explorer. Budge titles often figure in the Top 10 list for books on Apple's App store.
While kids have taken to tablets, they also play a role in higher education.
Several teachers in McGill University's science department, for example, have been using tablets as a teaching device. In fact, they have been doing so since before the existence of the iPad.
Though not as user-friendly as current tablets, and with no application store, professors use Toshiba Portégé tablets, which are basically laptop computers with touch screens, and keyboards that flip back so that the screen can lie flat on a surface. The devices are then plugged into large monitor so that the presentations can be seen by all the students in the school's auditoriums.
Chemistry professor David Harpp said the tablet has become an essential tool because it allows him to interact with the slides he's presenting, and to draw out formulae and explanations that students can see much better than they would with an overhead projector or a blackboard.
"This makes lectures much easier, because I can show a slide, and I can also write on it using different colours," Harpp said.
Students have been using tablets, too, and McGill's library is now buying more electronic books than traditional printed ones.
"On a good year, we buy 50,000 print titles; last year, we bought 400,000 e-books," said Joseph Hafner, the associate director of collection services for the library
The library's total print collection is about 10,000 journal articles and about 4 million books, while there are now 60,000 electronic journal articles and 800,000 e-books.
Three years ago, the library purchased Sony e-readers for students to borrow. The library now has 100 of the devices that it lends out to students. The library also intends to buy iPads to lend out in the near future. Students can already use their own iPads and certain e-readers to read any of the library's electronic books.
"Every year, our print books loans go down, while the electronic books just keep going up," he said.
McGill's experience reflects a wider trend. According to the Association of American Publishers, e-books in the U.S. brought in $70 million last January, a 116-per-cent increase from the same month last year, while adult paperback sales fell from $104.2 million to $83.6 million during the same period. In March, Barnes and Noble executive Marc Parrish predicted e-books would outsell traditional ones within two years.
The tablet is also disrupting the video-game industry, with mobile and social games the fastest-growing segment of the industry. Tablets are poised to become the leading platform for playing games in the next few years. It seems nearly everyone who owns a tablet has used it to play games at some point. According to figures released by both Apple and Google, about 1 billion applications are downloaded every month, and about a third of those are games.
New York-based ABI Research issued a study in July that predicted that by 2014, revenue from mobile games and games played on Facebook (many of which are played on phones or tablets) will represent about half of the gaming industry, from about 10 per cent currently.
This has been good news for several local gaming companies. Gamerizon, founded in 2008, is a video-game company that has focused exclusively on iPhones and iPads, and has already achieved more than 15 million downloads of its franchise of games called Chop Chop. In September, the company announced it secured $5 million in venture capital financing, and plans to grow from 15 to 100 employees in two years.
That announcement came just about a year after Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment started its Montreal studio, with plans to focus on mobile games. The company intends to hire 300 people within five years.
Earlier this year, a new gaming company was founded by Alain Tascan, one of the founding executives of Paris-based Ubisoft's Montreal studio - which is the city's oldest and largest. Sava Transmedia, Tascan's new company plans to hire 300 people within five years.
So far, much of the focus has been on developing for Apple devices because competing tablets like RIM's Blackberry Playbook or the Motorola Xoom have not gained much traction in the marketplace.
Krista Napier, an analyst of Canadian digital media and emerging technology for the research group IDC Canada, said tablet makers for the most part have failed to create a compelling product to rival the iPad. Those that have either priced their products too high, or their message to potential customers was unclear. She said her research has shown that Canadians are willing to spend about $250 for a tablet, while most sell for at least $400. It seems the iPad is the exception, with prices starting at $419, it's still in high demand.
"Apple is very good at putting a lot of marketing dollars towards their brand," Napier said. "They've done a great job of 'sexifying' their devices and making it really clear to the consumers why they would want to buy one of them.
"I'm still surprised by how high some of the prices are in the market compared to the Apple-based products and the lack of differentiation of some of the products," Napier said.
When tablets have sold poorly, price cuts to the $200 range have resulted in huge demand, as has been the case with HP's failed touchpad, which was sold off at $99, and now the Blackberry Playbook, which had its price slashed earlier this week.
Elman said his studio has focused primarily producing for Apple products, because it has been more difficult to stand out in the crowded Android market. Android, which is Google's operating system, powers both phones and tablets, but it is used on a variety of phones and tablets and as a result, Elman said, it never seems to work the same on any device.
"There's so many phones, screen sizes and there are many different versions of the operating system that it's so difficult to test your product," Elman said.
Napier said that's starting to change as some of the non-Apple contenders seem to have finally come up with a way to stand out, with Amazon's Kindle Fire showing the most promise.
Earlier this week, Amazon started selling the Kindle Fire in the U.S. It's a scaled-down version of the iPad powered by the Android operating system. It will run on a slower processor and won't have any cameras to allow for video chat, but will be good enough to browse the web, read books, watch videos and download apps. While the tablet may not stand out in terms of its features, its price at $199 is compelling. Early estimates say the Fire will sell about 5 million units by the end of 2011. There has been no announcement on when the Fire will be available in Canada.
Elman said he expects both the Kindle and the similar Kobo Vox will start to level the playing field and result in a whole new group of apps being developed. And although both Kindle and Kobo will run on Android, both will have their own stores where they will recommend certain applications that are designed specifically for their devices.
Stewart said the rise of lowerpriced products like the Fire will accelerate the adoption of tablets. The next big push will be for businesses to adopt tablets, he said.
"We've seen about 18 to 20 per cent of those buying new tablets are businesses," Stewart said. "It's becoming very popular for road warriors, people working in warehouses and in retail. Instead of paying for a cash register and a digital catalogue, and a TV screen on a wall that can show a video of a product, you give the salesperson on the floor one device, and it does all of those things."
Businesses will also use the tablets to allow employees to stay connected to the office wherever they are, he added. While there was some speculation that businesses would find the devices a security risk, Stewart said, many enterprises have found a properly administered IT system could make tablets cheaper and more secure than giving laptops to every employee.
"People can use it to log into a virtual private network, and see all the corporate stuff," Stewart said. "Once they log off, there's no data left on the machine."
Martin Dufort, the CEO and founder of the Mile End-based application developer company Where Cloud Inc., said as companies are just starting to adopt tablets, there is a huge demand for business-based applications.
"A lot of small and medium-sized companies are using it to make their employees more mobile, but at the same time to access the information they need," Dufort said. "We've seen it used to show off catalogues of products, that can be changed from the head office through the cloud, and then automatically updated on the tablets."
As the industry evolves, Stewart said he believes remote access will become a pivotal role for tablets, allowing users to access their entire media library: books, photos, music and files stored on either work or home computers, and even videos recorded on television.
That technology already exists, but there hasn't been one application that has simplified the process for everyone, said Tim Brunt, an IDC analyst for personal computing and technology.
"Right now, this is not an intuitive experience for most users," Brunt said.
"But I think as we become more mobile, the need to want to access all the same data across all of our devices is going to be there."
Google's Android OS has enjoyed huge amounts of success. Last week, we reported that the company had activated 200 million Android devices and was activating a further 250,000 every single day. However, it seems that those huge numbers come with another, and this one is a lot more sinister: According to Juniper Networks, Android malware has surged and is up more than 400 percent in the last few months alone.
"What happens when anyone can develop and publish an application to the Android Market?" Juniper Global Threat Center asks. "A 472% increase in Android malware samples since July 2011."
The security company goes on to blame Android's free-for-all nature that allows anyone with a developer account and $25 to post applications. Juniper just reported a 400 percent increase in May of this year when compared to summer 2010, and it looks like things haven't slowed in the slightest, with October and November representing the fastest period for growth in Android malware discovery.
"The Juniper Global Threat Center found that the months of October and November are shaping up to see the fastest growth in Android malware discovery in the history of the platform," the security company writes. "The number of malware samples identified in September increased by 28 percent over the number of the known Android malware samples. October showed a 110 percent increase in malware sample collection over the previous month and a striking 171 percent increase from what had been collected up to July 2011."
A huge surge in the volume of malicious content is bad enough, but attackers are also becoming more sophisticated in their methods. Juniper says that in the spring of this year, it began seeing Android malware that was capable of leveraging one of several platform vulnerabilities that allowed an attacker to gain root access on the device. Today, the vast majority of malware released contains this capability because "the vulnerabilities remain prevalent in nearly 90 percent of Android devices being carried around today."
The biggest issue with the Android Market is that the applications aren't vetted before they appear on Google's app store. As Juniper says, anyone with a dev account and $25 can post applications. These apps will then appear on the market with whatever description the developer submitted without ever going through any kind of verification process. The result of this is tons of malicious application, the majority of which Juniper says target personal information (55 percent), with the remainder made up of SMS trojans.
Juniper guesses that the people behind all of this Android malware are the same folks that used to write malicious code for other platforms.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
The beta phase has been running for a while, allowing users to upload their music collections and save them in the cloud so they can stream them from any device, but the new service now allows customers to share and purchase music through the official online or Android store.
The store opens with more than 13 million tracks from artists on Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, EMI, and the global independent rights agency Merlin as well as over 1,000 independent labels.
You can purchase individual songs or entire albums right from your computer or your Android device and they’ll be added instantly to your Google Music library, accessible anywhere and synched automatically across all compatible platforms.
To celebrate the launch, Google Music is offering a number of exclusive musical tracks for free including:
• The Rolling Stones are offering an exclusive, never-before-released live concert album, Brussels Affair (Live, 1973), including a free single, “Dancing with Mr. D.” This is the first of six in an unreleased concert series that will be made available exclusively through Google Music over the coming months.
• Coldplay fans will find some original music that’s not available anywhere else: a free, live recording of “Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall”, a five-track live EP from their recent concert in Madrid and a remix of “Paradise” by Tiësto.
• Busta Rhymes’s first single from his upcoming album, Why Stop Now (feat. Chris Brown), is available for free.
• Shakira’s live EP from her recent concert in Paris and her new studio single, “Je L’Aime à Mourir” are both being offered up free.
• Pearl Jam are releasing a live album from their 9/11/11 concert in Toronto, free to Google Music users.
• Dave Matthews Band are offering up free albums from two live concerts, including new material from Live On Lakeside.
• Tiësto is offering up a new mix, “What Can We Do?” (feat. Anastacia), exclusively to Google Music users. •
Google Music is open in the US at market.android.com, and over the next few days it will roll out the music store to Android Market on devices running Android 2.2 and above.
There are still a few odds and ends to tie up before Google Music launches in the UK and Europe.
Netflix released an overhauled version of its free streaming video application for tablets running Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android, promising a redesigned viewing experience that leverages the capabilities of new devices like Amazon.com's Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble's Nook Tablet.
Netflix's new interface displays twice as many movies and TV shows as before.
According to Netflix, the revamped Android tablet app UI brings greater focus on the number of feature films and television series in its catalog, displaying twice as many titles as before to enhance content discovery. The app also leverages tablet touchscreens to allow viewers to swipe through rows of titles, complete with larger artwork. Writing on the Netflix Blog, mobile products manager Zal Bilimoria promises a redesigned app for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad will materialize in the coming weeks.
Netflix expanded its streaming video services to Android in May 2011. Offered free in conjunction with premium Netflix membership ($7.99 per month), the application touts unlimited on-the-go access to films and TV episodes, alongside search tools and queue management options. The Android app followed close to a year after Netflix rolled out on Apple's iOS.
Android tablet adoption is expected to spike during the holiday season thanks to the release of the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet, both of which are priced substantially cheaper than rival products. The $199 Kindle Fire effectively gives Amazon consumers a single, portable point of access to digital media initiatives including the Kindle e-book catalog, Amazon Appstore for Android, Amazon Instant Video and Amazon MP3, with all content backed up in the cloud. Priced at $249, the Nook Tablet boasts twice the RAM of the Kindle Fire and double the storage, offering consumers access to more than two million books, magazines and newspapers.
In his review of May's Google Music Beta, PCMag software analyst Michael Muchmore wrote: "Google tends to make software available to the public before it's fully baked."
With the "release" version of Google Music that Google launched on Wednesday, I have to agree, if only because the mobile component isn't quite finished.
In part, that's not Google's fault. There was a time when Web services could be released as a standalone product, but today, Modern Web services demand a complementary mobile app, and the final version of Google Music will have to wait for a mobile counterpart, which Google said it will deliver shortly. But what Google has delivered stands up well to its competition, despite a few glitches.
Google's key addition to the final version of Google Music is a music store, with 8 million licensed tracks available from EMI, Sony, Universal Music, and a number of independent labels. Over the course of the next few weeks, Google will add additional songs for a total of 13 million. And purchasing music generally works well.
So far, Google has yet to add "Music" to its solar system of suggested sites orbiting the "+Me" link at the top of the Google toolbar. Until it does, users need to manually visit Google Music, at music.google.com, and then download a Music Manager PC application. (If you're an existing user of Google Music, you don't need to download the application again.) If you're new to Google Music, the app suggests you upload your folder containing unprotected music downloaded from iTunes and Windows Media. You can also select other folders containing music—if, for example, you store all of your songs in an "MP3" folder.
Once uploaded, logging into Google Music's Web site presents a nicely organized list of music, which you can organize by song, album, artist, or genre. Google has also added a column showing the number of plays each song received; for whatever reason, this seems to have reset, so that all songs have been zeroed out.
Unlike Apple's rival cloud service, iTunes Match, Google stores a "unique copy" of whatever you upload. This means more to Google than anything else; it simply means that the company pays more in storage costs, as it stores copies of every file a user uploads, rather than a "master" file that users can access. It also means that if you've acquired a file through illegitimate means—with nonstandard metadata, for example—those errors will be preserved.
Each day, Google has promised that it will make available several free tracks and some exclusive content; when I visited on Wednesday, for example, I had the option of adding Busta Rhymes' "Why Stop Now" featuring Chris Brown to my music library. While Amazon offers the same capability, that service engages in a bit of song and dance, using popups and download bars. Google simply displays the track in your library—no muss, no fuss.
Oddly, if you download the track and then the album, Google Music will save a duplicate copy of the song in your library. And there's another glitch/gotcha: each song can be streamed, but only downloaded twice via the Web interface. Google recommends that users use the Music Manager application to download the track to avoid this limit—but I couldn't find an option to download music, only upload it.
Google's "Home" screen displays the most recent tracks you've played. Scroll down further, and a list of recommended tracks appears. It's here that the purchase process begins.
Google's Music Store
Google seems to charge a standard fee of $0.99 per track, and the company has promised that MP3 tracks purchased through it will be at 320-Kbit/s quality, with no DRM, according to record executives. (Execs said nothing about watermarking, however, which would label each track with an imperceptible digital ID.) Album costs seem to be about $9.49 or $9.99 for top hits, which essentially offers a volume discount for those albums with more than 10 songs.
Clicking on a suggested track launches an updated version of the Android Market, with a new tab for "Music." If you arrive there via clicking on a suggested track, you'll see the album it appears on in the background, along with an editorial review. But to peruse that, you'll need to cancel the purchase process and select a track from the Market page.
Google's purchase process is well executed, however. Click "Continue," and the process begins. (You'll need to agree to the terms of service, which still refers to "Music Beta by Google.") If you've previously entered a credit card within a Google property, Google pulls it from the ether as the default payment option. Approving the purchase places the track in your Google Music collection, or there's an option to listen it using the mobile app, which won't be delivered for a couple of days. (After purchasing it, you may have to hunt for the "Close" option to make the window disappear; I initially missed it in the clutter.)
Stop here and click back to the front page of the Android Market's Music section; it's here that you'll find the premium free music and exclusives that Google has paid for: Shakira, Coldplay, the Rolling Stones, and more. There's also a number of top tracks that Google has previously licensed in the free music section, so be sure and check those out.
An inspired touch is Google's decision to allow you to share a full play of each song you've purchased once, with your friends (or the world) via Google+, its social network. (Note that this option isn't available for songs you've uploaded.) It's a canny way to hook friends on the latest earworm.
Google has also added an Artist Hub that will allow unsigned bands to launch their own Web page, complete with a bio and their own music, which Google will sell with only a 30 percent cut. Until I can set up recording equipment in my shower, I'll have to forego testing that aspect.
The new figures which recently emerged during the Google music event sounds even more promising. During the event the company claimed that there are now 200 million activated Android devices. This clearly indicates a faster Android adoption and at this rate it looks like the green droid is gradually moving towards its future goal - world domination.
Recently a Gartner's report on the mobile devices sales indicated that "Android OS accounted for 52.5 percent of smartphone sales to end users in the third quarter of 2011, more than doubling its market share from the third quarter of 2010."
Attributing this to the 'more mass-market offerings', a principal research analyst at Gartner stated that Android benefited from " a weaker competitive environment and the lack of exciting new products on alternative operating systems such as Windows Phone 7 and RIM. "
Intomobile feels, "perhaps the phone that has best contributed to Android’s growth is the Samsung Galaxy S II. The Galaxy S II has seen very impressive sales: Samsung announced last month 30 million Galaxy S and Galaxy S II combined units sold. It’s one of the few smartphones that has managed to take a noticeable amount of spotlight away from the Apple iPhone."
Gartner report also points this out. It states that as Apple's iOS market share suffered from delayed purchases as consumers awaited for the new iPhone, pressure continues to impact RIM's performance resulting in its low numbers. All in all it seems to be quite conducive scenario for Android to flourish.
Android users take note: Researchers have found a whopping 472 percent increase in Android malware samples since this summer. The free-for-all Android Market has seen a striking increase in the volume of attacks since July, according to research from Juniper Networks, as attackers continue to become more sophisticated in the malware they write.
October and November saw the fastest growth in Android malware discovery ever since Google’s OS was launched, Juniper Global Threat Center found. The researchers identified a 28 percent increase in malware samples in September, which exploded to a 110 percent increase in October, and a further 111 percent in November. The numbers are even more alarming, considering Juniper also reported a 400 percent spike in Android malware from 2009 to the summer of 2010.
The majority of these malicious Android apps (55 percent) usually target personal information stored on phones, while some 44 percent are SMS Trojans that send background SMS messages to premium rate numbers owned by the attacker. Juniper believes the people behind these malware apps are the same ones who wrote malicious code for older versions of Windows Mobile and Symbian, but have since moved to Android, given the 43 percent of the mobile OS market it commands and the open nature of the Android Market.
The problem seems to be on the user-side of things, too. According to a study this summer, Android users are the least aware of security concerns and least prepared to protect their phone from malware; four out of 10 users haven’t done anything to secure their phone, and less than half of Android users lock their devices with a password.
Open vs. closed
The Android malware debate will inevitably lead to comparisons with Apple’s tightly-controlled iOS, which has its own security weaknesses, too. For Android, any ill-intended developer can just pay a $25 fee and can post applications to the main Android market, without any review process to check if the apps actually do what they claim to.
Coupled with user negligence, Android’s malware problem is growing, which is why some Android devices manufacturers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble and others are creating their own curated Android app stores, fashioned after Apple’s iOS walled garden.
Monday, November 14, 2011
The Android app 'App 2 SD' frees up internal storage on your Android phone by moving apps to the SD card.
Since all the apps cannot be moved to the SD card, App 2 SD will tell you which apps can be moved and which cannot.
When the app is first loaded, it shows three app categories - those that are for the phone, those for the SD card, and those apps that are only for the phone and can't be moved to the SD card.
Users have to select Move to SD, and if the app is already in the SD it can be moved back by pressing the Move to Phone button. How much of the phone's internal storage is being used can be checked at the bottom of the app's screen.
Users just have to make sure their Android device runs Android 2.2 or better. Android has a native function that allows this function through the settings, but that is cumbersome whereas this app allows users to do the same through an easier interface.
The app also runs in the background, and whenever users install an app which can be sent to the SD card, they are informed in the notification bar.
The main options of the app include a list of movable apps, the option to move one or all apps to the SD card, clear app cached files with one tap, show the size of used apps, show total/available storage, list non-movable apps and more.
This app is available for free from Android Market, while the Pro version is available for $1. In the Pro version there are no ads.
Antivirus programs have long held a place of importance on the desktop, but as mobile operating systems have grown in popularity the desktop security dogma has bled over. So indoctrinated are the users that when Android antivirus apps began appearing, users snapped them up. Although, with the flurry of news on Android malware, the users can’t really be blamed for making assumptions. Now a new report from security firm AV-Test lays out how futile this entire exercise may be.
The conclusion reached by AV-Test [PDF] is that free Android anti-malware apps are simply not worth your time. It was quite the cavalcade of failure when the apps were used to scan an Android device loaded down with recent, and very real malware. Six of the seven free apps tested failed to get above 10% detection. Only Zoner AntiVirus did any better, but it could only manage 32% detection.
The results make it clear that if you pick up a free antivirus app from the Market, it is likely to miss nine out of ten potential threats. So is the answer to go with the paid apps? AV-Test also took a look at two paid anti-malware solutions for Android to answer that very question. The paid apps were able to scan and detect about half of all installed threats. That still leaves a huge number of malicious packages in the clear.
The other half of the testing was installation blocking. Here, the researchers attempted to install the threats one by one to see if the antivirus apps would spring into action as intended and stop the process. Results were slightly better for the free Zoner app, which blocked 80% of malware. The other free apps, however, failed to detect anything. The paid apps blocked all malware apps from being installed, even those that were not spotted in the manual scans.
What does it mean?
The best outcome for the free apps, with Zoner AV scanning in real-time as apps are installed, 20% of known threats slipped right through. These free apps are used by millions of people, if the numbers from the Android Market are to be believed. Almost all of the free apps are little more than a placebo being brought to bear on a very rough and tumble online world.
There is no financial loss here, and you get what you pay for, right? This is a tempting conclusion to embrace, but AV-Test points out a real psychological issue with the use of these free apps. Users can become complacent and neglect security practices when they embrace the claims offered by the creators of the apps. AntiVirus Free, GuardX, and the rest are giving people a false sense of security, which can make them take more risks.
While the paid solutions did have demonstrably better results, they don’t get off scot-free either. Good on them for stopping all the threats from being installed, but far too many previously-installed malware apps were missed. In this case, users are actually paying for the apps and would reasonably expect to be able to sweep their phones clear of malware. Is this level of protection worth paying for?
Motorola has combined its two most popular brands to create the Droid RAZR Android smartphone.
I got to spend a few days to review the device recently and I found there was a lot to like.
Fine design: The marketing push behind the RAZR has focused on the hardware design, and Motorola delivers. At 4.5 ounces and and oonly 0.3 inches thick, this phone got lost in my pockets a few times despite its large 4.3 inch screen.
And unlike the iPhone with its glass front and back and Samsung phones with plastic bodies, the RAZR is built tough. The back features Kevlar fiber and screen is beautiful and features scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass. The phone also is built to resist splashes of coffee or at the pool.
LTE speeds: I enjoyed 10 megabit per second downloads, about 10 times faster than Verizon’s 3G service. For an extra $20 a month, the speed can be shared with other devices using the RAZR’s mobile hotspot. The LTE service was spotty for me in West Michigan, but it is set to expand later this month.
Powerful: The 1.2 GHz dual core processor kept applications and the Android 2.3 operating system zippy. I did hit a few glitches with apps, but overall it was a solid experience. There also is 16 GB of internal storage and a 16 GB MicroSD card that can be upgraded to 32 GB.
Decent included apps: The email and music player apps are above average. The MotoCast app allows streaming music, photos, video and documents from a home computer. For business users, there is full Microsoft ActiveSync support with encryption and remote wipe in case the phone is lost.
Battery story part 1: Using 3G, the battery performance is the best I've seen for an Android phone, easily lasting a full day.
Smart Actions: Nerds can really customize their experience with Smart Actions. For example, when I plug in the phone to charge after 8 p.m., I set it to automatically turn off sounds. The GPS detects when I’m at home and activates WiFi. There hundreds of Smart Action combinations users can create.
Hand-holding setup: Several included videos on the RAZR give tips on how to use the phone.
Camera: While taking 8 megapixel camera is fast to snap images, the resulting color reproduction lags behind other smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S II and the iPhone 4S. It also records 1080p video with stabilization features.
On-screen keyboard: Motorola didn’t change much from the stock Android keyboard, so I would recommend trying SwiftKey. Or if you are adventurous, consider trying the included Swype keyboard.
Battery story part 2: On Verizon’s 4G LTE network, battery life continues to be an issue. Using the phone heavily on 4G will drain the battery in less than four hours. The cutting-edge design means no way to swap out the battery, although external battery packs are available.
Bad buttons: Having the lock screen and volume buttons on the same side of the phone makes it confusing to press the right one.
Webtop with Lapdock
I got a chance to use the Moto Lapdock 100, a 10-inch netbook-like shell that plugs into RAZR to use the phone’s Webtop features.
The experience is a bit like a Dr. Frankenstein creation. A small window on the Lapdock's screen lets you access the phone’s interface. The phone’s notifications popup across the top of the desktop screen.
When a call comes in, the phone rings and a button to answer the call pops up on the Lapdock's screen. But answering the call is awkward since the phone switches to speaker phone and is tethered to the Lapdock.
The Lapdock includes a old, sluggish version of Firefox browser that is passable. I used Google Docs on the Lapdock to write the first draft of this review and it can handle Flash video, such as Hulu. Why this doesn’t use Google’s zipper Chrome browser is a mystery to me.
Unplugging the RAZR from the Lapdock and the phone remembers which web browser tabs you had open on the Lapdock. Replugging the phone back into the Lapdock, and within a few seconds it has restored the session.
The keyboard and trackpad are the typical small netbook mess -- a bit cramped but better than typing on a tablet touchscreen.
At $199, this could be the right fit for some people. The Webtop experience also is available with a $30 adapter that plugs into a TV, but you have to supply the keyboard and mouse. I would prefer to put my money toward an iPad and Bluetooth keyboard, however.
At $299, the Droid RAZR is some of the best smartphone hardware I have used. However, LTE technology continues to be a battery hog.
The RAZR had the unfortunate timing of being announced in the same 24-hour period as the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, which also is coming to Verizon’s LTE network within a few weeks and will sport the next version of Google smartphone software, Android 4.0 aka Ice Cream Sandwich. The RAZR should get this software update sometime in 2012.
The RAZR is another solid addition to Verizon’s lineup, but I would wait to see what the Samsung Galaxy Nexus delivers before making a purchasing decision.
Before even hitting the market, Amazon's Kindle Fire has captured the hearts of tech enthusiasts and the minds of software developers in a way that no Android tablet before it could. We were pretty sure this was the case, but a newly minted study confirms it.
The latest installment in a quarterly survey of developers conducted by Appcelerator and IDC has just been released. It shows that the Kindle Fire has shoved aside all other Android tablets in North America as the Android device developers most want to create apps for, and it's gaining ground in Europe and Asia as well. The catch is, to develop for the Kindle Fire, apps need to be submitted to Amazon, not to Google, so if this trajectory continues, Google will lose control of its own mobile OS, at least as far as tablets are concerned.
Of course, price is what everyone cares most about. It is always cited as the main way Android devices can compete against the industry-leading Apple ones. As such, the Kindle Fire's $199 price is still the Number One reason developers say it matters. But the Fire's secondary allures — Amazon's huge content library and its growing app store — are what will keep it out in front.
Bear in mind, Amazon and Barnes & Noble use Android as the basis for their media tablets, but they don't ask for Google's seal of approval. Because of this, they waive the right to install Google's mobile apps and Android Market portal on their devices. So far, this choice does not appear to hurt the dissidents.
(It's worth noting that while the Kindle Fire is the clear winner of mindshare here, the Nook tablets do appear on the developer short list for North America, where B&N has the most reach; they are not as much of a draw outside of the U.S.)
What's a tablet for?
Amazon and Barnes & Noble understand what the Google-backed Android tablet makers seems unable to grasp, that content and services — what you do with the thing — needs to be part of the sell. A phone is a phone, you have to have one, so why not have one that does email and Web and all that? But a tablet? Who needs them? Like Apple, Amazon and Barnes & Noble actually have an answer to that question.
For $199, it's hard to find anything we didn't like about the Amazon Kindle Fire. Msnbc.com's Wilson Rothman explains how it works.
The fact that they're Android devices is almost buried in their stories. "They're keeping laser focused on the most important priority: appealing to their base," Appcelerator marketing VP Scott Schwarzhoff told me. "And their base could care less about Android."
Amazon is likely to soon join Apple out in front, in part because owning the commerce system is increasingly key to accumulating power. "It's the commerce identity systems that are competing against each other," Schwarzhoff said. And when it comes to regularly handling online transactions for tens or hundreds of millions of customers, Apple and Amazon are well ahead of any other hardware competitors.(It's also about trust, something Google — and Facebook — would also have a harder time with, but that isn't part of the survey, and is a discussion for another time.)
Developers do have concerns about the Kindle Fire. There's no camera or GPS or other high-end tablet perks, and Amazon's app store is a little trickier to deal with than Google's. But the biggest fear is that the Kindle Fire's success will destabilize the Android camp even more. This is a valid fear. My guess is that soon Amazon will have its own camp. And its tents will be way nicer.
Good news for Windows Phone
The Appcelerator survey backed up another bit of mobile industry conventional wisdom: Windows Phone is indeed pulling ahead of BlackBerry and the other lower tier operating systems. Thirty eight percent of developers said they were "very interested" in working on the platform.
Appcelerator / IDC
(Msnbc.com is a joint venture of Microsoft and NBC Universal.)
As such, this is good news for Nokia, whose previous smartphone platforms were met with disdain by developers. Windows Phone on Nokia means more interest in apps for Nokia devices, says the survey. But Nokia helps Microsoft too. That partnership, as well as an improved Windows Phone experience and the coming of a mobile-friendly Windows 8, are cited as reasons for the heightened interest.
What developers are clearly NOT interested in is BlackBerry. Both the BlackBerry OS and the PlayBook platform saw dips, down to 21 percent and 13 percent, respectively. Even though Windows Phone has low single-digit market share, it manages to seem more of a safe bet than the massive but aging population of BlackBerry devices.
"Motorola Defy+ offers protection with its water-resistant, scratch resistant and dust proof design," Motorola said in a statement.
The Defy+ has a 1-GHz processor and is built on the Gingerbread version of Google's Android operating system (Android 2.3), it added.
"We designed Motorola Defy+ with all the smartphone features you need for a demanding lifestyle. With faster web-browsing, social networking tools and great entertainment capabilities, it puts friends and fun in easy reach," Motorola Mobility's Country Head - Sales and Operations for Mobile Devices Business Rajan Chawla said.
The company said the Motorola Defy+ has a 3.7-inch touch-screen display and 5-megapixel camera. It has an Adobe Flash 10-enabled browser that allows users to watch movies or view videos on the web browser of the phone.
Based on Android platform, the phone supports Gtalk, which allows people to chat on the phone with help of their mobile internet connection.
The Motorola Defy+ supports 7.1 hours of talk time and has a 16-day standby battery life. The best price at which the phone will be sold in the market is Rs 17,990, the statement said.
Friday, November 11, 2011
Verizon Wireless on Friday released a class-leading smartphone that combines two of the biggest cell phone brands of the past decade into a single device. Verizon’s DROID line of smartphones played a huge role in making Android the global juggernaut it is today, and Motorola’s RAZR turned the wireless industry on its head in 2004, showing consumers that a cell phone can be both beautiful and functional. The decision to merge these brands into one single powerhouse was not made lightly, we can assure you, and the DROID RAZR will undoubtedly find itself atop plenty of wish-lists this holiday season. We recently sat down with Alain Mutricy, Motorola Mobility’s senior vice president of Portfolio and Product Management, to discuss this iconic device and why it is worthy of carrying the RAZR brand into the future. The full text from our Q&A with Mutricy follows below.
Thanks so much for joining us today, Alain. Let’s get right to it: I have one of Verizon’s first LTE smartphones, built by a Motorola competitor, sitting in a desk drawer in my office right now. This phone is barely five months old, but it’s more than half an inch thick and the battery life is terrible. How was Motorola able to make the DROID RAZR just half as thick as my old 4G phone without compromising battery life or other areas of the user experience?
At just 7.1 mm thin, DROID RAZR by Motorola is impossibly thin. We were able to accomplish this feat through our design innovation – a combination of materials and strategic design choices. For one, the device has a stainless steel core and is made with KEVLAR fiber, an extremely lightweight, yet durable, material. We also fit the device with a Super AMOLED Advanced display, and embedded the 1780 mAH battery and enabled micro-SIM. But we couldn’t just make it thinner and stronger – the next generation had to be smarter as well. That’s where the innovation in the software and user interface experience comes into play. We have a quadruple threat with MotoCast, Smart Actions, webtop and our Business Ready promise.
Kevlar has a great look to it and there are marketing benefits as well, but why were Kevlar, aluminum and Corning’s Gorilla Glass the right build materials for the DROID RAZR?
We wanted to build a device that could live up to the RAZR brand and carry on its legacy. Like the original, DROID RAZR by Motorola is super thin, super light and super innovative. We kept various elements of the original design, such as aluminum accents, but added new ones that the smartphone market hasn’t seen, such as KEVLAR fiber. KEVLAR is beautiful, strong and widely recognized as an indestructible material by consumers. We also stuck with a few tried and true materials that our smartphone consumers love, including Corning Gorilla Glass. It’s incredibly thin, yet holds up well to the common mishaps smartphones often endure.
Consumers seem to be very focused on the hardware aspects of the DROID RAZR, for obvious reasons, but let’s talk about the phone as a complete package. How important to the RAZR and future smartphones are Motorola’s various unique software solutions, such as Motocast and Smart Actions?
The DROID RAZR software experience is exceptionally important. Clearly, we wanted to create a beautiful device that would shock the market with its innovative design. I think we did that. But more importantly, we wanted to create a number of software experiences that simply make people’s lives easier. Let me talk about four of these innovations.
MotoCast lets you stream music, pictures and documents from your home or work computers — virtually anytime, anywhere — so content is always within reach. No uploading to a third-party site and everything stays protected, right on your computer. So if you bump into an old friend at the coffee shop and want to show off the pictures you took on your last vacation, it’s easy. Simply go into your gallery, select MotoCast and you instantly have access to all those great photos that are stored on your home computer.
Smart Actions has really been a surprise delight for people. It’s a software solution that takes care of the things you don’t always remember to do and helps automate other tasks. Whether you want to maximize the last ounce of power in the device, or simply see the music app as soon as you plug in headphones, Smart Actions enables users to get the most out of their devices.
And of course there’s webtop. This is Motorola’s revolutionary software solution that allows you to view what’s on the device on a larger screen. We first announced webtop with Motorola ATRIX back in January, and are again releasing it with DROID RAZR by Motorola. When you connect the device with one of several accessory devices – such as the Lapdock 100, HD Station or Travel Adaptor – you get the power to edit documents on a larger screen and browse the Web with a full Firefox browser, all while powering the device. Or, when you plug it into the HD Dock or HD Station to connect to your HDTV, speakers and other peripherals, you unleash large-screen entertainment all powered by the device.
Last, but certainly not least, we know people want to use their phone at work. We also know what IT departments need in terms of security features. That’s where our “Business Ready” features shine–government-grade encryption, remote wipe and password enforcement for the IT department. And then there’s the ability to access email, calendars and addresses, or edit documents, for you.
The media seems to be mixed when it comes to various value-added solutions like your webtop software and Lapdock package. Has this laptop-like accessory combo been well-received by consumers?
With webtop, Motorola Mobility designed a product that is truly innovative and enables consumers to do much more with their smartphones. We first announced webtop and the Lapdock accessory at CES 2011 and since then, we’ve announced a variety of new webtop-enabled accessories. As a result, we’ve seen growing adoption of webtop-enabled smartphones and their accessories, all with positive feedback from consumers.
How important to Motorola is innovation outside the smartphone itself, beyond just as a means of differentiation? Can we expect to see more innovative solutions from Motorola like the Lapdock and MOTOACTV that move beyond your smartphones?
Of course! Our brand aims to empower people’s lives. Our vision is that the smartphone becomes the hub of your digital life. We constantly strive to innovate in ways that create unique, powerful experiences for all types of consumers. Software innovation is a primary focus for us. We want to create devices and user experiences that are intuitive, connected and meet the growing needs of consumers whose lives intertwine with work, play, social life and entertainment.
MOTOBLUR has been a very polarizing piece of Motorola’s Android puzzle ever since it was first introduced. Has Motorola taken the various criticism to heart? What key changes and refinements have been made to Motorola’s Android UI as it lives today on the DROID RAZR?
We always take consumer feedback to heart. As far as our user-interface design, consumers and reviewers alike have commented on the improvements we’ve made to the experience this year. The DROID RAZR software experience is truly remarkable and we’ve been very pleased with the response so far. Everything from the homescreen to every day smartphone applications – such as calendar, email and connected media gallery – are taken above and beyond the basic Android platform to ensure a delightful consumer experience.
You have gone on record in stating that the DROID RAZR will receive an update to Android 4.0 in early 2012. What exciting new features can we expect from the RAZR once it is upgraded with Ice Cream Sandwich? Will Motorola keep most of the same custom UI elements found in the DROID RAZR’s Gingerbread OS, or can we expect some surprises?
As soon as the ICS software is released to us, we’ll be able to provide more details. Stay tuned.
One final question, Alain: Starting with the DROID that debuted in 2009, Motorola has produced several iconic smartphones that helped Google’s Android OS become the global success it is today. When it comes to being worthy of the label “iconic,” few phones if any are more deserving than the original Motorola RAZR first introduced in 2004. Why is this new handset the right phone to reinvent the RAZR brand, and why is it the right smartphone to headline Verizon Wireless’ lineup this holiday season?
The original Motorola RAZR was undeniably an icon. Not only was it the thinnest handset of its time, it was the highest-selling feature phone ever. The new DROID RAZR by Motorola is the RAZR of the future. It combines two iconic brands, but also combines the wildly successful characteristics of the original device – thin, innovative, sleek – with Motorola’s revolutionary smartphone features available today. It’s the right phone to headline Verizon Wireless’ lineup this holiday season because it’s a step ahead of the class. We’ve integrated the fastest network technologies, powerful chipset technologies, and a large battery enabling best-in-class performance all in a super-thin design. And from an industrial design perspective, DROID RAZR by Motorola sports unique materials with sculpted glass, KEVLAR fiber and diamond-cut aluminum accents. On top of all this, this next generation device offers users one of the most innovative interfaces and software experiences available, including MotoCast, Smart Actions, webtop and delivering on the Business Ready promise. This holiday season, there’s no device on the market that compares.