Search Engine

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Google Design Chief Would Love to Work With RIM on an Android Phone With a Real Keyboard

SAN FRANCISCO – Take a look at the myriad Android phones on the market today and you’ll notice that most of them no longer have actual keypads — only virtual keyboards on their screens. But Google’s Director of Android User Experience, Matias Duarte, said he still hopes there will be Android phones with hardware keyboards.
“I am still a huge fan of hardware keyboards,” Duarte told ABC News in an interview. “Many of the products I have worked on in the past  have had them. I think there is a place for them — it’s all about choice and different types of devices. I would love, personally, to have a portrait oriented device, like we made at Palm.”
Before joining Google, Duarte headed up software design at Palm and worked on the company’s Palm Pre device, which had a physical keyboard and touchscreen.
On the heels of RIM’s major loss and struggles to put out a new operating system and phones, Duarte said he would love to work with the BlackBerry maker. “If RIM wanted to work on Android devices, I would really welcome that. They clearly make great physical keyboards.”
Duarte is one of the leads on Google’s Android Nexus program, in which Google works closely with hardware partners to make phones or tablets to highlight the software. Google and Asus released the Nexus 7 tablet yesterday with the new version of Android called Jelly Bean.
Just today RIM announced plans to cut 5,000 employees after reporting lackluster earnings. The company does allow for Android applications to run on its own software, but has continued with its plans to develop BlackBerry 10, the next version of its BlackBerry software for its phones.

Android apps to run on Apple Macs via Bluestacks program

Owners of Android smartphones now have a way to run their favourite apps on an Apple Mac computer.
Start-up Bluestacks has produced a software wrapper that lets the phone apps run on a desktop Apple machine.
The release follows an earlier software tool that helped Android apps make the jump from a phone to a Windows PC.
Bluestacks said the software was for people that wanted a consistent experience with their favourite apps, no matter where they used them.
Playing games So far, only 17 Android developers, including Handy Games, Creative Mobile and Pulse, have signed up to make their apps available to run on a Mac.
Bluestacks said more developers were signing up to get their apps working with the company's software.
The latest estimates suggest there are about 400,000 Android apps available.
In a statement, Bluestacks head Rosen Sharma said its software was helping to "break open" the closed ecosystem surrounding Apple's computers.
Making apps that looked good on desktops could also help developers produce programs that worked well on tablets, he said.
Stuart Miles, founder and head of technology news website Pocket-lint, said the Bluestacks software would likely prove popular with keen users of Android apps.
"The appeal is likely to be more for gamers," he said. "So your favourite Android game, you could have that on your desktop at work."
It might fill another gap, he said, because there was currently no easy way to run apps for the iPhone on a Mac desktop computer.
In addition, it might also mean that people can get hold of free versions of iOS apps by going to an Android site, downloading it and running it on a Mac. If more developers sign up it could mean they can get popular programs, such as Angry Birds, for free instead of buying them from Apple's Mac store.
A test, or alpha, version of the Bluestacks Mac software is now available for download on the company's website.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Instagram Rolls Out iOS, Android Updates

Instagram on Monday rolled out its first update since Facebook snatched up the popular photo-filter application for $1 billion.
Apple iOS and Android users received upgrades, bumping the app up to version 2.5 and 1.1.4, respectively.
The most notable change on both operating systems is the "Explore" tab, which was swapped for the former "Popular" tab, and now sports a new compass-like icon leading to the top-ranking snapshots.
The update also gave the Profile tab a cleaner look, added the ability to search for users and tags in the Explore tab, improved commenting, and pumped up its speed optimization, according to the iTunes Store app description.
Instagram iOS Update Touting its Facebook connection, the app now offers the option to share "likes" to the social network, though the option seems to be strictly an iPhone feature.
The iOS app also removed the two-click process to pull photos from the phone's Camera Roll into Instagram. Now, just tap and hold the camera button, and users will be brought directly there.
Instagram has been staying busy this year. In March, it partnered with Hipstamatic to bring more photo options to iPhone users, and launched its Android app before being sold to Facebook in April, the same month that it hit No. 1 on the iTunes app chart.
The most recent version of Instagram is available in the iTunes Store and on Google Play.
For more, see PCMag's review of Instagram for Android and the slideshow below as well as our review of Instagram for iOS.

Mozilla Releases Updated Firefox for Android

Mozilla today released an updated version of Firefox for Android that the company said is "faster, smarter, and safer than ever before."
The revamped app is available now in the Google Play store.
Mozilla touted the improved speed of the new app. "You'll notice dramatic performance improvements that make Firefox on your Android phone super fast with everything from startup and page load times to panning and zooming and Web app performance when you just want to play Mozilla's BrowserQuest game with your friends," Mozilla wrote in a blog post.
The company said its browser is "significantly faster" than the stock browser that currently ships on Android phones, according to benchmarks like Sunspider and the new, Mozilla-developed Eideticker (click below).
Firefox for Android In terms of features, the new app "has a fresh, streamlined look with a personalized start page that saves you time getting where you want to go on the Web," Mozilla said.
A new Awesome Screen syncs browsing history, bookmarks, passwords, and form data from the desktop PC browser to your Android device. Mozilla also optimized features like tabbed browsing, Firefox Sync, and Firefox Add-ons for mobile.
Firefox for Android also supports Flash, so the updated browser will allow for more video watching, game play, and Web interactions than before. Mozilla also promised enhanced HTML5 capabilities, which will help developers create richer Web apps and websites.
On the security front, there is support for things like Do Not Track, Master Password, HTTP Strict Transport Security, and more.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Google entices Android developers to 'build beautiful, powerful, successful apps' with site refresh

Google entices Android developers to 'build beautiful, powerful, successful apps'
You know what's happening next week in Android land? Yes, it's Google I/O, and we'll be there to give you the all the details, of course. Leading up to the event, Google's just given its Android developer site a fresh new "streamlined, simplified, and refocused" look. The redesign touches on three aspects of the app development lifecycle -- design, development and distribution -- in the hopes to entice developers to "build beautiful, powerful, successful apps". Want to find out more? Check out the gallery below and hit the break for the PR.

Google Mistakenly Outs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean as Next OS

Google Play
Google's next version of Android will be dubbed Jelly Bean according to a temporary listing on the Google Play store. New wallpaper options might show up too. Image: Google
If there was ever any debate about what the nickname of Google’s next version of Android would be, those questions can be put to rest. According to a posting in Google’s own online storefront, Android 4.1 will be called Jelly Bean.
This doesn’t come as much of a surprise, as Jelly Bean had been rumored as the code name for months. But it was a surprise that the facts were revealed Thursday on the Google Play online store. It also seems to have been a mistake.
According to a user named Lil Jones on the XDA Developers forum, a popular site among Android developers and modders, Google Play listed the Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone as, “The latest smartphone from Google, soon the first phone with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.”
The website Droid Life also saw the same product description on Google Play after adding a Galaxy Nexus to a Google Play shopping cart. Google, however, took the product listing down after a few minutes. While the Galaxy Nexus is still available through Google Play, it no longer makes mention of Android 4.1. A shot of the Galaxy Nexus sporting a new pink and green wallpaper and what looks like a new search box still shows up (as seen above) on Google Play when the Galaxy Nexus is in a user’s shopping cart.
Google declined to comment on the Google Play mishap, or on the Jelly Bean nickname. One bit of detail not disclosed on Google Play or by Google is when the next iteration of Android will arrive. A good time for such a launch would, of course, be Google I/O, the company’s massive developer conference taking place June 27-29 in San Francisco.
At the last I/O conference, Google teased Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich, but it didn’t arrive until November with the launch of the Galaxy Nexus.
In case you’re not up on Google’s Android name game, the tasty treat-inspired monikers for the software are selected in alphabetical order. Over Android’s history, we’ve seen Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich. Jelly Bean, you’re up next.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

ARM preps Mali GPU for low-cost Android tablets

ARM has developed a new, entry-level version of its Mali graphics processor that could help expand the market for low-cost Android tablets.

The GPU, called the Mali-450, is designed to help manufacturers build tablets that cost less than market-leading products like Apple's iPad, which starts at $399, but provide good enough graphics performance to keep most users satisfied.

With touchscreens and high-definition video now fairly mainstream, the GPUs in tablets and smartphones account for a bigger share of the cost, and take up more space on the CPU on which they're integrated.

Some manufacturers want cheaper parts, however, that offer reasonable graphics performance and occupy less die space. That's where the 450 is targeted, said Ian Smythe, director of marketing in ARM's Media Processing Division.

The new GPU is offered with up to eight cores and offers double the performance of its predecessor, the Mali-400, which has up to four cores, Smythe said. The Mali-450 is expected to appear in tablets in the first half of next year, he said.

Tablet makers are demanding a wide range of price and performance characteristics, so ARM is essentially bifurcating its GPU road map. It will offer the Mali-T600 family for higher-end devices, and the Mali-400 family, including the 450, for the low end.

Both can do gaming and video playback, but only the higher-end parts do "computational graphics," Smythe said. That includes tasks like matching points on two images to do facial recognition, or stitching photographs together into a panorama.

ARM supplies the CPU designs used in most tablets and smartphones but it's a relative newcomer to graphics. ARM entered the GPU market in 2006 when it bought Norwegian chip maker Falanx. It's since built the team in Norway from 20 to about 80 people, Smythe said.

The GPUs in Apple's iOS devices are based on a design by ARM's U.K. rival Imagination Technologies. ARM does better in Android-based devices, supplying GPUs for about 20 percent of the smartphones and more than half of Android tablets, Smythe said.

ARM expects its licensees to sell about 100 million Mali GPUs this year, up from 48 million in 2011. "We've not quite caught up to our CPU colleagues who are shipping several billion units per year, but we're making progress," he said.

The best-known smartphone with an ARM GPU is the Samsung Galaxy SII, which uses the Mali-400. The Galaxy SIII, expected later this year, will use the higher-end T604. The Mali-T658, announced in November, should start appearing in phones and tablets in the first half of next year.

Further out, ARM is developing a high-end part code-named Skrymir, named after a giant in Norse mythology, which is due in 2014.

Microsoft debuts Xbox Live app for Android

Xbox fans with Android phones can now keep up – or at least begin to keep up – with their fellow gamers using iPhones and Windows Phone devices, now that Microsoft has released an Xbox Live app for Google's OS.

The XBox Live app for Android went live on Google Play Wednesday, and requires an Xbox Live account as well as Android 2.2 or higher – and a WGVA screen resolution or higher.

"Take your Xbox LIVE experience wherever you go with the My Xbox LIVE app. Track and compare your achievements, connect with your Xbox LIVE friends, and change up your 3D Avatar," read the description on the app's page on Google Play.

"Review all the recent great games you and your friends love to play and compare achievements with them. Access Xbox Spotlight feeds, get breaking news from Xbox LIVE, game tips and tricks, gamer spotlight and much more," it added.

But an article posted on PC World said the app may not be as polished as the versions for Apple's iOS and Microsoft's own Windows Phone.

PC World also noted another potential downside for the Android app is that users will not find out that the app does not fit their phone until they have installed it.

"That appears to have angered some," it said.

Meanwhile, PC World said Microsoft also released an XBox Live app update for iOS, which lets them catch up with Windows Phone users as far as letting them use the app to search and control content from their devices.

"The iOS app now acts a remote which can navigate through the Xbox 360 menus as well as play, pause, rewind, or fast forward through content," it added.

New redesigned Spotify app for Android 4.0

Spotify, the popular music streaming service is ready to sizzle on Android devices that run on Ice Cream Sandwich. The company has now released a redesigned Spotify app for Android, reveals the official Spotify blog.
The preview of the app was released a few weeks ago. It has been crafted with an array of improvements and new features like a cool new design and faster performance. The app completely supports the latest flavour of Google operating system - Android 4.0 a.k.a. Ice Cream Sandwich.
The app has been released with a facelift, featuring all new slide-out navigation, displaying artist imagery in high resolution and it also offers related artist view on the mobile device.
New redesigned Spotify app for Android 4.0
It also follows the social fad, allowing users to check friends' profile pages and playlists on-the-go, and supports 'Extreme' 320kbps files.
The slew of features further include play queue, scrobbling and Crossfade/gapless playback settings. Then, there's the Spotify widget that allows access to the app from the homescreen and also support for folders.
Spotify now provides free access to Spotify Premium on your mobile devices with a trial period of 48 hours. If 48 hours isn’t enough, then users can further extend it by 30 days. Spotify offers instant access to over 15 million tracks, allows online streaming, listening to music offline, sharing music with friends, wirelessly syncing MP3s to Android device, creating and syncing playlists and sending tracks to Facebook and

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Nokia’s Elop: Lumia price cuts will help us take on Android in retail war

Consumers do actually like Nokia’s Windows Phone Lumia device, but retailers are proving harder nut to crack, according to Nokia chief exec Steven Elop - as he set the scene for a price war with Android.
For the relatively small number of consumers the Lumia has reached in its short existence, the phone has been “well received”,  Elop told analysts on a conference call Thursday.
The troubled Finnish mobile device maker today announced it will lay off 10,000 workers worldwide and acquired elements of Swedish mobile imaging software company, Scalado, as part of a longer term effort to focus on the Lumia.
With “specific support from Microsoft” Nokia will aim to increase its appeal by pushing the price of the Lumia line below the entry level Lumia 610 as part of its “low end price point war” with Android.
The real challenge, Elop said, is convincing retailers to bring the device out of the shadows.
“How do you get a preferred position on a shelf, how do you make sure the lights on your device are brighter than the ones from down the road?” asked Elop.
While the aim is to get more Lumia devices into the hands of consumers, Nokia will in fact narrow its direct sales and marketing efforts to select markets, palming off less significant ones to distributors to be managed through a central hub.
The US, UK, China and “certain” Asian and European nations would remain in focus with more effort placed on carrier partnerships, said Elop.
“We’re deliberately going through a cycle of concentrating on some markets at the expense of others.”
Nokia’s chief financial officer Timo Ihamuotila would not give a timeline for the Lumia to exceed its current market share of roughly 1.5 percent, but said Nokia hoped in the longer term to increase that to 10 percent.
While mapping and navigation have become commoditised, Elop said,  Nokia’s location-based services would give it an edge over rivals, pointing to Nokia City Lens, its augmented reality application, and its public transport mapping system.
Elop blamed Nokia’s inability to differentiate the Nokia experience on Windows Phone to date on its late entry on the platform but added that Windows Phone 8 (Apollo) and Windows 8, both expected to be released by the end of summer or thereabouts, will be “key milestones” for Nokia.

Android Gets Its Very Own Official Xbox LIVE App From Microsoft- In Other News, Pigs Now Fly

Well, this sure came out of left field. Microsoft has released an official Xbox LIVE app for Android! The app can be used to view and modify your 3D Xbox avatar, track your achievements, connect with Xbox LIVE friends, and even get news and information from the Xbox Spotlight feeds. Color us surprised at how fully featured this app is.
xboxlive1 xboxlive2 xboxlive3
The app has a distinctly Metro UI feel to it, which is unsurprising as Redmond has been keen to slather the vector-based UI on all of its properties these days, but the theme definitely clashes with Android. Functionally, however, it's very robust. It doesn't launch or connect with any games aside from achievement tracking, but fans of the Xbox LIVE service will get some utility out of this app.
It's noteworthy that Microsoft has chosen to release this app on Android, though. Windows Phone hasn't exactly skyrocketed into popularity the way Microsoft would like just yet. The Lumia was a good boost, but one phone can't carry the platform. Xbox LIVE integration was always a major bullet point for Windows Phone and, while this app doesn't cover everything Xbox LIVE has to offer, it does indicate that Microsoft seems willing to loosen its grip on some key properties.
The app also seems to have some compatibility issues with tablets. While it installs just fine, the app refused to run on my Xoom, claiming "This app won't work well enough on this device." We assume that Microsoft will expand compatibility as time goes on. The app's description says it is available for "most Android 2.2+ smartphones, with WGVA screen resolution or higher."

Monday, June 11, 2012

Android growing with over 900,000 devices activated every day

Android continues to grow, with over 900,000 devices based on the OS now being activated every day, according to Andy Rubin, who heads up development of the smartphone operating system at Google.
That figure compares to around 500,000 devices per day at the end of June last year, and 850,000 per day at the end of February, according to Rubin, who didn't elaborate on the split between smartphones, tablets and other device types.

First-quarter shipments of Android smartphones were up 145% on a year earlier, giving the OS, a global smartphone market share of 59%, according to IDC, which keeps track of units sold to the channel as opposed to devices activated by users.

However, all is not well in the Android camp. Last week, High Tech Computer (HTC) lowered its expected revenue for the second quarter due to lower-than-anticipated sales to Europe, and the delayed shipment and launch of certain products in the US, the company said.
Along with HTC, Sony Mobile, LG Electronics and Google-owned Motorola Mobility are all trying to find their place in a smartphone world increasingly dominated by Samsung Electronics and Apple.

Most of the growth, though, will happen in the market for cheap smartphones where the likes of ZTE and Huawei Technologies are pushing down prices. These new entrants are expecting lower profit margins, said Richard Kramer, managing partner at Arete Research, in a keynote speech during the recent Open Mobile Summit conference in London.
Smartphone sales will total between 750 million and 800 million units, or over $230 billion by value during 2012, according to Kramer. However, Apple, Samsung Electronics and HTC are the only vendors making money, he said at the time.
Google's Android will still be the king of smartphone operating system's in 2016, but its market share will erode as Windows Phone takes off, according to a report from market research company IDC.
By the end of 2012, Android's smartphone market share will be 61 percent, but in four years its share will have dropped to about 53%, according to IDC.

Android Reaches 900,000 Daily Activations

Android's chief architect, Andy Rubin, took to Twitter over the weekend to share the news that Google's mobile platform is being activated on 900,000 devices each and every day. Google doesn't provide a breakdown of those activations, so that massive number includes smartphones, tablets, Kindles, and other devices running Android.
It would appear that Google is on the cusp of reaching one million devices activated each day. But can it? Android's adoption rate has slowed in recent months. Let's take a look at the numbers.

he last time we heard from Google about the Android daily activation rate was in February. The number at the point was 850,000 daily activations. It took four months (February to June) to grow by 50,000 activations.
Prior to that, Google announced 700,000 daily activations in December 2011. The time to jump 150,000 activations--from 700,000 to 850,000--took only two months. Of course, that included the holiday shopping season. Two months for 150,000 (between December and February), followed by four months to climb 50,000 (between February and June) shows a huge slowdown in the growth rate. This has been backed up by reports from the likes of IDC, Nielsen, and others that say Android's growth is throttling down a bit.

In October 2011, the activation rate was 550,000 per day. The daily activation rate climbed by 150,000 between October and December, a two-month stretch. Nearly a year ago, in July 2011, the activation rate was 500,000 per day.
Looking at the data, it's clear that the holiday season was a boon to Android's activation rate. At its current rate of growth--50,000 new daily activations over a four-month period--Google won't reach 1,000,000 daily activations until February 2013. Is there anything that can help speed up the adoption rate?
Sure, compelling new hardware and software.
Samsung will certainly do its part in the coming weeks and months with the availability of the Galaxy S III. It lands at five major U.S. carriers in the next four weeks, and is already available for sale in markets around the globe. It's the Korean firm's flagship device for the year, and based on initial reactions, it will be a big seller.
Google is also prepping a new, lower-cost tablet for release in the next month or so. The Asus-made Nexus tablet is expected to make its first appearance at the Google I/O conference in several weeks. Based on the price point and specs of this device, it could help bolster flagging Android tablet sales.
Perhaps more important, however, will be Android 5.0 Jelly Bean. Jelly Bean is expected to show up at I/O along with the Nexus tablet. It needs to be more successful than the previous version of Android. Eight months after its release, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich has been installed on fewer than 8% of Android devices. That's miserable. Despite Google's promise to make device system upgrades easier and faster, it simply hasn't happened. Can Jelly Bean improve that rate at which smartphone and tablet buyers install the latest version of the software--and the rate at which buyers snap up Android devices?
Mobile Connect addresses the strategic direction that will define enterprise IT for the next decade--building and managing information systems that run on a mobile platform. Mobile Connect will bring together enterprise mobility thought leaders to discuss the innovations in mobile, and how forward-thinking companies are getting the technology to work for them, providing unprecedented business value. It happens in Boston, June 18-20. Register today. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

HDMI Dongle Converts Any TV into Android Smart TV

Startup company Infinitec has introduced the Pocket TV, an Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) based HDMI dongle that converts any HDTV into a Smart TV. It's essentially a thumb-sized micro-computer packed with a 1 GHz Cortex A9 SoC, a Mali-400MP GPU, 512 MB of RAM, a USB 2.0 port, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and a microSD card slot (for up to 32 GB of storage) that's capable of transforming a TV into a mega-sized tablet -- only without the touchscreen capabilities, of course.
"You can download apps from the Google Play Store to stream videos, play games, connect with your friends on Facebook, catch up on news, do some work or simply surf the web," the company said on Thursday. "You can even attach a video camera to do Skype video-calls on your TV. "
One of Infinitec's big selling points with its new gadget is portability. Not only can end-users stream video, listen to music, get the latest news or check the latest Facebook feeds at home on their big screen TV, but they can take all of that content on the go by simply stuffing the dongle into their pocket, and then plug it into the HDMI port of a hotel TV. Executives won't even need to take their laptop, as they could plug the Pocket TV into the projector and stream a presentation from the cloud (like a Dropbox account) or locally from the SD Card.
To control Pocket TV, Infinitec has thrown a standard IR Remote into the package. It uses an infrared signal and gives consumers the ability to control the Pocket TV interface using the up, down, side arrows and several buttons. There's also an optional Air Remote which features a gyroscope sensor that allows the user to control Pocket TV simply by moving it around like a Wii controller. Move a hand up, down or sideways, and the cursor on the screen will follow.
"If you want you can also use your iPhone or Android smartphone to control the Pocket TV," the company said. "Just download the Google Remote TV app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store and your phone will become your remote. We’re also working on our own app for your phone with some very cool features."
The USB 2.0 port allows consumers to add an external hard drive, a wireless keyboard and mouse or a video camera for video calls. Pocket TV can even be connected to any standard TV as long as it has an HDMI port (or an attached HDMI converter box), and is capable of displaying up to 1080p. The only drawback to this gadget is that it needs to be plugged into a power outlet via a miniUSB port, and that the IR camera for the remote needs to be draped across the top of the TV.
Recently surpassing over $100,000 in pledges, the Pocket TV can be pre-ordered for a limited pre-order price of $99 (regular price $160) right here. As seen in the video below, the company actually used a 4-port USB hub so that they could use multiple USB devices. How users will be able to play Angry Birds with the IR Remote is unknown, if possible at all.

Facebook is releasing its App Center tonight

The rumored Facebook App Center is finally here. Yes, the url is now active and presents you with over 600 Facebook apps which you can start using right away. Having its own app center takes Facebook to a new level. Almost every online service or mobile service has an app store today. Apple has its App Store, Google has Play Store, BlackBerry has its BlackBerry World, Nokia has Ovi Store, and even Samsung has Samsung Apps. So why should Facebook be left out of the pack?
Well, tonight, the world’s favorite social networking site is making the app store public. There is a rumor that the company is making the App Center available to a certain group of users in the United States to begin with and then will be rolling it out to the global user base. But I don’t think there is anything like that as I don’t live in the US but still I am able to use the App Center already without any issues.

The Facebook App Center not only brings a lot of apps to its users, but it brings those apps in a fashion, the usual fashion. As soon as you open the page, you will see a list of apps, categorized as usual. The categories include Games, Music, News, Photos & Video, Facebook, Lifestyle, Entertainment, Sports, Travel & Local, and Utilities. These are basically the same categories found in any other app store.
The App Center features a ‘Send to Mobile’ option. This option is available for all apps which can be used on smart phones as well. For example, Instagram has an app for both iPhone and Android. So if you want to use the app on your smart phone, you can click on the ‘Send to Phone’ button on the App Center and you will be able to use it on your phone with ease. If such apps require a download on your smart phone, the App Center will take you to either the App Store or the Play Store depending on which smart phone you are using. This is a pretty nice feature.

Use Windows 8 on your Android tablet using this Splashtop app

Splashtop was in the news, a while back and they’re in the news, again. Back in April, they released an app that would let you access Windows 8 over the network on your iPad and it came with the ability to use gestures, and so on. Now, they’re at it again and this time on Android tablets. The app is called Win8 Metro Testbed and is available for download on the Google Play store. It’s priced at Rs. 1,383, which makes it a tad expensive, but it’s still way more affordable than buying one of the Windows 8 tablets, when they arrive. The app is most handy, as of now to developers who want to test their Metro UI apps on a tablet without having to wait and buy a Windows 8 tablet, when they eventually do start entering the market. The setup requires you to install the app on your tablet and a server software called the Splashtop Streamer software on your Windows 8 PC. After doing an initial security verification, you should be able to access the Windows 8 Metro UI on the tablet.


Splashtop, as a company is known for making solutions that lets users remote access devices over a network. Splashtop has developed a similar app for the iPad, which allows users to test out Windows 8 apps on the Metro UI remotely. The Win8 Metro Testbed app for iPads is also available on the Apple iTunes Store for a price of $24.99 (approximately Rs. 1,300).

One of the unique features of the app was the ability to use gestures. The software for the Windows 8 PC has very nominal requirements - a 1.6GHz processor, along with 1GB of memory. The software also gives users the chance to see how well Windows 8 functions, as a tablet operating system. Splashtop also has a bunch of other software for the iPad, one of which is called the Splashtop XDisplay, which allows you to use the iPad as a second display for your computer. Splashtop also has an integrated operating system product that’s built into motherboards. It allows users to browse, chat and do some other functions without even having an operating system installed on the hard drive.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Parrot bets on Android winning in-car device market

Parrot, an upstart French technology company, is betting that drivers want their cars to be fitted with an all-in-one "infotainment" device based on Google's popular Android operating software to give hands-free control of its smartphone, radio, music and satellite navigation functions.
Best known for hands-free car phone kits, Parrot has spent the last three years and tens of millions of euros developing the first-ever car radio based on Google's Android, gambling that it will become a must-have for drivers wanting more than just a good stereo system and a cradle for their smartphones.
Instead, the 250 million-euro ($312 million) company believes they will want its voice-controlled, multi-purpose "Asteroid" radio, the first version of which it launched last year. The company says it has sold between 20,000 and 25,000 radios so far to individual buyers for around $290.
The current version features relatively few apps but Android's "open-source" platform means that any software developer can modify the code of existing apps to adapt them to the car as well as create and share new apps that might appeal specifically to drivers and as first-mover this could be a potential "game changer" for Parrot, said Roger Lanctot, associate director for the global automotive practice at Strategy Analytics.
To this end Parrot has now made a software development kit available online for developers, inviting them to create new apps around the themes of geolocation, driving assistance, contact management and music.
"Because they embraced it early, they certainly have some advantages in terms of their experience in working with Android and apps-based platforms in a system in a car," Lanctot said.
But it still faces seemingly daunting odds in taking on audio specialists like Harman International, Pioneer and JVC-Kenwood as well as GPS satellite navigation manufacturers such as Garmin and Tomtom and is now hoping to get major automakers to pre-install its Android-powered technology in their new car models.
"It's a market that will be battled over by a huge number of people," Eric Beaudet, analyst at Natixis said. "Undoubtedly, this is a market that will develop very quickly."

Android to Dominate Smartphones, Windows to Top iOS by 2016?

Google's Android will likely maintain its smartphone OS dominance in the next five years, though its share will peak in 2012, according to Wednesday data from IDC.
Apple's iOS, meanwhile, will continue an "impressive" run during the same time period, but could face increasing competition from Windows Phone - if Nokia manages to maintain its lead in emerging markets.
According to IDC, Android is expected to capture 61 percent of the smartphone market in 2012. Though that will likely drop to 52.9 percent by 2016, it will still be enough to maintain the No. 1 spot. Sales of Samsung devices will be a big driver, IDC said.
Apple iOS will likely capture 20.5 percent of the market this year and fall to 19 percent by 2016, while Windows Phone will jump from 5.2 percent in 2012 to 19.2 percent in the next few years, IDC said - something it predicted last year, too.
IDC said uptake of iOS will slow in the coming years "given the large installed base Apple has accumulated." As a result, most buyers in the years to come will be existing iPhone users who upgrade to the newest device. Emerging markets will be "of utmost importance" if Apple wants iOS to gain any share, IDC said. Nokia already has a foothold in emerging markets, which should help with the expansion of Windows Phone, according to IDC.
Despite its recent troubles, IDC maintained that there will "continue to be a market" for BlackBerry devices. RIM also has an opportunity in emerging markets, but IDC predicted an increasing "gulf" between BlackBerry and other top OSes as the "software/app-oriented and the 'bring your own device' enterprise trend proliferates."
IDC said BlackBerry OS will probably have 6 percent of the market this year, and slip slightly to 5.9 percent by 2016.
Overall, the cell phone market is expected to grow just 4 percent in 2012 thanks to a projected 10 percent drop in the number of feature phones sold, but smartphone sales are expected to help even out that loss, with a 38 percent boost in shipments this year.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Instapaper Produces Operating system App

Instapaper for Operating system released nowadays, including to the increasing list of iOS-turned-Android programs.

Developer Mobelux, which formerly designed Tumblr for iPhone and Operating system, was chosen to make the new app, which is available nowadays via Search engines Perform for $2.99. It will work on gadgets operating Operating system 2.1 and higher.

Instapaper allows customers to save Websites for later studying, maintaining content from your preferred sites stored off-line and ready to study wherever you may not have access to information or Wi-Fi systems.

"Great for long content and content that you discover during the day and would like to study, but don't have time when you discover them," the app's Search engines Perform Shop information said.

Most sites can be stored as text-only, with adaptable print styles, written text size, line space and margins; you can keep content structured in files, and discuss them via a Web web browser.

The Operating system app launch comes just times after the iOS app obtained an upgrade, including Qualifications Update Places to the 4.2.2 edition. Instapaper now instantly downloading new content whenever a individual goes into or results in locations such as their home or office. The app shops the locations only within itself, and does not discuss them or deliver them to any web service, according to an Instapaper short article.

The information was first revealed by The Brink, which also discussed to Instapaper designer Marco Arment, a known The apple company fan. "Android is not in my world. It's not in my attention period most times," he informed the weblog. "Thinking about the iOS app is a full-time job, and remaining aggressive on iOS is a full-time job."

Arment was motivated to discover an Operating system edition of Instapaper thanks to the success of the Android-based Amazon Amazon kindle Flame and the Barnes & Royal Location. "For me individually, Instapaper is now a product app first, and mobile phone second," he informed The Brink.

Instapaper said the Operating system app was designed "specifically for small pills like Amazon kindle Flame and Location Shade, large pills like the Samsung Motorola xoom as well as most Operating system mobile phones operating 2.1 (Eclair) and up."

The Operating system app is predicted to be available soon in the Amazon App Shop and the Location Shop, Arment informed The Brink.

Nyko Shows Android Wireless Gamepads, Battery Packs

Nyko these days declared a couple of new gamepads for use with Operating system pills.

The PlayPad Pro and Playpad are two, dual-analog gamepads with the same number of control buttons as Console 360 and PlayStation 3 remotes. They go to Operating system pills over Wireless, and according to Nyko, they use a new car owner method reinforced by many Operating system designers and system companies.

The PlayPad Pro is a full-sized gamepad, about the same measurements as an Console 360 operator. The PlayPad is a lesser gamepad with a retractable take a place and case. Nyko has not yet declared costs for the two gamepads. The PlayPad Pro and PlayPad are organized for launch next holidays.
E3 Expo 2012 bug

Nyko also declared its first expert battling keep, the No cost Martial artist. It's a PlayStation 3 video arcade keep with an ambidextrous design that allows the gamer switch the place of the joystick between remaining and right of the control buttons. The platform can be extended and the joystick can be personalized through four macro and two fast flame control buttons. The No cost Martial artist will send in Sept with a list price of $179.99.

The company has also unveiled two new products for convenient game techniques. The Energy Hold for the PlayStation Vita contributes an electrical supply and grip to the Vita that Nyko statements can add up to three periods battery power. It will store for $29.99 when it delivers in Aug.

The Energy Hold Pro for the Manufacturers 3DS contributes a second analogue pad and an electrical supply to the 3DS that Nyko says can also also add up to three periods battery power. It will send in Oct, but Nyko has not yet declared the costs.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Five Best Android ROMs

Whether you're looking to upgrade an Android device forsaken by its manufacturer or you just want more control over the phone or tablet you own, you've probably gone looking for a new ROM. Rooting your phone is the first step, but a new ROM will give you a completely new mobile OS, and this week we're going to look at five of the best Android ROMs, based on your nominations.
Earlier in the week, we asked you which Android ROMs you thought were the best. We took your nominations, tallied them up, and now we're back to highlight the top five. It's important to note that not every ROM is available for every device, and different ROMs are aimed at different audiences—some of them are designed to upgrade the OS and others are lean and mean installs to speed up your phone. Whichever you choose, you'll have to make sure your device is supported by the developers behind the ROM before installing.


CyanogenMod is arguably one of the (if not the) most installed Android ROM in the world, and for good reason. It offers a ton of great features, is available for more devices than most other ROMs of its type, and has the type of polish and support that makes it easy to fall in love with. There are builds of CyanogenMod for Android phones and tablets, and slowly but surely the developers behind CyanogenMod are rolling out Ice Cream Sandwich versions for devices whose manufacturers have given up on upgrading the device entirely. To boot, CyanogenMod includes features you won't find in stock Android, like support for OpenVPN, support for downloadable themes, more privacy tools, and more. You can find a list of supported devices here.

Asus to bring Android to Windows with BlueStacks

Asus has revealed a new partnership at Computex today to make its computers more Android-friendly. By teaming with BlueStacks (download), which makes an "app player" for running Android apps on Windows, the company will make Android apps available on 30 million Windows computers around the world.
"Asus has always been an innovator, and this is a big move for the space," BlueStacks' Chief Executive Officer Rosen Sharma wrote in an e-mail to CNET. "Thirty million computers running mobile apps is a lot, but it's just the beginning."
Asus will include BlueStacks in its asus@vibe entertainment platform, which currently ships on all Asus computers. It will include six months of free access to hundreds of thousands of Android apps, after which customers must pay a subscription fee to continue unfettered app access. If they don't pay, BlueStacks will still work but with far fewer apps available -- about 50 or so of the top apps.

Legacy Asus computers already in the marketplace will get BlueStacks on June 4, as soon as the app player is available in asus@vibe. The first Asus computers to ship with BlueStacks integrated are expected to be running Windows 7, shipping in September, and Windows 8, when it becomes available sometime during the third quarter this year.