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Tag Archives: Android

Moshi for iPad
  • By Aldo Panessidi


    Samsung has a Galaxy Note2 with “UBP”


    The new Samsung Galaxy Note “phablet” is in the works as a follow up to the success of its first phone/tablet hybrid –  the Galaxy Note. 


    The Galaxy Note was one of the key contributors to Samsung's success in the past year. Over seven million devices have been sold worldwide. That beats the company’s sales projections from back in March by two million units.


    According to MK Business News, Samsung plans to release the new handset in October. Samsung apparently wants its new Note to go head to head with the Apple iPhone 5 that is also expected to enter the market in the fall.


    The Galaxy Note2 will have a display that is rumored to be larger than the current Note’s 5.3-inches. It will up the technology bar with a display made from “unbreakable plane” (or “UBP”), a precursor to the flexible display. The Note II is also is rumored to have a slimmer design than the Note, a quad-core processor and an Android Jelly Bean OS.


    No details on pricing have been provided by Samsung.




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  • LG ends tablet production
    Posted on June 26, 2012 by Pure Mobile

    By Aldo Panessidi


    LG Mobile announced that it will halt both time and investment in tablet development and instead concentrate their attention on making smartphones including the Optimus L7, Optimus 4G LTE and Gossip Pro 


    LG ends tablet production


    Ken Hong, an LG spokesman, couldn’t have made it any clearer when he told Bloomberg, “We’ve decided to put all new tablet development on the back burner for the time being in order to focus on smartphones.”


    LG launched the Optimus Pad LTE earlier this year, but hasn’t been able to make any inroads against Apple, Amazon and Samsung in the tablet market. The South Korean electronics manufacturer will try to turn around its smartphone business by concentrating on its Optimus line of Android devices. Hong also noted that the company is still interested in making phones using Microsoft’s Windows Phone software.




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    MightyText is a brand new app that lets Android users view and send SMS or MMS messages through their computer when they can’t or don’t want to use their Android smartphone. MightyText syncs to your smartphone, copies your texts, and stores them in the cloud.


    MightyText takes texting back to the computer


    Originally, MightyText went through a beta test as a Chrome extension. Now it’s available as a web application.


    To set up your smartphone, connect to any browser. Open the Google Play store. Download the free MightyText app to your phone.  Then go to the MightyText website (www.mightytext.net). Log in, and set up your account. Sync to your Google Contacts and have your contacts’ information added to the MightyText web app.  You’re all set to send a receive texts without your phone in hand.


    I’m sure you can come up with a few scenarios where the MightyText option would come in handy. Maybe your phone is dead and you need to check your texts. Maybe you’re at the office with your laptop in front of you, and you can’t pull out your smartphone. Pull up the MightyText website and send and receive texts on your computer.


    Give it a try at Google Play. What the heck, it’s free.




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    Android texting application Swype has been in the design phase for awhile, but its beta shows it has evolved into a sophisticated next-generation app with four-in-one keyboard and voice capabilities.


    Swype’s four keyboard choices and 55 language downloads


    Chief among the app's redesign is the option of using one of four kinds of keyboards:  traditional letter-to-letter swiping, while adding the ability to type with predictive text input, use an integrated Dragon button to speak the text, or rely on the old peck-and-hunt one-finger motion. Users can swap between any of the modes limitlessly.


    Swype’s new features also include next-word prediction that allows the app to build on historical usage, compiling every word a user enters in emails, texts, or other posts. Swype's 55 language downloads allow users to communicate in any language they can speak.  Swype can be installed on all Android based cell phones including the Samsung Galaxy S3, Samsung Galaxy S2 as well as HTC One X and Motorola Droid Razr 


    According to Michael Thompson, EVP and general manager for Nuance Mobile (the speech-recognition software building company that acquired Swype last October), "People use their keyboards every day in every way — so input needs to be fast and simple. The new Swype living, learning keyboard users in a new era of input, where the keyboard adapts to the user's unique way of communicating every time they swype, speak, tap, or write."


    The Swype Beta for Android is available for download via beta.swype.com. There's also an SDK for other operating systems.




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    If you’re into space battles and vaporizing hostile aliens... then Atmo is just the video game for you.  Door 6 is the mastermind behind the project and just released it from beta testing. You can download Atmo for free from Google Play.


    Door 6 releases Atmo from its beta – now available in Google Play


    For those who didn’t get a crack at the Atmo beta, it’s a real-time, multiplayer space combat game. Your team is charged with searching through capsules for a hidden enemy flag, capturing it and bringing it home, all the while fighting to keep your flag out of the clutches of your vile opponents.


    Atmo’s 3D graphics are great and ran smoothly in a few tests using the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. The heads-up display keeps you aware of everything around you, yet you don’t ever get disoriented in its fairly open world.  This video game can also be played on all major tablets brands including the HTC Flyer and HTC Jetstream, Samsung Galaxy Tab and the Motorola Xoom just to name a few.


    Enhance your gaming experience with high quality speakers, and headsets featuring the Beats by Dr. Dre 


    Start with Atmo’s tutorial. It will give you an overview of the game’s controls and objectives. You’d better be ready to play.  At the end of those 45-seconds of training, you’ll be dropped in the middle of a live game. (Here’s a handy tip to get you started: hold down the fire button to maintain a steady stream of lasers heading toward ships, capsules and whatever else gets in your way.)


    The game gives you the option of just jumping in for a quick play, but if you want to track your score’s history, you have to login under your Facebook account. This is a pesky requirement right now, but pretty soon it will be used to team you up with Facebook friends who also want to play the game.


    The Door 6 team has quite a few plans for Atmo beyond today’s version. They’ve got a ranking system with a leveling mechanic and achievement rewards, ship customization options, and more sophisticated weapons like unmanned drones. Eventually, the game will morph into a lot more than just a thrill-of-the-destroying-your-enemies game.


    Your Apple-toting buddies won’t get left out of the game for long.  There’s an iOS version in the works that’s due in the App Store soon.


    The game is available for free in Google Play right now. The designers are experimenting with versions where players can earn ship upgrades, or pay for them if they’re desperate.  A highly-complex version of the game that would be available for purchase is also in the works.




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    Due in part to the fact that Apple commands the lion's share of the worldwide tablet market  coupled with their lack of success with their Optimus Pad,  LG has decided to put their tablet development efforts to the side, and focus on producing Android smartphones that can stand a chance against some very serious rivals.


    Would you stand in line for an LG refrigerator?


    Currently LG markets a very competitive line of smartphones including the Optimus 4G LTE, Gossip Pro and the Optimus L7 


    LG’s Optimus Pad LTE hit the market earlier this year but it didn’t get anyone too excited. There’s a lot of competition in the tablet market, but Apple owns it. Even older versions of iPads outsell some competitor tablets. It’s good to see LG say “why bother?”


    According to a spokesperson from LG, the company is going to concentrate on developing Android smartphones that are more technologically competitive with the products like the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the HTC One X.


    LG knows its stuff when it comes to home appliances and other types of electronics, but you don’t see people lining up to buy the latest in refrigerator technology. It’s time for LG t decide whether they’re in or they’re out.




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    Android apps with “energy bugs”


    Here’s something most of us don’t consider when choosing an app: how fast that app will use up our cell phone or tablet device battery power.   Well, Purdue University researchers have put a lot of thought into it, and they aren’t going to stand for a wasteful Android app.


    Researchers at Purdue have been demonstrating for awhile now how app design affects power usage. They’ve shown how some apps use huge amounts of energy just running ads. (In a previous report, they showed how Angry Birds uses 63% of its resources for peddling rather than propelling.) Now they've confirmed that lots of apps on Google Play have what they call serious "energy bugs." In other words, those apps that use Android's power control or wakelock APIs to prevent a phone going into sleep mode.


    Purdue’s results show that the majority of developers use wakelocks correctly, but around 25% of them make mistakes in how they manage APIs. The effects on battery life are substantial. It can cause a fully-charged phone to drain "in as little as five hours."


    Out of 187 wakelock-exploiting apps tested, 42 had errors. Next week’s report may list the offenders, but it is also expected to provide the means for a developer to easily check their work.




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    Google’s possible response to Apple’s Open Street Map


    The rumor that Open Street Map will be replacing Google Maps as Apple’s default mapping application looks inevitable.  Given the symbiotic relationship that Google and Apple have enjoyed for so long, you can’t help but speculate about what this means to the future of Google’s spirit of cooperation on the app front.


    Google has always been willing to develop Apple-friendly app versions of their products, but now Apple appears to be invading Google territory with Open Street Map.


    It looks like Google has a couple of ways to respond. They can take their apps and go home, or show Apple they ain’t seen nothing yet for iOS. Of course, as a third option, Google could keep letting Apple decide where their apps are welcome and where they are not. That just doesn’t sound like Google.


    Here is some speculation (with a heavy dose of opinion) about how Google might be able to create a little independence from Apple and give Apple users Google alternatives.


    Google Maps


    Google’s possible response to Apple’s Open Street Map


    Google might want to take this opportunity to develop its own third-party iOS-compatible map application. It would give them complete control over how their product is used and what goes into the iOS version. Google’s balancing act would be to provide a map app that Apple users want to use more than their parent’s version, and be just short of what they’d get with Android so they’d consider making the switch. Of course, Google has to walk the thin line of keeping Android users at home, too.


    The opinion around here is that Google should show up Apple. Google would have more control over their maps app on the iOS platform, and not lose advertising dollars. Google should give its Android users an app that has better navigation than anything Apple’s loyalists can expect.  Android losing users to iOS has been the trend for too long. It’s time to show Apple how good they really are at maps.


    Google Drive


    Google’s possible response to Apple’s Open Street Map


    Google Drive is a strong competitor for Apple’s iCloud and Dropbox combo, but all Google seems to have done is rename Google Docs as Google Drive.  Regardless of its name, if Apple wanted to create some competition for Google Drive, they’d have to at least marry iCloud and iWork.


    Google has an iOS version of Drive in the works. Again, the challenge is how to design the app to entice Apple users to use it, and get some of them to switch to Android because of what they can only get with Android. It would come down to Google being able build a better Drive, something we haven’t heard is on the agenda right now.


    There’s another twist to Google’s dilemma. Unlike Maps, Drive has a lot of competition. Although Drive is a nice all-in-one package, other apps have features that Drive doesn’t.  Google has to give Apple users the full-featured Drive; otherwise they already have other places to go.


    Google Music


    Google’s possible response to Apple’s Open Street Map


    There is nothing else out there like Google Music. Upload your entire music collection right from iTunes, and access it from anywhere you can get on the Web – your phone, your tablet, your computer, or someone else’s computer.  Really it’s more of a question of where you can’t access it.


    Now that we’ve established that Google’s product outshines anything Apple offers, would it be worthwhile to Google to design an iOS version?


    Consider first what being a Google Play user means. When you want to buy new music, you press the Google Play button in Google Music and go right to the Google Play Store.  While you can upload the music you purchase on iTunes to your Google Music account, Apple isn’t going to make it easy to buy anything from the Google Play Store. There’s no referral money in it for them, and they’d lose their own iTunes sales.


    If Google were to release a Google Music app for iOS, instead of buying their music in iTunes and transferring it, Apple users would buy their music from Google via the Web. Besides, while Apple charges a subscription fee for iTunes Match, it’s free to sync your music to you Google Music account.  There’s no reason to make the extra effort to buy music on iTunes, and only to transfer it to Google Music.


    There is the loss of ad money to consider if they create a Google Music client on iOS, but we’re sure Google is taking a hard look at its options on this one. 


    Google Chrome


    Google’s possible response to Apple’s Open Street Map


    There is really no competition out there for Google Chrome. It’s the best browser choice on any platform.  Other competitors have tried to topple Google, but no one has come close. When you want to do a search, you “google it”, you don’t “bing it” or “yahoo it.” Does Apple (or anyone else for that matter) have any hope of competing with Google on the browser front?


    Google has been cranking up their investment in Chrome. What Google created on the Web, they’ve duplicated for mobile with Chrome for Android.  Now, with their minimalist approach to operating system design, Google has got Microsoft looking over its shoulder with Chrome OS for devices like tablets and netbooks.


    Google defined “search engine”, and it’s doing that very successfully for other platforms.  There just doesn’t seem to be any reason for Google to share it with Apple and iOS.


    Google could consider going after Safari Mobile with a Chrome iOS that is as full-featured as the Android version. There’s an inherent problem with making this effort though. With Android you can set Chrome OS as the default browser. Everything you do with the web will be done through Chrome if you want it that way. With iOS, Safari would be the default and the user would have to make the manual switch to Chrome with each search.


    Again, Google knows its stuff when it comes to this product. Google is probably already in the game on this one.


    Final words


    We’re probably not telling Google anything they don’t already know. They have had a good thing going with Apple for awhile now, but the app game is changing very quickly. Hardware and software keep out-doing one another, so there is plenty of room for new directions. One of those might be making a bigger effort at crossing platforms with some of Google’s mainstays like Maps, Music, Drive and Chrome. They are all well-designed products, and a couple of them have no serious competition.


    Go for it Google. We like choices!




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    Nokia CEO Stephen Elop has stated for the record that the company plans to ramp up its efforts in the affordable phone market in a big way by expanding its line of low-price Windows Phones like the Nokia Lumia 900. With the help of Microsoft pricing, Nokia plans to focus its efforts on producing cheap handsets in its Lumia line with a wide range of price points and features. The exact words were that the company "needs to compete with Android aggressively".


    Microsoft helping Nokia produce more affordable devices


    Currently the only entry-level phone in the Windows 7 line is the Nokia Lumia 610. Elop noted that there will be more of these devices to come with even lower pricing. The company will be achieving that goal with the help of Microsoft’s "specific support" to get to lower prices than Nokia "had a sight to."


    Nokia has to do everything it can to compete on cost in the very competitive low-end Android smartphone markets like China. The battle will be all about price. The company also plans to save costs by refocusing their launches with more ambitious plans in just a few key countries.


    Nokia's entry level phones have been its bread and butter for a long time. No wonder it is trying to replicate the same strategy with the Windows Phone OS.


    Elop wouldn’t say when we can expect the new line of low-end Lumia’s to hit the market.




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  • Hey, T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S 2 owners:  your Android 4.0.3 is ready for you. If you want it, you’ve got to go and get it yourself. Samsung requires you use their Kies software from a computer to download and install the update, so it’s not available directly to your cell phone.


    T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S II owners: Android 4.0.3 is ready


    Now if you want to use it, you’ll need to work a little more to find what’s different about this Android version. Samsung’s TouchWiz touch interface looks pretty much the same as the last version, so the changes won’t be blatantly obvious.


    The Android 4.0 update incorporates the majority of the new features Google introduced with the Ice Cream Sandwich version for new devices. Learn how to install ICS on your phone from T-Mobile’s support page. To learn more about all the changes included in the new OS, T-Mobile has put together a detailed “Top 10 things to know about TouchWiz Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS): Samsung Galaxy S II” page on its site as well.




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