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.
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.
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.
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.
Intel’s first Android cell phone, the Orange San Diego (once known as the Santa Clara), performed quite well for a debut device from a first-time smartphone manufacturer. Packed with a (1024 x 600) 4-inch LCD, 8-megapixel camera with flash, micro-HDMI port and 1GB of RAM, the San Diego appears to be a solid, mid-range Android device. During its pre-launch, Intel didn’t over-promise on the San Diego, but focused on a few priorities: good web browsing performance, a high-quality camera and maximum battery life.
Watch the following insightful video on the Intel smartphone
The Orange San Diego’s look like a smartphone should. The cell phone case is durable but is a pretty ordinary design. Its black body is ringed by a silver border. There’s nothing special about the finish or any of the other body parts. The soft-touch backing is a nice feature for such an inexpensive phone, but it will still need the protection of a skin or a case to keep it blemish-free.
Along the right side of the 10mm edge are the volume rocker, micro-SIM slot and two-stage camera button. The micro-USB port is at the bottom. The mini-HMDI output is along the left side. All of the buttons are responsive. The camera button even quick launches the camera.
The Orange San Diego resembles a Samsung Galaxy S2 or an iPhone 3GS, but the prominent bezel below the screen gets in the way of it being as user-friendly as those two devices.
That the San Diego has a 4-inch screen is a nice surprise. While there’s no Super AMOLED Plus or Super LCD 2, the contrast is sharp and the colors are rich, although there is a little discoloration on the edges. The 1024 x 600 is screen is ample. When turned up to full brightness the screen was almost readable in full daylight.
There’s almost 11GB of storage space, but no expansion slot. The whole phone is sealed, so the battery is not removable, so a quick reset by removing the battery is not a possibility.
The camera can be controlled by the physical button or the touchscreen. The rear-facing camera can record 1080p video. The four capacitive buttons can be read in daylight. They also illuminate if lighting is too low.
This is probably the biggest disappointment. While the camera is an 8-megapixel / 1.3-megapixel camera duo, you can’t judge this phone’s performance by its specs. Those 8-megapixels don’t live up to their reputation with this phone. While it is capable of burst capture, images are blurry and colors are washed out. Overall, photos appear dull and images aren’t very detailed. Color reproduction indoors was no better. Problems seem to improve a bit when operating in macro mode.
You’ve got a lot of camera control options including capturing multiple photos at differing exposures. The camera doesn’t have an HDR mode, but you can download your images, and turn them into HDR on separate hardware. The camera does have several auto exposure modes (including aperture and shutter priority), shutter-speed adjustment, anti-banding options, RAW mode, ISO settings (800 maximum) and a burst-mode capable of 15 frames per second for up to 10 shots, but you might not have much use for them given the overall mediocre performance of the camera.
Video produced the same ho-hum results. White balancing helped with fuzziness, but also washed-out whites. Autofocus performed well but slowly.
The San Diego’s OS is Android Gingerbread. The phone should be Android 4.0-capable, and that will be available later this year. It's hard to tell what was customized in the Orange San Diego’s OS. There are gesture features that could be useful. Drawing a symbol with your finger across the home screen or with any app acts as a shortcut that will take you to your pre-identified location. You can assign up to 27 shortcuts to apps, contacts, playlists and even Foursquare places.
Popular apps like Orange Wednesday come pre-installed but so do less-useful apps like the Orange Assistant, a redundant user guide and an NFC tags app. The presence of the NFC app doesn’t make much sense. The phone is NFC-capable, but it doesn’t come with taggable cards, and it’s not connected to Orange's existing payment service.
The display keyboard is one of the most responsive of any Android device, regardless of price. Swype is offered as an option as well. The web browser performs comparably to other dual-core Android devices. Even dense websites download easily and with little stutter.
Most apps were compatible with the new chipset, and only two didn’t work out of many tested.
Call quality was sharp and clear. Orange provides HD voice calling between the San Diego and other HD devices. The San Diego’s earSmart voice-cancellation processing is found in higher-end phones like the Galaxy S3.
Performance and Battery Life:
These are the two most important indicators of a viable future for Intel in the smartphone market.
The San Diego’s processor can’t come near a quad-core or Snapdragon S4s, but its single-core 1.6GHz Intel Atom Z2460 performs like a dual-core processor.
Battery life didn't hold up to Intel’s promise of 14 days' in standby mode. It’s primarily due to the juice drained by powering the screen. The San Diego was tested with a video loop with the screen at 50 percent brightness. The phone ran out of power around seven hours and 20 minutes. That’s a result pretty much on par with other Android devices, but not bad for a 4-inch smartphone.
Day-to-day use was a lot better than many other of the latest smartphones. The battery lasted two to three days between charges. Not using the smartphone features at all gave the battery a two-week lifespan between charges.
To sum it all up:
Overall, Intel's first Android smartphone performed admirably.
The real stand-out was its Medfield processor that met and, in some cases, exceeded expectations.
The battery didn’t live up to Intel’s claims but still held its power very well.
The camera was a big disappointment. Back to the drawing board Intel.
When compared to Samsung and HTC devices the San Diego looks cheap and somewhat fragile.
It needs Ice Cream Sandwich sooner rather than later.
Priced at $308 USD, the San Diego joins a nice variety of inexpensive entry-level smartphones in the Orange family.
During the Consumer Electronics Show, Samsung announced that the company was working on merging its Bada mobile operating system with the open-source Tizen operating system.
Samsung is currently the second-largest cellphone maker in the world, with devices powered by four major operating systems. By focusing on its own operating system, Samsung has more control over its devices and a greater opportunity to differentiate its products from its competitors. By merging the two operating systems, Samsung is hoping that existing Bada developers will transition to Tizen.
While still in development, the Tizen operating system is open-source and backed by Intel and the Linux Foundation. When the Bada integration is complete, Tizen will support programs written with Samsung’s Bada SDK, including both new and previously published apps.
Tizen, according to reports, features a program called Application Compatibility Layer (ACL), which enables the device to run applications built using different code. ACL is similar to RIM’s Android player for its BlackBerry PlayBook.
A new video has been released that demonstrates the Samsung/Intel-backed Tizen OS running Android apps.
Open Mobile, the company behind ACL, claims Android apps will be able to run on a Tizen-powered device with 100% compatibility, and stated that ACL features the same level of responsiveness users would expect on a device that runs on Android OS. The company would also like to make sure that the ACL will be integrated into smartphones and tablets by vendors and not end users.
As usual, there probably will be a few bugs to be worked out in the field, but all indicators are that Tizen is a well-designed and truly open source alternative to Google's Android.
The buzz is everywhere about Fort Lee, the town in New Jersey that banned texting while walking. The Associated Press originally reported the story as a law that would impose a $54 fine on someone who was texting while walking.
(REAL sign posted in Fort Lee, New Jersey)
This follows an incident in China that made international headlines... when a woman texting on her phone while walking fell through an open manhole and had to be rescued. It turned out both the woman and cell phone were unscathed.
As the Atlantic Wire corrected the story, “the official fineable offense is in Fort Lee, N.J., is jaywalking, which can include but is not limited to texting while walking. While it is true that you can get a ticket while you are texting and walking, you can only get fined if the texting turns you into a distracted jaywalker who creates a dangerous traffic situation.”
The town passed the law because more than 20 pedestrians have been hit while jaywalking in the town this past year, including three people who were killed. “It’s a big distraction. Pedestrians aren’t watching where they are going and they are not aware,” said Thomas Ripoli, chief of the Fort Lee Police Department. Police handed out pamphlets during a short grace period in March before they began aggressively going after “dangerous walkers.” The New Jersey Record reported that more than 117 tickets have been issued since then.
In a study on walking and texting conducted by two professors at Stony Brook University in New York, they found texters are 60 percent more likely to veer off their paths than non-texters. “We want to raise awareness that a real disruption occurs because of texting,” Eric Lamberg, co-author of the study, told Long Island Business News. “Texting disrupts your ability much more than does talking.”
New York State Senator Carl Kruger wants a similar ban to in New York. It would also prohibit talking on the phone or using iPods while walking or running.
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The Samsung Galaxy s3 was intended to be currently on display at the Mobile World event over in Barcelona, Spain. However Samsung later opted to decline the showing at the Mobile World Congress. In a strategic move... Samsung executives have chosen wait and give the whole world one big launch date, which is yet to be announced... although reports have it set around June of this year. While we are still not sure whether this device will be launched as an unlocked cell phone or the related accessories to help protect, personalize and enhance its mobility... we do know that the Galaxy S 3 is slated for launch in over 50 major countries.
Regardless of this, it hasn’t stopped reporters getting their hands on all the specifications and features that the Samsung Galaxy s3 will have. The details have fans frothing at the mouth and word of Apple iPhone 4S and Window based Nokia Lumia phone lovers jumping ship is happening often, people are so impressed by the reports.
While one can argue that its only speculation, we need to consider that sources these days are never far off the money, if they are off at all.
Samsung Galaxy S3 specs are now the topic of discussion for the tech communities across the world. The perception that the forthcoming smart phone from Samsung will set the bar very high for its competitors to follow in the days to come seems to be true.
The following video is an excellent review of the Samsung Galaxy S 3 that whets the appetite for the highly-anticipated addition to the Android family
The new Samsung baby is going to be 4.8 inch 1024p HD Super AMOLED Plus display with a SXGA resolution of 1280 x 1024, a lot bigger than the Samsung Galaxy S2, but a tad smaller than Galaxy Note, the 5 inch smart phone from Samsun's own stable. Some sources claim that it will be a 3D display as well. In any event, we can see an advanced display from Samsung, the world leader in mobile display technology. Samsung should install a display that can really beat down the high definition Retina Display of iPhone 4S and the possible iPhone 5.
Driving this splendid device is a powerful 1.5 GHz quad-core Samsung Exynos processor zipping the process right along. There will be 2GB RAM. You read it right. Reports indicate that Samsung is to make its next gen Galaxy S as powerful as a laptop.
The hardware is encased in an ever-chic ceramic shell. For those that don’t care for the ceramic case, there is an ever growing array of protective cases and skins to personalize the device to your heart’s content. No matter your style, you will want to protect the 4.8 inch, “full HD” 1080p display to avoid damage and unsightly scratches with top brand bags, cases and sleeves.
As far as camera in the new Galaxy S3 is concerned, all indication point towards the fact that it will be substantially better than Galaxy S2 and Apple’s top selling iPhone 4S. Different sources report that Samsung will mount a 12-megapixel rear camera on Galaxy S3. The current version of Galaxy S2 has an 8-megapixel rear camera. Many recent or upcoming phones like iPhone 4S, Nokia Lumia 800, Motorola Droid RAZR and HTC Rezound are also up with 8-megapixel camera. So Samsung may make its Galaxy S3 a far powerful machine for image and video capturing.
The icing and the cherry on the cake are the 4G LTE capability and Android 4.0 OS bringing you the final touches of a smartphone that is beautifully designed and made.
With the Mobile World Congress on the horizon, the top smartphone vendors (Apple, Blackberry, HTC, LG Mobile, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung and Sony) are ramping up products that were introduced and released earlier this year and fine tuning the messaging for the upcoming event that will give them the opportunity to leverage the publicity, innovative mobile accessory launches that accompany these global gatherings. So, Samsung is in a great position to capitalize on the momentum on the world stage for its latest international device, the SamsungGalaxy Note.
As with other Samsung offerings, this unlocked cell phone has gone through a series of transformations before reaching the shores of North America and will align with its American siblings in certain areas. With four touch sensitive buttons under the screen and a Snapdragon S3 chipset under the hood, the 1.5 GHz dual-core Scorpion processor is a differentiator from the Exynos silicon found in the global version of the handset.
And, with the added LTE connectivity, S Pen (stylus and pen), and large 5.3” Super AMOLED screen, this device looks to create its own niche and make its own waves in the mobile device industry. There is a slew of features that make this smartabletphone a good fit for some customers including a microSD slot (a nice consideration for a device that is likely to eat up a lot of storage), video recording in 1080p that has USB host and TV-out support, and full Flash support which is definitely sought out in media playing devices. The specs are long and worth checking out, but I would venture to say that the peripheral devices and accessories that will come along with this device will also be key.
The size of the handset will make headsets and Bluetooth devices all the more imperative for those customers using the Galaxy Note as one-handed use is bound to be tricky. Purchase of a protective accessory that precludes the need to fit this smartabletphone in your pocket is also a likely necessity. All in all, Samsung has created a device that answers the needs of consumers who are looking to consolidate the number of devices they tote around. The functionality will please many, but to truly get the most from this handset, customers will have to plan carefully and invest in the best accessories and peripheral devices to fit their usage and lifestyle – all of which we look forward to seeing and reviewing at the MWC!
LG’s high-end Androidsmartphone offerings have been somewhat disappointing in the past. As such, when we caught wind of the upcoming LG X3 superphone we were unsure how to react in expectation of this new device. However, based on the information provided Paul O’Brien of MoDaCo, the anonymously leaked screenshots and benchmarks for this handset, LG may have a winner on its hands when they unveil the LC X3 as their new flagship device at this month’s Mobile World Congress.
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Through our multitude of industry contacts... we were able to secure information relative the feature list will include:
4.7" HD 1280x720 screen
Tegra 3 Quad core processor (1.5GHz on single core, 1.4GHz when on 2-4 cores) + SMP Core (core companion) for IDLE task operations which will save battery life
16GB internal memory + microSD slot
8MP camera with ultra fast shutter
1.3MP Front Facing camera
We were also able to secure some informative screen shots
What can we glean from the screenshots? They suggest that the X3 will have either a lightly skinned version of LG’s overlay running or simply stock Android ICS (4.0.3). The quad-core processor previously mentioned should mean great performance for everyday tasks. And with 16GB internal memory that can be expanded to 48GB thanks to an internal microSD slot, a power processor helps ensure that users have the space to download, stream, and share their music, photos and other data.
Interested consumers may look forward to seeing a 2000mAh battery, 8 megapixel rear-facing camera that supposedly rocks an uber fast shutter. The front-facing camera isn’t as impressive, but will get the job done in a pinch. Through in an NFC chip and you can one of those neat NFC chip enable smartphone protective case wallets that bring a new meaning to fashion and function.
We are optimistic that LG will bring a worthy contender to the Mobile World Congress and dispel the misgivings and fears of those that been scared off by less than stellar mobile OS experiences with LG. If they fall flat, at least we will not be adrift in an Android-less sea of smartphone offerings from other manufacturers.
According to analytics firm NPD, Android managed to steal the top spot from iOS by a sizable amount following Q4 last year, making Google's mobile OS the more popular choice amongst newcomers to the smartphone market.
First time smartphone buyers between October and December 2011 opted for an Android-based phone over an iPhone... that is 57% purchased an Android device, followed by 34% opting for an iPhone while the remaining 9% of buyers went with a different OS flavor.
Smartphone buyers in general, across the same time frame, helped narrow the gap between the two front runners, but Android still came out on top with 48% of the market over the 43% belonging to iOS users.
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When one considers the fact that time buyers are more likely to put extensive thought into their first smartphone purchase and given the plethora of form factors and brands out there running Android, the iPhone might not seem like the obvious choice for everyone. Moreover, while iPhone is currently running on three of the top US carrier networks... Android devices feature on all four of the leading carriers
Android continues to grow in the US, despite many already proclaiming its over-saturation in the market. Between both Apple and Google, they have accumulated the lion's share of sales, leaving only the scraps to the likes of BBOS and Windows Phone, but all good things must come to an end; the question is, when?
Which mobile OS (and mobile device) do you think is best suited for newcomers to the smartphone market and why? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments.