Tag Archive | "Android"

Non-iOS tablet makers to cut prices by October, Acer Iconia Tab A500 $322 at Amazon already

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Non-iOS-tablet-makers-to-cut-prices-by-October-Acer-Iconia-Tab-A500-322-at-Amazon-alreadyDigitimes reports that in order to boost sales and clear inventory due to weaker than expected demand, Android, webOS and QNX tablet makers are planning across-the-board price cuts by the end of September.

We don’t see it as much of a surprise that the tablet prices will be falling about six months after launch, and the process had even started with some manufacturers. HP recently made the $100 price cut for its HP TouchPad permanent, and now we are seeing the Toshiba Thrive appearing for $368 at Walmart, and the Acer Iconia Tab A500 $322 at Amazon.

The sources believe that prices will gradually slide to $350 on average by October, and go down to $300 in time for the holidays.

If quality Android slates, like the Asus Eee Pad Transformer, or the Acer Iconia Tab A500, which used to command pretty decent $399 price tags already, get slashed 25%, this will certainly increase the market share of Android’s tablet OS, which is still quite low compared to the iOS slates.

source: Amazon & Digitimes

Posted in Tablets

Control your home with your phone: are we there yet?

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Control-your-home-with-your-phone-are-we-there-yetWe remember reading a couple of years ago about Bill Gates’s fully automated, yet cosy mansion, with its 40 miles of optical fiber, floor sensors that can track your location with up to six inches accuracy, and a hot tub, which can be set for the desired water temperature before you get home.

We were then just drooling, sad that we can’t outfit our own cribs like that. Well, in a few short years, the field of home automation (HA) received a significant boost, the technology is within the reach of many, and now smartphone owners have the perfect tool to carry the control unit with them at all times.

Home automation can be divided into a few broad categories, depending on what you are trying to control – lighting, HVAC, appliances, security, entertainment or others, like sprinklers or a cat feeder. We won’t be delving into the hundreds of brands and ways to adjust your home environment from afar, since there are currently more than 10 competing standards, but barely a thing you can get from Home Depot on the cheap and drive home to install yourself – we are just looking at how HA relays to your smartphone or tablet…

Read the full article at PhoneArena

Posted in Uncategorized

Foodspotting hits 1 million downloads in 18 months, iOS and Android apps updated

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Foodspotting-hits-1-million-downloads-in-18-months-iOS-and-Android-apps-updatedfarroFoodspotting, the food and restaurant centered social network, announced today that it has reached 1 million app downloads in just 18 months. Although iTunes doesn’t release download numbers, it’s safe to assume that the vast majority of those downloads have come on iOS. The Android Market lists the app in its 50k-100k download range, and just given the overall user size of Windows Phone 7, it’s safe to assume WP7 brings up the rear in the download list. And, to celebrate the 1 millionth download, the Foodspotting apps for iOS and Android have received updates.

The new Foodspotting versions for iOS (v2.5) and Android (v0.0.4) have each received the same new feature: following. That’s right, it’s time for Foodspotting to become a real social network rather than a discovery source. With the new versions, you’ll be able to find your friends from Facebook or Twitter and follow their recommendations. You’ll also be able to follow experts like the Travel Channel or Mario Batali or even follow your favorite restaurants. And, to top it off, the new versions support higher resolutions images throughout.

Foodspotting is free in the iOS App Store, Android Market and Windows Phone Marketplace, and should be coming soon to BlackBerry App World.

source: Foodspotting blog via ReadWriteWeb

Posted in Software

The world loves apps more than burgers, infographic suggests

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The-world-loves-apps-more-than-burgers-infographic-suggestsThe rise of McDonald’s burgers has been slow but steady – the franchise took nearly half a century to sell a hundred billion burgers. But today’s mental staple food – apps – don’t have that time. With a smartphone in nearly every pocket have they managed to outpace our need for burgers? Well, not that those two are somehow interchangeable, but this infographic does well in illustrating what a brilliant job Apple and Google have done in distributing apps as both are well on track of delivering its 100 billionth application.

While now the app download count stands at some 15 billion for Apple, a milestone proudly announced by the company a couple of weeks ago, the rate at which users download application is only speeding up. Actually, if it follows the envisioned pattern, in a mere five years and a half since its launch the App Store may reach McDonald’s 100 billion mark.

You might wonder where does that leave Android and rightly so. The platform has been enjoying booming popularity as it covers devices from the low-end to high-end, and subsequently app downloads are growing even faster there. The time span expected for it to reach the same milestone is just 3.5 years. Bottomline seems to be that you could only eat so many burgers, while app gluttony with a 100 billion apps might seem insatiable. Have you found your app downloads growing with time?

source: TheAtlantic


Posted in Software

Ice Cream Sandwich debut moved up to October to compete with the Apple iPhone?

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Ice-Cream-Sandwich-debut-moved-up-to-October-to-compete-with-the-Apple-iPhoneA source for BGR is saying that Google, possibly feeling the heat from an expected late September/early October launch of the Apple iPhone 5, is planning on moving up the release of Ice Cream Sandwich and the early devices that will be powered by the latest Android build. One possibility is that a next-gen model of the Nexus line will be the first or among the first handsets to rollout with the latest Android build.

While at this point everything pertaining to an Ice Cream Sandwich launch is mere speculation, we wouldn’t be surprised to see a launch of an early Ice Cream Sandwich device on Verizon since the carrier will have a large number of ready made buyers with all of those Motorola DROID owners coming up to the 2 year anniversary of their purchase. And of course, Verizon will presumably be one of the carriers that will be offering the Apple iPhone 5 when it is launched. Google will want to re-up those Motorola DROID owners with expiring contracts before they get a gander of what the next iPhone might bring.

source: BGR

Posted in Android OS

12 week smartphone sales numbers have surprises from around the globe

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12-week-smartphone-sales-numbers-have-surprises-from-around-the-globeMarket research firm Kantar Worldpanel has released its newest numbers for the mobile phone sales for the past 12 weeks. The numbers include data from 7 areas around the world including: USA, Australia, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Spain, and France. Some of the numbers aren’t so surprising, like the fact that Symbian has taken a dive worldwide, or that Android is selling like gangbusters. Some of the numbers are pretty shocking though. Two of the most surprising leaps in sales came from Germany and France. In Germany, Windows Phone 7 is starting to make a run pulling in 7.1% of the sales for the 12 weeks ending July 12, 2011. In France, Bada is making an even more impressive run pushing up to 9.6% of sales.

Overall, smartphones are booming, as we all knew. In Great Britain alone, 67% of all mobile phone sales were smartphones. And, smartphones made up at least 50% of all mobile phone sales in the USA, Australia, Great Britain and Germany. Kantar says that Italy, Spain and France are expected to cross that threshold sometime within the next quarter.

Android is leading the way with over 50% of sales across the 7 regions for the time frame, with iOS coming in second at 25%. Not surprisingly, Symbian was the big loss leader across most regions, except for the US where it never really had much market share to begin. Instead, the US had BlackBerry losing a huge chunk of its share, although BlackBerry held relatively steady in other areas.

source: Kantar Worldpanel via WMPU


Posted in Android OS

Phone usability study finds iPhone and WP7 easier than Android or BlackBerry

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Phone-usability-study-finds-iPhone-and-WP7-easier-than-Android-or-BlackBerryA new study by Professor Dennis Gallatta at the Harvard Human Factors in Design lab has tested which smartphone OS is the easiest to navigate for first time users. The study found that iPhone and Windows Phone 7 are easier to use than either Android or BlackBerry, but the testing was fairly limited, meaning the results may not be as reliable as one would hope.

Of course, we don’t want to become the official naysayers of all studies done in the mobile world, but when doing a usability study on smartphones, it seems a bit silly to limit the test to just 3 tasks: making a call, adding a contact, and sending a text. Those three tasks are probably the least likely tasks for a smartphone user to perform (or at least the first two of the three tasks), especially when there is music to hear, pictures to take, videos to watch, web pages to browse, e-mails to read, and Angry Birds to launch. At the very least, it seems that the study could have added purchasing an app from each platform’s app store, or performing a web search.

Each test was rated from 1 to 5 stars, 5 being that the task was very easily performed. iPhone and WP7 each had a total of 11 stars for the 3  tasks, followed by Android with 9, and BlackBerry with 8. Android was the only OS to score a perfect 5 on a task, and that was for making a call, although that was followed by a 1 in adding a contact. There should be a couple of notes made on the study as is: first, the Android phone used was an HTC device meaning it had the Sense UI, and didn’t include the Contacts app on the homescreen. Other UIs and phones include that on the homescreen which theoretically could have made this task easier to complete. Alternatively, in the sending a text task, the only user that didn’t have to initiate a new SMS was the iPhone user, who merely replied to an SMS (and seemingly didn’t know how to get back to the Messaging home screen.)

That said, it seems like the real winner may be Windows Phone, but as mentioned before, there is far more to using a smartphone than the 3 tasks covered here. And, the minimalist icons of Windows Phone did seem to lead to confusion, which may hurt overall usage. As always, UI usability could just be a matter of personal preference, with the exception of BlackBerry, which just needs a major overhaul. Of course, we’d need to see a more complete study to come to any real conclusions, but this was interesting nonetheless. Check out the full video below to see the fumbling noobs!

source: Human Factors via WMPU

Posted in Software

Design flaw in Android could allow for malware to mimic legitimate apps

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Design-flaw-in-Android-could-allow-for-malware-to-mimic-legitimate-appsConvinced that your smartphone is immune to malware? Well, as long as you don’t download any apps coming from suspicious sources, then you are virtually safe, but the thing is that every single mobile platform has its own security flaws exposing your privacy at risk.

The latest vulnerability that was brought to our attention targets Android users, and although it has not caused any damage yet, it has the potential to give you quite a headache. It has been discovered that “a design flaw” in the Android operating system could allow for unwanted pop-ups to appear whenever a set application is running thus defiling your smartphone with annoying pop-ups. However, if executed properly, the flaw could potentially be used for phishing attacks to be targeted at your device.

In a nutshell, when the malware detects that your banking app or e-mail client, for example, is running, it can launch an identically-looking pop-up app asking for your credentials. What makes things worse is that the execution of the pop-up app can happen so fast that the user would probably never realize what has happened until it is too late. The malware could even install itself as a service and run seamlessly in the background even after the phone is rebooted.

There have been no registered cases of the so-called design flaw being used in a malicious way, but a proof-of-concept application has been demonstrated just recently at the DefCon hacking convention. That is why we have said it before and we will say it again – you should always be extra careful when downloading apps from any shady-looking software marketplaces as you never know what might be coming along with them.

source: CNET

Posted in Android OS

Huawei Vision gets the spotlight in this promo video


Huawei-Vision-gets-the-spotlight-in-this-promo-videoThe 3.7-inch Huawei Vision aims to bring the best of both worlds – stylish body flavored with Gingerbread on the software side and an affordable price tag. It’s not cutting edge in terms of pure specs and you wouldn’t expect this from Huawei just yet, but it covers all the bases and aims to make an entrance in cloud sharing with Huawei’s upcoming Cloud+ platform. The phone has now got its own promo video which depicts all the beauty of Huawei’s own 3D-esque interface running on top of Android 2.3, but it’s worth watching for one more reason – the refined looks of the handset.

Under the hood of the Huawei Vision, a Snapdragon chip roars in with 1GHz of clock speed, while 512MB of RAM back it up. In addition, the 5-megapixel LED flash-equipped shooter on the back is capable of recording 720p HD videos. In terms of connectivity, you’re also well covered with Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth, microUSB and support for microSD cards of up to 32 gigs.

The Shenzhen network equipment maker is set to make a strong stand with the Vision – it plans to sell more than a million devices when the phone starts shipping in September. The US launch date however wasn’t yet announced. Don’t expect this to be among the cheapest Androids though – with a price tag of no less than $305 off contract, it aims to compete with plenty of mid-range offerings. Does it have what it takes to succeed? The phone has just cleared the FCC, so it’s one step closer to getting released, but in the meantime feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

source: Huawei via GSM Arena

Posted in Phones

2013 OMAP processors will allow for all-day battery life says TI


2013-OMAP-processors-will-allow-for-all-day-battery-life-says-TITexas Instrument’s Brian Carlson says that by 2013, it will be producing OMAP chips using a 20nm process. And this line of chips will allow for “true all-day computing” according to Carlson. With low battery life currently a major issue for Android phones, a processor that allows a phone to be used all-day without a recharge is sure to find a place under the hood of some high-end smartphones using the Google open source OS.

Discussing a 2013 OMAP release would seem to put the kibosh on rumors that TI would be selling the line after the launch of OMAP5 in 2012. Speculation was centered on a bidding war between Intel and NVIDIA that would have brought some big megabucks to the Dallas based semiconductor giant.

Currently, TI’s OMAP4 processors can be found on high end phones like the Motorola DROID 3, and the chip is expected to be on the Motorola DROID Bionic. Earlier this year, as we reported, TI announced the quad-core OMAP5 with 2 cores running up to 2GHz each with 2 others acting like go-fers to fetch the coffee and donuts to save battery life and run things quickly and smoothly. With the OMAP5, 3D video can be captured in HD. The OMAP5 also improves upon current picture taking technology allowing adjustments for a shaking camera, and motion blur. Augmented reality will also get a boost from this chip thanks to better object and text recognition. The TI OMAP5 is expected to have 3 times the performance and 5 times the graphics power of the current chip. But when it comes to improving battery performance, we will have to wait for 2013.

source: TechCrunch

Posted in Uncategorized

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