Archive for the ‘Android Phones’ Category

Android PlayStation emulator PSX4Droid pulled from Market

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Of course there will be much speculation as to why Google would pull the Android Market App known as PSX4Droid. According to the applications creator ZodTTD, Google informed him that the reason the app was being pulled was because of “Content Policy violation.” More intriguing is the general statement Google sent out regarding the entire debacle: “We remove apps from Android Market that violate our policies.” What we would like to know is how come it took the company over eight months for them to take action about such a popular emulator. We’re pretty sure that they have gotten one too many requests from content providers to pull the offending emulator. Could the removal of the app coincide with the recent launch of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play and its PlayStation network which is promising to bring many new applications and games to the Android Marketplace?

It’s easy to point fingers at Sony or Google getting cozy in bed and while many would like to speculate that Sony did have something to do with the removal of the app, others have pointed out that FPSe is still available in the Marketplace (at least at the time of this writing). So why no love for one and plenty of love for the other? It could be for a multitude of reasons including the fact that PSX4Droid is based off source from another emulator called PCSX which is released under the GPL license. PSX4Droid is not and it could be that this is a similar situation like the VLC media player app being pulled from the Apple App Store thanks to conflict of open source licensing.

In either case, courts have ruled that emulators do not actually break laws because they only provide a service even though they are mainly used to break copyright laws, much the same thing with P2P networks such as BitTorrent, LimeWire and others.

Sony Ericsson’s disturbing Xperia Play ad

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

It’s not the first time that Sony has risen to the top of controversy with its weird and disturbing commercials. Unfortunately, for the company’s lawyers and others in their PR team, Sony Ericsson has once again shot to the top of controversy thanks to the highly disturbing commercial that can be viewed below.

Is it just me or does the commercial seem to have not the slightest thing to do with the device it is advertising? Albeit, Android is included and in the closing seconds of the commercial we do see an Xperia Play playing some games at well over 50fps. But was it necessary to have a human’s thumbs sewed to a robot to carry across the point?

If Sony intends to raise awareness for the device by releasing some of the most disturbing commercials ever seen, they have hit gold. But something tells me that not everyone in Sony is happy about the commercial. That said, it would make sense to release a controversial and compelling commercial for such a device seeing it is not being marked to those who are riding the higher years of the rollercoaster. On the other hand, I fail to see who in Sony gave the go ahead for such a commercial seeing the company has gotten into plenty of trouble in recent years for its PS3 ads as well as it over sexualized Sony Ericsson ad.

At any rate, if the company was looking to stir up an ants nest, it did. However, for companies, not all publicity is good publicity and only time will tell whether or not this worked out in favor of Sony. Until the public gives it verdict, you can check out the commercial for yourself below and give your opinions below.

Source: Engadget

Google Updates Dell Streak, LG Star Launches in Korea

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

For those who have never heard of the Dell Streak –you missed out. This is probably one of the biggest Android smart phones to ever be released; both figuratively and literally. In many ways, the Streak is Dell’s top contending Android device. Sure, the electronics manufacturer has several handsets under its brand, but none could possibly match up to the Streak.

But as we said, the Streak is also big in size –literally. The device pops out a large 5 inch capacitive touch screen display. The screen provides users with plenty of space for accurate navigation and of course, gestures. The larger screen may sound bulky, but once you have the device in your hands, it is impressive how ergonomically sound the whole handset is.

Anyway, the big news about this equally big phone is the fact that Google has finally come out with the Android 2.2 Froyo update for the Dell Streak. The actual patch has yet to be put up online, but the official statement is that the Froyo patch will come out by the end of the week so it will not be too much of a wait for fans of the Android OS.

For those worrying about the large screen, do not worry, all that 5 inches with 480 x 800 pixels of visual joy is fully protected by Gorilla Glass. The handset also comes with 16GB of internal memory, a 5 mega pixel camera with auto focus and dual LED flash. 720p HD video recording will be supported with the upcoming patch. Lastly, the handset is running on Qualcomm’s 1GHz Snapdragon CPU.

In other Android news, the launch of the LG Star worldwide might not take too long now. The device has already been released in South Korea as the LG Optimus 2X. Hopefully, the Android handset powered by the Tegra 2 CPU will be available in local store shelves by the end of the holidays.

Rubin: Android is Making Money for Google

Friday, December 10th, 2010

The Android mobile platform is a successful operating system –financially, Google head honcho Andy Rubin has declared that the OS has been making a solid profit for his company –despite the fact that the system is open and freely available for developers and that the Android makes profits almost entirely from advertising.

The numbers are also saying the same thing: Google has succeeded with the Android OS. According to Rubin, there are about 300,000 Android activations per day. That is a massive number –one that is 50% higher than the volume that Steve Jobs was contesting. So what does this bode for Google’s Android?

At this point, we see nothing but more of the same. Which, in hindsight, is not a bad thing; after all, the “same” would refer to new and constant updates, great features, inspired open source apps, plenty of mobile phones to choose from and of course, more of that cute little robot mascot. The bottom line here is that Android has a great formula –and there is no need to radically change what is already proven to be working.

The only real issue that Google actually faces is fragmentation. This has been a constant issue since the earliest updates to the Android OS and one that is by nature of the platform –completely unavoidable. The best thing that Google can possibly do is to invest in a very active update team that will help the transition of phones from one version to the next by working directly with both network operators and phone makers.

Regardless of how one looks at it, Google has a very bright future ahead of it, and that is mostly thanks to the company’s own efforts as well. The Android OS has proven itself to be very reliable and also versatile (providing tablets with a great operating system despite Google’s initial protests that the Android was not designed for tablets –they made the Chrome OS specifically for that).

Android 2.3 Gingerbread: All Set and Ready to Go

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Google is on top of the mobile platform industry. There are no doubts about it; the Android OS is currently the fastest growing mobile platform in terms of both evolution and more importantly, distribution.

At the moment, Nokia’s Symbian OS is still the most widely spread around platform in existence, but this is mostly due to the fact that Symbian has been around for ages. Google Android, on the other hand, has only been around for just a little around three years –and many experts agree that it will even surpass Symbian in about a year or so (with its’ current growth).

Version 2.3 Gingerbread of this very successful operating system is just the latest update that the OS needs to further show the world how far along the OS is in terms of innovation and evolution, and looking at the first demonstration videos of the platform proves exactly that.

Battery management is the first big new feature in the update and it is an excellent one. While the Android has never really been criticized for having bad energy usage, streamlining is still much appreciated. The new OS is expected to provide fully charged devices with a few extra hours of usage time.

Near field communications technology is also supported by the system. Considering that both Apple and Nokia are already implementing the technology, real world applications will certainly not be far behind. Sadly, most of the older smart phones do not have the hardware to support this new feature.

Other features such as internet based voice calls, better gaming and even better CPU usage are all pointing towards a definitely bright future for the next Android OS. The only question now is when the system updates will be rolling out for individual devices –especially for those in contract as the Android 2.2 Froyo updates have only been recently launched.

Google Shows Off Gingerbread, Froyo Now Standardized

Monday, December 6th, 2010

Things are looking good for Google’s Android mobile platform. The OS has been taking some criticisms regarding issues that relate to fragmentation –a much expected result of being an open source OS that is used in a wide variety of handsets. Still, a little standardization goes a long way and seeing how the latest version of the OS, Android 2.2 Froyo, has finally been able to make it to more than a third of all the devices is certainly a major feat.

Reports have shown that at least 43% of the Android smart phones now use version 2.2. Another large chunk goes to version 2.1 Éclair while a small remainder still makes use of the older 1.5 Cupcake and 1.6 Donut versions.

Of course, not all major handsets have been updated and not all releases have been able to roll out smoothly. Delays, issues and other problems tend to pop out and that is also the case for the Samsung Galaxy S under T-Mobile. Users of the handset were disappointed a couple of days ago when the planned December 1 update did not arrive as scheduled. While the network has expressed a sincere apology for the delay, not specific reasons have been stated.

As for the upcoming version 2.3 Gingerbread, the new OS has finally been revealed by Google through a quick video demonstration. So far, there are plenty of familiar elements in the icons and user interface while most of the common functions are still there. The new OS once again brings focus to voice input features.

The only downside to this new video is that it is currently entirely in Chinese –so a little knowledge of the language would be nice if you plan to watch the vid. The update still retains the performance boost provided by the Android Froyo so users can expect to see the same speed.

Froyo Now the Standard for Android Devices

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

It has taken the latest version of the Google mobile platform, 2.2 Froyo, several months to be able to establish itself as the standard version –and just in time too.

Several weeks ago, it was announced by Google that the next version of the Android OS will not jump to designation 3.0 just yet. The search engine company announced that the Gingerbread will be given a new designation: version 2.3 and it will be released as an update to the Android Froyo OS. With the next big thing due to come out pretty soon, it is about time that Google has been able to spread out the Android Froyo love to their users.

Until now, there are still some devices that have not yet adapted to the latest version of the mobile platform. The top selling Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 Mini and X10 Mini Pro are both still stuck with the much older Android 1.6 Donut. While there is already an existing Android 2.1 Éclair update for the XPERIA line, the lack of news regarding the 2.2 Froyo version is a sign that Google still needs to do some catch up.

According to the numbers, about 43.4% of all Android devices are now running Froyo –a massive feat considering all the fragmentation issues that the open source OS has. It will be a while before the rest of the Éclair using smart phones get updates (though some will never be getting updates). As for devices still stuck with much older versions of the platform, it is believed that most of these phones have such low spec hardware that a further update would be impossible.

If you currently own a high end smart phone such as the HTC Desire, or Samsung Galaxy S, Froyo updates for these devices are already available. It is advisable to use the phone’s auto-update feature to get the latest version of the Google mobile platform.

Latest Mobile Tech: 3D, SLCD, and QLED

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

If there are two categories of electronics that are receiving constant upgrades and innovations in terms of technological advancements, it is hard to think of better examples than the computer and mobile phone industries. While computer parts have been getting better at a constant rate, it is hard to deny the fact that the growth of mobile phone technology is far more accelerated.

HTC is pushing their luck with the first Android 3D handset to be launched. While certainly interesting, it is hard to fathom how 3D could be a truly significant contribution to the smart phone industry. Unlike the use of 4G networks, HD video recording and flexible touch screens, 3D is one aspect of entertainment that simply does not fit with portable technology.

This mostly centers on providing users with parallax screen technology, but in the long run, who would actually bother appreciating 3D images on a such as small display and on a device meant to be used when you are outside the house?

Korean phone maker Samsung is working on a more practical display technology: LCDs. The appearance of AMOLED touch screens has certainly put a wide gap between LCDs and LEDs, but in the end, it is the LCDs that are proving that it is easier to manufacture. In fact, even HTC is slowly replacing the AMOLED phones with Super LCD screens. According to reports, Samsung’s new tech is being named as the Super PLS LCD –which is far superior to the already impressive IPS LCD screens we see today.

LG is not too keen on turning away from LED technology just yet however. In a recent report, it has been announced that LG’s latest developed technology is the Quantum Dot LED screen, or simply put, the QLED. They say that this new display will provide the same quality of images as AMOLED screens do, but this time, with even less power consumption.

Tech Highlights: the Latest Android Developments

Friday, November 12th, 2010

It is hard to not find the Google Android in mobile news each day. After all, the OS is growing at such a fast pace that it has managed to be everywhere almost instantly. It will not be long before the Android outmatch the Symbians and saturation of the open source platform is a definite inevitability.

According to some studies, Google’s hold on their users is not as strong as it sounds. The fanciness and popular charm of the iPhone is quite strong. With the hype, marketing and app library of the Apple gadget, it is not surprising that many Android users also consider owning an iPhone as well. For those who love games, there is no question; the vast amount of games on the iPhone library is staggering. Unless the rumors of the PSP Phone using an Android OS is true, then Google will not have the sufficient app support from third party developers to compete in that level.

But fantasies simply are, the actual financial figures however hum a different tune. Phone users may have options in their mind, but their wallets all give a single answer: the Android. Recent sales comparisons show that big ticket companies Nokia and Apple are slowly losing their grip on the market, with shares slowly decreasing. Google on the other hand has gone from a near insignificant fraction to over a fourth of the market.

And Google is far from done with their push towards dominating the industry. The latest Google branded handset, the Nexus S is being rumored to be an actual device and that it will be made by Samsung. Despite an initial statement from Samsung about the matter that is indirectly denying any such device exists or is in production. Still, the leaked images are hard to dispute –especially with most of the photographic evidence originally sourced from reputable sources from within Google.

Android Gingerbread is Coming

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

It looks like Google will be bringing out the newest version of the Android smart phone a little earlier than expected. According to reports, the new Android 2.3 Gingerbread will be out on November 11.

For those not keeping tabs on the news, here’s the quick summary:

Google originally announced the Gingerbread as Android 3.0 –a full update from version 2.0 Éclair. This was done at the Google I/O conference earlier this year. While the Android 2.2 Froyo was focused on stabilizing and improving the overall performance of the Android OS, the Gingerbread was slated to be a new standard for all devices running Google’s platform.

Currently, a large percent of all high end Android smart phones are being slowly updated to version 2.2 Froyo, but at the moment, the standard version is still 2.0 and 2.1 Éclair. Some mobile phones, such as the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 have come out using only Android 1.6 Donut, leaving them two whole Android versions behind in terms of being updated. This level of fragmentation has always been a serious bane on Android developers as being able to deliver a uniform user experience is deemed to be close to impossible.

Recent announcements have confirmed that the Gingerbread will no longer sport the 3.0 number, but instead, it has been delegated to a lower scale update at version 2.3. This has now led to many believing that that update will not be about creating a new Android standard, but to simply bring more features and functions to the OS. In the meanwhile, the next version is going to take the 3.0 version number designation. At the moment, it is said that the Android OS to follow Gingerbread will be named Honeycomb.

There is no doubt that Google’s Android OS is growing very fast, but unless they are able to overcome fragmentation issues, it will be a while before the Android is able to fully dominate the market.