Posts Tagged ‘Google’

Android Devices Take the Spotlight

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

LG is bringing music and class to the Optimus 2X (and a few other LG smart phones) this coming January.

According to reports, the Korean phone maker has signed up composer, musician and maestro Ennio Morricone to provide specially made music for their handsets. The scores, totaling 15 in all, are going to be originally composed by the music genius who brought life to many great movies (“The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”, “A Fistful of Dollars”, etc). Aside from the 15 original tracks, about 10 scores from his movie audiography will also be made available. These tracks are going to be used as ringtone options for the devices –which means that the Optimus 2X will not only look good, it will sound good too.

For those of you wondering when the 2X will finally be available, the official word is that the phone will be coming this January of 2011. No word yet as to which networks will be getting the device first, but January is the official UK release of the handset. So those of you who are hoping to get this dual core processor equipped handset (running at 1.5GHz no less), might want to start prepping up for the pre orders.

Motorola has a bit of sad news for Milestone owners: the update for 2.2 Froyo will not be around until later in Q1 2011. The update has been recently just a while back and is getting plenty of negative reactions already. Motorola is assuring the European markets that they are working on being able to bring the update to users as soon as possible. Originally, the update was supposed to come out these last few months of 2010 (Q4).

Lastly, for those of your who have been lucky enough to get a Nexus S (or are planning on getting one), Google has made a quick list of useful tips and functions of the Gingerbread and the new smart phone. Head over straight to the official Google blog and see what they have in store for Nexus S owners.

HTC Wildfire Updated, SWYPE for Android and Nexus One Gingerbread

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

We have got a triple Android update today and here’s the quick rundown of how things are.

First off, owners of the Google branded Nexus One smart phone will be happy to know that the Gingerbread update for the handset is about to arrive. As expected, the made-for-developers handset is getting the update well ahead of all other Android smart phones –most likely because of the fact that this is a Google device and as such, the folks at Mountain view are already familiar with the architecture. In any case, expect to see the 2.3 update to the OS to arrive sometime around the next couple of weeks (though there have been some hints that we might have to wait until next year).

The Android OS itself is getting a quick update from none other than Swype. The folks behind the massively popular touch screen typing aid are bringing out the best part about touch screen keyboards: intuitive typing. While physical QWERTY keyboard have long lorded over their virtual, onscreen counterparts, the new Swype is an innovation that can only be pulled off by a touch screen. Expect to be churning out replies and status updates faster than ever with this little add-on. The Swype add-on for the Android OS already available so for those of you who have yet to try it out, now is the perfect time to get it.

Finally, the HTC Wildfire social networking smart phone has been confirmed as getting an update to the Android 2.2 Froyo. Users under Vodafone UK and T-Mobile are getting the update pretty soon. According to reports, the Froyo update is expected to become available before the end of this week. Users of the impressively small HTC Android smart phone under other networks will have to wait a while longer –it has been estimated that all networks will be covered by February of the coming year

Google’s Nexus S Pushes NFC Technology Forward

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

While the real life applications of near field communications technology have yet to become common (as they are in Japan), many companies are already showing early support for the technology. Google’s Nexus S is a high profile smart phone that clearly advertises its NFC capabilities, but it is not alone. Apple has already invested in the innovation early this 2010 –though it has yet to update the hardware on its devices. Nokia is also known to be a supporter of the technology.

But what good is having NFC technology around especially for folks who simply do not believe in the concept of e-commerce and electronic locks? –which are the two most often cited examples of NFC technology application. With the buzz about the need for digital security, it would be a very difficult sell for tech companies to say that their mobile devices are more secure than their key chains (after all, a mobile phone is more likely to be stolen).

NFC is not only used for secure transactions, the technology can also be used for a wide variety of functions as well. The most basic one is to confirm a person’s presence or proximity. NFC phones can be used as a substitute for membership cards in certain establishments – pretty much like Foursquare without having to activate your GPS. What makes this even better is the fact that you have to be literally in the exact place (not just the same building) as the close proximity of NFC requires it.

Advertising will also change thanks to NFC. Pass your mobile phone over that little ad poster in the market and you will get a URL to see further details. The same application of NFC technology can be used to deliver other relevant information about a wide variety of products and services instantly.

The Google Nexus S: What Can You Do With It?

Monday, December 20th, 2010

Samsung and Google have both teamed up to bring to the world the amazing Nexus S smart phone, but appreciating this beauty of a phone is not quite the only thing one can do. The device is filled to the brim with features and functions; and here is a quick list of some of the simplest things you can do to make the experience a lot better.

First off, bring back the comma to the onscreen keyboard; this is an issue since a new button, the “voice input” button, has taken over the spot where the comma originally was. Good thing is, there is a simply setting that one can adjust to fix this. Simply go straight to the Android keyboard settings and turn off the voice input keyboard button.

If you tend to keep an eye on your phone’s energy consumption; Google allows users to see an in-depth view of how the phone makes use of the battery. There is a graph you can check at the “About Phone” menu and click the battery icon to see the full breakdown.

For many, managing apps is one of the biggest chores in any smart phone (even for the iPhone). Fortunately, there is one menu in the Android OS that lists down everything you have downloaded and installed, and it also provides a one hit button for un-installation procedures: the Android Market. Oddly enough, this online menu still keeps a great deal of content, even telling you of apps you installed but have forgotten.

Anyway, we may have suggested that the voice button be removed from the virtual keyboard, but the bottom line is that voice is the big new function for the handset. There is voice search, voice commands and even voice dictation for writing down long notes. It is fast and surprisingly easy to do, not to mention the fact that Google’s hardware and software for detecting voice is uncanny.

Today’s Top Mobile Headlines

Monday, December 20th, 2010

Nokia is suing Apple for 24 counts of patent infringement. The case has been filed in several countries counting the UK, Netherlands and also in Germany as well. As expected, Apple has responded to the lawsuit by filing a counter lawsuit against the Finnish phone maker. With this being their fourth legal battle against each other, the process is starting to look familiar, hopefully, this case gets resolved as soon as possible.

RIM has announced that they have shipped a massive 14.2 million units, and the company has also reported a massive growth of 40% in profits. While the BlackBerry brand still remains a niche name, many are hoping that the new QNX powered BlackBerry Playbook might change the reputation of the company name.

Microsoft has confirmed that the Windows Phone 7 mobile platform will be receiving a massive update. According to reports, the new update will be coming in the summer of 2011 (around August and September), and by massive, we mean large enough to warrant getting a name. Aside from adding HTML5 and better Silverlight compatibility the update is expected to bring many more features to the OS. The new update has also been nicknamed as the Mango.

Speaking of the Windows Phone 7, Microsoft is not planning a new version of the OS until much later; which means that the currently announced 7.5 update will be all that users can look forward to next year. It is believed that the new version, Windows Phone 8 will be launching on 2012.

Google’s Android Honeycomb has been designed specifically for touch screen tablets. So far, there is no confirmation yet on when the OS version will be released (especially with 2.3 Gingerbread being just released just a while ago). At this point, many believe that the Honeycomb OS will be designated with version 2.4.

Nexus S is Coming to the UK

Monday, December 13th, 2010

When Google first came up with the Nexus One, they specifically stated that they had no notions of an iPhone killer or anything of the sort. The self-branded handset was meant to set a bar for the smart phone industry in terms of what the Android platform can truly be.

Now, almost a full year later, we see the fruition of the second Nexus handset to come about. And regardless of how one looks at it, the Nexus S is truly an iPhone killer. To fully appreciate this, one simply has to look at the basis of the Nexus S –which is Samsung’s i9000 Galaxy S which has been meant as the Korean phone maker’s rival product against the Apple iPhone.

According to various sources, the new Google super phone will be shipping to the UK pretty soon and four major network operators have confirmed that they will be offering the handset as soon as it arrives. O2 Mobile, Vodafone UK, T-Mobile UK and Orange UK have all confirmed that the new Google handset will be available on both SIM free and tariff deals –providing users with a choice. The phone is reportedly going to be free at 35 Pound monthly tariff deals and up.

Specs wise, there is little doubt that the Nexus S is poised to take on the iPhone. IT eve packs the new NFC hardware technology that Apple jumped in early to invest in –not that the technology is already seeing practical use today, but Google certainly does not want to be left out when the technology finally does.

With the latest Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS, HD video, a 1.2 GHz CPU and a large library of applications from the Android Market, the Google Nexus S will be offering a tough fight against Apple’s iPhone series.

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).

Microsoft to Update WP7, Google’s Nexus S is Coming

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

With all the exciting talk about the Android 2.3 Gingerbread operating system going on, it is almost easy to forget the fact that the platform will not be launching alone. Google is placing it aboard the Nexus S touch screen smart phone as well.

The dual launch will showcase not only the best software technology that Google has for commercial users, but also the latest in hardware innovation as well. There is plenty of focus for the Nexus S to be able to deliver great graphics, media and of course, the best Android experience for the end user. The device itself is unique, sporting a slight curve to the front of the device allowing it to ‘cup’ the side of the face more effectively especially when making a call or a voice command.

Other features of the Nexus S include the 1GHz Hummingbird CPU, an 8 mega pixel camera, the super AMOLED touch screen display and sadly, the lack of micro SD card support. While mostly impressive, not supporting external storage is certain to get some solid criticisms for this device. According to Samsung, the Nexus S will be launching within the next couple of weeks.

Microsoft is also launching an update to the Windows Phone 7 mobile platform. While there are plenty of new features that are coming, it has been stated that copy and paste are going to be primary additions to the mobile platform. For those not familiar with the WP7 OS, it was originally announced that copy and pasting would be limited in application to only contact information –meaning that only phone numbers and email addresses can be copied and pasted.

This update provides a better version of copy and pasting: one that actually allows users to select which content to copy and where they will be allowed to paste it. The controls are simple and anyone who has seen a similar copy and paste system in other platforms will not take one learning to make use of the feature.

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.

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.