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Posts tagged Android

Motorola’s ‘Duet’ tells a story as only a smartphone can
November 20, 2014 | 7:41 pm

Screenshot_2014-11-20-18-35-16I was just answering a message on Google Hangouts in my Moto X when I saw a blue stylized figure of a ballet dancer dance across the bottom of the screen. It left a glowing blue circle that I tapped on, and I was presented with a screen that said “Duet”. This puzzled me, as I certainly hadn’t installed anything by that name lately. A quick Google revealed that this was a new animated short from Motorola’s Moto X Spotlight Player. Directed by veteran ex-Disney animator Glen Keane, “Duet” tells the story of a boy and a girl who...

Google Play Books’ most self-referential release to date: A guide to being a successful Google app developer
November 8, 2014 | 2:32 pm

Google has conveniently levered off its own platform to deliver one of the most Google-friendly books you could possibly find on Google Play Books: The Secrets to App Success on Google Play: A guide to useful features, tips, and best practices that will help you grow a successful app business on Google Play. This handy guide aims to pretty much do what it says in the title, and is available for free download from Google Play Books. It's also very much directed to the business model architect rather than the coder, with much of its emphasis on making the app work...

Vsenn can stand against Project Ara as a modular platform?
November 7, 2014 | 4:31 pm

A new modular smartphone project - albeit one based on vanilla Android - has emerged with the advent of Finnish startup Vsenn, whose mission statement is "to give everyone the power to create their perfect smartphone by using modular and upgradable hardware." How far this stands a chance against Google's own homegrown Project Ara, or even how far it is differentiated from it, remains to be seen, though it does also claim to be "co-founded by a former Nokia Android X program manager." "We use only the best and fastest hardware in our modules," states the Vsenn introductory material. "There are...

Latest comScore rankings show Android has U.S. smartphone market in its pocket
November 7, 2014 | 2:30 pm

comScore_IncThe latest U.S. smartphone market rankings report from mobile comms metrics outfit comScore, Inc., covering September 2014, shows Android in the lead as the dominant smartphone platform "with 52.1 percent platform market share." Apple, meanwhile, remained "the top smartphone manufacturer with 41.7 percent OEM market share." This is off a base of 174 million people in the U.S. owning smartphones, or 72 percent total mobile market penetration, over the July-September 2014 period. Android's market share has if anything very slightly increased since comScore's last set of numbers, from June 2014, rising 0.2 percent from 51.9 percent. it. Apple's OEM market share meanwhile, is...

Latest Android version numbers show 4+ iterations nudging 90 percent
November 6, 2014 | 12:25 pm

The most recent OS version usage totals from the Android Developers Dashboards, up to November 3rd, show adoption of KitKat, the latest fully available version of the OS, pushing fast into the overall Android ecosystem, up to just over 30 percent of total Android devices, versus the August figure of just under 21 percent. Add the total of 50.9 percent for the previous versions of Android Jelly Bean, and the 8.5 percent still using Ice Cream Sandwich, and we are looking at 89.6 percent, or almost 90 percent of Android devices still able to access the Google Play Store. Not only does...

Morning Links: What’s next for Authors United? Easier switch from iOS to Android
October 22, 2014 | 9:00 am

authors unitedWhat's Next for Authors United? (David Gaughran) Perhaps it’s time for Douglas Preston to widen the aims of the group and start campaigning on issues which actually matter. *** Make the Switch from iOS to Android with Google's New Guide (Lifehacker) If you're not excited about the new features in iOS 8, you might consider switching to Android. Thankfully, Google just released a guide to help make the switch easier. *** How Soon Will the Majority of Books be Self-Published? (Publishing Perspectives) Literary agent Andrew Lownie believes that in 5-10 years, 75% of books will be self-published, 20% assisted by agents, and only 5% traditionally published. *** Margaret Atwood...

Android One strengthens Google’s emerging markets armlock
September 22, 2014 | 12:25 pm

androidone5-600x400Announced at the the Google I/O 2014 development conference in June 2014, Android One is Google's new reference platform for emerging markets, with a sub-$100 price tag and solid hardware specs, including a 4.5″ screen, dual SIM slots, SD card port, FM radio, etc. Wasting no time, Google has already brought the new platform to market, via initial product releases in India from Karbonn, Micromax and Spice Smart Phones. The new handsets are already attracting some good reviews, with strong marks for the critical areas of screens, performance, and above all, the solid qualities of the stock Android OS iteration basic to Android One. "Always the latest...

Android accelerates away from Apple
September 22, 2014 | 10:25 am

switch from ios to androidA recent article on Android Central entitled "The Insane Pace of Android" encapsulates a lot of what's going on in the Android ecosystem - and why that should be a first concern among anyone looking to buy or upgrade a mobile device. Apple is basically eating Android's dust. Especially in dusty Third World countries outside the U.S., which may not be the first concern among Wall Street money guys - either in their stock picks or their buying choices - but which add up to a user base that is dwarfing iOS, and outdistancing it more every day. "There's an entirely...

Intel rolls out new reference design platform for Android tablets
September 10, 2014 | 4:25 pm

Prospects for more, cheaper, higher specced, more up-to-date, tablets for ereading and other purposes took a turn for the better when Intel announced their new reference design platform for Android devices, with both hardware and software components. "At IDF today, we announced the Intel Reference Design Program for Android," said Intel's official blog post. "This program is our commitment to the industry to make it easier to bring Android devices based on Intel Architecture to market." The plethora of low-cost and often low-performance Android tablets flooding supermarket shelves proves that OEMs have not exactly been finding it that hard to bring...

Switch from iOS to Android on my phone (Part 2)
September 10, 2014 | 12:25 pm

ios to androidIn Part 1, I talked about why I decided to make the switch from iOS to Android. Now let me talk about the experience and whether I have any regrets. As I said in the first part, I still think iOS is a good operating system. However, for my phone, I now prefer Android, even though the experience hasn't always been smooth. Let me talk for a moment about the HTC One M8 (which really needs a better name).  So far, it's a great phone. Battery life has been excellent. I've only charged during the day once, and that was because I...

Amazon releases Prime Instant Video app for non-Fire Android devices
September 9, 2014 | 8:54 pm

prime instantWe and Nate at The Digital Reader have previously written about a workaround for watching Android Prime Instant Video on non-Fire Android devices. Until now, it required installing the Dolphin web browser and a deprecated Flash app, then setting Amazon Streaming Video to use Flash instead of Silverlight so that it would think you were watching video from a desktop. However, now Android Authority reports that, at least for people in the US, Amazon has finally released an Amazon Prime Instant Video app for non-Fire Android devices. Of course, Amazon being Amazon, the process is still more complicated than...

Switch from iOS to Android on my phone (Part 1)
September 9, 2014 | 1:09 pm

switch from ios to androidAnyone think it's ironic that I'm writing this while waiting for the iPhone 6 event to start? I was probably crazy to switch from an iPhone 4S to an HTC One M8 just a few weeks before the launch of the iPhone 6, but I did it for a reason. I've been wanting to make the switch from iOS to Android on my phone for months now, but I was afraid if I waited for the iPhone 6 launch, I'd cave and get another iPhone. This way I'm "stuck" for 18 months. So far, I'm okay with that. I thought a couple...