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Posts tagged Android

Firefox for Android update didn’t fix my Chromecast mirroring gripe
December 3, 2014 | 11:27 am

firefox.pngI ranted a few days ago about how frustratingly almost-there my Chromecast is as a productivity and onscreen reading aid, chiefly because it just does not facilitate screen mirroring on Android except for a limited range of devices - and in any case, links this to Android OS 4.4.2 or above. You can even mirror the entire screen of any PC or Linux-based device running the Chrome browser to Chromecast using a Chrome extension - but not most Android devices. And short of full screen mirroring, the next best productivity and big-screen ereading option is mirroring the browser, allowing reading...

Latest Android Developer Dashboards show no Lollipop yet
December 2, 2014 | 12:25 pm

Google has just issued the latest update to its Android Developer Dashboards, detailing "data collected during a 7-day period ending on December 1, 2014." And as the pie chart makes clear, the latest OS iteration, Android 5.0 Lollipop, hasn't cracked the 0.1 percent threshold of users needed for inclusion in the Dashboards, despite all the hoopla surrounding its release. The immediately prior release of the OS, Android 4.4 KitKat, is now past the one third of the Android user base, at just under 34 percent of all users. The various versions of 4.x Jelly Bean are just under 50 percent, a...

Advent of ultra-cheap Windows machines a game changer?
November 29, 2014 | 12:25 pm

Arguably one of the big drivers for iPad and Android tablet adoption, besides the new form factor, has been price. Just like netbooks back in the day, tablets offered Internet and digital media access for a price far below that of traditional laptops and desktop PCs, and the home computer market has suffered accordingly. But what if Microsoft was able to drive down the prices, as well as multiply the form factors, of Windows machines, to compete head to head in the tablet/small portable device space? What is that going to do for the balance of OS uptake in the...

AndroidPIT App Center shutting down. Leaves Fire users in a bind
November 25, 2014 | 12:25 pm

androidpit app centerDavid Rothman, former owner of this site, tipped me over the weekend to the fact that the AndroidPIT App Center is being shut down as of the end of next month. Their reason involved the EU and their revised VAT guidelines. This is trouble for users of the Kindle Fire who may have been counting on the App Center as a way to purchase apps, such as Moon+ Reader Pro, which are listed in the Amazon App Store as being incompatible with the Kindle Fire. Leaving aside how much it stinks that Amazon is forcing such incompatibilities on their users, what...

Jolla gets moolah with $1.2 million and counting for alternative tablet
November 24, 2014 | 2:22 pm

Finnish startup Jolla apparently tapped into a source of serious demand when it launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for its Jolla Tablet, a 7.85" display device running the Linux-based Sailfish OS 2.0. The crowdfunding campaign blew past its $380,000 target within a couple of days of its November 19th launch, and as of the time of writing, has secured over $1.2 million in pledges, or 318 percent of the target, with 16 days still to go. What could be the secret of Jolla's success? It might be the Sailfish OS, "mobile-optimized with the flexibility, ubiquity and stability of the Linux core and...

Android latest: Lollipop does not suck
November 22, 2014 | 10:32 am

My first-generation Nexus 7 tablet recently updated itself to the latest version of the Android OS, Android 5.0 Lollipop, thanks to Google's commitment to keep the entire Nexus system abreast of the latest developments in its platform. And so far at least, despite some other reports to the contrary, the experience has been almost entirely favorable. Lollipop is supposed to be all about a change and improvement in the user experience, with faster and smoother operation thanks to the new Android Runtime (ART) environment that replaces the old Dalvik virtual machine with its just-in-time compilation method. On that score, it does seem...

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...