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Posts tagged Android

Cyanogen announces $80 million funding round
March 24, 2015 | 2:25 pm

Cyanogen, creators of (almost) everybody's favorite alternative iteration of the basic Android mobile OS, has announced "the completion of an $80 million round of Series C financing," led by Premji Invest and including existing investors Benchmark, Andreessen Horowitz, Redpoint Ventures, and Tencent Holdings Ltd. More interesting, perhaps, is the list of "new strategic investors" now participating in the round, including " Twitter Ventures, Qualcomm Incorporated, Telefónica Ventures, Smartfren Telecom, Index Ventures, Access Industries (the US-based industrial group headed by Len Blavatnik), Rupert Murdoch, Vivi Nevo, and several yet to be announced partners." A Series C financing round for a venture capital-backed company...

My experience so far with Android Lollipop 5.1
March 22, 2015 | 2:25 pm

Screenshot_2015-03-21-07-50-24 Previously I posted about my experience on my Nexus 7 2012 edition with the Android 5.0 Lollipop upgrade. And my first positive impressions of the new Android iteration got a lot of negative response. So here goes again. My machine has just upgraded to Android Lollipop 5.1, and here is my experience so far. Do bear in mind that my first good experience with Android 5.0 Lollipop got a lot more frustrating later on, with long lags switching between apps, frequent "not responding" messages, etc. I don't know whether this was some kind of accumulation of cruft or similar cumulative problems,...

Latest Android Developers Dashboards figures show Lollipop start to register
March 3, 2015 | 2:25 pm

The latest figures for platform share of the various versions of the Android OS, tabulated on the Android Developers Dashboards, show that Android 5.0 Lollipop is finally starting to pare off its slice of the overall pie, with 3.3 percent of devices accessing the Google Play Store during the seven-day period ending March 2nd, 2015, running Google's latest Android OS iteration. Android 4.4 KitKat, meanwhile, the immediately prior version, is present on almost 41 percent of all such devices. This does mean, though, that more devices are still running Android 4.0.3-4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich, at almost 6 percent, and Android 2.3.3-2.3.7 Gingerbread,...

Android is: The Dominator
February 27, 2015 | 10:25 am

httpwww.teleread.org20100406cleaning-up-epubs-to-work-with-ibook-aggregatorsandroid-attack.jpgForget Fifty Shades of Grey - how about Fifty Flavors of Lloyd? Yes, if you want to see a dominant force cracking its whip over the supine global smartphone market, Android in IDC's latest Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker is the one you want to catch. According to the IDC numbers, "Android and iOS inched closer to total domination of the worldwide smartphone market in both the fourth quarter (4Q14) and the calendar year 2014 (CY14)." And in particular, while iOS saw its market share fall slightly from 15.1 percent in 2013 to 14.8 percent  in 2014, Android grew its market...

Audible.com offers great audiobooks, lousy player applications
February 14, 2015 | 10:45 am

Audible has a great selection of audiobook downloads, and reasonable prices—especially if you buy during one of their frequent sales, using the discount offer for buying them together with certain Kindle e-books, or using one of their monthly credits. But since Audible’s books contain DRM, in some respect they are only as good as their player—which, sadly, is not all that great. I’ve been listening to a lot of audiobooks lately. It’s something I can do during the parts of my day job that don’t require a lot of brainpower, and it’s fun to hear a good book reading....

Android platform numbers show Lollipop get a licking
February 4, 2015 | 2:25 pm

The latest Android Developers Dashboard numbers for the week ending February 2nd show the Android OS version 5.0 Lollipop, the latest and greatest, getting only the most tentative tonguing by users, at just 1.6 percent of the Android user base.  At this rate, it could take a long while for the new OS iteration to … ahem … stick. The previous version, 4.4 KitKat, meanwhile, is still forging ahead, at just under 40 percent of all Android OS users accessing the Google Play Store. Ice Cream Sandwich is at 6.4 percent, Gingerbread at 7.4 percent, Froyo at a measly 0.4 percent,...

OxygenOS is oxygen for OnePlus’s OS woes?
February 2, 2015 | 10:25 am

The OnePlus initiative,  "a technology startup committed to bringing the best possible technology to users around the world," which sought to create cheap yet fully featured Android smartphones for global markets, ran into trouble recently over licensing disputes in India with CyanogenMod, the Android OS mod of choice for many smartphone cognoscenti and its preferred software so far. Now, OnePlus has apparently decided that the solution is its own fork of the Android OS, dubbed OxygenOS. The OnePlus statement on the issue reads: As many of you know, we will be launching our own ROM in the near future. We’ve spent a lot...

Android hits the billion mark in smartphone shipments
January 30, 2015 | 6:25 pm

Android mascot, LloydAccording to a recent report by Strategy Analytics, shipments of smartphones running the Android OS reached 1 billion for the first time in 2014, when "global smartphone shipments grew 30 percent annually to reach a record 1.3 billion units."The report continues: "Android has become the first ever smartphone operating system to ship more than 1 billion units in a single year. Android accounted for a huge 81 percent share of all smartphones shipped globally in 2014, and Apple iOS remains its only serious threat for now." This rather puts a dent in recent laudatory reports of Apple's sales numbers, claiming that Google...

App Review: Smart AudioBook Player for Android
January 26, 2015 | 11:11 am

smart audiobook playerIt finally dawned on me late last year that Overdrive MP3 audio books are DRM-free. Yes, I'd known that fact on some level, but I still listened to the books in the Overdrive app, which is okay but not great. Plus it often takes me longer than three weeks to finish an audiobook, so I was only checking out short ones (less than 10 hours). Once I processed the implications of DRM-free audio books (Hooray! I can check out long books!), I started looking for an audiobook player app and found Smart AudioBook Player. It has great reviews and offers a...

Size matters, as tablet makers go for the big time
January 24, 2015 | 12:25 pm

hp-pro-slate-12-800x420News has emerged of several tablet manufacturers targeting the mega-device space, with HP announcing an Android Pro Slate design with a 12.3-inch screen. According to the original HP announcement, the HP Pro Slate 12 and its little brother the HP Pro Slate 8 are: high-definition (HD) commercial-grade Android tablets. Available in 8-inch or 12-inch diagonal displays respectively, the tablets are powered by a Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 800 series processor, and support a 4:3 aspect ratio to easily view business documents and access business applications. Less than 8 mm thin, these lightweight tablets offer powerful computing and business-day battery life with enterprise-grade security and...

Dell claimed world’s thinnest slice of tablet out at Best Buy
January 6, 2015 | 10:25 am

Something of a latecomer to the tablet market, despite its innovative mobile devices like the Dell Streak, Dell looks to be aiming for the innovation high ground again, with the debut of the Venue 8 7840, which it claims to be the world's thinnest tablet, at 6.4mm (0.24 inches) thick. And this device is already on sale at Best Buy for $399.00. This does actually put the Venue 8 in the same league as the iPad Air 2, which also weighs in at 0.24 inches thick according to headline numbers, albeit 0.3mm better off at 0.61mm. So although the thinnest tablet...

Did Apple dominate Christmas?
December 31, 2014 | 6:25 pm

Quite a few stories have been doing the rounds lately of how Apple dominated mobile device activations, app purchases, and starts this Christmas, most of them traceable to a report from analytics firm Flurry, entitled "Apple and Apps Dominated Christmas 2014." And while I don't necessarily doubt its stats, I do wonder about its conclusions. For one thing, Flurry's review period that provided the basis for the key claim, that 51.3 percent of device activations worldwide for the Christmas period were Apple machines, was December 19th-25th. Now, of course that is going to cover Christmas Day itself, but is that really...

The great Teleread Android 5.0 Lollipop upgrade poll: Results
December 27, 2014 | 11:31 am

SurveyMonkey Android user experience 1 As many of you will remember, after my article "Android latest: Lollipop does not suck" brought reams of comment (67 posts in all) primarily to the effect that in their experience Android 5.0 Lollipop did suck, especially in the context of a mandatory upgrade, we called a poll to systematize the feedback. The results of the SurveyMonkey poll, with 32 responses in since December 6th, and most (some 70 percent) upgrading Nexus 7 devices (2012 or 2013 versions) are as follows. Asked how their experience of Android 5.0 Lollipop had been, almost 20 percent said "Very Good," and a further almost...

Linshof and the problem of Android vaporware
December 21, 2014 | 12:25 pm

gsmarena_001 A German startup that had announced new Android devices has just shut up shop - before even opening. Linshof, the German company in question, states on its own website that: Linshof is closed. We understood that it would be a difficult project and we are grateful for having the opportunity to work on it. Unfortunately, our investors decided to close the project due to their own internal reasons. Thank you all for your wonderful support. Note: We have never accepted any kind of pre-orders, donations, or third party investments. All our liabilities and obligations were paid in full. Previously, Linshof announced a smartphone, the i8, with...

Regular Chromecast finally does screen mirroring
December 15, 2014 | 10:25 am

IMG_20141212_171203 Some readers may remember my previous gripes about the Google ChromeCast for Android, and its halfway-there functionality, which allowed individual Android apps to stream to an HDMI-capable monitor or TV, but not screen mirroring. Well, finally with the latest update for the Android ChromeCast app, this has been implemented - for my Nexus 2012 anyway. It's not perfect, but it's a start. The 1.9.6 version of the app requires Android 2.3 or above on a device for basic functionality, but for screem mirroring, Android 4.4.2 KitKat or above is needed. Scren casting is available as an option from the pull-down menu...

Kindle X-Ray finally makes it to Kindle Android client – but is it worth it?
December 12, 2014 | 4:00 pm

Android apps have been going through a slew of upgrades and retoolings since the debut of Android 5.0 Lollipop, and now it's the turn of the Amazon Kindle app, which has just updated to version 4.8.0. As per the Google Play Store blur, this brings, for the first time, Amazon's Kindle X-Ray functionality "for Books and Textbooks to look up places, characters and terms," as well as "push notifications from Kindle," "improved library search," "flashcard sets to review textbook material," and the usual "experience improvements and bug fixes."...

Android app development might have just got a whole lot smoother with Android Studio 1.0
December 12, 2014 | 3:00 am

Google might have taken a critical step towards closing the proverbial time and cost gap between app development for its platform and for the Apple App Store, with the release of Android Studio 1.0, a stable Integrated Development Environment (IDE) available for free download for Windows, Mac, and Linux. One of the attractions for the developer community is supposed to be that this IDE is built on the IntelliJ IDEA, and "in a report by Infoworld in 2010, IntelliJ received the highest test center score out of the 4 Top Java Programming Tools." In any case, Android developers now have a...

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