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Posts tagged Android

Watch out for smartwatches as form factor gets ready for prime time
February 15, 2014 | 10:36 am

WIMM Labs[caption id="attachment_95923" align="alignright" width="209"] Nice concept, not quite there yet.[/caption] With data on smartwatches  reported on often of late, it's interesting to start seeing some numbers against all the buzz. According to a bulletin from International Data Group (IDG), smartwatch shipments worldwide hit 1.9 million units in 2013 for the first time, versus just a few hundred thousand units in 2012. Around 61 percent of the budding platform runs Android, according to Strategy Analytics. Much of the Android lead is attributed to Samsung's Galaxy Gear, but in such a still limited market space, there is of course still plenty of chance...

How much would you pay for a phone installed with Flappy Bird?
February 10, 2014 | 4:24 pm

Too much of a good thing can be tough to handle. Dong Nguyen the creator of the viral game Flappy Bird couldn’t handle the quick rise of popularity of his game – even though he was supposedly making a lot of money off ads – so he took it down. This has caused people to find alternative methods to finding Flappy Bird, one of which may cost people thousands of dollars. Several smartphones and tablets that have the game installed already have sold on eBay for more than $3,000 – all the way up to $10,100. Are all these auctions legit? Probably not. I...

Latest Android Developers Dashboard numbers show KitKat kreeping up
February 6, 2014 | 12:23 pm

The latest Android OS usage figures for early February from the Android Developers Dashboards show Android's more advanced OS versions - Jelly Bean and KitKat - gaining share only very incrementally. KitKat, at 1.4 percent of all Android users in early January, is now up at 1.8 percent, while Jelly Bean has gone up from 59.1 percent to to 60.9 per cent over the same period. [caption id="attachment_107137" align="aligncenter" width="480"] Source: Android Developers Dashboards[/caption] This might reasonably cause Google a little concern, because the more advanced models of phone and device are clearly only gradually penetrating the market. What's more, Android's third...

Google releases Chromecast SDK
February 4, 2014 | 3:56 am

CAM00395-1 Ars Technica reports that Google has finally issued a public SDKpublic SDK (software development kit) for its Chromecast HDMI TV dongle, meaning that for the first time, coders of random audio and video playing apps for Android, iOS, or the Chrome browser will be able to incorporate Chromecasting into their apps without having to work closely with Google to do it. Who knows what kind of apps we’ll get? Might there be a Chromecast e-reader app? It seems kind of unlikely. Due to the restrictions on the user interface, such an app might throw text up...

Latest IDC data suggests tablet market slowing
January 31, 2014 | 4:30 pm

The latest figures from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker indicate that, despite a strong fourth quarter of 2013, with total tablet shipments that represent "62.4 percent growth over the previous quarter and 28.2 percent growth over the same period a year ago," the tablet market may be slowing its breakneck growth. "While the market's growth rates remain impressive, they're down dramatically compared to the year-over-year rates of the same quarter one year ago (87.1 percent) and indicate a significant slowing of the overall market," observes IDC. "It's becoming increasingly clear that markets such as the U.S. are...

Kantar data emphasizes Android lead, Apple slide in smartphone sales
January 30, 2014 | 10:15 am

New 4Q 2013 data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech backs up earlier IDC figures for 2013 smartphone sales that suggest Android is continuing to extend its lead across global markets, especially outside the U.S. According to the Kantar analysis, "the three-month period ending December 2013, shows that Android closed out the year strongly across 12 global markets including the United States.  The operating system ended 2013 with a sales share of 50.6 percent, a gain of 4.4 percentage points from the final three months of 2012." Android remained especially strong in Europe, "with 68.6 percent share, while Apple held second place with 18.5 percent."...

Google sells Motorola phone business, keeps patent portfolio
January 30, 2014 | 3:23 am

Motorola_logo26Well, there’s an example of comedic timing for you. Just the other day, Gizmodo speculated that Google might kill off the Nexus line of tablets and phones in favor of “Google Play Edition” devices from other hardware manufacturers—including, notably, Motorola, who Google owns. But today, news came out that had Gizmodo saying, “What?!” Turns out Google is selling Motorola Mobility to Lenovo for $2.91 billion. The deal includes all Motorola’s phone hardware, but Google is keeping most of Motorola’s patents. Google already sold Motorola’s set-top box unit to Arris for $2.35 billion. It only just bought Motorola in 2011...

WSJ rumor mill highlights what people want, expect from Apple
January 24, 2014 | 2:46 pm

A recent and widely quoted report from the Wall Street Journal makes a couple of interesting calls about Apple iPhone developments supposedly in the works, quoting the customary "people familiar with the situation." (Those people sure get familiar with a lot of situations.) And according to the report, "facing competition from rivals offering smartphones with bigger screens, Apple Inc. ... is planning larger displays on a pair of iPhones due for release this year." WSJ doesn't spare much effort in ramming home the message. " Apple is losing market share to rivals who offer bigger screens," it insists, and wheels out...

Polaroid mini-tablet offers Android iPod Touch alternative…though not a very good one
January 23, 2014 | 9:28 pm

polaroidtabI have mentioned more than once that Android lacks a real equivalent to the iPod Touch. Sure, there are plenty of smartphones, and there are more than a few mini-tablets, but the mini-tablets generally seem to be running version 2 of Android, which means they have no (legitimate) access to the Play Store. Since I’ve ended up switching to an Android smartphone that fills my music-playing needs, I haven’t needed one as much, but I’ve still been curious whether one might become available. I was interested the other day when Nate mentioned on The Digital Reader that Sony was...

Latest Android numbers show no fragging fragmentation
January 13, 2014 | 10:32 am

androidThe latest figures on Android OS version usage and Android device screen size from the Google Developer Dashboards, "collected during a 7-day period ending on January 8, 2014," show that the oft-cited myth of Android platform fragmentation, often used as a pretext for preferring iOS, is ever more a thing of the past. And given the very well-informed complaints around the latest version of iOS, and features on the various sizes of iPad, and problems with Apple TV and other gadgets, it's also a myth that Apple devices don't suffer from fragmentation. (Warner Crocker: "I don’t buy the apologists who...

Amazon ranked #1 in customer satisfaction again; knocks $30 off Fire tablets to celebrate
January 9, 2014 | 3:13 pm

In honor of being ranked #1 in customer satisfaction during the holiday shopping season for the 9th year in a row by the ForeSee Experience Index, Amazon has announced it is knocking $30 off all Kindle Fire tablets until 11:59 p.m. Pacific time, January 11th. That would knock the base model 7” Kindle Fire HD down to $109, the 7” HDX (with the new Mayday Button) or the 8.9” HD down to $199, and the 8.9” HDX down to $349. Not bad pricing, all in all, if that’s what you’re looking for in a tablet. To take advantage of...

Facial recognition for random strangers, coming soon to Google Glass and your smartphone
January 8, 2014 | 9:39 pm

nametag_1Smartphones might be good for e-reading, but soon they’ll be able to read your face, too. Remember the uproar when Facebook announced plans to add face recognition identity tagging to its photos? It turned out only to be meant to tag people who you’d friended already, but to hear most people you’d have thought they were going to have their identities revealed to total strangers. Well, CNET Australia now reports on a forthcoming app for Android, iOS, and Google Glass that could reveal your identity to total strangers. Called NameTag, the app will allow users to snap photos...