Archive for the ‘tech.commentary.android’ Category

Apple makes more on an HTC Android smartphone than Google

That’s right, Google makes a projected $2 per Android powered phone sold, and Apple is closer $6 or $8. Microsoft is making about $5 on LG, Acer, and Samsung Android phones.

This past weekend Apple and HTC signed a patent cross-licensing deal that, according to one analyst, could see Apple collect between $6 and $8 for each and every Android smartphone HTC sells
Read more at http://venturebeat.com/2012/11/13/in-2013-apple-and-microsoft-could-make-600-more-from-android-than-google/#Eg0uPRM6ZD4KxPzS.99

Source: VB / Mobile Apple and Microsoft could make 600% more from Android than Google in 2013

11/21 update: HTC CEO Peter Chou – “I think that these estimates are baseless..” /via ARS Technica


Instagram 3.0 Available

Instagram 3.0 was made available for download yesterday. The major release will be welcomed by the 80 million users who are sharing photos with friends via Instagram’s iPhone and Android apps.

Instagram 3.0 includes a variety of improvements and performance enhancements, but the goal of the release was clearly to improve, and re-imagine, the browsing and exploration experience.

During an interview with TechCrunch, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom described the new update:

“With every data release we’ve tried to shift our focus dramatically. Instagram 2.0, with its new filters, etc, was all about the user’s production experience. Instagram 3.0 is about a new kind of browser experience, Photo Maps. Photo Maps is such a fun way of re-descovering yourself, but not just yourself, all Instagram users”

Photo Maps, a feature of the member profile, provides an alternative map-based way to browse photo collections. The experience provides a new and fun way to browse other’s photos, but it’s also a fun way to rediscover some of your own photos.

Instagram Photo Maps

Instagram’s Photo Maps

Improvements like support for continuous browsing, and slightly larger grid photos will also be welcomed by the army of people that use Instagram on a daily basis.

The video below provides a walkthrough of the new Photo Map feature if you’re interested in learning more. Or, just download Instagram for iOS, or Android, it’s FREE!

Instagram 3.0 – Photo Maps Walkthrough from Instagram on Vimeo.


Nexus 7 Teardown

Nexus 7 TeardownThe iFixit team gave the Googles Nexus 7 a 7 out of 10 repairability score. The iPad scored a 2 and the Fire scored an 8. The only real problem they have with the Nexus 7 is that the LCD doesn’t separate from the display glass – making repair more expensive. Another step in the right direction for the Nexus 7.


Google I/O 2012

Google GlassGoogle announced a lot of great stuff at the Google I/O conference this week. Highlights for me included the release of Chrome for iOS, the Nexus 7 announcement, and the earlier than expected availability of Google Glass. I’ve got a Nexus 7 on pre-order and Chrome for iOS running on my iPhone. Way to go Google, glad to see you’ve still got it. I’d say Google had a very successful Google I/O conference this year.


Phone Review: Samsung Galaxy S III

Samsung Galaxy S IIIPelicans are going to be dropping Samsung Galaxy S III phones on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless stores near you this month. $200, and a 2-year contract, will put this 4.8-inch screen (720p resolution) and an 8-megapixel camera in your pocket.

The Galaxy S III is obviously the next evolutionary step in the popular Galaxy S line. More than 50 million Galaxy S phones have been sold, and there isn’t any reason to think the the Galaxy S III won’t continue the trend.

The Galaxy S III includes a great hardware package, and a few new innovative features. Smart Stay uses the front facing camera to monitor your eyes and reduce the chances of the phone going to sleep when you need it to be awake. S Voice, a Siri like feature that doesn’t promise to be your new best friend. And an impressive camera that includes image stabilization and a shutter speed that apparently does’ t have any lag. There’s more, but the phone has been well covered, so you can read about it elsewhere if you’re interested.

You can pre-order the Galaxy S III from Verizon Wireless and AT&T starting today. T-mobile and Sprint will launch the phone on June 21st. Available in multiple colors, but only from AT&T to start.


App Review: Nuance Dragon ID

Soon you’ll be unlocking your iPhone or Android powered smartphone using your voice and Nuance’s Dragon ID. You won’t find the App in the iTunes App store or Google Play, but hardware vendors will be integrating it into their devices at the factory level soon. For example, you might be able to unlock you iPhone by speaking your password into your Bluetooth connected headset. Personally, I’m looking forward to this, my iPhone screen has four dimples.

[Source] Nuance’s Dragon ID lets you unlock your phone by voice


Google Maps for Android Adds Indoor Walking Directions

Google Maps for Android 6.7 dropped today and the additions include: indoor walking directions, 360° panoramas inside restaurants and stores, and a new Google Offers feature. Read more about the update on the company blog.

“Since we launched indoor maps in the U.S. and Japan in Google Maps for Android last November, business owners have been adding their floor plans to our maps with Google Maps Floor Plans. Today, we are launching indoor walking directions for participating venues in these countries. This will help you get directions not only to a building’s front door, but also through those doors to the places where you want to go inside.”


ioShutter Camera Remote

ioshutter-camera-remote

Control your DSLR from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch using the ioShutter Camera Remote and ioShutter App. The ioShutter App (free and paid) supports six different modes: standard trigger, motion trigger, sound trigger, time-lapse, timer, bulb, and modes can be combined. Most of Canon’s cameras are supported, and it sounds like a version for Nikon cameras is in the works.

The ioShutter Camera Remote competes with the successful Kickstarter project - Trigger Happy camera remote. Remotes like these are going to replaces the standard remote switches most manufacturers offer – the added functionality you get in the supporting Apps makes it an easy choice, and you don’t have to pay a whole lot more for the added functionality.

The ioShutter Camera Remote is available from Photojojo now for $69.99. The Trigger Happy remotes can be pre-ordered now, but won’t ship until July.

Update 05.08.12: Camera’s from the following manufacturers are supported by ioShutter Camera Remote: Canon, Hasselblad, Pentax, and Samsung. Nikon coming this summer. Compatibility details available on the ioShutter website.


Pebble Smartwatch – Wearable Computing

Pebble Watch

I backed Allerta’s Pebble watch Kickstarter project yesterday; this is the second Kickstarter project I’ve backed. The Pebble e-paper watch extends your iOS or Android powered smartphone by connecting to it via Bluetooth; once connected (paired), Pebble can display notifications sent from your phone (calls, text messages (Android only), alerts, etc.), act as a music player remote control, and a whole lot more.

Pebble features an ARM Cortex-M3 microcontroller, a 1.26-inch 144×168-pixel black and white e-paper display with backlight, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, four buttons, a vibrating motor, a three-axis accelerometer, and a scratch and shatter resistant lens. The battery is expected to last more than seven days on a charge, and it’s water resistant to boot.

Eric Migicovsky, Allerta’s founder, has been developing smartwatches for three years. inPulse, Pebble’s younger sibling, worked originally with Blackberry phones but was upgraded to work with some Android phones. inPulse has been popular despite some serious limitations, i.e. you could only install and use one App at a time.  Pebble will have an App switcher built in so core functionality like notifications and the music player remote control can remain available even while an App is in use. To support this, Allerta added the ARM Cortex-M3 microcontroller and 8 times more Flash memory and 12 times more RAM than inPulse.

I’m looking forward to getting my hands on my Pebble watch this Summer or Fall. I think wearable computing is going to be a big deal in the future, and I can see the use cases for Pebble in my life today. And a big congratulations to Eric and his team, they cleared $3M in backing today, on a goal of $100,000 – I’d say that’s a pretty good indicator that wearable computing has a future. @pebblewatch


Chrome for Android Drops

Chrome for AndroidGoogle Chrome BETA for Android dropped today. Engadget, Droid Life, and the Wired Gadget Lab all posted good hands-on reviews – pocketnow.com posted a video that demonstrates Chrome for Android’s slick tab management system.

Early reviews are positive, and most are pleased with the way Google Chrome for Android ties into the desktop Chrome experience. Your bookmarks, Omnibar results, and tabs are all synced, and better yet tab syncing includes tabs you currently have open.

Google Chrome BETA for Android is available now in the Android Market – Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) required.


Android File Transfer

Android TransferNeed to transfer a file from your MAC to an Android device? I did.

No extra software is needed to connect an Android device with a Windows computer. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for a MAC running OS X 10.5 or later. You’ll need to download Android File Transfer from Google to view and transfer files between your Mac and your Android device (running Android 3.0 or later).

I needed to transfer a large APK (Android application package) from my MacBook Pro to my Galaxy Nexus yesterday and Android File Transfer worked perfectly. It took a little sleuthing to figure this out, so I thought I’d share.


iPad 2 vs. Kindle Tablet

Gizmodo Concept Drawing - Amazon Kindle Tablet

Pundits of all types have been predicting the end of the iPad’s dominance since it was launched in April of 2010. Fortunately for Apple, and Apple investors, the enemy hasn’t been able to muster a proper offensive yet. Will Amazon’s Kindle Tablet finally end the iPad’s dominance over the burgeoning tablet computing market?

This post is continued on the Concentric Sky Blog


Amazon’s Android Appstore

Amazon Appstore

Amazon’s new Android Appstore launched Tuesday, and I’ve spent some time getting to know it this week. I’ve also been taking advantage of the one free paid app per day offer, Amazon’s using to promote the store, to snatch a few new titles for the Samsung Galaxy Tab I pack around with my iPad. Tuesday’s free app was Angry Birds Rio, a new title in the popular Angry Birds line based on the animated flick, Rio. Smartly, Amazon secured an exclusive for the launch of Rio, which I’m sure drove some traffic to the store Tuesday.

The store launched with 30 title categories and a healthy selection of apps, including popular titles like: Fruit Ninja, Shazam, and Call of Duty. The store represents the first attempt by a major retailer to offer a “curated” selection of Android applications – and I’m happy to see it. According to Amazon’s submission rules, apps in the store must work properly and be safe, both in terms of consumer data privacy and the impact to the mobile device itself. Consumers will be able to worry a little less about whether or not an app is safe, Amazon screens all apps in the store for malware. In the wake of the recent malware outbreak in the official Android Market, over 50 apps infected with a malware program “DroidDream,” security is something more Android users are thinking about. A “curated” selection of apps contributes to Apples’s success with the iTunes App Store, it’s likely to do a lot of good for Google’s Android platform.

The web-based store sports a cool feature called “Test Drive” that lets you take an app out for a spin in your browser before you buy it. Click the ‘Test Drive” button, and Amazon will launch an emulated instance of Android on its EC2 cloud platform for your test driving pleasure. Unfortunately, this isn’t supported for all apps. This is something I’d like to see in the iTunes App Store as well, a few screen shots isn’t always enough. Users can browse apps in the web-based store, or download a native Android app. I’ve been using the native Android app and it’s a pleasure to use. One-click purchasing is available, and it really is one-click, so watch where you tap on the screen when you’re browsing – you’ve only got 15 minutes to return an accidental purchase.

Amazon’s appstore will also introduce a new pricing model for Android developers. Instead of offering developers the typical 70/30 split, developers will tell Amazon what they hope to sell the app for. Amazon, however, will determine the price. Developers will then receive 70% of the revenue earned, or 20% if Amazon decides to discount the app or give it away for free. The reduced rate is in exchange for the increased sales that will likely result from Amazon’s effort to promote the app. This system is probably going to benefit developers because it’s in Amazon’s best interests to optimize the revenue generated for each app – and Amazon knows how to run an e-tail business.

TechCrunch has speculated that the Amazon appstore may precede an Amazon-made tablet powered by Android, enabling Amazon to more directly compete with Apple and other tablet manufacturers. Is Amazon’s Android Appstore a sign of things to come? I don’t now, but I’m happy to see it.


Localytics Study Says…

First impressions are important, I’ve always believed that. It’s no surprise that they’re important in the highly competitive mobile apps space too.

Localytics, used their real-time app analytics service to study the usage patterns of thousands of Android, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry and Windows Phone 7 users. The good news is that users seem very willing to give new apps a try. The bad, according to Localytics, is that 26% of the time users never give the app a second try.

High download counts early in the life of an app are a good indicator of success, but positive recurring usage metrics are often more indicative of an app that will be successful in the long-term.


Bubble Ball Bumps Angry Birds From Top Spot

Robert Nay & Mom

Fourteen-year old Robert Nay, left, and his mother Kari Nay are shown in this picture. Robert's game Bubble Ball is the #1 free game in Apple's App store.

Bubble Ball, an iPhone app developed by a 14-year-old, bumped Angry Birds from the top spot on the Top 10 Free Apps downloaded list in the iTunes App Store. The physics stimulating app has taken the globe by storm with over 2 million downloads worldwide. It’s a huge succes in the iPhone App Store, and is also available in the Android Marketplace.

Bubble Ball was developed by Robert Nay, a youngster who apparently has a passion, and a gift for programming. Nay used Ansca Mobile’s Corona software development kit (SDK) to develop Bubble Ball.

“I’m pretty surprised by how well it’s doing,” 14-year old Robert Nay told AllThingsD, via MSNBC, about the app-store topping hit “Bubble Ball”.

Well, it’s doing great Robert! Love the humility and congratulations.


Samsung Galaxy Tab

Samsung Galaxy Tab

The SamSung Galaxy Tab, slated for launch in November 2010, has been getting a lot of attention in the press – for good reason – it stacks up nicely feature-for-feature against Apple’s iPad. I’m not going to write a review here, it’s been done over and over again, but I will provide you with a list of the resources I’ve used to research this popular device and the things I like most about it.

Learn more:

What I like most about the Galaxy Tab:

  • Size – the 7″ screen makes the Galaxy Tab more portable than iPad which has a 9.7″ screen
  • Weight – at .82 pounds it weights about 1/2 of what the iPad weighs
  • External memory – adds capacity for an additional 32G
  • HDMI out – can’t do that with an iPad
  • The FF and RF camerera (w/ a flash) is a nice addition

I’m looking forward to getting my hands on a Galaxy Tab. The Galaxy Tab may just be the 1st Android powered device I buy. Most of all, I’m glad to see competition in the tablet space heating up.


About palmIT

palmIT is authored by Cale Bruckner [LinkedIn], President at Concentric Sky, and former SVP Product Development at Palo Alto Software.

Cale Bruckner

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