Android Phones, Info and Apps

TAG | Android phone

For larger displays like tablets, Google decided to develop a different version of the android OS called honeycomb. My exposure with the tablet version of android came earlier this year when I first used the Motorola XOOM, it has to be said that earlier versions of Androids were better than Honeycomb. I actually found less productivity through honeycomb 3.1 than the older version of android for smart phones.

With an enormous anticipation, I came in touch with Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 which has the latest (3.1) version of honeycomb, which addresses few of the stability issues from version 3.0, my initial reaction was a mixed bag of positive and negative reactions. But people don’t get me wrong, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is one of the best tablets available on the market. The problem is with my perception of honeycomb 3.1.

Inconsistent Design

The biggest issue with honeycomb 3.1 is the design that Google has selected for larger displays. The awkward thing is its system controls distributed over four corners of a display which causes the feeling of inconsistency while in use.

A notification message and clock is on lower right corner with common android settings and functionality. However, you can only access installed applications from the upper right corner of a display, an area which has been seldom used in any kind of display. Even a Google Search tab has been established at the upper left corner which is a location choice I’d question. After this distribution, main android controls such as back button and access to home screen display is on the lower left hand side of a display.

Such a design means whenever I need to access something, I have to stop and think about which corner to access and generally ending up accessing the wrong corner which creates lots of unnecessary taping on the screen which is a sign of poor display design.

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Apple iCloud
During the presentation from Steve Jobs a few days ago, many eyes caught the attention of Apple’s upcoming iCloud service. However, there were more eyebrows up when Apple unveiled new features of iOS5 which will be released to customers later this year with Apple iPads and new versions of iPhone. It seemed that many of these features were the adaption of few extravagant features from other OS’s that distinguished those OS’s from other ones. Let us look at some these features and you might be convinced of what we are talking about here:

Notifications: A new notification feature allows users to get the notification about mails, calendar events or new text messages even at the time when phone is locked. This is purely borrowed from Android. Another borrowed feature is that unobtrusively, an alert comes up at the top of your phones screen as a bar when you’re working with some other application. Just like window-shade, you can pull down that bar just like you would do so with an android phone.

Reminders: It’s not just a simple reminder feature. It’s about assigning the list of things as a reminder to GPS location in your phone. This means, phone will give you a reminder to buy cosmetics when you are passing from particular location.
Messaging: It is about extending the iPhone messaging to other iOS devices with some enhancements like adding a picture or a video by tapping the camera icon and selecting content to attach to message.
Contacts: Now, contacts can integrate with data from many different sources just as it’s possible in Android phones.

The list of the features given above is just a preview. There are many other features borrowed by iOS from many other OS as well.

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Recently, CEO of Motorola, Mr. Sanjay Jha accused android apps for having performance issues which actually caused the return of Motorola’s android phones. He claimed that even though Google removes the malware apps from the market, they do not check the applications for performance which causes the battery drain for most of the Android mobiles.

Basically, no Android app comes with the requirement of certain processor speed and ram memory. In addition, mobile phone companies add lower speed processor and memory to reduce the cost of the handset. Now, if an application is not able to run with lower ram memory or processor, it eats up mobile battery and thus causing quick battery drain from the android mobile phone. It’s not just that. Such poor performing android apps can also cause functional issues in the phone such as to drag the phone’s speed down, this has been observed by many android handset users.

Few days ago, it was noted on one of the TV shows that an android app does not come with notification that it requires certain speed of processor and ram. So, diagnosing and fixing performance issues for android phones becomes geekier than a normal customer may want to handle. iPhone apps generally comes with predicted performance because of the few iPhone models as well as better processor and ram speed in a phone.

However, for those users who want to go with Android phones, it will be good to check the least required hardware specifications for an android app before using it in their phones.

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With the launch of android platform, android apps have hit the market at thick and fast rate. The best thing about these applications was that they were free to download for everybody with its open source platform. The applications came in almost all the forms and all kind of android devices which made the things more special for android phone users.

The apps came in large numbers and believe me almost everything was possible with this application. Yes, everything was possible. However, there were few chosen applications that rocked the market and became as a necessity for an android user.

ATM Hunter – As its name suggests, this application is able to locate any ATM across the world by availing its location information through GPS. The application has been released by MasterCard. The best part of the application is that it’s also able to tell whether a transaction on a particular ATM will charge you some bucks.

Hound – This is the best application for the music freaks out there in the market and as a music lover, my one of the most favorite application. As a used, you just need to speak out a name of a song or an artist or a band and it will display smallest of details about the song with its pictures and lyrics. The killer feature is that it is able to provide tour dates of that band if any.

Words with Friends – Its more of a scrabble game or you can say it’s a clone of a scrabble game. Then, what is special about this game? The killer feature for this application is that a user is able to play this application with a buddy who either has an android based phone or an iPhone.

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Did you ever think that there can be an application with malware in open Android market? Google just removed some of the malware affected open application from the android market last weekends. The applications were checked and it was found that they had some malicious data which could have compromised significant personal data.
This was not the first incident of Google deleting malware application. In early March this year, Google deleted certain applications which were affected by malware known as Droiddream. In addition, Google also sent a security update to all its clients to remove malware affected programs. It has also been heard that a recent malware was also developed by the users of Droiddream.

Actually, the problem was reported by one of the android applications developer that his modified version of existing applications was distributed on Google even before released. This incidence brought malware to notice of Google and Google took an action after investigating the issue.
Google has also warned Android users to download applications only from the trusted sources and has also asked users to check permission request prompted by such applications. Users have also been asked to check whether the application matches the feature it actually claims. Google has also asked users to check the unusual activities from phone such as sending useless messages and uninitiated network activities. It has also requested its users to download mobile security application from the market to keep phone safe from all such events. So, if you are a regular android market visitor and looking to download application, please take care of such malware applications and also download android security application.

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It seems like every other day, the smart phone market comes up with yet another Android phone or a tablet from the houses of the giant phone or tablet makers like Samsung, HTC or Toshiba. If you look at four major mobile careers in the US and you will come to know that either they have come up with more than eight new android smart phones and there are at least twelve more phones in queue either to be announced or to be launched in coming summer.

It’s definitely good news but with so many announcements, one can really get confused about which one is right for him/her. So, I thought to take a look at what’s coming in the market this astonishing android summer.

Lately, the most active mobile carrier is T-Mobile, announcing three android phones with their launch in second half of June. The first one is HTC Sensation 4G coming to market on 15th June which is quickly followed by two more phones from Samsung, Samsung Gravity Smart and Samsung Exhibit 4G.

If we talk about AT&T, they are launching their next android phone – The Crossover within the next couple of days on 5th of June. This phone is expected to fly off the shelves with its lower cost of $69.99 on a two years’ contract.

Let us come to Sprint which have announced the launch of three phones in the near future. The models of this line up are HTC Evo 3D, Motorola Titanium and Motorola XPRT. A Motorola XPRT is expected in a couple of days on 5th June just when AT&T is launching their Crossover.

However, at the same time, Verizon is concentrating more on a tablet Galaxy tab 10.1 which is on horizon. Its launch is on horizon and its preorders are starting from 8th June.

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Android is an operating system for mobile devices owned by Google Inc. It was purchased by Google from its original creator Android Inc. in 2005. The Android operating system is the globally best-selling Smartphone software. Android has a large team of developers working to create new and advanced applications for its users to improve its functionality and to give it an edge over other Smart phones. Currently Android has over 200,000 applications available for its users. Google runs an online application store for Android where all these applications can be found and downloaded to users’ individual phones.

The most development in the Android application has been Google’s announcement to launch the Google Wallet. This official announcement was made on the 26th May 2011. Google Wallet is a new application for Android which will allow you to make payments through your Android phone. This will be done in collaboration with financial groups. The application is expected to release very soon. It is exactly what it sounds like, using your phone as a wallet. You’ll be able to purchase items using your Android phone instead of your wallet or your credit card. Not only that, it will also allow you to save money.
Google Wallet has been designed for your convenience. It will eventually take over the place of your leather wallet and hold all your cards in it. Since Google Wallet is not a real wallet but a mobile application, it can do much more than the regular wallet; hold thousands of payment cards, Google offers and loyalty cards without the bulk. It’s not long before even your keys will be synced to your Android phone as well.

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