Showing posts with label android. Show all posts
Showing posts with label android. Show all posts

October 27, 2011

the understatement: Android Orphans: Visualizing a Sad History of Support

the understatement has done little research into Android smartphones getting updated to the next release, or not. The result is rather discouraging. Read Android Orphans: Visualizing a Sad History of Support. And many LG and Sony Ericsson devices aren't even on the chart. I believe it's US-centric. But EU is no different, sadly.

Conclusion: an Android is not a good investment for the average smartphone buyer. An iPhone is much better albeit more expensive. But at least you are getting more of your money's worth.

October 19, 2011

A Quick Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Feature Rundown

TechCrunch has a short and sweet Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Feature Rundown.

My favs? Flexible widgets, folders, screenshots, data usage built into OS.

August 4, 2011

Android least open source mobile platform

Interesting read: Android is least open of open source mobile platforms over on ArsTechnica. Valuable points are made. Also interesting is that the most open platform, Eclipse, is generally believed to be a disaster to work with. It's so flexible and open and customizable that the general public won't be able to get it suited to there needs.

True openness let's anyone contribute anything they feel like. Through a process of community-driven discussion and cherry-picking, various fixes and enhancement then find their place into the product. However, quality control, consistency checks and overall architecture are often overlooked or under staffed and, as a result, don't take place. It's also not a fun job to do, to have to tell people that what they did was great but can't find a place in the product because it breaks "the general idea". Someone sees a thing, investigates and works on it. If you shoot that down all the time, that person will never again help.

June 10, 2011

Real-life Angry Birds

T-Mobile created a huge Real-life Angry Birds in Barcelona. Watch and be amazed! Sooo much more fun!

May 20, 2011

Acer Iconia Tab A500

Just as my friend MrVanes, I am becoming more and more partial to the Acer Iconia Android Tablet. Not that I need one, mind you. But I'm so curious to see Honeycomb (Android 3.0) and can't wait to try version 3.1 that's out now (but won't come to Acer until June this year).

While there are a number of 9-10" Android tablets out now, most people still get the iPad2. Fine, really. It works well, sure. But it's too easy. :) I might buy an iPad for my parents or grand parents, because they need a stable well-engineered device that just works. And Apple certainly works well. Perhaps Android does too, don't know yet, but it is not as polished yet IMHO for everyone. And I like to do a bit of polishing myself, which you cannot on an iPad without jailbreaking it.

So where Modaco Paul was really happy with the ASUS Transformer and the Motorola XOOM was handed out to everyone at Google I/O, I'm leaning to the Acer simply because it has a very active, passionate and productive community. The Acer Liquid was one of the first cheap, performant Android phones and it shows. Regular leaked ROMs, awesome custom ROMs and great spirit among the users with everyone helping a hand where and when needed.

So needless to say Engadget's Acer Iconia Tab A500 review, highlighting subtle differences between the Iconia, the Transformer and the XOOM is music to my ears. :)


Update: I got one beginning of June!

March 30, 2011

The Cosmonaut: A Wide-Grip Stylus for Touch Screens by Dan Provost & Tom Gerhardt — Kickstarter

Here is an example of how wide-spread the acceptance of touch interfaces has gone: The Cosmonaut.

Now, special pens are being created for those who regularly want to draw or scetch on a tablet such as the iPad or NOOK or XOOM. And the weird thing: it actually makes sense to me too. It's more accurate, you can change the tip, your screens stays cleaner and your kids won't mess up or destroy the screen with sand on their hands.

February 24, 2011

iPad alternatives

The iPad is a great little device! It works very well, almost everyone seems to be able to use it instantly and everyone wants one. Well, almost everyone (hi Martin!). But while Apple must be given credit for starting it all and showing that tablets are incredibly useful and handy, the iPad is not cheap and... well... from Apple. So what else is there? Competition is always good and here it's no different.

T3 has a round-up of iPad alternatives and lists the HTC Flyer, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, the LG Optimus Pad and the Acer Iconia Tab A500. (Also check the review.)
But don't forget the Notion Ink Adam, Motorola XOOM, Dell Streak and more from Toshiba, Asus and Archos.

Most of the Android tablets will be based on Android 3.0 aka Honeycomb and feature a powerful dual-core CPU. The iPad2 may even the playing field again come September, but until then Android rules the iPad in power. Usability and personal preferences remain, well personal. :)

Update: Sony Ericsson Play, XOOM review
Update2: another Xoom review by Engadget
Update3: www.tabletcenter.nl for tablets in Holland

January 28, 2011

Rooting the Nexus S

Today I rooted my new Nexus S Android phone. It's great. The Galaxy S hardware from Samsung is a dream compared to my old trusty Acer Liquid's Quallcomm Snapdragon. Sure, the Nexus S runs on 1 GHz compared to 768 MHz for the Snapdragon. But newer is better in this case. It also helps that Gingerbread (android 2.3) is optimized for the newer hardware.

However, I need root. I want root. I hate running into something cool and nifty, only to be stopped by a pop-up screen saying "Unable to XYZ, your devices must be rooted". So I did. Mainly to install the battery saving JuiceDefender and UltimateJuice. They make my smartphone last 2-3 days instead of just one measly day. Really!

So I tried my Windows XP laptop from work, but it wouldn't recognize the Nexus S. It found it, but then failed to find drivers. Turns out, the Android SDK supplies these. But that also needs the Java SDK (78 MB). A bit much for just drivers. So I tried my Mac Mini running Snow Leopard (10.6.6) and the Nexus S appeared just fine.


Now it took just a quick visit to ModaCo's Nexus S forum and I was done. Here is exactly what I did:
  1. Connect phone to computer (OSX for me)
  2. Download Paul's Superboot tool, unzip and have it ready
  3. Power off phone
  4. Boot to Recovery Mode (press Volume Up and Power simultaneously and hold)
  5. Unlock the bootloader (as Paul suggests, Recovery Mode says "Lock state: Locked") first: ./fastboot-mac oem unlock
  6. Phone reboots.
  7. When back in Recovery Mode, bootloader now unlocked (in red), run Paul's root script: ./install-superboot-mac.sh
  8. Upon reboot, the phone is rooted automatically. Note the large unlocked padlock at the bottom of the boot screen!
  9. Done!

Want to check if it's rooted? Try an app such as setCPU, or simply open the app drawer and you should find an app called superuser...

July 23, 2010

Build you own smartphone car dashboard mount

Speaking of building it yourself, I've been really annoyed at current Android phone makers that they sell loads of phones without a proper car mount kit. Only Dell, Motorola and a few others have special car mounts for their phones when they come out. All others simply don't. Now you don't really need one that often, but if you like to use the free Google Navigation features of any Android-based satnav tool, you will need a car mount or someone to hold the phone for you. You can buy generic phone mount kits, but they're ugly and expensive...

So I was pleasantly surprised that someone felt the same way and came up with a really easy solution to building your own car mount for less than $10! Genius!

Update: Garmin sells the mount too, if you'd like to buy new, for $25.

January 6, 2010

Google Nexus One details


Well, the internet and blogosphere is filled to capacity with news on Google's new smartphone, Google Nexus One.

  • 3.7" AMOLED screen

  • 700x480 pixels

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon @ 1 Ghz

  • multi color (back?)lighting

  • 5 Mpx digicam with LED flash

  • 11,5 mm thick, 130 gr weight

  • touchscreen, but not multitouch

  • 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth

  • A-GPS

  • Android 2.1


Google sells it through its web store. In the US in combi with a subscription from T-Mobile or separate. Outside of the US, it is for sale in (sim-lock free!) Singapore, Hong Kong and England. The Netherlands can expect availability in march of this year, through Vodafone.

On a side note: we can expect the Xperia X10 around April and the Motorola DROID aka Milestone in March.

December 17, 2009

Nexus One Hardware Running List

An Android website is keeping tabs on the Google Phone "Nexus One" that comes out early next year. The specs are close to what my Liquid does, so nothing exciting there apart from the newer Android version 2.1 (vs my v1.6). Read the article on these are the droids.

Superboot: how to get root on the Acer Liquid A1

Following a brief exchange of notes between MrVanes and myself, I got thinking of getting root on my Liquid. I.e. I can become superuser and do whatever I want to on it, including breaking it beyond repair. :) Life on the edge! ;)
Anyway, not decided yet. Still trying to see if I can get Google Maps Navigation working without root. But just in case, here is howto root the Liquid using a utility called "Superboot".

December 8, 2009

Google Goggles

T3 reports on Google Goggles: "Google has launched an Android mobile app which will allow users to discover a host of information about famous landmarks just by taking a picture of them on the phone's camera.

The augmented reality service, which is endearingly named Google Goggles, combines a GPS-based location pinpoint with the company's image database to provide users with information on landmarks, works of art and even company logos."

December 3, 2009

Acer Liquid A1

<bad English accent>
Well, de boullit is shroe de church!
</accent>
I just ordered the Acer Liquid A1. I should get one in 5 days and counting... MrVanes IM'ed me he had just ordered one and I got caught up in enthusiasm and caved in. I have no life. I have no spine. But I DO have an Android! w00t

December 2, 2009

Google Maps Navigation

Google Maps Navigation: "Google Maps Navigation is an internet-connected GPS navigation system with voice guidance. It is part of Google Maps for mobile and is available for phones with Android 1.6 and higher."

So it'll run any currently sold Android phone, as they're usually running v1.6. Only a very few already have 2.0 or will be updated early next year.

November 30, 2009

Acer Liquid A1 coming to Netherlands

Yay! The Tweakers forum gave a link to a pre-order site for the Acer Liquid A1: only €350 in this config, using Android 1.6. It should arrive Dec 10th...
Update: gsminfo.nl also has it in pre-order

November 25, 2009

Google Maps Navigation hits Android 1.6

After luring people for while with free turn-by-turn navigation on Android 2.0, Google announced it has released the same for any Android 1.6 device. So eat that TomTom, VDO, Garmin et al with your $$$ local DVDs!

For now it's only officially available in the US, but hackers have shown it can also work in the UK/EU. :)

November 21, 2009

Which friends have an Android phone?

The Google blog showed a cool new feature Google Labs has built: Green robot icon. The icon in GMail or Gtalk shows which friends or contacts have an Android phone or device. :) Cool! I can't wait to the Liquid A1 once it comes out! My Nokia 6500C is seriously getting on my nerves. It can't do ANYTHING!

November 12, 2009

Using Google Android for...

Parrot Android photo frameWhat could you use a compact, capable, Internet-aware and -enabled OS for besides netbook :yawn: and smartphones :bored:?
Well, smart devices that can benefit from easy connectivity. Such as the Parrot Grand Specchio photo frame. :) Or what about an easy 7" touch screen on your HD DVR? Internet radio station tuner? Car board computer for climate control, music selection and "in-flight" movie selections to the back seat? Smart in-house climate control systems? Anyone else...?

November 4, 2009

Sony Ericsson on Android: Xperiax10

And Sony's is coming with an Android phone too: the Xperiax10 will hit stores early 2010. Engadget has an extensive hands-on and pretty pictures... uuuuuuh
My opinion? I think it looks stunning and I think I'll like the screen, I'm not too fond of the buttons. If they'd be soft-press, though, it might be good enough.