Nov 16 2011

Pulse on Kindle Fire

Category: AndroidTeknovis @ 5:34 pm

I read the Pulse will be included pre-installed on the Kindle Fire! See Pulse Scores Key Spot On Kindle’s Home Shelf; Co-founder Says It May Pass 10M Users This Year and Kindle Fire, Welcome to the Pulse Family!.

That is a great achievement, but then again, Pulse is a great application!

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Aug 19 2011

Android Operator Billing

Category: Android,Business,TelecomsTeknovis @ 9:03 pm

There has been quite an amount of excitement today regarding Vodafone’s announcement that it will soon offer operator billing for Android app purchases in the Android Market. For more see Android operator billing comes to Europe, Vodafone the first to launch or the original announcement Vodafone Developer Announces Operator Billing For Android.

I think that it is a sensible move, and I image that it will facilitate more app purchasing. It is also a timely announcement, since research published today shows that Android users spend twice as much time using apps as they do the browser. See Android Phone Owners Use Their Devices For An Hour A Day.

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Aug 15 2011

Google Buys Motorola Mobility

Category: Android,Business,PatentsTeknovis @ 6:02 pm

So Google has surprised everybody by buying Motorola Mobility today. See Google Buys Motorola Mobility For $12.5B, Says “Android Will Stay Open” (or any mainstream news website).

I think that this is a very positive development for the ongoing development of Android. Both technically, and due to the patent portfolio that Google has just acquired.

It is also a very rewarding development for anybody with Motorola Mobility stock!

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Aug 01 2011

Motorola Xoom – First Impressions

Category: Android,ReviewsTeknovis @ 7:56 pm

I recently bought a Motorola Xoom for myself, so this post describes my first impressions. Overall these have been extremely positive, and so far the device is exceeding my expectations!

Motorola Xoom

Motorola Xoom

I had decided that I wanted an Android powered table, and the only other contender was the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. Both devices are extremely similar, so the ultimate decision was made on the form. The Xoom felt heavier, thicker, and solid. Whereas the Galaxy felt lighter, thinner, and it had a very plastic feel to it.

When I got the Xoom I initially played with it to learn about it, and I downloaded many applications for evaluation purposes. I then factory reset it, and configured it the way that I wanted.

Hardware

There is not a huge amount to write here, because there are already many good reviews of the hardware online. So here are a few comments:

  • The power button is located on the back surface in the upper right hand corner. I read several reviewers questioning that location, but I find it very convenient. I can comfortable switch it on and off using one of my fingers that is already there in order to hold the device.
  • Battery life seems great to me, although this is not something that I have measured. My biggest concern here would be the battery longevity in terms of recharge/discharge cycles. So far I am using the device until it fully discharges before charging it again.
  • The charge lead plugs into the bottom of the device (when it is in landscape mode). This makes using it while charging slightly difficult, because you cannot rest the device on our stomach.
  • The screen quality is really impressing me, especially when looking at photos. I also find it perfectly responsive.

Overall, I am finding the device very ergonomic, although my hands might be considered slightly larger than average.

Operating System and Bundled Applications

The device came with Android Version 3.2. So far I think that it is great, and I have no major issues. My comments are:

  • I am not a Gmail user, and I was concerned that every feature would need to be deeply integrated into a Gmail account. Luckily this is not the case, although I did create a trashy account to keep the device happy :)
  • I hate having to physically connect devices to a single computer. This is not required – sweet :)
  • The email client supports multiple IMAP accounts, although I am having difficulty deleting email. (They appear to delete, but when I check my email using another IMAP client the emails are still in my Inbox, but marked as read. I think the issue is that deleted emails should be moved into the Inbox.Trash folder.)
  • I wanted to create my own wallpaper, but I found it very difficult to find the exact required dimensions online. The best discussion on the issue is in Improved Wallpaper template, now with native resolution., but I am just using one of my own images that is a much higher resolution. The wallpaper tool is good in the way it allows you to crop the background wallpaper. If you want to use somebody else’s wallpaper then take a look at WallpaperCASA or xoom-wallpapers.com.
  • There is a bundled application for viewing common office file types. (See What is Quickoffice and why can’t I edit documents?.) I do not see myself needing to edit such files, but certainly viewing is extremely useful.
  • I have read that many people install task manager applications. For the moment I am happy to let Android look after this.
  • The browser seems great so far, and I absolutely love the Quick Controls feature (see Quick Browser Controls)!
  • I am starting to love widgets :)

There are many additional bundled applications such as calendars and contact lists. However, I have not used these because I am not interested in that functionality.

Additional Applications

I am more of a browser person than an application person, so an application must have real value or functionality for me to consider using it. Therefore, the additional aplications that I have downloaded have been limited to the following (in no particular order):

  • Flash Player: Whether you like it or not, many websites use Flash technology. My main motivation for getting this was to view some video-on-demand websites that I frequently visit.
  • ES File Explorer: It is interesting that the operating system does not come with a built-in file explorer. Perhaps this is because most users will never need one! However, I do, and his one seems perfect. Perhaps its best feature is that it enables me to directly connect to my file server (using SMB). This is fabulous for downloading my MP3s, photos, and other documents. The only small annoyance I have found with it is that you need to specify whether it should operate in landscape or portrait mode. It should detect this automatically!
  • Jota Text Editor: I wanted an application for taking notes, and subsequently sharing those notes between multiple devices. The initial note applications that I looked at all contained proprietary file formats. So I decided that a text editor was the way to proceed!
  • Skype: I use Skype a lot, so this was a necessity. It works fine, but I am disappointed that it does not support video calling. Hopefully this will change soon!
  • Pulse: This has probably been the application that has impressed me the most! To be honest, it is the first time that I have ever used an RSS reader on any platform, and it is so convenient!
  • Twitter: I tweet using multiple accounts, and this makes it so easy! The notifications and widgets are also very useful.

Some of these applications are not specifically designed for the large screen of the tablets, but they are perfectly acceptable as long as the zoom mode is not used.

So these are my first impressions! I expect many more posts on my Xoom :)

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Jun 30 2011

Skype on Android

Category: AndroidTeknovis @ 6:41 pm

I just read that Skype video calling is now available on Android in Skype video calling comes to Android smartphones.

Actually, I am surprised that has not been available before now!

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Jun 13 2011

iOS 5

Category: Android,iPad,iPhone,TelecomsTeknovis @ 5:15 pm

There was lots of talk about Apple‘s announcement of iOS 5 last week. For an overview of the new features read See new features included in iOS 5.

The most interests aspects are:

I am not an iDevice user, but I am becoming more impressed :)

Finally, Google Android vs. Apple iOS: Handicapping the 2011 death match gives a good comparison of iOS and Android.

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Jun 07 2011

Motorola Xoom Review

Category: Android,HardwareTeknovis @ 10:12 am

I previously described how I really liked the Motorola Xoom in Motorola Xoom. I really liked it when I saw it in Barcelona (at Mobile World Congress), but I must admit that I was disappointed when I saw it recently in a local shop. Perhaps it was because it had a very dull theme, and the iPad2 beside it seemed very colourful.

However, after reading Motorola Xoom A slab of 10in Honeycomb goodness today I find myself interested again :)

 

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Feb 17 2011

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

Category: Android,Hardware,iPadTeknovis @ 10:19 pm

It certainly has been an interesting week from a tablet point-of-view. Firstly, I borrowed an iPad, and I have been giving it a good testing. The user interface is very nice, and the browsing experience has been excellent. I only encountered one website where the Javascript driven menus would not work for some reason. My only complaint with the device is that it starts to feel rather heavy when resting on your stomach :o

I also got to play with a Motorola Xoom (see Motorola Xoom for more details). During my brief encounter the device seemed to be as desirable as I had imagined ;)

The other big development (from the 10″ tablet point-of-view) was that Samsung launched the Galaxy Tab 10.1. For more details see the images or the features.

Galaxy Tab 10.1

Galaxy Tab 10.1

I spent some time playing with it also, and I cannot say that I noticed any significant difference between this and the Motorola Xoom. Perhaps this is not surprising given that they are both based on the same chipset, and they both have the same operating system.

I did read some complaints about the plastic build, but I did not find this problematic. Indeed, I liked the circular recessed area on the back because it made holding the device from any angle very comfortable.

Perhaps the only disappointment this week was that HTC did not launch a 10″ tablet :|

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Jan 07 2011

Motorola Xoom

Category: Android,HardwareTeknovis @ 7:15 pm

A belated merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year! I had a great one, and hence I have not been posting here recently!

Anyway, I have previously written here about my irrational cravings for a tablet device. However, I really am not an Apple fan, so I do not see myself ever owning an iPad!

Today I think that I might have found the perfect table for me! It is the Motorola Xoom!

Motorola Xoom

Motorola Xoom

For more mouthwatering details see the marketing material or the technical details.

I am really looking forward to seeing one of these!

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Oct 21 2010

JooJoo

Category: Android,Hardware,iPadTeknovis @ 4:48 pm

I have been having strange cravings for an iPad recently. I cannot understand why, because I do not think that I would have a lot of use for it! I would consider the lack of Flash to be a major disadvantage because it is used to watch a lot of online television.

I considered some of the Android powered tablets, but I think that the 7 inch display is just too small.

Today I came across the JooJoo. It appears very interesting, and I found that the pictures in iPad vs. JooJoo… fight! give a very good indication of its size compared to the iPad. However, there does seem to be some legal issues surrounding it, so it might not be a good long-term investment :o

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