Tag Archives: Android

Galaxy Nexus: Android with a soul


Like the T-1000 standing in a sea of Arnolds, the Galaxy Nexus is better, faster and smarter than any other Android phone on the market.

Not that current Android phones fall short in machine power. Rather, much like the androids of the silver screen, the operating system has been the weak point. Previous versions of Android have lacked some intangible spark. A human element, perhaps — a missing je ne sais quoi that has been keeping many critics and users from fully engaging with the platform.

It’s a debatable point, but I’d argue that “special something” can be found in Android’s biggest competitor, Apple’s iOS. Siri, the voice-activated digital servant on the iPhone 4S, is a great example of a feature that marries technical prowess with a human touch: We speak to “her”, not to “it.”

Android, on the other hand, has always been sold on the strength of its robotic nature. Power, hardware specs and hackability were the reasons why we were supposed to buy an Android. It’s not a posh concierge, it’s a Swiss Army Knife.

But with the Galaxy Nexus, Google has put a little soul into the machine

Read more @ Wired

Bharti Launches sub 10k Tablet – Magiq

Beetel Teletech, part of India’s Bharti Enterprises that controls top mobile carrier Bharti Airtel , launched a tablet computer priced at 9,999 rupees on Wednesday.


The 7-inch tablet, branded Beetel Magiq, runs on Google’s  Android operating system and supports both 3G and Wi-Fi networks, Beetel said in a statement.

Key features :-

    • Processor Speed – 1GHz
    • Android 2.2
    • 7.0″ WVGA Screen
    • Dual Camera – (2MP + 2MP)
    • Comfy Stand
    • Track Pad
    • Android Market (Free Apps)

The tablet will come with data connection from Airtel*. Currently available only in Mumbai and Delhi


*The offer is applicable on the first airtel SIM that is inserted into a new Magiq Tablet. To activate 3G services, sms 3G to 121. Post expiry of free data usage, in-plan data browsing changes of 10p/10kb will apply till expiry of the validity. Once offer is over, standard data browsing charges of 10p/10kb will apply. Customers will get the offer only once. In 2G circles where airtel has not launched 3G, customers will get 2GB of 2G data per month for 6 months. Customers who avail the 2G offer, will not get 3G offer post launch of 3G network. Offer is valid till 20th Nov 2011. For T&C’s visit www.airtel.in

The connection will be activated on the Tablet by 24th Aug’2011.

Samsung beats iPhone in Android sales


Samsung Electronics Co, maker of the Galaxy mobile phone, may have surpassed Nokia and Apple Inc in smartphone sales for the first time on demand for devices that run on Android software, a research company said.

Samsung is estimated to have sold between 18 million and 21 million smartphones globally in the April-June quarter, compared with 16.7 million for Nokia and 20.3 million iPhones, Neil Mawston, a London-based analyst at Strategy Analytics, a research company based in Boston, said in an emailed response to questions on July 22. The data exclude tablet-computer sales.

The estimates show Google Inc’s Android is gaining ground on Apple in smartphones as Nokia, which is turning to Microsoft Corp for software support, struggles to keep up with the pace. Samsung, which also produces low-end phones that aren’t capable of downloading applications, has said it aims to more than double sales of high-end devices this year.

Read more here

Reasons to get an Android

It is not a farfetched thought to think that the choices in mobile world today are many. As we are moving towards a more digital world cell phones are without a doubt one of the most essential gadgets and one very commonly found in just about everyone’s pocket from a milkman to CEO of a multinational firm. And one name that has definitely taken the mobile world by storm is android. So what exactly makes this platform so special and why should you go for it?

1. Hardware: One advantage that Android has over its nearest competitor in iOS is that it comes with a vast choice of hardware. With iOS you are stuck with iPhone as your hardware device but with Android being the adopted platform of some of the biggest names in mobile manufacturing like HTC, Samsung, Motorola etc. there are vast number of choices in terms of device and even pricing.


2. Open Source: Another advantage with android is its open platform. Unlike iOS there are not stringent rules for the application developers as a result more developers are likely to pick up android API developer kits knowing that they can upload their application on market and subsequently can put it out there for users to use it. In longer term this may even result that android applications may outnumber those on iOS. However the downside of this is there may be far more current application on Android. But applications are definitely a massive plus.

3. Great UI Another advantage in going Android is that it gives you a good solid choice regarding how your UI would look like. With plenty of third party launchers available you can customize your screen according to your own needs. Unlike iOS you are not stuck with the same slide to unlock and box type UI.

4. Widgets: Another positive is the widgets, though slightly battery consuming widgets are great way to display information. Android has always proudly said that they work on making information easily available with having to click anything and most definitely these widgets are a great feature. Plenty of widgets are available and they only enhance your UI.

5. Google integration: Needless to say android is extremely snappy and quick, and with Gmail integrated, it is a great way to keep up with your mail and Gtalk contacts.

6. Browser Experience: The browser experience generally is extremely good and with most of android phones now coming with flash integration, internet experience is as close to real desktop browsing as you can get.

There are far many more reasons to go android though these are just about the most important ones. So why wait? Should you not be getting up and getting your first Android?

Say no to Low End Android Phones

Having used a Samsung Galaxy  for about a month I can tell you that it is not worth buying. But you know what else isn’t worth buying? Low-end Android phones in general. Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t get one.

Poor performance

To differentiate these devices from their more expensive stablemates, manufacturers often provide them with underclocked CPUs and low memory. The problem is, these devices run the same OS and applications as the more expensive Android phones. The applications often aren’t optimized to run on such hardware and Android itself doesn’t work well when given anything less than a 1GHz CPU and at least 512MB of RAM. This leads to poor performance on these phones. Applications crash when you try to juggle too many things at a time. The browser crashes when you load a heavy page, the multimedia experience is poor because the hardware isn’t capable of opening high resolution images and videos. You cannot even install Flash player on them.

Having experienced this tragedy firsthand, let me tell you that it is not something you would want to pay for. I wouldn’t even bother calling these devices smartphones. Just because on paper these devices claim to do the same things as more powerful Android phones doesn’t mean they deliver in real life. Devices like these are what give Android a bad name, because when their device fails to work as advertised, people are likely to blame Android rather than the device for poor performance.

Small display

These phones often come with small displays with a pitiable QVGA resolution. To make the display seem large they are often stretched, which makes the pixels so large you can count them in your spare time. The quality of the panel itself isn’t great, with poor viewing angles, sunlight legibility issues and low response marring the experience.

These displays make everything from image/video playback to web browsing look lame. Also, because of their small size, text input is a nightmare. Try zooming out in Angry Birds and you’ll spend the next few minutes wondering where the birds went.

Poor choice of applications

Let’s face it, Android doesn’t have a huge variety of great apps to begin with. On top of that if you have an Android phone with QVGA display that number goes down even further. Many of the apps out there don’t have a QVGA version yet. Imagine your disappointment if you buy one if these phones for a particular app and then learn it is not available for that resolution.

Because of the lame hardware on these phones, even if you download an app it’s not necessary it will work well. Even Angry Birds, a 2D game with simple graphics, has a hard time running on these phones. This effectively leaves more complex 3D games out of the question.

Poor software support from manufacturers

If you buy a high-end Android phone today, there is a good chance that you will receive the next major software update. However, the same can’t be expected of low-end phones. These phones will often be sold with an outdated version of Android and 99% of the time they will never get a software update. Manufacturers usually spend their time and efforts on their more expensive models. Unless there is some major issue with the software they will not bother with the low-end Android phone.

These are the major reasons why I feel no one should buy these low-end Android phones. If you want a smartphone, it is always a good idea to save up and get a device with decent specs that would support both the OS and the applications. Do not be fooled by that Android logo on the back of these phones. This is not Android lite, this is Android lame. If you want a decent smartphone at a low price, go for Symbian. These are just attempts by the manufacturers to cash in on the Android hype. There is a good reason why they are so cheap. It’s because they trade performance for disappointment. Despite what they might promise, they aren’t good at anything, which is why you should avoid them like the plague.

5 must have Android utilities

Android has a long lasting list of applications that can be used for this and that and what not. I have been trying various applications for my droid and some of them have been really awesome. Listed below are the 5 such applications that I found amusing as well as productive.

IP Webcam

https://ssl.gstatic.com/android/market/com.pas.webcam/hi-256-1-f73963e1d2a95e397af40cf510f17624d331feb5I came across this application when my XPS 1210’s cam went bad and I needed one more camera. This application connects to the Wifi network and broadcasts the video.




Whats APP

https://ssl.gstatic.com/android/market/com.whatsapp/hi-256-2-063cf3e73115676edd923ec74bb8f17ff93570baWhats App lets you chat to your friends whether they are on blackberry or OVI or any other service. Just add your friends and be ready to chit chat. It also supports group chat now.




Barcode Reader

https://ssl.gstatic.com/android/market/com.google.zxing.client.android/hi-256-0-a52603e4bfdf6e9176c504ee305bdde8c5825288This application is very amusing. It helps save lot of time in case you see some application online with the QR code. Just point your barcode reader to the code and it opens up in the market app on the phone.




Distance Calculator

https://ssl.gstatic.com/android/market/com.gebogebo.android.distancecalcfree/hi-256-0-7ea3f3f86fc5a307e16fad219cf2df89fc09c14bThis application uses GPS to measure the distance traveled along with the speed. It can measure the distance while walking, cycling and driving. This application is just for the sake of curiosity, to know how fast you are going.




Tiny Flash Light + LED

https://ssl.gstatic.com/android/market/com.devuni.flashlight/hi-256-0-fbd9acaaaa348d40833d6b3813635f4e1e8cb93cThis application is a good utility as well as some serious fun too. It turns the phones screen into a flash light. It also has various other modes which allow you the have fun.

Measure speed and distance travelled with Android

https://ssl.gstatic.com/android/market/com.gebogebo.android.distancecalcfree/hi-256-0-7ea3f3f86fc5a307e16fad219cf2df89fc09c14bThe Distance Calculator is a nice app to have a rough estimate of how fast you are going or how long have you gone. It tracks the speed and distance in 3 modes, walking, cycling and driving. It is a nice app to give a shot.

– calculates distance while you are walking, biking and driving
– calculates average speed, current speed and total time while calculating distance
– “capture” feature enables you to take a screenshot of your recent trip. this screenshot can be shared with your friends using networks like twitter/facebook (file manager like Astro File Manager is required)
– runs in background and hence is not interrupted by other activities
– “Pause/Resume” functionality to allow you to save battery if you happened to stop for some time while walking, biking or driving
– gives you an option to select action to optimize battery performance


https://ssl.gstatic.com/android/market/com.gebogebo.android.distancecalcfree/ss-1-320-480-160-2-2919e9b7c3003bf0f87b03e534bf82f47e000bedWarning: Be careful while using this app. Numbers shown by this app are as accurate as GPS in your phone. Do not get distracted by this app while walking, biking or driving.

Get this application from the Android market. Point your bar code reader to this QR code.


Measure any distance with a single click on your android

Surveyor is an android application that can help you measure distances with the help of camera and orientation sensors on your phone.

It uses data from orientation sensors and the camera image to determine 3D coordinates of the object you selected and then give you the distance from the object to you or another object.

All you have to do is simply point your phone to the object and then click its video image on the screen at the point where that object touches ground. Detailed guidance have been integrated in the Surveyor application for your convenience.

However the simplicity comes with 2 limitations:

1. It can only measure distances on a flat level surface, sloped or vertical surface won\’t work.
2. The altitude from the level surface to the device should be given to Surveyor as parameter. If a wrong altitude is set, the result will not be accurate.

Surveyor is a freeware, you can download it from Android Market by searching “surveyor” or click on the following link when you are viewing this page on the phone.

Get Surveyor from Android Market


Smartphone Market Share

Smartphone market shares as of March 2011. Source: The Nielsen Company

Not surprisingly, the current shares in the smartphone market reflect that same relationship as these consumer-preference scores. Android handsets dominate with 37% of the market, iOS is currently the second most popular with 27%, and RIM is third with 22%.

But consumers are fickle. Will the release of the next iPhone flip those numbers in Apple’s favor, or will Android gain a large enough foothold that it will dominate for the foreseeable future?

New Android OS for Phones, ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’

The next Android operating system for smartphones will include some features that were previously exclusive to Android tablets, Google announced Tuesday.

Dubbed “Ice Cream Sandwich,” the platform will debut some time in the fourth quarter of 2011, Google officials said during the company’s I/O developer conference.

“We want one OS that runs everywhere,” Android engineer Mike Claren said at the conference.

Ice Cream Sandwich-powered smartphones will ship with enhancements introduced in Android Honeycomb, Google’s operating system for tablets. Some of these new features include a holographic user interface, enhanced multitasking abilities and the ability to connect the smartphone with a USB device, such as a mouse or an Xbox controller.

The release of Ice Cream Sandwich has been highly anticipated by the Android developer community. Android version 3.0 (Honeycomb) first debuted on Motorola’s Xoom tablet in February, touting a host of enhancements and features new to the Android platform. Developers have been waiting for Google to release the Honeycomb source code, in order to bring some of these features to smartphones.

So far, Google has refused to do so. After a long period of silence and a whole lot of fear, uncertainty and doubt, Google issued a statement to members of the press in March: “While we’re excited to offer these new features to Android tablets, we have more work to do before we can deliver them to other device types including phones. Until then, we’ve decided not to release Honeycomb to open source.”


via Wired