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All posts tagged "software"

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Is Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) a Failure?

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 12:00 AM

"You can blame the high price. Or that it's heavier and thicker than the iPad 2. Or the lack of 4G at launch. Whatever the reason, according to Deutsche Bank, Motorola has sold only 100,000 Xooms since it and Verizon Wireless debuted the first Android 3.0 (a.k.a. Honeycomb) tablet in late February. Meanwhile, a DigiTimes report claims that Apple sold 2.6 million iPad 2 tablets in the month of March. Yes, all of the above factors come into play, but it's also very possible that consumers just aren't excited about Honeycomb."

An estimated 2.6 million iPad 2 devices were sold in March 2011, while Motorola's Xoom has sold about 100,000 devices in total. LAPTOP cites a handful of possible reasons why this has happened, but the bottom line seems to be that Honeycomb just doesn't match the simplicity of the iPad 2, in other words, it's too hard for the mythical 'average user' to figure out. One Xoom user was quoted as saying “I honestly found it one of the most painful experiences of any ‘modern’ device I’ve used in literally years. Terrible is my only adjective.” Google has started working with vendors on customizations, to address some of the concerns (or shortcomings), but did state that vendors are free to tweak as (much as) needed. Of course, the inevitable statistic about available apps has re-surfaced, with Honeycomb offering about 50 apps, while the iPad 2 number is around 65,000 and even the PlayBook number is about 3,000. It's catch-22, as software developers won't write software (or port existing code) to Honeycomb if they don't see a market, and the market won't develop if there is a lack of quality apps. So, is Honeycomb a failure? I'd say no, but it has disappointed so far - users expected more at launch.

Friday, March 25, 2011

ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Tablet/Notebook Hands-on

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 11:30 PM

"After showing off the Eee Pad Transformer at CES, Mobile World Congress, and other shows, ASUS finally announced that it has launched the 10.1-inch tablet and the optional keyboard dock that effectively turns it into an Android-powered notebook.. The unique device features a 1280 x 800 display with 10-finger touch support, a speedy Nvidia Tegra 2 CPU, 1GB of RAM, 16 or 32GB of storage, and Android 3.0."

The hybrids are landing! Is it a tablet, or is it an Android notebook? Add an optional keyboard/dock to a Honeycomb tablet, and you have a very workable, powerful travel companion. Initial pricing estimates for the tablet itself (16GB) are in the $400-500 range, with the dock adding another $100. Details on North American pricing and ship dates are not yet available. Check out the video to get an idea of the speed and features of the Transformer, and note how well the two components work together. Impressive stuff!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

LG G-Slate Hands-on at CTIA

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 11:30 PM

"Yes, the ulraslim (sic) new Galaxy Tab 8.9 is getting all the attention at this show, but it's not coming out until the summer. The LG G-Slate is hitting T-Mobile this spring for $529 (after a mail-in rebate). We finally spent some hands-on time with this Android 3.0 slate, and it certainly brings some unique features to the table. This 8.9-inch device captures 3D video with its two rear-facing 5-MP cameras and lets you enjoy 3D content on its 1280 x 800 screen. Unfortunately, you need glasses to view 3D on the display, and the effect wasn't very compelling when we donned a pair of specs."

It looks like more and more Honeycomb tablets are arriving, and LG's offering looks good, at 8.9-inches and $529 after rebate. Not many details were available, but we should see them arriving in late spring 2011. With AT&T and T-Mobile making their "merger" announcement, I wonder about the future of any T-Mobile products. Have they osborned their WAN hardware?

Monday, March 21, 2011

CamCard Makes Collecting Business Cards Easier

Posted by Kevin Jackson in "Android Software" @ 03:00 PM!5783256/cam...o-your-contacts

"You go to a conference, you get about 40 business cards, and, well, maybe you remember to go through each and every one and add their details to your contacts. Or you fire up CamCard, snap a picture, and have its text quickly transcribed and entered into your contacts."

This looks a slick little app for those who collect lots of business cards. I would imagine that both those who attend a lot of conferences and sales people would find this especially handy. With the app, entering new contacts is as easy as snapping a picture of the card and letting the built-in OCR engine do its work. Having working with OCR for many years, I can attest to the fact that the accuracy has gotten better with time, and promises to continue to do so. Check it out and let us know how it works for you in the forum.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Read It Later For Android Now Available

Posted by Kevin Jackson in "Android Software" @ 07:00 AM

"Read It Later, the popular Web reading list app, has finally launched an official Android app. Best of all, it's heavily discounted right now and selling for just 99 cents."

Here is one app that I have been eagerly awaiting for my Nexus One. I am a heavy RSS user, but I get tired of my reader getting filled up with items I plan to read later or want to keep for future reference. Read It Later is a great solution for this, or for those websites you come across that may have great information, tutorials, or step-by-step guides and you just know that you won't remember where they are when you actually need them. Go out and grab it now, while it's on sale for a whopping 80% off!

How do you use Read It Later or other similar services on your Android device?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

MobileSync Pro - Sync, Share, Backup, and Protect

Posted by Danny Simmons in "Windows Phone Software" @ 11:00 AM

"Retina-X Studios, LLC announced today the release of MobileSync Pro, a cross-platform mobile phone freeware for Android, BlackBerry, iPhone and Windows smartphones. MobileSync Pro is the most versatile and feature-rich mobile software utility yet to come out from Retina-X Studios, which has bundled a 4-in-1 solution by incorporating backup, theft-protection and file sharing solutions, besides its key function as an all-purpose sync solution."

Most mobile phones have built-in synchronization for your contacts, email, calendar, etc. But what happens if you want to change platforms. How do you move your data if you want to ditch your iPhone to try out Windows Phone 7? Or move from BalckBerry to Android? In most cases this would not be an easy process. MobileSync Pro is a free application that can do this for you. It also adds the capability of sharing your data with others. They offer 200 MB of free storage. They are also currently working to offer support for Windows Phone 7 and other platforms that should be finalized in the coming weeks. Curious? Check them out here.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

New Features and Bug Fixes Arrive With the Latest Version Of PhoneWeaver

Posted by Karey Westfall in "Android Software" @ 08:00 AM

"It's time for a new PhoneWeaver update! It's only been about two months since PhoneWeaver v1.2.1 was released and we've got another major update for all you PhoneWeaver fans!"

PhoneWeaver has released version 1.3 that includes bug fixes and tons of new features! The app, developed by SBSH Mobile Software, now has a new location manager, new profile icons, automatic time zone change and a new larger widget for your home screen. But that is only the beginning so check out the update for more cool new features! The update is free for all existing registered users or you can purchase PhoneWeaver now for the sale price of $3.95!

Friday, February 25, 2011

ZDBox: For Android-loving Control Freaks

Posted by Kevin Jackson in "Android Software" @ 12:30 PM!5768671/zdbox-...g-on-your-phone

"ZDbox for Android is an 'all-in-one' toolbox app that makes it easy to find out what's going on in your phone and gives you full control of different tasks."

This looks really cool. The application is still in beta, but seems to be stable and quite useful. If you're a control freak when it comes to your device this will come in very handy. You can lock apps that you don't want others getting access to when they inevitably want to check out your phone and you can even batch uninstall applications. It's free and should work wherever the little green robot does. Does this look useful to you? Is it something that would get a spot on your device? Click on the "Discuss" link and let us know.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Google Docs Now Supporting Excel, Powerpoint And More

Posted by Nurhisham Hussein in "Windows Phone News" @ 09:00 PM

"The Google Docs Viewer is used by millions of people every day to quickly view PDFs, Microsoft Word documents and PowerPoint presentations online. Not only is viewing files in your browser far more secure than downloading and opening them locally, but it also saves time and doesn't clutter up your hard-drive with unwanted files...Today we're excited to launch support for 12 new file types."

I've never had occasion to use Google Docs - now I'm curious enough to try it out, especially with the new support for PSD and AI files. Including in today's update to Docs is compatibility with:

  • Microsoft Excel (.XLS and .XLSX)
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 / 2010 (.PPTX)
  • Apple Pages (.PAGES)
  • Adobe Illustrator (.AI)
  • Adobe Photoshop (.PSD)
  • Autodesk AutoCad (.DXF)
  • Scalable Vector Graphics (.SVG)
  • PostScript (.EPS, .PS)
  • TrueType (.TTF)
  • XML Paper Specification (.XPS)

That's a pretty strong line-up to add to the file formats already supported.

Monday, February 7, 2011 Business Model Change Means Some Users Will Now Pay

Posted by Brad Wasson in "Windows Phone Talk" @ 09:00 PM

"Personalised radio service is trying to stuff the proverbial genie back into the bottle, by charging for mobile access that was previously free."

Wired in the UK has a posting today about a change in the business model for In short, the radio service built into mobile apps and on home entertainment devices will become an ad-free, subscriber-only feature. Wired reports that the changes vary from platform to platform.

"The website streaming option will remain free in the UK, US and Germany, as will streaming through the desktop application, but all other uses -- including the likes of Sonos and Squeezebox -- will require a premium account, with just two exceptions. US and UK users of Xbox Live and Windows Mobile 7 phone will remain free. See the Q&A below for some more details on that."

It is certainly a tricky marketing maneuver to placate users that will have to move from a previously free model to a paid one, and Wired's interview with Matthew Hawn sheds some light on the reasoning behind the move. Interestingly, Windows Phone 7 users benefit from a Microsoft subsidy. So, if you are a current user that faces a new fee, you will have a decision to make. Is it worth paying money for?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Do You Share Your Location?

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "The Competition" @ 04:00 AM

"Location-based services are going to have a hard time overcoming privacy fears and proving their worth."

The survey about privacy and sharing with location-based services was done by Microsoft, and it does reveal some interesting tidbits. Over 80% of those polled have never used a location-based service to tell others where they are, or to find the location of their friends, family etc. And of the roughly 20% that had used it, the most popular service was Google Latitude or Places at 52%, followed close behind by Facebook Places at 50%. Foursquare was only used by 15% of those users in the United States, and less in the other countries polled (Japan, Canada, UK and Germany). I am not too surprised that the "have-used" crowd was smaller than the "have-not" used crowd, but I didn't think the disparity would be that large between them. And for those that use those services, I would have thought that Foursquare, for all it's hype, would have had a greater percentage of users. I wonder just how many that said they didn't actually did but didn't know it. I guess the bigger point they are trying to make here is that people are just not comfortable putting that information out there yet. Personally I don't have too big a problem using Facebook Places every now and then, since I've vetted those that are my friends there, but there aren't too many on a regular basis that I do use other than that. How about you, any qualms about using these services and letting the 'Net know where you are?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Facebook Phone Coming Soon?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone Competition" @ 03:00 PM

"HTC will unveil two new Facebook branded mobile phones next month, City A.M. has learned. The Taiwanese manufacturer will launch an official tie-up with Mark Zuckerberg's $50bn (£31.6bn) social network at the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona. The high-end smartphones will be the first to bear the Facebook branding and colours."

Rumoured to be running a version of Android, my first thought was "Well, if this thing is going to be the official Facebook phone, then what does that mean for Windows Phone 7, which has the deepest integration of Facebook to date?". If this phone is pitched as a phone that isn't overly geeky, and more importantly has a cheaper data plan than a full-blown uber-Android phone, I believe there's a large number of people who are currently in the feature phone segment that would trade up to this phone. One things for sure: if there really is an official Facebook Phone, the other phone makers are going to have to work harder on their depth of their feature integration.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Here come the E FUN Nextbooks: Next4, Next5, Next6

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 06:30 PM

"E FUN, a consumer electronics designer and marketer of fun, easy-to-use lifestyle products, has integrated its patented APEN Digital pen with the new Nextbook Next5 Android tablet for a truly versatile communications duo!"

"E FUN, a consumer electronics designer and marketer of fun, easy-to-use lifestyle products, is pleased to announce the addition of two capacitive touch-screen models to its Nextbook Android tablets--the Next4 - 10.1" and Next6 - 7."

The NEXT5 tablet sports a 7-inch (non-capacitive?) screen, Wi-fi, Android 2.1, 2GB of memory, SD/SDHC card slot, an MP3 player, built-in speakers, photo viewer, and 25 pre-loaded e-books, as well a Borders' store app on-board. Availability is listed as April, 2011, with an MSRP of $279.99.

Also announced in a separate press release, two new capacitive screen models, the NEXT4 with a 10.1-inch screen and Android 2.2, and the NEXT6 with a 7-inch screen and Android 2.1. Specs mentioned for these two are similar to the NEXT5, with the intriguing addition of G-Sensor technology. Availability for both is listed simply as Q2 2011, and prices (MSRP) are $349.99 for the 10-inch NEXT4, and $269.99 for the NEXT6.

Interesting that the NEXT5 and the NEXT6 appear similar in configuration, with the NEXT5 offering the APEN digital pen for $10 more, but the NEXT6 offers G-Sensor technology. Also, the NEXT5 makes no mention of screen type, but the NEXT4 and NEXT6 press release explicitly mentions capacitive screens. It's a bit disappointing to read that Android 2.1 and 2.2 are the OSes of choice for these upcoming models.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Xmarks Released for Dolphin HD

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android Software" @ 04:30 AM

If you use the Dolphin HD browser you may want to check this Add-On out! Xmarks for Dolphin HD synchronizes your Dolphin HD bookmarks with your desktop IE, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari (Mac OS) browsers. You get a free two week trial and after that it's $12 a year. This sounds like a useful plug in. I use Chrome-to-Phone to send some URL's to my Android phone once in a while so I can see times it would be nice to have all bookmarks synced all the time. Then again, I'm not sure I'd pay $12 a year for that. Is this a service you would pay for? Does $12 a year seem fair? That yearly fee does get you extra features on the desktop browsers like backup and restore as well as open tab sync.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Foursquare for Android Does Comments, Photos, & Widgets

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android Software" @ 08:00 AM

"Foursquare got a pretty big update for the iPhone earlier in the week, but no body puts Android in the corner! Foursquare has added photos and comments to its Android app, just like the iPhone update, giving you the option of attaching a picture to your check-ins and commenting on others. Check-in history has also made the cut, so you can see where you've been complete with comments and photos."

They've also added widgets so you can check-in or view others check-ins without launching the app. One of my favorite features of the Android OS is the widget. I'm always glad to see developers utilize this valuable tool. If you're a Foursquare user this is an update you'll probably want whether you like widgets or not!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Nexus One Getting Gingerbread OTA Update Soon

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 07:30 AM

"Now, I have a pretty good idea that pretty much every Nexus One owner out there is overly eager for the Android 2.3 (aka Gingerbread) update to be pushed to their handsets. And now, in lieu of an actual date, we have a vague idea of the kind of wait you’re in for. According to Google’s Nexus Twitter account, you Nexus One owners will get the update “in the coming weeks.”"

This is obviously good news if you have a Nexus One. I think it's good news for other Android owners as well since its release on the Nexus One, to me, represents the first step in Gingerbread getting released for all devices. Hopefully this will put the pressure on OEMs to finish earlier updates for those who still do not have Froyo.

Are there any Nexus S users out there who would like to share favorite changes they've noticed with Gingerbread?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Motorola Tablet Teaser

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android Slates/Tablets & Accessories" @ 08:00 AM

What do you think? I like it and am looking forward to seeing Motorola's tablet. Are you waiting for a next-generation Android Tablet? What's one feature you would love to see in a new tablet with Honeycomb?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Kindle for Android 2.0 now in the Market

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android Software" @ 07:00 AM for android

Amazon has released Kindle for Android version 2. There are a bunch of new features but these are some of my favorites: Access to newspapers and magazines, the store is improved, chapter title shows in status bar, and Froyo's move to SD is enabled now. You can also use new social networks integration integration to let friends know what you're reading.

I'd be interested to know exactly what the social network integration shows. Does it tell the book(s) you're reading, which page you're on, or what? Let me know if you figure it out. I was messing with it a little and didn't see anything.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Trillian 1.0 for Android Released

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android Software" @ 08:00 AM

"We are pleased to announce that Trillian for Android, the best way to chat with your friends everywhere, is now available on the Android Market! Trillian is priced at only $4.99, so skip your extra fancy dessert coffee for a day and help support the team at Cerulean Studios!"

Cerulean has released version 1.0 of their Trillian messaging client for Android. If you do lots of instant messaging you're probably familiar with Trillian. If you're not familiar with Trillian, you can use it for accessing nearly any instant messaging, email, or social network messaging system.

Have you used the new Android release of Trillian? Tell us your what you think!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Android Found On Windows Mobile's Most Popular Device?

Posted by Brad Wasson in "Windows Phone Talk" @ 07:30 PM,+and+Updates)

"In the slew of Gingerbread news coming out about devices getting Gingerbread, here's one we hadn't thought about yet. It looks like some of the brilliant minds over at xda-developers have gotten Gingerbread ported over to the HTC HD2, an originally Windows Mobile device. We've given you a tutorial on running Android on your HD2 before, but this is, of course, the newest and greatest you can get."

Should you happen to own (and I'm sure love) an HTC HD2, and you are thinking it's getting a little dated, you might just be able to get a new lease on life for it by loading on the Android Gingerbread release. How would you do that? Well, Talk Android is reporting that the technological wizards over at xda-developers have performed the feat of porting the latest Android version onto the HTC HD2. Visual evidence above suggests that they have indeed been successful. The HD2 is a solid and well-liked handset, and if Windows Mobile is working well for you then you might want to pass on this possibility. But, if you are adventurous type, this might just be a fun thing to try out.

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