Recently in Android Category

Is BYOD changing the developer stereotype?

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
| More

At the recent Motorola Enterprise Appforum 2014, now owned by Zebra technologies, the usual sea of middle-aged men in suits was interspersed with many younger faces.

It's no secret that when someone says "software developer" people, sometimes incorrectly, picture a particular type of person, much the same as if someone says "beautician" or "accountant".

But the surge of BYOD and use of mobile devices inside and outside of the enterprise has meant that software development isn't all about business systems - it can include mobile, tablet and other device applications, as well as user-facing and externally-facing software.

These changes mean the traditional 'dev' label is growing to include a younger audience of entrepreneurs as well as older experience coders.

According to James Pemberton, EMEA ISV & developer programs from Zebra, the team has been making an effort to draw in a more diverse range of developers by targeting events such as Droidcon and Appsworld for Enteprise.

Pemberton points out that as development moves away from Windows into Android, and as consumer and enterprise technologies merge, the developer ecosystem has grown.

"People coming into our space are not from a mobile or .net background." Pemberton says.

"Take that to one step further, with the internet of things and zebra combination, suddenly our market for developer programmes, developer engagement is expanding hugely."

Pemberton's job is to draw new and old crowds of developer's into the ecosystem to take advantage of the wide ranges of skills out there.

"In the last year or so we've had a new influx of developers joining who are coming from the kind of web based android background, so probably of the ones who joined most recently, you could say 90-100% of those are from that new world rather than the old world," Pemberton explains.

"It's basically incremental growth."

But there were still few women in the crowd. A recent survey by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) found the proportion of female engineers across all industries stands at just six percent, a figure that has not increased since 2008.

Pemberton explains that Zebra had been working with Google developer groups to connect with women in the industry, and has so far seen positive feedback.

Even though it's only a few 20-somethings in t-shirts at a developer's convention, it still provides hope that with a different attitude, things can and will change. 

Video Review:BlackBerry Passport

Cliff Saran | No Comments | No TrackBacks
| More

I've spent a few weeks using the BlackBerry Passport, which was launched at the start of October.

BlackBerry positions the Passport as a business device. It is instantly recognisable by its Qwerty keyboard and large 4.5 inch display. It also supports Android and provides direct access to the Amazon Android store.

Speaking of the Amazon store, it is no way near as complete as the Google Play store and I could not even find the Kindle app. That said, I was able to use the Android British Gas Hive and Nike+ apps.

I ended up downloading the APK Installer App from the Amazon App store to get access to Google Play, when I was then able to download the official Amazon Kindle App!

Side-loading still works if you are happy downloading the APK (Android app installer file) file directly. I actually downloaded apps for my Nexus 7, then used a file manager app to copy the APK files onto my NAS drive, which the BlackBerry Passport could access. There are several APK to BAR (BB10 app) converters available online.

As a BlackBerry Q10 user, I find a real keyboard essential for creating content. In fact this blog post was written on the Q10 earlier this morning on my way to work.

The Passport's keyboard is larger, so it should be easier to use. But having tried writing long articles on the Passport, I could not get used to the layout. The most annoying feature was in fact one of the new devices big highlights - a touch-enabled physical keyboard. When you touch the keys the keyboard acts like a touchpad, for moving the cursor. While this sounds fantastic on the spec sheet, in practice, it made working on the keyboard slower, especially if you tend to rely on the delete key to make corrections. I found I was correcting the wrong word more often than not, which slowed done my progress when writing text.

Among the best features of the Passport is the screen. I found reading on the Kindle app a pleasure, thanks to the high res screen on the Passport.

For business users, BlackBerry Blend is definitely a killer app. It is a unified communications and file manger application available on iOS, Windows, and Android - giving you an integrated way to share files, text messages and email across devices.

The BlackBerry Passport has the potential to replace your laptop, tablet and smartphone and I really wanted to like it. But, even though I am old fashioned and still rely on a physical keyboard, I simply could not type fast enough on the PassPort's.

That said, the screen is superb and Blend is excellent. Let's hope BlackBerry rolls out Bland across its smartphone range.

Android One - smartphones for consumers in emerging markets

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
| More

For many, information and education are unobtainable. However, the internet has provided 'knowledge' to those who need it since its birth. It does not matter who you are - of you have an internet connection you can find out anything you want.

Android's new Android One initiative aims to help people in under-developed countries not only access the internet, but use it to its full potential.

At Mobile World Congress this year, Facebook's Mark Zuckerburg claimed most of the cost of accessing the internet is acquiring a data plan as opposed to an internet enabled device, and people are discouraged as they don't see the need for internet access.

But on the Android official blog, Android names hardware, software and connectivity are the main barriers to access. It aims to combat these by offering the Android One range - a set of smartphones with features such as expandable storage and dual SIM capabilities.

To ensure these devices suit the needs of the emerging markets, they will be made of affordable components from hardware partners Micromax, Karbonn, Spice and MediaTek, and gain regular Android updates from Google. To lower the price of data, those already using an Airtel SIM can download software updates from free in the first 6 months of phone ownership, as well as 200MB worth of Google Play apps.

Indian retailers are already selling the devices at a starting price of 6,399 rupees, and phone manufacturers such as ASUS, HTC and Lenovo have jumped on board.

Android aims to expand the programme into Indonesia, the Philippines and South Asia (Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka) by the end of 2014. 

Google launches new Nexus 5 smartphone with Android KitKat OS

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
| More
Google has revealed its new LG-made Nexus 5 smartphone, a lighter, thinner version of the previous Nexus 4. Despite the change in size, the touchscreen itself is actually bigger, and the device runs the new version of the Android operating system, 4.4 KitKat.

The new KitKat OS promises more Google features, including voice searching and the new Hangouts App which allows all of your messages to gather in the same place for easy access. Just say "OK Google" and you can send a text, Google search, play a song, or pretty much do anything you want.

The new Android OS also aims to use less memory on your phone to ensure that more smartphone users with lower-end Android devices can take part.

The handset is sleek and slim, and includes a 5-inch full HD display. It also claims to be the fastest Nexus yet, including 4G/LTE Wi-Fi and enhanced camera lens all for a starting price of £299.


Image: LG

The Nexus 5 is already available in certain countries on Google Play, and soon it will be available from chosen retailers. Android KitKat comes with the new smartphone, and will soon be available for previous Nexus models and other smartphone devices.

Check back to Inspect-a-gadget at a later date for a hands-on review of the Nexus 5.

Enhanced by Zemanta

MessagEase - the alternative touch keyboard

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
| More

We started off texting using a numerical keypad on our Nokia 3310s. Slowly and painfully keying out "How r u m8?" by repeatedly sequencing through a group of letters sharing a button with a number on your handset. 


Next came predictive text, where our phones acted clever and would try to guess what you were typing through single key presses. But this didn't always go to plan. 

One of the decent things BlackBerry did was popularise the QWERTY keyboard, so we all went back to typing out full words on our smartphones, fingers frantically moving across the screens.

Now, there's MessagEase, a new text input technology designed particularly for smartwatches, smartphones, wearables, tablets, and smart TVs. The keyboard is designed for two finger usage - capitalising on new technology's small retail estate. 

The video below shows how the nine large keys can be used with only two fingers. It looks rather baffling - but so did predictive text messaging when it first came out.

Ready as an app for iOS, Android and Windows 8 tablets, the technology could revolutionise typing if it can get on the smartwatch bandwagon - a screen which is particularly smaller than what we are all used to. 
Enhanced by Zemanta

Samsung Galaxy Gear watch: winners and losers

Cliff Saran | No Comments | No TrackBacks
| More

According to the official press statement from JK Shin, CEO and President of IT & Mobile Division, Samsung Electronics, the Galaxy Gear is all about integrating smart device technology deeper into people's everyday lives, and bridging the gap between the mobile device and fashion worlds.

Thumbnail image for Galaxy Gear_004_combination_bluelime.jpg

But at 36.8 x 56.6 x 11.1 mm, it's pretty bulk as a fashion accessory. And at $299 it's not exactly cheap. For the same money you could probably buy a decent automatic watch rather than an 800 MHz processor with a wrist strap. Ah, but an automatic watch only does hours, minutes seconds and date...the Samsung runs Android apps.

I think the one area Samsung is likely to win some business is with sporty types. I own a Garmin 310 XT watch, which tells the time, but also monitors my heart rate, pulse, pace and, if I was on a bike, cadence (and if you're into triathlons, it is also waterproof). And at under $300, it's a great investment for fitness training, as compared to having a smartphone on an arm band or precariously mounted on a mountain bike's handle bars.

The quality of the apps will determine how good a sports watch the Galaxy Gear really is. But the two apps available at launch, RunKeeper and MyFitnessPal, are developed by third party apps companies.Unlike Nike and Garmin, which both have dedicated software for their sports watches, Samsung has given not indication it will be developing its own fitness apps.

Fitness functionality aside, I'm really not convinced of the Samsung Galaxy Gear's credentials as a watch. Remember the Casio calculator watch from the mid 1980s? Personally, I don't think I'd need to access an app on my wrist. Let's see what Apple brings out.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Samsung launches the Galaxy S4

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
| More

Last night in a highly anticipated launch in New York, Samsung unveiled its latest flagship device, the Samsung Galaxy S4, which many are saying could be the iPhone's closest competitor yet.

GALAXY S 4 Product Image (1).jpg

The device is running Android Jelly Bean and will offer peace of mind through its Knox security software.

The new device is closing in on the territory of the Galaxy Note II, with a 5-inch Full HD Super AMOLED screen.

While the phone has joined the giant screen trend, it has not sacrificed this on the scales, weighing a mere 130g and with dimensions of 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9mm.

It's ready for 4G and EE have announced that it will be offering the device on its super-fast 4G network. It also holds a whopping 13MP camera with 4128 x 3096 pixels and an LED flash.

GALAXY S 4 Product Image (2).jpg

The device runs on an Exynos 5 Octa 5410 chipset, and features a Quad-core 1.6 GHz Cortex-A15 & quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7

Smart Scroll

One of the big rumours around this device was its ability to recognise your eye movements and scroll through the page accordingly. This Smart Scroll feature was indeed announced last night, the software tracks eyes and wrist movement in order to scroll through emails. Additionally its Smart Pause functionality works in a similar way: watch a video and take your eyes away from the screen and it will recognise this and pause the content.

"The debut of nifty eye motion-sensitive controls to allow users to pause video and scroll through pages using eye movements alone is smart, and for commuters crammed in trains - or just those who love a bit of futuristic tech that makes their lives easier - this novel feature will really help the Galaxy S4 to stand out," said Ernest Doku, Telecoms from

Is it nifty or just a consumer gimmick? And more importantly, will it truly work? We will have to wait to get our hands on a review unit until we can be sure. 

Translator tool

Business travellers will find the translator function useful. Samsung claim that its "S Translator" feature will understand and translate nine languages including Brazilian, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Latin American Spanish and Portuguese. This feature can translate from speech-to-text and text-to-speech, while also recognising 3,000 phrases stored in the phone, in case you are without data connectivity.

Added security

Businesses will also welcome the new built in Knox software to tackle the poor security record of the Android OS.

Knox provides securing booting when the S4 starts up, enhancements to Android that separate data from applications and Tima, a technology Samsung said offers continuous monitoring of the system. 

Knox also allows the IT department to separate work from personal use. The S4 presents the user with a different environment in work mode, which Samsung claims is separate from the personal use environment. It offers an encrypted file system, virtual private network and mobile device management support.

Speaking to Computer Weekly, Tony Cripps, devices and platforms analyst at Ovum noted that, with Knox, Samsung is offering enterprise-grade mobile security, which makes it an alternative to Blackberry Enterprise Server.

"Samsung can also take advantage of any reluctance by businesses to deploy applications and data on Apple iOS devices," Cripps said. 

While the hype over recent innovative smartphones such as the BlackBerry Z10 and the Nokia Lumia 920, may have died down. It seems that excitement of the latest Galaxy may have continued the two-horse race between Samsung and Apple. But will the two companies put their patent battles behind them? I doubt it - it's just too easy to throw money around in the court room, than to spend it on actual innovation.

Available in white and black, the devices should be entering the market at the end of April.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Luxury smartphone maker Vertu, chooses Android over Windows for its OS

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
| More
According to the BBC, exclusive smartphone maker, Vertu, has chosen Android over Windows for the operating system  on its new luxury smartphone costing almost £7,000.

The device comes with a titanium frame and sapphire screen. However, the designer told the BBC that it was not 4G enabled, which is not exactly a long-term investment. 

The company told the Beeb that it had chosen Windows over Android as it had a more established ecosystem. 

"Your device will have to integrate with other devices. I think the Windows phone will have success but it is still a relatively small market share. At the moment it doesn't have the global reach of Android - which is about 60% of the market," said chief executive Perry Oosting.

However, 7,900 euros (£6,994), is small change compared the Vertu Signature Cobra at £167,567. No camera, no touchscreen and only 1MB of internal memory. Not a good start. The Signature Cobra was designed by French jeweller Boucheron and only 8 were made. The phone features one pear-cut diamond, one round white diamond, two emerald eyes and 439 rubies, although if you aren't particularly fond of rubies, Vertu also offer a ruby free handset for £62,162.

The Vertu Diamond is another luxury phone from the company, which would have set you back around £63,620.


Inspect-a-Gadget has previously investigated the world's most expensive mobile phones ranging from the Diamond Crypto Smartphone costing a whopping £827,060 to the much more reasonably prices BlackBerry Porsche Design P'9981 at £1275.

Read more:
Enhanced by Zemanta

BlackBerry 10 hijacks your iOS and Android device thanks to Blippar

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
| More
This week BlackBerry are shining in the spotlight of the press in the mobile world, thanks to the launch of its new operating system, BlackBerry 10, and early indications seem that it is reviewing quite well.

Clever marketing from augmented reality company, Blippar, has allowed iOS and Android users to experience the BlackBerry 10 experience right on their handsets.

Using the Blippar app, I "blipped" a landing page, which then swirled and whizzed through space while loading. After about ten seconds I was redirected to my web browser which then offered me an interactive experience. 


While BlackBerry 10 technically doesn't "hijack" your iPhone or Galaxy, it does provide a good insight into the perks of the new operating system.


If you want to experience BlackBerry 10 first hand, without paying out the big bucks (yes, the handset does seem to be quite pricey), download Blippar on your handset, open on your desktop, and Blip away.
Enhanced by Zemanta

CES 2013 VIDEO: Amzer screen protectors

| 2 Comments | No TrackBacks
| More
Would you risk hammering or drilling your smartphone?

In this video from CES 2013 in Las Vegas, Kyle Zurkan from Amzer, demonstrates the company's ShatterProof screen protection for smartphones.


Subscribe to blog feed

Recent Comments

  • david emeritus: I prefer the chairman.and and if iam bored with that read more

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the Android category.

Amazon is the previous category.

Apple is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.