Does RIM Have What It Takes To Catch Up To Android, iOS and Windows Phone?

As many know by now, the mighty duo of CEO’s at RIM, Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis have stepped down only to promote one from within.  Taking over as single and only CEO of Research in Motion is Thorsten Heins, a four year COO who worked closely under Jim and Mike.  In recent news, he’s been given the cold stare thanks to making such statements as “I don’t think there is some drastic change needed,” and  “We are evolving. We’re evolving our strategy, we’re evolving our tactics, our processes.”  As one standing from the outside looking in, I’d argue in favor of a drastic change, personally.  But hey, RIM’s the competition so I’m not pressing the issue.  However, the question does arise, should Google’s Android be afraid?  As much as I would love to shout from the roof top “hell no!“, I”ll try to keep it professional here.  

AT&T Opposes Sprint For Using Roaming Agreement Rules In Support Of Huge Privation

AT&T has strongly voiced its opinion lately in a move made by Sprint in their Oklahoma and Kansas City markets to shut down some of its own home services in favor of roaming agreements with other CDMA carriers.  AT&T specifically points to two policy changes made by the FCC which allowed Sprint to make the move.  The first policy pushes the end of the Home Market Rule, which prohibits a carrier to establish any roaming agreements in a market where it owns its own spectrum.  The other was pushed last year when the organization required for carriers to offer high-speed data roaming on top of traditional voice services.  AT&T Senior VP, Bob Quin says:  

“Dude You’re a Barista” and “You Got Samsunged”, A Quick Compilation Of Samsung Attack Ads (Video)

I don’t know about you, but Im loving the new Samsung commercials which blatantly attack Apple’s iPhone 4S.  Call it being bias if you will, since after all I’m an Editor for one of the hottest Android sites on the planet.  Still though, you can’t help but chuckle at how well Samsung points out those little things about the iPhone like the small screen extremely reminiscent of yesterday’s hardware in addition to the fact that it looks exactly the same as its previous model, the iPhone 4.  You know what I’d love to see?  How about a commercial highlighting all of the iPhone’s new iOS 5 features which were taken from Android such as, drop down notifications, OTA updates and deep voice integration.  It seems like the iPhone 4S finally got in 2011 what Android had in 2008.  If you can’t beat them, join’em eh?  Ahhh, it seems like only yesterday that the iPhone finally received Copy & Paste.  Good job Apple, you’ve certainly come a long way.  At the rate you’re currently going, you’ll have 4G on that handset in no time.

However, I’ll digress for a moment to provide our Android friends with a one stop shop of all of Sammy’s new commercials highlighting some differences between the two industry giants and their flagship devices, while also poking some fun at the Kool-Aid drinking fans that love to stand outside Apple stores three days before a device is released.  Hit the break to check out all of the commercials in order and don’t forget to let us know what you think in the comments below.  And if you’re an Apple iPhone fan-boy/girl, just know this…….we still love you and we’re just having some fun :)

Transformer Prime GPS Performance Actually Worse Off After Software Update?

It’s been a real sad state of affairs hearing all of the negative news surrounding the Transformer Prime lately.  Who would have thought the follow up device would have undergone so many fails in such a short time?  This week it’s being reported by a number of Prime owners that their already lacking GPS functionality has gotten significantly worse since the last update.  Quite a number of members over at XDA have reported that their already weak signal is now no longer present since downloading the second Android 4.0 update.  One of the members even reported leaving their TP on the window sill for over 25 minutes and it still didn’t latch on to a satellite.  Asus went on record stating that the “metallic uni-body design” is responsible for the weak GPS signal in that it ultimately interferes with the signal’s ability to reach the device’s sensors.  The company states that the new TF700 device is supposed to effectively fix the issue however.  Lets hope reports about ASUS charging their customers to fix the issue isn’t true.  Did you fork out for a Prime?  What do you think?  Feel free to rant all you want in the comments below.

[via Electronista]

Android To Top iOS In Development By 2013 Says Ovum

Ovum, those folks responsible for providing objective analysis to the masses, says Android will top iOS in development by the year 2013.  According to and based off of a developer survey given, the company states that Android would become more important to dev’s than Apple’s iOS by the time the new year rings in.  How so you say?  According to the study they came to the conclusion based off of the rapid movement in the hardware dept.  Ovum believes Apple may still remain a tight second while closely followed by companies like Blackberry and Windows Phone.  We’d have to agree based on the fact that Android is spreading like a wild fire and has rapidly gained ground as the primary choice of OS.  And while Google still has some hurdles to jump (fragmentation cough cough), we have high hopes that they’ll get their stuff together eventually.  In addition and regardless of Android’s large market share, it’s been dully noted that when it comes to the Android Market, there is a serious issue with discoverability and piracy.  We’ll certainly continue to follow trends and analysis like these as we’re sure there will be plenty of more.  Any thoughts of your own? Feel free to plug away in the comments below.

[via Electronista]



Matias Duarte downplays Android fragmentation, but I’m not drinking the Kool-Aid

Recently, Android design chief Matias Duarte sat down with Wired to talk about Android Design, which was recently launched to help developers adapt to the look and feel of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and Google’s own suite of apps. During the interview, fragmentation, and particularly updates were discussed. Here’s what he had to say:

“A lot of those issues really are much more related to the hardware capabilities. Things like just how much memory you have. The reality is, right now Android is growing so quickly, it’s like it was back in the X86 days of PCs. When you got that 286 and were so excited! ‘Yes!’ And then Quake comes along and your 286 just couldn’t do the job. So right now, we have that issue people call ‘fragmentation,’ where some of the older hardware just won’t run the new OS. So trying to upgrade the OS is really difficult.”

“Remember when you got the new version of Windows, and you couldn’t run it on your PC? You just had to get a new computer, right? It’s something that happens at certain inflection points of computing, where the capabilities just grow so quickly that they outpace everything else.”

Before I go on a rant, let me say that I love the work that Matias is doing with Android. Ice Cream Sandwich is a wonderful UI, and I’m excited for the future of the OS. With that said, I have to disagree with Matias on this. In principle, he’s correct when it comes to old hardware and what we’ve experienced with PCs, and I can’t blame him for this response as he’s trying to downplay the issue. Gingerbread was announced in late 2010 and it took six months for the first top tier phones to get it. I’m sorry, that doesn’t have anything to do with old hardware. Now, with Ice Cream Sandwich, the SDK was released in October 2011. It has already been 3 months and companies like Motorola won’t have the ICS update until quarter 2. This is for devices like the DROID RAZR which doesn’t have hardware limitations, and it doesn’t appear Samsung and HTC are going to be any quicker.

Namco: “Freemium” Games Hurt Quality, Do Gamers Really Need Them?


There’s no doubt about the impact of gaming in our society today. Much of pop culture and our social lives are impacted by gaming to a certain extent. Angry Birds went from being a small app to a pop culture reference in the form of mentions from celebrities and clothes with Angry Bird characters being sold in designer stores now as noteworthy examples. We see celebrities and famous figures discuss how they play Modern Warfare or Grand Theft Auto and the impact it’s had on their lives’, which in turn affects our lives. Let’s face it, we play games on our Android devices. What once was an afterthought because of our Sony PSPs, Nintendo DS systems, Xboxes— is now very much status quo and the norm to even the average and simplistic Android user.

The continuous advancements from the development of games allows for users to have respectable Android gaming experience at the very least. One significant thing about the Android platform is the significance of the choice of apps that users want to use: paid apps or free apps. This is especially relevant with gaming on Android. The Android platform caters to two main categories of Android gamers: the recreational gamer and the hardcore gamer. The recreational gamer (and even Hardcore gamers to a certain extent) can enjoy popular gaming series such as Angry Birds, Words With Friends and Shoot The Apple, at no cost to them generally speaking. The hardcore gamer can enjoy such games as Modern Combat 3, Grand Theft Auto III, Madden ’12 and Need For Speed just to name a few, for a premium price that is more than reasonable especially with the vast amount of content included in the various games. There’s a consensus that both gamer types love seeing games that are free, especially when they are free games that look and play at a high level. Knowing that, there’s a troubling trend growing among developers of Android games found in the Market— the “Freemium” model. Read on to find out why this is not only a bad practice among developers, but why it turns me as a gamer off to certain games, even if they look and feel great.

HTC Pledges To Remove Carrier IQ From All CDMA Handsets This Month

It’s going to be a long time before everyone forgets the stunt Carrier IQ pulled by secretly loading its tracking software on mobile devices and kicking it back to carriers.  It still baffles me how a company like this can easily be turned upside down by the voice of one developer.  It’s a constant reminder to me that on the web, we all have a voice.  In further Carrier IQ news, HTC has jumped on board and pledges to remove the software from all of its CDMA handsets as we’ve seen with the HTC Evo 3D, one of the devices reported as definitely housing the software.  The monitoring software will slowly but surely be removed from all of the company’s devices as per a statement by HTC:

“HTC can confirm that we’re working with Sprint to provide maintenance releases that will remove Carrier IQ and provide security enhancements and bug fixes beginning in January”

So there you have it.  After this month, there should no longer be any personal user-information periodically being sent back to any specific carrier without the knowledge or consent of the subscriber.  According to their site, Carrier IQ offers a number of “tiers” of monitoring and tracking when it comes to how the device functions on a specific network and not so much “personal user” interaction.  However, in the manner of which the company went about preloading the software on handsets, bigger guns like Senator Al Franken was already engaging FBI directors on its usage (see video below).  Let us know what you think in the comments section.  And don’t forget, if you’re not sure whether or not your device has Carrier IQ’s software on it, you can use the Carrier IQ Detector app from Look Out labs here.

[via The Verge]




Update, Mindjet Answers Concerns Over Buy-Out

You know, nothing gives us here at Talk Android greater satisfaction then writing a post and having comments from our readers to read as well. We encourage all our readers to comment on any post we put up. Whether you agree with us or not, (That’s what makes us better writers.) it is still important to hear your feedback. What makes it even better is when you get the attention of the company you are writing about.

Yesterday I wrote about Mindjet’s buy-out of Thinking Space Pro, and how a lot of customers weren’t too happy about this. I am more then pleased to say that Mindjet read my post, and answered my questions. In the comments section on the same day no less! Jascha Kaykas-Wolff the CMO of Mindjet had this to say:

Thank you for your passion for Thinking Space Pro. I wanted to let you know that we hear you and we understand you having some reservations; however, I’d like to take this opportunity to address your concerns.

We are sorry that you feel like this came as a surprise; unfortunately, we weren’t able to disclose acquisition information ahead of time. The good news is that we will continue to enhance the current app, and it will remain free. There will be optional subscriptions offered through it (e.g. Connect Business) in the future, but we want to assure you that the app itself is – and will remain – free.

In terms of future plans, we are happy to tell you that we’re working on cloud storage improvements, plus an integration with Mindjet Connect, our cloud-based product. Future updates will also make your maps more shareable, allowing you to take full advantage of the Android OS and be better connected with the Mindjet platform.

We’re incredibly excited about combining the ease of TSP with the power and resources of Mindjet to offer users the best of both worlds.
Have a great holiday and happy new year,

Jascha Kaykas-Wolff
CMO, Mindjet

For me this is an excellent way to regain some of the trust I had lost for them. He defiantly did put a few of my concerns to rest, and I appreciate his response, as well as how soon he did get it out. I  look forward to the new products he mentions. This is the kind of response I want to expect from a company, quick, clear, and down to business.

I would like to thank Mr. Kaykas-Wolff for reading our blog as well as giving our readers the answers we asked for. Let’s face it people, he didn’t have to read my post nor did he have to respond back to it either, but he did and I thank him for it. I will be keeping an eye on future developments from Mindjet.

Thinking Space Pro Is Now Mindjet Free, And Man Are We Pissed


Are you like me, and spent $5 on Thinking Space Pro (TSP), and now you see in the Android Market that it is no longer going to be supported or developed further because a company named Mindjet has bought out Thinking Space? If you are like me, then I bet you’re just as pissed off as I am about it too. We paid our $5 bucks to have all these features in Thinking Space Pro, only to find out that the company has been bought out, and their once paid app is now offered free under the name Mindjet for Android. If you want to hear the rest of my rant or leave a comment, read on past the break.

No Ice Cream Sandwich for The Galaxy S or The Galaxy Tab.

For those of you out there that have a Samsung Galaxy S or a Samsung Galaxy Tab, this is probably not the news you wanted to hear just before Christmas. After all this is the most depressing time of the year, and Samsung isn’t making it any better. We have just heard the news that Samsung doesn’t plan on upgrading either the S or the Tab to ICS. Not because of age or hardware, but rather because of TouchWiz.

That’s right, Samsung wont be bringing ICS to these devices because of their TouchWiz skin. They say there isn’t enough Ram or Rom to run both the ICS OS as well as all of Samsung’s “experience-enhancing” software, aka bloatware. Don’t get me wrong, TouchWiz is one of the better skins to be laid over The Android OS, but I bet we can all agree, that we can live without it. Right? I mean I would chose TouchWiz any day over Sense, however I would also choose pure Android over both. (Or any skin for that matter.)

This for me, and I’m sure for others out there, isn’t that big of a deal. We all have the option to get new phones, provided our bank account has the funds, or it’s time for an upgrade. However there are a few of you that neither one of these options are attainable. To you we give our condolences and hope that one day soon we don’t find ourselves in the same boat. If you do find yourself in this dilemma, please let us know your frustration in the comments section below.

Source The Verge

Nexus or Not? Varying builds have come to light, are your updates from Google?

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus, a phone which should stand as the epitome of a pure Google Experience device, has been receiving a lot of flak lately for inclusion of bloatware and exclusion of Google Wallet, at least in the Verizon version. That being the case, many have resorted to obtaining a purer version elsewhere, purchasing the GSM counterpart for use on alternative networks. As it turns out the GSM version may have its fair share of problems as well, besides the volume bug. One of the key aspects of a Nexus device is the fact that it is updated before any other devices, and the updates come to you straight from Google immediately thereafter they release them. As expected, Google pushed out update 4.0.1 and people started receiving it without missing a beat, some people that is. A buzz began when select XDA community members realized they had failed to receive the 4.0.1 update. Many of them anything but new to Android took matters into their own hands and decided to flash the update to their devices manually using the Google provided update zip file. They subsequently found that they could not manually install either.

What’s going on here?

Why I Got Rid of My DROID Razr and Am Waiting for the Galaxy Nexus

The moment I heard about the DROID Razr I was extremely excited.  I checked out the Droid Does web site constantly drooling over this phone. A few days before the launch, a contest was held where the first person to decipher the code won the phone. Sadly I didn’t win the phone, but that didn’t stop my drooling over it. It did land me this job here however, so I chalk that up as a major win in itself.

The Razr

I happened to be in Best Buy on 11.11.11, the day the Razr was released, and stopped by the mobile phone department to see if they had one to play with. The moment I touched it I was surprised at how light it was. The screen was rather crisp and the phone was quite quick. I was hooked. I bought one right then and there. I didn’t hold out for the Nexus because of Motorola’s announcement about bringing Ice Cream Sandwich to the Razr and figured I could patiently wait for that update. At this point, we were thinking it would be the beginning of 2012 to see it.

I took it home and started installing all my apps (roughly 150). I was impressed with the amount of internal storage the phone had. I was able to install all of my apps without moving any to the SD card with a heap of storage to spare. I still moved some out of principle, but it was nice knowing that I didn’t have to. All the apps started up quickly and I saw no lag, whatsoever. I was impressed.

For the first few days I had the phone I was in heaven. It did everything I wanted it to with ease and finesse. The Motorola don’t-call-it-blur overlay had a few bells and whistles I was impressed with. I liked their contact widget and the little flare they had when you switched between home screens was nice. I did notice that there were only five home screens to play with. Considering that the norm is seven, and I use every single one of them, I was a little miffed at only having five. Maybe Motorola figured we only needed five, something I didn’t like, but something I could over look.

HTC Sense Can Ride In The Trunk, ADW Launcher EX Will Drive From Now On

Now, as catchy as my title may sound, all of us HTC owners can think of a more and to the point, (vulgar) thing to say about the Sense UI. Believe me I wrote a few different tittles that said exactly what I was thinking, but alas, this is still a publication and I must refrain from being vulgar, no matter how called for, it really is.

I’ve had the HTC Evo Shift 4G for about a year and a half now. I really do like the phone. Excellent hardware for what I need, and I’ve never had any major issues with it, that didn’t involve the Sense UI. I’ve had to replace it twice, once when it was stolen, and the second time I droped it and broke the screen. I would like to say that it still functioned like it was brand new. It had a screen protector over the screen when it broke, so I never lost any of the glass pieces, which allowed it to still work for another 3 months, when I could afford to replace it. My beef is in no way with the phone, or its quality, it is a solid piece of hardware, in my opinion. Sense on the other hand is half-crap, half-decent start.If you want to hear more and find out my solution to the Sense UI, continue reading on past the break.

Nielsen Confirms iPhone & Android Dominates App Downloads, Graves Dug Deeper For Microsoft & RIM

Who’s ready for some nice stats from the reputable Nielsen Company? In some not-so-shocking news, Nielsen has indicated iPhone and Android devices continue to dominate the competition– and by a long shot. Their latest data shows that 71 percent of those with smartphones own an Android of iPhone. Ok great, we already knew that both phones dominate the marketshare, but we now have a more impressive stat to share with you. Remember when we told you a while back that iPhones and Androids were chomping away at the gaming competition a while back? Well it’s much deeper than just gaming apps. Nielsen reports a whopping 83 percent of app downloaders in the past 30 days were iPhone or Android users! That means the majority of any type of app– gaming, productivity, audio, video, etc.– were downloaded by iPhone or Android users.

There’s more to the findings as well. Nielsen also highlights that 44 percent of all U.S. mobile subscribers have a smartphone. Moreover, those who purchased a new phone in the past 3 months went with a smartphone. Android leads the mobile operating systems as we already know and Apple is the leading smartphone manufacturer. Hit the break to see the full details of the chart from Nielsen.