What does a tablet mean to you? To most, it’s something that lets you have productivity on the go— emails, social communication, reading articles and e-books, etc. Of course consumers realize it’s possible to do all that with a notebook computer or netbook. However, it’s no secret that notebooks are losing in popularity because people understand in this day and age, “less is truly more”. You could have a netbook as well, but then some individuals would be graced with keys far too small for big hands like yours truly, a small screen that’s sometimes just slightly bigger than that of a smartphone or the fact netbooks just aren’t powerful enough even to do the bare minimum like check emails, do some online chatting, etc. Manufacturers have realized consumers want something that can bring the best of both worlds and that’s why tablets have been developed now.
While Apple’s iPad is leading the revolution, it’s obvious there are many other successful tablets. There are many of you who own a tablet now and then there are many of you who will be looking to purchase a tablet in the near-future. The great thing about Android tablets is that they are a direct reflection of the Android platform in general. The Android platform allows for a variety of manufacturers to make unique and “customized” versions of the Android devices which are best suited for each user’s tastes. While there are popular options such as the ASUS Transformer Prime, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and of course the record-selling Amazon Kindle Fire, there’s one tablet that has won my heart and will continue to win my heart for the next year or two (or three or four). That tablet is the Motorola Xoom Wifi tablet. Introduced at last year’s CES, the tablet is still literally the model for which other Android tablets are developed and shaped. I will share with you all my thoughts and experience of owning this tablet. Of course many of you will disagree and want to throw in your two cents, but I just want to give you all some insights as to what the device means to me and how it fits in my lifestyle. Read more
It was only yesterday we wrote about Apple’s claims against Samsung in Germany and just as one would expect, the saga continues.
This time it’s Motorola’s turn to go up against the Cupertino giants although, just to break the usual trend, it’s Apple’s turn in the dock. The groundwork for this case was actually laid back in November when Motorola won an injunction against the sale of Apple products in Germany.
In an unexpected twist, a German judge has ruled in Motorola’s favour, granting two permanent injunctions. Motorola has really gone for the jugular on this one too, dealing two major blows to Apple’s products in Germany :
Injunction passed preventing the sale of various iOS products
Apple has already removed the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, as well as all 3G-enabled iPads from its online store. The iPhone 4s is the only device still available online. All devices are still for sale at retail outlets.
Injunction passed preventing the use of push e-mail services
The Mannheim Regional Court has granted a permanent injunction preventing the use of the iCloud and MobileMe push e-mail services on German devices. Whilst users in Germany will still be able to use e-mail services, there will be no push option. They will need to set their device to check for new e-mail at pre-defined intervals.
I’m ordinarily the first person in line to poke fun at our Apple owning friends however, on this occasion I have to say I take little pleasure in reading about cases like this. There are no real winners as these patent wars rage on and Android users have missed out on features over the years due to similar claims. In cases such as these, Apple may lose on the day but inevitably it’s the consumer who is losing out in the long run.
Hypocrisy is one of the only things we absolutely despise in other people yet staunchly defend in ourselves. That’s the very definition of the word. Of course we can rationalize our own hypocritical behavior because we understand why we’re behaving a certain way.
What does this have to do with fanboyism? Let me tell you about how I became an Android enthusiast (ok, fanboy) and you’ll understand.
Ever since I chose to use IBM compatible PC’s as a youngster, I’ve had an almost irrational feeling of negativity toward Apple as a company. Even back then I understood that the more open PC architecture was more in line with my way of thinking. I wanted to be able to open up my own computer and tinker with it, and the PC platform allowed for that. Apple, on the other hand, owned everything from the hardware to the software to the level of “tinkerability” with its more closed, proprietary system.
This closed system allowed Apple to develop a more highly polished end product since they didn’t have to worry about being compatible with anything other than themselves. From this walled garden arose a symbol of solid usability, security, and style. For many, that’s more than enough. For me, it was too rigid and limited. Tinkerability factor close to zero.
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. Read more
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: Read more
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 :) Read more
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.
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.
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.