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 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:
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 :)
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.
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.
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]
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,
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.