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March 10, 2012

Nokia's Windows Phone: Success or failure?

T-Mobile customer satisfaction
About a week ago Argus Insights said, in a blog post, that Nokia Lumia 710's customers are delighted, in fact far more delighted than iPhone 4S users. While that may appear so at first glance, a detailed analysis shows that it might not be the correct picture. But first, let see what Argus Insight says.

Best anti virus and anti malware app for Android

Malware have always been a concern on Android and, by some estimates, the number of malware apps on the Android Market (now rebranded as Play) is increasing, as we covered in a recent post AV-Test reviews anti-malware apps: avast! on top. Today we review some of the best antivirus apps available for Android, which hopefully will add another layer of defense.

It should be noted though, that the jury is out on how effective the anti virus apps on Android really are. Some people consider them useless, but a lot of people like me consider them a necessary evil.

March 9, 2012

Google & Asus teaming to launch a low cost tablet; Potential Jelly Bean device

It appears the close relationship between Asus and Google, as touted by Benson Lin, Corporate VP at Asus, has just gone closer. According to Digitimes, Google is working with Asus to develop a new 7 inch tablet which could be launched as early as May this year.

This nicely ties in with rumours of Q2 2012 launch of Jelly Bean and Asus' assertion that they will be among the first to release Jelly Bean on their devices. Though, according to Slashgear, the device will have ICS — in which case one can expect a quick upgrade to Jelly Bean very soon after launching.

[Off Topic] Rahul Dravid retires from cricket

Kolkata 2001 — The greatest test in history. Image credit: MSN
Rahul Dravid, one of the greatest ever cricketer, has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket. While this is not at all related to the blog, I have been a huge admirer of him over the years and want to take this opportunity to salute this great man — an absolute legend.

Selective links:

No more Flash or Office on iPad/Android devices; Microsoft says OnLive violates license

Credit: Xoomforums
OnLive, a company providing a cloud based gaming platform, had launched a virtual Windows 7 desktop service some time ago. The service offers access to Windows 7 desktop as well as MS Office, for free.

But in a blog post today, Microsoft has said that OnLive violates its licensing agreements and they are actively engaging with OnLive to resolve the situation.

March 8, 2012

Apple to face antitrust investigation over ebooks

Wall Street Journal has claimed that the DOJ has warned Apple along with five of the biggest US publishers that they could face an antitrust investigation for manipulating the prices of ebooks.

iPad 3 launched, specs as expected

Apple has just announced the launch of iPad 3. Most the features were as speculated. Following are the key features highlighted by Apple.

March 7, 2012

LIVE: Key highlights from Apple conference

  • 172mn postpc devices (iPad, iPhone and iPod) were sold in 2011
  • Postpc devices made up 76% of sales in Q4 2011
  • Retial provide best buying experience
  • iOS is an important part of the total experience
  • One of the most popular feature of iOS is Siri
  • Siri will now be avialable in other parts of the world
  • Siri is going to be launched in Japanese
  • Apple TV, available next next at US$99
  • 15.5mn iPads sold in last quarter, more than any PC manufacturer sold PC's
  • iPad is the favourite device for many things incuding reading and browsing
  • iPad 3 launches
  • Retina display - 2048*1536 pixels or 3.1mn
  • 264 pixels per inch, enought o call it a retina display according to Apple
  • A5Xchip - Quad core graphics
  • Better camera: 5MP backside illuminated sensor, 5 element lens, hybrid IR filter
  • Camera also has auto exposure, auto-focus, auto face detection, auto exposure lock and autofocus lock
  • Full HD resolution, HD video recording now at 1080p resolution
  • iPad now supports  English, British English, Australian English, French, German and Japanese languages
  • iPad 3 has LTE
  • iPad 2 supported EVDO, HSPA. iPad 3 supports HSPA+ and DC-HSDPA
  • iPad 3 priced at US$499
  • $499,$599,$699 for 16/32/64GB versions for wifi
  • Available from Mar 16 in stores, preordering today
  • 10 hours of battery life, 9 hours on 4G
  • Safari updated to take care of retina display

That concludes the part of the event we were waiting for. The launch of iPad 3! Also check our previous speculation on iPad 3 in this post.

Thanks Ars Technica for the live coverage :)

Apple offered Motorola and Samsung licensing deals at US$15 per device

Apple has been portrayed in the general media as a bully trying the stop Android from becoming competitive. This had been reinforced when Steve Jobs famously called Android a “stolen product” and said “I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple's $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong... I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”

But according to sources at Dow Jones Newswires, Apple, like Microsoft, had offered Motorola and Samsung a licensing deal, albeit at a high price ranging from US$5-$15 or ~1.0-2.5% per device.
Sources also claimed that Apple wanted to offer licenses only to select competitors and not all of them, in line with the generally thinking at Cupertino to use patents as a strategic advantage.

AV-Test reviews anti-malware apps: avast! on top

There have been several malware scares in Android in the past, with Google even resorting to remove some of them directly from the users devices. Google has been trying through various ways like Bouncer, testing apps in emulators and increasing app sizes, but these methods are only good as a first-line of defence. Another good way to protect from rogue apps would be to use anti-virus or, in Android’s case, anti-malware apps.

AV-TEST, an IT Security Institute, has come out with a detailed report on the anti-malware apps available for the market. According to the report malware are on the rise, which contrasts with what Google has claimed. AV-TEST has also tested various anti-malware products and its no surprise that avast! has come on top.

Samsung targets iPad/iPhone again, this time in Korea

While Apple is looking to launch its much anticipated iPad 3 today, Samsung is playing the role of the spoisport by launching a new lawsuit in South Korea claiming that iPad 2/iPhone 4S infringers on three of its patents. It can be expected that after iPad 3 is launched, Samsung will add it to the list.

Google Play replaces Android market; unifies content

Google has replaced the Android market with a new service, Google Play. Google Play will replace Android Market, Google Music and the Google eBookstore and unify content across these services.

In line with Google's strategic direction, Play is a cloud based service - apps, music, books and movies will be stored online..

According to Google, Play includes:
  • Up to 20,000 songs for free and buy millions of new tracks
  • More than 450,000 Android apps and games
  • World's largest selection of eBooks
  • Movie renting
For the next 7 days, Google will be offering a different album, book, video rental and Android app for a special price every day. Also collections of hip-hop, rock and country albums will be sold at US$3.99, some movies at 99 cents as well as certain selected apps will be available starting from 49 cents, this week.

Android market on some of the phones have already started upgrading to Play, but some of the tablets like Xoom have still not been sent the upgrade.

March 6, 2012

Judge asks Google, Motorola to hand over sensitive documents to Apple

According to a Bloomberg news report, Google and Motorola have been ordered by a US judge to handover documents related to development of the Android operating system to Google. The two companies have also been asked to handover documents relating to the merger of Google with Motorola.

Nokia to shut down Ovi share on May 30; Nokia 808 PureView's users left in lurch

Nokia has announced that its Ovi Share service will be discontinued. Users will have time till May 30 to retrieve their content but uploads will no longer be possible from March 13. This move not only signals a move towards Windows services, but could also signal Nokia's strategy in using Windows as the OS even for low end phones.
Move towards Windows services
Moves like this have been long expected as Nokia transitions towards having Windows as its major smartphone OS. Windows Live services are already included as part of Windows which includes Skydrive, a service heavily promoted by Microsoft. 

With this closure, Nokia will further cut costs but will also increase its reliance on Microsoft.

Google increases Android's apps size — tackles security loophole, improves refunds

In a blog post titled Android Apps Break the 50MB Barrier, Google has said that the max app size has now been increased from 50MB to 4GB. 

Currently apps get around the 50MB limit by forcing the users to download "sd data" outside the market which has security issues, as Google has no control over what data is downloaded.

The refunding policy has also been changed so that the refund will start only after the app has been completely downloaded — which is a welcome change.

March 5, 2012

Asus confirms next Android version as Jelly Bean

We had earlier reported that Jelly Bean is rumored to launch in Q2 with an aim to target Windows 8 tablets.

Now, according to TechRadar, Benson Lin, Asus’ Corporate VP, has said that “Asus is very close to Google, so once they have Android 5.0 I think there will be a high possibility that we will be the first wave to offer the Jelly Bean update.”

Performing backups on unrooted Android devices

Today we will see how to make backups on unrooted Android devices. I am using Xoom running ICS, but the methods will be valid across devices, but there could be app incompatibilities on some versions of Android.

I. Data types
There are three kinds of data, user data (photos, videos and documents), user app data (like game data) and system data. Without rooting it's possible to backup user data and parts of app data, but system data is generally off-limit as root access is required.

Android 5.0 Jelly Bean interface concept screenshots

There have been frenetic rumours of Google releasing the next Android version, Jelly Bean, later this year. And i am sure most of us are waiting for an official confirmation, leaked features or just about anything related to it.

Bob Freking, a designer, has taken it a step forward and designed a few cool screenshots incorporating the various rumours which have been floating like dual boot between Android and Chrome and hosted them at Concept Phones.

Hopefully the real Jelly Bean interface would look at least as good as the concept one!

ADB Installation guide

One of the most important tool on Android, which confuses novice users, is ADB. This tool
is especially required while modding or rooting. Today we will have a look at installing

What is ADB
Android Debug Bridge (ADB) is a command line tool which comes as part of the Android SDK.  It allows to control and interaction with the Android device. It is a very powerful tool, which can be used to perform many advanced operations and is essential for rooting. For more details check the ADB page on Android developers.