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Recent advances in technology have made possible Android phones which were not even thought possible a few years back. Though it hasn’t been too long since the release of the first Android phone, they have come a long way since then providing users with stunning displays powered by some of the fastest processors. Despite these promising figures, it is still not the best time to buy an Android based smartphone. The primary reason for this is the huge line up of devices set to be released in the near future.
The usual trend of smartphone releases has always been such that a recently released phone tends to become outdated within a few months of release. With two year contracts coming with each phone, tech savvy smartphone users find it increasingly difficult to commit to a specific phone model. However the trend has not been the same amongst Android phones in the recent past. The progress in the past year or so has been rather sluggish with no revolutionary changes being seen in the smartphone market. However, this is likely to change in the next batch of Android phones hitting the shelves in which dramatic changes are expected.
Two of the biggest smartphone makers in the world, HTC and Samsung have announced the release of next-generation devices which are bound to make the devices on the market right now seem outdated. Samsung has not officially unveiled its next generation flagship model yet but it is expected to be the Galaxy S III. The phone is expected to have a 1080p 4.8 inch Super AMOLED display which will change the smartphone display game the same way Apple’s Retina display has changed the tablet display segment.
HTC has already unveiled its next flagship model for the first half of 2012, the HTC One X at the Mobile World Congress. This device will feature an 8 megapixel rear camera and a 1.3 megapixel front facing camera which will enable video chats in 720p, embedded 4G LTE, 32 GB of internal storage, 1GB of RAM and a 4.6 inch 1280 x 720 pixel Super LCD 2 display. The device will be powered by a 1.5GHz quad core Tegra 3 processor while running the latest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich and Sense 4.0.
Source : Pocket Mobile
There's been a lot of buzz about Google's "Nexus Tablet." Most rumors suggest Google has contracted Asus to build a sub-$200 Android tablet, and now the Wall Street Journal weighs in, firmly stating that Google will open a new online store that'll sell co-branded Android tablets by other makers.
According to the Wall Street Journal (subscription required) and relayed via Nexus 404:
"Google won't make the devices and its existing partners such as Samsung Electronics Co. and AsusTeK Computer Inc. 2357.TW -1.08% will be responsible for the hardware, these people said.
One co-branded tablet that may be sold in the online store is due to be released later this year by Taiwan-based Asus, said one of these people.
Details of the project remain unclear, including when Google plans to unveil the online store. Google is expected to release the next version of its Android software, called Jelly Bean, in the middle of this year, people familiar with the matter have said."
Google will soon manufacture its own tablets, due to its pending $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc., which has been approved in the U.S. and in Europe and is awaiting approval by Chinese authorities. People familiar with the Google's plans said Motorola tablets are expected to be offered in the online store.
Based on that, we can assume that Google's new online storefront will simply be a digital aisle for consumers to peruse and compare respectable tablets. What's most interesting is that the WSJ also says that Google "will soon manufacture its own tablets" with the help from Motorola. Does that mean we can look forward to more Xoom tablets?
This isn't Google's first attempt at an online store to sell its approved hardware. Years ago, when the Nexus One was launched, Google tried to sell the phone unlocked through its online store. After poor sales, Google killed the online store.
Why would Google revive an online store? Well, this time around things are different. Android is more ubiquitous. Oh, and there's also that whole push for Google Play. An online store that sells Google-approved hardware could be a good move at corralling the "fragmented" Android tablet experience. This could also see Google exerting more control over the experience — choosing to be more Apple and Amazon-esque by closely integrating the hardware and software at the points of sale.
Source : Wall Street Journal; Nexus 404
Leaked Image Reveals Droid RAZR/Maxx and HTC Rezound To Get A Scoop Of ICS Next Week
Joining the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S are three more Android smartphones, namely the Verizon Droid RAZR, RAZR Maxx and HTC Rezound, which will apparently get Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) update as early as next week.
According to Android Police, it had obtained a leaked document from Best Buy Mobile terminal that clearly showed the dates on which the phones are scheduled to get the software update. As per the leaked image, Wednesday, April 4 is slated to be the day when both Droid RAZR and RAZR Maxx will get the Android 4.0 update. While the HTC Rezound will get the update on Friday, April 6.
In November last year, HTC announced that it would bring Android 4.0 to a number of handsets by early 2012. But a Facebook update by the company earlier this month said that most of the models won't receive ICS until "later this year."
The company said that the Sensation, Sensation 4G, Sensation XE and Sensation XL would receive the upgrade in March, while other handsets like the Rezound, Vivid, Amaze 4G, EVO 3D, EVO Design 4G, Incredible S, Desire S and Desire HD would have to wait a bit longer than previously thought, The Verge reported.
If the latest information about the next week ICS update is true, that's definitely great news for Rezound owners. However, it doesn't bring any comfort to Droid Bionic owners.
In October last year, Motorola confirmed via Twitter that Droid Bionic would be getting updated to Ice Cream Sandwich along with the RAZR and Xoom tablet. But there haven't been any details as to when the update will finally arrive. In addition, Verizon also recently confirmed that at least 14 of its devices would get the ICS update, but didn't say when.
Meanwhile, Sony has announced that Android 4.0 ICS upgrade is coming to 2011 Xperia smartphones starting mid-April.
"The first Xperia models to receive the upgrade will be Xperia arc S, Xperia neo V and Xperia ray. For these first models, the rollout will start mid-April and continue over 4-6 weeks," reads an official blog post.
Other devices that will receive their ICS scoop starting from the end of May and early June include Xperia arc, Xperia PLAY, Xperia neo, Xperia mini, Xperia mini pro, Xperia pro, Xperia active and Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman.
Source : Android Police
A cool looking Android app is bound to attract our attention, and the app attracts us more if it's free for download. Though many free apps provide good service, yet sometimes they end up having limited functionality. But if you pay for them, you will get apps with full functionality.
But do you ever ask yourself if you really need the app, or is it just for the sake of the moment to show-off. How do you decide whether you should buy an app or not? Here are a few things that you should keep in mind.
A Cheaper Alternative:
A smart buyer is one who looks for a cheaper or rather a free alternative to the app he is about to download. The best thing about apps is that there is always an alternative and you just need to be patient and search them. The Google Play Store is filled with a host of applications to choose from and you will always find the best alternatives or equivalents to apps if you read the description and ratings made by other users.
Trying Before Buying:
It is a known fact that most developers provide a free trial for the paid apps they design. This helps interested customers get a taste of the app and also of the quality of service and customer care provided by the developer. Going through a free trial is always the best way to judge an app before you finally decide to shell out the cash.
Before you download the app, ask yourself as to how much time will you be spending when you finally get hold of the app after spending money. Don't decide on the basis of the availability of the app - that is if it's free or paid - as both of them will affect your device in some way, and we all know a hefty amount of apps on your device tends to slow down its progress. Moreover, they eat up your storage space. Thus choose only the ones that you really need to get on.
Regular Updates and Fixes:
Remember to check that the app you are about to download gets regular updates and fixes from the developers. Currently, most Android app developers release important upgrades or updates regularly and such releases are often intended to fix bugs from earlier releases or to add support for more Android devices in the future. Sometimes they also bring about new functions and features.
Some users end up buying a certain app in the fit of the moment only to later realize that it's not that useful at all. This should never be the case as when you are shelling out a big amount of cash, you should always make sure that the app is actually worth all the money.
Does Google earn more cash from Apple iPhone than Android?
That at least is the conclusion of this interesting calculation done by the Guardian, that Google makes more in revenue from it’s deal with Apple for iPhones than it does with it’s own Android ecosystem.
They’ve exploited the income figures from a court case to make the calculation and their final numbers are:
Android generated less than $550m in revenues for Google between 2008 and the end of 2011, if figures provided by the search giant as part of a settlement offer with Oracle ahead of an expected patent and copyright infringement trial are an accurate guide.
The figures also suggest that Apple devices such as the iPhone, which use products such as its Maps as well as Google Search in its Safari browser, generated more than four times as much revenue for Google as its own handsets in the same period. "[/indent]
Handset makers don’t pay to get access to Android, of course. But in order to get certified they have to include the usual suite of Google products, search, Maps, YouTube and so on. Looking at the damages Google is offering Oracle to settle a possible patent infringement case allows one to calculate up what the total revenues from those services (ie, the ad revenue that their inclusion on phones brought to Google) have been. So that’s one number.
Google doesn’t report separate Android numbers and wouldn’t comment upon this calculation. However, it does release numbers for mobile revenues. And mobile numbers will include not just Android but also the similar deal that Google has with Apple to provide search, Maps and so on. Subtract one number from the other and you can see what Google is making from Apple’s iPod, iPhone and so on. And the calculation turns out as above, Google make four times more from its relationship with Apple than it does from Android.
That’s all very interesting but of course the important question is what’s going to happen in the future. My guess is that Android will be a much more widely installed OS than iOS and thus I would guess that Android revenues for Google will overtake Apple ones. But then as the man said, prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.
Source : Computerworld