Friday, February 24, 2012

Softkeys?


So far we have seen a lot of renderings of Phones to be announced at Mobile World Congress (MWC) this year. One thing that we can say is this looks like it will be a great year again for smart phones. Many of the popular Original Equipment Manufactures will be making an appearances such as the ever more popular HTC and LG.
This week HTC and LG have both shown off some of their 2012 line up. The general Consensus looks good. The highend phones will be sporting large beautiful 720p displays coupled with Nvidia's new Tegra 3 ARM processors along with Google's Android 4.0 ICS made theses phones look like real contenders for the next year. Except one thing stands out that the phones lack the soft key buttons developed to replace the existing capacitive and hard buttons found on current android phones.
Softkey Buttons

Soft key buttons allow for a more dynamic user interface. The buttons being on the screen will rotate with the display keeping the overall UI the same no matter what orientation the phone is being held in. This differs from the static buttons that appear in the current day phones that the buttons are never able to change. The soft keys can also disappear in situations when they are not needed such as watching a movie. When adding soft keys to a phone it means the phone will hold a larger display while reducing the over all size of the phone.
Strange thing is these phones are lunching with the ICS version of android. The OS has code written into it and the base apps to allow it to be better optimized when it is utilizing soft keys. This appears as the menu overflow icon. It shows up when it is needed and disappears when it is not. This menu overflow icon replaces the current menu key found on devices running 2.X and earlier versions of android.
As I see all of these phones being released I believe that their is a little bit of classification that will need to happen. This will differentiate the ICS phones as they come this year. The first classification is the PURE ICS phones. This is a phone that was made to run ICS. These phones will be able to take advantage of many of the OS's features like soft-keys and Android Beam. The next phones are the PSEUDO ICS phones. These are the ones we will see a lot of in the beginning of the year. These phones where developed to run Gingerbread and then switched over to run ICS during the latter stages of their development. These phones will have Capacitive buttons or hardware buttons and most will lack NFC. The last of the ICS phones is going to be the UPDATED ICS phones. this will just be a phone that was a Gingerbread phone that was updated.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

To innovate or litigate




This week a spree of new law suites in theMobile Tech world have began. It seems that Steve Job's wish of Thermal Nuclear war is becoming a reality. As it seems that 2012 will be a tech lawyers dream. As the Tech companies bare into each other with fangs. All over the world the companies are waging battles. The two biggest fronts are in the United states and in Germany. In both Countries multiple Mobile suites are being fought by primarily Samsung, Motorola, and Apple. The two constants in all of the suites seem to be Apple and Android. While the most popular word to date is "Injunction" With the word being tossed around and even one being momentarily issued. The tech Giants lawsuits center around protecting the (Intellectual Property) IP of their respected Products.
While the magnitude of the lawsuits ranges from Patents on the look and feel of a product to the Patents on necessary standards (FRAND). While some of the Patents being tossed around are a joke or have decades of prior art behind them they are real and they are here.


Understanding the battle.

For many of the lawsuits they are a counter suite to a previous claim. In the tech world and for that much the business world the idea is very close to Mutually Assured Destruction that was played by the United States and Solviet Russia during the cold war. It is the idea that if you are to go after your enemy with you nuclear weapons you can be assured they will be able to destroy you at the same time. So in effect you will not go after them to avoid your own
destruction. Well lawsuits its like that a tad different. In Lawsuits you fire your warhead at the enemy then they for counter measures fire one at you. From this point you negotiate on how to resolve the issue with out blowing each other out. Most of the negotiations happen behind close doors.


Best Case Scenario:

Is that these companies come to some mutually beneficial agreement and these lawsuits die down. What I see likely happening do to the more aggressive nature that Motorola is recently taking, is that in the near future after Google has acquired Motorola is that Google and Apple will sit down and discuss some cross License deals. This would essentially save everyone some money and help to end the current nonsense.

Worst Case Scenario:


Thermal Nuclear War

The worst case is that these lawsuits pass and the injunctions are passed. It would mean certain phones will not be available in certain Countries, They will cost a whole lot more to use, And some may not even be allowed to be produced. in this mad world everyone loses. I will be pretty angry if I have to import my Phones from another Country when it could have been available in my country. Or if I had only one choice of phones. That would not be cool. When I walk into my Carriers shop for an upgrade I want to chose a phone I don't want to be handed a phone and they say here it is. In all that scenario is not good for us the consumer or for the companies.

To Be continued...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Nokia's Windows to Success



Nokia this Week has released to new Smart Phones to be released running the new Microsoft Windows Phone 7 OS. The phones are set to show case the Exclusive deal that
Nokia has with Microsoft to be OEMs for the operating. The two Phones that turned the most heads have been so far the Lumia 800 and the Lumia 710. The phones will be released in European and Asian markets next month (With absolutely no word
on a US release date as of yet.

What is known about the phones other then they will have the curved screens found on the Nokia N9. Other things is that the 710 will be available in two colors White and Black while the 800 will come in multiple colors including a Cyan model that will be sure to stand out on store shelfs. The 800 will also feature a 1.4ghz Snapdragon Processor and a 16GB internal hard.
While the 710 will feature a the same processor as the 800 it meaning to be the cheaper of the two phones will have an internal storage capacity of 8GB. Both phones will have a 3.7 inch display. While any official U.S. release date has not been announced. I will keep you posted as information becomes available about a possible release date in the states or if they will be released.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sorry about the break


So I am working a temporary shift at my job and it is really not giving me the time to make changes to the blog and cover any major events that may come. I will of course be covering what will happen at the Nokia event later this month. Can you say some Mango-Nokia greatness. As for the overview in mobile tech not much has changed from my last post. Other then the discovery of a Siri security gap. The security gap, allows any one to use the Siri app to get contact info and other valuable contact info without unlocking the phone. Another huge development is Verizon Wireless not a surprise to anyone announced that it will be carrying the Galaxy Nexus within the United States. Other carriers in the U.S. have not been announced.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Android and iOS different upbringings

One thing we have enough of on the internet is comparisons of both of the two most popular mobile OSs. Well thos is a comparison but not one that tries to see which one preforms the best. This is to compare the journey that the two OSs have had thus far. It seems that sometimes we take for granted just how far they have came in the last few years.

iOS was the first to the consumer scene when it was released on summer of 2007 by Apple. The OS was designed to run on the new iphone. The os when released was fairly limited without the ability to send MMS messages. However the OS was easy to use and understand which set it apart from the other OSs at the time. This ease of use and lack of features would slowly change over the years. The iphone now gets more new features that many other phones have had previously but adds them in a way that is smooth and well Intergrated into the system.

Android was released to consumers a year after ios was.  Android had been in development since 2005 and was first released for the t-mobile G1. The operating system brought with it full functionality and cabilities of a smartphone. However the OS was not the easiest to use or smoothiest. Now as the years have progressed the young os seeks to change that by improving the over all OS.  

The OSs have taken two very different paths to get to where they are right now. Both now have an integrated cloud solution to them making them much more user friendly and over all better for the end user.

Jordan Jones
10/19/2011

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Galaxy Nexus and Ice Cream Sandwich preview. (post anounement


The newest Galaxy Nexus has just been announced. The phone will be the be the second collaboration of Google and Samsung to create a Nexus phone. The phone will be the first device released in the world to feature android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The OS that was hinted on several months back at the google IO developers conference. The OS brings some much appreciated improvements to the baseline OS and the Apps that ship with it. Some of these changes include the the Camara App is now faster and easier to save and share videos. The phone will be released in November in several Countries. No word yet on carriers within the United States.


The Nexus Prime will feature a gorgeous 720p 4.65” screen that samsung has dubbed the as the Super Amoled HD screen. The screen allows for a high pixel density along with the gorgeous colors of Samsungs famous Screens. This will allow for hd video watching directly from the phone in native resolution.The phone will be launched with either LTE or HSPA+ depending on where it is released. Along with that will be the normal Wifi, and Bluethooth in the phone. The


NFC has also found its way back to the Nexus. The Chip will allow for a new Android service included int eh OS called beam. The feature will allow two phones featuring it to be placed back to back and the phones will then share data via the NFC radio. The Things that can be sheared by beam include map directions and youtube to name a few. The beam feature will also be open in the api for developers to take advantage of.


The phone will also have a new Peoples app. The peoples app will allow the user to have a centralized location for their contacts for multiple apps including Gmail. The phone will have an application switching similer to Honeycomb bringing the open applications up. From the open applications tab flicking off the side of the screen ending the open task in the process. A facial recognizition software was demoed...but failed to show results. The software would unlock the phone based on the users face. However it had a hard time doing so in the demo. Another big change in 4.0 will be a revamp to the notification pull down. The feature will now be accessible from the lock screen allowing users to pull down and access from their. The feature will also have the flick feature enabled into it. Flicking the notification off of the screen will remove it from the notification screen. It will also have controls to pause and control the music applications from the lock screen. The voice recognition software is also getting some improvements to make it more responsive and ergonomic to human speech.


There are many new features to cover in the new OS. I of course will be providing info as I get it on this blog. Come back for part two of this preview of ICS and the Galaxy Nexus. I will be doing a more in depth preview in the coming days. I will also attempt to get a Nexus on release day. In the mean time I am still shopping around for an Apple iPod touch 32 or 8gb.

Monday, October 17, 2011

What should we expect from Google and Samsung with the nexus prime


Nexus Prime:

The next version of the popular nexus line of phones is fast approaching and from the rumors we are getting this will be one hell of a phone. The Nexus series of phones is a unique line of phones not just within the line of phones but in the world of Android. The Nexus line is a phone that is made with the close Collaboration of a Specific OEM and Google themselves and has always been released with a new Version of the Android OS. The next Nexus will be follow the same tradition luanching with ICS and with many of the rumors point to a device that will be made by the popular android handset maker Samsung, who are known for their popular phone the Samsung Galaxy S II. If this pans out to be true this will then be the second Nexus phone developed by Samsung, Samsung developed last years model the Nexus S the phone feature a dazzling 4 inch Super Amoled display and a unique curved screen at the bottom.

The Hardware:

The new Nexus phone is expected to be a fusion of both cutting edge tech and a fresh new version of Android to to run the fresh phone. If

the rumors are true and so far majority of them point to a 4.5 inch screen that will feature full software interface. That is no hardware buttons that is both physical buttons and capacitive buttons. The phone will have all of the back, home and menu buttons built directly into the OS is it self similar to what we already have in the current honeycomb version of android. The Software buttons will allow the phones to have the large screens that many of the users are craving while keeping the same form factors of normal phones. The phone is also expected to have the CDMA version at launch. The Nexus S was originally released as a GSM phone in December for T-Mobile's AWS network within the United states and a GSM phone running on more standardized Frequencies used by the popular American carrier AT&T and the phone had a CDMA model compatible with Sprint's network released in may. The CDMA version of the Nexus Prime as rumors place it will be using Verizon's CDMA network and where available Verizon's LTE network. However it seem highly doubtful that this will be the only Nexus Prime that we will see this year. Since the Nexus Line has been sort of a Showcase for Google's Android OS it would make it very implausible for them to restrict the phone not to just one carrier but one carrier with a phone that is incompatible with the entire world's standards. The phone will most likely if it is truly a nexus phone be released with a GSM radios.


The phone will of course like most high end android devices that have been released over the past five months feature

a dualcore ARM processor. Not much is know what type of processor will be used in the phone. Conflicting rumors have also been released about the camera on the phone itself. Some rumors point to a 8 mega pixel camera standard now in most highend android handsets. While some point to the device having a 5mp camera. The most significant rumor that seems to match up with all of the stories that are out their about the unreleased phone is that it will have a 720p screen that is a resolution of 720x1280, giving it a DPI at 4.5inches of ~320. This would also have the phone at the standard aspect ratio for most video media of 16:9. the phone is rumored to feature a much more aggressive curve in the phones screen. As seen by the teaser released by Samsung.


The carriers that will carry the phone are still unknown the biggest and possibly the most controversial rumor is that the phone will be a Verizon Wireless exclusive. This would explain the vastly different spec sheets that are being released about the device. However the idea of a Verizon exclusive does not make much since in the grand scheme of things. The nexus has generally been viewed as the android developers phone. It would seem odd for Google to alienate so many customers and loyal fans by changing the carrier it could potentially make a lot of developers angry. Below is the breakdown my ideas of the suspected carriers involvement in the phone.


AT&T

AT&T is the countries second largest mobile carrier. The Company has a very long history of Telecommunications over the past century. The mega company has more recently became more aggressive in its android oferings. The Carrier is home to the popular Motorola Atrix and it is also the Samsung Galaxy S 2. The carrier has very relaxed hold on android, over the past few months. That is after it received a lot of critizism over its Android market lockdown. A lock that prevented the phones from being from being able to download applications from other sources other then Google's Market. The lock got more attention with the release of the Amazon app store where AT&T customers where unable to download applications from due to the lock. Causing many people to be a little heated. Other then that the carriers track record with android has mostly been in the shadow of the iPhone until it lost exclusivity to verizon. AT&T doesn't really need to Nexus to compete. It has many strategic advantages over the other carriers being able to use the standardized GSM frequencies and still having a strong iPhone following.


Sprint

Sprint has really pushed android in the past few years. Switching it's flagship phone from Palm to android. The carrier last year turned many heads when it was released a large phone to compete directly against the Apple iPhone. The HTC Evo 4g was a super phone for its day. When it was released many people did not believe a 4.3'' screen phone would be usable that people would want such a huge thing in their pockets. Now the carrier has released the Samsung Galaxy S II Sprint Epic 4g Touch. However what brings a lot of attention to the carrier is its close relationship to Google that has developed over the last year. The carrier has so far embraced Google’s voice application for its subscribers and has been working with Google with it, also the sprint subscribers are going to be the first to have mms on the Google voice application. Another thing that is turning heads with the carrier is its exclusive nexus S features like Google wallet. It seems that with the carriers relation ship getting tighter with Google by the second it may be guaranteed they will receive the nexus.


T-Mobile-usa.

Carly Foulkes has taken the place of the Can-You-Hear-Me-Now-Guy as the most iconic face in mobile phones. The model has been pedaling t-mobile phone's for a year now and is quite popular. The carrier which is currently being reviewed for a merger with the carrier AT&T. The carrier does have some historical relationship to android. The carrier was the first to release an android phone in the world with the T-Mobile G1 in 2008. The Carrier has subsequently released both of the previous Nexus phones on it's strange(AWS) network. It is highly unlikely that Google will turn its back to T-Mobile at this point in the game. T-mobile remains the only big 4 not to carry the iPhone. The Carrier is also the smallest of the big four. The carrier seems to have good chances at getting the nexus prime at some point. To this day it does seem the carrier has and still is faithful to Google and the Android OS. The carrier could really use the nexus due to it's pretty meager offerings for android phones that fail to stick out due to the shadows of giants like the Evo 3d and Bionic.


Verizon

Verizon is the largest carrier in the United states. The Carrier uses CDMA along with the roll out of its ultra fast 4g LTE network. The carrier has been home to some of the biggest giants in the android phone and can easily be credited with launching androids success with its popular droid line of phones that put the OS on the map. The carrier also has been home to a few Android exclusive releases such as the Motorola Xoom witch was the first android honeycomb device. However for all the great the carrier has done for android it does have a negative reputation. The Carrier has been known to “bing” it's phones. That is when it actually removes the standard Android OS default search of Google and replacing it with Microsoft Bing. This has turned many heads in the android community. However one fact that is more important then any of the previous listed about Big Red. And that is the depths of Verizons pockets. They have money and plenty of it, as it can be seen they will use their money to compete or at least level the playing field with the other big four.