We're frequently being told that the real potential for growth in mobile devices sales is coming from emerging markets, particularly in Asia and the Far East.
The latest research findings from IDC into the Indian market bears this out with strong growth in sales of both smartphones and tablets.
While I keep the list short this year, it wouldn't be U.S. Thanksgiving without my writing about gratitude, and why some tech company's executives, employees, and partners should prostrate and pray "Thanks".
Let's start off with Google, which continues a great run that started with Larry Page's return as CEO in April 2011. If he's not all smiles this Turkey Day, someone should slap that man aside the head. I could tick off a hundred things for which he should give thanks. For brevity's sake, so you can get back to the big game and bigger bird, I select some things that might not come to mind.
The tablet market could be slowing down after years of growth, according to industry estimates, with Apple's iPad set to be hardest hit.
Research firm IDC projects that total tablet shipments globally are set to increase by only 7.2 percent this year, compared with 52.5 percent growth in 2013.
IObit has an excellent free Android app called AMC Security - Clean & Booster which comes packed with features designed to improve your phone or tablet’s security and boost performance. You can run an all-in-one scan, or access individual features including Antivirus, Privacy Locker, Security Zone, App Manager and Game Speeder. There’s a bunch of additional tools available too, such as Task Killer, Privacy Advisor, Call/SMS Blocker, Battery Saver, Anti-Theft and Cloud backup.
While the free version is very good, there’s a paid edition called AMC Premium available as an in-app purchase which offers some powerful additional features. AMC Premium currently retails for $9.99 a year (although a 7-day trial is available) but BetaNews readers can try it absolutely free for six months.
Hate 'em, loathe 'em or abhor 'em, it's hard to avoid ads. You know that you're a consumer. Companies exist because you consume, and you are encouraged to consume more and more. To help lead you to consume, you need to be subjected to advertising -- it's all part of the money-go-round of using the web.
Tailored ads are more likely to bring in cash, and social networks are in the business of gathering information about their users with a view to delivering the most laser-focused targeted advertising possible. The latest venture by Twitter involves keeping tabs on the apps you install on your iOS or Android phone or tablet.
This morning there was flurry of activity on Twitter as people became aware of the existence of a game called Ass Hunter on Google Play (link included for the sake of completion, although it's no longer active). There were snorts of indignation, incredulous shakes of virtual heads, and numerous cries for Google to pull the app without delay.
This has now been done. The game, which described itself as a "popular game on hunting gays", encouraged people to "play and do not be gay" is not new. The Android game is (or was) a port of a title that dates back almost a decade, and its appearance in the Play store highlights an important difference between Google's and Apple's app stores -- the vetting processes involved.
Encrypting your device may make it more secure, but it also makes it slower due to the added overhead. This is not much of a problem on a fast PC or laptop, as its hardware is able to cope with the extra load. It, however, is a major reason for concern on Android 5.0 Lollipop devices, such as Google's new Nexus 6. Android 5.0 Lollipop is at fault here.
Anandtech has discovered that the difference in performance can be as high as 80.7 percent, and as low as 50.5 percent, between Nexus 6 with encryption turned on and with the feature disabled. Meanwhile, those who update to Android 5.0 Lollipop on Nexus 5 will also notice a notable difference in performance, albeit not as big, even with encryption disabled.
Many people consider open source to be the future. It is hard to argue with this, as it allows software to be adapted to different environments. Most importantly, it allows users to view the code, and prevents malicious aspects, such as backdoors. In other words, you never know what is hiding in closed source software.
Today, Google embraces open source in an effort to highlight multiplayer-gaming on Android TV. How? Well, the search giant releases a free open source game called "Pie Moon". It is available now in the Google Play Store.
Do you like free stuff? Of course you do -- everyone likes something for nothing. Hell, I go to Costco with no plans to buy anything; I just walk around eating all the free samples. Is it low class? Yeah, totally, but it's essentially a free buffet with a cornucopia of flavors -- Swedish meatballs, salad, granola bars and more.
Today, T-Mobile announces that it too is going the free route, offering a tablet at no cost! It is an Android tablet -- the Alcatel ONETOUCH Pop 7. Never heard of it? Me neither, but it actually looks pretty nice. It runs Android 4.2.2, has a dual-core processor and best of all, supports 4G data. Even though it is a "Black Friday" deal, the carrier will be offering it a week early. Will you be successful in scoring one?
According to the third annual State of Mobile App Security report from application protection company Arxan Technologies, 87 percent of the top 100 paid iOS apps have been hacked.
Don’t feel smug if you're an Android user though as the report reveals 97 percent of the top 100 paid Android apps have been too. But whilst the Android figure is in line with previous years, the iOS percentage represents a jump from 2013 when 56 percent were found to have been hacked.
Life has been rather hectic in Google-ville lately; the company has been a busy beaver. You see, the search-giant recently released three Nexus devices -- Nexus 6, Nexus 9 and Nexus Player -- plus the all-new Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system. Quite frankly, Android fans are probably overwhelmed by all the excitement.
Well Android fans, you had better grab a Red Bull and perk up; there is yet another Android device to get excited about -- Project Tango. Yes, the mythical 3D-tracking developer tablet is now listed in Google's Play Store in both black and white. Before you get too excited, please know that it is not yet in stock, and you probably don't want to buy it anyway.
After launching alongside Nexus 6 and Nexus 9, Android 5.0 Lollipop is now making its way to the rest of Google's family of smartphones and tablets. So, naturally, you want to get it up and running as soon as possible on your older Nexus devices, now that it is finally ready for prime time. And why wouldn't you? The latest version of Android packs lots of sweet changes, chief among them the new design language dubbed Material Design, the new, faster default runtime called ART, battery life improvements, 64-bit support, beefed-up security, new APIs and much, much more.
There are two ways you get Android 5.0 Lollipop on your Nexus device. You can use the OTA update file to update or the factory image to make a clean install. This article will explain how can leverage both to run the latest version of Android on your Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10.
One of Android's most attractive aspects is also its greatest weakness. You see, unlike the iPhone and iOS, Google's Linux-based operating system is available to any manufacturer that is interested. This means you can see many Android devices in different shapes, sizes and styles. Hell, hardware aside, even the operating system can be customized. The problem is, with so much different hardware and tweaked software, many phones do not get regular updates -- this is also due to extensive carrier testing. To the average consumer, this is not a huge headache, as app compatibility is generally fine across versions. Where this becomes an issue is when vulnerabilities are discovered -- delays in updates or a total lack of updates can put a user at risk.
Enter the Nexus line of Android devices. Every year, Google hand-selects a manufacturer to build a smartphone running "vanilla" Android, meaning it is pure and not tweaked or customized. These phones (and tablets) are designed to get fast updates directly from Google. This ensures that not only does the user have the latest features, but the safest and newest version of the operating system too. The latest such phone is the Motorola-built Nexus 6 -- named as such for having a 6-inch screen (technically 5.96 inch). Is it the best Nexus yet?
Unlike HTC or Motorola, LG still has a terrible reputation when it comes to delivering Android software updates. It is usually among the last well-known vendors to upgrade its devices to the latest version of Android, even when those devices are flagships. It also has the bad habit of leaving some handsets out of its upgrade plans, even when those handsets are compatible. Not to mention that its upgrade plans are actually revealed well after its rivals announce theirs.
This is a nice change of pace then. Today, LG gets to proudly claim "first" for once, as it is rolling out Android 5.0 Lollipop ahead of any of the usual suspects, namely HTC, Motorola and Google. Its first device to see Android 5.0 Lollipop is the G3 flagship.