Google has long been devising new ways to boost engagement on its services. In its latest move, the Mountain View-based technology giant updates Google Now, its contextual search trump card, to add support for third-party apps.
In a blog post, the company notes that it has partnered with more than 40 popular apps including Ebay, Pandora, Runtastic, Ford, ICICI Bank, Shazam, and others to feed information from them on to the Google Now dashboard. You can check the full-list of apps and services here.
Motorola has started to seed out the Android 5.0 Lollipop update -- the latest iteration of the Google’s mobile operating system -- for both the first and second generation Moto G handsets in India. In a blog post, the Lenovo-owned smartphone manufacturer noted that users who purchased the affordable handset from Flipkart or Airtel store will be able to snag the update.
Announced in October, Android 5.0 Lollipop is one of the biggest updates to Google’s mobile operating system since its inception in 2008. The update brings in a range of features including improved notifications, revamped user interface, support for ART runtime by default, and advanced security features, among others.
While I don't usually speculate on rumors, sometimes they are just too interesting to ignore. Imagine my surprise to hear a rumor from the Wall Street Journal that Microsoft has allegedly invested $70 million in Android ROM-maker, Cyanogen. Think about that for a moment -- the company behind Windows, investing in the Linux-based CyanogenMod operating system -- insanity!
Sure, it does sound crazy, but it's totally plausible that the new Microsoft, focusing on software and services, could jump-start its mobile offering by embracing Android and dumping the seemingly-stalled Windows Phone (or supporting both). Regardless of whether or not you believe the rumor, its fun to imagine what could be. With that said, here are 5 things a potential Android-powered CyanogenMod Lumia would need in order to be a success.
Perhaps you have seen such statement somewhere on the InterWebs sometime during the last couple of months and increasingly the past few weeks. It's a meme slowly growing -- and for good reasons. While others innovate, Apple iterates and succeeds unblushingly well. The company is mountains more successful today innovating less and taking fewer risks.
Apple is the new Microsoft, where maximizing margins matters more than innovation. Look how much more successful Apple is by being boring and following where innovators lead. Consider today's Strategy Analytics report that puts Apple and Samsung tied for calendar fourth-quarter smartphone shipments. Such scenario was all but unfathomable two quarters earlier. Yet the foundation laid long before Apple cofounder Steve Job's death, when logistics genius and now CEO Tim Cook managed day-to-day operations. Risk-to-innovation defined Jobs' management style. Cook is more tactical.
Half a year after it unveiled Mi 4, Chinese smartphone vendor Xiaomi is bringing its "fastest & most gorgeous Mi Phone ever" to India. Starting February 10, local consumers will be able to get their hands on the flagship device through retailer Flipkart.
Mi 4 is one of the most interesting smartphones unveiled in 2014, in no small part thanks to its $320 starting price. Handsets from rival makers such as Samsung have price-tags twice as high, so it is easy to understand what makes it such an appealing option in the flagship segment. Fortunately for those wanting to get their hands on Mi 4 in India, its price-tag is still as attractive as ever.
The official number for calendar Q4 2014 (fiscal Q1 2015), ending December 27, is 74.688 million. Got to admit, that sure looks like a rather large number of iPhones. But how big is it? Really? Apple sold in the one quarter more iPhones than during fiscal years 2007-10 (73.946 million) combined, or twice as many as sold (37.044 million) during the same three months in 2012.
On its own, iPhone generated more revenue, $51.182 billion, than all of Apple in any quarter in fiscal 2012 and, singly, three of the four quarters in each of FY 2013 and 2014. The amount also exceeds every fiscal year through 2009, which revenue was $42.905 billion.
Facebook is not exactly the lightest mobile app around. In fact, it is one of the worst offenders, no matter if we are talking about Android or iOS. It uses plenty of resources, both in terms of data and processing power. We may have gotten used to it by now, but these are major pain points in developing and emerging markets, where more and more potential users are going online for the first time.
There, lots of consumers are rocking low-spec Android devices and small cellular data plans, and the standard Facebook flavor is not a great match for them. So, the social network has finally released a lighter version of its Android app, called Facebook Lite, which promises to address those shortcomings. Let's take a look at it.
The words "first responders" came to the forefront in the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks. However, it really just describes the medical, fire and police people who rush to the scene of any problem, hoping to save lives and property. These men and women need every advantage they can get, and modern technology continues to aid them in their work.
You may think of the smartwatch as something that displays the time and messages for you, but it can be a lot more in some cases. Pebble, the former darling of Kickstarter, is now helping these folks out by bringing the CommandWear app to its platform.
After releasing Android 5.0.2 Lollipop factory images for the 2013 and 2012 Wi-Fi Nexus 7, Google is now rolling out the latest version of Android for the two 7-inch tablets via an over-the-air (OTA) update.
Google has yet to provide an official changelog for Android 5.0.2 Lollipop, but from the AOSP commits we can tell that there are only a couple of noteworthy changes made since Android 5.0.1 Lollipop. The biggest one is related to TRIM functionality, which should lead to noticeable improvements in performance.
Like any new technology, smartwatches when they first appeared were fiendishly expensive. Now that budget manufacturers are getting in on the act however prices are starting to tumble.
The R5 from Chinese company Rwatch costs less than $50 and will work with most Android phones, but can it compete with the pricier offerings from big name manufacturers?
Selling your first smartphone through an invite-only system is a risky business model. Lots of things can go wrong, quickly, if it doesn't pique consumers' interest. For newcomer OnePlus it, however, worked out great so far. Its One "flagship-killer", which sold half a million units by early-November 2014, has received near-instant recognition from enthusiasts, despite being backed by a company that, at the time of its launch, was less than half a year old.
Since its launch, OnePlus also made One available to those without an invite, on a number of occasions. Things didn't go smoothly every time, as lots of consumers rushed to get their hands on the device, causing issues with the ordering system. If you were among the unlucky ones, or you are just now considering getting one, One (no pun intended) will once again be available sans invite tomorrow, January 20.
When it comes to fixing security problems, it's better for everyone involved if a patch can be released as quickly as possible. A few days ago, a critical vulnerability was discovered in Verizon's FiOS app by Randy Westergren when he found it was possible to access the mail account of any Verizon customer with relative ease.
In stark comparison to the unhurried approach adopted by Microsoft to fixing problems identified in Windows -- on more than one occasion failing to hit a public disclosure deadline set by Google -- Verizon acknowledged, investigated and fixed the problem within two days. The problem itself was worrying, but the speed of reaction is impressive.
Maybe disposing of Android creator Andy Rubin was dumb. Maybe buying into the "Year of Chromebook" meme was dumber. Maybe making strategic decisions in anticipation of European Union trustbusters was even dumber. Maybe selling Motorola was dumbest. Take your pick, or add to the list, because all of the above apply. Google has squandered what should be in 2015 platform riches, ceding to Apple what shouldn't have been.
In October 2009, I asserted (before anyone else) that "iPhone cannot win the smartphone wars", as the stage was set for Android and iOS to mimic the platform battle between Windows and Macs during the PC era. By the large number of Android devices shipped that analysis is true today. But Apple's mobile platform wins the mindshare—and by other measures profit-share—wars, something Google could have, and should have, easily prevented. Time is overdue for course correction that requires smarts, not dumb-ass thinking.
Perhaps best known for its SystemCare products for Windows, software company IObit is launching a new version of its Android app, AMC Security.
AMC Security is a combined security and device optimization app. Among the new premium features included in this release is Payment Guard, which is designed to protect mobile users' financial data and the mobile payment and banking process.
Android 5.0 Lollipop is far from perfect, arriving with nasty bugs that have affected battery life, performance, Wi-Fi and more. The first update that Google launched, version 5.0.1, managed to fix some of the problems users have reported, but some major ones persist even to this day. Personally, I am seeing my 2013 Wi-Fi Nexus 7 running excruciatingly slow at times, even with the first update in tow.
Fortunately, Google also launched a second update not long after the first, which fixes even more bugs, however it only launched it for the first-generation Nexus 7. Now, the search giant is making Android 5.0.2 Lollipop available for the 2013 Wi-Fi Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 as well, in the form of new factory images.