Well, it's May 1 somewhere, which perhaps explains why Switch to Windows Phone popped up on Google Play tonight with the date. The concept is simple: Microsoft tries to ease the transition between platforms, or at least help evaluate if such move is workable. But the app-matcher comes up short and can't resolve something more fundamental: People with money invested in apps won't be quick to rebuy them elsewhere.
StWF is easy enough to use once installed; letting it scan and match on my Nexus claims to match 85 percent of the Android apps. But like most of the people reviewing the app, there's no way I see to view the list. Could it be the app posted early and the supporting services aren't switched on, or did Microsoft simply muck up?
Under Marissa Mayer, Yahoo has started to really embrace mobile, rolling out a succession of apps. That run continues today, with the launch of a new Yahoo app for Android.
Available now, the app delivers a stream of short news summaries with images, to give you the gist of something. If you have the time you can then read the full article at your leisure. You can personalize the content you see by scrolling to the end of each story, and ticking the topics you like, and removing those you’re not interested in. Your preferences are maintained across all of the devices you use. Yahoo says: "The more you use the app, the more relevant stories you'll start to see".
Today's set-top boxes do not all come from the cable or satellite provider and they frequently contain much more functionality than those that do come from the big providers. One is Roku, a company that has been innovating and upgrading at a rather quick pace recently, having only just released the Roku 3 with added functionality.
"Windows strength appears to be the ability to attract first time smartphone buyers, upgrading from a feature phone", Mary-Ann Parlato, Kantar Worldpanel ComTech analyst, says about the U.S. handset market for the three months ended in February. "Of those who changed their phone over the last year to a Windows smartphone, 52 percent had previously owned a feature phone".
End of story, or could be, if not for something else. Fifty-five percent of iOS buyers, and 51 percent for Android, are repeat smartphone purchasers. The two more popular platforms, while growing because of their larger bases, sell more to existing customers, which make up a more finite market. "With over half of the U.S. market still owning a feature phone, it’s likely that many will upgrade over the coming year, which will ultimately contribute to more growth for the Windows brand", Parlato emphasizes.
On Monday, South Korean manufacturer LG announced a new Android flagship smartphone called the Optimus GK. The handset shares its underpinnings with the previously-introduced Optimus G Pro that is designed for the Japanese market.
The Optimus GK comes with a 5-inch IPS display with a resolution of 1080 by 1920 and a 440 ppi (pixels per inch) density, similar to other devices like the Sony Xperia Z. There is a 1.7 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor inside, backed by 2GB of RAM and a large 3,100 mAh battery. So far, so good, but what about the rest of the specs?
You can still buy phones running Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), even though Google released the last distribution, version 2.3.7, in September, 2011. In the meantime, numerous security flaws have been discovered in Gingerbread and users are vulnerable to them.
For this, the ACLU blames AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless. The logic in their plea to the FTC is so shoddy that I have to suspect an ulterior motive. In whose interests is the ACLU operating here?
Samsung unifies its PC line under the ATIV brand, rolls out two new Book models and SideSync software
Samsung has announced it will be expanding its ATIV brand name to cover all of its Windows PCs, not just its convertible PC devices. The aim is to create a single cohesive brand for all its Windows 8 products, in a similar way to how the Galaxy brand unifies all of its Android smartphones.
In addition to the rebranding, Samsung has rolled out two new ATIV Book models -- the ATIV Book 5 and ATIV Book 6.
Yesterday we informed you that T-Mobile had announced a change of plan concerning its Samsung Galaxy S4 online availability. Due to an "unexpected delay with inventory deliveries", the US mobile operator revealed that the smartphone will be available online starting Monday, April 29, instead of yesterday, April 24, as was previously planned.
Because of the delay in inventory deliveries it looks as if T-Mobile customers will also have to wait a tad longer to actually purchase the Galaxy S4 from the mobile operator's brick and mortar stores.
Back in December, I explained: "Surface RT sales are quite good, you just don't know about it". The Internet Idiocracy called the tablet a failure, while based on sales per store I saw success. Surface Pro shipped the following month. Now there are real numbers, and they're quite good -- for all Windows tablets -- validating touch-focused Modern UI.
During first quarter, Windows captured 7.5 percent global branded tablet market share, according to Strategy Analytics. That's up from zero a year earlier. Unit shipments: 3 million. Right now, Microsoft is the major seller of branded Windows tablets. Granted there are others, like Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP and Samsung.
Typing on touchscreen devices is very different from using a conventional keyboard and the traditional layout doesn’t help much. Researchers at the University of St Andrews, the Max Planck Institute for Informatics and Montana Tech have come up with a new layout that claims to allow tablet users to thumb type 34 percent faster.
Named KALQ after the order that the characters appear, it's been developed to provide optimal character positions when typing on a tablet. By spreading the characters used in commonly typed words such as "on", "see", "you" and "read" which on a QWERTY keyboard would all need to be typed with one thumb, KALQ speeds up typing and minimizes strain.
Swype is one of the most appealing and competent third-party keyboards that you can get on Android today, touting more than 250 million users worldwide. The app practically made swipe input popular, a feature which has since been adopted by SwiftKey and even the green droid itself in the second Jelly Bean iteration.
And today, citing user demand, Nuance Communications -- the company behind the third-party keyboard -- brought Swype to Google Play. The app is available for practically any device running Android 2.2 Froyo and higher and comes in at 15 MB.
The BBC tends to favor iOS when it comes to mobile apps. The broadcaster isn’t ignoring Android, it just takes a while to roll out apps for Google’s mobile operating system, and often those apps, when they do arrive, aren’t as slick or don’t have all the features found in the iOS versions.
Case in point -- the Beeb debuted the iPlayer Radio app for iOS seven months ago, but it’s taken until now for the Android version to appear on Google Play (it will also be available on Amazon’s app store "very soon").
It is refreshing to see a big Android manufacturer give something back to the enthusiast and developer community that supports its devices. After the Xperia S AOSP (Android Open Source Project) experiment, which came to life in August last year, Sony announces that the recently-introduced Xperia Z will also get an AOSP makeover through an open-source project available on GitHub.
"This is a way for us to continue our commitment to support the open Android community. It is also a tool for us to facilitate and verify contributions to AOSP on the MSM8064 Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro platform", says Sony. "The software will be open for you as a developer to use and contribute to".
Downloading apps from Google Play may get you some unexpected extra software. Mobile security specialist Lookout has uncovered a piece of code called BadNews which poses as an advertising network in order to push malware out to infected devices. By using the ad network as a front it bypasses the checks that prevent malware from getting on to the store.
The BadNews code was found in 32 apps across four different developer accounts. Google has now removed the apps and suspended the accounts but it’s estimated that these apps have already been downloaded several million times. About half of the identified apps are in Russian and the payload is designed to commit premium rate fraud in Russia and neighbouring countries.
UK polling company YouGov has released the results of its latest Quarterly Tablet Tracker for the first three months of 2013. It shows that consumers now see Android tablets as equal in quality to the iPad and as a result their makers are eating into Apple's share of the premium market.
Although it still has the largest slice of the UK's tablet market, Apple has seen its share drop by 10 percent in the past 12 months. Despite the launch of the iPad Mini and 4th generation iPad, Apple now has 63 percent of the market compared to 73 percent this time last year.