There are lots of ways share information between your Android smartphone and a device like a smart TV or computer, but the folks at Clik have just made it easier than ever. They're the same people behind Kik messenger, and their new Clik Smart TV Platform launching today shows the same style of innovation and attention to detail we've come to know from them. It's a software platform for folks who build apps for Android and iOS, who want to go further than the small screen on our devices can go. And I think they've got quite the handle on it.
They have released a demo application that uses YouTube to show off how it all works. You install the app on your phone (there's links after the break) and run it. Point the web browser on your other "smart" device (I've tested Google TV as well as ChromeOS) to www.ClikThis.com and you're presented with a QR code to scan. Scan it, and you're connected. Browse through YouTube on the app running on your phone, and the content is displayed on the bigger screen. All with zero set-up and zero headache. You can control things like the volume, fast forward and rewind, even pause the video using the buttons on your phone. For a proof-of-concept app, it's really done nicely, and bodes well for the type of apps we should expect using the new platform technology.
I'm looking forward to seeing how this all plays out, and I'll certainly be keeping an eye on this one. Hit the break for a video demo of the YouTube app in action, a handful of screen shots, and the press release from Clik. Happy viewing!
And how we, the users, still need to take responsibility
There's been a lot of news lately about a lapse in either security or judgment -- both, really -- at Apple that allows iOS applications to borrow your contact data and send it off to parts unknown without your consent. Apple has addressed the issue to members of the U.S. Congress, and will take steps to hold tighter control in a future iOS update. That's good news, and we're glad to see it happening.
But what about Android? During all this focus on apps doing things without explicit user permission, you see people referring to the Android permissions model. We're going to break it all down for you. It's not perfect, but it works pretty well -- and it's certainly better than no permission system at all.
Let's walk you through permissions on Android, and how you need to be sure to do you part.
U.S. Cellular has slowly been unveiling its 4G LTE plans, and now it's announced some of new markets, along with Mobile HotSpot availability.
The additional markets include select cities in Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Some of the cities included are in the areas of Rockford and Peoria, Ill.; Columbia and Jefferson City, Mo.; Manchester, N.H.; Wilmington and Jacksonville, N.C.; Tulsa, Okla.; Medford, Ore.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Roanoke and Lynchburg, Va.; Yakima and the Tri-Cities, Wash.; Morgantown, W. Va. and LaCrosse and Beloit, Wis.
U.S. Cellular will expand its device lineup, but for now Samsung devices will play a key roll with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, Samsung Galaxy S Aviator and a Samsung 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot being made available starting in March. By the end of 2012, U.S. Cellular will have 54 percent of customers able to take advantage of 4G LTE speeds. You can catch the full press release after the break.
A German court in Munich today announced that it has sided with Apple in the company's latest patent dispute with Motorola Mobility, which involves slide-to-unlock gestures. Of the three unlock gestures that Motorola uses, two were found to infringe Apple's patent; a third, the slide-the-circle gesture used on Motorola's XOOM tablet, was exempt from the ruling.
Yesterday we learned that HTC's flagship Endeavor and mid-range Ville are likely to be marketed as the HTC One X and One S respectively. Today brings the news that they may be joined by one more handset -- the 'HTC One V'. The news comes from British tech site Pocket-Lint, which says its own sources suggest the One V as a new entry-level handset.
Reported specs -- which the site admits it's "not 100%" sure of -- seem similar to last year's Desire S, with a 3.7-inch display, 1GHz CPU and 1GB of RAM (a slight bump up from the Desire S's 768MB). The alleged camera specs also match the Desire S -- a 5MP shooter with 720p recording capabilities -- though we have to hope HTC's improved upon the optics in that phone's camera. On the software side, we can probably expect HTC Sense 4.0 on top of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, just like the One S and One X.
The most interesting thing about the One V will be its price point -- if HTC can bring such a device to market at a budget price point, it could be very attractive to first-time smartphone buyers.
Sony Corporation announced today that the transaction to buy out Ericsson's 50 percent share in Sony Ericsson was completed yesterday, February 15. The announcement marks the culmination of a nearly three month process, which started with Sony and Ericsson's joint statement of agreement back in October 2011 and was just recently approved by the European Commission on January 26. Sony Ericsson is a now a fully-owned subsidiary of the Sony Corporation, and will be officially renamed “Sony Mobile Communications” within the month.
As Sony originally stated, the buyout was spurred by its desire to integrate the Sony Ericsson line of smartphone devices into Sony's current line of network-connected devices. Moving forward, Sony Mobile Communication devices will become an integral part of Sony's “connected home”, which will include tablets, TVs, PCs, and now smartphones, including the company's flagship Xperia line.
Sony Mobile Communications will be headquartered in London with R&D sites in Beijing, Tokyo, Lund, and the Silicon Valley stateside. It will begin operating with 8,000 employees and EUR 100 million in capital. Hit the source link for Sony's official statement, and keep your eyes peeled for Sony-branded Xperias to start replacing the old Sony Ericsson moniker in the coming weeks.
ZOMG A STORY ABOUT JELLY BEAN! But here's the thing. It's out of our favorite (not really) Taiwanese manufacturer rag, Digitimes. It's also as obvious as it is ridiculous. Here's the gist:
Android 5.0 Jelly Bean (neither the number nor the nickname is official, remember) is said to:
Launch in the second quarter. We dunno about "launch," but, yeah. Google IO is June 27-29. June is in the second quarter. And it's more than likely we'll get details on the next version of Android there. But "launch"? Nah.
Further optimized for tablets. We certainly hope otherwise, what's the point? Jelly Bean (or whatever it's called) probably will be further optimized for smartphones, too. Maybe even Google TV. Now will the UI undergo some major reconstruction for tablets? That's entirely possible, and it's not a bad idea at all.
Integrating Chrome for "dual-operating system designs": Uh, OK. The idea, apparently, is to offer manufacturers the option of having an Android/Windows 8 system, without having to shut down. Hey, why not. BlackBerry's already doing that with its PlayBook tablet. But somehow we don't think adding a full second operating system and ecosystem is going to make choosing a tablet any simpler for consumers.
Google looking to get back into the netbook/notebook market with Jelly Bean: Sure. Why not. Android netbooks aren't new -- you'll recall our look at the HP Compaq Airlife 100 at Mobile World Congress in 2010. And you have the likes of ASUS' excellent Transformer line of tablet/notebook hybrids. Question is, should this have any legs to is, what happens with Chromebooks?
So, yeah. Really not a whole lot of meat there. A little patience, folks. We've got a good feeling that Google's got something up its sleeves for 2012.
It won't surprise anyone to learn that quad-core smartphones based on NVIDIA's Tegra 3 chip will be on show at Mobile World Congress at the end of the month. But NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsung Huang has taken things further, with a claim that products announced there will be shipping inside of the first quarter of the year.
Speaking during NVIDIA's recent earnings call, Huang seemed in no doubt that we'd see Tegra 3 handsets on the shelves before the end of March.
"This quarter we are expecting to ship Tegra 3 based superphones. At Mobile World Congress is when we expect to announce these devices, and we expect to announce and ship them this quarter."
Pre-MWC leaks suggest that HTC will unveil the HTC One X, while LG will bring the LG X3, both of which reportedly run NVIDIA's new chip. So the suggestion is that one or both of these may actually be available to buy in just over a month's time. The supply chain can be an unpredictable beast, though, so we suppose it's possible we could see some slippage, even if manufacturer are aiming for late March.
We'll be live from Barcelona from late next week, bringing you all the developments from the show as they happen.
We saw a good look at the latest high-end phone with a physical keyboard today in the Droid 4 review. The keyboard looks pretty damn good, and Phil seems impressed with it. Those of us who like seeing a good set of keys attached to our phones are glad to see they aren't gone. You guessed it -- I like a physical keyboard. I've learned to manage the on-screen keyboard, and dabble with Voice input a little (when nobody's looking), but I'd be happiest with a good sliding keyboard.
I'm pretty sure I'm in the minority here, but the only way to know for sure is to ask. So let me know guys -- yea or nay on the physical keyboard?
It's been a couple weeks now since we brought you a leaked build of Android 4.0.4 for the Sprint Nexus S 4G. According to an internal screen shot sent to Android Police, we might finally see a release on Feb. 16 -- as in tomorrow, for those of us here in the States.
Of course, when it comes to OS updates -- especially on Sprint and especially for Samsung phones -- we don't pop any corks until bytes are flowing and phones are rebooting. We've seen too many dates come and go, and too many updates get pulled after problems emerge. (And then there's the fact that this leaked screen -- purportedly from a Sprint system -- refers to the Nexus S and not the carrier's own Nexus S 4G. Details, we suppose.
So if it drops on Thursday? Kick ass. It's about time. And if it doesn't? We've got some awsome forums full of awesome people who we're sure will express themselves appropriately.