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2 years ago

Editorial: Now we know why Apple went after Samsung in the courtroom

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If you live in a cave and missed the "big" announcement of the iPhone 5 iPhone 4S, you need to have a peek for reference before we start.  Jump over to TiPb, where Allyson has a summary and links so you can watch the whole thing (if you can be bothered to install a proprietary QuickTime plugin, that is).  If you came back a bit underwhelmed, you're not alone, and it looks like more than a few iPhone die-hards will be skipping this update altogether

OK, we're done with the links and news about the iP4S -- promise.  I just wanted to be sure you all had a chance to see just what Apple took 16 months to release, and have an idea how it was received.  Now compare it to the reaction the Internet, folks in our forums, and people in general had to the Samsung Galaxy S II. 

Apple no longer sets the bar that others are measured against.

This goes beyond the Galaxy S II.  Samsung is releasing some amazing products, listening to user feedback, and delivering what consumers want.  I don't like Touchwiz.  Not even a tiny bit.  But, damn, it is smooth and fluid on the latest Samsung hardware, including the Galaxy Tab 10.1.  It's also functional, bringing things to the table that users haven't even thought to ask for yet.  Techie types are falling in love with Samsung's new products, and we all know where non-techy types look for advice.  No longer will the non-fanboy instantly say the word iSomething when asked what the best smartphone is, because until Apple can show something new, with features users have been asking for, the iProduct isn't it.

We tend to think in terms of smartphone here (we are a Mobile Nation of Smartphone Experts after all) but Samsung, like LG, sells an amazing amount of phones every year.  Numbers that dwarf any manufacturer's smartphone sales.  They are in the Prime position (see what we just did there?) to put out the product that sets the tone for the next generation of smartphones, likely running Android.  Apple can't risk that, because they have a giant cash cow they need to protect.

That's iTunes.

For all the polish and thought that goes into Apple's mobile products, they are just a front end for iTunes.  The fellows in Cupertino know that they can create buzz on a brand (and they do a marvelous job at it), but can they compete when another product comes on the scene that is simply better?  That's a risk that Apple is too smart to take.  If Samsung is able to build and sell something to make the average user want it enough to leave the iTunes universe, Apple's revenue will be hit -- hard.  Apple knows how to sell content and build mindshare.  Samsung knows how to sell a whole lot of electronic devices.  The two had to butt heads eventually, and as Android matures, that day isn't far off.  NVIDIA shows us what can be done with powerful hardware on a mobile device.  The Galaxy S II line shows us that hardware has reached a point where even less-than-optimized software can look and feel awful damn good.  When the two meet (Ice Cream Sandwich?  Maybe.), the chance to really shake up Apple's ecosystem is there.

I'm no fancy paid analyst -- I'm a middle aged father of three who happens to be a big nerd.  I have a theory that if I can see the big picture, real analysts and businessmen can as well.  Samsung is in the position to de-throne Apple, and spending the last six months worrying about legislation instead of innovation makes perfect sense to me after the recent iPhone announcement.

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2 years ago

AT&T Samsung Galaxy S II review

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Easily AT&T's best Android smartphone

AT&T has always seemed to have an odd relationship with Android. Conspiracy theorists like to believe it’s because of the iPhone, and there might be a little truth to that. But despite a slow start with Android -- and a few odd decisions along the way -- AT&T’s started to come into its own, sporting compelling smartphones from most of the leading manufacturers.

And it’s second out of the gate with the Samsung Galaxy S II. The Atlanta-based carrier’s doing us all a favor by not messing with the phone’s name at all -- the same can’t be said for others -- and AT&T’s also shaken up the U.S. GSII lineup with some physical tweaks to its Galaxy S II. Minor modifications to the software and user interface hardly are a surprise, too.

So how does the AT&T Samsung Galaxy S II fare against AT&T’s other offerings, the iPhone, and the recently released (and wildly  overnamed) Samsung Galaxy S II Sprint Epic 4G Touch? Read on to find out.


Thin, light, fast. And the 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus screen is gorgeous. It's a Galaxy S II, after all.


Launched with a fairly major security flaw, may still be too big for some at 4.3 inches. AT&T's customization of the TouchWiz home screens is uninspired.



You can't get a better Android smartphone on AT&T. This is as fast and as light as anything available today. And AT&T (and other retailers) have priced it right, under $200.

Inside this review

More info

 

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2 years ago

Primed, Rooting the AT&T Samsung Galaxy S II [From the Forums]

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If you've had your fill of Apple news for the day, we've got just the spot for you to hang out. The Android Central forums is the perfect spot to talk about all things Android related, and you don't have to worry about Siri interupting you when you're trying to speak. Check out some threads or start your own today:

If you're not already a member of the Android Central forums, you can register your account today.

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2 years ago

World of Goo coming to Android as GooDroid!

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If you've never heard of the World of Goo, we have a feeling that will be changing soon. The folks behind the World of Goo, 2D Boy -- have announced they will be bringing their physics-based puzzle game to the Android platform.

Similar to Angry Birds gameplay, the obeject is to move goo around from pipe-to-pipe in an effort to get it where it needs to go. You'll be facing plenty of structures in your way though such as hills, spikes, and cliffs and you have to maintain as much goo as possible.

No pricing or launch date was announced for the game but 2D Boy states they are currently working on some of the machinery for GooDroid, as it will be called when released so with that in mind -- we're guessing launch cannot be that far off.

Source: 2D Boy

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2 years ago

Android 101: How to filter your web market search

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2 years ago

Latest Android version numbers released, Gingerbread is on the rise

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Google has released the latest breakdown of the platform version numbers, and they show Gingerbread growing in a big way.  These numbers are a snapshot of the phones and tablets that have visited the Android Market up to October 3, 2011, so it's a pretty good breakdown of just what's out there in the wild. 

As noted, Gingerbread saw a big jump of almost 8 percentage points, and almost all of it came from the Froyo column.  This means OEMs are getting their phones upgraded to the latest platform version, bringing welcome security and bug fixes along for the ride.  On the other end of the spectrum, not much has changed for phones still using version 1.5 and 1.6, they still clock in at just 2.5 percent of the total.  Honeycomb has seen a slight bump from 1.4 percent to 1.8 percent of the total, and Android 2.1 has dropped a couple tenths to 11.7 percent.

It's about what anyone would have expected, some phones are going to be stuck on older versions, and phones that can be upgraded are being upgraded, albeit slower than many would care for.  The numbers are quite favorable, with 97.5 percent of all Android devices on the 2.X codebase.  Of course, this won't look quite so good when we move to Ice Cream Sandwich, and go through the waiting game all over again.  We'll visit that one next month, hopefully.

Source: Android Developers

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2 years ago

Specs: iPhone 4S versus the world

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One last iPhone post, and then we return you to your regularly scheduled Android domination. Our pals at TiPb asked us which phone we wanted to put head-to-head with the iPhone 4S. Had to be the Galaxy S II, right? Ease on past the break for the breakdown.

And for everything iPhone 4S, head on over to TiPb.

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2 years ago

iPhone 4S announced today [the competition]

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(Ed. note: Rex Manning Day is still in effect. But now that the iPhone's coming to Sprint, we need to care about it a little.)

Today was the big day if you are an Apple fan.  The folks in Cupertino unveiled the latest version, leaving many disappointed and many elated.  If you were waiting for a big screen, or 4G in any shape or form (and a lot of Apple users have been) that didn't happen, but the new iPhone did get a healthy spec bump over the old.  The A5 chip currently in the iPad 2 is now in the phone version, and that should give better graphics performance, and the camera has been beefed up to an 8MP version with 1080p capture.

The "big news" with the iPhone 4S is Siri, a voice command and reader application, the Cards app to print and order cards direct from your phone, location sharing with the Family and Friends app, and of course that the new model will be coming to Sprint.  Combined with iOS 5, it sounds like an excellent phone for a lot of users, and will sell "a billion" according to Seth at TiPb.  While a billion may be a bit high, the iPhone 4S will sell well, and it should -- it has some great features we've seen on Android for a while to help push it forward. 

On the hardware front, Apple didn't mention the clock speed of the iPhone's A5 chip, but it will match well with the new dual-core devices we're seeing in Android phones as of late.  While there is still no support for removable storage, they have bumped things up to 64GB for everyone that found 32 just wasn't enough.  And the camera, well, let's face it -- Apple uses quality cameras and fans will be pleased.  Rene Ritchie lays out the new specs as:

  • Apple A5 chipset, dual core Cortex A9 for 7 times faster graphics. This is basically the iPad 2 chip but probably not clocked as fast.
  • Longer batter life – 8 hrs talk time on 3G, 9 hours browsing on Wi-Fi, 10 hours video, 40 hours music.
  • New intelligent switching between antennas
  • HSPA+ 14.4 (no 21?)
  • CDMA + GSM World phone
  • 8mp rear-facing camera, CMOS backside illuminated sensor, 73% more photons! High end IR filter. Wide f2.4.

Siri, which was the highlight of the entire announcement, is basically Google voice actions combined with talkback -- you speak to your phone, and it speaks back to you.  This comes to the iPhone 4S as a beta (which is pretty un-Appley).  It's a cool feature, one I use it on my Android phones (while nobody is looking anyway), and if implemented well can be a nice selling point.

Seemingly glanced over was the news much of the Internet was waiting for -- the iPhone 4S will be available on Sprint.  At the very end of the event when pricing was announced they snuck it in with little fanfare. 

What does this mean for Android?  In my humble opinion, not a damn thing.  It's clear that Apple is waiting until next time to bring any big hardware changes, and it's going to be a tough choice at the store between a new iPhone or a Galaxy S II or new HTC phone.  The new changes are nice, don't get me wrong, but don't offer a compelling reason to buy an iPhone over an Android or Windows phone.  I think the "one more thing" everyone was waiting for will happen on October 11.

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2 years ago

Android 101: How to share apps via the Android Market

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When you find a great app in the Android Market, it's only natural to want to go ahead and share it with others. Luckily, the Android Market makes that a fairly easy process when combined with Androids built-in sharing options. The process:

  • Find the app you want to share in the Android Market
  • Tap on the share button, as denoted by the blue arrow in the image
  • Select to where and how you wish to share which, can be pretty much anything

There you have it, that's it. An easy and simple process for sharing apps with others directly from the Android Market. Keep in mind, sharing apps doesn't mean if you buy it and share it will be free for people you share with -- it's more suggesting and app to another user.

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2 years ago

The Amazon Kindle Fire won't have the Android Market - that bother you?

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KMLProxy in our forums brings up a good point, if you're looking at purchasing an Amazon Kindle Fire. You won't be able to easily transfer apps that you purchase in the Android Market to the Kindle Fire. That is, you won't be able to redownload them directly, because the Kindle Fire won't have the Android Market.

That's not an insurmountable problem -- we've talked about how to pull the apps off your phone before, and you should be able to sideload them back onto the Kindle Fire. But you do see what we're getting at here, right?

Will the absence of the Android Market sway your decision to purchase a Kindle Fire? Let's hear it.

More: Preorder the Amazon Kindle Fire; Amazon Kindle Fire forums

Does the lack of the Android Market make the Kindle Fire worry you?

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