Google Android

Android’s Better Developer Tool Setup

Android Developer Tools
Google recently released the first-ever Android development bundle. If you’ve had any experience setting up a development environment for Android, you’ll be glad to know these new bundled tools have streamlined the setup process. Now, in a single download, you can set up Eclipse, the ADT, a default emulator image, and the SDK manager. The new bundle download is quite large, nearly 400MB compressed, so get ready to wait if you’re not using a business-class fiber connection. Seriously, plan ahead! My first… continue…

Why Tablets May Be the Next Disposable

Mobil cell phone in the trash
One thing that bothers me about tablets is that they just aren’t very durable. Will they soon become a throwaway product and part of the electronic waste problem? With three kids, I know all too well about durable (or not) technology. Cell phones have been the worst. None of my kids have dropped their phones in the ocean, like one of our neighbor’s kid did, not once, but twice. They have dropped their phones in regular water (a foot bath… continue…

Apple Bites Into Its Core Management

Right in the middle of a hurricane and a Google Nexus announcement, Apple let loose with a major management overhaul. A bit of bad news may ultimately turn out to be good news for Apple fans and the tech world. Here’s the whole story. Apple announced a new iPhone and iOS 6 in September. Unfortunately, Apple also replaced Google’s Maps app with its own mapping application. Scott Forstall, Apple’s senior vice president of iOS, took the stage, as usual, and among… continue…

LTE: The Compromise Google Is Willing to Make

Long Term Evolution is hot this year, as a lot of OEMs and phone carriers slowly start to implement the high-speed mobile data standard. Google, however, is among those that seem to think 4G LTE isn’t yet ready for primetime. This week Google announced its new flagship smartphone, the Nexus 4, built by LG Electronics. The device comes with some great specs: a 4.7-inch, 1280 x 768 IPS display that has 320 ppi; the newest 1.5-GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro… continue…

Forget Plastic, Try A Bamboo Smartphone

Forget about plastic, carbon, or painted, anodized aluminum-sided smart phones. The phone of the near future may be encased in bamboo. The eco-phone idea was sparked when Kieron-Scott Woodhouse designed a Sony Ericsson Xperia LED phone made out of steel and bronze. The concept got a lot of buzz and Jerry Lao contacted Woodhouse and asked him to help design a new phone. They wanted to work with natural, renewable materials and ADzero,the bamboo smartphone, as well as their company,… continue…

Android Beta Testing Basics

Mobile Devices
Testing is an important, sometimes overlooked, part of developing a great app. Ideally, your app should be tested a variety of ways both automated and with actual human participants. In this post, we’ll cover the basics of app testing, focusing on human testers. In July I wrote about a handful of human beta testing services for mobile apps. They develop test cases that include testers who provide bug reports and other feedback. They’re great for rapid testing because they employ… continue…

Favi SmartStick Turns Your HDTV into a Smart TV

Posted In Android, Living in Tech
Favi SmartStick
If you are thinking of buying a Smart TV, maybe you should pause to reconsider. The guys from Favi will soon release a smart stick that could turn almost make your existing TV smart, without nearly the expense. As if that weren’t enough, this stick comes with specs. Yes, real specs just like a gadget. To make it work you to plug it into your TV via HDMI and USB (to get power). It’s compatible with all HDTVs that have… continue…

Developing for Amazon’s Kindle Fire

Kindle Fire
Developing for the Kindle Fire is fundamentally the same as developing Android proper. The Kindle Fire HDs run on ICS, and the original model runs on Gingerbread. I was hoping the Kindle Fire HD was a Jelly Bean tablet when it was first announced, but it’s not. This isn’t a reason to avoid the platform altogether — there are plenty of good reasons to develop or port your apps to the Fire. Amazon provides a detailed introduction to development for… continue…

Android Jelly Bean Only Tweaks the Transformer Prime

Posted In Living in Tech
Asus Transformer Prime
Although the Jelly Bean OTA upgrade for my Asus Transformer Prime (TF201) installed without problems, I thought I’d pass along a few observations I made while using new version. A lot of the buzz surrounding Jelly Bean has been about increased performance. The Transformer Prime with its quad-core Tegra 3 graphics chip is certainly a fast tablet, anyway. I normally run mine in performance mode, simply because I’m impatient and want things to happen as quickly as possible. Although the… continue…

Can Google’s New Nexus Face Down the iPad?

Posted In Living in Tech
Nexus 7
Will the new Nexus tablet take on the iPad? Google and Samsung certainly hope so. They’ve partnered to develop the next generation of Nexus tablet, which will come with a 10-inch screen and the kind of high-end innards that befit a top-of-the-line device.  It will also feature a 2,560 x 1,600 display, besting the Retina display/pixel density of the iPad. Despite Android OEMs’ efforts to change the status quo, the 10-inch, high-end tablet market remains dominated by Apple. Hardware innovation and… continue…