Along with BlackBerry, Symbian and Palm OS, Microsoft’s Windows Mobile operating system was one of the first platforms to power intelligent mobile devices. Nevertheless, it’s well known that Microsoft’s products weren’t seen as easy to use and intuitive, especially when it came to Windows Mobile. In order to change this vision of its platform, Microsoft radically changed its operating system in 2010 when launching Windows Phone, and put an important focus on ease of use with the introduction of its disruptive yet innovative Modern UI. The latter featured a homescreen made entirely of Live Tiles, which are in between mere shortcuts and full-featured widgets. The Tiles are dynamic and update in real time, making them similar to widgets, but with no interaction, as tapping them simply launches the app.
Android, on the other hand, has long been seen as a “geeky” OS, with complicated features, an unintuitive and inconsistent user experience, not to mention it used to be years behind iOS’ eye-candy interface. With recent releases, Android has grown into a mature OS that offers an admirable user experience. Nonetheless, it remains interesting to compare our favorite OS with the competition and study what they do best compared to Android. This article’s focus is therefore going to be on the ten Windows Phone 8 features that could improve the end user experience for most Android owners. (more…)
Most cooking apps for Android are rather straightforward, as cooking involves less time spent using the app and more time doing the actual task at hand. That’s pretty understandable, and as an occassional food maker, I have been content with whatever cooking app I had installed at the moment — until I came across The Baker App. This app not only got my attention, it also motivated me to venture into the exciting world of baking. It’s not every day that I get unusually excited about a cooking app, but The Baker App is obviously an exception.
Dozens of apps on the Play Store offer multiple features for managing tasks and goals, whether you want to lose weight or write a book. However, only a few are targeted towards a specific kind of task management — one that lets you focus on completing goals rather than organizing them. Action Method is a simple project management app that lets you track your projects and see them into completion by listing action steps. Here’s how it can help you towards whatever goal you’re trying to accomplish.
It’s impossible to visit a tech site now without seeing some mention of Google’s first foray into the tablet market – and rightfully so. The release of this tablet is a really, really big deal.
As it stands, the iPad is without a doubt the king of the tablet market. It has great features, build quality and most importantly, a great selection of tablet optimized apps. The story for Android tablets is completely different. Many of them have dodgy features (the manufactures instead opt to change the skin and add bloatware), a lot of the tablets are made out of cheap and creaky plastic frames and intuitive Android tablet optimized apps aren’t exactly a commodity.
But with the Nexus 7, Android tablets might just be able to topple the king.
I have seen countless applications released on Android months or even years later than on iOS. This seems to be a strange choice for the developers to take, as statistics show that it may actually harm their profits. In this article I will discuss my views, and share the evidence that supports them.
Having used Symbian, Windows Mobile, Meego and iOS in the past, and settled on Android for the past 18 months, I have been quite excited to check out Windows Phone’s current offer in terms of ecosystem, OS, and devices. Thus, for the past couple of months, I have been using a Nokia Lumia 800 (running WP 7.5) as my secondary device, along with my primary HTC Desire Z (running ICS). After a series of ups and downs, I have found a lovely cocoon with both platforms, although the back and forth between them is highlighting all the exclusive features in each that I wish existed on the other.
Here, I will tackle the Windows Phone features that I really hope make it to Android; on our sister site, Windows.AppStorm, you will find the Android features that I would like to have on Windows Phone. These points are based on the out of the box options of each, neglecting what could possibly be done with rooting, unlocking, custom ROMs, homebrews, and so on.
January 29 was a sad day for me. It was the day that my faithful Galaxy S II was branded with the cruel term “beyond economical repair”, meaning that it is cheaper to replace the entire phone rather than put the effort in and repair it. It had been playing up for a while and seeing that I was a committed Android user, I had of course tinkered and messed around with it – wiping off all that nasty TouchWiz interface and replacing it with CyanogenMod 7. This meant that Samsung wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole under their warranty, so my only option to get another phone was to claim off my existing insurance company.
They offered me the choice of taking a significant downgrade (i.e. to an entry-level Android phone, not exactly a beast like the S II) or pay a slight supplement and get an iPhone 4S. Well, anybody in my position would do the latter and seeing as I had been forking out about £10 a month for the luxury of mobile phone insurance, I decided to cut my losses and convert to the “dark side”.
Two months on, I find myself in a bit of a pickle. I really love iOS as a mobile operating system and there are some things about it that I’ve always preferred over Android (the lack of fragmentation and the polished interface, for example) but after using it for a while now there are some features from Android that I just wish it had.
My obsession with Twitter had me testing every other Twitter client for Android. Upon searching, I came across TweetCaster. At that time, I thought it was the most feature-rich app I’ve seen. However, it lacked one feature I was looking for: scheduling tweets to send later.
A few months after this, TweetCaster was updated to do exactly what I wished it was able to do. The developers added a Post Later option that completely won me over and made me dump my previous Twitter app (Hootsuite). If you’re doubtful about this app, then read on to find out why I love it.
If you haven’t heard already, Apple just introduced the new iPad, the third-generation tablet the company will be offering. With a “Retina Display” (that’s a 2048x1536px resolution for a 10-inch screen), a 5-megapixel camera, 4G LTE and a new processor with quad-core graphics, the new iPad is no doubt a significant upgrade from the iPad 2, and is almost guaranteed to sell millions and attract many to Apple stores when it launches next week.
This announcement comes just a short while after the Android tablet landscape got a reboot at CES and MWC with new flagship products like the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 and the updated lineup of Transformer Pads. With Ice Cream Sandwich making its way onto the larger screens, it’s an exciting time for Android too.
However, in a market that’s still dominated by Apple, what does the new iPad mean for Android?
While every operating system has an over-arching look that developers will strive to adhere to, Android’s look and feel has evolved throughout the years without giving third-party developers the chance to catch up. With all of the different apps’ user interface styles, trying to corral everyone into an easy-to-understand place UI-wise can be difficult.
To combat this, Google recently released the Android Design guides for Ice Cream Sandwich. Today I’m going to take a look at the language used in these guidelines to see where Google’s intention lies.