Posts Tagged

android

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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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For the past few months, we here at Android.AppStorm have been collating our best tips, tricks, features, and shortcuts. Some are useful, some are geeky, some are just for fun.

As with all such lists, you’re probably aware of some of these tips already – but I bet you don’t know all of them! Did you know that you can search your text messages, Kindle books, and tweets all at once? Or that CyanogenMod 7 lets you disable two-thirds of the LEDs in your display, to save battery? Or that you can force websites to show you the full version of their site, even though you’re on a mobile browser? Read on to find out more…

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Who says Android has to be dull and ugly? This is a misconception that has been perpetuated since the days of the T-Mobile G1 and the first version of Android. The UI might have been basic and quite square back then, but fortunately this isn’t the case now. Thanks to the openness of the ecosystem, a slew of launchers and themes, and various mods, it is now possible to customize every single nook and cranny inside your phone.

As a matter of fact, this world of customization is the main reason I love Android and never get bored of it, even after a year of tinkering. Below, you will find an assortment of tools to help you get started, improve and even master the art of modding your Android interface.

BAZINGA! The Sheldon Cooper homescreen, one of my own setups

BAZINGA! The Sheldon Cooper homescreen, one of my own setups

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Sleepy Jack: The Game of His Dreams

Jack is a young boy who dreams of some very odd worlds. Within them he flies, races and shoots his way to the edge of his imagination. However they are far from perfect. The toys in his dreams persistently attempt to disturb him to wake Jack up. It is up to you to fly Jack through his dream and ensure he gets a good night’s sleep. Read on for my full review.

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A new technology has emerged that allows shopping centers to track your location. This is achieved by receivers monitoring the keep-alive signal your phone sends to mobile phone masts; these receivers can apparently pinpoint you to within two meters.

The system is currently being used to record shopping habits, popular routes around shopping centres, and so on. Despite the data being collected anonymously, would you feel like this is an invasion of your privacy?

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The analytics company comScore Inc keeps track of many aspects of digital technologies, such as the sales and market shares of TVs, broadband packages, tablets, and… smartphones! Here is a little before-and-after of smartphone OS market share and manufacturer popularity from May to October this year. How did Android do?
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