If you own an Android device and you’re reading this site, chances are that you’re a tech-oriented person and your life involves other gadgets and operating systems, whether it’s a computer running Windows or Mac OS, or an iOS device — iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. While each of these platforms seems to include more proprietary services and apps with every new release, there still is — thankfully — a middle ground where it’s possible to make different devices talk to each other.
It’s this middle ground, and the tricks and apps that make use of it, that we have explored and dug deep into over the past couple of months. Over the course of two different series, we explained how you can use your Android device with a Windows or a Mac computer, as well as how you can keep it in sync with different iOS devices. Here are all the articles grouped together for easy referencing and bookmarking:
Use your Android device with a Windows or a Mac
- Android and Your PC / Mac: 46 Tools to Share Content Seamlessly
- Android and Your PC / Mac: 26 Tools for Remote Control and Access
Use your Android device alongside an iPhone, iPad or iPod
- Keep Android and iOS in Sync, Part 1: Data, Email, Contacts and Calendar
- Keep Android and iOS in Sync, Part 2: Music, Photos and Videos
- Keep Android and iOS in Sync, Part 3: Apps and Services
- Keep Android and iOS in Sync, Part 4: Limitations and Caveats
I have used Android since late 2010, when it started becoming a more mature operating system and a respected player on the market. Although I switched to Google’s platform about 2 years after its initial release, the system has kept on evolving, and came to be my favorite mobile operating system. Android has been a trendsetter over the years and has introduced several handy innovations, such as a central notification hub, remote installation of applications and more. Even today, Android has features neither iOS nor Windows Phone or Blackberry have and remains a source of inspiration thanks to its unified sharing system and widgets.
Nonetheless, not all Android devices are consistent and easy to use at first, and many find iOS to be simpler to get accustomed to. While I don’t fully agree with this, I have compared the ease of use of my iPad with my Galaxy Note II, and it is clear that there are instances where Android could learn a bit from the simplicity of iOS.
Every year there’s one Monday morning in June where the company Google loves to hate takes the very same stage that previously hosted Android announcements to present updates to iOS, amongst other things. This year was no difference but with a rumoured significant design change, the 2013 instalment is perhaps one of the most anticipated.
iOS 7 has delivered a new design with a skeuomorphic-less, flatter design somewhat resemblant of the design principles of Google’s Holo and Microsoft’s Metro. In this article, we’re going to take a look at iOS 7 and see how it stacks up to the incumbent versions of Android.
During the month of May, we’ve looked at various ways to keep Android and iOS in sync. We started with the essentials, by exploring ways to sync your emails, contacts and calendar. We then looked at media and various solutions to replicate your photos, videos and music across both platforms, and a selection of useful apps to sync daily content such as news, articles, tasks, notes, financials, passwords and documents, using third party cloud-based services.
However, even though the first three parts were great ways of keeping both devices in sync, using iOS and Android together has limitations. In this last part, we’ll look at the various elements that prevent proper sync between the two platforms, lead to frustration due to differences in user experience or problems resulting from the application stores respective to each platform.
The rise in popularity of mobile devices can be intrinsically linked to the real birth of a casual, mobile gaming market. While individual hardware manufactures and game developers have tried to unify certain games from a specific developer or specific platform with a companion social service, the proprietary nature has historically lead to low user engagment and adoption. That’s where Google comes in.
At Google I/O this week, the company announced Google Play game services, a developer and client-side system for powering and syncing games cross-platform, providing matchmaking, achievements, leaderboards, cloud saves and more for platforms such as Android, iOS and the web. In this article, we’re going to take a look at what Google Play game services is all about and evaluate whether it might have a shot at revolutionising how we play games on our phones and tablets.
Let me start by saying this: I am a huge Star Wars fan. I love the movies, I love the collectibles, I love the video games. So of course when Rovio announced they were making a Star Wars themed Angry Birds game, I was all over it. I kept looking at video clips and screenshots while patiently awaiting the release date. And then it came, and I quickly picked it up.
With Angry Birds Star Wars, I double dipped a little bit; I played on both the iPad and my Nexus 7. I have already reviewed the iPad version on iPad.Appstorm but let’s see how well it does on Android.
As you’ve no doubt heard, Apple iOS 6 was announced this week. Many of the upcoming features are actually already present in Android – turn-by-turn navigation, reply by text, Facebook integration – but a few are new (or at least only available in third party apps).
I’m particularly interested in Passbook, an app that will keep track of tickets, coupons, and loyalty cards. When you step into an airport, it’ll automatically present you with your boarding pass, for example, which you can use to check in. Yes, it’s a similar idea to Google Wallet, but a lot simpler and without relying on NFC (or on retailers to get their act together and support mobile payments).
How about you? Vote in the poll and leave a comment to share your thoughts!
Although I do like indulging in the odd mobile game now and again, there are times where playing against the computer gets a bit repetitive and boring. It’s far more realistic (and competitive) to play multiplayer games against real people than against computer algorithms. And multiplayer games don’t have to be restricted to one device either: there are loads of games that can be enjoyed no matter what platform you are running.
So, without further ado (and in no particular order), here are my top 10 cross-platform multiplayer games that you can enjoy whether you’re on Android or iOS.
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.
The talented hackers at XDA have done it again. iROM is a port of iOS that can run on Android firmware, using an “iOS virtual machine emulator”.
It’s missing a few features, but this is still great news. At last, we can have what we’ve wanted all along: an iPhone that’s not made by Apple.