Last time I wrote about the WordPress app for Android I was unimpressed with it. Since then there have been a bunch of updates that add functionality to the app. The look of the app has changed drastically. It is now a more uniformed and appealing look. The App has a nice white and black theme that really brings out the simplicity of the app. Read more
As I was prepping a post about my FireFox 4 review last night and I was trying to get screenshots. With android it is hard to do with out rooting your phone or having the SDK kit installed. So how hard could it be to get the SDK kit installed and set up to work properly? Apparently it’s quite a task to get working.
I following the instructions on Android Central and I am still not able to get anything to recognize my phone. I guess I will have to start back at square one with this process.
One thing I would like is to be able to take screen shots natively in android with out the need of connecting to a computer. The option should be buried in the system like USB debugging this way no one can turn it on by accident.
For the time being Google is locking away the Honeycomb source code and keeping it away from the public. The only way to get access to the code is to a tablet OEM or a developer. You can’t be just any developer you have to be a specific developer that Google trust with this code. Their main reason for this is that don’t want Honeycomb to be put on phones since it wasn’t designed for that. They want it restricted to tablets only.
Now that seems like a good idea in an idealized world. Unfortunately for Google we don’t live in that world. There are hackers out there that enjoy stripping the code out of tablets and will try to get it to run on smart phones. That is there hobby and it will be done at some point. It probably won’t run correctly or very well at first but over time it will be running on a phone. I know this because they are communities that work to do this. In fact when I had a Windows Mobile phone I was using roms that were not made for it’s hardware but worked. I currently see this going on in the Android space.
Locking away “Open Source” code is bad. This is not a way to help your tablets become a mature product in the market. In the end this will hold up adaptation because instead of being the “Open Source” Android will now be no different than iOS regarding there OS code.
Fragmentation is all around us is ways that we never realize. You own one particular brand of car and a new version of that comes out. That is fragmentation. Most of the time this happens and we don’t hear any complaining about how product X and product Y are fragmenting a certain industry, well unless your are in the technology field.
When people talk about fragmenting they usually refer to the Android OS for smartphones. Now depending on who you talk to either the Android OS is so fragmented that it is just a matter of time before people give up on it or fragmentation is no big deal. The problem is that Phone makers are able to choose which version of Android to place on phones. That is the bad part of this it allows some outdated version to be released side by side with newer versions. The problem with this is that unless the phone makers release the software updates you are stuck at your Android version.
Now this wouldn’t be a big deal except that upgrading is expensive and you sign a contract when you get your cell phone for typically two years. This means that your phone could be behind on software updates for the whole time you are on contract, but that may even apply to newer Android versions also. Look at the Galaxy S from Samsung it is on Android 2.1 and it’s 2.2 update is not being released in the US as of right now due to disputes between Samsung and the mobile network carriers (AT&T, Verizon, & T-Mobile). The exact details about what the dispute is over is hard to pin down, but the most common idea is Samsung wants to charge for the update.
The fragmentation for Android also cause it to have issues with it’s apps on the marketplace. Some apps can only run in 2.1 or later and others can can run on 1.6 or newer. Depending on what the phone makers want to do you may end up with a 1.6 version of android on that new smart phone and you won’t be able to upgrade to a newer version. The version controls is resting on phone manufacturers rather then Google. The real fragmentation is from the phone makers and carriers.
I am a digital packrat, there is no way around it. I have saved every text message I sent and received since I got my new smartphone, The Droid Incredible, in May of this year. That is almost 6 months, for me that is well over several thousand text messages. I say this to set up how completely devastating it was to me yesterday. It was like any normal day at work and near the end of the day I was finishing some projects up and texting with a person about some things. When I got a response back from a message I went to check it out. I opened my messaging app and there was no messages at all, nothing was in there. I felt a great disturbance in the force. I started to panic a bit figuring that maybe it was the phone glitched on me.
“It probably just needs a reboot as the OS needs to refresh itself to get the messages back” I said to myself.
I was trying to reassure the panicked part of me freaking out that I lost SOOOOO many text messages. I watched as the phone booted up, this had to be the longest boot up I had ever witnessed. When everything loaded I went to my messaging widget.
Nothing. I open it up, I see a blank screen. I go to the android app marketplace and downloaded handcent. No messages at all. Nothing, nada, empty. I am not sure why I feel sad, but I did. On my previous HTC phone I was flashing a new rom and wiping text message out, this time it felt different. I checked the Application info in the Settings menu. There is 820kb of data it is taking up. Do I delete the data and just toss the towel in or do I research this problem more.
I do some research and find this seems to be a problem in at least several cases. I think the data is still on the phone and I will look for was to access it, but for now I have lost a lot of text messages I wanted to keep and I blame HTC and Verizon for this.
Google launched the Nexus One back in early January. Running the latest version of the Android OS. It was a very advanced phone. Outing the Droid as the best phone around. Now about 74 days after being launched the Nexus One is a failure. Conservative estimates point to only 135,000 phones being shipped. In similar time frames after introduction both the iPhone and Droid sold a million plus units each. The major question that should be asked is why such low sales for the Nexus One?
The answer seems simple, but it is a bit complex. The first major issue is that it was launched on T-Mobile, the fourth largest mobile carrier in the US. This cuts the possible install base that they could reach down to only 34 million. Typical smartphone users are increasing, but they are still only a percentage of the overall user base. The second issue was that is was launched for sale on Google’s website. The online only offer even furthers to reduce the number of people who will get the phone. Most cell phone subscribers purchase their phones through a brick and motor store or through the carriers website. Since it’s launch the Nexus One has finally hit AT&T’s wireless network bands. To be fair you can’t by the phone with an AT&T contract, yet. Now Sprint has joined the Nexus One bandwagon, and that makes four. Verizon’s Nexus One was announced back on launch with a spring 2010 release date.
With the Nexus One slated to appear on all the major carriers will it see increased sales? Possibly, but not in any significant numbers. The problem is by the time it will hit these networks new and better Android devices will be already on them or just about to launch.
Verizon is rumored to be a few weeks away from launching a new HTC Android handset called the Incredible. The Incredible is supposed to be running a 1GHz Snapdragon processor underclocked to 768 MHz, with 512 DRAM and around 6GB of Flash RAM with an MicroSD expansion slot. The camera has been upgraded to 8MP from the Nexus One’s 5MP camera. The underclocked processor may turn off users, but it should be able to be restored back to it’s 1GHz speed with some 3rd party code. The incredible will also be sold in Verizon’s store along side the Droid and other Android phones. In my opinion this is a better buy then the Nexus One, unless the N-1 is priced very attractively (which I don’t think will happen).
Sprint is getting the HTC Supersonic later this summer. The Supersonic is going to be the first 4G Android handset running on Sprint’s WiMax network. It is supposed to be running a 1GHz Snapdragon processor with 1GB of ROM, it’s been called an HD2 running Android 2.1. More information is supposed to be released at CTIA when Sprint is rumored to announce the phone officially.
Now AT&T has just got it’s first android handset the Motorola Backflip. It has been gutted horribly, Google search ahs been replaced with Yahoo and you can only install apps from the Android Marketplace. This to me screams like AT&T wanted to get on the Android bandwagon and phone this in. I think it’s just iPhone love AT&T has, it will be interesting to see if a true Android device actually hits the store. T-Mobile has had the Nexus One from launch and it has not gather much sales. Will we see it in the stores? Who knows, but I have a feeling another powerful phone is being prepped for T-Mobile for a later launch. I consider AT&T and T-Mobile non factors for true Nexus One carrier support and I don’t think it will find a home on any of the other two carriers.
The Nexus One has failed, long live the Incredible/Supersonic.