Friday, July 30, 2010

VoIP phones for Android released

VoIP and SIP phones for Android seem to be all the rage at the moment with 3CX having recently released their free client.
Now Infrax Systems has also jumped on the boat. The corporation provides unified products and services for the Utility and Energy industries and has now announced the release of an Android-based mobile phone with various data applications. The phone system is encrypted and works on the HTC Desire handset which allows users to safely manage data and voice calls.
It operates via a peer-to-peer connection to provide secure VoIP. The calls can be made on HSDPA (3.5G), Wi-Fi, EDGE (2.5G) and UMTS(3G)networks. There are Industrial, Government and Business phones available, with a Utilities model to be released soon.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Android Sales Skyrocket: Best of the Week's News

Android sales have skyrocketed in the UK with a whopping 350 per cent increase in the first three months of 2010.
The Daily Mail said: "The surge has accompanied a general rise in the consumer uptake of smartphones as people come to the end of their old mobile contracts."
The huge increase in Android sales is all the more remarkable given that in the same period sales of contract phones only rose by 1 per cent.
GfK Retail and Technology has published research to show that Android smartphones now cover a 13 per cent share of UK smartphone contracts. At the start of 2010 this was only 3 per cent.
GfK analyst Megan Baldock said: "The figures suggest that an increasing number of consumers are now asking for Android handsets by name".
"Operating Systems such as the Android OS are now becoming a key selling point in their own right."
ZDNet also covered the news surmising that recently launched handsets such as the HTC Desire and Samsung Galaxy S have been extremely popular, which in turn has contributed to the amazing sales numbers.
Meanwhile the Register commented on the effects of the growth for Apple saying that the outlook was not good: "Apple, conversely, saw its UK market share decline from 75 per cent to 64 per cent during the same period."

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Best Android Travel Apps

Here's a look at a couple of the best new Android smartphone travel Apps.

Swift boarding

Currently only present in the iTunes store for iPhone, Android users who have problems hanging on to their boarding card will soon have use of this app.
Amazingly this new app will turn your Android phone into a mobile boarding pass with a bar code which can be scanned at the gate.
You just have to join the BA executive facility, which is free of charge. Having regularly found myself in a position to check in online but with no printer in reach, my first thought was that this is a fantastic app.
My second thought was that surely there are some security issues with being able to have your boarding pass on an Android phone? However I suppose it's just as likely that your boarding pass gets stolen as your Android. Also the pass would have to match your passport to be of any use.
The app will be functional on certain popular routes including London Heathrow to New York.


This Android app is really cool as it allows you to take a photo, and then send it anywhere in the world as a postcard for a minimal postage fee. Sending the old style postcard within the United Kingdom is only 99p while it costs £1.49 for postage to the rest of the world. Currently its available as a free download in the iTunes store.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

How is the Android OS running?

An Android developers site has posted the make up of the Android consumer base.
It suggests that the Nexus One, which is the smartphone running Froyo 2.2, has only 3% of the market share. However the Nexus One is about to be discontinued.
By far most users are on Android 2.1 making up 55.5% of the market, followed by 22.1% on version 1.6 and 18.9% on 1.5.
XA tiny fraction (0.3%) of OS systems are running on obsolete versions according to the data which was collected over a period of two weeks at the beginning of July.
There is also a table of how many versions the various API's are compatible with. Versions 1.5 and 1.6 are compatible with most APIs while the 2.1 share is growing.

The site states: "Notice that the platform versions are stacked on top of each other with the oldest active version at the top.
"This format indicates the total percent of active devices that are compatible with a given version of Android.
"For example, if you develop your application for the version that is at the very top of the chart, then your application is compatible with 100% of active devices (and all future versions), because all Android APIs are forward compatible."
However this can lead to a problem of fragmentation as picked up in a Guardian article. This is because old versions of the Android OS can't run applications that target more recent versions.
The Guardian says that we don't really know how the Android OS is running because Google won't tell us. Available data on Android market transactions would make the whole picture that much clearer.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The End of the Nexus One Android Smartphone?

Various publications have picked up the decision of the search giant to kill its own progeny – the Nexus One.
The Nexus One was one of the first Android smartphones that were released. Crave, the gadget blog from CNET UK wrote in tragic terms about the discontinuation of the Android Nexus One: “Google is taking the Nexus One out into the woods and putting a bullet through the back of its touch screen.”
They called the Nexus One a blog experiment in online sales of smartphones and said that the Vodafone Nexus One would surely be the last of a dying breed. Why had Google not taken a lesson from Apple in terms of marketing a smartphone? The Nexus One has sadly become just another casualty of ever moving technology.
The online portal for Britain’s Telegraph newspaper focused on the company closing of the online store. Google CEO Eric Schmidt told the Telegraph that the idea of moving the phone platform hardware business forward was so successful that Google did not have to do a second one.
Now that the last shipment of Nexus One has been received they will no longer need to be sold online. The Nexus One blog also said that the web store had remained a niche market.
Meanwhile the Mobile Business Briefing said that Google was ‘keen’ to attract developers to the Android based device.’ It added that Google was quick to deny that poor sales were responsible for the closure of the online Nexus One sales portal.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Say Hello to New eBay App and Buy Buy

Apps may make life easier but they are also a good way of parting a fool and his money. While we can greet the new eBay app for the Android with all the excitment implied in an online auction, it also means that we can have even more ways to buy stuff at times when we could be relaxing - on the train, in the doctors waiting hall etc.
The app is now available in the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada on versions 1.6 of the Android or above. That means residents of those countries can follow their bidding wars wherever they go, with no need to spend long days indoors in order to secure a purchase.
Steve Yankovich, Vice President of mobile commmunications at eBay, said: "The popularity of eBay's mobile shopping applications is quickly spreading across the world.
"Over 50% of eBay's mobile merchandise comes from outside of the United States of America. Therefore we are taking advantage of the unique features of the Android mobile platform. The Android app uses Android voice search capabilities to make finding things easier."
However if you are looking to sell goods on eBay, the app which allows you to do so is only available on the iPhone.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Will Android outmanoeuvre iPhone?

With complaints flooding in about the new iPhone 4G, from dropped calls on the AT&T network to the unavailability of apps, it seems a good time to question the future of the platform. Especially now that its main competitor Android is building up momentum.
Without question one of the most appealing factors about smartphones is the applications which can be added to them, whether they are for playful or practical purposes.
In the past the Android OS has not attracted the same number of app developers, largely because it has not been as profitable to make them as for the iPhone, but now there are unmistakable signs that Google could be ready to outmanoeuvre Apple.
Firstly the controlling nature of Apple does not sit well with all developers and consumers. Yes Apple says that it can guarantee a higher quality of app because of its stricter policing of the markets. But many customers will not care about the quality and will be happy to have apps that do a good enough job at a lower price. Google holds all the cards in this respect as it can give away the Android OS for nothing, such is the size and heft of the company.
In June 2010 alone, 60,000 more android devices in the UK were activated than in May, when 100,000 people had tapped into the Android OS system. An even more significant figure shows that for the first time there are now more Android app developers than there are iPhone app developers.
This will be particularly relevant over the next decade as emerging markets come into play. In places such as India and China where the iPhone may be unaffordable, Google is looking to offer customers the full smartphone experience at a lower price.
By next year the Android may be outselling the iPhone. Apple may say that it aims to do what it has always done - offer a higher quality experience in niche markets. But it is clear that their latest problems will have the company sweating.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

HTC Reaps Profits from Android

Despite predicting a huge 58.45% rise in sales, mobile handset provider HTC has exceeded its own sales forecasts.
Last month (June), there was actually a 66.69% rise in smartphone sales against the comparable period in 2009. In fact HTC outdid its revenue estimates for sales in both the quarterly and the monthly figures.
Sales of the Android smartphone form a large part of the revenue of HTC and there have been record breaking figures recently.
For those who have been part of this boom peroid, there is news about when to expect the new Froyo 2.2 Android update.
Eric Lin of HTC said: "We are aiming to roll-out all planned HTC updates to Android 2.2 Froyo before Christmas."
The update will cover the HTC Desire and the HTC Incredible among other handsets. However there is no news yet on whether there will be an update to Froyo 2.2 on older handsets like the HTC Hero.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Android Gingerbread Rumours are a Fairytale

Google execs have rubbished news that the Gingerbread 3.0 would be incompatible with most smartphones. They have clearly stated that there will be no minimum hardware requirements of the Android Operating System (OS) when Android 3.0 Gingerbread is released.
Smartphone owners had gotten nervous at the news which would have meant that their 3.7 inch screens would be obsolete with a 4 inch screen required for Gingerbread to work. Had that rumour been true it would have ruled out using Gingerbread 3.0 on either the HTC Desire or the Nexus One smartphone.
When the rumours originally started spreading following a Russian technology podcast, Android owners feared that they would have to trade in their handsets, a costly and time-consuming process.
Commenting on the rumours Dan Morrill, Tech Lead for Android Open Source Compatibility stated: “I love it when people make stuff up. You shouldn’t believe everything you read because rumours are not official announcements.”
However it is a bit strange that the rumours quickly gained so much credence as they contradicted what Google itself had said in the I/O conference - i.e that Android 3.0 would be standardized for all phones and one source platform.
Part of the problem for Google is that so many handsets are now compatible with Android OS that the company is having trouble keeping up with all the apps.
In other news Google has declared itself so happy with the Nexus One Smartphone that the company sees no need to bring out a sequel.
Google CEO Eric Schmidt is reported to have said to his board of directors: "Ok, it [the Nexus One Smartphone] worked. Congratulations – we are stopping now”.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

App enables Yahoo! on Android

Hard to believe it may be but only now has Yahoo! rectified for Android users the problems of trying to reach its search engine. While Hotmail and Gmail could connect with the Android OS easily via the address and email password, Yahoo! experienced some glitches in the system.
But the standalone app that has been released for the Android VoIP phone is about to change all that. Now you can send emails to Yahoo! contact from your Android, get email notification and download attachments - all the things which you would expect from your smartphone.
Yahoo! product manager Lee Parry said: "The Yahoo! Messenger and Yahoo! Mail apps for the Android offer the core features that you would expect while using a PC. They allow you to search for important messages and organize them into personal folders.
He added: "You can also view your status messages and buddy list contacts while chatting with Messenger friends."
The app also allows you to launch the instant messaging service Yahoo! Messenger. It will work on the Android 2.0, 2.1 and 2.2.
You can pick up the app in the usual manner on the Android marketplace. Customers in America can also get a Yahoo! search widget for their screen.