For home theater enthusiasts there is some good news today as we have found out that XBMC is working on a Media Center for use with the Android operating system. Many sites are reporting this as a “leak”, but as the information comes straight from XBMC’s own page we are going to call it a sneak peak. Ever since the first few Android based media players popped up on the market we have noted a rather large gap in what they offer. While most of them do have access to a limited form of the internet and you can access pictures and other items from your own network, the UI is clunky and not really suited for a home theater environment.
Despite the buzz over Google and Asus’ new Nexus 7 tablet there is still a lot of talk about Microsoft and their new Windows 8 combined push. Over the past week we have read a few very enlightening articles that tell us a lot more about the state of Windows 8 (RT and Phone) than is being publicly talked about. Right after surface there were several articles where analysts explored the possibility that Microsoft might be considering building their own phone in the same manner that they built the surface tablet.
As we reported not all that long ago the days of the 1920x1200 ARM based tablets are quickly approaching. There was a time when the market viewed the tablet as a low resolution device and indeed many had the same or lower resolution as your typical smart phone. This was odd considering the one of the biggest benefits to a tablet it more screen real estate. However even after the launch of the iPad we saw signs that touch panel technology was scrambling to get ahead of the game.
For a long time there have been rumors flowing around the internet about who would make the first smartphone with a screen capable of FullHD resolution. Some of the rumored manufacturers were Sony, HTC and LG, which are among the first to release a 5-inch FullHD panel but not the device. From all this you could only find a variety of different tests and pictures showing some HTC devices. Now it is finally official, HTC has announced its 5-inch FullHD device in Japan.
Originally this article was to be a stand alone item to show how the mobile world is catchin up to the desktop. However, now that we have the news of domains being seized that offered pirated versions of Mobile Apps it seems there is certainly a new push to secure this highly profitable sector in play. The company that produced the report (Arxan) is not associated with this push, but timing of the publication of the report is very interesting. So let's take a look at how sad the state of the mobile app market is in terms of securing apps from hacking.
The mobile world has exploded in much the same way that the PC world exploded back in the mid to late 90s. It was a time when everyone was selling cheap computers for the masses. Unfortunately the hardware and software that was being used by everyone was also very open to attack. The thought of malware protection, hardened operating systems and edge protection (in the form of a firewall) were still very new in the consumer market. These things were also still in their infancy in much of the corporate market. Now we are seeing the same thing happening in the mobile world. The introduction of the smart phone and the mobile “app” have created a new offshoot which is still very immature and which due to its rapid growth and perceived security has become a target for malware and piracy, just like the PC did in the 90s.
For quite some time Nokia was in a near death state and it was harder to believe with every moment that they were able to get out of despair. With or without WP8 people simply lost trust in the company. The first results of the Nokia and Microsoft partnership were the Lumia 800 and 710 which came at the end of 2011 beginning of 2012. They came with new Windows Phone 7 and failed pretty hard. They just couldn’t find customers with the competition from iOS and Android devices. To make it easier for you to get perspective, Nokia sales were around 10 times lower than iPhone's. That was a huge slap in the face to both Nokia and Microsoft. Today they presented us two new Lumias; the 920 and 820 models. These two phones could be what Nokia needs to come back from the dead, but if things don’t go as planned we just can’t see what else could save them.
The impact of Edward Snowden is still being felt on a daily basis and is even growing due to the continued release of information in the form of classified slides from the NSA. In recent months the information coming out of these slides has been quite alarming and ranges from the fact that the NSA wrote the standard for most of the encryption used today to being able to break into our smartphones and harvest information almost at will. Of particular interest to the NSA was (and still is) the Apple iPhone. This is interesting simply because Apple has always touted the iPhone as more secure than everyone else’s. Of course, every other phone is still vulnerable to NSA eavesdropping, but the iPhone appeared to be much more vulnerable and had specific details listed in the slides released so far.
Android 5.0 codenamed Key Lime Pie should be launched in May. Apparently, if you believe the sources of SamMobile, Samsung Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II will get the upgrade to the new OS. However for bunch of their devices Android 4.2.2 will be the final version.
On the site Android and Me we came upon pictures and specifications of Google's alleged new "smart" phone under the tag Nexus 5. The unit is reportedly scheduled to arrive on the market in October, and Google is currently evaluating prototypes of different manufacturers, including one from LG that carries the code name "Megalodon".
When you think of “smart phones” you tend to think of two things. Android and iPhone (at least in the US that is the school of thought) this is despite the fact that there are many other operating systems available. There is Windows Mobile, WebOS, Symbian, and even others that are less common. Still the big battle seems to be between Apple and Google. Of course Google no longer makes a smart phone, so we are really talking about iOS Vs Android. Both sides have fans that would make the most ardent religious zealot look like an indecisive teenager. Because of this you cannot always trust what is written out there about the two.