DecryptedTech

Wednesday07 December 2022

Displaying items by tag: Android 4.0

ICS-40There has been a lot of talk recently about the vast difference between the number of Android tablets on the market (around 6 million) and the number of iPad devices (about 30 million). There have been multiple excuses, causes and items to blame for this difference, but one that has been overlooked at almost every level is simply time. The original iPad launched in April of 2010 by comparison the first Android tables (of comparable size) did not hit the market until early 2011. Yes there were 7-inch tablets and even some terrible ones running Android 2.0 that were 10-inch but most of these were very short lived. By comparison the first real Android tablets running Honey Comb (Android 3.0) were not launched until around February/ March 2011. This put them in the market at the same time the iPad 2 was being delivered. Now, if you think that this did not impact sales you are seriously deluded.  People are always going to go with what they know and trust. At the same time that the iPad 2 was selling out there was also a large number of iPads hitting the second hand markets (eBay, Craig’s List etc.).  This only continued the cycle as people were looking to get these devices from former owners. The next thing that Apple did right was to push these to Target and WalMart.  That put them in line with the “price conscious” consumer. After all, if you can buy it at WalMart it must be a good deal right?

So with over a year head start, better marketing and a firm foot hold in the consumer’s mind Apple now has a 24 million unit lead on the Android Tablet. But, let’s look at where the Android Tablet is in reality. In only 6.5 months Android Tablets have managed to carve a 6 million unit hole into what was once Apple’s own playground. This is pretty impressive considering Apple claims that Android is inferior and that their OS is fragmented. If you doubt that Apple is concerned about the sudden success of the Android Tablet, just look at the number of lawsuits in progress where Apple is asking for an outright ban instead of monetary compensation. That above all is a big indicator of their mindset.

But what has really gotten Apple so bothered about this? After all it will take years (probably 2-3 just like the iPhone) for the Android tablet to overtake the iPad so why is Apple trying so hard to kill them now? To put things simply, Apple has a problem with iOS. There are two of them that have to be maintained. The iOS for the iPad is not the same as the iOS for the iPhone. For a developer this is a nightmare as they have to write two versions of their app if they want to cover both products. This is a headache to say the least. With Android and their tile based UI there is no reason to write for more than one screen size and this is with Android 2.3 and 3.0. When Ice Cream Sandwich(ICS) hits the market the division will be almost nonexistent. A developer will be able to write one app and not worry about different screen sizes or versions. This will be huge (right up there with Android’s full support of Flash) and could be an item that will lure some developers away from the Apple camp.

Of course this is not an indication that Developers will leave en masse especially with the fear of being locked out of Apple’s walled garden. It is an indication that more developers are likely to work with Android as the ROI (Return on Investment) is going to be much higher than what they will get doing double the work for Apple.

Although the convergence of ICS on the Android Based tablet is a step in the right direction, there is still a lot that Google has to do to grab a larger market share. They have to find a way to wall off certain apps for the average consumer while still allowing the freedom to explore to the more technical. I have talked to more than a few people about this and there are major concerns with owning an Android tablet. Most of these have to do with the type of content and the danger of malware in the Market.  Until this can be dealt with it is doubtful that a larger number of people will shift from the safety of Apple’s iTunes garden and enter the jungle that is present in the Market. Google also has to worry about Microsoft entering the ARM based tablet market sometime in late 2012 or early 2013. Personally I think that we will not see a larger adoption of Android tablets until ICS is in full swing. Once that happens and people see what they can have and do versus what they cannot do with the iPad and iPhone things will change.

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3d-11Last night was all about Ice Cream Sandwich from Google. We heard all about it from so many sources on the internet that we started getting details mixed up. In the end we highlighted the features that were typically the most complained about or the “coolest” in our opinion. Now this is the stock Google ROM that we saw yesterday so what about those companies that offer more than the stock ROM? Companies like HTC or even Asus with their Transformer flavor of Honeycomb?

While we have a feeling that the minor changes that Asus made to their version of Android will pose no major issues we are not so certain about HTC. The Sense UI that HTC uses is a massive change to the default ROM from Google. In many cases it is better, (like a much better email client and tap to focus on the camera) but now that these items are being included in the stock ROM what will HTC do?

For the time being HTC is stating that they are reviewing the new flavor of Android and will make their decisions at a later date.

“We are excited about the latest update for Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, and are currently reviewing its features and functionality to determine our upgrade plans. Our goal for Android updates is to give every customer an improved user experience, which means balancing each phone's unique hardware, HTC Sense experience and the Android kernel. While our goal is to upgrade as many of our recent devices as possible, we are committed to maintaining every phone's performance and usability first. Please stay tuned for more updates on specific device upgrade plans.”

We are sure that many HTC owners (us included) are a little disappointed to hear this, but when I stop and think about it this is really the best course for HTC. After all I already have many of these features built into the SenseUI. Ok, so I do not have facelock, or the new scalable font Roboto but I really can live without those if it means making sure I do not lose the items that I have come to enjoy in the SenseUI.

Still, I can’t help but check for that new update each time I unlock my EVO 3D and Transformer…

Source Engadget

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Published in News
Tuesday, 18 October 2011 23:48

Google's Ice Cream Sandwich is Looking Very Tasty

ICS-40Google’s Ice Cream Sandwich has finally been launched. This new version of Android which will officially be Android 4.0 is supposed to not only bring new features to the table, but it also going to address some items that have been lacking on Android. According to many sources this new version of Android will touch every native app in some way. We can only hope they did something to improve the poor email app that currently is in Honeycomb, but we will have to see about that once the update is available for our Transformer.

Aside from the updates to all of the native apps we are hearing that there will be some very cool new features including a facial recognition lock. This will allow you to use the built in front facing camera to interrogate your face and compare it to an image stored on the device. If it matches you can access the device, if not; well you can figure that one out on your own.  Android 4.0 will also feature a new NFC-enabled feature called Android Beam. This will allow you simply tap two phones or devices together to share files, links and other information. Google is saying that this is being designed to work with a number of app that are already in the market so you won’t have to wait long to start bumping phones.

Next up is an overhaul of the camera app. This is also a very welcome feature as the current default one is very immature.  With the new interface you can access the camera right from the lock screen (if you choose to). You also FINALLY get a zero shutter lag in a mobile phone camera, this combines with the continuous focus and face detection. Android is also adding touch to focus and exposure lock. These are features that many phone makers have tacked on (like HTC) but are now showing up in the native app as well. Android did not stop with the Camera though, you also get some nice new features in the gallery including filters and a built in Photo Editing app which allows you to make changes and still maintain the original file for later tinkering.

We are sure there is a lot more to Android 4.0 that we are missing in our roaming around the net, but you can be sure we will be taking it for a test drive and comparing it to what you get with Apple’s new iOS 5 just to see if Android is lagging behind or actually catching up. If it is the latter then we can see the Android Tablet market picking up, especially with the Holidays coming up quickly.

Source All Over the Internet

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Published in News