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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Battles of Droids!


"These are not the droids you are looking for!"
Wait wait, I think screwed up the punch line. Anyway welcome fellas.

Today we will be discussing on Android, pros,  cons, different flavors of it and amazing mobiles which house this  "the future OS!"

Android has 5 big releases in terms of update from 1.5, 1.6, 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3 for mobiles. Even 3.0  is round the corner becoming the base for all Android based tablets. MotoXoom from Motorola as of now host this OS which will be in partnership with Verizon in USA and was showcased at CES 2011, it's also called " Ipad killer" , well I don't !

Open source, free available OS in market is Android from Google. So every company out there from big players like HTC, Motorola, Samsung to small players like LG, Micromax, Spice and Videocon are now using Android in their mobiles.
          Well I wouldn't know how many of you would buy Spice and Micromax droid phones!?  Every user like to have something which has been well established in market already, which leaves the big
players like HTC Samsung Motorola and Sony Ericsson. Motorola is just entering the Indian market, with their recent releases like Milestone, Blackflip and Defy . Sony Ericsson has its own releases like Xperia series which includes, Xperia 8, 10 and Arc. Similarly we have Venue and Streak from Dell which are also good but not worth the price.

Even LG has its own series Optimus ! However, every upgrade in this series comes up with slight improvement from the previous. For Indian market, I think they are doing good if you ask me! because the price range is affordable and they are doing a real good job right now!  I kind of pity Ericsson users as they are far behind when it comes to updates! It's been months now, that Froyo 2.2 has already made itself into most mobiles while Xperia users are still in 2.1, considering Xperia series as their major release for 2010.

Samsung also few releases like Galaxy series, mainly Galaxy 3,Galaxy 5 and Galaxy S. Even though every company has released many models, variations bundled with Network operators like AT&T, Verizon, Sprint in US and O2 and Vodafone in UK, there are only a few of them available for us in India.

And we are down to the last and biggest player in droid  battle HTC. HTC had too many releases last 2010. A Taiwan based company, HTC is very famous when it comes windows mobiles for corporate world, not to forget the very famous HTC touch 3d flow and HTC touch sense, which is fashioned in every HTC phone these days be it Windows or Android. And yes HTC had major releases in India as well.
So what makes these phone special when all have Android as their OS? Aren't they all same ?

Yes and No!

Yes because of OS, they all capable of supporting same kind of applications and  similar interface possible.
No,  because of the hardware, they come up with!

Think of it as your computer/laptop. And android as your OS, and you got different OSs from Windows XP to Vista to 7. Similarly when it comes to hardware, you have factors like RAM, memory, graphics card, screen size. Similarly for mobiles things that matter would be processor, screen size and resolution,  UI(user interface) and update ability.( Check out my last Post for further info on specs)

UI is one of most important factor when it comes to mobiles because that's how a user will interact with phone. Samsung got Touch Wiz UI, Motorola got Motoblur and HTC has Touch Sense. Check out the different UIs along with their functionalities.


HTC Touch Sense
Samsung Galaxy S



The reason I said HTC touch sense as the best was because HTC was able build one UI without widgets or apps, which could give user a experience at 3d level which included features like weather, contacts, messages, mails, internet, gallery and even the social network updates at just swipe of your finger. However there is down side to this where you cannot remove the default screens, but you can add new screens to your liking and arrange in order of your liking.

MotoBlur
While UIs from Samsung and Motorola lets you add widgets to additional home screens. This is good in a way because user can download apps from internet. You can Google and you will find thousands of them. However it could be cumbersome as user has to sit and download and figure out which one to use. Another downside to this is that, some apps are optimized to certain resolution. If your mobile has a higher or lower screen resolution then it would impact the working of your mobile . It could draw a lot of juice from your batter or your processor. There are applications for every mobile out there but they may not be optimized again. I would like to share one cool feature of Motorola's Motoblur UI. This particular UI lets you resize the widgets that have been installed on the home screen. And Samsung Touch wiz UI lets you add screens up to 10 of 'em which is cool as it can hold up most of the widgets in it.

Finally most important factor would be ability to update to the latest. We don't want to be stuck to 2.1 while world is running on 2.3 or more with cooler and better features!

Android! The future of Mobility.

So what are these features which makes Android the best? well here is some insight on what it can do.
Top 5 reasons why Android is the best.
1) Android is open source. The folks behind it, don't care if you hack the phone which you paid for!
2) Android apps store ! Thousands of free apps, widgets!
3) Android supports Flash 10.1 which means You can hit the web, all of it! You don't need another app to run a website !
4) Real Multitasking of applications is available, apps here are free do their thing like programs on a computer.

AND  
5)  Google search through Voice has been available since initial release. Voice actions for calling, texting, navigation etc. are supported on Android 2.2 onwards.
5.1)  Android can use video/still cameras, touch screens, GPS, accelerometers, gyroscopes, magnetometers, proximity and pressure sensors, thermometers, accelerated 2D bit blits (with hardware orientation, scaling, pixel format conversion) and accelerated 3D graphics.
5.2)  Android supports connectivity technologies including GSM/EDGE, IDEN, CDMA, EV-DO, UMTS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, LTE, and WiMAX.
5.3)  Android supports the following audio/video/still media formats: WebM, H.263, H.264 , MPEG-4 SP, AMR, AMR-WB, AAC, HE-AAC , MP3, MIDI, Ogg Vorbis, WAV, JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP. That's like, every available format out there.

So it supports everything that is out there and possibly can host some more new features in it! We might be this close to be the most advanced race in the universe.. Oh wait I can't show my thumb and forefinger holding close to each other !
 Based on the availability, features and cost structures I have narrowed down to a list which I think are really good w.r.t India market.

In no particular order;
1) Samsung Galaxy S
2) LG Optimus
3) Motorola Milestone
4) HTC Desire
5) Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc

For tech specs, please visit www.gsmarena.com or www.fonearena.com
And well I believe I have tried my best to make this as simple as possible and put most of it on the table!
comments, suggestions, questions.. Hit me !

Signing off~


Sources: Wiki, Google and Blogs, Gsmarena, fonearena and cnet.com

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Mobiles- What, Why and How


NOKIA- Symbian
IPhone- IOS
RIM- Blackberry
Samsung- Bada, Android
Motorola- Android, Java.
Sony Erricson- Android and Java.


Up Until Andorid made its way into market,companies like Motorola, Samsung and Sony Erricson used to run on Java based OS. Before Android, IOS and Balckberry were the favoured OS on mobiles and Nokia was runner up with Symbian.

Nokia is still on Symbian, with thier latest Symbian^3, which didnt quite workout for them ! should have been released 2 years ago and it would have been a revolution! Blackberry has just step out for commoners, and its a whole new world, which is why i'll be discussing it in a new topic.


With smartphones crawling everywhere, almost every other player has relased some cool smartphone of thier own.
As of today, most smartphones run best OS possble on thier best hardware. Clearly one needs to key things which plays a vital role in functioning of a smartphone!

Most desired Hardware:
1) Fast processor- with release of A8 and A9 cortex most smartphones are clocked at 1GHz. With Tegra around the corner, soon most of them will run dual processors. Few smartphones like Nokia's N8 still have 600MHz processor along with 3D hardware accelerator.
  This is required for performing Multitasking, HD video recording/Playback.

2) Memory - RAM/Useable Memory- RAM is again required for multitasking and HighEnd 3D games. Current standard is 256-512 MB. With most smartphone have the ability the expand their memory, thy have provided USer the benifit of deciding to himself.
Current industry standard is from anything 8GB to 32 GB.

3)Camera - With most smartphones supporting HD recording and Playback, its now a standard to have HD in the mobiles. Industry standard is 5-12 MP with 720P recording at 30FPS. Samsung Wave, Galaxy S, Iphone 4 starts at 5 MP while Nokia is at whopping 12MP with Carl Zeiss optics and Xenon Flash !

4) Screen- Samsung revolutionsied the Mobile world with their Super AMOLED screens in Wave s8500 and Galaxy S. Iphone released IPS backlit display to which they refer as Retina Display is amazing too. Nokia could achive AMOLED only with their latest smartphone N8. Also one other feature that is considered is the size, where 3.3-3.7 inch was a standard until Q4 2010, which now changed to this ridiculously big screens from 4.0-5.0 inches.

5) SNS- Socail Network Integration, Samsung released the SNS Hub, one touch access to IM, Facebook, Twitter, Email! HTC came up with HTC Touch Sense which has similar features. Motorola has comeup with its own UI, Moto Blur, which is not the best, but gets the work done. With more people hooked to social networking i would consider this a very important feature.

6) Battery- Every other feature in smartphone added comes at a price of battery consumption. Its always necessary to have a better battery for longer life. Market standard rates batteries on mAh, most smartphones have somewhere from 1200 mAh to 1500 mAh.

7) Misc- GPS, Radio, Geo Tagging, Free Navigation, Apps fall under a catergory which is left to user discretion.


Most desired OS:
1) Android- Brain child of Google, developed over the years. From cupcake 1.5, donut 1.6, eclair 2.1 , froyo 2.2 and the latest Gingerbread 2.3 , it has beaten all. With 3.0 version optimized for Tablets, its the FUTURE! Android, Linux based, open source OS lets you do pretty much whatever you want when it comes to developing.  As of December 2010 there were about 200,000 games, applications and widgets available on the Android Market, with an estimated 2.5 billion total downloads.

2) IOS- Control freak Apple's OS, started in 2007 with major releases upto the latest 4.2 makes it one of the best OS. The same is currently running in Ipads as well. IOS hosts a legendry App Store containing more than 300,000 iOS applications, which have collectively been downloaded more than 10 billion times.
IOS is known for the best user interface and experience! which I personally agree to some extent..

3) Symbian- Developed by Symbian Inc, maintaned by NOkia, this OS comprmises 43.5% of world's smarphone's OS. It it self had 3 major releases fom Symbian1, also known as Symbian S60 for popular Nokia mobiles, Symbian2-lisenced and never used in mobiles and to the latest Symbian ^3. Nokia N8 was the first from Nokia to run this. I would like to say Nokia didnt make a good job here, with keeping the same old UI leading to a disaster in Smartphone market in Q4 2010 losing its sales by 26%. Nokia has its own app store , OVI which had more than 10 million downloads for the Q4 2010. Also with more features like OVI Maps, OVI mail, OVI Music , it easily tops any other app store. People love things when its FREE!


4) Bada- Samsungs first, Linux kernel based proprietry OS. Agreed that its still in infantacy stage, but looking at the work on UI and interface in thier first smartphone Samsung Wave s8500, I would say Bravo ! It combines the feature os IOS and Android, where you can have widgets on home screen like andriod and an app interface similar to IOS! even though it has an app store worth just 5000 applications. Its hard to forsee the future when you are on bicycle while everyone is on Jet! They got a lot to catch up on that . Current version is 1.2 in most countries, while India is still waiting for an update.

In a nutshell, you need to keep the keys features in mind when you look for a smartphone.

I would discuss Blackberry and its OS in someother topic as its whole new other world!
Thanks for reading guys! Comments, Suggestions, Complaints pen it down!

Signing off~

First Blood!

Hello Folks,

Its Mogli aka MB aka Shri aka Shridhar aka Insane here.
Well too much isn't it ? Being new to blogging world, will try keep up with you guys.
I always thought, hey I'm good at this, good at that, only to realize I'm no good if I don't share the things I know!

I am good with gadgets, mobiles, tabs and laptops. I figured, " Hey, why not put this on web and make it easier for people" and here we are. I'll try my best to bring out the best, latest and interesting !
Tips, Tricks and Hacks.

Being the first post, its little cheesy,  comment, suggest and let me know things you want to see!