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All posts tagged "android"

Friday, September 14, 2012

It is Time to Stick with Android

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 02:00 PM

"Specs? The UG802 is powered by a Rockchip RK3066 ARM Cortex-A9 dual core processor paired with 1 GB of RAM, 4 GB integrated storage, a microSD card slot for expansion an integrated HDMI connector."

I have been seeing lots of TVs coming out lately that act a lot like smartphones and tablets. Watching a show is no longer enough these days. You have to keep in touch with everyone on Twitter and Facebook, surf the web and look up that actor in that show who does that thing on IMDB. Sadly, a lot of us probably have TVs that do not have all these hip features. While buying a new TV is always a nice proposition, the recent wave of Android on a stick can turn your existing TV into an amazing App experience! The only caveat is that while the sticks are getting cheap in price, don't forget, you will also need a remote or keyboard to go with it!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Nikon Announces Trio of Coolpixes, Including World's First Android-based Compact Camera.

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 10:00 AM

Quite a few cameras were announced in the past 24 hours. Let's start with the more interesting cameras: Nikon has announced a trio of Coolpixes, the first of which is probably the only Coolpix I might recommend - the Coolpix P7700. While the P7000 series started off as a Canon G-series clone, the P7700 is starting to become its own camera. The first deviation is in ditching the fairly useless optical viewfinder to accommodate a much brighter lens: An optically stabilised 7.1x 28-300mm equivalent f/2.0-4.0 lens. Pretty impressive in all. The sensor is now a 12 megapixel BSI CMOS 1/1.7" sensor, which looks pretty capable. Other features include a now-articulated 3" VGA LCD, 1080p videos at 30 FPS, lots of controls (including three dials) and RAW shooting support. My real complaint? Nikon should have used this template for the V1. Ships in September for US$500. More cameras and links after the break! Read more...

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

VIA Offers Low Cost Android Board

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 01:00 PM

"VIA Technologies' small -- but not bite-sized -- Neo-ITX-based barebones Android PC is now up for pre-order. Folks willing to plunk down $49 now will be among the first to play with the APC's version of Gingerbread that's been modified for use with a mouse and keyboard."

Tiny computing boards have been around for a while. Mini, micro and nano-itx based systems have seen uses as light use PCs in living rooms, offices and cars. The race for extremely low cost general purpose computers continues with VIA's entry. At $49, it is slightly more expensive than the popular Raspberry Pi board, but offers different strengths. Whatever platform you go with, what I think is most important when it comes to these devices is developer support. Tiny computers such as the Gumstix and Arduino are great old school devices, but I suspect that they have not taken off as much partly because of the amount of tinkering needed. It looks like we are approaching a point where it is accessible to more people and should see these devices or things based on these devices becoming much more popular.

Tags: hardware, android, via

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ilium Software Offering eWallet GO! for 99 Cents/Free

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone Software" @ 03:03 PM

"Do you have too much info to remember? Do you wish you could take all your passwords, credit cards, account information and logins with you - so they're handy when you want them? But keep them safe - so you don't have to worry about intruders finding them? You need eWallet GO!TM If you want secure, easy, mobile storage for all your info, just grab eWallet GO! and take your passwords with you everywhere you GO!"

Well's a good deal! Effective now and running until the 21st of this month, you can get eWallet GO! for a mere 99 cents on Windows Phone 7, Android, and iPhone/iPod Touch devices. On Windows and Mac versions, the software is free. Sweet! Jump here to find the version you need. The OS X version is in the Mac App store, and the Windows version requires registration for the free download. On iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 7, you'll find it in their respective app stores.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Lifehacker's Guide to Choosing Cameras

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 10:00 AM

"Choosing a digital camera used to be a simple process that was heavily dictated by the amount of money in your pocket. Now the same money can buy you different benefits and compromises, making the decision much more complex. Here's a look at your camera-buying options, the pros and cons of each, and some specific suggestions to help you pick the perfect camera for your needs."

Lifehacker has a long article on how to choose a camera (and it even includes a guide on cameras in phones), but I recommended not going through the recommended picks just because they are there. Seriously, a Sony NEX-3?

Monday, May 30, 2011

Miro: Media Library and Sync Software for Android, Win

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Software" @ 07:00 PM

"Miro has been around for awhile, but for many it was little more than yet another alternative video player. Today, though, Miro has overhauled its app into a full-featured media library designed to sync with Android. Android users may see an immediate resemblance to previously mentioned DoubleTwist, and Miro's Android syncing puts it in a position as a great alternative."

Looking for something to help you sync your Android phone/tablet easier, or just manage and convert video files on your desktop? Miro looks like it's worth checking out!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Android and Home Automation: The First Steps

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home News" @ 02:32 PM

"This morning was day one of Google I/O 2011. Lots of great new technologies and platform advancements were revealed today, but the three our readers will be interested in is Android Accessories, Android @Home, and Project Tungsten. Oh, and I guess Android Market: Movies (compatible across phones and tablets), which provides the ability to stream with a connection or "pin" a movie for instant download to watch later. By the way... everything is "Android" now and apps will - as we've said before - work across various platforms and displays. In other words, one app can support the phone, tablet, and TV via auto-detection and device specific rendering."

Home automation is, frankly, something that I've never bothered with - I like the idea of a smart home, doing things automatically and being able to optimize energy use, but it seems like so much work trying to figure out which technologies to use. Until the industry settles on a single standard, and cost-effective in-home implementations are commonplace, I'm going to stay away from this part of the technology world. And Google wants to step into this mess? Good luck to them!

Friday, April 1, 2011

New Cowon D3 Plenue Android PMP Reviewed

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 11:30 AM

"This beaut is one of the few pocketable Android-based PMPs available today, offering up a gorgeous 3.7-inch AMOLED capacitive touchpanel (800 x 480), dedicated media controls along the edges, Android 2.1, WiFi, 1080p video output, a built-in microphone and a battery good for up to 21 hours of use."

I wasn't familiar with Cowon before this. The D3 Plenue is an interesting Personal Media Player. It has some serious strengths like excellent audio quality and support for all kinds of formats including FLAC and OGG Vorbis. Unfortunately it also has some issues like no access to the Android Market and apparently a user interface that can take some getting used to. There may be a new firmware on the way to fix some problems and there is even the possibility of it getting Gingerbread so who knows what upgrades and fixes may be in store but check out the Engadget review for their take on the device as it is available now. Do you have one or want one? We would love to know your thoughts!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sonos Controller For Android Released

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Software" @ 11:30 AM

"You can exhale Sonos fans, it's finally happening. The Sonos Controller for Android is official. After almost a year in development, the free WiFi music remote finally gives Sonos owners control over their whole-home audio system from any Android 2.1 and above device with a screen size of HVGA 320 x 480, WVGA 480 x 800 or WVGA 480 x 854."

If you've made the rather hefty investment in a Sonos music system (reviewed here), and you have an Android phone, this is a clever way to maximize the functionality of that system. You might not have a Sonos remote handy, but if your phone is nearby, you have an even better tool for controlling music all around your house. I really like the Sonos system, but it seems so expensive to me so I've never made the jump. Any Sonos owners out there that feel the investment is justified?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Peaking Behind the Curtain on Windows 8

Posted by Todd Klein in "Digital Home News" @ 07:00 PM

"At this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Microsoft announced that Windows 8 will support system-on-a-chip architectures using ARM processors. Unlike the x86 architecture that today's Windows laptops and desktops work with, ARM-based chips tend to run such low-power devices as tablets and smartphones. In his CES keynote speech, Microsoft CEO Steve Ball­mer said, "This announcement is really all about enabling a new class of hardware, and new silicon partners for Windows, to bring the widest possible range of form factors to the market." In other words, Windows won't be just for laptops and desktops anymore."

The next Windows operating system is due out in 2012 and rumors that it's going to be a game changer have accelerated since CES. Code named "I Hope it's Not Too Buggy," the new system is meant to address an entirely new set of devices, including TVs, smart phones, notebooks, and tablets. The themes are clear and important for Microsoft to get right: virtualization for ease of use, quick starts and portability, and a focus on untethering devices and storing settings, apps and data in the Cloud. There's talk that Microsoft will launch a new developer framework and support it's own app store to push the system even further.

I'm sure whenever Microsoft launches a new OS, the folks at TWBA Worldwide start to lick their chops. They're the smartypants who created Apple's "Get a Mac" ad campaign which successfully ran from 2006 to 2010 and sarcastically tweaked Microsoft's prowess in building elegant operating systems. So, will Windows 8 be Microsoft's clever retort? Will Windows 8 join Android and Apple O/S and a viable third choice for developers? Ultimately, will this put Microsoft back on top with consumers?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Amazon UK Now Offering Samsung Galaxy Player

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 10:30 AM

"Last week, it was revealed that Seoul, South Korea-based Samsung Electronics had developed an Android-powered MP3 player called Samsung Galaxy Player to take on the iPod Touch by Apple Inc. and the Zune HD by Microsoft Corp. The company was expected to revealed the device at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show [CES] in Las Vegas, Nevada. However, has put the device up for pre-sale on its U.K. website."

Although the dedicated MP3 player market is shrinking - Apple is selling less iPods now than a year ago I believe - it's still a vital market with a lot of money attached to it. Riding on the success of their Galaxy Tab, which is widely regarded as the best Android tablet on the market today, Samsung is unveiling the Galaxy Player this week at CES. Amazon UK has published the specs early though; it will have a 3.2 inch display, be available in 8 GB and 16 GB capacities, support a wide variety of audio and video codecs (MP3, AAC, WAV, FLAC, WMA, OGG, AMR, MPEG4, H.264, H.263, WMV, DivX, and Xvid), and perhaps most importantly will have fully sanctioned support for the Android Marketplace - and be running Android 2.2 (Froyo).

My reaction? Media players need decently large screens - I already feel like the 3.5" screen on my iPod Touch is too small, so 3.2 inches is going in the wrong direction. For compatibility with Android apps, the resolution is presumably going to be 800 x 480, so I'd have preferred to see a 4" or 4.3" screen in there.

Friday, December 31, 2010

What The Geeky Got for Gifts

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home News" @ 05:30 PM

"If you got an iPad as a gift during the holidays, you certainly weren't alone. In a recent poll of holiday gift recipients, iPads accounted for a full 22.7% of all gadget or hardware gifts, making iPads the single largest category in our gift poll, outstripping the nearest runner-up by nearly 14% of votes. That runner-up was Amazon's Kindle - not surprising considering that the Kindle is the best-selling product in Amazon's history."

It's a relatively small sampling size - less than 2400 votes, and only from people who read Mashable - but among the geek-set, there are a couple of stand-out points: the iPad was the #1 gift, more people got Macs (60%) than Windows machines (40%), Android phones let the way in the smartphone category with a hefty 50.3% figure (iPhones were 30%), but Windows Phone 7 devices at 10.3% just eeked out Blackberry devices (9.4%). Not bad for a brand new platform that most people still haven't heard about! Lastly, the Xbox/Kinect one-two punch clobbered the PS3 with a 54.3% figure versus only 11.9% for the PS3. The Kinect really is driving the Xbox 360 to new heights of popularity!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Galaxy Tab is not so Far Away

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 07:00 AM

"The Tab certainly packed the specs -- a 1GHz processor, full Flash support thanks to Android 2.2, dual cameras, support for up to 32GB of storage and WiFi / 3G connectivity -- to put other Android tablets to shame, and our initial hands-on with it only had us yearning for more."

Sell! Sell! Sell! Slate tablets are the hottest thing right now and everyone wants a piece of the potentially lucrative pie. Samsung's entry is the Galaxy Tab, a 7 inch Android wonder. Along with the usual Android goodness there are some custom Samsung apps to help the lightweight tablet along and make better use the screen. It is nice to see that there is going to be some competition against the iPad as it will help drive innovation and make sure that no one stagnates in this revived market. The big decision looks like it will be either you go with a 7 inch or 10 inch model. Both have their advantages and there could be room for both. I am just waiting for the standardized keyboard to use with all these tablets so I can type faster. Oh, wait...

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Barnes & Noble Raises the Ante With Nookcolor

Posted by Reid Kistler in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 11:30 AM

"Barnes & Noble Inc. is introducing a new Nook e-reader with a color touch screen for $249 as competition in the fast-growing industry heats up ahead of the holidays. As the first full-color touch electronic reader, the Nookcolor stands apart from black-and-white competitors... [and] can be used to read books, magazines, newspapers and an expanded array of children's titles. It also takes hints from Apple Inc.'s iPad with more games, Web browsing, music streaming and its own application store. Like earlier versions, it runs on Google Inc.'s Android operating system."

Barnes & Noble appears to be sticking with the "e-reader" designation, even though the new Nookcolor appears to blur the lines between e-reader and tablet with its feature set, which includes: 7-inch color touchscreen, microUSB port, microSD card slot, Wi-Fi, and ability to play audio and video files - with sound piped through a built-in mono speaker or via a 3.5mm stereo headphone jack. In addition to promising "over 2 million" book titles (and over a million free titles!), the Nookcolor includes several games, the ability to access Pandora internet radio, and works with the same "LendMe" app that the original Nook offers. Barnes & Noble is also attempting to leverage their brick & mortar stores by offering Nook owners free Wi-Fi, special discounts, and the ability to read free books (up to an hour per day...) when visiting one of their locations. The Nookcolor can be ordered now, with deliveries expected beginning November 19. Is this a brilliant hurry-up-and-order-one / go-stand-in-line device, or an awkward jumble of e-reader and tablet?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

All I Want For Christmas Is An Android Tablet

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Android News" @ 10:30 AM

"LG had initially said their tablet would be available as a Christmas stocking stuffing, but it appears it's been delayed until January's CES show now. It's no big deal really, but according to Bloomberg it's due to software issues."

This is not the first time that a product has not made its initial release date, though I wonder if missing the holiday season is a good decision as those who might like this delightful tablet may not want to wait and spend their gift money on a competitor, like, say, an iPad. With other Android tablets coming out, the claim that the delay is because of Android makes me wonder if the tablet really will be ready or reliable. It almost sounds like LG is working on their own layer on top of Android to try and differentiate themselves and are having problems making it a smooth experience. Whatever the problem is, it probably is best to wait until the reviews come out over this tablet to see if the added wait is worth it.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Please Welcome Android Thoughts to the Thoughts Media Network

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Thoughts Media Status Updates" @ 02:30 PM

I'm thrilled to announce the newest member of the Thoughts Media family: Android Thoughts. As you can guess, this site will be covering Android in all it's forms - phones, slates, etc. The site is being led by none other than our very own Jon Westfall; he'll be handling all editorial duties on the site, similar to how Apple Thoughts works. Android has exploded in popularity over the past 12 months, surpassing even the mighty iPhone in terms of daily activations according to some. It made sense to cover Android as part of what we do here at Thoughts Media, but I wanted to find someone who was passionate and interested in all things Android...and that person is Jon Westfall. Please go read his welcome message on the site to find out how Android Thoughts was born - and subscribe to the RSS feed and Twitter stream. And, above all, if you're interested in Android as a platform, contribute, share, comment, and become a part of that new community.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Behold the Compaq Airlife 100

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 10:00 AM

"If you use the Airlife 100 as a traditional laptop, as one might expect from something that looks like a traditional laptop, you will run into issues. Not only is there a learning curve and a new set of usage methods but you’ll trip yourself up looking for features that you take for granted on a standard netbook. The USB ports are missing for example. This is a slave device designed to be connected, in much the same way as an iPad, to a PC. This isn’t a device that you can simply plug a printer, webcam or smartphone into. User confusion, frustration and disappointment is going to feature heavily in early feedback."

A lot of the review reads like what one would with a smartphone, just in a different form factor. It has the same strengths such as a really long battery life, and weaknesses like speed. One thing I find troubling, however, is the fragmentation of app stores. It seems as if every Android based tablet/smartbook coming out does not hook into the existing Android Market, but provides their own. Sad. Sad, sad, sad! Without that benefit, I do not really see a huge benefit to smartbooks as they are, when compared to netbooks. Sure, the smartbook may be always connected and always on, but is that really needed? It does not take that long for a netbook to come out of sleep mode and update itself.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Google and Intel To Bring Android To Your TV

Posted by Jon Childs in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 12:00 PM

"Google, Intel, and Sony have apparently teamed up (and Logitech too) to develop an Android-based platform for interactive television... It's a space where techies dream, entrepreneurs try, and companies fail. The list of failed convergence companies is notably longer than the list of successes. It's a field where even Apple, the current king of the world when it comes to entertainment technology, can't get a reasonable foothold in the home."

Jeremy Toeman has some interesting things to say about the new Google initiative to bring Android to your TV. Given his experience he would seem to know what he is talking about. I agree with a lot of what he says. My Comcast DVR, while sometimes slow, is "good enough" to make spending hundreds of dollars to upgrade to a 3rd party box unappealing. Especially when considering the amount of trouble people have getting support for Cablecard from their providers. Also, I get a lot of the extras from using my son's Xbox360 to stream Netflix movies, show photos on the TV, play some music, etc. The key to this for Google seems to be getting the TV manufacturers to integrate it into the TVs. Sony seems to be onboard, but Panasonic and Samsung don't seem to interested. They claim that the Intel hardware to support Android would add to much cost to a TV set.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

HP's Android Powered Netbook

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 09:00 AM

"Yesterday at the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona, HP announced a new Android-powered netbook computer, the Compaq Airlife 100. The Airlife 100 runs the Android 1.6 operating system and sports a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU, which allows it to run both quickly and efficiently for a full day of always-on operation."

Not sure if we will see this stateside, but I'm not sure that I care if we did. I guess these would have some market it if they were in the $100 to $200 range, but too much more than that and you can get a full OS.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Is Your Operating System Outmoded?

Posted by Reid Kistler in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 12:30 PM

"We've come so very far in the way computer operating systems treat us, and in the way we treat those computer operating systems. They multitask, they animate, they reach into the internet and pull down our favorite parts, they rarely crash and they're always on. It's a far cry from a decade ago, but I think we could go so much further.... I think there are serious opportunities for evolution available to the Microsofts, Apples and Ubuntus of the world, but they involve embracing new technologies in new ways. And stealing a ton of ideas from phones."

In an editorial that appears on Engadget, Paul Miller presents 10 "outdated elements" that he feels are keeping current operating systems from being all that they could be - along with a proposed solution for each. I do not think that most of his items are really all that important, but then my idea of an outmoded operating system is illustrated in the picture above! It would certainly be difficult to argue against easier windows management or lower costs, but his other points seem to be non-issues, already have solutions, and/or are pertinent to only certain user groups. Which of his 10 problems do you think seriously need to be fixed - and is the OS the best place to look for such solutions?

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