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Showing posts with label News. Show all posts
Showing posts with label News. Show all posts

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Top 12 Most Terrible Android Phones

Posted by Harry On 7:21 PM
On Android platform, we can see many excellent phones, but because of its open source, terrible products exist too.
1, Samsung Moment
The Moment has a 3.2” AMOLED screen which has great display and costs low power. And it packs slide QWERTY keyboard, 800MHz processor, 512MB ROM, 256MB RAM and 3.2MPcamera. Anyway, its hardware isn’t bad in 2009. But the Samsung Moment has some severe bugs which Samsung and carriers can’t fix such as system crash, data lost.
2, Motorola Backflip
The Motorola Backflip creates the unique reverse flip design. It supports Backtrack, but the touchpad is so sensitive that it’s easy to lead to misoperation, while its physical keyboard is just blunt. The Backflip has 3.1” 480×320 screen with just 528MHz processor and 256MB RAM, which is one of main courses that lower its speed.
3, HTC Wildfire
The HTC Wildfire has a 525MHz processor, 384MB RAM, 512MB ROM, 3.2QVGA screen. Well, its screen display really sucks, even the HTC Wildfire S is still the same.
4, Garminfone
Before Google announced free navigation service, users dose pay for the SatNavs which is the dependant satellite navigation device. So the Garminfone was born. It’s cool on the navigation, but its UI, hardware and battery life really hurt users.
5, Motorola Citrus
Just another low-end device, 3” 240×320 touch screen, bad touching experience, and its 528MHz processor and 256MB RAM really limits its running speed.
6, HTC Chacha
The HTC ChaCha is the exclusive phone of Facebook which has the Facebook button. Its tiny screen, short battery life, low RAM make it one of terrible phones. Well, it’s not bad if you take it as cheaper blackberry.
7, LG Optimus V
Cheap means bad experience actually to some degree. Jagged system running, no flash support, terrible screen display and short battery life, and its main problems actually are from the bad phone calling quality and bugs.
8, Kyocera Echo
If you Google the most terrible Android phones, then you might see the Kyocera Echo. Its double screen display is unique, but apparently, that kinda of technology is not so satisfying. And besides that, there are not so much apps to support the Echo.
9, Samsung Dart
Samsung Dart made in 2011 has a poor 240×320 screen and poor processor. Tho it’s an low-end device, it still can’t meet users’ needs in developing market.
10, Samsung Droid Charge
The Samsung Droid Charge has a 4.3” AMOELD Plus screen, 8MP camera, but just a 1GHz single-core processor. And the short battery life, severe bugs, preinstalled apps and also unrealistically high price make it on the list.
11, LG Optimus 3D
Like HTC 3D phone, the LG Optimus 3D has quite a big body, a physical button on the top that isn’t be used frequently. Its terrible experience on down-level Android system, short battery life are problems too.
12, Samsung Double Time
Like the Kyocera Echo, the Samsung Double Time is a phone with double screen display. 800MHz processor and 260MB RAM lower the system running, and its just 3.15MP camera is another poor feature.
A new report from Taiwan claims that Google will not join other tablet manufacturers in slashing tablet prices for new devices like its rumored second-generation Nexus 7 tablet.

According to DigiTimes, which talked to “sources from the upstream supply chain,” the new Nexus 7 will be priced somewhere between $199-$249, but not lower.
The 16GB version of the handset could cost $229, and is said to arrive at some point in July, which is in line with what previous reports have said about the tablet's launch.
However, we’ll remind you that the new Nexus 7 is not official yet, and the publication has not always been reliable with its rumors based on “supply chain” sources.
Currently, the 16GB Nexus 7 Wi-Fi sells for $199 while the 32GB Nexus 7 Wi-Fi-only model retails for $249. For $50 extra, you get 3G connectivity as well on a 32GB Nexus 7.
Nexus 7 Price
The same article says that the new iPad mini will focus on the high-end segment of the market, while the Nexus 7 will go for the mid-range. Other manufacturers will go for the mid-range and entry-level segments (Samsung) and entry-level segment (Asus and Acer) with their new creations.
A few days ago, the same source speculated that unspecified OEMs could price Android tablets as low as $99 later this year. The cheapest Nexus 7 tablet rival is made by Asus, the MeMo Pad HD 7, and will retail for $129. The same company is expected to make the next-generation Nexus 7, although we’re still waiting for an official announcement.
Samsung has already announced plenty of new tablets – three Galaxy Tab 3 versions and one Galaxy Note model – and Apple will unveil its iPad mini later this year.
Samsung’s rugged Galaxy S4 version, the Galaxy S4 Active, is going to be available in the USA soon from AT&T.
The carrier is so far the only mobile operator to show interest in the Galaxy S4 Active, with pretty much everyone else only stocking the regular model, at least for now.
The handset will be launched on June 21 and you’ll have to pay $199.99 for it with a new two-year contract. Pre-orders start on June 14 in case you want to make sure you’ll get your unit on time. The handset will be available in Urban Gray and Dive Blue – it looks like the red version won’t be available at launch.
The Galaxy S4 Active is basically a stronger Galaxy S4 model. Therefore, you can expect the same features in a stronger, more durable design. Plastic is replaced with a metal back, and you’ll find three buttons on the front side instead of just the one that’s present on the regular model.
In terms of specs, you can expect a 5-inch touchscreen Gorilla Glass display with full HD resolution, 1.9GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor, 2GB of RAM, 4G LTE support, 8-megapixel camera, 2-megapixel front-facing camera, 16GB of storage, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean under the hood with TouchWiz on top and SAFE features.
Are you buying the AT&T Galaxy S4 Active?
Cube Slam
Chrome experiments are just a load of fun, aren’t they? Whether you’re racing a car, playing skeeball, or navigating a maze, the Chrome team gives us tons of fun stuff to do.

This time, they went about as old school as you can get. Call it what you like, but Cube Slam is Pong. It is, of course, multiplayer if you like, but can also be played against a bear named Bob. The rough graphics have a very clean, sentimental quality to them. Of course, Chrome experiments are here to test out cool new features, not just get us to waste our work day.
Cube Slam utilizes our webcam to take a pic, then uses the image as our backdrop. As you can see in the picture above, the wall behind the paddle is a picture of Bob the Bear. If I were playing against friend, it would use their image, as Bob does with his bird friend in the video below.
The controls are dead simple to use. Just left and right to move, then spacebar to pause. If you navigate to another page, it also pauses the action and suspends the audio. Cube Slam really is a lot of fun, so make sure your monitor doesn’t face the doorway. At least pretend to work!
If you were planning to buy a pair of Google Glass, but the $1,500 price tag was just too much for you to swallow, fear not, because it looks as if Google Glass will be released to consumers at a much lower price.

After the guys and gals at Catwig performed a teardown of Google Glass, we began to realize that Glass wasn’t stuffed with little magical fairies shoveling coal into a firebox (we hope that no magic fairies were hurt in the making of Glass), but instead we saw that the components were fairly similar to those that we find on a smartphone.
On the other side of the Glass
On one side of the Explorer Edition of Glass we find a touchpad, which is used for interaction if you don’t want to use voice control. Beneath the touchpad we find one of the main circuit boards, containing the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radios, a dual-core TI OMAP4430 CPU, 16GB of Sandisk flash storage, and Elpida mobile DRAM. On the opposite side is the 570mAh battery, which helps balance the device on your head.

Credit: Catwig
In front of the battery pod is a bone conduction speaker, and the main logic board, which holds the display, a 5-megapixel camera and various other sensors. The display has a native resolution of 640 x 360, but Google did say that the display would be “the equivalent of a 25-inch HD screen from eight feet away”.
If you’ve come to the conclusion that these specs aren’t exactly top of the range, you’d be right. But keep in mind that many of these components must be custom-made to fit the unique shape of Glass.
$1,500 is quite a lot to pay for “low-end specs”
Even then, $1,500 is a lot of money. So why is Google making early adopters pay so much for their Explorer Editions of Google Glass? Well the simple answer is that Google wants the Explorer Editions in the hands of people who are going to offer something to the Glass platform.
Google wants the XE edition of Glass to be in the hands of people who will offer something to the Glass platform.
By pricing an unproven, untested product at such a high price it makes sure that the only people buying Glass are those who are planning to develop for the platform and puts it out of the price range of a casual consumer.
The people with the Explorer Editions of Glass are not regular consumers, they understand that Glass is a budding product, but if a consumer got this version of Glass and were fronted with a fledgling platform they’d be left with a sour taste in their mouths and it could even kill the prospects of Glass at a consumer level before it even had a chance to show off its full potential.
How much do the components cost and what will it cost us?
The guys at Forbes compared Glass to a low-end smartphone, giving us a picture of what Google Glass costs to make. A low-end Samsung smartphone costs $85.60 to build and would also have much larger battery. After adding in the cost of the microdisplay (which would cost no more than $30), the fact that some components must be custom made, packaging costs, and that Glass is being made in low volumes, the publication finds $200 as “a safe bet” for production costs.
When Google Glass is eventually launched to consumers, we could see the price fall between $199 and $599. If Google wants Glass to be priced according to its Nexus range, then $199 is not totally out of the question, but something like $349 is much more likely.
What price point do you think Google Glass needs to hit to be a success? Will consumers even want the device?
Samsung Galaxy NX
Just yesterday, Samsung confirmed they will reveal a new Samsung Galaxy Camera at their upcoming Premiere 2013 event in London. So for photography buffs, should you be excited? Let’s just say that if you were even slightly impressed with the Samsung Galaxy Camera, you’re going to be blown away by the Samsung Galaxy NX Camera.

The latest next-gen Galaxy camera details (including press images) were first spotted on the site Tinhte. Based on the leaked details, we now know the camera will be called the Samsung Galaxy NX, we also can see that it is clearly in a different league from the more casual Samsung Galaxy Camera.
For those that aren't aware, the NX line is currently Samsung’s high-end camera series. The mirrorless Galaxy NX plans to take everything we know and love about NX cameras, and blend it with smart features powered by Android.
Outside of running on Google's OS, the Galaxy NX is also rumored to pack a 20.3MP APS-C sensor, can record in 1080p HD, and will have an ISO range of up to 25,600. It will also support interchangeable lenses.
While the Samsung Galaxy NX sounds amazing, let’s remember that this is still unconfirmed news. Official looking press shots and previous gossip about a Galaxy NX certainly lend credence to this rumor, but just be careful not to get your hopes up until we learn more.
Luckily, Samsung’s reveal event is only a week away now, so we don’t have to wait long to get the rest of the juicy details. What do you think, would you like to get your hands on the Galaxy NX, or would you rather stick to traditional cameras such as those in the non-Android NX series?
While the rumor mill continues to buzz about a possible Samsung or Apple smartwatch, let's not forget that Sony has had their own watch for a while now. Sony’s SmartWatch might not have taken the world by storm, but it does seem to have a small, loyal following behind it.

Probably the biggest problem for Sony’s SmartWatch was that the software wasn't exactly great when it debuted in 2012. The good news is that Sony has been good about releasing patches that further improve on the software. That said, there is still plenty of room for improvement.
That’s where Sony’s announcement of the “Open SmartWatch Project” comes in. Previously Sony’s SDK made it possible for developers to write their own apps for the watch, but now Sony is opening up the watch even further. Going forward, it will be possible for advanced developers to create alternative firmware and flash it back to the watch.
What’s brilliant about this move is that it helps promote Sony’s watch as a reasonably-affordable developer tool, all while giving Sony new ideas for future SmartWatch software or even hardware updates.
Sony does make it clear that there are some limitations to flashing alternative firmware to the Smartwatch. For one thing, it will probably no longer work as intended. This also means it won’t be able to use SmartConnect or work with any compatible Smartwatch app available on Google Play.
Obviously tinkering around at this level will also possibly void your warranty. Risks and limitations aside, this is great news for those looking for a clean slate for creating new use cases and wearable experiments using Sony’s watch.
To get the project up off the ground and running, Sony has announced a SmartWatch Arduino hackathon this Saturday in Malmö, Sweden. The goal is to show off the platform and help show developers what it is truly capable of.
What do you think of Sony’s Smartwatch and their new Open SmartWatch Project? Could this lead to further positive developments when it comes to wearable technology? We certainly hope so.

iOS vs Android: The game dev edition

Posted by Harry On 7:12 PM
When the iPhone arrived six years ago, it was the hot commodity. It didn't take long for Apple's sleek, powerful smartphone to dominate the mobile phone market -- and one of its greatest draws was a rapidly growing software marketplace, curated and quality controlled, bringing extraordinarily useful features to what was essentially a pocket-size computer.
However, competitors weren't far behind. Some have continued on, others have failed; but by far the biggest is Internet giant Google's mobile operating system, Android. In fact, the number of Android devices activated outnumbers iOS devices by a mile — 750 million Android to 600 million iOS.
Nevertheless, as we and many of you well know, the iTunes app marketplace seems vastly superior in quality of content, in spite of Apple's barriers to entry, such as a registration fee for app sellers, and the fact that Google Play is rapidly catching up in terms of quantity and downloads. Apple has pipped 50 billion downloads across over 900,000 apps, while Google Play is currently counting down to that number across 750,000 apps. But there's an even greater discrepancy in app revenue. A massive 76 percent of the entire revenue generated by apps goes to iOS — leaving the other 24 percent of the pie to all other operating systems.

A difference of hardware
And that's just one of the reasons why top-tier mobile developers tend to prefer the iOS platform. "The iOS ecosystem has consistently excellent devices, a great operating system that users keep up to date, and an App Store where the consumer is willing to pay for a better experience," Simon Joslin of The Voxel Agents, the developer of the Train Conductor games and Puzzle Retreat. "On top of that, as a designer, it's absolutely preferable to be building games that will be experienced exactly the way you intend them."
When a game is launched for Android, often there are devices on which the game will be buggy -- and, for the developer, that means applying fixes for a range of devices. Or, at launch, the number of devices on which the game will run is limited, leaving some Android users annoyed when they don't read the list of compatible devices. Conversely, Apple's device set is relatively homogeneous, meaning applying a fix is, in comparison, a simple matter.
To Joslin, that's definitely a good thing. "It means you know how your users are going to experience the game, from initially finding it on the store to finishing the last puzzle," he said. "The consistency lets me focus on producing the perfect experience, and spend less time supporting the variety and handling edge cases."
Not all developers feel the same way. Chris Murphy of Pub Games, developer and publisher of BlastPoints for iOS and Android, told CNET, "iOS hardware is standardized, which is nice; however, the tech is pretty rigid, and there's a much slower feature iteration between devices when compared to Android, which is frustrating for high-end game development." He also added that although Apple's standardization means that it's easy to get a game right across all iterations of an iPhone, the older models make it difficult to create a truly optimum game.
Android, on the other hand, has an almost opposite set of problems. "Android devices can be very powerful; however, they are far from standardized, and often developed with very specific strengths in mind: effects may run amazingly well on one device, but the rendering of the world may be causing a bottleneck, whereas on another device, it'll be the exact opposite, with the effects as the bottleneck," he said. "Trying to find a happy medium feels like you're compromising on quality a bit and instead additional systems and controls need to be developed to support the development properly. That in mind, once you get those systems in place, you can really make the devices shine. The Android store currently lacks some of the titles that really made a splash on iOS, and I think that leaves it with more potential to stand out for developers."
One problem with the Google Play store, though, is the vast amount of dross and adware, something that the iTunes developer entry fee does better at eliminating. Then there is Google Play's app discovery, which leaves a lot to be desired. New apps are hard to find, the search function often turns up more trash than treasure (ironic for Google), and the featured apps update sporadically, compared to Apple's weekly hand-curated showcase.

The right price
Another big problem with Google Play is that in order to make the apps attractive to customers, who can very easily pirate the apps for free elsewhere, an upfront price often has to be forgone. In order to pirate iOS apps, you need a jailbroken device, which voids the warranty and deters potential pirates. Conversely, one of the major positives for Android consumers is that you can sideload whatever you like -- but this doesn't work out well for developers.
"Piracy is a very unhelpful practice, and it does sadden me that people would rather steal 18 months of my creative efforts instead of paying 99 cents for it," Joslin said. "First-day sales of Train Conductor 2 on Android was 200 units; first-day pirate downloads were 35,000."
Murphy's sales have been affected, too. He noted, "We were hit pretty hard with piracy for BlastPoints, and it was an extremely strong influence in how we approached our next few patches and Android release."
Chris Wright of Surprise Attack, an agency that promotes mobile games, added, "I remember searching for press coverage on one game we helped launch on Android last year, and for every review, there were maybe nine results for torrents of the game." He added, however, "Piracy is a tricky thing to evaluate. A pirate download is not necessarily the same as a lost sale. It certainly has some impact, but you can't quantify it."
The piracy experience is actually pretty much par for the course for Android developers; yet, short of refusing to release content to open platforms, there's little that developers can do. Doing so, however, punishes customers who wish to purchase and enjoy a product legally -- and it cuts off a potential revenue stream. Nevertheless, while this is an avenue The Voxel Agents chooses to eschew, many developers either delay an Android launch or don't release to the platform at all.
Perhaps it's the differing markets that contribute to piracy. On one hand, tech-savvy users tend to gravitate toward Android, lured by the customisability and open platform -- users who are more likely to know how to find and upload pirated apps.
On the other hand, the variety of Android devices at different price points means it's more accessible to those with less disposable income; users who are less likely to spend a few dollars (PDF) downloading an app here or there, meaning that to gain traction on Google Play, especially as a new or indie developer, pricing has to be either low or free.
"I feel like I understand the iOS consumer better; they will pay for a good experience, they are up with the trends," Joslin said. "The Android consumer is harder to understand, simply because of the variety of entry points into the market; some buy an AU$80 phone from the Post Office, and some research their purchase and get the high-end Galaxy S2. With those different points comes very different app usage and purchasing behaviors."

User expectation
It's because of these differences that the freemium model really took off on Google Play, and has become pretty standard; even with a pirated copy, unless the user knows how to get into and edit the game's code, which is rarer than a straight-up download, freemium purchases can still be made. The model has its problems, but for developers seeking to circumvent lost sales, it's a good solution, especially when you take into account that around 70 percent of the revenue generated from mobile games comes from freemium purchases.
That does mean, however, that users expect to find free games on Google Play, and the market has developed accordingly. As Murphy pointed out, "There are some definite differences between the stores that stand out that have ultimately had some serious effects on the products available. If you launch into the iOS store, you're going to see a fair showing of free-to-play games, but there's still a pretty substantial number of products making money that follow the traditional direct-purchase model. If you load up the Android store, you're going to see an overwhelming number of free-to-play titles."
This can be difficult for developers to navigate, firstly because consumers can be wary of the freemium model — a not unfair reaction, since a number of publishers seem to consider it as being nothing more than a cash cow -- and secondly, because it can be hard to stand out when every game seems to offer the same thing.
Things are slowly changing, though. It is becoming rarer for the best games to release only to one platform. But there's always going to be that division between the two platforms, with iTunes offering more carefully made titles overall, but Google Play offering the potential for much greater creative freedom and technical brilliance -- depending on your device.
"I don't think they will ever be the same, even if they share a lot of the same content," Wright said. "Google and Apple have different philosophies, and that's a good thing. Variety and choice are always good for any market, and especially good for developers and users."


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