High Power Wireless-N Gigabit Router by Amped Wireless
$141.76 at Amazon.com
Remember what it was like to live without Wi-Fi wireless Internet access? Some of us get a reminder every time we go to a remote part of the house. Many standard routers don’t have the oomph to deliver good Internet connections over longer distances, or through walls or floors.
Amped Wireless says it’s got the solution--a high-powered router that’s supposed to deliver a decent signal even in structures as large as 10,000 square feet. That’s a lot bigger than my pad, but I hooked up the router anyway. The result--a slight but noticeable improvement in Wi-Fi signal strength over my old router, even when I stepped outside. Results at your home could be better or worse, depending on building type and router placement.
Setup was delightfully painless; a browser-based program walks you through it. There’s also an easy way to configure temporary “guest networks” so visitors can get onto the Internet even as they’re barred from your home or office computers. If the far reaches of your house are a wireless dead zone, this router might be worth a try.
One analyst estimates that Apple sold a couple million fewer iPads than expected this holiday season, largely due to competition from Amazon.com's Kindle Fire.
Join Weight Watchers--there's a monthly subscription fee--and you can now get an app for Androids and iPhones that will let you check the calorie count and nutrition info on many food items by simply scanning the barcode on the package. Pretty cool.
Samsung announces that two of its recent devices won't be getting upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich, the new version of the Android operating system. Seems ICS conflicts with Samsung's own custom software.
Bummer. Expect this sort of problem to continue and worsen as the Android phone ecosystem grows ever more complex.
Think your smartphone or tablet can tell if you've had one too many? I doubt it, and so do the folks at computer security software maker Webroot. But that didn't stop them from whipping up an amusing little app that'll delight your friends at upcoming holiday parties. The Sobriety Test app, available for iOS and Android devices, features a bunch of silly puzzles and games which supposedly measure your ability to hold your liquor. There's also a prudent legal disclaimer warning that the Sobriety Test is really nothing of the sort--just a bit of silly fun.
Looks like Google is working on its own version, to be codenamed Majel. After Gene Roddenberry's wife, I spose. This should be fun.
Hip Hip Hooray!
Google does NOTHING to vet the safety of the apps in its Android Market, with the result that a growing number of Android devices are getting infected with malware. This is ridiculous. Apple, Microsoft, BlackBerry--they all check their apps before offering them to consumers. Only Google doesn't. And it's going to bite them one of these days. Just you wait.
Over at Harvard Law, the ever-clever Jonathan Zittrain has a good idea--software to tell smartphone users exactly what data is being transmitted from their phones. The Apple and Carrier IQ user tracking scandals are helping to focus our minds on this issue. Our phones transmit all sorts of data about our activities. Surely we should know what they're sharing with the phone company, the phone maker and who knows who else. Somebody really ought to create an app for that...and quick.
Coming soon from China, according to this...
Google's smartphone operating system is riddled with security flaws, according to a new report.
...because millions of cellphones are being routinely tapped for "quality control purposes:"
Not exactly. The cool personal assistant software in Apple's iPhone 4S hasn't been perfectly duplicated by Android software developers. But they're getting close.
Four decades ago, Intel created the first true microprocessor. We're all still trying to catch up.
This offer from Republic Wireless sounds too good to be true...
A new study finds that cell phones don't cause brain tumors. Well, all right then.
Wow. That didn't take long. Iris, a new app for Android, works a lot like the much-vaunted Siri feature of the new iPhone 4S. Yes, it's much slower, but consider it was hacked together in just a few days. You couldn't ask for a more impressive demonstration of the power of open-source software development. A bunch of volunteers have matched many of the capabilities of Apple's software, in a matter of days.
...and it's an Ice Cream Sandwich. That's the name of the newest version of Google's Android operating system for smartphones. The rollout, so soon after the launch of the iPhone 4S, shows how intensely competitive the smartphone market has gotten to be.
UPDATE: More details here.
I know that lots of cell phones are pretty crappy, but this is ridiculous!
Virginia Tech computer scientists program Android phones so they can access sensitive information when the phone is inside a high-security environment, but immediately "forget" the information when the phone is carried to a different location. Pretty slick.
Amazon.com is selling all Verizon phones for a penny, with a two-year service contract. All of them, except the iPhone 4, which is unlisted. But a penny for the latest Android and BlackBerry phones isn't bad at all.
Even though bad guys have delivered a mess of malware programs designed to infect Android smartphones, these programs aren't generating anything like the illicit cash flow to be had from infecting desktop computers. Good news, I suppose. But I'd rather Google just got busy preventing people from distributing tainted apps.
The popular sports news website Bleacher Report offers you a way to stay informed wherever you are. Their Team Stream app, available for Android or Apple devices, will deliver a steady flow of news about the teams of your choice. It's handy, and it's free.
...if you're in California. The governor there just vetoed a bill that would have required cops to get a warrant before viewing the data stored in a suspect's phone. So now, a cop can just take your phone and start skimming through whatever he finds there.
That's the title of a clever contrarian piece that suggests Google isn't making money off its mobile operating system, and maybe never will. Android's been great for the rest of us, but where's the evidence that Google has profited?
Stallman's a seminal figure in the history of computing, the creator of the Free Software movement so vital in the rise of the Linux operating system that now pervades so much of the digital universe, including Google's Android software. He's an utterly fascinating man. But Stallman can also be, well, difficult. How difficult? Check out his reaction to the death of Steve Jobs.
Consumer Reports has $10,000 burning a hole in its public-spirited pockets. And it's ready to hand it over to the best new Consumer Reports smartphone app. Interested?
This site claims to make it easy. No idea whether this is on the level or not...try at your own risk.
If you've got an Android phone on the AT&T wireless network, this new app will help you identify nearby free Wi-Fi hotspots that could take the load off your phone's 3G network and maybe save you some money. Besides, it's just plain cool.
Sony Ericsson CEO: We Should Have Taken The iPhone More Seriously
Tomorrow's the big day--the unveiling of the new iPhone. But as this article points out, the new phone will enter a much tougher market than ever before. The latest Android phones are very good indeed. And Android phones handily out-sell the iPhone. Even Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 is a legitimate contender. So whatever comes out of Cupertino this week, it better be good.
Hard to believe that the hugely popular online photo service has only just released an Android app. But then, Flickr is owned by Yahoo, a famously slow-moving outfit. Ah well. Better late than never.
In the overall mobile device market, Android is smoking Apple's iOS. And here's why.
There is now. A nice new Android app called HealthTap lets users obtain free medical advice from real physicians. Check it out.
Yes, that's what I said. This delightfully silly space combat videogame is free for the taking for all you Android lovers Just click here...for free!
Worried about the school-bus-sized satellite hurtling down from orbit? Keep up with the latest news on smartphone apps from NASA. News updates, videos, a Twitter feed...it's all here. And it's free for iPhone, iPad or Android users.
At last Google Wallet is here--the company's long-awaited technology that lets users make purchases using a smartphone as if it were a credit or debit card.
For now, the service is available only for Sprint cellphone customers who happen to own the Samsung/Google Nexus S phone. I actually own the right phone but I subscribe to the wrong carrier--AT&T.
Do I really want to pay for groceries this way? Let me think about it...
Boeing chooses Google's mobile operating system for use on its new 787 Dreamliner planes..
Take it from me, the new BlackBerry Bold 9900 is one heck of a great phone. And yet it's left in the dust by the hottest Android devices, like the Droid Bionic.
To read this article, you'll have to subscribe to bostonglobe.com. It's free, till Sept. 30. After that...well, somebody's got to pay my salary. Here's hoping it's you!
Subscribe to the paper, get a cheap tablet computer. Hey, it might work...
A new Android app from Sprint prevents phoning while driving, by locking the phone when it detects that the user is in a moving car. The service costs $2 a month, and a BlackBerry version is pending
Point Inside releases a cool new Android app that'll show you nearby shopping opportunities, complete with coupons.
That's the latest rumor, anyway. Seems to me they might want to rethink that, given Google's acquisition of Motorola Mobility. Having WP7 as a fallback option might be a good idea. Of course, I happen to like Microsoft's latest phone operating system, but it hasn't caught on with consumers yet and perhaps never will.
Passengers on Southwest Airlines will soon get videos beamed straight to their smartphones or tablets via Wi-Fi. Offerings to include the Three Stooges. Now we're talking!
A new study finds that criminals are building networks of infected Android phones, just as they've long done with Windows PCs. These "botnets" can be used to send out spam, or carry out attacks on other computer networks. Looks like Android users will be paying a steep price for Google's refusal to test the safety of the apps it posts in its Android Market. I've yet to hear of an iPhone botnet. it's not impossible. But Apple checks out iOS apps before offering them to their users. Google needs to start doing the same. And quick.
Since Google doesn't test Android apps for malware, Android owners might want to hook up a good antivirus app. This page at Android Market provides an array of options.
AT&T hedges its bets, serves up an ultra-cheap Android phone from Chinese electronics titan Huawei.
The US Army could soon standardize on Android phones to communicate with the troops.
Looks like Amazon's rumored tablet computer is the real deal.
Well, duh. The company refuses to test Android apps for viruses and other nasties, with the result that the bad guys are racing to write attack programs targeting Android phones and tablets. I got my Android phone for free, but unless Google gets a handle on this, I may regret it.
...HTC will hedge its bet on Google's Android operating system and roll out some Windows Phone 7 handsets
CEO Peter Chou said the Taiwanese company is unfazed by Google's purchase of Motorola. Says Chou, "It’s not the operating system, it’s the ecosystem."
Looking for a doctor? Look at your smartphone. ZocDoc, a smart new app for iPhone or Android lets you set up appointments with local physicians. Just put in the name of your medical insurance plan, and the kind of treatment you need. ZocDoc uses the phone's GPS system to calculate your location, and then point you to the nearest doctors. It'll even show you whether they've got an open space on their daily schedule. Somebody should have thought of this a long time ago...
The British government considers shutting down social networking services and cellphone texting during periods of social unrest...
A new app for iPhones, iPads and Androids feeds the latest arts coverage from the New Yorker straight to your mobile device.
Misplace your phone, and you can usually find it by listening to the ringtone. But what it you left it in vibrate mode? Here's a badly needed Android app that solves your little problem, by letting you remotely reactivate your phone's ringer. Smart. Very smart.
Massachusetts is an iPhone state, according to Cambridge mobile advertising company Jumptap. They've surveyed the US to identify the dominant smartphones on a state-by-state basis. The Northeast and Midwest tend to be iPhone country, while the West and Southwest favor Androids. But in New York State, BlackBerry rules.
I like free. Free is good. And so I couldn't resist signing up for a free Nexus S smartphone from Google. It's a one-day-only offer while supplies last. And you must sign a two-year contract with AT&T, Sprint or T-Mobile. Go to Google.com's main page to find out more.
...and you'll wind up at Apple. When it comes to smartphones, Android's getting the market share, but Apple's getting the profits.
Got good grades? Get an iPad. Oops, sorry--not an iPad. But Samsung's Galaxy Tab isn't bad either. Especially not when it's free to honor students...
Android's gobbled up 48 percent of the world's smartphone market. Apple iPhone is number two, according to this new survey.
It's neck-and-neck in the smartphone wars...
Fans of the weekly magazine The Economist can now subscribe to an Android edition..A similar app for the iPhone and iPad has been around for months.
Movie streaming service Netflix now runs on 24 different Android phones.
A new website claims to provide accurate information about the safety of apps for Apple, BlackBerry, Microsoft and Android phones. Worried about downloading an app infected with malware? Maybe these guys can help.
Oh goody--more tainted Android apps. It's getting to the point where Google really needs to take action. The company should test all apps before allowing them to be posted in the Android Market. Will it take a digital disaster to wise them up?
You do, thanks to a controversial new app that lets anybody record the activities of the police. The police are public servants, after all. Why shouldn't their public activities be recorded by members of the public? The software is available for iPhones and Androids, right here...
This analyst thinks so. Me, I'm not convinced...
The new Thunderbolt phone from Verizon Wireless is hampered by short battery life. But it's quite a good phone, for a few hours, anyway.
How about a lower priced Wi-Fi-only version? That might goose the anemic sales of Motorola's Android tablet...
Two smartphone apps for video chatting leave me cold. They can't match Apple's FaceTime for the iPhone 4
The Internet's nearly full up, because of all the phones and tablets and game consoles and such that we keep plugging in. But a new Internet addressing scheme is about to solve that problem--permanently.
Engineers tear apart the new Motorola Xoom, and find a few surprises.
Motorola's tablet computer is here, and while it won't be an iPad-killer, it definitely kills.
A new Android app makes it easy to videotape police officers in action, and upload the video anonymously to the Web. Hey, cops are public servants. Shouldn't their activities be shown to the public?
Motorola's mighty new Atrix 4G, part phone, part laptop, is a worthy challenger to Apple's iPhone 4.
Motorola leaks the price on its upcoming Xoom tablet computer. It's rather steep...
AT&T's red-hot new Android phone arrives Feb. 13. I tried it at the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas, and it looks bad to the bone.
A million sold, so far. I guess many consumers don't share my reservations about the Galaxy Tab--mainly that it's too expensive. Still, it is a nice device despite the price and other limitations.
...and other smartphone market data from Nielsen. Google's operating system sure has shaken up the market.
One analyst says that sales of the Galaxy Tab are falling short of expectations, but so are those of Apple's iPad. Hmmm...
Samsung's Galaxy Tab is a capable rival to Apple's iPad. But its high price and lack of good apps ensure that it won't cost Steve Jobs any lost sleep.
Location-based services like Foursquare really aren't too popular, according to this report. Sure, all the cool kids like to talk about "checking in" and becoming the "mayor" of this nightclub or that coffee shop. But most folks don't see the point. I used Foursquare myself for several months but have lately wiped it from my BlackBerry without regret. Does me no good that I can see, so why bother? Besides, why should I report my movements to Foursquare? Go hire a private eye if you're that interested, but you'll get no help from me.
An interesting theory about Android's surging popularity--lots of the Android phones have pushbutton keyboards, and the hip, happening youth of the world mainly use their phones for texting. The iPhone, available only with a glass keyboard, just isn't as appealing.
Dunno if this is correct, but it's a clever hypothesis.
And why not? The company's phone business turns profitable thanks to the sales of all those Droids.
Now there are 100,000 apps for Android phones. Smartphones running this software are gaining fast on Apple's iPhone.
AT&T stores are about to start selling Apple's iPad. No surprise, really. But what about the news from Verizon Wireless? It's becoming an iPad retailer as well. Gives ever more plausibility to the rumors that Verizon will soon offer the iPhone.
Microsoft sues Motorola over its Android smartphones. The real target, of course, is Google, the maker of Android software. Microsoft says the Motorola Android phones violate a number of its patents. We'll see...
Just touch the screen to call for help. That's the idea of a new emergency rescue app called Forsse. You pay $14.95 a month to install it on your phone--just Android for now, but versions are being prepared for the iPhone and for BlackBerries. One touch activates the app. Another touch triggers an alert to a remote monitoring station that uses GPS to figure out your location and send help. The service also starts recording any audio coming over your phone. I haven't tried Forsse yet, but it sounds like it could come in mighty handy.
Texting while driving is now illegal in Massachusetts, and in most other states too. So...what's a driver to do? Turn off the phone, or put it out of reach. Or check out some of these clever apps...
That's what Verizon Wireless has in mind. The company long used its V Cast store for selling software for its various cellphones. Now that Verizon is turning into Android Central, customers are getting their apps through Google's Android Market. Verizon apparently wants a piece of that action. And why not? One of the advantages of Android v. iPhone is Android's more open software universe. Unlike Apple, which has a stranglehold on apps through its online store, Android lets everybody play. So why not Verizon Wireless?
The tiny Boston firm faces tough competition, because its core business is so smart--mapping the world's Wi-Fi hotspots as a supplement to GPS location technology. Millions of smartphones around the world use Skyhook tech to help users find their way. But now giants like Apple and Google want the technology for themselves. And that means trouble.
Not at first, anyway. Verizon says it'll hold off on carrying smartphones based on Microsoft's new operating system until next year. This does not bode well...not at all. Windows Phone 7 is Microsoft's last chance. If it doesn't catch on, it's game over. iPhone and Android will rule.
So says Skyhook, the Boston company that Wi-Fi mapping. Skyhook's technology lets smartphones track their positions by picking up signals from nearby Wi-Fi routers. Google now offers a similar service, but Skyhook is suing Google in federal court. Skyhook claims it holds the patents on W-Fi location, and Google is violating them. Skyhook also claims that Google is strong-arming Skyhook customers to switch to Google's version of the service. Evil, if true.
Forget it, Apple. Android smartphones will conquer the universe!
80,000 Android apps and counting, according to this.
Smartphones can help you launch your own business empire. This clever article from Network World tells how.
With Hurricane Earl bearing down, you've probably stocked up on canned goods and bottled water. Now all you need are a few good smartphone apps. If you've got an iPhone, Android or BlackBerry, you can download a host of inexpensive programs that can help you stay safe. I haven't had a chance to try them all, but here are a few that could come in handy.
Apple iPhones and Android phones come with basic weather apps that deliver bare-bones forecasts. But you can install additional apps that provide more detail. The Weather Channel, the popular cable TV network, offers a good free app for iPhones, BlackBerries and Androids. Weather Underground's Who Is Hot? is an even more comprehensive app for the iPhone, while Android users should check out MyWeather. Both these apps are free.
For more specific alerts, consider the aptly-named iPhone app Hurricane. This $1.99 software displays the storm's latest wind speeds, barometric pressures, and features updated radar maps along with predictions of the storm's likely path.
Your smartphone's a valuable tool if you're caught up in the storm.. Apps like Disaster Readiness 2011 for the iPhone or First Aid for the Android contain detailed information on treating injuries and documenting property damage for your insurance company. First Aid is free; Disaster Readiness 2011 costs $1.99.
For the BlackBerry, there's USBMIS Mobile First Aid and CPR, developed with help from the American College of Emergency Physicians. This app costs $2.99 and is also available for the iPhone. Look for it in the BlackBerry App Store.
Most of the newest smartphones can double as flashlights in an emergency, thanks to light-emitting diodes mounted next to their built-in cameras. These LEDs are intended for flash photography, but can be programmed to issue a steady beam of light. Of course, this drains the battery, so use this feature sparingly.
You'll need to install a flashlight app; there are plenty to choose from at the Apple and Android online app stores. Some are free, while others can cost a buck or so. Flashlight apps are also available for BlackBerry phones, but you can get by without one. If your BlackBerry has a built-in video camera, just turn it on, and then hit the spacebar on the phone's keyboard to turn on the light. But this method turns on the video camera as well as the light, speeding the drain on your battery. Instead, you can purchase an app that will only turn on the light.
Don't have an LED light on your phone? There are apps that make the phone's screen emit a brilliant glow; some of these are free.
As Hurricane Earl bears down, consider stocking up on weather-related smartphone apps. Here's a mess of links for the iPhone. I can't find a similar list for Androids, but you can visit the Android Market with your phone and search under "weather."
The new high-speed wireless data services from cellular carriers Sprint and T-Mobile don't fully deliver on the promise of superfast 4G technology. But they're still worthy improvements over what we've got. Here's my take on the new services, which have just launched in Boston.
Amidst all the Apple news, CEO Steve Jobs cast doubt on Google's claims about the popularity of its Android operating system. Well, Google's not going to take that lying down.
Sprint unleashes its 4G cellular data service in Boston, but rival T-Mobile says its improved 3G service, also just launched, is equally fast. Let the high-speed data flow like wine!
At long last, Boston's about to get 4G wireless service, thanks to cell carrier Sprint and its partner Clearwire. At last, those EVO 4G phones will get a chance to strut their stuff...
Maybe your next BlackBerry should be an Android phone. This article makes a respectable case for the idea.
Blackberry's parent company RIM has to change the game--and fast. Just today, a Morgan Stanley analyst cut the company's stock rating to SELL. Analysts hardly ever do that unless they see disaster ahead. A switch to Android might be the only way out.
Vibrant, the cool new Android phone from Samsung, is on sale at Amazon.com today for one red cent. Wow!
This ties in with the report earlier this week about the price of the BlackBerry Torch falling by 50 percent to $99. I may have read too much into that, as this is the price charged at Amazon, and it seems they've got a habit of slashing prices on new phones. So while I stand by my view that the Torch can't compete with the latest iPhone and Android offerings, the price cut doesn't indicate total desperation. At least not yet.
I check out two of the latest, the Dell Streak and Samsung Vibrant, and explain why the Android platform is bound to take a commanding lead over the iPhone--in market share anyway.
Here's PrivacyStar for the Android. It's, an app that blocks unwanted cellphone calls and protects you from telemarketers. I've tried the PrivacyStar app for the BlackBerry, and thought it pretty good.
It takes a lot of work to build the navigation maps on your smartphone. Here's how it's done.
Here's another good reason to control your Android phone with your voice. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania say they can figure out people's passwords just by analyzing the smudges on an Android phone's touchscreen. The trick doesn't work on iPhones, just Androids. Creepy.
Androids should obey when we speak. Even the late, great actress Patricia Neal could have told you that. If that robot Gort hadn't listened to her, she'd have been vaporized and never had a chance to win an Oscar for playing the hot housekeeper in Hud.
So I'm all for software that'll let you control many functions of your Android phone with your voice. And here it is, as Google unveils Voice Actions in its newest version of Android software.
Google's improvements are free of charge. Not good news for Vlingo, which has been charging $10 for an app that does a lot of the same stuff. Sure enough, Vlingo has just announced that it'll start giving away its software to keep up with Google.
200,000 new Android phone activations every single day, according to Google CEO Eric Schmidt.
So says Bloomberg News. It's reporting that Research In Motion, in a bid to compete with the Apple iPad, will introduce its own "BlackPad" tablet device in November. The new gadget will have Wi-Fi wireless networking, as well as Bluetooth for data sharing with the user's BlackBerry phone.
RIM's seen its market share slip as the iPhone catches on with the corporate and government markets that the BlackBerry has long dominated. RIM hopes to slow the bleeding by announcing a major new smartphone on Tuesday. Taking on Apple in the tablet market would be a remarkably aggressive play, but that could be just the thing to get RIM back on track.
Besides, everybody else wants a piece of the iPad. Microsoft's chief Steve Ballmer said yesterday that his company's going all out to build a rival tablet; Hewlett-Packard plans Microsoft-based tablets for corporate use; and Korea's LG is working on a tablet based on Google's Android software.
Another bogus security scare? Could be.
Lots of apps can swipe your personal data, according to a new report.
But take this claim with a grain of salt. Last month I linked to a similarly spectacular story about insecure Android apps. The source of that story has since retracted it.
A corrupt app steals personal data from Android users, highlighting one of the big downsides of Google's smartphone system. Because it's an "open" technology, it's easy for bad guys to create malware and trick people into using it. Our PCs suffer from the same problem, and we've learned to live with it. But who wants this kind of hassle with their phones? Score one for Apple's walled-garden approach.
The embattled cellphone company actually gained customers last quarter, partly due to the popularity of the EVO 4G Android phone.
Right in the palm of your hand, thanks to this nice little Android app. FlightView lets you look up your airplane by flight number and find out its current status. Your mom flying in from Dubuque? You can see her plane's actual departure time, its speed and altitude, and a map showing its present position in the sky. You can even put in a city pair--say, Boston-Chicago, to see all commercial flights between the two cities, and their current status.
The free version has some small but annoying ads; for $1, you can get FlightView ad-free. Either way, it's a nice tool for the frequent flyer.
Talk about guerilla marketing. This is one slick bit of jiu-jitsu from the Korean phonemaker.
It just might be, according to this fascinating article. Maybe T-Mobile is the dark horse in the wireless data sweepstakes.
Verizon Wireless is doing just fine without Apple's popular iPhone, thanks to red-hot sales of Android smartphones.
...Verizon admits that some of the hot-selling phones suffer from screen problems. First the iPhone 4, now this. At least Verizon and manufacturer Motorola have quickly admitted the problem.
Not the search engine, which it keeps trying to censor. But Google's Android software for smartphones is a major hit over there.
Maybe not Verizon Wireless. Despite persistent rumors that Verizon will start selling the iPhone in a few months, this NY Times story makes a good case that Verizon's strong sales of Google Android phones make the iPhone a lot less important to Verizon that you might think.
A horde of excellent new phones have set consumers on a buying spree, and smartphone makers are having trouble keeping up.
Bad antenna or no, Apple's smartphone business is on track to generate twice the profit of all its rivals put together. Dude.
Carry a spare, says Sprint CEO Dan Hesse. Seems a bit onerous, but there's no denying that short battery life is the EVO's biggest flaw.
And soon, everybody will be able to. That's the word from Google, which is rolling out a set of tools to allow pretty much anybody to design apps for the company's Android operating system for smartphones. The development project was led by MIT's own Harold Abelson, while on sabbatical at Google.
Interested in trying it out? Here you go...
With 160,000 of them being switched on every single day, Android-based smartphones are snatching market share from all the others. Of course, Windows phones are being clobbered, but even the iPhone is taking some hits. Notice, though, that RIM's BlackBerry platform is still out front and holding its own. BlackBerry is doing better than I'd have expected, but the company needs a major upgrade to prevent a major share collapse. Those touch-screen Androids and iPhones are just so much easier to work with.
As good as the iPhone 4? Well, maybe not. But awfully good nonetheless.
Some apps let you do it, but their accuracy and ease of use leave something to be desired, as I discovered firsthand.
For the time being, Verizon Wireless is not jumping on the AT&T bandwagon, and will keep offering unlimited cellular data plans. So buyers of the upcoming Droid X superphone will be able to do all the data-shifting their hearts desire and their batteries can stand.
Motorola and Verizon fire back with an impressive-looking new version of their Android phone, the Droid X,
A new report finds that about 20 percent of Android apps can be used to spy on the phone's owners.
I've been using it for about 9 months now, and loving it. A single phone number that rings all my phones, an alternate voice mail system, free SMS messaging, call recording...what's not to like? And now that it's been tested by about a million users, Google Voice is now open to the public. So what are you waiting for?
And don't let this little old patent lawsuit stop you. It may drag on for years, and in any case, they're bound to reach a settlement...I hope.
We've heard that one before. But it's become a lot more plausible lately, due to the rise of mobile devices and cloud computing . Here's long-time tech analyst Henry Blodget, warning Microsofties that the end is near...
I'm not talking about digital viruses, either. I mean good old-fashioned germs, the kind your mom was worried about when she taught you to wash your hands after using the bathroom. Needless to say, even the cleanest of us are covered with microscopic bugs, and some of them end up on our smartphones whenever we touch them. Which is why the world needs something like this--a gadget disinfector. Personally, I just use those disinfectant wipes every now and then. But maybe it's time for an upgrade....
The world's leading cellphone maker long ago lost its edge in the US market. But believe it or not, Nokia's Symbian phones are still the world's most common type of smartphone. But for how long? The company's fading fast as iPhone and Android phones gain share around the world.
It's a smart way to get back some of the cash you paid for aging gadgets. Here's how...
Word on the street suggests that BlackBerry will soon unleash a slider phone that might put it in a better position to fend off the iPhone and Android challenges. We shall see...
Sometimes you don't need a whole webpage of answers to an online search. Instead, you want a simple, short answer to a simple, short question, like, "what's the capital of North Dakota?" Google has been buffing up its ability to respond to such simple questions, and they're touting the technique as ideal for smartphone users. Especially if you've got an iPhone or Android phone, where you can speak the question into the microphone, instead of typing it in.
Symantec offers up an anti-malware app for Android, to protect the phones from malicious software. As Android apps don't have to go through Apple's tough approval process, I suppose the risk is greater. But is there really much of a threat from toxic Android apps? I plan to learn more from the Symantec folks first chance I get.
UPDATE: I spoke with Dan Nadir, director of product management at Symantec. Nadir admits that apart from a few lab experiments, there are no examples of malware attacking Android phones. But he said that Symantec wants to be ready for anything. Besides, the program, called Norton Security for Android, also allows the user to remotely lock a lost phone, or wipe all its data in case it's been stolen. You can also program it to block unwanted calls from certain numbers.
I tested the block feature on my borrowed HTC EVO 4G. The instructions were a little confusing, but the software worked as advertised. By texting a command from my BlackBerry to the EVO, I locked the Android phone and couldn't use it again until I entered the unlock code.
A beta version of Norton Security for Android is available now from the Market app on any Android phone. It's free for the moment; Symantec hasn't decided how much to charge for the finished version.
Amtrak plans to introduce Wi-Fi Internet access on all its trains nationwide.
Want to know how the hottest Android phones measure up to the new iPhone 4? Here you go.
The latest Google Maps for Android phones offers an overlay that shows local bicycle paths. The same feature has just appeared in the BlackBerry version of Google Maps, and you can get it right here...
The researchers at Nielsen know, and they're spilling the beans.
For instance, the average iPhone has 37 apps on board, compared with 22 for Androids and a mere 10 for BlackBerries. And 21 percent of Americans now have a smartphone. And there's more interesting data where this came from...
According to this survey, the iPhone is still well out in front.
I try to wear comfy shoes during my rare trips to shopping malls; just finding the right shop often requires a good hike, made more strenuous by the difficulty in figuring out where you're going. The mall developers never put up enough maps to suit me; I suspect they want us wandering around aimlessly, in hopes we'll be suckered into a few more impulse purchases.
Well, here's a smarter impulse for Android and iPhone users. Before heading to the mall, download Point Inside, a handy free app that puts the mall map in your pocket. Point Inside uses the phone's GPS feature to identify nearby malls. Tap the icons, and you'll see a map showing the location of every store in the mall. Many stores will have built-in links that provide the shop's phone number and a link to its website.
Point Inside features maps for hundreds of malls throughout the US, and also features maps of major airports. You may still have to walk quite a bit, but at least you'll know where you're heading.
So much for the $100 laptop. How about a $75 tablet, running Google Android? That's the plan for the next low-cost computer to be developed by the One Laptop Per Child Foundation in Cambridge.
I fly to Baltimore to check out America's first 4G phone, and I (mostly) like what I see.
Here's more on the hookup between Google and General Motors.
According to this Reuters story, next generation cellphones and 4G Internet service may become widely available faster than you might have expected. Consumers have fallen in love with high-speed wireless, and carriers are eager to cash in.
...is the prospect of its key corporate customers migrating to--gack!--the iPhone.
Well, it's starting to happen. And while it's not exactly a rush to the exits, this could be a sign of something grim for RIM, BlackBerry's creator and Canada's top high-tech company. The BB just can't touch the iPhone or Android for sheer ease of use, or for number of available apps. Unless RIM can turn things around, the writing's on the wall for BlackBerry.
...is that nice little e-mail address of yours, the one with .edu at the end. If you've got one, you're now entitled to start using Google's wonderful free Google Voice telephone service. All college kids have just been invited by Google to sign up and start using the service. I've been using it for the better part of a year. Google Voice lets you set up a unique phone number which can ring any of your other phones, collect your voice mail messages, record your phone conversations--with the other party's permission, of course--and send and receive SMS text messages. I love it. I trust my college-attending daughter will love it too, if she's got wit enough to sign up. Which, of course, she does...
Google says it's selling 65,000 Android phones per day--at least.
This Android phone will let users connect to the Internet at speeds approaching those of home cable modem service--5- to 12 megabits. And it works as a WiFi hotspot, so you can share your bandwidth with up to eight nearby users. But this extra speed will come at a price. Sprint will charge its 4G users an extra $10 a month.
If the Evo 4G lives up to the hype, it'll be worth it.
And there's a bit of bad news buried in the story Verizon's chief exec, Lowell McAdam, said that when Verizon unveils its 4G network, it'll also unveil higher prices:
That new network promises much higher speeds for transferring video, for example. Verizon says it will be running in 25 to 30 cities by the end of the year.
The new network will likely bring a shift from current unlimited-use pricing plans.
"The old model of one price plan per device is going to fall away," Mr. McAdam said, adding that he expects carriers to take an approach that targets a "bucket of megabytes."
With multiple devices, customers are likely to end up paying more for connecting their gadgets to the next-generation network than they do today, he said. "It's not out of the question," he said.
More details here...
Still, despite the Motorola comeback, it just lost first place among American cellphone makers. Who's number one? You need to ask?