Sunday, August 21, 2011

Google Android Market Updated

If you're running Android 2.2 or higher you may have noticed the Android Market has been updated.  Google started rolling out the update on the 27th of July and it's most likely been updated on most phones/tablets at this point. Several new things have been added as part of the update.

1. New Appearance
Taking on more of a windows mobile look, boxes are in.  A simple black background with everything divided nicely in it's own cube gives the market a neat and organized look.

This is by far my favorite improvement.  The market has always been slow, I found I could actually open a browser on my phone and find an app on faster than I could on the market.  So why did the market that ultimately resembled a web browser take ten times longer to load?  we may never know, fortunately the changes that have been made have improved the loading speed dramatically.

3. Books
Previously available only via the browser, they are now integrated seamlessly into the market place.  You will need to download the Google Books App to view any of the books or free samples.
4. Updated item pages
Item pages now include videos for app demonstration, as well as additional  apps by that developer.

5. Movies
Starting at $1.99 they can be viewed via streaming, or downloaded for later viewing.  Sadly this is somewhat dependent on your phone, as my Samsung Intercept does not have this option.

Overall a great change for the Android Market. The improved layout and speed is sure to boost sales and customer satisfaction.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Android USB Device Not Recognized?

So recently when plugging in the USB cable to my computer to take a few screen shots, I found my Android phone was no longer recognized by my computer.  I spent hours updating drivers, re-installing Android SDK, restarted the phone about a dozen times and nothing seemed to help.  I went so far as to clean the connectors to see if that was the issue and still nothing.  I was starting to wonder if it was just not going to happen.  Then I realized recently many of my apps had updated.  I checked my task manager to see what all was running.  First thing to stand out was the "Lookout Mobile Security" task, so I went ahead and killed it to see what would happen.  Lowe and behold everything came to life. I can't seem to re-create the issue at this time, so I have a feeling that it may have been something left behind by the app when it was updated.  But if you find yourself faced with the same issue, it's worth taking a look at.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Google to buy Motorola Mobility in the tune of $12.5 Billion

In an interesting turn of events Google announced on Monday morning they will be buying Motorola's mobile phone division Motorola Mobility in the tune of $12.5 Billion.  In a post on the official Google blog they released the initial details of the acquisition.  According to Google they will continue to operate Motorola Mobility as a separate business licensing the Android OS from Google and the Android OS will continue to remain open and available for others to use.

According to Dell Exec Amit Midha "Google Inc.'s (GOOG) acquisition of Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. (MMI) will strengthen the Android operating system platform by giving Google access to new patents, and Android will remain a "credible" option for use on tablet computers"  As part of the acquisition deal Google will gain a portfolio of nearly 17,000 patents and another 7,000 pending patents, many of which will likely be used to protect the Android OS and it's developers.  

Found in the Google press release, many of Androids partner companies have also weighed in on the acquisition.

“We welcome today’s news, which demonstrates Google’s deep commitment to defending Android, its partners, and the ecosystem.”
– J.K. Shin
President, Samsung, Mobile Communications Division
“I welcome Google‘s commitment to defending Android and its partners.”
– Bert Nordberg
President & CEO, Sony Ericsson
“We welcome the news of today‘s acquisition, which demonstrates that Google is deeply committed to defending Android, its partners, and the entire ecosystem.”
– Peter Chou
CEO, HTC Corp.
“We welcome Google‘s commitment to defending Android and its partners.”
– Jong-Seok Park, Ph.D
President & CEO, LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company
“We are positive towards Google’s continued commitment and investment in an open Android for the benefit of all players in the ecosystem.”
– Weili Dai
Co-founder, Marvell Technology Group
“Best Buy has worked closely with both Google and Motorola to bring great solutions to our customers. Now, with today’s news, we are excited to see what we can do together to serve consumers. Both companies have been tremendous partners to Best Buy and we expect that connection to get even stronger in the future.”
– Brian J. Dunn
CEO, Best Buy
“We are pleased to know that Google is making a move to strengthen Google’s (and thereby Android’s) patent portfolio. ZTE welcomes this step from Google to protect the value of Android ecosystem and the benefit of Android partners.”
– He Shiyou
EVP of ZTE Corporation and Board Directors, President of ZTE Mobile Devices Division

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Considering an upgrade to the Motorola Triumph?

Virgin Mobile Motorola Triumph AndroidIf you think it's about time to trade in your old Samsung Intercept or LG Optimus V for the New Motorola Triumph.  mstechify over on YouTube has put together a couple of great videos comparing the three.  With camera tests, bench marks, game demos and More!  Props to mstechify for taking the time to run it through it's paces.