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Incredible Android

The latest and greatest in everything related to Android OS.
by Praveen Baratam
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Are native apps for Android safe? Are webapps / browser based apps safer and more secure? Apparently yes in many cases.

These days it has become really tedious to track and review various permissions any given app is requesting. Are all those permissions necessary for even trivial apps? How many people can really understand the implications of various permissions an app is requesting? My mom and dad cannot... I am sure.

And with the increased adoption of mobile banking and e-wallets, all these insecure practices of granting whatever permissions an app is requesting poses even greater threat. I am confident Google is addressing many of these issues at the platform level but I seriously doubt whether anyone can audit each and every app and its updates.

And most apps do not have to be native to begin with. They can simply be browser based apps and still be effective offering great user experience. Most apps are already hybrid (native+html based) anyway.

All that is remaining is making the experience seamless and more developers will embrace this approach. Web apps are discovered in browser, so the browser should hint the availability of an app when visiting a website and installation should be seamless. The Play store should allow listing of simple unwrapped webapps and the newly installed app should become a first class citizen in your app drawer; not a measly shortcut on home screen.

PS: We have already discussed in a previous post how Mozilla could build a launcher with in-built browser and web-app catalog for Android and make their browser-app approach a first class citizen on Android. What we really need is a Firefox launcher/eco-system in Android and not Firefox OS since Android is already open source.
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Mobile Browser - Web-App Hint
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Praveen Baratam, Maven - 6 months ago Edit
Apparently, Google is already working in this direction :-) [ Ref: https://goo.gl/1ojgfX ]
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"Today, Android powers more than 80% of the smartphones in the world" - A feat commonly attributed to its flexibility and market diversity. But then its greatest virtue is also its Achilles' heel. It is hugely inconsistent across devices from different manufacturers and sometimes even among devices from the same manufacturer!

Many manufacturers in an effort to differentiate themselves from the rest, add custom layers with so many bells and whistles that in the end leave the average joe puzzled and clueless. Some might describe this situation as a total mess to say the least.

On the other hand, simplicity and consistency are the main reasons why many stick to iPhone / iOS and Google is making progress in this area by promoting stock Android experience in as many devices as it can. But then Google can only go so far and the said variety is what draws many others to Android in the first place. Its a catch 22 situation where you disappoint one group or the other either ways. Is there a better solution to this problem?

Fortunately Android is completely modular and you can customize almost every part of it to suit your needs. And the solution is to completely customize the default experience to achieve a level of consistency across devices from different manufactures and generations. The best part is we can achieve all this with apps from the app store. Eg. Aviate as launcher, TrueDialer as dialer, Hangouts for messaging and conferencing, Chrome for browsing and so on.

I bet you are already doing something similar on your phone! The idea is to extend this approach all the way till we completely customize and thereby unify the experience across devices.

Update: This approach is particularly useful when bootstrapping / customizing a phone for your older folks so that they can feel at home using any Android with these swaps today and tomorrow. Ideally, it would be great if we can have an app to remember the setup and re-do it on any other phone.
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Inconsistent Experience - Home Screen is only the beginning!
 
 
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Barney Lerten, Contributor - 1 year ago Edit
It's that old balancing act - you can't design a universally loved organization - folks want to customize, but setting the boundaries is key. (Ever notice how no two microwaves have buttons in the same place? THAT is madness!;-)
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The on-screen Navigation Bar on Android phones came as a mixed bag for many. Although it improved the usability and consistency of user experience on low-end phones, many saw it as a step backwards by just emulating the buttons on-screen.

However, by replacing physical buttons with virtual on-screen buttons, we can make the whole navigation bar more contextual. And I bet that nobody will be complaining about the virtual buttons in the first place when we enhance the whole navigation bar with contextual elements.

Imagine displaying the recently used apps icons between the Back and Home virtual keys as depicted in the attached image. This way we can seamlessly switch between apps and multitask in just one click / tap than clicking on the recent apps icon, swiping through the stack and clicking on the desired app.

Some recent phones such as the LG V10 use a secondary display for this purpose, but I believe we can accommodate the same on the main display and make it a core Android experience.
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Nav Bar with Recently Used App Icons
 
 
 
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Nicholas Bc Shumate, Evangelist - 1 year ago Edit
@Praveen- This is a fantastic idea! The most frustrating thing about using my android to perform complex tasks like writing essays for class on the go and having to cite sources is the time consuming and wretchedly inefficient process of switching between applications. At a time when work and academics are becoming more integrated with technology this feature would make the android app more effective and versatile tool than just one of communication.
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Recently there has been a tsunami of Smartphone OSes (Tizen, FireFox OS, Ubuntu Phone, Jolla, etc.) with every other new OS calling itself different but did more or less the same thing. Are they doing the right thing? Is a new OS really needed?

In a way this can be seen as an attempt to capture the outliers and grow from there but one cannot capture a market by offering a similar / slightly better experience than the incumbents. In short none of these OSes broke new grounds!

However, as previously discussed in this topic, forking Android and improving on it is a better proposition (CynogenMod) than building everything up from scratch. This approach atleast gained traction and Cynogen fared better than many efforts mentioned earlier. Had BlackBerry embraced this approach and shipped devices with its own fork of Android, it would have atleast made it out of the red.

In my humble opinion, anybody interested in the smartphone segment, should focus on either forking android or extending Android. There is a lot of scope for improvement in the Android ecosystem and this is a bigger and better opportunity than creating another smartphone OS. For example, we can create a better shell and slowly transform it into a platform. Imaigne an uber smart Firefox launcher with an integrated runtime and appstore for HTML5 Apps that seamlessly merges web apps ecosystem with that of native apps.
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Praveen Baratam, Maven - 2 years ago Edit
Finally BlackBerry is embracing Android and will be releasing an Android phone augmented with its signature ecosystem (BBM and other enterprise friendly stuff) in November. Ref - http://goo.gl/oFVz7y
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Imagine letting your friend see on his device what you are seeing on your device, be it a webpage, a video or some photographs. How about playing DJ to a small group of friends in the cafeteria? What if you can show your folks on the TV, a picture or a video you just found on a blog? Sounds like another cloud based service or a second screen app right? Not really!

Basically, you control your Android device by touching it and the device interacts with you through its display and audio systems. Display and Audio are just streams under the metal and your touch input a sequence of events. These streams and events can be shared, broadcasted and replicated over WiFi to create a powerful ecosystem.

Now that Android has moved beyond smartphones and tablets, I believe its time for it to have a framework in place for discovery and sharing of various native streams and events. Such a framework will strengthen the Android ecosystem and make way for interesting possibilities in the future.
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Android Ecosystem
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Praneeth Baratam, Evangelist - 4 years ago Edit
Praveen, I intended to draw the point that user-friendly implementation is key to the realization of this technological possibility. And in my opinion, transferring video stream without lag on WiFi is not as easy as we might presume. Currently, remote desktop apps like Splashtop have been successful at transferring video/audio streams and input events but not without lag.
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Praveen Baratam, Maven - 4 years ago Edit
Latency on current WiFi networks (not internet) is around 1 to 5 ms and sending the display stream to another device is perfectly doable if our baseline is 720p30; which is pretty good for many applications. Eg. Mirroring the TV display onto a Tablet for interaction and navigation. Audio and Touch do not pose any technical challenges as such. As the ecosystem evolves and devices acquire better processing capabilities the framework will scale to support HiFi low latency display mirroring.
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Praveen Baratam, Maven - 4 years ago Edit
Atleast one manufacturer, Huawei, is pursuing this path with its upcoming MediaQ M310 ( http://goo.gl/Z8jh7 ). The MediaQ runs a slightly tweaked version of Android that can stream its display to any other android device running a particular App from Huawei for control and accessibility. Obviously they realized that the best way to control Android running on a big screen is to mirror the screen onto a handheld device and relay touch events from secondary slave to master device :-)
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Praveen Baratam, Maven - 2 years ago Edit
In MWC 2015 MediaTek (Chip maker from Taiwan) announced a framework, CrossMount, that implements this idea of sharing streams and events with other devices on the network thus helping you voice search content on Smart TVs using the mic on your smartphone, route your TV audio to your smartphone and listen through your headphones, cast your smartphone display and audio to TV or vice versa, etc. Finally, South Asian countries are catching up on innovation :-)
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There were some pretty amazing things happening on the Android front off-late but I still feel the core android experience is fragmented at best!

Some of the pain points with android devices are the hugely variable screen sizes, resolutions and their respective aspect ratios. More importantly the aspect ration of the screen is what plays havoc!

Why is this an issue? Let me elaborate! While resolution and screen-size affect the fidelity of the display, the aspect ratio is what determines how various elements are laid out on the screen.

Variable aspect ration = inconsistent user experience.

Android plays host to one of the largest third party App Ecosystems in the world and these apps have to accomodate for an acceptable experience on so many devices that they have to make many compromises and settle for the least common denominator. This has created much confusion for the developers and became a serious limiting factor for the platform itself.

Well, once we understand and accept this issue, the solution turns out to be pretty simple too and can be adopted without compromising the possible diversity in Android devices. I believe Android can restrict compatibility to just a couple of aspect ratios and let the device makers choose the right screen size, resolution and orientation for their devices.

16:9 looks like a good candidate for this IMHO.
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PREVIEW
Inconsistent Android Screen Sizes and Ratios
 
 
 
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Clearly Android is going places not just because of the increased penetration of smartphones but also because of plummeting prices (read quasi branded chinese phones). Even global brands such as Lenovo and Panasonic have joined this wave and want to cash in on the huge budget smartphone market.

However, this market is currently awash with poorly integrated devices that offer a paltry experience to the consumers. The hardware inside these devices may not be cutting edge or blazing fast but is perfectly capable of delivering a solid smartphone experience to the end-users. Then where is the problem? Sadly, most of these quasi brand manufacturers lack the talent or muscle to integrate their hardware and Android well enough to deliver the desired experience.

Solution? Outsource Android integration to someone who has made a name for themselves in this space! Eg. CynogenMod community has been delivering aftermarket Android builds for a variety of devices for sometime now. And chip makers such as MediaTek should work with such integration partners to make sure Android interfaces well with their SoCs.

Recently, One Plus, launched their flagship 'One' to huge fanfare under a similar arrangement. Now its time for Mediatek to strike the right chord with Cynogen or vice versa and bring well integrated Android experience to the budget smartphone. Such a partnership can create history!
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Fragmented & Sub-optimal Android Experience
 
 
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There is a new version of Android (4.2.1) out there and I am stuck with the old flavor of Jelly Bean (4.1.1). My almost new phone, Atrix HD, which is perfectly capable of running the new Android is shun out of this party and this is the case with many of your phones too.

We are told to live with the old software that came with the phone or purchase a new one which is unfair by all standards. I am aware that I can root and flash my device with after-market ROMs but is all this mess necessary? Why are the devices locked in the first place and why should we turn hackers just to upgrade the software of a device we paid for?

Android is Open Source (free as in free speech) and modular but the device makers and service providers don't want to make this an open platform. I feel deprived of my rights to use my device the way I wish to.

Why cant our smartphones behave like our good old PCs where we are free to run the software of our choice?
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Android
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Praneeth Baratam, Evangelist - 4 years ago Edit
Coming to locked devices blocking rom changes, I believe OEMs (android phone companies) do that to maintain consistency of experience and due to the fact that the number of bricked (unusable after faulty rom upgrades) devices would dramatically increase if they allowed their users to freely change firmware.
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Praveen Baratam, Maven - 4 years ago Edit
@Praneeth - I concur with your argument but not entirely. I have a ThinkPad that also comes with many OS enhancements but does not prevent me from installing my favorite Ubuntu. Moreover I can never brick my laptop by installing my favorite OS. Having a robust and open boot-loader can make the device unbrickable. The problem is with locked bootloaders and when we try to hack them we can end up bricking the device.
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Praneeth Baratam, Evangelist - 4 years ago Edit
This brings us to the interesting concept of a completely unlocked bootloader on a phone, where you can install an OS of your choice. We need to see the development of devices that have uniform hardware framework like a single home button, power key, volume keys +/- camera key and hardware QWERTY keyboard for example for an open architecture. Also, at this point, we need a parallel new mobile friendly OS development that is worth supporting(like Linux on PCs).
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Praveen Baratam, Maven - 4 years ago Edit
We dont need an alternative OS on smartphones. The primary OS itself is open source and open to modification. In fact the device makers themselves customize it. Coming to hardware features all modern OSes are plug and play and every other customization is just a config file specific to a device. Like the good old computers that come with downloadable drivers, smartphone makers can publish the drivers on the web. Good old Mix, Match and Play.
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I installed the latest flavour of jelly bean 4.2 on my device last night.Except bluetooth,photosphere and miracast, everyting works well.Although the UI is almost same,there are cool additions to the previous version(JB 4.1) .
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Anivesh Baratam, Evangelist - 4 years ago Edit
I'm still using my xperia live,running CM10.1....my phone doesnt have gyroscope,NFC-so no photosphere,miracast...
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Praveen Baratam, Maven - 4 years ago Edit
I believe Miracast only depends on Wifi and nothing else. Lacking NFC or Gyroscope should not prevent your phone from supporting Miracast.
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Anivesh Baratam, Evangelist - 4 years ago Edit
Gyroscope is for photosphere only....
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Praveen Baratam, Maven - 4 years ago Edit
Theoretically Miracast should work on any Wifi enabled Android device if it has a good enough processor but with out a Miracast adapter we cannot test this feature. Also there are no software-only Miracast receivers available at the moment.
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Last week me and Praneeth hooked up an Atrix HD phone to his TV via HDMI to try Android on a large screen and I could not believe what I saw. Its perfect!

I have been hunting for a good HTPC (Home Theater Personal Computer) experience for many years now to access local and online media on my TV. A few years back I have even assembled a fairly powerful Win 7 HTPC but the whole thing is neither friendly nor optimized for large screens.

Some how the touch screen optimized Android UI is also perfect for large screens.

To control the HTPC you can either connect a Bluetooth handheld Keypad/Mouse combo such as Dinovo Mini or mirror the display onto another android device using VNC server and client.

On the other hand you could just replicate the display of your Android device to a Miracast enabled display to achieve the same experience but then battery life could be an issue.
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Android HDMI Stick
 
 
 
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Praveen Baratam, Maven - 4 years ago Edit
Archos TV Connect is definately appealing and Archos is definately a bigger company than most in the game but we cannot just trust big brands to get it right especially with emerging technologies and devices. Every device is really only an experiment until the rules of the game are established and its the smaller guys who often get it right. May be we should wait for the TVConnect to be available in February. Until then Minix rules.
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Praneeth Baratam, Evangelist - 4 years ago Edit
This market is very much a niche one and there are only players and not a leader so far. We will have to wait and see where this ecosystem will grow and what devices come forth and ultimately lead the category.
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Praneeth Baratam, Evangelist - 4 years ago Edit
Other way round, this is a great way to repurpose your old android phone or a phone with a cracked screen with an hdmi output. Don't be fooled by those android phones without hdmi ports. Some phones like HTCs and Samsungs come with microUSB ports that double up as HDMI connectors with the use of special adapters called MHL. Google your phone specs if in doubt.
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Praveen Baratam, Maven - 4 years ago Edit
I just found out that DTS & Dolby Digital HDMI pass-through on Android devices is still a work in progress and as far as I can research on the Web even Minix doesn't support this feature. Audiophiles and Home Theater buffs might need to wait for the next generation of devices for surround sound to work on Android TV rigs.
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Manufacture 500,000 units.
Ship out 5,000 of them on day 1. Sell out. Create massive hype.
Ship out 495,000 of them on day 2. Cash in on hype for great week 1 sales. Get instant salary bonus.

Even Apple might have done the same.....IMO
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PREVIEW
Sold out within a few hours in the UK!
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Praveen Baratam, Maven - 4 years ago Edit
Looks doable :-)
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Praveen Baratam, Maven - 4 years ago Edit
Nevertheless its safe to say that Google hit a sweet spot with Nexus 4. Arguably no other device in the market can match Nexus 4 even at a higher price point.
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Praneeth Baratam, Evangelist - 4 years ago Edit
What more can you ask for the price it is selling in the US? There are currently some concerns about its meagre battery life and mediocre camera quality (amidst true point&shoot alternatives like HTC One X, Apple Iphone 5 and Nokia Lumia 920. Other than those two passable issues, this is truly a remarkable smartphone just like the Nexus 7 is among tablets.
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Praveen Baratam, Maven - 4 years ago Edit
Today the Nexus 4 went on sale again in Google Play store but I wonder how many could get through the order process. I tried like a hundred times wishing to get through at least this time but failed. I do not understand if Nexus 4 was meant to be sold or just flashed at us. Looks like a new mantra to grab attention and say that Android is cool and affordable by discounting a small lot of high end devices.
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IYKWIM !
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Praveen Baratam, Maven - 4 years ago Edit
We Android fans should get this T-Shirt printed! An android green t-shirt with white or black print. What say?
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Anivesh Baratam, Evangelist - 4 years ago Edit
+1
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RamGopal Neerukonda, Evangelist - 4 years ago Edit
There are many people around the world fighting for this single point.I am an android user too
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The HTC One X+ is powered by the fastest, new generation 1.7GHz Quad Core processor, for a mobile experience that’s more agile and responsive than ever. Supported with 89GB* of storage you’ll be spoilt for choice with the things you could do. Packed with an 8MP camera and a fast ƒ2.0 wide aperture lens, touch to capture allows you to focus and shoot with just one touch so you’ll never miss the perfect moment. And with a powerful 2100mAh battery, it lasts 35% longer for all-day performance on a single charge.



LIKE A BOSS!
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Praveen Baratam, Maven - 4 years ago Edit
Well there may not be clear consensus yet as to which Android smartphone is the most powerful one in the market but my point still holds valid. These phones are much closer to or faster than the current breed of laptops and this new status of smartphones as equals in the personal computing space can breed interesting new possibilities in the palm of your hand. Any ideas?
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Praneeth Baratam, Evangelist - 4 years ago Edit
Praveen, I might have to contradict the point that the current smartphone processors are closer/faster than laptop processors. It is said that, they are comparable in processing power to the laptop processors in use 10 yrs ago. But your point is well taken, there are just infinite possibilities for what you can do with the amount of processing power you have in the palm of your hand.
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Praveen Baratam, Maven - 4 years ago Edit
Well I was just pitching two properties, clock speed and core count between the latest smartphone processors vs those of laptops. Atleast on two counts they are equal or better. Overall performance may not be remotely comparable as they are made for different purposes but as noted above there is plenty of computing power at your disposal with the latest smartphones.
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Praneeth Baratam, Evangelist - 4 years ago Edit
By sheer numbers, the clock speed and core count may be similar between for example Nvidia Tegra 3 and say quad-core Core i7(Sandy Bridge) - but their performance and processing power are not.
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As a CyanogenMod 10 user I religiously check for nightly builds, and today I was surprised to see android 4.1.2 incorporated into the latest CyanogenMod 10 nightly.I flashed the ROM was quite happy to use it.
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Praveen Baratam, Maven - 4 years ago Edit
Not anymore. Now its my primary phone! The touchscreen is giving some problems and I am on the lookout for a screen calibration utility. The problem existed on Froyo too, so its not an ICS issue. Any suggestions?
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Anivesh Baratam, Evangelist - 4 years ago Edit
I knw it for ericsson...but not for motorola....
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Praveen Baratam, Maven - 4 years ago Edit
Will that make a difference? Touchscreen is a core android feature and calibration occurs at OS level as far as I can see!
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Anivesh Baratam, Evangelist - 4 years ago Edit
we have a service code....which lets you do these adjustments..
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While many have been going ga..ga.. over the new Miracast feature available on Android 4.2 and beyond, very few have taken note of the disruptive capabilities of this new technology.

For a start it can wipe out the gaming console and console games market and give an edge to mobile first companies to exploit the big screen. Recently games on phones and tablets have been eating away customers from console games and now they will directly attack console games on their home turf, the TV.

Moreover TVs will soon support Miracast natively and we will not need any accesory / set-top-box to mirror display. Browsing on your tablet and watching on your TV is much easier than navigating on the big screen with remote making the set top box for IPTV, etc. redundant. Looks like the set-top-box will go extinct too.

Dont just take my words for it! Watch this video and decide for yourself!
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Miracast - Showdown
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Revenge of the Stylus

Many of us have used early Windows Mobile smartphones and remember how we depended on the stylus for basic needs such as clicking and typing. I even remember keeping a nail on my right thumb to navigate and type with out pulling the stylus out :-)

Then Apple innovated over the stylus with Finger accessible touch screen controls and virtually pushed the stylus to extinction.

But now the stylus is making a come back as a productivity enhancer than a killer as it used to be. And Samsung is leading the pack with interesting stylus enabled devices and applications on Android platform. Another testament to innovation in the Android gang.
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PREVIEW
Galaxy Note 10.1 with Pen Input
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Vijay Veluri, Evangelist - 4 years ago Edit
WOW. is that even android . its so damn good. i hope they get this in native android. i wonder if all the multitasking stuff is done my samsung itself
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Malla Srilakshmi, Evangelist - 4 years ago Edit
Android is totally modular and these enhancements are presently available only on Samsung devices but we can expect to see similar features in future versions of Android. More over these features are hardware dependent too. Normal capacitive touchscreens are made to recognize coarse touch input where as stylus input requires fine touch enabled screens.
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Praveen Baratam, Maven - 4 years ago Edit
True! Android is completely modular and all these enhancements can be brought in as an app if they are not merged into the core and I am positive somebody is already working on this.
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Praveen Baratam, Maven - 4 years ago Edit
I recently tried Galaxy Note 10.1 and all the stylus enhancements are restricted to the SNote app. They were not available as core functionality. To android its just a fine gesture input (stroke) and apps have to make sense of it. On the contrary, it would be better to extend Android and integrate the stylus as an input method similar to onscreen keyboard. Stylus can then provide text input (Handwriting Recognition) and vector images as overlays from shapes and formulas to any app.
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Google has come up with yet another version of Android 4.x, the 4.2 which will also go by the same name Jelly Bean. Looks like they have big plans for 5.0 and don't want these incremental updates to clutter the big scene.

This version will power the recently announced super smart phone Nexus 4 and the tablets Nexus 7 and 10.

The most notable feature of this update would be Multi-User Support. While this may not be a show stopper for smartphones, it surely has great utility on tablets. How many times did we yell at our folks for fidgeting with our tablets? Now we can share tablets and still enjoy privacy.

Secondly the remote display feature a.k.a Miracast enables us to share the screen with any compatible TV/Display. Now this is huge and brings our favorite entertainment back on to the TV screen in the living room. Browse on Tablet and watch on TV. Wonderful!

Finally the often loved app driven Gesture Typing (Swype) and Panoroma Mode for Camera have made it into the core.
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PREVIEW
Android 4.2 on Nexus 4 and 10
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Praneeth Baratam, Evangelist - 4 years ago Edit
Google is doing great in developing and incorporating popular already developed apps/services. PhotoSphere is a direct copy of Photosynth that was available on Windows Phone 7 for a while now. Incorporating Swype-esque keyboard was also the logical next step. The game changer in my opinion though is the incorporation of the much awaited wireless screen mirroring based on open Miracast standard. I am excited to try it as soon as it is available.
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Google Now is an incredible addition to Android platform inline with Apple Siri. But in my opinion Google can do better with their vast database of worldly knowledge and is already pursuing augmented reality albeit on a different platform a.k.a Google Glasses.

How about an app that can analyze snapshots or live camera feed and tag objects with relevant information. Yes Google Goggles does something similar, but what we need is the relevant information spit out beautifully and not a bunch of search results.

Nokia has already come up with City Lens which is an augmented reality browser that lets you explore places around you.

If Google wants to lead it cannot be late.
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Nokia City Lens - Augmented Reality Browser
 
 
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Praveen Baratam, Maven - 4 years ago Edit
Nokia City Lens stands as a great example for Augmented Reality as an app than platform concept.
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Project Butter is what Google has named the overall smoothening of UI in Android ver. 4.1 JellyBean. In my few weeks of experience with official JellyBean rom on my ASUS Transformer Prime, I can definitely say that Google slowly is developing the skills that Apple has under the sleeve for some years now.The overall experience has definitely improved. Every transition has been well 'buttered'. The reason Apple still has authority over this part of UI experience, I believe is because, it handles prioritization of basic UI related commands very strictly. The secret to this 'butteryness' lies in deceiving the user with a more superficial responsiveness.
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Praveen Baratam, Maven - 4 years ago Edit
Irrespective of how Project 'Butter' is implemented, a more fluid UI will be a welcome addition to Android. Core experience is a very important factor and Android is catching up. Prioritizing and reserving resources can sound detrimental to App experience but overall its worth it.
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Rooting & Flashing Custom ROMs is one of the adventures you can embark on an Android phone. There is a very active community on XDA-Developers and other forums porting new versions of Android onto not so new phones. Its fun to resurrect your old phone and give it a new life. Caution is advised nevertheless.

Flashing ICS / JellyBean with Google Now seems to be the in thing now. Yesterday I installed ICS 4.0.4 with GN on my old Samsung Galaxy 4G and boy there is nothing like seeing my old phone dancing to new tunes.
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PREVIEW
My SGS 4G with ICS and Google Now
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Vijay Veluri, Evangelist - 4 years ago Edit
Nice, Is this similar to flashing ??
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Praveen Baratam, Maven - 4 years ago Edit
There are few different ways to install GN on ICS and flashing a zip is one of them. This zip only installs GN. Follow the instructions here - http://goo.gl/yVv6N
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Chandan Reddy, Evangelist - 4 years ago Edit
ya.. i also follow XDA developers, one of the biggest mobile developing community. Presently i'm using old HTC HD2 with android ICS custom ROM on it. HTC HD2 literally never dies, it has recently received android JB build ROM. Haven't tried it yet. Waiting for a stable release.
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Praveen Baratam, Maven - 4 years ago Edit
Most of us upgrade our smartphones for the thrill of possessing it even though the marginal utility of replacing our existing device is not much. But flashing gives us the same thrill along with a challenge. We feel like a hacker. The challenge and the risk make this whole thing so pleasurable.
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Samsung slams iPhone 5 with its new GS3 commercial...

Noteworthy is the fact that Apple with its latest iPhone did not try to solve anything but just tried to capitalize on its market position and make tons of money.

Its also important to remember how Apple mocked every other smartphone in the market when it introduced iPhone in 2007.
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PREVIEW
Samsung slams Apple iPhone 5
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Android 4.1 a.k.a Jelly Bean....

Is it just another update to Android or is it a milestone in Android evolution.

To me apart from all the incremental improvements to the various systems in Android, Google Now seems to be the only ground breaking new feature in it. More over I have heard many reviewers rave about the speed improvements in Jelly Bean.

So should we wait for Android 5.0 to upgrade our phones/tablets or is Jelly Bean a reason enough? Whats your opinion?
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PREVIEW
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
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Praneeth Baratam, Evangelist - 5 years ago Edit
Well, there is a reason why Google numbered their latest update 4.1 and not 5. They clearly hinted that it is an incremental update bringing some polishes and not an overhaul
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Praveen Baratam, Maven - 5 years ago Edit
Thats evident but is it the time to retire an old android phone... probably running Froyo or Gingerbread and pick up a new JB phone?
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Praneeth Baratam, Evangelist - 5 years ago Edit
People using Froyo and Gingerbread should have upgraded to ICS, because the difference is phenomenal...and now with JB, it makes it even more worthwhile to dump those older phones...as long as one can afford it.
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Ongoing IFA 2012, Berlin is the showcase to many new and upcoming android powerhouses. Just imagine the possibilities of having android as the base interface for all your home/office technologies. Samsung has created yet another product category called 'smartcamera' like a smartphone. This new very capable point & shoot camera has Android Jelly Bean on a gorgeous 4.8" touch screen device with WiFi and 3G/4G connectivities. Imagine not having to remove the SD card and having all the pictures you clicked to magically appear on your laptop for editing. The possibilities are unlimited. What else do you guys think can benefit from androidification?
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Praveen Baratam, Maven - 5 years ago Edit
I am a little skeptical about the utility of this device. I guess a bare android stack with just WiFi connectivity would suffice. All these features unnecessarily add up to the cost of a single function device.
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Praneeth Baratam, Evangelist - 5 years ago Edit
The innovation is in the concept...the implementation may go wrong ...it will be finetuned later
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Praveen Baratam, Maven - 5 years ago Edit
We will see Android in many many devices to come but I don't think a full stack is required for every other device. A bare stripped down Android to enable smart functions and third party apps will soon emerge to serve these multitude of devices.
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