I’m coming into this a bit late, but I feel like it was important to digest all the information about this new phone. If you missed it, last week Amazon announced a new Android-based phone named “Fire Phone”. This ultra-super-secret phone was probably an inevitability, but until it was announced, nobody really knew for sure. If you thought this was shades of Facebook Home, you would be right. I thought I’d take a look at what’s good, and what’s bad about Amazon’s announcement.
This past week, one game seems to have risen and fallen faster than a bird without wings. The super-difficult Flappy Bird iOS and Android app recently made a name for itself – spreading like wildfire and then disappearing. Even more interesting was the game’s developer taking the game down for seemingly unusual reasons. Flappy Bird is gone, but for those of you that did get it, the game lives on. My own attempt at playing Flappy Bird yielded a score of 10. I wanted to take a closer look at this phenomenon to understand more.
Yesterday Samsung launched the Galaxy Gear, a new $299 “smartwatch” that pairs with a smartphone to deliver updates and notifications right to the wrist. Samsung hasn’t exactly created the market for smartphones, but appears to be attempting domination on watches that connect to, and act like phones (to some degree). The Galaxy Gear is big, square, has huge screws on each corner, and is just ugly. But, you can be sure they’ll iterate and improve the design of this product. With talk of a “smartwatch” from Apple too, I thought I’d look at what I’d like to see in a device that will likely define wearable technology in the future.
Facebook Home is not a privacy problem. Consider this: If I were to give a set of house keys to my next door neighbor, and find that he’s decided to go inside and take a peek around. Is this a privacy problem? Right, you’d probably say “Why the hell did you give a copy of your house keys to him?”. While, it is clear that you wouldn’t ask for the neighbor to peek in; with all that power to do so, why wouldn’t he? Now, we have Facebook Home, with the ability to replace the launcher on Android, it will have all the keys to your device. If you give that to Facebook, privacy isn’t your problem. But, Facebook Home appears to have other very concerning things you should think about. I take a look at this very interesting development from Facebook.
There has be a heck of a lot of conjecture about Facebook’s coming event on April 4th coined “Come See Our New Home On Android”. You knew it would never happen on April 1st, that’s for sure. Lots of folks are saying that this is actually a “Facebook Phone”. Others are saying that this will be simply a new fork of the Android operating system – something that everyone seems to be doing already. MG Siegler gets into what he thinks constitutes an actual fork of Android, and it makes lots of sense.
You might remember a post on this very blog talking about a game addiction to Plants vs Zombies, the very popular strategy game on many platforms. One of my first experiences playing the game was on an iPad, and then on the iPhone and, more recently on an Android phone and tablet. Since purchasing the Nexus 7 (review here), I’ve wanted to try to Plants vs Zombies again so I went to pick it up in the Google Play store. What I purchased for $2.99, however, was disappointment.
I use a heck of allot of tools and utilities. I use tools for database access, process viewing, registry searching, debugging, error log parsing, mail connections and even four or five different types of FTP servers. I’ve even made a tool or two for you. I tend to prefer tools that are as cross-platform as possible and that generally stand the test of time. The better of them are ones that provide the kind of flexibility that they become something entirely new. Those are the tools that I’m interested in, and the ones I want to write about. Very few of the tools I use fit into the category of “That great tool” – one of them, though, is Total Commander.
Many folks seem to be a bit confused about this. Since I’m a frequent visitor of Starbucks stores time and time again I hear that it’s not possible to pay for purchases at the counter with an Android phone. I hear that there is no official Starbucks application on the Android platform. I hear all sorts of things, so let me set the record straight on this so you have happily ditch (or, keep it in a safe place) that Starbucks card and start paying with your Android phone.
I’m a big user of the Android Operating System. I’ve been using it for some time since having the first Android phone, the T-Mobile G1 in late 2010 and now, recently, the Nexus S. I’m really not a fan of the iPhone – in fact, I can’t take that phone seriously. What is most interesting about both platforms, however, is the application discovery process. Often you find out about apps in the market, you read stuff, and you find blogs that tell you about cool apps. So, I thought I’d make a list too. Here are my favorite Android applications to-date. All of the QR codes provided here can be scanned with your Android device simply with the Google Goggles app.
I had a conversation recently with a like-mind technical fellow.
Him: “Can I ask you a serious question?”
Him: “Right now, what phone would you buy?”
What you don’t see is the lack of a pause or time to reflect. What you don’t see is that I typed my response on an iPhone 4. Yes, while I have spent some time with the iPhone, Android is the clear winner on most every level. In fact, despite a couple good things, I find it difficult to take the iPhone seriously. Let me explain why.