Archives for

smartphone

How to Install iOS in Android Smartphone

ios in android smartphone

Update August 2017: If you are looking for the best way to install iOS the operating system onto your Android phone, then you will probably be disappointed since it has not been done publicly. The claims in the past have been debunked or even removed all together.

The ideal solution to get the best iOS experience on your Android phone is to download an iOS launcher, we have downloaded several and played with a few. Some simply crashed and some iOS launchers do not crop the icons correctly to fit. Overall the best iOS launcher that best resembles the iOS interface are these two:

One Launcher

Of all the iOS launchers for Android we tested, we liked the One Launcher the best.  Its interface resembles the iOS interface, even all the way down to the long-press-hold icons to delete/uninstall apps, the icon does in fact wiggles and user has option to press the “X” to uninstall, this is just one of the small details that should be in an iOS launcher, but aren’t found on all.  The One Launcher has an outstanding 4.3 user review out of 5, with over 500,000 downloads, so there are plenty of happy users.  Just make sure your Android device is running Android version 4.0.3 or above.

xOS Launcher

Not too far behind in our iOS launcher list is the xOS Launcher, which also sports a beautiful iOS-like interface.  Has just about anything you would expect for an iOS experience. It has have a slightly lower user review at 4.2 stars, and a tad less users than the One Launcher.  Be sure to have Android verision 4.0.3 or up to use this launcher.

Overall, of all the iOS launchers for Android, we liked these two the best.  Both apps were recently updated, so that means it is constantly being monitored for bugs with support.  Which of the two did you like best?

Email Us

For more questions about Android devices, send us your questions or comments on this page.


Note: the method below is no longer valid as of 2016, we highly suggest you try the iOS launcher mentioned above instead.

A recently sent question to The Droid Guy Mailbag asks, “Just a random question—Is there a possible way to install iOS in Android Smartphone?”

There is a way to transform your Android Smartphone’s operating system to iOS. However, make sure that your phone is running any of these Android operating system versions before trying the method:

  • 1.5 Cupcake
  • 1.6 Donut
  • 2.0 to 2.1 Éclair
  • 2.2 Froyo
  • 2.3 to 2.3.2 Gingerbread
  • 2.3.3 to 2.3.7 Gingerbread
  • 3.1 Honeycomb
  • 3.2 Honeycomb
  • 4.0.x Ice Cream Sandwich
  • 4.1.x Jelly Bean
  • 4.2 Jelly Bean
  • 4.3 Jelly Bean
  • 4.4 KitKat

For a good measure, download the newest version of Android before proceeding.

How to Install iOS in Android Smartphone

You don’t have to root your device if you want to install iOS to Android Smartphone. Just download the software, which is found on the “Sources” section of this page, in your PC. Then, connect  your Smartphone to your computer. Open the downloaded program and follow the step-by-step procedures there.

Possible Risks

Despite the overwhelming positive feedbacks of users who have tried this solution, be warned that there may be issues associated with the software used to install iOS in Android Smartphone.

One is that the platform of Android phones such as the Galaxy series, HTC, Nexus Series and others are specially designed for their default OS. So, changing their recommended OS might expose you to some problems like loss of functionality in some features of your device, voiding its warranty and bricking.

It should be noted that the distributor of the software even admitted there is a small chance you might brick your device in the process, especially if the installation guide is not followed strictly.

Second, the software comes from a third-party source, and we can’t vouch that it is 100% reliable or trusted.

Despite these possible risks, feedbacks from people who have tried the solution said that it worked for them without any issue. Their overwhelming positive feedbacks can be found in an XDA thread where this subject has been featured, and comments in the YouTube account of its developer.

Source: The software can be found at the iOS on Android website. User feedbacks can be found in YouTube and XDADevelopers.

Solution to a Samsung Galaxy S4 Ascending Ringtone Volume Issue

removing annoying galaxy s4 notifications

Galaxy S4 Ascending Ringtone Volume

Recently, we received this message from a user who seems to be experiencing a Samsung Galaxy S4 ascending ringtone volume issue. His message reads, “I am experiencing a Galaxy S4 problem wherein my ringtone starts very low and then it jumps up to high. Is there a way to fix this?”

Possible Ways to Fix the Samsung Galaxy S4 Ascending Ringtone Volume

Here are ways to address the problem about a Galaxy S4 ascending ringtone volume:

A. Disable the Pocket Ring Option

The issue appears to be caused by the features of the Pocket Ring option present in the Galaxy S4. This can easily be fixed by disabling the feature using the following steps:

1. Open Settings.

2. Go to My Device.

3. Proceed to Call.

4. Select Call Settings.

5. Uncheck “Increase Volume in Pocket”.

If you want to keep the setting or your phone still triggers the ascending ringtone sound even if it is not in your pocket, check if:

1. Its proximity sensors beside the front camera lens are dirty.

2. There is a protective film covering the proximity sensors.

3. The proximity sensors are defective.

B. Clear Overall Cache

When the problem persists even if you have disabled the pocket ring option already, try clearing the overall cache of your device through the Storage menu in its Settings.

C. Remove Interfering Apps

Check if you have installed apps that may be triggering the unwanted operation. Try disabling or uninstalling the apps that you have installed recently just before you noticed the problem.

Another way to check if there are third-party apps causing the issue is by starting your phone under Safe Mode. Then, have someone to call you to see if the jumping volume still occurs.

If Safe Mode eliminates the problem, there is definitely a third-party app or group of third-party apps causing all the trouble. Simply uninstall them for a quick solution. But if the problem persists in Safe Mode, the issue may already be in the hardware. So, if this is the case, have your phone checked by a trusted Samsung technician.

D. Do a Factory Reset

A Factory Reset should only be performed once you have exhausted all the possible solutions and if you have determined that the problem is not within the hardware itself. Be sure to backup everything in your device though because the process will totally refresh your system files and wipe out all the contents of your device.

Email Us

For more questions related to Android smartphones or tablets, feel free to email us via [email protected].

How to Locate Missing Galaxy S4 Successfully

locate missing galaxy s4

locate missing galaxy s4

We will help you how to effectively locate a missing Galaxy S4 using the native features of your Samsung Smartphone. To do this, simply follow the steps below:

A. Enable the “Remote Controls” Feature

activating remote controls of galaxy s4

This portion requires you to set up a Samsung account first. You can find the option to do it in the Accounts tab of your Settings. Be reminded that you should do this while you have your device.

1. Open Settings and make sure that you have selected the More tab.

2. Go to Security.

3. Under the Find My Mobile section, select Remote Controls.

4. Hit OK in the introduction message.

5. Add your Samsung account.

6. Make sure that the Remote Controls switch is active or in green, and the Use Wireless Networks option under Location Consent has been checked.

7. Agree to the popup message.

B. Use Find My Mobile to Locate Missing Galaxy S4

locate missing galaxy s4

Note that the series of steps below should be done as soon as you have a strong belief that your Android device has gone missing.

1. Go to the Find My Mobile page at the official website of Samsung using any Internet-enabled device.

2. Sign in using the Samsung account of your missing Galaxy S4.

3. If you have more than one device registered using your Samsung account, choose the one that has gone missing.

4. Open the Locate My Mobile tab. This will show you the location of your missing Smartphone unit.

5. If your device is nearby, you can force it to ring by selecting the Ring My Mobile tab.

6. If your device is not within your vicinity, you can lock its screen using the configurations under the Lock My Mobile section.

7. If you are positive that your device has been stolen and retrieval is already impossible, or there are important data that you have to protect from prying eyes, you can delete all the contents of your missing phone using the Wipe My Mobile option.

Email Us

For questions about Android devices, email us at [email protected]

Source: Samsung Find My Mobile User Guide

Fix Verizon Galaxy S5 “Software not updated to G900VVRU2BOG5 Failed…Error Code 550”

Recently, #Verizon rolled out a minor update for #GalaxyS5 and other #SamsungGalaxy devices to address #Stagefright, which affects many Android devices as it is embedded deep in the firmware. It’s an Android 5.0 Lollipop update with build number G900VVRU2BOG5 and is around 300+ MB in size.

Verizon-Galaxy-S5-update-lollipop

More often, users are notified upon the availability of the update but they can also manually search for it via Settings. It can be easily installed but there’s no guarantee it will all be smooth-sailing. In fact, we’ve been receiving emails from some Verizon subscribers complaining about the error they get when trying to install the new update. Here’s one of the messages…

On August 12, 2015, I attempted to update this phone but got the following message: “Last System Update: Software not updated to G900VVRU2BOG5 Failed – Aug 12 2015 at 10:30pm. Error Code 550.” There is no option for me to correct this problem to enable this update. Please advise.”

In case you have other issues with your phone, check out the troubleshooting page we setup for the Samsung Galaxy S5. It contains hundreds of solutions to problems we already addressed in the past. Find issues related to yours and try the solutions we provided. If they won’t work, then feel to contact us as we are always willing to help you.

Troubleshooting

The issue I cited here is not really not serious. In fact, it’s just a “failed update” and you can always re-try to download the firmware until the installation is successful, although there are other methods to pull down the update from Verizon’s or Samsung’s servers. Here are some steps you can try…

Step 1: Reboot and re-download 

If the first attempt failed, reboot your phone and attempt to download the update again. This is the most basic, yet proven effective for minor issues, troubleshooting procedure. If you’ve successfully updated your phone over the air in the past, then there’s no reason for it to refuse the most recent update unless something not right is at play. For example, during the download, the internet connection got cut off for some reason and since the phone couldn’t contact the server, the error occurred.

So, after you’ve rebooted your phone, check for your internet connection and make sure it’s active and then begin with the download again.

Another reason could be that your phone froze and some services in the background stopped resulting to an error during the download or installation. This is where reboot is very important.

Step 2: Clear cache and data of Download Manager, re-download 

After a failed attempt, some caches and data may have already been saved in your phone and this could be the reason why the second attempt failed as well. All you need to do is clear the files of the unfinished download and attempt to download the firmware.

  1. From any Home screen, tap Apps.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Scroll to ‘APPLICATIONS,’ then tap Application manager.
  4. Swipe right to the ALL screen.
  5. Scroll to and tap Download Manager.
  6. Tap Clear cache.
  7. Tap Clear data, then OK.

Step 3: Use Samsung Kies to update your device

If over-the-air update failed after several attempts, there’s another option and this time, it’s more effective–using Samsung Kies. You will, however, need a computer to be able to use this program to work with your phone. If you haven’t used it, here’s how…

  1. Head to Samsung website and download Kies.
  2. Install it on your computer.
  3. Connect your phone to your computer using the original USB cable.
  4. Run Kies and make backups of your data if you so desired.
  5. Pull the update down to your computer using Kies.
  6. Install the update to your phone.

Step 4: Manually install the stock firmware to your phone (optional)

This step is only for people who are willing to take risks. I included this just to let others know this procedure exists. And just like the previous step, you will need a computer to do this…

  1. Download ODIN and install it to your computer.
  2. Download the stock firmware for your phone.
  3. Connect your device to your computer.
  4. Install the firmware to your phone using ODIN.
  5. Wait until installation is complete.

Step 5: Let the tech take care of the problem

While the recent update is a minor one, it is very important because it patches the vulnerability that may allow “others” to take over your phone. Perhaps you should visit a Verizon store and let the company’s tech take care of the problem for you.

You see, if you follow step 4, the warranty of your device will become void but if an authorized tech do it for you, the warranty stays. Basically, if the tech can’t install the new firmware using the standard procedure, then he will have to manually install it.

Important note: If the first attempt failed but the second pushed through, there is a possibility that the phone will be stuck in boot loop after the installation. In this case, you need to wipe the cache partition to force the phone to create new files and you may need to reboot your phone 3 or 4 times to get all apps optimized. Here’s how you wipe the cache partition…

  1. Turn off the device.
  2. Press and hold the following three buttons at the same time: Volume Up key, Home key, and Power key.
  3. When the phone vibrates, release the Power key but continue to press and hold the Volume Up key and the Home key.
  4. When the Android System Recovery screen appears, release the Volume Up and Home keys.
  5. Press the Volume Down key to highlight ‘wipe cache partition.’
  6. Press the Power key to select.
  7. When the wipe cache partition is complete, ‘Reboot system now’ is highlighted.
  8. Press the Power key to restart the device.

Don’t worry, your data will and files will not be touched.

Connect with us

We are always open to your problems, questions and suggestions, so feel free to contact us by filling up this form. We support every Android device available and we are serious in what we do. This is a free service we offer and we won’t charge you a penny for it. But please note that we receive hundreds of emails every day and it’s impossible for us to respond to every single one of them. But rest assured we read every message we receive. For those whom we’ve helped, please spread the word by sharing our posts to your friends or by simply liking our Facebook and Google+ page or follow us on Twitter.

 

Samsung becomes the world’s top smartphone seller yet again

Samsung Galaxy C7

Samsung Galaxy S6 - HTC

According to a report from Strategy Analytics which covers the first quarter of 2015, Samsung has yet again claimed the top smartphone OEM spot this year. Apple overtook Samsung late last year with the launch of devices like the iPhone 6 and the 6 Plus, but the Korean manufacturer will be glad that the run didn’t last long.

It is said that Samsung shipped 83.2 million in Q1 2015, up from 74.5 million in Q4 2014, so it has certainly seen an increase this quarter. Interestingly, these figures don’t include the sales of the Galaxy S6 or the Galaxy S6 Edge which were made available earlier this month. So we can only imagine what the figures would be like during the end of Q2 2015.

Apple managed to sell 61.2 million smartphones in the first quarter of the year, which is an impressive feat considering that they only have a bunch of smartphones on offer. Lenovo-Motorola were at third place and by quite some distance too with only 18.8 million units shipped in the period. Overall, it seems like Samsung’s sales are on the rise again which is very good news for the company.

Source: Strategy Analytics

Via: Android Authority

Moto G becomes Motorola’s highest selling smartphone

Moto G

The Moto G is no doubt one of the best value-for-money devices out there. Motorola made it immediately obvious that it wants to sell the device in large numbers in order to remain competitive in the midrange segment. The manufacturer has now announced that the smartphone is officially its most successful smartphone.

This is a commendable feat for Motorola as the smartphone is just under five months old in the market. Popular carriers around the world, including Verizon Wireless have been selling the device for a few months now. The handset has also been available all over the world with an unlocked price of $179 and $199 for the 8 and 16GB variants respectively, so its popularity is no surprise really.

Motorola failed to give out specific numbers of its sales, but it is believed that the Indian market had a huge part to play in the success of the smartphone. The handset was apparently sold online only in the region through a local retailer which seems to have sparked tremendous interest among potential buyers. Considering that Motorola doesn’t enjoy the kind of marketing money that Samsung or other major companies have, it would be very impressed with the smartphone’s performance globally.

Source: DNA India

Via: Talk Android

Five unusual devices that run on Android

Android has had a huge growth over the last few years. Back when Android was first showcased on a QWERTY prototype, it could be easily noticed that it was intended to compete with BlackBerry smartphones. By the time Google brought the first Android powered smartphone onto the market, it was molded into an entirely different platform, one that has been targeted to be an iPhone competitor. Now, Android is the go-to operating system from smartphones to tablets or smart TVs. Android has also paved the way for a deluge of affordable handsets and tablets that are starting to become more and more common. But here are 5 types of device categories that no one would’ve thought would actually use Android, either pure or customized.

1. Wearable Computing Devices

Glass

Android used to be criticized for being too hardware heavy when compared to Windows Phone or iOS. But with Android 4.xx, Google has managed to heavily optimize and expedite Android that even devices such as Google Glass and various smartwatches, which are low on processing power, at least compared to smartphones and tablets, are able to run Android efficiently. Samsung, with Galaxy Gear and Sony, with their Smart Watch 2, have launched smartwatches based on full-fledged versions of Android. They can not only show notifications from your smartphone on to their own displays, but can also do things like calling and playing back music.

Although there are rumors that Apple will bring their own version of a smartwatch with a heavily cut down version of iOS, they are still a couple of years away from doing that in all likelihood. Meanwhile, LG is said to be joining the fray, and is said to showcase a smartwatch called G Arch and a fitness tracker by the name of G Health at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next year. The G Arch smartwatch will offer similar functionality to that of the Galaxy Gear, and will likely run Android 4.4 KitKat.

2. Android Powered Headphones

Headset

This one is truly weird.  Back in 2011, Nox-Audio showcased a working prototype of an over-the-head headphones dubbed “Admiral Touch” that was actually running Android on a touchscreen mounted on the headset. Apart from being able to connect to a wide range of audio solutions like the iPod and various smartphones over Bluetooth, it could also stream music from in-built or third-party Android apps such as Spotify. It also had the ability to interface with gaming consoles like the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3. Users could engage in voice chats with friends through Skype’s Android app, which was installed on it. Although Nox-Audio couldn’t bring it to the market, they managed to prove that it is possible to run Android on devices like headphones.

3. Home Appliances & Home Automation Systems

Fridge

There are a lot of home appliances from brands such as Samsung, LG, etc. running a full-fledged Android OS. Samsung T9000 refrigerator features a 10-inch touchscreen with Wi-Fi and comes pre-loaded with Android. It runs apps like Evernote and Epicurious to note and browse recipes apart from a calendar, weather widget as well as a tool that shows expiry date for contents stored inside the refrigerator. Samsung is not the only one focusing on Android powered home appliances. MAID, an Android powered microwave oven developed by an Indian startup SectorQube can auto cook unlimited number of dishes by downloading them from the website, apart from making operations simpler with touchscreen controls. There are several other brands which are developing or showcasing smart lighting and home automation solutions with Android based controllers.

LG is said to be working on HomeChat, a smart home initiative that lets different utilities interact with one another. Through HomeChat, you would be able to control your washing machine, thermostat, fridge, TV and other utilities from your mobile. What is great in HomeChat is that LG has used machine learning to make it easier for users to automate their home.

4. Smart Mirror

Mirror

A Japanese company called Seraku has actually showcased an Android powered mirror for your bathroom that aims to showcase relevant information such as weather and sport scores. Fret not, you don’t have to smudge that mirror with your hands for operation. It is equipped with an RF proximity sensor to know where your hands are placed. It also showcases information regarding water flow and even your weight history.

5. Smart Digital Camera

NX100

Yes, even digital cameras are being powered by Android. Nikon first visualized this idea with Nikon CoolPix S800C, which wasn’t a particular hit but Samsung, with its Galaxy Camera showed the world how to make an ideal Android powered digital shooter. Samsung didn’t stop just by releasing an Android powered point-and-shoot, they also released the Galaxy NX which is an MILC in their NX series with Android on board.

More Effective Battery Calibration Techniques

battery calibration techniques

battery calibration techniques

A new email came in from one of our readers named Dave suggesting more effective battery calibration techniques which can be used to solve various issues related to the inaccurate battery reading of Smartphone or tablet devices.

Here are the battery calibration techniques shared to us via The Droid Guy Mailbag:

1. Completely Drain the Device’s Residual Power

Let the device drain out its charge until it powers off on its own. To make sure that it is completely drained, keep turning the device on and let it shut back down on its own. Repeat the process until the device can no longer power on. Hold the power button for at least five seconds to be absolutely sure that its battery is completely empty.

2. Charge the Battery to 100% and Keep Charging for Another 10 Minutes

The reason for the extra charging time is because the battery readouts on many devices gets rounded up or down. So, at a 99.5% charge, the battery charge reading gets rounded up and reads as being 100% charged, even though it is not actually fully charged yet. Remember not to unplug the device from the power source throughout the process.

3. Use a Battery Calibration App

Install and run a reliable battery calibration app such as the one from NeMa, which can be downloaded via Google Play store. The operation of each app may vary so be sure to check and follow the instructions provided by its developer.

Basically most battery calibration apps such as the one from NeMa deletes the battery file in the phone’s system and forces the device to create a new one to automatically recalibrate it.

Reminder

Batteries should be completely drained and fully charged every couple of months. After that, tablet or Smartphone battery calibration should only be necessary if there is a problem like the ones in our previous articles, but it should always be done after any ROM updates or changes.

Email Us

Again, thanks to Dave for contributing his battery calibration techniques.

For more questions about Android devices or tips that you wish to share to us, email us at [email protected].

Bulky Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Extended Battery Pack Now Available

Note 3 Extended Battery Pack
Note 3 Extended Battery Pack
Photo Source: Android Police

If you do not find the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 huge yet, then, the extended battery pack released by ZeroLemon will definitely further add to its size. According to Android Police, the Note 3 extended battery pack houses an enormous 10,000mAh power supply. This is also carries an NFC support for the device.

When combined with the Smartphone, the rugged Note 3 battery pack would make the whole device appear to be an unappealing chunk of brick. But on the bright side, the additional power provided to the 3200mAh Li-Ion battery of the Galaxy Note 3 will surely be very useful to its users as the accessory approximately triples its energy capacity.

Why Add an NFC Chip?

As mentioned, one of the things that were added to the Note 3 extended battery pack is the presence of an NFC chip. But why add an NFC chip to a device that already has NFC features?

Based on the report, the reason why there is an NFC chip is to ensure that the functionality is still available to the Smartphone after snapping on the bulky Note 3 battery pack. Apparently, the snap-on battery pack blocks the native NFC feature of the Galaxy Note 3. So, that explains why there is a need to add an NFC chip in it.

Other Features of the Note 3 Extended Battery Pack

In addition to the NFC chip, the Note 3 extended battery pack holds a stylus pen protective tab, microUSB protective tab, kickstand to enable different viewing angles and fitted screen protector.

Where to Buy

The source says that the Note 3 extended battery pack is already available on Amazon. Currently, it is sold for $59.99 (shipping fees not yet included).

Source: Android Police

Samsung Galaxy S5 Appears in a New Benchmark Test

rumored galaxy s5 in browsermark test
rumored galaxy s5 in browsermark test
Photo Source: TechRadar

There is a new sighting of a mysterious Samsung Smartphone that appears to be the Galaxy S5 in another benchmark test. According to TechRadar, the new phone carries a slightly different model this time. Last week, the model which was revealed in a benchmark test revealed SM-G900S while the most recent test showed SM-G900F.

The source speculates that the two models might be from the same device with different versions. The versions could be intended for separate carriers.

Rumored Galaxy S5 Beaten by iPhone 5S and Galaxy Note 3 in Browsermark Test

Despite the phone being heavily rumored to be the next flagship phone of Samsung, it somehow showed inferiority in comparison to the Galaxy Note 3 and iPhone 5 in Rightware’s Browsermark test.

The Browsermark test showed that the speculated Galaxy S5 phone falls below Apple’s iPhone 5S and the AT&T version of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 in terms of web-browsing capabilities. The SM-900F, rumored to be the Galaxy S5, showed a dismal score of 3303.88 points in comparison to 5S’s 3369.91 points and the Note 3’s 3353.07 points.

Rightware pointed out though that the SM-900F which underwent the benchmark test was running a version of the Chrome browser that was a bit outdated. The administrators of the Browsermark test said that this may have greatly affected the results.

Specs of the Galaxy S5 Based on Rumors

Last week’s test has given us a glimpse of what the supposedly Galaxy S5 phone which appeared to be superior in comparison to the existing Samsung devices. Based on the last benchmark test, the phone carries a 2560 x 1440 display with a whopping speed of 2.5GHz brought about by its quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor and Adreno 330 GPU. Then, it will also be running the Android 4.4 KitKat.

Looking at the high resolution of the device in the last week’s test, several articles published last month stated that it might be an indication that it might feature a 5.25-inch display with a pixel density of 560ppi.

Source: TechRadar

The Samsung Galaxy Round: Why the Curved Smartphone Display is Truly Innovative

F_006_Dynamic2_Black-610x424The world’s first curved smartphone display is official: The Samsung Galaxy Round. Looking at comments on the new odd looking new design, I realized how little some people understand why these flexible OLED displays are truly innovative.  The Samsung Galaxy Round has a flexible OLED display which cannot be bent by the user. Samsung bent the display around a curved case to highlight the technology. They could have placed it on a flat design. Still, the new display is lighter, thinner and much more durable compared to glass-based displays. The new flexible OLED on the Samsung is just 0.12 mm thick. Just as thick as the thinnest layer of purely protective Corning Gorilla Glass 3. And yes, it should survive a drop test much better.

With Samsung’s current design, the front glass will be less likely to impact a hard surface should it fall and hit a pavement. At the same time, the display itself is inherently more resistant to shatter damage. When the technology is perfected, these flexible OLED displays will be virtually shatter proof. Combined with water and dust resistant technology and impact resistant materials, you may soon see the coming of virtually indestructible devices that do not rely on 5 mm of plastic and rubber to keep them safe.

At the same time, the flexible OLED display will eventually allow smartphone manufacturers to make devices a bit narrower and ergonomic. At present, the Samsung Galaxy Round appears to be a bit wider than the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, both of which have 5.7-inch displays. But this is a first generation device. Still the Galaxy Round is thinner and lighter than the Galaxy Note 3.

In terms of ergonomics, with today’s flat glass front panels, you have thin designs with flat back panels. While thin and flat is impressive to look at, it really does not sit ergonomically well with our curved hands. Motorola did a good one with the Moto X by curving the back of the phone resulting in a not so sexy 10.4 mm thickness when you read the specifications sheet. But really, the 10.4 mm Moto X is actually more comfortable in the hand than those 6-7 mm designs you see with slab sides and flat backs. The curved OLED displays allow you to combine thin and light, with ergonomic.

Later generations of flexible OLED devices will allow the user to actually bend or even fold the display. This will bring a whole new set of possibilities to mobile device design. It is pretty much a certainty that smart watches and other wearable tech will benefit from flexible OLED displays.

That being said, do not be so eager to dismiss the new technology. Most likely, in one or two years’ time, your favorite smartphone will be sporting a flexible OLED display.

Image Source: Samsung Tomorrow

Component Manufacturers: Unsung Heroes of Smartphone Innovation

A particularly interesting discussion started today on Google+ about smartphone innovation. One thing often forgotten is the real heroes of smartphone innovation are the component manufacturers. Apple is often credited with having invented the modern smartphone. Credit should be given credit to two companies: Apple and LG. Back in December 2006, LG unveiled its KE850 Prada which utilized a capacitive touchscreen display. A month later, Apple announced the iPhone. The LG KE850 Prada hit the market in May 2007. Apple offered its iPhone for sale a month later.

The LG KE850 Prada.
The LG Prada. The worlds fiThe LG KE850 Prada. Unveiled in December 2006, it was the worlds first capacitive display touchscreen phone capacitive display touchscreen phone.

There has been much debate, and even an accusation by LG that Apple copied its design. Unless you have access to the confidential internal communications from both companies, I do not think anyone will be able to really ever answer that question.

My own view is that it was inevitable. You had the advent of capacitive touchscreen technology, and two manufacturers who understood its potential. The discussion is particularly apt now, since we may be seeing another innovation in smartphone technology which, while not as groundbreaking as the capacitive touchscreen, looks to be a significant change in smartphone design.

Two months ago, Motorola announced its new lineup of smartphones featuring X8 technology. Basically, this technology incorporated two low-powered processors which do very specific tasks. By doing this, the phone can run certain functions while in idle or sleep mode without having to use the more powerful but more power-hungry primary processor. This might change the way smartphones will operate in the future. Basically, they will do more while their screens are off, over and above waiting for calls, push notifications, and checking for updates in the background. This new technology will probably be used in making your smartphone a more efficient tool for communicating and integrating with other devices like smartwatches and other wearable tech like Google Glass. It will also see your smartphone becoming more integrated with things like your car and appliances.

This month, Apple revealed that their new A7 processor on the iPhone 5S also incorporates the “M7”, a separate low powered processor. I think most of us will agree that the announcement of the new technology, and the launch of the two devices in the market is too close for either company to have copied the other. New technology is available and some will decide it is the wave of the future and others will not.

The new technology was actually developed by component manufacturers and was integrated into their designs by smartphone manufacturers. Motorola’s X8 uses a pair of Texas Instrument processors. Apple’s M7 co-processor is built by NXP Semiconductors. Innovation from the device manufacturers is actually the ability to recognize newly available technology and find uses for it in consumer products. Maybe a more accurate view is smartphone innovation is a concerted effort. So while we hail smartphones manufactures for innovation, or pan them for not being innovative enough, we should remember that their ability or inability to bring forth something new also lies in the hands of lesser known companies.

Image Credit LG

LG G2 design story gets detailed

LG G2 design story

The LG G2 design story has been detailed in a video. It reveals the reasons why it opted for a design that moves the buttons to the rear, a decision which has received mixed reactions from consumers. In the video, LG reiterates the message that it gave before and during the launch of the flagship handset.

LG G2 design story
LG G2 design story

The design of the LG G2, the company claims, is a result of the attention that it paid to how people use their smartphones. Some of the factors that they prioritized include the placement of the hands as well as other habits.

The design of the LG G2 is a compromise between size and comfort. They wanted a display that is large enough so that its content would be visually appealing. On the other hand, the size of the handset should not be so large as to make it uncomfortable for the phone user. The outcome is a device with very thin bezels as well as a slim overall form factor. To allow the device to feature powerful hardware, however, a major overhaul of more traditional design elements needed to be carried out.

Their research into the smartphone usage habits of consumers showed that people typically hold the device with all fingers except the index. The grip, however, changes when the buttons on the side of the device are pressed. They discovered that the index finger commonly rests against the rear plate. This natural, intuitive tendency is what led them to place buttons on the back of the device. LG also opted to remove the parts that are commonly found on the sides of handsets, such as the power key, volume rocker, and earphone jack, in order to create a thin device.

LG also says that the elements of the device were all carefully selected to make sure that they fit into their design philosophy of elegance without flashiness. Here is a link to the video if you want to know more about the LG G2 design story.

via androidcentral

The Race to the Bottom: The Golden Age of Apps, 2008-2013

finalfantasyiv

The past five years will one day be described as the golden age of apps. Over one million applications were developed in this period. In the first part of this series, I explained why further growth in the smartphone market was based on converting feature phone users to smartphone users. Large growth in the market is based on the willingness to sell cheap smartphones. In the second part of this series, I wrote about why expansion of smartphones into the feature phone market will be fueled by Android and Windows Phone.

This will have an impact on app development, and not in the way most think. There is this theory that if Google’s Android hits a critical mass, Apple iOS app development will cease. Hogwash. If Apple was to maintain a 10% market share for the next few years, that would be a big enough market for iOS development to be lucrative to developers. That would be something in the region of 300-400 million iOS devices active at any given time, and that is assuming iOS loses market share.

What will actually impact developers more is that as the smartphone market grows, the growth will be from a user base that spends less. They spend less on the hardware and are also likely to spend less on apps. The new devices will be more and more composed of smartphones on postpaid plans, which are less likely to be connected to the Internet 24/7. So whether you make your money from apps sales, in-apps sales or ad based income, the market as it exists today is your nest egg. As smartphone sales register more and more numbers, the returns to app developers will diminish.

This impacts app developers in different ways. For example, if you are a game developer with a successful title, you should be able to release new versions of your title using the same engines for several years. Satisfied buyers, will buy your new releases. But for developers of productivity, social apps and utilities, it is a bit different. Let me digress a bit.

The last “productivity” app I bought on Google Play was Tasks by Team Tasks (now BitSpin). I purchased this on April 17, 2012. That was a new release then, and before that, I did not find an Android app I really liked for syncing with Google Tasks. Before that, the last productivity app I bought was PicSay Pro by Shinycore on December 27, 2011. While newer apps with similar functionality have been released after these two, I have not found them wanting and have had no reason to buy something else. When moving to a new platform, I buy the productivity apps I need in the first few days or weeks. Now, do not go thinking I am a miser. I have bought a dozen apps since April 2012, from SQUARE ENIX and KEMCO. I will be buying more from them. What can I say, I am a fan. These two app developers are game developers.

So this is what the picture looks like. Every two years or so, we will get a new smartphone. We we will not be buying new productivity apps. We will carry over what we had with our previous phone, and maybe pick up one or two new jewels along the way. Two years from now, the situation will be same. Every month or two, for the foreseeable future, we will pick up a new game.

There is another factor which limits how lucrative productivity apps become. Each year, more and more functionality which used to be the province of apps, has been integrated into the operating system. If you used to build virtual assistants for iOS, Siri has eaten your cake. Android keyboard developers have probably looked at the ever improving stock Android keyboard worriedly. If you are developing navigation apps, between Google Maps, Apple Maps and Nokia HERE, your days are numbered.

That is what the situation looks like for the app developers. For game developers, you have a billion user market, with a good number of users pleading with you, or harassing you, for the year’s next release. For productivity app developers, their market is shrinking by the year. The multiple device perpetual license that our current mobile apps come with, was a fine model in a market growing by leaps and bounds each year.  Each passing year is likely to make the smartphone market become less lucrative for productivity apps developers. For the party to start over again, Android or iOS, has to be displaced by something else.

To make maximize their existing investments, productivity apps developers are likely to become more interested in developing tablet-specific versions (if they have not already) and look more and more at the feasibility of porting apps over the BlackBerry 10 and Windows Phone 8.