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Android

Submission + - Windows apps coming to Android courtesy of Wine (zdnet.com)

SternisheFan writes: ZDNet's Nick Heath writes:

"Software that allows Windows apps to run on Android devices was demoed at the Fosdem 2013 open source conference this weekend.

A version of the Wine compatibility layer that allows Windows software to run on Unix-like operating systems — such as Linux, Mac OSX and BSD — was shown running on Android at the conference in Brussels.

The demo by Alexandre Julliard, one of the original developers of Wine, showed Wine running on an emulated Android environment.

Phoronix reports the performance of Wine on Android to be "horrendously slow" but says these problems were attributed to it running on an emulated environment rather than a native Android OS.

Wine is designed to allow Windows apps to be run on a Unix-like OS direct from the desktop or terminal. The makers claim it bypasses many performance and memory penalties of other methods for simulating computing environments, such as running virtual machines, by translating Windows API calls into POSIX calls on the fly.

The Android OS predominantly runs on ARM-based devices today, and a separate demo at the Fosdem conference showed Wine running on ARM-based hardware.

There was no news on when support for ARM-based devices or Android will be added to a publicly available Wine release.

Android

Submission + - Stolen Android apps reportedly being sold in BlackBerry App World (bgr.com)

SternisheFan writes: "BGR.com's Zach Epstein reports:
  One of the biggest problems with launching a new mobile platform just as the current leaders are starting to peak is attracting enough top developers to create an appealing ecosystem. Just ask Microsoft. Research In Motion says it is making good progress in that regard and it expects BlackBerry App World to house more than 70,000 BlackBerry 10 apps when the new OS launches in the coming months. RIM is hedging its bets though, and its new BlackBerry OS will also support Android apps, providing developers that do not wish to build new apps with an easy way to repackage their current Android applications. The process is so easy, in fact, that some people are reportedly stealing Android applications and publishing them in RIM’s app store without the original authors’ consent.
  In a message posted to Reddit on Tuesday, a user warned fellow Android developers that they should monitor BlackBerry App World to ensure that others aren’t stealing their applications and listing them in RIM’s software market. He praised RIM for making the app porting process so simple, but went on to say that the vendor does not “check the origin of the apps” to ensure they’re being listed by the proper publishers.
  “I recently had two users email me about certain compatibility problems,” the developer wrote. “They did mention that they were using Playbooks, but I figured they were running some kind of Android ROM on their devices. I asked one of them for his Google account, and he informed me that he only had a BB ID, not a Google account, and that he had downloaded the app from BB App World.”
  He continued, “Sure enough, someone had downloaded my app from Google Play, converted the APK and published it for BB using his account, along with half a dozen other Android apps that were obviously not his own. Most of them have since been taken down, but his account remains active, and he still has three apps published that look like they might be from Google Play.”
  The developer went on to state that one of his apps that had been repackaged and distributed in BlackBerry App World without his permission was a paid app and it was being sold for three times the price he charges in Google’s app store.
  “RIM respects intellectual property. We expect others to do the same,” RIM’s senior public relations and social media manager, Alex Kinsella, said to BGR in a statement delivered via email. ”If a developer believes that their copyright or trademark rights are being infringed by third-party content on the BlackBerry App World storefront, the developer can submit a complaint to our IP team and the issue will be reviewed. In the case of copyright or trademark violations, the offending content will be removed immediately.”"

Android

Submission + - Why Mark Shuttleworth thinks Ubuntu on phones will outclass Android (arstechnica.com) 1

SternisheFan writes: "Jon Brodkin of ArsTechnica writes:

2013 or the beginning of 2014, as we reported earlier today. After the announcement, Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth spoke to the media about why he thinks Ubuntu will be great on phones and, more specifically, why it will be better than Android. Somewhat confusingly, Ubuntu has two phone projects. One of them is called "Ubuntu for Android," which allows Android smartphones to act as Ubuntu PCs when docked with a monitor, mouse, and keyboard. The version of Ubuntu for phones announced today is just Ubuntu, no Android required, allowing devices to run Ubuntu in both the phone and PC form factor, with different interfaces optimized for the different screens. Canonical is keeping Ubuntu for Android around, even as it touts its own phone operating system as a better alternative. The smartphone market is already dominated by iPhone and Android, with RIM losing prominence, Windows Phone making a charge at third place, and various other operating systems aiming for elusive name recognition. So why should carriers and handset makers warm to Ubuntu, and why should anyone buy an Ubuntu phone? In short, Shuttleworth believes that Ubuntu will be more user-friendly for people who barely know how to use a smartphone, and he says it will offer a more powerful alternative to Android at the high end for several reasons, including Ubuntu's ability to operate across mobile devices and desktops (click here for more on the design of Ubuntu for phones.) Here are Shuttleworth's comments:"

Android

Submission + - Android "Clear Leader" In Smartphone Race Says Report (byte.com)

SternisheFan writes: An analysis of the mobile phone market by analyst firm International Data Corporation's (IDC) shows Android the "clear leader" in the smart phone mobile operating system race with 68.3% of the market in 2012. The iPhone is a distant second at 18.8% with all other operating systems below 5%. Growth of the overall mobile phone market, including non-smart "feature phones," is up a measly 1.4% in 2012, indicating that all the growth is in smart phones.
    IDC also projects market share in 2016, when it expects Android to remain the dominant player, but with share dropping to 63.8%. The forecast shows Android as holding dominance because it is the easiest to sell to the great mass of customers, while iPhones have become a premium, high-priced option that "...will make it cost prohibitive for some users within many emerging markets," according to the report. If Apple wants to grow this share, IDC says it will need to consider lower-priced models. IDC projects iOS market share nearly unchanged in 2016 at 19.1%.
IDC report: http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS23818212#.UL6UqoPAcrV

Android

Submission + - Nokia May be Planning an Android Smartphone (tomshardware.com)

SternisheFan writes: From TomsHardware.com;
    Despite Nokia's close relationship with Microsoft due to the former's support for Windows Phone 8 and arlier versions of the OS, the Finnish firm could be planning an Android-powered smartphone.

The company recently posted ajob advertisement on LinkedIn seeking aLinux expert to work within a "start-up environment." The ad makes mention of "exciting new products" and "mobile phone technology".

The posting, which was for unknown reasons made inactive and inaccessible on Friday, was entitled "Principal Software Engineer, Embedded Linux Middleware."

Should the advert be referring to another project other than an Android device, one possibility is that Nokia is working onits own Maps app — or other general applications — for Google's platform.

Android

Submission + - iPhone user tries Android Phone: Week One (flesheatingzipper.com)

SternisheFan writes: 'Kelly' blogs of his first time with Android...
    "At the beginning of the week I posted my first day experiences with switching from iPhone to my Android, HTC Droid DNA. The main issues I was having were email related and how the stock email app isn’t very clear on setting up multiple emails with different providers. As well as it seemed everyone wants you to use their own email app when I want to use just one. I’m getting used to HTC Sense and the differences that I’ve noticed from playing with stock Jelly Bean on a Nexus 7. I don’t mind Sense at all and the phone runs extremely fast than the iPhone. Closing apps is way faster and easier. All I do is hit the app button and swipe up. Getting around Verizon’s $3/month visual voicemail was easy after I found out that with Verizon you can forward your voicemail to another phone and that Google Voice knows this and even walks you through how to set it up. I’ve got give a shout out to the guys that posted on my original article telling me about that. Auto updating apps is sweet!"

Android

Submission + - Dev Version of Android-Based Ouya Console Ships Dec. 28 (pcmag.com)

SternisheFan writes: The Android-based Ouya game console is well on its way to becoming a reality. The team behind the record-breaking Kickstarter project is looking to ship an early version of the console and controller to developers by year's end. "On December 28, they leave the factory and should arrive within a couple of days (we've heard that Turkey and Russia might take a bit longer)," Ouya said today. "Yes, we are shipping these to you on time, as promised." Ouya stressed that the consoles are an "early version" of the gadget that are "designed for developers to test their games on Ouya." Ouya will be shipping this version of the console to the more than 600 people who paid more than $699 on Kickstarter to back the project. A few lucky developers without such deep pockets, however, might still be able to nab an early Ouya.
Android

Submission + - Best Anti-Malware Scanner For Android Devices

SternisheFan writes: "by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Forbes:
  "What’s the best anti-malware scanner for Android devices?"
      I have both an Android smartphone and a tablet. The best place to go for impartial information about anti-malware scanners —called anti-virus scanners back in the day —is AV-TEST.org. This organization puts scanners through their paces and sorts the wheat from the chaff. According to a test of 41 different scanners carried out back in March 2012, and products from the following companies had detection rates of 90% and above. In AV-TEST’s own words, “users of products made by these companies can be assured that they are protected against malware.”
      Avast, Dr. Web, F-Secure, Ikarus, Kaspersky Lookout, McAfee, MYAndroid Protection/MYMobile Security, NQ Mobile/NetQin, Zoner (tablet version).
    Of this group, the one I like best is... (see article)"
Android

Submission + - Google targets Android fragmentation with updated terms for SDK (pcworld.com)

SternisheFan writes: Google has expanded its legal agreement with developers working on Android applications to specifically prohibit them from taking any action that could lead to a fragmentation of the operating system. The prohibition was added to the terms and conditions for Google’s Android SDK (software development kit), which developers must accept before using the software to build Android apps. The previous version of the terms of service, published in April 2009, didn’t address the issue, but the new terms published on Tuesday include this new paragraph: “You agree that you will not take any actions that may cause or result in the fragmentation of Android, including but not limited to distributing, participating in the creation of, or promoting in any way a software development kit derived from the SDK.” Google did not respond to several requests for comment. The issue of Android fragmentation has been gaining increased attention, but it’s happened largely as a result of actions taken by Google and Android handset makers, not developers. It’s a problem because it means that Android applications may not run properly across all Android devices. “It continues to be a problem, both on smartphones and tablets,” said Avi Greengart, research director at Consumer Devices. “Google has talked about multiple initiatives for dealing with it, but none of them have successfully addressed it.”
Android

Submission + - Android and Linux on a dual-booting tablet for $100 (arstechnica.com)

SternisheFan writes: by Jon Brodkin, ArsTechnica: PengPod tablets, made by a company called Peacock Imports, will dual-boot Android 4.0 and a version of Linux with the KDE Plasma Active interface for touch screens. But in order to reserve a tablet for yourself, you’ll have to contribute to the company’s crowdfunding project on Indiegogo and hope enough money is raised to begin production. The folks behind PengPod are off to a slow start, with $769 raised toward its goal of $49,000, which must be met by Dec. 2. Small donations starting at $10 will reserve bootable SD cards preloaded with Linux images suitable for PengPod devices, while $99 will provide a PengPod700 7-inch tablet with 1GB RAM and 8GB SSD. Donating $185 will get you a PengPod1000 10-inch tablet, also with 1GB RAM and 8GB SSD. For $85, there’s a "PengStick" mini PC that can hook up to a monitor or TV and run Android or Linux.
    "Our goal is to build a powerful, True Linux Tablet, one free of Google and Android's restrictions, at a reasonable price," the PengPod IndieGogo page says. "If you're a Linux fanatic you probably ended up getting an Android phone. Hey, it's Linux right? It'll be open, run all the programs I'm familiar with and let me hack around and have some fun right? Too often, this is not so. That is why we set out to find a way to run real Linux and all the software you really want."

Android

Submission + - How to Stop Your Smartphone from Secretly Wasting Data in the Background (lifehacker.com) 1

SternisheFan writes: By Andy Dachis, Lifehacker: Unlimited data plans are an endangered species nowadays, so most of us have to watch our limits in order to avoid excess charges on our bill. That's easy enough when we know how much cellular data we're using on our smartphones, but becomes problematic when our smartphones eat up ou it r precious megabytes in the background. This doesn't just happen on Android, but iPhone, too..
    Recently, a friend asked me for help when he reached 90% of his data usage despite barely using any data. I thought this was surprising because he has an iPhone and iPhones aren't allowed to do a whole lot in the background. Despite these limitations, apps can still do a fair amount of downloading when they're not open and regardless of how they're connected to the internet. In short, you could end up going over your data limits easily without even knowing it, regardless of whether you're on Android or iPhone. In this post we're going to look at how to figure out which apps are eating your data unnecessarily and how to stop them."

    This article gives several tips on how to conserve mobile data usage. What do Slashdot readers do to keep data usage within monthly limits?

Android

Submission + - Five years of Android by the numbers (cnet.com)

SternisheFan writes: CNET: (Credit: Google)

Google's mobile OS is five years young today — Androids don't age, they just get updated and replaced — and my colleagues at Crave UK have the full story of how Android began. I, however, wanted to look at the numbers that tell us how far it's come.

First let's take a look at the favorite metric of Andy Rubin and other Googlers — the total-Android-activations number. The Googleplex tells us the total number hit a half billion back in mid-September, around the same time Google Chairman Eric Schmidt was quoted as saying there were 1.3 million new activations each day. Doing some quick math on the Android calculator app, I get just over 570 million total activations up to the current day. That's almost two Android devices per U.S. citizen, and quickly approaching one for every 10 people on Earth.

At the current rate of growth (taking Schmidt's word for it, of course), Android will reach a billion activations before its sixth birthday next year. That's a few years less than it took Facebook to reach a billion active users, which is pretty impressive considering that all Facebook accounts are free to set up, but few Android devices come without a price or carrier contract.

Android

Submission + - Android turns 5 (pcworld.com)

SternisheFan writes: Given Android's ubiquity today, it's almost hard to believe that it has only been around a few years.
    Sure enough, though, it was exactly five years ago Monday that the newly formed Open Handset Alliance announced the Linux-based mobile platform, and it's been nothing short of a wild ride ever since.

"This partnership will help unleash the potential of mobile technology for billions of users around the world," said Google Chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt at the time. "Our vision is that the powerful platform we're unveiling will power thousands of different phone models."

Android

Submission + - Mary Meeker: Android will continue to dominate (cnet.com)

SternisheFan writes: Kleiner Perkins venture capitalist Mary Meeker, once known by many as the "Queen of the Net," gave a surprise midyear Internet Trends report update to a small crowd in San Francisco, according to TechCrunch. Meeker, who gives legendary presentations each year about the state of the technology business, touched on mobile growth, Android adoption, and tablet usage.

The key tidbit to come out was that Android smartphone adoption is growing six times faster than the iPhone, according to TechCrunch. That's not a huge surprise, considering that Android continues to have a strong grip on the U.S. mobile market, though Apple is finally starting to see some gains. Meeker also noted that mobile growth is strong, and that iPad adoption is quickly overtaking iPhone uptake. As TechCrunch noted, "iPad adoption is now ramping up five times faster than iPhone adoption, up from 3X in her May report."

Plus, by the end of the second quarter of next year, the combined number of smartphone and tablet users will surpass PCs.

The event was apparently held to tout the Lending Club's announcement that it's exceeded $1 billion in personal loans. Meeker is on the Lending Club's board of directors.

Android

Submission + - IDC report: Tablet market grows nearly 50 percent, Apple loses iPad share (zdnet.com)

SternisheFan writes: Summary: While Apple continues to dominate the growing tablet market, Samsung is making a play with their Android competitors. Asus also did well thanks to the Google Nexus 7 launched earlier this year. By Matthew Miller for The Mobile Gadgeteer
    While Apple begins to deliver the new iPad mini to new buyers, today we read the IDC report on worldwide tablet shipments that has Apple dominating the tablet market. Apple's share did decline from 59.7 percent to 50.4 percent, but the firm did see growth of 26.1 percent in shipments year on year. The share loss for Apple was picked up primarily by Samsung, Amazon, and Asus. It seems the Asus manufactured Google Nexus 7 helped quite a bit as they saw a 252.9% growth in shipments over the last year. Samsung is now clearly in second place with 18.4 percent of the market, thanks to a 325 percent growth in shipments on the previous year. This is a huge increase. With the new Note 10.1 and Google's Nexus 10, both developed by Samsung, this figure is likely to continue to grow. Apple's iPad mini received on the whole good reviews and the lower price point should get more people into the tablet market, so it will be interesting to see how Apple fares at the end of the current fourth quarter and fiscal year.
    The entire tablet market grew 49.5 percent over the last year and it seems that more and more people are starting to find a place for a tablet in their lives.

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