Category Archives: Android

Firefox Beta 4 Out For Maemo & Android: Promises Faster Performance

Mozilla has just rolled out Beta 4 of its Firefox browser for Maemo and Android devices. Beta 4 promises to be noticeably faster, improve start-up and page load times and responsiveness to panning and zooming.

Firefox Beta 4 Out For Maemo & Android: Promises Faster Performance

Also advertised is compatibility with 100 add-ons to customize the features, functionality and look of your Web experience. According to Mozilla, tests on JavaScript benchmarks show Firefox 4 Beta is faster than the stock Android browser; roughly three times faster on Kraken, about twice as fast on SunSpider and slightly faster on V8.

Other advancements in this release include increasing stability, reducing installation memory usage, improving readability with zooming, and fixing some keyboard issues. The latest beta is available to download from the Android Market and if you use a Nokia N900, visit this link to get downloading.

Despite Mozilla’s claims, the browser doesn’t feel as fast in the real world and I found myself going back to the N900’s stock MicroB and the stock Android browser on my Galaxy S.

How To Transfer Your Contacts, Messages & Other Data From Symbian To Android

If you have ever tried moving from a Symbian based device to Android you would have noticed that getting your contacts, messages and other data across is not as easy as you may think. Unlike switching from a Nokia to another Nokia, there is no switch app to copy data across and importing .vcf cards on Android doesn’t always work, even if you use third party clients.

Enter SPB Software’s Migrate To Android tools, that help you copy text messages, contacts, call history and bookmarks to your shinny new Android phone. In order to transfer data, you need to install the SPB app on your Symbian device as well as on Android. Then it is only a matter of running the apps and moving data either over the air via SPB’s server or using a memory card.

How To Transfer Your Contacts, Messages & Other Data From Symbian To Android

When you first visit the Migrate To Android website you will be asked to enter your ‘From’ and ‘To’ devices and then its a simple matter of following the details on screen instructions.

When using the online method, the data is secured by a PIN and encrypted. It also deleted from the server completely after 12 hours. The SPB Migration Tool is simple and very to use, it will however set you back by US$9.95 (449.64 INR) when you buy the app from the Android Market.

Never Say Never, But Nokia Is Never Going To Make An Android Or Windows 7 Device

The rumors about Nokia making an Android or even a Windows 7 phone (now that they have an ex-Microsoft CEO) never seem to die because there is always someone fueling the fire. Soon after Ari Jaaksi’s resignation, TechCrunch put out a story about how Eric Schmidt and Stephen Elop were talking about a ‘possible’ Nokia Android device.

“We’ve heard from a good source that Google CEO Eric Schmidt has called Elop to discuss the possibility of Android running on Nokia phones. We actually heard this information about a week ago, but today’s news makes it potentially more interesting. Around the time Jaaksi was resigning, Elop and Schmidt were talking.”

You have to admit, it makes for a very juicy story and an interesting point to mull over. But before you waste time thinking about this, let me put some things in perspective.

Never Say Never, But Nokia Is Never Going To Make An Android Or Windows 7 Device

Nokia for years has now said that it wants to be a internet/services company and they have spent millions of dollars trying to do just that. They didn’t get off the floor too well, but now their services are beginning to take good shape. If they put Android on a Nokia device (lets call it the N10), where does Ovi go? Lets look at it in the light of their most successful Ovi services, Maps and the Store. Will the N10 suddenly run the Ovi Store instead of the Android Market? Will Google let Nokia replace Google Maps with Ovi Maps? People will say sure, they are free to load their own version on top, Android is ‘open’ you see. But does it make sense for Nokia to try and compete with Google on its own turf? An Android device needs you to sign in with your Google Account to get started. Will Google let Nokia replace that with an Ovi sign-on? Even if they do, it’ll be a huge mistake for Nokia to plan into their hands.

Now lets look at applications. Nokia recently spent over $150 million to acquire a company called Trolltech. Why? Because they were the ones behind Qt, the cross platform development environment. Nokia is telling developers, ‘make your app with Qt, here’s our toolkit and deploy to millions of Symbian, Maemo and MeeGo devices’. They are literally throwing millions at developers. With my own eyes I saw Stephen Elop handover the $1 million prize at Nokia World. Not to mention the $10,000 for this and $10,000 for that kind of awards that handed out in addition. One thousand free N8’s? Who can forget that.

Forum Nokia has been having developer conferences all around the world and they’re targeting America hard. Just yesterday, they gave all attended of the Nokia Developer Day a free N8 as well. You will not see it today, but the developers are really warming up to the idea of Qt and developing for Nokia in general. If Nokia even makes one Android device, all of that is gone. No developer will ever come back. Millions wasted.

Assuming Nokia does make the N10 (our fictitious Android device), what would it be like? Like a Nexus One or a Galaxy S with a better camera? Or perhaps like the new HTC QWERTY Android device with a better camera? Is there anything else they can add to the experience? Lets assume they hire Android engineers and put them to work on a slightly custom Nokia UI for Android. It will take at least 8-10 months before something even remotely usable can come out. Also by then, Nokia would have relegated themselves to being virtually a box manufacturer.

In the time that happens, MeeGo will be ready to take on the world anyway, backed by Qt. Making the apps that devs have already written for the N8 and other Symbian ^3 devices run on MeeGo is not a huge jump at all. They will also have sold a ton of Symbian ^3 devices, with Symbian ^4 on the way. After using the ‘new’ Symbian, the general distaste people have for it these days would have died down as well. 2011 is a perfect time for Nokia to reap results off their long term strategy.

Symbian ^3 for the low-mid end, with devices like the new C6 announced at Nokia World. Symbian ^4 for the mid-high end, debuting with the N8 successor perhaps. MeeGo for the absolute high end with Qt bridging the gap, and seamless Ovi Services keeping people happy.

Why would anyone want them to go Android is beyond me. Aren’t similar device from Motorola, Samsung, HTC enough? Anssi Vanjoki already told the world what he thought of other manufacturers using Android, ‘Like young boys peeing in their pants for warmth’. Sadly, he will soon be gone.

[Image via Engadget, Quote via TechCrunch]

Skype Finally Comes To Android

Skype Finally Comes To AndroidAfter what seems like ages, Skype has finally made to Android devices running Android 2.1 and above. To download Skype you will have to visit skype.com/m from your mobile phone or hit the Android market. The app brings the ability to make Skype calls via WIFI or 3G, but if you are in the US your calls will be restricted to WIFI.

In addition to calling phones, you can make Skype-to-Skype calls and send and receive IMs, one-to-one or with a group. The app has been tested on HTC and Motorola devices with Android OS 2.1 and above and should work on most other devices. Skype notes some problems with the Samsung Galaxy S, and they’re looking to address these in the future.

On a side note, Google has brought paid applications to the Android Market in a number of countries including India. The prices are displayed in INR and this opens up a whole new section of quality applications for you to browse through. Let us know what you think on the payment process and if you have the chance to compare it to purchases on the Ovi Store.

TweetDeck For Android Updated: Gets Awesome Homescreen Widgets

If you’re using an Android device, there’s some great news from TweetDeck. The TweetDeck for Android application has been updated to version v0.9.8 and with the update come three great looking widgets for your homescreen, improvements to how the columns are handled, bug fixes and performance enhancements.

TweetDeck has quickly become the preferred Twitter client on my Galaxy S and the widgets promise to make the experience even better. There is a large widget which gives you quick access to all your tweets, replies, DM’s and searches right from the homescreen. A tap on the relevant menu brings a screen similar to the second screenshot and you can go back by hitting the menu bar.

TweetDeck For Android Updated: Gets Awesome Homescreen Widgets TweetDeck For Android Updated: Gets Awesome Homescreen Widgets

The second widget is a quick compose widget that lets you update Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare etc right from the homescreen. There is also a quick mode to upload pictures. The last widget is a bar that takes you into various columns of your TweetDeck application directly. It lights up when there are new updates.

TweetDeck For Android Updated: Gets Awesome Homescreen Widgets TweetDeck For Android Updated: Gets Awesome Homescreen Widgets

The last change is a slightly reworked column settings menu which holds different notification and update settings.

TweetDeck For Android Updated: Gets Awesome Homescreen Widgets

All in all, TweetDeck for Android is maturing nicely and I like it so much that now I really want a version for Nokia devices as well. I reached out to try and see if that would be possible, but Richard Barley, the Communications Manager for TweetDeck told me that such an offering was not in the pipeline currently.

Download TweetDeck for Android here.

Samsung Releases Facebook S! Facebook For Android Alternative

Samsung Releases Facebook S! Facebook For Android Alternative For The Galaxy SThe Samsung App Store on the Galaxy S line of Android devices packs less than 10 applications and is usually not the place where you would go for all the cool Android apps. Although it does have Asphalt 5, Vlingo and a free fun utility apps like road SMS, but that’s about the extent of it.

Today I was surprised to find a pretty cool addition to the store in the form of Facebook For Samsung or Facebook S! Apparently Samsung’s isn’t too happy with the current iteration of ‘Facebook for Android’ and decided to offer something better for its users. I found the app on the Galaxy S and am not sure if Samsung’s other Android devices have also been blessed with this update.

I already have Facebook for Android installed and did not have to sign into the Facebook S! app after I downloaded and installed it. The major draw of the application is Samsung’s location integration which lets you tag your status with your location either using GPS or by picking a location on a map.

Samsung Releases Facebook S! Facebook For Android Alternative For The Galaxy S Samsung Releases Facebook S! Facebook For Android Alternative For The Galaxy S

  • The application is a light download, under 1.5 MB in size.

Samsung Releases Facebook S! Facebook For Android Alternative For The Galaxy S Samsung Releases Facebook S! Facebook For Android Alternative For The Galaxy S

  • You can click on a geo-tagged status to see it on a map.

Samsung Releases Facebook S! Facebook For Android Alternative For The Galaxy S Samsung Releases Facebook S! Facebook For Android Alternative For The Galaxy S

  • Tap the ‘add location’ button to pick a spot on the map or use the phone’s GPS. I was unable to use the GPS mode indoors, its almost as if the phone gives up too soon. May be an update will improve this feature. On the computer, the link to your location opens up in Google Maps.

Samsung Releases Facebook S! Facebook For Android Alternative For The Galaxy S Samsung Releases Facebook S! Facebook For Android Alternative For The Galaxy S

  • There are also options to upload pictures and videos directly from the camera or the gallery.

Samsung Releases Facebook S! Facebook For Android Alternative For The Galaxy S Samsung Releases Facebook S! Facebook For Android Alternative For The Galaxy S

  • The photo viewing mode is not too great as you cannot swipe across images and will have to use the back key to move to a new photo. A double tap will zoom the image and turning the phone will make the app switch to landscape.

Samsung Releases Facebook S! Facebook For Android Alternative For The Galaxy S

  • One thing I liked was the ability to sort your Facebook news feed by the category you want, really helps cut the clutter out.

There is no widget, but the application does have a nice and simple UI, and a few features that seem to work better than the stock Facebook application for Android. Give it a go and let us know what you think.