Category Archives: Android

TweetDeck For Android Coming This Week

In what comes as great news for all of us looking to make multiple accounts across multiple services on a Android powered device, TweetDeck for Android should be out this week as a public beta. That’s not all, the Android version has been built from the ground up and represents the future of TweetDeck’s future iPhone and iPad applications.

The focus with this upcoming release is on showing you all your friends’ cross-service activity in one app. ‘Multi-column is still the order of the day but now columns are blended based on the type of activity rather than the service. And all this whilst retaining the most powerful functionality from each included service’.

We also have this short video demo, that’s more of a tease than an actual look into the application. I personally can’t wait to download this one on my Galaxy S.

Samsung Galaxy S Review: Hardware

When it comes to sheer specifications, the Samsung Galaxy S is virtually the king of the pack in the world of smartphones. In this review we will be looking at its hardware prowess, including aspects like the processor and RAM, display, camera, battery life and the device in general.

Samsung Galaxy S - 01

RAW POWER

The Galaxy S packs a 1 Ghz Hummingbird Processor, a whopping 512 MB of RAM. Infact with a bit of potentially warranty voiding tweaking, the Galaxy S (running Android 2.1) even shames the Nexus One running on Android 2.2 (Froyo).

Samsung Galaxy S Review: Hardware

It packs the fastest GPU of the current lot of Android devices and with a Froyo release for the Galaxy S expected in September, the phone promises to become even faster than it currently is.

DISPLAY

Next let us have a look at its display. It packs a 4″ Super AMOLED display that is sheer class, infact it is virtually the best display I have seen on a smartphone. Some people would argue that the iPhone 4’s retina display is better and to an extent it is, because if you look carefully you can still make out pixels on the Galaxy S’s 800 x 480 resolution display. However, because of the .5″ advantage in size (4″ v/s 3.5″) the Galaxy S wins it for me.

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The blacks are amazing, the contrast is superb and things look way more pretty on the Galaxy S than on any other display. Infact on a black background text stands out as if you had placed a cutout on the screen rather than the screen itself displaying it. Pictures look great and the whole Movie watching experience is nothing short of incredible. The Galaxy S also supports Divx playback in addition to a bunch of other codecs and will play virtually anything you throw at it. When paired with the 5.1 sound via headphones you know where things are headed.

BATTERY

All of these things are very power intensive and this bring me to the subject of its battery. Despite its Super AMOLED display being pretty power efficient, its 1500 mAh battery really gets stretched when it needs to power the 4″ screen throughout the day performing tasks like video playback and web browsing.

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Couple that with the always online mode in which the device is checking for Twitter and Facebook updates, emails, calendar syncs and so on and the battery can quickly go down.

Samsung Galaxy S Review: Hardware

Infact, I have managed to kill the battery within about 8 hours with all the above heavily in place. But on a normal day with the sync’s set to every half hour and not much web browsing or ebook reading, the Galaxy S lasts through the day and you can be confident of getting home in the evening with some juice left.

DESIGN

The design of the Galaxy S is not very imaginative and to a lot of people it looks like an iPhone, but then to those people almost anything with a touch display looks like an iPhone. It is very slim, infact so slim that there are times when you feel that it might just slip out of your hands.

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The front is all glass with two touch sensitive buttons on the bottom, along with a physical home button. The sides have a nice metallic feel to them and pack the volume rocker on the left and the power button on the right, sadly absent is the camera button. The bottom unfortunately is glossy plastic which equates to being a fingerprint magnet. On the whole however the phone does manage to look pretty impressive. We have a huge photo gallery here.

GENERAL ASPECTS

As a phone the Galaxy S performs well, it has good reception and I’ve not dropped calls because of it. The in call volume is ample and the clarity is what you would expect from a phone. The loudspeaker on the back is powerful enough to notify you of calls or messages, but isn’t really sufficient if you wanted to catch a podcast or a movie.

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Since it is also placed on the back, the sound gets muffled when it is lying flat and on a soft surface you can expect to miss calls because of this. Be careful to place it upside down when you set alarms or you wouldn’t be getting up any time soon. The Galaxy S case however has a nice cutout to allow sound to escape.

CONCLUSION

Inspite of the issues like the lack of a dedicated camera button or a flash, it is very difficult not to like the Galaxy S. The raw power and the gorgeous screen are very difficult to resist. One look at the Galaxy S tells you that this device will be great for content consumption and once you buy it with this frame of mind, there isn’t much you will not like about the phone.

Movies, Pictures, Ebooks and a ton of other things look great and sometimes you will get so caught up in them that your productivity will be affected, that’s how nice it is. For our final rating, watch the video below. Hint: We like it!

Head over to YouTube to watch the video in HD.

The Samsung Galaxy S Gets A New India Firmware – I9000DDJG4

The Samsung Galaxy S Gets A New India Firmware - I9000DDJG4Samsung has just released a new firmware for the Galaxy S in India in the form of the I9000DDJG4 update. The new firmware is available via KIES, its PC application. The update brings bug fixes and a solution to the lag issue that the Galaxy S is plagued by once you have a number of applications open.

Early reports suggest that the performance of the Galaxy S is much better with I9000DDJG4 as compared to the firmware that it shipped with (DDJF3), however just a little lag remains. Rooting the Galaxy S is also possible post installing the new firmware. If you do not wish to update via KIES, then you can also grab the firmware from here to flash with Odin.

For more information you may want to follow this thread on xda developers.

The Samsung Galaxy S Gallery – Plus Comparison Shots

I have recently taken delivery of the very impressive Samsung Galaxy S and to kick things off here is a complete gallery of the device, complete with comparison shots. The first thing that you notice when you hold the Galaxy S in your hand is that how thin it actually is and how light it feels. What makes this even more impressive is its specifications which make it one of the most powerful devices in the market today, and probably the most powerful on sale in India.

A gorgeous 4″ Super AMOLED display, a 1 Ghz Hummingbird processor, 512 MB of RAM and a 1500 mAh battery along with a 5 MP camera. Easily a geek’s dream configuration. I will be bringing you a detailed review in due course of time, starting with the hardware.

But for now, here is the Galaxy S in its full glory.

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(The Galaxy S I9000)

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(Galaxy S & the Nokia N900)

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(N900 v. Galaxy S v. Nokia N97 v. Nokia E52)

The following slideshow hosts the complete 50 image gallery, if you prefer to view the images of Flickr directly, here is the link to follow.

Want me cover something in specific? Do let me know in the comments section below.

Rumours Of A Nokia Android Device Abound – More Hype Than Substance

Since S60/Symbian bashing has become the new thing lately, a lot of rumours proclaiming that Nokia will ditch Symbian were expected. However, one piece of ‘news’ that has really sent the rumour mills into a tizzy is this piece published in UK’s Guardian newspaper, ‘quoting industry insiders’, claiming that Nokia will embrace Android to keep afloat in the smartphone wars and that the announcement of a Android running Nokia smartphone was expected this Nokia World, September 2-3.

nokia-n900

What is my reaction? Hype and very/no little substance. If you think about it camly, I’m sure you will see through it as well. Nokia is the world’s biggest handset manufacturer, it already runs Symbian on its smartphones and Maemo, its homegrown flavour of Linux, on its Internet Tablets and if it were to make an Android device now, it would be equivalent of saying ‘we couldn’t make a decent OS on our own and now we will compete with other manufacturers on the strength on our hardware alone’. Like I said, virtually impossible.

That being said, will there be a new Linux running device announced at Nokia World? Quite possibly. It will be the long rumoured successor to the N810 that runs Maemo and has the capability of making calls. The N900 perhaps.

[Update – As expected, Nokia has officially gone on record to deny this.]

If you really want to dig into it, here’s the rumour courtesy Mobile Crunch:

Hardware Specs:

  • GPS, along with an accelerometer.
  • Dimensions: 59.7mm x 111mm x 18.2mm
  • Weight: 180g
  • 3.5″ 800×480 (WVGA) touchscreen
  • OMAP3430 500/600 Mhz processor (Fun Trivia: Same CPU as the Palm Pre)
  • Bands: GSM Quad-Band 850, 900, 1800, 1900. WCDMA 900, 1700/2100, 2100
  • 5 megapixel Carl Zeiss camera with dual-LED flash, autofocus, and sliding cover
  • Though the renders we’ve seen show two lens-like circles near the screen, we’ve got no word on what’s behind them. However, we feel safe in assuming that its a proximity sensor and a front-facing camera.
  • 1GB total virtual runtime memory (256MB physical RAM, 768MB virtual memory)
  • Wi-Fi, HSPA
  • 32GB internal storage, expandable up to 48GB via external memory
  • Keyboard variants: English, Scandinavian, French, German, South European, Italian, Russia
  • In the box: Connectivity cable, headset, charger, battery (1320 mAh), Video-out cable, microUSB adaptor, cleaning cloth

Some of the mentioned software features:

  • In all of the renders we’ve seen, it appears to be running Maemo 5.
  • Multitasking: “Run all of your favorite applications simultaneously”
  • Live Dashboard allows all open tasks and unread messages to be displayed in one view
  • Browser: Firefox 3 with support for Flash 9.4
  • Built-in automatic update software
  • Contacts has some sort of status sharing built in, allowing you to share your status, location, and mood. Support for Contacts on Ovi and Google Talk.
  • All SMS and IMs accessible from one view
  • Cellular voice or VOIP both supported
  • Captures video at 800×480 in AVC/H.264
  • Image tagging and geo-tagging support
  • Nokia intends to have at least a dozen add-on apps available at launch, including a game called “Bounce”, a Jaiku/Twitter app called “Mauku”, and a few widgets.

Nokia To Accquire Symbian & Set It Free

Nokia To Accquire Symbian & Then Set It Free

This is huge news. As you may already know Nokia currently holds the controlling interest in Symbian, however  not satisfied with that they are going to acquire a full 100%. The net cash outlay from Nokia to purchase the approximately 52% of Symbian Limited shares it does not already own will be approximately EUR 264 million.

But they don’t really want it for themselves but to create an open platform. In this direction, the Symbian Foundation, was announced today by Nokia, along with AT&T, LG Electronics, Motorola, NTT DOCOMO, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments and Vodafone. The foundation will unify Symbian, S60, UIQ and MOAP(S) software to create an open software platform for converged mobile devices, enabling the whole mobile ecosystem to accelerate innovation. This will make the platform code available to all for free, bringing additional innovation to the platform and engaging even a broader community in future developments.

All in all this is wonderful news for all Symbian fans but my guess is that it will have Google worried sick. After all S60 devices have been ruling the market for a long time now and the first Android device is yet to make an appearance. Everyone seemed to believe that the future is in open source, so Android will play a crucial role but with this announcement, Nokia has completely changed the ball game. Nokia press releases here and here.