Tag Archives: android

The Fastest Mi Phone – Xiaomi Mi 4 Launched Ahead of iPhone 6

xiaomi4

Xiaomi the so called “China Apple” has already launched its flagship product, earlier than Apple Inc’s flagship product, at the company’s “The Journey of a Piece of Steel” event yesterday.

While iPhone 6’s launch date is yet to be confirmed, Xiao Mi 4 was already launched this week together with the Mi Band, Xiaomi’s first wearable device. The Mi 4 was named as “The Fastest and Most Gorgeous Mi Phone Ever”. Mi 4 will also be released this July.

Lei Jun, the founder of Xiaomi, stated on the event that the company sold 57.36 million phones in its first three years of operation, TechinAsia Liveblog reports.

Xiaomi Company sold 7.9 million Xiaomi Mi phones – 17.4 million Xiaomi M2 phones, 10.5 million Xiaomi Mi 3 phones, 18 million Hongmi or the so called Redmi outside China and 3.56 million Hongmi Note or Redmi Note.

The company claims that Xiaomi Mi 3 was sold out 40 minutes just after its release in India, NDTV reports. The company is expecting to have greater revenue for the newly launched Xiaomi Mi 4.

According to XiaomiChina, Mi 4 will feature a stainless steel frame that has an unbelievable craftsmanship and polish. Its hardware has a 2.5gz Quad-core Snapdragon 801 chipset processor, 3 GB RAM and can choose from 16 or 64 GB internal storage. It has a 5 inch screen size with a 1080x1920p full HD resolution and a very high colour gamut.

The company also posted that Mi 4’s stainless steel metal frame features have undergone 40 processes and 193 steps.

For its camera specifications: 13 megapixels is installed on the rear camera with real-time HDR and 4K video recording. While the 8 megapixels front camera has an 80-degree wide angle. The smartphone has a durable 3080 mAh internal battery with a quick charging ability.

“The Xiaomi Mi 4 has Android 4.4 under MIUI V6 – so that’s the first time a Xiaomi phone launches with the very latest version of Android in China.” says on TechinAsia Liveblog. “The new Mi 4 has a very slim bezel at each side, but the company assures people that the screen will ignore accidental inputs on the side.”

The 16 GB Mi 4 is available for US$322 or AU$342.91 while the 64 GB Mi 4 will be available at US$400 or AU$425.97.

Customize Android’s Home button shortcut

For an operating system touted as being highly customizable, its a mystery why more manufacturers don’t let you program the (physical) Home button. Of course, one tap always takes you to the home screen, but long-pressing and double-tapping are often programmed to take you to places like the multitasker or a voice assistant.

Unless, of course, you use a workaround.

For many phones with a physical Home button, you can customize its shortcuts with the free Home2 Shortcut app.

Step 1. Download Home2 Shortcut from the Google Play store on your Android device. Immediately after it’s installed, launch it from the Play download page. It’s a pretty bare-bones app, but it does the job.

Step 2. Conveniently enough, the app breaks down the process of programming your Home button into steps. In Step 1, tap “Choose application,” then “Installed applications” to choose which application gets launched with a double-tap.

Step 3. In the next step, you have the choice to change the double-tap interval. For example, choosing a slower setting will prompt your phone to react to a double-tap with a longer interval. Right now, keep it at normal.

Step 4. Choose your launcher. If you have a third-party launcher like Apex or Go Launcher installed, select it here. But, if you don’t have a launcher, or have no idea what all this gibberish is about, choose the default option.

Step 5. Hit the Home button, and you’ll be asked to choose a launcher. Choose Home2 Shortcut then hit “Always.”

Now take it for a test-drive! Double-tap the Home button, and you should be taken to your shortcut. If you have a Galaxy S4, and it’s still prompting S Voice, go to S Voice > Menu > Settings, and uncheck the second option to launch with the Home button.

If you like the idea of Home button-based shortcuts, check out the other combos Home2 has to offer. For example, you can set shortcuts for Home-Search and Home-back. Likewise, if your phone has a camera button, you can reprogram that, too. Just choose “Other key settings” in Step 1 of the app.

Android 4.1.1 rolls out to Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S 4G via Sprint

Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S 4G owners on Sprint’s network are now getting a bite of Jelly Bean.

As of yesterday, Android 4.1.1, aka Jelly Bean, has been available for Nexus users through an over-the-air update. Owners of the Samsung phone can follow the steps on Sprint’s Galaxy Nexus update page to download and install the latest version if they don’t already have it.\

The Nexus S 4G is also getting the Jelly Bean treatment over Sprint’s network. Like the update for the Galaxy Nexus, this one is available over the air. Users will receive a message asking whether to install the update now or later. Choosing to install it later will trigger reminders once or twice each day until it’s installed.

Oracle: Google wanted easy route to Android revenue with Java

At this point, Oracle’s arguments come down to this: Google was lazy in developing Android and wanted the highest revenue return possible, so that’s why it used the 37 Java APIs at question in this copyright lawsuit.

Well, no one at Google is going to deny that they wanted Android to make money — although they might dance around how successful Android has been in order to save face in front of the jury.

Oracle led with a video clip from the deposition of Google’s senior financial analyst for Android, Aditya Agarwal, on April 8, 2011.

The point of the clip, which ran for less than a minute and a half just to identify the witness to the jury and get one question out, was very clear. When asked, Agarwal affirmed that Android is hugely profitable.

That’s not exactly breaking news, but the Oracle’s ambition in this regard was clear from the get-go. In fact, Oracle might need to hold onto this strategy desperately over the course of the next couple of days after a tension-filled hour in which former Sun CEO’s Jonathan Schwartz nearly torpedoed their entire case that the Java APIs weren’t free to use without a license.

Oracle’s legal team might have made a brief comeback with help from Sun co-founder Scott McNealy, whose testimony is actually part of the rebuttal, but because of scheduling conflicts he appeared while Google was still presenting its case. During his time on the stand, McNealy’s testimony essentially contradicted everything Schwartz said, which might have left the jury fairly confused on who to believe.

Furthermore, Oracle recalled Dr. Mark Reinhold, chief architect of the Java platform group at Oracle, who already testified once for Oracle on April 18.

Bringing up that there has been some debate over using the term “blueprint” to refer to APIs, Oracle counsel Michael Jacobs asked Reinhold if this was an accurate description.

Reinhold stood by using the term blueprint to describe APIs, explaining that “the whole point of the Java community process is to be designing blueprints so companies can develop competing implementations.”

Google counsel Bruce Baber tried to refute this, questioning Reinhold that the API specification doesn’t tell one how to write the code.

Reinhold admitted that it doesn’t.

Reinhold’s testimony was also used to make another one of Oracle’s points clear: Google took the easy way out in developing Android.

When asked if a developer already has a good API design and if implementing an existing API design is more work, Reinhold explained that it’s a “relatively easier job” and “it’s almost always less” work.

Closing statements from both Oracle and Google are expected to start on Monday. After that, the jury will have time to deliberate a verdict for the copyrights portion of the trial.

Judge Alsup predicted on Wednesday that the jury will probably only take about a day and a half to reach a decision, but he warned that they could take up to a week.

On Friday, the judge added with a warning to both legal teams about getting evidence in on time, “When the case goes to them, the case is in their hands — including when they make the decision.”

How Android isn’t really that open

“To me, closed isn’t anything that doesn’t have total freedom,” Laurs told me. “By that definition, Android is already closed.”

Laurs has some bold predictions for 2012. He believes Google will start to exert a tighter control over Android, restricting what kinds of apps are developed and what technologies they can use.

“You can’t blame a company for getting as much as power as it can get,” he said. “If I were Google, it’s what I would do.”

He calls the 30 percent cut of the revenue generated from apps paid out to Google a tax on developers. The cut is supposed to account for Google hosting the app, running it on the Android Marketplace, and handling the transaction. While that may be great for some smaller developers, he said larger players may not necessarily need all of those services, and could manage the apps on their own for a lower price.

Laurs said the 30 percent cut is an industry standard only because Apple, which runs a closed system, dictates it.

Laurs isn’t without his own biases. His company, GetJar, is an independent app store that in many ways competes with Android’s own marketplace. The company has worked hard just to ensure Android phones are able to download apps from sources outside of Android’s store, something a few of the wireless carriers have played along with.

But GetJar has seen significant traffic, having crossed 2 billion app downloads in August, and 100 million downloads a month.

Google, for its part, has always maintained that Android is an open system, and points to the number of varied vendors and developers that use the platform. The company, to its credit, has been able to draw a diverse mix of partners.

But Google’s reputation for openness isn’t without its question marks. Over the past year, the company has been battling allegations from Skyhook, a private provider of service that help phones locate their position, that it muscled it out of a partnership with Motorola. Google has denied any wrongdoing, and claimed Skyhook didn’t meet Android’s technical requirements.

On Wednesday, visual voicemail company YouMail complained that its app was completely pulled from Android Market because of a request from T-Mobile. YouMail later found out a version of its app was in fact unnecessarily hurting T-Mobile’s network, and after some tweaking, said it was coming back. But the company still took exception to Google pulling the app completely when only one carrier made the request.

The process may be gradual, but Laurs sees Google exerting more control. The acquisition of Motorola is another step, he said, adding the company could always threaten to give Motorola the latest version of Android to maintain control of its partners. Google has said it would treat Motorola the same as any other vendor partner.

Android’s dominance is poised to continue. Laurs said by next year, it should surpass Apple as the destination of choice for developers, adding that he expects a number of Android-exclusive apps to pop up.

How Angry Birds Can Change the World

How do we make creating change more fun and engaging?Yes, social innovators are jumping on the gamification bandwagon too. Like entrepreneurs and educators who are venturing into this field, we’re trying to figure out how to engage people more effectively at a time when they are becoming increasingly more distracted by the tsunami of information and content generated by everyone.

Young people, especially, are distracted by online games that are the very definition of addiction. (As I wrote this last sentence, I was notified by Farmville that I had to harvest my pumpkins, which forced me to take a 10 minute break.)But social innovators are also turning to gamification — the application of game elements to non-game settings — to address an age-old problem.

It’s a problem described succinctly by some as the “knowing-doing gap” — the unfortunate reality that there’s a gap between what we know we should do and what we actually do.

We know we should be eating more healthful foods but we gorge ourselves with hamburgers and french fries. We know we should be reducing our use of plastic bags and bottles but we rarely carry reusables with us. We know we should all reduce our carbon footprint but we _________ (fill in your own excuse).

There’s a limit to how much we can appeal to logic and reason to get people to “do the right thing.” The upper limit for recycling (of municipal waste) seems to be 30 percent, even after decades of promoting such practice. For greater success, we have no choice but to appeal to other motivations.

Games, especially video games like Angry Birds and online games like Farmville, teach us what humans are motivated by.We’re motivated by feedback that’s frequent and rapid, challenges that are not too easy or too hard, rewards that are both expected and unexpected, a real sense of purpose or epic meaning, mastery of skills, productivity, accomplishment, involvement of other people, and some degree of autonomy. Those are just a few of the more popular game dynamics.

I’ve created a social innovation competition called Fun for A Change to invite youth to create social change solutions that are more fun and engaging. And I’ve been testing this approach at conferences in Asia, working mostly with university students but also with children as young as 10.Seeing with my own eyes how engaged young people can be in this type of design process, I’ve come to believe that fun is the most powerful way to invite young people into the social change space.

I’m especially encouraged by the pilot just completed at Simon Fraser University in Surrey, British Columbia. The school’s chapter of Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) held its own Fun for A Change competition and some great ideas emerged.

The runner-up, Lotto Globe, proposed a way to recycle millions of train tickets printed each year by creating a special lottery that you enter by recycling your tickets after you’re done. The prizes can come from local businesses, which allows the lottery to promote the local economy. It also sends an important message that recycling small pieces of paper can add up.

The winning idea, Image Garden, went after a more ambitious behavior change. It’s a game inspired installation that invites children to express themselves creatively in a public space and take ownership of the public spaces they occupy.

We plan to demonstrate both ideas in the coming months to measure their effectiveness.Starting in October, Fun for A Change will also be held at 16 universities in Taiwan, one in India, and a few other schools that are not yet confirmed.

Youth who are not at a participating school can also take part in the online challenge at Fun for A Change. Designed to be game-like, “players” design their social change solutions (powered by game dynamics) by completing seven simple missions.

Gamification is not a panacea. In some cases, it may even do more harm than good. But if much of social change involves behavior change, then we need to start taking cues from Angry Birds.