Category Archives: Mobile Devices
When I was young, Windows held a special place in my heart. It was the operating system in which video games were developed for, and to me its sole purpose was, to execute games. Since then, I have observed the vast range of OS’s, new and old, contrasting the pomposity of Mac’s OS X to the inexhaustible community driven distributions of Linux. Many of my friends have departed from Windows, moving to Linux and Mac OS X but these are not the right instruments for me. Linux and Mac cannot get the job done, but Windows can. The majority of Americans turn to Windows to industrialize their thoughts and efforts each day. Windows 7 has matured into an invaluable instrument for business and consumers alike. Will Windows 8 be able to carry on where 7 left off? Or will its modernisms turn it into the next Vista?
Let’s find out.
The instant you tap the Power button on your Windows 8 PC something unexpected happens: you don’t have to wait. Yes, that is a bit of an embellishment of Windows 8 boot capability, but I am thrilled to say it boots remarkably fast, quicker than any OS I have formerly seen. In less than 60 seconds you are in; though I can imagine it is not what most users anticipated. Windows no longer takes you to the sanctity of your desktop; rather you are situated in a screen full of tiles, similar to icons, known as the Windows 8 ‘Start Screen’:
The stage was set; the event was setup much as it was in previous years. However, when Tim Cook came out and announced the iPhone 5, he forgot to mention one thing: the innovation that’s usually bursting out of the sockets of the iPhone. As I was watching the keynote, I was not impressed, excited, or moved. To be honest, the new iPod Nano looked like a much more appealing electronic to buy (but that post is for another time). Now you have to wonder, is this how Steve Jobs would have done it, or is this an iPhone on training wheels? I believe this iPhone was totally designed without any guidance from Steve Jobs at all for multiple obvious reasons.
The year 2012 will go down in history as the Year of the Patent Wars. Since January, there have been so many patent lawsuits in the mobile phone market alone that it is nearly impossible to follow who is suing whom anymore. A synopsis of some of the most high-profile patent lawsuits this year goes something like this: Apple vs. HTC, Apple vs. Samsung, Apple vs. Motorola, Google vs. Oracle… among several others. The common denominator in many of the most recent cases has been Apple. As a matter of fact, a July 2012 article in Bloomberg reported that Apple is at the center of 60% of major mobile patent lawsuits today. In most of those cases, Apple is the one suing another company.
Check out this interesting twist, though. This past Wednesday, Apple announced the next generation of their mobile devices, including the iPhone 5. Although the iPhone 5 leaves much to be desired, Apple finally decided to include 4G LTE capability in their new device. The inclusion of LTE was expected by many; since the new iPad came out with LTE connectivity back in March, it would be natural for Apple to include LTE in their next iPhone. Smartphone manufacturers such as Samsung and HTC also expected the iPhone to pack LTE radios, and they both anticipated to file lawsuits against Apple if they did. When the iPhone 5 debuted on Wednesday, they both announced they will be doing exactly that. HTC was the first vendor to introduce an LTE smartphone, and Samsung’s devices are wildly popular around the world as well. Both manufacturers own hundreds of LTE-related patents, and they seem determined to identify one or more that Apple is infringing upon. Their ultimate goal is to completely block the sale of the iPhone 5 in the U.S. and in Europe.
Google added a new weapon to its arsenal of ways to search today – handwriting recognition on mobile devices. This feature is disabled by default. To enable it, go to Settings and tap Enable under Handwrite.
Google gives the perfect example of when this functionality could come in handy for entering short queries, but not necessarily for typing long search strings:
“Say you’re standing on a busy street corner, in a bumpy taxi ride, talking with a friend, or sitting on the couch with your tablet. Handwrite enables you to search by just writing letters with your finger most anywhere on your device’s screen—there’s no keyboard that covers half of the screen and no need for hunt-and-peck typing.”
This functionality is available on iPhones and iPads running iOS5+, as well as phones on Android 2.3+ and tablets running Android 4.0+. Handwriting recognition works for 27 languages.
The Google Play store is filled with Android apps for enabling mobile phone users to turn their phones into mobile WiFi hotspots, a practice known as tethering. With smartphone data plans hitting several gigabyte monthly allowances, and LTE wireless connections that sometimes provide speedier connections than cable modems, the ability to use your phone’s Internet connection on your other devices is incredibly useful. One of the major roadblocks involved in many of the tethering apps on Google Play is that these apps require your device to be rooted. The answer? A nifty app called FoxFi.
FoxFi is able to run on any non-rooted phones, provided that your carrier supports it. If Google Play says that the app is not compatible with your device, chances are that your carrier has blocked it. Never fear – the FoxFi developers provide the APK online at http://foxfi.com/bin/ for you to download and install.
Once installed, the app has a single screen for all of its settings – enable or disable the hotspot, set the network name, and enter a WPA password (so that not everyone in the area with a WiFi card can piggyback on your phone’s data plan).
In my limited testing of the app, I found that the connection was reliable, and just as fast as my phone’s connection to the network was (I was in an area with AT&T LTE coverage – so it was quick). Be aware that some battery-saver apps such as JuiceDefender may turn your WiFi or data connections off while you’re using the app, which, needless to say, would be undesirable. Remember to keep tabs on your data usage – it’s fairly easy to use up several GB of data watching YouTube videos over LTE.