Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Android Diversity and its Disadvantages

Friday, June 3rd, 2011


The fragmentation of the Android market (no, not the store) is an advantage and disadvantage at the same time. Despite all those different OS versions out there (see image on the right) there are a lot of devices on the market. This massive diversity of Android phones, produced by dozens of different manufacturers worldwide, each of them having their own target user, their own distribution system and their own target country — allowed Android to become as big as it is right now.

Some people always compare the Android approach with the way Microsoft went with Windows about 20 years ago — just that Android is a lot more open, but they both chose the way of providing an operating system for a very general set of hardware components. Combining this with the openess and especially “freeness” of the Android OS – the advantage of that is obvious: Imagine you are a Chinese handset manufacturer who used to build phones for Nokia or SonyEricsson for a decade; you know how to assemble the right hardware into a tiny little piece of awesomeness. The only thing you were missing was a good operating system. Yes, 10 years those two companies were doing well with their Symbian-based phones and Symbian was a good OS back then.

Nowadays we see that despite the huge success of the Android platform, developers have problems monetizing their applications. Yes, it is possible to push out free aps with mobile ads in there and it is also possible to publish paid applications which users can get for a one-off fee (e.g. $0.99). However, based on the above mentioned approach of Android, the device diversity is so huge that nearly every day it gets harder and harder for developers to write an application that works the same on all devices running Android – say OS 2.3. A very simple example the device’s LED lamp. There are some methods in the API to control the device LED, but it is required for an Android phone to have such a LED. Some phones have a trackball that can light up in different colors, though — others have both. Just when I am with the LED: Google removed the possibility to directly control that LED a while back claiming it would be using too much battery power when the LED is used heavily. They added that weird glow effect at scrolling without the option to switch it off though — I doubt that takes less battery.

There are a lot more examples where the “openess” of the Android platform actually hinders developers of creating applications with the same features and the same user experience on all devices the app is compatible with. I would like to see Google addressing this issue. In one way or the other.

Android Stand at Mobile World Congress 2011 in Barcelona

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Though, I am not very active on this blog, I am very busy in the mobile industry. Therefore, I was in Barcelona about a month ago and attended the Mobile World Congress. A lot of stuff was going on there and it was very exciting to see the industry moving so fast!

Google itself wasn’t there “directly”, but they built up a massive Android playground with loads of apps developers to showcase their applications. It was very exciting to see what was going on there and how all of us developers approach our projects differently and yet with interesting similarities. Here are some photos from the stand:

Android Stand at Mobile World Congress 2011 - Photo 1

Android Stand at Mobile World Congress 2011 - Photo 2

Android Stand at Mobile World Congress 2011 - Photo 3

I was even sitting in the first row at Eric Schmidt’s Keynote at MWC. That was exciting – especially when the Google engineer showcased the new Motorola Xoom Android tablet.

Mobile World Congress - Keynote by Eric Schmidt

Mobile World Congress - Keynote by Eric Schmidt

And no, I didn’t get a free Xoom tablet or Nexus S smartphone like a year ago at the Android Developer Labs 🙁

Android Smartphones are all over Hong Kong and even on Mini-Buses

Friday, September 24th, 2010

Yesterday night I was walking around Kowloon site of Hong Kong and saw a couple of so called “Mini Buses” that were showing hundreds of Android smartphones on an ad that was obviously promoting just Android. Check it out:

Zoomed in a bit further, you can see that there are loads of little droids on the banner. Though, I don’t quite understand what the app is talking about (my Cantonese / Chinese reading is nearly not existing) I reckon that ad is there to just advertise for Android.

With a smartphone penetration of 58% (if I remember correctly), every second mobile in Hong Kong is a smartphone. While the iPhone is still the main smartphone used for personal and the BlackBerry for business life, Android phones are getting more and more popular – like everywhere in the world. Most of those new Android phones are built in Asia anyway and therefore, they hit Hong Kong very early after being released publicly.

If you have a nice Android picture in real life, let me know. I might put it up as well 😉

71% of all Android Users want to keep their Robot!

Friday, August 6th, 2010

Folks, check out these new stats from Nielsen Wire!

It tells us, that 71% of all Android users want to have an Android phone as their next phone. Though the iPhone users are even more loyal, their 89% number is quite normal for Apple users in General. However, there is not just one phone with an Android OS – there are a lot by now! Therefore, it is hard for Google / Android to provide the very same user experience on every Android phone.

More about their iPhone / BlackBerry / Android report can be found here: Android Soars, but iPhone Still Most Desired as Smartphones Grab 25% of U.S. Mobile Market

iPhone Cracked: Android now runs on Apple iPhone 1G

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

Everyone of you who has an iPhone but wants to run a proper phone OS on it – there is a solution for you now! Check out this video:

Kudos to the author! Read his full blog entry here: Android running on iPhone!

Thanks to open source, you can now get

Note: you might want to read the instructions of the author carefully, before putting this on your iPhone. However, the droids are conquering the world!

Are you an Open Source Developer?

Thursday, March 18th, 2010


Again, I read an article about the Android system and this time with the title: Open Source Developers Pick Android Over iPhone.

I am not really an open source developer, though I truly believe in that concept, I just don’t have enough spare time to put into it. Damn I don’t even have enough time to blog right here. Anyway, I was wondering if there are readers of you who develop Android application for the sole purpose of open source licensing. Apparently there are 357 open source projects for the Android platform existing by now. Most of them are not finished yet, but still, this is quite a number. I hope this number grows significantly this year. It will give the Android platform more exposure, more functionality and therefore, grow the platform to a level where it is widely accepted.

Are you an Open Source Developer? Leave a comment!

The Nexus One is not a Failure

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

I just read that article Nexus One: Failure or a Late-Bloomer? I am bit confused by the article and wanted to share that. If I am wrong in any point, please feel free to correct me. The author says:

Slow and steady may work for the tortoise against the hare, but sluggish sales of Google’s Nexus One smartphone has the blogosphere calling its approach a failure.

First of all, the “blogosphere” (oh god, I hate this word!!!11!!!eleven!!!) does not care about sales. The real blogosphere one at least!

Secondly it is talking about:

it took Apple […] 74 days sell one million units of the original iPhone back in 2007. […] Google, meanwhile, has sold only about 135,000 Nexus One units, according to Flurry.

I don’t know where Flurry has their numbers from, but when I went to the Android Developer Labs 2010 two weeks ago, the official Google/Android representative was saying during their presentation that they are currently shipping 60,000 phones a day! I call that a success.

Android Developer Labs 2010 in Hong Kong

Friday, March 5th, 2010

Today we had the last even of the Android Developer Labs ADL 2010 in Hong Kong – hosted by Google for free! I attended and I was more than surprised about how many Android developers and interested people actually showed up. Traditionally, the development community in Hong Kong is very small. Check out a part of the long registration line here:

Android Developer Labs 2010 in Hong Kong

And that’s actually after half of the participants already checked in. The venue was considerably crowded and I would say nearly 80% of the available seats were taken.

Android Developer Labs 2010 in Hong Kong

Below at the left side you can see a banner of the Hong Kong Google Technology User Group. Seems to sound like a nice idea, if you want to know about that, check it out here: Hongkong GTUG

Android Developer Labs 2010 in Hong Kong

As I didn’t follow previous ADL events I didn’t know that every registered participant gets a free Nexus One. To my surprise, Google had a big box with loads of N1 devices and I got another one – for free! Check out the developers lining up for the free Nexus One:

Android Developer Labs 2010 in Hong Kong

Below you can see all these dudes with white Nexus One boxes.

Android Developer Labs 2010 in Hong Kong

Nice event Google! The best step is definitely to give developers free phones. You can have the best simulator / emulator, but it is always a different experience when you run your application on a real phone. This is very important proper mobile application development. You need to use your application on a real phone – only then you figure out what you actually did wrong. Google definitely understood this. Thanks Google.

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Google Earth for Android Phones

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

ge-android.jpg

It is done. Google Earth for Android has been published. I just ran it on my Nexus One and it seems to work fine. Very smoothly, nice 3D graphics and all the layers in there with your favorite restaurants. Zooming in and out as well as panning in the 3D world works totally fine. Besides that it is not doing much, but it shows your current location on the earth, of course. Still, well done Google!

Check it out here:

Linus Torvalds bought a Nexus One

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

Linus Torvalds bought a Nexus One
Though the Nexus One does not seem to be a best-seller, it seems it found its way into Linus Torvalds’ hands. You know, the “Finnish software engineer [who is] best known for having initiated the development of the Linux kernel and git revision control system” (Quote from wikipedia).

I already wrote some stuff about the Nexus One and even about unboxing my device. Now Linus has one too and guess what he wants to use it for? He didn’t get it for the phone function or messaging because that would be too distracting during work. Well, he is right. It seems his favorite is “Google Navigation”; perhaps I should check that out too, some day?

Image source: wikipedia.org