All About Android 125

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All About Android
Episode 125

Contents

All About Android 125: The Taste of Selling Out?

News

Sundar Pichai set the Internet afire this morning when he updated his Google+ profile with a post designed to get people amped about the upcoming Android offerings from places like IFA in Berlin. He revealed that Android has now passed 1 BILLION activations.
Oh, and he had this to say:
"On my return from Asia, I was also thrilled to find this guy waiting to greet me on the front lawn ,love the new #AndroidKitKat statue and can’t wait to release the next version of the platform that is as sweet as the candy bar that’s one of our team’s favorites:)"
Google released a video on YouTube of the unveiling of the Kit Kat statue on the campus, and an as-of-yet unidentified Nexus device was there for the spotting. Google has since set the video to private, but we have an image.
Hugo Barra, VP of Android Product Management and familiar face at Google IO announcements, took to G+ to confirm that he was leaving Google to become VP of Chinese phone maker Xiaomi (She-ow Me) with the intent of expanding the company's global business.
Xiaomi sold 7 million phones last year, pacing at selling 15 million this year, all while focusing on the Chinese market.
Xiaomi’s Mi-2 handset is the third-best-selling phone model, behind the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4.
In China, Xiaomi recently introduced a lower-cost model, known as “Red Rice,” that sells for 799 Chinese yuan (or $130, including the country’s value-added tax). Lin said that product is redefining the sub-1000 yuan market.
The company sold 100,000 of the devices in 90 seconds when it offered Red Rice online. That’s how Xiaomi does much of its selling in China — offering a batch of phones online and selling them out in a matter of minutes.
Pressy, a new Kickstarter, aims to bring another button to your device. But its customizable and integrates with their app to initiate different actions of your choosing. 40 days to go, Already near $400,000 (the goal was $40,000)

Email

24:35

While I am somewhat new to Android I find that I am already a power user and love all the great things I am able to customize on the platform. One big question I have though is about the gps toggle that is often found in the notification shade. One of my early memories of Android back when I was still using iOS is that people were always enabling and disabling the gps toggle for every app that needs it. I heard many reasons why such as saving battery and also for privacy reasons. So when I switched to Android I joined the bandwagon and I have a custom Tasker profile set up to try and enable and disable gps only when I need it. This solution doesn't work 100% of the time and sometimes seem like more work than it should be. So my question is, is all this really necessary? What risks, if any, are there from leaving gps on all the time? I feel like more and more Google services need gps, such as location reminders, that it would just be easier to keep it on. What is your guys opinion? Thanks so much, love the show!

Kyle from Jacksonville, FL

  • Newer versions of Android, do a very good job of managing the battery usage of GPS. Turning on GPS doesn't actually turn on the antenna, it just opens the gate to allow an app to turn the antenna on.

Hardware

29:00

VentureBeat’s Christina Farr has apparently had some hands-on time with one of the company’s prototype devices thanks to an anonymous source. Photos are hard to come by, but there are images taken from what was apparently a promotional video for the device – and they show what seems to be an oversized watch-type device with the familiar Samsung logo. No great surprise there, then.
The Galaxy Gear has a 3-inch square screen that seems to be just big enough to be too big. It’s got WiFi built in, which means that it doesn’t need to be paired with a smartphone in order to function, which may come as a surprise to some.
VentureBeat’s Christina Farr has apparently had some hands-on time with one of the company’s prototype devices thanks to an anonymous source. Photos are hard to come by, but there are images taken from what was apparently a promotional video for the device – and they show what seems to be an oversized watch-type device with the familiar Samsung logo. No great surprise there, then.
The Galaxy Gear has a 3-inch square screen that seems to be just big enough to be too big. It’s got WiFi built in, which means that it doesn’t need to be paired with a smartphone in order to function, which may come as a surprise to some.
One potential worry is the claimed 10+ hours of battery life.
So to recap what we know about the Galaxy Gear:
High quality OLED displays will show the full spectrum of colors.
The display will be around 2.5 inches diagonally (and 3 inches diagonally including the case.)
It will be powered by a dual core processor, probably a Samsung Exynos 4212 dual core 1.5GHz with Mali-400 MP4 GPU.
It has a camera and a microphone integrated into the strap and even tiny speakers.
It has Built in NFC and Bluetooth 4.0 LE
The Gear is powered by Android 4.3, with keyboard featured turned off.
The device won’t have a browser and will need the phone to tether to the Internet.
It will need a Samsung device with a watch-focused app store to install apps on the watch.
It has a built-in accelerometer and other sensors that will allow it to act has a quantified self device.
Expect battery power to be 24 hours with modest use, but around 10 hours with more active usage.
Perennial leakster @evleaks just posted two screenshots on his Twitter profile, purportedly from the Manager companion app for the Galaxy Gear. They show an NFC pairing system not unlike the latest Sony Smartwatch sans strap, a few apps in a screen not unlike the Pebble Smartwatch app, and not much else. But that demonstration drawing is indeed the first look we've had at the Gear itself, even if it's not much of one. Also note the "SM-V700" model number, which fits in pretty well with Samsung's previous nomenclature.
LG announced a new tablet, the G Pad 8.3, this weekend. The tablet's got an 8.3-inch full HD display (1920×1200, 273ppi), the first Full HD tablet in the 8-inch tablet. The G Pad 8.3 is also powered by a 1.7GHz Snapdragon 600 processor, 2GB RAM, dual cameras, and a massive 4600mAh battery.
The new G Pad introduces a pairing mechanism that works with any phone (not just LG phones) called QPair that allows you to see incoming calls and messages. You can’t actually receive/take calls on the G Pad, from what we can tell, but you can respond to texts. The G Pad also uses additional software that offer “real-life benefits” such as multi-tasking with Slide Aside, Qslide, and KnockON, all of which are featured in the recently announced G2.
Acer announced the 6-inch Liquid S2, the first phone to offer 4K video recording functionality. The Liquid S2 has a 13-megapixel rear camera with LED ring flash along with a 2MP front shooter capable of 1080p video. The S2 comes with camera software enhancements as well, like a "quick first shot" feature lets you snap a picture right from the phone's unlock screen. There's also a "favorite mode," which lets you create up to five profiles with customized settings and effects.
4K recording is the phone's marquee feature. Other specs are decidedly more high-end than we're used to seeing on Acer's Liquid lineup. There's a Snapdragon 800 chip under the hood, clocked at 2.2GHz and bolstered by 2GB of RAM, and the battery is a sizable 3,300 mAh plus 4G LTE connectivity.
Acer will sell this handset in Europe, not the US (at least for now). The Liquid S2 will launch at the end of October, price details not yet known.

Email

49:15

With the recent $100 price drop on the Nexus 4, I went ahead and ordered one, even though my Verizon contract does not expire until Thanksgiving. I would really like to begin using my new phone (especially since my HTC Rezound is so unreliable), but do not want to pay the ETF. Verizon provides the ability to forward calls, but not text messages. Is there a good, reliable app for forwarding SMS and MMS messages (or at least SMS)? I really appreciate your advice regarding my situation.

Thanks,

Tyson Fulton

Apps

55:18

"Spotify Connect" stores your current listening sessions in the cloud, and you'll be able to use any of your devices to control exactly where and how your music plays.
With a set of new Spotify Connect-compatible wireless speakers you will be able to switch the music you're listening to from your phone to your stereo when you get home without stopping playback.
Spotify Connect is rolling out to iPod touch, iPhone, and iPad devices "over the coming months" alongside updates for many wireless speakers from Argon, Bang & Olufsen, Denon, Hama, Marantz, Philips, Pioneer, Revo, Teufel, and Yamaha. The company says it's working to bring more manufacturers on board. Updated Android and desktop apps with Connect support are also in the works.
Spotify Connect will only be available to paid Premium members.


Android Arena!

1:07:25

Sponsors

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Production Information

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