March of the Android Watches

Neptune Pine

Where is Apple’s iWatch? I suppose it is on the horizon come Sept when Tim Cook announces it but then again he might not. But when Apple does come into play, the Watch market could be quite crowded.

Sony is planing an update to its Watch and there are already a few Android watches to date, so why not welcome another one that is up for pre order right now?

Neptune Pine Enters the Frey

If you have US$335 to spare, well put one down for a 16GB version. This baby isn’t just a watch, it is a fully fledged Android device! Neptune Pine sounds like an Apple product judging from the price of this baby.

2.4 inch TFT capacitive touchscreen 
320×240 QVGA resolution

Cellular Networks
GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850, 900, 1700, 1900
UMTS/HSPA+/WCDMA 850, 1700, 1900, 2100


Memory
512MB RAM 
16 or 32 GB mass storage

OS
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich

Connectivity
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n 
GPS 
Bluetooth 4.0 
USB 2.0 
Micro-SIM

So if you ever wanted to be like Dick Tracey or Batman, well this could be your next bet. Now, here is my beef with the product. How the hell do you type?

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The 2.4 inch screen is probably pretty big if you were born Hobbit sized but then again, you could probably be able to type better on this than most of us can if you were that small. The keys are tiny! And please don’t use the long fabled example of Apple’s own tiny keyboard on the original iPhone. Judging from the number of “auto correct” faux pas we have seen, Putin could have accidentally text Obama his declaration of War if he ever used one. I don’t believe that such a keyboard can be optimized for anything more than just sending coded Text messages.

It is true that the mobile phone decimated the market for watches and right now, it seems to be going the other way. Will it work? Will it be a hit? Only Geeks and fashion victims may apply.

 

 

 

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Android Device Manager Locates your Device

androidm

Amnesia? Dementia? Or just plain forgetful? Google has just announced Android Device Manager for you to control your device’s security remotely. It’s not the best tool but just something to rival Apple’s FindMy iDevice app. All it does is enable a security data wipe as well as tracking ability if you happen misplace your mobile device.

Will Not Located Stolen Devices

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Contrary to popular belief, you cannot possibly find a stolen device. Thieves these days are just petty criminals. They are only interested in selling your stolen device, stealing your email, facebook or paypal account is a little far-fetched these days with all the security features implemented by Banks and Credit Card Companies.

The can cause a tonne of hassle if they do access or try to steal your Facebook or Instagram account but that’s about it. Pro hackers and thieves will prefer to Phish your account than to take your device and try to decipher your password.

I should know as I had my own device stolen and my FB account hacked in the process.

Many Device, One Manager

Yup, you can manage multiple devices from just one account. This is probably the best way to take care of your mobile toys and its available for Android devices from Froyo (2.2) to JellyBean.

Run Android on Windows 8 and Mac OSX

BlueStacks-App-Review-for-Windows-8-Best-Android-App-Player-02

 

For users of Windows 8 and Mac OSX, the idea of running Android on these systems may sound pretty far fetched but one company doesn’t think so. BlueStacks, a start up that is taking on the Ouya console, has been pushing its GameStop console to the masses but unknown to many, BlueStacks also offers TWO free versions of Android that will run on your Windows 8/7 as well as Mac OSX. The idea behind this is simple. The virtual machine app (app player) resides on top of your current OS allowing you to run programs and apps from the Android universe, well on paper it appears to be so but there are some caveats.

Virtual Operation Systems

One of the chief problems with a Virtual Machine OS is that it is rarely 100% compatible. This apparently is the case with BlueStacks app player.

oneclicksync

From the moment you install the app player, the program will ask you to link your google account to sync your BlueStacks app player. Once that is done, you’d realize that many of the options to install the apps are all there but once you start to use them, you’ll encounter problems running it. This is partly due to memory addressing, storage and of course the GPU which has to render the graphics. I tested it on one game and though it played, it was much slower.

For example it can’t handle many games that are graphics intensive. So forget about the FPS type games. It does play the Angry Birds games well enough but that’s rarely a graphics intensive workload on the GPU.

I found the inclusion of Facebook app for Android in the BlueStacks App player list totally laughable. Why bother to use a mobile app if you can access it from a browser of your Windows or Mac OSX device?

Where is the Future for BlueStacks?

Currently, the app player is still a work in progress while they ready themselves for a GamePop console launch. You can technically still run some productivity and utility apps from the Play store but that’s probably about it.

BlueStacks has set its eyes on the future as a gaming console. For a monthly fee subscription, you can use the console to pay games on your big screen TV.

I do foresee that the app player could be integrated into this eco system in the future where you can play Android games on your Mac OSX or Windows machine—which for now is a long shot.

Windows users may be a better bet for the Android apps for now. Microsoft has all to fear and loath them right now as people running this app will not see the benefit of buying full software products that run solely on Windows 8 platform. For Mac OSX users, the attraction will only be in gaming, where the OSX system is at a disadvantage. Unfortunately most Android games don’t run too well on them  so you will just have to wait it out.

bluestacks

Jelly Bean and Gingerbread Man

Google_Distribution_Numbers_August_01_2013

The latest figures on Android OS distribution is in and it shows that both ICS and Jelly Bean command more than half of the installed OS based for Android products. But a sizeable number, about 33 percent are still holding on to the old Gingerbread OS, which I have used and do not like but what gives?

As many of you may already be aware, Gingerbread is virtually the last OS that people can hold onto before they are propelled upwards to ICS where apps can be moved to SD card storage. This handy approach of course is one factor for keeping to Gingerbread as those with less than 1GB of internal storage will need the option to move apps to the SD or external storage. Gingerbread was  found on most smartphones during the introduction of dual core devices but there are also a lot of owners who own single core devices which ran Gingerbread. These devices, when loaded with ICS would be troublesome to say the least. In fact, the benefits outweigh the advantages when it comes to keeping your old device running. 

ICS has no inherent advantages except for smoother UX and better app memory and storage management. The Google bloatware that comes with it like G+ and Googleplay Services plug-ins are things you can live without. Any device without sufficient RAM will suffer from operational lag and will translate to nothing more than mind boggling frustration.

It’s the same with iOS devices, where the 3GS iPhone can run the updated iOS firmware but it starts behaving like an geriatric device in need of a mercy death blow.

Hacking or rooting your device on ICS is probably one way of getting round to some of the storage restrictions but it never really addresses the issue of app compatibility once the surgery is done.

My advice to you who are thinking of update your device hangs one pertinent issue. If it ain’t broke, why update it?