Tag Archives: HTC

GNC-2011-12-19 #730 Two Massive Contest!



Do you have video editing skills? There is cash on the table for a winning entries. Plus I have a couple of fun prizes to give away in the form of some Roku’s listen to get the details. Your really going to enjoy tonight’s show as the content flow was close to perfect.

Note: I am hiring 5 writers email me geeknews@gmail.com

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Sending Music to the Cloud.
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GNC-2011-11-10 #720 No Aliens?



Well no video tonight, I failed to hit record :( Enjoy the Audio :) Lots of great tech content, I am wrapping up a great week here in the Nations Capitol. Headed back to Honolulu which is hosting APEC so that should be fun.. Thanks for listening.

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Receipt Re-Design.
Wallops Island – NASA Video
The Verge.
No Aliens.

Links to articles covered in this Podcast on the GNC Show Notes Page [Click Here]

Credits:
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Android Leads UK Smartphone Race



Android LogoIn the UK, Android is beginning to dominate the smartphone space, with 50% of handsets sold in the last quarter running Android. RIM (Blackberry) and Apple are almost level pegging on 22% and 18% and with half of UK adults now owning a smartphone, Android has an impressive lead.

Breaking the Android figures down, HTC is the top dog, with nearly 45% of Android handsets sold. Samsung is picking up the pace at 38% but Sony Ericsson is the big loser, falling to 8.5% of the Android market.

Surprisingly, this means that HTC, Samsung, RIM and Apple are each taking about a quarter of the market. Compared with mindshare that Apple generally has and the dominance in the tablet market, it’s clear that the iPhone is under performing.

Personally, I would agree with the figures. Looking round the office, Android phones are definitely in the majority followed by iPhones and Blackberries. I think Blackberries are popular with younger people as both my nephews have that brand of phone. The breakdown of the Android shares also rings true. This time last year, it would have been exclusively HTC smartphones but now there are quite a few people sporting Samsung devices.

The research was carried out by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech over the past 12 weeks. To be fair, this probably means that iPhone sales were down as people waited for new model but there’s no doubt that Android is the no.1 smartphone OS in the UK.

 


Laza HTC Evo 4G Extended Alternative Battery



Phones come and phones go. Our expectations change. Technology marches forward – well most of the time, except when it comes to the bane of wireless pocket tech – battery life.

I’ve had my Sprint HTC Evo 4G phone for more than a year at this point and I’m still very satisfied with its overall feature set as well as it’s performance. The big ongoing problem has been battery life. With the stock battery that came with the phone I have been lucky to get 5 hours out of it just on standby, perhaps extending that a bit by turning off automatic data synching. The original Evo 4G eats battery power like crazy. I knew this would be an issue going in, but unlike a lot of people I can keep my phone plugged into external power most of the time I’m in my truck, so the power devour issue mostly doesn’t cause me too much trouble. In all fairness, turning off data completely in the settings would vastly extend the Evo’s standby time, but this defeats the purpose of having a super smartphone.

There are times when the phone has to be running on it’s internal battery, and I need extra battery life. I got to searching for alternative Evo batteries on Amazon.Com, and I ended up purchasing this Laza HTC Evo 4G 3500mAh Extended Battery + Cover for along with Laza Sprint HTC Evo 4G Extended Battery Silicone Case Black. I was able to get both of these items along with three extra screen covers for $22.54 from Amazon, a real bargain compared to pricey alternative, less-capable batteries sold by Best Buy or Sprint.

The replacement battery is thicker, and therefore the new back is needed to accommodate the extra battery thickness. It makes the phone thicker, hence the need for the alternative extended battery silicone case.

As previously stated, it does make the Evo 4G thicker than before, but even with the extra girth it still easily fits into my pants pocket.

The new battery does vastly increase the phone’s standby time. In normal use it would probably last me all day. Of course, I’m not a normal user – most of the time the Sprint WiFi Hotspot feature is turned on and the phone is paired with my iPod and frequently with my Macbook Pro. Using the phone as a WiFi hotspot I can probably get about 5 to 6 hours of heavy data usage before pushing Android into automatic shutdown. Overall, I love my Evo 4G and would still buy one today were I in need of a new phone.

Laza also sells a variety of extended batteries, backs and accommodating cases in a variety of colors for other Android phone models – simply search Amazon for “Laza.”

If you want extra battery life from your Evo 4G, I recommend checking out Laza.


Sprint May be Getting iPhone5. Not Definite Yet [RUMOR]



Sprint Networks
Sprint is rumored to get iPhone5. Will it happen?

The upcoming iPhone5 in October might have a new twist to it. Sprint-Nextell might be joining the ranks as a phone carrier. This would be in addition to AT&T and Verizon to carrying the phone in the US.

I say “may” because it’s unconfirmed just yet. The Wall Street Journal reported that it will be happening. They got their information from “people familiar with the matter”. Yet, news leaks sometimes can be misleading.

Other iPhone5 Rumors

  • iPhone4 will get an 8GB model, replace 3GS as low-end device
  • dual-mode iPhone will let you switch from CDMA to GSM networks.
  • 4G LTE – No word if dual-mode LTE – WiMax
  • 8 Megapixel camera, Front facing VGA camera with no light.
  • A5 processor running dual 1 GHz.
  • Thinner and lighter phone
  • Longer and wider screen – Same size phone
  • Turns into Bumble Bee, everyone’s favorite Transformer (OK, maybe not. But wouldn’t that be cool?)

LTE vs WiMax

If Sprint does get the iPhone5, we could see a full iPhone war come October. There is one problem to this – Sprint is primarily a WiMax 4G service and iPhone is rumored to be LTE.

Sprint had put in measures to try and buy out Clearwire and add LTE into their service. Even if that happens, Sprint will have to do some fast work to make the iPhone 4G usable in the US.

We then have to ask the question: is T-Mobile also getting the iPhone? Not to mention the underdog carriers (US Cellular is one of the top underdogs in the Midwest, an iPhone 5 would mean local competition, too).

How iPhone5 Could Affect Android

Android has done a good job in clouding the market. Whereas iPhone only has 1 model with 3 memory size options (16, 32, 64 GB) and 2 color options (Black or White), Android comes in many sizes and shapes. HTC, LG, Motorola (obviously) and Sony- Ericsson all make different types of Android smartphones.

Still, with an iPhone 5 in all four US carriers could put a new dent into Android sales. A lot of people may make the switch because it’s an iPhone.

Once again, this is a rumor, but if true, could give Apple a bigger market share. Sprint users might have a bad experience for the first year simply because the carrier has to adapt to the phone, instead of vise-versa. If it does happen, I might finally switch off to another carrier for the first time in 13 years…


Google Purchases Motorola Mobility (along with 24,000 Patents) for $12.5 billion



Motorola-Android
Motorola-Android

Google announced this morning that it will be acquiring Motorola Mobility for $40 a share – $12.5 billion total. With it, come 24000 patents on mobile devices, in which 70-80% will most likely move right into Android technologies. Is this a major win for Google and their partners?

Motorola Mobility started in 1928[Wiki]. They pioneered mobile devices starting with the StarTAC in 1996. Motorola Mobility also invented the flip phone and their most successful handset – the RAZR – was the most popular phone from 2004 to 2008 (when the iPhone surpassed it).

“This transaction offers significant value for Motorola Mobility’s stockholders and provides compelling new opportunities for our employees, customers, and partners around the world” said Sanjay Jha, CEO of Motorola Mobility. “We have shared a productive partnership with Google to advance the Android platform, and now through this combination we will be able to do even more to innovate and deliver outstanding mobility solutions across our mobile devices and home businesses.”

24,000 patents, ranging from initial cellular connections all the way to current technologies, are also a part of that purchase. This means that Android has a better chance of warding off most other patent lawsuit disputes, which seems to be a key to a smartphone or tablet.

It’s also a great advantage to Android partners Samsung, HTC, Sony-Ericcson and LG-Electronics. Motorola had several Android-based smartphones themselves, including the Droid and Droid 2.

“The combination of Google and Motorola will not only supercharge Android, but will also enhance competition and offer consumers accelerating innovation, greater choice, and wonderful user experiences.”Says Larry Page. “I am confident that these great experiences will create huge value for shareholders. I look forward to welcoming Motorolans to our family of Googlers.”

With this news, the mobile eco-system might take a major turn. Google has some major firepower behind their Android system now. While not all technologies they purchased might not be viable in today’s tech market, they could be a basis for modified technology based on original patents.

Have you switched to an Android phone yet? Do you have a Droid3? What are your thoughts on this acquisition?

Official Google Press Release


HTC Gratia Hands-On Review



As a mid-tier offering, the HTC Gratia doesn’t appear to get the same notice as the Sensations, Desires and Incredibles, which is a shame because it’s a good phone and will suit those who want a small Android phone but don’t have the cash for a top-end device. If you haven’t heard of the Gratia before and you live in the US, that’s because over there it’s known as the Aria. It’s largely the same device.

To get the specs out of the way, it’s an Android 2.2 device with a 3.2″ 320 x 480 touchscreen. Weights in at 115 g and measures 58 mm wide, 104 mm tall and 12 mm thick. All the expected radios and gadgets – 3G, wifi (b/g), bluetooth, GPS, compass, 5 MP camera, microSD expansion slot – the full specs are on HTC’s site (though it lists the Android version as 2.1).

As you’ll see from the pictures below, the review model had a white plastic back that had a slightly matt finish to it. The phone felt comfortable in the hand and the detail of the extra screws on the back gave the Gratia an “industrial” edge, which I liked. I didn’t try to find out if the screws actually held anything together or were only for effect.

Taking the back off reveals the SIM slot, the microSD slot and the battery. At the bottom left, the two contacts are for aerials that were embedded into the back cover. The micro USB connector is in the middle. The back covers the sides, top and bottom as well.

Side on, there’s a sense of the shape and how it feels in the hand. It’s not a thin phone, but it’s not a fat one either.  It’s comfortable. As with most devices, there’s a little bit of bevelling to make it feel thinner than it really is.

Enough on the physical, what’s it like to use as a phone? Unsurprisingly, it’s much like every other HTC Android 2.2 phone. It comes with the HTC Sense enhancements and there did seem to be a few little extra launcher customisations that I hadn’t seen before. Unfortunately, I didn’t have another phone handy to compare and they may simply be incremental updates that went along with 2.2.

Generally, the phone was responsive using both the touchscreen and the trackpad. Animations were smooth and scrolling up and down lists was good. The usual slew of apps was present and the Gratia has access to the Android Market if you need more. Audio and video playback was fine with no glitches or jerkiness on the files I tried. Some other reviews said the Gratia was “underpowered” but I can’t really say that performance was an issue, though I’m not a big game player which seems to be the focus of the issue. And of course, if you do have lots of apps open, it will begin to slow down.

Setting up apps with accounts to access email, Facebook, Twitter, etc. was all by the numbers, as it were. I was up and running with the Gratia within minutes of turning the phone on.

Battery life was ok – I got a day’s worth of work out of it with some to spare and that’s with a bit of email, bit of surfing, bit of music listening. A typical day as far as I was concerned, but the Gratia will need recharged overnight for the next day.

Pricewise, off-contract the Gratia is generally available around £275 with the best prices being close to £250. I was unable to find any UK mobile telco carrying the Gratia at present so I can’t comment on contract prices.

Overall, this a fine mid-range smartphone at a fair price. There’s plenty to recommend and not too much to complain about. For someone looking for an Android 2.2 phone that’s not going to break the bank off-contract, this is a good choice.

Thanks to HTC for the loan of the Gratia.