Tag Archives: android

Chrome for Android finally arrives

Just in from Google Mobile Blog: Chrome for Android is out in beta for ICS (Android 4) devices. I won’t bore you with the marketing video, but this “Under the hood” video is a lot more interesting:

Chrome for Android Beta: Under the Hood

Watch this video on YouTube.

Looks like the superb Firefox for Android is (finally) getting some competition. I guess it really is time to upgrade my Galaxy SII to the recently leaked ICS rom!

jailbreaking !== jail

Jailbreaking is not a crime, but we shouldn’t take that for granted, because as Bunnie (XBox hacker) writes;

Three years ago, the [U.S.] Copyright Office agreed to create an exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act so that folks could jailbreak their smartphones. But that exemption is about to expire.

Given the fact that the U.S. jailbreaking-scene is an important contributor, I signed the EFF petition which asks the Copyright Office for continued support for jailbreakers;

Being an avid Android-user, jailbreaking permits me to replace heavily customized (and in some ways crippled, think CarrierIQ) vendor-specific versions of Android with clean, crisp, fast and secure after-market “mods” such as CyanogenMod.

You should really sign this as well!

Secure your smartphone

Your smartphone probably contains a wealth of information of personal and professional nature, which you would not want others to have access to. This is why (after losing my HTC Hero a couple of months ago) I now try to follow 2 out of these 3 simple rules:

  1. don’t lose your smartphone.
  2. if you lose your smartphone, make sure you have something in place to locate it
  3. if you lose your smartphone and you can’t locate it, make sure you can wipe it remotely

There are multiple solutions to locate & wipe smartphones (including HTC’s Sense online offering), but for my Sense-less HTC Magic I installed “Lookout“. Lookout is a free application that provides device location, contacts backup & restore and apparently also malware protection. If you’re willing to pay $3/month, you also get remote wipe, remote lock and backup/ restore of pictures and call log. If you lose your Android-phone, you just log in to the Lookout-website to locate and optionally lock or wipe your handset.

I’m happy using the free version for now; I activated Android’s pattern lock-screen to avoid anyone from accessing my handset and deactivating Lookout. Remote wipe is great, but I guess I can activate my Lookout Premium account if ever I need that feature?

Tomorrow’s phone, now!

palm preAs every boy could tell you, it’s our toys that keep us kind of young. Because of that and as I work for a telco, I can’t but regularly buy a new phone.  Over the years I’ve had a.o. a Nokia 7110, a Sony-Ericsson T68i, a Qtek 9100 and I currently own a secondhand Nokia E61i. But time flies and my E61i is aging fast (maybe if I wouldn’t drop it that often …), so in a few months time I’m buying a new smartphone. Time to start shopping for pics, specs and reviews!

Smetty recently asked for advice on this topic as well, she was thinking about the Nokia E71 as a cheaper alternative to the iPhone 3G. But I won’t be buying Apple’s must-have gadget any time soon; although it has some superb features (OS, browser and that multi-touch interface), it lacks a real keyboard, has not tethering and doesn’t allow applications running in the background. And last but not least; the platform is far too closed to appeal to an open standards and open source minded wannabe-geek like me. All Windows Mobile-based devices are banned from my shortlist as well; I really don’t like the OS and its GUI, it feels too much like Windows 3.11 to me.

I’ll probably end up buying either the Nokia E71, a HTC Dream (the Google-phone) or the Palm Pré. So let’s do a pro&con-list, comparison-tables are always fun, no?

Nokia E71HTC DreamPalm Pré
Pro
  • Symbian is a proven OS
  • Lots of great software
  • Great battery life (1500mAh battery and only QVGA)
  • Builds on Nokia’s experience with the E61(i)
  • It’s a bit smaller then my E61i (which is … biggish)
  • Has tethering
  • Google Android is a Linux based OS
  • Google is an important player, lots of companies will be releasing Android-based phones in the coming months
  • HTC is one of the greatest cellphone manufacturers, they have loads of experience. My Qtek 9100 was a HTC-device as well.
  • Higher screen resolution (HVGA)
Con
  • Symbian feels old and is not always that reliable on my E61i (why does it soft-reset when the browser crashes?)
  • Lower screen resolution (QVGA)
  • Less readable then the E61i (same resolution but smaller screen)?
  • No tethering!
  • Battery life not that great (1150mAh battery combined with and thirsty HVGA)
  • It’s early days for Android, not sure if it’s mature enough
  • Not available through normal channels in Belgium, except for some obscure webshop where it’s already sold out
  • How about battery life (rumours claim 1150-1350 mAh, combined with power-hungry HVGA)?
  • Not available yet, no release date announced (not for USA, and certainly not for Europe)

The conclusion: although it still is vaporware, there’s some extreme chemistry going on between me and that darned Palm Pré. It’s the most exciting device by far and if it is for sale in Belgium, it’ll be hard to resist. The HTC Dream doesn’t seem to do it for me, no chemistry on one hand and not the “safe choice” either, as that award is easily claimed by Nokia E71. So Palm Pré if available in June/July, Nokia E71 otherwise?