Tag Archive | "Experience"

Tablet optimised apps to get top billing in new Google Play store charts

Tablet optimised apps to get top billing in new Google Play store charts

In the last couple of years, tablets running Google’s Android operating system have risen to match or surpass Apple’s iPads in all but one crucial area – the amount of tablet optimised apps.

While there are plentiful apps for devices like the Nexus 7, some of the top hitters are often simply upscaled from smartphone apps for larger screens. They work just fine, but the experience could be better.

Now Google wants to rectify this by giving preferential treatment for apps ‘Designed for tablets’ within Google Play charts, when users search on their devices.

The move is designed to put those optimised apps front and centre for tablet owners, but also to give developers a nudge into fine tuning their applications in order to receive greater visibility on the shop floor.

Get ready, devs

In a post on the Android Developers blog, the company wrote: “Developers, if your apps are targeting tablets, take note. On November 21, 2013, Google Play will roll out some changes that will improve the visibility of tablet-optimized apps. Make sure your app is ready!

“Starting November 21, the “Designed for tablets” view will become the default for users browsing the top lists on their tablets (Top Paid, Top Free, Top Grossing, Top New Paid, Top New Free, and Trending).

“Also, apps and games that do not meet the “Designed for tablets” criteria will be marked as “Designed for phones” for users browsing the Play Store on their tablets.”

Could this result in a surge of devs updating their wares to offer better user experiences for tablet owners? Android fans will hope so.

Posted in Computing, Mobile PhonesComments Off

In Depth: Why Intel’s Bay Trail is the next big thing in mobile computing

In Depth: Why Intel's Bay Trail is the next big thing in mobile computing

Intel’s Atom processor was always a good idea. Shrink the power profile associated with the full-power x86 instruction to ultra-mobile proportions.

Or rather, it was a good idea ahead of its time. In fairness, Intel probably had to get the Atom project rolling when it did, back in 2009.

That’s because mobile is such an epically important market. Intel not only had to be seen to be doing something, even if manufacturing technology wasn’t quite ready to do x86 justice in ultra-mobile form factors like phones and tablets.

Long march to mobile

It also had to commit to mobile in the long run and give itself the best chance of succeeding. Ironically, that meant wheeling out a series of Atom chips which I’m fairly sure the company knew weren’t terribly compelling. But it was all part of the process of preparing both the market and its own design, engineering and manufacturing processes for the coming ultra-mobile uplift.

Anyway, Intel has been showing off its latest and greatest Atom platform, codenamed Bay Trail, at the IDF conference in San Francisco and as the news is all good.

Early benchmarks indicate that a quad-core Bay Trail system has CPU performance very close to AMD’s quad-core Jaguar-based chips.

Plausible Windows portable

I happen to have been running a quad-core Jaguar-based thin and light system for several months now, so I’m very familiar with the experience you can expect in Windows 8. And it’s just dandy. OK, you wouldn’t really want to encode 1080p video on the fly.

But for day-to-day computing, it fits the good-enough definition just fine. But here’s the thing. Under heavy load, it’s thought Bay Trail consumes just one to two watts of power.

Now making direct comparisons is very difficult. But it looks like an equivalent AMD Jaguar-based chip guzzles at least four times and maybe as much as ten times as much power.

Good-enough is best

That matters because it means Intel will be able to drive true good-enough x86 computing into smaller form factors than ever before. Does that include smartphones?

The verdict is out on that question, unfortunately. Bay Trail is targeted at tablets, not smartphones. There will be an Atom platform known as Merrifield and based on the same new CPU cores found in Bay Trail. But it’s not yet clear just how much performance will be lost in that transition.

Whatever, I’m not too worried. For me, it’s step-by-step. Given me a proper x86 Windows experience in a 10-inch tablet convertible at the same low prices as the ARM-powered Android masses and I’ll be a very happy bunny indeed.

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Google Glass powered by a 2011 mobile processor

Google Glass powered by a 2011 mobile processor

Even though Google Glass seems like the most cutting-edge technology an early adopter can own, the actual system-on-a-chip that powers the spectacles is in fact two years old.

This surprising discovery was made by Android developer and new Glass owner Jay Lee, who dissected the new wearable computer specs this week.

He used the same development tools designed for Android phones and tablets, which makes the Ice Cream Sandwich-powered glasses easy to root, according to developers.

Lee found that Glass operates using a 2011-era OMAP 4430 designed by Texas Instruments, and thinks that it’s a dual-core processor backed up by 1GB of RAM.

“There’s 682 MB of RAM [available to developers],” he reported in a Google+ post picked up by Ars Technica.

“Kernel messages lead me to believe it’s actually 1GB but some is being used for other hardware purposes.”

Specs with Galaxy S2 specs

The OMAP 4430 chip and estimated 1GB RAM are joined by 16GB of flash memory and 5MP camera.

Lee also confirmed that the Google Glass runs Android 4.0.4.

To put the Texas Instruments OMAP 4430 into perspective, it’s the same system-on-a-chip that runs the Samsung Galaxy S2 and Galaxy Tab 2.

Since the Samsung Galaxy S4 just released, Google Glass’ specs might be seen as a little dated.

However, Lee noted that “with innovative products like Glass, the experience is more important than the hardware specs.”

We’ll see what changes Google makes to the fashionable hardware before customers can get their hands on them in a “year-ish” time, which we’re fairly confident is a given.

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Various Types Of Android based Tablet PC’s

Android based Tablet PC – The Best Way To Experience The World Of Computing

Are you looking to buy a tablet PC? The tablet PC is just like a portable and small sized personal computer that contains…

Credits: This article is copyrighted to Radha Krishna who actively blogs at Techzene.Com

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Gary Marshall: Bye bye Windows Live Messenger

Gary Marshall: Bye bye Windows Live Messenger

If internet years are like dog years, then Windows Live Messenger (formerly MSN Messenger) is 91 – so Microsoft’s decision to shutter the service in early 2013 and migrate everyone to Skype isn’t exactly a surprise.

The reason for the move is obvious enough: when you spend billions of pounds on a messaging platform, as Microsoft did with Skype last year, you want to get your money’s worth. And as Brian Hall writes in the final Inside Windows Live blog post, Microsoft believes that “Skype provides a better experience and even stronger network.”

Mac users might disagree with that one – Skype conferencing on OS X, in my experience, is hilariously unreliable – but Skype does have more features and wider device support. I’m sure the migration will be messy for some, because migrations usually are, but when the dust settles Skype will do more for more people than Messenger could.

Shooting the Messenger

Windows Live Messenger is getting the boot just months after the similarly old Hotmail, which is now Outlook.com, and while progress is obviously a good thing I can’t help feeling a nostalgic pang. For many of us MSN Messenger and Hotmail were part of the plumbing of the internet, the programs we used when we were supposed to be doing something else such as sleeping, working or studying.

I have particularly fond memories of Messenger: twelve years ago it was where I’d spend all night chatting to the woman who would later become my wife.

That was a long time ago, though, and like many people I haven’t used Messenger for non-work purposes for some years now. It’s from an era where connections were dial-up, tablets didn’t exist and phones weren’t so smart, and most of us have moved on to other services.

As Brian Hall writes: “Messenger enabled each of us to communicate and share with the people we care about”. However, a messaging platform is only as good as the people using it, and these days most of us want to talk somewhere else.

Posted in Computing, Internet, Mobile Phones, Software, WirelessComments Off