Wednesday, June 11, 2014

When will the Android Lollipop Pop?

What the rumor mill is churning out these days especially in the world of mobile technology might probably pique everyone’s curiosity. Or, let’s just drop the sense of uncertainty in that statement. Case in point is what the famed Android OS is prepping for its army of tech-geeks and ordinary mobile users alike, both with oodles of enthusiasm and anticipation. Even only a few months after it released the indubitably most-celebrated and highly-patronized Android KitKat, an even more exciting monster OS rumored to be the Android Lollipop is set to stand front and center of the mobile arena. Although the details about the next generation Android operating system are still unconfirmed, we’ve got some juicy info about how the OS will give all that you need and so much more.

Picking up from where KitKat left off.
Who could resist the chocolatey goodness of Android 4.4 KitKat? The revamped interface it offers, the radical changes it made to satisfy our techie taste buds and the tasty features it brings forth to the last bite. Each feature of the Android 4.4 KitKat made all the taps, swipes, and toggles all powerful and easy-peasy, giving us nothing but indeed a break from all the fading, menial mobile activities. Yet again, it’s rumored that Android will offer another sweet treat for us to crave. Should we bite into this sweet treat or should we take a break? And so, almost all—if not everyone—anticipated the sweet release of yet another Android OS to indulge our techie sweet tooth. Following the alphabetical order of the sweets, the platform starts with letter L. Rumor mills couldn’t take a break either, giving us interesting options such as Android Lemon Meringue Pie, Android Lamington, Android Ladoo (a ball-shaped Indian sweet), Android Layer Cake, and Android Ladyfingers. Oh, did I forget something? Yes, of course, the most talked about Android Lollipop.

Bite the candy or bite your tongue?
Of course, associated with the platform’s sweet treat name is its version. Since Android Lollipop is likely the codename for the much-anticipated Android OS, it’s logical to have an upgraded version code. But would it be the version Android 4.5 or Android 5.0? If your money is on the latter, then take my advice, don’t go sour-graping because that is somewhat unlikely. Android 5.0 would be less likely on the cards since the code itself denotes a promise that it would be a big update—in which the company is not ready yet.

What does the allegedly Android 4.5 Lollipop offer?
Since there haven’t been a ratified set of features of the speculated Android platform, rumor has it that the design or interface would be much flatter and cleaner. This new Android style is actually referred to as ‘Moonshine’. The interface was gradually revamped, and one of which is flattening and simplification of Google’s online icons. If you’re a Google+ app user, you’ll also notice the gray navbar and the menu background shading are changed to bright red to match up with the Google+ logo in line with the to-be-released Android 4.5. What’s more is that you will miss the trusty home button since there would now be onscreen navigation buttons. Rumor has it that the new Google button will have a minor hexagonal makeover, and the familiar back button will also not leave its side.

The Android 4.5 Lollipop’s surprise center
What we all have been waiting to taste is the surprise center of the Android 4.5 Lollipop. According to Android Police, the Android 4.5 is known internally as Hera—reportedly centered around the unification of Android and Chrome having a Chromium build design to run on Android. Also, you’ll get to abuse the multi-tasking feature of your gadget, since 4.5 update shows off apps as interactive HTML 5-powered windows. That being said, you can venture your way to replying an email while on the multitasking window without having to fully enter the main app. Powerful surprise center indeed. The integration of HTML 5 makes the Android 4.5 Lollipop more exciting, and I can’t stress this enough, worth the wait.

Unwrapping the candy
Adding up to this juicy-licious Android 4.5 Lollipop update for the time being is its ‘Ok Google’ integration, now with a bigger scope. The rumor mill has given us the bits and bites of this sweet edible, but when would it really roll? Better stop biting your lip, because Google will be unwrapping the Lollipop candy by this late June, which is 25 June precisely. Google has always been unstoppable; what do you think would be the next sweet edible?

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Future of Smartwatches

2014 will be the year of smartwatches or more popularly termed now as “wearables”. Giant brands like Apple, Samsung, Sony, and LG have been focusing on the creation of the ultimate wearable. Then comes Android Wear, Google’s latest breakthrough which is basically a very ambitious operating system for smartwatches. Some concepts include the incorporation of popular Google apps like Google Map and Google Now, as well as the ability to reply to your messages via voice command, well how cool is that?

A quick rundown of Android Wear concepts are (brace yourselves) health and fitness features which tells you how many calories you burned while on your way to work, QR codes which are basically everywhere, voice command anything as if you have your pc or remote control with you, and loads more. With this innovative operating system, many companies are preparing their own line of wearables to be Android Wear-ready. Good for them! Here is a list of wearables you might want to put on your wrists:

Samsung’s Simband
Samsung is now taking a different path—a medically inclined one. Simband is Samsung’s new smartwatch equipped with all the sensors you have in your list plus more. These sensors are focused on monitoring your health and fitness, so it is safe to say this wearable is not meant for everyone who aims for a smartwatch that is more than monitoring health and fitness. Features include measuring your heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure (awesome!), temperature, ECG (more awesome!), blood chemical levels, your eating and exercise habits, and body fat percentage.  This little device is like your personal medical assistant right on your wrist! The great thing about the Simband is its modular construction in which developers can devise new sensors for who-knows what purpose. Exciting, isn’t it?

Motorola’s Moto 360
With a rumour release this summer, many say it will be explosive. Moto 360 is yet another wearable to watch for. Custom made from OLED display to conserve battery and prolong its performance while a lot of reports say it’ll be covered in Sapphire glass—expensive and elegant just like that. If this is true, we will be having one of the toughest displays, even four times stronger than Gorilla Glass.

LG G Watch and Sony SmartWatch 2
LG and Sony have already produced their versions of wearables. Both have outstanding features you wish are in just one smartwatch. The LG Watch has this always-on display for the lazy you. No more pressing the wake-up button to check the time or notifications. The Sony SmartWatch 2 however, screens phone alerts, is Gmail ready, and shows call info in real time, all in a one water-resistant piece of equipment. That’s how you put the cherry on top.

Pebble Smartwatch
The great thing about the Pebble wearable is its broad compatibility conquering both iOS and Android devices. It is also waterproof and features a lot of apps you can get your restless fingers on. Running via Bluetooth connection, it is one tempting smartwatch to wear.

Get ready for Apple’s iWatch

Apple has been rumoured (a lot of times) to produce its own smartwatch, but as the unveiling of the latest iPhone 6 becomes inevitable, many of us believe and desperately hope it will be true this time.  

Friday, June 6, 2014

Apple’s 30-pin Connector Transition to Lightning Connector

 Back in the year 2007, Apple ignited the smartphone war as they made a wave of touchscreen phones—as we know it, the iPhone. And who couldn’t forget the connector introduced with the 3rd generation iPod way back in 2003 and is associated with the earlier iterations of iPhone or iDevice before the inarguably smaller 5-pin Lightning connector stole the limelight? I can’t stress this enough; it’s Apple’s 30-pin connector.

Is it goodbye?
Fast forward to today, the 30-pin connector that was once the standard equipment on all iOS
devices, has now been brought to its demise—not unless some people still prefer the earlier
iDevice versions that are bundled with the Apple’s old 30-pin connector. After all, the iPad 3 was the last device that used the 30-pin connector. But, is it really time to say goodbye to this old trusty connector?

30-pin connector’s greatness
In retrospect, Apple’s 30-pin connector actually did great. But of course, without putting the new and improved Lightning Connector for people’s syncing and accessory access needs in the picture. It’s really unusual for a device connector to stay in the market for countless years, but Apple managed to prolong the connector in the market for 9 years—which actually speaks volumes to the thought that Apple’s 30-pin connector has been great. Not to mention it being the standard for accessory makers with literally millions of accessories associated with it.

Why the transition?
If the 30-pin connector has been trusted for 9 years, then why is there a need to upgrade? Well, ever heard of the growing digital needs of people and tech savvies alike? The 30-pin connector needs to be replaced since the signals have been changed in the connector every time a product is being improved. FireWire—one of things that are being carried by the Apple connector—was also phased out, which then led to a discontinuity of usage of the 30-pin connector and gave birth to the Lightning connector.

The noticeable changes
As you will notice, the Lightning connector is a lot smaller than that of the old connector—approximately 4 times the size of the latter. The Lightning connector also uses a slightly thinner cable that is about 2 inches longer than the 30-pin connector. Looking at the other end, the USB end of the cable has now a smaller housing. Evidently, changes can be observed physically, yet Apple did not announce any speed benefits of the new cable aside from the signals changed.

It actually is…
So long, 30-pin connector! As I’ve stated earlier, there were literally millions of accessories made matching up with the connector. But now it’s time for the new 8-pin connector named Lightning to flash the light and steal the limelight. The succeeding devices of Apple starting from iPhone 5 are now compatible with the 8-pin connector as it is a proprietary computer bus. After all, Lightning connector is more compact than the old connector. But, even if it actually is goodbye, 30-pin connector will be remembered.