Likes, Retweets, Double Taps and Smiley Faces: The Economy of Social Networks [Off Topic]

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Lately I have been trying to be more conscious of the reasons behind why I post something on a social network. As I near 19,000 tweets I am keenly aware that I share my thoughts more than most people. I am certainly not anywhere near having the most tweets, but as I have participated in social networks like MySpace, Twitter, Facebook, Path, Instagram, and others over the past few years I have adjusted how much I share and how I share it.

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The Nightmare of Maintaining Your Music Library [Opinion]

Like many in my generation, I started listening to music on CDs. I used to sit in a rocking chair with my “skip free” portable CD player (I can’t remember if it was a Walkman or not) listening to Now 4 or No Doubt. Around the age of 16 or 17 I was given my first iPod: a 30 GB 5th generation iPod Classic (although at that point it wasn’t called “Classic”). I can vividly remember sitting down at my computer and slowly importing dozens of CDs into iTunes and syncing my iPod. I remember when Tri-tone meant that my CD had been imported, not that I had a new message. I began buying music straight from iTunes instead of visiting the then large, now non-existent CD section at my local Best Buy.

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Three Reasons Why the Kindle Fires Should Be Considered Android Tablets [Opinion]

Ever since the original Kindle Fire was released last year there has been some controversy about whether or not to consider Amazon’s tablets to be Android tablets. While Amazon has always admitted that the products run a forked version of Android and Android apps, the Android community was quick to distance themselves from the product despite its record sales. While Amazon likes to talk about Fire apps and doesn’t talk about the version of Android running underneath the Fire interface in any of their official documentation, I believe the Kindle Fire should be considered an Android tablet.

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Understanding the Difference Between AOSP and the Open Handset Alliance [Opinion]

Over the past few years there has been grumbling among some that Google needs to stop calling Android open source. The argument is a simple one: Google can call Android open source as long as it doesn’t place any requirements on its OEMs to use Android. This article will unpack some of the misconceptions about what it means to say that Android is open source and deal with the two major instances where Google has been accused of violating its own principles concerning Android.  (more…)

The State of Android [Opinion]

Back in January of this year I reviewed the state of Android manufacturers up to that point. In January Samsung was the only major Android OEM that was making any money on Android phones. HTC had posted its first quarterly profit decline in two years while Motorola continued its financial decline amidst regulatory approval of Google’s then-proposed, now-approved purchase of the manufacturer. How is the ecosystem doing nine months into the year?

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Android Recovery [Opinion]

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Android used to be the go to option for OEMs fleeing Windows Mobile in search of relevancy in the mobile space, but lately it seems that unless you’re Samsung or Apple you simply cannot make money in mobile. Samsung has been the only Android manufacturer to consistently make money quarter after quarter for the past year. Motorola’s profits plummeted quarter after quarter until Google bought the entire company. HTC has managed to sell a sizable number of devices, but has fallen from being the top Android manufacturer to an equal of LG and Sony. While no Android OEMs pay Google to use Android, most pay Microsoft licensing fees. What is making Samsung successful while other OEMs continue to struggle?  (more…)

Google Experimenting with Bringing AOSP to the Sony Xperia S

For years there has been a battle between AOSP fans and manufacturers to hack vanilla Android (or something close to it like CyanogenMod) onto devices instead of the manufacturer’s version of Android. The difficulty with this battle is that it takes a tremendous amount of work to get another ROM working on a device. A developer cannot simply take AOSP Android and load it onto a device because stock Android is actually designed to run on a specific device (currently the Nexus S, Galaxy Nexus, or Nexus 7).

Jean-Baptiste Queru, the technical head of the Android Open Source Project, wants to experiment with how AOSP works. Starting with the Xperia S, Queru has invited the community to experiment with porting AOSP to the device. “In theory, AOSP is designed such that it should be possible to plug in the files related to additional hardware targets,” said Queru in a Google Groups post. “In practice, that has never happened.”  (more…)