Geek Garage

Find inspiration in awesome ideas.

Tag: Android (Page 2 of 2)

Samsung Galaxy S 4 Unpack

Galaxy S4 black

The Galaxy S 4 in black.

The Samsung Galaxy S 4 Unpack event just finished. It will certainly remain in history as the worst show ever. But no matter, we watched it for the product, the new Galaxy S 4. First, this was a Samsung product presentation, if you expected something about Android, forget it. The first time we heard Android was after 47 minutes and we’ll only see the Play Store icon in a glimpse. This is expected as for every manufacturer, Android is disappearing. But still, the S 4 will come with Android 4.2.2 JellyBean, so up to date.

Of course, the S4 does have a better hardware. Samsung is a manufacturer, so the first thing we expect is the hardware. But for real details, we’ll have to wait for the benchmarks. All this event focused on the software layer. The new Galaxy S4 is not only a new phone, it is a full Samsung product with its own softwares.

Read More

Google is dropping Snapseed…

…on Windows and OsX. Last year, Google acquired Nik Software which was publishing, among others, Snapseed, on of the most emblematic app on iOs, chosen as app of the year 2011 on the App Store. At the end of December, Google updated the iOs version of Snapseed and published the Play Store version. Yesterday, Google published the list of their last discontinued services and apps. Google Reader draw all the attention, but among the other services, we can see Snapseed on Windows and OsX.

The first consequence is that Snapseed was already removed from the Mac App Store. If you bought the app and you appreciate it, make a copy as you’ll be unable to reinstall it from the Mac App Store. This is certainly the most boring consequence of this decision.

But what can we expect about the iOs and Android version ? There is most certainly nothing to fear about it as Google made this app as an entry point for photo posting on Google Plus. Google is making all the efforts to promote Google Plus, and Sanpseed is one of their best assets among photographers.

Snapseed on desktop

Image manipulation on the desktop version of Snapseed (Nik Software).

Personally, I didn’t used Snapseed on a desktop. But the approach looked promising. I don’t say that it could have leveled up to be a competitor to Photoshop but, who knows ? Google is not a desktop software company, so it may have been expected that they would have not kept that software. But Nik Software is not only Snapseed… What about the acclaimed Dfine or the EFEX line ? Google is not an image manipulation software company, they bought Nik Software for their skills, not to improve the photo software market. The ported Snapseed to Android to provide the best iOs image manipulation app to Android and to open a gate for image publishing on Google Plus. All the web was considering Snapseed on Android as a competitor to Instagram. But today, we may have serious questions about the other desktop softwares. Google didn’t said anything about them, so, we’ll just have to wait and see…

… but not that long…

Would you miss Snapseed on Destop ?

Who still wants an Android ?

Some titles are controversial and are meant to make people react. Gizmodo just published an nice opinion about Google and Android, somehow predicting the death of Android brand. And if you look at Android from a business point of view, paying attention to every details, you know they may be right.

it-doesnt-take-a-genius

Android had succeeded to become the most popular mobile system, taking 70 % of mobile system market shares at the end 2012. Is that good for the mobile industry ? Certainly not for the manufacturers. Samsung is the leading manufacturer and everybody knows thy are providing among the best Android Phones. Do you remember their campaign when the iPhone 5 came out ? Here it is on the right. That is a Galaxy SIII, is it phone running Android ? Yes it is, as you can see on the 12th line of its features. That is the only reference to Android there. Not that it is made with Google, not that you have access to Google Play, nothing. That is a Samsung Phone full of nice features brought by Samsung, that is what the customer must remember.

So, just as the article pointed out, Android is nearly invisible when it comes to Samsung devices. But for Google, those devices are not running Android. Just ask Vic Gundotra, he used a Samsung Galasy SIII last summer, and after publishing a photo on Google+, he commented:

Vic_gundotra_android_based

Android based not Android. Android is what is published by Google, the system is designed for their Nexus branded devices. Other manufacturers does not use Android.

Ok, so what about the Nexus devices ? Just take a look at the Nexus 4 page. You can search for Android, it appears only 6 times at the bottom of the page.

Nexus 4 web page.

Nexus 4 web page.

So yes, Android as a brand is disappearing even for Google as now, the Nexus has become Google’s devices brand just as the Galaxy is for Samsung. For Gizmodo, having two brands is confusing the customer. Which brands ? Google, or Nexus ? Isn’t it good for Google that the customer knows that whatever device he gets, he gets an device running Android ?

At this point, Google may have to face several problems with Android. First, when we hear about an Android device, we expect to find Google services on it. But devices like the Kindle fire from Amazon is running Android, but they have no access to Google Play or other Google services. Amazon is also burying the system name deep bellow their own user interface. Does it bothers Amazon customers ? Obviously not. Does it bothers developers ? Neither. Developers do read the documentation (they do, right ? ) and know that Kindle Fire are based on Android. Kindle users simply don’t care as they are buying an Amazon device.

Second, we know that the worst problem of Android devices is the manufacturer upgrade. How can Google push his best up to date feature when more than half of the devices out there are still running a 3 years old Android version ? Not exposing the operating system may be a way to point out the lack of upgrades from the manufacturers.

Finally, Google does have his own vision of what an Android powered device is, and that is the Nexus. They need to push that idea, not to be pointed out to what other manufacturers are doing.

So who wants an Android anymore ? Geeks and developers. Basic customers don’t really care as long they find the services they are looking for. Google needed to promote Android, they needed the manufacturers support. Today, as they have 70% of market shares, they do not need to convince anymore. The Android brand may fade away from the customers, it will remain known by those who need it, just like Symbian was.

Now, we just need to see what the Mobile World Congress will unveil, starting next monday.

Snapseed, from iOs to Android

This year, Google acquired Nik Software. Nik Software is lately renown on iOs for their awesome photo editing app, Snapseed. Needless to say that every photographer expected to see this app coming on Android devices. This Thursday, Google updated the iOs app and of course, released Snapseed on Google Play. I will not have an extended review in this blog post, if I wanted so, I would have posted this on my photography blog. If you don’t know Snapseed, there are other great reviews on the web. Actually, there is far more interesting about this app. As everybody see that Google try to challenge Instagram, there is a lot to learn from the evolution of this app, should it be from the user or the developer point of view.

Read More

War Room review

War Room has just been released on the App Store and Google Play. War Room is an app dedicated to Privateer Press games, Warmachine and Hordes. The app main purpose is to be a card library, an in such a way, an army list manager. Of course, Warmachine and Hordes players could already use their mobile devices for their favorite games. IBodger was available on the App Store for a long time and was ported on the Android Market pretty fast. Its main purpose was to be an army lists manager. Of course, as an non-official work, there where limits. First, the visual design was pretty poor. Second, players didn’t have access to profiles details, I suppose for a question of License agreement. Although, the app did what it was designed for and did it right.

War Room main screen

War Room main screen

As Privateer Press decided to edit it’s own app, they requested the author of iBodger to stop working on it. So, War room was awaited since last january. Lets see what it does have to offer.

Read More

Page 2 of 2

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén