iPhone 5 vs Nokia Lumia 920 vs Samsung Galaxy SIII vs HTC One X camera image stabilization face off

A few days ago the world had the chance to check out the Nokia Lumia 920 OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) vs the Samsung Galaxy SIII in a really straight forward test where both phones were strapped together on an RC car. This time what you are about to see is the first ever comparison of the iPhone 5 and Nokia Lumia 920 video capture performance courtesy of Myriam over at Engadget who’s pending the week in Finland to tour Nokia’s HQ in Espoo and its R&D department in Tampere. I4ll let you judge for yourself by watching the video after the break:

Continue reading iPhone 5 vs Nokia Lumia 920 vs Samsung Galaxy SIII vs HTC One X camera image stabilization face off →

SkyDrive Application for Windows Phone and iOS released

Microsoft has just released the official SkyDrive application for Windows Phone 7 and iOS today. As you most probably know the SkyDrive cloud storage service is already partially integrated in the Office hub in windows Phone but lacks a lot of features that should have been there in the first place like document deletion, folder creation etc. This new application now fixes this but one would hope the all these new functionlaities will be fully integrated in a future version of the OS  and won’t require the users to download an application especially on Microsoft’s own platform. The iOS versions is essentially identical to the WP7 one. Check out a video of it in action after the break:

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Why Android is laggy compared to Windows Phone 7 and iOS

I just came across the best in-depth explanation regarding the well known UI performance issues that Android exhibits even on really high-end devices compared to modest hardware running Windows Phone 7 or iOS. The lengthy post was written down by Andrew Munn (in response to Google’s Dianne Hackborn’s earlier post about GPU HW accel in Android here) who was an intern on Android team (and who is interning on the Windows Phone Team at Microsoft next month). There are a couple of errors in his description of the way iOS handles the UI thread so keep that in mind when reading him. Other than that it’s a fairly accurate view of why Android is and most probably will never be ass efficient as iOS and Windows phone when rendering UIs simply because of early design choices when the framework was created. Throwing more processing power seems to be the only solution so far (plus the addition of HW acceleration in so parts of the OS in Honeycomb and ICS).

There are three main causes:

- The UI rendering isn’t done in a separate dedicated high priority thread but in the main thread with normal priority instead
- GC (Garbage Colector) / Timing issues.
- Lack of Hardware acceleration in the vast majority of the OS and the way UI rendering is handled: “On iOS, each UI view is rendered separately and stored in memory, so many animations only require the GPU to recomposite UI views. GPUs are extremely good at this. Unfortunately, on Android, the UI hierarchy is flattened before rendering, so animations require every animating section of the screen to be redrawn.”

Continue reading Why Android is laggy compared to Windows Phone 7 and iOS →

Try Windows Phone 7 on your iPhone or Android handset

I’m a bit late on this one…yesterday Microsoft launched a a new promotional service/mobile website that allows iOS (iPhone iPod) users and Android smartphones to get a taste of windows phone directly on the beloved devices. To do this you’ll just have to head over here ( http://aka.ms/wpdemo ) and the HTML5 webpage will transform your non-windows phone into a Metro filled device. Most of the core OS functionalities can be tested so users can really have a good idea of how the OS UI and UX work.

Windows Phone 7 Mac connector V2.0 for Mango released

Microsoft has just released the V.20 version of the Windows Phone Mac connector just in time for the Mango roll out. This update is packed full of new features that will finally put it on par with the Zune PC application (but not in terms of UI obviously). It even includes a user configurable video encoding functionality that isn’t present on the PC. It also seem to have a dedicated ringtones section unlike the Zune PC application which requires the user to manually rename the audio file so it can be recognized as a ringtone by the device.

Features:
• Full sync and import support for Apple Aperture software
• Drag and drop import of files from Browse Device
• Ringtone transfer support (for phones running Windows Phone 7.5 or later)
• Improved video conversion process with user configuration options
• Support for Windows Phone Marketplace (for phones running Windows Phone 7.5 or later)
• Localization support for 13 additional languages
• Improvements to backup and restore operations
• Improved configuration for podcast sync and photo import
• Improved iTunes import support in certain languages
• Improved metadata support for videos

Fixes:
• Added additional error codes and help references for device update
• Resolved connectivity issues with certain devices
• Resolved album art display issues for certain devices

Continue reading Windows Phone 7 Mac connector V2.0 for Mango released →

Steve Jobs resigns as CEO of Apple

I almost never post about Apple related news but this time I though that it would a good opportunity to salute one of the most visionary entrepreneur and CEO that has ever made it. Apple is announcing today that,effective immediately, Steve Jobs has resigned as CEO of Apple and named Tim Cook at this function. There’s not much else to say here besides hoping that the man health isn’t in such a bad state. Full press release and Steve Jobs resignation letter after the break:

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Microsoft attempted to buy Motorola’s patents before Google

According to Om’s source Microsoft was in talks with Motorola to acquire its patent portfolio in an attempt to totally destroy Android. This could definitely be true given Motorola’s CEO speech last week when he publicly claimed that he was closely evaluating if Windows Phone was a viable ecosystem and that he was looking at a Nokia like partnership with Microsoft.

Today’s Google announcement really seems like a desperate move from the Mountain View search giant especially when you consider the price, $12.5B and the record breaking $2.5B break-up fee that Google would have to pay Motorola if the deal falls through. An other un-answered question is why didn’t Google simply license/buy Motorola’s patents instead of the whole company ?

Continue reading Microsoft attempted to buy Motorola’s patents before Google →

Google Acquires Motorola Mobility: Android won’t go down without a fight

Big news today folks: Google has just announced that they are going to acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5B in cash (Google’s biggest acquisition to date). Sounds tasty right? Especially after Motorola’s CEO blatantly mislead everybody last week about his company’s plans to look into the Windows Phone platform as a viable ecosystem (or was he trying to get more $ out of the acquisition negotiation?). So what is this all about? Patents, patents and patents. As we have seen not long ago Google is desperately fighting a war that it probably can’t win against Microsoft, Apple et al because of its lack of patents so acquiring Moto is I guess for them, only one little solution to some of their Android problems. But people shouldn’t really over-estimate this move though. Motorola is already being sued by Microsoft and several other companies so this shows that even the handset’s manufacturer patent portfolio isn’t bullet proof. Interesting times ahead… What well other Android OEM’s think about this move? “2 turkeys don’t make an Eagle”.. right? Announcement after the break:

Continue reading Google Acquires Motorola Mobility: Android won’t go down without a fight →

Google defends itself against Microsoft: Still sounds childish

I’m starting to think that the folks in Mountain view really think that they live in a parallel universe. Google’s Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, David Drummond has decided to post another letter attacking Microsoft following last night’s debacle. He either didn’t expect Microsoft to enter the ring or simply thought that it was ok to publicly talk trash about Apple, Oracle and Microsoft. The end result is unfortunately still the same:Google sounds like a whiny little brat and should seriously re-think it’s PR strategy.

Today’s letter claims that the Mountain View search giant didn’t fall for Microsoft evil trap when it was offered to jointly bid for Novell’s patent last year and that the DOJ’s decision to require the winning party to provided a license to the open source community is proof that the three companies are in it to kill the poor Android robot. Once again it didn’t take long for Microsoft PR team to reply here, here, here and here. Yesterday the patents in question were “bbogus” but today they are not ?

Continue reading Google defends itself against Microsoft: Still sounds childish →

Google accuses Microsoft, Apple and Oracle of anti-competitive attack against Android

Google apparently isn’t really fond of the competition in the mobile market (and everywhere else I guess) based on the missive against Microsoft, Apple and Oracle that the company’s Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, David Drummond posted today. I must admit this whole thing sounds really childish especially coming from a big company like Google. What’s even worst is that it’s factually wrong in some cases. First Google is apparently pissed off because the company lost the bid to win the Nortel’s patents a few weeks ago:

They’re doing this by banding together to acquire Novell’s old patents (the “CPTN” group including Microsoft and Apple) and Nortel’s old patents (the “Rockstar” group including Microsoft and Apple), to make sure Google didn’t get them

Sorry Google, but you played and you lost. Unless your 3.14 Billion bid for the patents was just for fun ? If the these patents are “bogus” why bid for them in the first place? Why not talk about the fact that you refused Microsoft’s offer to join the bid? Email proof here.

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HTC’s S3 acquisition: it’s all about the patents

Looks like my last guess was close to the mark yesterday. HTC has admitted today that the company’s acquisition of S3 Graphics was mainly for the patents. According to HTC’s CFO, Winston Yung, yesterday(s acquisition was done to help HTC in it’s ongoing battle against Apple (an US ITC judge ruled that Apple infringed on two of S3′s patents earlier this month) and to secure some valuable patents that could come in handy in case other companies decide to sue the Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer:

“In patent negotiations, it is difficult if the other company has patents and you don’t. If you have patents too, perhaps you can arrive at a cross-licensing agreement,”
“We’re not talking about five years before we will see financial benefits and returns, we’re talking about using these patents to start generating revenue now,”

Continue reading HTC’s S3 acquisition: it’s all about the patents →

Apple loses to Nokia in patent licensing suit: signs licensing agreement

The ongoing court battle between Nokia and Apple has finally reach a happy end for the Finnish mobile company today. Apple has effectively lost the suit and had to enter into a licensing agreement with Nokia. This agreement will consist of a one-time payment followed by on-going royalty payments by Apple to Nokia.  This is undoubtedly good news for Nokia who’s currently in a relatively bad situation while transitioning to Windows Phone 7. Full press release after the break:
Continue reading Apple loses to Nokia in patent licensing suit: signs licensing agreement →

Microsoft’s Bill Buxton: Technology is not the bottleneck. Knowledge of our history is

I just wanted to point out to this amazing video interview and project from Microsoft’s Chief Researcher Bill Buxton. If you don’t know who Bill is then I highly suggest you do a Bing / Google search or just hit up his personal website here. The video interview embedded below is simply one of the best things I have seen and heard in a while because it points out one of the main issue around current product design in the industry. As the title says: Technology isn’t the bottleneck…but knowledge of our history is. This applies to most engineers, UX designers working on new products, but also bloggers, and the press who seem to suffer from short term memory loss. If everybody knew about all the amazing products developed or released in the past (even commercial failures) then product development would most probably be a lot more efficient. There’s no need to re-invent the wheel every few years. In a sense, this video really highlights how a company like Apple is so successful even with relatively simple / featureless products compared to competing offerings which pack tons of (often useless ) functionalities. Anyway, I don’t want to spoil everything so please just hit the break and watch the whole thing:

Continue reading Microsoft’s Bill Buxton: Technology is not the bottleneck. Knowledge of our history is →

Microsoft releases iPhone iOS to Windows Phone 7 API mapping tool

Microsoft has just announced the availability of a new tool and resources aimed at iOS / iPhone developers who wish to port their applications to Windows Phone 7. The package consists of:

The package consists of:

- a NEW iPhone/iOS to Windows Phone 7 API mapping tool

With this tool, iPhone developers can grab their apps, pick out the iOS API calls, and quickly look up the equivalent classes, methods and notification events in WP7. A developer can search a given iOS API call and find the equivalent WP7 along with C# sample codes and API documentations for both platforms.

- a 90+ pages “Windows Phone 7 Guide for iPhone Application Developers” white paper, organized in 8 chapters, and growing
- a series of “developer stories” or should I say “PR videos” to promote the platform’s awesomeness

Continue reading Microsoft releases iPhone iOS to Windows Phone 7 API mapping tool →

Mobile platform surveys aren’t always that useful

Apccelerator and IDC have just released its Q2 Developer survey today showing that Windows Phone 7 is apparently a distant third in terms of mobile developer interest. But the whole thing is somewhat flawed because of one simple thing:

Appcelerator and IDC surveyed 2,760 Appcelerator Titanium developers from April 11-13 on perceptions surrounding mobile OS priorities, feature priorities, and mobile development plans in 2011.

The Appcelerator Titanium platform is only iOS and Android compatible. So if your survey panel is entirely composed of developers using an iOS/Android dev platform then your results are surely bound to be biased towards both OSes. There is one semi-interesting chart in there:

Continue reading Mobile platform surveys aren’t always that useful →

Samsung sues Apple for patent infringements

It didn’t take long for Samsung to fire back at Apple in what is going to one of the most talk-about legal battle in the mobile industry. The South Korea mobile giant is now claiming that the Californian company is infringing on 10 of its patents:

On April 21, Samsung Electronics filed a lawsuit in the Seoul Central District Court,
Korea against Apple Inc. citing five patent infringements. Separately, Samsung filed a suit in a court in Tokyo, Japan citing two patent infringements, and in Manheim,
Germany citing three patent infringements.

Continue reading Samsung sues Apple for patent infringements →

PhotoSynth for iOS released. Coming to Windows Phone 7 in the future

Microsoft has just announced the availability of the official Photosynth application for Apple iOS devices and the future release of a Windows Phone 7 version. Many have noticed lately that Microsoft Bing’s iOS application offers a lot more features than what is currently available on Windows Phone 7. Unfortunately Microsoft didn’t unveil any thing related to an updated Bing offering on WP7 Mango during MIX11 last week but there’s still hope that the company will surprise us in the coming months (we could clearly see during the keynote that image search is now supported).

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Apple sues Samsung over its Android powered Galaxy phones and Tablets

The patent war against Android just took another turn today thanks to Apple who is now officially suing Samsung over its Galaxy line of Android phones and tablets. The Cupertino company already sued HTC over the same reason last year and seems to be on a roll lately when it comes to patent infringements and protecting its mobile assists.

Apple is claiming that Samsung copied the look and feel of its popular iPhone smartphones and iPad tablet computers and that the Galaxy S, Galaxy Tab, Nexus S (etc) are violating Apple’s IP.

“Rather than innovate and develop its own technology and a unique Samsung style for its smart phone products and computer tablets, Samsung chose to copy Apple’s technology, user interface and innovative style in these infringing products,”

Continue reading Apple sues Samsung over its Android powered Galaxy phones and Tablets →

Windows Phone 7 Mac connector updated with new features and performance improvements

Microsoft has just released an update to the Windows Phone 7 Mac connector that allows Apple user to sync their WP7 handset with their Mac desktop computer. The 1.2 version changelog adds the following:

What’s New in Version 1.1

Windows Phone 7 Connector 1.1 provides the following updates and changes:

Features:
• Windows Phone 7 Connector Agent allows customers to configure Windows Phone 7 Connector to start whenever a supported device is connected.

• Apple Lossless encoded audio files are now supported and synced to devices.

Fixes:
• Resolved high CPU utilization problem in certain sync situations

• Performance improvements

Continue reading Windows Phone 7 Mac connector updated with new features and performance improvements →