Senin, 28 Februari 2011

The "shorter" 7-hour battery life on the new 2011 MacBook Pro's is actually longer

When Apple launched their MacBook Air's last year, they implemented a new system for measuring battery life. My experience with the 7-hour battery of the 13-inch MacBook Air, is that it does last almost 7 hours in real world use. With other manufactures, you generally get 66%-75% of the published battery in real world use.

The new 2011 MacBook Pro's list a 7-hour battery life as compared to the previous models 10-hour. But the new models apparently have more endurance. LaptopMag just reviewed the 13-inch MacBook Pro and wrote: 

Last year when our 13-inch MacBook Pro achieved a very long 7:48 of runtime we were very pleased. Understandably, we were extremely happy when this new MacBook Pro 13-inch persevered for a marathon-like 8:33 on our LAPTOP Battery Test (Web surfing via Wi-Fi). 

New backdoor Trojan targets Mac OSX users

Sophos one of the worlds leading developers and sellers of security software reports that there is a new backdoor Trojan in town and it targets users of Mac OSX. SophosLabs analyzed the sample we received and determined that it is a variant of a well-known Remote Access Trojan (RAT) for Windows known as darkComet. You can read more details about this new Mac OSX trojan here
While most Mac users do not use anti-virus software, it might be time to change that habit. Sohpos offers a free anti-virus solution for Mac users. You can read about, and download Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac Home Edition here.

Day 8 with the HTC Desire HD: Typing Speed and Size

The big 4.3-inch screen really enhances hand held web browsing
Typing Speed. For the nearly 5 years I have been using a phone with a physical QWERTY keyboard. When I got my first QWERTY messenger, a Nokia E61i, I swore that this was the perfect form factor for a phone. Great for typing SMS and firing up emails. When deciding to make a shift to a touchscreen phone, I thought about long and hard about getting one with a slide out QWERTY keyboard. The HTC Desire HD decision was an impulse buy. When I went to the store to buy a HTC, I was pretty much set on getting the HTC Desire Z. But seeing the 4.3-inch screen in action was just too compelling. 

As I feared, my typing speed went down. While a physical keyboard with small keys lends itself to touch typing, a small keyboard on a touchscreen does not. Most of my friends type on the touchscreen phones in landscape mode, and I did not find this too comfortable. So I persisted using the phone in the portrait mode with the virtual QWERTY keyboard. My typing speed slowed down due to plenty of wrong key presses. Experimenting a bit, I tried the Compact QWERTY keyboard, and my typing speed is back to normal. The Compact QWERTY keyboard is near as I can tell identical to BlackBerry's SureType keyboard.  The Compact QWERTY keyboard has two letters in one key, which means bigger keys. It utilizes T9 technology to determine which of the two letters you wanted to select.

Size. This is a big phone. It measure 123 x 68 x 11.8 mm. It does not lend itself too well to single handed operation. I did not realize how big it was, pretty much since coming from a pair of QWERTY messengers I am used to manipulating a phone with two hands all the time. I used the even wider E61i for two and a half years, which measures 117 x 70 x 13.9 mm, I guess I have gotten used to large phones. Still, the HTC Desire HD is a lot bigger than my last QWERTY messenger which measures in at 111.8 x 59.6 x 12.6 mm.

The size of the HTC Desire HD is a big part of its charm. The big screen endears. The wide case needed to hold the large screen might a bit to big to be usable for some.

All for now.

Spice Mi 310 Specs Price in India

Spice mobile entering into the android mobile wars with their new mid ranged Android based Smartphone called Spice Mi 310 and it will be launching soon in the Indian market by the end of March 2011. The new Spice Mi 310 has stylish metallic design body with quite impressive features and Specs offers 3.15-inch capacitive touch screen display with 320x480 pixel resolution and it runs with latest version of Android 2.2(Froyo) OS, 2 mega pixel camera with digital zoom option and video recording support, a small Trackpad is integrated in the phone for easy navigation, a lot of connectivity options like GPRS, 3G HSDPA with 7.2 Mbps, Wi-Fi 802.11n and Bluetooth 2.1.
Read more »

Minggu, 27 Februari 2011

Android for Laptops?

A lot of the software we run today, ran fine back in the days when all we had under the hood was a 350MHz and 64GB of RAM. No matter how fast our processors become and how much RAM we utilize, Microsoft always manages to come up with an operating system to make us want to buy faster and faster hardware. Basically, Intel wants to sell newer faster hardware and Microsoft is happy to come out with a heavier operating system. True, we have gone a long way from DOS. But the migration from DOS to Windows 95 was by leaps and bounds. Windows 95 to Windows 7, is really just a series of small incremental increases. It is much better, but not all that revolutionary. 

I use two laptops, with modest specifications, one running MacOSX and the other running Ubuntu Linux. Both these operating systems are faster and run on hardware where Windows would  crawl. And felt those two were more efficient operating systems than Windows. The arrival of Apple's iPad last year showed just how much you can do with a power efficient 1GHz single core processor and 256MB of RAM. Roughly, this is less than 15% of the power you have in  the typical entry level Intel Core i3 laptop today. It is starting to make me wonder if what we need is a different operating system and a different architecture for ultraportable notebooks.  But it does not look like anyone is going to do that. 

At 2.3 pounds, the 11.6-inch MacBook Air is an amazing piece of hardware, limited
by the 5-hour battery life. I would really love to see a dual core ARM version running
a "less capable" OS but with 10-16 hour battery life.

Apple has iOS and OSX, so I do not see them coming up with this new lighter operating system personal computer operating system for laptops. MeeGo is backed by Intel, so I do not think that they would want to make that competitor of Windows powered computers. Google's Android would be the best choice, choice if you could get them back from the clouds with their Chrome OS.

While there have been a fair number of light efficient Linux based operating systems, the lack of a ecosystem of software developers has prevented it from taking hold. Android already has a developers flocking to it in droves and millions of users familiar with the operating system. Imagine an Android 3.0 on a ultraportable laptop with a keyboard and touchscreen? It is not like keyboards will no be available the Motorola XOOM and Samsung Galaxy 10.1. If you have gone from the 3.7-inch mobile phone to the 10.1-inch tablet, why not add an 11.6-inch and 13.3 inch laptop to the mix.

So what happens to 16GB iPad "1"?

With just over two days to go till we get the actual specifications of the new Apple iPad 2. Specifications have been leaked by "reliable sources", the leaked specifications have been denied by "reliable sources". We do know we are seeing an iPad in two days. We are sure it will have at least one camera, a front facing one for use with Apple's FaceTime. We are sure it will have at least have double the memory, at least 512MB, since the iPhone already has that much. We are sure it will have a faster processor and GPU, since the current iteration already shows some degree of stutter when playing Angry Birds HD. At the same time, I am pretty sure we will see and evolution of the iPad, rather than something radically revolutionary come out. It is not Apple's nature to render it products obsolete in one year. But in the end, I am more interested in what happens to the original iPad, rather than what the iPad 2 will be like.

Will Apple follow its pricing and placement strategy that it uses with the MacBooks, which means the updated products replace the old, at a price point the same, or nearly the same price, as the previous product. Or will it follow the iPhone pricing and placement strategy, which means continuing to produce the lowest end version of the previous model and sell it at a lower price. With the new iPad 2 coming out, I am sure it is the end of the line for the iPad 32GB and 64GB models. But if Apple follows what it does with its iPhones, it will keep the 16GB model in production for another year, and sell it at a lower price. 

While the new iPad 2 is foreseen to be the biggest stumbling block for the Android tablets as they try to establish themselves in the tablet market, a lower cost iPad "1" 16GB model could be an even problem.

DreamBook epad F10 Tablet Specs

Well Pioneer computers is an Australian company which is going to lunching their new DreamBook epad F10 Windows 7 Tablet. The new DreamBook epad F10 Tablet is equipped with quite impressive features and specs. While entering into the Dreambook epad F10 Specs list, the device is powering with Intel 1.5Ghz Oak Trail processor and well optimized with windows 7 operating system, integrated Intel graphics and a 10-inch capacitive multi-touch screen display with 1024x600 pixel resolution, 2GB DDR2 RAM, 16GB SSD Storage, 1.3mega pixel camera, Bluetooth 2.1, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n and 3G connectivity.
Read more »

Sabtu, 26 Februari 2011

Visit The Android 's Booth - Giveaway * - MWC 2011

* VISIT the Google's Booth and WIN some GOODIES ANDROID.
Discover the Google's Booth, the coolest stand at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona (MWC 2011) :
Toboggan ride...A small smoothie or two...the Androidify booth (Make android your own)...the Big Nexus S ...the beautifull Nexus s assembly line of all of the Android devices ever created ...closure of the Google stand ,.... And The folly of pins that has invaded the Congress ... A real shot at a lower communication costs for Google because it could pass in each hall, Sandwich board person proudly wearing the colors of android!
And I confess to have been them! why not you? One thing to do: SUB to my channel, COMMENT this video, THUMPS UP !!!
and ONE of you 'll WIN a set of ANDROID GOODIES :
android maskott (androski) !!
android stikers !!
android plush !!
android pins (the gree one - limited edition)
go to and comment this link :
- Facebook :
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Philippine Android Community and Globe Android Apps

Yesterday, I attended the Second Philippine Android Community (PhAC) Meet Up. I found out about this group on Twitter (@PHL_Android). The group maintains a website where you can ask questions about Android devices. PhAC is the brainchild of a lady named Charo Nuguid. 

Some of the members of PhAC. Samsung Galaxy Tabs seemed
to be the most common Android device at the meet-up.
I attended the meet and greet since I was curious to find out what the group is about. During their first event on January 29, 2011, Cherry Mobile presented some of their Android products. The second event was held at Ramen Bar, The Venice Piazza, Upper McKinley Road, Taguig. Seating was limited to about 40, and you had to apply for tickets at the PhAC website through a service called Eventbrite which allows users to register online for tickets, and delivers the tickets via email. 

Princess Cruz of Globe Labs talks about Globe Android Apps
I had not realized that Globe Telecom has put so much effort towards Android App development. Globe Telecom even maintains a unit called Globe Labs for the purpose of promoting Android Development. It was my impression that Globe Telecom was more focused on the iPhone.

Princess Cruz, of Globe Labs, and several of the Android Developers who built apps for Globe Telecom were present to introduce their apps and answer questions. The most interesting App I saw yesterday was one called POST'T. This app allows you to post simultaneously to Facebook, Twitter and Plurk. If you use two or all of these services, this will save you time in having to update your status in different networks. POST'T was created by a group of Filipino Android Developers going by the name Team WSG.

The Globe Android apps can be downloaded by Globe subscribers through Globes App Zone. At present, Globe Telecom hosts 43 locally made Android Apps in their App Zone. So Globe has its own Android app store.  Nice people, good food and learning something new. All in all, a very interesting afternoon.

Jumat, 25 Februari 2011

TipidPC & TipidCP

TipidPC and TipidCP is a Philippine market and forum. TipidPC was originaly a trading post for second hand personal computers, parts and accessories. Today, you will find both second hand and brand new items for sale, with many retail stores actually offering their products in the market. Also, the forum, was added about seven years ago because of the  clamor of users (myself included). 

The site expanded to mobile phones with TipidCP. Which is a trading post and forum for mobile phones and accessories. Both sites are great places to buy and sell hardware and gadgets, especially hard to find items. It is a very good place to get help and "technical support". There are plenty of resident experts there. If it can be done with a computer or cellular phone, someone there has tried it, for better or worse.   

Kamis, 24 Februari 2011

Day 5 with the HTC Desire HD: Applications and Content

Over decade ago I was a Power Downloader, I would spend hours on the net searching for the latest software. A friend of mine joked that the PC was a self-propagating hobby. He said "We download new software to improve our internet experience, and one we have optimized our PC, we use it our faster optimized PC to further improve our internet experience." Back than, on a  56kbps connection it was no joke. Today, I download Googles Chrome browser, add OpenOffice as my office suite, and grab a decent photo editor and an instant messenger from the net, and am good to go.

On my past smartphone phones, I do not recall downloading any software from my Microsoft powered HTC Tanager. On my Nokia 6600, Sony Ericsson P990, Nokia E61i and Samsung B7320, the only software I really added was that I actually used frequently was the Opera Mini Browser.

Astrid Tasks
The HTC Desire HD comes with an impressive set of software or applications out of the box. Aside from the mandatory contacts, calendar, browser and gallery a host of other useful applications are pre-installed. You have Adobe Reader, Quick Office, Google Maps, Locations, Navigation, an eBook reader, news readers, weather apps, and software to access Facebook, Flickr, Plurk and Facebook among others. In some cases, you have two pieces of software to choose from for the same function.

Still some key pieces of software are missing from the HTC Desire HD. There was no pre-installed to do list application, something which comes standard with Symbian and Windows Mobile 6.5. So I turned to the Android Market, which provides you with dozens of choices. More options than I want really. But based on recommendations on the web, I tried Astrik Tasks and gTasks, and opted to keep Astrid Tasks. There was no simple note taking application built-in so I downloaded ColorNote. The HTC Desire HD does not also come with an instant messenger installed, so I downloaded Yahoo Messenger. I am actually still trying to figure out which of the dozens of available unit converters to download.

While I really do not know for what use I also downloaded Google Goggles and Talking Tom. I also installed Click the City, which is a local (Philippine) app similar to locations, but providing you event, TV and movie schedules as well. I figure, sooner or later I will give in and download Angry Birds.

I was pretty surprised by the amount of free content. The HTC Desire HD comes with eight: Charles Dickens A Tale of Two Cties, Bram Stocker Dracula, Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Jack Londons White Fang, Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, Sun Tzu's The Art of War and Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

2011 MacBook Pro's roll out

Apple has released its new 13-inch MacBook Pro, 15-inch MacBook Pro and 17-inch MacBook Pro. The 13-inch MacBook Pro is available in two configurations: one with a 2.3 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5 and 320GB hard drive starting at $1,199; and one with a 2.7 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5 and 500GB hard drive starting at $1,499. The new 15-inch MacBook Pro is available in two models: one with a 2.0 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7, AMD Radeon HD 6490M and 500GB hard drive starting at $1,799 and one with a 2.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7, AMD Radeon HD 6750M and 750GB hard drive starting at $2,199. The new 17-inch MacBook Pro features a 2.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7, AMD Radeon HD 6750M and 750GB hard drive and is priced at $2,499. 

The model of interest to readers of this blog, is of course the 13-inch model. Aside from the dual Core i5, the 13-inch MacBook Pro gives up Nvidia graphics for the Intel HD Graphics 3000. It also incorporates the new Thunderbolt I/O (Light Peak), but we have to wait and see how that plays out.  They also cone with better webcams. SSD drives, in either 128MB, 256MB and 512MB are available as optional upgrades, but are not yet standard equipment.

The rumored lighter Macbook Air like body is nowhere to be seen.  The 13-inch model appears to have the same 12.8 x 8.9 x 1 inch aluminum unibody case as last years MacBook Pro, and the weight is not up slightly, at 4.5 pounds. Also the rumored dramatically longer battery life gives way to a 3-hour loss in battery life. USB 3.0 is also nowhere to be seen.

Not much has really changed. Even the screen resolution is still 1280 x 800 and not the rumored 1440 x 900. All-in-all a decent upgrade, but after all the rumors, well its a bit of a letdown, especially for the 13-inch model.

My own prediction was we would see the price of the entry level MacBook Pro come down to the same level as the entry level MacBook Air at about Php52K. I thought Apple would try to expand its market share be making it product more accessible to more consumers, like it did with it well priced iPad. That is not the case. The entry level MacBook Pro 13 is still priced at Php61,990. Same price as last years model.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and HTC Flyer pricing

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

GSM Arena has the prices for the newly announced 10.1-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab and the WiFi only model of the 7-inch HTC Flyer.  The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 will reportedly be sold for 700 Euros, that is almost Php42,000. The WiFi only Flyer, will retail for 500 Euros, or just under Php30,000.

HTC Flyer 

I do not know, but the Php24K WiFi only iPad 16GB is looking better by the day.

Rabu, 23 Februari 2011

February 24, 2011 is XOOM day

The Motorola XOOM is out, and we now have our first reviews. I think this tablet's specifications are a bit too good, resulting in a price way to high... anyway on to the reviews:

Is the Xoom a real competitor to the iPad? Absolutely. In fact, it outclasses the iPad in many ways. Still, the end user experience isn't nearly where it needs to be, and until Google paints its tablet strategy and software picture more clearly, we'd suggest a wait-and-see approach. Honeycomb and the Xoom are spectacular -- unfortunately they're a spectacular work in progress.

In some ways, the Motorola Xoom is a bona fide next-generation tablet. Android 3.0 feels like a thoroughly modern and thoughtful OS, and the software and hardware work well together in certain respects, such as the high-quality video chats via the front-facing camera. On the other hand, this slate was surprisingly buggy in our testing, and the tablet app selection really pales in comparison to what you'll find on the iPad. 

The Motorola Xoom for Verizon Wireless is the best Android tablet yet, but with a lack of key features (like Flash video and SD card slot support) and mediocre apps at launch, it doesn't measure up to the Apple iPad.

Smartphone Postpaid Unlimited Mobile Internet Plans: Sun's Call and Surf, Globe's Super Surf and Smart's Unlimited Data Plan

Every broadband service provider claims to provide the highest speeds. If you go to various forums and check users experiences, feedbacks vary. Users of the same service will give different feedback. Some will find it fast, others would curse to the day they entered into a contract with the provider. Every new service starts out fast, and slows down as more and more persons subscribed to the service. Sometimes, a service which obtains a bad reputation in one area may provide fine service in another. Basically, there is no guaranty of performance with any service. 

Wireless connections, like the 3G mobile internet services offered by Globe Telecom, Smart Communications and Sun Cellular complicate this problem. This wireless mobile internet connections operate on near line of sigh technology. A service provider may provide excellent service in one area, but a building, tower, three or wall may result in severe degradation of service performance. Service providers also have a harder time allocating resources for the service, since the users are mobile, they cannot control how many users they allow to use the service in any given location, in any given day.

Best I can advice is before subscribing to a long terms plan, try it out for yourself, in the places you expect to use it. SIM cards are inexpensive these days, and acquiring one from each of the three providers will allow you to try the service. This does require a unlocked 3G capable phone. Hence, it may not be that easy to do. Prior to subscribing to Smart Communications Unlimited Data plan, I tried out Globe's and Sun's offerings. My own experience was that both Globe and Sun's services provided faster speeds in given areas, than Smarts services. Smart and Globe have the widest 3G coverage. In extreme locations like in Tali Beach at the edge Batangas only Smart Communications had a usable 3G connection. Globe, for the speed of its service, might completely fail somewhere as popular as Bag of Beans in Tagaytay City, and I am not talking just 3G here. 

Still one person experience may or may not be relevant to you. Another way to get information is through a local forum like TipidCP. I started a discussion there on Postpaid Unlimited Mobile Internet Plans for Smartphones and very few people seemed to be interested. As near as I can tell, not many people subscribe to unlimited 3G services for use on their mobile phones. From a sister site, TipidPC, most 3G connections are really service as mobile broadband services for laptops. Still, the few feedbacks given is comforting. No one is really complaining about the service that they signed up for. 

The few Globe Super Surf Users, report high speeds, as high as 2.5 mbps and downloading 300 megabytes in 30 minutes. The few Sun broadband users report that there are areas even in Metro Manila where they do not get a 3G signal, and only can avail of data via the slower GPRS network. The few Smart users, are happy with their speeds, but given restrictions on use, no one is really testing speeds.    

So, what does each service offer, and which one is best for you?

Cost. Sun Cellular offers the lowest cost call, text and unlimited data service. For as low as Php799 a month Sun Cellular offers its Call and Surf Plans which provides unlimited data services, with calls and texts billed over the base price of Php799. For Php999, Sun Cellular will throw in unlimited calls and text within the Sun network, and with a two year lock in a low end Android mobile phone (Samsung Galaxy 5 or Sony Ericsson X8). 

Globe Telecom has a different approach to providing data services. It is provides unlimited data as a Php1,200 add on over any of its postpaid plans. At present, the price of the service is offered at a promotional rate of Php999 per month. With Globe Plan 3799, the unlimited data service is thrown in as a freebie. With a two year lock-in, you can avail of a free smartphone. The main drawback of the Globe solution is that that Php1,200/999 add-on is not considered in determine what free phone you are entitled to. If you get decide to commit to a Php1,499 call, text and unlimited data service, that would be Plan 299, plus Php1,200 for the data service, you can only avail of phone available at Plan 299.

Smart Communications offers its Smart Gold Unlimited Data Plan, which it calls it's MENSA Plans. The lowest package is Plan 1500, which provides unlimited data together with 60 free minutes of calls and 120 free SMS to all networks. Higher plans (Plan 2000, 3000 and 4000) bundle in more free minutes of calls, more free SMS and with a two year lock-in, you can avail of higher end smartphones for free as part of the package.   

In terms of cost, Sun Cellular is the cheapest, and the low rates can be bundled with a phone to make the service worthwhile. Depending on the mobile phone you want, and the plan you avail off Globe and Smart offer similar rates, with Smart offering better deals on the lower and mid level plans, while Globe provides a better package at the higher end plans, like those willing to spend Php3,799 a month.  

How unlimited? Sun Cellular Service is uncapped. The company promises to provide you with whatever amount of data you need. Sun even advertises it service for users who have "heavy data requirements." While this may sound good to the customer, those who were early adopted to this kind of technology, Globe's Visibility know the dangers of that kind of a set-up. Users may use the data service as a modem for a laptop or desktop and continuously download gigabytes of files in a day. This could cost the service to degrade due to congestion.

Globe having learned from its long experience providing 3G services, wisely provides a 800MB per day cap for their plan after which the data connection is cut till the next day. While 800MB's might not be enough for someone planning to use the service as a modem for their laptop or desktop, it is more than enough for use with a mobile phone. You are more likely to drain the battery of your mobile phone till it shutdowns rather than hit the 800MB daily cap. Some users report that the cap is not strictly enforced, and that they have been able to exceed the cap while other confirm the 800MB daily limit.

Smart Communications has a 1.5 GB cap per month, after which they reserve the right to slow/throttle  down your connection speed, until monthly cut-off date of your plan. While 1.5GB is the lowest, and may not sound like much. It is more than enough to keep you connected to your social networks, manage your email, a fair amount of web browsing and watch the occasional video. While usage may vary depending on the websites you visit I usually consume between 10MB to 25MB per hour of web browsing.  Watching a video can consume 5MB's is one minute. Smart's 1.5GB caps would seem to small to many. But looking looking at plans and pricing abroad seems to be correct for the amount of money paid. In the long run, this should result in a reliable and dependable service.

Restrictions on use. Sun Cellular has no restrictions on use. Globe Telecom also has no restrictions on use of their data plan. Sun and Globe do not limit the applications you can use, and you are even allowed to tether your mobile phone to a laptop or desktop and use it as a modem. The exception is Globe's BlackBerry data plan add-on which does not allow tethering, or the use of the mobile phone as a modem, and does not include streaming video.

Smart's unlimited data plan specifically prohibits the use of the plan for tethering, which also means you should not use the hot spot feature of your device. This restriction will be a deal breaker fro many. But look at it this way, you won't have to worry that connection in a particular area will be very slow because a few other users in the same area are drawing a large stream of continuous data downloading files using torrent clients. Smart also restricts the use of some applications like some email clients and services which fall under it list of value added services. Best you consult Smart Customer service to see if the plan offered meets your needs.

This is the best I can do way of a guide. If you need more information, best visit this thread: Postpaid Unlimited Mobile Internet Plans for Smartphones and post a question. The friendly people at TipidCP will surely do their best to answer your queries. 

Selasa, 22 Februari 2011

Day 3 with the HTC Desire HD: Managing battery life

I am still focused on how to manage the battery life of my HTC Desire HD. The HTC Desire HD finished charging just before midnight, and I opted to turn of data, both WiFi and 3G, while I slept. I activated date when I woke up in the morning. I also decided to keep the data off, while I have my laptop on. Since both my laptop and smartphone are getting updates from the same services, it does not seem to make sense to keep both running. Having spend most of the day in the office, by 6:00 P.M. I still had six bars, which dropped down to five bars (50%) twenty minutes later. With minimal use data turned off, and just one phone call and a half dozen SMS, my consumption was much lower than the first day. It looks like this phone could easily get more than 36 hours of battery life with such use.

But that really defeats the purpose of getting a Android Smartphone in the first place. Trying to figure out how to manage battery life, I turned to the Battery University for tips. On Lithium Ion batteries one piece of advice was:

"Avoid frequent full discharges because this puts additional strain on the battery. Several partial discharges with frequent recharges are better for lithium-ion than one deep one. Recharging a partially charged lithium-ion does not cause harm because there is no memory. (In this respect, lithium-ion differs from nickel-based batteries.) Short battery life in a laptop is mainly cause by heat rather than charge / discharge patterns."  

The site also says that "Lithium-ion does not need to be fully charged; a partial charge is better."

This advice solves most of my battery life issues. Top it off at night and keep data off. Do a full or partial recharge mid-day in the office. On days when I am on field the whole day. The fifteen hours on data I got on my first day, with a fair amount of use, should be enough.

HTC Salsa Mobile Review Specs Price

HTC mobile frontier announced their new Android mobile HTC Salsa at Mobile World Congress(MWC) 2011. The new HTC Salsa comes with most popular social networking facebook button that lets you update a profile status and also share the latest news, pictures, videos , music with u r friends with just one touch. While entering into the HTC Salsa Specs sheet, the device is powering with 600 MHz Qualcomm Processor which will sufficient to handle all android apps and runs with latest version of Android 2.3 OS (Gingerbread), with its 3.4-inch capacitive touch screen makes the mobile looks too sexy and small, 512MB RAM which helps to run multi task apps, 512MB ROM provides to store more files in internal phone memory, 5 megapixel camera with auto focus and LED flash on back side which can able to take pictures and shoot HD videos with decent frame rates and 0.3MP front facing camera enables high quality video calling.
Well it comes with high efficient Lithium-ion battery  1520 mAh capacity which gives longer battery life up to 7 hours on 3G mode and 9 hours + on 2G mode. Finally HTC Salsa will be available on second quarter(Q2) 2011 with price around 450$ in US and in India 25000RS/- .

HTC Salsa Android Specs

  • Qualcomm Processor with 600 Mhz Clock Speed
  • Android 2.3(Gingerbread) and Android 2.4 ready with HTC Sense UI
  • 3.4-inch capacitive multi- touch screen display with 480x320 pixel resolution
  • 5 megapixel color camera with auto focus and LED flash and 0.3MP camera on front side
  • Internal 512MB ROM phone storage and 512MB RAM
  • Sensors: G-sensor, Digital Compass, Proximity sensor, Ambient light sensor
  • Audio supported formats: MP3, AAC, WMA, WAV, M4A (Apple lossless), AMR, OGG, MIDI
  • Video supported formats: MPEG4, XviD, AVI, 3GP, 3G2
  • HTML Browser with Flash Support
  • 3G, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0 with FTP/OPP for file transfer, micro USB 2.0 and A-GPS with Navigation
  • 3.5 mm stereo audio jack and A2DP for wireless stereo headsets
  • Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery 1520 mAh
  • Dimensions: 4.30 x 2.32 x 0.48 (109.1 x 58.9 x 12.3 mm)
  • Weight 120 grams with battery

HTC Salsa Sample Video

Senin, 21 Februari 2011

Around the Web - Not all is well on the Android tablet front

Engadget reports  that the Motorola Xoom won't support flash at its launch. The feature will be added in Spring 2011 (March to May 2011). Waiting a bit for flash is fine. Price is the problem, the US$600 price for the WiFi only model is fair, but a even lower spec'd unit at a lower price would be nice. The US$799 price for the 3G model, well we do not not expect to see many selling at that price.

HTC Flyer - A 7-inch tablet

The HTC Flyer looks like it is going to be another 30K or so Android tablet. Well, based on pre-order prices found by

Jon Stokes of ars technica writes about why he does not care about tablets anymore. While, I like Jon really have no interest in tablets, I think it is fair to say that for anyone who writes long documents, they will not be replacing their laptops with a tablet. On the other hand, there are many people who really do not need a laptop.  For web browsing, social networking, viewing videos and pictures, as well as  some light productivity, that is what the tablet is designed for. 

Apple's lower cost iPads do that at a decent price. Being content consumption, rather than content creation devices, I really do not see the need for a lot of horse power under the hood. Being primarily an accessory device, lower prices are a must. So far, the Android tablets have failed to deliver on the lower price part. 

Day 1 with the HTC Desire HD

I decided to take the plunge and picked up a HTC Desire HD. Many things told me I should not buy this phone. It is more than I really need, based on all reviews it runs out of juice really fast, but after looking a more reasonable options, this monster SnapDroid was just to hard to resist. I am not going to try to review this phone. I has been done before, and I don't have the know how to really conduct a good review. 

If you are looking for a HTC Desire HD review here are some good ones: - HTC Desire HD Review
Phone Arena - HTC Desire HD Review

Battery life. If you have read all those reviews, your biggest concern will be battery life. Well, it does not disappoint. As the reviews stated, battery life is not it strongest selling point.

I unplugged the Desire HD from the charger at 5:40 A.M. this morning, with Google Sync set to sync email, calendar and contacts, Twitter is set to update every four hours, and news and weather every six. Set to always be on, either connected via WiFi or 3G (in the absence of a WiFi connection), it got me to 9:25 P.M., at which time it was down to 15% and plugged it to the wall.

After unplugging the phone I went over to the Android Market and installed  a Twitter update, ClicktheCity (a local app which gives you movie and TV schedules, events and the like), Yahoo Messenger and Google Goggles. Throughout the day, four phone calls, maybe about 15 minutes. Am not big on SMS, but today was heavy, received more than 30 texts and sent out 30 responses. Received seven emails and replied to two. Browsed the web for a few minutes, and spend some time customizing the UI. Tried out Google Maps and GPS. Put a slate wallpaper to try to save on battery. A bit less than 16 hours ate 85% of my battery life.  

I am not disappointed, I got this phone expecting to have to charge it every day. And like I said, it does not disappoint. 
On the one hand, this is a completely impractical phone. It has a screen so big that I can understand why it sucks juice so fast. It has an OS with so many cool battery draining widgets. Despite all this, all I can say I love the HTC Desire HD. After a day with the 4.3-inch screen, there is no going back. 

Minggu, 20 Februari 2011

Viliv X70 Windows 7 Tablet Specs

Viliv officially announced their new viliv X70 windows 7 tablet at CES 2011 in Las Vegas. By looking into the specs of these device, the viliv X70 runs with most advanced next generation Intel 1GHz CPU(probably the Moorestown platform) which is specially designed for windows 7 tablets, a 7-inch capacitive multi-touch screen LCD display with 1024x600 pixels resolution the colors look more vibrant and attractive, at back side it has 3 mega pixel camera which can able to take pictures and shoot high quality videos and front facing is 1.3 mega pixel camera users can able to use video calls, 1GB or 2GB of RAM(not yet confirmed) which can able to handle high multi tasking programs and more background applications.
Read more »

Viliv X7 and X10 Android Tablet Specs

Viliv officially announced their new X7 and X10 Android tablets at CES 2011. Well Viliv X7 comes with 7-inch capacitive touch screen and Viliv X10 comes with 10-inch capacitive touch screen and both tablets run on android 2.2(Froyo) operating system. The main disappointment in these tablets is they don’t comes with android 3.0 Honeycomb OS. The main advantage in these tablets is they will run longer battery life up to 9.5 hours of normal usage. It will available on market in March or April and  there is no Price announced for Viliv X7 and Viliv X10 Android tablets.

The viliv X7 android tablet powering with Samsung Cortex A8 1Ghz CPU with Power VR SGX 540 graphics chipset. The 512MB RAM helps to handle multi tasking applications without any lagging. With its 7-inch capacitive multi touch screen display the tablet looks small and slim and it also offers 1080P HD Video Playback, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1, 3G HSPA or WIMAX or EVDO and GPS. The X7 comes with 5600 mAh battery which gives longer battery life up to 9.5 hours of usage.
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Sabtu, 19 Februari 2011

Acer Iconia-484G64ns dual touchscreen laptop

The dual touchscreen Acer Iconia laptop has landed on Philippine shores. This dual touchscreen laptop can be used as a giant 28-inch tablet, or a 14-inch laptop with a virtual keyboard. Running Windows 7 and powered by a Intel Core i5 with 4GB's of RAM, this is certainly a powerful package. The 4-cell 4400 mAh battery running two 14-inch screens guarantees short battery life. At over six pounds, it wont be easy to carry around. It certainly is interesting. I just really do not know why anybody would want one. Villman's is selling it for Php70,896. At that price, buying a tablet plus a laptop seems like a better idea. 

Around the Web - $600 Xoom, Angry Birds and people who hate phones

Motorola Xoom tablet at US$600. Red Herring reports that the WiFi only version Motorola Xoom, a 10-inch dual core Android tablet will be sold at US$600. This is a lot cheaper than the 3G (upgradeable to 4G) version which will  be sold at US$799. This places is at about the same prices as the 32GB WiFi only version of the iPad, which is sold in the Philippines for Php28,990. The WiFi only Xoom should be sold here for about the same price. At the price, the Xoom would appear to be the better deal. The price is a bit too high to gain wide acceptance though. 

Angry Birds coming to Windows Phone 7. Pocket-lint reports that Rovio is working on Angry Birds for Windows Phone 7 as well as a 3D version.  No release date has been announced.

Device stress tests. is a website dedicated to, well destroying mobile phones. They drop, squeeze, bend and scratch mobile phones to see how well the they will survive in the real world. They subject the phones to extreme heat, expose them to dust, submerge them in water and beer, freeze them... they even put them in a drum with keys, coins and other things a spin it around at high speed.

They beat up an HTC Desire and gate it 59 out of 100 points. They put the reputedly indestructible Nokia N8 to the same test, and faired even worse garnering 53 out of 100 points. Apple's fragile looking iPhone 4, turned out to be nearly indestructible, getting 94 out of 100 points.     

Huawei S7 Slim,S7 Pro Tablet Specs

Huawei unveils their two new Android Tablets called Huawei S7 slim and S7 Pro at Mobile World Congress 2011.The new Huawei S7 slim is made to the successor of already released Huawei S7 tablet. Both tablets comes with 7-inch Capacitive touch screen display powering with android operating system. The detailed specs lists of these tablets have shown in below.

Huwaei Ideos S7 Slim is cheapest android tablet available in the market with price tag around $300. The S7 slim tablet features with a 7-inch capacitive touch screen display at 800x480 pixels resolution and runs on Android version 2.2 with a slightly customized UI, 1Ghz single core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, dual cameras while one is facing on front and other is at back side, micro SD card slot for expanding the storage capacity, USB 2.0 ports, mini HDMI port for connecting large LCD's, HSPA connectivity, 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 and GPS. It has SIM slot which is placed underneath the battery in order to use 3G internet services with AT&T.
Read more »

Jumat, 18 Februari 2011

Are you tethered to your laptop?

Is the Web your virtual cage?

Twelve years ago, I got my first very own desktop and my first very own dial up connection. With a 60 hour per month dial up internet plan. Sitting in front of my desktop for a few hours a day, became part of my daily ritual. When WiFi became widely widely available in 2005, it became sufficient incentive to get a my first personally owned laptop, and my daily ritual became mobile. After that, I jumped into the 3G bandwagon, giving me even more connectivity options.

From browsing my favorite sites for purely purposes of entertainment, trolling my favorite forums,  connecting to friends around the world via instant messengers, to more "serious" activities like keeping tab of my business contacts via email, following the news and using online commerce to get the best deals. After six years plugged into my desktop, for the past six (6) years I feel like I am tethered to my laptop. 

I am no power user. I do not spend my time downloading content by torrent. For entertainment, I still like cable TV, frequenting the theaters and interacting with the real world.  Now, I have more time to do this.

When my carrier offered unlimited data plans combined with call and SMS functions, it cut this twelve year umbilical cord. Using Twitter to follow my favorite sites, instead of browsing my favorite sites to see what is new, I get to follow a mobile phone during times of day which were "wasted" before. I get the news  through my mobile phone too. I do not have to take time to find a place to flip open my laptop and connect to the internet to check my Gmail box. 

While sitting in a conference room waiting for a meeting, waiting for my wife in the parking lot of the school where she teaches, while having a haircut and those other idle times of the day, that is the time now used to stay connected to the World Wide Web. The more productive use of "idle" time gives me back the two hours hour per days I used spend staring into a CRT monitor and a laptop LCD screen, and spend more time here...

Smart's Netphone and WAC

We recently wrote about, what we call, the ChinaDroid. These are low cost, good quality Google Android powered powered phones which we expect to proliferate in the local market soon.  At the 2011 World Mobile Congress, Smart Communications revealed it first "Netphone." The unit displayed was the Netphone was a Smart badged ZTE Blade. This is a 3.5-inch touchscreen Android, with a 800x480 pixel resolution screen powered by a 600MHz processor and 512MB of RAM (specifications may vary). The phone runs Google's Android 2.2. The announced retail price is a surprisingly low Php5,000-Php7,000.

Smarts Netphone is a re-branded ZTE Blade

However, this is more than just another ChinaDroid. Other than the very decent specifications, the other interesting feature of this phone is that is  a WAC platform. WAC stands for Wholesale Applications Community. WAC is an organisation that is trying to create a unified and open platform to allow mobile software developers to more easily write applications usable on a variety of devices, operating systems and networks.  At least 48 companies are members of the organisation. The Smart Netphone is powered by Google's Android 2.2 operating system with the WAC software managed by Red Bend Software. The WAC platform will allow users to access widgets pushed directly through Red Bend.

While this may all sound good, I do not high hopes for the WAC platform. Is there really a need for a system of delivering universal widgets when the browser can be that mechanism? In a feature phone world, this would have been a useful service, but with Android devices becoming more and more affordable Smart Communication might be better off focusing on offering localized application through the Android Market or preloaded on Smart branded Android phones. In the end, WAC creates another app store, to compete with the existing Apple, Google and Microsoft app stores.

But you from a carrier standpoint, this is a way to regain control of their market. From the 1990's until 2007, carriers were responsible for most technology innovations like SMS, email via SMS, voicemail, MMS and high speed networks. During the last few years, innovation in mobile services is migrating to the handset manufacturer and software developers. Instead of needing the operators to provide new and exciting services for which they could charge, all smartphone owners really want from a operator now is voice, SMS and data services. With the data services, the user can avail of services which used to be the domain of the carrier.

By way of example, Smart's SMART FINDER service  allows you to find the nearest restaurant, ATM, gas station, bank or any other establishment for a fee of Php5.00 through SMS, WAP or the internet. With modern GPS enabled smartphones, the same services are provided by Google through its Places application. All you need to pay for is the data connection. Wide adoption of a web based messaging platform could even threaten income from SMS services. WAC is a way to get carriers back in the game.

Will this initiative succeed? I do not think so. The internet has been successful because of the freedom it offers. No one wants to be given a menu of apps to use and additional software running in the background. As for the Netphone itself. Carrier back low cost Android devices will certainly be a hit provided they are not so hampered by bloatware that it hampers their performance.

Around the Web - Smartphones, Windows Phone 7 and Gingerbread updates

The year of the smartphone (not the tablet). PhoneArena has a report on a study by Gartner's showing what gadgets U.S. consumers intend to buy in 2011:

  1. Smartphone
  2. Laptop
  3. Desktop PC
  4. Mobile handset (other than smartphone)
  5. E-book reader
  6. Media tablet

Despite all the tablet hype, it looks like more traditional products like smartphones and laptops top the wish list. I really won't be replacing my MacBook Air till 2012, at least, but I do want a new smartphone. I do not have any plans of buying any of the four items on the list. After using my wife's tablet, on and off, for a month, it is not just for me.

Nokia to manufacture low end Windows Phone 7 devices. PhoneArena reports that part of the deal between Microsoft and Nokia is to allow Nokia to manufacture low end handsets... I do not think this is really news. Since you won't be seeing the first Nokia Windows Phone 7 devices till October 2011, and not in substantial numbers by 2012, but that time 1GHz processors and 800x480 screens will be dime a dozen lower end devices.

HTC to bring Gingerbread love to all first generation devices. The HTC Desire, Desire HD and Desire Z will be getting Gingerbread updated a month or two after the release of the HTC Desire S. Since the Desire S is due for release on April 18, 2011, than you can expect the first generation Desires to receive their updates by June of 2011. Source: Phone Arena.

Rabu, 16 Februari 2011

Is 2011 the year of the ChinaDroid army?

This article rambles a bit, so please bear with me. The year 2010 say Google's Android Operating System rise into prominence, and is poised to be the most common smartphone operating system in the world. For many a mobile phone manufacturer, Android can be credited with getting them back in the game. Google's Android O.S. reversed the flagging fortunes of Motorola, made HTC which used to exclusively manufacture only Microsoft Windows smartphones a tier one smartphone manufacturer, and is giving Samsung the needed boost in the smartphone segment to become the world top mobile phone manufacturer.  

In 2010 we saw the March of the Android army. But Google's Android also poses a threat to the companies which rely on it so heavily. We have seen cheap China iPhone and Nokia phones for years, and many legitimate and interesting designs from smaller manufacturers like Huawei, ZTE and other OEM manufacturers. No matter how good these phones might look, or how good their hardware might be, in the end the relation of a Nokia N96 or iPhone 4 knock off might be, without a decent operating system under the hood,  the similarity would only be skin deep.

That is starting to change. Google Android is free license. It does not cost anything to put it on a phone. All you have to do is to build a phone with sufficient hardware to run it. While these 500-600MHz processors and higher resolution screens may have been expensive in the past, they are now coming on bargain basement smartphones. 

I saw an add yesterday of Smart Communication offering a Smart IDEOS Android, and offering it for free a Plan 500. This Smart IDEOS is actually a Smart branded Huawei U8150 IDEOS, offered for free under a two year Php500 per month contract. Globe Telecom is also offering this phone free at Plan 499.

This 2.8-inch touchscreen smartphone has specifications nearly identical to Samsung entry level Android, the Android Galaxy 5. The Huawei U8150 IDEOS should undercut the price of the Samsung Galaxy 5 by 10-20%, and the IDEOS actually runs Android 2.2, while the Galaxy 5 is still waiting for an update for its Android 2.1 operating system. The Huawei U8150 IDEOS runs on the same  528 MHz ARM 11 processor, Adreno 200 GPU, Qualcomm MSM7225 chipset, that powers the much more expensive HTC's Wildfire. Later this year we will see the higher end ZTE Blade and a host of other Smart branded Android smartphones and tablets. 

Basically, the Google Android OS can convert the small China phone manufacturer into a contender overnight. The same Google OS which reversed Motorola's fortunes and brought HTC and Samsung to new heights will likely do the same for Huawei, ZTE and a host of other smaller manufacturers. Your next low cost China phone will be a full fledged powerful Droid.

HTC has invested heavily in customizing its Sense user interface and cloud services to create brand loyalty and differentiate it from the rest of the Androids in the market. In the same way Samsung is developing it TouchWiz interface, as pushing the limits of technology. I would not be surprised if Samsung made their latest innovations "exclusive" to their own phones for some time. But still, the larger manufacturers will be under pressure from lower priced Android smartphones from smaller manufacturers. The second wave of the Android Armies march to supremacy might be spearheaded by the ChinaDroids.

I wonder if this consideration, did not weigh on the mind of Nokia CEO Stephen Elop when he opted to go with Windows Phone 7. Windows Phone 7 would allow Nokia to retain a certain level of exclusivity. Just imagine if the upcoming Nokia N9 and it's knockoff, the Nokya N9 were both running Android 2.4.

HTC Flyer Android Tablet Specs

HTC officially announced its new first Flyer Android Tablet in Mobile World Congress 2011.By looking into the Specs list of these HTC Flyer Android tablet, it is equipped with a 7-inch capacitive multi-touch screen display with 1024x600 pixels resolution and it also runs with most powerful 1.5 Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, Android 2.3 OS, 1GB of RAM for handling multi task applications, 5 mega pixel auto focus camera with LED flash on back side,  as well as 1.3 mega pixel camera on the front side, so users can make video calls with high video quality.

With its aluminum unibody design, touch and pen interactive makes the HTC Flyer unique and cloud based mobile gaming service gives more entertainment experience to the users. The Flyer tablet comes with excellent battery life 8 to 14 hours in standby mode and HD video playback up to 4 hours.It  will be available on the  markets in Q2 2011 with price tag around $1000.
Read more »

MWC 2011 Awards

The awards for best products of 2010 were given out at Mobile World Congress 2011.

  • Best Mobile App - Angry Birds
  • Best Mobile Device - Apple iPhone 4
  • Best Device Manufacturer - HTC

You can see the full list of awardees here.

Which Android manufacturers can be trusted to upgrade their phones?

J.R. Raphael of ComputerWorld wrote an article entitled Android upgrades: Which manufacturers can you trust. It studies which manufacturers provide support to their phones in terms of upgrading them to the latest version of Android based on 2010 date. Here are the results:

It is a very good read. Read the rest of the article at this link.

Selasa, 15 Februari 2011

Three new 2011 HTC Androids and a tablet

Here are some details on three new HTC Android smartphones and a Android tablet.

HTC Incredible S

Screen: 4-inch, 800 x 480.
Processor: 1GHz Qualcomm MSM8255
RAM: 768MB 
Rear Camera: 8 megapixel autofocus camera with dual-LED flash
Front Camera: 1.3 megapixel
Video Recording: 720p HD video-capable 
Battery: 1450mAh 
O.S.: Android 2.2 

HTC Desire S

Screen: 3.7-inch, 800 x 480.
Processor: 1GHz Qualcomm MSM8255
RAM: 768MB 
Rear Camera: 5 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash
Front Camera: 1.3 megapixel
Video Recording: 720p HD video-capable 
Battery: 1450mAh 
O.S.: Android 2.3

HTC Wildfire S

Screen: 3.2-inch, 480 x 320.
Processor: 600MHz (Arm 11 Processor?)
RAM: 512MB
Rear Camera: 5 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash
Front Camera: 1.3 megapixel
Video Recording: 720p HD video-capable 
Battery: 1230mAh 
O.S.: Android 2.3

HTC Flyer Tablet

Screen: 7-inch, 1024 x 600
Processor: 1.5GMHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor
Rear Camera: 5 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash
Front Camera: 1.3 megapixel
Video Recording: 720p HD video-capable
Battery: Unknown  
O.S.: Android 2.4

Hhhhmmm... where is the dual core HTC Desire HD S we have been hearing about.

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