The Android Revolution


The computer age has always been dominated by a phenomenon for a period of time, which has helped in shaping the way the next age transcends into , right from the advent of the computers, till the modern age that we live in today. Every age had its own set of requirements, their corresponding achievements, a few moments of awe and admiration, which have lasted in the years to follow. Charles Babbage paved a way for the humankind to foray into the vaste and perhaps it’s most important discovery in the recent past, the computing technologies.

The computers made life easier, much easier. Large amount of information was now stored in a small electronic equipment instead of huge files. Then came the mobile phones, which re-invented communication and made the world a much bigger place, and yet so close to each other that we could actually talk to anyone sitting anywhere in the world by just using a device, which could be kept in the pocket of a person.

And now in these modern times, a new revolution has swept the now advanced mobile communication technologies. It has been brought about by perhaps the most important company in the history of mankind, Google. Google has always made it’s place strong as an inventor and a pioneer in the field of computer technologies. Every product of Google including its trademark search engine, is totally free to use and yet Google is one of the biggest companies in the world and continues to grow bigger. The Android operating system, is perhaps the most ambitious and well known product, that Google gave to the world and is now widely used in a number of types of smartphones by companies all over the world.

Android is a free operating system. Yes it does sound illogical to us that a company has provided an computer system to the world without charging any fee from the consumer. But it’s true, Android is an operating system based on the well know Linux kernel and is free to use and develop applications using it for absolutely any developer in the world.

Android was first developed by a startup company Android In.c but was later bought by Google in 2005. After this buy out Google founded the ambitious Open Handset Alliance with a number of prestigious mobile developer companies. This alliance was founded by Google, HTC, Sony, Dell, Intel, Motorola, Qualcomm, Samsung and many other companies. It has a total of 34 members. The members agreed to manufacture phones only those which are compatible with the versions of the Android operating system. It was also agreed to that the Android operating system will be kept Open source I.e everyone will have access to the source code and will be free to make changes to the code and develop it according to the Open Source license conditions. This was a very significant step and pioneered a mobile telephony revolution in the world which we are seeing today.

The development of Android is carried out by Google in private until it develops a stable release of the Android operating system. Google has a tradition to name every stable release of the Android OS with dessert names in the alphabetical order according to the versions they release. For example Android 2.3 is Gingerbread, 3 is Honeycomb, 4 is Ice Cream Sandwich etc. The latest Android version which is slated to release this year is the Android KitKat 4.4 version. Google and Nestle have made an agreement upon the name of the system.

Android uses a kernel that is based on the Linux v3 kernel and uses the Dalvik Virtual machine for execution of code and applications on the devices which are powered using Android. This Dalvik Virtual machine uses .dex code which in turn is derived from java byte code. The later versions were named Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich and the latest Android 4.3 is named Jellybean.

There are more than a billion android devices registered in the world today and the Google app store has recently crossed the 50 billion downloads mark.

Android is now a behemoth and a force to recognize by the entire industry and it will continue getting bigger better and stronger in the future.


Phablets The Phone of the next generation.

Phablet is one of the various new words coined by the present generation to describe phones which are specifically designed as the hybrids between a tablet and a mobile phone. Hence the term “Phablet”. A Phablet can be defined in technical terms as a mobile phone device which has a screen size in between the range of 5 inches to 6.9 inches. Hence any device below this range can be then termed as a phone and any device above this range can be considered as a tablet. Phablets were made popular by Samsung when it released its first Samsung Galaxy Note device.

A phablet is typically a touchscreen device with minimum buttons on the body. Typically only the screen lock\unlock button and the volume adjustment button are present as hardware on the device. This minimalistic buttons approach helps it give the user a larger use of the screen. The phablet devices when introduced were not expected to do as well as they have in the mobile phone market. This was considered due to the size of the screen which was much bigger than an average phone and hence it was thought that it might not appeal to an average user as an attractive option.

But the phablet market has since boomed tremendously and large number of new models are introduced into the market every year which are met with equally overwhelming response from the consumers.

According to the PC Magazine 1993 edition the first true phablet phone ever released was in the same year and was the AT&T EO440 model. Afterwards there were not many major releases in the phablet world and no big phone manufacturing company took much interest into the concept.

It was the Samsung Galaxy Note which sparked interest into the field for its competitors. The Note was tremendously successful and was one of the best selling phones that Samsung made. The Note was a 5.3 inch device which on release was met with mixed reception. Many media and review website personnle questioned the usability of the device for the common person. However the device sold more than a million units in the first two months of its debut into the market.

The Galaxy Note had a modest configuration of a 1.5 GHZ dual core processor and a high resolution 5.3 inch screen. By August 2012 the Galaxy Note had sold more than 10 million units in the worldwide market. Thus the phablet market was now officially introduced to the world and was now one of the most viable market that was available to the mobile manufacturing corporations. Out of these only Samsung had forayed into the scene and there was a huge scope to improve.

Many other Note alternatives were now observed into the market to compete with the Samsung Phablet. This consisted of the Dell Streak. LG Optimus series Nokia PureView phones and Sony Xperia phones. All of these devices were striving to compete with each other and hence started to provied increasingly better configurations for the users. Quad core processors were now a standard in the high end phablet devices and now phablet’s are one of the most used type of smartphones in the market.

This is solely due to the reason that multimedia use on mobile phones has increased rapidly as the generation has progressed. Previously bulky VHS players connected to television were the only way to play media, which then used to use bulky VHS cassettes and were not known to provide a good resolution picture quality. But now as the future has evolved excellent technological advancements into the field of computing the various devices that can handle media have reduced in size gradually and considerably. Thus the mobile phones are now powerful enough to handle a variety of media content and now have become an important source of entertainment.

A typical phablet is now able to handle almost all the leading video and audio formats very easily. Also as the phablets are 32 GB expandable in the memory department storage also is not an issue in these modern times. A large number of audio and video files can be stored on a phablet easily and played at the leisure of the owner of the device. Also all the usual features such as radio etc. are supported by even the most basic phablets.

All the leading phablets use android which is the best smartphone platform available in the market today. There is a huge community of android developers and big companies too which strive to make exciting new games and applications which can be used with an android device. Thus the phablet is also seen by consumers as an excellent gaming device. Many premium game developers are releasing games on Android even before they do so on the PC platform. Thus we can see the power that this platform has over the industry. Many chinese companies have also forayed into the phablet market. These companies provide a phablet an extremely low price but uses low quality material to build the device. Nevertheless such companies also have a good market share today and the number of consumers buying unlicensed devices is surprisingly high in today’s modern technology, this being the irony of the mobile market.

The increase in the phablet market is contributed to the development in power efficient screens for mobiles, better and powerful batteries and the dropping prices of these components. Barclays has projected that the sales of phablet devices rose from 27 million units in the year 2012 and are expected to rise above more than 240 million units in the year 2015. The phablet market is increasing at a rate of more than 150% and hence will continue to dominate. As a consumer we can now safely assume that buying a phablet of our choice is the best choice for us.


Microsoft Surface Pro Tablet Review.


The tablet scene since its actual boom in 2010, due to the launch of both the iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab, was dominated by these two respectively. There was no fresh company into the global market which was ready to take head-on to the powerful Android and iOS powered tablets. Until Microsoft took the challenge and announced the Microsoft Surface in mid June 2012. The release of this tablet added the Windows operating system as an option for the targeted consumers.

Build And Design.

Microsoft Surface was a very ambitious project for the company at that time as this meant that the company was now entering the tablet market. Hence the build quality of the machine was also developed to reflect this ambition. The tablet is made using a casing made out of molded magnesium metal. This material is also known as VaporMg. A stand is also present with the Surface which allows it to be propped up in a similar way just like a laptop stands with its screen facing the user. The stand is named a kickstand and measures 0.77 mm in thickness.

Features And Specifications.

The Microsoft Surface comes with an Intel Core i5-3317U Dual Core 1.7 Ghz processor. It comes with a $GB internal flash memory which is DDR3-1600 type. The Microsoft Surface comes with an Intel HD Graphics 4000 GPU which makes it a powerful device for gaming and high definition video usage. The storage capacity of the Surface varies upon the model purchased by the consumer. There are 3 versions the 64 GB, 128 GB and 256 GB. Also an additional microSDXC slot is available for further expanding the memory. It comes with a 10.6 inches 1920x1080pixels resolution screen. It supports 10 point multi touch on the screen and hence is full of useful features.

Performance.

The Microsoft Surface was designed to be an ideal tablet for official and gaming purposes. This seems obvious when we closely review the hardware specifications that this device offers. The Microsoft Surface has the Windows 8 operating system bundled with it which offers several exclusive features to its Microsoft users. Also the Windows marketplace offers lots of excellent applications to download or purchase depending upon the requirements.
The front 1.2 megapixel camera supports upto 720p HD video chatting. Also the rear camera is a 1.2 megapixel AF camera and is powerful enough for image capturing purposes. Any microsoft enthusiast will be ready to switch to the Microsoft Surface as the GUI offered is the same as compared to the PC operating system and is extremely user friendly.

Conclusion

Microsoft has dominated the PC market since the advent of the Windows operating system and has continued to be the market leader in the field. Now as it has entered the tablet market as well the competition has bound to increase and good tablets from the company are expected and awaited by the industry.


Karbonn Titanium 5S Phablet review.

Karbonn is one of the big players in the mobile industry today and has one of the best selling models in the Indian mobile market in its offerings. Karbonn has not experienced the groundbreaking success that Micromax has acheieved in the last couple of years, but it has rose to prominence in the booming mobile phone Industry in India and continues to increase its market at a good pace.
The Karbonn Titanium 5S is the latest phablet from the company to compete against the Canvas series which is dominating the Indian market currently and is one of the best selling devices that a consumer can buy.

Build And Design.

The Karbonn S 5 is the successor of the previous model in the series the Karbonn Titanium S1 and is upgraded on various levels. It feaures the standard 5 inch IPS screen. However the Titanium S5 now sports a qHD display. This screen has a much better resolution power and displays colors much vibrantly compared to the previous model. Thew back of the mobile is very glossy compared to any other models. Even reflections can be seen on the back of the phone. But ironically this results into the phone getting smudges and fingerprints all over it very easily. The screen lock button is located on the upper right side and the volume rocker is located on the upper left of the device. The universal jack 3.5mm and the micro usb port are on the upper side of the phone.
The overall make of the phone is good although the body is still made mainly from plastic only.

Display Specifications And Performance.

The Karbonn Titanium S5 is powered by a Qualcomm MSM8225Q Snapdragon chipset and comes with a Quad core processor which clocks in at 1.2Ghz. It comes with 1 GB RAM and 4 GB of internal flash memory. It has a 5 inch IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen which supports a native resolution of 540×960 pixels and offers almost 220ppi pixel density. The screen supports multi touch and can understand upto 5 touch input points. The phone also has an 8 Megapixel camera along with a 2 megapixel front camera for video calling support.

Software Specifications And Performance.

The Titanium S5 comes with the Android 4.1.1 Jelly bean operating system installed in the phone. It has an improved and developed GUI from Karbonn especially for their devices. This GUI has an inituitive user screen with many tweaks intended to make the user experience of handling the device, more easier and more fun. It also comes with a few inbuilt applications from Karbonn and are very well received The phone supports most of the regular gaming applications available on the market and also does support a few high graphics games.
The phone supports all the latest applications as it has the latest Jelly Bean OS installed on it.

GPS Media And Gaming

The phone has an inbuilt GPS component and as a result can use the MAPS application bundled with it to navigate the user with ease. The absence of a compass sensor in the device however hampers the navigational experience. Nevertheless it is a helpful feature. MX player can handle and run almost all the popular video and audio formats on this phone. No lag or any issues about the media handling in this device. The device handles popular games such as Temple Run, Subway Surfer, Fruit Ninja, etc very smoothly and does not encounter any lag at all.

Conclusion.
The Karbonn Titanium S5 Priced at 11,990 is the best phone in its pricing category. This phone provides the most attractive features at the least possible price and is going to be a good competition to the dominating Micromax Canvas HD in the Indian Market today.


Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Review.

Samsung Tab series has been the biggest competitor to the iPad series designed and sold by Apple Inc. The first Samsung Galaxy Tab was introduced in September 2010 in an attempt to compete with the newly released iPad which had created a revolution and a demand for tablets in the market.
The Galaxy Tab 3 as the name suggests is the 3rd generation of the Samsung Tab series of tablets. It has improved drastically compared to the Galaxy Tab2 and added various exciting features.

Build And Design.

Samsung has put a lot of effort in the design of the product to make it as user friendly and easy to operate as possible. Galaxy Tab 3 has a plastic finish body and is available in white color. It has a plastic finish to its bezel as well. Thus the Tab 3 does not feel sturdy to use and can be prone to breakage if it falls from a height. The orientation of the Samsung logo and various trademarks suggests to us that the company intends us to use the tablet typically in the portrait mode.

Features And Specifications.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3.70 has a PXA986 Cortex A9 SoC processor which clocks at 1.2 Ghz. It is a dual core processor and is designed using the less power consuming A9 architecture. It has a 1 GB RAM and comes with 8/16 or 32 GB inbuilt flash memory. The size of the phone memory depends on the model that the consumer selects. The dimensions of the device are 108x111x9.9 mm. The display is a TFT capacitive display and it supports multi-touch input. It also has all the typical features such as proximity, ambient and light sensors with an inbuilt accelerometer and GPS.
The Tab 3 sports a 3.2 Mega Pixel camera as well as a 1.3 Megapixel front camera for video calling purposes.

Performance.

The Galaxy Tab 3 performs much better compared to the previous Galaxy Tab 2 which had for obvious reasons, an inferior configuration compared to this device. Unfortunately the camera falls short of the expectations that we had from Samsung. The camera is a mere 3.2 Megapixels and does not have any flash. Hence the pictures in low light are affected severely due to the same and hence the picture quality in dark areas is bad. The 4000 mAh battery gives good backup due to the sheer power it houses which is obviously necessary for powering such a huge screen. The Quad core processor houses enough capacity to run most of the applications smoothly and hence improves the usability of the tablet.

Conclusion.

Samsung and Apple have always locked horns in every field of mobile devices. They are renowned for their infamous legal battles against each other which are regarding copyright and various such issues. But the Galaxy Tab 3 falls short to the Apple Ipad due to wrong design choices and comparitively less hardware features in the device than the user expected. The advantage that the Galaxy Tab 3 does have is however it is much less priced compared to the iPad. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 is available at 199$(8GB model) in all the leading stores.