Mobile

Google’s Moto G android phone reviewed

Read the new Ars Technica review of Google’s $179 Moto G — it outshines any other low-cost Android phone. It is an unlocked, off-contract phone perfect for teens or non-power users.

Specs at a glance: Google/Motorola Moto G
Screen 1280×720 4.5-inch IPS (329 PPI)
OS Android 4.3
CPU 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 (quad-core Cortex A7)
RAM 1GB
GPU Qualcomm Adreno 305
Storage 8 or 16 GB NAND flash
Networking 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0. GSM model supports GSM 800 / 900 / 1800 / 1900MHz and UMTS 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100MHz; CDMA model supports 850 / 1900MHz
Ports Micro-USB, headphones
Camera 5MP rear camera, 1.3MP front camera
Size 5.11″ × 2.59″ × 0.24-0.46″ (129.9 × 65.9 × 6.0-11.6 mm)
Weight 5.04 oz. (143 g)
Battery 2070mAh
Starting price $179 off-contract
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Amazon App store is shooting itself

me: this is a discussion about the Amazon Appstore for Android.

Shailaja: Hello, my name is Shailaja and I’m from the Appstore Team.

me: Hello… I am in the process of deleting my apps from my amazon account, so that I can uninstall the appstore completely…
I do not like how the appstore on the device prevents me from using any “Amazon-bought” app without being signed into the app store.
Why you ask? because my Amazon account password is very long and secure, and it is very painful to type it into the tiny phone screen repeatedly. ouch, a lot of hassle. Why this roadblock?

me: and I do not have the pwd memorized, so I have to stop my attempt and wait til later. over 8 x this week I have tried to use an app — gasbuddy, etc. — and been stymied

Shailaja: I’m very sorry for the inconvenience Paul. It’s for your own account security issues.

Shailaja: If you wish you can change your Amazon password to a shorter one.
I’ve just sent you an email which will help you reset your account password

me: that is bad advice, i’m sorry. NO — this pwd requirement is only serving amazon… not me. it’s my phone and I’m responsible for its security… how could someone using Gasbuddy without an amazon pwd be a harm ?
why on earth can’t ANY app run without being forced to sign into amazon?
google PLAY does not force this… and the sky has not fallen

Shailaja: I’m looking into this, please hold Paul.

me: so why is Amazon so territorial and proprietary?? it’s causing me to leave.
I would rather rebuy everything from PLAY to avoid this issue with Amazon Appstore. AND, furthermore, this behavior is new, with last update it seems… it was not like this before.

Shailaja: Yes, I understand that there is a problem with the newer version of the software.

me: please either make the Appstore remember the pwd, or remove it completely…. yes I can understand that the APPSTORE itself requires a pwd to buy new apps…. but NOT to use the apps I already bought. Google does not do this, that I’ve seen. [ but they do have drm too]

Shailaja: Our technical experts are still working on this on highest priority to fix it as soon as possible.
I totally understand your frustration.

me: Really, there are teams of techies working to fix this? It’s been 3 weeks since I noticed this… Where is the tech note to all users? is there a public link available?

Shailaja: Yes Paul, there is an issue with the new Appstore update.

Shailaja is typing…

me: is it documented publicly in a bug list? so I can find it and review
it is helpful to know these things

Shailaja: Alternatively, please try installing Amazon appstore from any of the below links:
https://amznadsi-a.akamaihd.n…ublic/AmazonAppstore-2.6.apk
https://amznadsi.hs.llnwd.net/e1/AmazonAppstore-2.6.apk

Yes, I understand. Please hold while I check.

me: Reinstalling the appstore will fix this perpetual forced login in order to use any App?

Shailaja: Yes. Reinstall from any of the above links and it would fix the issue.
http://www.amazon.com/forum/amazon%20appstore%20deals
Above is the amazon appstore issues forum Paul.

me: hmm, i see… it’s being talked about.

Shailaja: It would be fixed very soon Paul. Please give our engineers some time.
The app developers include DRM restrictions.It’s not Amazon Paul.
me: Thank you, Shailaja… this is helpful.

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Is your smartphone vulnerable to the Tel URL attack?

A tech named Dylan Reeve has a test site to determine your phone’s vulnerability:

http://dylanreeve.com/phone.php

If your phone is vulnerable to the recently disclosed tel: URL attack then this website will cause your phone to open the dialler and display the IMEI code. With other USSD codes it could do any number of other things, including wipe all phone data.

You can find some more information and a simple workaround here: http://dylanreeve.posterous.com/remote-ussd-attack

What does it all mean?!
If visiting this page automatically causes your phone’s dialler application to pop up with *#06# displayed then you are not vulnerable. If, however, the dialler pops up and then you immediately see your phone IMEI number (a 14- or 16-digit number) then you are potentially vulnerable to attack.

A poster on the site made an app to solve the problem without changing dialers: Download his free, open-source app that can intercept these malicious URLs:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.thauvin.erik.android.noussd

https://lh4.ggpht.com/UF71xpCA3OVOD7yXnsyWduZHKOco47yjNP5J0r0sPjZ5pIr5yfUQUkkpqPeUkd6OEQ=w124

 

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App Developers Beware Patent Trolls

Just developing… read this great post from an IP lawyer/activist, Florian Mueller. To quote his article:

FOSS Patents

The Lodsys situation is getting out of control, and I think each affected app developer should now look for an exit strategy. In this blog post I describe the way I would go about. After an update on the Lodsys situation, I’ll outline the short version of my suggested course of action. Thereafter, I go into detail on its various parts.

iOS and Android (and cross-platform) app developers receive letters and phone calls, take down apps and remove features

About two months ago, Lodsys started sending out patent assertion letters to iOS app developers. More than one month ago, Lodsys sued seven app developers in Texas — mostly over iOS apps but also one Android app.

http://fosspatents.blogspot.com/2011/07/cost-efficient-way-for-app-developers.html

And he links to the EFF’s site to a post in 2010 about Apple’s program:

UPDATED: All Your Apps Are Belong to Apple: The iPhone Developer Program License Agreement

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2010/03/iphone-developer-program-license-agreement-all

  • Ban on Public Statements
  • App Store Only
  • Ban on Reverse Engineering
  • No Tinkering with Any Apple Products
  • Kill Your App Any Time
  • We Never Owe You More than Fifty Bucks
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Which Tablet is the best platform upon which to build an app?

From InfoWorld:

http://www.infoworld.com/d/mobile-technology/rim-blackberry-playbook-unfinished-unusable-534

Not only can it not compete with an Apple iPad, it can’t compete with the second-best tablet, Motorola Xoom, nor even with marginal Android tablets such as the Galaxy Tab that use the smartphone version of the Android OS rather than the Honeycomb tablet version. In fact, if my choice were between a PlayBook and a Windows 7 tablet — my benchmark for unusability — I think I’d rather go sans tablet.

The fundamental nature of the PlayBook’s flaws begin with the requirement that a BlackBerry be tethered to it for access to business email, calendars, or contacts. Other than using a Webmail client, a PlayBook without a BlackBerry is unable to communicate. You can’t connect to POP, IMAP, or Exchange servers directly from the tablet, as you can from an iOS or Android device — you must have a BlackBerry tethered via Bluetooth using the BlackBerry Bridge application. In that case, you essentially see your BlackBerry email, calendar, and contacts in a window on the PlayBook when connected.

And the other competitor:

Tablet deathmatch: HP TouchPad vs. Apple iPad 2

http://bit.ly/kJWzeS

Plainly put, the TouchPad is a mediocre tablet that poses no threat to the iPad or to Android tablets such as the Galaxy Tab 10.1 or Xoom. Even though the iPad 2′s high bar is no secret, it once again appears that corner-cutting or rush to market has been allowed to tie a potentially strong tablet’s arm behind its back.

[ InfoWorld’s Galen Gruman says “Whatever you do, don’t buy a Chromebook.” | See all of InfoWorld’s tablet deathmatch comparisons and personalize the tablet scores to your needs.

David Pogue from the NYTimes:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/30/technology/personaltech/30pogueAA.html?_r=2&ref=technology&pagewanted=all

It’s the H.P. TouchPad ($500 for the 16-gig model, $600 for 32 gigs): a black rectangle with a glossy 9.7-inch multitouch screen. You can zoom into maps, photos or Web pages by putting two fingers on the glass and spreading or pinching them. The screen image rotates when you turn the tablet 90 degrees.

It runs the WebOS from Palm, which means there are far fewer apps. It is not an Android device.

 

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About PDG & Associates

Paul D. Gurney is the founder of PDG & Associates (since 1996). This "What's New" blog features highlights and commentary on interesting topics related to the web design and development field.

We specialize in building websites with user-friendly content management systems, built with open source technologies like PHP, mySQl, python and jquery.

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