A few days ago, Harvard Business Review writer James Allworth posted on the HBR blog and argued that Google has effectively shot itself in the foot by making Android such an open system. To boil the 800 word post down, Mr. Allworth's argument is that the openness of the system has led to competitors taking the Google out of Android - namely, Baidu in China and Bing on Verizon. The issue is that Google's revenue comes from the ads on their services; consequently, a de-Googled Android would result in no income for Google.
This is one hell of a brilliant idea that deserves all the attention it can get: seven University of Waterloo students have come together to write an app every day for seven straight days. But these aren't just average run-of-the-mill students; they're the cream of the crop, and most have a bevy of industry experience backing them up.
WhoIsIt is a new twist on an old classic: setting custom ringtones for certain contacts (or groups of contacts). The twist is that you can assign custom ringtones and vibrations for Gmail, SMS, and MMS, on a per-contact basis. Not too shabby, especially for a free app. Other features include:
* Ability to setup VIP contacts for Gmail, SMS, and MMS
* Allow VIP contacts to ring / notify for Gmail, SMS, and MMS even when in Silent mode
* Announce incoming caller and SMS/MMS sender
* Define different volume / vibration profiles
* Widget for easily switching profiles
* Tasker plugin
* Disable LEDs on a per-profile basis
* Ringleader integration
At the moment, the app is still in public beta at version .92.
To end our relatively calm and Gingerbread-less Friday, I present to you The Evolution Of Android - a stop motion animation created by YouTube user droidsans. It's kind of like our Meet Andy: Android's History In A Nutshell, except it's not. And it's got a twist at the end. Can you guess what it is?
My favorite part was when Andy spit it (I'm still not telling you what "it" is - watch the video) out - thanks for making our Friday night a little more fun, droidsans!
Chase, a subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase, today released its official and long-awaited mobile banking app for Android. Since I am a Chase customer with 3 credit cards and a checking account (migrated from WaMu), I decided to take it out for a quick spin.
The Chase app features the following:
- instant check deposits by taking photos of the front and back with your phone's camera - it's not the first bank to do this, but it was certainly the #1 wanted feature on my list
- viewing account balances and transaction histories
- paying bills using Chase bill pay
- paying credit card balances
- money transfers, including both account-to-account and wire transfers
- ATM/branch finder
The app is very secure - it requires your password every time you sign on and does not store it anywhere.
NEC, Casio, And Hitachi, known as NEC Casio Mobile Communications since their merger in 2009, have been pretty quiet about their Android plans so far. However, after seeing Panasonic take the plunge yesterday and announce its plans to enter the Android market in 2011, NEC Casio couldn't hold it anymore and spilled the beans today.
According to Keitai Watch, the company plans to begin selling Android devices starting with Japan in 2011, and the rest of the world in 2012.
It's always nice when a manufacturer is nice enough to allow the community to see the source code used to keep device kernels ticking, particularly as this source code can help with troubleshooting and ROM development. They are, to a certain extent, required to do this by the GPLv2 license, but it's still pretty great for all you XDA junkies. Well, if you guys were lusting after the latest source code for the kernels of the T-Mobile G2, the myTouch 4G, or Verizon's Droid Incredible, you can finally stop lurking around, for HTC has, at long last, made the code for these handsets available.
Remember The Milk is, without a doubt, one of the most powerful task management solutions on the market, and its Android app is pure awesomeness. It is extremely polished, and I rely on it reminding me about my tasks, including various Android Police business, every day.
One feature that the RTM app has been lacking is push syncing support, instead making us select a potentially battery-killing polling interval (mine was set to every hour).
Millennial Media has released their Mobile Mix for October, and at first sight, the results are fairly impressive. Before diving in, though, it's important to note that the statistics are based on ad clicks, rather than a population sample. However, that doesn't mean they don't help express the overall trends, so with that in mind, let's take a quick look at the highlights.