Today, Google announced that its acquisition of Motorola Mobility had officially closed. Make no mistake, this merger is something of a shotgun arrangement - and the offspring conceived out of wedlock is Android. So, how did we get here, two and a half years after the first DROID?
A Brief History Of Motorola And Android
Motorola was once Google's model manufacturer partner. At least in the US, it produced what was the most popular "first generation" Android smartphone, the original Motorola DROID. Read More
Sony, you really confuse me sometimes. The US is just about to get the Xperia Ion on AT&T, supposedly the Sony-branded flagship smartphone. The problem is that the Xperia GX just took that crown from the Ion - before it even came out. I'm not sure what Sony's grand master plan here is, but looking from the outside in, it seems like the company (that lost $5.7 billion last year - most of it in the fourth quarter alone) is flying completely and utterly blind. Read More
A long time ago (read: about 4 years), in a galaxy far, far away (read: Silicon Valley), a guy named Drew Houston started a little company called Dropbox. After securing seed funding from Y Combinator, Dropbox officially launched in 2008 at the TechCrunch50. To say nothing of the complexities of implementation, the idea was simple: put your files in one place, access them anywhere. And apparently, the idea was also a really good one: as of October last year, Dropbox had over 50 million users, doubling from a figure of 25 million in April. Read More
Oh, RIM. You're hemorrhaging customers, executives, and share value. It's painfully obvious you're on track for a disaster of Palm-proportions. And still, your upper-level management fling zingers at the competition that would make anyone but the die-hardest of BlackBerry fans skip the facepalm and go straight to a facedesk. It's almost like watching a Shakespearean tragedy unfold.
If you've not been keeping up with the cutting edge of all things RIM, allow me to give you a quick run-down. Read More
I have heard an absolute heap of unpleasantness about the rebranding of the Android Market today. Google Play is childish. It's unprofessional. It makes Google look less than serious about its content business. The logo is weird. The name is ambiguous - play what? It reminds people of Sony products. There are endless gripes and, let's face it, there always will be when a company rebrands a popular product.
Tomorrow, countless analysts and "experts" will weigh in on whether the move was a good one, hawking over Google's stock price like a cardiograph readout. Read More
Google Music launched just 3 months ago, but CNET is already hearing from Google managers and record labels that the company is disappointed by the service's performance so far. In a nutshell: when Google Music launched, there were 200 million Android users, and that number was growing extremely quickly. The expectation was that it would be fairly easy to convert some of those users to Music customers. Unfortunately, that just isn't what's happened, with adoption lower than expected. Read More
There has been a lot of interest of late in a patent filed (by Google) back in 2009 for what is obviously a rendition of Android's notification bar system. There are a number of pretty (well, as pretty as black and white gets) figures in the patent showing the notification bar we all know and love, and lots of language about notification systems and the like.
As many of the Android-faithful know, Apple recently implemented as part of iOS 5 the "Notification Center," and it looks an awful lot like Android's in some respects. Read More
Earlier today, when I read comments from Motorola executive Christy Wyatt over on PCMag explaining that lagging software updates could be blamed in large part on hardware variation, my first response was "really?" Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Motorola has iterated so much hardware in the last year that it has actually promised to cut down on the number of versions of Android handsets it will make.
Specifically, Wyatt made a point of the obvious fact that when Google releases the source code for Android, the only devices it will readily compile on fall into the "Nexus" category. Read More
When it comes to high tech, downsizing is often looked at as a sign of progress. Microprocessors meant whole computers, for the first time, could fit on a desktop. LCD displays made them portable - in the form of laptops. Moore's law proved that chips that once would have been classified as capable of enterprise-level computing now occupy devices that easily fit in your pocket. And advanced lithium-ion batteries meant you could finally take yourself off the AC teat for an appreciable amount of time, and you could charge your gadgets over and over without worrying about the ridiculous cycling fatigue that plagued earlier rechargeable systems. Read More
Let's be frank: RIM's BlackBerry products are unilaterally, shall we say, unexciting. And RIM's new theme song should probably be this. And by "unexciting," I mean ugly, hopelessly dated, and so boring that a story about them spontaneously bursting into flames might actually give the company some much-needed edginess in their marketing campaigns. Maybe that's a bridge too far.
Anyway, when I read this morning that RIM's new CEO Thorsten Heins, speaking to CrackBerry, said Android devices are "all the same," I couldn't help but go slack-jawed in a combination of muted laughter and near disbelief at the irony. Read More