From a manufacturer standpoint, 4G (for the purposes of this post I mean LTE and WiMax, not 3G+) is a bit of a nightmare. The immaturity of the technology means that chips are expensive and bulky, and realistically offer benefit to only a small portion of consumers. (Compounding the issue, "4G" has become yet another buzzword that consumers don't understand but think they need anyway...
This week, Google revealed its most serious attempt at social networking yet, Google+. Despite being released just a few days ago, it's easy to see that it's a much more accessible, polished attempt than Google's previous attempts, namely Google Wave and Google Buzz. It brings a familiar interface, but clearly bears the Google mark: clean, minimal, but with some well thought-out improvements.
It seems the explosive growth of smartphone use has had some unintended consequences: U.S. carriers are moving towards tiered data. While some carriers have had "soft" caps for years, we've recently seen a move towards hard caps. "Tiered" plans have long been standard in other parts of the world, but the simple difference is that US carriers charge significantly more across the board - be it basic plans (just minutes), add-on's (such as texting), or data (whether used on a plan or as-you-go).
I have to admit: as a newly-former starving college student, it's hard for me to see the same sort of value in a $400 tablet that I see in a $200 smartphone or a $600 laptop (or even a $300 netbook). During my month or so with the O.G. Galaxy Tab, I found the tablet to be more of a complement than a replacement - though certainly the new crop of tablets with docks and keyboards has pushed them closer to laptops than ever before.
Manufacturer user interfaces (UIs) can be a bit of a hot-button topic in the Android world. Some prefer vanilla Android, à la CyanogenMod. Others have no issue with them whatsoever, and even actively seek to restore some of the functionality. (Others still prefer to roll their own, or like the ability to switch at will...
Between the imminent release of the HTC EVO 3D, the newly announced Photon 4G, the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S II, and the pure Google experience of the Samsung Nexus S 4G, we have to ask - which device is next for you? To help you decide, here's a break down of each phone's specs:
HTC EVO 3D
- 4.3 Inch qHD Super LCD
- 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor
- 1GB RAM
- 4GB built-in storage
- 5MP 3D Capable rear camera, 1.3MP front camera
- Android 2.3 with Sense 3.0
As the follow up to the super-popular EVO 4G, it not only packs a harder punch under the hood, but also includes some groundbreaking features like Sense 3.0 and the inclusion of both 3D playback and video capture.
AC's Jerry Hildenbrand makes some very valid points about why that just doesn't quite seem right, if a bit (understandably) bitterly. As an Android lover and power user, I'm more than inclined to agree.
In light of this week's bootloader lockdown bonanza, it makes sense to ask something related. We know that as an Android-centric blog, our readers are likely to be a bit more hack-'n-mod oriented, so we're interested to see: who will manufacture your next device?
The "why" isn't crucial, though you're certainly encouraged to share your reasoning via the comments.
Google I/O 2011 is all wrapped up, and boy was it eventful. In case you missed them the first go-round, we provided a handy-dandy list (with videos embedded) of the keynotes and Android sessions from both the first and second day. The first keynote, especially, was really quite fascinating and provided a good review of where Android is headed.
It's that time of the week again folks - time to hit the polls. This week's question is one that'll allow you to express what you think an Android handset should let you do in terms of customization, modification, and other various tinkering (think rooting, custom ROMs, kernels, etc). Basically, we want to know how important it is for you, as a consumer, that your next phone be easy to customize.