Tag Archive | Android

2011: Year In Review


Please, before reading on take note that this blog has been closed and further comments and enquiries will be responded to on the new blog. For more of this, find me on my new blog: emmanuelchenze.com

Well it’s a wrap for the year 2011. What a year this has been. I look back at what it is that made the year notable in the tech scene both locally and internationally. There’s a lot to mention but since I’ve focused a on mobile devices (smartphones, tablets and stuff) and their corresponding manufactures and their operating systems, this will take a size-able chunk of my review of the year 2011. Kindly read on.

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SIRI FOR ANDROID: Top Virtual Assistant Applications on The Android Market


Please, before reading on take note that this blog has been closed and further comments and enquiries will be responded to on the new blog. For more of this, find me on my new blog: emmanuelchenze.com

Since it’s premier as a core feature of the iPhone 4S, Siri as I outlined earlier, has got everyone talking. Not to be left behind, a plethora of applications has since taken the Android market, Google’s premier app store for devices running it’s flagship mobile (ok and tablets these days) operating system, Android, by storm.

Since last week I’ve downloaded and tested a couple of them that are available free for download on the Android Market (I haven’t yet spotted premium virtual voice assistants). Of all the apps I downloaded, 9 or so,  4 of them impressed me and I hereby give a quick insight on them.

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The iPhone 4S: Hype or Substance?


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Please, before reading on take note that this blog has been closed and further comments and enquiries will be responded to on the new blog. For more of this, find me on my new blog: emmanuelchenze.com

Launched a day before the death of the iconic Apple Inc founder and former CEO and Chairman, the late Steve Jobs, the iPhone 4S, Apple’s latest i-kid has generated a lot of buzz lately.
From the impressive sold out pre-orders (over 4 million sold todate) to the magical personal virtual assistant, Siri, the iPhone 4S has got everyone talking.

My attention is not focused entirely on the hype surrounding the 4S but rather whether the hype is really worth it. What actually roused my itchy fingers is that this wonder device is retailing locally in Kenya at an incredible price. Forget the hype being fronted by Western media and other Silicon Valley media outlets, of course its normal (very normal) for Apple products to generate a lot of buzz and cause a lot of ripples, this phone is either really that good or blatantly overrated.

Read the full review on my new blog by following this link.

Windows 8 Out, Facebook And It’s Endless Redesigns, Google+ Rolls Out To The General Public


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The week started with the viral spread of the Developer’s edition and teasers of the new kid from Microsoft, the Microsoft Windows 8 operating system. I am yet to use the new OS but it is worth noting that I can’t wait for the personal edition to roll out. From my interaction with Windows 7 and Apple’s Mac OS X Lion, I am looking forward to using Windows 8. Oh! Windows 8 should be able to boot up in 8 seconds on a proper PC!

I ain’t done with Microsoft yet. The eagerly awaited products of its partnership with Nokia, phones running Windows Phone 7 (7.5) code named Mango, are set to debut early in the coming month. Let’s see what the highly hyped Mango brings to the high alter of competitive mobile phone operating systems. Can it beat Blackberry OS, iOS and Android?

Google+, the social networking service from search giant Google, finally rolled out to the general public on 20th. I have a very harsh review of Google+ and I’ll analyse it properly soon. With the public launch came added features on the Google Plus app for Android. It’s now possible to start hangouts on the android application. I’ve tried the updated G+ app(version 1.0.7) and it is well above the mark. Add the newly included features and those included in v1.0.6 like the ability to reshare posts and you have a nice app. The mobile site has also been tweaked and its great though alot can still be done.

The queen of sideshows and things to attract attention realized that she was getting old and got a redesign. Yes I am referring to Facebook, the dominant social network. In a major redesign, users can now subscribe( FB style of Twitter-like following) to receive updates from other people who they are not friends with. In other words, Mark Zuckerberg and company have made it easier for stalkers to be getting updates from you. There’s also the Tickle which updates posts and activities in real time. The profiles too got a makeover. People can also comment on Facebook pages they’ve never Liked. The introduction of a Twitter-like timeline just sucks. Of cause there was an overwhelming negative outcry but does Zuckerberg care about your hues and cries or the revenue from sponsoring and other corporates?

On the Kenyan twitterverse we call it iTorch, yet it is widely used in tweeting. I mean text-tweeting. Twitter seems to have learnt of user retention because it is now possible to send photos direct to your Twitter timeline using text messaging.

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Procedure for Installing Custom ROMs on The Huawei U8150 IDEOS


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Before reading on, PLEASE take note that this blog has been closed and further comments and enquiries will thus be handled at the new blog: emmanuelchenze.com

Thanks everyone for the overwhelming response I got concerning rooting and installation of custom ROMs. This post is courtesy of your demand for a step by step guide on how to install custom ROMs on your IDEOS.

I’ve tried as much as possible to simplify the whole procedure.

1. Root your phone (As I outlined in my previous posts)
2. Go to the Android Market
3. Download & install “ROM Manager” application
4. Open the installed ROM Manager app
5. Continue reading this procedure on my new blog by following this link

My Huawei IDEOS U8150: Gingerbread 2.3.4 Screen Grabs


In my previous blogpost,  I promised to post on this blog screen shots of my rooted Android device, the Huawei IDEOS U8150 running Gingerbread 2.3.4. Thanks for the overwhelming response I got from Twitter. Here are the screen grabs: Follow this link

 

Also read comprehensively how to upgrade the IDEOS to Gingerbread here

Huawei U8150 IDEOS: A User’s Review


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Please, before reading on take note that this blog has been closed and further comments and enquiries will be responded to on the new blog. For more of this, find me on my new blog: emmanuelchenze.com

Sometimes in late March this year I lost a low end Nokia feature phone that I really loved. What next? Replacement?

I cannot really refer to Huawei’s low cost smartphone, the U8150 IDEOS as a replacement because it completely revolutionized my usage of phones or rather unclassified PCs since I have always used it as my phone(calling, texting and such stuff), my personal computer, my tablet computer and to be sincere, just my everything.

With access to over 60,000 applications in the Android market, there’s just nothing that you can’t do with an Android smartphone whether its a low cost model like the IDEOS or a high end one like the Samsung Galaxy II.

Just like you would expect of a typical smartphone, the IDEOS is a serious power guzzler. The numerous apps you download from the Market end up draining the battery seriously. Without accessing the internet, listening to radio or playing music from the media player, the battery can last upto 6 hours. What’s the point of having your smartphone if you can’t listen to your favorite songs or FM radio station or get your mail and push notifications on the go? If you are an internet maniac like myself then plugging your device everytime is a habit you will have no choice but to embrace.

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Google+ Android App: Superb


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It’s just a week since I downloaded and installed the Google+ android application. It has not disappointed.

It may take sometime before the app finally appears on the android Market(the Market itself got a serious makeover early this week) but the apk file offered for free download on various android fan blogs is above blog. It comes readily with the handy and equally fascinating Hangouts feature. Thanks to this app, social networking will never be the same again. I’ve used the app on my android smartphone and it runs smoothly, it does not force close nor does it consume a lot of data(something which many android applications are known for). Therefore, for those of us in countries where data plans are still an elitist feature, the Google+ application is a God send. Compare it with the official Facebook app for android and you will know what I am talking about. Despite frequent force close issues, data drainage and total unreliability, the Facebook official app for android still has unnecessary delays with it’s chat client. All this is unheard of in the Google+ app.

For the Apple fanboys, fear not! The G+ app for the iPhone is out. The iPad one is yet to appear but it probably isn’t far.

I am not an employee of Google or their puppet but a good thing deserves a good rating. Whether Google+ will succeed as a social network is disputable but that the G+ app is a killer app for android phones is an open fact.

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Google+, Facebook Live Video Chat & Cloud Computing


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Last week search giant Google unveiled it’s new social network dubbed in various technology blogs as a potential Facebook killer, Google+. Earlier on, Google’s rival in the mobile phone operating system platform, Apple, had unveiled its new cloud service, iCloud. And just yesterday, another Google competitor, Facebook, launched live video chat powered by Skype. Ladies and gentlemen, the digital revolution is rolling while we witness.

I was not lucky to get a hands on experience with the products released by Google and Apple since I don’t have an iOS device to test the new cloud service(it rolls out to the general public later this year) nor was I lucky to get the few invites to test Google+ beta. However, I had the chance to try out live video chat on my Facebook profile. This is such an “awesome” product, just as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had described it prior to its official release. Of course I experienced some sound issues but I can blame those on my ISP and network related problems. I was having a conversation with a geek friend of mine, who was lucky to get an early invite to Google+, and he brushes away my great experience with Facebook video chat saying unlike it, which allows only one friend per chat, Google+ allows chat connections of upto 10 friends. Anyway who said I want to chat with ten people at a go? Of course Google+ is a great social network going by the positive reviews it has gotten from top bloggers, technology analysts and critics. Apart from the multiple friend video chat feature, Google+ also has a feature called Circles which allows one the privacy that Facebook has been missing, having your boss and weekend buddies on the same social network with each only seeing the appropriate content without going through the tedious process of manually creating friend lists. I have already spotted the sleek, “killer” Google+ android application and I just can’t wait for the public roll out of the great social network from the makers of my favourite mobile operating system, Android!

Turning to the cloud, everyone is talking about “the cloud” these days. I have been using a couple of cloud services on my android device and there’s no lying that this is the future of computing more so in terms of data storage. How secure the data stored in the cloud is is another discussion altogether(remember the Sony PlayStation network and Qriocity service hack?) but the advantages are enormous. Let my brothers and sisters using iOS devices gladly look forward to the rolling out of iCloud and the new iOS 5. For us in Android the seamless syncing of our contact lists, Gmail, Google Music and cloud tied service applications like m-Spot, Netqin antivirus, Dropbox etc we are also enjoying the benefits that come with emerging trends in the technology world.

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Also posted on ECHENZE KENYA

The Android MarketPlace: Where are Kenyan Developers?


I recently acquired an Android smartphone. Android, being the most popular mobile operating system, is a developers heaven. As such, I would have expected the Android Market to be overflowing with local applications but that’s not the case, there very few apps made by Kenyans and even fewer apps specifically offering Kenyan content. The big question is: where are Kenyan developers? Nokia’s premier app store, the Ovi Store, is awash with many local applications, which is a good and commendable thing considering that Nokia is still the market leader in cellphone sells and manufacturing  in East Africa. However a part of the Kenyan population, like myself, are slowly moving away from the traditional Symbian platform fronted by Nokia to other new players. There’s the iOS, Windows Phone 7 and the Android OS. I know Kenyan developers are working round the clock to develop quality applications on all these major platforms but this has to be hastened.

For every proud Kenyan, it’s a shame to navigate through tens of thousands of applications in the various app stores without finding one local app or any app developed locally.

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