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Android

Strategy Analytics: Android Captures Record 85 Percent Share of Global Smartphone Shipments in Q2 2014

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Android

According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global smartphone shipments reached 295 million units in the second quarter of 2014. The Android operating system captured a new record of 85 percent global marketshare, mainly at the expense of BlackBerry, Apple iOS and Microsoft Windows Phone.

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4 open-source productivity tools for Android that are better than their proprietary counterparts

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Android
OSS

Although the official Android platform isn't open source (nor is the majority of the apps found on the Google Play Store), there are plenty of open-source apps available for you to install and enjoy. These apps range from silly games to everyday tools. One category that benefits from open source is productivity. You'll find apps to fit many of your productivity needs. If you don't like the way these apps look or behave (or even if you want to add new features) and you have the skills to do so, you can get their source and rework them to better fit your needs.

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Magellan GPS takes Android for an RV adventure

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Android

Magellan unveiled an Android-based navigation tablet for RVs with a 7-inch, 800 x 480 touchscreen, WiFi and Bluetooth, and real-time traffic updates.

The RoadMate RV9490T-LMB appears to be Magellan’s first Android-based automotive GPS, and it’s specifically aimed at recreational vehicle owners. Magellan still uses Windows Mobile in many of its navigation devices.

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Smartphone Shipments Grow as China and Emerging Markets Do Well

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Android
Gadgets

Judging from the latest global smartphone sales numbers, players like Mozilla who are focused on markets outside the U.S., including emerging markets, may have the wind at their backs. As just one example of why that's true, Samsung and Apple, dropped to their lowest shares of the worldwide smartphone market in years during the second quarter as Chinese smartphone vendors delivered strong growth, market research firm IDC reported.

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What is Android Wear? Release date, smartwatches & features

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Android
Reviews

Everything there is to know about Android Wear smartwatches including LG G Watch, Motorola Moto 360, Samsung Gear Live, HTC One Wear and Google Gem.

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The great Ars experiment—free and open source software on a smartphone?!

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Android
Google
OSS

Android is a Google product—it's designed and built from the ground up to integrate with Google services and be a cloud-powered OS. A lot of Android is open source, though, and there's nothing that says you have to use it the way that Google would prefer. With some work, it’s possible to turn a modern Android smartphone into a Google-less, completely open device—so we wanted to try just that. After dusting off the Nexus 4 and grabbing a copy of the open source parts of Android, we jumped off the grid and dumped all the proprietary Google and cloud-based services you'd normally use on Android. Instead, this experiment runs entirely on open source alternatives. FOSS or bust!

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CM11S (OnePlus One) port available for the Nexus 5

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Android

Most Android users are by now well aware of Cyanogen and their custom operating system CyanogenMod (CM). Earlier this month CM11 M8 was finally released which brought CM users up to Android 4.4.4. However if you own a Nexus 5 you can now install CM11S.

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Android L update: New developer preview improves user interface

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Android

The new Android L developer preview improved its user interface

According to Android Headlines, the Android team of Google presented its new design language at the company's I/O Developers' Conference last month. The said design language is called Material Design, which boasts a flat interface.

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Samsung indefinitely puts the brakes on Tizen launch

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Android

It's the Android-rival mobile operating system that never was. At least for now, anyway.

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Rumors circulate Motorola is building the next Nexus device

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Android

We now can reveal VERY early reports are suggesting the Nexus line is not dead and in fact Motorola are already working on the new Nexus device. This at the moment is still only at the rumor stage with Android Police this morning reporting they have received unconfirmed reports the device is being manufactured by Motorola and is set for release sometime in the fall. Possibly November. The device at the moment is codenamed Shamu although again this has not been in any way confirmed. In fact at present the only evidence provided to support the rumor is a screenshot taken from Google’s issue tracker referencing ‘Shamu’.

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OSS Leftovers

  • #RecruitmentFocus: Open source skills in high demand
    The unemployment rate in South Africa rose to 27.5% in the third quarter of 2018, while the demand for skills remains high - leaving an industry conundrum that is yet to be solved. According to SUSE, partnerships that focus on upskilling graduates and providing real-work skills, as well as placement opportunities - could be exactly what the industry in looking for.
  • Stable: not moving vs. not breaking
    There are two terms that brings a heavy controversy in the Open Source world: support and stable. Both of them have their roots in the “old days” of Open Source, where its commercial impact was low and very few companies made business with it. You probably have read a lot about maintenance vs support. This controversy is older. I first heard of it in the context of Linux based distributions. Commercial distribution had to put effort in differentiating among the two because in Open SOurce they were used indistictly but not in business. But this post is about the adjectivet stable…
  • Cameron Kaiser: A thank you to Ginn Chen, whom Larry Ellison screwed
    Periodically I refresh my machines by dusting them off and plugging them in and running them for a while to keep the disks spinnin' and the caps chargin'. Today was the day to refurbish my Sun Ultra-3, the only laptop Sun ever "made" (they actually rebadged the SPARCle and later the crotchburner 1.2GHz Tadpole Viper, which is the one I have). Since its last refresh the IDPROM had died, as they do when they run out of battery, resetting the MAC address to zeroes and erasing the license for the 802.11b which I never used anyway. But, after fixing the clock to prevent GNOME from puking on the abnormal date, it booted and I figured I'd update Firefox since it still had 38.4 on it. Ginn Chen, first at Sun and later at Oracle, regularly issued builds of Firefox which ran very nicely on SPARC Solaris 10. Near as I can determine, Oracle has never offered a build of any Firefox post-Rust even to the paying customers they're bleeding dry, but I figured I should be able to find the last ESR of 52 and install that. (Amusingly this relic can run a Firefox in some respects more current than TenFourFox, which is an evolved and patched Firefox 45.)
  • Protecting the world’s oceans with open data science
    For environmental scientists, researching a single ecosystem or organism can be a daunting task. The amount of data and literature to comb through (or create) is often overwhelming. So how, then, can environmental scientists approach studying the health of the world’s oceans? What ocean health means is a big question in itself—oceans span millions of square miles, are home to countless species, and border hundreds of countries and territories, each of which has its own unique marine policies and practices. But no matter how daunting this task may seem, it’s a necessary and vital one. So in 2012, the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) and Conservation International publicly launched the Ocean Health Index (OHI), an ambitious initiative to measure the benefits that oceans provide to people, including clean water, coastal protections, and biodiversity. The idea was to create an annual assessment to document major oceanic changes and trends, and in turn, use those findings to craft better marine policy around the world.

Openwashing Leftovers

The Last Independent Mobile OS

The year was 2010 and the future of mobile computing was looking bright. The iPhone was barely three years old, Google’s Android had yet to swallow the smartphone market whole, and half a dozen alternative mobile operating systems—many of which were devoutly open source—were preparing for launch. Eight years on, you probably haven’t even heard of most of these alternative mobile operating systems, much less use them. Today, Android and iOS dominate the global smartphone market and account for 99.9 percent of mobile operating systems. Even Microsoft and Blackberry, longtime players in the mobile space with massive revenue streams, have all but left the space. Then there’s Jolla, the small Finnish tech company behind Sailfish OS, which it bills as the “last independent alternative mobile operating system.” Jolla has had to walk itself back from the edge of destruction several times over the course of its seven year existence, and each time it has emerged battered, but more determined than ever to carve out a spot in the world for a truly independent, open source mobile operating system. After years of failed product launches, lackluster user growth, and supply chain fiascoes, it’s only been in the last few months that things finally seem to be turning to Jolla’s favor. Over the past two years the company has rode the wave of anti-Google sentiment outside the US and inked deals with large foreign companies that want to turn Sailfish into a household name. Despite the recent success, Jolla is far from being a major player in the mobile market. And yet it also still exists, which is more than can be said of every other would-be alternative mobile OS company. Read more

How I Quit Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Amazon

It was just before closing time at a Verizon store in Bushwick, New York last May when I burst through the door, sweaty and exasperated. I had just sprinted—okay I walked, but briskly—from another Verizon outlet a few blocks away in the hopes I’d make it before they closed shop for the night. I was looking for a SIM card that would fit a refurbished 2012 Samsung Galaxy S3 that I had recently purchased on eBay, but the previous three Verizon stores I visited didn’t have any chips that would fit such an old model. When I explained my predicament to the salesperson, he laughed in my face. “You want to switch from you current phone to an... S3?” he asked incredulously. I explained my situation. I was about to embark on a month without intentionally using any services or products produced by the so-called “Big Five” tech companies: Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft. At that point I had found adequate, open source replacements for most of the services offered by these companies, but ditching the Android OS, which is developed by Google, was proving difficult. Most of the tech I use on a day-to-day basis is pretty utilitarian. At the time I was using a cheap ASUS laptop at work and a homebrew PC at my apartment. My phone was a Verizon-specific version of the Samsung Galaxy J3, a 2016 model that cost a little over $100 new. They weren't fancy, but they’ve reliably met most of my needs for years. For the past week and a half I had spent most of my evenings trying to port an independent mobile OS called Sailfish onto my phone without any luck. As it turned out, Verizon had locked the bootloader on my phone model, which is so obscure that no one in the vibrant Android hacking community had dedicated much time to figuring out a workaround. If I wanted to use Sailfish, I was going to have to get a different phone. Read more