Ice Cream Sandwich Means One Less Android OS Fork

Now that the new android OS, Ice Cream Sandwich, has arrived, many people (especially developers) are breathing a sigh of relief. There are many different devices and carriers out there and each have their own devices. Each hardware company has their own bloatware *ahem* I mean, dynamic interface, laid on top of the OS.

Take all that and the fact that when the tablets were introduced, they all got Honeycomb; a fairly different operating system and interface from Gingerbread on the smart phones and it made transitioning between the two somewhat difficult as the interface paradigms were different enough to baffle some users.

The hope is that with the re-merging of the fork between these OSs where both handsets and tablets are run with the same program, there will be an improved android ecosystem.

It sounds great, but the problem is that there are still too many fragmented projects with android. Open source is great for innovative development and free market ideas, but it is difficult for programmers, let alone us lowly end users, to understand what is happening and which one would really be a better solution for our needs.

Ice Cream Sandwich is a step in the right direction. Now there needs to be additional progress towards a more unified release cycle across all devices, carriers and OS upgrades. While you are at it, lets remove things like blur or other carrier and hardware UI skins. They just get in the way and generally provide very little value to most users. Make them applications that people can download if they choose.

Please leave your thoughts below about android development and what it means for end users.

Touchscreen Competition

Here was the June 2009 Top Ten List of iPhone Competitors

The Samsung F700 was released soon after the iPhone so was obviously compared with it (and did well). The LG Prada KE850 Nokia’s concept phone – Aeon

Obviously, HTC, Samsung and Google have released the Android based phones since then, but I thought it worthwhile to take a look at what has come before. As they say, those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it in the future.

Since the introduction of the Apple iPhone on January the 9th, the world has gone touch pad crazy, touch pad technology is the way of the future and many companies have heard the call and made their own touch pad phones in direct competition with the iPhone. This is a top ten list of iPhone Competitors, some of the phones are the real deal, some are just concepts at the moment, all are cool.

1.

Samsung%20F700-2.jpg Samsung%20F700-3.jpg
Coming in at Number 1 is the recently announced Samsung F700 ultra slim phone, answering the call early Samsung have come up with a splendid touch pad phone. Main features of the phone include a 5 megapixel camera, touch pad technology, impressive downloads speeds of up to 7.2 Mbps and a cool slide out QWERTY Keyboard, which is something the iPhone is lacking. With their first deluge into touch pad phones Samsung seem to have hit a home run straight of the bat. Continue reading

Smartphones: Buy Now or Wait?

It’s great that Verizon and Apple have decided to play nice and provide the iPhone on the Verizon network for those who want it. But it will still be a 3G phone. It will several other limitations as well.

4G is right around the corner, as well as updates to Android OS (Gingerbread, anyone?)

So how does a consumer decide whether to pick up a phone or wait for something that may take another 2 years?

Retrovo created some great charts to help you decide when to buy based on your carrier, hardware, OS and features. (click images to view larger versions) Continue reading