Samsung has kept rolling out umpteen number of devices and is one of the big successes of the Android platform. Samsung has chased Apple's iPhone success with a fierce focus.
They not only dominate the smart-phone niche with their Galaxy S III and Galaxy SIV, they have also created a new niche between a phone and a tabet called "Phablet" and have owned this niche with Galaxy Note devices.
But how much is Samsung's impact on the Android platform. According to OpenSignal, Samsung dominates with a 47.5% share of the Android market.
Each block shows a different device and the size represents how much market share it has on the Android platform. The dominance of Samsung is clearly seen with almost half the Android devices carrying the Samsung name.
Why Samsung's dominance is not the best news for Google
Google might not be comfortable with a single manufacturer being so dominant on its Android platform. It basically means with Samsung ever moves away from Android, it could cause immeasurable harm the the platform.
Also Samsung is not exactly happy with Google buying Motorola which is bound to compete with Samsung's Galaxy S IV with Moto X a new phone it released in a couple of days.
What are your thoughts on Samsung's share of the Android market? Do drop in your comments.
-- This Post Samsung Dominates with 47.5% Share of the Android Market is Published on Devils Workshop .
Tuesday, 30 July 2013
Sunday, 28 July 2013
Over a year ago, there was a survey done that showed that 48 of the top 100 blogs in the world were running on WordPress. That showed how the big blogs preferred WordPress as a platform it did not explain how much of the web used the platform. A couple of days ago, Matt Mullenweg (Founder of Automattic) gave a long speech at WordCamp San Francisco 2013. He shared an interesting bit of statistic, which was that now 18.9% of web was running on WordPress.
Here are some of the interesting stats about the last year.
Future WordPress Updates
There was also an outline of future updates planned for WordPress. This included WordPress 3.7 version that is scheduled for early October. WordPress 3.7 will apparently be a version where major cleanup of the platform will be done. WordPress 3.8 is scheduled to be released in December this year. You can keep a track of WordPress version road-map here.
(via Venture Beat)
Saturday, 27 July 2013
Android 4.3 is something everyone expected to be released at I/O 2013, but didn't. Google instead brought updates to its Android apps including Gmail, Maps, Hangouts and more, though it didn't satisfy many people.
Now, two months after I/O, Google unveils Android 4.3. Here are the first impressions.
To begin with, 4.3 (which is still called Jelly Bean) isn't a huge update. You might as well not recognise any difference between 4.3 and 4.2! Because, the changes are mostly under the hood.
This is probably the only big 'visual' change one can observe. I've always loved the 'radial menu' Camera UI in Android. But it isn't very easy to use, this update fixes it.
When you first tap on the screen, you get an arc of options including brightness, settings and more. As you select an option, it digs into the preferences and allows you to change it.
There's also no jarring animation when you rotate the screen, while in Camera app. Photosphere seem to be improved as well, with better stitching of photos.
Android 4.3 will support the Bluetooth Low Energy specification. What this means for consumers is, Android devices will now be able to communicate with fitness devices like Nike Fuel Band or smart watches like Pebble.
This will also decrease the power consumption of device while Bluetooth is on.
OpenGL ES 3.0
OpenGL is an API for creating 3D objects and modifying visual effects in video games. Jelly Bean 4.3 brings support for OpenGL ES 3.0 which allows for creating complex lens flare effects, shading and more. This indirectly means, better looking games.
Google has showed off a few games like Prince of Persia, Riptide and more, which make use of these OpenGL features. But don't get too excited, not many devices will leverage this capability.
Dialpad Autocomplete and Location tracking
It's kind of silly, but vanilla Android never had autocomplete in the Phone app. The feature is disabled by default, in 4.3. You have to enable it in Phone app's settings.
Another small addition to 4.3 is, location tracking with Wi-Fi on. Previously, you always needed Wi-Fi to be on for apps to use location precisely.
On a whole, this is a small update. There are many other small additions like a new Emoji keyboard. Also, Restricted profiles for tablets, which is basically like parental control.
If you're rocking a Nexus, you must have already got the update via OTA. If you're into rooting, you can always get flash the factory image directly (that's what I did).
As far as performance and battery life is concerned, I guess it's too early to say anything. But I didn't see any drastic improvements, and I've been using 4.3 for the past three days.
Tell us what you think about Android 4.3 in the comments.
-- This Post Android 4.3: Google iterates Jelly Bean once again is Published on Devils Workshop .
Friday, 26 July 2013
Gmail has recently changed the way our Inbox is organized by adding tabbed categories. One of them is "Promotions", where apparently all the advertisement like emails show up. But Gmail is not just eyeing that "Promotions" tab to organize email for us, they want to sell us stuff. This is why you might start seeing sponsored or Gmail ads in the form of emails like seen in the image below.
This is Google's attempt at making their advertising more accurate and contextual on Gmail. I think this is not going to be very popular in the beginning but it might be popular if Google does not spam too much. I honestly think if Google is going to send one advertisement email every day, no one might really bother checking it.
But Google does offer a way for users to tweaking their ad settings and opt-out of ad targetting based on your data.
How to opt-out of interest based ads on Google?
Once you signed-in to Gmail, visit "https://www.google.com/settings/u/0/ads/preferences/" and go right upto the end of the ad preferences page.
There are two options to opt-out of the interest-based ads on Google and also across the web. Note, this does not mean.
Email Ads are here to stay!
Even though Gmail might allow users to opt-out of interest based ads, it will not stop sending ads in our Inbox. It only means it will not use our data to target us specifically. I rather allow targeted ads than random ads.
The fact seems, if we want a free service, ads are something we will have to live with.
Are you seeing ads in your Gmail Inbox? Do drop in your comments what you think of them?
-- This Post Gmail puts Ads in your Email: Here is How to Opt-Out is Published on Devils Workshop .
There are many tools and cloud services that make file sharing really easy over the internet. Droplr is yet another service that makes file sharing easy. Upload the file to Droplr and you'll given an unique link to share. Every uploaded file is called a Drop.
Uploading a file is really simple. You can either click Select a file to share now button or drag and drop the file. The user interface of Droplr is really brilliant. It makes navigation across your files really easy. You can easily check all your Drops, edit the title, and even delete them if you want to.
It has both Free and Paid options. For a Free account you are given 1 GB storage and the limit per file is 25 MB. Also a Free account shows ads all around your content. The Pro account is priced at $3.99 per month and has some nice features like 100 Gb storage capacity, file size limit is 1Gb, private drops with unique URLs.
Using Droplr Apps
Droplr is not just a web service. There are apps available for Mac, Windows, iPhone and iPad. The service is also baked in some other popular services or apps like Twitter cards, Tweetbot for Mac and a lot more! Once you install Windows app, you can use the Win + W key combination to bring the upload section at the bottom right. Just drag and drop files here to upload to Droplr. The same goes to Mac app.
The Windows and Mac apps have various other features. You can move the upload zone, set keyboard shortcuts, add Droplr to Windows' 'Send To' menu and a lot more!
Droplr Referral Program
Droplr also has an interesting referral programme. For each friend you bring to Droplr, you and your friend get 200 MB free storage. You can invite up to 20 friends.
Pipe for Facebook – Another app for quick file sharing
Pipe for Facebook is an app that makes file sharing as easy as Droplr. Pipe doesn't generate unique links. With Pipe you can send files to your Facebook friends through Facebook.
Link: Droplr website
Thursday, 25 July 2013
Google's "Chrome + Android" event that saw the announcements of Nexus 7, Chromecast and Android 4.3. The Nexus 7 tablet is manufactured by Asus, just like last year. The Nexus 7 priced at US $229, will be available from 30th of July and is the first device to ship with Android 4.3 pre-installed.
The Nexus 7 has some good power packed inside it with CPU specs being Snapdragon S4 Pro, 1.5 GHz. It has a faster GPU and 2 GB RAM. This added with being one of the first tablets to support OpenGL ES 3.0 standards.
The tablet packs a 5 MP rear camera and 1.2MP front facing camera. The big difference for Nexus 7 is display. It now sports a 7.02 inch screen, 1920 X 1200 HD display (323 ppi). This means the tablet should have the best screen display for a 7 inch tablet variant, unless Apple ships an iPad Mini with retina display (which is unlikely to happen anytime soon). Nexus 7 supports WIFI, NFC and Bluetooth. It will be selling a optional 4G LTE version in the US.
Google is focusing on "games" and "video" consumption
As a iPad Mini user, I can attest that anyone who I see using the tablet for the first time, in a few minutes ends up trying out a game. This is why the iPad is not just a tablet for one person (unlike a phone) but also is used by kids especially in a family environment. Google understands that and hence has focused on making Nexus 7 more interesting to gamers.
The tablet's big focus on better processor hardware was a given but its focus on better display shows it is getting serious about gaming. It has also introduced "Restricted Profiles" with Android 4.3 for allowing parental control. It also stream hi-def video from Netflix which will drive video consumption.
In other words, what Android ecosystem might lack in exclusive tablet apps it is trying to catch up with better display and performance for gaming and video consumption. It is not entirely a misplaced idea as most people do consume a great deal of video and gaming content on tablet than say a phone where a dynamic app ecosystem really kicks in.
Google might also be trying to help matters with helpful new tools in the Android Studio new version announced at Google IO 2013, but it is still a long way from match the quality of apps available on iPad.
It will be interesting to see what Apple comes out with later in the year and early next year in response to this Nexus 7 tablet. Do drop in your comments.
Link: Nexus 7
-- This Post Google targets gaming and video consumption with Nexus 7 is Published on Devils Workshop .
There are times when we happen to lose our most mobile phones. After a moment of shock, frantic searching follows. But for those with Androids, SMSAlarm is here to help.
SMSAlarm is a simple app that alerts you with a sound when your Android is lost. The app requires you to send a custom SMS from any other mobile phone, and your mobile phone will start shrilling with an alarm noise. You can set the alarm duration too. The maximum duration is 2 minutes.
Once installed, you can set the custom SMS by choosing the Activation SMS option in the app. You can also choose to set your device to Vibrate when that custom SMS is received. You can alarm test the alarm sound with the Test option in that app.
The best thing about this app is set, the app works even if your phone is in the Silent mode. The app is of no use if your phone's battery is dead.
Link: SMSAlarm on Google Play
Wednesday, 24 July 2013
uTorrent Remote is a feature in uTorrent that lets you to easily control your uTorrent downloads from anywhere. It is available as a web browser tool and also as an app for Android. It is an exclusive feature of uTorrent 3 and above.
uTorrent Remote needs you to sign up. Signing up is really simple. It should be done right inside the uTorrent client that you use on you desktop computer.
Once you have a username and password, you can start controlling your uTorrent downloads remotely.
Two Ways to Use uTorrent Remote
#Method 1 – Web Browser Based Remote Control
#Method 2 – Using Android uTorrent Remote App
Note : Anyone can change your uTorrent Remote password any time by visiting the uTorrent Remote section in your uTorrent client.
Try out the app and do drop in your comments.
Link: uTorrent Remote App
-- This Post uTorrent Remote Helps you Access your uTorrent Downloads Remotely is Published on Devils Workshop .
Tuesday, 23 July 2013
In March this year, Flipboard introduced Magazines which allowed users to curate content and share them with others. These digital magazines can be curated by one person who can even invite other curators on Flipboard. Flipboard took a very unique look at growth and decided to work solely on mobile platforms as an app and was not available on the web browser. Today it has announced the web browser version for sharing magazines.
The Flipboard magazines on the browser keep the same layout it would show on a tablet. This basically means if you share a magazine you curate on Flipboard on social media, it can be viewed by everyone and not just the people who have the app.
Flipboard's new focus is 'content sharing'
Flipboard was focused on how users consume their RSS feeds or even feeds from their social media account. With Flipboard Magazines, they basically have manually curated magazines. That was the first indication that the focus was shifting from just consuming content to actually 'sharing content'.
So it was only logical that not everyone is expected to download an app just to follow a curated magazines and hence Flipboard new web friendly avatar. Personally I do think it is a good idea because if Google Reader had focused on getting people to share the content they consume, it might have had a very different story.
You can try out our Devils' Workshop Magazine on Flipboard. Do subscribe to it to get the latest news and updates from this blog.
Monday, 22 July 2013
I am sure most users think of Google AdSense when they think of monetizing their blog. But many new bloggers might not be lucky enough to get AdSense approval but they might like trying out Diqus Discovery. Disqus discovery shows links from your blog and from other sites as related underneath your post and before the comments section. It also has a useful WordPress plugin that can be used.
Ad blocking on browsers has reduced many monetizing methods for the bloggers these days. Disqus discovery being less spammy has yet to be filtered by the adblockers. You can use this opportunity to monetize your blog with Disqus promoted discovery.
It seems that Disqus is using the related content feed as a way to show sponsored CPC ads. It also includes e-commerce affiliate linking in feeds, which also helps boost the revenue.
How Disqus Discovery work?
Sunday, 21 July 2013
There is no denying that Apple makes gorgeous, best in functionality keyboards. Both the wired and wireless Apple keyboards are amazing when it comes to working with the Macs and iOS devices.
Bootcamp drivers do a great job in making Apple keyboards work well in Windows, but there are a few glitches in key mapping. What can one do to solve this?
Apple Wireless Keyboard Helper is here to the rescue. It is a simple app available for Windows. Once the app is run, all the missing Windows functionality in the Apple keyboards will be available. You can now take screenshots, control your volume, iTunes, eject CD/DVD drive and even go to the task manager. The entire key combinations is shown below :
Right clicking the icon in the system tray will show you options to Restart, Refresh connection and Exit. You can enable/disable these key controls by navigating to the Configuration section.
There is also one amazing feature. Whenever you take a screenshot, adjust your system volume, play/pause songs or access the task manager, there is a good animation shown like in the Mac OS/iOS devices.
There is something that you should note. Apple Wireless Keyboard Helper needs .NET 4 and above installed on your computer.
-- This Post How to make Apple keyboards work with full functionality in Windows is Published on Devils Workshop .
Saturday, 20 July 2013
Google owned Motorola has finally announced an event where the new phone "Moto X" is expected to be announced. Motorola has been struggling to become profitable over the past few years when Google acquired it. It was expected that someday Motorola will churn out a Google phone now that it is part of Google. The event will be held in New York.
Google does announce Nexus phones which gives the pure Android experience every year but with Nexus phones they are basically working with a company with their own limitations and agendas. With Motorola, Google has complete control of the device so expectations from this phone will be high.
What to expect from "Moto X"?
Just about everything related to Moto X has been secret. Google has done a very good job on keeping things secret (which makes me wonder if phone leaks are done on purpose).
The phone is expected to have some features like listening to voice command at all times even when the phone is idle or showing icon based notifications when the phone is idle. These features were leaked by Canada based mobile operator Roger Wireless (Check out the leaked video).
Sundar Pichai the man who heads Android and Chrome at Google, is also hosting an event on the 24th July. So we should be expecting a new version of Android very soon. This new version of Android will most probably be shipped with "Moto X".
Motorola's success is important to Google
Google recently has been investing a lot of money into Motorola and also writing off losses. That is sustainable in the short run but for an increasing mobile and tablet world, advertising revenues might soon stagnate for Google. Google needs Motorola to basically pay for itself if not earn it handsome profits. Will it work out? Only time will tell.
Thursday, 18 July 2013
The right click context menu on Windows 7 and 8 serves as a nifty tool that helps to quickly organize yours file(s), group them, rename, delete, share or even view the properties. The sub menu named 'Send To' helps you to quickly send copies of the file(s) to their external storage devices, to other folders, say your cloud storage folders.
Did you know that we can manage the list of places we can send files using this option? Yes, it is possible to assign your own folders to this 'Send To' sub menu. Just follow the instructions below :
Thanks to Ganesh for the tip.
Do drop in your comments.
-- This Post Configure 'Send To' Right Click Context Menu in Windows is Published on Devils Workshop .
Wednesday, 17 July 2013
Google Maps had last year, much to the delight of iPhone users, released an official app for the phone. Apple had chucked Google Maps for their own Maps service which was less than satisfactory and ended up getting criticized. The criticism even had Apple's CEO Tim Cook apologize for it. That is old news. Google has moved ahead with a new user-interface for its Maps on Android and has now rolled out the same of iOS users. The big news here is finally it has also released an official iPad version.
I checked out the app on my iPad and came away impressed. The android version on my phone is great for navigation and reviewing places but the iPad version pretty much matches feature to feature. The bigger screen also is much better for navigation purposes.
Features of Google Maps app on iPad
The search option to find locations and routes displayed are clean and without any information overload. While on the phone version it requires moving down to check alternate routes, because of the bigger screen on iPad, the several options can be viewed at the same time.
The turn-by turn navigation UI is also a lot better with options to view toggle to satellite view. About a year ago, I was not very happy with the navigation mode for Google Maps and found it was not as accurate in India. But it has become extremely accurate over the past few months, especially in cities.
Finally one of my favorite features on Google Maps in the new UI, is the ease with which users can review places they visit. Simply click on any of the places you find on Google Maps and it allows users to review the place. I think this is Google's way of leveraging its Google+ layer on Google Maps.
I think it was about time for Google to release its Maps app officially for iPad. The browser version would work fine but it was tedious. Overall, I think in the maps business, with the acquisition of Waze, Google has more or less taken a unbeatable lead atleast for the foreseeable future.
Try out the new Google Maps app for iPad and drop in your comments.
Link: Google Maps for iPad