Categories
Mobile Technology

Amazon Android App Store.. Ummh, Loving It!

Amazon Android App Store is an alternative app store to the ever popular Google app store. Perhaps lacking in as many apps as the Google app store, it however boasts of over 240,000 apps and still counting.

Since its launch in 2011, the Amazon Appstore has included a “free app a day” feature. Every day, an application, frequently a game, is offered for free.

Aside from the daily free apps that Amazon has been dishing out to patrons of its app store, effective Thursday 31st July and August 1st 2014, Amazon is giving out about 30 apps valued at over $100 – for free.

Notable among these apps are Instapaper, Calendar, and Essential Anatomy 3. See the full list after the cut.

Had a field day downloading even apps I know I will never use. Typical Nigerian!

Note that you will need a debit / credit card issued in the US to access the Amazon app store.

Health & Fitness, Games and Photography apps

  • Carcassonne ($4.99)
  • Sonic & SEGA All Star Racing ($1.99)
  • Daily Workouts ($3.99)
  • White Noise ($1.99)
  • Essential Anatomy 3 ($24.99)
  • Photo Editor+ ($0.99)
  • Food Diary and Calorie Tracker PRO ($3.99)

Utility Apps

  • Convertor Pro ($0.99)
  • My Alarm clock ($1.99)
  • Instapaper ($2.99)
  • WiFi File Explorer PRO ($0.99)
  • MathsApp Graphing Calculator ($4.99)
  • Fraction Calculator Plus ($0.99)

Finance, Music, Productivity, Entertainment and Travel apps

  • Bills Reminder ($3.99)
  • CalenGoo ($5.99)
  • Weather Live ($2.99)
  • Ultimate Guitar Tabs and Tools ($7.99)
  • Docs to go premium ($9.99)
  • Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary,8th edition($29.99)
  • Flightradar24 Pro ($2.99)
  • List Master Pro ($1.99)
  • PDF Max – The PDF Expert for Android ($7.99)
  • All recipes Dinner Spinner Pro ($2,99)
  • Home Budget Manager ($2.99)
  • Keep Track Pro ($1.99)
  • Drawing Pad ($1.99)
  • Little Piano Pro ($5.99)
  • KAYAK Pro ($0.99)
  • Language Coach ($9.99)

Amazon-free-apps

Categories
Mobile Technology

“Like The Prodigal Son, I’ve Returned …”

HoPI borrowed the title of this post from the song “Jump Around”, a 1992 smash hit from the musical group – House of Pain. The phrase aptly describes my porting sojourn from Glo to MTN and back to Glo.

You may read up my post on my initial experience porting from Glo to MTN here. It is a must read.

My experiences has taught me one important fact, that the grass is definitely not greener on the other side. For sure, no single Nigerian mobile network can be said to be overwhelmingly better than the other. It is probably no secret that the services rendered by all these companies can be described as subpar at best and largely inconsistent. Quality of service vary widely across geographic locations.

Really no point jumping around these networks. What works for your friend in Gbagada may be a terrible experience for you in Ajah. Fact.

Perhaps, your choice of a service provider should be dependent only on the Service quality in your neighbourhood. No point having tons of free data for a network that you can only browse on 2G speeds or free voice bonus from a network that you struggle to get a bar of signal.

For now, i am back to Glo, only because it has the best service quality in my neighbourhood and, well, provide cheaper data service than the competition.

Categories
Advertorial Mobile

The Long Trek

Taking my car to work the last few days have been kind of hectic. While the roads have become freer, getting a good parking space have been a bit of a problem.

My office is located within the grounds of a very expansive and very high traffic shopping complex. If you are early to work – which you should be – you have the privilege of parking in the company reserved spots.

The trouble, however, starts at the end of the day’s business. You are tired and hungry, in a hurry to go home, only to find your car blocked off by some late Christmas shopper who is no where in sight.

This week i decided to commute to work. The stress involved in going by public transportation is nothing compared to the pent up fury I work myself into every night. Looking at the brighter side, the stress might even be a good opportunity to part with some of the pounds of weight i have acquired over the years which i would not mind letting go of.

It was also an opportunity to try out the new android workout app that i just discovered in the Google Play store, Noom Walk. Called a “Pedometer“, the app counts the number of steps you make on a daily basis and tries to rank you with your friends on Facebook and Google+ that uses the same app.

By the time i got home yesterday, i had taken well over 5000+ steps, though most of it was within CMS – Marina axis (Lagos Island) where i got lost while trying to locate a branch office.

What the app does and does well is to encourage you to outdo your previous records, with you keeping fit in the process. It also throws you into competition with your online friends.

What it does not do well is that the app tends to go to sleep when your phone goes to sleep, with you losing valuable step counts in the process. Also, the counts does not seem very accurate, with the inefficiencies never in favour of the user.

image

Categories
Gadgets Mobile Technology

Tecno Phantom A+ : A “Real Life Use” Review

A QUICK BACKGROUND ON THE TECNO PHANTOM A+

Contrary to popular belief, Tecno Phantom A+ was designed by the Hong Kong based Japanese company, Alps Electric Company Limited, in collaboration with Tecno. Some key components of the Phantom A+ were manufactured by Alps.

Tecno Phantom A+ is not your regular Chinese Phone.

INTRODUCTION

This review is not going to be anywhere near an academic one, my aim is basically to assess the suitability of the Tecno Phantom A+ as a possible replacement for my old Samsung S3.

I will not bore you with any specs comparison, i guess we all know the better featured phone here. However, with all the features stuffed into the S3, what fraction of its “super powers” do we ever put to regular real life use? Well, let us find out if the features of the S3 is an overkill for the regular Joe out there.

ACCESSORIES

Okay, right out of the box, the first thing that struck me was the extreme similarity between the packaging containing the Tecno phone and that of the S3, same design down to the last detail.

The content of the Phantom A+ box were an earpiece, 8GB Memory card, a charger & PC cable combo, a Power Bank and a Flip pouch for the phone. The earpiece is of average quality, definitely the listening experience does not compare favourably with the common white Samsung earpiece but it is bearable, with fairly respectable bass output. Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of the earpiece and by extension, the 3.5mm earphone socket on the Phantom A+ is that they were made for each other – and no one else. The Phantom earpiece will not work (well) on any other device, and your regular earpiece will not work well on the Phantom.

The Power bank is not a substitute to mains charging. In fact, the Power Bank will not charge your phone to full charge but to about 70% capacity. My investigations revealed that to attain full charge for your phone, you will need a power bank with a higher capacity than the 2200mAh one that was shipped with this phone.

The PC cable is a bit flimsy, and i guess it may be the reason why it always take a while for my PC to access the drives on the Phone when connected. I replaced the cable with an old Blackberry cable and the response was faster.

The pouch does not strike me as one that would last a long time. Plastic with suede-like internals, the metallic colour of the front cover was a colour selection well thought out. I love it, feels Apple Mac-ish.

The Samsung S3 also came with a complimentary earpiece, MicroSD card and a Charger – PC cable connector.

Tecno

BATTERY LIFE

I consider myself a power user and this phone sees me through a day – conveniently – even with a bit of juice to spare at the end of the day. My daily routine consists mainly of frequent making and receiving calls, playing music and with 3G and WIFI on all day to power the myriad of internet based apps on the phone. For my wife, a full charge takes her through 2 days.

Additionally, the Power Bank and the miniature cable connector will conveniently fit into your shirt pocket. With this can give your phone a quick charge when you need it. The Power Bank also doubles as a flash light.

The S3, or any Samsung device at that, are not known for their long battery life. It is an exception if your Samsung S3 phone lasts a day, taking it through the motions that i take the Tecno. Infact, i had a charger stationed permanently in the office with another charger installed in my car. Battery life improved a bit when i purged the phone of Samsung’s bloated ROM and installed Custom Roms. Carbon ROM was my preferred choice.

TecnoAESTHETICS

Honestly, it is hard to decide which of the 2 phones looks finer. I am swayed to the Tecno Phantom A+ for total build quality. It definitely looks (emphasis on LOOK) like it has a more matured looking build, looks less plasticky than the all too obvious plastic materials used for the S3.

For the internals, i tend to pimp up my phone’s desktop with widgets. No performance lag of any sort on the Tecno, its 1GB RAM seems up to the task. To get the look in the image shown to the right, i always install the following apps on my android devices; Nova Launcher, Agenda, HD Widget

PICTURE QUALITY

Let us tip our hats to the S3 on this. Picture quality of the Phantom is quite ok but not comparable. It is not all about the “MPs”, higher Mega Pixels do not translate to better picture quality.

DUAL SIM

What can i say? No show for the S3.

INTERNAL MEMORY

You think the manufacturers of Tecno were generous with the 8GB memory card included in the package? You though wrong. This was meant to compensate for the low internal memory, 4GB.

The default installation drive for your apps is the memory card, with only the system files installed to the internal memory. This option is configurable.

Okay, call me an App junkie, i care less. At anytime, you will find more than 50 user installed apps on my phone. The phone has conveniently accomodated my excesses so far, even with enough space to spare.

GAMING

Out of the box, the Phantom A+ has 3 games pre-installed. Perhaps the most prominent and graphics intensive of the lot is Gameloft’s Asphalt Adrenaline 6, which plays flawlessly on the phone.

BBM CHAT

BBM for Android works flawlessly on this device as any other.

GSM RECEPTION

Highly subjective. Glo reception on the Samsung S3 was mostly unreliable. A little surprising that places that i had hitherto received shaky network reception fare better on the Phantom A+

SCREEN QUALITY

Unbelievable screen quality. The first thing that will strike you about the phone is how vividly the large 5.0 inch HD screen renders images. Not exceptional, especially coming from a S3 but definitely not a walk over either.

ROOTING & CUSTOM ROMS

I rooted the Phantom A+ the same night i unboxed it. A lot of resources are available online for this product, especially on nairaland.com. Custom ROMS are also available though i am not swayed to try them out yet as they do not offer convincing competitive advantage over the stock Rom. Also, the Roms are all Android OS 4.2.2 and not OS 4.3.1 or better still, Android OS 4.4 (KitKat)

PRODUCTIVITY

Document scanning using Camscanner is not as good as that of the S3, a throwback to camera quality perhaps. Scanned documents are however very passable.

CONCLUSION

Yes, i will not mind having a flagship phone from Samsung, perhaps the Samsung Galaxy S5 (Rumoured to be announced/released by February 2014) or the Samsung Note 4. However, ownership of any of these phones is strictly to satisfy my insatiable lust for gadgets and probably for bragging rights.

Obviously, the Phantom A+ is not the best featured phone out there but as far as functional phones go, the Phantom A+ definitely meets all my daily productive needs.

The problem with Tecno phones adoption in Nigeria is no longer about its durability but its affordability. Nigerians do not want to be viewed as being cheap, even when they can ill-afford the cost of a high end device. An average Nigerian would rather starve to put up a facade of affluence.

Categories
Advertorial Mobile Technology

Anybody Need An Aviate Launcher Invite? [Android]

Aviate LauncherFor those who have not heard about Aviate Launcher, it is a new home screen replacement for Android devices that looks to offer you information right when you need it.

The app is an intelligent home screen replacement that is designed to show you relevant information depending on where you are or the time of day. It categorizes your apps so that they are organized, proactively shows you relevant information so you do not have to look for it, and it looks great in the process. This is unlike most of the home screen and launcher replacements we have around that focus primarily on giving you a way to personalize and customize your home screen without focusing too much on utility.

Aviate’s main home screen is a simple grid of cards. You can add and remove cards (widgets) depending on your preference.

Presently in private beta phase of development, you will need to have an invite before you can try out this beautiful app. The cool thing is anyone that has this invite can extend this priviledge to additional 5 people. The chain goes on an on.

Leave your email address in the comment box if you are interested in having an invite.

Cool, ain’t it?

Categories
Controversies Gadgets Mobile Technology

Apple iOS – The Beginning Of The End?

That Apple copied, shamelessly, Android and about every other major mobile OSes in its iOS 7 is no longer news. But what beats me is why most online reviews fail to mention this shameful act but instead hail this “next-to-die-after-Blackberry” as the best thing to have happened to mankind.

Undoubtedly, iOS 7 is the biggest step this mobile OS has taken in years but in truth, it is only just about catching up with what Google’s Android has got going on for a couple of years.

appleNaturally, we would expect Google to respond – decisively – to the leverage Apple is having with its copycat innovation. One should not also forget that the so-called fingerprint technology that Apple has in its latest iPhone iteration, the iPhone 5s, is also a high tech photocopy of now Google’s Motorola Atrix phone innovation from back in 2011.

Ummh, these are indeed desperate times for Apple. Who would ever have thought that this once innovative company will stoop this low? All indicators seem to agree with what some analysts have predicted, the very steep decline of Apple’s fortunes by 2015.

Just my 2 cents here Apple, it may not be worth much. I believe the only lifeline left for you to remain relevant is to adopt Google’s Android business model – Open Source.

Any Geek worth his salt – that has seen the other greener side that is Android – would appreciate the very limiting ecosystem that iOS plays in. Obviously, the mobile OS is meant for those that love to be spoon-fed. Even my 3-year old hates to be spoon-fed! It beats me why “grown-ups” will allow Apple to do that?!!!

Those that hail the iOS 7 obviously have never experienced Android Custom ROMs. Custom ROMs are modified, usually enhanced mobile operating systems. I wholely recommended PAC-MAN , it is an android ROM on steriods. Trust me, try it and you will be hooked!

Well, like we say in Nigerian Pidgin English, let us continue to “siddon look” (Sit Down and Look) and see how it all plays out, eventually.

apple android

Categories
Gadgets Mobile Technology

The Long Wait

Weaning my wife off her Blackberry addiction has been a very impossible task. Apparently, all my rants have come to nothing. Read my rants here.

Here in Africa, particularly in Nigeria, Blackberry addiction is still quite rife. Most go to extreme lengths to get one of these devices, preferrably the flagship models.

Personally, i have very little love for that brand and all it stands for. My reasons are summarized below;

– OVER PRICED PHONES!!! Yes, the caps was intentional. Would gladly choose the N35,000 Tecno Phantom A+ Android phone over the now N70,000 Blackberry Z10
– Mostly boring designs and limited screen estate. Okay, the Z10 is an exception.
– Limited apps. Like they say, the app makes the phone. Right? Unfortunately, even the Z10 and other new offerings can not compensate for this.
– Very limited free apps. Yeah, for cheap skates like me!
– Perhaps most importantly, its addictiveness

long waitUnfortunately, my “educated” analysis usually fall on deaf ears. Most did not care, so long as they have their chat services. In Nigeria, Blackberry is synonymous with its chat services, the BBM. Remove the BBM from Blackberry and what do you have?

Well, it was very good music to my ears when i heard that BBM was going to be made cross platform, meaning that the BBM would now be available on Android and Apple Phones. Definitely a welcome development for we consumers, though not sure how it would impact on Blackberry. I can however hazard a guess, I foresee them being transformed from a mobile phone manufacturer to a messaging company, in the ranks of Whatsapp and the likes.

Armed with this information, i approached my wife again in a bid to woo her over. On one knee, i proposed to her … “Darling, please come over to android”. Guess what? She said yes! yes!! yes!!!

Finally! Got her off the sinking Blackberry ship.

Blackberry said soon, the app would be available on Android. Beta tests was even conducted with a select few last week. But how soon, nobody knows. Before end of summer, is always the vague response.

Guess we are in for a long wait. I pray she does not change her mind before then.

Categories
Gadgets Mobile

iOS 7 vs Android Jelly Bean 4.2

How does Apple’s iOS 7 compare to Google’s Android 4.2 Jelly Bean? We take a look at both to check the lay of the land.

Interface

Android’s interface has utilised a similar look and feel since version 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (and to an extent 3.0 Honeycomb) which was introduced by Mathias Duarte. This comprises a black notifications bar and black or grey menu backgrounds, but the rest of the interface elements are largely either translucent, white or cyan throughout and use Google’s unique Roboto font. Google’s app icons use a very simplified art style, similar to vector art with bold, flat colours and some selective highlights and shading in some places.

Overall it’s very clean, cohesive and minimalist, which I rather like.

I wouldn’t be the first to suggest that with iOS 7, Apple has taken some ‘inspiration’ from Android for the new look. Admittedly though, in some ways it has gone one better. The top bar is no longer black and is now transparent, rather like Google’s persistent search bar widget. It actually looks nicer than Google’s black bar in my view.

The app bar at the bottom is no longer a reflective ‘pane’ for the apps to sit on and is instead another translucent section and this is distinctly different from Android – which doesn’t have a bar and simply features a grey dividing line.

Apple has revamped folders in iOS 7 which can now be packed full of app shortcuts and scrolled through. However, I don’t find the implementation as compelling as Android’s system. In iOS 7, tapping on a folder zooms you in on it and takes you, effectively, to a whole new homescreen. For me, this isn’t what folders are about and I think Android’s system where the folder expands over part of the screen as a temporary overlay is much better.

Apple’s app icons have been tweaked in a similar fashion to Google’s with that ‘flatter’ aesthetic which was rumoured. They still have gradient colours but there’s less shadowing, less gloss and everything is generally much more simplified. Text is also flatter with no shadowing underneath.

While it’s fair to say that Android has its share of bright and clashing colours I think Apple has taken it to a whole new level and there’s something very retina-searing about iOS 7’s colour scheme which, to me, sits at odds with that theme of soft white text and translucent menu elements. This was calling out for a more nuanced palette, in my opinion.

Multitasking

Multitasking has been completely overhauled on iOS 7 but to say it takes a leaf out of Android’s book is an understatement. It’s pretty much a wholesale copycat affair, complete with a scrollable carousel of active app preview panels of the kind we’ve seen since Honeycomb 3.0 and, importantly, the same ‘swipe-to-close’ gesture Android has been using since version 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

It scrolls side-to-side in ‘portrait’ orientation (similar to Windows Phone 8, in fact) and the swipe to close is upwards, as opposed to Android’s up-and-down carousel and swipe to the side to close, but for all intents and purposes it’s the same setup with a slightly different skin (ie: Apple’s new ‘everything is translucent’ approach).

I really love Android’s multitasking so I have mixed feelings on the subject. On the one hand, it’s great to see that I can get that same interaction style elsewhere, but on the other: this isn’t the only way multitasking could’ve been implemented, as BlackBerry 10 proved. In fact, BlackBerry 10 has largely convinced me there are better approaches than Android. There is more than one way to multitask well.

As a result, Apple’s straight-up burglary is pretty shameful on all fronts –it’s blatant copying and is both unimaginative and unoriginal where the firm had a chance to show its creativity.

Notifications

Both iOS 7’s and Android’s notifications centres drop down from the top bar with a swipe gesture.

With Android you have a black background which you can just about see app icons behind. The clock appears bigger than in the closed bar and shifts to the left-hand side while a toggle on the right corner lets you switch back and forth Quick Settings menu. Individual notifications appear in little boxes and can be swiped away to dismiss.

On iOS 7 you have a translucent background, the top bar remains as it is on the homescreen and there are three categories at the top for ‘Today’, ‘All’ and ‘Missed’. Notifications appear as a continuous stream only separated by a small icon and text showing what app they’re relevant to, such as ‘Calendar’, for example.

Quick Settings

Quick Settings on Android can be opened by swiping down from the notifications bar with a two-fingered gesture and presents you with a grid of square button toggles for things like brightness, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth – there’s also a shortcut to the full-fat Settings menu.

Google’s take on the Quick Settings menu, something pioneered by third-party manufacturer UIs and launcher apps on its platform, was a long time coming from when the concept first emerged and still hasn’t quite lived up to what the ‘Android community’ came up with first, in my view. It’s not so instantly accessible.

Conversely, Apple appears to have actually done a really good job here. The ‘Control Centre’, as it’s called, swipes up from the bottom and continues the translucent theme.

You’ve got a standard set of toggle shortcuts for Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and the like, but more importantly an actual brightness slider, which is annoying absent from stock Android even now. There’s also a handy music player widget, er, thing, for any current track you’re listening to, a button for AirPlay and AirDrop and a set of shortcuts for calculator, flashlight and camera functions.

Core apps and services

iTunes Radio vs Google Play Music: All Access

One of Apple’s big announcements for WWDC was iTunes Radio, the much-rumoured music streaming service which expands on Apple’s existing iTunes setup to allow ‘featured stations’ of streamed content.

Google Play Music: All Access is pretty much exactly the same setup, as we wrote during Google’s announcement:

‘All Access has a wide-ranging catalogue of music using Google Play’s existing setup, but you can stream tracks instantly. It also features ‘expert curated’ genre lists showing iconic genre tracks and allowing you to discover new music.’

If you tap on a track to play it you can turn it into a radio station – All Access will pull in a ‘never-ending’ playlist of related tracks and stream them to your device. You can swipe to peek at what track is coming next or access the playlist completely – if there’s anything on there you don’t like you can swipe it away or you can re-oder the playlist as you like.’

iTunes Radio does include a few extra perks, such as Siri integration, as Apple’s Eddie Cue outlined at the launch:

‘Let Siri make your listening experience even more fun. Ask Siri ‘Who plays that song?’ or ‘Play more like this’ and Siri will make it happen. Say something like ‘Play Jazz Radio’ or ask for any of your existing favourite stations and genres. Shape your stations by telling Siri what you like and don’t like, or tell Siri to pause, stop or skip. You can also have Siri add songs to your Wish List to download later.’

Both services are coming in later then entrenched competitors such as Spotify and both have massive collections of licensed music to offer.

As usual, it’s simply a case of selecting one ecosystem or another to become entrenched in, and such a decision should probably centre around other software and hardware considerations more than anything else.

Like the iPhone’s design? Go with iTunes Radio. Prefer the Android interface? Pick Google Play Music: All Access. It really makes little difference.

Each is also initially only available in the US, however, and we’ll have to wait a little while before either makes its way across the pond.

Apple Maps vs Google Maps

In terms of updates for Apple Maps we were once again shown all the ‘amazing’ 3D stuff again. As far as more useful stuff is concerned Apple demonstrated how you can now select a location, find points of interest, see reviews for said POIs and share the location via social networking, messaging or to your phone from a computer. So far, so playing catch-up to Google Maps.

Apple didn’t really demonstrate much in the way of improved location data and accuracy though. Sure, there weren’t any gaping voids in the big-screen demonstration, but then, there wouldn’t be. For now, we know from experience that Google Maps is excellent, the standard by which others are measured, because the company has invested a lot of time, money and effort over the years to literally re-map a massive chunk of the planet, on the ground and in the air. Until more extensive use tells us that Apple Maps has caught up in this regard, I’ll continue to trust Google Maps first.

On a related note, Apple did explain how it was working with car manufacturers to integrate both Apple Maps and Siri voice commands into in-car systems. Quite how far-reaching this will be in terms of participating manufacturers and supported car models isn’t clear.

At first I’d guess this will have a US focus, but in any case given Apple Maps’ recent history I’m not exactly champing at the bit to have it guiding me while driving and I’m sure plenty of Australians can say the same.

Lock screen

As this side-by-side screenshot shows, the two lock-screen interfaces are alarmingly similar, right down to the stock wallpaper. Android got here first, of course.

In terms of functionality both offer the same deal. Notifications appear on the screen, you can access the camera from the lockscreen and both feature swiping gestures to unlock (although of course you can replace these with passcodes and the like.) Both also allow you to access their respective quick settings and notifications screens from the lockscreens with the same gestures you’d use on the normal homescreen.

Conclusion

As I’ve hinted at earlier in the comparison, it’s difficult in many ways to see iOS 7 as anything other than Apple playing catch-up to Android, while snagging a few choice morsels from Windows Phone and BlackBerry 10 along the way.

In many respects that’s fair enough, but these things are not revolutionary in the broader sense – massive bonuses for people already entrenched in iOS, of course, but Apple and its followers are in no position to be crowing about revolutionising the smartphone space. Though that won’t stop them from doing so anyway.

But this is all politics, what about if you’re sat there wondering which platform to invest in? And to be clear, when I say invest, I really do mean invest – if you’re going to be buying films, music, games and apps on either of these platforms then making a switch later with your collection intact is going to be difficult at best and in some cases impossible at worst.

Such profound wisdom on which is the better long-term bet would require some kind of crystal ball and the clairvoyance to see where both companies and their ecosystems are headed, so I’m afraid I can’t help you there. I left mine at home.

What I can say is that I prefer most of Android’s overall aesthetic, mainly as the colours are less offensive to my delicate eyeballs, however I do also prefer iOS 7’s translucent menu elements and in particular the Control Centre has utterly schooled Google on how it should be done. I’d also reiterate that I don’t trust Apple Maps any further than I can throw it, and I’m rubbish at throwing stuff.

Both platforms have massive, thriving ecosystems packed with app and multimedia content, both also now have streaming services built-in and both have slick, multitasking-friendly interfaces.

You could argue you get more choice in terms of hardware on Android, that’s very true and in many ways is a good thing, but on the flip-side Apple doesn’t get treated to lots of annoying UI overlays sullying the experience and there’s one clear choice of the ‘best’ handset when it comes to the platform.

In short: ‘you pays your money, you takes your choice,’ as they say.

 

This article was first published on knowyourmobile.com by Paul Briden on 11 June, 2013

Categories
Gadgets Mobile

Between BBM, Whatsapp and Privacy Concerns

Lets face it, in Nigeria only two messaging platforms are worth considering – Blackberry’s BBM and Whatsapp. And of these two, Whatsapp is probably more widespread though not necessarily more actively used.

The reason for this is very simple.

whatsapp-blackberry-diaryofageekApart from the fact that Whatsapp is cross platform, subscribing to this messaging service and acquiring a bunch of chat buddies is usually a breeze and very much less restrictive. Once a user subscribes to Whatsapp, the platform automatically grants the subscriber unrestrictive access to other Whatsapp users in his mobile phone contact. On this platform, your mobile phone number is your unique identifier.

On the other hand, Blackberry’s BBM requires the exchange of alphanumeric PINs for two subscribers to open an unrestricted communication channel between themselves. Your BBM contacts are very separate from your mobile phone contacts.

Whether Blackberry would continue with the BBM PIN model in its cross platform implementation (Android & iOS) come summer 2013 is yet to be confirmed. However, for those that are very conscious of releasing their personal details online, it is very obvious that Whatsapp is a more intrusive messaging system and throws up a lot of privacy concerns because of the need for you to release your mobile number, sometimes to strangers. BBM might just be the best messaging platform to adopt.

Nigeria has a notorious Blackberry cult followership and even those not using Blackberry phones still have a soft spot for this messaging platform. While BBM usage in Nigeria may not necessarily be a reflection of global usage rate, it is expected that millions would jump on board. And for a country with over 170 million residents, coupled with other new users from developing countries in the Asia where Blackberry has its strength, it is only a matter of time for the present 61 million BBM users to surpass the 200 million strong users on Whatsapp platform.

Categories
Gadgets Mobile

Check out “Diary of a Geek” on Google Play!

The “Diary of a Geek” blog finally has its android app listed on Google Play, Android’s digital application distribution platform.

Diary of a Geek is the definitive source and final word for news as it affects Nigerians with especial focus on gadgets and technology news. The blog attracts readers with both business and consumer focus from Nigeria, India, Pakistan, USA and the UK.

The features of the app include;

  • Build-in HTML 5 support for web and articles
  • Sliding left menu with grouping
  • Modularized design approaches to support unlimited any potential future functionality. Current supported modules include: Feed (RSS/Atom)/ Feed Query /Online or Offline Web Content. More modules to come in future releases
  • In-App Podcast streaming or download to play offline
  • In-App Image Viewer (support pinch zoom)
  • Integrated YouTube with in-app YouTube Player
  • Integrated mini web browser for viewing web content without leaving the app
  • Intuitive and clear interface

Follow this link to download the app on Google Play, it’s free!

Geek