From

£649.99

Inc VAT

Indicative Price inc VAT

£647.99

Indicative Price inc VAT

£449.99

Indicative Price inc VAT

Fr...
Welcome
To issue 22

«

Welcome

HOW TO
USE THE
QR CODES

Zero-click access to the best
apps in the Google Play store

A Q...
Contents
Inside issue 22

CONTENTS
www.littlegreenrobot.co.uk

»

15 Special offer for USA readers » 60 Exclusive subscrip...
Hacker
Zøne
Explore the limits of
your Android phone

Contents
Inside issue 22

«

52 Hacking tips

Explore the full poten...
All the latest from the world of Android devices

599
34%

3997
58%

Distinct brands

Total number of Android devices

Scr...
Stay up to date
Catch up with the latest
Android news and gossip

e
guid
rt
xpe
E

Daniel Box, head of quality assurance a...
»www.littlegreenrobot.co.uk
Visit us daily for news and more

WHAT’SHOT
The most exciting things in
the Androsphere this m...
Get in touch!

Send us your thoughts
on all things Android

»email

qa@littlegreenrobot.co.uk
Got questions or comments? D...
Stay up to date
Catch up with the latest
Android news and gossip

»twitter
@lgrobot

Follow us on Twitter for
the latest u...
CROWD
SOURCE
Opinion from the

BlackBerry 10 launches…

… and it can run Android apps. We take a look at the new OS

B

la...
»www.littlegreenrobot.co.uk
Visit us daily for news and more

1 Streaming with Flash

2 Hacking

Flash is one of the best ...
Get in touch!

Send us your thoughts
on all things Android

»email

qa@littlegreenrobot.co.uk
Got questions or comments? D...
Stay up to date
Catch up with the latest
Android news and gossip

The gallery of…

01

»twitter
@lgrobot

Follow us on Twi...
EX
US CL
A US
OF IV
FE E
R

ENJOYING THE
MAGAZINE?
Subscribe today and get four free issues

*

IT’S EASY TO SUBSCRIBE…

1...
Messages
Inside Android Magazine’s virtual mailbag

Letter of the

month

Higher res or longer battery? Both!
You asked th...
Get in touch!

Send us your thoughts
on all things Android

»email

qa@littlegreenrobot.co.uk
Got questions or comments? D...
Feature

»Galaxy killer?

GALAXY KILLER?
Can the Xperia Z help Sony fight back against the mighty Samsung? We take an
in-de...
Feature
Galaxy killer?

«

Spectacular specs

The spec sheet for the Xperia Z reads like a
checklist of all the key featur...
Feature

»Galaxy killer?

Does the Xperia Z have what it takes to
stop the Galaxy S III?

SPEC WARS

SONY XPERIA Z
VS
SAMS...
Feature
Galaxy killer?

«

CAMERA TEST
The Xperia Z is a rare example of a Sony
smartphone without a dedicated camera butt...
Feature

»Galaxy killer?

Benchmark tests

AnTuTu

Normally we wouldn’t benchmark a device running
pre-release firmware, bu...
BUILD A BETTER WEB
www.webdesignermag.co.uk

Available
from all good
newsagents and
supermarkets

ON SALE NOW

Develop wit...
Continuing to push tech boundaries, the future of Android couldn’t be more exciting…

I

n just four years Android has bee...
Feature

25 Amazing innovations in Android tech «
Think Polaroid
is old school?
Think again

Android cameras

01

Android ...
Feature

»25 Amazing innovations in Android tech
1,080 x 1,980

Super high-res displays
In 2013, the revolution in Android...
Feature

25 Amazing innovations in Android tech«

Android at home

Android devices in every room? You better believe it!
G...
Feature

»25 Amazing innovations in Android tech

Android gaming consoles

19

Ouya

Project Shield

Gamestick

MOGA

Nyko...
The phablet explosion

20

Take a smartphone. Take a tablet. Merge the two and what
do you have? A phablet. And it’s more ...
T
utorials
» masterclass

Master the Galaxy
Premium Suite

There are a host of fantastic features available
from the lates...
» Samsung Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II Difficulty » Easy

Automate tasks
with Page Buddy
Keep your hands off your smart...
T
utorials
Multitask with the
Multi window feature
Works with

» Samsung Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II Difficulty » Easy
...
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Android magazine
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Android magazine

8,138 views

Published on

0 Comments
2 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total views
8,138
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
2
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
50
Comments
0
Likes
2
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Android magazine

  1. 1. From £649.99 Inc VAT Indicative Price inc VAT £647.99 Indicative Price inc VAT £449.99 Indicative Price inc VAT From £449.99 £311.99 £527.99 Inc VAT Inc VAT Standard Size £189.99 Widescreen HD £199.99 £299.99 Inc VAT ng nishi Asto alue V ONLY ONLY £49.99 £69.99 Inc VAT Inc VAT £53.99 Inc VAT £279.99 Inc VAT
  2. 2. Welcome To issue 22 « Welcome HOW TO USE THE QR CODES Zero-click access to the best apps in the Google Play store A QR code is a 2D barcode that can act as a shortcut for delivering information, such as weblinks. You’ll notice them throughout the mag – scan them on your phone and you can download apps and send us messages instantly. “ “It could consolidate Sony’s position in second place, and at a time when others are really feeling the squeeze that’s not such a bad place to be“ be MY HOME SCREEN On (and off) Andy’s phone this month… Carbon for Twitter HomeFlip APPS OUT Download this free barcode scanner to use our QR codes. Handily, you can scan normal barcodes with it too, to help you find bargains on all your favourite purchases! APPS IN ShopSavvy Free Chrome Beta Glimmr, for Flickr This month I’ve tested: Sony Xperia Z Temple Run 2 A fast device with a fantastic screen. It feels just that bit too big, though Pitfall! scanning 1 GetShopSavvy, hit the Scan a Open Barcode button and then hold your phone over a QR code so that it appears in the window. GET IN TOUCH Let us know what you’d like to see in next issue… »facebook »email »twitter /littlegreenrobot Like us on Facebook to send us your comments O ver the course of the next two or three months every major Android device manufacturer will be refreshing its range for the year ahead. First off the block is Sony, whose Xperia Z builds on the good progress the company made last year and also sets an early standard in specs that the other players will have to match. Sony has been having a good run lately, picking up market share mostly at the expense of former leading lights like HTC and, in the non-Android world, Nokia and BlackBerry. But chasing down Samsung is a different matter altogether. We’ve given the Xperia Z the full hands-on treatment this month, and weighed up its prospects for challenging the all-conquering Galaxy S III. That is the most popular Android phone ever and even more than half a year after its launch is still going strong, and we can expect the S IV to show its face long before the summer is here. So can Sony do it? The honest answer is, probably not. But it could consolidate Sony’s position in second place, and at a time when others are really feeling the squeeze that’s not such a bad place to be. Also this month we’ve rounded up some of the tech and gadgets that are making Android so exciting right now. The Android ecosystem is showing unprecedented levels of innovation as the OS moves into new product categories and the hardware powering it becomes more capable than we could have imagined. Give it a year or five and all your gadgets might be run by Android. qa@littlegreenrobot.co.uk the link 2 Launch read, the phone will When it has beep and vibrate, then launch the link. You may need to choose an app to launch it with. Drop us an email and let us know what you’d like to see in the mag @lgrobot Follow us on Twitter and send us your thoughts Andy Betts Editor 3
  3. 3. Contents Inside issue 22 CONTENTS www.littlegreenrobot.co.uk » 15 Special offer for USA readers » 60 Exclusive subscription offer Launcher Previews, news and speculation from the Android world 06 Android vs developers How hard is it for developers to test their Android apps? 09 Alternative app stores: do we really need them? GALAXY KILLER 18 Hands-on with the stunning Sony Xperia Z Is there any point to using a third-party app store? We give them a test to find out 10 Million Sellers We chat to the makers of Hooked to find out how they made a best-selling app 12 10 things you need to know about Flash We give you all the facts about using Flash on your favourite Android device 14 Gallery of beautiful social apps Log in to your favourite social networks with this set of great-looking apps 16 Messages Sound off about anything and everything to do with Android 4 54 Upgrade to Android 4.2 Get the latest version of Android on your device today 24 25 amazing innovations How Android is powering the next generation of tech
  4. 4. Hacker Zøne Explore the limits of your Android phone Contents Inside issue 22 « 52 Hacking tips Explore the full potential of your phone 54 Upgrade to Android 4.2 Flash CyanogenMod to update your phone 56 Master CyanogenMod 10.1 Discover the features unique to CM10.1 58 Hacking solutions We tackle your hacking problems 88 Huawei Ascend G330 Cutting-edge tablets and smartphones on test Reviews T utorials The new leader in budget devices? Essential guides to getting more from your phone or tablet 76 Galaxy Camera vs the rest 30 Master the Samsung Galaxy Premium Suite 86 Reviews 34 Tutorials The Android-powered compact takes on the top camera phones 86 HTC One SV 88 Huawei Ascend G330 90 Lenovo IdeaTab A2109 92 Accessories Power up your phone or tablet with this collection of goodies Get to know the best features of the new update for the Galaxy S III 34 Google Drive spreadsheets for pros 37 Use your phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot 38 Speed up Chrome 39 Connect and share with Bluetooth 40 Share and sync data between your devices 43 Get rid of bloatware 44 Use the advanced features of the Gmail app 86 HTC One SV Superfast 4G Jelly Bean phone reviewed in full 46 Droid Support Readers’ questions answered, plus troubleshooting tips and tricks 50 Android challenge Create a DJ mix: Can you become the next superstar DJ using nothing more than an Android device and a few apps? 44 Use the advanced features of Gmail Set up the Priority Inbox to make your email easier to manage 76 Galaxy Camera vs the rest Can the top phones beat Samsung’s Android camera? Check our website daily for even more news Apps Your complete guide to Google Play 62 Troubleshoot your smartphone Solve ten of the most common problems with these apps 73 Social apps Snapeous or Pinterest: which is the best? 74 Game reviews The latest games for phones and tablets reviewed App review index 71 70 69 66 71 68 75 75 75 71 70 67 67 70 67 71 75 71 67 74 71 74 71 75 71 68 75 68 ABBYY TextGrabber AntennaPod Beanstalk Bitcasa BoothStache The Dandy Doodle Army Dragon Warcraft Glass Fort Gumtree InDrive Kii Keyboard Loky PLUS MightyText MoodPanda Movie Twist Nick Chase: A Detective Story Norton Zone Cloud Sharing Our Solar System – Kids Book Pool King Press Pudding Monsters Small Call Sonic Jump VideoCast Voxeet Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Zombies, Run! 5K Training »www.littlegreenrobot.co.uk 5
  5. 5. All the latest from the world of Android devices 599 34% 3997 58% Distinct brands Total number of Android devices Screen Resolution 54% NO 46% YES 1200 900 PAID 93% Are developers producing tablet apps? THE big Height 7% FREE 21% Android 2.2 24% Others 600 300 55% Android 1.5 0 0 Are developers producing Which OS are free or paid apps? developers testing on? 600 1200 1800 2400 Width Which resolutions are developers testing on? STORY Android vs developers With Android cementing its place as the world’s biggest OS, we look at the problems facing the community of Android app developers trying to keep pace W e’re spoilt as Android users. There are thousands of devices on offer to us with manufacturers constantly filling their phones with the latest technology, and a wide selection of apps on various app stores to explore. There’s no doubt that Android is the world’s number one OS. But while as users we lap up the latest array of devices and pioneering features, it isn’t as joyful for the developers looking to bring you a potentially groundbreaking app, and for those people, Android can lead to a wide variety of troublesome issues. Bobby Gill, CEO of Blue Label Labs, argues that at its roots, the problems in developing for Android is the fragmentation of the OS: “It’s very tough to build a single app that will work well across the entire gamut of Android devices. We had an instance where one of our UI controls would 6 work fine on a Samsung phone, but for some reason on a HTC phone it wouldn’t work. Thus, whenever we take on an Android project we need to select two to three devices along with one or two supported versions of Android and target them. Even with these restrictions, the time to test and verify functionality is much longer than on iOS or Windows.” Despite the popularity of the platform, which leads iOS globally by a considerable margin, it’s common practice to see the biggest new apps released first in Apple’s stores, with an Android version following anywhere between a few weeks, or a month later. Flipboard, Temple Run and Instagram have all been massively popular on the Google Play store, but all were released far earlier on the iOS platform. But as CEO of Hipmob, Ayo Omojola explains, the slow process of Our view “It’s often frustrating to see an app enter the iOS App Store, only to find that it won’t be appearing for Android for weeks, if not months. The reality is developers have to test so many more configurations of device than they do for iPhone apps. Ironically this choice is one of Android’s greatest strengths, and something no-one would want to change.” Andy Betts, Editor ‘Stats collected from OpenSignal Maps and StartApp’ of the apps produced on the Google Play store are created by full-time developers of developers produce apps solely for the Google Play store
  6. 6. Stay up to date Catch up with the latest Android news and gossip e guid rt xpe E Daniel Box, head of quality assurance at Mubaloo – the UK’s largest app developer with over 170 published to date, tells us six essential tips to make developing and publishing apps that little bit easier. bringing Android ports of these apps isn’t necessarily down to the choice of the developer. “There has typically been some difficulty supporting and testing on the wide range of screen sizes,” he said. “There are some ways to figure this out manually, but it’s not easy to ensure a consistent experience across all devices. We’ve also seen in the past, and heard anecdotally, of performance issues related to running apps on certain operating systems – usually custom Android forks built by OEMs. In addition, because of the way OS updates are handled, you can’t always ensure that all your users will be able to use all the features you build.” Another factor for developers to consider is the publishing process of their app. For a long time the Google Play store has been the ultimate hub for apps and multimedia, but with a wide range of off-shoot stores from Amazon and Barnes & Noble to name just a couple, the process of simply uploading your application for the world to experience isn’t black and white. “Every app store requires different resources for you to add with your app, which means spending a lot of time making sure you have got the right graphics for each” says Manuel Palacios, software engineer for interactive book specialist PlayTales. “Adding our apps to all the different stores can get a bit tedious at times with all the different requirements and restrictions.” So whether it’s the sheer number of devices on offer, the increasingly big screen sizes (while still needing to support the “Adding our apps to all the different stores can get a bit tedious at times“ Manuel Palacios, software engineer »twitter @lgrobot Follow us on Twitter for the latest updates Six steps to making better apps Use open source libraries to check if the app will work on older versions of Android. Send beta versions of apps to 2 contacts to test them so that bugs can be identified and fixed. Great services to use for this are cloud services like Dropbox and Google Drive. Implement services into the 3 app that assist with bug finding once it has been launched. 1 Study and read up on any API changes between different versions of Android. Use community forums to 5 distribute builds of the app for specific devices. The XDA Forums is a great place to start. Developers can now reply to 6 individual comments on the Google Play store. This is a great way to stay in contact with users and solve any problems. “For developers it’s great to get instant feedback and not have to wait a matter of weeks“ 4 Want to start developing? Keen to begin creating your own apps, but don’t know where to start? Try these websites to help you get up and running Michael Issacs, co-founder of GetCharitable older, smaller ones), or the variety of app stores available, developing for Android isn’t as straightforward as many think. The lack of a ‘one size fits all’ solution brings challenges that simply are not present on other platforms. It isn’t all bad news, however, and there are significant advantages of developing for Android over one of the other rival systems. The OS prides itself on being as open as possible, giving the power back to the users and the chance for developers to really interpret their own Android experience. Michael Issacs, a co-founder of the highly rated GetCharitable app believes the openness of the Android platform is the key to further development. “I love how open the app store is, and how much faster I am able to push updates than on the Apple App Store. I still believe that the Google Play store is the best out there, with a better search and UX for the users than ever before,” Issacs said. “For developers it’s great to get instant feedback and not have to wait a matter of weeks to get your app out to your users.” We won’t be seeing a less fragmented Android operating system any time soon, of that we’re convinced, and the problems facing developers certainly won’t get any easier. Yet with new potential customers entering the smartphone market on a daily basis developing for Android is still worth the effort. The high quality of apps being produced for users is a sure-fire sign that we’re part of the world’s most exciting mobile OS. Long may that continue. MIT App Inventor Although a little more complicated than the others, the MIT App Inventor offers a great way to put all your ideas in one place. AppsBuilder If you’ve got a great idea for a creative app, then AppsBuilder is for you. There’s a wide range of jargon-free features to explore. Andromo Andromo works as a step-by-step program, offering a simple way of creating an app you want to publish. It’s also easy to customise. 7
  7. 7. »www.littlegreenrobot.co.uk Visit us daily for news and more WHAT’SHOT The most exciting things in the Androsphere this month Phones getting tough with the Galaxy Xcover 2 Samsung is not letting up on the Galaxy range. The company’s plan to have a device at pretty much every price, with every screen size and for every user continues apace. The Galaxy Express sits somewhere between the S III and the S III Mini, while the Xcover 2 is tough enough to withstand abuse from even the most demanding users. Living out your Indiana Jones dreams with Temple Run 2 After the original racked up more than a hundred million downloads, Temple Run 2 is now the must-download app in the Play store. The formula hasn’t changed too much, but there are enough new features and power-ups to make this as, if not more, addictive than ever. “Stocks have appeared to be returning to normal” Missing in action Why has the Nexus 4 been in such short supply? Paul Rigby goes investigating I t was ‘released’ in November 2012 but, until recently, the LG-manufactured phone had remained ‘out of stock’ on most websites and stores. Cathy Robin, director of LG France’s mobile division, pointed the finger at Google: “Supply problems are not necessarily completely related to LG. Google presented sales forecasts calculated according to their previous sales history of Nexus smartphones,” Robin explained. Although Robin was eager not to be too scathing of Google, Dan Cobley, Google’s UK and Ireland managing director, had no such qualms about blaming LG. “Supplies from the manufacturer (LG) are scarce and erratic and our communication has been flawed”, he said. Despite the squabbling, stocks have appeared to be returning to normal with the likes of O2 If there was ever an app whose functionality should be built right into the Android OS it is Carbon. This app, available for free with an upgrade via in-app purchase, is the most comprehensive – in fact only – Android app that enables you to fully back up your phone without being rooted. 8 Cathy Robin, LG and Three offering supplies for sale. Meanwhile, rumours of a new design have been building since James Fishler, LG’s senior vice president, declared that: “This is the first of many devices to come from our growing partnership with this very selective company.” Some observers have seen this statement as a sign that further announcements may be forthcoming about additional models in the Nexus range. Security scare hits Chinese Android users China at the centre of a threatening viral scare M Fully backing up without root “Problems are not necessarily related to LG“ ore than a million unsuspecting mobile phone users in China are running a harmful botnet on their Android smartphone, any one of which may have been contracted from one of 7,153 infected apps, dating back to 2011. The botnet can allow smartphones infected with Trojan-based malware to be hijacked remotely and potentially used for fraudulent purposes. Users have been advised to monitor their call and data logs for unusual activity while keeping a close eye on the permissions section. Games requiring access to a phone’s contacts, SMS, call history and location, for example, should be treated with caution. KEEP YOUR PHONE SAFE Three quick hints to mobile safety 1: Passwords Set up a password or PIN to access your mobile phone or tablet device. 2: Using in public Don’t leave your device unattended when logged on, watch out for people looking over your shoulder. 3: SMS and emails Be cautious about opening links contained in SMS messages or emails. Don’t respond to unsolicited messages or phone calls.
  8. 8. Get in touch! Send us your thoughts on all things Android »email qa@littlegreenrobot.co.uk Got questions or comments? Drop us an email and let us know »twitter »facebook @lgrobot /littlegreenrobot Follow us on Twitter for all the latest gossip Like us on Facebook to send your comments Alternative app stores: do we need them? The Play store is not the only app supplier out there. We explore the competition… W Top four alternative stores Where else can you go to find your apps? hy have other app stores? “It’s all about promising more attention for apps,” said Vincent Hoogsteder, co-founder and CEO of Distimo, an apps analytics company. “If you are a developer targeting a specific market, it is easier to put your app in a store focusing on that, instead of losing yourself in Google Play. If you are a consumer, then the idea is to help you find better applications.” Android is very popular but, unless you are a Facebook or a Shazam, getting noticed in the crowd is the big challenge. Finding major apps on Google Play is easy but, “There are 50,000 apps in the Play store, while your phone lists only 50 apps at a time,” said Hoogsteder. “You are seeing just a fraction of what’s out there.” Independents can provoke problems, however. For example, the security firm Kingsoft Duba said last year that the Android. Troj.mdk Trojan had been found in more than 7,000 apps downloaded from non-Googleowned stores. Nevertheless, alternative app stores can form unique Android habitats. Amazon, for example, has created an in-house app ecosystem that feeds its own hardware (eg Kindle Fire). Importantly for developers, “Our apps monetise better on Amazon than they do on other platforms we’re on,” said Simon Newstead, the CEO & co-founder of Frenzoo, publisher of Style Me Girl. Alternative app stores provide competition (you can find paid app bargains – shop around), niche interests and unique app developments. Open source, indeed. SLIDEME GETJAR AMAZON APPSTORE Offers 13,000 apps and is directed to those who cannot access Google Play on their devices and for those developers who cannot sell their wares on that site. The largest alternative store with 350,000 apps on the site and around 395,000 developers supporting the site. Go to m.getjar.com and your device will be auto-detected. Each app arrives with personalised recommendations, customer reviews and 1-Click payment options. The store is curated so you should be able to guarantee security, if not quality. ANDROIDPIT Arrives complete with a news section, forum zone and developers’ area plus app recommendations and reviews. A useful app discovery service for finding hidden gems. 9
  9. 9. Stay up to date Catch up with the latest Android news and gossip »twitter @lgrobot Follow us on Twitter for the latest updates Millionsellers VITAL STATS HOOKED Price: Free The inside story on Android’s most popular apps Hooked Q&A with Prita Uppal, Founder of Hooked W ith so many games on the Google Play store, finding the right one for you can be a somewhat tricky experience, but thankfully with Hooked around you’ll never have that problem again. Hooked is a game recommendation app that uses your personal gaming preferences and game play statistics to find the most suitable paid and free games for you. If you dislike a game recommended, you can simply give it a thumbs down and Hooked will then suggest another one. The more you use it, the better recommendations you get, and the more games you’ll uncover. Not only is it a clever app to use, it’s an absolute must-have for any avid Android gamer. It’s no wonder that this app has got in excess of a million downloads! What makes Hooked a hit? What are your friends playing? As well as being able to see a general overview of what the most popular games are, you can use the Friend button in the top-right of the app to see what your contacts are currently playing, and then download the same game Check the statistics Each game listing comes with its own individual set of statistics you can take a look at. Most games include a star rating, the amount of ratings they’ve had and the average playing time for said game What makes Hooked a truly great app is the level of detail you can go into. As well as looking for the most popular app, you can search for games that are currently trending, as well as games that have just come out When you’ve picked a game that takes your fancy, open up its page and you’ll be able to download and install it directly through the app 10 It’s very rare to see an app exceed a million downloads, what do you think is the secret to a successful app? Find your niche. The Android marketplace is huge and there are hundreds of thousands of apps just in the game category alone. Apps that have a clear objective and purpose will succeed. It’s important to listen to your users, conduct focus groups and surveys to understand how you can improve and change quickly. Lastly, don’t ignore the analytics. It’s important to analyse the numbers, understand them, and make decisions based on what is actually going on. Analytics help to identify what our users are doing and help to understand user behaviours. We continuously improve our feature set based on the metrics we measure. What are your four personal favourite features in Hooked? The advanced Recommendations. I am constantly finding great new games. This has actually caused me to spend scary amounts of time playing games! Live feeds of social circles. It’s always fun to see the games my friends and others are playing and this shows me in real-time what they are playing. Easy access. I can access all my games from one place, it helps to keep everything very organised on my phone. Saving Games to the Cart. I love this feature! I can browse new games and save ones that I might be interested in. Download and install The Play store Why do you feel people choose Hooked over one of the other discovery apps available on the Play store? People have chosen Hooked over other apps because of our comprehensive mobile game discovery capabilities. From the off we set out to be a mobile games discovery app and believe we are the best out there. We provide discovery through advanced recommendations, advanced search, real-time trending charts and through the games your friends are playing. We have created a recommendation platform that is intelligent and learns your game preferences by analysing downloads, app ratings and user behaviour to get the most personalised recommendations. What are your plans for Hooked in the future? We have two major plans for the future. The first is expansion to iOS; discovery is a continuing and growing problem in iOS and we are looking to expand to that market in the coming months. Our second goal is to expand our services to provide personalised recommendations for all apps and categories. Search A brief history of… Launched: 2010 Installs: 1m-5m Play store rating: Android launched in 2008 with the Android Market on board – a fledgling app store with a few hundred free apps available in a limited number of territories. Since then it has undergone many redesigns, with the addition of countless new features and content sections. The Play store, as it is now known, is a full content service housing a quarter of a million apps, as well as books, music, movies and magazines. The launch Froyo The Android Market launches with only a handful of apps and Google’s famous beta tag. Not much in the way of design, it was as basic as they come. With the launch of Froyo came a vastly improved Market app, emphasising for the first time ways in which you could discover new apps and games, plus auto update support.
  10. 10. CROWD SOURCE Opinion from the BlackBerry 10 launches… … and it can run Android apps. We take a look at the new OS B lackBerry, formerly known as RIM, has unveiled the new BlackBerry 10 operating system and two new devices, in a last-ditch attempt to recapture some of the company’s past glory. The announcement included some interesting news – not least that the OS will run Android apps in an emulated environment. As Android users, we are already familiar with touchscreens and social media integration, but there were some features announced that we would love to see implemented in the Key Lime Pie update. 1. Messaging hub Combining messages, social media updates and emails in one place is a fantastic feature in BlackBerry 10. An Android hub for this would make it easier to manage all your conversations. 2. Different form factors As much as we love our big screen slabs, we’d also welcome some more imagination in the Android world when it comes to form factors. The new BlackBerry range includes one of its trademark Qwerty keyboards. 3. Improved keyboard What makes the BlackBerry 10 keyboard so great is its new predictive text system. Although Android users have plenty of options for alternate keyboards, it would be great to see the default keyboard offer this. 4. Screen share Perhaps the most impressive feature on the Z10 is being able to share your screen with a similar device no matter where in the world you are located. A brilliant solution for working together on projects at the same time. 5. BlackBerry Balance This feature separates your work applications and data from your personal applications and data. It works in the same way as multi-user profiles, so would be an easy feature to integrate. Twittersphere @lgrobot Temple Run 2 has been out for a few days now. What’s your current high score? We want to see what our readers are capable of! @lennyuk 6 million is mine at the moment, I have been trying not to use more than 1 gem - it’s no good recording scores without num of gems. @acceler888 embarrassed to say 102, 000 with 1 gem after seeing the other scores posted! Stunning graphics though on the Note 2. @skinnyflint just under 2 mil, but i’ve only had it for an hour or so! BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins unveils the new devices @lgrobot Starting to see a wide range of Galaxy S4 rumours. What would you like to see included in the new device? Anyone for added lasers?! @skinnyflint They should do away with Kies and have a robust desktop client, something that’s letting them down compared to Apple. Great digital mags Get Android Magazine from the Play store @Docker0909 I’m hoping we won’t see a 5”+ screen.. it’ll be a brick!!!! W hether you own a Samsung Galaxy S III, Kindle Fire or Nook HD, there are plenty of ways for you to get your hands on some of the best technology magazines around. Our digital magazines super-site www. greatdigitalmags.com gives you access to 20 awesome digital editions of some of the world’s best magazines, including our very own Android Magazine. Now available in the new Play Magazines service for Android devices, you can read them, and sync them across your phones and tablets. Missing a back issue? No worries, you’ll be able to find many of the previous issues of each magazine available for download as well. What are you waiting for? Get exploring! @chinsand metallic body would be a good addition and cheap contract deals. currently paying £33 p/m for my s3 and it’s way too much @12westin if it doesn’t come with 4G i’ll be moving over to blackberry 10 @lgrobot So the BlackBerry Z10 is here! Any features you’d like to see carried over from the Z10 on to the next wave of Android devices? 2010 ICS Today Late in 2010 the Market got another redesign, with proper landscape support and the ability for networks to add a section for their own junkware. Less than half a year later the Market gets its biggest update yet, with tiles, gestures and whole new categories of content. In May 2012, the Android Market was rebranded Google Play. The service now sports music, mags and movies, as well as apps and books. @lionshead91 apart from that new hub feature, z10 looks pants. twitter Follow us @lgrobot to join in the conversation 11
  11. 11. »www.littlegreenrobot.co.uk Visit us daily for news and more 1 Streaming with Flash 2 Hacking Flash is one of the best ways to stream content on your tablet, and is used within a variety of browsers and apps. It’s remarkably fast at buffering content, and provides a smooth browsing experience. 10 Another way to get a version of Flash on your device is by doing some basic hacking. There are a plethora of Flashbased ROMs out there, as well as a selection of alternatives that perform exactly the same function. 3New updates everywhere Older devices, and many budget tablets, come with the Flash Player preinstalled on it, and many current users will still have access to the Flash Player. Adobe has promised regular updates for those lucky to have it already on their device. 4Pulled from Play store Flash versus HTML5 Adobe decided to pull the app for its Flash Player on the Google Play store a while ago now, with the main reason being a range of unpredictable compatibility issues that affected plenty of devices with the Jelly Bean OS update. Flash and HTML have long been at loggerheads over plug-in dominance, but with compatibility issues, and a lack of support from the iOS platform, Flash is strongly considered second best to HTML5. 9 5Use a Flash browser Start side loading The APK file of the Flash Player can be downloaded from several places across the web, enabling you to side load the file directly on to your phone or tablet. Once added, it’s easy enough to install and start using without any hassle. Whenever you start side loading on your device, make sure you only download from a trusted source. 8Audio things you need to know about... Flash A common issue when trying to play a Flash game or video is the lack of sound. For the most part, the problem can be simply resolved by restarting the browser or video, but in some cases you’ll need to download an equalizer app. 12 7Security issues Even before Flash’s transition onto mobile it suffered a wide variety of security issues. Most of these problems have been eradicated from the mobile version, but be sure to have a spyware detector installed just in case. By digging a little deeper in to the app section on the Google Play store you’ll be able to find a whole host of Adobe Flash-equipped browsers. One of the best ones to use is the Skyfire Browser that includes full Flash capabilities alongside a solid browsing experience. 6Explore browser add-ons One of the unique ways you can access Flash-based content on the web is by sourcing an add-on for a mobile browser that enables it to act as a desktop one. Phony for Firefox turns your mobile browser in to the desktop version, letting you view and interact with Flash content.
  12. 12. Get in touch! Send us your thoughts on all things Android »email qa@littlegreenrobot.co.uk Got questions or comments? Drop us an email and let us know »twitter »facebook @lgrobot /littlegreenrobot Follow us on Twitter for all the latest gossip Like us on Facebook to send your comments Sony shows off Tablet Z Play store picks Our favourites from the Play store this month Sony comes out swinging in the battle for the thinnest tablet T he big news that accompanies the Sony Xperia Tablet Z is not that it includes a quad-core processor or a 10.1-inch 1,920 x 1,200 full HD screen, but actually the fact it manages to pack in all of this in to an extremely thin 6.9mm, waterproof body. This puts it ahead of the iPad in the race for the slimmest tablet, and at 495g it is also one of the lightest big-screen devices around. Also packed in you’ll find an eight-megapixel camera with Sony’s impressive EXMOR technology, a 6000 mAh battery and two gigabytes of RAM. All the normal micro USB and micro HDMI ports are present and correct, and you’ll even find dual-side NFC included to make sharing even faster. The Xperia Z has initially only been announced for the Japanese market, although it would not be a surprise to see it, or an equivalent, make its way to the rest of the world in due course. SMARTPHONES.TABLETS.ACCESSORIES Price: Free The story of Jean Valjean seeking redemption after 19 years in prison is a classic recently given the Hollywood treatment. Taken 2 Price: £11.99 (HD) After escaping hostage, an ex-CIA agent (Liam Neeson) seeks revenge on the group who kept him and his wife captive. Anthems 90s Price: £7.99 This Ministry of Sound compilation takes you hurtling back to the Nineties to experience some of the best dance and trance songs of all time. Celebrating 20 years of business COMPETITIVE PRICES . RAPID WORLDWIDE DELIVERY HTC ONE SV Les Miserables SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 2 • 4G enabled Android smartphone • 1.2GHz dualcore processor • 8GB internal memory • 25GB cloud storage £350 01202 552936 • 5.5” display • S Pen stylus • 1.6GHz quadcore processor • 50GB cloud storage • 3100mAh battery £516 SONY XPERIA Z • IP55 & 57 rated Android phone • Quad-core processor • 5” full HD display • 13mp camera • PlayStation certified • FREE speaker worth £65 with all pre-orders £522 WWW.CLOVE.CO.UK All prices include VAT, but exclude delivery. Prices are correct at time of going to press. Website price always applies. Errors and omissions should be excepted.
  13. 13. Stay up to date Catch up with the latest Android news and gossip The gallery of… 01 »twitter @lgrobot Follow us on Twitter for the latest updates 02 Beautiful social media apps 1. Falcon Pro 5. Flipster for Facebook 2. Pinterest 6. Pictarine 3. EyeEm 7. Foursquare 4. Tweedle for Twitter 8. Path 05 06 14 03 04 07 08
  14. 14. EX US CL A US OF IV FE E R ENJOYING THE MAGAZINE? Subscribe today and get four free issues * IT’S EASY TO SUBSCRIBE… 1 » ONLINE Order via credit or debit card – just visit: www.imaginesubs.co.uk/and and enter code USA Terms and conditions 2 » TELEPHONE Order via credit or debit card on the phone – just call: +44 (0) 1795 414 972 and quote code USA *This is a US subscription offer. You will be charged £75 sterling for an annual subscription of 13 issues. This is equivalent to $116 at the time of writing, although the exchange rate may vary. Your subscription will start from the next available issue. Four free issues refers to the newsstand price of $12.50 for 13 issues being $162.50, compared with $116 for a subscription. This offer expires 31 May 2013.
  15. 15. Messages Inside Android Magazine’s virtual mailbag Letter of the month Higher res or longer battery? Both! You asked three questions in issue 21 of Android Magazine; these being listed, with my answers, below: 1. “Are you happy to buy a phone without a memory card slot?” No. I will not buy a phone that does not have the capacity of accepting additional storage. In addition to the many PDF files and Kindle books stored on my phone, I use an offline satnav package, which stores its maps and POI files on the phone – these, I keep on the external RAM card. Were it to be stored on the phone, available RAM would be vastly reduced. The same argument can be said of most of my software (I hate the ‘word’ app – it sounds like a terminal burp!). This also means that if something on the phone breaks, I can recover my files from the RAM card, without having to resort to some nebulous cloud storage that will probably start to charge me for its services. 2. “How often do you upgrade to a new smartphone?” Roughly every two years or so – with the advent of shorter contract terms, this period may begin to shorten, though. I generally try to get a decent phone with good specifications, that won’t be too dated by the time it’s time to look for a new contract phone/service provider. TRENDING Let us know your thoughts on these hot topics • Which phone are you most looking forward to this year? • What would you like to see in the next version of Android? • Do you worry about security issues when downloading apps? Get in touch! qa@littlegreenrobot.co.uk 16 3. “Which would you prefer: a higher res screen or longer battery life?” Umm. I’m greedy. Can I have both, please? Seriously, I actually do. Increased screen size and resolution, along with MUCH better battery capacity, are increasingly necessary with the advent of more complex and capable software – including games! – that are used on phones. In addition, phones could well replace the smaller tablets currently in use by businesses, and the need for lots of screen space for such things as word processors is going to be highly prized before long. Thanks for producing such a useful and highquality magazine, please keep it up! Roger Stenning We say: Thanks for your thoughts, Roger. On the latter point, we’re hoping we might finally be seeing a bit of movement. After several years of denying it was an issue, manufacturers are starting to see that longer battery is a benefit that users want (or at least that poor battery life can seriously damage the reputation of a device). The new generation of processors should hopefully enable more of a balance between power and cutting-edge spec, Would you forego an HD screen, like on the and a battery that doesn’t run out so quickly. HTC Droid DNA, for more battery life? Consolidating the cloud I was just reading the latest edition (#21) of Android Magazine and I noticed you gave a tip about using Otixo to consolidate cloud accounts. As far as I’m aware Otixo does not have an Android app. I’ve been using an app called Cloud File Manager from Storage Made Easy which is free, and as well as letting me consolidate a gazillion different cloud storage accounts, it also gives me an extra free 5GB on the Amazon S3 Cloud. It also works from a UK location (from what I see from the website they are a UK company) if you sign up for this option. I found it quicker to use than Otixo which I believe is located in the US. Keep up the good work and if you could consider an article on text expansion from defined keywords, this would be great. It’s the one thing I miss from my jailbroken iPhone that I have not been able to figure out how to do on the Android. Tim Lowther We say: Thanks for the tip, Tim. Regarding text expansion, this is something you can do natively on Jelly Bean devices, using the custom dictionary option. We’ll take a look in a future issue. Thanks! I really enjoy your Android magazine. And because I read it all the time I have made two widgets, and have got a lot of new apps, like 3D Sketch. My brother has got one of his games (Boom Brigade) from you. I look forward to reading your next edition of the Android magazine. Ethan (age 13) We say: Glad you like it Ethan! If anyone makes any great looking widgets based on our tutorials, do make sure to send us screenshots of them in action. Apps to SD Last week I took delivery of my new phone, a Samsung Galaxy S3. Without doubt it is the best phone I have ever owned! But (and always disregard anything following ‘but’!) having loaded up all the apps which I had on my old
  16. 16. Get in touch! Send us your thoughts on all things Android »email qa@littlegreenrobot.co.uk Got questions or comments? Drop us an email and let us know »facebook /littlegreenrobot Like us on Facebook to send your comments Imagine Publishing Ltd Richmond House, 33 Richmond Hill Bournemouth, Dorset, BH2 6EZ ☎ +44 (0) 1202 586200 Web: www.imagine-publishing.co.uk www.greatdigitalmags.com www.littlegreenrobot.co.uk Magazine team Editor Andy Betts andy.betts@imagine-publishing.co.uk ☎ 01202 586254 Staff Writer Oliver Hill oliver.hill@imagine-publishing.co.uk ☎ 01202 586285 Senior Designer Stacey Potter Sub Editor Philip Morris Photographer James Sheppard Editor in Chief Nick Jones Head of Publishing Aaron Asadi Head of Design Ross Andrews Contributors David Crookes, Brett James, Steve Jenkins, Shaun McGill, Paul Rigby, Harry Slater, Sandra Vogel Advertising phone – an HTC Desire S, I find I am unable to move these apps to my SD card. I tried everything without success. I then logged on to a few Android forums and it seems that this facility is not available on Jelly Bean. My version of software is 4.0.4, so I assume this is Jelly Bean? This is a most annoying omission and I would hope that this is rectified in subsequent software upgrades. Ernie Swain We say: This is probably the number one complaint we get from users of the Galaxy S III. Despite the copious on-board storage, most users who have upgraded from older models are really missing the ability to put their apps onto a card. The feature was actually removed from Ice Cream Sandwich and although a manufacturer could bring it back if they really wanted to, it seems that most are not bothering, and given the general movement of Android away from memory cards altogether we wouldn’t expect to see it make a comeback any time soon. By the way, Ernie, 4.0.4 is still Ice Cream Sandwich so you should have a couple of updates – including both Jelly Bean and Premium Suite (see page 30) waiting for you. Check using the Kies software on your desktop computer. They’re both very worthwhile updates though, but they won’t bring back your much missed feature. “We are being held to ransom” I want an SD card slot I have just bought your magazine issue 20 for the first time, primarily to read the reviews on the Nexus tablets but also to get an overview of the latest developments in the Android market place. Early last year I purchased a 7” tablet from a Chinese supplier, Ebellking, to dip my feet into this new technology and I was never going to buy an Apple. I am now at the stage where I want something better but nearly every new product has some shortcomings. The 7” tablet is the ideal size for those who want to use it as a pocket mobile computer but too big for a phone. My Chinese tablet is poor on battery life, and a bit slow, has no GPS, and no Bluetooth. It does have a micro SD card slot. I use it to collect emails, view photographs via the SD card from my camera, view films saved on an SD card, and read Kindle books. It appears that only Samsung with their 7” tablets make one with an SD card slot. It appears that all the major manufacturers, Apple, Amazon, Google cannot or will not make tablets with an SD card Digital or printed media packs are available on request. Head of Sales Hang Deretz ☎ 01202 586442 hang.deretz@imagine-publishing.co.uk Advertising Manager Jennifer Farrell ☎ 01202 586430 jennifer.farrell@imagine-publishing.co.uk Senior Account Manager Nick Marrow ☎ 01202 586419 nick.marrow@imagine-publishing.co.uk which I consider essential. You cannot download anything on a long flight no matter how good your tablet/phone. So can we have a tablet, with all the essential features (GPS, Bluetooth, SD card) before trying to develop screen resolutions which look good on 50” televisions but are not needed on 4” mobile phone screens. We are being held to ransom for form over function. Even my basic mobile phone has an SD card slot and camera. Mike Mullaney We say: We’re with you all the way, especially on your point about being able to get the photos from your camera onto the tablet simply by taking the card out of one and putting it into the other. There is a workaround that, while not entirely satisfactory, does work well. You need to get a USB on-the-go cable (you can pick them up very cheaply from Amazon, but be sure to check the reviews for compatibility first) and an SD (or micro SD) to USB adapter to plug into it. Then get the Nexus Media Importer app from the Play store, and the Nexus will now magically be able to read your card, and you can use it to browse photos, play music or even watch videos. As we say, it’s not ideal, but it’s something we’ve been using for many months with great success. Digital Head of Digital Mat Toor Digital Projects Coordinator Steven Litton International Android Magazine is available for licensing. Contact the International department to discuss partnership opportunities. Head of International Licensing Cathy Blackman ☎ +44 (0) 1202 586401 licensing@imagine-publishing.co.uk Subscriptions Head of Subscriptions Lucy Nash subscriptions@imagine-publishing.co.uk For all subscriptions enquiries ☎ 0844 245 6963 (UK) ☎ +44 (0) 1795 414 972 (Overseas) Email: android@servicehelpline.co.uk 13 issue subscription (UK) – £51.90 (CC) 13 issue subscription (Europe) – £65 13 issue subscription (ROW) – £75 Circulation Head of Circulation Darren Pearce ☎ 01202 586200 Production Production Director Jane Hawkins ☎ 01202 586200 Founders Group Managing Director Damian Butt Group Finance & Commercial Director Steven Boyd Group Creative Director Mark Kendrick Printing & Distribution Printed by William Gibbons, 26 Planetary Road, Willenhall, West Midlands, WV13 3XT Distributed in the UK & Eire by Seymour Distribution, 2 East Poultry Avenue, London, EC1A 9PT ☎ 0207 429 4000 Distributed in Australia by Gordon & Gotch, Equinox Centre, 18 Rodborough Road, Frenchs Forest, NSW 2086 ☎ +61 2 9972 8800 Distributed in the Rest of the World by Marketforce, Blue Fin Building, 110 Southwark Street, London, SE1 0SU ☎ 0203 148 8105 Disclaimer The publisher cannot accept responsibility for any unsolicited material lost or damaged in the post. All text and layout is the copyright of Imagine Publishing Ltd. Nothing in this magazine may be reproduced in whole or part without the written permission of the publisher. All copyrights are recognised and used specifically for the purpose of criticism and review. Although the magazine has endeavoured to ensure all information is correct at time of print, prices and availability may change. This magazine is fully independent and not affiliated in any way with the companies mentioned herein. © Imagine Publishing Ltd 2013 ISSN 2047-1580 17
  17. 17. Feature »Galaxy killer? GALAXY KILLER? Can the Xperia Z help Sony fight back against the mighty Samsung? We take an in-depth, hands-on look to find out L ate in 2012 Sony moved into second place among Android manufacturers in the UK. After years of making decent but unspectacular devices the company’s split from Ericsson saw it take full control of its mobile destiny, and the rewards are beginning to come. A solid range of handsets and a commitment to OS upgrades gave Sony a good last year, and the early signs from 2013 are that it is set to get even better. It’s great news for the Android ecosystem, as Sony is arguably best placed out of all the players to match what Samsung has achieved with its Galaxy range, and fiercer competition will always lead to greater innovation. The Xperia Z is Sony’s next step. The device catches on to a number of trends – superfast performance, larger screen and a lighter skin – while also pushing the boundaries in other areas. The Xperia Z is the first phone we’ve seen in Europe to pack a full 1080p display, and is also fully waterproof, ensuring it will continue working in all weather conditions. But is the Xperia Z enough to continue Sony’s upward growth, and can it make inroads into Samsung’s massive market share? We’ve gone hands-on with the new handset to discover if it really is a Galaxy killer. “The first phone we’ve seen in Europe to pack a full 1080p display” technical specs »Operating system................Android 4.1.2 »Processor ...................................Snapdragon S4 Krait » » » » » » 18 1.5GHz quad-core Memory .......................................2GB RAM, 16GB storage Dimensions...............................139 x 71 x 7.9mm Weight...........................................146g Display size................................Five-inch Display resolution ................1080 x 1920 pixels Expansion slot........................micro SD
  18. 18. Feature Galaxy killer? « Spectacular specs The spec sheet for the Xperia Z reads like a checklist of all the key features for a flagship Android smartphone over the next 12 months. It includes a five-inch display but resists moving into phablet territory such as with the likes of the Galaxy Note II by minimising the casing and fitting into a chassis not much larger than the Galaxy S III. The display is full HD – 1,080 x 1,920 pixels – which amounts to a pixel density of 441 pixels per inch, far beyond last year’s 720p displays which averaged out at around 320 ppi. The device runs Android 4.1.2 out of the box, with an update to 4.2 already promised (and given Sony’s strong track record on updates we’d expect to see Key Lime Pie on this handset before the end of the year too). It is powered by a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 processor that has a proven record on speed and battery consumption, while the 2GB of RAM on board is another step up from most devices currently on the market – one that is set to become the new standard. There is additionally 16GB of on-board storage which can be augmented through the memory card slot. The phone is able to run on 4G networks, where available, offering download speeds of up to 100Mbps. There is also Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, DLNA, and MHL for mirroring the display on an HD TV. The rear camera features a 13-megapixel sensor, with LED flash and full HD video recording. The frontfacing camera is 2.2 megapixels and is HD capable. Finally the Xperia Z is what you might describe as ‘life proof’. It is IP57 certified for dust and water resistance – it is waterproof for up to 30 minutes in one metre of water. Hardware and design The Xperia Z maintains the design language we’ve seen on the Xperia models from the latter part of last year. It is extremely minimal. The only features on the front are a very small speaker and microphone, and a mostly hidden front-facing camera. The device uses Android’s virtual buttons which enables the front casing to be reduced in size, although it’s not to quite the same striking The Xperia Z boasts a 13-megapixel shooter, but no dedicated camera button extent as we’ve seen on Motorola’s RAZR i. Around the sides, the assorted ports, such as for the micro SD card and headphones, are safely sealed but remain easily accessible. The right-hand side includes a power button located halfway up the body, perfectly placed under the thumb of your right hand but a little more difficult to reach in your left, as well as a volume rocker. In an unwelcome departure for Sony the Xperia Z does not have a dedicated camera button. This may be a consequence of the waterproofing and it’s a shame that it has gone. Not only does the button make shooting photos easier, reducing the likelihood of camera shake ruining your shots as you prod the screen to take a snap, but Sony’s implementation in the past had been excellent, enabling you to wake the phone and take a photo with a single button press even when it is locked and password protected. The back of the phone is flat black (at least on the version we were using; other colours are available) and largely featureless. The camera lens, LED flash and Xperia logo are pretty much all you get. A large screen inevitably makes for a large phone, but you might be surprised to find the Xperia Z is not all that much larger than the S III. Indeed it measures just 0.4mm wider, and at 7.9mm is 0.7mm thinner. The length is a relatively modest 2.4mm greater. However, the device does feel larger than the S III or the HTC One X due to its angular design. While other handsets have curves that help them fit very comfortably in your hand, the Z has squared off corners in all directions. This is fine for the front-on profile, but when you grip the phone the edges do dig into your palm and fingers. It’s the same effect we encountered with the equally large Xperia T, and though it’s not off-putting, it does simply have the effect of making the device feel a touch larger than it is. Minimalist CLOSE UP The ultra-minimalist design of the Xperia Z sees an almost featureless front, with even the earpiece tucked quietly away Key features in the Xperia Z Power The power button is positioned halfway up the right side of the casing – perfectly placed for right handed users Camera The 13-MP camera is located at the top of the rear, with a glass covering. A small LED flash is just below it 19
  19. 19. Feature »Galaxy killer? Does the Xperia Z have what it takes to stop the Galaxy S III? SPEC WARS SONY XPERIA Z VS SAMSUNG GALAXY S III KEY SPECS OS VERSION: Android 4.1.2 PROCESSOR SPEED: Quad-core 1.5GHz GRAPHICS: Adreno 320 RAM: 2GB CAMERA: 13 megapixels WEIGHT: 146g SCREEN RESOLUTION: 1080x1920 SCREEN PIXEL DENSITY: 441ppi BATTERY: 2330mAh non-removable The Galaxy S III is the biggest-selling Android smartphone ever, with more than 40 million units being shipped worldwide since its launch last summer, contributing to the more than 100 million Galaxy devices sold in total. Sony’s Xperia Z is arguably the most powerful mobile device ever launched, with a superfast processor, quality next-gen camera and ultra high resolution display, and as a premium phone from one of the world’s largest tech companies, it is being pitched as the ultimate Galaxy killer. But does it have what it takes to halt the Galaxy juggernaut? We take a look at the specs and our hands-on tests to find out. Sony’s device is minimalist in design and rather angular in shape, giving the impression that the phone is larger than it is. It is also weightier than the S III, although it does still slip into a pocket comfortably. For added value the phone is well protected against the weather. Powered by the quad-core Krait processor, the Xperia Z really flies. Even with non-final firmware the power of the CPU shows itself, and coupled with a skin that feels far lighter than Samsung’s TouchWiz we’d expect few issues with the responsiveness of this device. The Xperia Z is mostly built around the hardware specs – the 1080p display in particular is stunning. All the basics are here, including NFC and HDMI-out capability, but so much of the added extras are designed to get you buying into the Sony ecosystem, whether you want to or not. Lots of Sony apps and services are on board, so if you’re a Sony fan you’ll be in your element, especially being able to use the device as a remote control for your other Sony kit. If you’re manufacturer agnostic, you may find less value in the extras that are on offer. Time will tell how popular the Xperia Z is in the Android hacking community. Sony does offer support through its official bootloader unlocking tool, but past experience shows that Sony’s handsets struggle to capture the imagination of the hacking crowd. KEY SPECS OS VERSION: Android 4.1.2 PROCESSOR SPEED: Quad-core 1.4GHz GRAPHICS: Mali-400MP RAM: 1GB CAMERA: Eight megapixels WEIGHT: 133g SCREEN RESOLUTION: 720x1280 SCREEN PIXEL DENSITY: 306ppi BATTERY: 2100mAh removable DESIGN AND BUILD A far curvier design than the Xperia Z may not be quite as refined or classy but it feels great in the hand. The tapered edges emphasise the phone’s slimness so the device feels less large than you might expect. The plastic casing does not have the most premium feel, however. POWER AND PERFORMANCE The S III was one of the trailblazing quad-core phones and still offers superior performance. But it’s limited in RAM – 1GB – where the noticeable difference lies. It has always been the S III’s major weakness, especially where the bloated TouchWiz skin is concerned. FEATURES ECOSYSTEM AND EXTRAS HACKABILITY The S III has all the bases covered, albeit in sometimes obscure ways – the MHL port for HDMI-out functionality is proprietary, for example. The camera is excellent and a much larger-than-average battery ensures the phone will keep running throughout the day and sometimes more. Samsung doesn’t miss the chance to encourage you to use the S III as a hub for your Samsung gear, but in a more subtle way than Sony. While Samsung does replace virtually all the stock Android apps with its own S-branded alternatives, some of the tweaks do add real value. The Galaxy S III currently ranks among the most popular devices for hacks, tweaks and ROMs, so you can customise the device to your heart’s content. With such a large user base we’d expect it to remain relevant for some time, just as the S II continues to be a well-used handset. And the winner is... SAMSUNG GALAXY S III It really couldn’t be much closer, but we’re still giving the nod to the S III based on the likelihood that it remains a more hack-friendly handset than the Xperia. If that’s not a priority for you then the contest is far tighter. Indications are that the Xperia Z is considerably faster and more powerful, and has a better and less resource-hungry skin. We’ll need to wait on the final release of the Z, where we can test battery and uncover any other issues before we are able to make the final call. 20
  20. 20. Feature Galaxy killer? « CAMERA TEST The Xperia Z is a rare example of a Sony smartphone without a dedicated camera button. In our view it’s a backward step for a device that has lots of potential in the imaging department, but it does bring it into line with most other handsets. As the device we were testing was not running final firmware it is possible that there will The full HD display One of the big standout features on the Xperia Z is the screen. This is the first time we’ve seen a 1080p display in the UK, with the only previous models being a couple of HTC devices for the US and Japanese markets. The pixel density of 441ppi puts it way beyond Apple’s famed Retina display benchmark of 300ppi. The theory is that once you get beyond 300ppi the pixels become imperceptible to the eye, but the Xperia Z’s screen shows that this is not the case. True, when you’re looking at it in isolation you might struggle to notice the improvements this higher-than-ever pixel density makes. It looks bright, clear and crisp, and you really cannot see the pixels no matter how closely you look. But it’s only when you put it directly up against a 720p display that you can see how much of a step up it is. Whether it proves to be a major selling point we’re not so sure, but we can certainly expect the entire industry to move to these HD displays this year. Away from the resolution the screen looks like being one of Sony’s best. When we reviewed the be further improvements in the quality of the camera by the time the device goes on sale, but in our initial tests we were happy with the quality and performance of the camera. It is very responsive, with barely any perceptible shutter lag and produced reasonably crisp shots in far-from-ideal shooting conditions. There was inevitably evidence of noise and noise reduction, and the LED flash seems set to be as feeble as they always are. But from what we’ve seen so far we’d have no reason not to expect this to match, if not surpass, the performance of the Xperia T, which is among our current favourite camera smartphone performers. “You really cannot see the pixels no matter how closely you look” LIFEPROOF The Xperia Z will withstand dust, water and anything else you can throw at it One of the differentiating features of the Xperia Z, and something that is likely to become commonplace on Sony devices in future, is that it is waterproof. This means that the ports around the device are sealed, but we can’t vouch for what will happen if the phone comes into heavy contact with water when, for example, you’ve got your headphones plugged in and there is a port exposed. With all the ports closed, though, we can say that the phone continues to work fully when submerged. That’s great for when you’re using the device in the rain, although whether you’d want to pluck it out of the toilet and continue using it is another matter. 21
  21. 21. Feature »Galaxy killer? Benchmark tests AnTuTu Normally we wouldn’t benchmark a device running pre-release firmware, but in the case of the Xperia Z there’s really nothing to hide. The quad-core Krait processor has proven itself before in devices like the Nexus 4 and there’s no sign that the experience will be any different on the Xperia Z. It beat the Galaxy S III in both the AnTuTu and Quadrant benchmark tests, which test CPU, graphics and SD card reading and writing performance. Xperia T we found the viewing angles were a notch lower than the likes of the best-in-class HTC One X, but that appears to have been fixed in the Z. The on-board Bravia engine ensures good colours and contrast too. Sony’s software skin The skin on Sony’s Android smartphones has for some time been considered one of the best, achieving the aim of giving Sony handsets their own identity while remaining fairly light and understated. Sony’s tweaks to the UI have in the past found their way into the stock Android OS, and there are a few on the Z that we’d be happy to see do likewise. Most notably is the ability to create folders of apps in the app drawer itself, not just on the home screen. That would certainly go some way towards helping clear up the clutter of apps, as well as bloatware. There is a certain amount of the latter evident on the 20582 Sony Xperia Z 15721 Samsung Galaxy S III Sony Xperia Z Samsung Galaxy S III 8084 8838 7261 7514 3333 5050 4910 897 883 CPU RAM GPU I/O TOTAL Sony Xperia Z. Sony, like Samsung, is increasingly keen to turn its phones and tablets into hubs for all of its products. If you own a PlayStation and a recent Sony TV and want to invest in Sony services then the benefits of owning a Sony phone become clearer, but if not, then some of the added software features on the Z may not be relevant to you. Among the added software are a Walkman app and the (subscription-based) Music Unlimited service that replicates much of the Google Play Music experience. There’s also a movies service, and a pictures app to replace the stock Android gallery. For gamers, PlayStation Mobile is included, although that service has yet to gain any traction in the market. There are some extras too that offer varying levels of value – bundling security software always seems like a throwback to the old PC days, while Sony Car, with its large buttoned UI for in-car control of music and navigation features seems like it would be of greater use. Early performance tests The device we were using was not running the final firmware so we’ll withhold our judgement on the device’s performance until we get a retail unit for our full review. That said, we encountered no issues with the speed and responsiveness of the system, and the running of some benchmark tests on the device gave us very high expectations of the phone’s speed. Even pushing around more than double the pixels as the Galaxy S III, the Krait processor was able to take everything in its stride – make no mistake, this is a real powerhouse of a smartphone. And just in general use our perceptions are similar. There are no traces of lag, and games and full HD video ran smoothly. The one concern may be the battery life, and this was something we have not yet had chance to test. The device is equipped with a 2100mAh battery, the same size as in the Nexus 4 which was able to run for just about a day on a single charge. With larger screen size, greater resolution and 4G connectivity there may need to be some heavy optimisations to deliver good results with this battery. With this in 22 Quadrant Samsung may finally have itself an Android rival mind Sony has incorporated a power management function into the device which disables certain functions when the screen is off or the battery is low. It will also give you a handy prediction of how long your battery is likely to last. Conclusion The Xperia Z made a good impression on us during our hands-on time with the device. We’re not overly keen on the styling, although the fiercely minimalist design is by no means unattractive, but the screen and the general feeling of power and responsiveness are undoubtedly appealing. With a skin that is lighter and more sophisticated than both HTC and Samsung have been able to muster to date, and one of the best records for delivering updates, there appears to be nothing on the software side to scare off users who prefer their Android devices to be up to date and unencumbered by bloat. And if the phone doesn’t feel like a massive leap forward over the market leading Galaxy S III, there is surely enough here to help Sony build on its second-place position.
  22. 22. BUILD A BETTER WEB www.webdesignermag.co.uk Available from all good newsagents and supermarkets ON SALE NOW Develop with Spotify | Build a WordPress plug-in | Create 3D effects DESIGN INSPIRATION PRACTICAL TIPS BEHIND THE SCENES STEP-BY-STEP ADVICE INDUSTRY OPINION BUYavailable atISSUE TODAY YOUR www.imagineshop.co.uk Print edition Digital edition available at www.greatdigitalmags.com Available on the following platforms facebook.com/webdesignermag twitter.com/webdesignermag
  23. 23. Continuing to push tech boundaries, the future of Android couldn’t be more exciting… I n just four years Android has been transformed from a fledgling mobile operating system to one of the leading and most creative platforms driving technology to new exciting levels today. It has expanded smartphones into new markets, and 24 broadened our ideas about what a smartphone could be, and now it is moving into wholly new product categories as well, where it will revolutionise the way we take photos, play games or just go about our daily lives. Over the next few pages we take a closer look at some of the greatest new innovations in the Android ecosystem, showing how it is changing the gear we already have, and how we will be using it in future. You’ll be surprised at just how widespread Android is becoming.
  24. 24. Feature 25 Amazing innovations in Android tech « Think Polaroid is old school? Think again Android cameras 01 Android is proving rather versatile. That said, it does appear rather perverse that with smartphones being blamed for the downturn in camera purchases, Samsung has decided to bring out a standalone snapper. That it has Android built in, however, fits rather nicely. The Galaxy Camera runs Android 4.1 and it’s a 16-megapixel beast, which puts the vast majority of smartphones to shame. With a 21x zoom and maximum aperture ranges from f/2.8 at wide angle to f/5.9 at full telephoto, it’s certainly a powerful system. The 4.8-inch hi-res screen on the back is a beauty too, but Samsung is not the only kid on the picture block. Polaroid is well and truly up to date with its Android camera, packing in a removable lens too. Having the interchangeable lens means this Android 4.1-powered camera is versatile. The device is based on the micro four-thirds format, ensuring there is already a strong selection of quality lenses available, while the 18-megapixel sensor should produce detailed shots. By taking away phone capabilities, more attention can be placed on what really matters with a camera: the bits inside that let you take the very best pictures. It’s great images combined with social functions and much control. And that’s why we’re snap happy. Samsung continue to be pack leaders Why an Android camera? Cameras: Android’s next big thing? EDITING ■ The large screens and operating system make editing on the camera far easier than rival, non-Android offerings. Whatever editing you can do with images on your smartphone will be possible on these cameras and that’s a great bonus to have up your sleeve. SHARING ■ As well as being able to check your email on your camera (and send images this way), the social media functions let you tweet and Facebook images to your favourite networks. But get this: Dropbox can be used too, which is the perfect way of bulksending photographs. Remote control cameras 02 With a mobile dongle and a camera connection cable to match your SLR or advanced compact camera, you can use Triggertrap Mobile as part of your photography setup. It triggers your SLR camera by laser, sound, time or via the Aux port, giving you control over exposure, time duration and more. It was launched with Kickstarter funding and you have to shell out some cash to get it but it’s a fantastic tool for anyone wanting to move beyond cameraphone photography. INTUITIVE ■ By having an easy-to-use interface such as Jelly Bean at your disposal, taking photographs is just a matter of using your fingers to manipulate what’s on the screen and using the intuitive menus. Far easier than manual buttons and switches. Control your phone via a watch 03 It wanted to raise $100,000. In the end, it raised more than $10 million. And this smartwatch is worth the investment because it lets you connect to your Android phone and control calls, messages, email and music playback via Bluetooth. It’s customisable, with developers able to expand on its capabilities, and it works with Android version 2.3.3 and above. “One of the big differentiating features in smartphones right now is the camera and these are fast eclipsing the need for standalone devices,” says Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group. But he argues producing Android-based cameras is not the way forward: “I think the best path will be a better strategy where the camera and phone work better as a pair rather than duplicating much of what is in the phone on the camera. If the phone guys figure out a way to elegantly do lenses before the camera guys, the era of the standalone camera will be all but over. So we will see more Android cameras, but until they come up with a better strategy, that market will largely be fighting a losing battle.” Surf the web via a pair of specs 04 Most people have heard of Google Glass but Vuzix has got there first. Working on the Android platform, you can scan email, use apps and grab updates. And all of this is done via a pair of internet-enabled smart glasses that give a real-life heads-up display wherever you are. They are not cheap and we still have to see what Google will come up with, but this sort of tech is amazing, giving the impression of looking at a four-inch phone screen about a foot or two from your face. Wearable computing is undoubtedly a big part of the future. 25
  25. 25. Feature »25 Amazing innovations in Android tech 1,080 x 1,980 Super high-res displays In 2013, the revolution in Android devices will surround one of the most important aspects: the screen. Handset after handset is being unveiled with 1080p, from ZTE’s Grand S to Huawei’s D2, Sony’s Xperia Z/ZL and the five-inch display coming from everybody’s favourite, Samsung. It’s set to become the flagship standard for manufacturers, with screens boasting ultra-high pixel density. Indeed Samsung has hit 440 pixels per inch with its AMOLED screen. All of which has led to one problem: a possible shortage of such screens, with supplier Sharp having already reported issues in keeping up with demand. But it’s a good thing. While the benefits of a 1080p display won’t always be apparent – run a 720p video and it won’t magically look 1080p – anything created in that format will look amazing. Text and icons will be rendered with eye-piercing precision and photographs will take on a new lease of life and vibrancy. Expect lots of app developers to take advantage, and for videos to become almost lifelike in their clarity. The future is ours to see. The rise of the 1080p display 768 x 1,280 A 1080p display sports more than double the number of pixels than on a 720p screen, resulting in considerably crisper text and images, and potentially more fitting on the screen at one time. 05 540 x 960 720 x 1,280 480 x 854 480 x 800 320 x 480 240 x 320 How pixel density is on the increase Flagship devices have burst through the 300ppi benchmark 450 400 350 300 250 200 150 100 50 0 440 - Sony Xperia Z 306 - Samsung Galaxy S III 252 HTC Desire 219 - Samsung Galaxy S II 181 - HTC Hero Flagship Android devices from 2009 to 2013 Waterproof devices Flexible displays 07 Strong, thin displays 312 - HTC One X 300ppi: the ‘Retina display’ benchmark 08 06 Gorilla Glass 3 is going to put to bed many of those worries about damage to your expensive, pride of joy. Unless you are taking your keys to it, you’re going to find this new version of alkali-aluminosilicate sheet glass will be three-times more scratch-resistant than ever. Any scratches will be 40 per cent less visible to the naked eye. Superfast processors The Xperia Z had us in tears at the quality of the handset. But we didn’t need to worry about splashing this device – you can drop it into a swimming pool and it would still work, thanks to its incredible waterproof protection. While we know you won’t be dunking your phone in this way, it will be great in a rain storm and it’s good to see that manufacturers are understanding how protective users can be of their phones and building in added protection. The Samsung Galaxy S IV may well be the first to carry a flexible AMOLED display. While we don’t expect users to be bending it like David Beckham any time soon, we do think that flexible glass will prove rather innovative in terms of practical use. Perhaps it will be curved so that a certain section displays a particular piece of information so that the device doesn’t always have to be on. We will find out soon… “You’re going to find this new version of alkali-aluminosilicate sheet glass will be three-times more scratch-resistant than ever” Instant expert: Tegra 4 vs Snapdragon S4 09 Chip maker Nvidia is making a lot of noise in the Android space at the moment and its Tegra 4 processor looks set to be one of the chips powering many of the hottest devices launched over the next year. Designed for top-of-the-range smartphones, it boasts a host of features that will take Android to another level, enabling High Dynamic Range photographic capabilities and even 4K video recording and playback. But it’s not all about power. The company promises that the energy efficiency of the processor will be improved, letting handset makers choose between prolonging battery life or offering maximum speed. 26 TEGRA 4 • The world’s fastest mobile processor • Consumes less power than Tegra 3 • 72-core custom GPU • Quad-core A15 CPU SNAPDRAGON S4 • Not as fast as Tegra 3 • Up to 1080p HD video • Up to Adreno 305 GPU • Up to 1.7GHz Dual-Krait CPU
  26. 26. Feature 25 Amazing innovations in Android tech« Android at home Android devices in every room? You better believe it! Games console 10 Vacuum cleaner 11 12 The OUYA games console is a tiny set top box style device that brings the full power of Android gaming to your big screen TV. With a fully hackable setup it could also double as a streaming TV device, Car apps The Ford OpenXC SDK has been released for Android developers, enabling access to a car’s sensor data. Having already produced an API to let drivers access smartphone features hands-free, this allows data such as fuel consumption, GPS info and vehicle speed to be read. 13 Sharp’s Cocorobo RX V60 robot vacuum not only lets you put your feet up while it cleans your carpet but it also lets you plan a floor map and work out cleaning patterns on your Android phone, making it a rather fun task rather than a chore. Oven At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Dacor showcased the world’s first oven with Android controls. With a seven-inch LCD touchscreen, stereo sound and Wi-Fi, it lets chefs check emails and scour for recipes – and enables handy remote control. Light bulbs 14 Philips is a leading light here with its Hue light bulbs that give control via a smartphone. Grab a starter pack which includes three light bulbs and a wireless bridge device and control over Wi-Fi. 3M tabletop 15 It’s a prototype but there’s a lot of potential with this 40-point multi-touch 84-inch tabletop display from 3M. It’s not just its 3,840 x 2,160 display and wired-based sensors, it’s the fact you could play pinball. Perhaps. Rice cooker 16 Yes, it’s a little daft but the Android rice cooker is a reality. Made by Panasonic, the SR-SX2 lets users search for recipes on their Android phones and then transmit them to the cooker. And you can even view how much electricity it has used. 17 Fridge A refrigerator by LG has the capability to wirelessly deliver a shopping list to your smartphone. Equipped with a touchscreen panel, it utilises a database within the appliance to make life infinitely easier. Never forget the milk again. 18 Smart TVs Google TV is pre-installed on many televisions but now we have Archos TV Connect which lets you run Android on your television. You have full access to the entire Android suite of apps from Google Play to Gmail to games. 27
  27. 27. Feature »25 Amazing innovations in Android tech Android gaming consoles 19 Ouya Project Shield Gamestick MOGA Nyko Playpad Pro What is it? The tiny console which raised a sizeable fortune on Kickstarter and, in the process, became one of the most anticipated consoles of all time. A handheld console with a five-inch screen that is to be produced by tech giant Nvidia. It takes the portability of Android and adds a controller. A rival to Ouya in more ways than one – not only is it cheaper but it’s actually even smaller, coming on a HDMI dongle that can be carried in a pocket. An add-on controller which connects to an Android device and lets you play your games with greater ease than a touchscreen could ever allow for. It’s another joystick which offers eight-way motion but doesn’t actually attach to an Android device. It does have a decent enough stand to sit it on though. Price/ availability $99. Pre-orders went fast but due for retail sale in April 2013. Not announced as yet but don’t expect it to be cheap. It is due some time in the second-quarter of the year and will sell fast. $79. It’s another Kickstarter project and while it hasn’t had the same impact as Ouya, it has more than exceeded expectations. Due in April. $49.99. There is a lot of stock so getting hold of one shouldn’t be an issue. It’s out now if you wish to check it out. Buy from http://www.powera.com. $39.99 and you can buy it from a decent number of outlets at present. It’s out now so check it out if this is the kind of device you are after. Features/ specs Android 4.1, Nvidia Tegra 3 (T33) SoC, 1.7GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A9, 8GB internal flash memory, 1GB RAM, HDMI 1080p, 1080i, 720p, Nvidia ULP GeForce, USB 2.0, micro USB, wireless controller. Android 4.2.1, Tegra 4, quad-core ARM Cortex A15 CPU, micro SD, five-inch, 720p multi-touch screen, custom 72-core NVIDIA GeForce GPU, custom, bass-reflex, tuned port audio system, mini HDMI, micro USB, controller. Android Jelly Bean, Amlogic 8726-MX processor, 1GB DDR3/8GB NAND Flash memory, HDMI, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth controller and support for four additional controllers. Dual-analog sticks, shoulder triggers and four action buttons, works with up to 3.2 in Bluetooth enabled Android 2.3+ phones, as well as tablets. 18 hours of gameplay with two (1.5v) AAA batteries. Full-sized wireless Bluetooth controller, dual-analog sticks, D-pad, four face buttons and left/right dual-shoulder/trigger buttons designed in conjunction with NVIDIA. Games Games must have a free-to-play aspect to them, even if it’s just a free trial. Lots of development kits have been sent out and OnLive is on board for streaming. As well as Android games, you will also be able to stream games which are running on a desktop PC or laptop so it opens up Windows titles. The maker is inviting developers to come on board and produce games for the stick, hoping that it will attract exclusives. It lacks game streaming so far but it may well come. So many games don’t support the device and while that may change, we’re looking at a tiny percentage right now. Even games made for consoles don’t support the device. The Playpad Pro is compatible with numerous games optimised for Tegra-powered devices. The device works with any Android 3.0 device or higher with Bluetooth. Hackability The hardware design allows it to be easily opened with a standard screwdriver. It makes modding and add-ons rather easy to do. The software will be fully open as well. We’re not sure if Nvidia will play to the hacking community but we’re sure that people will find a way. It won’t be built for modding, though, and it may be too expensive a machine for people to mess with. High. The makers are quoted as saying: “We are keen to ensure that users have the ability to hack the device if they so wish. The time for closed, proprietary systems is ending, which bodes well for innovation.” We’re hoping that someone will hack it so that it becomes compatible not only with more games but with emulated titles too. So far we have yet to see any major hacks for the controller, though. Seems less likely. Indeed the Nyko website proudly proclaims “No rooting required”. Great for ease of use, but less so if they want to attract the geek crowd in. Prospects for success High. Inexpensive games on an inexpensive console bringing Android gaming to the big screen and enough pre-orders to make the little green robot dance. Project Shield supports Google Play and is capable of streaming PC games and we’re sure Sony and Nintendo will be a little worried. But one for the hardcore? And will it be too expensive? It is made by PlayJam which is an experienced games company and it’s also a very inexpensive device that will be well supported, we believe. It will not struggle for games so we reckon it will do well. They want to get developers on board but we’re not seeing this device setting the world alight. It’s not the first controller of its type and we expect to see many others in the future. Not that high. The issue with these devices is that it is akin to carting around a console controller and that’s not very comfortable. The future, we think, is in Android consoles for television rather than controllers for portables. Gaming: Android’s next big thing? Gaming is one of the most important features of Android devices. Analytic company Flurry, for example, estimated that more than $10 million was earned from apps in 2012 and that 80 per cent of that total was for games. In terms of time, it has been found that more than 40 per cent of the time spent on an 28 Android device includes a game. Charles Golvin, an analyst for Forrester Research, believes devices will combine with Smart TVs. “I think the most likely scenario for bringing Android gaming to the big screen is via Google TV and other scenarios that integrate with the TV,” he tells us. There is certainly a healthy future for Android gaming, however, and Charles says consumers already have enough power to take advantage of this much-loved pastime: “Consumers benefit from the increasing performance of their phones and can therefore get a very good gaming experience without shelling out for an additional device.”
  28. 28. The phablet explosion 20 Take a smartphone. Take a tablet. Merge the two and what do you have? A phablet. And it’s more than just an awful name. For these phablets are on the increase and they are set to take up a unique space of their own. In general, they are between five and seven inches and it is the next logical step in the pattern of ever increasing phone screen sizes. It seems people want more from their phones in the physical sense and it’s not surprising. Although the larger form is more cumbersome to hold, it makes for a considerably more comfortable gadget to view. It will ensure that we use our mobile devices in a very different way. Instead of having two devices – a smartphone and tablet – we may increasingly see ourselves with just the one. And because holding a seven-inch screen to the ear is Trigger Happy TV daft, it may even encourage a rise in video calling. Experts suggest the market for phablets is set to more than double to 60.4 million units globally and while that is still small fry compared to the markets for the two distinguishable devices, they are perfect for those that want the best of both worlds, enabling for an all-in-one, content-rich solution. And the gap between phone and tablet will shrink ever further – the Huawei Ascend Mate has a screen measuring a faintly ludicrous 6.1 inches! The coming months will see many other manufacturers dip their toes in the phablet waters, and as the ultimate convergence device you’re going to see a lot more of them on the street too. An e-ink phone Dual-SIM devices 21 22 The YotaPhone is a great device in concept. Here we have a phone that boasts a cool colour touchscreen where it should be and yet packs an e-ink display on the back. It’s like having a very portable Kindle with all of those benefits, not least the fact that it doesn’t eat up battery. Users can put all manner of things on that back screen, from a map to a to-do list. The Kogan Agora phone may have a decent set of specifications, but the key is its dual-SIM capabilities. This means you can slot a 2G card into one slot and a 3G into the other. The downside with this particular device is that it doesn’t support 4G but we can be sure other dual-SIM devices will, in the future, offer this sort of capability. Better phones include Philips W8355 with its 5.3-inch screen that boasts an impressive 960 x 540 pixels resolution as well as dual-SIM. Android & Windows together Smaller seven-inch tablets 23 24 Having to choose one OS over another can be limiting, especially when each has its own merit. And while we will never see iOS on an handset with Android, there are Android-Windows hybrid tablets around including the Transformer AiO from Asus. It’s an all-in-one Windows 8 PC that can double up as an 18.4-inch Android 4.1 tablet. Vizio’s seven-inch tablet is the size of a Kindle and that’s got to be a good thing. It packs in a Tegra 3 processor, a 1,280 x 800 IPS display, 16GB of storage, a 1.2-MP front-facing camera and Android Jelly Bean, but the smaller form makes it a more compact, usable and comfortable device, which is quite dramatic when compared to a Nexus 7. Truly affordable tablets 25 The One Laptop per Child tablet makes these sorts of devices so cheap that you wonder why, when it is released, everyone will not have one. Costing just $100, it can run Android on its Marvell Armada PXA618 processor. It utilises 512MB of RAM and it has an eight-inch, 1,024 x 768 3Qi display. Want more? The screen can be turned down in bright light and you can make that battery last even longer. Top 3 phablets Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Even bigger than the debut model, the Note 2 boasts a 5.5-inch screen and while we did question who would want to make calls on such a large device, it has become a massive seller. HTC Droid DNA An impressive phablet with a five-inch screen and a full 1080p HD display excels with its fast performance. Great for photographers and those who like face calls, since it has cameras front and back. LG Optimus Vu 2 This five-inch phablet has a 1.5GHz quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 CPU and it also appears to be a premium build. Efficient and good-looking, it’s a sure-fire winner for LG. 29
  29. 29. T utorials » masterclass Master the Galaxy Premium Suite There are a host of fantastic features available from the latest upgrade for S III users I n this masterclass we’ll be taking a look at the new features included in the Premium Suite available for Samsung Galaxy S III users. Photographers will be delighted to learn about the many camera improvements included. We’ll guide you through the new Low light shot function and Paper Artist mode. Thanks to the new Multi window feature, multitasking is made a breeze – now you can open two apps in two separate windows at the same time. In our fourth tutorial, we look at Page buddy, a new feature that tries to read your mind by opening apps on your smartphone for you. In our final tutorial, we look at the new contextual tagging feature, which enables you to tag photos with not only the date and location, but even the weather. Galaxy Premium Suite features Ask your own question online at littlegreenrobot.co.uk Will the Premium Suite be heading to any other Android devices? Samsung Galaxy Note and Galaxy S II users are in luck – the Premium Suite update will be available for download very shortly. You’ll receive the same great features as the Galaxy S III did, such as the ability to multi-task and tag your mates with contextual tagging. There’s lots to be excited by! “We look at Page buddy, a new feature that tries to read your mind by opening apps on your smartphone for you” Sharing made easy 1. Never miss an important Facebook status update ever again! Now you can view Facebook updates conveniently on your lockscreen. 2. If you’re far-sighted or just find the text a little too small on the S III, you’re in luck. The new Reader mode solves that problem by enabling you to adjust the text size in your browser to as large as you desire. 3. If you’re looking to get your groove on to your favourite tunes, you can perfect the sound by altering the balance of your pair of headphones. 4. The Premium Suite turns the Galaxy S III up a notch. Enjoy faster response and a smoother touch than ever before as you browse your favourite apps. 5. Send SMS to your mates faster than ever before. Continuous input lets you use your stylus pen to type words at rapid speeds. These amazing features make sharing with your mates easy AllShare Play S Beam AllShare Cast Tired of carrying around extra cables? AllShare Play enables you to wirelessly connect your phone to your TV in a snap. Content, such as photos and videos, are seamlessly transferred to enjoy on the big screen. Simply tap another S Beam device such as Galaxy Note II or Galaxy S III Mini to share. Effortlessly share a 1GB movie in only three minutes or a 10MB song in two seconds. Best of all, no Wi-Fi or cellular signal required! Whether you’re getting ready for a big presentation at work or the classroom, Group Cast has you covered. Share and collaborate on documents, presentations and photos via Wi-Fi, all from one feature. » Big screen 30 » Share with Android users » Share documents
  30. 30. » Samsung Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II Difficulty » Easy Automate tasks with Page Buddy Keep your hands off your smartphone and let it do the hard work for you O ne of the most popular and widely discussed features of the iPhone is Siri, a voiceactivated assistant, which helps you at the sound of your voice. Users of the Galaxy S III now have something to be proud of. Do you ever wish your smartphone could read your mind? Unfortunately, we’re still not there yet, but Page buddy is the next best thing. Page buddy follows your every move on your smartphone and can figure out what you plan to do next. For example, by simply plugging in headphones to your phone, the music library will automatically open for your listening pleasure. 2 min guide ss xy cla la e ter Ga it as the Su »m ter ium as m M Pre Works with The new contextual tagging feature lets you automatically tag faces and weather in photos you take Tag faces & weather in photos Contextual tagging is more like a group of features that need to be activated separately, but combine to perform a single useful function. Access all of the core settings through the Camera app. 1 1 Turn on Page buddy wonder Once you turn on Page buddy you’ll how you ever survived without it. To enable Page buddy, go to Settings>Display and locate the correct option. Simply swipe with your finger to turn on Page buddy. If you find it doesn’t stay activated, turn it on in the options from step 2. 2 Options enabled, click to show its With Page buddy options. There are dedicated pages for earphones, docking (when your phone is connected to a charger) or for when you are travelling overseas and roaming is activated. Tick to activate the features you want to use. Contextual tagging isn’t automatically turned on – you’ll need to enable it. To do so, open Settings, find GPS Tag and select Contextual filename. Now location and weather will be stored automatically in photos. 2 3 Enjoy music Page buddy will be automatically activated when your home screen is visible, when you connect earphones, when you dock your phone or go abroad. For example, when you plug in your headphones a special music-oriented home screen will open, giving you instant access. 4 Turn off to swipe around your You can continue home screens with Page buddy running. When you disconnect your earphones, or undock your phone, Page buddy will disappear. Note that this app requires TouchWiz to function, so if you’re running a separate launcher it will not be available. To tag faces, click on the rectangle that covers a face and choose the person that appears in the photo. If you don’t see a rectangle on the face, click the options button, then Face tag and tap On. 3 31
  31. 31. T utorials Multitask with the Multi window feature Works with » Samsung Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II Difficulty » Easy Multi-task in full-screen mode with Premium Suite’s new Multi window mode L et’s face it; two screens are better than one. If you have a desktop computer you can double your productivity by purchasing a second monitor – not so with a smartphone like the Galaxy S III. Users of the world’s best-selling smartphone were limited to painstakingly opening one program in only one window at a time – that is until now! The new Multi window mode enables you to open two different apps at the same time, each in its own window – that means you can have two windows open at the same time, folks. Multi window mode is a long overdue feature Galaxy S III users have been craving. You’ll instantly enjoy the convenience of browsing the internet while checking your favourite app, all at the same time. The giant-sized, crystal-clear display of the Galaxy S III is perfect for this feature. You’ll wonder how you ever lived without the fantastic Multi window mode. Display settings 1 Adjust to enable Multi window mode to You’ll need start taking advantage of two-window browsing. To turn this feature on, go to Settings>Display and tick the Multi window box. You can leave it activated even if you don’t often use it. started 3 Getting on the left of the screen to see Tap the icon your available Multi window apps. Only supported apps are available here – the Samsung and Google apps are there by default, although third-party apps can add support as well. The Falcon Pro Twitter app is one good example of this. 32 4 Two screens window mode, To start viewing in Multi select one of the available apps and open it. Next, select a second app and drag its icon onto the screen. It will now open in one half of the screen, with your original app also still being perfectly visible and accessible. 2 Enable Multi window mode, a Once you’ve enabled Multi window small icon on the left side of your display should appear. It disappears after some time, but shows up when Multi window is turned on. You can display it again by holding down the back button. 5 Window size display, you can To optimise your device’s adjust the size of your on-screen windows. To change the size of a window, simply select it and drag it from the corner to either enlarge or minimise. Tap in one window and then hit the full screen icon to enlarge that app.

×