Author Archives: James DeRuvo

James has been blogging about mobile technology, photography and video for about 10 years. He's the associate producer of the Leo Laporte Tech Guy Show with Premiere Radio Networks and lives in Southern California.

Samsung Fascinate users report Froyo update problems and solutions

Samsung Fascinate users are complaining of errors after receiving the OTA update of OS 2.2 Froyo. The error message that users are receiving is "UPDATE FAILED or INCOMPLETE. reason: IP_PREVIOUS_UPDATE_FAILED" and appears to be affecting users with a Fascinate that is either rooted, has a previous update that failed to complete, or has a corrupted system directory. Users have tried everything from a hard reset to removing the battery with no help in clearing the error. But thanks to a smart Fascinate user, there's a workaround.

Android joins the Army with prototype

The power of the Android platform is now part of the Arsenal of Democracy. Reports are that the US Army has developed a prototype for a military grade Android smartphone to be carried by soldiers on the battlefield. The prototype is known as the "Joint Battle Command Platform" (JBCP) and is being developed by MITRE. An SDK known as the Mobile Handheld Computing Environment is also in the works for App developers.

Android to get $100 million startup fund

An investment firm in Silicon Valley has announced the creation of a $100 million dollar start up fund for Android territory. The firm, DCM, has identified Android as the hottest thing in the tech world right now and has earmarked on average between $500,000 and $4 million in products that will shape the Android ecosystem from the "A-fund" to help select robot-focused start-ups get up and running. The firm stated that Android's rapid rise around the world, particularly in Asia, was what prompted creation of the fund that they hope will enable developers capitalize on it. DCM believes that Android will continue to dominate in Japan, China and Taiwan and that's where a lot of the money is focused. DCM has offices in both Tokyo and Beijing.

Android tracks users too [Report]

Fresh on the heals of controversy that Apple's iPhone 4 OS collects location data on users, a recent report shows that Google's Android system performs the same spying functions. Security experts have found that the Android OS collects location based data every few seconds and transmits it to Google several times an hour. In addition to a user's location, the Android OS also catalogs a user's name, signal strength of nearby hotspots, and the phone's unique identifier. The idea is to triangulate a user's location in proximity to local WiFi networks in order to push location based advertising.

T-Mobile G Slate confirms launch date as April 20

T-Mobile has finally officially confirmed the launch date for the LG Slate. Although we recently reported that T-Mobile stores had the G Slate in the back of stores already, the official launch date for the Android 3 (Honeycomb) tablet has been confirmed for a nationwide release on April 20th. And it will sell for $529.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate and a two year contract for current T-Mobile customers. That's about $50 cheaper than the Motorola XOOM and $200 cheaper than a comparable iPad 2.

Motorola Droid Bionic delayed, getting enhancements

Motorola has announced that the Droid Bionic will be delayed until summer in order to receive several "enhancements." Although there is little detail as to what the enhancements may involve, the decision was made after receiving several "compelling feedback" when the phone was showed at CES in Las Vegas in January. Rumors citing inside sources have been saying that Motorola was going to delay or even right out cancel the Droid Bionic due to technical issues, but Motrola denies that. If Motorola did cancel the Bionic, insiders say it will likely be replaced with the Targa, a high-end 4G phone which has an advanced 13 megapixel camera and will be out later in the year.

Apple’s iOS has twice the reach of Android … for now

In result from a new study, Apple's iOS has twice the reach of Android in the US. But the results are a little deceiving as it focuses on iOS products which also include the iPad and iPod Touch. Factoring those in, Apple enjoys a user base of over 37 million, 59 percent higher than Android's user base of just under 24 million and only includes Android handsets and tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab. Apple's share of US mobile subscribers hovers around 16 percent, while Android subscribers are growing and are currently at around 10%, according to the comScore study.

Morphy Android Concept bends with you

The Morphy is a design attempt to address a user's need to keep their phones in their pockets, without having a clunky bulge that mucks up fashion lines. Designs may be elegant, but they are reliant on rigid technologies and thinking when newer options are out there to make a phone far more flexible. The idea of Morphy is that the pliable plastic design will flex and bend as the phone becomes more mailable due to body heat. Once placed in the pocket, it takes a few minutes for body heat to cause Morphy to conform to the body. When it's placed back on the table and exposed to similar heat, the pliable hybird plastic "memory" will eventually flatten it out.

AT&T offers in-app local advertising for developers

AT&T is set to release tools for app developers which would allow them to use location based advertising. Up until now, app developers had to rely on national ad campaigns and often, those ads were of little value to users. With the new location based advertising, the in app ads suddenly become more viable to the app user and provider more income since companies tend to pay more for location based ads. It's a huge development which strikes right at the heart of Google's dominance with AdMob.

Evernote for Android gets huge update

Users of Evernote know how beneficial it is to save important information, images, just about anything and organizing it for easy retrieval. In today's mobile based society, it was only a matter of time and effort before Evernote produced a mobile app. And it's proven quite useful for users on the Android platform. Now, Evernote has introduced version 3, which offers some serious updates including sharing, improved text editing, a widget redesign, and more.
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