Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Find: Nice survey of mobiles and health


X-rays and iPads: The network healthcare evolution


Future of Bandwidth



  • How much bandwidth does your office really need?

  • Bandwidth explosion: As Internet use soars, can bottlenecks be averted?
  • At the rate technology has changed everything else in our lives, by now we should have the equivalent of tricorders in our smartphones—instant access to our health statistics collected by sensors in our clothes and pulled into our individual health history in the cloud. We should be able to Skype our physician, text our pharmacist, and get both a blood sugar measurement and an MRI at Starbucks while waiting for a grande latte.


    Except for the MRI part, all of that is doable today. Thanks to the big stick provided by the Affordable Care Act in the US, some healthcare organizations are pushing more aggressive use of network bandwidth and cloud technology:



    • Monitoring patients’ health more proactively with networked devices, ranging from wirelessly networked medicine bottle lids to worn or embedded sensors that report back on vital signs;

    • Coordinating care with the help of analytic tools in the cloud and a wealth of individual and collective patient data; and

    • Connecting physicians directly with patients over PCs or mobile devices for between-appointment follow-ups.
    • Those things can’t be pulled off without cloud technology, whether it’s hosted internally in a health organization’s data center or elsewhere. But ask any random sampling of physicians, technologists, and health industry observers. They’ll tell you technology isn't restraining the next big paradigm shift in health care. The bandwidth is willing.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Find: nearly half of us smartphones are iPhones

But android outsells ios two to one worldwide. 

Benedict Evans

(This is an extract from a report I published last week for Enders Analysis

A little observation and collation: 

All 3 US (major) operators that sell the iPhone report their unit sales, and AT&T and Verizon report total smartphone sales. The iPhone is utterly dominant. 

#more 

Even at Verizon Wireless, which has aggressively promoted Android, the iPhone is now over 50% of all smartphone sales. 

As time goes on, we can estimate what this is doing to the installed base of smartphones (which they also disclose):

Expanded distribution and the new iPhone 4S combined mean that the iPhone now has 42% of all US smartphones in use today, and growing. 

As should be obvious, this means that though Android is outselling the iPhone 2:1 globally, the iPhone is substantially outselling Android in the USA. 

(Note: the second chart is for the total US market, including T-Mobile and other smaller carriers)

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Friday, May 25, 2012

Find: IDC worldwide smartphone OS survey: market up 45% over year, android 58% share, iOS 23% share

IDC Press Releases
Smartphones powered by the Android and iOS mobile operating systems accounted for more than eight out of ten smartphones shipped in the first quarter of 2012 (1Q12), according to the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

Find: NCSU-led Android Malware Genome Project will catalog, share Android malware

NCSU is a leader in mobile malware. Primary in that group is Xuxian Jiang

Ars Technica

Amid rising concerns about mobile malware, a group of security researchers is launching an initiative to improve collaboration around mobile threat analysis. They want to encourage researchers to share their malware samples with each other and work together to identify and catalog the hostile software.

The effort, which is led by researchers at NC State, is called the . The name alludes to the scientific undertaking of gene mapping. The security researchers similarly aim to unravel the constituent parts of Android malware and figure out how it all fits together. They hope that this will eventually pave the way for coming up with better and more proactive defense mechanisms.

According to the project’s website, the malware research collected by NC State has already been shared with 27 other organizations around the world. The recipients appear to all be universities and technology companies.

Find: Nice camera intro -- Apple's options for the next iPhone's camera

As they discuss possible camera improvements, nice intro to various camera technologies. 

Ars Technica
Apple

Apple has introduced significant improvements to the iPhone's camera capabilities in nearly every iteration of the device. And while rumors about the next-generation iPhone have largely concerned screen sizes and exotic materials, very little has been rumored about the camera thus far.

We decided to examine some potential technologies Apple could incorporate into the next iPhone to boost its photographic flair. Because the iPhone's camera is a combination of sensor and lens hardware controlled with software, we'll look at each part separately.

Hardware

The iPhone 4S camera hardware is already pretty capable, especially given the constraints of the device's size. It currently features an 8 megapixel sensor with backside illumination and a "full-well" design, technologies used to maximize its light gathering capabilities and dynamic range. Its five-element autofocus lens is sharp and provides even illumination across the image. And its "Hybrid IR" filter helps maximize color accuracy and sharpness.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Amazon Appstore lets you test drive android apps

The Verge - All Posts
Amazon Test Drive Android

Amazon has offered realtime demos of Android apps on its website for over a year through the company's Test Drive program. Now the online retailer seems poised to offer the same functionality directly on Android hardware, and has begun rolling out the feature to users who've installed Amazon Appstore on their device of choice. Rather than putting you up against the clock like Google — which allows users to request a refund up to 15 minutes following an app purchase — Amazon's solution lets customers sample an application without buying (or installing) the software directly.

Unfortunately, Test Drive is limited to select (and unspecified) handsets at the moment; we installed the latest version of Amazon Appstore on a gamut of devices...

Find: Tablet shipments grew 124 percent in Q1 2012, 63 of market was iPad ((

The Verge - All Posts
ipad smart cover

Early 2012 has seen the tablet market continue to grow, and Apple remains at the head of the pack, according to a new report from NPD DisplaySearch. In the first quarter of 2012 Apple reportedly shipped 13.6 million iPads, which was good enough to capture 62.8 percent of the tablet market during that period. Those numbers were no doubt bolstered by the release of the third-generation iPad in March, which saw brisk early sales. Samsung followed with 7.5 percent market share (1.6 million units), while Amazon came in a distant third with four percent (900,000 units) — an especially interesting estimate as Amazon is traditionally tight-lipped about Kindle shipment data. And all of those shipments have lead to a 124 percent year over year...

Find: Jony Ive on design inspiration

Jony is the lead industrial designer for apple and a major force there. 

The Verge - All Posts
Jony Ive

Apple's chief designer Jonathan Ive is back home in the UK today, preparing to receive a knighthood in recognition for his contributions to design and enterprise. Like most of his colleagues at the secretive Cupertino company, Ive is rarely seen or heard from in public, but his current visit to his homeland has been accompanied by a thoroughgoing interview with The Daily Telegraph. In it, Ive acknowledges the great debt of gratitude he feels toward his father, a teacher by trade who Ive describes as "a very good craftsman" that would build furniture and silverware all by himself. It was in watching his father work that young Jony developed an appreciation for the attention to detail and quality that would later come to mark his work —...

Find: $199 quad-core Android tablets -- Nvidia reveals Kai

This might actually take some market share from IPad.

The Verge - All Posts
Nvidia Kai $199 tablet platform stock

When Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said we might see $199 Tegra 3 tablets this summer, he wasn't speculating idly. Nvidia has revealed that it's working on just such a tablet: Kai. At the company's annual meeting of investors last week, VP Rob Csonger revealed the idea, and explained Kai isn't just a piece of hardware, but a plan to democratize its quad-core Tegra 3 system-on-chip. Nvidia wants to offer tablets that are more powerful than the Kindle Fire at the same price point, he said:

Our strategy on Android is simply to enable quad-core tablets running Android Ice Cream Sandwich to be developed and brought out to market at the $199 price point, and the way we do that is a platform we've developed called Kai. So this uses a lot of the...

Find: QuadHD phone cameras are coming

4xhd at 60hz, 8xhd at 30hz. 

The Verge - All Posts
omnivision sensors

OmniVision has unveiled two new sensors capable of enabling high-resolution video shooting on portable devices. The 1/2.3-inch OV16820 and OV16825 sensors, designed for compact cameras and "flagship smartphones" respectively, can shoot 60fps video at 4K2K (3840 x 2160, or four times 1080p) and 30fps video at the full 16-megapixel resolution of 4608 x 3456. The sensors also allow for 16-megapixel burst photography.

Whether the devices these chips are intended for will have the lenses to take advantage of 4K-beating video resolution is another matter entirely, but the specs do sound impressive on paper. While OmniVision doesn't tend to trumpet its clients, the company is a major supplier of CMOS sensors to device manufacturers — a...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Find: GitHub for Windows takes the pain out of using git

Also, for osx, and on microsoft's codeplex. 

Ars Technica

GitHub uses the git distributed version control system originally created by Linus Torvalds to help manage Linux's development as its backbone. It provides project hosting, bug tracking, and more, all wrapped up in a powerful Web interface. GitHub's most important feature is perhaps its trivial ability to fork projects. It takes just a few clicks to create your own version of a project to hack on and develop. Thanks to these features, GitHub has become the go-to place for collaborative open source software development. It's the home of projects such as Ruby on Rails and Node.js.

However, one developer community has found GitHub harder to use than others. Though the situation has improved, git and Windows are not the best of friends. After all, git was developed for Linux; Windows isn't anything like Linux. But that's where GitHub's new application, GitHub for Windows, comes in. GitHub for Windows provides a simple way to install and start using git on Windows, along with neat integration with GitHub's hosting and forking infrastructure.

The application, released on Monday, is an attractive, Metro-styled application. In addition to the GitHub for Windows application itself, it includes a self-contained version of git, the bash command-line shell, and the posh-git extension for PowerShell. You don't even have to manage any of these individual pieces yourself. The application uses a ClickOnce installer so it keeps all the bits and pieces up-to-date automatically.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Viz: Android fragmentation -- one developer encounters 3,997 devices

That's a lotta versions on android! 

Android fragmentation: one developer encounters 3,997 devices



A map of all the thousands of separate device models that downloaded OpenSignalMaps in a six month period.



Thursday, May 17, 2012

Find: Google data shows smartphone growth is global

Google
Last October, we launched Our Mobile Planet, a resource enabling anyone to visualize the ways smartphones are transforming how people connect with information, each other and the places around them.

Today, we're releasing new 2012 research data, and the findings are clear—smartphone adoption has gone global. Today, Australia, U.K., Sweden, Norway, Saudi Arabia and UAE each have more than 50 percent of their population on smartphones. An additional seven countries—U.S., New Zealand, Denmark, Ireland, Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland—now have greater than 40 percent smartphone penetration. In the U.S., 80 percent of smartphone owners say they don’t leave home without their device—and one in three would even give up their TV before their mobile devices!


We conducted this research to help people to better understand how mobile is changing our world. You can learn about mobile-specific usage trends, use this tool to create custom visualizations of data and more. There's plenty to discover in the latest research—to dig into new survey data about smartphone consumers in 26 countries from around the world, read our post on the Google Mobile Ads blog or visit http://thinkwithgoogle.com/mobileplanet.

Posted by Dai Pham, Group Product Marketing Manager, Google Mobile Ads

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Spotted: charactering 3d mobile performance -- Performance and Power Consumption Characterization of 3D Mobile Games

Including some general optimization techniques. 

IEEE Computer
This paper describes a preliminary performance and power consumption characterization study on 3D mobile games. We choose Quake3 and XRace as the game benchmarks and study them on TI OMAP3430, Qualcomm Snapdragon S2, and NVIDIA Tegra 2 (three mainstream mobile System-on-Chip architectures) by selectively disabling different graphics pipeline stages in source code level. Our characterization results show that the geometry stage is the leading bottleneck and the game logic (application) takes a significant portion of power consumption.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Find: Google Plugin for Eclipse now provides richer tooling for Cloud SQL and Google APIs

Google Code Blog
Author PhotoBy Sriram Saroop, Product Manager

We are pleased to announce the latest release of Google Plugin for Eclipse (GPE 2.6) with improved tooling for Cloud SQL and Google APIs. GPE 2.6 introduces the following features:

Tooling for using Java Persistence API (JPA) to access Cloud SQL

Object-Relational Mapping (ORM) frameworks are very popular in the Java community for accessing relational databases. The Eclipse Web Tools Platform offers a robust set of tools to configure and use JPA with an implementation of your choice. With the new Google Plugin for Eclipse (GPE) 2.6, you can now take advantage of these tools with Cloud SQL and Google App Engine. In any GPE project, JPA can now be enabled and configured as a project facet. The screenshot below shows the JPA facet configuration for a GPE project.



Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Nokia solves outdoor oled problem

The Verge - All Posts
displaymate

Nokia's Lumia 900 is the best smartphone in the world — in one important usability aspect, anyhow. The DisplayMate labs have been busy collating viewability data on mobile device displays and the results rank the Lumia 900 as the best performer. In particular, the DisplayMate tests were concerned with how devices handle increases in ambient light, a regularly-occurring challenge for anyone wanting to use a phone or a tablet while actually on the move.

Nokia's special reflectance-inhibiting polarizing filter, known under the ClearBlack Display brand, helps its handset to the top spot, even in spite of the fact it has an AMOLED display. AMOLED technology has for a long time been plagued by terrible readability when taken out in direct...

Continue reading…

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Find: Great history of the ARM architecture

The Verge - All Posts
ARM Cortex-A15

ARM processors now power everything from your Android phone to the latest version of Windows on tablets, but the architecture dates back to the days of British company Acorn Computers in the 80s. Reg Hardware has published a fascinating account of how the ARM came to be developed at Acorn under a team led by Sophie Wilson and Steve Furber, designers of the BBC Micro. You'll hear anecdotes about how practical considerations shaped the architecture — for example, while ARM processors are commonly used in mobile devices today for their low power requirements, the concern at the time was how to avoid heat problems in the necessarily cheap plastic Acorn cases.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Find: Smartphone owners now a majority of US mobile market, thanks to minorities

Check the smartphone vs feature phone by ethnicity graph. 

The Verge - All Posts
Photo

Smartphone owners are now the majority of the US mobile market. According to a new report from Nielsen, the US passed the tipping point in March, with 50.4 percent of mobile subscribers now sporting a smartphone. This is up from just under 50 percent in February and 37 percent from March 2011.

Yep — this is a smartphone country. And that affects how, when, and where we work, shop, and play.

Nielsen's figures confirm a Pew survey in March that also showed a slim smartphone majority. Another report from research firm Canalys shows smartphone shipments outstripped those of computers and tablets combined in 2011.

Nielsen's research shows that new mobile buyers continue to overwhelmingly opt for smartphones, although the market share...

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Find: Nokia promises a range of tablets and 'hybrid' mobile devices

Good idea. Building a strong connection between windows and phones is important in the long term. 

The Verge - All Posts
nokia windows 8 tablet mockup

Nokia may have reported a €1.3b operating loss for Q1 2012, and suffered several ratings agency downgrades recently, but the company appears confident it can turn its troubles around. Speaking to the Financial Times, Nokia's chairman, Jorma Ollila, has promised that the firm will launch a range of tablets and "hybrid" smart mobile devices to help it compete against the likes of Apple and Samsung.

"Tablets are an important one, so that is being looked into, and there will be different hybrids, different form factors [handset designs] in the future," said Ollila. Although there's no clear timeline on Nokia's tablet plans, the company's head of design, Marko Ahtisaari, fuelled speculation earlier this year that a Windows 8 tablet is on...

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Find: some iPad 2s now have a new cpu that gives 20-30% better battery life

Same price as other iPad 2s but hard to find. Nice explanation about mobile cpus here. 

AnandTech

When Apple launched the 3rd generation iPad (as the new iPad), it also dropped the price of the entry-level 16GB WiFi iPad 2 to $399. Apple's products tend to hold their values exceptionally well, so this two-tablet strategy made sense. Apple also proved the success of discount-the-previous-gen strategy with its iPhone line, where you can now buy current, n-1 and n-2 generations of iPhones at prices separated by $100.

What's different with the $399 iPad 2 is that Apple used it as a vehicle to introduce a new hardware platform, or more specifically, a new SoC.

Read on for our analysis of the new 32nm iPad 2,4.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Find: Amazon's Kindle Fire now the #1 Android tablet with 54% of the android market

Google becoming irrelevant in the tablet market? 

Ars Technica

Data published by comScore shows that Amazon's Kindle Fire has emerged as the dominant Android-based tablet. At the end of February, the Kindle Fire accounted for 54 percent of all Android tablets. The next most popular Android tablet product line is Samsung's Galaxy Tab family, which dropped from 23 percent of Android tablets in December to 15 percent in February.

The success of the Fire is no surprise to those paying attention to the tablet market—as we wrote last year, there is healthy demand for a low-cost iPad alternative. Amazon can afford to offer the hardware at a lower price than its rivals because it can make up the difference in content sales. The key factors driving sales of the Fire are likely its low price point, the strength of the Kindle brand, and the breadth of the Amazon content ecosystem.

Find: Yikes! 60% (or more) of ios app developers don't break even

Lessons: 

Don't be surprised if you don't make money. 
Make your app as good as you can. 
Your job isn't done when the coding is done. 
Make an app you want to make, not just need to make. 

Ars Technica

There is no shortage of stories about lone developers who made an app for the iPhone or iPad and had runaway success. But in the real world, the majority of app makers struggle to break even, according to a recent survey by marketing firm App Promo. Though the survey's methodology is a bit on the light side, numerous developers that we spoke to agree that the results—59 percent of apps don't break even, and 80 percent of developers can't sustain a business on their apps alone—are close to accurate.

Find: About time -- Text-to-911 moves ahead in the US

Text has more legs, methinks. See Africa. 

Ars Technica

While text-to-911 has been in the works for some time, it’s looking like Verizon is taking another step towards building a nationwide emergency SMS apparatus, as part of the Next Generation 911 (NG911) upgrades. Those changes are set to also include improved location data for 911 calls as well.

About a year ago, the Federal Communications Commission began proposing new rules to allow American residents to notify emergency services via text message. On Friday, the FCC praised Verizon for selecting a vendor, TeleCommunication Systems to help it build out the infrastructure. The service is expected to launch in 2013. Once complete, anyone in the United States with a cellphone will be able to text to the Public Safety Answering Points, as 911 call centers are formally known.

"Verizon is at the forefront of 911 public-safety innovations, and today’s announcement is another step in making SMS-to-911 service available to those who cannot make a voice call to 911," said Marjorie Hsu, Verizon Wireless vice president of technology, in an interview with The Hill.

The U.S. is a little behind in this respect—British mobile phone users have had access to EmergencySMS since 2009, as VentureBeat points out.

Find: building native iOS apps with RubyMotion

Ars Technica

In 2007, software developer Laurent Sansonetti launched an open source software project called MacRuby. It aimed to build a Ruby interpreter on top of the Objective-C runtime, providing a seamless bridge between Ruby and OS X "Cocoa" ecosystem—and it succeeded. Now Sansonetti hopes to do something similar for iOS.

Sansonetti recently left his job at Apple-where he has worked for the past seven years-to found his own startup, dubbed HipByte. He announced his first product today, a new software development kit called RubyMotion that will open the door for developers to build native iOS applications with the Ruby programming language.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Find: Apple has 75% of phone profit, Samsung the rest

Ars Technica

Samsung and Apple may be duking it out for the number one slot in smartphone sales (particularly due to the collapse of Nokia), but the two leaders have an astonishing combined 99 percent of global handset profits for Q1 2012. Of that, Apple took in 73 percent of global handset profits, despite having just 9 percent of global handset market share, according to new quarterly analysis from Canaccord.

Find: Q1 2012 -- apple grows to a 70% share, overall market down after Xmas

Apple first, then samsung, amazon, lenovo, b&n. 

Ars Technica

The overall tablet market is suffering despite Apple's strong numbers when it comes to iPad sales. Released Thursday, IDC's quarterly report on the tablet market shows a steep decline in worldwide tablet shipments during the first quarter of 2012—a 38.4 percent unit decline to 17.4 million units from the previous quarter's 28.2 million units. This was actually lower than IDC's already pessimistic projection of a 34 percent decline. But when it comes to Apple, things are dandy. The company grew its market share from 54.7 percent in Q4 2011 to 68 percent in the most recent quarter.


Find: Samsung, Apple continue smartphone market share tug-of-war

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Find: good added detail on bb10

Some nice camera and keyboard touches. 
AnandTech
As the lights came up on Thorston Heins opening remarks at BlackBerry World 2012, expectations were... well, low. There was always the possibility that we would hear of some huge shake-up that would drastically alter RIM's course; say, switching to a services model and opening their BlackBerry Enterprise Server offerings to the competition. Or, we could hear talk of the impressive results of the hard work of a talented team of engineers and designers, and hopes and assurances that we'd love it. We've heard this kind of talk from struggling giants, including a year ago this past February when Jon Rubinstein introduced us to the Palm Pre 3 and TouchPad. Though Heins remarks included a hint at the kind of course correction we might have speculated on, he quickly transitioned to a preview of the QNX-based BlackBerry 10. And though it's familiar, it's nothing like 7.
      


Spotted: phones with projectors -- Personal Projectors for Pervasive Computing

Looks like a nice survey. Picoprojectors will be a huge part of our mobile future. 

IEEE Pervasive Cmptg
Projectors are pervasive as infrastructure devices for large displays but are now also becoming available in small form factors that afford mobile personal use. This article surveys the interaction space of "projectors on the move" and reviews input and output concepts, underlying sensing challenges, and emerging applications.      

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Find: Social networking displaces games as top app category

And growing faster too. 
Flurry

The app revolution has changed the way software is distributed and used among consumers.  With a perfect storm of digital distribution, free content and powerful touch screen devices, the success of mobile apps has disrupted industries from telecommunications and games to music and news.  To date, no category of apps has been more successful than Games, directly disrupting the traditional gaming industry.  Flurry recently wrote about the impact iOS and Android game popularity has had on Sony and Nintendo.  And with low barriers to entry for armies of entrepreneurial developers, indie game developers continue to thrive on iOS and Android.

Something Disruptive This Way Comes

Consider for a moment Facebook’s speedy billion-dollar acquisition of Instagram, a service that succeeds by delivering Facebook’s core value proposition of photo sharing, but only on mobile.   When one understands that consumers now spend more time in mobile apps than they do online, Instagram’s value begins to make sense.  With over 500 million iOS and Android devices in the market, mobile apps are the new battleground for consumer engagement.  If Facebook feels compelled to snap up Instagram in this way, perhaps this is an indication of how relevant social networking has become in mobile apps, or simply how relevant mobile has become overall.  In this report, Flurry focuses on the rise of the Social Networking in mobile apps.  Let’s start by looking at where consumers spend their time by application category.
Flurry Mobile App Time by Category