Smartphone Market Share : Windows Phone Vs. iOS Vs. Android

Microsoft may have been a late entrant to the Smartphone segment (not considering the popular but old fashioned Windows Mobile here) but it does look like Redmond is doing a lot of things right so far. The Windows Phone UI and functionalities are extremely slick and despite the relatively few apps available on the Windows Phone marketplace compared to the iOS AppStore or Android Market, a lot of people have started to check out their smartphones. Today, Windows Phone enjoys an encouraging, but not so great 1.9% market share. But that could apparently change in the next few years thanks to the Lumia series of phones from Nokia that run on the Windows Phone platform.

According to the latest report from IHS iSuppli, Microsoft Windows Phone could beat Apple’s iOS in market share as early as 2015. In their report, IHS claim that 2012 could be the watershed year for Microsoft as their Windows Phone grows in popularity from a market share of sub 2% levels to as much as 9%. This is good not just for Microsoft but also Nokia that has seen its popularity fizzle in recent times to the iPhone and Android handsets.

Read : Number of Windows Phones Sold To Be Higher Than iOS by 2015?

Here is how the market share of the three big Smartphone players expected to move over the next three years.

iOS
2011 : 18.0%
2012 : 18.0%
2013 : 17.3%
2014 : 16.8%
2015 : 16.6%

Android
2011 : 47.4%
2012 : 53.9%
2013 : 55.9%
2014 : 57.8%
2015 : 58.1%

Windows Phone
2011 : 1.9%
2012 : 9.0%
2013 : 15.3%
2014 : 16.1%
2015 : 16.7%

The share of the rest of the Smartphone OSes is expected to fall from 32.7% in 2011 to just 8.6% in 2015. Is RIM going to be dead by then?

Remove Ads From Android Notification Bar With AirPush Detector

If you have been using an Android phone, it is quite likely that you have been seeing ads on your notification bar. The ads are basically one liners that are marked with an icon that looks like a white star with a red dot in the middle. They are quite annoying especially because the notification bar is where you see all the important updates from your apps and is the last place one would want to see and click on an ad.

So, how do you remove them? Firstly, you need to know that it is not Android that shows the ads there in the first place. Instead, these ads are shown by some of the third party apps that you have installed in your phone. To do a quick check on what app is showing this annoying ad on the notification bar, simply tap on the ad and check out the name of the app that is displayed on the upper left side corner. This is the application that is showing these ads on your screen.

In most cases, this alone should be sufficient. But if you have multiple apps that is causing the problem, what you can do is install this free app from the Android market called the ‘AirPush Detector’. AirPush is basically the technology framework that enables the display of these intrusive apps. The AirPush Detector is an app developed by Dan Bjorge that lets you know all the apps on your phone that have this technology enabled (and so are causing this ad push).

Although the app is named ‘AirPush Detector’, the underlying application also helps detect other frameworks like LeadBolt, IAC  and Appenda and is so pretty comprehensive in its coverage. Download the AirPush Detector app on your Android phone by clicking here.

Low Battery On Android Phone? Tips To Increase Android Battery Life

People who have an Android phone and are suffering from some serious battery issues, here are some simple manual as well as automatic tweaks that will help you keep your phone charged for a longer time and make the best possible use of your battery life.

There are end number of things that eat up your battery power and most of the times they are things that most mobile users are not aware of at all. This article contains all the possible solutions to safeguard your battery life, so i highly recommend that you go through each of these features, settings and customizations that are mentioned ahead in this article.

List of battery power consuming features :

Your phone contains end number of features and settings that consume your battery power without you even realizing it or you were maybe aware of certain features but didn’t realize they used battery power to a great extent.

To get an idea about this navigate to Settings > About > Phone > Battery >Battery Use, which will tell you the entire story.

Settings that are most likely draining your battery power :

The Screen :

Your screen consumes the most battery life especially if its the new Super Amoled or Super LCD display. To minimise the screens battery usage, turn down the brightness. Although your phone is on “Auto” brightness mode which works in most cases, but still might be using more battery than you expect.

You can go to Settings > Display > Brightness, uncheck the “Automatic Brightness” option and manually enter approximately 10%. It may become a little harder for you to see under direct sunlight, but this wont be the case elsewhere.

Another option is to put the power control widget on your home screen which will help you toggling between low and high brightness modes in a much convenient manner. To do so, press and hold an empty section on the screen, select Widgets and select the Power Control option.

Alternatively, you could also lower down the screen timeout from 1 minute to around 15  – 30 seconds by going to Settings > Display. This will aid you in saving battery life as well.

Cellular and Data Connection :

It doesnt matter whether your using a high end 4G phone or a regular 3G device, your cellular and battery connections will eat up your battery big time even if your phone is in a dormant state.

Your data connection can be turned on and off by making use of APNDroid 2.0 or by making use of these Quick Settings. If you just intend to talk, text and send mails then EDGE or 1x is more than required. Data can be turned back on when you are browsing and require extra speed.

Wi-Fi :

When there are Wi-Fi networks in your surroundings, use them. It will automatically turn off your data connection and use Wi-Fi instead which will be a battery life saviour.

However, when you don’t have any Wi-Fi networks in your area, your battery will be drained by constantly making search for available networks to connect to, so its better to turn Wi-Fi off from your Power Control widget when your not in such locations.

Bluetooth :

Keeping bluetooth on when not required again consumes a lot of battery like Wi-Fi does, so just turn off bluetooth entirely when your not using any bluetooth headset or transferring any files to and fro from your computer. You can do this from the Power Control widget.

GPS :

GPS again drains a lot of battery when your using it for Google maps or turn-by-turn navigation and if you make use of location services provided by Twitter, Facebook or other social applications then GPS will be used on a more regular basis. GPS controls can also be toggled through the Power Control widget.

Automation of these Settings :

All the above mentioned settings can be toggled through the Power Control widget as per the requirements but that would be too irritating and difficult at times.

Fortunately, all these settings can be automated through an application called the Tasker. With this application you can automate pretty much everything that you desire like GPS, Bluetooth and Data settings.

Use of Juice Defender to scale back data usage :

Juice Defender again automates all the work for you, although you can change some of its settings if you wish to do so. It manages your data connection in a very smart way by turning it off and reconnecting it after every 15 – 30 minutes to check if there are any new mails, Twitter notifications and other alerts to download.

Other Alternatives :

Tweak and Uninstall Data intensive applications :

If you have any applications that you are not making use of, then please uninstall them as there are many applications that try to connect to the internet without even you realizing it and so its best to remove them completely. Also get rid of widgets that grab data constantly like the Facebook widgets or the weather widgets to name a few or change their settings so that they update their data every half an hour or on an hourly basis.

Turn Off the Eye Candy :

Eye candy features like screen animations and live wallpapers can be pretty CPU intensive. If you look forward to save your battery then turning them off is a wise choice although you may loose the flashy and animated look but this solution is ideal if nothing works for you even after performing other tweaks.

Save the phone from getting heated up :

Extreme heat will always kill your battery so don’t leave it in a hot place, get it out of your pocket whenever you can and keep it as cool as possible during the summer.

Stop using a Task Killer :

Task killers are more harmful then helpful and affect you battery to a great extent. You don’t need task killers if you have uninstalled your applications correctly or are not using them when not required. So my advise will be not to use a task killer as its not required at all.

Underclock / Undervolt your device :

You don’t really need all the CPU power always, you can reduce the clock speed or even create custom profiles using the SetCPU application that will turn it away when your phone is sleeping. You can create profiles that underclock your phone as and when the battery keeps going down.

You can also make use of the Kernel Manager application that will help in reducing the voltage thus giving you a better battery life.

Getting a Secondary Battery :

The last option is to get another battery for your phone. Most high end phones now a days have a pretty much useless battery life so you can just get yourself a second battery and keep it safe in any place till your current battery gets exhausted.

Having an extended battery is another option which is heavier then the standard battery but will guarantee you a better battery life. Lastly, make sure that you are buying original OEM battery as the cheap ones will cause a lot of problems, so make sure that you buy a high quality battery for your phone.

Motorola XOOM Unlock Instructions To Flash Custom ROM

The Motorola XOOM which has already started shipping to all its customers who had pre-ordered is now open to the public market from Verizon with a 2 year contract for $599.99 as well as an LTE version for $799.99. This stunning tablet powered by the Android OS may prove to be a threat for the Apple iPad. Motorola is very strict when it comes to unlocking a bootloader, but that’s not the case this time.

All those proud owners of the XOOM tablet who wish to modify it now can happily do so by following this quick guide. Please make a note that by doing this can get your warranty voided.

Step 1 : Download the Motorola USB drivers and the Android SDK first.

  • Download the USB drivers from here. (you will have to register on the website or else you can google it and find it for yourself as well.)
  • Download the Android SDK from here.

Step 2 :

  • Switch off your XOOM tablet.

Step 3 :

  • Press and hold the volume down button while simultaneously pressing the power button.
  • Keep it pressed down even when your XOOM turn on as this will display some starting fastboot protocol text on the top left section of the screen.

Step 4 :

  • Now open a command window in your sdk\tools folder, not the platform tools. You may need to copy some DLL files, that depends on when you get the SDK.

Step 5 :

  • Now type this : fastboot oem unlock

Step 6 :

  • Please read the warning message on your screen, use volume up if you wish to do so.

That’s it, you now have a fully unlocked XOOM and can add in all sorts of applications now.

Next Android Version To Be Called Ice Cream Sandwich

So it was only yesterday that we had written about the possibility for the next generation Android OS version to be named ‘Ice Cream. It turns out that Google may actually have a longer name for Android 2.4. According to a new report, the next version of the Android operating system shall be called ‘Ice Cream Sandwich‘. The complete name was seemingly mentioned by Google VP Andy Rubin in a recent conversation with TechCrunch.

So why ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’ and why not simply ‘Ice Cream’? Apparently, it is to make it easy for people to differentiate the ‘Ice cream sandwich’ sculpture from the Frozen Yoghurt sculpture that is placed in front of the Android headquarters. This could be a pretty pointless issue, but is something Google might not want to spend more time on. So there you have it – Ice Cream Sandwich.

Next Version Of Android OS To Be Called ‘Ice Cream’

Google could be unveiling its next generation of the Android operating system for smartphones during the Google I/O that is traditionally held in Spring. According to reports, this new version of Android – version 2.4 – could be named Ice Cream. This is keeping in line with Google’s tradition to name each of their upcoming Android handsets with the name of a dessert in alphabetical order.

This time however, there are some interesting version inconsistencies. You would know that the recently unveiled Android platform for tablets shall be called HoneyComb and will be version 3.0 of Android. Now with the roll out of Android 2.4 – which is expected to bring a number of HoneyComb features to smartphones – the company could be stepping onto some confusing nomenclature.

Do you think carrying on with a v2.4 name even though v3.0 is already on its way is a good idea? Tell us in the comments.

Google Nexus S Rebooting Randomly During Phone Call – Google Working On Fix

A new bug on the Android operating system seems to be affecting a number of Google Nexus S users. According to complaints posted on the Google support forum, the bug on Nexus S causes the phone to reboot randomly while making a phone call. Some users have been experiencing this every other time while others have been facing the issue only once in a while.

Fortunately though, unlike the Android random SMS recipient bug, Google seems to have rounded upon the possible root-causes early enough and have reported that they are now trying to reproduce the bug and consequently find a fix for the same. Samsung is noted to be working with Google on this issue.

We will let you know when a fix is released. Have you experienced similar issues on your Nexus S? Tell us in the comments.

Fix For Android Wrong SMS Recipient Bug To Roll Out Shortly

For more than a year now, Android users have been reporting a bizarre bug on their handsets that sends text messages to a wrong contact from the address book. Several long-running threads on the Google Support forum are littered with complaints from users who have been affected by the problem.

Finally, it looks like Google may have succeeded in rounding upon the actual source of the bug. According to a new report on BBC, the company has developed a fix that it shall be rolling out to Android handsets shortly. Speaking to the BBC, Android security team engineer Nik Kralevich said,

“It took us some time to reproduce this issue, as it appears that it’s only occurring very rarely. Even so, we’ve now managed to both reproduce it and develop a fix that we will deploy.”

Kralevich did not however elaborate on an estimated time for the rollout.

Android App Refund Window Reduced To 15 Minutes

This is something that is likely to tick you off if you are an Android user. Google has announced a few significant changes to their Android marketplace. While most of the changes – like an increase in the size-cap of .APK files and the launch of a carousel on the market place home are positive changes, a new policy to restrict the refund window on paid apps is likely to irk many.

According to the latest update, Android users will now only get 15 minutes from the time of purchase to try an app before deciding to ask for a refund. This is drastically lower than the 24 hour window that existed until now. Why’s that? Eric Chu from the Android Developer Ecosystem explains,

“Since most users who request a refund do so within minutes of purchase, we will reduce the refund window on Market to 15 minutes. This change will be largely transparent to buyers, but will help developers manage their businesses more effectively.”

While a 24 hour window is agreeably too large for trying an app out, a 15 minute window does not help either. It makes sense to give the users at least an hour or two before shutting the refund window. What do you think?

Google Nexus S Vs. Apple iPhone 4 – Features & Pricing Compared

Google unveiled their new Nexus S smartphone yesterday. As expected, the phone will come equipped with the new Android 2.3 platform that has been dubbed Gingerbread. Like all other Google products, this one too is quite likely to be pitted against the iPhone 4. So which one is the better deal this season. We’ll take a look.

Nexus S Vs. iPhone 4

Tech Specs and Features

Dimensions : The iPhone 4 measures 4.5″ x 2.31″ x 0.37″ while the Nexus S measures 4.8″ x 2.48″ x 0.42″. So as you can see, while the Nexus S will come with a larger screen, you may also have to contend with a minor increase in thickness

Display : Apple has all along advertised the iPhone 4 for its best-in-the-industry retina display that packs 960×640 pixels. The Nexus S has a smaller display resolution at 800×480 pixels. But if you are talking about display size overall, Nexus S is better with a 4″ display compared to the 3.5″ multitouch display of iPhone 4

Hardware : Not much to choose from. Both the iPhone 4 and Nexus S are equipped with a 1GHz processor along with a 512MB RAM. The iPhone 4 comes with internal storage between 16GB and 32GB while the Nexus S has a built-in internal storage of 16GB. But unlike most other Android phones, the Nexus S does not have an external storage slot. That could quite surely be a deal-breaker for many.

Camera : Again, not much to choose from. Both phones come with a 5-Megapixel rear facing camera along with a VGA camera on the front for video chatting.

Battery : Apple wins here. One of the most advertised features on the iPhone 4 is the battery that is noted to offer up to 7 hours of talk time. While the Nexus One was noted to offer 10 hours of talk time, the new Nexus S on the contrary only gives 6 hours.

There are a lot of miscellaenous features that will be of interest on both phones. Google however has chosen to emphasize the new NFC technology on the Nexus S that will let users interact with RFID tags that you may find on t-shirts, movie posters, stickers, etc. You can quite surely expect a number of new apps and interactive ads that take advantage of this new feature to follow soon.

The Nexus S will be priced at $199 – the same as the 16GB iPhone 4. The device will be available from December 16 from Best Buy and T-Mobile stores in the US and from December 20 at Best Buy and Carphone Warehouse stores in the UK.

Personally, I do not find any big deal of advancement on the Nexus S that will make it my most-wanted phone. But that is not to say that Nexus S is a poorer choice than the iPhone 4 or any of the recent Android and Windows Phone 7 launches.

What are your views on this?