Tag Archives: Android

ANZ to Launch NFC Payments Service in 2013

Australian banking group ANZ has begun an NFC payments trial and announced plans to launch a commercial service in 2013.

ANZ is using the Samsung Galaxy S III Android phones to conduct it’s payment trial. Last year the bank tested a microSD-based NFC solution.

According to the bank, “ANZ has selected Android based on customer feedback that their preference is for built-in NFC support rather than requiring an additional component such as an NFC-enabled cover or memory card”.

“Customers who use multiple payment cards and who would prefer to live in a cashless world will enjoy the benefits of the ANZ mobile wallet,”, according to ANZ.

“No PIN code will be required for transactions under A$100 (US$101.80), payments will be charged directly to customers’ accounts, and customers will see an electronic receipt on their mobile phone screen immediately following their transactions.”

Google Wins ‘Face-to-Unlock’ for Multiple Users Patent

Google has won a patent that will enable a user to unlock their device by pointing their face at the built-in camera, also allowing the user access to their personal profile. This “face-to-unlock” patent lets multiple users share one “computing device.”

This technology would be great on Android devices, and would be cool to see along with the support for multiple users on Android devices.

Google has recently won a few pretty cool patents that will probably be used in Android devices before too long. Read about the “Seeing With Your Hand Patent” that Google was recently granted and the “Patent for Eye Tracking-Based Unlock System”.

Eye Tracking-Based Unlock System

Eye Tracking-Based Unlock System

Android-Powered Nexus One & Nexus S to Command Small Scale Spacecraft

NASA’s Research Center, Ames, is working on a new project designed to lower the cost of launching and operating small satellites. These specific satellites are Low Earth Orbit (LEO). This will use the Android-powered phones the Nexus One and the Nexus S to command the spacecraft.

The project is know as PhoneSat, and it will launch two different satellites into LEO orbit, both with different goals.

First there is PhoneSat 1.0 and it is based on the Nexus One. The one and only primary goal for PhoneSat 1.0 is to stay alive, meaning it is designed to test if the smartphone can operate for a reasonable amount of time while in space. The Nexus One is to use it’s camera to take pictures and send them back to Earth with other general information about the spacecraft. There will be an external radio beacon in place to indicate the satellite itself is ok and intact. This also is because if the signal is being received from the beacon and no signal is being received from the Nexus, then the problem is with the Nexus and not the spacecraft, there is also an external device that monitors the Nexus One and reboots it if the flow of data stops.

Google Nexus One

Google Nexus One

Second there is PhoneSat 2.0 which will be based on the Nexus S. Phone 2.0 will also feature additional hardware over PhoneSat 1.0. It will have solar panels so it will operates for a longer period of time, and scientist will be able to send commands to PhoneSat 2.0 because it has a two way radio. The last feature is PhoneSat 2.0 will have magnetorquer coils and reactions wheels, these are devices that will allow the satellite to orient itself and maintain proper position using electricity from the solar panels.

Google Nexus S

Google Nexus S

PhoneSat is part of a larger NASA program, the Small Spacecraft Technology Program, which has a goal to leverage the incredible technological advances in consumer technology to create cheaper spacecraft.

According to Ames engineer Chris Boshuizen “Your cellphone is really a $500 robot in your pocket that can’t get around. A lot of the real innovation now happens in entertainment and cellphone technology, and NASA should be going forward with their stuff.”

The hardware that these devices contain does make sense why they are perfect for this kind of project. They have GPS, cameras, compass, gyroscope, microphone and so on. To save weight the screens and cases will be removed and the batteries replaced with something more powerful and designed for the adventures.

Another reason why this makes sense to use Google’s Android OS is because it is open source and can be configured however NASA desires. NASA can modify the source code of the OS they want on the devices and then flash it to their satellite.

In 2010 a group of engineers put two Nexus One devices into high altitude rockets to see if they could handle the extreme forces of launching. One of the Nexus One devices was destroyed when its parachute did not deploy, but the other Nexus One landed and was in perfect working condition. Both devices recorded data during the entire ride.

Watch this Youtube Video Here

How to Get Pulse News Reader on the BlackBerry PlayBook

Pulse news reader is a great news feed application that has been available on Android devices and in Apple’s App Store. It is not available on any BlackBerry device, though I could definitely see it running nicely on a BlackBerry 10 device.

Pulse is by far one of my favorite news feed applications and it is one of the most unique in it’s layout. I figured that there would be a Pulse application available for the PlayBook by now but that sadly is like a lot of other great apps that could be and should be on the PlayBook but aren’t.

If you know how to sideload Android apps onto your PlayBook, either by using your computer or doing it the way I prefer which is by using LocalBar2 on my PlayBook and my Bold. With LocalBar2 you can download the .bar files on your PlayBook and use your BlackBerry or Android device as a proxy server to install the apps directly to your PlayBook with no need for a computer or wires of any kind. Visit Yohanes Nugroho’s LocalBar2 site Here. Also note (I assume that LocalBar2 will work on most OS versions on the PlayBook, as I am currently running Beta OS v2.1.0.840 and it works just fine).

Here’s the .bar file for Pulse News Reader for BlackBerry PlayBook.

Besides doing that as many already know Pulse recently released a Pulse news reader website. The site is http://pulse.me and it is a great looking site and works beautifully.

I have found that the new Pulse website actually works very well on the BlackBerry PlayBook’s default browser and I have been using it lately, though of course there are little annoyances’. Like when scrolling at times articles you touch will move to saved articles.

So if you are a fan of Pulse and you would like to be able to view Pulse news on your PlayBook these are two simple suggestions.

Android-Powered Smart TV From Tencent and TCL

The above image is a 26-inch Android-powered Smart TV From companies Tencent and TCL. It is called the “Ice Screen”and it is the first large screen mobile entertainment smart cloud product in the world.

Some major features included are:

    • Large portable screen
    • High-definition video communications
    • Stylish music and photo album
    • High-speed video player

It is powered by a dual-core Cortex A9 1GHz processor with a Mali 400 GPU for graphics, 4GB of RAM, a microSD slot, USB and HDMI connectivity, 1366 x 768 resolution Wi-Fi and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

The launch date is September 3rd, it is going for roughly $315. You can read the press release Here.

Source: Ubergizmo

Tablet Comparison Chart 2012 (Amazon, Apple, BlackBerry and Samsung)

This is a chart that Research In Motion has made and they call it their “Sales Battle Card”. It is a comparison chart between the 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook, Apple’s New iPad, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 and the Amazon Kindle Fire.

As you can see the BlackBerry PlayBook definitely blows the competition away. But sadly most people won’t see this chart or they won’t take time to look and compare for themselves. The PlayBook really is an amazing device, I just don’t think people are going to give it the notice and credit it deserves, not trying to be too bias here, but mainly people won’t except the PlayBook for what it is because it isn’t an Apple product and it’s not called the iPad.

BlackBerry phones do have there fair share of problems, I am definitely a hardcore BlackBerry user and my Bold 9900 is constantly giving me problems. So I can understand peoples frustrations with BlackBerry devices. But honestly if BlackBerry 10 is anything like what is promised and since it is built with QNX software like the PlayBook is and it will have similar functionality as the PlayBook, I think BlackBerry 10 is really going to be a smartphone worth trying even if you dislike BlackBerry.