Archive for the ‘Gadgets’ Category

Will Someone Please Make the Kogan Agora Android Phone?

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Kogan Agora Phone

I’ve decided to rant a little on my frustrations with Android.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been a die-hard fan and developer since Android was announced, and I have owned and loved several Android devices, but I think there are still some problems with the handset makers.  At CES this year it seemed every phone announced was an Android phone.  ”Awesome” you might say, and they are, with the top-of-the line processors and screens and all. However, THEY ARE ALL THE EXACT SAME PHONE as far as the user’s overall experience is concerned (with exception of the Motorola Atrix 4G, and its crazy netbook hybrid technology).  They are all about the same size and shape with similar sized full, portrait screens, and fast processors.  Where is the variation of form factors? Android is flexible enough to easily support many form factors, screen sizes, devices.  It’s being installed in other devices such as tablets, TV’s, and even Refrigerators, so why not make some crazy, sleek, awesome form factor phones?

You may remember around this time two years ago that the Kogan Agora (Planning to be the second Android phone EVER) ended up being delayed indefinitely.  While this phone was not the hottest phone possible with a resistive touch display, mediocre processor, and limited features, I was a fan immediately after gawking at the first renderings.  Also, as a long-time Blackberry user, I loved the position of the hardware keyboard.  Furthermore, this phone represented the original idea of the Android platform – that it was flexible enough to install on a wide range of mobile platforms and form factors.

Two years have gone by, and I still don’t see my phone – the one that fits me like a well fitted pair of Jeggings.  You may be saying “What about the Droid Pro, or the Motorola Charm?” While steps in the right direction, these devices show the chunky design practices of Motorola (also not a fan of the BLUR user interface), and in my opinion, they would not be able to compete with the sleek corners and glossy smooth finish of the proposed Agora.

So is it the market demand that is driving every Android handset maker to release the same phone?  Is it the platform (while advertised as easy and open) limiting the hardware as far as a different screen size and orientation?  In any case I am disappointed in the lack of innovation of the Android handset selection currently on the market.

Android App Updates: Get to the Top of the “Just in” List

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

I noticed that when I push a new update for one of my apps, it bumps it to the top of the “Just in” list for my category.  When I tried the same for my newer app it didn’t promote it the same way.  I decided to do some research and found that if you wait about a week between your updates, the Android Market will bump you to the top. That’s actually pretty convenient for a smaller app since a good dev cycle including plenty of testing is about a week (at least for me), and discourages posting constant trivial updates just to continue to stay at the top of the list.

Why is this feature in the Android Market a good thing? People are constantly looking for new content, new games, and updates. You would think it’s kind of cheating to bump yourself to the top of the “Just in” list every week, but it’s really a good thing for developers as well as end users. It ensures that applications that are under active development get exposure while stale ones bubble down to oblivion and also promoting bug fixes and feature additions for anyone wanting the attention. It is a necessity especially in the Android Market with the store becoming flooded with duplicate and garbage applications.