Posts Tagged With ‘android&8217


Lenovo Acquiring Motorola Mobility from Google

Google on selling Motorola Mobility to Lenovo:

The purchase price is approximately US$2.91 billion (subject to certain adjustments), including US$1.41 billion paid at close, comprised of US$660 million in cash and US$750 million in Lenovo ordinary shares (subject to a share cap/floor). The remaining US$1.5 billion will be paid in the form of a three-year promissory note.

Lenovo, which in 2005 acquired IBM’s PC business and its legendary PC brand, will now acquire world-renowned Motorola Mobility, including the MOTOROLA brand and Motorola Mobility’s portfolio of innovative smartphones like the Moto X and Moto G and the DROID™ Ultra series. In addition to current products, Lenovo will take ownership of the future Motorola Mobility product roadmap.

It will be interesting to see how Lenovo integrates Motorola Mobility into their existing product line. Having a decent mobile hardware business ought to boost Lenovo and make them a formidable opponent for Samsung, HTC, and LG. Although I don’t like their convoluted product line, Lenovo does have some very nice hardware.

What an utter waste of time and resources this detour has been for Google. After spending a ton of cash to acquire Motorola Mobility, they essentially accomplished nothing together. Now that they’re dumping the business on Lenovo, it’s quite obvious what Google was after in the first place.

Google will maintain ownership of the vast majority of the Motorola Mobility patent portfolio, including current patent applications and invention disclosures. As part of its ongoing relationship with Google, Lenovo will receive a license to this rich portfolio of patents and other intellectual property. Additionally Lenovo will receive over 2,000 patent assets, as well as the Motorola Mobility brand and trademark portfolio.


Has NSA Cracked Smartphone Security?

According to a report in Der Spiegel, the NSA has cracked smartphone security:

The documents state that it is possible for the NSA to tap most sensitive data held on these smart phones, including contact lists, SMS traffic, notes and location information about where a user has been.

Here is the key part of this article:

In the internal documents, experts boast about successful access to iPhone data in instances where the NSA is able to infiltrate the computer a person uses to sync their iPhone. Mini-programs, so-called “scripts,” then enable additional access to at least 38 iPhone features.

The actual details on how the NSA has compromised smartphone security is in a completely separate article:

The access to such material varies, but much of it passes through an NSA department responsible for customized surveillance operations against high-interest targets. One of the US agents’ tools is the use of backup files established by smartphones. According to one NSA document, these files contain the kind of information that is of particular interest to analysts, such as lists of contacts, call logs and drafts of text messages. To sort out such data, the analysts don’t even require access to the iPhone itself, the document indicates. The department merely needs to infiltrate the target’s computer, with which the smartphone is synchronized, in advance. Under the heading “iPhone capability,” the NSA specialists list the kinds of data they can analyze in these cases. The document notes that there are small NSA programs, known as “scripts,” that can perform surveillance on 38 different features of the iPhone 3 and 4 operating systems. They include the mapping feature, voicemail and photos, as well as the Google Earth, Facebook and Yahoo Messenger applications.

The article has extensive details on how BlackBerry handhelds and the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) has been compromised. However, it is mystifyingly lacks significant details on the iPhone and Android. Somehow it does not surprise me that BlackBerry handhelds have been compromised, but I find it harder to believe that iOS and Android are as easily crackable. While it is certainly possible – especially considering all the revelations since the Snowden document release – there just is not enough available published information to conclude there is something to worry about.

This post is part of the thread: Security – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.


The Problem with Tablets in the Enterprise

Shara Tibken of The Wall Street Journal on the problems with tablets in the enterprise:

Some companies try to get around this by using virtual desktop applications, Web-based programs that give users remote access to their PC desktop, but those also don’t always translate well to the smaller screen. Hyatt Hotels Corp. says some of its employees with tablets work with such an app but sometimes can’t navigate all of the programs without a mouse or keyboard. In addition, most PC programs are designed for larger monitors, making it difficult to read them properly on a smaller screen.

I have spoken to a number of people interested in deploying iPad’s in their enterprise work environment, and often-times they plan to use this methodology. In my mind, this is the wrong way to use tablets. The native applications are the better, and generally speaking, more cohesive method of deploying tablets.

Why would I want to view my Windows 7 desktop on an iPad when Mobile Safari, Address Book, Calendar, and a host of other native iOS applications can get the job done better, and just as secure? One of the many reasons I use Apple products, such as a MacBook Pro, iPad, and iPhone, is because I want to get away from Microsoft products and their constant need to be tweaked so they work correctly and comfortably.


Google Will Abandon Android Brand

Charlie Kindel on Google potentially abandoning the Android brand in favor of Google Play:

Moving forward, Google will invest heavily in the Play brand. To effectively create new brand you have to mute your usage of other brands in the same space. At the most, any further use of the term “Android” in consumer marketing and branding will be relegated to “ingredient brand” status (“Certs with Retsin!”). Google will start distancing itself from the Android brand completely.

This is an interesting prospect, but one not out of the realm of possibility.

I predict Google will go so far as to push the Play brand over Android even with developers. They’ve already started this with marketplace submission and you can bet there will be a new, more stringent, app certification program under the Google Play moniker in an attempt to raise the quality of apps for the new Google Play tablet. Watch for Google Play specific APIs and services as well.

If Google is to truly compete with Apple in the mobile space – both smartphone and tablet – then they need to make a bold move. This is one such way to maneuver their strategy into something viable.

I like the idea of Google taking a more cohesive approach to mobile devices. By controlling every aspect of the experience, rather than the mere framework upon which the experience is built, Google takes a more Apple-like mentality toward mobile device production. Who can argue with this methodology, especially considering Apple is poised to be the first trillion dollar company?

The question is this: is Google willing to make such an intrepid move? (via John Gruber)


Instagram Launches on Android

Instagram, the highly popular photo sharing “social network,” finally launched on Android today, after being iOS-only since October 2010. The Android version of the app looks very sexy, and may actually have a better interface than its iOS counterpart.


Is Google About to Sell a $149 Nexus Tablet?

Taylor Wimberly of Android and Me on a possible $149 Google Nexus tablet:

The ASUS MeMo 370T that was revealed at CES has been scrapped after Google contracted with ASUS to produce their “Nexus tablet.” Earlier reports said the device would retail for $249-199, but we are now told the target price is $149-199. The quad-core Tegra 3 version that was previously leaked is no more. Other than the 7-inch display, no additional information has been provided on the specs.

Sounds like their goal is to undercut the Amazon Kindle Fire more than anything. Although the Kindle Fire is a decent tablet, it is not a good tablet. It gets the job done. Barely. I can only imagine how cheap this is going to feel.

The only way for this product to be sold at such an inexpensive price is because the product is using cheap components. Just holding the Kindle Fire gives the impression it is not as solid of a device as, say, the Motorola XOOM or the iPad. These devices are leagues apart.

The only thing a Nexus tablet has going for it is that it would, presumably, be running the latest Android version. This would allow Google to highlight tablet-specific Android features on a “branded” device, similar to the Nexus mobile phones.

It would appear Google is betting on the low price to translate to volume sales. I would not take that bet.


Microsoft’s Biggest Miss

Patrick Rhone on Microsoft’s inability to skate to where the puck will be:

Microsoft’s biggest miss is not the lack of a smartphone, or tablet, or Office apps for iOS and Android.

Like the curtain finally falling from the Wizard of Oz to find just a small, frail, man pretending to be far more powerful and relevant than he really was. Microsoft’s biggest miss was allowing the world to finally see the truth behind the big lie — they were not needed to get real work done. Or anything done, really.

This quite possibly is one of the most insightful comments on Microsoft’s problem in today’s personal computing renaissance. The world used to rely on Microsoft. Now they are laughed at for their lack of foresight, clunky user interfaces, and bloated software suites and operating systems.

Will Microsoft ever recover? There was a time when everyone counted Apple out of the game, so it is quite possible Microsoft can make a similar comeback. The odds are low due to their DNA but do not count them out yet.