Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Best Android Phone for Your Network

English: Android Robot. Fran├žais : le logo d'a...Image via Wikipedia
Choosing the right Android phone can be a real bother these days. As Google's mobile operating system continues to grow, manufacturers are deluging us with choices--and not all of them good ones. Right now, there are almost 40 Android phones that you can wander in and buy from the big four US carriers. You shouldn't need to go in blind, so we're going to go over the best options on each carrier and see what phone comes out on top. Each month, we're going to list our choices for the best Android phones for each of the big US cellular networks. Some picks won't change from month to month, but at the rate new Android phone models are released, we think a monthly update is appropriate.

 Read on to find the best current Android phone for your favorite network.

AT&T - Inspire 4G

 The nation's second largest carrier is finally showing Android some love in the wake of the Verizon iPhone. Where your choices used to be very limited, now AT&T has what is shaping up to be an impressive lineup. The  HTC Inspire 4G has just launched on the carrier bringing with it Android 2.2 with HTC Sense, a 1GHz next gen Snapdragon SoC, and a 4.3-inch Super LCD screen. As far as manufacturer Android skins go, we think HTC Sense is the best of the bunch. That's the real advantage the Inspire has. But it can't compete with the hardware in AT&T's other hot new phone.

 Of course we're referring to the  Motorola Atrix 4G. This handset is rocking the fastest new hardware you can get. The Atrix is using a Nvidia Tegra 2 SoC with two 1GHz cores and GeForce graphics. Customers will also like the qHD resolution (960 x 540) screen with 24-bit color. The sticking point may be that this phone is running Android 2.2 with the heavier version of MotoBLUR. Motorola's integrated Blur apps and service can be confusing and really just get in the way. Still, by all accounts this phone is stupid fast.

 Atrix 4G

 The Atrix also offers some unique docks that you can use to run a webtop experience with a full Firefox browser. Most reviews have found these to be lacking in functionality and too expensive, but judge for yourself. All the customization Moto has done on the Atrix leads us to believe that updates will be slow to appear for this phone.

 Between the Inspire 4G and Atrix, we'd have to give the edge to the Atrix. The faster hardware and better screen are just too tempting. The software on the Inspire is better, but it feels like last year's model rehashed for a new carrier. The call is closer than it should be because of the software Moto is pushing. The Atrix is $200 on contract, and $500 without. If you think the Atrix isn't right for you, the HTC Inspire 4G will only cost you $100 on contract, or $400 without.

Verizon - Droid X

 Big Red has been all over Android ever since the original Droid launched in late 2009. To this day, they have perhaps the most impressive lineup of Android phones of any of the carriers. The choice of phones on Verizon is complicated by the upcoming handsets we have seen floating around in recent weeks. None of the Android phones currently available can access Verizon's new 4G LTE network. Some of Verizon's phones have cruelly removed Google search from the device, replacing it with Bing. Only with some serious hacking can you get back to a semblance of normality. For us, this rules out multiple handsets.

 Even though the  Droid X was released last summer, it has aged very well. It currently ships with Android 2.2, but we are confident a Gingerbread update will be pushed out. The Droid X runs a 1GHz OMAP SoC, a 4.3-inch FWVGA screen, and has excellent industrial design. This has proven a popular model, and despite the locked bootloader, modders have managed some impressive customizations.

 Droid Incredible

 The other handset you may want to look at is the  Droid Incredible. This phone is coming up on a year old now, and may be at end of life soon. But it still holds its own with a 1GHz last gen Snapdragon SoC, Android 2.2 with Sense, a 3.7-inch WVGA Super LCD screen, and an 8MP camera. The reason to go with this phone is the software, which we feel is better than most other phones.

 When it really comes down to it, the Droid X will be best for most people. It is fast, well supported, and runs the better Verizon-specific version of Blur. We do want to stress that if you can wait, you might really want to. The HTC Thunderbolt and Droid Bionic are supposed to be out in the next few weeks. Both of these handsets are 4G capable and look great.

T-Mobile - MyTouch 4G

 The original home of Android is still offering up some great handsets. T-Mobile has an assortment of mid-range phones, and in the last few months they have really stepped it up in the high-end department. Despite a recent and inexplicable price bump, you can still get a good deal on Tmo. If you're willing to buy from outside the carrier-sanctioned lineup, there is an extra option here as well.

 The  MyTouch 4G is a popular model on the nation's smallest carrier. It has a 4.1-inch Super LCD display that looks great, a 1GHz next gen Snapdragon SoC, and HSPA+ connectivity for faster data. The software is a little strange, though. It runs a T-Mobile-specific version of HTC Sense. It has a lot of the enhancements that makes Sense good, but there are some buggy elements here too. For instance, the Genius Button seems like an unnecessary change. The phone itself is light and thin. If you like the slightly funky MyTouch aesthetic, you'll like this phone.

 T-Mobile - G2

 We also think the  T-Mobile G2 is an excellent device. This phone runs an 800Mhz next gen Snapdragon SoC, a 3.7-inch Super LCD screen, and stock Android 2.2. The device is a little heavy thanks to the excellent slide-out keyboard. There is also an HSPA+ radio in this phone. The real selling point of this device is the almost completely unmodified stock Android build. Still, if you don't need the keyboard, it won't be worth the weight. We expect updates for this phone to be good, but we haven't seen proof of that yet.

 When it comes down to it, the MyTouch 4G is probably a slightly better buy than the G2 for those that don't need a keyboard. Both these phones were recently increase in price to $250 on a 2-year contract. It's a bummer, but you can pay a bit more ($500 for the G2 or $450 for the MyTouch) to go contract free. T-Mobile lets you use cheaper plans if you go this route, but you have to buy in the store. If you are not tied to buying direct from your carrier, the  Nexus S works on T-Mobile's 3G network and can be bought from Best Buy. We think this might be the best Android phone out there thanks to its great stock software. Call this an honorable mention.

Sprint - Evo 4G

 Sprint is the only carrier currently rolling out a WiMAX network, and they actually have phones that utilize it. Strangely, Sprint has been slower to adopt new handsets in the last few months (for instance, they will still sell you a Hero for an obscene $150 on contract), but they still have some solid choices.

 The  HTC Evo 4G came out last year, but we still think this is a great phone you should check out. The Evo runs a 1GHz last gen Snapdragon SoC, a 4.3-inch WVGA LCD screen, and a WiMAX radio. This phone continues to be snappy and well supported. If you want to mod it, the community around the Evo is very committed. We can't be sure about future updates, and that's really the biggest sticking point for us.

 Top: Evo Shift 4G, Bottom: Epic 4G

 If you fancy a physical keyboard, the  Samsung Epic 4G and  HTC Evo Shift 4G are both good choices. The screen on the Epic is a 4-inch Super AMOLED and it runs a 1GHz Hummingbird SoC. The Shift has a smaller 3.6-inch Super LCD, and a 800MHz next gen Snapdragon SoC. The software loadout on the Shift is HTC Sense, which we like better than the TouchWiz UI on the Epic. Also, the Froyo update on the Epic is currently on hiatus after some serious bugs. The Shift comes with Froyo pre-installed.

 We don’t think you should wait around for the  Kyocera Echo. If you're in the market for a Sprint Android phone, get the Evo 4G (yes, still). It can be had for $200 on contract. If you need, or think you'll want, a keyboard, get the Evo Shift or the Epic 4G, priced at $150 and $200 respectively on contract. You'll have to decide if the slightly nicer hardware on the Epic is worth the (in our opinion) worse software.

 That's all we have for this time. If you are preparing to buy a new Android phone, clue everyone in on your decision making process in the comments. We'd also like to hear you make a case for any recent purchases you've made. Buy smart, everyone.  

Friday, February 10, 2012

10 Great and Addictive HTML5 Games

A yellow bird collapses a structure onto sever...Image via Wikipedia

In online gaming world Flash rules over the casual gaming industry and there is a huge demand for it in the vector gaming, slick animations and application that demands fast interactivity with the gamers. Then came in HTML 5 which has combined certain JavaScript and other dynamic effects to simple, plain HTML to make it much more dynamic and attractive. Here are some of the best HTML 5 games that you can enjoy:

1. VII

This is a simple game that is based on certain laws of Physics. This game is developed and designed by Matt Pelham. In the starting of the game you are trapped in a small capsule. You have to follow on screen instructions to move around the screen and perform certain tasks.

2. Crystal Galaxy

This is a space shooter game that is set in some isolated corner of the universe. You can control the direction of the spaceship using your mouse. The graphics and music is of great quality and believe me, it is not Flash.

3. Agent 008 Ball

It is a pool game that is implemented using the HTML 5. This game requires you to collect maximum number of balls in the time span of 2 minutes beware of the time bomb that might become a hindrance in your operation.

4. HTML 5 Helicopter

This is another classic game where you have to guide your helicopter through the various hurdles and obstacles. You can either use the mouse controls or the keyboard controls in order to play this game.

5. Sand Trap

Sand Trap is another interesting html 5 game. In this game you have to fill in the container with the sand that is trapped inside a set of maze. You can move the maze using the arrow controls to move the sand from one end to the other.

6. Bubble Trouble

This is another simple game where you have to find the combinations of certain shapes so that they can be replaced by the new set. This game is also available on the app store of apple and android for free.

7. Torus

Torus is another exciting game that is designed by Ben Joffe. This game is very much like the falling brick game or Tetris where you have to make lines using the incoming blocks and make sure that there are no gaps left. The game of Torus has been extended for the 3D environment.

8. Angry Birds
Angry BirdsImage via Wikipedia

Angry Birds is one of most famous game in the world. The Angry Birds was initially released on the mobile platform and seeing the huge popularity this game is now released for the Google Chrome web browser only. This game requires you to shoot the pigs using the bird along the trajectory from the sling shots.

9. Coverfire

Cover fire is a HTML 5 based action game. In this game you are required to defend your city from the invading insects. Your objective is to stay alive as long as possible and collect diamonds for gaining bonus points.

10. Sketchout

This is another powerful game where you have to protect your planet from alien attacks. You will be attacked by the alien ship from various directions and you have to shield the earth against them by moving the shield using your mouse.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Beat The Stock – Best Alternative Web Browsers for Android

Image representing Android as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBaseUndoubtedly, one of the most used apps on an Android device, or for that matter any smartphone, would be the mobile web browser. Thankfully, the stock Android browser is a pretty good and useful app. But this shouldn’t stop you from trying out other alternative browsers on Android.

Third-party, alternative browsers on Android offer more functionality, better features, and great user interface that could make you forget the stock browser app. Here, we’ve rounded up some of the best alternative browsers on Android to help you choose the one that best suits your mobile browsing needs.

We will update the links as we publish other articles in this series!
The Stock Browser for Android – Internet

As mentioned before, the stock browser for Android,simply called Internet, is a pretty good and useful browser. In fact, it is good enough for the average Android user to not seek out other Android browsers. The app is a toned-down version of the Google Chrome browser and gives you most of the features needed on a smaller device like a smartphone.

Performance wise, the Internet browser app for Android is fast, and renders page quite swiftly. Even graphics-heavy sites load as fast at it would normally take to load the same site on a regular desktop.

One thing that you’ll probably won’t like about the Android Internet browser app, is the fact that when it comes to layout and design, the app doesn’t give you too much customization options. And important and much needed feature which is not yet supported by the default Internet browser app for Android is “multi-tab” browsing. This is a major drawback and could be a deal-breaker for many Android power users.
Best Alternatives to the Stock Web Browser
Dolphin Browser HD

We intentionally put Dolphin Browser HD on top of the list because, this browser is quite powerful and quite advanced among the current crop of alternative browsers on Android.

 This app offers a fast and elegant web browsing experience on Android that not only lets you browse websites on your Android phone but interact and engage with web content via an intuitive interface.

Dolphin Browser HD has a plethora of nice features that you’ll look for in an Android browser. You can customize it to make it look and feel the way you want it through the use of add-ons. It’s also gesture-controlled through the use of your fingertips, which is perfect for a touchscreen smartphone. The browser also supports tabbed browsing just like in a desktop browser.

Two of the major features of this browser that you’ll surely love are Webzine and Sidebar. Webzine are just like bookmarks or favorites done in a magazine-style, while sidebar is an extended display feature which allows you to access the Toolbar or bookmark list and folders. Overall, Dolphin is an excellent browser that should meet all your browsing needs.


Image representing Firefox as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBaseFirefox, Firefox! What can the browser industry do without you? And what good this list of alternative browsers for Android will be if we don’t include you. As you may all know, Firefox has been around the browser business for quite some time now. Mozilla has consistently updated its browser making it even more powerful and more useful.

For its Android iteration, Firefox offers some of its best and most useful desktop features on the mobile web browser. Hence you have a browser with an awesome screen, robust synchronization between your desktop and mobile browsers, great add-ons, tabbed browsing, social sharing, location-aware browsing and a very nice customization feature called – Persona. Persona allows you to dress up your browser the way you want it to look and feel.

Performance wise Mozilla Firefox is pretty great on Android. Firefox, time and again has proven that it’s one of the fastest-performing and most reliable browsers around.

Opera Mobile Web Browser

This is the premium version of the other Opera browser available on the Android Market, Opera Mini. Opera Mobile Web Browser is ideal if you have a fast 3G/4G or Wi-Fi connection and is a pretty good alternative to the stock browser on Android. It runs smoothly and renders page better than most Android browsers around.

The many nice features of this browser include – pinch-to-zoom, smooth panning, bookmark synchronization, speed dial, Twitter and Facebook support as well as access to games and free apps via the Opera Mobile Store.

Even before the days of Android and iOS, Opera built it’s mobile browser to become one of the most reliable browsers for mobile phones and they have lived up to their reputation with Opera for Android.

Skyfire Web Browser

Another celebrated and highly praised browser for Android is Skyfire Web Browser 4.0. While evaluating the browser we couldn’t help but agree with those praises were indeed well deserved. Skyfire is a pretty amazing mobile web browser packed with several unique features.

One of these features is the “Video” icon that lets you play millions of Flash videos around the web. Skyfire transcribes Flash videos into HTML5 through the Skyfire servers, letting you view Flash videos at once. This feature seems to work better on a Wi-Fi connection than on 3G. Although the performance can vary according to the quality of the 3G connection.

Some of the other features of Skyfire that you may enjoy using are – user agent switching, fireplace feed reader, one touch search, related ideas, Facebook like button and Twitter integration. Just a quick note about related ideas feature – It analyzes your current web page and gives you a list of related topics which you can then explore. It’s a pretty nice feature that lets you explore related content on any topic.


Three features that make this Android browser stand out among the browsers we’ve listed so far are – sync to cloud, quick back or caching technology that reloads previously visited webpages fast, and its download manager which lets you easily sort, schedule and grab the downloads you need. In addition, you also have all the regular sharing features which support Facebook, Twitter, Email, SMS and other social media sites.

The app also supports touch screen commands which it call Super Gestures. It’s tabbed browsing capability is also pretty commendable as it puts your Android phone’s screen to optimum use. And did we say that Maxthon loads webpages faster if not as fast as other browsers for Android? No wonder this Android browser has received quite a good response in the Android Market.

BOLT Browser

Update: Bolt Browser team has closed shop and has pulled the browser from the Android Market. We recommend that you to check out the other browsers in this list.

Bolt Browser may not be as popular as Firefox and Dolphin Browser HD but that doesn’t mean that it is not as good. In fact, you’ll be surprised to know that this app has a lot to offer in terms of functionality and features. We have previously reviewed BOLT browser in detail.

Among the features of BOLT that you’ll appreciate is its deep integration with Facebook via social tab, URL auto-complete, ability to save web pages for offline viewing, and its data compression feature which lets you save data usage without sacrificing performance and speed. If you like playing Java and web-based games, BOLT browser has got you covered.

I’ve been testing this browser for quite some time now and so far, I never had any major problem with it. But you may want to read some of the reviews posted on the app’s page on the Android Market since not all of the user reviews are positive.

Boat Browser

Honestly, among the Android browsers that we’ve listed so far, Boat browser is the only one that I haven’t used before. I wasn’t expecting the app to be fast and powerful since I rarely read anything about it. So, I was pleasantly surprised on reading the highly positive feedback it got from the users.

True enough, while I was trying out Boat Browser, I was surprised at how quickly it rendered webpages. Its speed and performance is further strengthened by its other features including multi-tab browsing, bookmarks manager, speed dial function, smart address bar and search box, among other features.

One feature which is unique to Boat Browser is the fact that it is said to be the first Android browser that supports voice commands. To use this feature, you need to install “Google Voice Search” Android app on your device.

Miren Browser

The last Android Browser on our list is Miren Browser which we can say is a pretty simple and yet very functional. It gives you a very intuitive browsing experience on your Android phone with full tab browsing feature and an added smart full-screen mode which you can toggle on/off by a touch.

It also features Flash support, multi-touch pinch zoom, top site navigation and smart suggestion, bookmark management with folders, and the ability to import/export your bookmarks via SD card. When it comes to performance and speed, Miren Browser can go neck to neck with the other browser apps on Android.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

How to Install Chrome OS in Windows 7

English: This is a logo owned by Google Inc. f...Image via Wikipedia

Google unveiled Chrome OS in an event yesterday where they demonstrated the upcoming cloud-based OS for the first time in public. Source code of Chrome OS was also released which folks over at gdgt have compiled in a ready-to-install .vmdk file. All you need now is a system running Windows, Linux or OS X with any of the virtualization software like VMware or VirtualBox installed to get Chrome OS running within minutes.

Chrome OS VM running under Windows 7. Click here to see the image in high resolution.

The following guide will help you install and run Google Chrome OS in VirtualBox under Windows 7. VMware Workstation can also be used to install and run Chrome OS VM in Windows 7.

Step 1: Download and install the latest version of VirtualBox for Windows 7. (download link is given below)

Step 2: Download .vmdk file for Google Chrome OS. (download link is given below)

Step 3: Start VirtualBox and click on “New” button. This will start a wizard that will help you create a new VM in VirtualBox.

Step 4: Name your VM “Chrome OS” and select “Linux” from Operating System dropdown menu, and “Other Linux” from Version dropdown menu.

Step 5: Assign your VM some Ram in megabytes. For this tutorial, I have allotted Chrome OS VM 512 MB of Ram.

Step 6: Now Select “use existing hard disk” option and select the .vmdk file of Chrome OS that you downloaded in Step 2.

Step 7: Click Next and finish the wizard.

That’s it! your final VM setup should look something like this:

 Now simply click on the green colored “Start” button as seen in the screenshot above and wait for about 7 seconds for Chrome OS to boot up. You will need a valid Google ID to login into the operating system.

Feel free to ask me any question should you run into any problem in getting Chrome OS VM to work under Windows 7.

You can follow me on twitter or join our facebook fanpage to keep yourself updated on all the latest Google Chrome OS releases.

BlackBerry Storm 2 – Review

Photograph of a Blackberry 7250 CDMA Smart Dev...Image via Wikipedia

BlackBerry Storm 2

This is the week of BlackBerry Strom2 launch. After months of having kept waiting this pre-review is bringing some all rounded launch with some interesting wrapping off to be bringing with the BlackBerry Storm 2. This has come out right after the US carrier Verizon Wireless announcement with the fresh new device. This is also about filling up some of the gaps that the original storm had brought with itself.

It is new and original with some of the greatest improvements coming with the SurePress touch. This technology brings a tactile feedback for those who have been using it. This is also all about smartphones with the latest WiFi coming with a Verizon BlackBerry. The Al Sacco has been one of the greatest releases with the funny catch up coming over with the chronicling past.

Lenovo ThinkPad T410 – A Review

English: The logo on a Lenovo Thinkpad W500 40...Image via Wikipedia
ThinkPad T410

The new Lenovo ThinkPad T410 is the very latest in its range of business notebooks. This 14.1 inch laptop, with its Core i5 CPU and sleek design, promises high levels of performance. The design of this particular laptop is rather nice – the sides are angularly shaped, and there is a new stylish keyboard/LCD light layout. The system, as a result, looks not only attractive but also more modern. This laptop also promises to be more durable, because of the materials used. The lid in the chassis is made from ABS plastic and a strong carbon-fiber reinforced plastic bottom. And if you are worried about your notebook getting damaged, don’t worry as there is an internal roll cage.

This laptop weighs about 5.2 pounds, there is a standard 6-cell battery, in size and weight it’s almost equivalent to the Lenovo ThinkPad T400, but this one is different in the sense that it is more compact, and far easier to carry around. This is probably due to the tapered edges as well as the plastic bottom.

You will see the ThinkPad logo on the black rubberized screen, the shiny matte-black chassis and palm rest are also there – as with previous models, and of course, the strong and visible stainless steel screen hinges are also there. But there are more ports than with previous models, and also some new types of connections. The bottom of the laptop has also changed – there is now a user-access panel which allows you to install more RAM, or even a wireless card, without having to open up your notebook.

Overall, the build still seems more or less the same – but there are a few negative things to say here. Firstly, the screen lid seems a little weak on the left side – thus pressure applied to the lid shows as distortion of the LCD. This is just true for the left side of the screen cover, though. Another point is the access panel at the bottom – this is quite weak because it bows slightly when installed, and flexes much more than any surrounding panel. Perhaps a metal panel might have worked, who knows?

All the T410 models come with LED backlighting now. But there hasn’t been much change in the increase or decrease of display quality, from the previous models. There is good color reproduction as well as contrast, on the WXGA screen, but unfortunately there is a slight blue tint as compared to a neutral white. The speakers are also of pretty good quality – you can easily fill a small room with the sound, but the bass and the midrange seem a little low.

The keyboard is also pretty much the same – but there is a new function key layout, for example the Escape and Delete buttons have been increased in size, and a backlit power button and a microphone mute button have also been added. In fact, if you are one of those people who like the Control key being the last in the row, there is a new feature which allows you to change the Function and Control keys through specific software!

Monday, December 19, 2011

ASUS with New Innovation to Life

English: : ASUS Eee PCImage via WikipediaASUS Eee PC

The latest ASUS news is all about bringing new innovations to life at the CES 2010. ASUS Chairman, Jonney Shih has unveiled that the full spectrum innovations have come with the new digital person. This is about relocating the home and office in the best ways possible. The unveiling of company has come with some grand innovations. This is going to be one of the most celebrated ASUS NX90 Bang and Olufsen ICEpower notebook facility working through.

The Eee PC Seashell Karima Rashid Collection has also come up with some incredible concepts. All this is great and brings around mobility and high end design in facilitation. The ASUS’s best concept and strength involve with some new context based innovations. There have been some awards with innovations and designs.

The latest Engineering Awards for design and concept have been bringing in the new product lines in full frontal graphics cars along with other technological innovations. The ASUS Eee PC with LCD monitor, router, videotaping and videophone concept is great. Its high class router and LCD monitor is going to bring a wonderful experience and is totally worth every bit of the latest improvements.