android · google · microsoft · office · office mobile · office365 · quickoffice

Quickoffice Coming Bundled With KitKat, Trouble for Microsoft Office?

Yesterday I was poking around the Google Android website for an updated version of their SDK, and stumbled across the KitKat features page.  Starting with Android 4.4 KitKat, Google will begin bundling their Quickoffice software into the update.

Quickoffice is Google’s mobile productivity office suite for the Android operating system.  With the current version of Quickoffice, available from the Google Play Store, you can read and edit Microsoft Office documents from your smartphone or table.

So the question I have is: With free office productivity suites available for both Google Android and Apple iOS, why is Microsoft waiting to get the real deal Office on to people’s devices?  Sure there is an Office Mobile application for the iPhone, but you must already have a subscription to Microsoft’s Office 365 service to use it.  And what about a version optimized for the iPad?

If anything, the automatic deployment of Quickoffice to any Android device that receives the 4.4 KitKat upgrade is putting even more pressure on Microsoft to get Office on more devices.  In the past, Microsoft’s our-platform-or-no-one-elses strategy for Office is really hurting them.  As a business customer, I rely on Microsoft’s Office suite to get my job done, but on smartphones and tablets, I hardly miss them.

And that, I feel, is Microsoft’s problem.  The inclusion of Quickoffice with KitKat alongside of the free Google Docs web application, Google isn’t just going after a mobile productivity suite for mobile, they are working to actively destroy Microsoft’s long establish revenue staple – Office.

Only time will tell if mobile Office document editing will gain any real traction with prosumers or not.

android · google · samsung

Samsung’s New Business Model: Copy Palm, Access, and HP

Samsung, as previously reported by many websites, it working on it’s own operating system called “Tizen.”

BGR recently posted an article in which they report on Samsung’s hopes Tizen will be the alternative OS.  I believe that Samsung intends Tizen to be the OS that breaks them free of the need for Google’s Android operating system for smartphones and tablets.

But Samsung doesn’t just want to stop with smartphones and tablets, they see Tizen powering all sorts of devices.  In a recent interview with CNET, Samsung co-CEO J.K. Shin states:

“There are many convergences not only among IT gadgets, including smartphones, tablets, PCs, and cameras, but also among different industries like cars, bio, or banks.  Cross-convergence is the one [area] Samsung can do best since we do have various parts and finished products.”

I don’t know about you, but a few things make me worry for Samsung.  First off, that co-CEO thing.  Ask RIM how that worked out for them.  Secondly, Samsung does a horrendous job putting their software on top of Android, now they’re writing their own operating system.  And lastly, when I hear talk about putting smartphone operating systems in all sorts of consumer electronics like cameras, banks and ATM machines, cars…I start to think about all the grandiose plans I recall reading about PalmSource Palm OS 5, ACCESS’ Access Linux Platform (aka Palm OS 6), and even Palm/HP webOS.   All of those efforts failed to even come close to reaching the kind of market penetration that was talked about.

Samsung, for it’s part, does control a number of product lines where they can just say we’re going to put the Tizen OS into this refrigerator and it will happen.  And Tizen will gain marketshare just from the sheer amount of gadget spam and appliances they put out.  But will people really want to run apps on their fridge, coffee maker, and toaster?  Maybe some day, but it looks doubtful for the next few years.

At least Samsung isn’t planning on abandoning the use of Google Android in their smartphones and tablets any time soon.

[Via BGR.com…]

android · apple · blackberry · blackberry q10 · blackberry z10 · google · iphone · rim

BlackBerry Still Struggling to Revitalize Itself

This past week was not particularly a good one for mobile device maker BlackBerry, formerly known as Research In Motion.

This past Friday, BlackBerry, announced details about their first quarter earnings, and Wall Street was caught off guard, in their opinion, about how few new BlackBerry Z10 and Q10 devices were sold.  For the quarter wrapping up, BlackBerry sold about 2.7 million new BlackBerry 10 devices.  BlackBerry 10 is the company’s mobile operating system, similar to Google’s Android or Apple’s iOS.  Adding insult to injury, BlackBerry sold 4.1 million of their older, BlackBerry 7-powered devices for a combined total of 6.8 million units shipped.  Once the news was released, BlackBerry’s stock price started trending downward, some would say “crashing”, down 26-28%, ending up at $10.46.  Worse, according to BlackBerry, their subscriber base has shrunk by 4 million users ending up at 72 million users globally.

To help mount their turn around, BlackBerry will continue to rollout their existing Z10 and Q10 around the world while bringing new BlackBerry 10 devices like the “budget” Q5 to “emerging” markets this summer and through-out the calendar year.

Research In Motion was caught completely off guard, as was just about every other smartphone maker, in 2007 when Apple released the game changing iPhone.  Everyone, except maybe Google, has been chasing the fruit phone maker since.

What surprises me, however, is that history seems to repeat itself.  I always hated it when my parents or teachers told me this, but I have come to accept and believe it.  You see, there was another smartphone maker that found itself in a similar position a few years ago: Palm.

There are a number of similarities between BlackBerry and Palm.  Palm, like BlackBerry, was down on their luck after the iPhone was released. Palm was limping along on sales of their previous generation Palm OS and Windows Mobile smartphones just like BlackBerry is doing now.  BlackBerry, like Palm, is desperately trying to reinvent itself with the Z10 and BlackBerry 10 just like Palm attempted to do with the Pre and webOS.  We know, that after a long, drawn out battle, Palm after being acquired by HP, finally came to an end.  Will BlackBerry and the BlackBerry 10 mobile operating system suffer a similar fate?  Will they continue to be a niche corporate market player or will they finally fade off like Palm?

We don’t know the answer to that question.  Make no mistake, what BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins is attempting to do to turn around his company is extremely difficult.  This past spring I had a chance to play with the new Z10 handheld and BlackBerry 10.  The phone had a quality design and feel to it.  The new software, was still very much foreign to me after having used older versions of the BlackBerry software.  While the gestures did leave me bewildered during the few minutes I had with the phone, people that I know who have purchased the Z10 have gotten used to it.

Oh, and there is one other similarity that BlackBerry shares with Palm, a small, yet dedicated core user base. Will it be enough to carry BlackBerry through the stormy weather until BlackBerry can grown their subscriber base and software marketshare?  We will have to just wait and see.

android · apple · google · ios · ipad · iphone

Google Now Arrives on iOS As Part of Google Search 3.0

 This morning Google Search 3.0 arrived in the Apple iOS App Store giving millions of iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users access to Google Now, an “information assistant” that has been available on Android-powered smartphones for the past year.

Once you have activated the Google Now feature in the Google Search app, you can use Google Now to see time and weather updates based on your current location, get notices of breaking news and your favorite sports teams, area restaurants, and currency exchange rates.

Rumors that Google Now was coming to Apple’s mobile operating system appeared back on March 12 when a leaked video showing off Google Now’s iOS tutorial video appears and was quickly pulled down from YouTube.

For more information, visit the Google Now website.  Google Search is a free application in the iOS App Store (link). To use the Google Now features, you must be running iOS 5.0 or later.

android · facebook · galaxy s · galaxy s4 · google · htc · htc one · samsung · social

Facebook Home Goes Live on Select Android Handsets

If you are the type that just can’t get enough Facebook and you use a Google Android smartphone, you might be interested to know that Facebook Home is now available for download from the Google Play Store.

Facebook Home provides deep Facebook integration into your Android-powered smartphone putting your friend’s status updates, notifications, and Messenger chats front and center so you always know what’s going on.

According to BGR, compatible devices include the HTC One, HTC One X, HTC One X+, Galaxy S4, Galaxy SIII, Galaxy Note II and of course HTC’s (2498) First. Unfortunately, Facebook Home is only available in the US right now and you must be running Google’s Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS or later.

Want to learn more about Facebook Home?  Check out Facebook’s promotional video.

[Via BGR.com…]

android · google · htc one · sprint

Sprint Begins HTC One Pre-Orders

Sprint has begun taking pre-orders for the black HTC One smartphone.

HTC’s latest premium Android-powered smartphone will begin shipping for Sprint customers this coming Friday, April 19.  The best part?  If you pre-order online, the black HTC One will be a cool $99 when you sign a two-year service agreement.

“BLACK HTC ONE COMING SOON 

For a limited time, save $100 on this phone when you bring your number to Sprint on a new line of service. 

Pre-order: Order online today, we’ll charge your card for your phone and we’ll do our best to get it to you before others get a glimpse on Friday, April 19. Ordering more than just this phone? Please complete your pre-order package checkout and come back to order additional items.”

The One has all of the things you would expect form a modern Android phone:

Google Android 4.1 OS
2300 mAh battery supporting 19 hours of talk time
4.7″ (1920 x 1080) display
1.7GHz quad core processor
2GB RAM, with 32GB of flash storage
Dimensions: 5.4″ x 2.7″ x .37″
Weight: 5.0oz

The HTC One comes in two colors, black and silver.  From the Sprint website, it sounds like the black version is the one that is going on sale first with a lead in like “Black HTC One coming soon.”

Personally, I like the silver model better, but the black one looks nice too.

I recently had an opportunity to play with the silver HTC One at a recent press event that Sprint attended and it has an amazingly crisp and bright display.  For the few minutes that I was able to play with it, the touch screen seemed responsive and there was no hesitation from Android when scrolling or changing apps.

This is the first Google Android-powered smartphone that made me think about switching from the Apple iPhone 4S.

For more details about the HTC One, visit the Sprint website.

app store · apple · chrome · google · ios · ipad · iphone · ipod touch

Google Updates Chrome Browser for iOS

Today, Google released a new version of their Chrome browser for iOS devices.

When running on a compatible iPhone or iPod touch, you are now able to run Chrome in full screen mode by scrolling the entire screen up, pushing the URL toolbar off the top of the screen allowing you to interact with the web page.  To get the URL bar back, simply scroll down again.

But I think that the more interesting update is Google adding the ability to print using their own Google Cloud Print service, or by sending your print job over the air to your wireless printer using AirPrint.

Anti-paper, are ya?  No problem.  Google still has you covered because you can now also save any web page as a PDF document in your Google Drive.  That’s pretty nifty

You can download the latest update from the App Store icon on your iDevice, or you can install Google Chrome from the App Store for the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch (link).