While Android users everywhere are rejoicing at the announcement of what is perhaps the biggest revamp to the open-source mobile operating system, Apple users are impatiently twiddling their fingers for iOS 8 to land on their smartphones. Following its own major revamp last year with iOS 7, Apple seems to have found its voice by letting go of skeuomorphism and following a more holistic design that measures up to the latest trends of "flat design". Also, iOS 8 is a huge stepping stone for "convergence" the big utopia major operating systems are aiming for today. Where does Android L stand on all of this? Well, it matches iOS 8 in pretty much every department. And that is what makes this mobile OS battle so exciting.


Design

Looks do matter especially in the world of mobile devices. After all, Android and iOS are two of the top operating systems in the mobile space. And we do expect the best from them. Both iOS 8 and Android L seem to set new paradigms in terms of design. iOS 8, refining the user experience in iOS 7 aims for a more holistic interface that is designed with different layers that work as a whole. From the parallax effect on the home screen to the angular flatness of the logos, Apple is aiming for a clean, pristine look for its OS. Android, on the other hand, has laid its bets on Material design, a more paper-like look for its L release. This means that elements behave in a more predictable and natural way. It is like pulling a card out of a stack, thus making the user feel "at home" right away. Both designs have their own merits and demerits. But given the sheer amount of beauty and freshness that material design brings, the winner here is Android.
  
Winner: Android 


Performance

In terms of performance, Android L has taken huge strides. The switch from Dalvik to ART and the inclusion of Project Volta has made Android L an OS update to watch out for. It will improve Android in areas where it wasn't so good before. This means that a better, more powerful version of Android. iOS 8, though does include some performance enhancements, those are nowhere close to the strides Android is taking in this area.

Winner: Android



Behind the Scenes

For the developers, while Apple introduced the Swift programming language, it still couldn't match up to what Android offered. While Apple released around 4000 APIs, Android introduced an almost complete revamp with as many as 5000 APIs. That said, the biggest thing developers will cherish about iOS is that the openness it brings along. But again, developers know how big Android L is, and it is only a matter of time until developers come out with something brilliant that will take advantage of those features.

Winner: Android


Vision

Both iOS8 and Android L are built on a similar, if not, the same vision and that is to create a complete and independent ecosystem. The goal is to have complete convergence of Mac OS X and iOS. In the same way, Google is trying hard to bridge the gap between Chrome OS, Chrome, and Android. This marriage of desktop and mobile does seem to be paying off more for Apple and less for Google. Nevertheless, in the long run, who knows which desktop will end up triumphant. But for now, if you are a long time Mac OS X user, iOS 8 will be the OS that will make you switch most of your other devices to iOS.

Winner: iOS 8


Features

In terms of the sheer number of features added to the release, Android L seems like a clear winner. However, despite iOS 8 being just an update to iOS 7, it has some features that turn it into an OS to watch out for in 2014. One of the most important thing that happened with the latest iOS 8 is that the operating system became much more open to developers. What was once a closed garden -- it still is, to a large extent -- has opened some doors to third-party developers, thus further heating up the battle with Android. While Android fans are going "meh" with the announcements, it simply confirms that Apple is taking Android's surge very very seriously. In iOS 8, we have Mac to iPhone connectivity, family sharing, Health trackers, iCloud Drive, and improved iMessage and Photos. These features somehow manage to one-up Android in this department.

Winner: iOS 8


Conclusion

Though iOS 8 is a major release in Apple's efforts toward restraining the growth of Google, the L release is perhaps the best thing that has happened to Android. What's more interesting to watch is that how much time will Android L take to catch up with iOS 8 given the fragmentation Android has.

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For many, syncing files between two computers on the same network is a nightmare. You have to connect the computers by doing some network tweaking and then copy each file individually. Oh, and then there is a lot of waiting involved. Another big problem that many users face is that let's say you've transferred 90% of the files and by mistake you shutdown the computer or turn off the router, most of your progress will be lost. And if you are someone who has Mac, Linux, and Windows desktops in the same house, good luck.

But wait… Isn't there Dropbox, which already solves the problem of syncing files? Well, it does, but most of your data belongs in the cloud. Transferring 400 GB worth of movies from your laptop to desktop won't be something Dropbox would do easily. The following tutorial will help you sync your files across multiple computers on the same network using a fabulous lesser-known app called BTSync.


Step 1: Install BTSync

Download and install BTSync on your desktop. It doesn't matter whether you are on Windows, Linux, or Mac. The software works across all platforms. 


Step 2: Generate a secret

Select a folder you want to sync. A good way of doing this is creating a folder titled "Sync" and then dropping all the files you want to sync as you go. And then, when the app asks you to generate a secret key, do so by entering a fairly hard to guess phrase. When the secret key is generated, remember it (hard to do) or write it down in a safe place. Don't worry if you can't do that right now, you can always access the secret from the main computer where the app was first installed. 



Step 3: Add more files to sync

Now in the sync folder, add as many files as you want. Instead of dropping multiple folders to the syncing application, you can simply keep adding more files to that folder using Nautilus, Finder, or Explorer. This saves you the trouble of having to remember multiple secrets. 



Step 4: Add another computer

To add the second computer you want to transfer the files to, simply install the app again on that computer. Then, during setup, just let the app know that you already have a secret key. Here, type in the secret key from the first computer and soon your files will start transferring seamlessly. 



Accessing files from Phone (Optional): If you have an Android smartphone, you can even access your BT Sync files from there. Simply download the app from the Google Play Store and then right click on the Sync folder from the main app. Select the option that says Connect Mobile. Then, a barcode will pop up letting you instantly pair your smartphone with your desktop. This means that once you are connected, you can even access your whole music collection on your desktop right from your phone. Cool, isn't it? 


Written by: Abhishek, a regular TechSource contributor and a long-time FOSS advocate.

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The party has begun. Everyone has arrived. The good ones, the bad ones, the pretty ones and the not-so-pretty ones are already here. Except for one. Yes, and it is the most promising one too. Android and iOS both have reached a level of maturity that has given them a huge stronghold over the mobile OS market space. Both of them have been for years, have millions of apps, and have a formidable presence that has managed to ward of competition even from big companies like Microsoft.

This battlefield for mobile operating systems is so heated up that even Samsung, who is one of the biggest mobile device makers in the world is having a hard time catching up with the latest trends. From flat design trend to perks for low-spec devices, both iOS and Android have conquered some of the major challenges that come in the way of making a great mobile operating system.

Ubuntu Phone OS, which has been in the factory for quite a while -- perhaps much longer than expected -- has thrown itself against what is perhaps one of the biggest challenges Canonical has ever faced: Battling Android and iOS. For a mobile OS that is just starting out, it is like a small fish jumping into an ocean full of sharks. The biggest question both Canonical and its fans are facing is that: Is Ubuntu Phone OS too late for the party? We've got some catching up to do.

Microsoft's attempts with the Windows Phone OS have not been as successful as they wanted to. Despite offering more than 240,000 in the Windows Phone store, they have run against a brick wall: The number is not enough. According to the site Appbrain, the Google Play store has as many as 1,313,357 apps. Those numbers for a phone operating system that is still in development definitely seem daunting.


Convergence May Be a Way Out

Microsoft knows about this dearth of apps. They are offering incentives to developers, running all sorts of campaigns, and trying pretty much they can to help developers switch over to the dark side. But one of Microsoft's future products that could potentially fix this problem forever is Windows 9. According to Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, the next version of Windows will run the same apps across mobile, desktops, and tablets. This strategy also provides a glimmer of hope for Canonical as they are basically aiming for the same thing: convergence. With the desktop, mobile, tablets, and TVs running the same app, Ubuntu could attract a lot of developers. Developers who don't have a lot of time on their hands will find it easier to just make one app that runs across all devices. Also, according to Canonical's website they are working at making Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox, Evernote and Amazon available at launch right away. If everything works as expected, Ubuntu might just get the traction it needs to creating a great app ecosystem.


The Networking Game

Ubuntu's Carrier Advisory Group (CAG)  boasts of some really big names from the mobile network industry. There's Verizon, T-Mobile, and Vodafone who seem enthusiastic about Canonical's endeavors. The question remains whether this will ever return any productive results remains to be seen. But the CAG itself is another indication that all's not lost. Ubuntu seems to be offering perks to CAG members that Android or iOS don't. One of such perks is the ability to launch Ubuntu devices before non-members in local markets. All we can say is that the interest in Ubuntu OS seems substantial.


Making a Difference

Android and iOS are polished operating systems. Ubuntu phones must offer more and be a better alternative. They have to be low-priced, high on features, and should appeal to a wide audience. Maybe a multi-device package like a tablet + phone combo might lure new customers into the Ubuntu ecosystem. The best way for Ubuntu to showcase convergence is to offer discounted deals on purchase of multiple devices at ridiculously low prices. Also, in developing markets, Ubuntu can make a huge difference by offering package combos like a laptop and a tablet or a laptop and a phone, both at low prices. With Android and iOS at their zenith, convergence might be the only thing that will bring a well-deserved victory to Canonical.


Conclusion

Though Ubuntu's fight seems like a David vs. Goliath one, there is a big hope for Canonical if they get the convergence part handled before biggies like Apple and Android do. Also, the excitement among Ubuntu's longtime fans might just open up some room for another open-source operating system. If you are an Ubuntu user, just keep your fingers crossed. Exciting times are ahead.


Written by: Abhishek, a regular TechSource contributor and a long-time FOSS advocate.

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While we maybe living in a post-PC era, there is no denying the fact that the desktop OS still matters. Mac OS X is an operating system that is still ahead of Ubuntu when it comes to the race towards the number one desktop. Apple knows that, and that is why they seem to have put a lot of work in making Mac OS X 10.10 "Yosemite"  as good as their mobile operating system, which is iOS. The goal here is convergence. Apple wants to build an ecosystem in which the desktop, the mobile, and the wearable operating systems work seamlessly together in harmony. This is the same thing Microsoft is aiming for and so is Google. And yes, Shuttleworth's brainchild Ubuntu is shooting for the same thing by working really hard on the next iteration of the open-source OS. But, with all these efforts, can Canonical match up with its competition?

Well, it can if it takes some of the great things its competitors are doing. Both Apple and Google are known for "borrowing" each other's ideas. If Canonical does a bit of that, its desktop might be able to reach a whole new level. So, if you are an Ubuntu fan wanting some of the best things from Apple's latest Yosemite on your desktop, here is a list of few things Canonical can steal or copy from Cupertino right away.

1. Improved Search

While there are many speculations as to whether Apple copied the latest Spotlight search feature from Ubuntu's Dash, it is still a feature that will take desktop search to a whole new level. Searching on Ubuntu works like a charm. You enter in the query and results show up from both online as well as offline sources. Having said that, it lacks the same intuitiveness as Spotlight. Search is sometimes erroneous and the Dash taking over the whole screen to search feels a bit "heavy". We hope Canonical refines Ubuntu's search even further so that it matches the quality offered by Spotlight both in terms of speed as well as the accuracy of results.


2. Airdrop-like File Transfer

Airdrop is an amazing feature that lets users transfer files between your computer and other devices in the same network. The feature is further tweaked and polished in Yosemite, making it even better. Ubuntu currently lacks a user-friendly way of transferring data between two computers. We hope Canonical takes some ideas from Apple and comes up with a nice way of connecting devices in the same network.


3. Powerful File Explorer

In Yosemite, Apple updated finder with features like tags to help users find their content better. While Ubuntu doesn't need an exact replica of Finder, it does need a better and more organized Nautilus. Ubuntu's default file explorer is simple and gets the job done pretty well. However, with the humongous amounts of files on our desktop, a little more organization is the need of the hour. What Nautilus needs is a blend of Windows Explorer and Finder's best features. Maybe a set of libraries that can be created by users according to specific search criteria.


4. Improved Notifications

The notifications in Ubuntu are really pretty, in fact, much prettier than those on Windows. However, they barely measure up to what Apple's offering in Yosemite. They are not distracting, provide the information you just need, and pull up vital data from the applications you are using already. If somehow Canonical manages to improve the existing notifications, we'd have a superb desktop.


5. Smartphone Integration

While Ubuntu for Android seemed like an ambitious endeavor when it was announced, we're yet to hear any developments in this arena. Apple, and even Google, are aiming for convergence and have almost already achieved it. Apple with Continuity has managed to bridge the gap between smartphone and desktop even further. Lazy Ubuntu users like us are dying for something similar to that, which helps them connect their phones to their desktops. This will at least, eliminate the need to get up and pick up the phone all the time.


6. Better Mail

While Thunderbird pretty much does the job on Ubuntu, it is still lacking in many areas. Canonical can take cue from Apple and come up with a better and more integrated mail application that blends in well with the rest of the desktop.


7. Dedicated Calendar Application

Yosemite features a gorgeous-looking calendar application that helps you keep up with your day's appointments. It is about time Ubuntu users got a dedicated calendar application that possibly ties up with Google Calendar as well.


Conclusion

While Ubuntu doesn't necessarily need to "steal" features from Apple, but it does need to look at what its competitors are doing. Taking a few ideas from the Cupertino might help Canonical take its desktop to a whole new level.


"Ultimately it comes down to taste. It comes down to trying to expose yourself to the best things that humans have done and then try to bring those things in to what you're doing. I mean Picasso had a saying he said good artists copy great artists steal. And we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas." -- Steve Jobs


Written by: Abhishek, a regular TechSource contributor and a long-time FOSS advocate.

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Galaxy S5 vs. Nexus 5 vs. iPhone 5s

Posted by jun auza On 6/10/2014
When a buyer goes to purchase a new smartphone, he or she is often confronted with a tough choice. With so many flagship smartphones in the market today, which ones to choose from? There's the Galaxy S5, which is a widely popular phone from Samsung and then there's the iPhone 5s, which comes from the world’s most valuable tech company. And, as if that wasn't confusing enough, Google offers its own flagship device known as Nexus 5.

While the three smartphones mentioned above are wildly popular, users have a tough time investing their hard-earned cash into. That's why, we've written this article to help you buy the best phone amongst the big 3. So, without further ado, here's a quick comparison between the Galaxy S5, Nexus 5 and iPhone 5s.


Features

As far as the features go, on paper, the Galaxy S5 is a clear winner. It has a fingerprint scanner, heart-rate monitor, and all sorts of other cool stuff. However, as far as useful features go, it has a hard time keeping up with the iPhone 5s and Nexus 5. Both the iPhone 5s and the Nexus 5 come with all the essential features you need from a true smartphone. Be it mail, camera, gallery, photo sync, both the Nexus 5 and iPhone 5s put a huge focus on their core apps and definitely it pays off. Users get what they want right from the start. No confusing menus, no extra gimmicks, and just pure smartphone experience. In comparison, the Galaxy S5 suffers from a bloat of menus, options, and unwanted features that might confuse the traditional smartphone user. It is safe to conclude that Samsung has a lot to learn from its competitors when it comes to caring about the core features that user completely rely on.

Ranking:

1. Nexus 5
2. iPhone 5s
3. Galaxy S5



User Interface and Design

The Galaxy S5 relies heavily on the TouchWiz UI, a heavily customized version of Android. Though looks fancy, it does look kind of outdated when compared to iOS 7. Apple's recently revamped operating system looks like a beauty in comparison with Galaxy S5's UI. With a flat design, perfect icons, and a cohesive experience, Jony Ive's efforts seem to have paid off.

Having said that, Google's vanilla Android doesn't seem to be that far behind when it comes to design. It looks sleek, it is easy to use, and has the minimalism that Google too is known for. The Galaxy S5, on the other hand, has changed only a few things from the TouchWiz UI providing nothing that is wow-worthy as far as design is concerned. Rumors are afloat about Google's design revamp for Android featuring a flatter design that has fewer gradients. Till then, the top spot belongs to the iPhone 5s.

Ranking:
1. iPhone 5s
2. Nexus 5
3. Galaxy S5



Display

The Galaxy S5 is a true winner in this department. With a 5.1-inch screen, Samsung has clearly put a lot of effort in bringing the best display to its flagship smartphone. A Super AMOLED touchscreen and a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels means gorgeous pictures and color reproduction. On paper, this looks like a solid entertainment device; a phone on which you can play all your movies and TV shows. But, this is where Galaxy S5's another major flaw shows up and that is its speakers. A weak sound quality simply dampens the experience of watching a movie on the phone. Again, there is the option of headphones, but when the marketplace has the likes of HTC producing some fabulous built-in speakers for their smartphones, Samsung's lack of attention to acoustics leaves a lot to be desired. But, this being a comparison of displays, Samsung still rules this category. The iPhone 5s and the Nexus 5 both fail to match up to the amazing display The iPhone 5S comes with a LED-backlit IPS LCD with 326 ppi. For its size, which is a 4-incher, the display is nearly perfect. A normal user won't need a better display from such a small screen. Finally, there's the Nexus 5, which comes with True HD IPS+ touchscreen. With a 4.95-inch screen and a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels, the Nexus 5 is almost as good as the iPhone 5s. That's why we have them both tied at the second spot after the Galaxy S5.

Ranking:
1. Galaxy S5
2. Tied: Nexus 5 and iPhone 5s



Extra Features

Though most of the features are gimmicky, the Galaxy S5 does win here. With a fingerprint sensor, heart rate monitor and other cool features like Smart Stay, it does give the users much more than they asked for. The problem, however, begins when you start using the features. The Galaxy S5's fingerprint scanner is nothing like the one you find on iPhone 5s. It's clumsy, awkward, and difficult to get used to. We bet that you probably won't be using it to unlock your phone (unless in cases where you want to make your iOS-loving friends jealous). Also, the weird flicking motion you do to sift through your photos is another gimmick you don't want to use. Coming to the heart-rate monitor. It's a conveniently placed sensor at the back of the phone just below the camera. Put a finger on it and it will give you your approximate heart rate. Though sounds cool, there is very little to look forward to if you're a fitness freak. In cases where you do high-intensity interval training or other exercises where you have to constantly monitor your heart rate, the sensor at the back is almost useless. What does put the Galaxy S5 on top of this category is its water-resistant nature. Dropping it in a pool of water seems to have no effect on it. Even when you're cooking and want to use the phone, you can do so without ruining the display. It just works. Since the fact that phones have become an integral part of our lives having a rugged, water-resistant phone definitely gives you more bang for your buck.

Coming to the extra features on the iPhone, the fingerprint sensor is absolutely well done. It just works out of the box and is conveniently placed unlike what you'll find on the S5. Other than that, you won't find anything gimmicky or extra in the iPhone. It's a complete smartphone and nothing else.

Finally, the Nexus 5. This phone offers almost no extra features. No fingerprint sensor, no fancy applications, no heart rate monitor. It's just a plain vanilla phone. That said, what the Nexus lacks in the extras department, it makes up in other areas.

Ranking:
1. Galaxy S5
2. iPhone 5s
3. Nexus 5


Camera

This is the area where the Galaxy S5 wins again. It has a whopping 16 MP camera, which clearly dwarfs both the iPhone 5s and Nexus 5. Nexus 5, which was designed as a camera-first phone, has proven disappointing due to the poor power of the built-in camera app. This puts it on the third spot giving iPhone 5s a place above it. iPhone 5s's iSight camera, though is 8MP, performs exceptionally well with the optical image stabilization and the HDR mode that comes built right into it. When compared head-to-head with Nexus 5, Apple's camera is a clear winner. However, it's still no match for what Samsung offers. Quality-wise, we expected better low-light pictures from the S5, but again, it's much better than its competitors.

Ranking:
1. Galaxy S5
2. iPhone 5s
3. Nexus 5


Performance

Performance-wise, both the S5 and the Nexus 5 run on Android KitKat, which is heavily optimized for devices having memory as low as 512 MB. Theoretically, they both should perform almost flawlessly with the S5 giving a better performance due to its specs. However, due to the heavy customization that comes with S5, there is a bit of lag when using it. Though not noticeable, it is quite anticlimactic for the performance-focused phone by Samsung. It has a Quad-core 2.5 GHz Krait 400 processor with 2 GB of memory, but the TouchWiz customizations and the huge amount of applications that it comes built-in with simply hogs the resources. The performance of both iPhone 5s and the Nexus 5 is somewhat equal when compared to the Galaxy S5. The result: we have all the three phones tied at the same spot. 


Build Quality and Overall Look and Feel

The iPhone 5s is a clear winner here. Its carefully crafted aluminum body and solid colors make it a treat to look at. Also, the perfectly placed ring of the home button gives the iPhone a solid feel. Coming to the Nexus 5, the design is sort of understated. Either you get the black look or the Stormtrooper look with the white one. Overall, with the rubberized matte finish on the back, the design of the Nexus is highly appealing. However, when compared to the iPhone 5s, it's still a fabulously designed phone. Now, when you take the Galaxy S5 and compare it with both these smartphones, you'll find that for its price, Samsung's flagship phone is highly disappointing. The dimpled cover at the back is made of plastic; a design choice that seems rather weird when compared to other competitors like HTC One and iPhone 5, which come with a completely metallic body. The bezels on the edges make the phone look just like its predecessor, but only a bit larger. In the design department, it is safe to say that the Galaxy S5 is a huge letdown and we hope that Samsung puts some serious effort in bringing out a great phone with a great design.

Ranking:
1. iPhone 5S
2. Nexus 5
3. Galaxy S5


Conclusion

Unless you are a die-hard Samsung fan, both the iPhone 5s and the Nexus 5 are fabulous smartphones. They both offer amazing features out of the box. If it had to come to choose between the three, the iPhone 5s is a great all-round phone. However, for people who value freedom, the Nexus 5 offers the same goodness without any compromise on the features. This somehow sheds light on the fact that despite the hype of the Galaxy S5, the Nexus 5 and the iPhone 5s are the pinnacle of what the smartphone industry can offer. 


Written by: Abhishek, a regular TechSource contributor and a long-time FOSS advocate.

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Android 4.4 vs. iOS 7: Which is the Best Mobile OS?

Posted by jun auza On 2/28/2014
When it comes to mobile operating systems, iOS and Android are still the frontrunners. Despite the brilliant and not-so-brilliant efforts of Microsoft to topple the two giants, the mobile market space is dominated by Cupertino and Mountain View. iOS, which made its beginnings in an era where touch-screen smartphones was a relatively new concept. With the late Steve Jobs at the helm, Apple was instrumental in starting what we now call the smartphone revolution. iOS with its brilliant and shiny design wowed many users thus catapulting the company into the role of a technology giant. As iOS was soaring at a breathtaking pace, a little-known open-source operating system was making its presence felt ever so slightly. Neither Steve Jobs nor the open-source community could guess how the mobile market space would change in the next few years.

Time passed and iOS continued its dominance. But this time, the presence of a new predator was more palpable. Android wasn't just an open-source project tinkered about by hackers, it was a tangible threat to Apple's deadly dominance. With the death of Steve Jobs came a loss in market share. A loss very few had imagined a couple of years ago. Samsung kept making phones after phones and the crowd that once worshipped the Cupertino gods now hailed the Korean giant as their new messiah. In this raging battle, though, only one thing has been instrumental in letting these two companies spar against each other with such ferocity. And that weapon is the operating system. The reason both iOS and Android are the top is solely because of their amazing operating systems. That's why no Apple vs. Android fight is complete without a comparison between their operating systems. So, here we are with a sweet comparison between Android 4.4 KitKat and iOS 7.


Design

Since Sir Jony Ive took over the design department, everything has changed. No longer do we see the gaudy skeuomorphic design that Scott Forstall was known to be a fan of. The design is flat, clean, and yes, refreshing. One of the most striking things about iOS 7 is that it features a design that uses a modern palette of colors, less gradients, and more flatness. That said, as good as the design seems, it is marred by inconsistencies. In fact, the UI is so jarring at times that many people have parodied it. Furthermore, we're yet to see a significant number of apps that make full use of iOS 7s brilliant design.


Coming to Android's design, things haven't always been pretty in the open-source world. In the beginning, Android looked like a developer's device that was followed by a slight design overhaul that made it the poor man's iOS. Till Android 4.0, though, Android was considered a poor contender when it came to design and its lack of aesthetics was a major bottleneck as far as wowing the iOS crowd was concerned. That all changed, however, when Android 4.0 was launched. With Ice Cream Sandwich, Android took a major detour and put most of its focus on improving the design of the operating system. Slowly and steadily things improved and soon Android came to be considered as one of the most beautifully designed mobile operating system. With KitKat, this legacy continues as Google refines and polishes Android to the max thus making it a treat for users. One of the first things you'll notice in KitKat (if you're using a Nexus device that is) is its consistency. From status bars to icons, everything is consistent, which definitely is a far cry from Apple's inconsistent design. The design of Android has improved so much so that there is even a blog documenting the most beautifully designed Android applications. While we can expect iOS7 to improve very quickly in the future, but this department, surprisingly, has been conquered by the now mighty Android.
 
Winner: Android 4.4


Functionality

When it comes to functionality, Android triumphs again with its ease of use and omnipresence of Google services. Search is Google's biggest strengths and KitKat makes sure that it is with you, everywhere, no matter where you go. Also, another big functionality is its ability to let users share data from one app to another. Let's say you found a picture in your gallery, you can then choose to share it with your friends using any app you want. On iOS7, however, you can share your data with a limited number of applications.

Another functionality area where Android scores is the integration of apps with core elements like the lock screen and the bottom buttons. The music you're playing completely takes over the lock screen in the most beautiful way you can imagine. Furthermore, the soft buttons at the bottom provide a seamless integration between the hardware and software. The iOS's big round button simply fails to captures the ease of use and functionality the dynamic soft buttons provide. In short, KitKat takes this one too.

Winner: Android 4.4


Features

Both Android and iOS come with core apps that provide unrivaled features. You can control everything by simply swiping up and down the screen. Secondly, you'll find that both Android and iOS are pretty mature operating systems that know what features the users need. So, in this department, there's no point contesting between the two.

Verdict: Tie 


Performance

Android 4.4 and iOS7 are completely different operating systems. However, they have one thing in common and that is optimization. KitKat and iOS7 have been optimized to run on older devices thus marking a major change in strategy by both mobile giants. Google, with its fragmented userbase is in dire need of an OS that shows up on all devices. Apple, on the other hand, wants to ensure that the new iOS 7 gets adopted by as many people as possible. These goals have ensured that both Android 4.4 and iOS 7 perform their very best even on older devices.

Verdict: Tie 


Default Apps

When it comes to default applications, there's an undisputed winner here and that is Apple. iOS is known for its fabulous default applications that integrate tightly with the rest of the operating system. Be it the famous camera roll or the iMessage app, everything not just blends in but also works as it should. Even if we consider the default browser, that is Safari, it is much more stable and faster than Chrome. And last, but not the least, iOS features a camera app that Android, thus far, has failed to match up to.

KitKat, though brings along applications that are perfect for the Google-loving users, it is not as good as Apple. The Hangouts app that bakes in SMS and Google Talk is clumsy and is confusing at times. Also, the camera app, which, though improved, is no match for the amazing quality of its iOS counterpart. The same thing about Chrome. Chrome, though offers a lot of nice functionalities, is a tad slower on most devices (well, at least slower than Safari.) Undoubtedly, the winner in this area is Apple. 

Winner: iOS 7


Siri vs. Google Now

The most important feature, as far as Google's strategy is concerned, is Google Now. Google Now is not just a search functionality, it's also a personal assistant that gives you relevant information when you need it and where you need it. By gathering data about your transit and your habits, it serves as an intelligent personal assistant that does the work for you.

Siri, on the other hand, is much more passive. Though updated with the latest search functionality, Siri still lacks the proactivity that Google Now has. It's still "voice search" in its purest avatar. In searching for relevant information, yes, Siri has the upper hand. However, if you wanted a personal assistant, Google Now is your best bet. 

Winner: Android 4.4. KitKat 


Conclusion

Both iOS 7 and Android 4.4 KitKat are solid mobile operating systems. They are both mature and have navigated safely across some of the most tumultuous periods in the smartphone wars. This is exactly what makes them so popular. When compared to Windows Phone OS, for example, they always have the better apps, the better design, and the better functionality. This means that unless another strong contender comes along, the war will always be between Android and iOS for the next few years to come. As for the stronger one between them, this time, we'll have to hand it to Android. Areas like design and performance, which were once its weak points, are now its strong points. That said, iOS 7 is still a solid operating system, and Android will have to do much more to keep its winning form.

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Google Nexus 5 vs. Apple iPhone 5s

Posted by jun auza On 2/05/2014
Nexus 5 is the smartphone every Android fanboy and fangirl is drooling over right now. It is budget friendly, feature loaded, and comes with the latest and greatest version of Android. But, it's not the only phone in the market. In fact, it is competing with a longstanding mobile titan known as the iPhone. Apple's latest incarnation of one of world's most popular smartphone brings a slew of new features to the gradually waning iOS fanbase.

Moving away from skeuomorphic design and embracing the latest trend of flat icons, iPhone 5s is a powerful device that is at par with the latest specs of an ideal modern phone. The Nexus 5 on the other hand looks like a modest device but performs like a beast. And, of course, there is the faithfully devoted Android army that touts the Nexus as their dream smartphone.

The Nexus line, which evolved from a developer's device to a premium phone, is now a serious threat to iPhone. But, the consumers don't care about the smartphone wars as much as we do. For them, it's a lingering question as to which phone to invest their hard-earned money into given that both devices offer spectacular features. So, if you're confused as to which smartphone to buy, here's a quick comparison between the two giants.


Phone Design

Nexus 5 is a fabulously designed device that looks no different from any other phone in the market. It comes in two colors: white and black and has a ring-shaped camera that gives the smartphone its unique look. In other words, from a crowd of smartphones, it's probably difficult to single out this device. The iPhone 5s, however, leaves no stones unturned when it comes to design. While the Nexus 5 looks solid and sturdy with a matte finish, the iPhone 5s looks stunningly premium with the new gold and the improved silver look. Its carefully crafted curved edges and the fingerprint-sensing home button give many users their money's worth. That said, we don't mean that the Nexus 5 is poorly designed. It's just that it pales in comparison with the quality of built Apple has been coming up with for so many years. This department is Apple's forte and it will stay like that for a few years to come.

Winner: iPhone 5s


 
Display

On the specs front, the Nexus 5 is a solid device. It has a True HD IPS+ capacitive touchscreen with 16M colors. The 5-inch screen makes sure that you get to capture every bit of detail on your screen. This makes it a great device for reading e-books and watching movies as well. With a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels, watching videos in HD is a treat on this phone. When compared to iPhone 5s, this smartphone still scores higher despite the Apple's heavily publicized Retina display. The iPhone comes with a LED-backlit IPS display that isn't that bad, but when you look at the recent trends, the 4-incher looks like a box of Tic-tacs when compared to Android-based devices in the market. The small display on iPhone is somewhat of a disappointment, especially when the industry has already moved on to 5-inch and even 6-inch displays. Time to go big, Apple.

Winner: Nexus 5



Performance

Both Nexus and Apple have done some major rework on their performance. With Android 4.4, you get an OS that is optimized to run on devices like the Galaxy Nexus. The same OS, when running on a Snapdragon 800 processor runs like butter. With optimizations to make KitKat run on devices with 512 MB RAM, you'll find absolutely no lags in performance, even with heavy gaming. The same story goes with iPhone 5s. It's a device that comes with the best of specs with an OS that is designed to run on previous-generation devices too. So, as far as performance is concerned, both are equal in this department.

Verdict: Tie


Camera

Despite being touted as a camera phone, the Nexus 5 majorly lacks in this department. The camera was hugely disappointing; at least as far as iPhone 5s is concerned. The shots were not even close to what the iPhone 5s produced. We're hoping that future versions of Nexus device will fix this issue. But for now, we have a clear winner here.

Winner: iPhone 5s



Value for Money

Yes, this is a big area wherein Apple has always fallen behind. When it comes to providing value for money, Nexus 5 is a killer. At a very low price, it provides the features of a very high-end smartphone. It will take a major shift in strategy for Apple to ever beat Google in this department.

Winner: Nexus 5


Extra Features

While Samsung overwhelms the user with a boatload of gimmicky features, Nexus makes sure that users get what they want: a properly working smartphone. Thus, you won't see any special features being added to the Nexus 5. On the other hand, the iPhone announced a big feature this time, and that was the fingerprint sensor. This feature enabled users to unlock their phones using their fingerprints. While the privacy concerns are a topic that we can discuss some other day, it is still a feature that makes things easy for many users.

Winner: iPhone 5s


OS and Features

While Apple introduced iOS7, Android revolutionized its open-source operating system with the introduction of KitKat. iOS7 focuses more on an aesthetic redesign more than anything else. KitKat on the other hand makes Google the backbone of your smartphone experience. Search is everywhere, and so is Google Now. Also, there have been many changes with the caller ID and the SMS app. In other words, Android 4.4 is the perfect example of what a sweet blend of hardware and software can do. While iOS users have been boasting about their hardware-software blend for years, Android users who were once green with envy will now be filled with pride and joy once they use KitKat. Android 4.4, thus, can proudly claim that it has become a premium operating system not just for project developers to tinker with. On the features front, you have print and QuickOffice on your smartphone. This feature is often overlooked, but can appeal to a large number of office-goers who prefer working on their smartphone or tablet computer.

Winner: Nexus 5


Conclusion

Nexus devices don't have the same craze as iPhones do. You won't find people lining up to buy the latest Nexus smartphone. These phones are announced pretty modestly, but as soon as they get into the public eye, a slew of Android fans scamper to get their hands on the device. The craze of Nexus phone is probably at its peak right now. Time and again, despite facing heavy competition, not just from Apple, but from Samsung as well, Google has proved that it can come up with a solid device at a very low price.

Apple, on the other hand, probably doesn't even consider Nexus devices a threat. At least, not as big a threat as Samsung. That's why, the iPhone 5c was released to tackle the small-scale markets that Samsung is hoarding. The iPhone 5s, on the other hand, continues the iPhone legacy of the best blend of hardware and software. When compared to the bloated Samsung phones, the iPhone 5s might stand a chance, but when competing against the mighty Nexus 5, Apple has to work a lot harder.

Overall Winner: Nexus 5


Written by: Abhishek, a regular TechSource contributor and a long-time FOSS advocate.

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How to Give your Android Smartphone the iOS 7 Look

Posted by jun auza On 1/26/2014
iOS7 was a huge release for Apple. It strongly adheres to the late Steve Jobs' minimalist principles of design and borrows heavily from the modern trends in user interfaces. With Jony Ive at the helm, iOS 7 brings a refreshing change to the outmoded skeuomorphic design. No longer would you see any shiny buttons, heavily rounded corners, or gaudy gradients. The design is flat, minimalistic, and uses basic colors.

Of course, iOS 7 isn't perfect, but when compared to Android, it is a force to reckon with. On first glance, it looks gorgeous and works pretty much as you'd expect it to. In fact, many Android fans --including me -- who weren't impressed by iOS before are starting to develop a liking for the latest iteration of the mobile phone OS. For people in this category, owning an Android smartphone is enough to get a taste of the mobile OS. As Android allows limitless customization, bringing the iOS 7 look to the droid world is easy. The following are some simple ways in customizing the Android user interface and make it look like iOS 7:


iOS Apex/Nova Theme

To set the foundation right, you'll need to install a launcher that will help completely transform the look of your Android phone into iOS 7. Once installed, this theme will give your phone the complete iOS 7 look. It is compatible with most launchers out there; however we'd suggest you stick with Nova or Apex as they are more stable. The theme has as many as 1,800 icons that have been tailored to give you the iOS experience. Once you install this theme, you'll have pretty much all the basic UI elements of the latest iOS version. 



To polish things and take customization even further, the following apps will come in handy:


iPhone Keyboard

The keyboard is one of the most frequently used applications on your phone. That's why theming the keyboard to match iOS 7 is extremely important. This app helps you get that greyish-white keyboard on Android. 



Galaxy iOS 7 Parallax Live WP


One of the most popular additions to the iOS update is the parallax wallpaper. The effect gives a spacey 3D-ish feel when moving around your phone. If you fancy it and want it on your droid to complete the iOS7 experience, then simply install it on your Android as a live wallpaper. 



iOS 7 Lockscreen Parallax HD

To make sure all elements fit in, install this lockscreen replacement that even lets you set a wallpaper. Furthermore, you can also enjoy the parallax effect that many iOS 7 fanboys and fangirls swear by.



iOS 7 Calculator

To take things to the very extreme, making the calculator look like it was made by Apple isn't a bad idea. After all, everything should fit perfectly. This app by Touchwood gives you the calculator that is featured in iOS 7. Even if you are not someone who wants to get the iOS 7 look, we highly recommend you check that app out because it's gorgeous. 



Written by: Abhishek, a regular TechSource contributor and a long-time FOSS advocate.

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Just when you thought the smartphone wars have subsided a bit, a fresh contender comes up creating new waves in the market. The same thing happened when Apple launched the iPhone 5s. From the looks of it, it seems like any other iPhone with a new OS and a fresh coat of paint. However, the sales and the heavy feature set managed to push this heavyweight into the league of the top smartphones out there. Whom else could it compete with other than the stellar Galaxy S4 from Samsung?

It's been only a few months since Galaxy S4’s release and everyone expected Apple to come up with a strong reply. And boy it did. The iPhone 5s not only looks spectacular, but also brings along features that might be a hardcore smartphone lover's dream. But does it stand against the mighty S4? Let's find out.


Aesthetics and Design

The iPhone 5s, especially the gold version, is a treat to look at. The design, in every single way, speaks elegance. Made of aluminum and glass, the shiny device looks like a premium product from every angle. The Galaxy S4, on the other hand, disappoints with its plasticky feel. If only Samsung put as much effort in building a solid design as it puts in making gimmicky features very few people use. Hands down, this department is Apple's and Apple's only.

Winner: Apple iPhone 5s



Display

Galaxy S4 comes with a huge 5-inch screen that is backed by AMOLED technology. This means that the device can give you a 1920 x 1080p resolution, something that you'd still find on many desktop monitors. Compare this to the iPhone 5S, which has a 4-inch screen, the S4 looks like a giant. The iPhone can display resolutions up to 1136 x 640, which is not bad. But when you compare that to the S4, it is not up to the mark.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S4



User Interface

This is a tough call, but if you see Samsung's TouchWiz interface, it has none of the elegance of the iOS7 interface, or even vanilla Android interface for that matter. When you compare modern interfaces, the standard set by Android (with HOLO) and Apple (with its iOS7 release), are way too high for Samsung to sport a plasticky and bloated interface on a high-end device. Again, there are some people who swear by TouchWiz, but in this department, I'd have to hand it to Apple again.

Winner: Apple iPhone 5s


Performance

Though many tech fanboys were whining about the lack of any new advancement in iPhone 5s, very few managed to notice the power of the A7 processor. One of the biggest reasons for this was that during the release, the smartphone wasn't benchmarked. But when it was, it has completely overtaken Galaxy S4 in most of the departments. What makes the iPhone really special is that the A7 chip is made for the future, but sadly, there aren't any good apps that make full use of it.

Winner: Apple iPhone 5s


Battery Life

The iPhone 5s comes loaded with a 1,560 mAh battery while the Galaxy S4 on the other hand has a 2,600 mAh battery. Now, remember that battery life is not just about the capacity. It's also about the optimizations in the software. Several reviews across the Internet have revealed that the battery life on both phones is almost the same, despite the heavy-duty nature of the S4. In other words, both can last a full day. That's why we'll have to hand this one to both of them. GSMArena has a good comparison of the battery life of both phones.

Verdict: Tie


Software

The Galaxy S4 comes with a lot of gimmicky features: Smart Stay, Air View, and much more. However, how often do you find someone using his or her palms to skip through content? Secondly, the smartphone comes with applications like S-voice, S-translate, and S-health. Though we appreciate Samsung's decent efforts to separate itself from the crowd, they're just not good enough to compete with what iOS7 or vanilla Android offers. A full-blown, well-integrated set of applications along with an eye-catching feature like TouchID makes the iPhone 5s a winner in this department.

Winner: iPhone 5s


Conclusion

Though despite being a die-hard Android fan myself, I'd have to hand this one to Apple for the first time. They've managed to craft a solid, future-proof device that will only step up the competition and push Google to come out with a mind-blowing Nexus device. Despite its high pricing, the golden colored iPhone shines in every single way. That's not to say, however, that Samsung did a bad job. One of the main reasons Apple wins this one is that the device was released months after the release of Galaxy S4. Keep your fingers crossed for another battle soon to take place between the Nexus 5 and the iPhone 5s. Now, that would be a good fight to watch!


Written by: Abhishek, a regular TechSource contributor and a long-time FOSS advocate

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Best iTunes Radio Alternatives For Android

Posted by jun auza On 8/27/2013
iTunes Radio, which was announced in June at WWDC by Apple, is Cupertino's attempt at expanding its music services. The ad-supported service, which lets you listen to unlimited amount of songs for free, is expected to be available along with the much-awaited iOS 7. Furthermore, the service will also launch across Mac OS X Mavericks and Apple TV.

Though the service looks good, it has many drawbacks. For example, iTunes Radio is only available in the United States. And, if you're using an Android phone, of course you won't be able to use the service. Don't fret though, our Google Android Play Stores offers a lot of amazing alternatives to Apple's streaming service that might pleasantly surprise you.

So, if you're looking for some good Android-based alternatives to iTunes Radio, read on as we discuss the best of the lot:


Pandora


Pandora has been around for a long time now. Available only to residents of U.S, Australia, and New Zealand, the music streaming service is one of the most popular ones among audiophiles. Pandora boasts of a 70.8 million active listeners along with applications for almost all major mobile platforms. New users can begin listening to songs for free but the free account is only limited to 40 hours per month. If that doesn't whet your appetite, you can pay $3.99 per month for a Pandora One account, which gives you fewer interruptions and no ads. The only downside about Pandora is that you cannot listen to songs offline.  



Google Play Music

Released in May 2013, Google's new streaming music service offers a lot of free stuff for new users. Not only can you upload 20,000 songs in your library for free, you can also listen to your songs offline. Though the basic service is free, a $9.99 a month account lets you listen to streaming radio and add any song to your library. You can then play those songs offline as well. One of the biggest drawbacks of this service is that it is not yet available on the iOS platform. That said, Linux users can rejoice at the fact that they can use an application like Nuvola Player and run Google Play Music service like a native application.



Spotify

Spotify is an immensely popular music streaming service that is competing head to head with Pandora and iRadio. The most popular thing about this service is that it works across almost all platforms, including Linux. For your Android device, the app lets you use the service for 48 hours completely free. Then, if you like it, you can purchase a Spotify Premium subscription right from the app. Once you are a Spotify user, you'll be able to sync your playlists, listen to music offline, or stream anything you want from the Spotify library. The unlimited subscription costs $10 a month. 



Rdio

Rdio is a service that allows you to stream unlimited music, for free, to your mobile phone. The service has over 20 million songs and it strongly relies on the social element of music listening. You can follow friends, listen to their favorite artists, and even collaborate with them to create an awesome party playlist. The service then syncs all your playlists and favorites across all of your devices. Rdio's subscription costs around $10 a month. 



Last.fm

Last.fm is one of the veterans when it comes to Internet radio. Not only does the service lets you discover new tracks, it also lets you keep a record of what tracks you listen to. My personal favorite, last.fm allows you to 'scrobble' your listening habits to your profile so that later, you can get a good idea of your own listening habits. When it comes to streaming, you can listen to Last.fm radio from almost any device, be it on desktop, smartphone, or tablet. 

 

Written by: Abhishek, a regular TechSource contributor and a long-time FOSS advocate.

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Can Apple's iOS 7 Beat Android?

Posted by jun auza On 6/25/2013
At WWDC this year, Apple unveiled its biggest design change ever. Getting rid of skeuomorphism and rounded design, both of which were outmoded, iOS 7 flaunted a sleek, flat design that conforms to the latest trends. Apart from new icons came new features that further simplify the way a user interacts with the mobile operating system. In other words, Apple, with this release, is playing catch up with Android who is ruling the mobile OS market at this moment. The question remains whether these changes are enough for the average Android user to jump ship and become an Apple loyalist.


Design

Apple’s iOS 7 comes with a completely revamped design that keeps up with the latest trends. The icons now sport a flat look and no longer can you see any hint of the infamous skeuomorphism that Apple was known for all these years. The design borrows heavily from Android and Windows Phone OS. For example, the all-new Control Center is similar to what Android offers with Jelly Bean's notification toggles. The colors are fresh and effects like Blur, which aren't present in many mobile operating systems these days, make an appearance. Personally, I'm a fan of the interface as it is fresh, easy to use, and just works. When compared to Android, though, it has a lot of catching up to do. But still, given the fact that Apple had a huge responsibility of coming up with something new yet staying familiar to users at the same time, this is an amazing milestone. Summing up, one can say that the design is a bit polarizing. Some people will instantly get drawn to it, while others won't even look at it and prefer Android or WP7 instead.

"True simplicity is derived from so much more than just the absence of clutter and ornamentation -- it’s about bringing order to complexity" -- Jony Ive


Features

iOS 7 comes with a lot of new features. Multitasking, upgraded default applications, iCloud sharing, iTunes Radio, Anti-Theft functionality, improved Notification Center are some of the features that are going to please a lot of iOS fans. However, as far as the competition is concerned, Android users won't be that interested in this update as most of the new features are already present in Android Jelly Bean



Siri vs. Google Now

Siri, Apple's innovative voice assistant has gotten some major updates. It now has male and female voices and can now speak French and German as well. Apart from the voice change, Siri now looks more aesthetically pleasing and has gotten much more control over the device. You can now ask Siri to play your voicemail, turn down brightness, turn off Bluetooth, and more. As compared to Google Now these features put Apple a step ahead of Android. However, just Siri isn't enough for Apple to evangelize a horde of Android fanboys and fangirls into buying a new iPhone.


Maps

Maps is an area where Android still has an upper hand over Apple. Apple Maps, Cupertino's ambitious-yet-failed attempt at taking on Google is something Tim Cook is still embarrassed about. That's why Apple has offered users a choice between the installed maps applications. However, those choices don't compare against the stable and powerful built-in maps application that Android provides.


Fragmentation

The biggest problem that Android is facing is that of fragmentation. Unlike Apple wherein you'll find same or similar operating systems installed across all devices, the fragmentation has made it hard to find uniformity in the platform. And, as long as Google doesn't fix this problem, Apple will keep having an upper hand in this department. For example, if you consider iOS 7, the update is compatible not only with the latest iPhone 5 but also with iPhone 4, iPhone 4s, iPod Touch, iPad 2, iPad mini, and iPad with Retina display. iOS7, by making the update compatible even across older devices has reminded Android that it's not too late to fix the fragmentation problem.


Conclusion

Given the way Android has been improving recently, there is barely any chance that we'll see a major migration of users towards Cupertino. That said, with iOS 7, Apple has given its old users something to look forward to. The release, being compatible across so many devices, says that Apple still cares about its old users and is not going to let their devices become obsolete.


Written by: Abhishek, a regular TechSource contributor and a long-time FOSS advocate.

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BlackBerry made a huge comeback this month with the announcement of the new BlackBerry Z10 smartphone. Until now, RIM was largely perceived to be a sinking ship by many in the smartphone industry. Some still do. However, BlackBerry has gotten itself a makeover and announced to the world that Android and iOS have a new competitor.

While Android and iOS are at the top of their game, RIM's BlackBerry devices still hold a significant amount of user base, especially in the enterprise market. It is not a surprise that BlackBerry devices will be the center of attention once they reach the global smartphone market. And, although, it's difficult at this point to say whether BlackBerry will manage to beat iPhone or Android, many people still are willing to try out new smartphones that are not made by Apple or Google.

Here's a quick comparison between the recently released BlackBerry Z10 and the top two smartphones in the world namely the Google Nexus 4 and the Apple iPhone 5:


Camera

The BlackBerry Z10 comes with an 8 Megapixel camera with LED flash. The front-facing camera on this device is 2 MP along with 720p video capture capability. The iPhone 5, on the other hand also comes with an 8MP camera and so does the Google Nexus 4. But the front-facing cameras on the iPhone 5 and the Nexus 4 are 1.2 MP and 1.3 MP respectively. This puts the BlackBerry device slightly ahead of the game especially by appealing to folks who use their phone for video chatting.

Winner: BlackBerry Z10



Performance

The BlackBerry Z10 comes with 2GB of RAM the same as Nexus 4 offers. The iPhone lags behind slightly in this area with the 1GB RAM it provides. The processor in the BlackBerry Z10 is similar to the Nexus S, that is, 1.5 GHz dual-core. Overall, the Google Nexus 4 is ahead of the pack when it comes to performance because of its quad-core 1.5GHz processor and beefy RAM.

Winner: Google Nexus 4



Weight, screen size, and display

The Blackberry Z10 and Google Nexus 4 weigh almost the same (around 138-139 grams). The screen size for Nexus 4 is 4.7 inches while the BlackBerry Z10 offers a relatively larger display than what the iPhone 5 offers. The iPhone 5 shoots ahead of the competition when it comes to weight weighing as little as 112 g. When it comes to display quality, the iPhone 5 may have a slight edge over the two because of its Retina Display.   

Winner: iPhone 5



Operating System

The BlackBerry Z10 comes with its completely revamped BlackBerry 10 operating system. With intuitive swipe-based UI, there is a lot more to this than just BBM. The OS comes with features like BlackBerry Hub, a clever keyboard, and an appealing user interface. That said, it's not good enough to beat the biggies like Android and iOS.

iOS already has a huge user base to boast of. Android on the other hand is soaring like an eagle. Both Apple and Google have established their brands as two of the best in the smartphone industry. That said, as of now, Android is currently on top thanks to the huge amount of features Jelly Bean provides.

Winner: Android



Other features

The BlackBerry Z10 comes with NFC support, a feature that the iPhone 5 doesn't have. Another important feature the BlackBerry Z10 comes with is MicroSD card support. This is something that both Nexus and iPhone don't provide.

Winner: BlackBerry Z10


Conclusion

Though the BlackBerry Z10 beats heavyweights like the iPhone 5 and Google Nexus 4 in many areas, its success is something that cannot be guaranteed. Despite its heavy potential many people doubt whether BlackBerry will manage to evangelize the already-saturated smartphone market. Nevertheless, the BlackBerry Z10 is a fabulous smartphone that has tremendous potential. As for the lingering question whether Apple and Google should be worried about it, the answer remains a resounding NO. 

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Biggest Apple Blunders that Made Android Shine

Posted by jun auza On 1/16/2013
The Apple vs. Google skirmish has been hailed as the biggest battle in the tech industry. Even Eric Schmidt agrees that this is the ultimate fight the search giant is involved with. The war that began when Steve Jobs was the CEO of Apple has grown to become a never-ending race to a finish line that is nowhere to be seen. Both companies are constantly trying to come up with products that are better and smarter than the other. And, in that attempt, both have made some mistakes that negatively impact their dominance. While Android’s errors have cost them a lot of money, Apple’s mistakes have cost them a big chunk of market share, which once, it vaunted to its loyal consumers. 

Apple is a company that is considered to be a paragon when it comes to making quality products. Their design and their philosophy both reflect the meticulous attention its employees have paid in crafting each and every product. Whatever comes out of Cupertino, is usually considered as a benchmark in consumer satisfaction. That said, high pressure to compete with soaring tech giants like Google has forced the company to make some hasty and regretful decisions. Also, they have made terrible blunders thanks to their trademark obstinacy. Not only have these errors shook Apple’s reputation, they have also given Android a chance to shine. With every mistake that Apple makes, Android is getting more and more popular. 

Let’s take a look at some of the blunders that Apple has made in the past and how they have worked in Android’s advantage. 


Being Too Closed

One of the best things about Android is its openness. Developers can make any apps they want and sell them directly in the Google Play Store. Apple on the other hand, likes to play it safe by carefully auditioning each and every app before it is sold in the Apple store. Not only has this irked many developers, this has also shifted their focus on the Android platform. Selling their apps on Android is much easier for them than doing so in the Apple ecosystem. Earlier, iPhone users used to boast about the number of apps they have in their app store; however, as more and more developers flocked to Android, it became irrelevant. 


Apple Maps

Apple Maps is perhaps the biggest blunder Apple has made in the recent years. The low-quality, unfinished, and bug-ridden application that came with Apple’s latest update caused a great deal of trouble to its users. This was even more problematic as, at the time of the release of the crappy Apple Maps, Google Maps is not yet available on the iOS app store. This blunder has caused a lot of problems for Apple and its customers. In fact, Australian police have discouraged the use of Apple Maps citing it as risky for day-to-day usage. 


High Price

Apple is known for its high-priced devices. iPhone and iPad are no exceptions there. In the tough economy consumers want something that’s cost effective and has a good quality. Android, thanks to its reasonable pricing, ticks all the checkboxes for many consumers. While the iPhone stays as a product for the upper class users, Android has managed to easily penetrate the market on both sides of the spectrum.  


Lack of Choices in Terms of Hardware

If you go for an iPhone or an iPad, there is not much to choose from in terms of hardware. You have to stick with whatever Apple makes. Well, we all know that Apple always makes high-quality hardware; however, we all have our individual tastes and preferences. Android is a platform that lets you choose your own device. Whether you want a 7-inch tablet or an Android-powered watch, you can choose whatever Android device you want. 


Lack of NFC Support

One of the biggest disappointments when the latest iPhone was released was the lack of NFC support. Although NFC isn’t a technology that has become uber popular just yet, having it on the iPhone would have brought it head-to-head with many other Android devices that come loaded with NFC support. In fact, Google Wallet relies heavily on NFC thus bringing cardless payments to the masses. 


Written by: Abhishek, a regular TechSource contributor and a long-time FOSS advocate.

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