One question that I find myself asking after Google’s I/O keynote was Google Hangouts SMS Integration, or lack thereof. It was no secret that Google was planning to announce their solution to combining all messaging clients (and potentially more), across multiple platforms into one convenient application. Internally code-named “Babel”, Google Hangouts was introduced as a messaging platform for mobile and computer devices made to combine Google+ Messenger, Google Talk (Gchat) and GMail’s messaging client.
SMS integration was a highly demanded feature, to compete with Apple’s iMessage, so it doesn’t take a genius to decide to implement it. Even now, on the Google Hangouts user review section, people are questioning how such a critical feature is missing (hence the ten thousand+ one star reviews). This asks the question, why wouldn’t Google implement the most obvious and (arguably) the most useful feature for Hangouts?
I felt a sigh of relief when Google employee, Dori Storbeck announced that SMS features were “coming soon”, only to have my dreams shattered when an update was released implying that the previous statement was a mistake. With competition from popular applications such as Kik, Whatsapp and soon-to-be BBM, wouldn’t Google want to dominate both the messaging and texting space and differentiate themselves?
Some theories come to mind…
Android is an open-source operating system, with its’ inner functions available to anybody and everybody. Google wants to keep certain things private and, including an application such as Hangouts is not something they’re interested in. This is why so many of Google’s applications are available on Google Play and do not come pre-installed with Android (think Browser -> Chrome). They either include Google Hangouts or make users manually install Google Hangouts after purchase to enable texting (which we all know would not be a good idea).
Google dislikes texting entirely, and wants this ancient technology done with. They’re no stranger to pushing innovation, with their refusal of expandable memory in Nexus devices (both phones and tablets) to help cloud services further grow and expand as well their radical and innovative operating system, Chrome OS, based purely on cloud services. All services provided by cell phone providers can be mimicked with a data plan - yes, that includes texting, voice/picture/video messaging, voicemail and calling. Google understands that, and wants things to change.
The third, and most obvious is that Google simply has some bugs and kinks to work out before releasing it to consumers. SMS integration is big project, and with Hangouts already being being built from scratch, including such a feature can be a daunting task. Maybe they figure they can hold off, potentially until June 10th (rumored Nexus 4 refresh and JB 4.3 update)?
Will Google Hangouts lack of SMS integration significantly effect the success of their service, or will users gravitate towards the beautiful UI and otherwise, flawless execution.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 currently exists in two variants, one AWS and the other GSM. Slight differences between the two include which frequencies (and carriers) they support, their data speeds and lastly, their processors. Developers have made it quite clear that they are against developing for the SGS4 due to the lack of support they offer, specifically with their AWS variant running an Exynos processor. The other GSM variant runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600, which is considerably more developer friendly but also receives lower benchmark scores.
During Google’s I/O keynote, Larry Page stunned the audience when pulling out the Samsung Galaxy S4 from his pocket and announcing that it was running a completely stock version of Android Jellybean 4.2. A stock version of the SGS4 is basically a godsend for developers and Android enthusiasts with the inclusion of LTE, expandable storage, a removable battery, unlocked bootloader and all-around greater specifications.
Now it’s theory time…
What if this Samsung Galaxy S4-Nexus device is running on the exact same internals as the GSM variant. Once it’s out to consumers, it’ll be possible to port over the stock Android ROM and have a Nexus experience on all GSM Samsung Galaxy S4 devices.
Obviously, this nothing but a theory and we’ll be learning more as the story develops.
I purchased a domain, but now I’m having trouble with the provider. Also, i’m studying so that explains the lack of recent activity. Between studying and the NBA Playoffs, I have no time for blogging/dealing with anything else.
In 2008, Swype was introduced to the world in the form of an Android application. A one-of-a-kind, innovative keyboard that allowed users to simply slide their fingers across a touchscreen keyboard to type out words and phrases.
I remember the painstaking process required to get access to their (open) beta. Even after creating an account and successfully installing the application, I’d have problems due to their one device per account limitation. That same company has come a long way, revolutionizing the plain old boring keyboard into what it is today and paving the way for companies such as Minuum (which looks awesome).
Well folks, Swype has officially gone… official! You can purchase the application at the Google Play Store for a $1. They’ve added a few small updates and have announced that they are not phasing out the beta, but instead continuing it with A/B UX test versions.
I’ve been pretty busy with school but I’ve finally gotten the opportunity to read about the HTC First with Facebook Home. So, that’s it - huh? The HTC First is a beautiful mid-range device (the type we’ve learned to expect from the HTC design team) and Facebook Home is a launcher. I don’t know whether i’m sort of disappointed or surprised. At least they have support for the SGS3 so i’ll be able to give it a try (after exams) and test it out a bit.
I’ve grown accustomed to Nova Launcher and I would rather not significantly change the interface of my smartphone with one that surrounds a social network. Mark Zuckerberg mentioned that he wanted to deeply integrate Facebook into everyones’ smartphones but this is a pretty radical approach.
I will admit it though, Facebook, with it’s email hosting service, chat/video messenger, timeline, mobile presence and free VOIP calling is really turning itself into a behemoth of a competitor.
Testing out the Armor Guard Shock Absorption Screen Protector for the iPhone 5 (applied on my older iPhone 3G). The iPhone ended up turning on without any issues!
But seriously, this thing was impressive. I’ve always heard of screen protectors that were capable of extreme shock absorption but I never had the opportunity to truly test one out until now. Several people were involved in the hammering of this iPhone and it came out unscathed (Besides turning off, which I imagine was caused due to component flex).