Archive for 'Field Communications'

iPad 2 Draw Backs

Apple’s second-generation iPad mostly impresses, but Apple still managed to leave some key technologies out.

Apple failed to deliver on a few vital differentiators in iPad2..

No 4G:
The iPad 2 will be sold in three wireless configurations: Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi + 3G (AT&T), and Wi-Fi + 3G (Verizon Wireless). Looking at the spec sheet, it indicates that the AT&T variant of the iPad 2 supports quad-band GSM/EDGE and quad-band UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA. The Verizon Wireless variant uses EVDO Rev. A. These are 3G technologies. The iPad 2 doesn’t have HSPA+, nor does it have LTE.

Apple failed to add near-field communications (NFC) capabilities to the iPad 2.Google’s Android platform (at least the 2.3 Gingerbread version) supports NFC, though only one phone is properly equipped.Getting the chips into mobile devices of any shape/size will help drive the NFC and mobile payment ecosystem forward. Sadly, not with this generation.

No Accessory Improvements:

Apple didn’t change a darned things about the iPad’s accessory support.That Apple didn’t move (or at least duplicate) the 30-pin connector to the side of the device for better landscape compatibility. The iPad 2 also doesn’t have an SD card slot for expandable memory.

No Display Improvements:

The iPad 2 uses the exact same display as the original iPad. It measures 9.7-inches across the diagonal, and has 1024 x 768 pixels, giving it a disappointing 132 pixels per inch. By way of comparison, the iPhone 4′s Retina Display has a pixel density of 326ppi. Perhaps we’ll see a better display on next year’s model.

Top 10 features in Gingerbread ( Android 2.3 )

Developer features

  1. Native development. The ability to write Android programs or parts of programs isn’t new but in Android 2.3 it gets a huge boost with Release 5 of the Native Development Kit (NDK). For example you can now receive input and sensor events, produce sound, manipulate 3D graphics contexts, access assets and storage, and more all from native code. They even added a NativeActivity class that lets you write your lifecycle callbacks in native code.
  2. JVM speed. For Java developers, 2.3 adds a number of speedups, most notably a concurrent garbage collector. According to Google garbage collection pauses will be under 3ms, which is small enough not to be noticed in a 30fps or even 60fps game. New JIT optimizations make Dalvik code run even faster than before.
  3. Faster event distribution. In previous versions of Android, just holding your finger down on the screen would cause whatever program was running to slow down, sometimes dramatically. This is all fixed in Android 2.3.
  4. Multimedia. Rich audio effects like reverb and headphone virtualization can be applied to local tracks or globally across multiple tracks. The platform adds built-in support for VP8/WebM video, plus AAC and AMR wideband encoding. Also, there are now official APIs for accessing the front and rear cameras. There is some limited support for extra large (tablet and TV) displays.
  5. Near Field Communications (NFC). In Japan, NFC is a Big Deal, and the hope is that it will catch on in the rest of the world too. It has all kinds of uses, for example with the right hardware and software you could use your phone as a replacement for your credit card to make point of sale purchases. Using the NFC API apps can respond to NFC tags embedded in stockers, posters, and even other devices.

User features

  1. New on-screen keyboard. The standard keyboard has been greatly improved in Android 2.3, with faster input and more intuitive typing. Even cut-and-paste got a makeover.
  2. Streamlined user interface. New color schemes and various UI changes and polish make Android more consistent and simpler to use.
  3. Application and power management. Android 2.3 provides better insight into what is running in the background, how much memory and CPU time it is using, and even lets you kill misbehaving apps. Yes, after months of telling us we don’t need a task killer, they give us a task killer. Enjoy your chuckle, iPhone fans.
  4. SIP Internet calling. Voice over IP is integrated directly into Android 2.3. Unfortunately you’ll have to get a SIP account from a third party, and the ability might be curtailed on some carriers.
  5. Download management. All your downloads from your browser, email, and other apps, can now be viewed and controlled from one place.

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