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Ep. 1: This Android show is still in beta?Welcome to Android Atlas Weekly! From phones to tablets to set-top boxes, if it runs Android, we'll cover it. We also throw in a hot app pick of the week and a special tip that should help you get even more use out of your Android device. Justin and I...
[Music] ^M00:00:09 >>Today is Tuesday, June 1st, 2010, I'm Jason Howell. >>I'm Justin [inaudible]. >>And I'm Jessica Dolcourt. >>Justin: Welcome to Android Atlas Weekly. >>Jason: Yeah, premiere episode. >>Justin: Episode. >>Jason: Man, it's good to be alive. It's good to be alive and have an Android phone. >>Justin: It is. It is. Yeah, you may have caught episode zero last week. >>Jason: But you probably didn't. >>Justin: And you'll never see it again. >>Jason: No, no, no, no, we didn't hold onto that one, although it didn't go that bad, for a trial run, it went pretty well I think. >>Jessica: I didn't see it, which is why I'm here right now. >>Justin: Is that the only way you watch for content is in studio? >>Jessica: I like a participant desk. >>Justin: Excellent, it's a good way to see it. >>Jason: That's right. >>Justin: So, Android Atlas weekly is where we talk about all things Android. You know, right now, Android's a lot of phone, but there's an Android tablets, their Google TV, so anything that's running Android, we'll talk about it. >>Jason: That's right. >>Justin: So, where do we start? >>Jason: Well, I guess we can start. >>Jessica: Let's start at the end. >>Jason: We can start with the future. We'll start with the future and what we might be able to expect out of Android here soon. As Palm actually lost their mobile design guru, Matisse Doratan, I really hope I'm saying his name correctly, but he is the one that kind of designed the WebOS user interface, which I would say, I personally I really like WebOS. I think its. >>Jessica: Everybody likes WebOS. >>Jason: I think it's a blast. >>Justin: No one buys it, but they love it. >>Jason: I mean that's, that's a problem. I mean, I'll tell you who buys it, HP, HP bough Palm, so. >>Jessica: HP bought big. >>Jason: Yeah, so they. >>Jessica: They bought like all the phones on the market. >>Jason: Yeah, all 2 of them, the Palm Prie and the Palm Pixie. But, okay, I guess and the spawn off's of those phones as well, but what they weren't able to buy, or who they weren't able to keep is Matisse, which I think could be a big blow to WebOS, but it could be a huge boom to Google Android and the usability of that. >>Justin: And pretty. >>Jessica: Which is kind of all we care about right now. >>Jason: Yeah, that right. >>Justin: That's all we care about in this room anyway. >>Jason: In this show. >>Justin: Yeah, I'm pretty excited about this, because I've always said, I love Android, but my mom is never going to use an Android, and this could change that. You know, I want Android to have iPhone ease of use. >>Jason: Yeah, and I mean Palm, the first time I ever used it, it was very easy to kind of figure how to use it, throwing the windows around. >>Jessica: Yeah, probably some. >>Jason: Little visual slashes like that. >>Jessica: Fun little tricks and tips to it too. >>Jason: So, I think this could be a big deal for Android, especially considering, yeah, like you said Justin, like it's amazing what you can do with the Android OS, and kind of where it's come in such a short period of time, but it's not so easy that you could give it, you know like a 6 year old kid and be like, here, you know entertain yourself, and that kid would actually be able to find some cool stuff of it. >>Justin: Well, yeah, I'd argue with that, maybe, your child is not 6 yet, nor is mine. >>Jason: That's true. That's true. >>Justin: Yeah, I think it's usable at about. >>Jason: Okay, all right, cool. >>Justin: But not over a certain age, initially. All right, so what else is cool going on with Android? So, Palm guy coming to Google, that's [inaudible]. But what we're starting to see, I think, and the HTC EVO is probably really the catalyst behind all of these new Apps that can actually do video conferencing. And I think Jessica you've done, you've written about a couple of these. >>Jessica: That's right. >>Justin: What are we going to see? >>Jessica: Well, we have seen in the last week, well last week that Fring has actually picked up video calling on Android. Its two-way calling and its especially going to be useful when you've got, I've got my prop, I've got my EVO prop, it's got a front facing camera, so it's going to be a lot easier on this kind of device for you to be able to actually stare at the screen while you're talking to someone, you'll be able to see yourself, and you'll be able to see one other person, your caller, but you know, only if their chat App actually supports video calling. If you don't have that front facing camera, then you can turn the phone around and either you or your caller is going to be missing some crucial part of the story. >>Jason: Unless you're standing in front a mirror. >>Justin: That's what I was going say. Go to your lounge, you know, little compact mirror; they're not just for makeup. >>Jessica: Right. >>Jason: Yeah maybe Fring could, you know, market this, and sell a Fring mirror. >>Jessica: The Fring peripheral. >>Jason: Yeah, exactly. It would be a peripheral. >>Justin: Is HTC EVO the only phone out there that has front facing camera, besides, you know, the rumored iPhone? >>Jessica: Oh, you are asking the wrong person. I just care about the Apps. >>Jason: I think so. My gut, from what I understand, yes it is. It's the first Android phone that actually has the front facing camera. I could totally be wrong, but I think that was kind of, well part of the big deal of the Evo. >>Jessica: I've played around with it, it's pretty cool actually. It takes good self-portraits. >>Justin: So, we're also seeing this feature from a couple other services or Apps. Quick, for example, has, I don't know if its rumor or, its official. >>Jason: Well, no, it's official. It's pre-installed on the Evo and they say that. >>Jessica: It is. >>Jason: At launch, you'll be able to do video calling with it. There was a, there was something that hit the internet last week that basically said you'd have to pay an additional 5 dollars in order to use the Quick video chat feature, but they've actually come out, in the last couple of days and basically said, "No, that's wrong, you will be able to place video calls on this, on the launch, they will just offer premium features at a fee. >>Justin: Right. And then right before we came in to do the Podcast, we saw a story about Skype, you know, who's kind of the leader in desktop video conferencing, and it seems like they're probably going to do it, but they're kind of behind in all things mobile. >>Jessica: Skype seems to be behind in all things all platform, by several months, so they just got video conferencing on the desktop, but Firefox and Uvo have had that for a while, Fring, again, they nemesis has also had two-way video calling on iPhone and Skype doesn't have that yet. Skype just hopped on 3G calling on iPhone, so, you know, it might be that because they have such a big user base, they have more riding on them if they fail. >>Jason: Yeah, that very well could be. I mean, that's something we will be using here. >>Jessica: Or, they're just not developing fast enough. >>Jason: Yeah, kind of seems that way. They seem to always be a little behind the ball, at times. >>Jessica: Especially since with Fring you can use Skype service. So. >>Justin: Can you use Skype video? >>Jessica: That's actually, what I tested. I used Skype the one-way video calling using Fring on the Android. So, yes, so Skype has been out-Skyped. >>Justin: Are they compatible with the desktop software at all, like, is there any way I can talk to someone on the computer with my Android phone? >>Jessica: Yeah, yeah, exactly. So I tested two-ways, I tested calling somebody who was sitting on a desktop while I was on the phone, and then also got somebody else with a Fring for Android device and we were able to call each other. You know, it didn't work perfectly, there were a lot of performance hiccups, but it's one of those things, it's got so many variable depending on your service and what you're using, which chat service you're using and the time of day, if it's a Tuesday or Wednesday, I don't know, all of these seem to be factors in how well it will perform, so. So, it's there, if it works, it's great, if it doesn't, you will be frustrated, guaranteed. >>Jason: I'll tell you, even though Skype works here in the studio pretty frequently and regularly, it's still frustrating. Even when it works, it can be a frustrating experience, so, I'm hoping that it doesn't roll into the mobile version of it as well. >>Justin: So, also in the video arena with Android, we saw a little video demo of Sling for Android. This is pretty exciting; I'm a big Sling user. >>Jason: You have a Sling? >>Justin: I do. I have. >>Jason: Do you Sling the Sling? >>Justin: I do. >>Jason: All right. >>Justin: It's pretty awesome, this is, there's a couple off unique features with the Android version that they showed off. Some of them are kind of you I nicety's, but the big one that stood out for me, was this is the fastest launching Sling App there is, you know, at least in the demo they showed, the guy clicks on it and about 3 seconds later the App is launched and its streaming video from his home Sling box, so, it's cool. I, you know, I don't know, is it worth, by phone one, I think it costs like 30 bucks, something like that. So, I would expect this would be similar, so you have to, you know, is it worth it to you to spend that money on a mobile App to stream that may be going in and out of service, so you might not actually get to use that much. >>Jason: But yeah, totally, and even watching this video, it kind of seems like things are a little laggy on it. Now mind you, actually when I watch video I was doing something else, so I was watching it without any audio, so maybe they explain that, but it does really seem like, you know when he tries to change the channel, or go somewhere, it stops and you wait like 5 or 10 seconds, and then it kind of catches up, so I don't know if that's because beta or what. >>Justin: Yeah, it's hard to say, we'll have to wait and see. >>Jason: But it's pretty awesome to be able to get that content on your phone, I like that. >>Justin: Yes, it is. So this is something that Jason and I were discussing in episode zero how we both wanted the incredible and how the Droid sucks now. >>Jason: Didn't take long. >>Justin: But then, the next day or two days later, there was this rumor that came out about the Motorola Droid II. >>Jason: Oh, wouldn't you know. It sounds like Verizon is actually probably gearing up to release some new Motorola hardware this summer and this article, in particular, points out that they've made some improvements to the Motorola Droid II's keyboard, if this is the same keyboard, they put them both side by side, because they're definitely making an assumption here, but it looked eerily similar, so I would be surprised if they weren't. And they get rid of the little keypad, which quite frankly, I've never used, except when playing a particular game. >>Justin: Well, you don't need your keyboard. So, that doesn't really count. >>Jason: No, it's true, it's true. >>Jessica: It's just there for show. >>Jason: Yeah, it's there to make you think that if what you need in your comfort level is a directional keypad, that it would be useful, but I mean, even in the times that I've used the keyboard, I haven't really used the keypad very much, it doesn't seem to be very intuitive to use that when you can just touch a field on the screen as opposed to navigating to it, but. >>Jessica: Unless your fingers are really, dirty. >>Jason: I guess so. And then also the keys, I believe, have a little bit of roundness to them, which right now with the Droid that's one of the, the really sucky things about this keyboard is that it's entirely flat. No, point of reference. >>Jessica: Oh, there are a lot of sucky things about that keyboard. >>Jason: That's true. >>Justin: I think, though, like I've heard with the iPhone, after a couple of weeks. >>Jason: You get used to it. >>Justin: Yeah, I don't even notice the sucky things, so. >>Jason: And you actually use that keyboard pretty regularly. >>Justin: Yeah, I use it all the time. >>Jason: Yeah. >>Justin: It's no problem. >>Jessica: Its Stockholm syndrome is what it is. >>Justin: Yeah. >>Jason: Yeah, you've been beaten into submission by your Droid phone. >>Justin: I don't think, I don't think Google does that, I think another big Smartphone manufacturer does that. So, also, Droid II's rumored to have a faster processor, one gigahertz. >>Jason: Excellent. >>Justin: That would be awesome, that's my other big complaint. >>Jason: Yep. >>Justin: And, it says a better camera is also a possibility, because the camera on there, although its five mega pixel, it's pretty bad. >>Jason: Yeah, it's not great. Serviceable, in good light, but not great. >>Justin: Right. >>Jason: Yeah. >>Justin: So, we'll have to wait and see if any of that is true, but there were some other rumors from Motorola, or not even rumors I think just outright statements, about their future plans for Android. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Co-Chief Executive of Motorola has sort of said that they are committed to Android for all phones and potentially other devices, we'll get to that in a second. You know, Motorola led for a long time with cell phones and more recently has been reported to be losing 20 dollars per phone they sell, but has made a sort of pretty big comeback, although not a comeback to profitability because of the Droid. >>Jason: yeah, I mean that's, that's huge. I mean, it would be safe to assume that the Droid is really what kind of propelled Android into the mainstream. It really seems like. >>Jessica: It wasn't the G-1, that's for sure. >>Jason: No, exactly, I mean, which was, you know, a couple of years ahead of its time, but I don't know, maybe there were some changes to the UI to kind of catch up at that point, I didn't really get a whole lot of experience with the G1 when it was first released, but it really does seem like with the huge marketing push that Verizon has. >>Jessica: Yeah, I was just going to say the [interposing]. >>Jason: Everybody knew what a Droid was, you know. >>Justin: Right, I mean Verizon spent a hundred million dollars marketing the Droid, and the other interesting thing out of this interview or this article was that the Droid brand name, at least as used with phones, is owned by Verizon, and not Motorola, so they get to chose what carrier, be it HTC or Motorola, gets to use that. And it's not George Lucas like I suspected. >>Jason: George Lucas isn't calling the shots on the Android about Marketplace. >>Justin: No, I think he should be. >>Jason: That's too bad; it might actually make the Android Marketplace a lot more exciting. >>Jessica: Call the next one C3PO. >>Jason: Ah, that's interesting. >>Justin: So, they also mentioned, of course, that's there's going to be a Motorola tablet. >>Jason: Yeah, everybody's doing a tablet these day. >>Justin: Yeah, exactly, yeah, and they're going to be running Android, so that will be pretty interesting. You know, I think they're quoted to say that is going to be a 7 to 10 inch device that will become a very important as an augmentation to your TV experience. So. >>Jason: All right, everybody's got to jump on that bandwagon. >>Justin: Yeah, who else is coming out with tablets? >>Jason: Well, funny you should ask Justin. >>Justin: And by the way, I think we forgot to introduce the segment. You've just entered Android Tablet wok. >>Jessica: Tablet land. >>Jason: Yes. >>Justin: Music next week. >>Jason: That's right, well or someday soon. We're not promise next week, not yet anyway. Looks like Acer is also getting into the tablet game with Android, and I believe there, what is it, nope that's somebody else, yeah, so we've got Acer, we've got Dell with the Dell Streak, we've got Lenovo. >>Justin: The Lenovo is pretty interesting. This is a device that was introduced as the U1 Hybrid, and Skylight Smart book, and I guess that they have switched OS's for this product, because it was originally supposed come out on, what is it? I don't know. >>Jason: Was it a WinX, or Windows XPS? >>Justin: No, it says, yeah both run a custom WinX based OS, so they're still running a WinX based OS with Android, but you know, it won't be custom one, which is probably a good thing for everyone involved here. >>Jason: Yeah, absolutely. So they pulled, they just pulled an HP Slate, like, "Hey, we're going to come out with this awesome product, and, no wait, never mind, we're going to pull and we're going to go Android." >>Justin: Except they didn't have to spend hundreds of millions of dollars and buy Palm to [interposing]. >>Jason: That's true. That's true, good for them. >>Justin: And then, I think the most exciting tablet announced is this hundred-dollar tablet by OLP-C. If you go to the Crave blog, you can see some artist's renderings of it. >>Jason: Yeah. >>Justin: You know basically every staff, including these designs, look amazing and I frankly don't believe any of it. >>Jason: Yeah, it's really hard to believe, especially because, I mean the OLP-C was hard to believe at a hundred dollars, and this is a touch screen tablet that's going up for what, 75 dollars? Seventy-five dollars on an open source educational Sugar OS. >Jessica: Right and Nicolas Negroponte claims that they can easily hit that 75-dollar mark. >>Jason: You know, I guess they're not dealing with l like lots of moving parts on the inside and stuff like that so maybe that drives the cost down. >>Jessica: Or the hand crank. >>Jason: Yeah, or the, well that's too bad. >>Jessica: I mean [inaudible]. >>Jason: You should be able to hand crank the tablet. >>Jessica: But it, I thought his comment was interesting. He was mentioning in the video that is included in this post , that the first iteration that comes out will have the glass the screen, what they really want is plastic. And one of the goals of OLP-C as an organization is to put these, this inexpensive hardware into the hands of children in developing nations and a lot of these developing nations there's so much thought that goes into the geography of this place, in these places where the hardware will be, as a kind of what the spec's are, and there mostly ruggedness. >>Jason: Oh absolutely. >>Jessica: So. >>Jason: Yeah. >>Jessica: Glass is, is terrible. >>Jason: Yeah, very terrible. >>Jessica: You can have your slate for about 5 minutes until you break it. >>Jason: From a durability standpoint, and for just the fact that, you know, if a kid breaks a glass slate and glass gets on the ground and all that kind of stuff, like, you know, that's dangerous. In some of these places, they might not even, you know, they might be walking around barefoot, or whatever, and who knows what happens then. Well, I know, their feet get cut. >>Justin: Right, so there's, the chartroom's asking what the specific specs on this, you know, its vague details. You know, basically they talk a lot about the power consumption, it's supposed to use one watt per hour, which compares to five watts per hour from the OLP-C laptop, supposed to be multi- lingual, multi-touch, optic feedback, wifi, 1080p video. >>Jason: That, now that kind of blows me away; 1080p video, this would be a really, really low cost device to watch movies on. >>Justin: It would, I mean, yeah. I mean. >>Jessica: Nice big screen too >>Justin: Yeah, 99 bucks or 75 bucks, whatever it is, I'm definitely buying on. >>Jason: Yeah. >>Justin: Like, yeah, I mean that's a. >>Jessica: You're probably not going be allowed to buy one. >>Justin: Well, I'll have to buy one for someone. >>Jessica: Since they're subsidized through the governments of the Partners of Country. >>Justin: Well if they, if they work by the way, [inaudible] works, you could buy too. You know, you could buy one for yourself and one for someone [interposing]. >>Jason: You can buy one for yourself. >>Jessica: One for your son. >>Jason: Yeah, right. One for yourself as long as you're willing to get, you know, as long as you buy one for somebody else somewhere. >>Justin: Right. So, it's pretty amazing, it's supposed to have flash 10, so you can watch cnet and cnettv on there, high performance 3D graphics, teleconferencing, still and video cameras; you name, it's got it. >>Jessica: Or it will maybe by CS 2011. >>Justin: We shall see. >>Jason: We shall. >>Justin: I still don't believe it though. Well, I think that's our new stories, but what do we have next Jason? >>Jason: Well, I 'm going to have to figure out how I do this, because I don't have an extra camera here, but basically we're going to, every week, we're going to cover the news, which is what we've done. We're also going to kind of, you know, dig out a tip of the week for Android users, and I'm actually kind of excited, because I love this little tip and it's something I realized shortly after getting my Android, if you have, you know, the Droid with the Google navigation and stuff like that, sometimes it can be, I think, kind of a pain to say, "I want to navigate to, you know, this place that I regularly go." So, I'm going to use cnet for example. So, what I've done is I've actually created a folder on my desktop that has, I don't know if you can see that, that has little shortcuts, there we go, has little shortcuts that will come into focus, on those camera's slowly but surely. But, basically, what I've done is create a shortcut for navigation, so if I want to, wherever I'm at, I want to say, "I want to go to cnet right now." I can just hit that shortcut and it will launch right in to, right in to the navigation for that place, so it's a couple of steps and I'm only going to talk it right now and add video later because its hard with one camera. But, basically what you want to do is, you want to create a folder on your desktop and you want to also, if you click and hold on your desktop, you can create a, what's called a shortcut, and if you look in shortcuts, there's a directions and navigation shortcut right there, right down there at the bottom, and if you create that, you can name it, you know, so I would name it like cnet and put in the address as cnet, which is 235 Second Street, and make sure that turn by turn navigation is turned on, and give it a little icon and save it. And what that will then allow me to do is drag that shortcut into my folder, which I call the Nav 2, the navigate 2, and then if anywhere I'm at, you know, if I want to get somewhere from wherever I'm at, I literally just go into the folder, click the shortcut, it launches right into navigation and takes me there, no fuss, no muss. So, anyway's, it's a lot of, this segment requires a lot of talking with not much stuff to look at, so I'll have to work on that. >>Justin: I'll dance behind you next time. >>Jason: All right, cool. If you can fire dance back there, that would be great. >>Justin: I'll dress up as a Droid, and dance behind you. >>Jessica: I'm definitely coming back on the show. >>Justin: Maybe you're dancing then. >>Jessica: No. A little too soon. >>Justin: Jessica I think you are the star of our segment, which is App of the week in 60 seconds. >>Jason: That's right. >>Justin: And, Jason, are you ready? >>Jason: And oh, I believe, I think I'm ready. Are you ready? No pressure. >>Jessica: Oh man, oh man. Okay, I'm ready. >>Jason: It's okay; you can kind of hit it. All right, here you go. >>Jessica: Okay, I basically brought props, this is Square, it's available on iPhone and also Android. It comes with this neat little credit card slider. What you can do is Jason will give me his credit card. >>Jason: Okay, yeah sure. >>Jessica: He will pay me 50 bucks, I will swipe it through the Square and I will have my own personal payment system. >>Justin: Wow. >>Jessica: So I don't have to go through PayPal or anything like that. The only catch is that the company Square will take a percentage cut off the top. >>Jason: Oh, okay, for every transaction, they take. >>Jessica: For every transaction there is a fee, it is 2.75% of the total plus 15 cents for every card swipe. >>Justin: That's probably about equivalent to PayPal or something like that. >>Jessica: Slightly more for transactions that you make by manually entering the card. PayPal makes anywhere from 1.9% to 2.9% of each sale plus 30 cents, so this is definitely gunning after PayPal [interposing]. >>Jason: Yeah, no kidding, how much is the App to buy? >>Jessica: The App is free, but they do have to send you a cube. I would have made it, but you kept asking me questions. >>Jason: I'm sorry. >>Justin: Yes, Jason just wanted to blow it for you. >>Jessica: He just wanted to hear the [buzzer sound noise]. >>Justin: He did. >>Jason: I just didn't want it to go short and then we would have to wait and listen to the rest of the music with the buzzer at the end. >>Justin: Just twiddling our thumbs. >>Jessica: I'm a very good thumb twiddler. >>Jason: Well, that's cool. I like that. >>Justin: Well, thanks for. >>Jason: All deferred to what you charge people for. >>Justin: For joining us. >>Jason: Exactly. >>Justin: Well, we can, we can charge people to come on the show. >>Jason: Yeah, there we go. >>Justin: I think there will be a high demand after today. >>Jason: I like that. >>Jessica: Okay, fine but if they pay for it with PayPal, well, all right, I guess we still get a little transaction fee, never mind. They can hand you cash, then you get everything. >>Jason: All right, sounds good. All right, so we will be doing this show every Tuesday, at 2 pm Pacific, at cnettv.com/live/androidatlas, or you could just go to cnet.com/live and click to it that may be a little bit easier, to remember anyways. The email, for now, we don't have an email address quite yes, because I'm still scrambling to get everything set up, but you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get that and hand it out to the rest of the folks, and you can visit the blog, which is cnet.com/androidatlas, it's a cnet blog filled with Google Android news and soon to be filled with Android Atlas weekly podcast episodes. So, that's that. That's all we got. >>Justin: Good first show. >>Jessica: High five. >>Jason: Yeah, click. All right, thanks for tuning in you guys. >>Justin: All right, thanks for coming. >>Jason: See ya next Tuesday. >>Jessica: Bye bye. >>Jason: Bye. ^M00:23:49 [Music]