Samsung launches first android camera

No doubt this is just the first of many smart cameras to come

Samsung Galaxy Camera

Showing no hesitation after last month’s courtroom beat down at the hands of Apple, Samsung’s back to grabbing headlines and taking names this week with the announcement of the company’s new Galaxy Camera.

Samsung Galaxy Camera is the first smart camera on the market

Basically, it’s a small, compact digital camera that runs on Google’s Android technology, specifically, Jellybean 4.1, the latest Android OS to date.

For all those scratching their heads out there right now thinking, Isn’t this thing just an overly-glorified smartphone? — yes, it is. It just can’t make any calls.

Samsung Galaxy Camera is not a phone

Cool apps and widgets aside, Samsung’s Galaxy Camera rocks some impressive specs. It features a 16.3 megapixel CMOS sensor and includes 1080p video recording technology. Also, it has a 4.77” high-def touch-screen LCD screen, 23mm lens with a 2.8 aperture, and a rather gnarly-if-I-do-say-so-myself 21x optical zoom.

Samsung Galaxy Camera technology

The Galaxy Camera offers some additional perks that helps it avoid the connotation of being “just another camera”. For instance, it features wireless connectivity with 4G/LTE capability (on selected regions, obvi, as not everywhere supports this kick-ass service just yet). Also, it offers cloud storage back-up for photos the moment they’re taken — sayonara to the days of having to scramble for new memory cards!

Early reviews are in and here’s what the general consensus: yes, the physical specs on the Galaxy Camera are impressive. I mean, how could they not be — they’re the only true “smart” camera on the market. But its performance is severely lacking. There are reports of shutter delay. Also, some are saying that the Jellybean software isn’t exactly jiving with the hardware as well as it should — lots of error messages popping up time and again when users are trying to taking a photo.

But if expert reviews and opinions aren’t for you, then you might be interested in hearing a bit more about some of the device’s flashly highlights — Samsung’s Galaxy Camera allows users to take a picture using voice control, edit images on the touchscreen, and share photos right away on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.

Interested in buying it? Well, let ye be forewarned that the Galaxy Camera does not fall into the category of affordable electronic gear like our finely crafted portable mini speakers – Samsung announced that they’ll be on sale in the UK next month for £399, about $500 here in the States.

Thanks, but I think I’ll stick with my camera phone for now.

Thanks but no thanks

Learn more about the new Samsung Galaxy Camera.

Mozilla’s Boot2Gecko, a Completely Web-Based Operating System for Smartphones

A Whole New Breed of Smartphones

An awesome project from Mozilla is finally seeing some well-deserved press. They have spent substantial energy building an entirely web-based operating system called Boot2Gecko (B2G). Essentially, the operating system is built using the standard web technologies HTML5, CSS, and Javascript.

B2G’s main focus is to alleviate the need for excessively powerful smartphone hardware, and allow for simple, optimized web technology to power the phone. While they do still use a Linux kernel, and libusb, etc to handle hardware/software communications, they claim you are literally “booting to the web”, rather than a traditional operating system.

The great news about B2G is that, unlike iOS (but very similar to Android) it is completely open-source. Any developer can jump on board the project and help. Mozilla claims it will work as a replacement OS on many popular Android-native smartphones. APIs are available for developers to extend the functionality, but the project is still very much in an infant stage, and likely won’t be ready for primetime for several months.

This is not a completely novel idea, as Palm tried hard to push their WebOS for Palm Pre as a completely HTML/CSS/Javascript driven operating system, but it truly has not seen the exponential adoption rates that iOS and Android have.

What’s your take on the future of smartphones, their operating systems, and open vs. closed platforms?

Smartphone Takeover: How To Stand Out.

A Nielsen survey released last week discovered a true fact: smartphone adoption is growing at a rate faster than ever.

“While overall smartphone penetration stood at 48 percent in January, those in the 24-34 age group showed the greatest proportion of smartphone ownership, with 66 percent saying they had a smartphone. In the same age group, 8 of 10 of those that had gotten a new device in the last three months chose a smartphone. Among those who chose a device in the last three months, more than half of those under 65 had chosen a smartphone.”

So now what? As these numbers continue to rise, especially as children, tweens, and teenagers adopt smartphones, how will these products stand out from one another? As of now, there is the holy grail, the iPhone, which will likely continue to have its day ruling the market. The question now is this: what does it take to dethrone the iPhone?

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Optimizing your Android with Boombotix Portable Speakers using Player Pro DSP pack

If you’re looking for a way to optimize your Boombot on your Android, there’s a little bit of audio software that can help.  Player Pro is a music player software available on the Android Market for $4.99.  It features a sleek, well organized interface, although it has been a little bit buggy with some of the podcasts we’ve used with it.  The Player Pro App by itself has some EQ controls, but if you really want to get your portable speaker to maximum volume, download the free DSP Pack

The screenshot below shows you a shot of the EQ menu once you download the DSP Pack plugin.  The bar on top is the Preamp which is basically a secondary volume controller that can maximize the output volume of your device going to your speakers or headphones if you so choose.  Be careful not to drive too much bass to your speakers when doing this as it may cause clipping and distortion.  If you maximize the Preamp, you may want to trim off some of the bass using the equalizer adjustments or the knob bass adjustment at the right of the screen.