Android Smartphones and Apps
Mike Agerbo and AJ Vickery compare the HTC Magic and HTC Dream, and show off some of the cool and unique Android Apps that are available to download.
Male: It’s amazing how much apps have now become a major part of our lives when it comes to Smartphones. Obviously iPhone from Apple really kind of pioneered that whole area but there’s a lot of catchup being done by other manufacturers. We’re going to look at some of the new Google Android phone. Google Android is the operating system that Google came up with. It’s open source that any handset manufacturer can use. And I think you’re right, it’s all about the apps these days. Whatever manufacturer you are out there and whatever operating system that you’re running on the phone, you better have some apps for it because that’s what people are buying the phones for.
Male: So these are from HTC. This is the HTC Magic and this is the HTC Dream. The major difference between these two obviously the size, you can see this one’s a little bit thinner. Both have full touch screens but this one also has the slide out keyboard.
Male: Yes, so for those folks who do like to have a keyboard and don’t like texting on things like touchscreens, you have the ability to have a full qwerty keyboard on here and again really nice for tactile touch for typing all your text messages and stuff like that.
Male: The nice thing about this one is that it is in the landscape mode, the keyboard, so the keys are a lot larger as well so a little easier to type than using the little kind of like a Blackberry keyboard. So what makes this a little unique, I find is just how they treat apps on it. With the iPhone, very restrictive. There’re certain things that you can’t do when you’re writing apps for iPhones. Apple likes to keep a tight reign. Google a lot more open. One of them was just even kind of a settings one called locale and essentially by going into it, you can actually program when the ringer goes to normal ring or to silent. So for example if you’re a student, obviously, you don’t want your phone ringing when you’re in class.
Male: And a lot of phones actually have that ability, what’s the big deal right? You simply just say hey, I’m in class hit silent mode. It goes on to vibrate. This takes it one step further. If it knows you’re near the school, like you can actually use the GPS system to say when I’m in this area of the campus turn my ringer off. And that’s the power to this thing.
Male: So another feature here that I thought was cool is a whole area of augmented reality now. There’s a few apps that take advantage of that and basically what it is is it’s using your GPS location and telling your where other things are around you. An example here is TweetWorld. A lot of people are Twittering now. This will actually when you’re holding it up, I don’t know how it does this but as I’m looking around, I can actually see a lot of the people that I’m following that are Tweeting by their physical location. I can then move up there and I can see what they’ve tweeted. If I want to, I can also click on their head here as well and it’ll go right to their webpage.
Male: And the Twitter app is kind of cool but to be honest with you, I didn’t see how I would use it.
Male: It’s because you don’t Tweet a lot.
Male: I’m not a big Tweeter. One that I thought was very useful was called Wikitude. It’s from Wikipedia and when you click on it, you can do a couple different things. I’m going to choose to look through the camera and if I point the camera in these different directions, it’ll actually show me different things that have Wikis written about them. I can click on them and I can see the headlines or I can even click to read the whole Wiki entry and if it’s something that I’m interested in for example if I’m on a trip and I point in the direction of a museum, I can actually read the Wiki, see if it’s something that I want to go check out and start walking in that direction.
Male: Again, because it’s got the built-in compass and GPS, it works as you’re moving the phone around which is pretty cool.
Male: Pretty darn cool.
Male: Another example, traffic view, this again ties into all the traffic cameras that are around you.
Male: That’s pretty cool.
Male: So here I can cruise around and you can see there’s a few different locations, I click on one and wow, like instantly, I’ve got the traffic cam for that particular—
Male: There’s no traffic on that bridge so let’s go over it.
Male: And finally, this one was kind of a cool one. It was called shop savvy. There’s a number of these barcode reader ones. This is cool for shopping and it’s going to take shopping to a whole new level over the next few years. You go into a store and you’re always wondering, am I getting the right price.
Male: Yes, and if you’re like me, you always want the lowest price—
Male: What I do here is search for a product and I put it over the barcode and it instantly scans it once I’ve got it in focus. I don’t have to hit any buttons or anything and then it goes up and shows me all the best prices up on the web and because this thing is location aware because it has a built in GPS, it will even show me prices of this particular headset around my location.
Male: There’s a nearby retailer that has a couple of bucks left, then you can actually go if you want to, walk across the street and buy it there or maybe even better, go out to the store manager and say hey, shop savvy says—
Male: The guy down the road sells it for $10 cheaper. I can imagine store owners aren’t going to be very happy with this technology.
Male: Probably not but you know what, it’s empowering us, the people, the consumer and the more information we have, the better decision we’re going to make and applications that you can get from your mobile devices are going to help you do that.
Male: These are Google Android phones from HTC. They’re the manufacturer of the actually handsets. A number of different manufactures will be coming out with Google Android phones so it’s an operating system that’s going to be growing and growing and the apps on here are very similar to a lot of the apps available for the iPhone but because there’s a little more flexibility, you can also get some really unique ones as well.
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