Possible Threats for Android’s Growth in the Future

On the first glimpse, the title of this post might sound little absurd and weird. After all who would ever want such a leading mobile operating system and a giant company like Google to have any threats?

Though, as per a recent report by comscore, in the United States, currently Android owns the largest pie of smart-phone users with a 40% whooping market share as compared to 26% and 23% by Apple and RIM respectively.  But there are several other issues involved with Android that, according to us, may definitely hamper its growth rate in the future. Here are four broadly categorized risks that we feel Google and Android might face:

Broad categorization of the risks to Android and its ever-increasing growth-rate, namely:

  • The patent war
  • Threat of Malware and Viruses
  • Fragmentation and unhappy developers
  • Loss to developers

Patent War:

Many of you might already be aware that Google has been facing several threats and losses due to alleged infringement of patents. It all started during March last year with Apple suing HTC alleging that HTC has infringed about 20 of its patents related to user interface, architecture and hardware. Ever since, the patent war is growing bigger and bigger with each passing day and android has been facing legal issues from many other multi-national companies including Oracle (due to alleged infringement of JAVA patents), Microsoft, RIM, Nokia and Apple to name a few.

If Google loses the patent wars, there are reports that, handset manufacturers might have to end up paying at least $ 60 for each handset they manufacture with Android operating system loaded on it, just towards licensing fees, in-turn bringing up the overall price of android phones and tablets.

To solve these patent issues to some extent, recently Google made a smart move by acquiring Motorola for $12.5 billion that comes bundled with a package of 17000+ patents that Motorola owned earlier. This has given rise to a situation where Google is competing with other Android manufacturers and there is a risk that, we may see a decline in the number of HTC and Samsung Android Phones in the market and, these manufacturers may end up focusing more on Windows 8 platform.

(Patent wars image credit: Unwiredview.com)

Brief highlights about patent war:

  • Many big brands and companies (including Apple, Microsoft, Apple) started suing Google and android handset manufacturers claiming these brands infringe their patents
  • According to reports, handset manufacturers might have to end up paying additional $60 towards each handset manufactured towards licensing fees
  • Recently, Google took over Motorola along with its 17000 patents for $12.5 billion to solve patent issues to some extent
  • This may push the manufacturers closer to Microsoft

So, it’s obvious that Android and Google team has lots to worry about the patent wars and this always brings a question in our mind, does patent issues gives Apple and Microsoft a chance to again increase their size of market share pie in the long run?

Threat of Malware:

It is the second thing we are most concerned about. The present growth rate of Android may be adversely affected as end users may be hesitant to use a smart phone that is vulnerable to viruses and malware.

It all started somewhere around December last year when several malware were found in Chinese apps and since then, the threat of malware from apps on Android market grew 2.5 times higher than what it was about 6 months back.

Taking a note of the malware threat, it’s obvious that many Android users would be very hesitant to download and use apps from the Android market. Considering number of available applications, one of the primary selling point for Android phones, this risk would surely hamper the growth rate of Android badly!

(Image credit: ubergizmo.com)

Fragmentation & Unhappy Developers:

Basically, there’s two primary reasons leading to the fragmentation of software version eventually leaving the app developers unhappy.

(Image credit: Official Android resource section)

  • Android versions:
    As you can see on the diagram below, unlike iPhone, Android phones are scattered with more than a dozen versions of Android operating system leading to chaos and confusion among app developers that make their apps incompatible and bug free on all phones.
  • Customized Android version by handset manufacturer:
    Almost every handset manufacturer comes up with their own customized version of Android to improve the user interface (for e.x. HTC’s sense and Samsung’s TouchWiz) that doesn’t let the end user upgrade to latest version of Android with ease keeping the users unhappy for being unable to upgrade to latest Android versions.

The fragmentation of the Android OS means developers will have to spend time coming up with compatible versions of their applications for different OS versions.

Low Income & Loss to Developers:

Android platform has been significantly more difficult to monetize as compared to other mobile phone operating systems especially Apple’s iOS. Moreover, as per a report by jumptap.com, even the click-through rate (CTR) for android ads is approximately 40% lower than what it is for iOS.

If we add up the increased uncertainty due to patents and malware to the other risks and issues with Android such as OS version fragmentation, low income rate, android payment issues, then there is a real risk that developers will prefer to develop apps for other platforms.

Lot has been said about the suspected future threats for Android, we now seek your opinion regarding this. Do you think there are any other risks that might hamper Android’s growth?

Indian Paypal users need ‘Purpose Code’ and not Import-Export Code to Withdraw Funds to their Bank Accounts

paypal-india Since a couple of weeks there has been chaos among Paypal users as it paused withdrawal option from Paypal to Indian bank accounts which was one of the most loved and used service among Freelancers, bloggers and service providers to receive money from outside the country.

But earlier this week, in one of its official blog, Farhad Irani posted that they will be resuming bank withdrawal option to Indian users if they provide with ‘Export code’ while withdrawing funds, which many people misunderstood as ‘Import Export Code’ (One needs to apply to govt. of India for IEC).  But a few hours ago, Farhad cleared that its not ‘IEC’ that one needs and its just ‘Purpose code’ that would solve your purpose!

An Indian Paypal user simply need to put the purpose code depending on the category they receive funds on their Paypal! (For ex. you need to use code ‘P0805’ if you are a blogger/freelancer/journalist). Guess this news would definitely be relief for many Indian bloggers and freelancers.

Paypal purpose code for different categories:

Code Category Description Who should be using it
P0101 / P0104 Export of Goods Value of export bills negotiated / purchased/discounted etc. (covered under GR/PP/SOFTEX/EC copy of shipping bills etc.) eBay merchants, jewelers, sellers of collectibles and other such products through eBay and your own websites / catalogues globally.

Please note: Cross border shipment of goods and services for which you file GR / PP / SOFTEX / EC forms only should be processed with this code. Use P101 if Deutsche Bank is your banker and P0104 if you bank with any other bank

If you have any questions, please check with your bank to help you with the same.

P0301 Travel , Hospitality and Tours Purchases towards travel (Includes purchases of foreign TCs, currency notes etc over the counter, by hotels, hospitals, Emporiums, Educational institutions etc. as well as amount received by TT/SWIFT transfers or debit to Non-Resident account). Online Travel Agents, Airlines, Railways, Buses, Taxicab Services, Hotels, B&Bs and other travel / tourism related sales through PayPal
P0801

P0802

P0803

Information Technology Computer Information Services. Hardware / Software / Data Processing consultancy/implementation If you are an independent / freelance coder / hardware consultant or data processing service provider, or a small business providing such services for websites globally, please use these codes.

For all IT related consulting services where you know you do not need to file a SOFTEX form, please use the appropriate code. 801 for hardware consulting, 802 for software consulting and 803 for data management and processing consulting services

P0805

P0806

Content and Journalism News Agency and Subscription services If you are a freelance journalist / blogger / news aggregator please use this purpose code for withdrawals.

If you are a newspaper or an online news aggregator for websites overseas, please use the appropriate code from these two. 805 if you a freelance journalist, and 806 if you are a newspaper / aggregator

P0902 Licensing of creative works Receipts for use, through licensing arrangements, of produced originals or prototypes (such as manuscripts and films) Artists, designers, other creative service providers where the principal revenue mode is license fees, please use this code.

If you produce creative works which you license out for entities overseas, licensing revenues may be classified under this purpose code

P1004 Other services Legal Services If you are providing outsourced law related services
P1005 Accounting, auditing, book keeping and tax consulting services For accounting consulting and accounting services
P1006 Business and management consultancy and public relations services Management / brand consulting and management services can be exported with this purpose code
P1007 Advertising, trade fair, market research and public opinion polling services Marketing/ brand consulting / logo design / event management services can be exported with this purpose code
P1008 Research & Development services If you are an outsourced research and development services provider based in India, receipts can be inwarded through this purpose code
P1009 Architectural, engineering and other technical services Any other technical services such as eTutoring, education and other services you render over the internet via web conferencing tools or similar channels, please use this code for your withdrawals

(Pupose codes are from Paypal’s blog)

(Image credits: labnol)

6 Month Unlimited Space and Bandwidth Hosting for just $0.14 [Valentine Offer]

On the occasion of Valentines Day, Award Space is offering a limited period offer of 6 months of unlimited space and hosting offer just for $0.14 without any strings attached to it! To get this hosting account, all you need is a verified Paypal account or a credit card to pay $0.14 (<7 INR) and you’ll be good to go with an unlimited space, bandwidth and domains hosting.

award space hosting

What you get?

  • Unlimited Space and bandwidth for a period of 6 months
  • Unlimited number of domains hosting
  • Unlimited MySQL databases

award space payment

Do you need anything more just by paying $0.14? ;)

Let me again tell you, there’s absolutely no strings attached beyond $0.14 as I’ve personally tested it out.

Link: Award Space

(Via Blog Solute)

See how Hitler responds to the Apple iPad [Amusing]

Only after a day of the launch of Apple’s latest product – iPad, there is an amusing video released on Youtube wherein, Hitler (imaginary) discusses about Apple iPad and how it could have been a better and a revolutionary product.

He also discusses about what’s missing in it that the world expected to be there. Just have a look on the funny video below. ;)

Check Who Favorites your Tweets on Twitter

You may like to know who favorites your tweets for several reasons. For example, people usually favorite tweets in their timeline that they like the most and want to use as bookmarks for future references. So, by checking what people like to read, you may keep posting more of such tweets and gain more followers, though there may be several other reasons you may like to know what tweets are favorited by your followers.

check who favorites your tweets

Using a free service – Favotter, you can check who favorites your tweet. Best part is you need not ever create an account or signup with the service, just visit the page and enter your twitter handle to check out who favorites your tweets. Well, as its not login based service, if your tweets are protected then you may not be able to use this service.

Link: Favotter

Reply to your Emails to Comment on your Facebook Status

If you use Facebook and have activated the “Email notifications” feature to receive emails for any comments on your status messages then you will probably love this feature. You can now comment on any of your status updates simply by replying to the Email notification that you receive from Facebook when your friends comment on it.

Reply to Comments via E-mail

Here’s a screenshot of an email notification I received from Facebook this morning:

facebook-reply via email

I was excited to test this feature, following which, without waiting anymore I just hit the ‘reply’ button and sent a “test message” and what next? The same comment was published on the thread within seconds..

facebook-reply via email1

While I figure out few more things about this new feature, do keep enjoying it! :)

Check if your Gtalk Friend is Logged in from Mobile, Blackberry Device, Gmail or other Gtalk Client

gtalk spyRecently Gmail officially released a labs feature using which you can determine if your (Google) chat contact is using Instant messenger from an android device or elsewhere.  But using the simple trick below, you can figure out if your Google contact is using Gtalk either from Google’s official Gtalk client, within the browser (using Gmail), blackberry device or any any other third party Gtalk client. This trick may be useful for spying on your Gtlak contact or keeping an eye on your friends ;)

All you need to do is download and install Digsby, one of the best and recommended Gtalk client, and login with your Gtalk credentials. Whenever your friend becomes visible on Gtalk, just hover over his status on Digsby window and you will be able to see their status as mentioned in the screenshots below:

identify gtalk buddy's client identify gtalk buddy's client2 identify gtalk buddy's client3
 identify gtalk buddy's client4

Hope, if not earlier, at least now you must have understood this quite useful feature of using Digsby. On your friend’s status message’s ‘resource’ section, you can check how your friend is logged into Gtalk. If he/she might have logged in from multiple devices then all of them will be listed here.

For those who are still not using this great app (free of course), this may be another reason for you to try it out.

Links: Download Digsby | Read more about Digsby

Similar Post: Check whether someone is Offline, Invisible or Blocked you on Gtalk

(Image credits: Tech Gadget Forums)

Easily Launch Applications on your Computer with ‘Launchy’ [Windows & Linux]

launchy You must have noticed, since last couple of days, I have been writing about productivity apps that helps to easily manage things on your PC. So, here is another utility – Launchy that can help you easily launch applications installed in your pc with maximum of 2-3 key strokes. If you are an avid computer user and keep switching from one apps to other, then this is another must have app for you.

Using Launchy:

Download Launchy for free, install it and customize your desired keyboard shortcut (default is Alt+Space bar). Voila! Next time whenever you need to open up any of your installed applications just hit “Alt+Space” or your predefined keyboard shortcut, type the initials of the application name and hit enter and your application will be launched. Yes, that simple it is. ;)

Brief Features of Launchy:

  • Open source application to launch applications with minimum keystrokes
  • Makes opening of applications and software simple
  • Supported for PC running on Linux and Windows operating system
  • Customizable skins
  • Fast and light weight

Links: Launchy Official site | Download Launchy

Yet again Gmail Users Face Downtime and Problems Accessing Contacts

Suddenly, a couple of minutes ago while having chat with one of my friend, Gmail started giving some errors and after refreshing the page for a few times I got a “Temporary Error (503)” message as seen on the screenshot below.

gmail error

After waiting for few minutes, when again I started refreshing the page, another strange error was witnessed reading “Gmail is temporarily unable to access your contacts. You may experience issues while this persists” with a “learn more” link directing to this page. And since then, each time I refresh the Gmail page, I get either 503 error page or errors reading – “unable to access contacts.

#gmail fail

As seen from the Twitter search results, Gmail users not only in some specific parts are facing such errors but people across the globe are panicking about the issue and discussing continuous Gmail downtime. For those who are unaware, Gmail went down for the second time this month. Earlier, Gmail was down on 1st September for about one hour and fifteen minutes.

“Everything” helps you Search Everything on Windows PC!

Just like Flashnote, “Everything” is another must have windows utility that can help you easily locate any files or folders in your windows PC on real time basis. All you need to do is install Everything and put the initials of the file name you want to search and all the files will be listed below the search area. If you say, windows has such a feature inbuilt in it, then install everything and experience the difference of your own! ;) Unlike the inbuilt search feature in Windows, Everything locates files and folders instantly within micro seconds. For even better search experience you can also assign a keyboard shortcut to the app from Tools->Options.

everything search

Features of “Everything”

  • Simple, light and easy to use search application for windows OS
  • Unlike the default search feature in Windows, Everything help search files quickly and on real time basis
  • Support for all windows OS – 2000, XP, 2003, Vista, 2008 and Windows 7
  • Available in portable versions that you can carry on your flash drives

Thanks Dnyanesh for the hats off tip! ;)

Links: Everything | Download | Portable Version download