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Adobe Systems, working furiously to disprove Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs’ belief that the Flash Player is a bad match for mobile devices, will deliver its second version of the software for Android devices on March 18.
The software will be available in final form through the Android Market for Android 2.2 (Froyo) and 2.3 (Gingerbread) devices and in beta form for Android 3.0 (Honeycomb)
tablets after Google’s 3.0.1 system update, Adobe said in a blog post.
However, it’s not for any Android device. People can check Adobe’s list of Flash-capable Android devices to see if theirs made the cut.
Flash Player runs cross-platform software, notably games, and is widely used to stream video to personal computers. Adobe hopes to extend its cross-platform promise to mobile devices, but it’s been hard given the different user interfaces and lesser hardware abilities compared to PCs.
Flash Player 10.2 for mobile brings several changes, though. One is hardware-accelerated video presentation on Honeycomb 3.0.1 devices, something that could help preserve battery power and increase frame rates for smoother video.
The new version also can take advantage of better hardware in some devices with graphics chips and dual-core processors–Motorola’s Atrix smartphone and Xoom browser and LG’s Optimus 2X, for example.
The new software also is better integrated with the stock Android browser and with screen keyboards, Adobe said.
To keep competitive on the desktop, Adobe also is working on improving Flash with versions 10.3 and 11 under development.
If you’re in the market for a new set of premium headphones, consider picking up one or both sets of earphones we reviewed this week from a Swedish company called Jays.
Jays headphones maintain the Swedish design concept of high function, minimalist practicality, and the Swedish word lagom, which refers to the idea of “not too much, not too little.”
The company shares a similar take on pared-down product design as other Swedish brands like Ikea and HM that enjoy popularity in the United States, but the company isn’t just a pretty face–it happens to make headphones that sound as great as they look.
Neither of the headphones are cheap–the C-Jays and A-Jays Four retail at $120 and $70, respectively, but both make tremendous aural leaps over the stock earbuds you get with Apple iOS products. In light of today’s iPad 2 launch, consider adding a pair of Jays earphones on your shopping spree.
In fact, the A-Jays Four are $10 cheaper than the In-Ear headphones Apple would have you purchase separately, and they still make improvements with a more defined midrange and ample bass, not to mention a fettuccine-shaped cord that we dare you to tangle.
We recommend both the A-Jays Four earbuds and the C-Jays if you’re shopping for new headphones, but be sure to check out both reviews on CNET for comparison testing and alternative suggestions in both the higher- and lower-end price range.
Just like it did last week the Federal Communications Commission gave the nod to a lot of new cell phones and
tablets this week. Among the highlights were Sprint’s quirky new Kyocera Echo, the LG Revolution and the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook.
Because the FCC has to certify every phone sold in the United States, not to mention test its SAR rating, the agency’s online database offers a lot of sneak peeks to those who dig. And to save you the trouble, Crave has combed through the database for you. Here are a selection of filings from the past week on new and upcoming cell phones. Click through to read the full report.
RIM BlackBerry PlayBook
Samsung Galaxy S II
This post is part of the Friday QA section. If you want to ask a question just send it via the contact form.
Sharninder Khera asks:
I have a tech tutorials blog and would want to make working on it my full time job. My question is when (and how) should I decide to do this? The blog makes me about 1/12th of my income right now, so what should be the level when I decide that I should leave my current job and work on the blog only and grow that?
Interesting question, and one that I think many people share.
The answer depends on your current situation. If you are young (e.g., up to 30 years old) and don’t have many financial responsibilities (e.g., no wife, no kids, no mortgages) then you could consider switching as soon as your website starts making half of your current income. Perhaps even less if you already know the ropes of Internet marketing and know your site has potential.
When I quit my full time job I was 22, and my sites were making only 10% of my salary, but I was completely sure the income would grow if I started putting more work on them. And in fact within the first year my sites were already making more than what I earned with my previous job.
If you have a wife, kids and other financial responsibilities, however, the picture changes. In this case I would recommend to wait until your website is making close to what you make with your regular job. On top of that I would also encourage you to diversify your income sources on the web.
For example, consider launching a new website on a different niche and with a different business model, or launch an email list and promote affiliate offers to your subscribers. Making money from a single website is a risky situation because things change very fast on the Internet. One day your traffic is booming, the other it might be gone.
Finally, it’s also a good idea to create a financial cushion before you make the switch. That is, save money to cover around one year of your expenses, so even if things go really wrong you’ll have one year to figure it out.
What about you guys, how much were you making when you jumped to work full time on the Internet (or how much are you planning to if you still need to do it)?
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Samsung is taking the Nexus S north of the border this spring and releasing the handset on all major Canadian carriers.
Much like it did with the Galaxy S series of smartphones, Samsung should use a blanket approach for the handset. So instead of releasing exclusive devices or handsets tailored specifically to the various wireless providers, Sammy will keep the Nexus S’s stock Android 2.3 interface.
According to Samsung executives, the phone will ship to Canada later this month with an early April sell date. Pricing has yet to be announced, but I would expect it to fall in line with the $199 currently supported by T-Mobile. What’s more, some carriers could offer it at a lower price with a three-year agreement.
For some of the newer Canadian players such as Wind Mobile and Mobilicity, this device will help expand their smartphone lineups with a reputable handset. And we may see the Samsung follow suit here in the United States. Already there are signs that the device is headed to other carriers such as Sprint, which is rumored to be announcing a Nexus S with WiMax support at
CTIA later this month.
Earlier this week, we posted some very interesting tablet testing results. Today, it’s smartphones.
Over the last few weeks we’ve tested a number of smartphones in a multitude of ways. If you’re looking for talk time tests, however, check the full review of each phone. The tests detailed here will focus on real-world speed as well as audio and video battery life.
How we test smartphones
In the CNET Labs, we currently run four different tests to evaluate the performance of smartphones.
We evaluate battery life by continually running a movie file on the smartphone until its battery dies. We do the same with audio using a full album set on repeat all.
For audio battery, each phone runs with its default mobile network on; for video battery, the phones are run in Airplane mode.
During the movie battery-drain, we set each
tablet to Airplane mode and adjust its respective brightness to 140 candelas per square meter (cd/M2) or as close to that number as is possible.
iPhone, we run the iPhone version of “Toy Story 3.” For Android phones, a 720p version of “Toy Story 3” is run. The reason we chose 720p for Android was that most Android phones are capable of running 720p video and we wanted the best quality video represented.
On iPhone, we ran the movie through its
iPod app; for Android, we used the movie player, mVideoPlayer, as it provides a much-needed repeat video function that not all native Android movie players include.
We used GiantBomb.com as our Web site of choice; it doesn’t use Flash or have many dynamic elements. Each tablet was connected to the same closed network (not its mobile network) with no other devices on it, with the router about 5 feet away. The test began the moment we pressed Enter, with the end of the test signified by the disappearance of the browser’s progress bar. We measured speed in seconds, with a lower number indicating faster performance.
We used the latest version of each respective phone’s OS. Obviously, for the iPhone 4, we used both version 4.2.1 and 4.3 of iOS.
Rebooting your phone can sometimes solve issues you might be having with apps not functioning correctly, so it’s good to know how long it take to get back to action. The test begins when we press the power button and ends when we see the lock screen on iPhone and after the internal storage has been set up on Android phones.
We definitely saw some interesting results here. In our tests, the Verizon iPhone 4 had much longer audio battery life than its ATT counterpart. This likely has a lot to do with the Verizon iPhone 4 having an easier time maintaining a mobile network signal than the AtT version does. It’s likely, then, if you live in an area like San Francisco where ATT coverage isn’t the best, you may see longer battery life with a Verizon iPhone 4 than with AtT’s.
Also, apparently iOS 4.3 makes a definite difference in Web speed and it’ll be interesting to see what effect the OS’ improved Safari speed has on the iPad, since the Xoom beat it in our previous tests.
As for Android phones, the Nexus S has the longest video battery life, but the Atrix is–by a slim margin–the fastest at loading Web sites.
Overall, although iOS 4.3 speeds up the iPhone 4, it’s still not quite as fast as the Atrix or Nexus S. What that means to you will depend on what effect losing 1 to 2 seconds while surfing has on your schedule.
We’ll be updating this post with new results as we receive them, so keep an eye out.
As most of you guys probably know WordPress.com is the hosted version of the WordPress software. You can sign-up for a free account there and get a blog with an address like yourblog.wordpress.com.
While I don’t recommend the hosted version (because by hosting the software yourself you have much more control and flexibility), WordPress.com used to offer some exclusive and very useful features. The good news is that Automattic just released a WordPress plugin called Jetpack that will bring all those features to self-hosted WordPress blogs as well.
Here is a list of the features:
- Stats: Simple, concise site stats with no additional load on your server.
- Twitter Widget: Display the latest updates from a Twitter user inside your theme’s widgets.
- Gravatar Hovercards: Show a pop-up business card of your users’ Gravatar profiles in comments.
- WP.me Shortlinks: Enable WP.me-powered shortlinks for all of your Posts and Pages for easier sharing.
- Sharedaddy: The most super duper sharing tool on the interwebs. Share content with Facebook, Twitter, and many more.
- LaTeX: Mark up your posts with the LaTeX markup language, perfect for complex mathematical equations and other über-geekery.
- After the Deadline: After the Deadline helps you write better by adding spell, style, and grammar checking to WordPress.
- Shortcode Embeds: Easily embed videos and more from sites like YouTube, Vimeo, and SlideShare.
There are more features coming soon, so definitely keep an eye on that plugin. The decision to release that plugin to all WordPress users also signals Automattic’s care about the whole WordPress community, not just those using the hosted version, which is a very positive thing.
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Boost Mobile introduced today the Samsung Factor, a no-frills, wallet-friendly cell phone for those who want to stick to the basics. The clamshell handset offers Bluetooth, a camera, Web and e-mail access, instant messaging capabilities, and text and multimedia messaging, but its main job is to make calls.
The Factor is available now at exclusive Boost Mobile retail stores, as well as online and at select independent dealers, for $49.99. It’s expected be available nationwide at the end of April.