Cloud Player for Android Powered Phones?

Are you worried that you might loose your entire music library if your hard drive crashes or your smartphone gets stolen? How about tired of transferring music from one computer to another to another device…

To address this concern, Amazon has just released their Android supported Cloud Drive and Cloud Player. I believe this could influence the Droid Vs iPhone debate as this means that Amazon is seriously getting behind Android powered phones.

amazon cloud drive

amazon cloud drive

Cloud Drive is free online storage for your music library.

Everyone starts with 5GB free. If you purchase an MP3 album through the Amazon MP3 store, you will be upgraded to 20GB of storage! Not bad at all…

The Cloud Drive allows you to store copies of all your mp3’s whether you purchased them from Amazon or not. You can listen to the music directly from the Cloud Player (streaming straight from the Cloud). You are able to buy from Amazon and save the MP3 directly to your Cloud Drive and then download to your phone from there.

There is also a free app for your Android device that allows you to stream music from your Cloud directly to your phone or download and save the MP3 to your phone. A Nice option if available space on your Android powered Tablet or smartphone is getting a bit low. Of course you can access your Cloud Drive from any internet accessible desktop or laptop computer as well.

This could be pretty useful when integrating a new device or upgrading your phone or tablet….Time will tell whether the Cloud approach will take off with music lovers but one thing is for sure, Amazon is getting behind Android ina BIG way!

Check it out right here…

Amazon Appstore Now Open!

This just in…

While it doesn’t directly address the Droid Vs iPhone debate, this is pretty significant news. Amazon has just launched their Appstore for Android. As a part of their launch promotion, they will be giving away one FREE Android App per day!! Check it out and pick up a FREE app today! They are also giving away the ridiculously popular Angry Birds game for limited time. Get them while you can, at Amazon.

Comparing DroidX and the iPhone 4

Comparing smartphones is a notoriously difficult thing to do as there are several different Motorola Droid and Apple iPhone models. This makes the Droid Vs iPhone debate a particularly tricky one to navigate.

Apple likes to keep things simple in every respect, including model names.

Apple started with the original iPhone:

iPhone original

iPhone original

Then came the iPhone 3G:

iPhone 3G

iPhone 3G

Then the iPhone 3Gs:

iPhone 3Gs

iPhone 3Gs

And finally, the iPhone 4:

iPhone 4

iPhone 4

Lets compare the most important features of the iPhone 4 against the Droid X right here on Droid vs iPhone. Some results are subjective (like video quality), some aren’t (like memory) but the results should give anyone who is sitting on the fence and hesitating on purchasing either of these phones something to think about.

In chart form here are the best performers in several categories:

Droid XiPhone 4
DisplayiPhone4
ProcessorDroidXiPhone4
StorageDroidX
Text EntryDroidX
Speech to TextDroidX
BrowseriPhone4
Still PicturesiPhone4
Video (recorded) QualityiPhone4
Operating SystemDroidX
Overall SpeedDroidX

Some other features to consider are that the iPhone4 has 2 cameras (front and back facing). Apple’s FaceTime takes advantage of this. For those of you who don’t know, FaceTime is iPhone’s realtime video chat feature very similar to Skype. The quality is quite good, even from country to country.

While the iPhone4 has 2 microphones to help with voice clarity and quality, the DroidX has 3! Is more better? In subjective tests, the iPhone beat out the DroidX in this respect, even though the DroidX had more physical microphones.

In order to get data (ie. videos, apps, music etc.) on and off of your iPhone, the user must use iTunes, whereas the DroidX (using Android OS) can simply be connected to your computer and appear as an external storage device (not unlike a usb key). From there you just have to drag and drop. Dead simple! I prefer this system much better.

And this brings us to the physical method that each phone uses to connect. The Droid series uses a simple mini usb cable that you can find and replace anywhere (should you loose it). Most people have spares kicking around from other devices. Apple unfortunately insists on uses their proprietary cable. Loose it, and prepare to pay dearly for a replacement.

Flash has been a big issue on mobile phones. I don’t mean for your picture taking, I mean Adobe Flash which appears on many internet sites that you visit everyday. The latest version of Android now supports Flash. We’re still waiting for Apple to jump on board. Maybe we’ll see this for the iPhone5.

Historically, Apple likes to have tight control over every aspect of their products. Apple maintains very rigid control over many aspects of the apps in their Appstore as well. They approve all apps and control limits on pricing too. You may have heard of the $999.99 “I Am Rich” app which apparently only displayed a red ruby on the screen and gave the owner a secret “mantra” to say in order to keep healthy and stay wealthy. Apple pulled the app a short while after it was released, as they considered it to be a tad of a scam. It did make several sales however.

This is not the case for the Android phones. While there is a store for Android apps, you can find and download these apps just about anywhere. Is this good or bad? Well, some major security issues have been brought to light by the media. In March 2011, Google announced that they had to pull over 50 apps from the Android app market because they contained malicious code.  Google initiated a system that could remove these apps remotely so damage was minimized. Apple may get the advantage on this point of the Droid vs iPhone challenge, but time will tell if Android’s open door policy dominates the market.

In a recent survey done by Nielson, they found that 71 percent of smartphone users would buy an Android phone again. That sounds like a high loyalty rating, but it falls noticeably short when asking iPhone owners about their next handset — 89 percent are happy with iOS4 and plan to buy a future Apple handset. One thing is for sure, it’s looking like it will be a close race in the Droid Vs iPhone debate.

I can say that the iPhone4 does offer a very smooth user experience although highly lacking in customized features and convenience. The DroidX has power and offers a lot of tweak factor which ensures you’ll never get bored with it.

But it ain’t over yet…

Motorola will be releasing the Droid Bionic this summer, and this should really stir up the pot…

 

 

What About The Droid?

The label “Droid” is most often used when talking about the smart phone manufactured by Motorola but can be used when talking about any smartphone that runs Google’s Android operating system.

DroidFun fact: the brand name “Droid” is a trademark owned by Lucasfilm and licensed out by them.

 

We will be looking specifically at the Droid smartphones from Motorola which are marketed as the Droid series.

To date, Motorola now offers the:

 

Basic Features of the Droid

This is a tricky one to answer to directly as there are several different Droid versions. This is perhaps the biggest single difference between apple products in general and most other manufacturers. Apple usually offers a single version of their product (with minor memory upgrades) while other manufacturers typically have many models. Whether having multiple models and ultimately more consumer choice is a good thing or a bad thing, I’ll leave you to decide. However, too much choice can be confusing to the customer. I’ll try and clarify some things here in this blog post.

Not unlike the iPhone the basic features of the Droid series contains:

Droid Bionic

Droid Bionic

 

  • •voice calls
  • •text message
  • •still camera
  • •video camera
  • •media player
  • •email
  • •web browser
  • •multi-touch navigation screen
  • •Wi-fi and 3G connectivity
  • •2 (front and rear facing) cameras (Droid Bionic)

One of the features that all of the Motorola Droid phones have that the iPhone doesn’t, is a physical keyboard as well as an onscreen touch keyboard. The Droid Bionic will be the first of the Droid series to not include a physical keyboard.

140 million Android powered devices are projected to be in use by the end of 2011. That is huge!! It may even outnumber the iPhones on the market. Time will tell. More is definitely better in this regard as the larger the customer base, the more apps will be made available for Android powered phones and the more likely the Android OS will be updated to contain user feedbacked requests.

 

Here are some other features compared in table format:

DroidDroid 2Droid 2 GlobalDroid ProDroid X
droid camera•5MP Camera w/flash
•DVD quality video rec & play
•5MP Camera w/flash
•DVD quality video rec & play
•5MP Camera w/flash
•DVD quality video rec & play
•5MP Camera w/flash
•DVD quality video rec & play
•8MP Camera w/flash
•DVD quality video rec & play
Droid Battery•Standby up to 270 hrs
•Talk time up to 385 min
•Standby up to 315 hrs
•Talk time up to 575 min
•Standby up to 320 hrs
•Talk time up to 500 min
•Standby up to 330 hrs
•Talk time up to 480 min
•Standby up to 220 hrs
•Talk time up to 480 min
droid options•mini usb connector
GPS, WiFi, Speakerphone
•QWERTY keyboard
•Touch screen
•mini usb connector
GPS, WiFi, Speakerphone
•QWERTY keyboard
•Touch screen
•mini usb connector
GPS, WiFi, Speakerphone
•QWERTY keyboard
•Touch screen
•mini usb connector
GPS, WiFi, Speakerphone
•QWERTY keyboard
•Touch screen
•mini usb connector
GPS, WiFi, Speakerphone
•QWERTY keyboard
•Touch screen
•HDMI (connect to t.v.)
16GB pre-installed
expandable + 32GB
16GB pre-installed
expandable + 32GB
16GB pre-installed
expandable + 32GB
4GB pre-installed
expandable + 32GB
10GB pre-installed
expandable + 32GB

You might have noticed that the Droid Bionic wasn’t included in the chart. This smartphone, which is due to be released this June, will be quite different from the previous Droid models and we should look at it separately.

The Droid Bionic will have:

  • •screen size of 540 x 960 pixels, 4.3 inches
  • •Swype input method
  • •16 GB storage (expandable to 48GB), 512 MB RAM, 2 GB ROM
  • •8 MP, 3264×2448 pixels, autofocus, dual-LED flash
  • •DVD quality video
  • •Dual-core 1GHz ARM Cortex-A9 proccessor, ULP GeForce GPU, Tegra 2 chipset
  • •GPS
  • •4G

Like most of the other Droid models, the Bionic will allow for Swype input. If you don’t know what Swype is, here is a video that can explain it much better than words:
 


The features of note on the Droid Bionic are the dual core processor, 4G network access, 8MP resolution camera, and huge amount of memory. More on each of these later…

Multitasking should be smooth and effortless on this phone as already the Android OS is quite good at this. With a dualcore processor to help it along, the Bionic should really excel in this area. At this point there is no information available as to how long the battery will last between recharges. With a dualcore processor and a large touchscreen to power, it better have a substantial capacity or users will find themselves recharging every few minutes!
 

Size and weight of the Droid Bionic

Height: 4.96 inches (125.9 mm)
Width: 2.63 inches (66.9 mm)
Depth: 0.52 inches (13.3 mm)
Weight: 5.5 ounces (158 grams)

 

You can check out this hands on video of the Droid Bionic in action: 




 

Chris Bishop ChrisYBishop@droidvsiphone.org
Los Angeles , California , 90012 U.S.A.

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