In the last year, Google has taken heat for their Android Market being vulnerable to viruses and malware as their open attitude towards app developers sharply contrasts the closed door, approval-required Apple app environment. According to Google, device activations rose 250 percent year over year and the total number of app downloads from the Android Market surpassed 11 billion, meaning 11 billion opportunities for an Android user to be taken advantage of by a theoretical malware system.
Today, Google has announced a service called “Bouncer” which they say “provides automated scanning of Android Market for potentially malicious software without disrupting the user experience of Android Market or requiring developers to go through an application approval process.”
Bouncer analyzes new and existing applications in the Android Market and also scans developers’ account to seek out known malware, spyware and trojans and “looks for behaviors that indicate an application might be misbehaving, and compares it against previously analyzed apps to detect possible red flags.” The company says they also look at new developer accounts to help prevent offenders from coming back under another name.
Hiroshi Lockheimer, VP of Engineering at Android said in a statement, “While it’s not possible to prevent bad people from building malware, the most important measurement is whether those bad applications are being installed from Android Market – and we know the rate is declining significantly.”
Microsoft shocks all, offer Windows 8 for $39.99
As Microsoft launches the Metro design across their products, they have surprised everyone with an extremely low pricing structure for Windows 8 to roll out this fall.
Microsoft surprises everyone by making Windows affordable
Last June, images were leaked, showing the new features of Windows 8 to be released this fall, and sticking to the smartphone user interface of the increasingly popular Windows phone. The move to use the “Metro” tile design of their smartphones is a refreshing innovation for such a traditional, mature company. With the rise of the Android OS, Microsoft has had to come up with a way to regain some of their marketshare in mobile, and the rise of Apple has pushed them to improve their desktop OS to compete, and crossing over both could prove to be a winning move.
It’s not just the sexy design or sped up technology that Microsoft is adding to their arsenal, no, according to Microsoft, they will be selling upgrades for a price lower than any had predicted, especially given that previous upgrades cost around $199.
When Windows 8 launches this fall, Microsoft will offer upgrades for only $39.99 to current users of Windows Vista, Windows XP, or Windows 7. The upgrades can be downloaded from Windows.com when they launch, and the company says new computer purchasers may enroll in a similar update for $14.99. For users in need of the actual CD, the upgrade will cost $69.99.
“We believe that your upgrade experience in Windows 8 will be a breeze by offering a faster experience, a single upgrade path, and compatibility from prior versions of Windows,” Microsoft said in their announcement.
This pricing structure could be highly encouraging to users looking to modernize their experience with Windows 8 which will have the latest bells and whistles.
Different versions of Windows 8
The company did not make mention of the potentially different pricing to be announced for the various editions of Windows 8, as there is also Windows 8 Pro, and Windows RT, the differences between which are outlined below in a quick comparison chart:
Windows has been the ugly stepchild of the tech world for many years, but with this massive overhaul to crossover to the mobile feel and functions, Microsoft could be the media darling again soon.
Windows 8 sneak peek feature demonstration
Microsoft’s next operating system
Code named “Windows 8,” and also referred to as “Windows Next,” we gave you a sneak peek of some of the functionality of Microsoft’s newest operating system (OS) in April and now, Microsoft has finally revealed the inner workings of the user interface that operates on an interactive tile basis rather than an icon basis.
What Realtors most need to know about the next Microsoft operating system is not just that it’s cool and looks like the Windows Phone OS, but that it is consistent between tablets and PCs, a move that we believe helps get tech users to more uniform operating systems between devices which helps with the learning curve of the less tech savvy.
One of the striking features to us that was barely grazed in the video above is that Microsoft is betting on HTML5 which could open a lot of doors for the developer world.
Multitasking is innovatively presented in the new OS and Microsoft’s “fuzzy hit targeting” that allows for touch to be less accurate allows older apps to function better on touch tablets and PCs.
The native browser is Internet Explorer (IE) which is our least favorite browser, but we wonder how the future versions of IE will be more like the new Windows Next, therefore more appealing to users and ultimately developers. Could Windows save IE after all?
There is no word yet of when the operating system will hit the market and it is suspected that next year an announcement will be made, so it could be quite some time before we even know the true name of the next Windows OS.
Android against iOS duke it out in a usability battle
Android v iPhone
SpyreStudios.com tired of hearing complaints from the Apple (iOS) camp about how bad Android is and from the Android camp about how horrid the iOS is and even from within each camp.
Rather than filter complaints, the company set out to do testing on the usability of each operating system using preference testing and A/B testing (you can take the test yourself to see what testers were asked).
The eleven questions asked users to perform a specific task on apps ranging from Twitter to Facebook to Google apps and overall, Android won in better usability based on their testing, but not by an extremely wide margin.
The reason ease of use is important is because as consumers are choosing their smartphones, many are making purchase decisions based on the reputation of the phones- some like shiny and new, others just need it to work intuitively, so how Android and iOS earn a reputation is important to how they win market share.
And when market share is won, consumers will expect your brokerage to have an app on their smartphone or will expect you to be featured on whatever the real estate site du jour is that has an app for their smartphone.
Click here to read the full results of the usability study.
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Ladies and gentlemen, the U.S. National Anthem
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