Category Archives: Computers

All you need to know about your computers….

‘Silver’ enables developers to use Swift to write Android and Windows Phone apps

RemObjects is using its experience with compilers to allow developers to use Apple’s Swift coding language for Android development. Previously, the company did something similar for C# and now the company is tackling Swift.

Silver allows app makers to write in the Swift language (which is still in its infancy, really) but code against the API’s and frameworks of non-Apple platforms.

Read more at9to5mac

How to Run Android apps on your Windows PC

If you’re looking to get some apps and games up and running on your computer with the minimum of effort, BlueStacks is your friend.

The BlueStacks App Player presents itself as just a way to get apps running, but it actually runs a full(heavily modified) version of Android behind the scenes. Not only that,
but it has the Play Store built-in so you have instant access to all of your purchased content. It actually adds an entry to your Google Play device list,
masquerading as a Galaxy Note II.
The BlueStacks client will load up in a desktop window with different app categories like games, social, and so on. Clicking on an app or searching
does something unexpected — it brings up the full Play Store client as rendered on tablets. You can actually navigate around in this interface just as you would on a real Android device, which makes it clear there’s a lot more to BlueStacks than the “AppPlayer” front end. In fact, you can install third-party launcher like Nova or Apex from the Play Store and set it as the default. The main screen in BlueStacks
with the app categories is just a custom homescreen, so replacing it makes BlueStacks feel almost like a
regular Android device.

BlueStacks App Player, in the Play Store Having full Play Store access means you won’t be messing around with sideloading apps, and BlueStacks manages to run everything impressively. Most games are playable, but keep in mind you’ll have trouble operating many of them with a mouse. If your PC has a touchscreen, you can still use apps and games that rely on more than one touch input.

BlueStacks can essentially make a Windows 8 tablet PC into a part-time Android tablet. BlueStacks calls the technology that makes this possible “LayerCake” because Android apps run in a layer on top of Windows.

The only real issue with BlueStacks is that it’s not running a standard Android build. All the alterations the company made to get apps working on a PC can cause issues — some apps simply fail to run or crash unexpectedly. This customized environment is also of little value as a development tool because there’s no guarantee things will render the same on BlueStacks as they might on a real Android device without all the back end modifications. It’s also a freemium service with a $2 pro subscription, or you can install a few sponsored apps.

So what’s the best way?
If you’re interested in getting apps running on your PC so you can actually use and enjoy them,
BlueStacks App Player is the best solution. It’s fast, has Play Store access, and works on multitouch Windows devices. If you need to test something with the intention of
putting it on other Android devices, the emulator is still the best way to give builds a quick once-over on
a PC before loading them on to Android phones or tablets. It’s slow but standardized, and you’ll be able
to see how things will work on the real deal. The Android PC ports are definitely fun to play with, and performance is solid when you get apps running, but they can be finicky. If you just want to play Clash of Clans on your Windows machine, get BlueStacks. More at ExtremeTech.

Windows 8.1 update may bypass Metro UI and boot to desktop mode instead

windows 8.1 Microsoft may make a huge concession to users who aren’t too fond of the Metro UI. The next Windows 8.1 update will supposedly boot straight to desktop mode and bypass the controversial Metro UI completely.

The OS update is still in development, but a recent report from the Verge indicates that Microsoft is currently testing a version of the update that boots to desktop mode by default. Unnamed sources stated that Microsoft is testing the default desktop boot to optimize the software for users without touchscreens who must depend on a keyboard and mouse to navigate Windows 8.1. Since the majority of PC owners don’t have new touchscreen monitors for their desktops or touchscreen laptops yet, Microsoft’s decision makes sense.

When Microsoft first launched Windows 8, PC users were in an uproar over the foreign and frightening Metro UI. The widespread discontent with the new Metro UI forced Microsoft to admit that people really wanted their desktop back. The first Windows 8.1 update offered only the smallest concession to angry users by allowing them to set boot to desktop as their default setting. Of course, users still had to change their preferences before getting back to the comfort of the Windows desktop interface.

By and large, the Windows 8.1 update was a disappointment and most users agreed that it did not go far enough. Many argued that Windows 8.1 was simply what Windows 8 should have been when it was released. It seems that Microsoft has taken users’ criticism to heart and plans to make amends in the only way it knows how: going backwards.

However, the Windows 8.1 update won’t completely get rid of the Metro UI. The version that is currently in testing allows metro apps to run in a separate window while the user is in desktop mode. Users will also be able to access their metro tiles if they want simply by hitting the Windows key. Microsoft continues to grow its metro app selection and improve the Windows Store, but many users aren’t that interested.

In order to win over its skeptics, Microsoft will have to make some very serious changes to its fledgling OS before Windows 9 is released. The Windows 8.1 update is expected to arrive sometime in March and will feature other minor improvements to the Metro UI. More information about the progress of Windows 9 will most likely become available during the Build developer conference this May.

COMPUTER-BASED TEST WEBSITE LAUNCHED!

I have been busy for quite some months now and that’s why you’ve not seen me post article updates on this blog.

I was faced with the task of creating an interactive online Computer-Based Test website for students, especially African students and precisely Nigerians. I was challenged by a friend of mine who wanted to write an entrance examination into the university and found out that the testing method is Computer-Based.

He was so scared and nervous that I had to create a simple desktop-based application that functions exactly like a Computer-Based Test. After I created a 20 questions quiz with randomization, countdown time, etc for him, he practiced it and was able pass the entrance test which was Computer-Based Test and he came back thanking me.

During our discussion, he then threw it to me and said “guy, what if you make this thing available online, you can help alot of people with this.” I never took it serious. But later on when I was alone, the statement came back to my head and I couldn’t help it and immediately I started thinking of a way to go about it and that gave birth to the new platform.

screenshot of the new acecbt.com

screenshot of the new acecbt.com

I started thinking of the possible domain name and all the programming aspects and the troubles and the coding and the designs and the blah, blah, blah… Until I got the idea for the domain name for the website.

And thus breaking the ground of new possibilities for the students. The new website is christened aceCBT and it is simply accessible at www.acecbt.com.

Computer-Based Test (CBT); also called e-Assessment, Computer-Based Assessment, etc in some countries; is an interactive educative software which enables students to take quizes and tests. It is the platform used nearly all institutions of higher learning in the world.

Lots and lots of students are failing yearly. This is  not due to Computer-Illiteracy, but rather due to the fact that 95% have not gotten the required courage to CLICK.

The aim of aceCBT.com is to increase the SPEED and ACCURACY of the students and to give them the courage it takes to CLICK the right option during their test.

Samsung-Galaxy Tab2 vs Tecno-Phantom Pad N9

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Samsung Galaxy Tab2

tecno phantom pad

Tecno Phantom Pad N9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is crystal clear that Tecno Android smartphones have been posing a great threat to Samsung’s dominance in the smartphone market. And the newly released Tecno Phantom Pad N9 tablet (the first tablet by Tecno) seems to be doing just the same to Samsung tablets, as many consumers are now getting stuck between both products.

Since the release of the Tecno Phantom Pad N9 few weeks back, we’ve been getting questions from consumers as to which is better between Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) and the newly released tablet by Tecno. And if the large number of customers who asked this same question is anything to go by, then Tecno’s tablet will soon become a hotcake in the tablet market, just like the Android smartphones Tecno released before now (N3, P3, N7, F7, etc.)

In the light of this, we have taken a little time to look into the two products and come out with our own observation.

Both devices are superb and are packed with features anyone would expect to find in a high quality Android tablet — although, the Galaxy Tab 2 has been around and well known for some time now.

Now, let’s see how both products fare against each other:

General

Both devices run on Google’s Android operating system. While the Galaxy tab runs on Android 4.0.3 (ICS – upgradeable to 4.1.1), the Phantom Pad N9 runs on the latest version of Android, 4.2.2.

Also, both devices have a SIM card slot and both support 2G and 3G networks. So, both will give users a great web surfing experience. Plus, you can use both devices to make phone calls.

Body and design

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 measures 193.7 x 122.4 x 10.5mm, while the Tecno Phantom Pad N9 is slightly larger, measuring 204 x 154 x 9.9mm. Though larger, the Phantom pad is slimmer than the Galaxy Tab 2.

Both products are available in black and white colors.

Display

The Phantom Pad has a HD 8-inch (768 x 1024 pixels) display, which is slightly larger than the Galaxy Tab’s 7-inch (600 x 1024 pixels) display. Each device has an LCD capacitive touch screen.

Connectivity

Both devices have GPRS, EDGE, Bluetooth, A-GPS, and micro USB connectivity options. In addition, both devices have WiFi, WiFi hotspot, WiFi direct, and dual band features.

Processor and memory

The Galaxy Tab is packed with a 1GHz dual core processor and a PowerVR SGX540 GPU. But the Phantom Pad N9 boasts of a stronger 1GHz quad core processor.

While the Galaxy comes in variants with internal storage capacity of 8GB, 16GB, or 32GB, the Phantom Pad comes is available in only one variant, which is packed with 16GB or internal memory. You can expand the memory capacity of both devices using using a micro SD.

Both devices have 1GB of RAM.

Camera

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 has a 3.15MP rear camera plus a VGA front-facing camera, while the Tecno Phantom pad has a 5.0MP rear camera and a 2.0MP front-facing camera. Both devices are great for shooting pictures and videos.

Battery

The Tecno Phantom seems to be the winner here also, as it is packed with a 4500 mAh battery, which slightly trumps the 4000 mAh that comes with the Galaxy Tab.

Price

The Galaxy tab presently costs $328.18 while the new Tecno Phantom pad costs $222.91

(Parktel Online Store Price).

Who wins?

After comparing the important features of both phones, we think Tecno’s Phantom Pad wins in most aspects. However, because the product is still very new, we cannot vouch for its durability. But if we look at how their Android smartphones are faring in that regard, one can predict that the Tecno tablet will stand the test of prolonged use.

However, if you’re still finding it hard to subscribe to Tecno products because of their first generation mobile phones, you can satisfy yourself by going for the Galaxy Tab.

 

Adobe fixes Flash Player, Shockwave and ColdFusion

adobeAdobe has released security updates for its Flash Player and Shockwave Player products as well as hotfixes for ColdFusion. The updates close critical vulnerabilities. Of the holes in ColdFusion, one is “Critical”, while the other is “important”.

The patches for Flash Player fix security holes that allowed potential attackers to trigger crashes and take control of affected systems. Windows and Mac users should update to version 11.8.800.94. An update to version 11.2.202.297 is available for Linux. The versions of Flash Player for Google Chrome (11.8.800.97) and for Internet Explorer 10 (11.8.800.94) should update automatically. Recent Android 4.x systems can be made current by updating to 11.1.115.69 (Adobe unsupported archive downloadDirect download). Older versions of Android such as 3.x and 2.x should be updated to version 11.1.111.64 of Flash Player (Adobe unsupported archive downloadDirect download).

The security hole in Adobe’s Shockwave also enables attackers to execute malicious code on a system. Windows and Mac OS X users can fix their players by updating to version 12.0.3.133.

A total of two vulnerabilities that can now be hotfixed have been lurking in Adobe’s ColdFusion. In ColdFusion 10 for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, security hole CVE-2013-3350 enables attackers to “invoke public methods on ColdFusion Components using WebSockets”. Security hole CVE-2013-3349 in ColdFusion versions 9.0, 9.0.1 and 9.0.2 that run on JRun could trigger Denial-of-Service (DoS) scenarios. This hole doesn’t affect ColdFusion 10.

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Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon Garrison Patch Released

If you’ve already beaten Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon and conquered all the garrisons, but still really want to keep the cyborg killing going, you’ll definitely want to check out the latest patch. Based on Far Cry 3’s Outpost reset patch, the Blood Dragon patch will allow players to reset all the garrisons and retake them. That means more explosions, more neon and an infinite supply of blood dragons pumped straight into your mindmeat.

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The year is 2007. It is the future. Revisit it now to wreak some havoc. Of course, if you haven’t already played Blood Dragon, now is your chance! Take a look at these stories for more information on the action-soaked, 80s-tinged vision of the future:

Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon is a Thing, and it is Awesome

 

Android’s Audacious Desktop Debut

Author: Katherine Noyes

FOSS fans have been predicting for years that Android would ultimately come to the desktop, and last week there was concrete BMAC_728x90_launch_USevidence. Following on a similar announcement from Acer earlier this month, HP has now debuted an Android-based desktop tablet of its own. “Well, it’s happening!” enthused Google+ blogger Rodolfo Saenz. “Mobile and stationary hardware and software are merging.”

Well temperatures have climbed discouragingly of late here in the Northern reaches of the Linux blogosphere, with the result that there’s often been standing room only down at the frostily air-conditioned Broken Windows Lounge.

Linux Girl’s most dreaded month is now officially upon us, so it’s time to hunker down with a chilly beverage — preferably a few — and while away the dog days of summer chewing the fat with some fellow FOSS fans.

Luckily, there’s been a particularly intriguing topic to keep Linux lovers’ minds occupied. Forget all those tiresome and endless distro debates and name-calling disputes — good grief, it’s time to grow up, people!

Take note: A new Linux just arrived on the desktop, and it’s none other than Android!

‘It’s Happening!’

“Well, it’s happening!” enthused Google+ blogger Rodolfo Saenz from his barstool right next to Linux Girl’s.

“This is a clear sign that mobile and stationary hardware and software are merging — soon the laptops and desktops will be a thing of the past, transforming into hybrids like this one from HP,” Saenz said.

“It is a good thing for those of us that like to keep our computing as mobile as possible, and the best thing is that Linux, through Android, is getting a head start!” he added.

‘Nothing Else Offers That’

“I think that it’s pretty cool, and with some of the new cloud technologies that Google has announced, it has a real shot of working,” agreed Linux Rants blogger Mike Stone.

“Consider that you can start playing a game on your phone while you’re waiting in line at the grocery store, and then resume it on your computer at home after you’ve put your groceries away,” Stone suggested.

“Nothing else in the world currently offers that capability,” he pointed out. “With its low cost, sizable software library and integration with Google’s services, I’m excited to see where

‘This Makes Sense’

Indeed, “‘bold’ is how I describe HP’s Android/Linux on ARM huge tablet,” blogger Robert Pogson told Linux Girl. “The size and low power consumption are features consumers will love.

“They are familiar with Android/Linux on smartphones and smaller tablets, so this makes sense,” Pogson explained. “The world does not need huge expensive boxes running huge displays. That’s a dead concept invented by the vacuum-cleaner salesmen who ran Wintel.”

In fact, “I predicted long ago that 2013 would be the year that small cheap computers running */Linux invaded client-side computing, and smartphones and tablets are just the beginning,” he added. “We saw tiny desktop machines like the TrimSlice back in 2011. Their time has come.”

Needed Features

The only thing holding back */Linux on ARM or x86 then, in fact, “was retail shelf space and salesmen,” Pogson suggested.

However, “HP has both,” he added. “The large screen and mobility are all the features the concept needs to sell well.

“For the rest of 2013 expect to see a push by retailers to sell such products, because ‘8’ is not selling well at all,” he predicted. “The concept of one OS for all device formats has been around a while, and the FLOSS community did it first.”

Microsoft is “reinventing the wheel and trying to sell square versions,” Pogson concluded. “OEMs and retailers who sell Wintel cannot compete on price/performance with */Linux on ARM.”

‘A Smart Move’

This is good news, Google+ blogger Gonzalo Velasco C. agreed.

People are already aware of Android, “so another device powered by the same system Unified Server Monitoring: Free Trial. Click here. is no source of doubt or fear,” he explained. “It’s a smart move by HP, Samsung, Motorola, Asus and others, and it is welcomed.”

Google+ blogger Brett Legree was also optimistic, for the most part.

“I have two Android devices, and my experience has been that there are more apps than I’d like to see that DON’T look very nice when scaled up to a mere 7 inches, let alone 10 inches, so I’m imagining how these might look on a 21.5-inch display,” Legree explained.

At the same time, “this can be addressed by app developers,” he noted. “Now that we have a huge Android computer, app developers will start to receive feedback on how their software works, and if they want to stay in the game on that display size, they’ll do something about it.”

‘A Good Thing’

Assuming that “all the apps I want to use are looking great on such a large display, would I use it?” Legree went on. “Sure, why not?”

It might not be optimal for some tasks — “unless they build in a windowing mechanism, of course,” he added. “A lot of the time I do single task with full-screen applications.”

Still, “on the whole, this is a good thing,” Legree concluded. “The price is nice, and a lot of people would be able to use this computer.”

‘Likely to Be Disappointed’

Similarly, “Android has a rich smartphone ecosystem, but a weaker tablet ecosystem,” asserted Robin Lim, a lawyer and blogger on Mobile Raptor.

“Not enough apps are optimized for larger 10.1-inch displays,” Lim explained. “This is the main reason why larger Android tablets have not been very successful.”

With HP’s Slate 21, “the problem of the absence of optimized applications will be multiplied dramatically,” Lim predicted. “Hopefully HP has customized the Android 4.2.2 operating system on the Slate 21 to make the operating system and applications more useful on a large display. If not, early adopters of the Android desktop are likely to be disappointed.

“Still, everything has to start somewhere,” he added.

‘This Should Not Surprise Anyone’

Google+ blogger Kevin O’Brien took a similar view.

“This should not surprise anyone,” O’Brien told Linux Girl. “We used to start with the device as the central factor in computing, but it is moving to the data and how we want to interact with it.

“I would never use this kind of device for serious writing, or serious media editing, but if I want to watch a movie on Netflix, check my e-mail or post to social media, this kind of tablet is just fine,” O’Brien explained.

“What I have not seen yet is any evidence that this device is ready for serious work,” he added. “For instance, if I am writing a long document I will want to use LibreOffice and I will want a full-size keyboard. Anything less would just get in the way of my productivity.”

Similarly, “it is yet another Android tablet and nowhere near a desktop replacement,” consultant and Slashdot blogger Gerhard Mack charged. “I would never want to write a long email or edit software on a touchscreen.”

‘Windows Programs’

Slashdot blogger hairyfeet was even more skeptical.

Android on the desktop “will run smack into the same problem Linux has on the desktop: Windows programs,” hairyfeet told Linux Girl.

“Why can MSFT not get into mobile? Windows programs,” he added. “The reason why nobody has been able to challenge MSFT on the desktop still remains, billions of dollars in Windows programs that are extremely difficult if not impossible to run on another OS and certainly aren’t gonna run on ARM.

“Why do you think all those places that have built themselves around having lower costs than the other guy, like Wal-Mart, don’t carry ultra-cheap Linux desktops and laptops? Windows programs,” hairyfeet said.

“Does that mean these won’t sell? Nope, there is a niche that can live with a dumb terminal — sales Try Desk.com Start Your Free Trial Today. Click Here. of ChromeOS shows there is a niche that can live on JUST the Internet,” he pointed out.

‘Everybody Has Must-Have Programs’

Nevertheless, “as a retailer, I can tell you that niche is pretty small,” he said. “Everybody from the HS kid to grandma has some ‘must have’ programs, and they are ALWAYS Windows programs: Yahoo Chat, Skype, that software they use to make the little flyers for their church group.

“You will ALWAYS get bitten right on the behind when it comes to replacing the desktop,” he concluded.

“Will this always be the case? Not necessarily,” hairyfeet added. “MSFT seems to be doing a good job at turning people off with that cellphone OS called Metro being jammed onto the desktop.”

Still, “Windows 7 gets updates until 2020,” he said. “It’s gonna be seriously hard to get past the niche that only uses FB and blogs.”

 

How to Save Files to the Cloud

Author: Patrick Nelson, TechNewsWorld

Still haven’t jumped onto the cloud bandwagon? Never fear. Cloud storage is a great way to make sure your files are preserved without taking up vast amounts of space on your PC. Even better, it’s often completely free. Whether you’ve got documents, photos or music — or any combination thereof — here’s how to make

cloudPersonal file storage on a computer used to involve a PC-based hierarchical folder system Unified Server Monitoring: Free Trial. Click here. that was maintained on local, PC-based hard drives.

Today we are embracing the cloud, which allows for redundancy, remote access, remote backup and the use of convenient input/output mobile devices like phones with limited storage but outstanding portability.

If you’re still using your PC as a catch-all repository for media and documents and haven’t moved over to the cloud yet, here’s how to go about trying it painlessly — and at no cost to you.

I’ve chosen two broad file types that are well-suited to the cloud. Each has unique services geared towards it, and both demonstrate cloud-services principles that you can try. Sure your digital treasures don’t get lost.

Cloud Documents and Photographs Using Dropbox

Step 1: Browse to the Dropbox website on a computer. This service allows you to access files saved across all of your disparate computers and phones, regardless of OS.

For all intents and purposes, it lets you bring your files with you, without e-mailing them to yourself, as long as you have an Internet connection.

Step 2: Sign up for a basic, free account at the website by entering your name, e-mail and a password and pressing the ‘Sign Up’ button. A Dropbox client will download. Choose ‘Save’ when prompted and open the Dropbox installer. Then follow the run and setup prompts.

Step 3: Launch the Dropbox folder on your computer by clicking on the newly created desktop icon (in Windows 7). The folder will open and appear as a regular Windows folder.

From the Start menu, browse to Documents within Libraries and open it. Drag a sample file, like a Word document or image from Documents, to the new Dropbox folder.

Step 4: Install Dropbox on other machines or download an app from your phone’s market or store. Sign in and browse to your Dropbox folder, which will be created on the other machines and devices.

Check the installations and you’ll see that the file name you dragged over will be synced across devices and on the Dropbox website. Click or touch the file name to download the actual file to that machine or device.

Step 5: Make a change to the file. Changing the file name will demonstrate this step. The change will sync across all of the Dropbox-enabled devices and on the Dropbox website.

Cloud Music for Android Using Google Play

Step 1: Browse to the Google Play Music website on a computer. This service allows you to store music and listen on the Web without taking files with you. Up to 20,000 songs are stored for free. iTunes, Windows Media Player and regular folders can all be indexed.

You can also add to your collection and get free music from new artists by using the integrated Google Play store.

Step 2: Open a Google account or sign in to an existing account and then download the Music Manager by clicking on the blue ‘Download Music Manager’ button.

Follow the prompts to install the Music Manager and then click through the setup’s Next buttons to sign in again and add your personal collection to your Google Play music library. The music will sync.

Step 3: Launch the actual Music Manager software from the Start menu (in Windows 7) and you’ll see the interface. Click on the ‘Go To Music Player’ button, and your synced music library will appear in a Web browser.

Step 4: Click on ‘Shop Music’ and ‘Free Song of the Day’ to add new music to your Music Manager. This music will sync.

Step 5: Open the Google Play store on your mobile device and search for the free Google Play Music app. Install it on your device. Follow the prompts to add your Google account and you’ll see the music synced in the previous steps.

Touch artwork or an icon, and the music will play.

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The Strain in Spain Could Help Firefox OS Take Root

ZTE Smartphone powered by firefoxThe low-end smartphone market is heating up, and Mozilla is seizing the opportunity. Despite Spain’s severely weakened economy, it was chosen for the debut of the ZTE Open. Due to the extreme austerity measures in certain South American and European countries, “low-cost smartphones will be very appealing,” said Joshua Flood, a senior analyst at ABI Research.

The ZTE Open — the first commercially available smartphone running Mozilla’s Firefox operating system Unified Server Monitoring: Free Trial. Click here. — will be launched in Spain on Tuesday by Telefónica.

It will be available for about US$90, with prepaid customers getting a balance of roughly $40 worth of phone calls.

Telefónica will launch Firefox OS smartphones in Colombia and Venezuela soon, and will unveil other Firefox OS devices later this year.

ZTE Smartphone powered by firefox2 ZTE Smartphone powered by firefox3 ZTE Smartphone powered by firefox4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“We believe Firefox OS is the answer to bringing greater openness to the smartphone industry where consumers are increasingly tied to closed ecosystems,” Yotam Ben-Ami, director of open Web devices at Telefónica Digital, told TechNewsWorld.

However, whether smartphones running the Firefox OS have a fighting chance in a world where Android and iOS have overwhelming dominance is doubtful.

“Even if you take Apple and Android out of the equation, you still have BlackBerry and Windows Phone, who have spent years building up their names and are still doing so,” Ramon Llamas, a research manager at IDC, remarked. “WebOS came and went not once but twice, which just goes to show how hard it is to break in with a new platform.

About the ZTE Open

120+600The ZTE Open is an entry-level smartphone that Telefónica will target at “cost-conscious consumers — young people or customers moving from a feature phone to a smartphone for the first time,” Ben-Ami said.

It has a 3.5-inch HVGA TFT touchscreen display and a 3.2-MP fixed focus camera with style filters. It will be offered with a 4-GB microSD card.

Features include built-in messaging, email, calendar, FM radio, location-based services from Nokia maps, and the Firefox browser.

For communications, the ZTE Open runs Bluetooth 2.1, WiFi 802.11b/g/n and AGPS.

Bluetooth 2.1 may be (ahem!) long in the tooth, and the camera may seem a tad stodgy, given that autofocus, flash, and much higher resolutions are the norm with modern smartphones, but “it’s not going to be how many MP the camera has or how fast the processor is,” IDC’s Llamas pointed out. “They want this to be the phone to showcase Firefox, and that’s the central issue.”

The ZTE One comes with Facebook and Twitter access pre-integrated. Content partners include eBay, Kayak, the Weather channel, TMZ, Wikipedia, CNN Money, Time and Airbnb.

“It’s a fantastic proposition and we have ambitious targets for it, but it’s also just the beginning as we bring more Firefox OS devices to our markets in the coming months,” Ben-Ami stated.

The Potential for a Firefox Smartphone

The first smartphones running the Firefox OS were developed by Geeksphone in partnership with Telefónica and made available to devs in February.

The Firefox OS was developed using HTML5, which promises — like Java — to let devs write code once and run it on many devices.

Other smartphones running the Firefox OS are due soon, from Alcatel, LG Electronics, Huawei and Sony.

120+240“I think a number of these mobile OEMs realize the low-end market is going to be the most promising for growth from a shipment and market share perspective,” Nick Spencer, a senior practice director at ABI Research, told TechNewsWorld. This market is less brand-conscious, so smaller vendors have a better chance.

Fine, but Spain? A country where unemployment has hit a record near-60 percent? Is launching a smartphone there good business?

Because some of the countries targeted by Firefox OS smartphones in Latin America, Eastern Europe and parts of Southern Europe “are under extreme austerity measures, low-cost smartphones will be very appealing,” Joshua Flood, a senior analyst at ABI Research, told TechNewsWorld.

Firefox “needs to ship near 10 million devices across multiple vendors in Q1, 2014, to remain relevant,” Spencer said, “but the reliance on HTML5 apps does remove the need for a large installed base to ensure a competitive apps and content catalog.”