While exploring ways to organize articles that no longer fit on the front page, I realized that the articles fell into two broad groups. News and reviews were time related. These articles do not need updates, as there value declines over time. Other articles were more instructional, and should be periodically updated to reflect new material. Moreover, this information needs to be easily accessible. For lack of a better term, I created the "Help" menu. For the time being, it is just a list of help pages on specific topics. If the list gets too long, I will split the menu into categories.
When I was an engineering student, the standard joke about "what is the difference between and engineer and a mathematician?" The question was "if could only approach a girl by half the distance between them, would the boy ever reach the girl?" A mathematician would say no, and engineer would say close enough for all practical purposes. This same difference applies to understanding all the variables that impact on Internet speed. It starts with all the hardware and software interactions on the client machine, the server machine, and all connections between the two. It would be easier to describe all the variables that impact on driving time between Nicoya, Costa Rica and Limon, Costa Rica, or San Jose, Costa Rica and Jueanu, Alaska. Would you believe an estimated travel time based on traveling the maximum speed limit for the entire trip, in a vehicle that could never exceed the posted limit?
Starting with the Honeycomb version of Android, USB Mass Storage (USM) transfer is no longer supported on most distributions of Android. I say most distributions, because it is available on CM 10 for my B&N Nook Color. The elimination of USM actually makes sense, when you look at the design goals for Android. It does, however, change how we transfer files. Like every change, support for MTP is a work in progress. First, we need to understand the logic behind the change, and then we need to learn how to use MTP (Multimedia Transfer Protocol) and PTP (Picture Transfer Protocol). These are not new protocols, just new to Android.
There are numerous software keyboard applications available for Android, but what about a hardware keyboard. It is possible to connect either a USB or Bluetooth keyboard to an Android device. For most Android devices, the answer is yes to both USB and Bluetooth keyboards. For reasons to be revealed later in the article, I went with a Bluetooth keyboard. In particular, a keyboard made for Android mobile devices. While they work, the standard Bluetooth keyboards lack the Android specific function keys. I tested the keyboard with my Samsung Galaxy S III, my B&N Nook Color (running CM 10), and my HP mini netbook (tested with both OpenSuse Linux, and Linux Mint).
For me, this project was part of a bigger project to demonstrate that smartphones are really computers that function under the guise of a phone. For my wife, it was the playing of YouTube videos on our Samsung HDTV. A TV definitely adds a few inches to the screen dimension over that of the phone. This was project that was actually easy, although the cable cost me ¢19,000 (about $38 US) here in Costa Rica. For the Samsung Galaxy S III, the cable must be from Samsung or a after market provider that provides a cable specifically for the S III. A cable for the Samsung Galaxy S II will not work on the S III. As a general rule, the word universal mini-USB to HDMI cable does not apply to all smartphones.
In the past, I downloaded and installed various medical reference apps for Android, but never really used them. A trip to the emergency room, followed by five days in the hospital, changed my usage medical apps. Moreover, my prior use of Dropbox, and Sugar Sync provided me access to all the critical files on my netbook. For five days, the my Samsung Galaxy SIII was my mobile computer, with occasional use as a phone. It has been just over two months since I left the hospital and became confined to six months of bed rest, which I interpreted as minimal activity. I did ask the Doctor about climbing Mt. Everest, and he said no. He didn't explicitly state any other limitations.
While the specifications for a mobile device tell us about the size of internal storage, they do not tell us how the internal storage is partitioned. While it is possible to create multiple partitions on external storage, external SD cards normally have a single partition that is formatted with a single FAT32 file system. Consequently, the scope of this article is limited to internal storage. Unless you are installing a custom version of Android on your phone, you really do not have any choice as to the size of the partitions. Before discussing what you can do, we need to understand the Android partition scheme.
Most Android apps are written in Java, as Java is the foundation for the Android desktop. Does this mean that Android is vulnerable to the security threat announced by the US Department of Homeland Security? Several blogs point out that Android is not effected, because the Android browsers do not include the Java plug-in found on desktops and laptops. While the statement is true, it does not answer the question. After all, Android browsers do not require the Java plug-in, as Java is an integral part of the Android platform. To understand the real reason, we need to dig a bit deeper.
A search of the Internet reveals very little about the Android file hierarchy. For Windows users, it is another world. For Linux users, it is a variation of the Linux file hierarchy. In Linux / Android / Unix (for simplicity, referred to a just Linux), the file hierarchy is a single tree, with the top of the tree being "/" - the root of the tree. Under "/" are files and directories. The Linux file hierarchy lacks the concept of drives, as in Windows. Instead, file systems are mounted on a directory to create a single integrated tree. For media based file systems. the file system represents a partition of some media. It makes no difference whether the file system exists on the local device, or on a remote device. Everything is integrated into a single file hierarchy that begins with root.
Android keeps getting a larger, and larger, share of the mobile device market. The November 2012 report from Gartner shows that Android mobile devices are growing at the rate of 1.3 million activations per day. A whopping 72% of the mobile devices sold in the 3rd quarter were Android devices. This brings Android total global market share to 52%. In comparison, iOS has a total market share of 15% and Microsoft mobile is just 1% of the total devices. Samsung's Bada OS actually uses the Linux kernel, so the Linux market share is closer to 55%. Without question, Linux dominates the global mobile device market.