|By Bob Gourley||
|December 14, 2012 05:56 PM EST||
After numerous disappointments attempting to order the Nexus 4 (on the launch day I was one of the many ready and waiting and unable to get my order processed, on the next launch day it took me hours to finally get an order through). However, I was extremely excited to see Google and LG’s latest product, the Nexus 4. Having used the Galaxy Nexus for months, I was used to (and liking) stock Android. But the processor was showing its age, and I was ready for something new. I liked the Galaxy S3, but did not want TouchWiz. I played around with the HTC One X and was resoundingly disappointed with the entire package. I found the Galaxy Note 2 just a little large for my tastes (one handed operation is all but impossible). Since I have gone GSM only, any CDMA phone was out (bye bye RAZR MAXX HD and HTC Droid DNA). That really left the Nexus 4 as the only device for me.
Overall, I’ve found the Nexus 4 to be the most powerful smartphone I’ve ever used. It is slick, fast, and the latest version of Android lives up to the hype. The Nexus 4 ships with Android 4.2.1 (also known as Jelly Bean+), which is a faster and better version of Android. The Nexus 4 has styling reminiscent of the Galaxy Nexus as well as the iPhone 4/4s (due to the shiny/sparkling glass back). It comes in 8/16GB versions, with no external storage. I purchased the 16GB version because I kept finding myself filling up the 8GB Nexus 7 (if you buy one I suggest you do the same as well). The screen is bright and visible in all places (though it is a little too dark for night time – and Screen Filter is broken on Android 4.2 devices). It is attractive, yet extremely angular, which sometimes makes it less than comfortable in the hand.
The Nexus 4 was designed to be somewhat future proof, I say this because of the inductive charging, wireless mirroring and NFC. However, none of these technologies are very good today (and because of them sacrifices were made, some key capabilities are missing). The Nexus 4 does not have a removable battery nor it does not have MHL (which enables HDMI output). That (somewhat) hampers the value of the Nexus 4 for many audiences. In addition, the device is lacking LTE, which is more an indictment on the way US carriers manage the network than Google or LG. I’ve used the Nexus 4 extensively on both T-Mobile and Straight Talk’s AT&T service, and found that it picks up a signal quite well, and network speeds are completely in line with what should be expected. The real joy here is how absolutely buttery smooth the experience is.
Unadulterated Android is a beautiful thing, and I have yet to find a way to make this phone stutter or slow down. I’ve mentioned this phone as the top Android smartphone and it truly is. I know lack of LTE support will be a dealbreaker to many; however, the freedom from contract and readily available contract-less LTE hotspots can make this a non-issue.
At the end of the day, the Nexus 4 is the best smartphone you can buy. It’s fast, capable and good looking, and can be had inexpensively and on your terms. Unfortunately, accessories are somewhat hard to come by (took me 2 weeks to order the LG bumper, which I promptly disregarded as junk, but more on that later). The wireless charging orb is still not available, and I have yet to hear of an charging mat that works with it, 100% of the time. However, for the phone alone, it’s an excellently crafted piece of technology (oh yeah and will get all of the latest Android updates, when they are released).
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) i...
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Nov. 27, 2014 04:00 AM EST Reads: 987
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Nov. 26, 2014 11:45 PM EST Reads: 1,114
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it's a mix of architectural styles ...
Nov. 26, 2014 11:30 PM EST Reads: 1,001
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Nov. 26, 2014 09:00 PM EST Reads: 1,049
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
Nov. 26, 2014 06:00 PM EST Reads: 1,048
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Nov. 26, 2014 04:00 PM EST Reads: 1,087
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device experiences grounded in people's real needs and desires.
Nov. 26, 2014 03:45 PM EST Reads: 1,036
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Nov. 26, 2014 02:00 PM EST Reads: 1,504
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
Nov. 25, 2014 09:30 PM EST Reads: 1,257
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
Nov. 25, 2014 09:30 PM EST Reads: 1,309
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
Nov. 25, 2014 07:00 PM EST Reads: 1,344
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Nov. 25, 2014 04:30 PM EST Reads: 1,351
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
Nov. 24, 2014 07:00 PM EST Reads: 1,651
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
Nov. 24, 2014 12:00 PM EST Reads: 1,537
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Nov. 24, 2014 11:00 AM EST Reads: 1,672
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
Nov. 24, 2014 09:00 AM EST Reads: 1,693
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Nov. 23, 2014 07:30 PM EST Reads: 1,855
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nov. 23, 2014 12:00 PM EST Reads: 1,804
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Nov. 23, 2014 07:45 AM EST Reads: 1,842