Stories by Galen Gruman

  • New Galaxy Tabs focus on the living room, not the office

    The new Samsung Galaxy Tab Android tablets announced last night are a lot like the old Galaxy Tabs, with essentially the same hardware specs for processor speed, screen resolution, battery life, and wireless connectivity options. The 7-inch model to be released on April 22 and the 10.1-inch model to be released on May 13 sport two hardware enhancements meant to appeal to home entertainment and digital camera users: a MicroSD slot for easier photo sharing (although it can be used for files of any type) and an infrared port to be able to act as a remote control for home theater equipment such as TVs and stereos. An interim version of the Galaxy Tab 7 gained the IR capability in October 2011, but very few other tablets offer this capability.

  • Finally! An Office cloud service for iPad worth using

    For some reason, 2012 is shaping up to be the year of Cloud-based Windows 7 and Microsoft Office offerings, including scarily bad services such as OnLive Desktop, which was a media darling in January based on nothing more than demos. The real product is all but unusable - you lose your connection when you switch to other apps, for example, and you can't use the iPad's native keyboard. Plus, the company violated Microsoft's Windows 7 licensing terms, offering an essentially illegal desktop-as-a-service product. (That issue has since been resolved.)

  • Mocana joins iOS app management party

    2011 was all about mobile device management (MDM), helping IT feel comfortable about all those iPhones, iPads, and the pending wave of Android devices on which their BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) tool couldn't enforce password, encryption, and other such policies. That's old hat now -- pratically a checklist technology to support mobile device heterogeneity. 2012 instead is shaping up to be about mobile application management (MAM), with a variety of vendors offering tools to control the apps themselves.

  • In depth: Nokia's great Windows Phone hope - Beauty without brawn

    Nokia may sell more cellphones than any other company in the world, but it's been all but excluded from the United States for years -- and it's seen its global sales steadily shrink as the iPhone and Android smartphones have become the darlings of buyers in an increasing number of countries. Nokia's relevance has been fast receding, and its Symbian, Maemo, and MeeGo efforts became a pattern of failure for a company that just didn't get it. In response, a year ago, Nokia bet its future largely on Windows Phone 7, Microsoft's answer to Apple's iOS and Google's Android.

  • RIM to return to business focus; new BlackBerry strategy promised

    Research in Motion's future is getting iffier each quarter as it signs on fewer new customers and has had to discount large numbers of BlackBerry smartphones and PlayBook tablets to clear inventory. The company revealed today that its revenue dropped 25 per cent in the last fiscal quarter versus a year earlier, a decrease of $5.6 billion, with the decline in revenues accelerating after it launched its BlackBerry 7 smartphones in fall 2011 and had to deeply discount the poorly selling PlayBook tablet in the same period.

  • BYOD: IT claims security fears but blocks Angry Birds instead

    Did you know that Angry Birds and Facebook represent the biggest mobile app concerns within IT? That's what Zenprise's analysis of its Zencloud mobile device management (MDM) users found. Ironically, companies are much less likely to block Cloud storage apps such as Dropbox and or Cloud-based note-taking apps such as Evernote that some claim pose a significant threat of sensitive corporate data being lost.

  • Making sense of mobile device, app, and information management

    Smartphones, tablets, social networks, and cloud services are all popular, incredibly useful -- and a security risk. These days, the security focus is on mobile devices, as they tend to be used a lot to work with corporate information, but the variety of platforms, the fact many are employee-owned, and uneven security capabilities all add up to a real -- sometimes impossible -- challenge to manage them in the same way as the corporate PC.

  • Lapdock: From avant-garde to awful

    What a difference a year makes. A year ago, I was <a href="">intrigued by Motorola Mobility's Lapdock</a>, a laptop without a brain into which you plugged a Motorola Android smartphone to run it on a full-size screen, with full-size keyboard, trackpad, SD card slot, and USB and HDMI ports for access to USB peripherals and mirrored screen display to a TV or monitor. A year ago, I saw the Lapdock as a wonderful innovation that presaged an era in which a smartphone is your main -- and perhaps only -- computing device, plugging into resources when needed to scale up to a desktop PC.

  • BlackBerry PlayBook 2.0 OS: Closer, but still no cigar

    I want to love the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet and its new Version 2.0 operating system released yesterday. After all, the PlayBook OS will be the basis of Research in Motion's future BlackBerry smartphones' BlackBerry 10 OS, and it has a clean, simple, inviting design.

  • Droid 4: A smartphone for keyboard purists

    There are too many Android smartphones to choose from, most with meaningless differences as <a href="">so well parodied</a> on "Saturday Night Live" this past weekend. But one real choice is the Droid 4, the latest version of Motorola Mobility's flagship Android smartphone. Sure, when it comes to its operating system and software, the Droid 4 is the same as Motorola's other business-oriented Android smartphones, such as the <a href="">Droid Razr Maxx</a>. But the Droid 4 has a significant hardware differentiator: its slideout keyboard.

  • OnLive's train wreck: Office on the iPad

    Demos, like appearances, can be deceiving. At the recent Consumer Electronics Show, <a href="">one of the media hits was OnLive Desktop</a>, a service that provisions a Windows 7 desktop environment that includes Microsoft Office 2010 to the iPad over an Internet connection. For many, the idea of being able to run the full Office suite is very appealing, given some of the limitations of the iPad's native office productivity tools such as <a href="">Apple iWork suite (Pages, Keynote, and Numbers), Quickoffice, and Documents to Go</a>.

  • Droid Razr Maxx: An Android smartphone for big talkers

    Thanks to the proliferation -- and relative similarity -- of Android smartphones on the market, finding the right model to suit your needs is no easy task. But for those looking to bulk up on battery life, enter Motorola Mobility's Droid Razr Maxx.