Infographic: What Android Users Actually Want from Their Phones

Infographic: What Android Users Actually Want from Their Phones

Aug 13, 2015

It’s the question that plagues smartphone vendors and app developers since the dawn of pocket computing: what do users really want?

Peel, the popular remote replacement application, recently commissioned a survey to find out, and the answers are interesting.

Per the official summary:

– Over 52% of 1000 Android users surveyed say that remote functionality is important to their next phone purchase.

– Of the 400 iPhone/iPad users surveyed, 42% are interested in an IR blaster in their next phone.

– Perhaps most importantly, Android users identified smart remote functionality as a key factor in upgrading to a new smartphone, second only to advanced camera features.

Clearly (according to this survey), TV control is an important feature with regards to selecting specific Android devices.

Here’s a nifty aid that quantifies the collected data visually:


Peel Co-founder and CEO Thiru Arunachalam talks about the increasing use scenarios for smartphones. “While they have emerged globally as a major new use case for smartphones, universal remote capabilities are even more desirable in developing regions because of the wider range of devices they can control in the home such as air conditioners, ceiling fans and heaters,” he says.

It is definitely an interesting batch of data, and it points to the fact that more people look to see that their smartphone hardware does, well, more.

For more information, check out Peel Smartphone app page. More analysis can be gleaned from Peel’s blog post.

[]via Peel Blog Post]

KickStarter Spotlight: PowerUp 3.0

KickStarter Spotlight: PowerUp 3.0

Jan 22, 2014

Who does not remember sitting in class in middle school trying to make the best paper air planes? Invariably, there was always that one kid who would origami a perfect F-16 and throw it 200 feet down the hallway. Introducing PowerUp 3.0; a way for all those who are not born aviators to feel the wind under their paper wings.

Basically, PowerUP 3.0 is a lightweight skeleton of a model airplane that fits between the wings of most paper airplanes. The device offers power and control by means of a rear mounted propeller and rudder that is operated via bluetooth connection to any smartphone from a tiny node at the front of the device. Now, personally, my only experience piloting remote controlled planes is stalling one into the top of a 60 foot tree during its maiden voyage, but the videos on Shai Goitein’s KickStarter page seem very convincing. Small touches are very encouraging, such as the hardwired response to accelerate through turns; greatly aiding handling and performance.

The app, initially only available for iOS, looks great and thanks to an already successful stretch goal will be available to all Android phones rocking 4.3 and above. Two other stretch goals boast great inventiveness and creativity. The first is the ability to use two PowerUp modules at once opening the door for a bevy of paper mâché flying fortresses. The second stretch goal is pretty crazy, and allows for dogfighting which consists of proximity sensors that active a ‘SHOOT!” button on the phones of the users in order to determine whose engine gets shut down and who flies away victorious.

Unlike a lot of projects we have covered here before this one has already been fully funded and has earned over $1 million which is nearly 20 time what the initial goal was. This spotlight shines on a project that is overwhelmingly successful and shows incredible promise. Even though it is already wildly successful, it’s worth donating to this project solely to secure a first run PowerUp and the priceless envy of friends and coworkers.

Skifta Review

Skifta Review

Aug 20, 2012

All of the digital media collected over time seems to end up sitting at home more than it should. On those nights out, there are times when a playlist from home might be just what the party needs. Skifta is an app for Android giving access to all of your digital media and the ability to stream it to a Wi-Fi device like a TV or PS3.

The way Skifta does it’s thing is not just through the Android app, there are other parts too it. An online account is needed as the “middle man” and an app is needed for the Windows computer at home to allow the connection. All of those can be downloaded for free here:

Once everything is downloaded, it’s a matter of connecting everything. The steps to make the connections are pretty are laid out pretty well on the Skifta site. One tip many people might overlook is to make sure the firewall on the home computer will allow Skifta to accept incoming requests. This may also need to be changes in the computer’s anti-virus program.

In testing, everything went great with streaming music. It pulled up my entire music library and streamed music I don’t have anywhere on my tablet. I have a few .avi files on my computer from screencasts. They played just fine but took a little longer to load than the music did.

When using a PS3 to stream to, there is an option for an unlisted player. This will let any device connected to the same Wi-Fi network find and stream from Skifta on the Android phone. Simply fire up the PS3 and go to the spot where the media servers show up.

Overall Skifta is pretty easy to use. Because there are not a lot of other free options that work this well, I have no real complaints on how it works.

Tablet Remote Makes Tablet Usage While Hooked Up to a TV Easier

Tablet Remote Makes Tablet Usage While Hooked Up to a TV Easier

Mar 23, 2012

Like to use tablets hooked up a TV? That micro-HDMI port included in many tablets is very nice to use. Tablet Remote is here to help in situations like that, to use the tablet while not sitting physically close to it. Users download the app on the device they want to control, and on the device they want to use to control the tablet. They then follow the app’s setup instructions to setup its inputs and Bluetooth discovery, then a phone or another tablet can be used to control another Android device. This includes four-way arrows, media control buttons, and the built-in Android buttons. While Android is setup for keyboard control with arrow keys, some apps don’t work as well; including mouse emulation would help out a lot as some apps do need to be directly interacted with via the touch screen.

Still, this app has its uses. Watching videos from a tablet is easier, and for users who just can’t sit close to where there tablet is plugged in to, this helps. I mean, it’s a first-world problem, but it’s still something that may have some uses. The interface is animated in a unique way, that’s almost worth the free download from Google Play on its own.

KickStarter Spotlight: Trigger Happy Camera Remote

KickStarter Spotlight: Trigger Happy Camera Remote

Mar 9, 2012

A photographer at heart, any app that enhances the use of a camera is worth investigating in my book. This week our KickStarter Spotlight looks into an app that would potentially be a huge benefit to those who frequently stare down the lens. The app is called Trigger Happy Camera Remote, and it is a great idea that allows photographers to remotely control their dSLR cameras remotely, giving greater flexibility and relieving headaches with group photos. THCR comes with a cable that connects the phone and camera, with current support being fairly expansive including most modern Cannon and Nikons as well as a few others. This cable connects to the the standard headphone jack, making it universal and compatible with any Android or iOS phone.

The simplicity of this app is its biggest asset; the main functionality is to act as a basic remote. Touch the button and the camera takes the shot. For those who want more, and to help justify the hefty $70 price tag, THCR allows the user to adjust most of the functionality of the flash bulb, i.e. setting up time lapse photos and long exposures. Features in development include using the camera on the phone to take light readings and face detection.

For those who continued reading after seeing the price, it is steep, and Trigger Happy Camera Remote needs to deliver high end features that perform. The light readings need to be accurate enough that serious photographers will actually look to replace their light meters with their phones. Also, be sure to remember that the cost of the cable is included into the price, and I am sure that getting the hookups for specific cameras was not expressly cheap.

After all this, I encourage everyone to look into donating to this ambitious app. Those who are serious photographers and want to be on the edge of technology should keep an eye on Trigger Happy Camera Remote because this is where the future is headed.