Posts by Manjit Singh

Google Brillo, Android, new mobile OS, mobile development, Google Brillo features, IoT

Google Brillo – Will It Show It’s Brilliance?

May 26th, 2015 Posted by 2015, Blog No Comment yet
Google Brillo, Android, new mobile OS, mobile development, Google Brillo features

Photo: Courtesy slashgear.com

Google is rumored to release a new operating system (OS) called “Google Brillo” specifically developed for IoT (Internet of Things) devices.

The first version of Google Brillo is expected to be announced in a just a few days. With IoT devices becoming a hot market, many major vendors such as Microsoft and Samsung are already jumping into it. For example, Microsoft has its own plans with Windows 10 IoT core, aimed at wearable devices, and Samsung is bringing out its own processors to run its IoT devices.

It may be too early to say anything about the features of Google Brillo, but here’s what we think.

What could be the new game for plan for Google Brillo?

With the huge success of Android OS for smartphones, Google will definitely be looking for the same kind of dominance in IoT.

  • Connectivity – Google Brillo is expected to offer basic connectivity of IoT devices with the web and most importantly, the ability to communicate amongst themselves. The OS might power IoT devices with low memory e.g. 32MB and 64MB.
  • Performance Booster – IoT devices embracing Google Brillo will make them “smarter,” as mentioned earlier. Performance of these devices can be easily tracked. On the other hand, the usage patterns of these devices by the end-users will help OEMs improve on the design and performance.
  • One Umbrella – With Brillo’s release, Google will likely be planning to bring almost all the IoT devices under a single umbrella. This move will ensure Google’s dominance over its competitors, as well as expand its market share.
  • Compatibility – If Brillo succeeds, many of the OEMs will definitely start flocking to this new OS, and many vendor’s devices will now be able to communicate without any additional effort. Thus compatibility will become a de-facto feature.
  • Easy Upgrade – IoT devices running a single OS will be easier to upgrade with subsequent releases. Even if the OEMs run their own custom flavors of Brillo, this may be achieved without much of an effort, as in the case of Android.

The features discussed above could be just a handful of what Brillo will offer in the days to come. Google likely has its own plans add many more features. Having said this, the success of Brillo will not depend on features alone. It still remains to be seen how the OEMs and the world actually embrace Brillo – or not! Also, youc an be sure competition is already cropping up, with their own similar firmware.

Nevertheless, Brillo is expected to give a brilliant shine!

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References

 

What to Expect from Google Android and Chrome Integration

November 13th, 2014 Posted by 2014, Blog No Comment yet

Google has recently released information on Project Hera, an internal name for an initiative that will further the integration of the Android operating system (OS) with Chrome OS. (Read More)

Protecting On-Line Privacy with COWL

October 23rd, 2014 Posted by 2014, Blog No Comment yet

online-privacy-via-vpn

Researchers have a developed a new COWL (Confinement with Origin Web Labels) system that works with Firefox and Chrome that helps maintain end user privacy while still giving web app developers design flexibility.

Today, modern web-browsers run a number of web applications using JavaScript codes. Most developers rely heavily on third-party libraries, such as jQuery, without realizing the bugs and flaws that might be malicious. This may inadvertently leak users’ sensitive information such as account details, email identity, passwords, and more. Miscreants can target this sensitive information by embedding malicious JavaScript codes, compromising the privacy and safety of users.

Two top objectives that a web application offers to a user are flexibility of features and privacy. Unfortunately, enhancing the flexibility of an application often leads to sacrificing privacy, and vice-versa when it comes to web application development.

COWL Comes Into The Picture

COWL works by ‘confining’ the various JavaScript codes running within a browser to separate sections like tabs, labels, iframes, etc. For example, if a website is embedded by a third-party site, COWL defines the protocol of how the later can share or read the information from the source and vice-versa.

The features of COWL can be briefly summarized as per below:

  • Acts a firewall between a user’s data and untrusted web application
  • Defines a clear protocol on what sort of data can be shared or read by an untrusted third-party web site and vice-versa
  • Offers both developers and users protection against malicious intent of script libraries
  • Provides the users with an in-browser document editor to securely edit sensitive information

Currently Supported Web Browsers

The system currently works with Mozilla Firefox and the open-source version of Google’s Chrome web browsers. The system prototypes of COWL have been effectively proven to provide strong security with minimum impact to the performance of the browsers. COWL is expected to be freely available for download and use on 15th Oct 2014 from http://cowl.ws

References:

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Multiscreen Video – Content-Fi Yourself!

June 12th, 2014 Posted by 2014, Blog No Comment yet

rohit pic

Image Courtesy: www.Ericsson.com

The concept of multiscreen technology has redefined the way video content is streamed across devices – TVs, smartphones, tablets and PCs. You are no longer restricted to viewing your favorite TV shows and videos to only your TV set. Pick and play your content exactly from where you left off from any of your connected devices, be it your smartphone, tablet or PC, even on the move.

Today, your multiscreen service provider rolls out a bouquet of services that gives access to VOD, HD, PVR and broadband to your connected devices, offering you a complete entertainment packet for your family. You can start watching on one device and finish on another, and you can enjoy the integrated experience of being able to access the content that you pay for on any device of your choice.

Telecom solution providers like Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent and others are offering their own platforms to provide multiscreen solutions in partnership with cable companies. Major carriers like Verizon Wireless and Time Warner Cable have started looking ahead with their multiscreen service strategies. For instance, TWC has already made its TWC SportsNet and TWC Deportes video content available for both Internet and mobile viewing. Many more providers are quickly entering the market.

However, OTT multiscreen service is still in its infancy as there are many business and technical complexities involved. There are many challenges including:

  • Content rights difficulties
  • Expenses related to the infrastructure setup (both hardware and software) which are outdated quickly

However, the future looks very promising. Multiscreen services offer a superior content experience for both linear and on demand TV and videos, and offer other benefits such as interacting and conversing with the entire content community. With personal access to the content of your choice on your own device at any time, you no longer have to fight for the good old TV remote!

References:

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Our new white paper “Multiscreen Video: The New Imperative”

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How the MultiScreen Movement is Impacting TV Broadcasters

 

Beyond Android – Tizen?

November 6th, 2013 Posted by 2013, Blog No Comment yet
A smartphone running Tizen OS (courtesy Mobile Magazine)

A smartphone running Tizen OS (courtesy Mobile Magazine)

The world of smartphone operating systems is currently ruled by Android, IOS and Windows, with Android arguably having the largest market share. However, leading Android handset manufacturers such as Samsung are beginning to have second thoughts on the “over-dependency” on Android.

Tizen (www.tizen.org) is an open source, standard-based software platform with a “cross-convergence” OS (operating system) based on Linux. The Tizen project is governed by a Technical Steering Group, including Samsung, Intel, Panasonic and others.  Its aim is to offer a consistent user experience across devices, including smartphones, smart TVs, in-vehicle navigation systems, etc.

Android phones are customized by manufacturers with a unique interfaces and services that sit atop Google’s mobile operating system. But some users feel that this additional software makes it too heavy and degrades the performance of the stock Android OS. Moreover, as Google starts its own Android-based hardware venture (through its acquisition of Motorola, for example), other manufacturers feel threatened.

Tizen seeks to do things a bit differently.  Being an open-source OS, Tizen’s main feature is its compatibility with multiple mobile platforms; which means that applications developed in Tizen can still be launched in other mobile platforms like iOS and Android with minimal effort. It has extensive support for HTML5 and better customizable options compared to Android.

Tizen is currently under-development with a couple of prototype releases, with Tizen 2.2 being the latest. Currently Tizen tools, support and resources are available for free from their web site for both application and platform developers who are looking to build and contribute to the Tizen ecosystem.

Samsung was originally expected to release Tizen on smartphones in Q3 2013, however the release has been postponed to Q4. Stay tuned!

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Connected TV: Can It Get Smarter?

November 1st, 2012 Posted by 2012, Blog No Comment yet

Image courtesy Advanced Technology Korea

The evolution of digital television technology has led to the birth of Connected TVs (also referred to as Smart TVs or Hybrid TVs). More than a combination of traditional broadcast television and web connectivity, they offer a range of advanced services to deliver content from other computers and storage devices attached to your network, as well as access to interactive content, social networking, internet applications, and more. Vendors like Samsung, Sony, LG, Philips and others have launched their own models of Connected TVs, and software platforms like Google TV and mPortal’s own SPRINGBOARD Media, along with open source XBMC, are all getting a lot of interest around the globe.

With these features, they look pretty smart! However, the concept is still in a very incipient stage.  Can Connected TVs get even smarter?

The answer is an obvious ‘YES.’ As the technology matures, Connected TVs are expected to become a powerful platform to run apps and personalized communications.  These TVs will likely begin to assume many functions and include new and powerful interactive features, such as:

Serving as a base-station for all home media – Imagine you get a call alert on your TV screen while you are glued to it. And you have the facility to take the call in the TV itself. How cool! With the advances in digital technology, the ability to share digital media (DLNA) among consumer devices such as phone and computer is constantly being upgraded.

Chat as you watch – Let’s say you are enjoying a blockbuster movie on HBO. Connected TVs will allow you to buzz your friends while you’re watching, and share the joy. In short, social networking will be brought right to your TV screen!

Explore content – What to watch? When to watch? Where to watch?  Obvious questions! As the amount of content available gets bigger and spreads, it becomes a hectic task to find what you want. Connected TVs can help you out. Search, explore and save digital contents at your own convenience.

Along with tablets, Connected TVs are changing the way we, as consumers, interact with television content – and each other.  And these technologies are only getting started.  We’re at the forefront of the digital media evolution, one that is continuing to grow and change, literally before our very eyes.

— Manjit Singh

Mobile OS Wars: iOS, Android, and Windows Phone Against One Another – Part Two

June 14th, 2012 Posted by 2012, Blog No Comment yet

In part one of Mobile OS Wars, I talked about the performance of the three major mobile platform vendors so far. In part two I’d like to focus on some of the standard features that are expected on current smartphones.
4G Support
Currently, Andro…

Mobile OS Wars: iOS, Android, and Windows Phone Against One Another – Part One

May 10th, 2012 Posted by 2012, Blog No Comment yet

mPortal has been around for 12 years and in that time we have seen the industry go through some dramatic changes.  The single biggest revolution was when Apple launched the iPhone.  Apple turned a mobile handset from a mere voice and data ena…