Android RunTime (ART): how it works

One of Android KitKat’s many additions isn’t designed for mainstream usage just yet, but its inclusion gives an important insight into the operating system’s future.

Fight the Australian technology tax: online shopping bargains

The last story we wrote about buying stuff directly from the US got a strong response. A very strong response. Some readers thought we were being un-Australian by encouraging people to spend their money offshore which would inevitably cost Australian retail jobs. Others were disgusted at how badly we were being ripped off for common…

Ballmer on Bing’s holy grail: “almost like our own little private copy of the Internet”

As part of his official duties at the opening ceremony of the Imagine Cup 2011 world finals Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was expected to talk Microsoft products and platforms. And talk he did. But among broad comments on diverse topics including Windows 8 Xbox and the move to the cloud Ballmer seemed most passionate addressing…

Smartphone development: going cross-platform

Scott Powell doesn’t care much for iOS the operating system powering Apple’s iPhone iPod touch and iPad. Yet his objections are not the result of dogma as much as practicality: as a developer of mobile applications since the late 1990s Powell is familiar enough with development on Windows Mobile BlackBerry OS Palm and now Android…

Best Apps for Android, May 2011

StickybitsFoursquare for objects rather than places.Stickybits which has recently been overhauled for Android (but is also available on iOS) is a social barcode scanner. When you scan a barcode in Stickybits it creates a page for that barcode (the equivalent of a “place” in Foursquare) complete with a “wall” where you can post text photos…

How to make an app: what dev tools do professional app makers use?

Smartphone makers may be rushing out upgrades to their mobile operating systems as quickly as they can write them but developers face different challenges both in keeping up with the changes and maintaining the appropriate tools necessary to keep them up to speed. And while each smartphone vendor offers its own toolsets and assistance for…

Netbooks finally get their own app store – no more Apple and Android envy

 Intel has launched an app store with free and commercial applications tailored for netbooks. Although there’s very few apps in the AppUp Center at this early stage it gives netbook owners the same kind of centralised software catalogue that’s behind Apple’s App Store or Android’s Market. And just like its competitors the AppUp Center makes…

Masterclass: The Essential SEO Toolkit for better search rankings

Many SEO consultants say they never use tools for their work. This is not true. They have to use at least one authoritative tool:  Google Search and possibly Yahoo Search. Yes the search engines are the primary tool for competitive research reverse-engineering of the algorithms and to make ranking checks.In this series we have already…

SEO Masterclass: Diagnosing a sick search engine ranking

Often I’ll get calls for help from website owners when their traffic has mysteriously dropped and not recovered for some time. The site had good ranking for a generic search phrase but now it’s nowhere to be found in the Google search results. Often the cause is an algorithm change by Google such as a…

Putting Google Docs’ OCR to the test

Optical character recognition (OCR) has been around for many years but has usually been restricted to specialised software  bundled with scanners or used in large-scale businesses. With the addition of OCR features to its free Google Docs productivity tools in recent weeks Google has brought the technology to the masses – but how well does…