About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

October 8, 2013

Smartphone Info

Since I get many questions about Smartphones here are some interesting statistics which may answer some of your inquiries.

Generic Smartphone imageThe top five smartphone operating systems, according to stack up like this. Android is number one with 52.0% of the market followed not very closely by Apple with 39.2%. Next were Blackberry, Microsoft with 5.1% and 3.0% respectively. The final was Symbian with 0.5%. Symbian, as you may well know (not) was the leading operating system for smartphones for many of the phone manufacturers worldwide. That was until around the end of 2010 when Android’s system blew it away. Now it is used on a very few Nokia phones and I imagine it will soon be in the same boat as Windows 3; a great starting system but not as popular as newer shinier systems that perform much better.

Percent signHow about the top five Smartphone applications as scored by percent of total users? The order included a surprise or two for me, how about you? Number one was Facebook (76.1% of the top 15 apps) which was absolutely no surprise to me. One other interesting fact is that research shows that 50 percent of smartphone users check Facebook at the movies. In my opinion movies cost enough that if I go to one, I am giving it my full attention. I see people on it all the time when walking around a restaurant or other gathering place. It is sad to see a family eating out when the husband and wife both either texting or posting/reading Facebook and ignoring the youngster(s). Of course, many of the kids are either on their own phone, playing a portable gaming system or watching a movie. But I digress.

Number two would be YouTube at 53.7%. Next, to my surprise comes Google Play (53.6%). I am not surprised it is a very good app, but I did not realize that many people knew about it. If you are interested check it out at the Play Store or email me and maybe I will do an article about it in the future. Finally, come Google Search with 53.5% and Google Maps at 46.2%.

I thought Google Search would have been at the top of that heap, but the users in the world fooled me again.

Here are another couple of interesting Smartphone stats for you to consider from a recent IDC survey (International Data Corporation). They say that four out of five smartphone users check their phones within the first 15 minutes of waking up. The next group which I unfortunately fall into says that 80% of us report it is the first thing we do in the morning…oops on me.

IDC also found that 79% of smartphone users have their phone on or near them for all but two hours of their waking day with 63% saying their phone is with them for all but one hour. Another embarrassing stat which fits me is that a fourth of all owners could not remember a time during the day when their phone wasn’t in the same room as them. A personal statistic for me; it is usually on me during the day and at night it is on the bedside table charging. Since we do not own a home phone/landline phone smartphones are our total phone systems.

Where do you fall in these stats?

November 19, 2012

2012-11-19 WSVA Show Notes

Well it is all out now, Microsoft Windows 8 & Surface Tablets or notebook if you add the keyboard.  What did Jim and I think about them…and many others too?  Listen in and find out.

Here is some information about those and the others things we discussed today.

Have fun!

Microsoft Windows 8 & Surface?
a) Windows 8, Ron doubts this one.
b) Surface, iffy?

Here are some other Windows items that didn’t work so well:

  • Windows for Pen, was Windows 3.1 with a stylus.
  • Bob, 1995, was a Windows 3.x layer no icons but rooms with animated characters. (Clippy and the dog stayed around for a while.)
  • Pocket PC 2000 eventually became Windows Mobile, similar to Palm Pilot with a stylus.
  • Windows XP Tablets hit in 2002 but didn’t make it.
  • Portable Media Center (a year before iPods) large and not friendly.
  • Origami Ultra Mobile PCs were an early touch screen PC experiment in 2006, with finger touch. Many apps wouldn’t run.
  • Zune, 2006, made to compete with iPods but failed again with less than 2% of the market.
  • KIN, Windows phone, May 2010, for 15-30 year olds a "hip" phone. Verizon stopped selling them in July 2010 (yes, 2 months) due to poor sales.
  • Windows 7 phones, seem to be doing poorly with about 2% of the market, compared to Android (48.5%), iOS (32%), and BlackBerry (11.6%).

Now, the Surface with Windows 8 (which uses the default Zune font), will it sell?

Windows is the number one OS in the world with 83.7% of the market as of October 2012, so they aren’t hurting.

What will become of Windows 8?

Operating System Popularity
2012 Win7 WinXP Mac Linux Vista NT Mobile
October 56.8% 22.1% 9.2% 4.8% 3.0% 1.8% 1.8%

New words added to

    A few samples…mostly geek stuff.

  • Dunbar’s number, n.: a theoretical limit to the number of people with whom any individual is able to sustain a stable or meaningful social relationship (usually considered to be roughly 150).
  • e-cigarette, n.: another term for electronic cigarette.
  • e-learning, n.: learning conducted via electronic media, typically on the Internet.
  • ethical hacker, n.: a person who hacks into a computer network in order to test or evaluate its security, rather than with malicious or criminal intent.
  • lolz, pl. n.: fun, laughter, or amusement.
  • OH, n.: a person’s wife, husband, or partner (used in electronic communication, previously known as "Other Half:).
  • tweeps, pl. n.: a person’s followers on the social networking site Twitter.
  • UI, n.: short for ‘user interface’.
  • user experience, n.: the overall experience of a person using a product such as a website or a computer application, esp. in terms of how easy or pleasing it is to use (also UX, n.).

Ron’s Android App Recommendation
(this app can be found on Google Play from your Android phone,
tablet or viewed on your PC from the link below.)
Auto Speaker

This simple application will automatically switch speaker status on\off during a phone call according to phone position. It uses the proximity sensor to know if the phone is near your ear or not.

Say you take a call while in your car, pull your phone away from you ear and lay it on the dash. The headset immediately cuts off and the speaker cuts on, without having to press any buttons and take your eyes off of the road.

As the philanthropic arm of Google, develops technologies to help address global challenges and supports innovative partners through grants, investments and in-kind resources.

We focus on problems where Google’s assets and core capabilities—technology innovation, global presence, making massive amounts of information universally accessible and useful—play strongest and where the solutions we create have the most potential to scale.

Equipping the Saints
A great place to donate your older technology equipment like computers, phones, printers, etc.  Try to make sure they are working pretty well.

Google Nexus 7
A great "do it all" Android tablet with a good price point.

At only 12 oz., this tablet is designed to go wherever you go — and now with up to 32GB of storage, and the ability to connect to most mobile data networks — Nexus 7 is your perfect travel companion.

A no compromise Android tablet. With the latest version of Android, a stunning 7-inch display, powerful quad-core processor, up to 10 hours of web browsing or e-reading, and a staggering 300 hours of standby time, Nexus 7 was built for top of the line grab-and-go performance.

That’s it for this month.  I hope to see and hear you back next month on Monday, December 17 at 10 AM on WSVA Radio.  Listen on the WSVA site and stream it live. 


January 24, 2012

More Android Apps

Thank you for all of the emails over the last couple of weeks regarding the past year in review.  Keep in mind you can find all the articles online at and my site, if you want to catch up.

Many emails asked about the Android Market link (  Before starting you should note that I work for Ntelos Communications, Waynesboro, VA, USA (that should make disclosure folks happy).  I have used Windows, Blackberry, iPhone (not as much) and now Android phones.  Android phones are currently my preferred flavor.  Keep in mind Android is the name of the operating system (created by Google) not the actual phone manufacturer, etc.  Again, that is opinion and I am sure there are a bazillion people out there who would argue with that statement.  But, I write the column…

Android logoThe above mentioned site is the default Google site for apps available for this type of phone.  You can get free apps and some that can cost from less that one dollar to several dollars.  Of course, there are also free apps which are missing the enhanced features you pay for if you get the "Pro" version.  For instance, a game may have two adventure levels for free but if you purchase it you will get all 30 game levels.  There are games, business, utilities, entertainment, education and any other type of applications/programs you can imagine.

According to Distimo (, a company that watches of the stats of mobile apps, as of December, 2011, there were 400,000 Android apps in the marketplace.  Of those applications over 270,000 were free. 

In addition to the Android Market there are many other places to get apps.  You can search for apps online or go to specific sites.  Here are the other two sites I frequent. 

My number two favorite after the default market is the Amazon "Appstore for Android" (  Many of the apps in the market at Amazon and everywhere else are repeated in each site online; however, prices may vary and some are only available at specific sites. 

Why is Amazon my #2?  If you log into the Amazon site you can get one free app every day.  I check the site most every day and have 250+ apps; however, I have only installed about ten of them.  I have the rest in reserve for future use, testing or forgetting about them.  If you buy one (for $0) you do not have to install it on your phone or tablet at that time; or ever.  Some of them are junk but some of them are excellent.  One that currently costs $9.99, "OfficeSuite Pro 5" I got free several months ago.  This application is basically an office program that will allow you to view, create and edit Microsoft Office files, i.e., Word, Excel and PowerPoint files with your smartphone. 

The final site I like is called 101 Best Android Apps (  This is where new apps are released by developers before they are officially approved by Google for the Android Market. 

Wikipedia says that the approval process for apps is that Google, "…places some restrictions on the types of apps that can be published, in particular not allowing ‘sexually explicit material’, ‘Violence and Bullying’, ‘Hate Speech’, ‘Impersonation or Deceptive Behavior’, copyrighted material (without permission)…"

The 101 Best Android Apps site mentioned above allows many of the unapproved ones to be downloaded to your phone as an .apk file (similar to .exe for Windows).  Warning, be very careful when loading an .apk file as it could contain harmful code…check out the reputation of the developer first! 

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