In today's news, Rafe is offended by the lazy criminals who just use Facebook to find out when people aren't home. Also, Nokia gets a new CEO who's apparently a "fine steward;" but is he a visionary? Especially with Android coming up fast? Also, Adobe brings back its Flash-to-iPhone app development tool.Subscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360)… Read more
Though Android tablets have already begun popping up, Google says its mobile operating system is not quite ready for that purpose.
TechRadar quoted Hugo Barra, Google's director of mobile products, on Friday saying "Froyo is not optimized for use on tablets." Froyo is the name for Android's current version of the operating system, version 2.2.
And that's despite the latest round of tablets featuring Android shown at IFA Berlin last week. Android Market, the place for Android users to buy apps, won't work properly on tablets, he said.
"If you want Android market on that platform, the apps just wouldn't run, [Froyo] is just not designed for that form factor." But it's been hinted that future versions will be.
That might explain why the Android tablets already for sale are curiously smartphone-like. … Read more
Android continues to surge, Bing replaces Google search on some Verizon phones, and using your phone to jailbreak your PS3. Plus we cover the CNET News app and dig into the world of Widgets and shortcuts. This week's special guest: Senior Associate Editor, Nicole Lee!Subscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360) EPISODE 15 Android market share to surge over next four years Why Android Is Stealing Share from iOS Bing to be on some, not all Verizon Android phones Android Now at 80,000 Market Apps Samsung considering Android-based TVs Samsung Galaxy Tab: An Android contender Take that, Samsung: Apple could sell 28M iPads in 2011 Confirmed: HTC Droid Eris will not get Froyo Verizon's dual-mode HTC slider leaked by FCC T-Mobile G2 gets official, preorders starting soon Use Your Android Phone to "Jailbreak"Your PlayStation 3 … Read more
While PC makers are running full-speed to chase the iPad's success, it's notable that just as quickly they've stopped talking about Netbooks. Some people call them mini-notebooks. Even more people now call them that thing that's bigger than a smartphone but smaller than a laptop that looks more than a little bit clunky next to a tablet device.
Between October and December last year, PC makers shipped 10.5 million mini-notebooks, according to Gartner. That may have been a market peak. Fast-forward to the first quarter of this year: 9.7 million units shipped. Tick forward again to the second quarter of this year, and 8.4 million Netbooks left PC factories. The numbers are expected to drop even further in the coming months.
So what happened? It's not a stretch to connect the dots between the rise of the iPad and the sudden drop in last year's most-hyped product category. Even before the iPad was officially introduced in January, the talk of the PC world just a few weeks prior at CES 2010 was about tablets. Hewlett-Packard, Dell, and Archos showed touch-screen tablets somewhat tentatively--few details were named, and some shipping dates were vague--but it was clear the attention had shifted away from targeting consumers looking for a new mobile device with Netbooks. … Read more
Apple's iPad may finally have some competition.
With the gadget, Apple started the craze for building devices that are smaller than notebooks and bigger than standard smartphones, feature touch-screen interfaces, and enable people to browse the Web and download apps. And the iPad took off quicker than most people anticipated, selling 3 million units in its first 80 days. The device is expected to keep tight hold of its market-leading position for at least the next year.
But beginning this fall (with several new devices launching at IFA Berlin last week) and stretching through next year (with the Consumer Electronics Show in early January), there are going to be far more consumer touch-screen tablets to choose from. And not just from small niche manufacturers. Some of the world's largest makers of consumer electronics and PCs are jumping into the fray--companies with the resources (including, in many cases, Google's rapidly proliferating Android operating system) to take on the Apple mobile-device juggernaut.
The big players in the developing tablet race will be familiar: they're many of the same people who are tussling for consumers' dollars and attention in the smartphone realm. As with smartphones, choosing a touch-screen tablet will mean deciding between different operating systems: Apple's iOS, Google's Android, Palm's WebOS, Research In Motion's BlackBerry operating system, and Microsoft's Windows 7--except, in some instances, without having to also decide on a wireless carrier.
Here's a look at some of the iPad's competitors. It's not a comprehensive survey, of course. But it's a good look at the tablets coming from companies with the tech chops and marketing clout to compete with Apple. … Read more
Editors' note: Sprint announced that it will offer the Samsung Galaxy Tab starting November 14. Pricing for the Android-based tablet is $399.99 with a two-year contract, and customers will be able to choose from two 3G Tablet Mobile Broadband plans: a 2GB data plan with unlimited messaging for $29.99 per month or a 5GB data plan with unlimited messaging for $59.99 per month.
BERLIN--After more than an hour putting the Samsung Galaxy Tab through its paces, I have to say I'm impressed.
It's no iPad-slayer, but it's an elegant tablet with conveniently compact dimensions, good performance, and a bright, responsive multitouch screen.
Samsung debuted the Galaxy Tab Thursday at the IFA electronics show here with strong words showing it plans to compete directly with Apple's iPad. Just how well it'll succeed depends in large measure on how well developers embrace large-screen Android devices: the Tab's most awkward moments came with applications designed for a smaller screen, and there will have to be a lot more games before Android tablets can take on the iPad.
First, some Samsung Galaxy Tab details. Front and center is its 7-inch, 1,024x600 touch screen. For a tablet to be competitive, it's got to respond quickly to touch, and the Galaxy Tab does--most of the time. The screen is bright and text is easy to read. It's not as spacious the iPad's, but it's a big step up from mobile phones.
The brains of the operation are a 1.0GHz Cortex A8 ARM-based processor paired with a PowerVR SGX540 graphics processor. Game developers take note: The two made the Tab the fastest and most responsive of Android devices I've used. Applications loaded fast and responded to input moderately fast. Internal memory of 16GB or 32GB is supplemented by a microSD port that can accommodate flash cards with up to 32GB more.
Speaking of mobile phones, note that the Tab is available only through carriers that provide mobile phone service. There's no Wi-Fi-only option, though the Tab does support 802.11 a, b, g, and n. For cell networks, it can use 2.5G (GSM/GPRS/EDGE) and 3G (HSUPA at 5.76Mbps, and HSDPA 7.2Mbps). I found Wi-Fi and 3G both worked well at Samsung's booth. … Read more
BERLIN--Samsung's Galaxy Tab got a lot of the attention Thursday, but Toshiba had an Android tablet of its own to debut here at the IFA electronics show: the Folio 100.
Unlike the smaller Tab, the Folio bears more of an outward resemblance to Apple's iPad, the dominant tablet device on the market today. And where Samsung will sell the Tab only through phone companies as a kind of smartphone on steroids, Toshiba's Folio will like the iPad come in 3G and non-3G models when it goes on sale in Europe in the fourth quarter.
The Folio will cost 399 euros (about $511) for the version with just Wi-Fi networking; the 3G version price jumps to 499 euros (about $639). It's got a 10.1-inch multitouch screen with 1024x600-pixel resolution, an Nvidia Tegra processor, stereo speakers, a 1.3-megapixel Webcam, two USB ports, an SD card slot, an HDMI connector for sending video to other screens, Bluetooth communications, and 16GB of memory.
It weighs 760 grams--about the same as an iPad with 3G abilities. The Folio's battery lasts seven hours when being used 65 percent for Web browsing, watching video for 10 percent, and idling for 25 percent, Toshiba said.
Besides the array of Android applications available, the Folio 100 also comes with the Opera Mobile Web browser, the FBReader e-book reader software, Documents To Go for productivity suite, Evernote for taking notes, Adobe's Flash Player 10.1 for running Flash apps, and Fring for video chat. Most of these are useful, so let's hope this doesn't portend the migration to Android of the crapware that bogs down (and subsidizes) many Windows PCs.
I found the Folio 100 to be comfortable to hold and easy enough to use for basic tasks. Its performance didn't jump out at me, and pushing buttons seemed to come with a lag I'm used to on phones, but applications loaded reasonably fast. I found the interface easy to dive into--but then, I'm already familiar with Android quirks, such as how to make the virtual keyboard pop up when you need it and go away when you're done. … Read more
This week we get Android math lesson from Google, Apple and Microsoft, check out four tablets vying to be the iPad killer and get giddy for Angry Birds on Android. Join Justin Eckhouse and guest host Jasmine France for this week's Android Atlas Weekly.Subscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360) EPISODE 14
News Stories Google responds to Steve Jobs' comments on activation numbers http://www.androidcentral.com/google-responds-steve-jobs-comments-activation-numbers
Microsoft claims that Google's Android is not free http://www.businessinsider.com/android-costs
First official look at … Read more
There's been plenty of buzz for the high-concept Toshiba Libretto W105 since it was first announced in June of 2010. This dual-touch-screen minilaptop is a limited-release showpiece designed by Toshiba to celebrate the company's 25th anniversary in the mobile computing business, and is certainly an experiment that pushes the boundaries between laptops, tablets, and portable media players.
Despite the far-out thinking behind it, and the underpowered components, the Libretto W105 worked in practice far better than we expected in some areas, including certain kinds of media playback and general Web surfing. That was especially surprising, as the system is running Windows 7 Home Premium over two simultaneous displays, all from a 1.2GHz Intel Pentium U5400 CPU and 2GB of RAM. Our configuration (the only one currently available, according to Toshiba's Web site) is called the W105-L251 and sells for $1,099.
Looking a little like an oversize Nintendo DS, the libretto has two 7-inch multitouch displays, with the second taking the place of the traditional keyboard one would expect to find in this kind of clamshell design. By tapping a button on the side of the chassis, a virtual keyboard (similar to what you'd find on an iPhone or iPad) pops up to fill the bottom screen. Tap the same button twice and you get a virtual onscreen touch pad instead.
Our first struggle came with figuring out how to juggle these two virtual input devices, as the bottom screen isn't large enough to display both the keyboard and the touch pad fully at once (and, in our tests, the onscreen keyboard and touch pad couldn't register inputs simultaneously). Eventually, we got into a nice rhythm of single- and double-tapping to switch from keyboard to touch pad on the fly, although it's a little counterintuitive.
Pressing the button on the right side of the bottom display switches between the standard Windows OS desktop and a series of Toshiba's proprietary Bulletin Board screens, which allow you to arrange photos and notes on a touch-friendly surface. It looks snazzy, but we can't say it's particularly useful, especially as it (like almost any proprietary app) has its own learning curve.
Actually navigating around the Windows interface was mostly lag-free, which is something even many Netbooks can't say. At the same time, a 7-inch touch screen, no matter how many navigational tricks you include, simply isn't optimal for touch, and we spent plenty of time hunting and pecking, trying to center the tiny cursor on buttons and tabs. … Read more