"Sure, installing CyanogenMod 7 on an Amazon Kindle Fire is cool and all. But xda-developers forum member x1011999 decided to skip Android 2.3 Gingerbread and port Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich to run on Amazon’s $199 tablet."
The Kindle Fire has some decent hardware in it. While it only has 512MB of RAM, a little light especially for a tablet, it does have a dual-core 1GHz OMAP CPU and a decent SGX540 GPU. The Ice Cream Sandwich build for the Fire is still in the early stages. Basic features like audio and WiFi are not working. But if you like to play with bleeding edge ROMs on new hardware you should definitely look into this a little more. Check out the source article for a video of ICS in action on the Kindle Fire.
If you've held off on buying Android Apps because of their (not so high) prices, Google has a deal for you. For the next 10 days, they're offering premium apps at $0.10. It appears it will be a different batch each day, so head over today and book mark the site for the next 10 days to check out the deals!
"HTC just confirmed over on Facebook that the GSM 3G version of the Flyer gets the Honeycomb update today, the update for WiFi-only users is "coming soon.""
It's great to see HTC doing the right thing here! Anyone with the HTC Flyer should be pretty happy about this. As far as I know Samsung still has not released an update for the original Galaxy Tab to bring it up to Honeycomb. Have any of you updated your Flyer to Honeycomb? If so, how's it working for you?
"For many of us, the arrival of piles of catalogs marks the start of the holiday shopping season. But what if you could have all your favorite catalogs in one place, with the latest issues always available at your fingertips?"
Thinking about doing a little holiday shopping? Well Google Catalogs is now available on Android, and thus, is now available to those of you toting an Android Tablet! Happy Shopping or perhaps just Browsing!
"We've already established that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is a great tablet. Then, just recently, we summarily found that the 1.2-inch smaller Galaxy Tab 8.9 is an even better tablet -- at least for anyone who wants to take their slate places. So, following that logic, the even more petite Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus should be the best of the three, right?"
I'm not a fan of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 because of the lack of MicroSDHC, MicroHDMI, and MicroUSB. The Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus actually adds MicroSDHC so that's cool but it has a 1024x600 screen instead of the 1280x800 screen on the larger models. Keep in mind though, while the resolution is lower the screen is significantly smaller so it actually has a higher dpi then the 10.1 at 170dpi compared to 149dpi on the 10.1 - so it will look sharper at the same distance. The 8.9" model actually has the same dpi as the 7" at 170dpi. One interesting difference is the inclusion of an IR port and software that let you use the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus as a universal remote. The review shows good performance, thanks to a 1.2GHz processor and 1GB of RAM, and battery life so if you're looking for a 7" tablet you should definitely check it out.
"Homebrewers, of course, will first have to root the device before tweaking with the Fire's Gingerbread-based build, but fortunately for them, there's already a guide for that. Once that's taken care of, you can also load the Android Market and a slate of other Google apps, using a handy how-to guide published on xda Forums."
Amazon released the source code for the Kindle Fire. That means we'll probably start to see all kinds of custom ROM's or other modifications coming out for it soon. One of the first things they did was figure out how to install the Android Market! They made a nice how-to in case you want to give it a try. The first step is rooting it but if that doesn't scare you go for it!
How do you like your Kindle Fire? Have you rooted it?
"This morning I sat in on a conference with ASUS about their upcoming Tegra 3-based Transformer Prime tablet. The event covered everything you and I need to know about the tablet, as well as a few surprises."
Reading about the improved specs on the Transformer Prime, it seems like the iPad's competitors are really raising their game. Thin, improved processing power with a quad-core Tegra 3, a great IPS+ 1280x800 gorilla glass screen that is adjustable to work well outdoors, great sound, decents cameras, quicker touch responsiveness, all bode well for this device - with planned shipping in December.
The bundled SuperNote app is also getting some rave reviews. Polaris Office is included for handling MS Office documents. And, of course, the keyboard dock is superb, and increases battery life from 12 to 18 hours.
Upcoming (US) prices are listed at $499 for the 32GB model, and $599 for the 64GB model. The keyboard dock adds another $149. And, with Android 4.0 onboard, this should be a superb tablet for both office and "other" use.
"The Kindle Fire can bring the heat. But the Toughpad can handle flamethrowers. Panasonic is extending its line of weather-resistant, hard-shelled mobile devices to include Android tablets. Announced today, the Toughpad A1 will sport a 10.1-inch XGA capacative screen and a 1.2-GHz Marvell dual-core processor running Android 2.3 Honeycomb, and will be released in Spring 2012."
I've always been intrigued by Panasonic's series of hardened devices, and the Toughpad A1 is no exception. MIL-STD-810G compliance means that this tablet will be able to withstand drops, water, dust, and extreme temperatures. While very rugged, these devices seem to be always somewhat behind the technology curve, maybe due to the intensive and time-consuming hardening requirements.
The A1 tablet will run Android Honeycomb (not Ice Cream Sandwich), but will have a bundle of high-end features, like a daylight-viewable anti-glare, anti-reflective screen, battery life rated at 10-hours, and additional layers of security. Definitely a niche product, the Toughpad A1 will weigh 2.3-pounds and will be .67-inches thick, twice as heavy and twice as thick as the iPad 2. Not cheap at $1299, but if you need ruggedness, security and durability, this is your tablet.
"Sitting down? Good. Come November 16th, Amazon's Kindle Fire will have company. We've wrapped our paws around a stash of documents confirming the impending launch of the first bona fide tablet in the Nook line, and lo and behold, the Nook Tablet will end up being a dead-ringer for the Nook Color that already exists."
Interesting news, and pretty inevitable that B&N would take the training wheels off their Color Nook e-reader, with some bumps and boosts in capacity and performance, and voila, the Nook Tablet. Some advantages over its expected competitor, the Kindle Fire: double the RAM; double the memory, 16GB vs. 8GB; and lighter. But, $50 more right now. Are we seeing the birth of a new class of Android tablet, with a highly customized (and mostly hidden) UI?
"The Transformer Prime, with its quad-core silicon and tasty OS, has rightfully garnered much attention lately. A PowerPoint deck detailing ASUS' Q3 earnings now gives us a peek at its Eee Pad strategy -- confirming the aforementioned Prime's November 9th release date, while also promising two more bot-powered slates in the first quarter of 2012."
Looking at the accompanying information from ASUS, translated into English (somewhere), and then extracted from a German-language site, the news is about an ASUS Transformer Prime, followed by an ASUS PadFone and a variant on the Eee Pad Slider. Two (2) Windows 8 tablets (Eee Slate E121 and the Eee Slate Business B121) are scheduled to be available in the autumn of 2012, giving ASUS two tablet technologies (consumer *and* business) in the marketplace.
The Transformer Prime looks to have NVIDIA's new Tegra 3 quad-core processor, a 10-inch display, 14.5-hour battery run time, and should run Android's newest OS. The current Transformer is a very solid tablet, and these updates should be welcomed by its fans.
ASUS estimates that it will sell roughly 1.8-million tablets in 2011, with an additional estimate of 600K still to be sold/delivered in Q4 2011 in addition to the 1.2-million sold to date. While the news is (and dates are) a bit contradictory in translation, we can expect some new competitors to the iPad from ASUS.
Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 11:00 AM
"Available tomorrow to Rogers customers, the HTC Jetstream is the first HTC tablet running on the Android™ 3.1 (Honeycomb) operating system. Beyond blazing speeds, it also boasts a striking design, HTC Scribe™ digital ink technology and the latest in HTC Sense innovation - HTC's unique user experience that puts people at the centre."
HTC and Rogers have officially announced the HTC Jetstream. This nicely loaded Honeycomb tablet will be available in Canada starting tomorrow for $500 on "select three year plans". As far as hardware goes, it has a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon CPU, 10.1" 1280x800 Super LCD screen, 8MP rear camera, 1.3MP front camera, 1GB of RAM, 32GB of built-in storage and a MicroSDHC card slot. It supports Rogers gsm, HSPA, and LTE. One thing that I really like about it is the fact that it has a 7300mAH battery! That should give some descent battery life. One thing I'm not sure I like is the fact that it has some form of Sense on it and it only has Honeycomb 3.1, not the latest 3.2. While it supports the HTC Scribe stylus it will cost you an extra $80. Follow the "Read more" link to see the full press release.
The Jetstream looks like a very nice Android tablet. I would want to play with the interface a little before picking one up but I like the hardware HTC put in it! What are your thoughts on the HTC Jetstream? Will this be your next Android device?
This is the first video I've seen of the shipping version of the Asus Eee Pad Slider - if you're looking for an Android tablet that has a keyboard but don't want the added weight or cost of the detachable keyboard a la Transformer, this is worth considering. Although checking the prices, I see that the Transformer with the dock is only $20 more than the Slider. Hmm. Given the huge benefit to battery life that the Transformer offers with the keyboard dock, I'm not sure why I'd go for the Slider...you?
"When I interviewed the head of Mozilla’s mobile division, I asked why there wasn’t yet a Firefox Honeycomb-tablet version. Thomas Arend assured me that it would arrive eventually, but noted that the company was making Firefox as fast and light as possible. He then added that the larger screen size and version advancements would allow Mozilla to “do some special things in our next version.”"
Firefox helped keep the browser wars alive and push browser technology further. However, web browsers are still a hot industry and standing still is not something any browser can really afford. While Android provides a competent browser, there is still plenty of room for competitors. While there may be some good reasons to switch from Android's default browser, I wonder if it will really be enough to drive people to change. I have seen the power of default choices and I suspect that without a good deal of marketing, Firefox faces a pretty tough uphill battle in gaining popularity.
"Do you have too much info to remember? Do you wish you could take all your passwords, credit cards, account information and logins with you - so they're handy when you want them? But keep them safe - so you don't have to worry about intruders finding them? You need eWallet GO!TM If you want secure, easy, mobile storage for all your info, just grab eWallet GO! and take your passwords with you everywhere you GO!"
Well now...here's a good deal! Effective now and running until the 21st of this month, you can get eWallet GO! for a mere 99 cents on Windows Phone 7, Android, and iPhone/iPod Touch devices. On Windows and Mac versions, the software is free. Sweet! Jump here to find the version you need. The OS X version is in the Mac App store, and the Windows version requires registration for the free download. On iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 7, you'll find it in their respective app stores.
"We just received word that Motorola XOOM 3G owners could will see an email from either Moto or Verizon today with details about their 4G LTE upgrade. According to our source, the email will inform them that the upgrade will not happen until September"
If you were one of the first to buy the Xoom you're probably disappointed that you've had to wait this long. The good news is, there is a light at the end of the tunnel! Verizon has announced that the LTE upgrade will be available in September. At least the Xoom did get Gingerbread 3.2 and it has at least some support for use of the MicroSDHC card slot. If you have a Xoom I would be interested to know if the lower bandwidth of 3G has been a real problem for you. Do you think it's holding you back or are there a lot of things you're not downloading because it would take too long?
"Google and Microsoft have a problem -- and to sum it up, that problem is Apple. Google has tablets but they aren’t selling well against the far more complete iPad offering. Microsoft won’t have an iPad competitor until well into 2012. Google is having an issue with relevancy on tablets and Microsoft loses not only a Windows footprint but an Office footprint with every iPad sold. What if the two partnered? Ironically it isn’t as hard as it sounds. You could actually see how this could work today. So let’s explore Microsoft Office on Android this week."
Interesting idea, as the iPad sometimes can be a viable lightweight replacement for (the Big Three of) Windows, Office and IE. Microsoft doesn't seem to be able to come up with a competitor for the iPad, so maybe teaming-up with Google is a step in the right direction, getting their flagship application running on Android devices. Needing Excel and Word on a regular basis for work, this concept is intriguing, without waiting for Windows 8, and would make Android tablets more desirable, in my opinion of course. The author's recommendation is to try Windows Live on a Honeycomb tablet using Opera for Android. But, since Microsoft is one of Apple's largest developers, any guesses as to when MS Office will appear for iOS?
"Lenovo is getting into the tablet game in a big way, announcing three slates: the Android-based IdeaPad K1 and ThinkPad Tablet as well as the Windows 7-powered IdeaPad Tablet P1. The two Android tablets feature Android Honeycomb 3.1, 1-GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 processors, and 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 screens. Both should be available for pre-order today, with the IdeaPad Tablet P1 not shipping until Q4 of this year."
A competitor for the ASUS Transformer tablet has arrived from Lenovo: the Android-powered (Honeycomb) ThinkPad Tablet. Courting the business user, the ThinkPad Tablet has a tough Gorilla Glass display, and enterprise features like encryption, IT manageability, a full-sized USB port, Computrace security software, Citrix remote access support, and full stylus support for pen ($30) or finger input. An option will be a ThinkPad-style keyboard dock ($99).
"The IdeaPad K1, priced at $499 for the 32GB model, weighs a reasonable 1.65 pounds and supports 10-point multitouch gestures. Ports include a micro SD card reader, micro HDMI out, and mic/headphone jacks. Other benefits include support for DRM content so you can download protected movies to the device, free 2GB of Cloud storage, Lenovo’s SocialTouch software, and access to both the Google Market and Lenovo’s own Android app store."
A pretty generic Honeycomb tablet, but with a bright IPS display, Lenovo's Launcher, and Lenovo's App Shop. For users that are scared of native Android, this tablet adds a UI-layer that hides the underlying OS. Otherwise, it's pretty generic but with a better screen, another source for apps, and some additional apps pre-loaded. For $499, this seems to be a decent competitor to the iPad 2.
"Amazon is poised to step into tablet PCs and will launch models as soon as August-September, with targeted global sales of four million units for 2011, according to Taiwan-based component makers."
Could this be the for Android Tablets what the Motorola Droid was for Android Phones? Amazon/Verizon Droid/Kindle - all some names with muscle behind them! We'll have to see. Now that Honeycomb has been cleaned up a little with Version 3.1 and more and more tablet optimized Android apps are released every day this fall could be a good time for a well respected company to release some good Android tablet hardware! The info from the source basically says Amazon wants to hit the Christmas season and it will use a TI CPU/GPU instead of the more common Tegra 2. I think that could be a good thing with rumors suggesting the TI processor has better GPU performance. It also mentions that Amazon will provide movie streaming services for it. Are you holding out to buy a tablet until you see what Amazon releases? What do you think about Amazon getting into the full-featured tablet business?
"T-Mobile is ready to re-position the T-Mobile G-Slate as one of the best tablets on the market given its recent price drop. According to this internal document T-Mobile is claiming that they have received “legal approval” to “definitively” state that the G-Slate is more than “2x faster than the iPad2 on AT&T and Verizon, and over 3x faster than the Motorola Xoom.”"
T-Mobile is referring to carrier data speeds here. Marketing the LG Slate based on it's "4G" connectivity is a questionable move because the G-Slate can only do 14.4Mbps, not the full 42Mpbs that T-Mobile's 4G network is capable of. Also, they're comparing to a 3G Xoom which will get upgraded to LTE at some point. I think it would be a better idea to market the G-Slate based on it's price and features. To me, a $400 tablet with an 8.9" 1280x768 3D display, 1GB of RAM, 32GB of storage built in, 5MP rear cameras for 3D, a front 2MP camera, and 1080P 2D recording with Honeycomb all for $400 on contract sounds like a great deal to me!
What are your thoughts? Do any of you have the G-Slate? Does the carrier network connectivity speed make that much of a difference to you on a tablet?