Good news for all you bookworms: Google recently announced it will be plunging into the e-book market as early as this summer. It will be implementing some snazzy new book-search software, as well as allowing even small third-party retailers to sell their “G-books.” Google has not yet decided whether or not to price the books themselves, or let the publishers have that authority.
What’s going to make this different than the other e-book services is that “Google Editions,” as it will be called, will work on a multitude of different devices, and you can bet Android will get in the game soon enough, given Google's "Mobile first" strategy. The competition in this market is already fierce, with juggernauts like Apple and Amazon leading the way – but we’re sure that it won’t take long to catch up.
We know that the Droid Incredible has been rather hyped up, getting some killer reviews, and loved by nearly everyone who was lucky enough to get one. After hearing about the Snapdragon processor, and the internal memory, and all the other fancy features of the device, did it leave you wondering what it all looked like inside? You weren't the only one. The guys over at TechRestore had the same idea, and wanting to share their findings with everyone, so they put together a rather creative unboxing and disassembly video for all of us. Do the internals look asirresistible as the external does? Check the video after the jump to find out for yourself! [TechRestore (Youtube) via Engadget]
We're not quite sure of any fun way to spin it: The Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 -- languishing with Android 1.6 and a clumsy first-generation of the Timescape and Mediascape interface -- is now slated to get a major software overhaul ... in the fourth quarter of this year.
According to the Sony Ericsson Product Blog, the major improvements will be:
Upgrade to Android OS version 2.1
HD video recording as per the same execution as Sony Ericsson Vivaz
Wireless home connectivity via DLNA
Improvements to signature applications Timescape and Mediascape to make them even smarter and richer
And those are welcome improvements -- if they were coming tomorrow. But October's a smartphone lifetime away. And that's one of the biggest problems we're seeing with Android fragmentation. The OS is progressing so quickly that custom interfaces just can't keep up. Granted there was a major shift between Android 1.x and 2.x, but still. For The Xperia line (the X10 Mini and X10 Mini Pro will get Android 2.1 updates in Q4, too) to get their updates nearly a year after Android 2.1 was first released is, sadly, laughable. [SE Product Blog]
Adobe is certainly loving Android these days. Adobe's latest love letter: showcasing a prototype Android tablet running Flash and Adobe Air apps "flawlessly". At the Web 2.0 Expo, an Android tablet was caught running Flash and Air apps, and it was well, running very well. Given that Flash extends the usefulness of tablet devices, to have it this usable in an Android tablet would certainly give it a leg up against, say, an iPad.
However, we do have to stay realistic in what this demo means for Android devices in the future. The demo was shown by Adobe and the device is a prototype (we have no idea what hardware is behind it), we can't expect all Android devices to run Flash so well. Let's just hope all the kinks are worked out before Flash comes in Android 2.2.
Hit the jump to see Flash in action on the Android tablet! [zedomax via engadget]
Go ahead and watch this video (after the break) of the Sprint HTC Evo 4G, but know this: The phone is not quite as short or as fat as it appears in this clip. Sadly, the same can't be said for some of us around here. [Youtube] Thanks, jxc!
Hey look, it's a commercial for the Samsung Galaxy S! If the spot looks familiar to you, good job eagle eye, it's basically a 30-second version of Samsung's CTIA presentation for the Galaxy S. For those unfamiliar, it's a neat, comic book-like interpretation of how an awesome phone influences your daily life. Familiar or not, just watch it! [via androidguys]
When we last left the saga of the HTC Hero ROM update, we were expecting it to come sometime this week. And the above leaked screen shot says that the update -- which we're hoping beyond hope is in fact Android 2.1 -- will "be in stores by this Friday, May 7." The note also says that the update will be available on HTC's website, will wipe the phone and could cause seizures in small pets. You've been warned. [XDA Developers] Thanks, Sporky!
There are a few good task managers in the Android Market, but I've been looking for a simple way to access my Google tasks lists. Looks like Kevin over at Lifehacker stumbled across something that certainly does the trick. Fire up your Android web browser and head to Google tasks mobile for Android [http://mail.google.com/tasks/android] for a slick web interface to Google tasks built just for the Android web browser. Does everything I want without all the overhead, and leaves precious app space for important things like Farm Frenzy. If you're like me and just want a simple way to access your Google tasks, you gotta have a look. [via Lifehacker]
You gotta hand it to Cellular South. While major carriers (cough, AT&T) pass on the best devices Android has to offer, the best-kept secret in the Deep South promises "a whole new lineup of Android smartphones" including "one very special phone -- a true game-changer." We'll have to wait for the curtain to come off before we find out if that's the HTC Desire, which already has been confirmed for Cellular South, or whether it has another trick up its sleeve. [Cellular South] Thanks, Jeff, for the tip.
The beautiful HTC Legend, with its unibody build and clean lines, is coming. The guys at Engadget have discovered that the HTC Legend has just cleared the FCC and is packing 850/1900 MHz 3G bands which means its just perfect for AT&T, Rogers, Telus, and other Canadian carriers. Which means that the HTC Legend is on its way to North America. Which is awesome.
We've spent some time with the HTC Legend and though it doesn't pack the spec punch of a Droid Incredible or Evo 4G, its uber-sexy design almost makes up for it. If it heads to AT&T, then AT&T's currently underwhelming Android lineup becomes instantly respectable. If it heads to Canada, then their already impressive roster of Android phones becomes even more envy inducing. Please AT&T, go and get this phone.
We'll preface this by saying we don't have any idea what's going on in the Sean Kingston-Justin Bieber super-smash-top 40-drop-it-like-it's-hot song "Eenie Meenie" other than there are a lot of 12-year-olds at a party complaining about "shorties" who are wasting their time. Oh, and there's a quick cameo by the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 and its Timescape UI, which may also be considered by some as wasting people's time. Video after the break, if you're into that sort of thing. [via Twitter]
You, sir (or madam) are not Oprah Winfrey. And so, you'll have to wait until the Sprint Evo 4G actually launches before you can get your hands on it. (For that matter, we're not Oprah, either, but color us special for having our own hands-on with the Evo 4G.) Anyhoo, the first lady of daytime advertised featured the upcoming device recently as part of her "No Phone Zone" campaign to help stop people from texting while driving. Check out the video after the break. Thanks, dtblair24.
Bumptop, a 3D desktop manager that's been implemented in Windows 7 and OS X, has just been bought out by the Google. Bumptop was a ridiculously slick experience that beautifies and changes the way you use your desktop. It was intended for touch-based devices such as tablets and offered users a 3D-space to store their files. We're not sure what Google has planned for Bumptop but if they decided to use it in future Android phones or ChromeOS tablets, we would be very happy. If Google just wanted to outbid Apple on another purchase, well, we would not be so happy.
If you want to get to know Bumptop before the plug gets proverbially pulled, the app will still be available for download for the next week, free of charge. Check out the video after the jump to see how Bumptop works, and see if it can translate to the Android (or ChromeOS) platform. What do you guys think? [via engadget]
Swype - your favorite finger sliding keyboard is diving head-first into the mainstream phone market. The small company, which only employs 27 people, estimates it will be on over 10 million smartphones by the end of this year. Chances are you’ll be seeing Swype on some future handsets from any of the four major US cell providers -- so those “hunting and pecking” days just might be over.
Phones aren’t the only thing that Swype can be applied to; the company has big plans to integrate its software into some of the upcoming Android tablets, and a 12-inch Swype keyboard is enough to impress almost anyone. Even with all this expanding and growth, Swype has expressed no interest in a partnership with Apple -- which is A-OK with us Android users. If you're new to Swype, head on over to our Keyboard Roundup and see if it's right for you!
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