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4 years ago

Time to Tab my way: portable media center

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When the weather permits I'm the kind of fella who likes to sit outside and enjoy a bit of fresh air.  That doesn't mean I like to sit quietly and enjoy nature though -- I need to take my toys out with me.  That means a laptop to do a little work with, and now my Galaxy Tab 10.1 with the multimedia dock and a set of desktop speakers from my local big box store. 

 

For watching video, listening to music, or kicking back in the Android Central Turntable.fm room listening to the jams, this setup rocks.  It lets me keep my laptop free for working, no pausing video and switching tabs and windows every five minutes, and the viewing angle is just perfect while my Tab is in the dock.  Plus you can plug the dock in to AC power to keep things charged, or use the 30 pin passthrough connector with the Samsung dongle for HDMI access.  The built in speakers on the Tab work while it's docked, but there's also a 3.5mm audio jack on the multimedia dock to connect a set of speakers to if you need a bit more volume -- handy to drown out the chorus of mockingbirds that seems to start right around dusk here at the homestead.

The best part?  Everything is portable.  When it's raining or cold, and I'm forced to stay indoors the dock and speakers can sit right on my desk or coffee table and still let me enjoy a little video or audio from my Tab, and the whole set-up makes for a hell of a bedside clock if you set it up on your nightstand.  If you like to use your Galaxy Tab as a media consumption device, you ought to check one of these out.  I've tossed a couple pictures of the dock itself after the break.

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4 years ago

Vizio tablet gets its first OTA update

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The Vizio tablet has an OTA upgrade rolling out, and while it's not a version upgrade to Honeycomb it does look to address a few nags we have with the software -- namely the application launch speed and scrolling between screens.  If you have a look at our review, you'll see that the VIA software on the tablet seems slower than we liked, and full of shiny animations that look good but don't really add to the experience that much.  Better scrolling and faster app loading will go a long way towards making the software more tolerable.  Toss in better touchscreen response and even more devices in the IR remote control database (both of which we already found working quite well), and QVGA video support and we won't complain.  If you haven't already got your notice to upgrade, you should see it soon as long as you're connected to Wifi.

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4 years ago

HTC Jetstream, LG Thrill 4G available today on AT&T

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The HTC Jetstream 10-inch Honeycomb tablet and LG Thrill 4G Android smartphone are available today on AT&T. The Jetstream's going for a rather ridiculous $699 with a two-year contract, and LTE data plans start at $14.99 for 250MB. Or, you can buy it for $849 outright. The LG Thrill's running a more realistic $99 on contract, or $449 outright.

Source: AT&T (Thrill 4G, Jetstream)

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4 years ago

Google Voice for Android updated with tablet support

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The Google Voice app just received another update this evening, bumping it to version 4.2.34 and bringing a very short (but welcome) change log -- tablet support.  We've seen just how easy it is to sideload the app onto your tablet, and plenty of folks noticed the way the action bar looks more tablet-like in the update a few days ago, but now it's more official with it sitting right in the Market, waiting for you to download it.

So get to it -- link is after the break.

Thanks, Daves!

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4 years ago

Latest Android version numbers released, 84% of devices running Android 2.2 or higher

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Google has just released the latest set of Android version numbers, and the overall trend of legacy version numbers dropping continues.  There's no drastic changes, but a quick look at the chart above lets us see that numbers for Donut and Cupcake are now in the "also ran" category with each under two percent, and Eclair is steadily dropping compared to last monthFroyo (Android 2.2) still leads the pack with over 50 percent of all devices using the Android Market running it, but we see a nice boost in the number of phones running gingerbread, with numbers for Android 2.3 climbing over six percentage points.  With Gingerbread updates rolling out or in the works for the Dinc, Droid 2, Droid X, and more, we expect another significant increase next month.

Interestingly, Honeycomb growth seems to have stalled with a measly 0.1 percent increase since August.  It looks like most folks buying into the Android eco-system today prefer it on their smartphones.  We expect that number will change this holiday season.

Source: Android Developers

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4 years ago

Amazon's Kindle tablet said to be all Amazon atop Android, with nary a Google app in sight

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We've been patiently sitting back and watching the rumors surrounding Amazon's supposed Android tablet, because, frankly, that's all they've been. Rumor and conjecture. But TechCrunch's MG Siegler this afternoon has penned a first-person opus, detailing time with a test unit. We'll not attempt to steal any thunder here -- definitely go read the full post linked below. But here are the big strokes:

  • It's a 7-inch tablet-style device.
  • It's running Android, insofar as that's what's under the hood. But much like the Nook Color, it doesn't look like Android in the least.
  • Don't bother looking for Google apps, or the Android Market. They're not there. That's hardly a surprise, that Amazon has the Amazon Appstore, which will purchase and load Android apps just fine. Amazon Cloud Player and Amazon Instant Video will be deeply integrated. The Kindle app is the default reader, natch.
  • And because it's off the reservation, don't bother looking for Honeycomb or Ice Cream Sandwich updates. This thing's totally on its own.
  • Cost will be $250, same as the Nook Color.
  • And expect Amazon to market the hell out of it online.

Really, none of that's unexpected in an Android tablet, right? Makes sense. A custom, separate version of Android -- which is exactly what an embedded OS is supposed to be able to do -- chock full of Amazon features and services.

It'll still be interesting to see how a post-Nook Color Amazon tablet will compete. The Kindle's no longer the only game in town, and Barnes & Noble has a pretty good leg up by being a brick-and-mortar organization as well, plus it's got its excellent in-store customer training, which has to take a lot of the scare factor out of using the Nook. (One could argue that a proper tablet UI doesn't need any sort of training, but we digress.)

Matching the price of the Nook Color is a must. And Siegler's description of the custom UI makes it sound like it'll definitely be less tablet and more e-reader -- another must for Amazon here.

And the muddied waters remain muddied here. Will an Amazon tablet encroach on the e-reader space? Or the tablet space? Or both? And will it appeal to the hacker masses like the Nook Color? News at 11, folks.

Read: Amazon’s Kindle Tablet Is Very Real

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4 years ago

Honeycomb for the HTC Flyer leaks out, custom ROM is planned soon

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Want a solid aluminum 7-inch Android tablet that runs Honeycomb?  If you're sporting an HTC Flyer, today may be your lucky day.  The first Honeycomb RUU has been leaked out, and more important, we get word that our favourite hacker from across the pond (see what I did there?), Paul O'Brien, has it and plans to work a little of his custom magic with a Flyer ROM. 

In the meantime, he has made the full RUU available for download -- with a warning that it's a "very early beta" build.  There's also the chance that flashing it will leave you with a device that can't be rooted (hello EVO 4G) or rolled back to a more stable older version.  If you like to live on the edge, or just want to tear it apart and tinker, grab it from the source link.  It also needs mentioned that this is not for the HTC View 4G -- you guys will have to wait for some cookery.

Source: MoDaCo

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4 years ago

Another day, another chance to win an HTC Thunderbolt from Waze and Android Central!

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Happy Friday ladies and gents!  What better way to start the weekend than by winning a shiny HTC Thunderbolt in the big Waze contest?  We're all winding down the day, thinking about where we'll go and what we'll do when the whistle blows at five o'clock, and chances are you'll be going out somewhere with friends or family this evening.  Be sure to take Waze along for the ride -- not only for the chance to win fabulous prizes, but because it's a pretty darn useful tool for keeping up to date on traffic, speed traps, road closings, and all those other things designed to make your Friday evening a little less fun. 

Grab Waze from their website or download it from the link after the break, make sure you register so the folks at Waze know how to find you if you win, and snack on some Android munchies while you're out tooling around.  It's fun, easy, and can snag you one hell of a prize.  Check out the Waze blog for the full details.

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4 years ago

Dual-booting TouchPad flirts with Android, reaches second base

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

Here's a new video from the folks hard at work attempting to get a usable port of Android onto the dying HP TouchPad, and more progress has been made. The touchscreen still doesn't work, which is kind of a big deal (but one they're working on), but what's new now is a bit of command-line accessible dual-boot action with Android 2.3.5. Again, not much your average weekend flasher can take advantage of -- this is still very, very pre-alpha. But the progress is exciting, and is starting to make a believer out of more of us.

Source: Team-Touchdroid; via Rootzwiki
Previous: CyanogenMod 7 seeing booting into a TouchPad

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4 years ago

Samsung has no plans to release products here that it hasn't yet announced it plans to release here

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Stories are floating around this morning lamenting Samsung having "no plans" to release the Galaxy Tab 7.7 and Galaxy Note in the United States. Apparently we need to refresh how this works.

At European shows like IFA and Mobile World Congress, you get product announcements from the likes of Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Acer, ASUS, etc. You get some hands-on time, then we return to the U.S. and hope that one day you'll see the devices here. When the original Galaxy Tab 7 was announced at IFA in August 2010, it was done so without any specific U.S. availability (just "in coming months." Same goes for the Galaxy S II and original Galaxy Tab 10.1 at MWC 2011.

That's par for the course for these European events. Products are announced. Any U.S. availability announcements generally come later, more often than not from the U.S. carriers, which will actually sell the devices. (In the case of the original 7-inch Galaxy Tab, word came just a couple weeks later, but don't use that as a benchmark.) The U.S.-based shows are usually a little different -- you'll generally get vague timetables for American release, which are very much subject to change. (Hello, Droid Bionic.)

This is PR 101. It ain't official until it's official. So when Samsung says it has "no plans" for these latest releases, it doesn't mean you'll never see the Galaxy Note or Galaxy Tab 7.7 here in the states. It just means it currently has no plans. Or, more accurately, it hasn't announced any plans. That's all.

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4 years ago

Reminder: Win an HTC Thunderbolt today from Waze and Android Central

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A friendly reminder that today's prize in the big Waze contest is an HTC Thunderbolt -- packed with LTE goodness.  With the included car dock and charger, it's not only the "ultimate traffic survival kit" but it's a cool way to use Waze while you're out doing other stuff that isn't nearly as fun.  Entering to win it is easy as can be:

  • Download Waze (m.waze.com) or via the Android Marketplace (we've got an easy link after the break)
  • Make sure you’re a registered user with an email on file (Waze needs your contact info to tell you you’ve won – check ‘Settings’ to ensure that you’re registered.)
  • Munch (drive over) as many robot road goodies as you can

See the Waze blog for all the details, and get that app downloaded and start playing!

Even though I can't win a prize (curses!) I had to load up Waze and see what all the fuss was about.  I needed something to make a trip into downtown DC a bit more fun, and decided munching some Androids would be the way to do it.  Set-up and registering was simple, and soon I was on the look out for some munchies. I soon spied one just off interstate 66, and just knew I had to have it.

Then, I noticed things started to slow down (as they are apt to do anytime you're close to Washington, DC and driving -- it's evil on the roads around here).  Slower, and slower, then we finally stopped.  The wife said, "what's this icon with the cars on your Waze app?"  After some discussion that went along the lines of me saying I didn't know, and her telling me that any Android blogger worth his salt should know these things, I figured out that tapping it would probably be the way to go here.  Sure enough, a big warning about the traffic jam I was sitting in, and had I been paying attention instead of singing Creedence Clearwater Revival songs (off-key and loudly), I may have been able to jump off the highway and missed. 

Yeah, I could have known this 19 minutes before I took the screenshot, sitting in 600 degree heat (OK, maybe only 90) on I-66 with my wife reminding me that technology has advanced far enough to keep people like me from doing stupid things if we only pay attention. 

I do know that I'll be putting the car dock up on the dash, and seriously checking out Waze on my next trip to traffic hell Washington, even if I can't win any cool Android devices.  I never did get my Android munchie, blasted traffic, but I'll get the next one.  You can, too -- hit the jump,download Waze, and be sure to holler at me if you win a Thunderbolt today.

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4 years ago

Lenovo announces the $199 Gingerbread powered IdeaPad A1 tablet

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While some other tablet manufacturers are hitting high peaks when it comes to pricing, the folks over at Lenovo feel that is seemingly the wrong way to go. Instead of releasing a really expensive Honeycomb tablet, they've stuck to announcing a $199 Gingerbread powered device that may never get upgraded to Honeycomb. The IdeaPad A1 tablet is 7 inches running Android 2.3 Gingerbread on a single-core Cortex A8 processor, and a touting a 1,024 x 600 display.

When it comes to storage, you're looking at 8GB, 16GB and 32GB - which versions will be available in the US isn't known at this time but pricing goes like this 8GB - $199, 16GB- $249 with the 32GB - $299. WiFi is on-board as well as GPS but not mention of 3G connectivity at this time, though it may come in later versions but you do get front and rear facing cameras with the better 3MP shooter being placed on the back. Plus, a SDCard and mircoSD card for watever you do so wish.  Anyone still interested in a Gingerbread tablet? You can hit the Lenovo site for more details should you need them.

Source: Lenovo

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4 years ago

Toshiba unveils AT200 “Excite” tablet, only 7.7mm thick

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And finally, after having been caught a few times ahead of announcement -- Toshiba has officially announced their new tablet. The AT200 Excite as it now shall be known as has Android 3.2 loaded and comes in at only only 7.7mm thick. Other essentials are taken care of as well here:

  • High resolution 25.7cm (10.1’’) capacitive LCD panel with LED backlight, 1,280 x 800 pixels (16:10) and multi-touch support
  • CPU: TI OMAP 4430, 1.2GHz
  • RAM 1GB DDR2
  • Internal memory with up to 64 GB
  • Micro-USB, micro-SD, micro-HDMI®, Bluetooth®, Wi-FiTM (802.11b/g/n), docking port
  • GPS, 3D Accelerometer, gyrometer, electronic compass, ambient light sensor
  • 5.0 MPixel camera (rear), 2.0 MPixel camera (front)
  • Stereo speakers (2x 1.5W)
  • Toshiba Media Player supporting a wide selection of video, picture and audio formats
  • Weight: 558g
  • Size: 256mm x 176mm x 7.7mm
  • Battery life (backlight 60nits): 8h (100% video playback). 8h (65% web browsing via WLAN 10% video playback 10%; 25% standby)

Needless to say, it sounds rather outstanding to us now that all the specs are out there. You can find the full press release past the break.

Source: Toshiba

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note official videos

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

You've seen the Samsung Galaxy Note announcements, now watch the official demo videos, where you get a good sense at how the stylus thing's going to work, as well as a few of the features of "a new type of smartphone."

One more video's after the break.

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4 years ago

Samsung unveils Galaxy Note - a new 5.3-inch, dual-core phone with a SuperAMOLED HD display

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Samsung's head of global sales and marketing, DJ Lee, has just announced a brand new "premium" smartphone at the electronics giant's IFA 2011 press conference. It's designed to fit between a traditional 3 to 4-inch phone and a tablet, and its name is the Samsung Galaxy Note.

The Galaxy Note features Android 2.3 on a thin, 5.3-inch chassis with a Super AMOLED HD display, which runs at 1280x800. Powering the device is a 1.4 GHz dual core processor, which is backed up by a massive 2500 mAh battery. Other stand-out features include stylus input for note-taking via the bundled Samsung "S Pen" pressure-sensitive pen, as well as HSPA+ data, an 8MP rear camera and 2MP front-facing shooter.

As the name suggests, Samsung is aiming to make the Galaxy Note the idea portable digital notepad. And despite its massive display size, it's just 9.65mm thick, weighin in at 178 grams.

Demonstrating the Galaxy Note at the press conference, Samsung Europe boss Andrew Coughlin said that it's intended to be a new primary device for users that need more visual realestate than can be found on a typical smartphone. Instead of switching between multiple devices, Coughlin said Galaxy Note users would be able to perform many tasks commonly associated with tablets right on their smartphone.

Samsung's S Pen, which is included with the Galaxy Note, is a pressure-sensitive stylis much like the "magic pen" included with the HTC Flyer. And like the Flyer, the Galaxy Note supports screenshot-taking and annotation across all areas of the UI. To help in the development of new apps for the platform, Sammy will be releasing the S Pen SDK in the near future, and even showcased a couple of example applications, including a collaborative whiteboard app that could be used in meetings.

We definitely can't wait to get our hands on this one, folks. More images coming your way, along with the official presser, after the jump.

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