Google has released the numbers for the different platform versions accessing the Android Market ending Aug. 1, and there are no big surprises. Froyo still leads the pack with over 55 percent of devices running it, down about 10 percentage points because we're seeing a jump in devices running Android 2.3.3 or 2.3.4. The full breakdown is in the chart above, but if we take a quick comparison to the last time we looked at numbers, we see Android 1.5 shrinking by 0.4 percentage points, Android 1.6 dropping a half-percentage point, Eclair dropping a whopping 6 percentage points, and Honeycomb being split up into three versions for 1.3 percent total, up a full percentage point.
In simpler terms, like the ones used for other mobile operating systems, only 3.3 percent of all Android phones are not running version 2.x of the OS. In more realistic terms, well outside of any reality distortion machinery, 18.3 percent of Android phones can't run applications designed for all devices. It's a number that's slowly improving, and we hope to see the trend continue.
When we last read about the fate of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia, things looked pretty bleak. Apple had succeeded in it's plan to innovate in the courtroom instead of the engineering department, and Samsung was blocked from selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the land down under by Aussie courts. Today we read about an interesting twist on this whole mess, one that's good news for Android fans. Samsung Electronics Australia has said in a statement that this particular legal action relates to a variant of the Tab 10.1 that they weren't planning on selling in Australia. They went further, saying that the Tab 10.1 will be released in Australia "in the near future".
Samsung hasn't provided any additional details, and we're left wondering exactly what this means. Could Samsung be planning on selling the 10.1v in Australia, or are there other variations that would place a Tab destined for Australia outside this legal finding? We're not sure, and Samsung isn't saying. We are sure, however, that no matter what Samsung does or which product gets released, Apple will funnel countless dollars towards getting it blocked. It should be interesting, to say the least.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1's UK launch is nearly upon us, with Londoners getting the first chance to buy Sammy's latest tablet tomorrow afternoon local time (we'll be there!). Samsung is wasting no time in drumming up a little hype around the Tab 10.1, with three new British TV ads for the device showcasing its thinness, lightness and speed compared to an unnamed, fruit-themed competitor.
These ads similar to what we've seen from Samsung in other territories, but they at least show the manufacturer's committed to directly pursuing the iPad's market share on an international scale. Check the new ads for yourself after the jump.
It's been about six months since we got our first look at NVIDIA's quad-core test platform -- codenamed "Kal-El" -- and it pretty much floored us. The initial window for seeing any sort of Kal-El device at the time was said to be August. But initial time frames are just that -- initial.
NVIDIA now tells us the following:
“Project Kal-El-powered tablets are coming this Fall, and phones around the CES 2012 timeframe.”
You read that right. We'll see quad-core phones about a year after first seeing dual-core phones and tablets. Now that doesn't mean you'll be buying a quad-core phone come CES (which is scheduled for Jan. 10-13), but figure if they're announced then, we could see them in the spring or early summer.
One other thing of note: While people have been throwing around the Tegra 3 name for the next-gen platform (NVIDIA's dual-core platform is Tegra 2), Kal-El is still just a code name, and Tegra 3's not official. Just sayin'.
Regardless, as powerful as 2011 has been, 2012's going to be even more so. Hit the break for our hands-on with Kal-El from Mobile World Congress.
Samsung recently confirmed that its Touchwiz UX update would start rolling out to early adopters after a special launch event on Aug. 3 in New York City. For those of us who already purchased a tablet, this is the "optional" update that Samsung told us about when they launched the Tab 10.1 back in June. If you don't have a Tab yet but plan on purchasing one in the coming months, expect this to be the software your device ships with.
While the normal update isn't available yet, Calkulin over at XDA developers was able to compile a stable ROM using the Touchwiz leak that appeared long enough to be nabbed by t3rabyte before Samsung pulled it again. The ROM appears to be completely stock (all files, including "bundled software" appear to be present) so I thought it would be a good time to preview the changes you should expect, and why you just might want to accept the update when it comes. Join me after the break as I go over what you can expect.
Interestingly, you're instructed to remove any widgets or app icons that point to the Pulse news reader app. No explanation as to why. But the different versions of the Galaxy Tab can be a bit finicky, so we're doing as we're told.
Gameloft has announced that through the first half of 2011, they have hit €76.8 Million (about 110 million USD) in sales, which is up 15 percent from last year. Smartphone and tablet sales are up 55 percent, and account for 30 percent of the total. The second quarter alone saw €37.4 million (about 53 million USD), which is up 11 percent, even with the weak US dollar -- using a constant rate of exchange those sales grew by 16 percent. These second quarter sales break down to 33 percent from Europe, 28 percent from North America, and 39 percent for the rest of the world.
Gameloft expects to launch 20 new smartphone and tablet games during the second half of this year, so their outlook for sustained growth of this nature is good. While they may not have the best distribution model for the Android platform, you have to admit their games are very well done. We're looking forward to what's coming from Gameloft, and I'm sure more than a few of you guys are, too. Hit the break for the full announcement.
Samsung today announced that the University of Southern Mississippi (Southern Miss, to those of us from south of the Mason-Dixon Line) has purchased 1,000 Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablets to provide to students in its Honors College pilot program.
It's not all fun and games -- the tablets will be preloaded with Blackboard Mobile, so they can do some of that learning stuff we hear goes on in colleges. The rest of the time? We know what they'll be doing.
Android tablets are great educational (and babysitting) tools. And it's with that in mind that we take a look at Kids Maps, as reviewed by a soon-to-be 5-year-old.
Kids Maps is really nicely done, blurring the line between puzzle and teaching tool. You've got 50 states, and you have to put them in the right place. When a new state appears, you get a quick fact about it. For instance: Polar bears live in Alaska. Betcha didn't know that.
Gameplay's really simple -- you just drag the state to the empty map. Dragging is smooth, but it's pretty easy to just drag the state around until it finds the right spot, as you'll see my little cheater do in the video. If you do manage to drop the state in the wrong place more than a couple times, it'll outline the correct spot.
There aren't many options to this one -- you can choose either to place states randomly, or receive them alphabetically, which can be helpful if someone's having to learn the states in alphabetical order.
The game itself is really nice done, with nice music and clear speech and instructions. Our only real complaints are that 50 states are a lot to do in one sitting -- perhaps breaking it down by regions might make things a little more fun. Also, more facts will make playing it a second and third time a little more fun. But if you've got a budding geography expert who also loves puzzles, you could spend $2.99 worse ways.
We've got download links after the breaks if you want to give Kids Maps a go.
Looking for something cool but not overly useful to do with your Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1? Might as well check out the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9" retail mode that has been loaded onto it since Samsung saw fit to leave it on there. As you can tell from the video above, it's as you would expect -- just a demo video of what the device is capable of in addition to showing off the new TouchWiz UI. Here is how you can do it:
Update your Galaxy Tab if you haven't
Go to Categories > Utilities
Install the 8.9" retail mode app
Launch the app, press OK and then enter the password 5444
Check the "Service Enable" box -- it will be on a new screen, and then press the lock button.
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