We've seen Ubuntu running on many an Android device, but it's especially interesting when it's on a tablet. Well, add the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 to the list of Android's that are booting up some Linux, as you can see in the video above. It's not the speediest way to use Ubuntu, because it's not a native install (think of it as a virtual machine), but it's really cool and fun to goof around with -- especially in a room full of iPad users.
The best news is that it's not hard to do at all. We've been booting Ubuntu on Android devices for a while, so the methods are pretty well figured out, and you can find an easy to follow guide (including all the needed downloads) at the source link if you feel like giving it a spin. You'll want to dig out a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard, and you'll have to be rooted, but this is a great project with a useful result -- a full desktop OS on a 10.1 inch screen. Give it a shot!
Google has updated the imagery for Street View in 13 of their Street View countries, making for the biggest update of this kind. Images for places in Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Romania, South Africa, Taiwan, Japan, the United States, and the United Kingdom have been updated (I notice Germany is noticeably absent) with new high-res panoramic images.
Street view is fun to play with on a computer or Android device. The above image is where the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, and the Horn of Africa meet at Cape Agulhas, South Africa. I'll likely never be able to find the time or money to get there, but I can at least imagine I were there right from my Android phone. Using Street View is easy as pie. Make sure you have it installed (we've got a download link after the break), open Google Maps and find a location then zoom in close enough to see its pop-up description. Then click the arrow on the description and choose Street View. It's a 360-degree view, so be sure to use your fingers to rotate around, and you can drag your "pin" along roads and paths. Not every place will have Street View enabled, so move your map pin around a bit until you pick one up. Google has a few great suggestions (including Cape Agulhas) at the source link, be sure to check them out!
Tablets were the main focus of Archos' recent London press event, but also in attendance were two more unusual Android devices -- the Archos 35 Smart Home Phone and Archos 35 Home Connect, both running Android 2.2 Froyo. The former is exactly what it sounds like -- an old-fashioned home phone based around smartphone hardware and software. The latter is a home entertainment hub, internet radio and media player combined into one device.
Join us after the jump to find out what we thought of both devices, and be sure to check out our coverage of Archos' new G9 series tablets if you haven't already.
While many folks have already snapped up their WiFi-only Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1's like they were going out of style, others have been holding out for the 3G/4G equipped version that's soon-to-be released from Verizon. If you're among those who held out, you can now hit up the Verizon site to place your pre-order for either a 16GB or 32GB version coming in your choice of color be it black or grey.
When it comes to pricing you'll be expected to fork over $529.99 for the 16GB and $629.99 for the 32GB. You'll also be required to sign up for a new two-year contract with a fitting data plan. They are as follows:
$20 for 1GB
$35 for 3GB
$50 for 5GB
$80 for 10GB
As it stands right now, orders are showing as being ready to ship in 4-6 weeks -- which may seem like and eternity if you've waited this long already. Hit the source link below for the full details.
Archos recently caused a bit of commotion by announcing two new tablets powered by Android 3.1 Honeycomb -- the Archos 80 G9 and 101 G9. Of interest was not only the 1.5GHz dual-core OMAP4 CPU, but also the price point -- $249 for the 8-inch version and $349 for the larger 10-incher. Throw in the intriguing prospect of a 250GB mechanical hard drive or 16GB of flash storage, and you've got two products that could potentially shake up the Android tablet market.
We got to try out both new Archos tablets briefly at the manufacturer's London press event today. Join us after the jump to find out what we thought.
If you happen to have a Nook Color and love Angry Birds, you're in for a treat. Rovio and Barnes & Noble have teamed up and made B&N stores the very first "magic location" for the Angry Birds game. All you have to do is play Angry Birds (the official Nook Color edition -- hackers with the Android Market version can't join the fun) while inside one of the 700 plus B&N stores and you'll unlock the Mighty Eagle character for free. If you don't have a Nook Color, or aren't using the Nook Angry Birds app, you can still check it out and the Nook Color display at any B&N location.
It's part of Rovio's magic places based gameplay, which uses NFC, GPS, and Wifi location to unlock in-game content. They have more planned, including an NFC phone fist-bump ritual that will unlock new levels. To help understand it all a little better, check out the interview with Ramine Darabiha, product manager for Angry Birds Magic and the full press release after the break.
Android app gives full access, but it's currently in private beta
Google's just taken the wraps off Google+ -- its answer to Facebook, more or less. More, actually, we believe, though for all the details and video's Google's just dropped, we don't get much in the way of actual hands-on usage.
In an oversimplified nutshell, Google+ is a series of groups, called Circles; trending topics, called Sparks; group chat (including video), dubbed Hangouts; and mobile, which includes location-based services, instant upload of photos, and Huddle (more group chat).
So Google's gone social, and not a moment too soon, though it's currently in a closed beta.
As far as the Android app is concerned: You've got a "Stream" feature, which basically is like Facebook's wall. Photos is well, photos. Huddle is group messaging. Will it finally be group messaging done right?
So that's that. Check out Google's full explanation of Google+ at the source link below, and check out video of the mobile app after the break. Other than that, not a whole lot else to do until more of us get invited.
Toshiba US is showing off the Toshiba Thrive Honeycomb tablet, and giving us all a chance to win one of our very own. Take a minute and check out the really cool unboxing video, which not only does our job for us but is chock full of CGI and special effects that show off the features of the Thrive. When you're done, you'll want to hit the official contest page and try to win one of your own.
The Thrive has all the connectivity you would ever need, with HDMI, USB, and SD card slots, and has a removable battery to extend work and play while on the go. We're looking forward to seeing them, and I imagine more than a few of you guys are as well. Check out the links below and maybe you'll get lucky and have a Thrive to call your own.
If you're the proud owner of an Acer Iconia Tab A500 then you're no doubt waiting for Android 3.1 to be rolled out -- which should be coming in July. However, if you're a risk taker you can grab the recently leaked version of Android 3.1 for the Iconia Tab and take it for a spin.
The reports thus far state that the leak is leaps and bounds better then version it shipped with but like all things, your mileage will vary. You can hit the source links below for the full details and the download link if you're looking to give a shot. Make sure you follow the instructions for the best results.
Zinio for Android just got a huge performance boost if you're using a Tegra 2 powered Honeycomb tablet. The app harnesses the GPU and uses full OpenGL ES acceleration for page turning animations, page panning and zooming, and to deliver high resolution scalable page images instead of downsizing them for your tablet. The video of Zinio in action (see it after the break) shows this in a side by side test of the old versus the new.
This was accomplished partly because the folks at Nvidia were given access to the Zinio source code, where they integrate their own code that takes most of the heavy graphical work off the CPU, and putting it all on the GPU. This is what an open platform is all about -- developers working together to deliver a superior product, with no restrictions on the build environment or code compilers. We've seen it in Tegra optimized games, and it can make a huge difference. Drop these optimizations on an already great cross-platform app that gives access to excellent content (there's tens of thousands of magazines available through Zinio), and syncs across multiple devices and you have the recipe for success. Toss in free single issues of ESPN, Harper’s Bazaar and Popular Science for new Android users and it's something you need to take a look at.
Of course, even without the Nvidia tweaks it's still an excellent app, they just make it that much better. You can find the download link (Android 3.x, free), the full press release, and the aforementioned video after the break.
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