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2 years ago

Hands-on with the Archos 35 Home Connect and Smart Home Phone

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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.

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 4G for Verizon now available for pre-order

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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.

Source: Verizon; Thanks, Chris!

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2 years ago

Hands-on with the Archos G9 tablets (Update: Video!)

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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.

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2 years ago

Barnes & Noble stores to be first Angry Birds 'magic place,' exclusive to the Nook Color

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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.

Source: BusinessWire; More: GigaOm

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2 years ago

Google goes social with Google+

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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.

Source: Google Blog; More: Google+

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2 years ago

Toshiba shows off the Thrive, and gives us all a chance to win one

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

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.

Via: @AndroidAshleyOfficial Contest Page

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2 years ago

Android 3.1 update for Acer Iconia Tab A500 leaks out

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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.

Source: BBS_Gfan via: XDA

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2 years ago

Zinio releases Tegra 2 optimized version of its Honeycomb eZine reader

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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.

More: Nvidia

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2 years ago

Galaxy Tab 10.1 launches in the UK on August 4

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We'd heard an August launch was on the cards, but now we know that Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 will go on general release in the UK in just under six weeks time, on Thursday, Aug. 4. In the UK, the Tab will launch with Android 3.1 Honeycomb, and we'd expect to see TouchWiz on there out of the box too, as it's featured heavily in Samsung's European promo materials.

The 3G version will also ship with a HSPA+ capable radio, though that won't do you much good in the UK just yet, as British networks have yet to roll out this technology. There's no mention of any price point, but we'd be surprised if the Wifi-only version exceeded the iPad 2's £400 asking price.

Press release is after the jump. Check out our review of the limited edition Google IO Galaxy Tab to see what you can expect from the retail version.

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2 years ago

Acer Iconia Tab A500 getting Android 3.1 on July 5 in Germany

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Acer Iconia Tab A500 owners are now getting an idea of when to expect Android 3.1. According to Acers German Facebook page the update will roll out in Germany on July 5. Sadly, no other regions dates have been announced but we take the German roll out to be a good sign that the update will come to other regions soon, rather than later.

Source: Facebook; Via Electronista

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