It's a long weekend for some but that hasn't stopped the Android news from flowing, nor has it stopped the discussions happening in the Android Central forums. If got something on your mind, a question to ask or just want to hang out -- join us in there.
No real change in specs, so far as we unofficially know. You're likely still looking at a 4-inch(ish) slider with what our original tipster believed may be a Super AMOLED Plus screen (or maybe it's just the shine of a qHD resolution), with about 2GB of storage, a 5MP camera on the back and 1.3MP shooter on the rear. Plus it's got 4G LTE data. Huzzah.
Then there's there's the Pantech Breakout, seen here at right. That's another one we broke the news on a week or so ago. It's got a 4-inch display at the usual 480x800 res, with a 1GHz processor, 512MB of RAM, 390 MB of internal storage and an 8GB microSD card. It's got a 5MP shooter on the back and a VGA camera up front. It's also a 4G LTE device, serving as a mobile hotspot for up to 10 devices. It's rocking a custom skin atop Android 2.3.
Still no official word on when either of these could be launched.
We've previously reported on launch schedules for Sony's Tablet S in Canada and the United Kingdom, but it now seems like the final piece in the puzzle is in place. The device has gone up for pre-order in the US with shipping dates "on or about" September 16, and prices starting at $499 for the 16GB version.
The date ties in with what we've already heard for Canadian and British customers and seems to indicate that Sony is going for a global launch on this one. Elsewhere, Amazon.com is also showing a shipping date of September 16.
Still no word on North American dates for the dual-screen Tablet P though, so if that's more your thing, the wait may be to be a bit longer.
British online retailer Clove Technology is first to reveal details of pricing and availability for the Sony Ericsson's Xperia Arc S, which was announced last week at IFA in Berlin. According to an entry on its blog, Clove will sell the Arc S for £350 SIM-free, with units expected to start shipping out on Sept. 26. Clove will initially stock the Arc S in "pure white" and "midnight blue".
The Xperia Arc S is a minor hardware refresh, with a faster 1.4 GHz CPU compared to the 1 GHz chip in the original. Sony Ericsson says the more advanced CPU brings 25% faster camera start-up time, 20% faster web rendering and improved battery life. All welcome changes as far as we're concerned.
You can find pre-order links for both flavors of Arc S over at the source link.
What would you give up to pack more features into an Android tablet? Would you be willing to sacrifice thinness? Accept a little more weight, or a design that's not quite as svelte as another tablet?
That's the ring in which the Acer Iconia Tab A500 has found itself. On the one hand, it's done much to differentiate itself from other Android Honeycomb tablets, which thus far all have the same internals, by packing on the ports and offering an interesting user interface. But these added features mean tradeoffs. But while the Acer Iconia Tab A500 (henceforth the Iconia Tab) might not be the smallest or lightest Android tablet around, that doesn't mean it should be overlooked.
Last Friday we reported that a RUU (ROM update utility) containing an early beta build of Android 3.2 Honeycomb for the Flyer tablet had leaked out online. Over the past couple of days, Android hacking giants including MoDaCo's Paul O'Brien have been busy turning the leaked RUU into a flashable ROM for rooted users. As work slowly progresses, XDA forum member globatron has managed to get the software up and running on his 32GB 3G Flyer, and has posted a couple of early screenshots to prove it.
As you can see above, it looks a lot like the software currently shipping on HTC's new Jetstream tablet. UI elements look similar, and the software purports to be running the same version of Sense as the Jetstream -- 1.1 for Tablet. Right now we're still a little way off seeing this available as an easily-flashable zip file, and even further away from it being pushed out as an official update. However long it takes, we're sure Flyer owners will welcome the chance to get their hands on the fully tablet-optimized version of Android.
I think I've already established that I like me some words. Give me something that forces my noggin to make sense of a nebulous jumble of letters and I'm a happy man. Plus, maybe (hopefully!) it'll keep me from going senile when I'm old.
Because of this obsession with vocabulary and words, I bring you Word Ball. Word Ball is a game where you make words by tapping on letters in differently colored balls. Spell out something lengthy or use an uncommon letter and your word is worth more points.
You advance from level to level by hitting a point barrier. For example, you can't get out of level one until you've earned 100 points. Hit 100 and you're off to, you guessed it, level two. The kicker is that if you lollygag a bit too long, certain letters start to shrink and eventually disappear from the screen. (How are you supposed to spell kumquat now?)
The other challenge is keeping track of all your letters. Like I mentioned in the video, with so many colors floating around, during any kind of extended play period, I get a mad headache. I think that's just me, but it's something to be aware of. Your eyes are going to be scanning, nonstop, for the letters you need.
Overall, I think Word Ball is pretty darn cool. If you're looking to sharpen your wordionado skills, I'd this is definitely something to look at. Word Ball goes for 99 cents in the Android Market.
Here's a great demo of the drawing capabilities on the Samsung Galaxy Note, that gianormous 5.3-inch uber-drawing/notetaking smartphone. Of course, you're going to need some sort of artistic talent to begin with, but you get a sense of how detailed you can get with the stylus. Check it out after the break.
If July's sub-£400 price drop wasn't enough to tempt you to splash out on a Motorola Xoom in the UK, then British retailer Dixons is hoping a further reduction of £70 will push you over the edge. Dixons is currently listing the Wifi-only version of Moto's original Honeycomb tablet for £329.99 (~$530), with the Wifi and 3G version now reduced to £399.99 (~$650).
It's no secret that the Xoom hasn't exactly been a runaway success, so it shouldn't surprise anyone to see retailers trying to clear stock before yet more Android tablets arrive in the fourth quarter. However, we have to wonder if a £330 price tag will be enough to tempt buyers away from Samsung's thinner, lighter Galaxy Tab 10.1, which can be had for as little as £370 if you shop around. Fellow Brits, would you consider dropping £330 on a Xoom at this point? Let us know in the comments.
First up, new specs on the Ruby, courtesy of DroidSans: It's looking to be very much like a souped-up Sensation, with a similar 4.3-inch display at qHD (960x540) resolution, 8MP camera with flash. But the powerplant's been beefed up, moving to a dual-core, 1.5GHz processor (up from a mere 1.2GHz), and a full 1GB of RAM. And it's going from 4GB of internal storage to a monster 16GB. Toss in Android 2.3.5 and Sense 3.5, and HTC's best and brightest from mere months ago is already seeing a hefty upgrade. No complaints from us.
As for when we'll see it? A new leaked roadmap from TmoNews points to a possible October launch, and that jibes with a previous leak. That's plenty close, but if true, we can't help but wonder how it's going to leave current Sensation 4G owners feeling.