Kinda goes without saying at this point, but you can now officially buy the Motorola Xoom Honeycomb tablet at Verizon. A mere $599 gets you 10.1 inches of Android 3.0 goodness with a dual-core Tegra 2 processor. And that sort of thing makes us happy. But do note that little asterisk next to the "Fully Flash-enabled" line -- it'll be getting Flash in a few weeks, but it's not there yet. [Verizon]
LG Electronics has issued a press release announcing that pre-sales for the Optimus Pad (check out our hands-on) will begin on March 15 for NTT DOCOMO customers in Japan. The tablet has been customized for the Japanese market, with applications like BeeTV for mobile video entertainment and the 2Dfacto app for viewing eBooks and comics.
Japanese consumers have long been known as early adopters of electronics, and it makes sense to offer the Optimus Pad on NTT DOCOMO right away. It will be an excellent opportunity to evaluate the demand for the tablet's 3D camera, as well as the more "normal" hardware that we will be seeing on more tablets this year. The press release offers no insight on pricing or an availability date, and we're not about to guess any further than expensive, and soon after. Hopefully the T-Mobile G-Slate version won't be far behind. You can read the full press release after the break.
Although the video was posted back when the Motorola XOOM was first announced, we somehow skipped over it. Nevertheless, it's a pretty awesome video so we figured it'd still be worth posting for anyone else who also may have missed it. Now all we need is for them to push it out the door so we can all have one. Until such a time, you can check out our hands-on. Thanks, Wing!
We're not exactly too sure why this took as long as it did to turn up but no matter. It's here now and that's all that really counts. The ritual dumping of the system has taken place for the Motorola XOOM and has been posted up for curious people out there to dig through and explore. If you fancy digging through the code then by all means, have at it. [XDA]
With the Samsung Galaxy S 4G on T-Mobile now available at retail outlets, Samsung hit us up to let us know about their Samsung Media Hub options on the device. Having worked closely with T-Mobile, direct carrier billing is now available for Media Hub purchases.
Whether you're looking to grab some movies or just tune into a missed episode of your favorite TV show you can now do and charges will appear on your T-Mobile bill. The best part though is the shareability factor of downloading from the Samsung Media Hub since when purchase, the content is yours and can be shared across five other devices enabled with Media Hub at no extra cost. Check out our hands on with the Samsung Galaxy S 4G here.
The first Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablet hits stores Thursday for $600 -- and missing a couple of popular features
The Motorola Xoom (or XOOM for you brand-conscious folks) is the first of the next generation of Android tablets to hit the market. It runs the new Android 3.0 "Honeycomb" version of the operating system, which was tailor-made for larger screens.
If you're just catching up, here's the deal: The Motorola Xoom goes on sale tomorrow, Feb. 24. It's a 10.1-inch Android tablet with a 1280x800 resolution display, powered by the new Nvidia Tegra 2 processor. And it's a dual-core processor at that, much like what you'd find in many laptops today. That means it can do more things at once -- like rendering graphics or outputting video -- and not have to work as hard to do it. And that means better battery life.
Other hardware specs you need to know are 32GB of storage, 1GB of RAM, a 5MP camera on the back and a 2MP camera on the front for video calling. The rear camera will record in 720p high-definition, and the Xoom can connect to your television and output movies in full 1080p.
But the Xoom also will eventually be able to take advantage of Verizon's new 4G LTE network, with really fast data speeds. It's not launching with 4G (though it does have 802.11 b/g/n Wifi for when you're near a hotspot), but it'll be upgradeable in about three months, according to an unofficial screen shot. The really bad news is that you'll have to physically send your Xoom to Motorola to be upgraded -- it's not just a software thing. That's pretty much unheard of for any smartphone or tablet, and we've got our fingers crossed that it doesn't become a logistical nightmare.
To hear Verizon talk (erm, Tweet) about it, that the Motorola Xoom tablet will have to be taken into the shop (for free!) to be upgraded to LTE is a feature waiting to happen, not a feature missing at launch. Maybe our glass is half empty, but we're not exactly looking forward to handing over new our $600 (or $800 off contract) tablet for a week's worth of work. On the other hand, it is free, and we're very much fans of Verizon's LTE data speeds thus far.
That's not to say the Xoom is a disappointment -- far from it. The LTE upgrade's going to be a hassle, but it's coming. And Flash will be here in short order. Other than that, we've been very impressed with the Xoom.
But at this point, the same old tablet question remains: For $600 (or $800) do you really need that form factor? And does the prospect of having to physically send away your Xoom for an LTE upgrade make you want to hold off? We'll find out this week as they finally go on sale nationwide.
While I often bounce back and forth between browsers on my device, I always like to check in on Firefox and see how their beta is doing. As of beta 4 I wasn't prepared to make it my default browser yet but the latest build, beta 5 is now out for everyone to test out. Some improvements have been made to the overall workings of this build so I'm going to give it a good go. Check it out the improvements:
Increased responsiveness to panning and zooming
Faster start up and page load times
Major stability improvements
The new beta 5 version is available in the Android Market right now; you'll find the download just right after the break. Leave some comments on whether or not this build is working better for you. Curious to see how many of you all out there are putting it to the test.
A minor update to Android's Gmail app has hit the Market that fixes custom labels and improves copy/paste in Gingerbread. If you have custom labels in Gmail with custom colors, they wouldn't properly sync. With this update, that should be fixed. Also updated is the ability to long-press to copy text with Android 2.3 (Gingerbread).
Here is the full update log:
Enable long press to copy text on Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) devices
Sync custom label colors
The Market link for the Gmail app is available after the break.
A new video on the official Android Developers' YouTube channel offers a fascinating look at the rise of Android since the release of the first handsets running the OS. The data spans the entire globe and shows spikes coinciding with the launch of popular phones like the Motorola Droid in the U.S. and Samsung Galaxy S worldwide. Be sure to check it out above -- it's a staggering reminder of just how far Android has come in a relatively short amount of time. [Android Developer on YouTube]
The U.S. gets it first taste of the new HTC Sense and AT&T's 4G network
The HTC Inspire 4G is AT&T's first foray into 4G data, and the carrier picked a very nice package for the debut. The Inspire is beautifully constructed with high-grade materials, and it shows the world that the Captivate wasn't just a fluke -- AT&T is seeing the light and getting on board with Android in a big way.
But like everything else, it's not perfect. Hit the break and see my impressions of the HTC Inspire 4G after using it for a week, and decide if you like what you're seeing.