I know everyone and their cousin gets tired of the iPhone vs. Android fanboy slugfest, but that's not what we're about this time. Allyson, one of our pals over at TiPb, took some time to compare the Samsung Galaxy S Captivate against her iPhone 4. Frankly, it's a refreshing break from the Mobile OS wars. She makes plenty of good points, talks about the faults on both sides, and turned out something that was a great read.
I agree with a lot of her commentary, disagree with some, but can't take serious issue with any of it. Go have a look before the internet is completely taken over by Cupertino death grip videos.
First, the good: Dell has confirmed that its 5-inch Streak mini-tablet will get Android 2.2 later this year through an over-the-air update. It will, however, still launch with Android 1.6. It will be available in black at launch, and in cherry red later.
Now, the not so good: Despite previous reports, it won't support T-Mobile's 3G network. In fact, Dell says the Streak "will not be certified for T-Mobile operation overall." That's not necessarily to say it won't work on EDGE, it's just that nobody will be responsible if you fry a few brain cells in the process.
Also, the presale window is still coming "this week." Accessories will be part of it, as will free next-day shipping and a 99-cent Plantronics Bluetooth headset. As soon as the presale goes live, we'll let you know. Oh, and Dell's made a video showing off the Streak, running Android 2.1, no less. Check it out after the break. [Dell] Thanks, wondercoolguy!
Kmart and Android are names you probably never though would be uttered in the same breath, but in their weekly circular the discount retailer has a 7-inch tablet, running Android 2.1 on sale for $149.99. Before you say "meh" and click away, this one has a bit better specs than what we've seen for ultra-cheap Android tablets so far:
800x480 TFT display
800 Mhz CPU
256 MB RAM
2 GB internal memory
On board WiFi, and a SD/MMC card slot
The weekly Kmart ad shows the tablet on sale through July 31. I've been on the phone with every Kmart in a 200 mile radius, and it seems none has received any stock as of yet, but several stores claim they should have them on the shelves by Thursday July 29. With a little bit of hacking, and a little bit of Froyo, this might be the first Android tablet worth buying. If we can get our hands on one we'll be sure to let you know. [Augen US via Engadget and Kmart] Thanks Charles!
A report by the Guardian states that Android smartphone sales in the UK have tripled since the beginning of the year. Now one in 10 handsets sold in the United Kingdom is running Android, and contract market share has grown by 10.2 percentage points since the first quarter.
The HTC Desire and HTC Legend remain the most popular handsets in the UK, but Samsung has recently released the Galaxy S, which will present another attractive option for customers. HTC's Wildfire also presents an attractive smartphone at a lower price, which will bring consumers into the market who can't afford the high-end phones.
These are pretty staggering numbers, but most impressive is the Android name gaining traction:
"The figures suggest an increasing number of consumers are now asking for Android handsets by name," said GfK analyst Megan Baldock. "Operating systems are no longer simply a by-product but a key selling point in their own right."
Apple has done an amazing job marketing the iPhone to be synonymous with a smartphone. However, Android has done a remarkable job in a short time of branding itself and it will only continue to grow. [The Guardian]
If you have what it takes, Logitech needs you to be the "Host with the Most" to help roll out the Logitech Revue, the first Google TV set-top box. What does it take you ask? Besides having a knack for hosting awesome parties and a love of technology, they're looking for someone with:
Some social media experience and networks established (including but not limited to a personal blog and accounts on Twitter, Facebook and/or YouTube)
Must be authorized to work in the United States
Must reside in Los Angeles, San Francisco or New York City, or be willing to relocate/commute to one of those cities for the duration of the campaign (approximately September 15 – November 15).
Relocation costs not covered by Logitech.
A Bachelors Degree (preferred)
This is a paid gig that would have you working for Logitech, in one of their uber-cool Logitech lofts -- swanky penthouse style condos fit for royalty, or Elvis. Head over to the source link to sign up!. And if you win, don't forget your pals here at Android Central :) [Logitech]
Google Maps just served notice to every other location-based business app out there with the introduction of "Places." A tie-in with Google Maps, it makes it super easy to find any kind of, well, place. It's location-based, so it knows where you are, it's fast, and pretty soon it's going to know what you want before you do. Here's Places in Google's own words:
Search for several convenient types of places with the default categories or add your own for your most frequent searches. You can also use the search bar at the top to type or speak any query. I tend to use the “coffee” search a lot, but I’ve also looked for “gas stations” on the road, “ice cream shops” in my neighborhood, and even specific places like “Chelsea Market” on a recent trip to New York.
Also added are more details of the individual businesses, such as parking, prices and menu items. And it's only a matter of time before Google adds some sort of check-in service, right? [Google Mobile Blog]
Facebook sync has been borked for a few days now. That's not news to a good many of you, judging by our inbox and a slew of postsin our forums. We're still waiting to hear back from Facebook, but HTC absolutely is on the case, and while they're tracking down exactly what's going on, they've given us a possible workaround:
Try adding a city and state to your current job in Facebook.
Try deleting your current company in Facebook.
We'll update you with more just as soon as we get it. But hang in there, everybody. They're working on it.
The Library of Congress has seen fit to specifically exempt rooting and jailbreaking (for the iPhone) from the DMCA. This means that it is now 100 percent legal to root to your heart's content without fear of legal action taken against you. Check out the exact wording:
"Computer programs that enable wireless telephone handsets to execute software applications, where circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of enabling interoperability of such applications, when they have been lawfully obtained, with computer programs on the telephone handset."
This does not mean that HTC, Motorola, and other manufactures can't (or won't) continue to try to keep their devices locked down; it just means they can't sic the lawyers on you if you do choose to root.
In what just may be the coolest bit of programming I've ever seen on any platform, the developers of BlindType have uploaded a video showing off their keyboard designed for anyone. This isn't out yet, so it definitely didn't make it into the Android Central keyboard roundup, but this would definitely be right at the top of the list if it had been. The keyboard is designed to be extremely fault-tolerant, which is great if you want to type without looking at your phone or if you can't be bothered by pesky things like accuracy or spelling. It also adjusts the size of the keyboard based on the way you're typing and resizes itself on the fly, and can be used with the keyboard visible or not. In the video it's shown running on an iPhone and an iPad, but an Android is promised right on the developer homepage. Check the video after the break. [via Engadget]
Last month we ran a story about the front-QWERTY keyboard Galaxy Q phone that Samsung reportedly plans to add to their Galaxy line. More specs have now leaked out about the likely BlackBerry competitor.
The Samsung Galaxy Q will have:
3-inch Super AMOLED screen (720x480)
1 GHz Hummingbird processor
8MP camera with LED flash
1.3 mp front-facing camera
16GB internal memory (Micro SD expandable to 32GB)
Since it is being touted as a BlackBerry competitor, it will most likely have the screen up top with the keyboard directly below. It sounds like a very intriguing phone, and it will be interesting to see how many BlackBerry users may be swayed by the Galaxy Q. [MobileCrunch]
On July 24, the online code hosting and storage site GitHub hit a huge milestone -- 1 million projects hosted. That's a whole lotta source code! GitHub is important to Android, as many of our developers host code there (including Android favorite CyanogenMod), and the Linux kernel itself is hosted there. It's great seeing open source flourish in today's competitive market.
GitHub is a free service, and they stay afloat by offering private code repositories to large corporations and software companies. Anyone thinking of starting an open-source project would be wise to consider using their services. [Github via TechCrunch]
The Mobi Products skin case for the Sprint Evo 4G protects your Evo from bumps and scratches and feels great in the hand while doing it. Made of some secret variety of rubber, it feels like silicon without the slipperiness. It wraps your phone completely, leaving only the touchscreen, capacitive buttons, and the speaker grille (including LED and prox/light sensors) uncovered for ease of use and maximum protection. The skin has cutouts for all the ports and microphone, as well as the kickstand, camera/flash and rear speaker. Most importantly for the Evo 4G, the skin is thick enough so that laying the phone on it's back still keep the camera lens from making contact with whatever surface it's laying on. This alone makes the Mobi skin a perfect case for your Evo.
The material is also coated in a special anti-dust and anti-slip coating, and this is one time that a product lives up to it's billing. I live on a dirt road, and everything in the office collects dust -- everything but this case that is. It will grab a little pocket lint, but a quick shake (after taking your phone out of course!) and a flick of the finger will send that lint straight to oblivion.
The fit is great, tight enough to stay on while slipping in and out of your pocket, but easy to put on by stretching it around the four corners of your phone. The sides wrap completely around the bezel, and should offer great protection from an occasional bump on the corners. The Mobi Products skin case is available in several colors at the Android Central Store for $9.95. There's a slew of other pics after the break, check em out.
HTC has announced it will introduce SLCD screens to its manufacturing of the Nexus One and Desire later this summer.
The Desire and Nexus One originally have been manufactured with AMOLED screens, which have been in short supply of late, leading to a pretty major backorder on the Droid Incredible on Verizon. HTC previously said it was augmenting Droid Incredible production with SLCD screens.
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