Out of the fat and into the fryer -- it's time for Sprint's press event at CTIA. New handsets are a given, so let's just jump right into it. Liveblog's after the break, and the whole thing gets started at 12:30 p.m. EST.
As you may have guessed it from my post earlier today, I'm here at CTIA 2011 with Phil and Dieter, and as there isn't much in the way of BlackBerry stuff at the show (we're all waiting for our PlayBook tablet and some new phones) I'm helping out here with some posts (apologies in advance for my android-newbness).
In this video we start off with that live at CTIA feel with an on-stage presentation by the LG Girl of the T-Mobile G-Slate. Key specs on this baby include:
T-Mobile HSPA+ data, plus Wifi
Display: 8.9-inch 3D-capable multi-touch display
Operating System: Android 3.0 (Honeycomb)
Processor: Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core
Rear-facing stereoscopic video recorder at 1080p
5MP camera with LED flash
720p video playback, 1080p output via HDMI
32GB of internal memory
I pick up the G-Slate at 3m51s into the video (a little tricky with one hand on the camera). It definitely feels a tad on the heavy side, but I guess that's to be expected when you're cramming in the features, like 3D video recording. The T-Mobile G-Slate will cost $529.99 after $100 mail-in-rebate and the standard 2-year contract but also a data plan.
Following up the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 announcement and our hands-on Galaxy Tab 8.9 photos, we fired up the video camera to spend a few minutes of 1 on 1 time with the new mid-sized tablet. We were so quick getting to Samsung's CTIA booth after the press conference ended that we even caught the show floor unveiling of the devices (skip to 1m26s if you want to get right to the hands-on review part of the show). Geektastic good times!
Samsung's aim with the Galaxy Tab 8.9 is to hit that sweet spot of portability and a big screen, and at only 470grams in weight it definitely feels light in the hand given it's rather sizable footprint. Unfortunately neither Phil or I were wearing coats to test if it would fit into our pockets. We'll let you know on that once we give it a go. Enjoy the show, and be sure to check out more of our Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 first impressions here.
If you are a parent on the Sprint network, the appeal to get an Android device just got even higher, as today Sprint has announced that they will be adding parental locks to all Android devices. Location Labs has created an application for Sprint that will become available in Q3, and carry a $2 monthly charge, but the protection it will provide is priceless. Some of the features of the application are:
Lock the driver’s cell phone screen and redirect calls to voice mail.
Block text-message alerts and auto-respond to the message sender that the driver is currently unavailable.
Allow access to three key contacts and three mobile applications, such as GPS navigation.
Give parents and business administrators Web portal access to configure Drive First for their teens’ or employees’ mobile devices.
Definitely a step in the right direction, and a huge help from the carrier in an attempt to completely stop use of cell phones while in the car without a bluetooth headset. [Sprint]
Samsung's bringing a tablet for every lifestyle, and the latest in the Galaxy Tab line is the aptly named 8.9-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9. And as it should be, it's thin, surprisingly light, and it's running Android 3.0 Honeycomb out of the box.
It's noticeably easier to hold than the hefty Motorola Xoom, but that's tempered a bit by the slick back. It may be a textured surface, but it's slippery and you're definitely going to want a case.
We have a feeling we were treated to an early build of Samsung's new Live View skin atop Honeycomb, as there was some definite lag. But Live View itself isn't offensive, if you don't mind your menus being colorful, as Samsung is prone to do.
A bright spot, however, is the price. At $469 for the 16GB version and $569 for the 32GB version -- and these are the unsubsidized, no-contract Wifi-only ones -- we're finally seeing competitive price points.
More pics are after the break, if you're into that sort of thing.
The Tab 10.1 has been redesigned since we saw it at MWC and both tablets can now boast that they are the world's thinnest tablets at 8.6 mm.
Both will feature an updated Live View interface on top of Honeycomb, specifically designed for the platform. They each have dual core 1GHz processors, will support HSPA+ as well as have WiFi-only versions.
Samsung also announced pricing and availability today, something that they don't often do.
Here is what they announced:
Galaxy Tab 10.1 WiFi-only 16GB: $499, available June 8th
Galaxy Tab 10.1 WiFi-only 32GB: $599, available June 8th
Galaxy Tab 8.9 WiFi-only 16GB: $469, available "early summer"
Galaxy Tab 8.9 WiFi-only 32GB: $569, available "early summer"
Samsung announced some pretty impressive additions to their Galaxy Tab lineup and is stepping up their game in terms of pricing. Sit tight for more news! [Samsung Mobile]
Kicking things off at CTIA Wireless 2011 in Orlando (well, after the opening keynote, that is) is Samsung's press event. It's no secret that we're about to have an 8.9-inch tablet dropped in our laps, but knowing Samsung, they'll have something up their sleeves.
So join us after the break for the liveblog. Event kicks off at 11 a.m. EST.
Amazon has launched their long-awaited Appstore, which will provide another avenue for users to download Android apps from. There's one problem though: AT&T users cannot yet access it due to the carrier's restriction on 3rd party app downloads.
Amazon has listed that they are working with AT&T on a solution that will allow users to download the app, but as of right now, it is restricted.
Until then though, we still have our Sideload Wonder Machine, which still allows the installation of 3rd party apps on carriers *cough* AT&T, who restrict users from choosing to download 3rd party apps. [Amazon.com/appstore]
Our first impressions are that while this latest RC doesn't quite match the Gingerbread browser in terms of raw speed, it's definitely a solid improvement on Mozilla's earlier betas. Firefox requires a device running Android 2.0 or better, 512MB of RAM and 17MB of internal or SD storage space. Join us after the jump for the market link and QR code.
Springpad has updated their Android client, adding in new ways to share your notes and memos, as well as new widget options. Springpad is a popular cross platform service, that stores and sorts your notes and reminders in the cloud, making them easily to access from any Android or iOS device, or your computer desktop. What makes Springpad unique is the way it gathers other pertinent information from the web about the item your saving.
New in the latest version is what Springpad is calling "Save for later" from other apps. Anything you can long press you'll be able to save to Springpad, and their service will fill in details like directions, prices, deals and the like, and attach them to your item. Of course it handles simple note-taking as well, and does so like a champ. Add in a quick note style widget, and a to-do list widget, and it all works really well. Sounds like it may be very useful, and well worth a look. Springpad is free on the Android Market for phones running Android 1.6 or higher. The download link, press release and some more screenshots are after the break.
If there was one point of contention within the Android platform that is shared among users and developers it has got to be push notifications. Whether you are a developer or an end user, push notifications on Android are often times problematic, simply do not work as intended or are often attributed as a cause for battery life due to the nature in how they work.
Luckily for developers and users, Urban Airship has unveiled their Embedded Push platform that aims to assist in making push notifications better for everyone. Urban Airship’s Embedded Push operates entirely outside of Google’s C2DM native offerings. As such, this allows Urban Airship to offer developers additional push notification features not offered by Google and gives end users and developers a better overall experience.
Jump on past the break if you're interested in learning more about Urban Airship’s Embedded Push platform. You'll find their press release and further examples of how, exactly developers and users can benefit from their system.
Despite Apple taking them to court over the whole "App Store" naming, Amazon has now gone live with their long awaited Android app store. As expected, along for the ride is the release of Angry Birds Rio and as of right now you can get your copy for free as part of the free app of the day promo. After that time is up, you'll be looking at a charge of $.99 for Rio.
As far as launches goes, how Amazon will make out remains to be seen but they are launching with around 3,800 apps in their catalog and a whole new system for buying -- and trying apps out. Test Drive as Amazon calls it enables some apps to be tested right from within your browser and offering full screen previews of what it is you may be potentially purchasing. Other then that, the layout of the Amazon Android app store is pretty easy to navigate and filter down to finer details if and when needed. [Amazon app store]
What do you get when you stick Dieter and myself in front of a Sony Ericsson Xperia Play with a handful of new games? Hands-on video, of course. Actually, tonight at a Verizon gathering at CTIA was my first time using the Xperia Play (Dieter did the initial hands-on back at Mobile World Congress.) And hardware-wise, it's agreeable. And the basic user interface isn't too shabby, and it's snappy enough. But games were a bit slow to load, and they're not as smooth as what we've seen on the likes of Tegra 2 devices.
But the point is, we just played Crash Bandicoot on the Xperia Play, taking us back to good ol' 1997. And who doesn't like that? Check it above, and we've got more video of the touchpads (ie analog sticks) after the break.
We're guessing here but we're pretty sure Sprint didn't get the message when the Samsung Nexus S 4G turned up on their site that they really shouldn't publish such things ahead of time. Of course, it is always great to be prepared but given that pretty much all of their CTIA line-up has been thus far discovered on the Sprint website itself one would think they would try harder to hide these things. Thankfully though, they didn't.
As you all can tell from the shot above both the EVO 3D and HTC EVO View 4G have been spotted on the Sprint site. No other details go along with the images as it's all just sign up pages and what appears to be mailers for email but we'll get the official announcements soon enough. No sense in spoiling that fun right now. [Sprint (1) via Engadget]
T-Mobile officially unveiled the T-Mobile G2X, their version of the LG Optimus 2X. The device packs a dual-core Tegra 2 at 1 GHz, a four-inch capacitive touchscreen, and HSPA+ 4G connectivity. Also on board are an 8 MP rear camera with LED flash and 1.3 MP front facing camera -- with T-Mobile's Qik powered video chat baked into the OS.
It's running on Android 2.2, and looks to be chock full of third party extras, ranging from the Tegra Zone to T-Mobile TV. No price was discussed, but we're to expect it "this Spring". Hit the break for the full presser. [Businesswire]
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