When Google launched Honeycomb, one of the selling points was that the action bar was always at the bottom of the tablet, where you needed it, no matter how you turned the device. With smartphone and tablet designs today looking pretty similar from any direction you look at it, telling which way is up might be a little difficult, but Google’s newest patent looks to help you with that problem.
The patent shows a phone with a microphone and speaker installed into each end of the device, and when the time comes to actually use your phone as a phone, the device will tell which end is up, and activate the speaker and microphone accordingly. It’s an interesting patent that could lead to even more interesting phone designs. Time will only tell though if Google actually puts the IP to any use.
For the past week I’ve been spending some quality time with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. While I like the hardware for the most part and I don’t mind TouchWiz, I’ve been struggling to find a place for the device in my life. While a large part of it is simply that I’m not entirely convinced that a tablet is the best form factor, I keep finding myself disappointed with the app selection and quality. There are some great apps available for Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich, but overall I’ve been disappointed time and time again. (more…)
Just wanted to point out that this post was finished on Friday night and sure enough, news broke this morning that Eric Schmidt expects there to be a Nexus tablet in 2012.
HP is currently the number two seller of tablets, though most expect Amazon to usurp them in that position (we’ll never know for sure because Amazon doesn’t release sales numbers). HP didn’t become number two (or even number one plus) because people went out in droves to buy the TouchPad for $499 or even $399. HP became number two because they sold the TouchPad for $99 and $149. Amazon is going to do the exact same thing at a $200 price point.
Over the past few weeks there have been several articles that argued that Amazon’s Kindle Fire is aiming to take out Android tablets, not the iPad. Amazon is obviously trying to beef up their market share by attracting people with a cheap tablet – they made a $200 tablet in every sense of the phrase. Amazon’s goal was never to take on the iPad. To try and take out the iPad would take a tremendous effort and a premium product. Amazon’s goal was to sell a lot of cheap tablets with minimal effort, which they did. The whole point of a product that you sell at a loss is either to get rid of inventory or to make up sales through services purchased; Amazon is doing the latter. While Amazon’s efforts certainly won’t disrupt Apple’s plans, they could hurt Google.
Apple sells a premium product, not a bargain product. Google is trying to do the same thing, but so far tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab and the Motorola Xoom haven’t fared as well in sales (Motorola and Samsung make up less than 3% of the market by Gruber’s estimates). It’s possible that products like the ASUS Transformer Prime will gain some traction, but it remains to be seen if any Android tablet can gain significant market share. Even combined, Android tablets are insignificant in market share compared to the iPad.
I’m convinced that Google needs to do three things to gain market share in the tablet space: make a halo product, advertise it, and sell it for cheaper than the iPad. (more…)
Logitech Revue owners may have a hard time believing this, but according to Logitech’s blog, the Honeycomb update will roll out to units starting this week. After what seems like almost a year of waiting, everyone with some sort of Google TV product will finally have the Android Market, apps, and a completely new experience on a product that got off to a pretty rocky start.
There doesn’t appear to be a way to force the update, but you can check as many times as you’d like in your Settings panel.
To see an overview of what you can expect with this update, check out this highlight post. Then be sure to check out our hands-on walk-through of it here.
Via: Logitech, Google
It has been about a year since we saw the first major player in the Android game, the original Samsung Galaxy Tab. That particular slate kicked off the release of the Froyo tablet era followed by the barrage of Honeycomb entries in mid-2011. The world was supposed to gobble up Android tablets by the millions, overtaking the iPad on the way. Well, we all know now that that did not happen. After reading sad story after sad story of Honeycomb tablet disappointments, we are wondering now what the future of the Android tablet game looks like. Ice Cream Sandwich could breathe new life into a platform that struggled throughout much of 2011, but we won’t know until it finally arrives.
Are you still interested in them? Did you go with an iPad instead? Have you ruled out the purchase of one altogether? Will the next batch powered by quad-core processors entice you? Be sure to weigh in through the poll and with your thoughts in the comments.
The Netflix team released an update to their Android app today that includes a new tablet experience for bigger screened devices. The Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet are supported as well, so the timing couldn’t have been better. It’s very similar to what you see on TV-centric Netflix apps and is a welcomed visual overhaul. With that said, this app might be the slowest and clunkiest in the history of all Android apps. Well, either that or my XOOM and its dual-core processor just isn’t powerful enough these days. Through the first few minutes with it, I kept hoping for it to return to being snappy and fluid, but that just never happened. Here’s to hoping that the next update includes some performance tweaks. (more…)
There are probably more than a handful of you that own and utilize IM+ as a chatting service on Android. The “pro” version of the app – which is normally $9.99 – was free for a day on Amazon, causing us to write about it and eventually adopt it as a go-to-app for Google Talk, since well, pre-Honeycomb Android can’t seem to handle multiple accounts. So today’s update that introduces full-tablet support along with a more polished UI is awesome, except for the fact that the Amazon version hasn’t been updated yet.
Here is a list of the changes:
- Version 5.0 changes:
- Fully optimized for Android OS tablet computers
- Support of native Android OS “Share” feature
- IM+ widget allows to change status right from your Android home screen
- Typing notifications
- Upload your avatar right from IM+
- Group chats for AOL/AIM/iChat and ICQ
- Option to select a different notification for active chat
- All chats are saved under Chats tab when IM+ is restarted/reconnected
- Battery usage optimization
Solid, right? And here is where we run into issues with having multiple Android markets. Many of you only have and use this app because it was free from Amazon, but who knows when you will see the update for it. Meh.
The Honeycomb update for Google TV started rolling out to Sony TV units on Monday and is just now popping up for Blu-Ray units. Since we have the Blu-Ray version, we are just getting to it and wanted to toss out this quick gallery of some of the first things we noticed. So far, this update looks like it may blow past most of our expectations. In just a couple of minutes with HC for my TV, I can easily say that it has become useful for the first time in months. Things like the “TV and Movies” app and Android Market are essentially game changers in my opinion.
Jump on past the break to see what’s new. (more…)