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…)
On Friday, the Google TV team notified the world that Honeycomb was finally ready and would introduce a simpler approach to their TV-inspired OS. The update would first arrive on Sony Google TV products which includes the Blu-Ray player as well as the actual Sony TV. According to one of our readers, his TV received the update within the last hour or so; my Sony Blu-Ray unit has not received a damn thing. Logitech units on the other hand will be waiting a bit and have been given the “soon after” time line.
Once I get the update though, we will be doing a full walk-through of the update to give potential GTV adoptees a look at the future.
And on a related note, everyone that owns some sort of Google TV unit should have received an email from Google explaining the update. It’s really just the info that was released on Friday, but still worth a read if you have one of these devices.
And on a non-related note, I’ll try not to use the word “unit” for another month. Someone get me some Orbit gum.
Looks like the newest shipments of Logitech Revues are coming with Android 3.1 (Honeycomb) and the long awaited Android Market. Us who already own the device have been waiting patiently for the OTA, but still have not heard anything. Is this a sign that all we are waiting for is the green light from Logitech? If they are shipping with all the new goodies, then let us get the ball rolling. We are hungry for Honeycomb and the Market on our TVs. (more…)
Motorola is looking to help tablet owners out by pointing them in the right direction of some good quality apps. MotoPack contains a showcase of certain Honeycomb optimized apps based on categories – Games, Back-to-School, Home Office, Lounging, and apps made just for kids. Perfect for people who don’t need to spend hours searching the market for all of the right apps. Once you click on an app inside MotoPack, it will direct you to the Market to download the application. Plain and simple.
Last week, there was a calculation done suggesting that there were only 3.4 million Honeycomb tablets out in the wild right now. Google’s own Andy Rubin has come out and given us some statistics straight from the horse’s mouth. He says that according to Google, there are 6 million tablets in people’s hands that run the Android operating system. A much larger number than what has been reported before.
This number makes sense too, taking into account all the Froyo and Gingerbread tablets that were pushed out into the public’s hands before they got Google’s official blessing. That would mean that a little over half of all Android tablets are running Honeycomb. Let’s hope that when Ice Cream Sandwich comes out, it does so with a bang. After last night I am a little bit more than excited to see how this plays out.