Today, ASUS unveiled a bunch of new tablets at the ongoing CES 2011. In all ASUS announced 4 new tablets, of which 3 are based on Android. The three new Android based tablets from ASUS are the Eee Pad Transformer, Eee Pad Slider and the Eee Pad MeMo.
The Eee Pad MeMo has a 7-inch screen (1024×600 resolution) and is powered by a dual core 1.2 GHz Snapdragon processor from Qualacomm. The back of the tablet sports a 5MP camera with a LED flash while there is a 1.3MP camera in the front for all your video chatting needs. ASUS has also bundled a capacitive stylus with the Eee Pad MeMo. The Eee Pad will run on Android 3.0 when launched in June. The tablet will be priced from $499.
The other two Android 3.0 based tablets Eee Pad Transformer and Eee Pad Slider. The former has a slide-out QWERTY keyboard while the latter has a dock (or a detachable keyboard, whatever you prefer to call it) which has a full size keyboard and number pad. Both the tablets are powered by Nvidia Tegra 2 processors and have a 10.1-inch IPS screen with a resolution of 1280×800.
The tablets also sport a mini-HDMI port, a microUSB port, Bluetooth 2.1, a 5MP camera at the back and a 1.3MP front cam along with a microSD card slot.
The dock’ for the Eee Pad Transformer also has an inbuilt battery which will help the tablet provide a battery life of nearly 16 hours. The Eee Pad Slider will hit the stores sometime in May and will cost in the $500-$800 range. The Transformer will launch in April and will cost around $400-$700.
Along with the trio of Android 3.0 tablets, ASUS also announced a 12-inch Windows based tablet. The ASUS Eee Slate EP121 tablet is powered by a Core i5-470M processor, 64GB SSD, and up to 4GB of RAM. The 12.1-inch IPS display has a Wacom digitizer, thus allowing users to draw portraits and take notes with the included stylus.
The usual Wi-Fi, mini-HDMI port, microSD card slot, microUSB port and dual-cameras are also present. The EP121 tablet should be out sometime later this month for a whopping $1000.
Andy Rubin had stated during the Google I/O event this year that the Android 3.0 update will completely change the UI of Android to make it look more beautiful and pleasing to the eye. Back then, he had also shown off the brand new Music Player which will be bundled with Android 3.0 (Honeycomb). Now, XDA member johnie93 has somehow managed to get his hands on the APK file of the Honeycomb music player.
Readers can download the APK file from here. Transfer this APK file to your Android handset and install it to get the Honeycomb music player on your handset.
The Music Player worked perfectly on my Samsung Galaxy S running a custom ROM based on Android 2.2.1. The application also supports music streaming from the Gmail account linked to your Android handset (Google Music incoming?). The UI of the music app is pretty good as well but nothing stellar. The desktop widget is a bit bland for my taste with no album art support.
It also looks like the Music Player will support Wireless Sync. As of now, the feature does not work. Also, sometimes the app would get excessively slow while playing back music. The app also FC’ed (Force Close) a couple of times for the short span of time I used it.
Nevertheless, I am pretty sure that this is a beta version of the music player. Google still has a lot of time to improve and tweak the performance of the application and perhaps include an equalizer as well.
More images of the Motorola Android tablet have surfaced on the interwebs. The Motorola Android tablet was first revealed by Andy Rubin last week at the D: Dive into Mobile event. It is running Android 3.0 Honeycomb, a new version of the Android OS optimized for the tablet form factor.
We have a few screenshots of Android 3.0 Honeycomb on the Motorola tablet. The tablet will have a 1 GHz Tegra 2 processor, 512 MB RAM, 32 GB internal storage and a 10.1 inch capacitive touchscreen display with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels. It will sport two cameras – a 5 MP primary camera and a 2 MP secondary one.
The tablet will probably be launched in Q1 2011. If we are in luck, it might even be unveiled at CES 2011.
Back in August, we reported that Sony Ericsson was working with Google to develop an Android powered PlayStation phone. The gaming smartphone was rumoured to have a “3.7 4.1 inch touchscreen display with a WVGA resolution, and a landscape slider with gaming controls”. Now, first images of the phone have emerged (courtesy of Engadget) that confirms most of the rumors.
The leaked images are mostly in line with the mockup that was released earlier. The PlayStation phone will have a 1GHz Qualcomm MSM865 processor, 512 MBs of RAM, 1 GB of ROM, and will probably run on Android Gingerbread (Android 3.0). It will also have a front facing camera (visible in the first picture), and support microSD cards.
Engadget was told that the software is still very buggy, making a 2010 release unlikely. It’s also worth considering that Sony Ericsson has a horrible track record when it comes to delivering updates and launching products on time.
Google has been preparing for Android 3.0 aka Gingerbread which will probably be released in the next few weeks. Though there is no real release date available for Gingerbread yet, it has officially arrived at Google.
Yes, the real Gingerbread giant has arrived at Googleplex today in the form of a huge statue. The video of the arrival was posted on the Android Developers blog. Take a look at it in the embedded video below.
There has been a flurry of news related to Android tablet launches in the past week. Samsung, Motorola, Asus, Acer are all planning to launch their Android tablets soon.
Earlier, Acer announced that it will be launching its Android tablet by the end of 2010. The rumored Acer tablet was supposed to run Android 2.2 Froyo and had a 10 inch touchscreen display.
However, now it seems that Acer is holding out for the launch of Android 3.0. This will delay the tablet launch to the first quarter of 2011. Android 3.0 Gingerbread will sport a revamped stock UI and will support much higher display resolutions. It will also offer much better performance.
Even Motorola is supposedly waiting for the Android 3.0 launch to start shipping its Android tablet with Gingerbread.
Acer is still expected to launch a Windows 7 based tablet right on schedule, in 2010.
Couple of days ago, when I read that Android 3.0 (Gingerbread) will have minimum hardware requirements of 1GHz processor and 512MB RAM, my heart sank. I thought my Xperia X10 will be only limited to Android 2.2. But, the editor-in-chief of mobile review, Eldar Murtazin gave some clarifications via his tweet.
He tweeted, “Yesterday have a very good conversation and some clarifications. 1 Ghz, 512 Mb etc its not minimal requirements but recommended one”. This means that few high-end Android devices, who thought that they will be left out in Android 3.0 party, can now relax.
The other suspense on the Android 3.0 OS is that no third party UI will be supported. This suspense still exists because no official comment has been made on it. For phones with screen size of 4″ or more, the resolution will be increased to 1280 x 760p via Android 3.0. Let us wait for more leaks and info on the Android 3.0. You can read the previous post here.
If you are excited about Gingerbread, here is a catch that might make older handset users cringe. According to a French website WebDevOnLinux, Google will be imposing a minimum configuration for running the next release of Android.
The minimum configuration will be a 1GHz processor, 512MB Ram and 3.5 inches or more screen size. This new requirements will mean that older Android handsets will not be able to use Gingerbread unless they root it.
Nevertheless, the newer handsets being released these days meet these minimum requirements. Just make sure that they follow these requirements, or else you will not be able to use Gingerbread in the future. You can also take a look at the Top 10 Android Handsets in the Market before you make your decision.
Google has officially launched Android 2.2 aka Froyo at the Google I/O conference. The newest Android version has a 2 to 5 times speed improvement over Android 2.1 and also has a new just-in-time compiler.
Froyo is the predecessor of Eclair and includes new enterprise features, better email support and Exchange integration and new backup apps for the device which will allow users to transfer data to a new device.
With Froyo out of the way, Google will now start working on Android 3.0 aka Ginger. Here’s looking to great developments in mobile browser with it.
Update: The Google Blog has made an official announcement of Android 2.2 Froyo, you can see the announcement here. You can also find all the details in Android 2.2 at the Android Developer Blog post here.
We still have few days left for the official release of Android 2.2 a.k.a. Froyo, but the release date of the future Android OS, Gingerbread is already disclosed. The Android 3.0 (Gingerbread) is scheduled to release in Q4 2010.
Google has just introduced their latest WebM media format. In the WebM documentation, is the first mention of Android 3.0 release date.
“When will other Google products support WebM and VP8?
WebM support in Android is expected in the Gingerbread release (currently planned for Q4, 2010). We expect many other Google products to adopt WebM and VP8 as they prioritize it with their other product requirements. Keep an eye on the WebM blog for announcements.”
So, we still have to get our hands on the Android 2.2 a.k.a. Froyo and the future Android OS is already in the Menu. Let us wait for Android 2.2 and let the Gingerbread to be baked meantime.