Verizon has said precious little about Motorola Droid 2 – the highly anticipated successor to the smartphone that is widely credited for kick starting the Android revolution. However, the steady supply of leaks and rumors has ensured that we already know a fair amount about it.
A North Carolina Best Buy store was careless enough to put dummy units of the new Droid on display. As you can see from the snap procured by Engadget, the Droid 2 will be available for $199.99 with a two year contract and for $599.99 without. There is nothing shocking about the pricing, but it’s always nice to have some confirmation.
Yesterday, we told our readers that Android is the leading mobile OS in the US market. Today, Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt said that 200,000 Android based devices are sold all over the world from the different manufacturers. This means that on a monthly basis around 6 million (!) Android devices are sold. However, this figure is not even close to the iPhone 4’s launch figure of 1.7 million in 3 days.
In May, around 100,000 Android devices were sold daily, while June this figure was pegged at around 160,000 devices. In the latest survey from NPD, Android managed to grab 33% market share in the U.S, followed by RIM at 28% and Apple at 22%. The high growth rate of Android OS can be credited to the launch of high-end handsets like the HTC EVO 4G, Samsung Galaxy S, Motorola Droid X etcetera in the recent months.
With Android making its way into the low-end phones, the growth rate of Android is surely not going to slow down anytime soon.
Let the “iPad Killer” hype begin. According to multiple unconfirmed reports, Samsung is all set to unveil the Galaxy S tablet, whose existence was confirmed back in June.
Very little concrete information is available about the Samsung Tab, other than that it will run on Android 2.2 and will feature a 7 inch screen. PCWorld expects it to be powered by a 1.2 GHz A8 processor, with a Super AMOLED screen, 16 GB of internal storage and 32 GB MicroSD expansion.
There is a good possibility that the tablet will be officially announced on August 11. Samsung has already invited members of the tech press to celebrate “a new dimension of Wonder with new products and announcements” in an event scheduled to be held on August 11.
In related news, the other highly anticipated tablet – Notion Ink’s Adam, is also making steady progress. The Adam, which is expected to arrive by October, has already passed the HALT (Highly Accelerated Life Test) test and Notion Ink is preparing to revamp its brand identity.
HTC Desire owners, rejoice! Android 2.2 (Froyo) is set to arrive this weekend with all its Sense goodness. There’s a slight catch though. This timeline is applicable only to folks who purchased unlocked handsets. Carriers, who are notorious for taking their own sweet time, will determine the fate of locked (branded) handsets.
This update will also introduce some tweaks to HTC’s proprietary Sense UI. “As well as including the complete set of Android 2.2 features, the update will contain a few special additions of our own through the latest iteration of HTC Sense,” said an HTC spokesperson to CNET.
While Desire owners across Europe will begin receiving Froyo tomorrow, HTC Evo owners in the US will have to wait slightly longer. Don’t worry though, Sprint phones will still be the first to get Froyo in the US. Sprint has announced that it will begin rolling out the update on Tuesday. However, not all users will be getting it immediately. Thanks to the phased deployment, you might have to wait til mid-August to feast in the Froyo goodness.
The highly celebrated and awaited Android 2.2 called Froyohas just been open-sourced. Earlier at New York, Motorola and Verizion unveiled their newest Android powered device the Motorola Droid X. Following this unveiling, it was said that Android 2.2 Froyo would be released shortly.
Contrary to earlier expectations,the Droid X is powered by Android 2.1 rather than Android 2.2. The Android market continues to grow as is evident by the huge number of Android devices to be sold each day(nearly 160,000 everyday).
With the Android platform flourishing, Andy Rubin of Google had this to say –
To celebrate, we are open sourcing the new 2.2 version of Android, which we call Froyo, to our partners who manufacturer Android devices around the world. Customers will enjoy great new features and improved browser performance. And developers will benefit from new tools such as Android cloud-to-device messaging (which makes it easier for mobile applications to sync data).
We want to thank our partners for joining us in our vision, for creating such compelling devices, and for continuing to push the limits of what is possible in a smart-phone.
The new Android 2.2 has various improvements vis-a-vis the older versions greater performance and speed, new enterprise capabilities, faster more powerful browser,new set of APIs and services and more additions to the Android Market.
All in all, Android 2.2 Froyo is looking to dominate the market once again following the overwhelming success of the earlier versions of Android.
Even before its official release, the HTC EVO 4G has been rooted to run Android 2.2. Although, the details of the root are yet to be released, a video posted on the xda-developers forum confirms that it is possible to run a vanilla Android 2.2 on the EVO.
The HTC EVO will be launched on Sprint’s network on June 4. However, last week, it was given away to all Google I/O attendees. Given that a large section of the Google I/O attendees are developers, it’s no surprise that the EVO has already been rooted.
The EVO is a beast of a device with a 4.3-inch TFT touchscreen, 1 GHz Snapdragon processor and 512 MB RAM. It will be available for $199.99 with a two year contract and for $449.99 without any contract.
Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 hit the shelves last month and the X10 Mini will become available in most parts of the world over the next few days. The Xperia X10 product line is a commendable effort from Sony Ericsson. This is all the more impressive since the Xperia X10s are SE’s first Android handsets.
In many ways, Xperia X10’s biggest advantage is the UX platform – a custom Android shell with dazzling features like Timescape and Mediascape. However, it is also turning out to be Xperia’s biggest drawback. The heavily modded user interface (UI) means that Sony Ericsson is having a much harder time keeping up with Android’s feverish release cycle.
It has already been confirmed that Sony Ericsson will be updating its Xperia X10 product line to Android 2.1 this fall (Q4 2010). However, this is clearly not enough to appease the hundreds of thousands of Xperia owners around the world. Earlier this month, Google delivered Android 2.2 (Froyo), and Android 3.0 (Gingerbread) is scheduled to be released this fall. This would leave Sony Ericsson hopelessly behind.
Xperia owners and fans have been petitioning for a well-defined upgrade path. However, for the moment, Sony Ericsson seems content to keep mum. Mattias Holm, product public relations manager at Sony Ericsson, confirmed to PC World that Sony Ericsson will be implementing later versions of Android in its products. However, at this stage it is premature to disclose information about individual products.
At first glance, Holm’s statement seems to indicate that Sony Ericsson may not upgrade all of its handsets to Froyo Android versions. However, given that the Xperia X10s are all that Sony Ericsson has managed to release so far, this seems a bit unlikely. It’s equally improbable that Sony Ericsson would leave out the big brother and just upgrade X10 Mini and X10 Mini Pro. So, there is hope yet for Xperia X10 owners. But, the wait is probably going to be a long one.
Adobe just joined the likes of Google in employee love. Yes. Android phones are being given away to employees at Adobe for free.
Adobe announced on last Thursday that it would put a new version of Flash for Android on display. This version of Flash targets Froyo, which is Android 2.2. This can be Adobe’s move to clean sweep all iPhones from its compounds. After all, we know what Apple did to Adobe. Just the last month, Adobe had confirmed that it will not have flash for the iPhone anymore. This is the least Adobe could do in reply.
Though, coming to the serious talk, this is Adobe’s plan to make its employees (especially developers) familiar with Android as that is the next prospective platform that they will be targeting from now onwards. The phones will come with Flash pre-installed.
The exact model of the giveaway is not known though; it is speculated to be a Nexus One.
Adobe has over 8,600 employees and has refused to release any official statement on this. So, it is not even clear if the phone will go to all employees or just the ones working on Flash Player 10.1 for Android. However, I really liked this idea of free Android phone giveaways. It is kind of an attempt by companies to increase their Karma.