A very pervasive rumor that Amazon is working on its own Android powered tablet has been around since a few months now. Today, Peter Rojas, the founder of Engadget and GDGT, posted a well reasoned article which outlines Amazon’s tablet strategy.
According to almost everyone in the tech industry, Amazon is (or at least, should be) working on an Android tablet to compete with the Apple iPad. The Amazon tablet will be built by Samsung and will be powered by a heavily customized version of Android which will be tightly integrated with Amazon’s services. It will likely be a 7 inch tablet.
Amazon, currently, is in the best possible position to compete with the Apple iPad. It has almost everything in place to fight Apple – ebooks (Kindle), music (its digital music locker), subscription based video offerings (Amazon Instant Video) and apps and games (Amazon’s own Android App Store).
It will likely price the Amazon Android tablet at much lower than the current average price, knowing that it can make money on content. The Nook Color has already proved that there is a market for a cheap, functional Android tablet. Amazon recently experimented with the Kindle’s pricing, offering a $25 cut for anyone willing to view “special offers” on their Kindle, so it could very well do the same for its Android tablet. Another indication of an Amazon tablet being real is the way in which they don’t really seem to care about Apple’s new in-app purchase / subscription policy which could result in Amazon having to pull the Kindle app from the App Store. If an Amazon tablet were to be launched, such a move could actually help it gain more users.
The Amazon Android Tablet could be the next version of the Kindle – the Amazon Kindle 4. What are your thoughts on an Amazon Android tablet? Let us know in the comments.
Intel may be the closest thing to a monopoly when it comes to the computer industry, but it has made no major headway when it comes to the mobile industry. ARM dominates the mobile processor market with its low power, efficient processor architecture designs. Almost all new smartphones are powered by an ARM processor. Intel has been trying to increase adoption of its Atom processors, but so far, they have only been majorly used in netbooks, not in smartphones or tablets.
Intel even partnered with Nokia on MeeGo, aiming to bring Intel processors to the mainstream, with MeeGo smartphones and tablets, but Nokia recently ditched Intel and MeeGo to go with Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 platform.
Well, in its earnings call today, Intel President and CEO, Paul Otellini announced that Intel was working on porting Android 3.0 Honeycomb to the x86 architecture.
“We’ve received the Android code the Honeycomb version of Android source code from Google, and we’re actively doing the port on that,” Otellini said.
“We expect to be able to ramp those [Honeycomb-based] machines over the course of this year for a number of customers. I would be very disappointed if we didn’t see Intel-based phones for sale 12 months from now”, he stated.
Intel is also working with “first tier notebook vendors” to build Intel powered tablets running the ported version of Android 3.0 Honeycomb. It will have tablet platforms which will run Windows, Android and MeeGo ready over the course of the year.
The Palm Pre was among the first handsets in the market to run the new webOS. The OS may have never gained considerable market share, but webOS is pretty good and in some respect better than iOS or Android.
Original Palm Pre owners must be feeling left out since developers hardly care about webOS, and thus there is a lack of apps for the platform. However, one awesome Palm Pre developer k3dar – has managed to get Android dual-boot on his beloved Pre.
k3dar has managed to get AOSP build of Android 2.3 Gingerbread to dual-boot on his Pre. Sadly, the port is nowhere near usable and people have even managed to brick their Pre, while flashing this ROM. The touch screen only detects single touches for now, and the Wi-Fi and the hardware keyboard are working properly. Otherwise, Camera, Bluetooth and all other important features are not working on this port.
Palm Pre owners should head over to this thread for more information.
Ironically, most people want webOS to be ported over to some latest Android handsets and not the vice versa. Hopefully, some developers will take this challenge and work on it!
Before the advent of Android and iOS world dominance, Sony Ericsson was popular among the general users for its Walkman and Cybershot range of handsets.
When Android started gaining ground, Sony Ericsson started focusing on its Android powered handsets available the Xperia brand. The company still released some Walkman branded phones, but there were below par.
Today, Sony Ericsson is going to change all that with the release of its first Android powered Walkman phone the W8. The W8 is similar to the Xperia X8, except for some fancy colors and the Walkman logo.
The W8 features a 3-inch touch-screen display with HVGA (320×480) resolution. The phone is powered by a 600 MHz processor, and packs 168MB of RAM. The back of the phone sports a 3.2MP camera.
Sadly, the W8 will run Android 2.1 Ã‰clair which is downright disappointing! I highly doubt Sony Ericsson will treat this handset with some Froyo or Gingerbread love. The specs of the handset are nothing to write home about, but hopefully the audio quality of the handset will make up for it.
The Sony Ericsson Walkman W8 will be available in India, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and some other regions of the world by Q2 of 2011, in a bunch of colors. Here is the official product page of the W8.
It was just a few days ago, that Sony Ericsson released details on how to unlock the Xperia Arc, Play and Neo handsets boot loader.
Now, in just a matter of days the talented developers over at XDA forums have managed to get root access on all the above said handsets.
The method to get root access is a pretty simple one Users first need to unlock their boot loader, and then flash some required files using fast boot. However, at the moment this method works only on the UK firmware of the Arc and the Play.
The developers behind gaining the root access Bin4ry and zdzihu are already working on rooting the global firmware.
Xperia Neo and Arc owners should head over to this thread, while Play owners should head over to this thread for the required steps and file.
Hopefully, Sony Ericsson will soon release the Android 2.3 Gingerbread source for the the latest bunch of the Xperia handsets. This will help the developers in cooking custom ROMs for the Xperia Arc, Neo and Play.
The HTC Flyer, HTC’s only Android tablet, was announced at MWC 2011. We have already stated before that the HTC Flyer will be priced at £599 in the UK. It has been available for pre-order since a month now.
Today, PC World just updated its product page to reflect the pricing and availability of the Wi-Fi only version of the HTC Flyer. It is priced at £479.99 in the UK, and is available for delivery from May 17.
The price has been dropped substantially from the £599 that the 3G version is priced at. It has been priced at exactly the same price point as the Motorola Xoom Wi-Fi, which is one of the first Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablets.
The HTC Flyer is one of the few new tablets which doesn’t run Honeycomb; instead, it runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread with the HTC Sense UI. HTC has announced on Twitter that it will be getting a Honeycomb update soon.
The HTC Flyer comes with a 7 inch capacitive touchscreen display with a resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels. It has a 1.5 GHz processor and 1 GB RAM. It comes with 32 GB internal storage and a 5 MP camera. It also has Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and GPS.
Just a few days ago, we reported how Skype had vulnerability in its Android app that could expose personal data and leaves it unencrypted and accessible to all other apps requesting a simple memory read by directory. The data was stored in plain-text format and this is not expected of Skype, a company that boasts of extremely secure voice channels.
Skype for Android is potentially vulnerable. So much so, that it exposes personal data to any app asking for it. Data is left out in the wild and the app stores it with improper permissions allowing access from any other rouge app. In short, any other app installed on your phone can steal your personal Skype data without you knowing about it.
After the exploit was spotted and covered in elaborate by Androidandme, Skype issued a statement assuring a fix to the problem. It took them less than a week, and a Skype has issued a fix to their problem.
The new Android app for Skype has fixed another big problem, VOIP calling. If you were wondering what was wrong with that, well, it was available only on Verizon until now. However, from now, the VOIP feature of Skype is available on any 3G network in the US, not just Verizon. This makes the Skype app from Verizon quite meaningless.
The HTC Sensation runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread with the latest version of Sense (v3.0) running on top of it. The Sense UI in its latest version packs a very nifty lock screen with widgets, and new animations.
Now, rmk40 a popular developer over at Desire Z modding community, has ported the Sensation ROM for the T-Mobile G2/Desire Z.
The ROM is a highly experimental one and rmk40 recommends general users to stay away from it.
One of the major problems with the ROM is that most of the UI elements are not rendered properly. The reason behind this is the difference in the resolution of the devices. The Sensation has a qHD (960×640) resolution, while the Z/G2 has a WVGA (800×480) resolution screen.
At the moment, the developer has no intention to work and make this ROM fully-functional on the Z/G2. The Desire HD developers are also on the same boat.
If developers of any of the devices are able to solve this problem, the changes could be easily ported to the other handset. Intersted developers can download the ROM from here.
The Samsung Galaxy S was the best Android smartphone of 2010. In fact, it was so successful, that Apple probably views it as a threat now, which is evident from the patent infringement lawsuit it has filed against Samsung.
The Samsung Galaxy S 2 was announced at CES 2011 and has had millions of Android fans salivating already. It is better than the Galaxy S in almost every way. It has a bigger display, faster processor, more RAM, better UI and offers everything you would ever want in a phone.
The Samsung Galaxy S 2 will be launching in May, but we hadn’t seen any ads or commercials of it yet. Well, today, Samsung has officially released the first commercial of the Samsung Galaxy S 2 on its Youtube channel. It’s not the best ad I’ve seen, but quite accurately conveys how realistic the SuperAMOLED Plus display is.
Here it is:
The Samsung Galaxy S 2 comes with a 4.3 inch SuperAMOLED Plus display with a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels. It is powered by a 1.2 GHz dual core Exynos processor and offers 1 GB RAM and 16 GB internal storage. It has Android 2.3 Gingerbread with the TouchWiz 4.0 UI. It also has an 8 MP camera with autofocus and LED flash which can capture 1080p videos at 30 FPS. It comes with a 1650 mAh Li-ion battery.
It was just a few days ago that Samsung started rolling out the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for the Galaxy S handsets in some regions of Europe. The company even released the Gingerbread source code, soon after.
Vodafone U.K. also started rolling out the update for the Galaxy S handsets just a couple of days ago. However, reports are flying in that Vodafone has now pulled back the Gingerbread update.
The reason cited by Vodafone for the update being pulled back is that the update has been suspended by Google. However, one of the most popular developers over at Galaxy S modding scene – supercurio – states something else.
He states that the update was pulled back because the Gingerbread update released by Vodafone U.K.was not the final build. The update was not supposed to be released by Vodafone U.K., but the carrier still pulled the plug and released the update.
Hopefully, Vodafone U.K. will get its act together and soon release the final build of Gingerbread update for the Vodafone branded Galaxy S handsets in the U.K.
Readers should not blame Samsung for this update being pulled back. The main culprit is Vodafone U.K, who released the update without any confirmation from Sammy.