When the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 was announced at the Mobile World Congress last month, it was one of the most impressive Android tablets to be launched this year. It offered a huge improvement over the existing Galaxy Tab, and had way more features than the Apple iPad.
But now, with the Apple iPad 2 having been launched, Samsung seems to be a bit apprehensive about the Galaxy Tab 10.1. The iPad 2 may not have better hardware specs than the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 or the Motorola Xoom, but it is much slimmer and the pricing is very competitive.
Also, there are more than 65000 apps for the iPad 2 while Android has less than 100 apps. The only way Android tablets can be made attractive to consumers is by pricing them much lower than the iPad and by offering more features. While the Galaxy Tab 10.1 does deliver on the features part, its pricing was likely to be much higher than the iPad 2. Samsung seems to have realized this.
“We will have to improve the parts that are inadequate. Apple made it [iPad 2] very thin” said Lee Don Joo, Executive VP, Samsung. “The 10-inch (tablet) was to be priced higher than the 7-inch (tablet) but we will have to think that over”.
This news should be welcomed by Android fans. Thanks to the iPad 2, they will be getting the Galaxy Tab 10.1 for much lower than they would have.
When Samsung announced the hotly anticipated Galaxy S II at the MWC 2011, the company did not mention anything about a Tegra 2 version of the device. However, soon after the announcements, rumors started popping up on the Internet that the Galaxy S II will come in two variants one with Samsung’s own Exnynos chip, and another one based on Nvidia’s Tegra 2 chipset.
Now, an Nvidia spokesperson has confirmed to ITProPortal, that the Galaxy S II will indeed come in two flavors. Samsung will be shipping the Nvidia Tegra 2 version in certain regions of the world.
The reason cited behind this move from Samsung is because the company won’t be able to produce enough Exynos chips to fulfill the supply.
At the moment, it is unknown as to which countries or regions of the world will get the Tegra 2 based Galaxy S II handsets. The performance of these 2 SOCs should be similar, so users need not worry about which version they buy.
It may be also possible that Samsung may not ship the Galaxy S II with the Super AMOLED Plus screen in some regions.
The Android platform has been growing at an unprecedented pace and has already been the number one smartphone platform in the world since a few months. It had also overtaken iOS in the US and going by the latest data from January 2011, it has now edged out Blackberry to become the number one smartphone OS in the United States as well.
According to data from Comscore, Android now has a 31.2% share of the US smartphone market. RIM follows in the second place with 30.4% and Apple takes the third spot with 24.7% share. This data doesn’t cover the effects of the iPhone 4 now being available on Verizon, but I doubt that will change the overall picture much. Android is still growing at an insanely fast pace, and at the expense of Microsoft, Palm and Symbian. Despite the launch of Windows Phone 7, Microsoft has actually lost share.
Nielsen’s data shows a similar trend – Android has a 29% share which is way ahead of iOS and Blackberry both at 29%. With more impressive Android devices coming soon, Android will soon dominate the market by a huge margin. Even Apple’s marketshare has been cemented by its loyal fans. With the support from Nokia, Microsoft’s marketshare is expected to rise at least a bit in the coming year. The smartphone wars are going to be very interesting.
via Comscore and Nielsen
The Boy Genius Report is currently reporting that RIM is poised to port Blackberry Messenger over to iOS and Android devices. RIM has held Blackberry Messenger (BBM) in high regards as a tool to instantly and securely chat with friends and co-workers through Blackberry devices, exclusively. A huge push in marketing BBM to consumers went off in 2010 and it would seem RIM is now taking it to the next level. Many users love Blackberry Messenger due to the fact that it’s carrier-independent, has read/replied/delivered status and is completely free of charge once there is an internet connection, RIM is hoping to build out this BBM user-base by offering the service on Apple’s iOS devices as well as certain Android handsets.
Offering a minimally functioning client may persuade users to jump ship to Blackberry devices in order to get full featured capabilities. Users of third party devices would either be charged a one-time fee for the application or a re-occurring fee to use the service. This would seemingly allow RIM to dominate “mobile IM” market by allowing cross platform communications built atop their industry leading infrastructure. For this to be successful, RIM needs to bring the same experience that many Blackberry Messenger users rave about, but entice users to want more and to purchase a Blackberry device in order to really experience the capabilities of the service.
There is no word on when this will be available nor what terms it will be available with, as this is a rumor — but with the state that RIM is currently in, it’s very plausible.
The awesome developers over at XDA Developers have done it again! A developer with the username TripNRaVeR has managed to port the Xperia Arc ROM to the Xperia X10.
The Xperia Arc ROM for the X10 is based on Android 2.3.1 Gingerbread with Sony Ericsson’s proprietary MediaScape and Timescape UI running on top of it. The ROM is still in its early stages so some bugs are to be expected.
Most of the stuffs including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, Network, Data and Timescape/Mediascape work just fine. One major gripe with the ROM is that the sound output of the phone does not work at all i.e. users won’t be able to hear what the other caller is saying while on a call.
Nevertheless, the developer TripNRaVeR has promised to fix the sound output bug in the next release. He has already warned that fixing the sound output bug may result in other stuffs not working.
Xperia X10 owners who don’t mind tinkering around with their phone, and want to taste the Gingerbread ROM on their handset, can visit this thread over at XDA forums.
Via Xperia X10 Blog
The Samsung Galaxy S was one of the most popular Android handsets last year. In some aspects, it still is. The handset did have its fair share of controversy with a non-usable GPS and the Froyo update delay.
The back of the Galaxy S sports a 5MP camera with Auto-Focus and face detection. Earlier, the Auto-Focus used to work only while clicking pictures. However, recently Samsung released an app on the Samsung Apps’ store called the Camera Firmware Update.
The application updates the firmware of of the camera and enables continuous auto-focus while recording videos.
Below is a video shot from the Galaxy S which shows the auto-focus feature :
The picture and the video quality taken from the camera remains the same. Galaxy S owners can download the application from here. Users are warned not to uninstall this app once they update the camera firmware of their handset. The app works on rooted Galaxy S handsets, as well as one running on Custom ROMs.
It is nice to see Samsung still adding some handy features to the Galaxy S.
As much as Google likes to boast about Android’s openness, the harsh reality is that most manufacturers have been playing spoil sport by locking down the boot loader. Motorola is the first name that pops into one’s mind, courtesy of their eFuse mechanism. However, back in January, after a public relations fiasco, Motorola hinted at the possibility of future devices shipping with an open bootloader. Now, it seems that Sony Ericsson might follow suit.
Sony Ericsson hasn’t received much love from the developer community thanks to their lackluster update delivery, and fortified bootloader. Even after a year of Xperia X10’s release, the folks at XDA haven’t managed to get past Sony Ericsson’s protections. Although all the Xperia devices have received soft-root, the locked bootloader has kept custom ROMs with a modified kernel at bay. Now, in a surprising move, Simon Walker, the Head of Developer Program and Engagement at Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications, has admitted on Twitter that he is in favor of rooting.
In another recent blog post, Rikard Skogberg from SE had explained that, “In our phones there are functionality that have to be secure such as SIM-lock and DRM. We currently don’t have a solution in place to secure that while opening the bootloader and therefore it would break legal agreements with many of our partners if we do”.
Essentially, Sony Ericsson can’t ship devices with unlocked bootloaders until they have a mechanism in-place to guarantee their commercial interests. We presume that this is what Walker also meant by “if we do it right”. Let’s hope that Walker succeeds in convincing the people that matter. After all, it certainly won’t harm Sony Ericsson to court the devs and Android power users.
Nvidia Tegra 2 chipset based handsets and tablets owners rejoice! Nvidia has released the highly anticipated Tegra Zone app for your Tegra 2 based device.
The new Tegra Zone will provide users with the best games available for Android, which will be optimized for the Tegra 2 chipset. The app ties into the Android Market itself, thus providing users with quick access to the Tegra optimized games. It will also contain high resolution screenshots and video of the games on offer.
We’re working with game developers and publishers to turbocharge mobile gaming for Android super phones and tablets. Our goal is to bring a console- class gaming experience to super phones and tablets and bring the generation of gaming to the future of mobile devices. Tegra Zone is a free app we’ve built so gamers can find great games for Tegra in one easy place.- Tony Tamasi, Senior Vice President, Content and Technology at NVIDIA
The launch titles have some impressive games including Dungeon Defenders: First Wave Deluxe HD, Samurai II, Fruit Ninja and Galaxy On Fire 2. Dungeon Defenders is the first game to be released for Android to be based on the popular Unreal Engine 3.
Nvidia is also working closely with more game developers to add more titles to the Tegra Zone. All the games available on the Tegra Zone will feature richer graphics and improved performance. Users can download Tegra Zone for their Tegra 2 based handset or tablet from here.
The dull gaming scene on the Android ecosystem has surely picked up pace with a bang thanks to Nvidia!
Samsung Galaxy S owners who frequently visit the Galaxy S sub-forum on XDA know that firmware leaks are a pretty common thing. Up until now, we have only had firmware leaks based on Android 2.2 or 2.2.1.
Today, an Android 2.3.2 Gingerbread based firmware for the Galaxy S has leaked on the Internet. Samsung proprietary TouchWIZ UI (v3.0) also runs on top of it. The new firmware (XWJV1) is not an official one and is an early beta firmware.
Galaxy S owners who flashed this firmware on their handset report that the browser is super smooth and super quick. Like in Android 2.2 based firmware, the browser rendering is hardware accelerated. Sadly, the awesome screen-off animation as seen on the Nexus S is not present in this firmware.
The firmware has already been rooted by the awesome developers at XDA. However, one major disappointment with this firmware is that it still uses the RFS file system. The RFS FS is the major culprit behind all the lags and stalling issues which majority of the Galaxy S owners face.
Users should keep in mind that since this is a beta firmware bugs and crashes are to be expected.
Google rolled out the Android 2.3.3 update for the Nexus S at the beginning from this week. The OTA update not only brought bug fixes and NFC read/write capabilities, it also featured a new display driver. The new display driver was aimed at adjusting the color temperature of the Super AMOLED screen on the Nexus S.
However, many Nexus S owners are disappointed with this update since the colors on their phone’s screen became too washed out or had a yellowish tint, after the update. In fact, many users are already asking for a fix over at XDA forums and on Code Google as well.
One of the most talented developers over at the Galaxy S and the Nexus S modding scene supercurio has come up with a very detailed explanation behind the color tint issue. According to him, the frame buffer driver of the screen has been updated in the 2.3.3 update.
The new driver is capable of reading’ information from the screen hardware and then it accordingly adjusts the screen temperature. Previously, the driver just used to send data to the S-AMOLED screen from a pre-defined gamma table.
The new driver may not be to everyone’s liking, but according to supercurio, it is better, in fact smart! However, the screen calibration went wrong during the coding of the driver which has led to this problem. Nexus S owners can read more in detail about the issue here. The stuff written there is a bit geeky so please proceed with caution.
There is a twist in the tale here though. While some users are not pleased with the color temperature after the 2.3.3 update, some users report a massive improvement in compared to 2.3.2.
As of now, supercurio does not have any fix’ but he is already working on Voodoo Color’. He will also publish a new custom kernel which will allow Nexus S owners to manually control the color temperature using an app.