CES has been all about bigger, beefier, flashier, fancier, faster Android phones so far…and that’s great. But let’s face it — there’s a whole subset of cell phone users out there who just don’t want to spend the kind of money it takes to buy the latest 4G phone with a 4-inch or larger screen. Not everybody needs a dual-core phone. Some people just want a nice, cheap, small phone that can handle their basic needs, but still download a ton of Android apps and be highly customizable. Do we have anything at CES for that crowd? Acer does! Introducing the beTouch E140, which, judging from the tech specs, looks to be aimed at the entry-level Smartphone market.
- 2.8-inch touch screen
- 3.2 megapixel camera
- FM radio
- 1300 mAh battery
- Acer Spinlets streaming service
- Acer UrFooz
- Acer Sync
- 3G+, HSPDA, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS
No talk of CPU capability or anything like that, because let’s face it: the crowd buying a 2.8-touchscreen phone with a 3.2 megapixel camera don’t care. But it will get the job done. It does run Froyo, and will support a 32GB memory card.
Price and availability will be announced soon, but I expect that you can get “beTouched” for about $99, probably in the next 4-6 months.
[via Android Central]
We just received a few interested press releases directly from Verizon, announcing two new Android devices, plus another fun toy in the form of a 4G mobile hotspot. Verizon has announced an LTE Galaxy Tab, as well as an unnamed LTE Android smartphone. The Galaxy Tab will be the familiar 7-inch, 1024×600 tablet running the Android 2.2 (Froyo) OS. Unlike the Galaxy Tabs we’ve seen so far, though, this one will have a beefed-up 1.2GHz Cortex A8 CPU. It’s got the typical 5 megapixel camera in the back, with a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera for video chat. Their unnamed LTE smartphone will have a 1GHz CPU, run Android 2.2, and sport a 4.3-inch display with an HTML5-enabled browser. It will have an impressive 8 megapixel camera in back, with the standard 1.3 in front for video chat. It will also feature a built-in Swype virtual keyboard, and be one of Verizon’s first few LTE-enabled smartphones. They will also be launching an LTE mobile hotspot, so you can power your wifi-only devices with Verizon’s LTE network as well. As has been the case with most CES announcements, pricing and availability has not been announced yet. Find all three press releases at the corresponding source links. [via Samsung: LTE Galaxy Tab, Smartphone, Mobile Hotspot]
This year’s CES begs the question: “What WON’T they put Android on?” If your answer was “skiing goggles,” well…you were mistaken, because Recon Instruments intends to do exactly that. This next-gen technology should be in its next line of goggles, to include GPS, bluetooth, and Android. That’s right, the plan is for you to be able to sync with your phone, read text messages, and view and control your music playlist from the display in your goggles. Developers will also be able to create various apps utilizing the GPS features. They also intend to make a “snap-fit” version of this so it can be fit into other goggles from other manufacturers.
I’m very interested to see how this actually works in the real world…sounds very futuristic, and I love it. Everyone wants a heads-up-display, right? When they develop contacts with this technology, I’ll be the first in line…and I don’t wear contacts.
Android seems to be the star of CES this year. Not that I’m surprised by that, as the Android platform has been growing by leaps and bounds in the last 9 months or so, but it’s exciting to see, nonetheless. Especially when we get cool Android toys like the Microvision “Mini-Tablet” prototype – with a built-in projector! While there’s no talk of a release date at this point, it’s reportedly pretty well-polished for a prototype, and will drop with ARM11 processor, HDMI in and out, and 5 megapixel camera. Also, running Android 2.2 with a 3.5-inch display and a 3-axis accelerometer makes it a decent candidate for actually playing some good games, as well, according to the manufacturer.
This is an innovation I’ve been wanting to see for a long time, honestly. I hope this thing is everything that it could be…but even if not, I hope it paves the way for more phones with built-in projectors. Hit the source link for more pictures and video.
It has been reported, and confirmed, that Skype has acquired Qik, the company behind the video-chat application that has been showing up on more and more Android devices lately, beginning with the EVO 4G. Tony Bates, Skype’s CEO, offered the following:
“Skype and Qik share a common purpose of enriching communications with video, and the acquisition of Qik will help to accelerate our leadership in video by adding recording, sharing and storing capabilities to our product portfolio.”
Any speculation as to what this means for Qik-enabled phones, or those that have issues with Skype, would be exactly that — speculation. Hopefully Skype will take its years of experience and couple work alongside Qik’s innovation and rapid adoption to develop a solid product that works across a myriad of phones and platforms, but only time will tell.
More as it develops.
[via Android Central]
RCA showed off its new TV line and demo’d Android OS running on one of its TV models. This is a prototype due out later in 2011, but of course, like all good technology, it’s seen at CES in Las Vegas. The only downfall reported with this demo is the lack of Android Apps shown other than the typical Picasa and YouTube apps seen in the video over at Engadget. With the struggle to get into the cable market with internet TV such as Google TV and Apple TV, it surprising that RCA would decide to jump in this market with Android OS, but i guess that’s the beauty of open-source projects…you don’t need permission.
Apparently Gingerbread, like Elair, comes in two different flavors. We spent a few weeks oooh-ing and aaah-ing over Android 2.3, but of course heads turned very quickly to the tablet-specific Honeycomb, 3.0. Well apparently, Google isn’t done dishing out treats. It’s being reported that a Prototype Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc was mistakenly handed out at an event recently, and that the version on the device was Android 2.4. Changes between 2.3 and 2.4 are apparently pretty minor, much like 2.0 vs. 2.1. Apparently there are new animations when deleting items off the homescreen, and there are visible hooks for video calling — which, as yet, isn’t actually in place, but certainly could be soon.
Could this whole thing be a hoax? Sure. But based on the source and the specifics of the differences between versions, coupled with the rapid transition from Eclair 2.0 to Eclair 2.1, it’s pretty believable. Stay tuned, and we’ll bring more news on 2.4 as it arrives.
Well, looks like Sony decided to pull the plug on any future support for teh XPERIA X10 family of devices with regards to available updates after Android 2.1. This is not going to sit well with owners of the XPERIA X10 models, which includes the X10, X10 mini, and the X10 mini Pro. This means no Froyo, or Gingerbread, or anything further Android OS. iSad.
Sony did state that they will continue to develop updates for some of the proprietary software included in the XPERIA X10 line such as multitouch and mediascape going forward. If you’d won’t take NO for an answer though, you can always find a good unofficial ROM for Froyo or Gingerbread too.
[via Android Community, CES]
Yesterday we mentioned the Honeycomb teaser video, but it wasn’t publicly available at that point. For those that haven’t seen it yet and are interested, Youtube now has the entire video publicly available. The entire OS has been designed from the ground up with tablets in mind, so it’s a very streamlined experience. So much so that it hasn’t been officially stated whether or not phones will ever see Android 3.0, but Google is kind of indicating that they won’t. Hopefully some of the features find their way over to the handset side, at least — the updated Youtube looks cool, and the browser will feature bookmark sync with Chrome and incognito mode. Have a watch, and chime in with comments.
[via Youtube, by way of EuroDroid]
Samsung’s KIES tool is a very common method of syncing and updating Samsung phones, ESPECIALLY outside of the US. A lot of European Galaxy S phones have seen updates to Froyo or maintenance releases, for example, that are only available via the KIES utility. KIES has been running in a beta form of 2.0 for a bit now, but it has finally been finalized and 2.0 has been made “official.” For our non-US readers who use, or may want to use, KIES, you can go ahead and grab the update from the official site.
I’ve never used this utility myself, but have read mixed reviews. Love it, hate? Let us know in the comments if you’re a KIES user.
[via Samsung Mobile by way of EuroDroid]