Size Matters: Who Wants a Phablet?

When mobile phones first became ubiquitous, the best phones were the smaller ones. Every new model got smaller and smaller and would sell better than the bigger, clunkier models. Then, in 2007, Apple introduced the iPhone…a phone that was all touch screen and was meant to be looked at as much as be held to one’s ear. Suddenly, the tiny phones of the past seemed severely inferior, and the shrinking trend halted and began to reverse.

Product Identity
Fast forward a few years and the trend continues. The proliferation of Android devices flooded the market with devices of varying shapes and sizes. From the iPhone-esque 3.2″ HTC Hero, to the beefy 10.1″ Xoom tablets, Android ran the gamut of sizes. When Dell came out with the 5″ Dell Streak, people didn’t know whether it was a large phone or a small tablet. The common belief of why it ultimately failed was exactly that…product identity.

Samsung has done well with its 5.3″ Galaxy Note overseas, and is about to make a splash with it stateside. But shouldn’t it succumb to the same fate as the Dell Streak since it’s nearly the same weird size? I don’t think so, and here’s why:

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T-Mobile celebrates Valentine’s Day with FREE smartphones and tablets

Mark February 11 on your calendars because T-Mobile is going to have one of those really big sales. This time they are celebrating Valentine’s Day just in case you need to get that special someone a really nice Android phone or tablet. Of course there’s nothing stopping you from taking advantage of this promo for yourself. Notice how I said “get” instead of “buy” because this sale is all about FREE.

T-Mobile is giving you the chance to pickup their latest 4G smartphones and select tablets for free. There is one minor catch, and that it’s free after rebate. You will of course need to sign up with a new 2-year contract with either the Value or Classic plan, and both new and existing customers are eligible. So if you’re in the market for the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S II, The HTC Amaze 4G, or the Huawei Springboard, this Saturday is the day to grab one.

Full press release after the break:

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New, Evolved Android Malware Shows That Google’s Bouncer Service Can Possibly Be Sidestepped

Google’s new bouncer-service that was announced last week is supposed to have dropped the number of malware apps in the Android Market by about 40% already. While that is a great number the Bouncer service isn’t perfect and it probably is the beginning to one of many back and forth battles between the Search Giant and malicious hackers in the making.

However, it appears that hackers may have already found a work around to this service. According to North Carolina State University professor Xuxian Jiang, he and his team have discovered a new malware variant that pulls off a pretty sneaky maneuver. The malware contains no malicious code when it’s first installed on a device. By doing this it evades scans or permission requests that could pick up on its intentions in the first place. Here’s the trick. After it’s downloaded the app is then able to download new code from a remote server and it can hide this in the data transfer from the phone’s communications.   Read more

Toshiba’s stylish AT200 aka “Excite X10″ tablet launches in the UK

The ultra sleek Honeycomb tablet, known in the US as the Excite X10, has landed in the UK and will be available exclusively from Carphone Warehouse.

The AT200 claims to be the slimmest 10″ Android tablet on the market (7.7mm) and weighs in at an impressively light 535 grams. The tablet also boasts a premium build, boasting durable gorilla glass up front and a polished magnesium alloy backing. “What use is a good looking tablet without impressive tech specs” I hear you say? Well thankfully the AT200  packs the technical prowess to match its svelte exterior. The screen is a 10.1″ backlit LED boasting a resolution of 1280 x 800. Processing is handled by the popular dual core TI OMAP 4430 clocked in at 1.2ghz, RAM checks at 1gb and there are 16gb or 32gb storage options available. There are two cameras on board, a 5MP on the back for capturing snapshots on the move and a 2MP up front for those ultra sharp video calls. The AT200 is available to buy online now with the 16gb priced at £399 and the 32gb priced at £449.

Toshiba’s entry to the competitive Android tablet market has been a difficult one, the AT200 could be the killer product they’ve been looking for to turn around their fortunes.


Source: Carphone Warehouse


Google Chrome Beta Released for Android, Finally!

Google has finally release its long-wanted Chrome browser for Android roughly a few minutes ago. In order to run the app you must have Android 4.0 installed. It’s in beta right now so expect a few bugs and while we haven’t had a chance to play with it yet you can expect a review from us here in the next few days or so. According to Google the Android version has the following features:

– Browse fast with accelerated page loading, scrolling, and zooming,
– Search and navigate directly from the omnibox,
– Open and switch between unlimited tabs in an easy-to-view stack,
– Sign in to Chrome to sync your bookmarks and view tabs you have open on your computer,
– Send pages from desktop Chrome to your smartphone or tablet with one click and read them on the go, even if you’re offline,
– Browse privately in Incognito mode,

You can check to see if it is available in your country by going here. Hit the break below to for the QR code, market link and marketing video. It is certainly a great day for Android users and Chrome fans everywhere! Again, look for our review of the app shortly. Enjoy! Read more

Hey Android Manufacturers, Too Much of a Good Thing Can Be More Than Enough!

Even as an Android fanatic I have to admit that its main competitor, the iPhone, does extremely well. As much as I hate to say it, the iPhone is here to stay and will continue to be a thorn in Android’s side. I have been sitting and wondering though on why so many folks go over to the iOS side or stray from Android. While I am not an expert I believe a lot of it has to do with how these phones are marketed coupled with the amount of Android phones that OEMs are putting on the market. Read more

Quick Rant: Why I Love My Motorola Xoom Wifi Tablet And Don’t Plan On Upgrading Anytime Soon


What does a tablet mean to you? To most, it’s something that lets you have productivity on the go— emails, social communication, reading articles and e-books, etc. Of course consumers realize it’s possible to do all that with a notebook computer or netbook. However, it’s no secret that notebooks are losing in popularity because people understand in this day and age, “less is truly more”. You could have a netbook as well, but then some individuals would be graced with keys far too small for big hands like yours truly, a small screen that’s sometimes just slightly bigger than that of a smartphone or the fact netbooks just aren’t powerful enough even to do the bare minimum like check emails, do some online chatting, etc. Manufacturers have realized consumers want something that can bring the best of both worlds and that’s why tablets have been developed now.

While Apple’s iPad is leading the revolution, it’s obvious there are many other successful tablets. There are many of you who own a tablet now and then there are many of you who will be looking to purchase a tablet in the near-future. The great thing about Android tablets is that they are a direct reflection of the Android platform in general. The Android platform allows for a variety of manufacturers to make unique and “customized” versions of the Android devices which are best suited for each user’s tastes. While there are popular options such as the ASUS Transformer Prime, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and of course the record-selling Amazon Kindle Fire, there’s one tablet that has won my heart and will continue to win my heart for the next year or two (or three or four). That tablet is the Motorola Xoom Wifi tablet. Introduced at last year’s CES, the tablet is still literally the model for which other Android tablets are developed and shaped. I will share with you all my thoughts and experience of owning this tablet. Of course many of you will disagree and want to throw in your two cents, but I just want to give you all some insights as to what the device means to me and how it fits in my lifestyle. Read more

Fujitsu Presents New Android Tablet, the Stylistic M350/CA2

Choice is always good, and Japan’s Fujitsu has a new seven-inch Android tablet to add to the selection.  The Stylistic M350/CA2 will run for six hours, and weighs in at 420 grams.  It boasts a Wide Super VGA (WSVGA) display with 1024×600 pixel resolution. Interestingly, users can select between a numeric keypad input, QWERTY input, and hand-written input. Perhaps the hand-written input will need the use of a stylus; hopefully more details on that will emerge. The Stylistic will work perfectly as an e-book reader, a sales terminal, and for retail stores looking to display their catalogs. It will also benefit the business person, since it includes a Bluetooth v2.1 data connection, and a miniHDMI for an image output to projectors. This new tablet will be available in Japan in mid-February. Skip over the break for the full press release.

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Motorola scores a victory over Apple as the German patent battle continues

It was only yesterday we wrote about Apple’s claims against Samsung in Germany and just as one would expect, the saga continues.

This time it’s Motorola’s turn to go up against the Cupertino giants although, just to break the usual trend, it’s Apple’s turn in the dock. The groundwork for this case was actually laid back in November when Motorola won an injunction against the sale of Apple products in Germany.

In an unexpected twist, a German judge has ruled in Motorola’s favour, granting two permanent injunctions. Motorola has really gone for the jugular on this one too, dealing two major blows to Apple’s products in Germany :

Injunction passed preventing the sale of various iOS products

Apple has already removed the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, as well as all 3G-enabled iPads from its online store.  The iPhone 4s is the only device still available online. All devices are still for sale at retail outlets.

Injunction passed preventing the use of push e-mail services

The Mannheim Regional Court has granted a permanent injunction preventing the use of the iCloud and MobileMe push e-mail services on German devices. Whilst users in Germany will still be able to use e-mail services, there will be no push option.  They will need to set their device to check for new e-mail at pre-defined intervals.

I’m ordinarily the first person in line to poke fun at our Apple owning friends however, on this occasion I have to say I take little pleasure in reading about cases like this.  There are no real winners as these patent wars rage on and Android users have missed out on features over the years due to similar claims.  In cases such as these, Apple may lose on the day but inevitably it’s the consumer who is losing out in the long run.


[via fosspatents]

Google Drops Official “Developer Support” for CDMA Galaxy Nexus, Google Releases Statement, Will Still Provide Direct Software Support

While most of us aren’t surprised by this move, I’m certainly not, Google has dropped official support for the CDMA (Verizon) Galaxy Nexus as a developer device. They did the same for the LTE Xoom and Nexus S 4G as well. At first folks thought was in regards to Google Wallet not being officially supported by Verizon however it was for a more in depth reason. It was first discovered by Droid-Life earlier this afternoon and while everyone was in a buzz and crying foul about the change,  what we needed to do was wait.  After many tech blogs reached out for comment, Dan Morril, an Android engineer had this to say:

Hello! This is a quick clarification about support for CDMA devices.

For various technical reasons, recent CDMA Android devices implement core telephony functionality in .apk files provided in binary form by the carriers. To function correctly, these .apk files must be signed by the so-called “platform” key. However, when an individual creates a custom build from the AOSP source code, they don’t use the same signing key as these CDMA flies were signed with.

The result is that these files don’t work properly, and pure AOSP builds running on these devices can’t place calls, access mobile data, and so on. Because we aim to make sure that we are as clear as possible about the degree of support that devices have, we updated the docs over at to reflect this reality.
We will still make available as many as possible of the closed-source binaries for these devices, and Nexus devices will continue to have unlockable bootloaders. And, of course, GSM/HSPA+ devices are still supported, as are any other devices we’re able to support. We’ve simply updated the documentation to be clearer about the current extent of CDMA support.
We are of course always working to improve support, and we’ll keep everyone updated as we make improvements. Thanks as always for your interest in AOSP!
– Dan