It was only earlier today that I had mentioned that we were on the path to seeing a whole bunch of announcements claiming that certain devices will see ICS in the near future. Only hours after Google and Samsung had their Galaxy Nexus/ICS event did the ICS SDK become available, and manufacturers are eating it up. Motorola recently made an announcement adding another device to the ICS upgrade list, this time in tablet form.
Some moderator over at the Motorola support forums has confirmed that the Xoom tablet will be seeing an upgrade just like the Droid Razr. If this is true, and it happens before the Asus Padfone drops, it would become the first Android tablet to run Android 4.0. We can most likely trust the Moto support forums’ source, a moderator usually knows more details than the average joe.
Samsung just announced the availability and details for the upcoming Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus. This of course, is the replacement for the Galaxy Tab. It will feature a 7-inch (1024 x 600) display, 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, 3MP rear camera, 2MP front camera, Android Honeycomb, weight in at 345g, and will be 9.96mm thick.
It will also feature the Peel Smart Remote TV application, which lets users instantly find and watch their favorite TV shows and discover new shows based on preferences. The built-in infrared capability can control the user’s home theater/TV setup and work in conjunction with the Peel app.
The Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus will feature 16GB of storage and will be available nationwide through Best Buy, Amazon, Tiger Direct, Fry’s, and other retailers starting November 13th for $399.99. Pre-orders will being October 23rd from select partners.
Full press release after the break:
SCE Chairman Kaz Hirai at AsiaD made it clear recently that the company’s Android framework is still open for the taking for manufacturers interested in utilizing it. The SDK will not officially be available until next month sometime, but it should be interesting to see who decides to make a move and jump on the PlayStation Suite. Hirai also states for the record that it “isn’t an ecosystem” reminding folks that he’s not interested in keeping it all in the Sony family. He also confirmed that the company is currently “in discussions with non-Sony companies to bring them onboard“. There’s still no official word on when this might take place but Sony states that we’ll know “when it’s time to go public with it.” As of now, Sony offers a trio of Android devices with the PlayStation Suite onboard, such as the Xperia Play, which is also in-line to receive some ICS love, along with the Tablet S and Tablet P. Your thoughts?
Oh yes, the Transformer Prime is coming. Following a short, yet still drool-worthy appearence at the All Thing D’s AsiaD conference this week, the NVIDIA quad-core Tegra 3 powerhouse of a tablet now has a live landing page and is unabashedly described as “faster, stronger and of course, sexier” than anything you’ve experienced before.
The Transformer Prime will get its official unveiling in just three weeks on November 9th. In the meantime, jump past the break to enjoy its quick showing at AsiaD.
Well isn’t this a pleasant surprise? Looks like the updates just keep hitting the Transformer without a hiccup. The device has been gracious and generous enough to get regular updates, mostly due to its popularity, no doubt. And it looks like Ice Cream Sandwich will be no exception this time around. Asus revealed via their official Twitter account that the device will see sweeter days (see what I did there?) and to stay tuned for a date.
Coming to an @ASUS #EeePadTransformer near you… Stay tuned for dates
This does beg the question however, will the Transformer 2 come with ICS pre-loaded?
In an interview yesterday at AsiaD, Asus chairman Jonney Shih showed off the companies latest upcoming tablet, the Transformer Prime; a new moniker for the Transformer 2. Like its predecessor the Transformer Prime is a tablet/netbook hybrid, but now sporting Asus’s new spin brushed aluminum finish on an 8.3mm thin frame. They have also updated from the previous Tegra 2, to the Tegra 3, also known as Kal El; a quad core monster. That’s all the details that were given, but even so, those were satisfying to say the least.
Shih didn’t stop the excitement there. He went on to say that Asus plans on updating current Asus Transformers to the newly announced Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich before the end of the year. That is great news for early adopters. More companies should really make a point to have their devices on the latest software for security reasons at least, so props to Asus.
One more thing…
Asus also has plans to release the Padfone during Q1 of 2012 and will indeed be running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Padfone? What’s that you say? More on that device here.
Expect a formal announcement of the Transformer Prime on November 9th.
Netflix has announced the launch of their newly updated application in the Android Market, made to support Android Honeycomb 3.x tablets. News of this tablet-minded app update comes as especially good news for users in Canada and Latin America, as the app will now extend Android support in those areas for the first time – welcome to the party!
Hit the break to get a link or QR code for this application.
The crowd-pleasing Swype Beta keyboard app has been updated to build 3.26. This is the first update we’ve seen since August and it comes with a bunch of additions including automatic updates. After you’ve advanced to version 3.26, Swype will begin pushing new updates to your device automatically and present you with a notification to install it. That’s right, no more fooling around with that troublesome installer app any more.
Other updates include:
- Improved Language Control gives you access to only the languages you use. From Swype Settings you can select which languages will appear when switching languages directly from Swype. Never cycle through a language you don’t use again.
- The Refined Key Layout brings a better overall user experience, more in line with what users expect. Numbers are now across the top row, and the symbols layer contains several new characters, and a button to switch between 2 pages of symbols.
- Redesigned Settings & Help makes it easier than ever to control how Swype behaves, and learn how to become an advanced Swype user. Just long-press the (Swype icon) to go straight to the Swype Settings window!
Hit the break for a link to the latest version of Swype Beta.
Google’s mobile chief Andy Rubin took a pointed position at the All Thing D’s AsiaD conference when pressed on the issue of what some Android users would deem an insufficient amount of tablet-optimized apps.
“I don’t think there should be apps specific to a tablet.” – Andy Rubin
The Android founder elaborated on his assertion while managing to touch a bit on the future direction of Ice Cream Sandwich, “if someone makes an ICS app it’s going to run on phones and it’s going to run on tablets,” he said. This direction would mean incorporating more single apps with the ability to scale to the different handset and tablet device screen sizes, thereby allowing a fluent switch from handset to tablet and back, as needed by the user throughout the day.
For my own consumption, I favor a focus on single scaling-capable apps and have found that most specimens I’ve tried provided mostly comfortable functionality and a solid, proportionate appearance. Though I must say, each app download is basically a crap shoot as it’s not until after you get hands on with it that you know for sure how well it truly holds up. Looking forward, if Google diligently beefs up the quality of these kinds of apps and provides these optimizations for a larger selection, I am definitely on board.
There was a general expectation that Google was going to have some sort of tablet-related announcement or information last night, and , given the size of the soap box, Asus’ Transformer 2 with its impressive rumored specs seemed the likely assumption. Tablets weren’t really mentioned however, which is rather odd given that one of the purposes of Ice Cream Sandwich was to fuse Android tablet and phone OSes, and so there was nothing about the Transformer 2. Perhaps there is something else in the works, as two leaked videos have surfaced, giving a quick sneak peak of the Transformer 2 and touting the abilities of the NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor underneath the hood. They’re both very well done, and they beg the question “When can we expect an announcement?” The hope is soon, as this device looks like it’s going to be fantastic. Check out the videos after the break, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments.