If you’ve been waiting on the wave of new tablets for 2013, your wait is almost over. Toshiba has announced today three new models of their Excite lineup, called the Excite Pure, Excite Pro, and Excite Write, with each tablet nicely covering a different price point for consumers.
The Excite Pure isn’t the most exciting tablet that’s going to hit the market this year; it’s using a slightly outdated Tegra 3 processor with 1 GB of RAM and a 1280 x 800 10.1 inch screen. However, it is running Android 4.2 out of the box, and it’ll only cost you $299. The Excite Pure sounds like a decent tablet at an extremely friendly price, especially for a 10-inch tablet.
Hulu released an update today to its popular Hulu Plus app, which reportedly promises increased playback resolution for three 1080p devices, including the Droid DNA, Galaxy S 4, and the HTC One. Unfortunately, there’s only a small amount of content on Hulu that’s actually in 1080p so this news doesn’t come off as big as it could be. There wasn’t really any other information given about the update, so this is all we have for now. Hit the break for the link to the app in the Play Store.
While many people are waiting anxiously for the release of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 processor intended to power top-end devices, the company itself is still working on hardware targeting other market segments. Today they announced a new addition to the Snapdragon 400 line of processors, the 8926, a quad-core chip with integrated multi-mode 3G/4g LTE capabilities. The new chip will help device manufacturers produce high volume or mid-tier devices, especially those that will be deployed in emerging markets like China. Adding to the appeal are some other features like TD-SCDMA, HSPA+ and multi-SIM capabilities along with Qualcomm’s new QuickCharge 1.0 feature for charging a device up to 40% faster.
Qualcomm is also helping manufacturers by releasing a new Qualcomm Reference Design (QRD) for smartphones integrating the new Snapdragon 400 chip. The QRD program was created to help manufacturers more rapidly bring differentiated smartphones to market. In a new twist and in response to demand from manufacturers, Qualcomm also announced new QRDs for 7-inch and 10-inch tablet devices.
The new Snapdragon 400 will be available in late 2013. Check out the full press release after the break.
When Asia’s HTC Butterfly evolved into the HTC DROID DNA in the United States, we thought that would be the end of the Butterfly line. Maybe not though, as ePrice is telling us that the Butterfly could be kept alive in the form of the HTC Butterfly S, scheduled to launch in China by the end of this month.
The new Butterfly S would feature the same 5 inch, 1080p display, but new features include a Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset, an improved processor, HTC’s upgraded 4MP “UltraPixel” camera, and the new Sense 5. It’s doubtful that the Butterfly S would be available outside of Asia, with the HTC One currently being their prime device, and an HTC Mini on the horizon. We should learn more on the upcoming phone in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.
The number of phones upgrading from Ice Cream Sandwich to Jelly Bean is slowing down, as most high-end Android devices are pretty much all shipping with Jelly Bean at this point, or are stuck with Ice Cream Sandwich with no plan for upgrade. The number will eventually come to a steady halt, and this month, the numbers only decreased by 1.9%.
Jelly Bean is up 4.6%, a pretty decent jump up from 3.4%, which I predicted in last month’s distribution update. The total Jelly Bean number of 33% will keep on increasing as more and more devices ship with the latest version of Android, and will keep moving up when 4.3 launches later this year. This month’s total distribution count can be found after the break.
New data from Kantar Worldpanel Comtech for the quarter ending April 2013 shows iOS and Windows devices gained sales share at a slightly faster pace than Android. This dynamic is occurring after Android took the U.S. sales lead in 2013, placing it in the position of being the hunted. Android increased their share of the sales pie by 1.4 percent year over year compared to 1.8 percent for Windows smartphones and 2.3 percent for iOS devices. Despite the gains by the competition, Android still controls 51.7% of the U.S. market in terms of sales.
Gmail’s new categorical inbox went live in browsers last week, and the Android app is starting to follow. The new Gmail app is slowly (very slowly) rolling out to users via the Play Store. If you don’t want to wait, however, Android Police has ripped the APK file for all of us to download and enjoy immediately. The update is available in the Play Store, but not everyone can get it. If you’re not one of the lucky few, we provided a download link below of the actual APK.
I’ve gotten a chance to play around with the updated app, and I’m really liking how polished it feels. The sliding navigational drawer, and “slide down to refresh” feature are incredibly smooth. The new contact images with upper case initials with a bright background are also a nice touch. There’s also a little more room to read your emails due to the action bar being moved, which is always helpful. Links after the break.
After a day of newly released Ultrabooks, tablets, and smartphones, Acer took the stage once again at Computex 2013 to reveal the new “Orbe,” a new storage hub that will connect to AcerCloud. The device allows for a whole 2TB of storage and can connect to Ultrabooks, tablets, and smartphones. This will be pretty userful considering the service’s recent update allowing Android and iOS devices to connect. We don’t have any specs on the Orbe as of right now, but we’ll be sure to fill you in as they come.
In an effort to get expand its presence beyond premium-level smartphones, ARM has officially introduced the Cortex-A12, a brand-new mid-range core to be used in future mid-level smartphones. The Cortex-A12 will feature none other than the energy-saving ARM big.LITTLE™ technology that was previously found only on high-end devices, but now can be designed into mid-range smartphones as well. As a result, the Cortex-A12 processor offers ARM partners up to a 40 percent performance improvement, compared to the existing Cortex-A9 processor. Complimenting the new core is the Mali-T622 GPU and Mali-V500 video engine, giving the future mid-range devices superior graphics and videos in comparison to the high-end counterparts. So the hope is perhaps in the immediate future, the upcoming mid-rangers will have some pretty sweet capabilities without customers having to compromise on the price.
We know at least some of you are salivating right now, so why not hit the break and check out the press release for more details?