This is hardly a surprise, but DealNews is reporting that Amazon’s Kindle Fire will experience a price drop to $169 after the new Kindle Fire 2 launches later this year. Amazon has a history of keeping older kindles around, at lower price points, when newer ones are released. According to DealNews, the Kindle Fire 2 will slide into the $199 price point.
This tactic is similar to how Apple positions its older iPads and iPhones when new versions come out. The strategy allows one manufacturer to cover multiple price levels, increasing their potential audience.
Of course, Amazon is now forced to compete with Google’s popular Nexus 7 tablet, which is leaps and bounds ahead of the original Kindle Fire spec-wise but still costs just $199. Sales forecasts for the original Fire have already been cut due to the Nexus 7′s success. Reducing the original Fire to $169 and launching the Fire 2 at $199 would essentially allow Amazon to compete with the Nexus 7 on two fronts.
Looks like the era of low-cost and genuinely usable tablets is here, folks. This is the kind of competition that helps drive innovation. Even big bully and litigious Apple will be getting in the smaller tablet game with their rumored iPad Mini, but I doubt theirs will be under two bills.
As we reported earlier, Google released a video to introduce the Google Nexus 7 tablet to new owners. We suggested at the time that it may be the first in a series of videos to help new tablet owners get acquainted with their device. It certainly looks like that may be the case as Google has released another Nexus 7 related video. This one is titled “Make Yourself At Home” and provides a brief overview of how to add apps and widgets to the homescreen along with a couple other tips. Like the first one, people who are used to working with Android powered tablets may not get much out of it. Hit the break to view this latest installment.
As reported earlier, Qualcomm’s latest mobile development platform (MDP), the Snapdragon S4 Pro Dev is now available. Powering this device is their new APQ8064 chipset based on a quad core Snapdragon S4. Given the strong numbers posted by dual core S4 chips against quad core chipsets from other manufacturers, it should be no surprise that the quad core S4 just blows them away. When combined with the Adreno 320 gpu, the Qualcomm’s numbers are really in a different class.
It’s no secret that Gameloft is the current king when it comes to quality mobile games on the Android and iOS platform. With the companies success with their “all-ages” games such as Ice Age Village and Oregon Trail: American Settler, the company is looking to cash in with that demographic by releasing six new upcoming titles. Here are the 5 upcoming games that will be released for Android and iOS, with the 6th being an iOS platform exclusive.
- MY LITTLE PONY : Featuring everyone’s favorite characters such as PINKIE PIE and TWILIGHT SPARKLE from the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic animated series, created by Hasbro Studios and currently airing on the The HUB TV Network in the US. Girls and fans of all ages will look forward to building their very own town of Ponyville, while enjoying a series of mini games that are sure to please.
- Monster Life: With its original design, this game lets both the young and the young at heart interact with 3D papercraft monsters, build their habitats, take care of them, and train them to battle other monsters throughout various quests.
- Cosmic Colony: The action unfolds on a mysterious planet where players must create and organize their colony and make it prosper. Surprising events and space missions await players of all ages as they become space pioneers.
- Kingdoms & Lords: In this simulation and strategy game, players can build their own kingdom and form an army to hold off barbarian invaders. Players can battle each other to prove who has the better army in this compelling title.
- UNO® & Friends: This new game will let the huge worldwide base of UNO® fans connect with one another on smartphones, tablets or Facebook. Players will enjoy having the ability to challenge up to 3 other players in real time, while interacting using the in-game chat modes as well. A game started on a smartphone or tablet can be finished on Facebook, and vice versa.
All of these games will be free-to-play, so you can expect these to be a huge hit once it’s released. Sadly, Gameloft hasn’t released a date of when these games will be available, but we’ll be sure to inform you as soon as we know. You can check out Gameloft’s official press release after the break.
ASUS has updated their Padfone to software version 188.8.131.52. While it doesn’t bring the device to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, it does bring it to Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich. The update brings several bug fixes and optimizations in the power consumption and camera department. Support for 64GB SD cards will also implemented along with a new Super Note function with handwriting recognition.
ASUS will be pushing the update via OTA, although you can also pull the update directly from the ASUS’ website. If you own a Padfone and wish to update it yourself, then head over to the source link!
Qualcomm’s upcoming quad-core version of their highly popular Snapdragon S4 processor is getting closer to mass release. For early adopters, Qualcomm has made the processor available via a dev tablet which they’re calling the “Snapdragon S4 Pro mobile development platform.” While it caries a hefty price of $1,299, just keep in mind that it is geared towards developers and not for the general consumer. The tablet will sport a 10.1 WXGA (1280×768) display, 2GB LPDDR2 RAM, 32GB of storage space and runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
Considering the current dual-core S4 processor can hold its own against current quad-cores, one can only imagine how powerful the quad-core S4 will be. The new S4 will also be accompanied with the Adreno 320 graphics engine which is said to be three to four times more powerful than the current Adreno 225 that’s in the dual-core S4. You can purchase this straight from BSQUARE, Qualcomm’s usual distributor for their dev kits.
For more details on this developer tablet, hit the break for the spec sheet.
It was during my trip into London for the Galaxy S III unveiling that I noticed an interesting trend amongst the crowd as they pawed Samsung’s new flagship phone for the first time. What do you think was the first thing most people did; check out the browser, fire up the camera, have a play with S Voice? Some people did, however the most common activity the majority of people indulged in was to download and run a benchmarking application. It seems that a lot of Android enthusiasts are interested in how their new baby measures up against the competition when it’s being put through its paces. It’s long been said that benchmarking applications aren’t actually as accurate as they should be, some are optimised better for a certain version of the OS or even a particular processor. Furthermore to get the full range of results you may find yourself using 2 or 3 different applications. Qualcomm reckons it might just have the answer to this problem.
What is the most stress you can put your phone under at any one time? Well according to Qualcomm it’s running an Augmented Reality (AR) application. AR applications utilise close to all of the major components in the phone all at once including CPU, GPU, DSP, ISP, GPS, gyroscope, compass, accelerometer, barometer, microphone and camera. An AR benchmark application “would be as close as one could come to a total test of a smartphone”
We’re potentially at the Dawn of a new era for technology with the fabled Project Glass prototype already in the hands of some Android developers. Qualcomm, it seems, are ready to help us check to see if our devices are up to the job.
Announced last night, Swiftkey has released an update to include support for the Summer Olympics. The update will support language packs for both the US and UK keyboards and will allow recognition of your favorite athletes and Olympic teams.
In order to find the update, simply follow these instructions:
SwiftKey users can update their language packs now by going to Settings > Languages & layouts and then tapping “Update” when it appears next to their active languages. To refresh the updates available, tap your phone’s menu button and choose “Update languages”.
Looks like Google has made the Nexus Q available once again. The media streaming orb can be yours for just $299 and will ship in 3-5 days. Personally, I would love to have this little gem in all the rooms at my house, but I can’t justify spending $300 bucks for each one! Hit the break for a quick video and decide for yourself!
Is the Google Nexus 7 not your cup of tea? Prefer your tablet bigger, bolder and brighter? If so then my fellow Brits have cause for celebration as Asus has today announced that the top-of-the-range Transformer Infinity is inbound. From August 31st you’ll be able to pick up the 64GB model complete with official keyboard dock for a fairly hefty £599.99.
Let’s not forget that it’s the quality of Asus’ Transformer range of tablets that prompted Google to partner with them for the uber-successful Nexus 7. As far as high end tablets go, you could do a lot worse. The real question is just how many people will be willing to part with £600 when you can pick up an astounding tablet for as little as £160 these days. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.