When people think of the biggest story for 2011, Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility immediately comes to mind. The initial thought was Google may have had plans to use Motorola to create a new line of
Nexus premium devices, but really the more likely theory for Google’s major purchase has to do with MOTO’s vast number of patents— 17,000 to be exact, which would help in the legal fights against Microsoft and Apple as seen here… and here… and here again as some examples. Despite the sheer number of patents which would help, Google still has to deal with all facets of MOTO including the 20,500 MOTO employees working in 92 major facilities across 97 countries and set top cable box business in addition to mobile division. Google can be applauded for being aggressive and trying to make bold moves, but could it have gotten ahead of itself when making this big of a purchase? More importantly, could Google actually be considering a sale of MOTO so it can focus on its core strength– web search– instead of getting into the handset business? There are some indications that points to yes.
Ah yes the Intel Medfield-powered Lenovo K800. We already know it’s possibly positioned to at least keep up with the competition, but we still have yet to get a view of the device in real life or even an idea of when we may see it land in stores. Well gang, it looks like it’s only a matter of time before the intriguing Intel Medfield-powered Lenovo K800 arrives— and with a few tricks up its sleeve. Using the microblogging site Weibo, Intel China head honcho Sean Maloney announced the device is not only set to arrive by the end of next month, but the K800 will be featuring Intel’s new “Avatar Technology”.
No word yet on what “Avatar Technology” is exactly, but it’s pretty safe to say that it will likely be awesome. Stay tuned with Talk Android for additional information or details for the device.
Asus has begun bringing their lineup of tablets to market starting with the Tranformer Pad 300, which was dubuted at MWC this year along with the Transformer Pad Infinity and Padfone. The Pad 300 should be rearing its pretty little face anytime now as it’s been currently listed with several online retailers. The 32 GB model popped up in France for €499 ($650) however, according to the folks over at The Verge, they rendered Google Shopping results showing $379 (16GB) at J&R. We’re unable to duplicate those findings so we’ll just take their word for it. Just to recap on the Pad 300, it’s touting a quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 chipset, a 10.1-inch display with 1280 x 800 res, a gig of RAM and a pretty decent 8 meg camera for its main shooter. Stay tuned as we patiently await for the official launch of the device along with its cousins the Infinity Tab and Padfone. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.
We had a chance to do a quick hands on with the ASUS Eee Pad MeMo ME171 at CES this past January. It’s finally up for sale in Taiwan for 17,500NT or $585. The specs include a 1.2GHz dual core processor, 1GB of RAM, 5MP rear camera, 1.2MP front camera, 16GB of internal memory, 8.5 hours of video playback with the 4400mAh battery, and Android 3.2. It will be upgraded to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, and knowing ASUS, it will probably be pretty soon. Unfortunately this tab isn’t all that thin as it comes in a 11.6mm. Hit the break for the video.
Looking for yet another way to kill some time on that Android device of yours? Well you’re in luck because EA Games has officially released Pogo Games for Android. The app allows you to play tons of free puzzle games like Poppit!, Word Whomp, Turbo 21 and Sweet Tooth 2. The neat things about Pogo Games is that the concept is somewhat similar to OpenFeint– you create a profile and try to attain personal bests while comparing your scores against other profiles and users worldwide on the leaderboard. If you take a step up in Pogo membership as a Club Pogo member, you’ll find that membership gives you 100% Ad-Free gameplay, access to premium games like World Class Solitaire and exclusive Weekly Badge Challenges.
The app is available for all Froyo+ devices, so make sure you give it a shot and try your hand at some of the games available. You can find the Play Store link and QR code after the break.
Adobe just updated their reader for Android (and iOS), which brings a considerable amount of additions. Adobe EchoSign’s eSignature service is now available, which is going to make it easier for signing documents on the go. Users will have their choice of either drawing their signature or adding a typed cursive signature to any document. Users can also connect with EchoSign to get others to sign documents electronically. That’s not all. With Adobe Reader 10.2, you can also annotate, add comments by adding Sticky Notes, and fill out simple PDF forms.
Kevin M. Lynch, SVP and GM, Acrobat® and Document Services, Adobe
“The days of printing, signing and faxing back signed documents are numbered,” said Kevin M. Lynch, SVP and GM of Adobe Acrobat and Document Services. “With Adobe Reader and EchoSign, we’re making it easy for anyone to send important contracts to customers so that they can quickly and easily sign and send them electronically and get the deal done faster.”
Hit the break for download links and full press release
Looks like the HTC Rhyme on Verizon is about to start receiving an OTA update to version 2.20.605.3. Unfortunately, it’s not Ice Cream Sandwich. Nope, this update is just a boring old bug fix and tidying up release. Not too exciting. The documentation about this update lists the following changes:
- “ Ringtones” has been replaced with “Edit Home” when the Menu key is pressed on the home screen.
- Updated signal strength meter to 5 bar Received Signal Strength Indication (RSSI).
- Mobile networks no longer disabled when using Power Saver.
- Device is enabled with the Wireless Alerting System.
Device Dock Features
- Default applications in Dock Mode have been changed to “Phone” and “Calendar”.
- In-call volume control has been added to Dock Mode.
- “All Apps” option has been added to Dock Mode.
- Resolved issue of dock volume changing to 20%.
Applications & Widgets
- Device displays available music on the device and provides an option to purchase ringtones from the MOD application when a user is attempting to set a new ringtone through a prepopulated list.
- Mail shortcut now shows unread mail count.
This 67.8MB update should be pushing out in a matter of days.
We saw Sony’s Xperia S at CES this year, and even heard it would be arriving in Canada at some point. Well, in a press release today, Sony announced that “a limited number of Xperia S smartphones will be available exclusively at Sony Stores across Canada, beginning April 17th.” This is a page right out of the Apple handbook: release a phone in your retail stores first, then give it to the carriers. This type of staggered availability certainly helps increase the hype and demand for a device since everyone wants what is hard to get. It also helps perpetuate the illusion of high demand when the news covers the lines that form outside retail locations. With smartphones, retail locations make sense since most people want to feel what a phone is like in their own hands before making a buying decision. Even Samsung is toying with the concept of a store within a store. Is this a trend?
As for carriers, Sony says the Xperia S is “compatible with the Rogers wireless network” but doesn’t mention it’s exclusive. This could mean that the device is unlocked and could be compatible with other networks, but we don’t know that for sure yet.
The Xperia S will ship with Android 2.3 Gingerbread but is slated for an update to Ice Cream Sandwich later this year. It sports a 4.3-inch Reality Display at 1280 x 720, a whopping 12MP camera that can take 1080p HD video, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 32GB of internal storage, NFC, and HDMI. All this can apparently be had for $99.99 on a 3-year plan with Rogers.
Check out the full press release after the break.
We already got a glimpse of Notion Ink’s Adam 2 and its TI OMAP 4400 processor, and we even heard why Notion Ink decided to shun NVIDIA’s Tegra 3. Now we are learning that the Adam 2 will not have an HD screen due to power issues. Notion Ink’s Rohan Shravan posted on the Designing Adam 2 blog explaining how they had the option to use a 10-inch 1920 x 1200 display but decided against it since it would have a detrimental effect on battery life and increase the weight, size, and charging time of the device. No word on what resolution screen they will end up using but Shravan said an HD screen will make an appearance in a future device when the battery issues can be worked out.
It’s no big secret that sometimes developers can create apps that aren’t as consistent with the intended Google design look and feel as we’d like. And so in moving forward, Matias Duarte, Director of Android User Experience, announced way back at CES that there were official Android design guidelines coming. The effort is to assist developers in creating applications that are more consistent with the look and feel of the flourishing OS. It was already a pretty comprehensive guide however, Google has incorporated a little more detail today, primarily on how devs should and should not use the settings menu. They’re making attempts to lure devs away from the temptation of wanting to make everything a setting. To combat the effort, Google has provided a helpful and intuitive flowchart to assist with questions like “is it actually a user preference?”. Should the answer be no, then they’re persuaded not to make it a setting. In addition, the search giant has added new guidelines for navigating around the OS, mainly in how one enters an app through a widget or via the notification menu. There’s a ton of detail here altogether and it’s a great read. If you’re interested in learning more, head on over to Roman Nurik’s Google + page, an Android dev advocate working at Google.
source: Roman Nurik G+