Google to make improvements to tablet version of Play Store on November 21st


Google has had enormous success in the phone market with Android, but they’ve failed to offer any serious competition in the tablet space. Total unit shipments have been up, but there are still negative stigmas around tablet optimized apps and profitability for developers. Google is taking another step towards rectifying that by adding some “improvements” to the Play Store that put tablet-optimized front and center. On November 21st, all Android tablets will automatically show these made-for-tablet apps on the front page of the Play Store.

Apps that follow Google’s guidelines for well-designed tablet apps will be displayed ahead of other applications. They will also be assigned a specific badge that states they are designed for tablets, and apps that don’t meet those guidelines will be designated as designed for phones.

It’s not a quick solution towards getting more apps to be designed for tablets according to Google’s guidelines, but it’s going to make it easier for tablet owners to find apps that are better suited for their devices. Hopefully it’ll make developers more likely to work on getting their apps to look and run well on tablets.

source: Google Blog

Fox News is using 55-inch tablets in their new set

fox_news_tabletsWe all know that as tablets and smartphones have been rising in popularity, they have been also growing in size. Time for a huge size jump. Fox News’s new News Deck studio features enormous 55-inch tablet slates. That is enormous. They probably don’t run Android, but it’s pretty cool to see touch screens that are probably bigger than a lot of your television at home.

You can check out the tablets, as well as the rest of the gadgets in the new news room in the video embedded after the break.

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Android tablet sales surpass Apple’s iPad for the first time ever in Q2 of 2013


Android tablets have finally joined their phone counterpart up top. According to ABI Research, tablets running Android outsold Apple’s iPad in Q2 of 2013. Revenue for the entire tablet market hit $12.7 billion in that quarter. Since the same quarter of 2012, there was a 23% surge year-over-year.

While there isn’t much information on the Android manufacturers, it is easy to understand why Apple has been overthrown (for now). The research firm explains that smaller tablets around the 7 or 8-inch mark have been selling the most. Across the board, many companies have been aiming at this size. Amazon’s Kindle Fire line ranges from 7 to 8.9-inches while Samsung has been pumping out tablets endlessly. Also, Google refreshed their Nexus 7 with the latest specs. Even NVIDIA is in pursuit of some market share. Clearly consumers have taken to the smaller form-factor and lower prices.

Source: ABI Research

IDC lowers projected tablet estimates for 2013 due to wearable tech and bigger smartphones


According to the latest IDC forecast, tablets may not reach their previously estimated 229 million units in 2013, but it’s probably not because of the reasons most people think. The experts seem to think that when a new wave of wearable tech hits the market, it’s going to have an affect on the tablet market. Not only that, but IDC believes that phones with larger screens are functioning as both phone and tablet for some consumers, which further reduces the need for tablets. Throw in the fact that aren’t very many new tablets that will be available for the holidays and it’s easy to see how the shipments may not be as high as what was originally expected.

Now, to put this in perspective, the estimates are still sitting at around 227 million, so total units are only down about 2 million. The bigger picture here is to look at the trends of these tablets, though, not necessarily the shipment amounts. IDC has found that in mature markets, like the US, tablet sales are slowing down and losing market share to emerging markets such as Asia. Once the market gets so saturated, less new devices are going to be sold. Of course, if wearable watches and glass turn out to be the next big thing, we could see the exact reports for Google Glasses and Galaxy Gears in the next few years.

source: TechCrunch

Android devices dominate the tablet market in Q2 2013

android tablets Q2 2013

Android tablets have been on the upswing lately in terms of market share, and that trend looks to be continuing. In the first quarter of 2013, Android tabs account for just over 50% of tablets shipped, and that number how grown to 67% at the expense of Apple tablet market share. Compared to last year in Q2, Android tablets have grown from 51.4% to 67%, while Apple tabs dropped from 47.2% to 28.3%. Total units for Android tablets increased from 18.5 million to a whopping 34.6 million, which is a very impressive growth. Overall, the tablet market has seen a 43% growth year-over-year.

There’s a handful of new tablets slated for a holiday release this year, and we already have new Galaxy tabs and a rumored Nexus 10 tablet coming up. It’s definitely going to be interesting to see how those devices affect Android’s total market share.

source: Strategy Analytics

Lack of “multi-user” support on Android phones explained by Dan Morrill of Google


There has been some speculation that a Nokia patent has been blocking Google from adding “multi-user” support on Android phones— however, Dan Morrill of Google has taken to Reddit to explain the decision publicly.

Apparently, the problem stems from the phones themselves and the nature that we use them. While tablets receive emails and instant messages, something like a phone call may be too important to just “hold off” or send directly to voicemail while another user is logged in. What does Android do when a phone call comes in for another user? What about a text?

These kinds of questions are what’s keeping Google from adding “multi-user” support. Do any of you have an idea of how this could work? Personally, I always thought that multi-user support on phones would always be a luxury, but not a necessity. I, for one, would never use it, but bragging to my iFriends about the feature would always be nice…

Source: Android Reddit

Galaxy Watch, high-res tablets on the way from Samsung


Samsung may have heard some of the rumblings about the Samsung Galaxy S 4 being just an incremental step from the Galaxy S III based on news leaking out about some new devices in the pipeline. The one item that seems to be closest to reality is a new Samsung item with model number SM-V700, otherwise known as the Galaxy Watch, which is scheduled to be revealed at IFA 2013. Unfortunately, few details are available about the device, including whether it will be a standalone Android device or whether it has to be mated to another Android device.
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Google reports 70 million Android tablets activated, 1 million apps in Play Store


At Google’s “breakfast” event this morning with Sundar Pichai, it was proudly announced that to this day, 70 million Android tablets have been activated. It’s an impressive feat, especially when considering the tablet market only recently exploded in the past few years. Pichai also announced that there are now 1 million applications available for download in the Play Store— developers have certainly been doing their part as well.

All of this was in preparation to remove the veil over the brand new Nexus 7


Techno Source unveils kid-friendly line of Kurio tablets to be pre-sold exclusively at Toys”R”Us

Kurio 7s User Interface_Techno Source

Techno Source, famous for their Kurio kid-friendly 7-inch tablet, is following up their success with an entire Kurio line of devices. The new Kurio tablets will come in either 4-inch, 7-inch, or 10-inch sizes, and are appropriately titled the Kurio 4s, Kurio 7s, and Kurio 10s, respectively. The tablets will feature the latest in Android, running 4.2.2 out of the box as well as a large suite of parental control apps and some free family-friendly content. Pricing ranges from $100 to $229, depending on the screen size you want. You can preorder the tablets online only at Toys”R”Us. The 4s and 7s will be sold at various retailers in September, but the 10s will be a Toys “R” Us exclusive through 2013.

Hit the break below for the press release and more pictures of the devices.
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Expect more 8-inch Android tablets during second half of 2013


Analysts with NPD DisplaySearch are predicting big gains in the number of tablet devices shipped in 2013 and the hot spot is expected to be 8-inch tablet devices. According to NPD DisplaySearch, their analysis of the display supply chain indicates 8-inch devices will make up 5-10% of the market. That will be significant considering most Android powered tablets now come in either 7-inch or 10-inch sizes.
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