"A simple car mount that won't fall mid-drive is all anyone really needs. Still, there's something to be said for one that can stick firmly to almost any surface."
ExoGear sells the mount for $29.95 USD, and it is pretty versatile as you can see from the photo above. Granted, all the photos show an iPhone 4 but if you visit their site you will see that it will work with any device up to a 5-inch screen (thinking tablet here). They even have it adapted to use as an iPad holder or stand by flipping the suction cup around. A one size fits all mount if you will and the price certainly is affordable.
"As an ink blogger, the feature I’ve been most enthusiastic about testing on the HTC Flyer is ink. The Flyer is designed for pen input in a way unlike other pen tablets before it. What I’ve found is the experience breaks out into quantity vs. quality. It’s easy to spill a lot of ink, but it ain’t always pretty."
"Spilling Ink" is the author's term for writing in digital ink, or writing and drawing with a digital pen on a screen. An early gotcha is reported, in that the stylus can only write or draw, and not be used to click or drag, or manipulate the tablet's UI. A pen is a pen in this case, and not a finger substitute.
The bottom line is that this is a good start, but there is plenty of room for improvements.
"Thousands of magazines that satisfy every passion and hobby, from Road & Track and Rolling Stone to Robb Report, ELLE and BlackBook are now available to Android users on the Zinio app in Google’s Android Market. Whether they are at home on their PCs and Macs, or on the road with their Apple or Android tablets and select smartphones, magazine lovers get the most from their magazines with Zinio."
Zinio has been putting magazines on iOS devices for a while. They've finally released a reader for Android! If you like reading any magazine and you have a Honeycomb tablet you may want to check this out. Zinio apparently offers almost any magazine you can think of. You can get the Zinio app for free in the Android Market. If you need some incentive, they're offering an issue from the top 24 magazines for free to get you started. The blurb above, from their press release, says Zinio works on "select smartphones" but I tried and couldn't install it (the Market wouldn't let me) on my Droid X. It looks like you're set as long as you have a Honeycomb Tablet. I'd love to hear how the reading experience is on a Honeycomb tablet with their app. Let us know if you try it out!
"We just got to spend some quality time with ASUS' newly unveiled Padfone and you can see the smartphone that doubles up as a tablet on video after the break."
Is it too early to start thinking about the holidays again? ASUS doesn't think so! They are working on the Padfone, a smartphone/tablet combo, and hope it will be released later this year. It isn't official, but they have hinted that it may ship with Ice Cream Sandwich. If we find out more details we will let you know!
"Miro has been around for awhile, but for many it was little more than yet another alternative video player. Today, though, Miro has overhauled its app into a full-featured media library designed to sync with Android. Android users may see an immediate resemblance to previously mentioned DoubleTwist, and Miro's Android syncing puts it in a position as a great alternative."
Looking for something to help you sync your Android phone/tablet easier, or just manage and convert video files on your desktop? Miro looks like it's worth checking out!
"HTC has entered the final stages of testing for its 10.1-inch Puccini tablet PCs, with volume production slated for June 2011."
Mass production of the HTC Puccini tablet is scheduled to start in June. This will be an interesting device for a few reasons. First, the hardware. It is the first tablet I'm aware of with a 1.5GHz Qualcomm processor (I'm pretty sure that's dual-core). It also has a resistive/capacitive screen so it can use touch people are now used to on these devices as well as an old-school stylus. This makes a lot of sense for data entry, note taking, or editing on a tablet device. It will be interesting to see how practical or needed a stylus really is these days. Second, the software. It apparently will ship with Android 3.0.1 which I'm hoping is a typo and it will have 3.1 instead. Either way, as you can tell from the screen shot above HTC has built a new UI for Honeycomb devices. A lot of people seem to like Sense on their phone. I really wish OEM's would stop changing the stock interface and just let you download a different launcher if you want instead. Have you been waiting for the Puccini? What do you most like, or not like, about it?
Summary: The latest Android tablet from Archos offers a 10 inch screen, a panoply of ports (USB, Micro-USB, Mini-HDMI, and more), and enough battery life to get you through the day. However, it lacks the processing power of more expensive models and also has one or two fatal flaws such as a low resolution front-facing camera. Is the Archos worth the investment of your hard earned money, or should you wait for another entrant into the mid-range tablet field? Check out my review and see for yourself! Read more...
"Taiwan-based notebook brand vendor Acer is set to launch a tablet PC featuring the Intel Oak Trail platform and Google Android 3.0 operating system with the device already going under mass production by Compal Electronics and will start selling in July at the latest, according to sources from upstream component players."
There you have it! Acer has a 10" Android Honeycomb tablet coming, probably in July. While this is not the first Android tablet with an Intel processor, I think that would be the Cisco Cius, it is the first one running Honeycomb that I'm aware of. Since the architecture is different than the ARM architecture used by all other Android devices there would be some compatibility issues to work through that would probably involve recompiling the Android kernel and who knows what bugs could come up. Let's hope Acer worked out all the kinks and the tablet works just like a ARM Honeycomb tablet. Since Android uses Java which is supposed to be platform independent there is a good chance that with a recompiled JVM it should be able to run all the current Android apps - without the actual apps being recompiled. It think it's good Intel is finally going to start challenge ARM. This could help innovation and prices! Will you be waiting for an Acer Honeycomb tablet?
"For all its processing might, Intel is a non-player in the booming tablet space. Consumers, no longer trapped in the WinTel PC juggernaut, are increasingly opting for devices running software experiences optimized for more power efficient ARM processors. Intel hopes to break back into the market it once dominated with the release of "more than ten new tablets" at Computex later this month."
The tablet world is exploding and Intel wants in on the action! Back in Pocket PC days Intel used to make StrongARM mobile processors (actually bought it from DEC) and then replaced that line with the XScale line. Of course there were the Tablet PCs as well. Really though, Intel don't have a lot of experience with low-power high-performance processors, especially when it comes to graphics and everything being done with mobile devices now. Who knows, Intel may come up with just the right CPU for your tablet needs. Intel expects to have their chipsets (probably including an Intel CPU) in more than 35 tablets shipping by the end of the year - that's crazy! I love all the shapes and sizes of tablets available and, as always, I'm glad to see more competition entering the market. What do you think? Will you hold out for a tablet with an Intel inside?
"Put simply, Android 3.1 makes Honeycomb feel like a finished product, making it a much more worthy competitor to iOS on the iPad. It's more stable, provides increased usability with expandable widgets, and lets you access more recently used apps than before. We also appreciate the improved web browsing and Flash performance. And with the introduction of movie rentals, the Android Market is finally starting to catch up to iTunes in terms of multimedia content. The Android Market still needs a lot more apps, but Android 3.1 provides a much better foundation for anyone considering a Google-powered tablet than its predecessor."
Laptop Magazine gives Honeycomb 3.1 a pretty thorough evaluation and comes to the conclusion that 3.1 is a mature, ready-for-prime-time tablet OS. Is this the OS that will not only push Android into the tablet mainstream, but give iOS a run for its money? Only time will tell, but the future is looking bright for the little green guy in his bumblebee suit.
"Yes, we're talking about the 7-inch Flyer, the most unique of this year's Android tablet offerings, opting for a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, a sturdy aluminum construction that doesn't even try to compete in the race for extreme thinness, and a Magic Pen to make you forget it's running Gingerbread and not Honeycomb (yet). Also set for release under the EVO View 4G moniker on Sprint in the US, this tablet is the sum of a set of bold choices on the part of HTC."
HTC has really made a name for themselves in the Android marketplace, coming up with some innovative designs and features and their Flyer tablet is no exception. Check out this review to see if it's the right tablet for you. As far as I'm concerned, this one is right up there on my wish list.
"Details on what could well be HTC’s second Android tablet of 2011 have leaked, codenamed the HTC Puccini, and expected to be the company’s first Android 3.0 Honeycomb slate complete with AT&T LTE 4G support."
One thing that sets this tablet apart from the others is that instead of a Tegra 2 HTC chose to use a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor. That CPU uses an Adreno 220 GPU which should be very fast. With that high clock speed and good GPU it will be interesting to see if this is a Tegra 2 killer. It will also have AT&T 4G LTE support built in. One plus or minis depending on whether or not you like the HTC Sense interface is that HTC has it on the Puccini. Personally, I would much rather have the original Honeycomb interface but I shouldn't knock it until I try it. Make sure to hit the "Read" link below for the rest of the details. What do you think of the HTC Puccini? Does it seem to be a tablet that you would consider?
"It may be a bit difficult to pay attention to the spate of Honeycomb tablets that seem to be popping up left, right and center -- you know, now that Ice Cream Sandwich has been officially promised -- but what's not easy to overlook is an 8.6mm slate. Checking in at a sliver of a pinch thinner than the illustrious iPad 2, Samsung's rethought-out, redesigned and definitely-not-renamed Galaxy Tab 10.1 is the first Android tablet to date that seriously goes toe-to-toe with Apple in both specifications and design."
Looks like we may soon have a new leader in the Android Tablet Race. Scheduled for release on or about June 8, 2011, Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 is, in the reviewer's eyes, the first Android tablet to equal and (or) surpass the iPad 2 in most areas. Larger (wide) screen, sleek and attractive, better resolution @ 1280x800, lighter, and arguably more powerful, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 appears to be arriving at the same price as the iPad2, starting at $499 for a 16GB WiFi model. Come on, Samsung, how about being a tad cheaper than the iPad?!
Still, looking at the video, I think that the iPad still leads in ease-of-use out of the box, but Android seems to be catching up. With Android 3.1 on the near horizon, some of the complains are remedied, like adding re-sizeable widgets, USB host support, better HTML5 support, task switcher improvements, and improved performance. Looks like the gauntlet has been thrown down - it'll be interesting to see if iOS now 'borrows' some of the better features from Android. And, again, the consumer benefits!
"You know what's cool? Handing out 5,000 Android tablets to your most loyal developers at Google I/O. You know what's not cool? Handing out 5,000 Android tablets that can't have files loaded onto them. Believe or not, that's exactly what happened at this week's I/O conference, where hordes of developers were handed a Galaxy Tab 10.1 Limited Edition that cannot currently interface with OS X, and has a whale of a time doing so with Windows 7."
As mentioned above Google gave out a new, actually unreleased, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Honeycomb tablet to all the developers who attended the Google IO conference this past week. Unfortunately, it turns out it's not easy to connect them to a computer for file transfer. If you read the source article, including the update, you'll see they did find a way that works with Windows 7 or OS X but it's still not a quick an easy process. It does sound like some of the problem is the fact that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is not out yet and it's not recognized by software that is commonly used for this type of connection. Once that software is updated, hopefully soon, PC or Mac connectivity will be a non-issue. It's too bad someone at Google didn't do a little more testing with this before they gave out 5000 of these tablets. They could have at least give out instructions with it for connecting it to a computer.
"Google's upcoming Android 3.1 is coming for tablets, of course, but it's also improving Google TV's interface. Even better, Google TV gets the Android Market as well."
"The Ice Cream Sandwich release, on the other hand, doesn't have a release date, but will put all of Honeycomb's new features into phones. One new feature is facial detection with the camera, so video chat will automatically focus on the speaker who's talking (if there are multiple ones)"
This week at the Google IO conference two significant new versions of Android have been officially announced. One is Android 3.1, the next version of the tablet optimized Honeycomb OS, and the other is Ice Cream Sandwich, which has no version number right now but is expected to be something like 3.5 or 4.0.
Android Honeycomb 3.1 is rolling out now to Verizon 3G Xoom tablets and will be available for WiFi Xooms in the coming weeks - though we don't know exactly when. Honeycomb 3.1 adds re-sizable widgets, a re-written multitasking and task switching engine, USB host support, USB input device support, and support for the hardware graphics acceleration of Flash content available to tablets in Flash 10.2 which is available in the Market now. Version 3.1 will also bring more features, including the Android Market, to Google TV devices.
While we don't know much about Ice Cream Sandwich we do know that its main goal, or at least one of them. It is to combine the two forks of Android, the one for phones and the one for tablets, into a single OS that provides different display optimizations depending on the device display size. This should make things easier on developers and hopefully combine the best of both worlds in a way that makes each better than it is on its own.
"All signs point to an Android-based tablet coming soon from Amazon. There are reports that it's already in production for a fall launch, and Amazon has gone on a hiring spree for Android developers. It makes sense. The Nook Color just got a nice upgrade to Android 2.2 Froyo, turning the device into a fully-functional tablet for just $250."
Most of these fall into the "no brainer" category, but if Amazon can deliver a tablet that offers an attractive design, reasonable performance, and an easy-to-swallow price tag, they could have a hit on their hands. Amazon has had a near-perfect execution with the Kindle - they achieved great mindshare, have evolved the product over three iterations, and have a powerful ecosystem for selling products. If anyone can deliver an Android tablet that really rocks, it just might be Amazon!
"A Motorola XOOM update will be made available [today] that brings a bunch of fixes to the device including Bluetooth support on Google Talk and for a mouse, proxy support, and a new picture transfer protocol."
A PDF from Verizon introduces the latest update for the Motorola Xoom Android tablet. Is has a number of fixes like for HTML display of POP3 email as well as a few new features like support for a Bluetooth mouse. I'm not sure how Android would be with a pointer but it would be fun to at least try. I wonder if they have a way to do two finger gestures with the mouse, like rotating the display in Google Maps...anyway, it's great to see that so many issues are addressed. The update is only 28MB, which doesn't sound too big to me. Unfortunatly it doesn't add support for the MicroSD card slot. I'm not sure what's up with that since apparently the MicroSD card slot is fully functional out of the box on the Asus EeePad Transformer. Please let us know if you give this update a try. Does it work as advertised, do more, or less?
"Android Honeycomb tablets are becoming a dime-a-dozen, which naturally leads to attempts to set new tablets apart from the growing pack...What’s left for Sony to do so its tablets don’t get lost in the crowd?"
Sony has officially announced the S1 and S2 tablets. The S1 is a fairly conventional looking tablet but with a design that moves the weight to one end, making it easier to hold. It's also angled so it should be easier to view when resting on a table. It has a 9.4" screen, DLNA, and can be used as a remote for Bravia TV's. The S2 is a little more interesting. It has two 5.5" screens and can fold in half. The screens can be used separately for doing different things or together as one large screen, but with a break in the middle where the device folds.
I love the way Sony has supported things like DLNA, USB Mass Storage, standard Bluetooth HID profiles, standard USB keyboards, and standard Bluetooth headsets on the PS3 for a long time as well as all the features they have added to the PS3 over the years like improving the audio player, Flash support in the browser, streaming video services, and remote power on with a PSP. They've also added a ton of features to the PSP like customizable scene skipping thumbnails in video, a comic book player, letting you run music in the background while in the XMB or playing slide shows, and adding support for more audio and video formats.
I can't wait to see what Sony Does with the S1 and S2. I think there is a lot of potential for interaction between these tablets and the PS3 or maybe even PSP. I'd love to hook a tablet to a TV with HDMI and then use my PSP as the controller for a game on the tablet that I'm watching a big screen! Hopefully, whatever they do, they'll do a reasonable job at keeping the base OS up to date. With the Xperia Play on the way as well Sony is really showing a strong commitment to Android and whether you like Sony or not the competition is always good! I know Sony is getting a black eye right now since their network has been down for the last week but I'll definitely give them another chance. Do you have any interest in an Android tablet from Sony? What are your thoughts?
"...we just got a hold of a juicy PowerPoint that reveals a new ThinkPad tablet for “on-the-go professionals.” No, this isn’t a Windows 7 convertible like you’d expect — this is a full-fledged Android 3.0 slate complete with an optional pen and an accompanying “keyboard portfolio case.”"
Those of you who have read my posts know that I'm not a fan of Apple's mobile devices. One thing that I do think Apple has done right is use IPS LCD's. OLED's, I don't care what kind, just take too much juice too much of the time and while a 40,000/1 contrast ratio is all kinds of hotness I'm not convinced that 1000/1 isn't good enough for my phone. IPS LCD's are just as bright as possible without using too much power. I'm glad there is finally an Android tablet coming that will use this display technology and, unlike Apple, it will not have a screen resolution and aspect ratio from 1995;) Besides that, I'm a big ThinkPad fan. I had one for about 8-10 years, yeah it was IBM but still made by Lenovo and took a real beating. It was definitely a high quality and well built machine so I'm glad to see Lenovo releasing a Honeycomb tablet. One other thing I like about this is the full size SD port and full size USB port. A full size HDMI port on there would be great while they're at it but MicroHDMI isn't too bad since they're becoming fairly common anyway. I should make sure to mention this information is an unconfirmed leak so please check out the source for yourself from the "Read" link below. Let us know if anything about this tablet gets your attention. What do you think of the optional keyboard and pen input?
"The Android Tablet Battalion has finally arrived. In the span of just three days, the number of Honeycomb tablets has ballooned from one to four. In addition to competitive pricing (read: cheaper than the iPad 2), they provide a whole host of special features including full SD card readers, 3D, full USB, stereo speakers, full HDMI, HSPA+, and even a full keyboard."
The Android tablet onslaught has begun. There are now four Honeycomb running tablets available. The Xoom, G-Slate, Asus Eee Pad Transformer, and the Acer Iconia Tab A500. They're offering some new features like 3D video recording and playback as well as an attachable keyboard with an extra battery. Besides new features, there are lower prices, going as low as $400 for the Transformer. Are any of these tablet's just what you've been waiting for? Follow the "Read" link below and see which one and what features are your favorites then let us know! Do you think the new low prices and features will affect sales of the iPad 2? Check out this link for some thoughts on that.