A little under a month after previewing it, Sling Media has released its SlingPlayer for Android Honeycomb tablets. Just like the iOS and Windows Phone 7 versions that came before it, this one costs $29.99. A press release, in full after the break, clarifies: The SlingPlayer application for Android Phones will continue to work in “Compatibility Mode” on tablets at no extra charge. The Android Phone version of the application streams from all Slingboxes, but not at the higher quality resolutions available on tablet devices. Go and get it at the Android Market today.
Android smartphone users have been slinging live TV to their devices via the SlingPlayer Mobile app for some time now. Now running through the pipeline is a Honeycomb version of the same app. That’s right: in the near future both Android-powered phones and (Android 3.0 and higher) tablets will be able to run SlingPlayer. The app upgraded for larger screens will go for the same price it always has: $29.99. Click here and sign up to be notified about its release. For now, prepare for the release by watching the video demonstration above.
Yesterday and today Google hosted its renowned developer’s conference dubbed Google I/O 2011. Literally thousands of developers flocked to San Fransisco’s Moscone Center to find out what Google’s been cooking up on their end. This year’s event proved to be leaps and bounds more exciting than last year’s conference. Google introduced their new cloud-based music service called Music Beta; they unveiled Ice Cream Sandwich, the next version of Android that promises to bridge the gap between Gingerbread and Honeycomb; Android is going into the home automation business with Google’s impressive initiative Android@Home; Chrome OS is finally ready for the big leagues–Samsung and Acer are prepping Chromebooks for mass consumption; and Angry Birds has landed in the browser!
So much to discuss–it’s all a hop, skip and a jump after the break. (Click here for more…)
In mid-February Samsung teased the followup to its first major tablet the Galaxy Tab. The 7-incher is loaded with Android 2.2 and honestly it just doesn’t compete with the king (Apple’s iPad, duh). So Samsung went back to the drawing board to come up with a new version of the Tab, designing it around Google’s made entirely for tablets OS called Honeycomb. The result is the Galaxy Tab 10.1. Since February, however, Sammy has retooled the slate making it thinner, sleeker, and adding a customized software layer to it. Also, they’ve introduced a slightly smaller version dubbed the Galaxy Tab 8.9 (yep, it’s got an 8.9-inch display).
Instead of running through all of the specifications here (most of them remain the same since the February tease), I will list the changes that have been made. First and foremost, the Tabs have been redesigned and made incredibly thin. They both measure 8.6mm (or .33-inches) thick. Sammy touts them as “the world’s thinnest mobile tablets.” And it’s true; comparatively the iPad 2 is 8.8mm thick. They are also extremely light; the 10.1 and 8.9 weigh just 595 grams and 470 grams, respectively. Because of the thinner design the Tabs have been forced to ditch the 8 megapixel rear camera for a slightly lesser 3 megapixel variant; the front-facing 2MP camera remains in tact, as does the ability to shoot 1080p HD video. Another change lies in the software. Previously Samsung was contemplating shipping the Tab with plain ol’ Honeycomb. This time around they’ve decided to incorporate a new version of their customized skin called TouchWiz UX. The software layer brings a Live Panel menu and Mini Apps Tray to let users browse and manage apps in new ways.
Competitive pricing and availability have been spilled, too. The one with the bigger display will hit the market first on June 8; the 8.9-incher will arrive shortly thereafter in “early summer.” Strictly WiFi-enabled models have been detailed. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 will go for $499 (16GB) and $599 (32GB) and the Galaxy Tab 8.9 will also come in 16GB and 32GB SKUs at $469 and $569, respectively. For those of you in the market for a tablet, the Galaxy Tab just became a hot item worth anticipating. Jump after the break for the official PR.
Update: According to Pocket-lint, the original (thicker) Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 will ship afterall in the UK only on Vodafone. It will be known as the Galaxy Tab 10.1V.
The post title says it all, really. Come Sunday, March 27 you’ll be able to buy a 3G/4G-less Motorola Xoom that solely relies on a nearby WiFi signal to connect to the Internet. Everything else remains the same: 10.1-inch display, 1GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 32GB of memory, Honeycomb, etc. The MSRP is set at $599 and it’ll be available for purchase at the following stores: Amazon, Best Buy, Costco, RadioShack, Sam’s Club, Staples, and Walmart. Full PR after the break.
Today Adobe announced that they’re delivering on their promise to bring updated Flash support to Android devices next week. Flash Player 10.2 will be available for download via Android Market on March 18th. The new player will work on the three most recent versions of Android–that is, 2.2 (Froyo) and 2.3 (Gingerbread), and 3.0 (Honeycomb). It remains in beta form for the tablet version of the OS. The update is detailed after the break, PR-style.
The wait for a worthy iPad contender has been tiring. Samsung’s Android 2.2-powered Galaxy Tab couldn’t compete with Apple’s iOS offerings (its successor, on the other hand, is anticipated). Android is finally ready to make the move to tablets, and Honeycomb looks scrumptious. The first Android 3.0-powered tablet out of the gate will be Motorola’s 10.1-inch Xoom, detailed here. Tomorrow, February 24 the Xoom will be made available on Verizon’s 3G network with promise of upgraded 4G LTE capabilities (at no additional charge) later this year (Q2 2011, somewhat more specifically). Here’s the pricing options you’ve got at launch. You can purchase the Xoom for $599.99 if you sign a new two-year contract with VZW; 3G data pricing starts at $20 for 1GB of monthly access. Or if you don’t feel like tying yourself to a carrier you can simply drop two additional Benjamins and rely on Internet access via WiFi hotspots. The pricer Xoom is currently listed on Best Buy, but it’s slapped with an in-store only pickup option. Verizon is also teasing it on its website, and their press release ambiguously says it’ll be available through them as well (online/in-store purchasing is not specified, unfortunately).
Update: We’re past midnight and tomorrow is now today. Verizon’s teaser site has transformed into an order page so there you go. Just to make things clear, Motorola is selling two SKUs: the $600 3G (upgradeable to 4G) model and the $800 non-3G (but still upgradeable to 4G) model. Apparently a cheaper WiFi-only version is in the works, but neither Moto nor Verizon have specified its arrival date.
Oh and there’s this. The Xoom will not ship with Flash support at launch. Crazy, right? At least the wait isn’t that long, and we know it is coming. According to Adobe, the makers of the ubiquitous video standard, “Flash Player 10.2 [will be] pre-installed on some tablets and [arrive] as an OTA download on others within a few weeks of Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) devices becoming available, the first of which is expected to be the Motorola Xoom.” A few weeks time, you can handle it.
Jump after the break to find the aforementioned PR and a super cool Xoom teaser produced by the carrier.
In early January at CES 2011 Motorola and T-Mobile took their respective stages to announce the upcoming Honeycomb-powered tablets. While Moto’s Xoom was almost fully fleshed out (exact release date and price are still up in the air), T-Mobile did not provide any details surrounding LG’s G-Slate besides saying it will be the “first 4G Android 3.0 powered tablet.” Well I happy to report that since then both the carrier and the manufacturer of the mysterious tablet have come out with hard specs and a release window. Lets get to it. The G-Slate (otherwise known as the LG Optimus Pad across the pond) packs a 8.9-inch (1280×768 WXGA) multitouch display and runs on a 1GHz dual-core Tegra 2 processor. Other specs include 32GB of internal memory, built-in WiFi, gyroscope, accelerometer, and adaptive lighting, and Adobe Flash support. But don’t let me bore you to death; the G-Slate features something the other Honeycomb launch tablets don’t have–2 cameras at the rear for stereoscopic 3D video recording. Working together the two rear-facing camera can capture 1080p HD content that can be viewed on the slate itself (the display is in fact 3D-capable, limited to 720p HD, however) and 3D video (in 1080p resolution) can be pumped out to an external 3D-capable HDTV through HDMI output. One of the rear cameras doubles as a 5 megapixel camera for standard photo capture (with flash) and there’s a third 2 megapixel front-facing camera for video chat. It’s important (and rather unfortunate) to note that pesky glasses are required to view 3D content on the slate’s display. Oh well–but it still remains a differentiating factor when it comes to making a purchasing decision between this, the Xoom, and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1.
The G-Slate will release this spring (likely in March) exclusively on T-Mobile’s network in the States, and as mentioned before it will take advantage of T Mo’s “4G” HSPA+ speeds. To end things on an even brighter note, the slate’s expected to ship as a Google Experience device, meaning it will come preloaded with a fresh version of Honeycomb, free of any LG and T-Mobile bloatware. Cheers to that! Pics below, video and PR after the break.
The next Samsung Galaxy Tab is leaps and bounds bigger and badder than its Android 2.2-based predecessor. The aptly titled Galaxy Tab 10.1 features a 10.1-inch WXGA TFT LCD display with a 1280 x 800 resolution. It’s powered by a 1GHz dual-core Tegra processor and it runs atop Google’s “built entirely for tablet” Android 3.0 (aka Honeycomb) OS. Unlike the original Tab, its successor does not come bundled with Samsung’s TouchWiz skin; much like Motorola’s Xoom tablet, the Tab 10.1 is being billed as a “Google Experience” device which means that you’ll find the plain vanilla stock Honeycomb OS preloaded and nothing else. Other specs include: rear 8 megapixel camera with autofocus and LED flash, front-facing 2 megapixel camera (both cameras shoot 1080p HD video), WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1, USB 2.0 and 3.5mm headphone ports, accelerometer and proximity sensors, gyroscope, digital compass, Adobe Flash 10.1 support, 16GB/32GB internal storage. The tablet’s very light and thin at just 1.23 pounds and 0.4-inches thick. HSPA+ support is there, as is EDGE and GPRS. Vodaphone has been named the first carrier to carry the Tab 10.1 and it’s expected to launch in Europe and Asia this March. Pricing and North American release details have not been specified. With the Tab 10.1, Samsung has constructed a worthy competitor to enter the fray with iPad, the Moto Xoom, and the whole slew of tablets readying to make waves in the marketplace. Full PR after the break.
This week Google held a brief Android-themed event where they highlighted elements of the tablet-specific Honeycomb UI, introduced the Android Market Web Store, and previewed Android Market in-app purchasing. Hop after the break for all the details. (Click here for more…)
Motorola and T-Mobile were downright giddy to announce their upcoming tablet devices at CES 2011. That’s because they are excited to bring Honeycomb, Google’s latest iteration of Android built entirely for tablets, to salivating consumers. Since I already detailed Honeycomb, I think it’d be best to simply jump into specs talk. Let’s start with the Motorola Xoom since there’s far more information about this product out there. The Xoom features a 10.1 inch (1280×800) screen and packs NVIDIA’s latest Tegra 2 1GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of DDR2 RAM. There’s a 5 megapixel rear-facing camera with dual LED flash and a 2 megapixel front-facing camera; support for 720p video recording and 1080p video playback; 32GB of onboard storage that’s expandable with SD card support; 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth; and ports include HDMI out, micro USB 2.0, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. There’s also a built-in gyroscope, barometer, e-compass, accelerometer and adaptive lighting. It will ship with 3G support and eventually gain 4G LTE support on Verizon’s network. As far as battery life is concerned, Moto’s only saying that it supports up to 10 hours of video playback. Note that the Xoom does not pack physical buttons. With Honeycomb, Google no longer requires hardware manufacturers to include buttons along the rim of their devices. What used to be buttons are now illuminated icons that can be made visible on the device in landscape or portrait modes. Motorola says they’ll ship the sexy Xoom tablet as a 3G/Wi-Fi-enabled device in Q1 2011 (we’re in that quarter now, so soon!) and they promise these devices will be upgradeable 4G LTE in Q2. Also in Q2 Moto will introduce an all-out 4G LTE/Wi-Fi- enabled Xoom. According to recent reports, a strictly WiFi-enabled version will also debut in the Spring. The Xoom looks like it’s going to be a hot item when it ships; a speedy Tegra 2 processor and the tablet-optimized Honeycomb OS marriage will surely make for an enjoyable mobile experience.
An honorable mention goes to the T-Mobile G-Slate because it is just one of the few tablets announced at CES 2011 that promises to run Honeycomb when it releases. T-Mobile has partnered with LG to make the hardware. Aside for it being the “first 4G Android 3.0 powered tablet” from T-Mobile, we know nothing else about it really. At the press event T-Mobile and LG execs held up the mystery tablet, and it look like standard fare–a black slate. We’ll have to wait for a more detailed announcement in the coming weeks.
Look in the gallery below for close-ups of the Motorola Xoom, and hop after the break to read some PR and watch a couple introductory product videos.
This week at CES 2011 tablets were all the rage. Sure, we’ve already seen the Samsung Galaxy Tab running Android 2.2 (aka Froyo) and that’s cool. But it simply doesn’t compare to what Google has in store for us next. Android 3.0, internally referred to as Honeycomb, is “built entirely for tablet.” It was designed from the ground up for devices with larger screen sizes, unlike Froyo which is a smartphone OS that gets ported to tablet form factors. Surprisingly Google did not formally unveil the next generation of Android at CES; instead they insisted that other companies (such as Motorola and T-Mobile) highlight the upcoming mobile OS next to their new tablet devices. Since Google has yet to detail Honeycomb in their own words, we can only glean new information about it by watching and dissecting what we see in the “first look” videos uploaded to YouTube by T-Mobile. Embedded above is a video that focuses on the OS as a whole; after the break you’ll find videos that hone in on features including Google Books, the browser, GTalk, Gmail, YouTube, and Maps.
Let’s break it down a bit here. The Honeycomb homescreen (and overall aesthetic) definitely takes design cues from the Tron universe, what with its blue hues and swift animations. Google Search and Voice Search are located at the top left, an app drawer and widget adder are at the top right, favorite applications are lined up at the bottom, bottom left there’s back, home, and app switch icons, and bottom right shows you the time, WiFi signal strength, and battery life. The bulk of the screen houses widgets (Gmail, Calendar, Browser bookmarks, etc.). Featured apps: (1) Books: Your collection of books can be browsed in carousel fashion or bunched together on a homescreen. Reading a book is as easy as tapping the cover and flipping through the pages. Landscape mode makes you read in the two-page format. (2) Browser: It functions like the Chrome browser, really. Tabbed browsing is present, as is incognito mode, bookmarking, and a large on-screen keyboard. (3) GTalk: Obviously Honeycomb will support devices that pack front and back-facing cameras. GTalk integration will allow you to browse through your contact list and initiate video chat sessions. (4) Gmail: The dedicated Gmail app uses the two-column format to display your inbox and other folders on the left pane and your list of expandable messages on the right. (5) YouTube: The newly designed YouTube app features a slick 3D interface and videos are searchable in a carousel-like mode. (6) Maps: Honeycomb packs the latest version of Maps (v 5.0) that is currently available on Android smartphones today; 3D modeling of streets and buildings are present.
And that about does it for now. Until Google decides to announce Honeycomb in a more formal manner, all we can do is feast our eyes on the delectable UI enhancements featured in the uploaded videos from T-Mobile’s camp. Again, they are all posted after the break for your viewing pleasure. (Click here for more…)
Check out this slick animated teaser from Motorola. In it the tech company takes us on a journey through the evolution of tablets, from ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic tablets to the modern ones like the iPad. Speaking of the iPad, Motorola made it their mission to slam the Apple tablet in the video: “It’s like a giant iPhone… but it’s like a giant iPhone.” Burn! And if you’re of the speculating kind, let’s dig deeper into the teaser. Though Moto does not unveil the final product, their shiny new red Motorola logo attracts a buzzing bee at the end of the clip. A bee, hm? That matches up quite nicely with the name of Android’s next mobile OS: Honeycomb. Google’s Andy Rubin recently previewed a Motorola tablet running a new version of Android and he boasted that Honeycomb will include features made from the ground up specifically for the touchy tablet form factor. One more thing: Verizon teased via Twitter that they plan on showing off a whole bunch of LTE Android-based devices at CES in January; and this lines up perfectly with the CES 2011 tease at the end of this clip. Will we see a Motorola tablet running Android’s next-gen Honeycomb OS with Verizon LTE support next month? Only time will tell, but I’d put money on it.