Android Honeycomb Stories October 6, 2011

According to the AndroidOS.in blog, the update will be released in the next three to four weeks, per the official statement from the mouth of Google TV director of content Donagh O’Malle:

What I can tell you about what’s coming up with Google TV, is version two is about to launch probably within the next three or four weeks.

He also noted that Android Market currently hosts more than 250 apps optimized for the Google TV platform. The firmware update should probably arrive around or shortly after the ICS announcement.

It is no secret that Google’s focus in the broadcasting space has sharpened lately. They are investing a hundred million dollars in original content for YouTube and aiming to stream premium entertainment content on scheduled YouTube channels beginning next year. Those separate strides should be viewed as part of the broad push into the TV business. If Google’s bet pays off, the company could gain a strong footing in the multi-billion dollar market that is Hollywood entertainment.

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Android Honeycomb Stories August 18, 2011

Telefonino.net today leaked (via BGR) a bunch of upcoming Samsung devices. The mega-leak includes seven Android-driven phones and two tablets and three phones powered by Samsung’s own Bada operating system. Heck, the company is even working on their inaugural Windows Phone ‘Mango’ handset.

Starting off with tablets, the P6200 looks like the original Galaxy Tab successor. This seven-inch Honeycomb slate boasts a 1024-by-600 pixel Super AMOLED display plus front and back cameras for capturing video and conducting video calls. It will come in both WiFi-only and 3G HSDPA version.

As for the phones, Samsung appears to be going all out on the hardware front. Take the I9220, for example. This Gingerbreak phone runs a 1.4GHz processor, has an eight-megapixel camera and packs in a spacious, juicy 4.3-inch Super AMOLED display sporting a 1280-by-720 pixel resolution display, meaning it can render HD 720p video natively, without rescaling.

Then there is the I9210, another Gingerbread phone with a slightly larger 4.5-inch SuperAMOLED display, 4G connectivity and an eight-megapixel camera with LED flash. The sickest of them all has to be the I9250 superphone. Probably your next handset, it rocks a monstrous 4.65-inch SuperAMOLED display with native 720p resolution (1280-by-720 pixels), the obligatory five megapixel camera (what, no eight-megapixels?) and Android Ice Cream, the latest and greatest version of Android due for release in the fourth quarter of 2011. But wait, that’s not all – six more phones after the break. expand full story

Android Honeycomb Stories August 16, 2011

We previously told you that HTC is gearing up to launch a tablet with a stylus later this year. They are calling it the Puccini and it’s said to include a 10.1-inch display plus a 1.5GHz processor, 4G LTE modem and HTC’s Sense interface on top of Honeycomb software. Today, their finance chief Winston Yung indicated that the device might launch at the end of the third quarter or early fourth quarter, reports DigiTimes, quoting the Chinese-language Liberty Times. It’s the first official confirmation we’ve gotten concerning the Puccini launch date and with a fourfold sales increase in China, the Puccini should be off to a nice start.

The company should also benefit from an increase of sales outlets in the country from 650 to about 2,000 by the end of the year. HTC is embroiled in a legal spat with Apple over an alleged patent infringement involving the iPhone. Today, HTC countersued Apple, Reuters reported, charging that Macs and all iOS devices infringe upon their patents, a day following Google’s stunning $12.5 billion takeover bid for Motorola Mobility. Per latest Nielsen survey, HTC is America’s #2 smartphone maker and the nation’s leading Android vendor accounting for a 14 percent of all Android smartphones sold. The company shipped 12.1 million phones in the second quarter for a 104 percent revenue growth year-over-year.

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Android Honeycomb Stories July 26, 2011

Boy Genius Report publishes a pair of crisp images of what appears to be HTC’s allegedly upcoming tablet dubbed the Puccini. It may strike you as remarkably similar to Microsoft’s Courier project, but that’s due to the case shown on the image. The Puccini rocks a single 10.1-inch display and apparently a stylus. The leaked shots include AT&T branding, just so you know where to buy this thing when it hits the market.

Not a whole lots more to conclude from the images so the publication throws in a couple goodies they heard from sources, like an eight-megapixel camera on the back with dual-LED flash plus stereo speakers and a microphone. The tablet should run a 1.5GHz processor, a 4G LTE modem and HTC’s Sense interface on top of Honeycomb software, if the sources are to be trusted.

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Android Honeycomb Stories July 21, 2011

Research firm Strategy Analytics discovers that shipments of Android-driven tablets are finally beginning to make a meaningful impact on the overall tablet market. Yes, Android slates are making their presence known, even though iPad is still king of the hill. According to the research firm’s survey, June quarter tablet shipments topped 15.1 million units, a material increase over the 3.5 million units from the year-ago period. Apple seized the #1 slot with 9.25 million iPads the company reported for the June quarter, representing a 61.3 percent share of the tablet market overall.

At the same time, Android tablets have gone from 2.9 percent market share in June 2010 to 30.1 percent in June 2011, a surprising 27.2 percentage points increase based on sales of 4.55 million units. In the year-ago quarter Apple enjoyed a 94 percent share, so iPad’s 33 percentage points drop is substantial no matter how you look at it. GSM Arena observes that “in terms of market share, the iOS lead in the past quarter is nearly three times smaller than it was in the same period of last year”.

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Android Honeycomb Stories July 15, 2011

According to “industry sources” who spoke to Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes, Google is about to release Android Honeycomb 3.2 to select tablet makers at the end of July or early August:

Google is expected to release its Android 3.2 OS to production partners at the end of July or early August, according to industry sources. Asustek has indicated it will launch Android 3.2-based tablets soon, while Huawei Technologies also said it will roll out a 7-inch Android 3.2 tablet in the third quarter.

Meanwhile, CNET confirms that Google is already pushing out the Honeycomb 3.2 update to the Motorola Xoom, hoping to bring the software to other tablets “in the near future”.

Android 3.2 is a minor update that will improve hardware acceleration and bring optimization for Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors that power many top-selling Android smartphones and tablets. The software update will also bring improvements in Google-created apps, including Movie Studio, Movies, Music and Widget. It will also have a new compatibility mode for apps called zoom-to-fill. “Imagine viewing your app at the size of a phone screen then zooming in about 200 percent,” Google explains on the Android Developers blog. And as we explained earlier, this Honeycomb version also takes into account the popular seven-inch tablet form factor, which continues to be in abundance…

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Android Honeycomb Stories July 6, 2011

On Monday, 9to5Google told you about some of the new features of the forthcoming software update for Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet. Following-up, Samsung yesterday released a twelve-minute promotional footage laying out the new stuff in greater detail. If you don’t have the time to sit through the entire clip, here’s what you need to know. First, you’ll notice subtle user interface tweaks that streamline the user experience and tone down a bit Honeycomb’s appearance with the larger and easier-to-grasp pictograms for the back, menu and home buttons. The calendar app has gotten a face-lift and the clock app also sports a cleaner look with crisper fonts.

The biggie is the resizeable widget capability, courtesy of Honeycomb 3.1). You can now resize clock, calendar, weather and picture widgets, which is nice. Samsung has built on top of stock Honeycomb 3.1 experience with custom apps – such as their own contact manager – plus a new version of TouchWiz with Quick Panel access to device settings, wireless and cellular networks, brightness and volume adjustments and so forth. You can also invoke a pull-up gesture from the bottom of the screen to display a list of the commonly used apps. You can also run some apps in multiple windows, usually the ones that don’t require the whole screen, which is a first for Android. Liliputing has the full breakdown of other interesting tidbits and nice-to-haves.

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Android Honeycomb Stories July 4, 2011

The Galaxy Tab has made its official debut a month ago in New York, giving Samsung will a litmus test of the tablet’s potential in one of the world’s greatest shopping meccas. The well-received device is raved for its attractive design, thinness and a variety of hardware and software features that outdo Apple’s tablet. However, it also has some teething problems stemming from Honeycomb, which is understandable knowing it’s powered by Google’s inaugural tablet software.

If you’ve been eyeing Samsung’s device, rest assured you’ll soon be able to run the upcoming new software which brings a host of Honeycomb 3.1 features provided by Google, such as support for HDMI dongles and compatibility with SD Cards and a range of USB peripherals. On top of that, Samsung is providing their own custom-designed features. The Korean company wrote on the firmware update page that you’ll be able to purchase and rent premium movies as well as purchase next-day television shows using the Samsung Media Hub app, with content sharing across five Media Hub-enabled devices, including tablets and smartphones. The latest version of Swype keyboard input is also included, as is the new ability to remotely locate and wipe lost or stolen devices (they call it FindMyMobile). And now, the most important feature from Samsung.

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Android Honeycomb Stories June 24, 2011

Samsung today announced that its Galaxy Tab 10.1 will arrive in the UK on August 4. The device will be sold by “a range of UK retailers” and a portfolio of accessories will be available at launch. Both WiFi and 3G versions will be available, Samsung said. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 measures just 8.6 millimeters thin and weighs in at 565 grams. The device runs the latest Android Honeycomb 3.1 tablet software from Google and comes preloaded with Samsung’s apps.

These include Readers Hub and Music Hub that provide access to more than 2.2 million downloadable e-books, 2,000 newspapers, 2,300 magazines and 13 million songs. They also have Social Hub which integrates email, instant messaging, mobile contacts, calendar and social network connections into a single interface. The Britons will also be able to get their hands on the 8.9-inch Galaxy Tab (pictured below) “later this year”. Full release below.

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Android Honeycomb Stories June 20, 2011

This is my next reports that Google will update Honeycomb to version 3.2 with support for tablets with seven-inch screens, in addition to Qualcomm processors and Nvidia’s Tegra 2 chip. They also heard that the software update will contain the obligatory bug fixes and better hardware acceleration plus updated widgets and apps such as Movie Studio, Movies and Music. Motorola’s Xoom will apparently get the update in the “next few weeks”. Three independent sources have confirmed these tidbits, telling the publication:

Android 3.2 will be the last Honeycomb point upgrade before Google opens up the Ice Cream Sandwich freezer, and it will indeed run on a “range” of screen sizes, meaning that proper 7-inch Android tablets are about to become a reality.

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Huawei launched at Singapore’s CommunicAsia show a seven-inch tablet dubbed MediaPad that the company says is the first to utilize Android Honeycomb 3.2, which they claim is the same as Honeycomb 3.1 sans the added support for the seven-inch form factor. That doesn’t make sense to us and is probably just a marketing gimmick, but the device itself looks interesting.

They’ve got a 217 pixels-per-inch IPS capacitive touchscreen on that thing, a dual-core 1.2GHz processor from Qualcomm, forward-facing 1.3-megapixel camera for video calls, a five-megapixel camera on the back, a six-hour battery, 802.11n wireless and HSPA+ 3G cellular support (both are included as there’s no WiFi-only version), a Bluetooth module, video output via HDMI and 8GB of internal storage plus a microSD card slot.

With profile measuring at 10.5 millimeter, the MediaPad ain’t the thinnest thing to lug around (for comparison, the Galaxy Tab is 8.6 millimeter). The device should hit US shores in the third quarter of this year. They promised more details later today so watch this space. Full press release and another press shot included below. via Engadget

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Android Honeycomb Stories June 14, 2011

As of yesterday, Toshiba’s 10-inch Android tablet dubbed the Thrive is available for pre-order from the online Toshiba store and Office Depot, starting at $430 for the entry-level eight gigabyte version. The 16GB and 32GB versions will set you back $450 and $570, respectively.

As we previously informed you, the Thrive runs stock Android Honeycomb 3.1 software and has full-sized USB and HDMI ports allowing you to attach a plethora of USB-compatible peripherals, from thumb drives, mice and keyboard to printers, digital cameras and camcorders. Other features include a microSD card slot, a swappable battery and slim profile measuring just 0.66 inches. [vodpod id=Video.10981375&w=425&h=350&fv=]

Android Honeycomb Stories May 31, 2011

So Intel has showcased six Honeycomb tablets at the Computex show, all of them engineered around the company’s latest 32-nanometer silicon code-named Medfield, the chip maker’s first system-on-a-chip engineered specifically for tablets and smartphones. Unsurprisingly, the demos fell on deaf ears with the veteran journalists who have seen it all.

Sean Moloney, Intel’s new president for China, flashed six Honeycomb 3.0 tablets and a smartphone during his opening keynote. He said reference designs for Medfield tablets and smartphones include both Android and ill-fated Meego software that Intel and Nokia co-developed for high-end mobile gear.

Intel has been trying for years to penetrate the potent mobile market where ARM-based processors designed by Nvidia, Texas Instruments, Apple and others woe device makers. Be that as it may, we don’t see Intel’s latest technology competing effectively with market incumbents – neither this nor next year. Why?

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Android Honeycomb Stories May 20, 2011

Acer is looking forward to shipping a million Honeycomb-driven Iconia Tab slates in the second quarter of this year, sources told Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes Friday.

Acer has been taking delivery of Iconia tablet PCs eagerly from its production partners with the company’s global shipments of tablet PCs likely to reach one million units in the second quarter, according to sources in the upstream supply chain.

The sources back this claim by pointing out surging revenues at Acer’s touch sensor suppliers Cando and Sintek Photronics.

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Android Honeycomb Stories May 18, 2011

Jen-Hsun Huang, the CEO of graphics giant Nvidia, sees Android-driven tablets powered by his company’s speedy processors overtaking Apple’s iPad in about the same time-frame it took Android smartphones to beat the iPhone, he told Reuters:

The Android phone took only two and a half years to achieve the momentum that we’re talking about. I would expect the same thing on Honeycomb tablets.

The comment is a 180-degree turn from Huang’s previous analysis which blamed lackluster sales of Android tablets on the lack of software richness, sub-par marketing and high price points, to name a few. A Jefferies analysis (see tablet below the fold) echoes this sentiment, conceding that a small percentage of users are currently considering buying an Android tablet over iPad. Nevertheless, Android tablets are expected to catch up next year, the survey notes.

If Android slates are to zoom past Apple’s device, Huang now argues, more apps are needed, especially high-quality games and entertainment titles. He suggested that Android vendors iterate Honeycomb devices using Nvidia’s next-generation Tegra processor code-named Kal-El. Plugged-in sources describe the chip as a screamer…

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Android Honeycomb Stories May 17, 2011

Nvidia CEO Huang Jen-Hsun blamed slow sales of Android slates to a multitude of factors ranging from the lack of expertise at retail, sub-par marketing, higher price points and software. Extending the opinion, Asian sources from notebook vendors warn that lack of content is to blame for weak demand for Android slates. It’s the software, stupid, they argue, reports DigiTimes.

The sources pointed out that most of the applications that are executable on Android 2.x are turned out to be un-executable on Android 3.0, while any application that can run on iPhone can be directly transfer to iPad for execution. Since there are only limited applications specifically designed for Android 3.0, it has significantly lagged demand of Android 3.0-based tablet PC.

“Apple would have achieved a much bigger market share than it already has if the player decided to wait”, the source admitted. Android 3.1 should resolve all those issues when it becomes available in the second half of this year, the source concluded. Most apps designed for Android 2.x smartphones apps either don’t scale well or “turn out to be un-executable on Android 3.0”, the source noted, blaming poor demand for Honeycomb tablets on a limited number of tablet-specific software experiences. Apple, of course, is employing quite the opposite tactics focused on promoting apps tailored to the iPad.

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Android Honeycomb Stories May 10, 2011

If you missed big announcements from today’s Google I/O 2011 keynote, don’t sweat – here’s your recap of key takeaways. Google executives first touted 100 million Android activations so far and about 400,000 new devices being activated each day. Other mind-boggling stats include 200,000 free and paid applications on Android Market and 4.5 billion downloads since Android’s launch less than three years ago. That was just a warm-up for big announcements, though…

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