Honeycomb Stories February 15, 2012

Just as you are getting content with Google’s latest Android offering Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, there are more rumors tonight on Google’s next version of Android. The sometimes-accurate Digitimes reported that Google might launch Android 5.0 Jelly Bean this summer.

This new version of Android will reportedly have a focus on tablet PCs, but hopefully not like the tablet exclusive Honeycomb. Ice Cream Sandwich hoped to pick up on Honeycomb’s mistakes by unifying both the handset and tablet platforms.

Digitimes said Android 5.0 would have a unique feature, because it will have a dual operating system approach. It will reportedly be able to boot into both Android and Chrome without having to shutdown. Perhaps Chrome will be part of the experience like it did with the launch of the browser as an app.

We will most likely hear more at Google I/O in June where Google does many of its big announcements.

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Honeycomb Stories February 2, 2012

Sprint announced today it will make the budget-friendly 7-inch ZTE Optik 3G tablet available starting Feb. 5 from Sprint Stores and online for $99.99 with the usual two-year agreement. You will also be able to grab the Android 3.2-powered tablet without a contract for $350.

If you are not familiar with the ZTE Optik, expect a 7-inch capacitive WXGA 1280-by-800 resolution display, a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, 1GB of RAM, Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g), and 16 GB of onboard storage. It also packs in Bluetooth v2.1+EDR, a microSD slot, a 5-megapixel main camera, 2-megapixel front-facing camera and a 4000 mAh Lithium-ion battery. The full press release from Sprint is available after the break:

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Deal: Get Pixelbook at 25% off: $750!

Honeycomb Stories December 22, 2011

Sprint just announced that HTC EVO View 4G users would be able to access a manual Honeycomb update today. The update is available now and full instructions on how to install it are posted below.

Sprint warns that your home screen setup and widgets will return to default, but that is expected due to Honeycomb’s unique layout. Sprint also announced that the update will be available over-the-air sometime in 2012. In addition to Honeycomb, the change log mentions “a new virtual and holographic user interface.” Read below the break for full instructions on how to install the manual update.

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Honeycomb Stories November 14, 2011

Photos by Veronica Oggy

When the original Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 was introduced, it was hardly proof the iPad had much to worry about from the 7-inch Android market. Not because of the its 7-inch display, however, which actually turned out to be a much nicer experience than cheerleaders of Apple’s view would have you believe. If the new Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus accomplishes one task successfully, it’s proving once again a 7-inch slate is an undeniably ideal size for the majority of everyday, on-the-go tasks, and with Honeycomb 3.2 and beefed up insides, Samsung’s new 7-inch experience could be your next tablet.

Right out the gate it’s clear this is the best Android tablet I’ve used– While pretty much the same experience on the slightly scaled up Galaxy Tab 10.1 feels inferior to the iPad, the 7.0 Plus seems to stand on its own. It’s also never been more clear how much Apple needs a product in the 7-inch category, and that’s saying a lot for the short amount of time I’ve spent with the device.

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Honeycomb Stories October 19, 2011

Image courtesy of The Verge

Following a slew of announcements from Google yesterday culminating with the unveiling of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, the accompanying software development kit, Android Beam, the new People app, the panoramic camera feature and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone (among other things), The Verge has published an exclusive, lengthy interview with Android’s head of user experience Matias Duarte. It’s a highly recommended read with revealing details and interesting insider perspective on Google’s arguably the most propulsive property.

Some of the more noteworthy highlights:

Android Honeycomb, which was Duarte’s first big Google project following his departure from Palm after the company was acquired by HP, was a lot like “emergency landing”, he said.  It’s a platform which has “a flexibility designed into it that you don’t have to worry about when you’re doing a completely integrated device”. And why Google refused to open-source Honeycomb? “On Honeycomb we cheated, we cut the corner of all that smaller device support”, adding this:

Honeycomb was like: we need to get tablet support out there. We need to build not just the product, but even more than the product, the building blocks so that people stop doing silly things like taking a phone UI and stretching it out to a 10-inch tablet.

People are fed up with “two decades of windows, and cursors, and little folder icons”, he says. The search company actually visited “shadow” users at their homes and workplaces to figure out how they interacted with mobile devices. What they found out was surprising: Android lacked emotional connection with its users who deemed the operating system overly complex. So they set out to build a wonderland of sorts, improving on Android’s typography by creating in-house a clean typeface for Ice Cream Sandwich dubbed Roboto. He then took a jab at Apple, calling the iOS design “juvenile” and likening it to web pages with “cartoony things hanging off a page”.

More tidbits below the fold. expand full story

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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