Reports from CES 2012 indicate that Windows Phone 7 may be a competitive mobile platform, however Microsoft has decided to hedge its bets and continue making money from Android by signing a patent-licensing agreement with LG. The terms of the agreement will likely require LG to pay Microsoft royalties for all LG tablets, phones, and other consumer devices running the Android or Chrome OS platform. This deal likely mirrors Microsoft's ten previous patent-licensing agreements with Android and Chrome OS manufacturers, including Samsung, HTC, Acer, and ViewSonic.
ASUS isn't the only one upgrading their tablets to Ice Cream Sandwich in the beginning of February - we were running around the South Hall at CES 2012 and ran into Archos, which, among other things, manufactures a whole series of G9 tablets (various combinations of 101 and 80).
Guess what - all of the G9 tablets are scheduled to receive ICS starting the first week of February (they did let everyone know it would happen "in the near future" a few days ago, but we were able to get the most up-to-date timeline today).
That's the phrase Larry Page used to describe Google's recent shut down of underperforming products. Stop flooding the market with crap, and focus on fewer, higher quality products. Now it seems Motorola has somehow gotten the exact same idea.
AllThingsD reports that Motorola "plans to release fewer new models this year, in an effort to concentrate its marketing dollars." I hope they are concentrating their design, polish, and update efforts too.
Owners of the original ASUS Transformer (TF101) were ecstatic last week when ASUS promised the Ice Cream Sandwich update to roll out shortly after the one for the Prime, meaning any day after January 12th was fair game. Considering ICS for the Prime went out early, and shortly after ASUS Singapore posted this
and then retracted it, we reached out to our ASUS U.S. rep to get everyone's stories straight.
If you haven't notice, the Google Search app for Android received an update a little bit ago. This update is for users running Android 2.2 or 2.3 and brings some UI and performance enhancements. Once updated, this is what you'll see:
- New color scheme and simplified UI
- Faster, more responsive searches
- Enhanced suggestions and query editing
- Better localized suggestions and search results for more countries
- Long press to remove history items
You can also tap that little arrow to the right of a search suggestion to add it to your search term before searching, making the whole process a little faster.
It's finally happening - Intel processors are coming to Android phones, for better or for worse (we tend to think it's going to be the former). The world's first Intel smartphone? The Lenovo K800. But the real question is, is it actually going to be any good? Judging by the short time we spent with the device earlier today, the answer is a pretty emphatic "nope." The device in question has a 1280x720 4.5" display, 1.6GHz Z2460 Atom processor (single core with hyperthreading), and an 8MP camera.
First off, let's talk about the GoGear Connect 3.5 media player. We don't have much information on this device yet, but we do know that it's the latest Wi-Fi-enabled touch screen MP4 player from Philips. It runs on Gingerbread and will likely see a custom interface overlay from Philips. The device will offer access to hundreds of thousands of apps from the Android Market, as well as Skype communication with a front-facing camera, 720p HD video playback on a 3.5" screen, and sound enhancing technology.
We stopped by the Sony booth earlier this morning at CES, and got some hands-on time with the very first Sony smartphones (Sony-Ericsson is no more, subject to regulatory approval) - the Xperia Ion and the Xperia S. While these devices were designed before the Sony Ericsson breakup, they'll be marketed as Sony devices when they hit retail channels.
First up is the Xperia Ion, announced a couple of days ago by AT&T.
Lenovo has been on fire at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, announcing not one, but two Android tablets, an Ice Cream Sandwich-powered TV, an Android-Windows hybrid laptop, and an Intel Medfield-powered smartphone... but wait, there's more!
The Chinese manufacturer also debuted the first Medfield tablet. While we don't know everything about this tablet, we do have most of the important details:
- 1.6GHz Atom processor with hyperthreading
- 10.1-inch display
- 8.9mm thick
- USB and HDMI ports (assume both are micro)
- Android 4.0.x
Artem went (mostly) eyes-on with the device earlier today, have a look:
Since this device is still very pre-production, no release date or pricing information is available, but this is definitely one that we'll be keeping an eye on.
The Ar.Drone, an awesome quad-copter by Parrot which we took a close look at back in September, just got a major upgrade. Parrot has unveiled the Ar.Drone 2.0, which brings many revisions (enhancements) to the original concept.
Update: Here's a look at the Ar.Drone 2.0 in action. Watch it flip!
One of the most notable improvements is that the drone's onboard camera can now beam 720p HD video back to your device.