10
May
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Last Updated: May 11th, 2011

Well, we all saw it coming. After giving away phones the past two years (HTC Magic G2 in 2009, HTC Nexus One/Motorola Droid and HTC EVO 4G in 2010), Google I/O attendees will be leaving with shiny new Limited-Edition Samsung Galaxy Tabs. Here's our little (big) guy:

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The Tab 10.1 will be available to the masses on June 8, but I/O attendees will be receiving it first. The Tab 10.1 of course will be running Honeycomb (and will be getting the upgrade to 3.1 in a few weeks), have a 10.1'' screen, 1Ghz dual-core processor, and sport 32GB of onboard memory.

10
May
movies

When Google announced its new Movies service today, some of the details of the service's launch were omitted in the information overload that is I/O. But now that we've had a minute to regain our composure and, you know, investigate, we've got some exciting news about Google Movies: you can start renting and watching right now (note: only the United States is currently supported):

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The catch is that you'll only be able to do it from your personal computer (via the Web Market or YouTube in the browser) or on a Motorola XOOM in the Videos app for the moment (we're assuming that means it's limited to Honeycomb Android devices for the time being).

10
May
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Shortly after Honeycomb dropped, we were told that the next version of Android would bridge the gap between tablets and phones. That bridge was officially announced this morning at Google I/O: Ice Cream Sandwich.

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Ice Cream Sandwich will be the newest version of Android, and it's going to bring the goodness of Honeycomb to phones, along with Gingerbread features to tablets. The update is due out in Q4 of this year, and the goal is to unify the Android experience across devices, which is a huge step towards ending fragmentation as we know it.

10
May
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Conferences like Google I/O give companies a chance to update curious parties will all their major goings-on, but also allows them to flaunt their stats a little bit. Android's success is noted by just about everyone these days, and Google's decided to keep on proving it by providing its latest activation and app figures.

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Main statistics being discussed were:

  • Android activations swelling to over 100 million worldwide (112 countries) on 215 carriers and 36 manufacturers
  • 310 different Android devices
  • 400,000 activations per day, compared to 100,000/day in May of 2010, 200,000/day in August and 300,000/day in December.
10
May
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Google has announced during its keynote presentation Tuesday morning that it will be bringing movie rentals to the Android Marketplace. Starting at $1.99, these titles will be featured just like apps.

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The presenter also demonstrated a "pinning" function, which allows movies to be stored for offline use. This prevents you from losing access to your movie when your network is unavailable, or wish to save your data connection from a heavy workout.

10
May
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This is huge. Like, massively huge. Probably the best thing to come out of Google I/O so far this morning huge. I'm talking about the Android Alliance and the solution to a problem that has plagued Android users since the beginning of time (okay, maybe not that long).

The Android Alliance is a special task force dedicated to delivering Android updates quickly and efficiently to all devices for 18 months after they're released.

10
May
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We've had leaked betas of Google's Music 3.0 app for Android for what seems like time eternal now, but Google has finally chosen to make the app public. At least part of it, that is. It sports the same interface as the beta we've all come to know (and love?), but lacks one key feature, mysteriously: a settings menu. That's probably owing to the fact that the previous betas we've seen all contained sync (Google Music) options in the settings menu, and unless you're a beta-invitee (don't worry, none of us have gotten ours yet, either), these options will presumably remain hidden and otherwise inaccessible.

10
May
hcomb31_gaming_peripherals
Last Updated: May 11th, 2011

Google just announced during the keynote presentation that Honeycomb is officially being updated to Android 3.1. The update will begin rolling out today for owners of the Verizon Motorola XOOM 3G - no word yet on when the WiFi model and other 3.0-rockin' tablets will receive the update, though.

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They mentioned a few key improvements they've made with 3.1, though we're sure they only just scratched the surface. For example, they've improved multitasking to now allow more apps to run simultaneously.

10
May
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At Google's I/O Keynote Tuesday, it was announced that Android may be worming its way into your house in the near future - not just through your phone, tablet or TV, but through other appliances, as well. Android@Home is a system meant to be used as a conduit between your devices and appliances win your home, like the lighting or music systems.

As it was demonstrated for the keynote audience, the presenters had linked various lights to an application in the tablet, dimming them or turning them off as they performed different actions.

10
May
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Artem's on the floor at Google I/O at the moment, but he's busy taking pictures and popping out highlights over Twitter. While he's busy with that, here are some highlights (via the Livestream).

  • "Momentum"
    • Activated over 100m Android devices worldwide
    • 36 OEMs
    • 215 carriers
    • 450k developers
    • 310 Android devices
    • 112 countries
    • 100k activations/day in 05/2010
    • 200k/day in 08/2010
    • 300k/day in 12/2010
    • today: 400k/day
    • over 200k apps available in Android Market - "quality of these apps is phenomenal"
  • Honeycomb being updated to 3.1 starting today
    • Android has true multitasking - now allowing more apps to run at a time with a new system that automatically halts/shuts down apps
    • Widgets improved - can now be resized
    • Whoa - they're playing (unsuccessfully) attempting to play a game on the XOOM using a 360 controller.