I've been thinking about writing this editorial for some time now. And today, with the announcement of Panasonic's upcoming Toughbook Android tablet, I finally decided to go for it. The point this article is trying to make may not be abundantly clear in the title, so let me see if I can get it across as a question: Is it just me, or are there a suspiciously large number of companies in or planning to enter the Android tablet market?
This is the first part of the roundup, which features games only. Apps will come in a separate post soon.
It has been several weeks since Nvidia first dropped the news that Galaxy On Fire 2 was coming to Tegra devices, and now it's finally here. Galaxy On Fire 2 THD takes mobile gaming to a whole new level with its amazing details and rich gameplay, offering a massive galaxy for its playground. Here are some of the main features:
- A huge galaxy with over 20 solar systems and beautifully rendered planets
- 100 unique 3D space stations and more than 30 customizable space ships
- Unique reputation and diplomacy system
- Story-based, mission-based and free gameplay
- Complex trading system with over 170 different commodities of all kinds
- High quality visuals and music, full voice acting (English) and 3D sound
- Action Freeze™: 3D screenshot tool to save screenshots from any perspective and upload them to Facebook™
- OpenFeint integration of leader boards, achievements and saved games
- Supports up to full native 1280 x 800 pixels resolution
- Heavily optimized to utilize the eight-core rendering power of Tegra’s GeForce GPU for console-gaming quality on mobile devices
- All meshes re-created from scratch as if they were to be used for a proper console game
- New details added to the design of each of the over 30 spaceships and 100 space stations
- Carefully re-painted space background images and planets at 2048 x 2048 pixels resolution to ensure crystal clear game experience even on 10 inch tablets
- Four times higher texture sizes on all in-game textures and four times higher polygon count on its spaceships, space stations, jump gates and asteroids compared to standard tablet versions
- Sophisticated OpenGL ES 2.0 specular and displacement shaders on all in-game assets
You can get Galaxy On Fire 2 THD free in the Android Market right now - but there's a catch.
While the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 has a slew of positive features, that doesn't void it of its shortcomings. Among those downfalls is the lack of a dedicated USB port, which seems to be a big deal with a lot of people. Never fear, though - Samsung has come to the rescue with a USB adapter so you can take full advantage of the USB host support in Android 3.1. The USB adapter plugs into the Tab's proprietary 30-pin connecter, so it will add a bit of bulk to the supermodel-slim tablet.
HTC and Sprint's EVO 3D, the first three-dimensional handset in the US, won't be available in stores for eight more days - but the early reviews have already started flooding in. And I'll tell you this: they're pretty mixed. Some reviewers, such as LaptopMag's Mark Spoonauer, wholeheartedly enjoyed the device, even going so far as to give it an Editors' Choice award. Others, however, weren't nearly as fond of the phone - Gizmodo, upfront as always, called it "only suitable for shooting yourself in the face." Ouch.
CrunchGear is reporting that the Italian site HDblog has received exclusive details on Samsung's least-publicized new tablet product: the Galaxy Tab Seven (aka, the Galaxy Tab 2). The Seven will be the successor to the wildly unpopular Galaxy Tab, which debuted last fall to almost universally poor reviews (though our own Aaron Gingrich thoroughly enjoyed it). The Galaxy Tab was the first major-manufacturer Android tablet, and it seems based on the new tablet's specifications, Samsung learned a lot from the Tab's less-than-successful run.
It's been quite some time since we first heard rumblings of the PlayStation phone. The concept - a high-end Android phone mashed together with familiar PlayStation controls - seemed like one that could revolutionize gaming on Android. In theory, this device could have done just that.
Unfortunately, in a world where dual core devices are becoming more and more the norm, the Xperia Play's single-core Snapdragon processor (as fast as it is) is already incompatible with some high-end games, such as those optimized for Tegra 2 devices.
The guys over at Samfirmware have gotten their hands on an official build of Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread for the European variant of the Samsung Galaxy S GT-i9000. The build date on this is June 3rd, so it's relatively new - but there's no word on whether this is a finalized build or not.
If you were lucky enough to attend Google I/O this year, then there's no doubt that you've been loving your limited edition Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 (check out our review). You're about to love it even more, because the Android 3.1 update just went live.
This update brings a gaggle of nice features, including widget resizing, USB host support, and improved multitasking, just to name a few.
Update #1: In addition to the standard 3.1 stuff, Samsung provides the following list (and warns to disable any device locks prior to the update specifically for the I/O Tab):
If you own a Samsung Galaxy S 4G or Galaxy Tab 10.1 I/O edition, some good news came out of the ClockwordMod camp today: both of the aforementioned devices are now officially supported by ROM Manager.
This will make flashing recoveries and .zips, performing backups, and finding new ROMs easier than ever before - so head over the Android Market and get your download on.