Opera already has one of the most popular alternate browsers for Android phones, and now it seems they're moving into the tablet territory with Opera for Tablets, a new version of their browser with a revamped UI that takes advantage of tablets' larger screen size. You won't find much information besides that in the video below, but CES is just days away, so you can look forward to seeing the app in action then.
Welcome to the weekly roundup of the best new Android applications and games that went live in the Market or were spotted by us in the previous week or so. Happy New Year, everyone! 2011 will be the year of Android apps and games - you can take this to the bank.
This week's featured app is a game called Yumsters, sponsored by HeroCraft. If you've been waiting to pick up a HeroCraft game or 2, now would be the perfect time to do so, as they are running a 65% off all games holiday promotion.
The specs are really the most impressive part of this story, so let's get right to them:
- 10.1-inch capacitive 1280x800 display
- "Adaptive Display" technology, aka an ambient light sensor
- 5MP rear camera, 2MP front-facing
- USB, miniUSB, and HDMI ports
- SD card slot
- 1.7 pounds in weight; 0.6 inches in thickness
Unfortunately, its name is still a mystery - hopefully, this will be resolved at CES.
Engadget had the chance to play with a prototype of it a few weeks ago, though the unit on hand was non-functional and therefore couldn't be turned on.
CES hasn't even started yet, but we're already getting word of a newly announced Android tablet - as well as a handset - from television manufacturer Vizio. The specs are nothing to scoff at, either, as the VIA Phone can certainly hold its own against any phone on the market today:
- 4.0" high-resolution display
- Front-facing camera
- 5 megapixel rear camera capable of HD video
- 1 GHz processor
- HDMI output
- microSD card slot
- Wi-Fi N
The VIA Tablet, on the other hand, while definitely not underpowered, might be disappointing to those who are awaiting a dual core tablet:
- 8.0" high-resolution display
- Front-facing camera
- Wi-Fi connectivity
- 1 GHz processor
- Three speakers for video conferencing
The devices are also running a custom UI called VIA Plus, which Matthew McRae, Chief Technology Officer at Vizio assures us will be found on any future smartphones, tablets, and TVs from the company.
While the company hasn't publicized many details about the devices yet (they say in-depth specifications will be available at CES), here's what we do know:
- All of them are members of the A10 line
- They will feature "high-resolution" multitouch displays
- They will be powered by dual-core Tegra 2 processors
- They will include microSD card slots as well as USB ports and an HDMI port capable of 1080p output
- They will ship with a front-facing camera
While this is all very exciting, there's another item of interest here: the press release consistently refers to Honeycomb as "Android 3.0," despite the previous information we had indicating that Honeycomb would be version 2.4.
America's most trusted name in bar graphs, Nielsen, released an updated look at smartphone market share distribution today. The results aren't terribly surprising: Android is growing, and quickly at that. Blackberry's free-fall into the abyss has slowed to a steady death march. But what about Apple's fare?
Since the release of the iPhone 4 in June, Apple's total share of the smartphone market has increased by a paltry 0.7%, while Android has gained 10.8% more of the smartphone pie to reach 25.8% of the total - a mere 2.8% behind Apple, as you can see below.
Meanwhile, Android is outright dominating smartphone purchases made in the last six months, representing over 40% of all smartphones purchased since June.
Yesterday, we received an email tip about a new app called PacMap, which blends virtual/augmented reality, Google Maps, and... PacMan. Unsure of what to make or think of this potentially dangerous, but extremely original and interesting concept, I decided to test the waters last night by submitting the app to reddit. This morning, it was #1 in /r/android, which shows that thinking outside the box is always welcomed. Oh, and did I mention that PacMap is open source? Bravo, Stefan Wagner (that's PacMap's developer).
The goal of the game is described by the author himself as follows:
If you've been waiting for Android 2.2 "Froyo" to officially hit your Samsung Galaxy S device, be it Fascinate, Vibrant, Epic 4G, or Captivate, prepare to be disappointed, as Samsung is still stuck doing complicated testing required for the upgrade to go live. Countless over-promises and delays have upset many Galaxy S owners over the last months, but after releasing and pulling back Froyo upgrades in Canada, Samsung wants to really do things the right way this time. Back to the waiting room we go.
If you're counting down the days until the January 9th release of Sprint's next 4G handset, then you'll probably be interested in the leaked specs, even if you won't find anything too surprising. Thanks to LetsTalk.com, which powers Walmart's online cellphone store, we now know the following:
- 3.7" display
- Android 2.2 with Sense
- Slide-out keyboard
- 4G WiMax connectivity
- 8GB microSD card pre-installed (upgradeable to 32GB)
- 8 megapixel camera with dual LED flash
- Front-facing camera
- Dimensions: 4.63" x 2.3" x .47"
- Weight with battery: 4.6 oz
Details on the processor are noticeably lacking. Even though the phone resembles the T-Mobile G2/Desire Z, the addition of a front-facing camera and higher resolution camera (as well as a sliding keyboard as opposed to the "Z-hinge") makes it clear that this is an entirely different device, so there's hope that it could see an improvement over Desire Z's 800 MHz processor.
The MIUI ROM is definitely one of the most magical things on Android today. A mix between iOS and Android, the ROM is beautiful, fast, and allows for user-created themes. At times, it doesn't even look like Android. It is a real change; different, but great. In my humble opinion, two of the best parts of the ROM are the beautiful weather widget and digital clock widget. For some time now I have wanted both the digital clock widget and weather widget on my 2.2.1 Nexus One, and now thanks to the development team Factory Widgets, I am now able to use the MIUI digital clock widget outside of the MIUI ROM, and so can you!