If there's one thing CES told us about the upcoming twelve months in technology, it's that 2011 will be the year of Android tablets. And with noteworthy entries such as the Motorola XOOM, ASUS'lineup, and the T-Mobile G-Slate, it looks like the tablets' quality might be just as high as their quantity - at least hardware-wise.
But what about the software? After all, isn't a device's OS what makes or breaks it?
During CES 2011 Sony Ericsson's newest smartphone, the Xperia arc, was sighted running Android version "2.4".
A few weeks ago there were rumours that Honeycomb, Google's next iteration of the Android platform, would actually be Android 2.4 and not Android 3.0. Although it was later confirmed that Honeycomb will indeed be Android 3.0, rumours suggested that an incremental update to Android was being readied. The About section of the Xperia arc, displayed below, appeared to confirm that there was indeed a version 2.4.
Do you love the Motorola XOOM but hate the idea of signing up for yet another contract? Looks like you might just be in luck - according to Maurizio Angelone, Motorola Latin America's General Manager, a WiFi-only version of the XOOM is very real and will, in fact, be launching in April.
Of course, it's always possible that the April timeframe will be exclusive to Argentina, and there's no word on pricing, but we can always hope it'll come to the States along with an iPad-esque $499 asking price.
We've been getting a lot of information about Honeycomb over the past two days. Earlier today we got some more previews from T-Mobile and just now, at Verizon's CES keynote, they introduced us to an updated notifications system and a brand new sleek task switcher. Here's a video of the full walkthrough which gives us other new visuals like how to mess around with homescreens, a look at the new YouTube app, Maps 5.0 (which got quite a bit of oohs-and-aahs), Dungeon Defenders, Gtalk video chat, and much more!
Come on, you thought LG was just going to sit there and watch Motorola rip up the Android 3.0 tablet scene?
Quite the contrary - the company has just announced the G-Slate, a HPSA+ Honeycomb tablet headed T-Mobile's way. It's also going to feature the new Google Maps (version 5.0) as well as Google Books and Google Talk.
The closest you'll get to a release date is "in the coming months," and the processor, RAM, display, and other specs have yet to be announced, but we'll be sure to update the post if we happen to come across any additional information.
We've seen quite a few tablets running Honeycomb as of late (and I'm sure there are still a lot more to come - after all, CES is only just beginning), but up until now, we haven't had a chance to get a good look at the OS itself. The wait is now over, however - a teaser video for the OS was recently uploaded to YouTube via androiddevelopers, Google's official Android developer account.
Here's a little something to tide you over while you're waiting for CES: eLocity today made no fewer than seven Tegra 2-powered Honeycomb tablets official.
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.
As you can see, Moto thinks it has what it takes to take out both the iPad and the Galaxy Tab - in fact, the video calls the former "a giant iPhone" and accuses the latter of running "Android OS for a phone." Furthermore, tablets of old (i.e.
While the announcement everyone was expecting Andy Rubin to make at today's D: Dive Into Mobile conference was already made earlier today, the head of Android operations still had a few things hidden up his sleeves, not the least of which was a dual-core Motorola tablet:
If that didn't catch your attention, consider this: the man himself said that it will run Honeycomb, will feature video chat, and will be powered by a "dual-core 3D NVIDIA processor." Additionally, Engadget, whose editor-in-chief was sitting at the event,noticed that the tablet has no buttons at all, for better or for worse.
Note: As Frandroid has shown us via the comments below, the OS version and build are easy to fake, and the Honeycomb results were indeed faked by them. Whether the Gingerbread ones are also fake or not is not confirmed, but all signs point to that.
We just spotted Android 2.3 (aka Gingerbread) and 3.0 (aka Honeycomb) on Adobe's AIR Benchmark site, which was designed to test Adobe AIR performance on mobile devices.