Look, I'm going to cut right to the chase here: we've done a lot of book giveaways, and in every single case they were quality books written by undisputed experts on the topics. But the book we're giving away here... well, it's on a whole new level, because it's written by an insider: Reto Meier, Google's Android Developer Relations Tech Lead. Having been involved in Android development (from the inside, mind you) since the initial release in 2007, it's safe to say there are few people who know more about how best to develop for the OS than him.
Let's be honest: Android tablets didn't really get off to a great (or timely) start. After the iPad was introduced, Samsung rushed the original Galaxy Tab 7 out the door as a response, and while it wasn't bad on its own merit, it came nowhere close to the iPad.
Archos may not make the most headlines for its series of mid-range tablets, but occasionally, one of them deserves a mention. The Archos 101 G9 is a strong contender for your money if you're on a tight budget. The savants among you may want to hold off for a Galaxy Note 10.1, or whatever Google is cooking up for its tablet line. Still, with prices starting at $270 for the 8" 8GB version to $330 for the 10" 8GB version, it's difficult to ignore.
The Sony SmartWatch, which was only just announced for the US earlier today, is already available for an awesomely reduced price. Expansys USA is offering the device for just $118, which is $32 off Sony's price of $149.99.
For those unaware, Sony's SmartWatch allows users to "check updates discreetly," and control certain features of their Android device (like music, for example) from the Bluetooth-connected timepiece.
For those interested, here are a few more details about the SmartWatch:
1.3" OLED display with a 128x128 resolution (16 bit color)
Aluminum/high-polished plastic body
Dust and splash-proof
Compatibility with devices running Android 2.2 and higher
~3-4 day battery life
As an added bonus, Expansys USA is promising customers that the device will ship in about 7 days, which is much sooner than Sony's May 4th date.
As promised just over a week ago, the LG Viper is now officially available for pre-order via Sprint. While it may not be as exciting as the other hotly-anticipated phone coming to Sprint any day now, the budget-conscientious Viper packs some respectable specs for its class, and carries the distinction of being Sprint's first LTE phone:
- 4-Inch 480x800 display
- 1.2Ghz dual-core processor
- 1GB RAM
- LTE (4G)
- 5MP rear shooter, VGA front-facing camera
- 4GB built-in storage, microSD card slot
- NFC and Google Wallet
- Android 2.3 (will likely be updated to Android 4.0)
The Viper is listed at $400, less $250 instant savings and a $50 mail-in rebate, bringing the total price to just $100 if you pick it up on a two-year contract.
Did you think we were done? Of course not! There are so many fanboys and fangirls out there to dress! Today's giveaway will inform all of the iOS-loving people around you that they may want to protect their gadgets, lest yours devour it for nutrition and tastiness. The shirt says it more eloquently than I do, though. Just like last time, if you don't want to wait to see if you'll win our giveaway, you can use coupon code "ANDROIDPOLICE" (no quotes) over at LOLshirts to get a $5 discount.
Oh, RIM. You're hemorrhaging customers, executives, and share value. It's painfully obvious you're on track for a disaster of Palm-proportions. And still, your upper-level management fling zingers at the competition that would make anyone but the die-hardest of BlackBerry fans skip the facepalm and go straight to a facedesk. It's almost like watching a Shakespearean tragedy unfold.
If you've not been keeping up with the cutting edge of all things RIM, allow me to give you a quick run-down.
About a month ago, we saw Lenovo's previously unknown IdeaTab S2109 hit the FCC, providing a glimpse of little more than the company's new 4:3 tablet. At the time, Engadget's tipster claimed it sported a 9.7", 4:3 IPS display, TI OMAP chip, four speakers, and microSD. Turns out they were on point with all of that (though not about the March launch date, obviously), and today, the company has released an official reveal video for the tablet.
Pretty simple one this week - hopefully, one that requires little description. Which keyboard do you use on your phone? Stock - and if so, stock Android (either via the Play store or preinstalled) or stock manufacturer? Third-party - like SwiftKey or Swype? Or do you have a phone with a hardware keyboard?
This is the app roundup. The game roundup from this week can be found here and the tablet app roundup here.
If you enjoy this roundup, feel free to upvote it on Reddit.