A couple of weeks ago at CES 2011, Sony Ericsson announced its latest Android handset - the sleek and sexy Gingerbread-running Xperia Arc. They've also invited the press, Android Police included, to attend a media breakfast where we ended up spending over an hour of quality time with the new device, documented in great detail here. If you have questions about the Arc, I highly recommend you dive into the above post, as it contains a plethora of useful bits and pieces, all wrapped in a convenient package.
Launcher Pro, my favorite launcher replacement, got updated today with a much requested feature - homescreen transition animations, available to all LP users, not just Plus. In addition to the usual and very smooth slide effect, we now have 4 more: Scale, Rotate, Flip, and Cube. All are smooth, except for the Cube transition, so I would advise against using it until Fede makes it a bit more snappy.
Out of all the apps that require root privileges, I probably use ShootMe the most. Before today's update, it was the best and easiest way to take a screenshot anywhere in Android without hooking it up to a computer - just turn the program on, go to the screen you want to take a snapshot of, shake the device, and ShootMe snaps the picture. After today's update, however, ShootMe is no longer just a screenshot app - it's also a screencasting app.
Having just released the full version of Jet Car Stunts, mobile game development company True Axis also decided to release a demo version of the game, aka Jet Car Stunts Lite (currently live in the Market). Like the full version, the lite version features OpenFeint compatibility and gives users the ability to make huge jumps and fly through the air doing crazy stunts. For those who aren't familiar with the game, it’s a 3D driving sensation where your opponents are not other players, but the tracks.
It's officially the 3rd day of CES, and I finally made it over to the giant Sharp booth pavilion, where I was able to get a hands-on demo of the first and only 3D Android handset, which is currently only sold in Japan. Don't worry though - it's coming to the U.S. and possibly other locations this year. Perhaps you've heard of it - meet Sharp Galapagos 003SH, which is capable of not only showing 3D menus, pictures, and videos, but allows you to snap some as well.
Opera Software's Jeremy Forrester spent some time showing off Opera's latest browser, which was designed specifically for tablets. The browser was shown running on Samsung's Galaxy Tab.
The browser is not completely finished, but you can get a good idea of how it performs in the video above. It works nicely with Adobe Flash and should provide a familiar experience to those who are have used Opera's previous mobile browsers. More info will be made available by Opera come MWC in February.
Qualcomm's Mirasol technology has been in prototype form for a while, but at this year's CES, it seems like we'll finally see a working product - an Android e-reader by PocketBook that is called simply Mirasol.
For those who haven't been following Mirasol, it is a functional equivalent of a traditional black-and-white eInk display that has become so popular in e-readers over the last few years, except it is capable of displaying color and playing videos (refresh rates are rumored to be anywhere from 12 to 30 fps).
Last night at the CES Unveiled preview event, I got a chance to see a new product made by Parrot, called Asteroid.
Asteroid is a voice-activated, Android-powered car deck that replaces your existing single DIN car stereo. It has a small non-touch 3.2" color screen, runs on a specialized version of Android (the presenter didn't seem to know which Android version it was based on exactly), is capable of running custom Android apps (SDK for which is coming out later), and can accept a variety of inputs, such as your iPhone, iPod, USB storage, SD card (the left half detaches to reveal the SD slot), Bluetooth, 3.5mm jack, 3G and GPS dongles, and AM/FM/RDS.