If you've heard of Fuhu, you're either a parent, a tech news junkie, or both. The Los Angeles-based company makes the Nabi line of tablets, some of the first Android-powered devices to be made and marketed directly for children, and the forerunner of more widespread "kid" tablet variants from Samsung and Amazon. Android Police has reviewed several of its tablet designs. Fuhu announced that the company is being acquired by Mattel, famous makers of Barbie, Hot Wheels, and all manner of other children's toys and games.
Concurrently, Fuhu is also filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. That's alarming, but according to the lengthy post on the official Nabi Facebook page, it's more of a procedural method than an actual decommission of the company as it currently stands.
Not all of Uber's passengers are childless 20-somethings looking to stay out late with friends. Some riders have children, and it helps everyone involved if those kids have something to keep them busy. So Uber and Fuhu have come up with a way to keep to do precisely that.
The uberFAMILY service, available first in DC, will equip cars with Fuhu's nabi tablets. In addition to apps, children will be able to take advantage of subscriptions containing both entertaining and educational content.
Everything, from the custom interface to the content, is catered to younger folks. So these are not the most exciting tablets out there, and there's no reason for parents to dawdle on devices if the kids aren't interested.
Look, Fuhu's products aren't for you. They're for your kids, or possibly your extended family if you're a really cool uncle or grandma or something. So the company doesn't have the same kind of demanding scrutiny for timely software updates as, say, the latest Galaxy Tab. Even so, the Nabi 2's update to Android 4.4 is being sent out almost a year and a half after the software was first available, and it's not like Fuhu has a ton of other products waiting in line.
Alright, alright, I'll stop my whining. The 3.0 update to the kid-friendly version of Android adds a grab-bag of new features and Fuhu software.
When Fuhu announced the 20- and 24-inch Big Tabs, we all kind of chuckled and gave them a pass. Surely kids would like huge tablets, right? I think so. But now things are just getting out of hand - the company just announced 32, 43, 55, and 65-inch Big Tabs. Tablets the size of TVs. It's insanity, I say.
All of the Big Tab XL models are capable of doubling as TVs (thankfully), which makes them a little more justifiable. Unfortunately there isn't any info on pricing at the moment, but Fuhu expects them to be priced a bit higher than comparable HDTVs.
You know what this world needs? More huge Android tablets. I'm talking full-on monitor-replacements. Or small TVs. Let's throw portability out the window in favor of bigger screens. I like it. Fuhu gets that, so it just announced two new massive nabi tablets: the nabi Big Tab HD 20 and Big Tab HD 24.
Like the names suggest, these are 20 and 24-inches, respectively. Big ol' tablets that are designed with family time in mind. Both units offer the ability for two people to play at once on certain games, like chess, checkers, backgammon, tic tac toe, and a few others.
As far as we can tell, today's over-the-air update for Fuhu's top-of-the-line DreamTab HD8 is the first time the company has published an Android 4.4 device build. Not that the kid-friendly target demographic is likely to care that their tablets are running the latest and greatest KitKat build, but heck, newer is better, right? According to Nabi's support website, the update is going out to tablets today, and can be initiated with the usual manual check in "Mommy or Daddy mode."
In addition to the extras in Android 4.4., the update adds a basic calendar app designed to let children start learning their Gregorian.
When it comes to big things happening at CES, Fuhu isn't really the first name that comes to mind. Understandably so, as it's a small, niche company. But don't sell it short, either – these guys have been hard at work and have some great-looking products set for release in 2014.
We spent some time in the Fuhu suite yesterday here at CES in Las Vegas, where company representatives walked us through some of the upcoming products and accessories that we can expect to see later this year. The flagship device is, of course, the recently-announced DreamTab Dreamworks-branded tablet, which brings a whole new UI (called Blue Morpho) and builds on what started with the nabi line.
Fuhu is no stranger to partnerships at this point – the company has released the nabi jr. Nick Jr. Edition, nabi 2 Nick Edition, and nabi 2 Disney Edition. And according to the New York Times, it looks like another co-branded device is coming down the pike now, though this one reportedly exits the nabi line and will be released under the moniker DreamTab.
This upcoming device is a collaboration between Fuhu and DreamWorks, and will come in an eight-inch form factor for roughly $300, though a 12-inch version could also show up down the road. The tablet should receive frequent character-based updates, bringing new content from DreamWorks character library to the device on a fairly regular basis.
Guys and gals, it's a big day for nabi 2 owners. The days of rooting and flashing Google Play will be long gone later today, because Fuhu will be officially rolling Google Services out the company's most popular tablet.
Since the nabi 2's release, the one sticking point has always been the lack of Google Play. This left users with Amazon's Appstore or Fuhu's App Zone (or worse, some third party "store" no one has ever heard of) for their application needs. Let's be honest here – there are many options when it comes to getting apps on Android devices, but all pale in comparison to Google's own offering.