For everything that we love about Android – openness, customization, large selection of devices, etc. – there are things that we hate about it, too, like fragmentation and manufacturers pre-loading devices with crapware and (some) custom UIs. It seems, though, that Google is looking to change all of that. Insiders from companies “in the Android ecosystem” have told Businessweek that Google is starting to crack down on changes that manufacturers are allowed to make to Android. This includes more than just interface tweaks and added “features”, and it is said that Google wants to be more selective with hardware, as well.
It’s about time someone read the memo about Honeycomb tablet pricing being too damn high. According to Best Buy’s website, the Asus EEE Pad Transformer will be dropping at the awesomely low price of $400. If you haven’t heard about the the EEE Pad Transformer, check this out:
Yeah, it’s that cool. The EEE Pad Transformer ships with Honeycomb, a 10.1 inch display, Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, 1GB of RAM, and 16GBs of storage. No word on pricing for the keyboard dock, but for a $400 Honeycomb tablet, who wants to stand in line with me?
Update: Aaaand, it's gone, at least for now.
If you use Dropbox on your Android device and either like to live on the edge or help the company test out the latest betas, you will want to check out this post on the Dropbox forums, announcing a new public beta v184.108.40.206 with some new translations, Honeycomb improvements, new Lock Code support for the security-conscious, and other fixes. Forum replies also indicated that some sort of a folder opening bug got fixed in the process, though I am not sure what exactly that bug was in the first place.
Check out the changelog, then proceed to the direct download link, and once you've tested everything out, head back to the Dropbox forums to post your feedback:
One of the most beloved features of Android has always been its ability to multitask. The limitation, however, is that you can only see one app at a time. That works out great on phones, but with the onslaught of 7, 8.9, and 10.1 inch tablets out there, wouldn’t it be nice to work with more than one app at a time?
That is exactly what Onskreen Inc. thought, so they created a homescreen replacement just for tablets. It’s called Cornerstone and the selling feature of this product is the panel view functionality, allowing users to interact with multiple applications at once.
Has your XOOM experience just been incomplete without the ability to view Power Point presentations and Excel spreadsheets? Well, hold on to your triple mocha decaf vanilla sugar free latte, then - QuickOffice Pro HD has arrived to super-size your productivity for maximum tablet utility.
Seriously, though, QuickOffice is a must-have if you need to view formatted documents as part of justifying that Honeycomb-tablet purchase. In addition to reading Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files (both the old 2003 and 2007+ file versions), QuickOffice Pro comes with a powerful file browser utility that hooks into your Google Docs, Dropbox, Box, Huddle, SugarSync, and MobileMe accounts to make accessing your cloud-synced documents a breeze.
There has been quite an uproar as of late over Google's handling of the source code for Honeycomb, their most recent version of Android. The company announced this week that it would be delaying the release of the Honeycomb source in order to iron out some issues, specifically ones involving running it on small-screen devices (i.e. phones). Andy Rubin gave an explanation as to why these issues exist:
There's not a whole lot of specificity that comes with this information, but at the same time it seems pretty likely that HTC isn't putting all of its tablet eggs into the Flyer and EVO View 4G basket. DigiTimes is reporting that HTC is planning to release two Honeycomb tablets bearing the Flyer moniker later this summer, both with larger displays than the incoming Gingerbread version.
This doesn't come as much of a surprise, as the Galaxy Tab and other small, non-Honeycomb tablets have demonstrated that consumers want a device with a bigger screen and a proper tablet operating system. HTC, it seems, is going to be last of the major manufacturers to enter the Honeycomb tablet foray.
Great news for those of you holding out for that WiFi-only XOOM of your dreams: Costco has moved up its availability date for the LTE-less version of the tablet from April 1 to this coming Sunday, March 27. So if you walk into your local Costco this weekend, presumably the WiFi XOOM will be there to greet you for the reasonable price of $599.99.
But, if you order online, you'll get a couple of perks (even if it does mean you won't be getting your XOOM on Sunday). Namely, $10 off ($589.99), a free gel skin case, and free shipping. If you can't wait, you can pay $10 more at your brick and mortar location this weekend and let your XOOM go case-less.
Yesterday at CTIA, Samsung unveiled its revamped Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the all-new Galaxy Tab 8.9 (check out our live coverage of the event). Unfortunately, that's about all Samsung did with them - neither was ever powered on. Samsung's CTIA exhibit housed the new devices in glass security cases (as you can see below), while early "prototypes" of the 8.9 and 10.1 running Honeycomb with Samsung's TouchWiz 4.0 overlay were available for hands-on time, in order to demonstrate some of the software the company plans to include when the devices are released.
Why no demonstrations of the thinner, lighter, sexier Tabs?
As expected, Sprint just unveiled their upcoming EVO 3D handset and the EVO View 4G tablet. Both devices will have WiMax capabilities on Sprint's "4G" network (there was no mention of LTE, as Sprint is rumored to be transitioning to). No prices were announced today, and the release was announced as "this summer" (we expect a June-July release to compete with the iPhone 5).
HTC EVO 3D
As seen in our live blog of the event, the EVO 3D will have a 4.3" stereoscopic (for glasses-free 3D) qHD display, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, and dual 5MP rear cameras that capture 3D.