Earlier today, I received my review unit Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus, Samsung's latest addition to the Tab family of products. Now, you probably thought, upon hearing about this little device, "gee, this is just another scaled-down version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 - boring." But you thought wrong - very wrong.
The Tab 7.0 Plus has a little hardware secret in its diminutive package, and that secret's name is Exynos. I noticed from the moment I powered it up that the 7.0 Plus was no ordinary Honeycomb device - home screen swiping was unusually graceful, even with Samsung's TouchWiz UX overlay.
Got you on the title for a second, didn't I? With all the buzz (har har) surrounding Google+ lately, there's been near endless speculation about whether the new social network will have what it takes to "defeat" its biggest competitor: Facebook. In fact, it seems taken for granted that Google+ and Facebook are like oil and water - two things that simply cannot co-exist in harmony. As you may have guessed from my title, I think this is an absolutely silly discussion. Let's talk about just why that is.
Well, there's not really "two internets." But for the purpose of our discussion here, I'm going to characterize Facebook and Google as two separate "internets" (or, if you will - interwebs).
This week, Google revealed its most serious attempt at social networking yet, Google+. Despite being released just a few days ago, it's easy to see that it's a much more accessible, polished attempt than Google's previous attempts, namely Google Wave and Google Buzz. It brings a familiar interface, but clearly bears the Google mark: clean, minimal, but with some well thought-out improvements. That's to be expected, given that the service is Google's next big push - they closed the beta rather quickly and only a small number of users have been invited thus far, all in the name of using a sort of control group to improve the service before opening the flood gates.
A small update to the Google+ Android app, which is quickly becoming one of the top apps I use every day, was released a few minutes ago. The update mostly resolves login issues for those with multiple Gmail accounts (we've heard many of you complain about not being able to sign in because of that). Other additions include a new "spiffy" profile icon and UI polish.
Grab the update in the Market if you already have access to Plus, and if you don't, feel free to drop your name and email in this post. We'll try to mass invite once Google allows it again (the workaround that many of you pointed out doesn't work for mass invites, and I'm not about to manually invite 4500+ people on the list :-].
T-Mobile is starting to get aggressive with customer acquisition and retention, and in light of less than stellar fiscal performance and the news of the AT&T deal, it's not hard to see why.
On April 13, the carrier will begin offering a new off-contract smartphone plan, and it's a steal - for $59.99 a month (down from $79.99), you'll get unlimited talk, text and data*. But, there are some significant catches. The first is that you'll have to pay full retail for your phone of choice - the Even More Plus plan is a month-to-month affair.
The second is arguably worse - your data usage is technically unlimited, but after the first 2GB (as opposed to the current 5GB) your data speeds will be throttled down until the next billing cycle.
After months without either official comment or update, the author of homescreen replacement app LauncherPro has finally sprung version 0.8.4 into the Android Market.
One of the smoother and more popular homescreen apps, LauncherPro offers seven screens and up to three scrollable docks, as well as Sense style full-screen widgets for paid “Plus” users, which include messaging, Facebook feeds, bookmarks, and calendars.
Part-time developer Federico Carnales announced in September that a complete rewrite was in the works, which would not be based on the stock Android 2.0 launcher. Users have been waiting with bated breath ever since, with commenters growing incrementally more anxious on the official website since the last update in January.
AT&T’s announced pricing for the Motorola Atrix Laptop Dock left much of the community scratching their heads. $500 for a gutless laptop? Though the docking capability is innovative, many were put off and vocal of steering clear of the Atrix altogether. Forbes reached out to AT&T for some commenting and were delivered this message from VP Mike Woodward:
“With all the integration between the phone and the dock, you can do more on an Atrix than you can on a netbook,” Woodward explained. “Other devices that try to do this just give you ‘mirror mode.’”
I’d like to point out that the laptop dock is entirely dependent on the Atrix for function.
The first of AT&T's entourage of Androids for 2011 has had its release date and pricing set in stone. The Inspire 4G, essentially an AT&T version of the Thunderbolt, will be dropping on February 13th for 99 bucks on contract or upgrade pricing. And for a double-digit price, the Inspire 4G is packing some respectable specs.
4.3" SLCD display
1GHz single-core processor
HSPA+ connectivity (AT&T's first stab at "4G")
8MP Rear camera
Android 2.2 w/ HTC Sense 2.0 (the "new" Sense)
What remains unknown is whether or not AT&T will charge a premium fee for access to its HSPA+ "4G." Given the fact that AT&T has made explicit its plans to eventually roll out true LTE 4G in Q4 2011, it might serve their publicity machine better to keep data plan rates as they are until that time.