Honeycomb is one of the biggest updates in Android history, so naturally, I jumped at the chance to try it out via the newly released Android 3.0 "preview SDK." What I found certainly wasn't disappointing - though it's important to remember that this is just a preview, meaning that not everything is in working order (for example, the emulator is so slow it made me want to tear my hair out at times, not to mention the frequent force close messages).
The Honeycomb SDK preview, allowing everyone to take a peek and play around with Honeycomb using the Android emulator, was launched yesterday, but after we got past the initial excitement, we found that the emulator itself was dog slow and pretty much unusable. In fact, it was so frustrating to use it that I wanted to punch walls and rip out my hair after 5 minutes with it. And I'm not even going to talk about orientation problems - how the Android team managed to ship the SDK with orientation broken by default (there is a fix for it in the Settings > Display) is beyond me and beyond the scope of this article.
Engadget was lucky enough to get its hands on a prototype of Sony's much-anticipated PlayStation Phone (believed to launch as the Xperia Play), and while not everything on the unit they got was finalized (Wi-Fi was completely broken), it does give us a pretty good idea of what to expect when the phone officially launches.
First, we have some of the most important specs:
4.0" 854 x 480 LCD display
Single-core 1 GHz processor (believed to be Qualcomm) with Adreno 205 GPU
512 MB RAM
Android 2.3 with Timescape UI
5 megapixel camera
That single-core processor might seem disappointing with all the excitement surrounding Tegra 2 phones, but the Xperia Play still manages to get high marks in a number of benchmark tests (including a Quadrant score of 1,689).
After weeks of frantic coding, SwiftKey, my favorite smart aftermarket Android keyboard, just released a private beta to all registered VIP forum members. While the beta itself (v126.96.36.199) is private and we can't provide you with a download link, what we can do is list all of the improvements and tease you with some screenshots.
Update: While we can't promise anything, our friendly contact at SwiftKey who I just spoke to indicated that technically if you did apply for the VIP program (i.e.
I've been roaming the booths of CES for 3 days now, and I think I've seen almost everything even remotely related to Android that was worth seeing. One company, Recon Instruments, has been on my mind since the beginning, however, and I'm really glad I finally made it to their booth today.
Their current product, called Transcend, is a full snow goggles solution incorporating a little color LCD screen in the bottom right corner.
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.
Just days after Kaz Hirai teased the world with talk of Sony's future in smartphones, tablets, and the PlayStation brand (all without confirming or denying the existence of a PlayStation phone), Chinese site IT168 has posted an in-depth review of the engineering version that they managed to get ahold of. Not only is the PSP Phone very real; from the looks of it, the device is almost ready for prime time.
We've seen quite a few tablets running Honeycomb as of late (and I'm sure there are still a lot more to come - after all, CES is only just beginning), but up until now, we haven't had a chance to get a good look at the OS itself. The wait is now over, however - a teaser video for the OS was recently uploaded to YouTube via androiddevelopers, Google's official Android developer account.
Opera already has one of the most popular alternate browsers for Android phones, and now it seems they're moving into the tablet territory with Opera for Tablets, a new version of their browser with a revamped UI that takes advantage of tablets' larger screen size. You won't find much information besides that in the video below, but CES is just days away, so you can look forward to seeing the app in action then.