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.
If you've been dying to imitate the Honeycomb UI on your device, things have certainly been looking up for you lately. First we saw the digital and analog clock widgets hit, and shortly after, Honeybread was released. Then, just a few days ago, the stunning Honeycomb boot animation dropped. Now, XDA members have come through again with a LWP inspired by the stock Honeycomb wallpaper.
Developers nemuro and Xaffron teamed up to create the LWP, and are offering it for free for the time being.
Android has advanced by leaps and bounds with the last few revisions. Android 2.2 (Froyo) famously brought massive performance improvements, 2.3 (Gingerbread) brought many subtle (and in sum, quietly substantial) usability and UI improvements, while 3.0 (Honeycomb) is bringing an entirely new UI to the OS.
There's been exciting news floating around the blogosphere today of a "working" beta of CyanogenMod 7 for the Galaxy Tab being released. Just one caveat - it isn't really CyanogenMod 7.
Before I go onward with this rant, I want to make it crystal clear that I have nothing personally against the developer who ported CyanogenMod 7 to the Galaxy Tab, people like him (or her, of course) are part of the reason I love Android.
Do you have $500 laying around to spend on a smartphone? Well then, have we got a deal for you - Dell's most attractive piece of Android hardware to date, the Venue (formerly know by its code name "Thunder"), is up for grabs on Dell's website right now. At $500, it's not too exorbitant a price for an unlocked handset, and you get your choice of frequency band versions: AT&T or T-Mobile.
If, for whatever reason, you didn't believe that Honeycomb is an OS built exclusively for tablets (despite the third slide of Google's official video teaser), here's yet more proof for your doubting mind.
First up, we have a report from PC Magazine, who has been told by a "company spokesman" that Honeycomb will not be available on Android smartphones. However, some of its features will be carried over (PC Mag thinks Movie Studio and browser enhancements are likely candidates) - just as should be expected.
An update to the popular custom launcher ADW EX was released today, and it adds a feature many ADW users have been clamoring for: custom dock backgrounds. While it may sound trivial, some have used the lack of a custom dock option in ADW to declare Launcher Pro the superior app. ADW EX comes with 8 of its own custom docks, though you can use any image from your gallery as a dock background.
While we weren't exactly impressed by the Streak 7 at CES, Dell's upcoming tablet successor to the similarly-named phone may be arriving on T-Mobile rather soon - say, February 2nd. A photo of an internal T-Mobile document (courtesy of TmoNews) taken by the world's worst photographer all but makes official a February 2nd release date for the 4G tablet.
If you'd rather not squint, I'll just quote the text in question:
As far as Android translation apps go, Google Translate is still among the best available - sure, it isn't perfect, but it's free and for the occasional translation it'll suffice. To celebrate the app's first birthday, Google has updated it to 2.0 and added a new feature called "Conversation Mode."
Image Credit: Engadget
Conversation Mode allows you and your foreign friend to speak in two different languages before having Google Translate display the words you say onscreen in your native languages (as seen in the second screenshot above).
If there's one thing CES told us about the upcoming twelve months in technology, it's that 2011 will be the year of Android tablets. And with noteworthy entries such as the Motorola XOOM, ASUS' lineup, and the T-Mobile G-Slate, it looks like the tablets' quality might be just as high as their quantity - at least hardware-wise.
But what about the software? After all, isn't a device's OS what makes or breaks it?