Just last week we reported the first reasonably priced Android tablet, the Asus EEE Pad Transformer, and it already looks like the competition is going to get thick where pricing is concerned. Acer has officially announced its Iconia A500 tablet, which will be hitting the Best Buy sales floor on April 24th for a cool $449. This brings it in at $50 above the rumored price of the Transformer, but still $150 less than the almost-equally-spec'd Motorola XOOM.
Android In Recent News
Fragmentation has been one of the biggest criticisms of the Android platform. Essentially, Google allows anybody to take the Android code and tweak it suit their own needs. This is how manufacturers like Motorola, HTC, and Samsung are able to create custom layers (MotoBlur, Sense UI, and TouchWiz, respectively) over the vanilla Android interface and how some carriers load up new phones with crapware. Although this is a price to pay for openness and customizability, a recent study indicates that 86% of developers are unhappy with the state of Android fragmentation (24% of them describing it as a "huge problem").
No doubt you've seen at least one mention of the 100,000-XOOM sales figure somewhere on the web today - and for me, it has reached the point of mild annoyance. From this number, all sorts of wild extrapolations and theories are being tossed around about Motorola's future, Android's future, and the viability of tablets in an Apple-dominated market.
Boy Genius Report took a step back, and presented a level-headed but clearly pro-XOOM take on the news:
Ah, Android hackers. Aren't they the best? They take our beloved operating system and install it on everything possible! Most recently, they have managed to evict Windows Phone 7 from the HD7 and replace it with the little green robot. Have a look at this hot video action:
Pretty slick, right? While I'm not sure that there is any practical reason behind doing this, it's always cool to see Andy kicking ass where he wasn't meant to be.
Gizmodo recently sat down with Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney for a talk about gaming, mobile platforms, and the Sony NGP. Naturally, one of the topics at hand was Android, and, more specifically, why there are no Epic titles for the platform.
Epic Games has been producing iOS games for some time using the Unreal Engine, which provides detailed graphics and better gameplay. However, as Android users, we have never had the opportunity to see these types of games on our devices, and there seems to be good reason for that.
This probably isn't going to be nearly as exciting as the title might lead you to believe - though it's good news nonetheless.
Techfrom10's Samsung Galaxy S was accidentally given access to the test Android Market via an OTA update, and they stumbled upon some goodies while using it. The Market itself has undergone no noticeable changes aside from the addition of the "Content Rating" information publishers are now asked to include as part of their submissions to the Market, so there's not a lot to see on that end.
A recent study by William Powers of Baird Research has revealed that a whopping 86% of developers think that Android fragmentation is a problem. While only 24% of devs described it as a "huge problem," it doesn't discredit the fact that the overall percentage was so outrageous.
Venture capitalist Fred Wilson still recommends developers write for Android before iOS, as he predicts that iPhone vs. Android is just a remake of Macintosh vs.
Well, not solely for Android and Chrome - but presumably those products are the headliners affected by this patent bid. Google is currently bidding on a collection of over 6,000 patents held by Nortel Networks, which is selling the portfolio as part of bankruptcy proceedings. Google tossed its name in the hat with an initial offering of $900,000,000 - not exactly chump change.
Many of the patents relate to wireless technology (such as LTE) and data networking, but undoubtedly Google found some of them to be in the particular interest of protecting Android and Chrome, as Google's General Counsel indicted on the company's blog.
Well-known budget electronics manufacturer ASUS has a big splash-page promo up on Best Buy's website right now for the upcoming Eee Pad Transformer, the manufacturer's first Honeycomb (Android 3.0) tablet, and it's not exactly subtle:
It's a fair comparison - both will probably break their hinges around the same time
The (unintentional) irony here being that ASUS's product aren't exactly known for their top-notch materials (I'm not saying their products are faulty - just a little flimsy).