I had a chance to spend some time with Amazon's new Kindle Fires today at the company's event in Los Angeles, so I'm going to share a few thoughts about Amazon's newest Android-based slates. Disclaimer: Yes, I only spent about an hour with this tablet today, but I'm going to give you a sense of where I think the Kindle Fire HD is headed, who it's targeted to, and whether or not you should be interested in buying it.
I just got back from New York, the city of absolutely no internet, and now I can finally tell you about my experiences with the new RAZRs - the DROID RAZR HD 4G LTE, DROID RAZR HD MAXX 4G LTE, and DROID RAZR M 4G LTE. (My shift key is going to get a workout today!)
The design and construction of all 3 phones is basically the same. A stitched Kevlar back with a rubber coating, a plastic body, and an industrial-style design with exposed, prominent screws.
With the end of another month, we now have another set of Android platform distribution numbers to look at. Updated today, the stats reveal that Gingerbread is still dominating by quite a large margin, with Ice Cream Sandwich climbing and Jelly Bean making its own gains. Take a look for yourself:
First up is Gingerbread. While its stranglehold on the distribution chart is still going strong, it has dropped off just a little bit since the last cycle, sliding from 60.3% of all devices to 57.5% last month.
After Motorola's big event today, we didn't figure much of anything else interesting would be going on. We were wrong - numerous sources have confirmed to TheVerge that Amazon is legitimately, actually working on a smartphone. We totally pretended to call it.
Those same sources say that Amazon's phone is yet to be totally finished, but that we may see a prototype tomorrow at Amazon's event in Los Angeles.
Motorola has just made two sites for the developer editions of its newest phones live, and you can actually pre-order one right now. The RAZR M Developer Edition will cost you $550, which seems about right given the specifications. It will ship around September 13th, and comes in any color you like, so long as it's black.
You can also sign up for updates on the RAZR HD Developer Edition, though don't expect news on availability or pricing particularly soon - Motorola says it won't be shipping until "before the holidays." Both dev edition devices come with unlocked bootloaders right out of the box, so you can get your ROM on unhindered.
Quora, the popular question-and-answer website, found its way to Android today, releasing an official app that not only brings to the table great features like voice search and a handy widget, but also a user interface specifically designed for Android "from the ground up." Indeed, the app follows Android's design guidelines to the proverbial "T," right down to the app's launcher icon with its ever so slight downward perspective.
Citing the fact that 25% of its traffic comes from mobile usage, Quora's blog post today enthusiastically announces the Android client, describing a few of the features that "really make Quora shine on Android." Among them are integrated search with voice recognition, optional push notifications, a convenient home screen widget, and an adaptable interface that supports both landscape and portrait mode.
Eric Schmidt has just left the stage at Motorola's "On Display" event in New York. Before leaving, though, he divulged some interesting new Android-related numbers.
First among them was the latest figure for "activations per day," which tracks the total number of new Android devices activated each and every day. You may remember Andy Rubin revealing that number to be around 900,000 while quashing rumors back in June, but according to Schmidt, the total number of daily activations has now topped 1.3 million.
Today it was learned, through a US Patent and Trademark Office filing, that Google has been granted a patent concerning the logging in of multiple users by facial recognition.
Typically, the granting of yet another tech patent wouldn't be extraordinarily interesting news. But given the fact that Google's latest patent relates to multiple user support, and the fact that code meant for multiple user support has been sitting right under our noses in AOSP for some time now, patent number 8,261,090 is definitely worth discussing.