While we at Android Police don't exactly wait with bated breath to hear what Steve Jobs has to say at Apple announcements like the one for the iPad 2 today, we would be fooling ourselves to pretend that Apple products don't directly affect the market for Android devices. While an Android fan's first reaction to the latest iAnnouncement is often to (understandably) bash the smooth-talking fruit company from Cupertino, I believe that today's events could shake up the tablet market for the better.
You've seen it: a new Android tablet is featured on some mainstream media's program or website, and you know it's coming, but you still can't help but clench your sphincter muscles just a little when you hear it...
Will it be an iPad killer?
Samsung's attempt to compete with the iPad...
The latest inferior and insignificant non-Apple offering that we're forced to cover...
Can't they see that this is like describing Colin Firth as a wanna-be Tom Cruise?
If you began drooling from the very first murmurs of a "Pure Google" tablet running Android 3.0 'Honeycomb', to the buzz at CES, through the anticipation building up to launch: your day has arrived and you likely now have a Motorola XOOM in your hands. Congratulations. Of course that would be the $800 Verizon Motorola XOOM that's in your hands. But what about that $600 Wi-Fi-only XOOM? Not only is it not in anyone's hands, but there has yet to be a confirmed release date either.
The raw power behind NVIDIA's soon-to-be ubiquitous Tegra II chipset makes for some interesting possibilities when it comes to gaming. However, there are certain pitfalls when one manufacturer leap-frogs the competition. Being the first to market in this latest generation of system-on-chips, NVIDIA has developers and exclusives pretty much at their beck and call. Who are you doing to develop for, the company with a multitude of devices hitting the market right now, or the "other guys" without any firm release date?
Uhoh, he's at it again. No, I'm not going to make this a rant that is hugely controversial or upsetting. Seemingly contrary to what I write sometimes, I love Android. And anyone who loves Android can agree: the Android Market kinda-sorta sucks sometimes.
Whoa there, let me qualify that - some aspects of the Market are less than fantastic, and I think every Android user has come to realize this.
Let's be honest here: Android's current multimedia situation is a mess. For one thing, the included music/video players are seriously lackluster; for another, there's no officially sanctioned way to buy songs or movies from an Android device.
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.
I think it's safe to say that Android is the best thing to happen to smartphones since the iPhone (though, I'll admit, I may be a wee bit biased). Without a doubt, the massive success of the operating system is due in large part to its openness; the ability for devices to share fundamental code, while still allowing for an amazing amount of customization, has provided something for consumers, carriers, and manufacturers that Apple would never match.
HP's recently announced TouchPad is a genuinely exciting device - there's no question about that. In fact, with such features as a dual-core Qualcomm CPU and the fancy new "Tap to Share" technology, it might just be the most serious competition Honeycomb tablets will face in the first half of 2011, aside from a certain Apple product.
But is it enough to cause you, dear Android Police reader, to second-guess the XOOM or G-Slate?
As you may have guessed from the title, I figure I'll let you know what I think about the Echo while you're here (alternatively, if you don't care what I think, scroll on down for the poll). (For those who need to familiarize themselves with the device, here's the official announcement.)
So, two screens for the price of one - that seems to be Sprint's angle with the Echo. After a completely unrelated appearance by David Blaine at its big launch event today, America's comeback carrier debuted this circus freak of a handset.