The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer is, if nothing else, a unique breed of tablet, conveniently offering the functionality of a netbook at your whim, with the addition of a handy keyboard dock. It is, no doubt, a capable piece of hardware, but (in my opinion) it seems a bit awkward and bulky. Of course, upon its release, speculation about its successor began almost immediately. Several months later, ASUS has released a teaser video that gives us a few hints about the next Transformer.
We've been hearing rumors of the Droid RAZR for some time now, and it's finally official. Like previously suggested, this is a super-thin, ultra-light powerhouse of a device, with some pretty impressive features tucked away under its sleek, stainless steel frame:
- 4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED display
- 1.2GHz dual-core processor
- 1GB RAM
- 8MP rear shooter, front facing camera
- 16GB built-in storage, 16GB microSD card
- Android 2.3.5
- 7.1mm thin, 127 grams
- 1800mAh battery
- Made with Kevlar fiber
- Gorilla Glass
- Motorola Splash Guard
- Webtop cabpable
- 4G LTE
- Bluetooth 4.0
Update 10/19/11: Two official videos of the RAZR:
The Droid RAZR packs some new software features, as well, like Motorola Smart Actions, a Tasker or Locale-like automation system that can toggle radios, adjust brightness, clock speed, and more, all of which are user definable and will activate given a certain situation.
It looks like the HP Touchpad isn't the only tablet to have a bounty placed on its head - Kindle Fire Forum is now offering a substantial reward to the first person who's able to provide a reliable, reversible root method, or either a Honeycomb or Ice Cream Sandwich port for Amazon's Android tablet.
The forum is offering a prize of $200 for a root method, and a whopping $800 for a "Basic" Honeycomb or ICS port.
Holy crap. The Samsung/Google event ended just a little while ago, and I have to say, I'm pretty overwhelmed by the amount of awesome that I just experienced. The Galaxy Nexus is official, as is its counterpart OS: Ice Cream Sandwich. There is no doubt that ICS is the most polished version of Android to date.
It seems that these days, Samsung must constantly be on alert for new entries in the ever-growing list of patent disputes with Apple. Sensing this, Samsung's Mobile President, Shin Jong-kyun (who we heard from at last night's presentation) took a moment to stress the fact that the Galaxy Nexus was designed with patents in mind - specifically, it was designed to avoid trouble with Apple. While it is a rectangular device with a touch screen, not much else seems to put it in danger.
While we use our devices for everything from watching movies to browsing the net and checking social networks, let's not overlook the fact that, at their core, they're still called smartphones. As such, the dialer and contact app -- now called People -- in Ice Cream Sandwich have both received a major overhaul.
The People is, of course, based on the current Contacts app, but it has been totally redesigned to be more intuitive, easier to use, and provide all the information about your contacts in one centralized location.
Everyone has been making a big deal about NFC lately - which phones have it, where it can be used, etc. Until last night's announcement, many (including myself) didn't see much on the horizon except a fun way to pay for things using your phone. That perception has changed, however, thanks to Android Beam.
Beam utilizes NFC technology to quickly, seamlessly transfer data from one device to another. As demonstrated last night, one has only to touch the two devices together to send just about anything from web pages, to photos, to apps.
One of the features I'm most excited about in Ice Cream Sandwich is the camera. The new camera app really raises the bar, bringing a heap of improvements, as well as plenty of features we haven't seen before.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of ICS' camera is that it has zero shutter lag. That's right - zero. Photos are taken as soon as you hit the shutter button. In last night's demo we got a glimpse of how powerful this is, as the presenter snapped off several images back to back with no wait time in between.
Let's face it -- no one likes tiered data plans. Still, it is something that most of us have to deal with, and I've never met anyone who wants to suffer the result of going over their allotted bandwidth. Fortunately, Google is offering a nice, proactive solution (not to be confused with the face cream that gets rid of acne, that's something else entirely) to help users avoid connection speed slowdowns or, even worse, surprise overage fees.
We've already looked at a veritable buttload (yes, that's an official unit of measurement) of features from ICS, but we're not finished yet. Next on the list of things that Google made better in Android 4.0 is an app that nearly everyone is familiar with: the Calendar.
Don't get me wrong, the existing Calendar app works pretty well -- it covers all the basics. You can schedule and view appointments, check out an overview of your week or month...