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."
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). For now, it only works with Spanish and English, and it has problems with regional accents, background noise, and rapid speech, but it's a start.
Well, if there was any lesson against being an early adopter, let it be this: TmoNews has gotten ahold of some official T-Mobile slides that give details on the Samsung Vibrant 4G, an update to T-Mobile's version of the Galaxy S that will make any current VIbrant owner cringe:
Full HSPA+ connectivity
Front-facing camera with Qik (not Skype) pre-loaded and still no flash on the rear camera
Android 2.2 Froyo
By full HSPA+ connectivity, I mean that the Vibrant 4G is able to reach download speeds of 21 Mbps (2.6 MB/s) and above, while T-Mobile's current 4G phones, the MyTouch 4G and G2, are limited to 14.4 Mbps, or just under 2 MB/s.
If you were disappointed when Facebook shot down rumors that it was working on an official Facebook phone, you may be in luck, thanks to manufacturer INQ Mobile. According to Bluetooth SIG, the INQ Cloud Touch could be exactly what Facebook was rumored to be developing:
INQ Cloud Touch is an Android smartphone built to make messaging faster and smarter. It’s designed around the way people naturally communicate and has Facebook built into its core. The homescreen features multiple entry points to different Facebook functions, while a dynamic widget displays a feed of status updates, albums, videos and photos.
This isn't really surprising, as a quick look at INQ's site reveals their history of making "social" phones.
During CES 2011 Sony Ericsson's newest smartphone, the Xperia arc, was sighted running Android version "2.4".
A few weeks ago there were rumours that Honeycomb, Google's next iteration of the Android platform, would actually be Android 2.4 and not Android 3.0. Although it was later confirmed that Honeycomb will indeed be Android 3.0, rumours suggested that an incremental update to Android was being readied. The About section of the Xperia arc, displayed below, appeared to confirm that there was indeed a version 2.4.
However, yesterday a post appeared on the Sony Ericsson Product Blog confirming that the version numbers "higher" than 2.3 appearing in the display of the Xperia arc phones was merely a "misconfiguration" and "nothing to get too excited about".
If you were one of the early adopters of the Samsung Nexus S, chances are you have been plagued by the highly obnoxious reboot syndrome experienced during daily phone calls. Upon making or receiving a phone call, the phone will suddenly and unexpectedly go black and reboot for no apparent reason. Up until recently, Nexus S owners have felt ignored by Google in regards to this issue. Previously, Google has qualified their negligible stance on the issue with claims that the issue was not with Android 2.3 Gingerbread, but instead Samsung's fault because of the hardware itself. All of the concern growing in the community forum seems to have gained their attention now; however, and Google has successfully replicated the issue in order to issue a fix.
Motorola is expected to launch its XOOM tablet in February 2011 and, according to DigiTimes, they have placed an order for about 700,000 to 800,000 units. If there is greater demand, DigiTimes expects the order to reach up to one million units by the end of the first quarter of 2011.
Interestingly, DigiTimes also claims that Motorola and Samsung are being given special treatment by Google, while competitors, such as LG and HTC, are being left behind. This could explain why Andy Rubin, VP of Engineering at Google, originally demoed Android 3.0 Honeycomb on a (then unofficial) Motorola XOOM.
At this point, Motorola's sales estimates seem rather modest, considering the Samsung Galaxy Tab sold over 1 million units in its first month and the Apple iPad is expected to sell up to 7 million units in the first quarter of 2011.
Red tape seems to be getting in the way of Notion Ink's plans to ship initial pre-order customers' Adam tablets today. An email sent to us by one of those pre-order customers this morning indicates that it is the FCC's certification process which has put the brakes on the Adam's release:
Greetings from the Notion Ink Support Team!
This e-mail is to inform you that your shipment is ready, but we are awaiting final FCC and CE numbers which are to be printed on the device before we can ship them to you. The Holiday season in December pushed the administrative work and it will be cleared within this week.
I've been roaming the booths of CES for 3 days now, and I think I've seen almost everything even remotely related to Android that was worth seeing. One company, Recon Instruments, has been on my mind since the beginning, however, and I'm really glad I finally made it to their booth today.
Their current product, called Transcend, is a full snow goggles solution incorporating a little color LCD screen in the bottom right corner. This screen is small but it gets magnified optically to show a whole array of information, such as your current speed, temperature, altitude, time, vertical odometer, and the trail map overlaid on top of Google Maps (among other things).
It's officially the 3rd day of CES, and I finally made it over to the giant Sharp booth pavilion, where I was able to get a hands-on demo of the first and only 3D Android handset, which is currently only sold in Japan. Don't worry though - it's coming to the U.S. and possibly other locations this year. Perhaps you've heard of it - meet Sharp Galapagos 003SH, which is capable of not only showing 3D menus, pictures, and videos, but allows you to snap some as well. In addition, it supports 3D-enabled games, one of which I was able to demo.
While Toshiba's original attempts at an Android tablet running on the Tegra chip didn't exactly go down a storm, they seem keen to continue with Android devices, and brought a new tablet with them to CES. Artem got a video demo from one of their reps, and as you can see there are some attractive features to note.
Like the Motorola XOOM, the nameless Toshiba tablet (henceforth "Anon") has a 10.1" WXGA (1280x800) screen, which was unsurprisingly nice and crisp. It also sports the convenience of full-size USB and HDMI ports, along with a full SD card slot allowing for storage expansion up to 64 GB.