Google usually releases a new Nexus phone in Q4, and we're already firmly into Q3 - which means the rumors should start heating up any day now. In fact, given just how little we've heard on the subject (presumably because everyone is too busy gushing over the Nexus 7), we should probably (hopefully) be hearing something any day now.
Google I/O is coming and it's time to get excited! It's like Christmas in June! It will be here in just a few short agonizing weeks - and we need to prepare. There is background information you need to know, rumors you should have in mind, and past announcements and acquisitions that need to be remembered. Google always leaves little news breadcrumbs for those that pay attention, and I pay attention.
The 10th anniversary of the first commercially-available Android device, the T-Mobile G1, is fast approaching. In that past decade, we've seen some pretty crazy Android phones enter the market - some successful, but mostly nothing more than cool design experiments. In celebration of Android's 10th birthday, we thought we'd organize a list of 10 of the weirdest Android phones of all time, sorted from oldest to newest.
For the past 3 weeks, I've been rigorously testing Samsung's latest Android tablet - the Galaxy Tab 10.1, and I am happy to report that my verdict is now out. I hope you will forgive such a long review timeline, but I wanted to really dig in deep and get the full experience, all while comparing it to that of the Motorola XOOM.
I know a lot of you will jump to the Conclusion right away, but I urge you to read all the interesting sections as well - In A Nutshell, The Good, and The Not So Good at a minimum.
The last few years have been really exciting. Heck, the whole last decade. The explosive proliferation of broadband brought about a whole new world of possibilities for mankind, and the mobile revolution, even moreso. From about 2007 to the present, we watched as Apple and Google, as well as a host of phone manufacturers, turned the world upside down by putting powerful, location-aware, internet-connected, touchscreen mini-computers in the hands of everyday consumers for a price that is relatively affordable.
It's been five years, though, since the first iPhone came out, and nearly four years since the first Android device. Android fans, and indeed the entire tech world, is getting a little bored.
Asus hasn't had much of a presence in the US phone market aside from a few unpleasant PadFones, but that's about to change with the ZenFone 2. This device was revealed at CES in January, but now the US variant is official. It's coming May 19th for $199-299, and you can pre-order it tomorrow.
As we near the end of 2012, the rumor mill for 2013 is already churning away. Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal published a report on a Motorola 'X Phone' project being headed up by a former Googler, and I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm dying to see a Google-Moto mashup, especially if the premise is trying new and interesting things.
But Motorola's not the only one with new stuff on the horizon in the next year.
Right now, the ability to cast your Android device's screen to Chromecast is limited to a very small number of devices – mostly the newest Nexus devices and a couple of popular modern handsets like the Galaxy S5 and HTC One. That leaves a lot of users out in the cold who may want to check out the service.
Fortunately, XDA is here to save the day. If you have a rooted handset, there's a simple way to enable casting on your device. It's worth noting that this isn't working on all devices, and most older hardware seems to be completely incompatible.
Cars have always been an interest of mine, and the current "infotainment center" paradigm many automakers are pushing onto customers really does suck in a lot of ways. Pay $1500 for a crappy nav system that's hard to use, complicated, and woefully outdated in a couple years' time. Sounds great! But even the best systems (a title I think VW and its subsidiaries currently hold) are lacking. Nav maps are ugly, hard to read, and rarely up to date.
Asus has lately become the king of anime-style transforming electronics, with their Transformer tablet line and Padfone devices. It looks like Google is paying attention, at least when it comes to conceptual hardware. US patent 8,649,821, granted to Google in February of this year, describes a laptop with a built-in and detachable cell phone, with the two working in tandem for various functions. While Android and Chromebooks aren't specifically mentioned in the patent documentation, it's easy to assume they were on the engineers' minds, since it was filed in September of 2012.
The basic idea is that the laptop can borrow the cell phone's wireless connection for on-the-go Internet access, as well as use the removable handset as a speaker and microphone for VOIP calls and other obvious functions.