We've seen quite a few tablets running Honeycomb as of late (and I'm sure there are still a lot more to come - after all, CES is only just beginning), but up until now, we haven't had a chance to get a good look at the OS itself. The wait is now over, however - a teaser video for the OS was recently uploaded to YouTube via androiddevelopers, Google's official Android developer account.
AT&T has been keeping very quiet about its 4G plans over the past year, letting the other 3 major players freely roll out their respective 4G technologies - HSPA+ for T-Mobile, WiMax for Sprint, and LTE for Verizon. However, after the announcements at this morning's AT&T Developer Summit, it is clear AT&T is seriously stepping up its game.
According to Ralph de La Vega, AT&T's CEO, AT&T has already completed the upgrade of the whole mobile broadband network to HSPA+, or Evolved HSPA, which is the same technology used by T-Mobile that currently offers theoretical speeds of about 21Mbps downstream.
It appears that Samsung is going to continue with the Galaxy S brand name, but this upcoming AT&T handset is unlike any other Galaxy S phone you've seen before. The Samsung Infuse 4G improves on the original in just about every way - in fact, it easily tops any phones on the market today:
1.2 GHz (single core) processor
4.5" Super AMOLED Plus display
8 megapixel rear camera
1.3 megapixel front-facing camera
Extremely thin (thinnest phone on AT&T when it launches)
The most interesting aspect is the Super AMOLED Plus display.
Eyeing the HTC Thunderbolt or EVO 4G with envy but stuck on AT&T? Fortunately, the carrier, which has a long reputation of not embracing Android (none of their Android phones can officially sideload apps) has just announced its next "superphone." The HTC Inspire 4G looks to be just about the same as the Thunderbolt, with a 4.3" screen and 4G connectivity, although it will support AT&T's HSPA+ network instead of their upcoming LTE network.
Android isn't exactly the most media-centric smartphone OS, but that may change soon, with the introduction of Honeycomb and more third-party media stores (like Samsung's Media Hub).
The latest development comes from Comcast, who is, apparently, planning to bring both live and On Demand content to Android tablets (and iPads) across the nation. The company hasn't announced much yet, but from the looks of it, we can expect to see an app (or a tablet-optimized website) that will allow users to watch live news, TV shows, and movies right on their favorite Android tablet.
Qualcomm's Mirasol technology has been in prototype form for a while, but at this year's CES, it seems like we'll finally see a working product - an Android e-reader by PocketBook that is called simply Mirasol.
For those who haven't been following Mirasol, it is a functional equivalent of a traditional black-and-white eInk display that has become so popular in e-readers over the last few years, except it is capable of displaying color and playing videos (refresh rates are rumored to be anywhere from 12 to 30 fps).
Last night at the CES Unveiled preview event, I got a chance to see a new product made by Parrot, called Asteroid.
Asteroid is a voice-activated, Android-powered car deck that replaces your existing single DIN car stereo. It has a small non-touch 3.2" color screen, runs on a specialized version of Android (the presenter didn't seem to know which Android version it was based on exactly), is capable of running custom Android apps (SDK for which is coming out later), and can accept a variety of inputs, such as your iPhone, iPod, USB storage, SD card (the left half detaches to reveal the SD slot), Bluetooth, 3.5mm jack, 3G and GPS dongles, and AM/FM/RDS.
During the LG press conference (see our live coverage), LG officially revealed to the world the Optimus Black Android smartphone, previously known as Optimus "B."
This upcoming looker features a brand new NOVA display technology, which LG touts as "breakthrough, brightest, clearest, and most readable among mobile screens, with 700 nits of brightness (Nit: a unit of luminance equal to 1 candela per square meter)." The NOVA display supposedly performs very well under strong sunlight and uses up to 50% less power compared to LCD screens and AMOLED screens that are displaying a totally white image (AMOLED doesn't use energy to display blacks).
The idea sounds good in theory: a device that has the comfort and usability of a laptop combined with the portability of a tablet. Lenovo's LePad was rumoured earlier this year and it has finally been unveiled together with the IdeaPad U1 Hybrid Netbook partner.
The LePad comes with a customised version of Android 2.2 (called LeOS) and runs on a 1.3 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. The U1 comes with Windows 7 Home Premium and runs on a 1.2 Ghz Intel Core i5-540UM (with an i7 option).