At Google I/O earlier this week, we did a hands-on for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, as well as an epic unboxing of “limited edition” versions of the slate, not to mention an exclusive “unboxing” by Google senior VP Vic Gundotra. But now we get word that the ultra thin and lightweight tablet may be [...]
Given the recent launch of Google’s Music Beta, it’s expected that anticipation will build up now for Apple’s rivaling offer. The rumored ‘iCloud’ service is believed to be more than just a cloud-based music service, and today’s halting of MobileMe sales by Amazon further fuels this speculation. Amazon finally stopped all sales of Apple’s MobileMe [...]
After experiencing a couple weeks’ delay, Verizon has just hit us with official word of the Samsung DROID Charge launch. It will be available tomorrow, May 14th, from Verizon stores and can be ordered online starting at midnight tonight. If you pick up the first 4G LTE Droid handset from Verizon, you will have to pony up a pretty hefty $299.99 on a two-year contract, though other retailers have indicated that they will sell the handset for a bit less at $249.99.
We guess Verizon cleared up whatever LTE issues they were having that made them hesitant to launch the smartphone with its large and beautiful Super AMOLED Plus display, 1GHz processer, and dual cameras. Check out our full review if you’re on the fence.
DROID Charge Joins Verizon Wireless’ Android Family
BASKING RIDGE, N.J. - Verizon Wireless and Samsung Telecommunications America (Samsung Mobile) today announced that the DROID Charge by Samsung will be available for purchase in Verizon Wireless Communications Stores and online at www.verizonwireless.com.
The DROID Charge is designed with Samsung’s 4.3-inch Super AMOLED™ Plus display, setting a new touchscreen standard for brightness, clarity and outdoor visibility. The DROID Charge is equipped with both a rear-facing 8-megapixel camera with LED flash and front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera for both stills and video chatting. The smartphone’s 1 GHz application processor and HTML 5 Web browser maximizes high-speed 4G LTE connectivity for faster downloads and graphics processing.
- 4G LTE - Customers can expect download speeds of 5 to 12 Mbps and upload speeds of 2 to 5 Mbps in 4G Mobile Broadband coverage area
- Android 2.2 platform - Support for Google Mobile Services including Gmail™, YouTube™, Google Talk, Google Search, Google Maps and access to more than 200,000 apps available to download from Android Market™
- Adobe® Flash® Player compatible
- Mobile Hotspot capability - Share 4G connection with up to 10 Wi-Fi-enabled devices or a 3G connection with up to 5 devices.
- Samsung Media Hub - Samsung’s own content service, offering a vast lineup of critically acclaimed films and TV programs for rent or purchase
- Virtual QWERTY keyboard featuring Swype technology
Pricing and data plans:
- The DROID Charge by Samsung will be available for $299.99 with a new two-year customer agreement.
- DROID Charge customers will need to subscribe to a Verizon Wireless Nationwide Talk plan and a 4G LTE data package. Nationwide Talk plans begin at $39.99 monthly access. Unlimited 4G LTE data packages start at $29.99 monthly access. Mobile Hotspot feature will be included for a limited time at no additional charge.
For more information about the DROID Charge by Samsung, visit www.droiddoes.com/charge. For additional information on Verizon Wireless products and services, visit a Verizon Wireless Communications Store, call 1-800-2 JOIN IN or go to www.verizonwireless.com.
With Google I/O 2011 in the rear view mirror, I have been thinking a lot about an issue that seemed front-and-center just a year ago, but was relatively absent from this year’s media coverage of the annual developer conference. It has to do with Google’s two operating systems. If we rewind the clock to early 2010, before the CR-48 netbook even existed, the big question was how would Android and Chrome co-exist, let alone thrive, in a market shifting towards portable, internet-connected devices. Of course, back then it wasn’t known how Google planned to deploy Chrome.
Some wondered which operating system would be Google’s focus for tablets, a hot technology in the wake of the original iPad. Would Chrome be on tablets? Would Android be on tablets, too? The tablet seemed the key to success (and very well still could be), and if Google neglected to get Android on tablets in favor of Chrome many wondered if that would be a major blow for the mobile OS in its fight against Apple.
A year later, we have a better idea of what Google is doing with their two platforms. For now, the tech giant seems content to leave Chrome as an OS for non-touchscreen devices. This year’s I/O brought two new netbooks — one from Acer and one from Samsung — dubbed Chromebooks and due this summer. We were also teased with a desktop Chromebox, though release plans weren’t announced. Since May 2010, Android has split off into two branches, one for tablets (Honeycomb) and one for smartphones (Gingerbread). The plan is to unify the experience in an upcoming release, Ice Cream Sandwich, which is slated for the end of the year.
Then there is Google TV, a platform which in its original incarnation merged features of Android and Chrome to create a unique internet television experience. It was revealed at I/O that summer will see Google TV updated to Android 3.1 Honeycomb, which will bring about a more-familiar Android experience, including the Android Market. We’d expect the Chrome browser portion of GTV will remain.
Which brings me back to where this all started. A single question: Is Google spreading itself too thin? Initial worry was that the having both Chrome and Android might confuse consumers searching for Google-approved products, but a clearer division between smartphones, tablets, and netbooks has erased much of this concern. What we might fear now is developer support from a group of software engineers who already feel alienated by the so-called fragmentation of the Android platform. In addition to several versions of Android floating around on mobile handsets, developers now have the task of targeting a separate version for tablets and Google TV. Then there is the relatively untapped territory known as the Chrome App Store, which hosts rich web-based experiences.
If the turnout at Google I/O is any indication, developers are eager to work with Google and create content for their various platforms. However, we still must wonder if one Google OS will eventually cannibalize the other. It’s safe to say that Android has the biggest head of steam right now, which may detract some away from Chrome, an OS that some feel hesitant about due to its new approach to cloud-based computing. Nonetheless, Google is making a huge push for institutional and corporate adoption of the platform.
Could we eventually see a day where Google merges Android and Chrome? Would it take one operating system failing to trigger such an event, or is it part of Google’s plan from the get-go? We’ve come a long way since last year’s I/O conference, and what happens next year we can only guess. What we learned this week has us feeling relatively confident that both Chrome and Android can co-exist and experience success. But we also must remember: Google’s tendency to keep their hands in as many cookie jars as possible has often been the key factor to both their successes and their failures.
The other day, I previewed a game from Glu Mobile called Contract Killer. It’s a simple rail shooter (and I’m not sure you can call it that considering you don’t move much) that has you going after assigned targets for cash. Kill ‘em or tranq ‘em, just make sure the boss is happy. You can find the video at this link, but why watch that when you can play it for free today? It’s in the Android market now and the price isn’t a mistake, folks. Consider it a gift from Glu, I suppose.
This just made the T-Mobile and AT&T merger trials a lot more interesting. According to a source of Reuters‘, if this deal is rejected by the governing bodies of our nation, AT&T has to pay up $6 billion, which includes $3 billion in cash, $2 billion in spectrum and $1 billion worth of roaming privileges for users who wander outside of T-Mobile coverage area. The industry is not confident that the deal will go through.
All signs have pointed to a rejection and regulators have not made it easy-going for T-Mobile and AT&T thus far. There’s still a lot to get through, though. T-Mobile wouldn’t have much of an advantage over their pre-acquisition woes if they end up getting rejected, but improvement through this promised capital would be better than nothing at all.
On the sandy beaches of Rio, birds and monkeys play volleyball. At least that’s what the update to Angry Birds Rio suggests. Rovio’s added new beach-themed levels in today’s Beach Volleyball update and they’ve changed the objective – instead of freeing birds, you’re attacking monkeys who hang quite gracefully form several objects. Sounds quite interesting and should be a nice break from the norm. Go ahead and find your update in the Amazon Appstore. Check the preview video out below for an idea of what to expect.
Samsung and LG Display may be working on packing extra pixels into tablet-scale screens, but what if you want resolution overload on your smartphone? Ortus Technologies showed us its 4.8-inch Full HD LCD last year, squeezing 1920 x 1080 458ppi into a panel that would make an iPhone 4 Retina Display weep with ill-disguised shame; [...]
Apple and Samsung may be playing out their own patent lawsuit battle, but the IP minefield has just gotten very real for independent iOS app developers too. A number of developers have reportedly been threatened with patent infringement for using Apple’s own in-app purchasing system, Cult of Mac reports, targeting individuals rather than Apple itself. Scientific [...]
Microsoft has confirmed that color banding and resolution issues HTC HD7 and HTC Trophy owners experienced after installing the recent Windows Phone 7 NoDo update was intentionally provoked, blaming HTC for stepping outside of the strict specification rules for the platform. According to a Microsoft support team member, HTC granted the two smartphones 32-bit color [...]