Things seem to be going well for Google’s development team as their latest iteration of Android is on track for that Q4 release date promised four months ago. Rather surprisingly, given the excitement for ICS, only four screenshots have been leaked which don’t really show much in terms of fresh UI. Even these screens, upon closer examination seem to be fake as some key elements from the UI are taken straight from Cyanogenmod and one of its many themes. You can read more about the leaks here.
We still have no idea of what’s coming other than that Ice Cream Sandwich shall unite elements from Gingerbread and Honeycomb together in a one size fits all OS. ICS should also have special dev tools which will allow them to scale their apps for different screen sizes, resulting in little or no different between tablet and smartphone versions.
The oft rumoured and lusted over HTC Puccini Honeycomb tablet has finally been announced, at least on the Yanks’ side of the pond, as the Jetstream. To be honest, the specs look good but we can’t help but feel that this has come too late. Google’s Ice Cream Sandwich is just round the corner, but we’ll go into that at the end of this post.
The Jetstream is quite the looker and seems to be a blend of Motorola Xoom and HTC Flyer. It has a 10.1″ display of 1280×800 resolution with a 1.5GHz dual core Qualcomm CPU purring away underneath as it powers Honeycomb 3.1 with HTC’s Sense layer on top. The Jetstream also supports the Flyer’s Scribe technology and a stylus will be included in the package for a limited time only. The device also supports AT&T’s 4G and 3G bands along with the customary wifi.
No word yet on European availability, indeed we were expecting a reveal in tonight’s event, but it shouldn’t be too long now. As we said in the beginning this is running Android 3.1, not even 3.2, and will probably make it to market in the rest of the world around the time when quad core, Kal El toting Ice Cream Sandwich tablets will be announced. AT&T’s pricing also doesn’t help, it’s available from $699 WITH a 2 year contract. We’ll just wait and hope that an ICS update won’t take too long to push out.
As you techies out there may have heard, there is a war being fought RIGHT NOW. Right beneath our feet. It’s a dirty war, with men and women loyal to opposing causes flinging themselves against each other in this bloody battle. Some, myself included, agree that Samsung is “infringing” on Apple’s designs. Yes, I have been talking about the Samsung vs Apple patent suit. Others see the case differently, arguing that there are only so many ways to design a tablet. It seems the designers of the Motorola Xoom didn’t get the memo. Neither did the designers of Asus’ Transformer. But I digress.
On the 1st of August Sony Ericsson announced that the international roll out of the Gingerbread update for its 2010 flagship, the Xperia X10. Yet, so far, progress seems to be painfully slow. Indeed the evidence suggests that the roll out has stopped altogether. Sony Ericsson’s Facebook page is nothing short of chaos with people posting all kinds of wild rumours and crazy assurances. We just don’t know who to trust and Sony’s, quite suspiciously is keeping mum on the subject.
Our own Zach Galea has been eagerly awaiting the update since the early months of 2011, but now all he feels is anger and frustration. 2011 has most definitely not been Sony’s best year. First came the update fiasco with the above mentioned X10 and the entire 2010 line up, whereby Sony announced that no device will go beyond Eclair and even having the guts to say that their version of Clair was “as good as if not better than 2.2 [Froyo]”. Next came the PSN hacking, though that doesn’t really tie in with their smartphones. Their current flagship, the Arc, svelte as it is, has fallen behind its dual core brethren and many loyal users are doubting their faith. 2012 promises to be better, with the Vita supposedly shipping to the US and European markets as well as two new and quite unique Honeycomb tablets, the S1 and the S2.
Unfortunately only time will tell if their update schedule improves or not.
Special note: I am not bashing or dissing any of the work done by others for rooting the Motorola Xoom, but merely saying that something went wrong for me.
I’ve had my Xoom for a couple weeks now and, while I know that it is generally regarded as a poor offering, especially as Honeycomb’s launch platform, I love it. Now, 2 hours ago I decided to root. Why, you ask? Motorola might make excellent hardware, but its software support is less than stellar. Hence, 5 months after launch, the EU Xoom was still on Android 3.0 with 3.1 somewhere over the horizon but seemingly on another planet.
Google I/O is currently underway over at San Francisco, and this evening (or morning over there) they revealed a healthy dollop of great news at the opening keynote. First off, Android 3.1 and Ice Cream Sandwich (possibly Android 2.4) have been revealed, but no more info was given.
Some more news is a selection of new services. Here’s a run down:
The good folks at GSMArena.com are reporting that Google is planning to expand it’s Nexus family of devices with a tablet, obviously running Honeycomb (that’s Android 3.0 to everybody else out there). The device shall allegedly be manufactured by LG, but LG won’t be able to sell the same device under their own name as HTC did with the Nexus One (they resold it as the Desire) and as Samsung did with the Nexus S (it was based on the i9000 Galaxy S).
So what will this mean for the Android world? This will obviously be Google’s developer’s tablet, and obviously the device will get Android updates before others. But is it really necessary? And will it go the same way as Motorola’s Xoom? Only time will tell I’m afraid, but let us know what you think in the comments below.
Motorola’s released the full commercial for the Xoom tablet, taking more than a cue from Apple’s 1984 commercial. The tablet’s been confirmed to sell at $800, which in my opinion isn’t that bad for Motorola’s Honeycomb superslate.
Well, there isn’t much to say here but Google has finally chosen its Honeycomb logo. It’s a little bluer than we thought it would (it’s blue), but we like it nonetheless. Now, if it were to come to smartphones, we’d like it even more, wouldn’t we?
Hey guys, look at what Google decided to release at CES: Honeycomb! It’s a completely new UI that looks brilliant, but is still in its very early stages.
The tablets themselves look pretty good, with the Motorola Xoom shaping up to be real competition for the iPad. What I think we have to show here is that Google and Apple are taking two very different routes at the moment. The iPad is still like a big iPhone, which isn’t bad but certainly doesn’t allow an experience similar to what you’d get on a desktop or laptop.
Honeycomb on the other hand is completely different, with a central homepage and widgets that mimic the effect of open windows and an overall cleaner appearance. Of course we aren’t at CES, as that’s just about on the other side of the world from where I’m sitting, but the tablet wars are shaping up to be of historic proportions.
Below we got a video preview of Honeycomb, followed by a slew of screens thanks to Engadget
Someone’s given us a taste of the future, and we taste Honey. A kind fellow has leaked version 3.0 of the stock Android Music app, and while it has a drastic, pleasing and much needed UI overhaul, it points to something much, much bigger. As Andre, via Engadget, has pointed out the app has a menu button on the top right, just as the device Andy Rubin had demoed at “D: Dive into Mobile”. This hints that Google’s trying to move away from physical buttons, and the current “surprise” menu. There’s also an icon on the top left that takes you to the “home” of the app, just like the device Andy Rubin previewed. We got a couple of interesting videos below, as well as a link to actually download the app.
[Update] Guy, this doesn’t really fit with the aesthetics of Honeycomb so far, so could this be an OEM’s (HTC?, Samsung?) skin? Tell us what you think in the comments.