“How do you tablet?” Oh yes, that’s Archos’ new tag line when it comes to its growing number of Android tablets. Good timing since, you know, it just went ahead and released a quintuplet of new gadgets. The offerings range from small PMP-like devices with 2.8- and 3.2-inch screens to higher-end 4.3-, 7- and 10.1-inch tablets. All will ship with Android 2.2 “Froyo” and will include accelerometers, while only some have capacitive touchscreens, front-facing cameras and 1GHz processors. There’s a lot more to them all — we’re talking five different devices, of course — so we suggest hitting the break for a short rundown of each of them along with our early impressions.
For all its success, the iPod touch has few dedicated media player competitors capable of matching its big-touchscreen, WiFi, and voluminous App Store. Until today. Philips just went official with its GoGear Connect featuring the full suite of Google Mobile applications pre-installed with access to the Android Market for pretty much everything else. Spec-wize we’re looking at a 3.2-inch display, WiFi, sound isolating earphones, built-in camera, and microSD slot. Sorry, no mention of the Android OS version though we’ve seen it listed at retailers with 2.1. Syncing your music is done over Bluetooth or a USB tether to your PC with Philips’ Songbird providing the software assist. The MP4 player also supports Maps and location-based services — presumably accomplished with the help of Skyhook and not via a GPS radio (though the Philips post is tagged “GPS”). Look for the GoGear Connect to land in Western Europe, China, and yes, the US, starting in late October with the price pegged at €249 (about $315) for the 16GB model. Trackback: Engadget
We know you’re positively giddy with excitement to get at this OlivePad rebadge and ViewSonic is today fanning those flames of desire with a little bit of pre-IFA PR. Made official today, the 7-inch ViewPad 7 will try to lure in Android lovers with its tasty Froyo parfait, underpinned by hardware that includes front- and back-facing cameras, 3G for both phone and data transmissions, and a full-sized SIM slot. It doesn’t seem to have an earpiece so we’re unwilling to grant it the claim that it offers “full” phone functionality, but we’d be more worried about the unlisted internal specs on this thing — the OlivePadmakes do with a 600MHz ARM CPU and an underwhelming 800 x 480 resolution, neither of which should be making the iPad quake in its well padded boots. Price is expected to be “no more than £350” ($543) in the UK, though all we know about availability is that review units will start showing up in October. Ah well, the wait for a quality iPad alternative continues. Trackback: Engadget
Yearning for a bit of dual-core action on the move? Who isn’t. Hannspree will soon try to quell that 1080p-sized hunger in all of us with its freshly announced €399 ($507) Froyo tablet. There’s no lack of spec sheet ambition here: a 1GHz Tegra 2 SOC is surrounded by 16GB of internal storage (expandable via MicroSD), an accelerometer, WiFi and Bluetooth 2.1 connectivity, a 1,024 x 600-pixel capacitive touchscreen, and mini versions of HDMI and USB ports. Flash 10.1 is also proudly supported, while the 3,500mAh battery is said to last up to 8 hours when playing 1080p movies. We’d be getting real excited right about now, but we’ve learnt to be cautious with such lofty promises — remember the Gemini? Trackback: Engadget
Google is not taking the Oracle patent lawsuit against Android sitting down and the search giant is pulling out of the JavaOne conference. Joshua Bloch of the Google Open Source Programs Office told Reuters: We wish that we could [present at the show], but Oracle’s recent lawsuit against Google and open source has made it impossible for us to freely share our thoughts about the future of Java and open source generally. This is a painful realization for us, as we’ve participated in every JavaOne since 2004, and I personally have spoken at all but the first in 1996 The JavaOne conference is schedule for Sept. 19-23 and Google was going to be a major participant in multiple sessions. Google said it is proud to be part of the open source Java community. The lawsuit comes as Android is on a rocket ship, as the operating system outsold its competitors in the United States for the first time. Oracle purchased Sun for about $5 billion and many think the ability to go after the search giant in the courts was one of the reasons the acquisition was finished. Sun open sourced parts of Java but other parts were still under Sun’s control. Sun was also able to sue Microsoft over its use of Java and it wound up costing Microsoft at least $1 billion. Google has called the lawsuit baseless and said: We are disappointed Oracle has chosen to attack both Google and the open-source Java community with this baseless lawsuit. The open-source Java community goes beyond any one corporation and works every day to make the web a better place. We will strongly defend open-source standards and will continue to work with the industry to develop the Android platform. Trackback: Intomobile
What’s this? A 7-inch, aluminum-trimmed, multitouch tablet from Korea running Android? Why it could be none other than the Samsung Galaxy, er, KT Identity Tab. Think of this 1GHz tablet with TFT-LCD, 8GB of internal memory (and SD expansion), DMB TV tuner, light and gravity sensors, built-in ebook reader, and 3 megapixel camera as KT’s answer to Samsung’s Galaxy Tab Android 2.2 tablet expected to hit SK Telecom, South Korea’s largest carrier, sometime in September. And with KT’s take on the Tab priced at KRW300,000 (about $253) or free with KRW27,000 per month contract and 50G WiMax (aka, WiBro in Korea) data plan, it certainly sets the expectation for how Samsung will price its Tab later this week. More pics of this oh too familiar tablet design after the break.
Mozilla has pushed out another alpha version of Firefox for mobile phones, Fennec, and it’s inviting Android, and N900, users to have a shot with the little fox. Fennec is the working title for the mobile version of Firefox, incorporating the irritatingly-named “Awesome Bar” and synchronising in real time with its bigger brother. Previous alpha releases of Fennec have only been available for Nokia’s N900 internet tablet, with one “pre-alpha” release being built for Android. But now Android users get a proper “alpha” and are invited to download to see what they think. The more-wary user might like to take a look at the video instead, which shows how Fennec recreates the Firefox experience in miniature – using sideways scrolling to provide access to tools and demonstrating how Fennec manages the add-ons which have proved so popular for Firefox. But synchronisation is one of the more interesting features. Android users who’ve made the jump to Froyo will have Crome2phone already showing them how useful the continuity of browsing can be. But for everyone else the task of synchronizing history, tabs, bookmarks, passwords, and form defaults is complicated at best, and one of the things that Fennec is really good at. Trackback: TheReg
HOWCAST You can learn anything from a video tutorial these days and Howcast covers everything from “how to hide big ears” to “how to fall asleep faster”. Very useful. Free POCKET EMPIRES One of the best Android games, Pocket Empires is a medieval multiplayer online game in which you’ll need to grow crops and build a small city to succeed. Extremely addictive. Free HOCCER Hoccer allows you to share things like contacts and photos through gestures like dragging, snatching and throwing your handset. Saves fiddling around. Free TRIPIT Email that impenetrable airline confirmation to TripIt and it plots the key details on a simple itinerary. Phone numbers and maps are a click away and it even works offline. Free More at the trackback… Trackback: Guardian
SmartDevices is continuing to pump out cheap Android tablets. Hot on the heels of the T7 tablet, the company is starting to show off the Smartq V3. While the T7 has a 7 inch display and a portrait orientation that makes it look like a huge phone or a modest-sized color eBook reader, the SmartDevices Smartq V3 has a smaller 4.3 inch 800 x 480 pixel display which makes this little guy look a bit more like a portable media player. The tablet runs Google Android 2.1, has 256MB of DDR2 memory and a 600MHz ARM11 processor. It also has USB and mini HDMI ports. The SmartQ V3 will reportedly sell for under $100 in China, although there’s no word about whether it will launch internationally. Trackback: Cloned in China via Liliputing
Just in case you weren’t sure, it turns out that the 7 inch Samsung Galaxy Tab (which won’t be officially unveiled for a few more days), is bigger than a 4 inch smartphone, but smaller than a 9.7 inch tablet like, say… the Apple iPad. Korean site dt.co.kr has posted a hands-on video of the tablet, complete with a size comparison with a Samsung Galaxy S smartphone and an Apple iPad (albeit an iPad in a beefy looking case). As expected, the tablet is running Android 2.2 and has a front-facing camera. The Korean model also has a digital TV tuner, something which I doubt we’ll see in the US version. You can check out the Korean video after the break.