May 24 was marked in our calendars as the day when Samsung would host yet another media event in New York. Being as passionate about gadgets as we are, we were really hoping to be treated to some spicy news regarding the manufacturer’s latest smartphones and tablets, but it looks like this isn’t happening on that day. To our disappointment, the event has been postponed for undisclosed reasons and it is most probably getting rescheduled to a later date.
Even though it wasn’t exactly clear what was going to be announced at the event, chances were that the Samsung Galaxy S II, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, and the Galaxy Tab 8.9 were going to be among the main highlights since all of them are expected to launch across the US pretty soon. Could one of these devices somehow be the cause for the event to be put off? The Galaxy Tab 10.1 was already seen at Google I/O in working condition and the Galaxy S II is already rumored to be launching for at least three of the nation’s carriers so the reason for the delay is nothing but a mystery for now.
We hope that Samsung postponing the event will not lead to the Galaxy S II and the Galaxy Tab 10.1 getting their launch dates delayed as well. Updates on the situation from Samsung are expected to follow, so as soon as we find something out we will make sure to let you know.
We’ve already heard about the HTC Puccini, a 10-inch tablet in the works over at HTC, but nothing compares to screenshots of the HTC Sense UI running atop the Android 3.0.1 Honeycomb, courtesy of HTC insider blog 911Sniper. The HTC Puccini features a WXGA resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels, and will come with 4G LTE connectivity.
The tablet will feature Qualcomm’s third-generation MSM8660 chipset clocked at the impressive 1.5GHz and if that’s doesn’t mean much to you, why don’t you check out the benchmark cracking performance of the dual-core MSM8660 silicon demoed by the company mere weeks ago? Real-life scenarios of using the silicon muscle include handling 1080p full HD videos and HTML5 playback, which both ran without a hitch. The MSM8×60 family of processors is made with 45-nm technology and comes in three versions: MSM8260 for GSM networks, MSM8660 for CDMA carriers and MSM8960 for LTE. But what could be even more important, is the work that HTC has done with Sense on Honeycomb, which you can see in the screenshot below.
source: 911Sniper (translated)
We got a tip that Amazon is in the final stages of building its Android-powered tablet, and it turned out not one, but two of them might be on tap from the giant online retailer – quad-core “Hollywood“, and “entry level Coyote” ones.
According to our tipster, Coyote will sport a dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2, and is already prime for production, but there is more work to be done on Hollywood, which is supposed to feature NVIDIA’s Kal-El quad-core chipset that is coming later this year.
We last heard a rumor that Samsung is helping Amazon build its tablet, and we know that the Kal-El chipset is slated for Q3 production, and NVIDIA even promised that we’ll see tablets with the quad-core Cortex-A9 silicon in August. Kal-El is supposed to have 12 GPU cores, and be 5x faster than Tegra 2. Now, the only question is since when dual-core became entry level?
Thanks for the tip!
At this point, there’s no denying that Verizon owners of the Motorola XOOM are indeed getting the best tasting from Google – especially when they’re the first to sample Android 3.1 Honeycomb and its new set of features. One of them specifically is the ability to rent videos through the new “Movies” hub within the Android Market, but for XOOM Wi-Fi only models, it has been deliberately omitted from the tablet’s new update.
Naturally, the roll out of the Motorola XOOM’s Android 3.1 Honeycomb update is proceeding normally, but for some strange and unknown reason, the Wi-Fi only version of the XOOM is locked out from experiencing movie rentals. Sadly, there is no concrete reason as to why this is happening, but rather, it’s simply confirmed and made known though Motorola’s Support Forums. However, there is still some light at the end of the tunnel since it appears that it’ll be available in the near future.
From the sound of it all, we’ll have to wait several weeks before the feature in enabled. The statement on the support forums says, “The new Movies tab in the Android Market will not appear on updated Wi-Fi-only Motorola Xooms immediately after the update. Google will make that available in the near future. Motorola Xooms from Verizon will be able to use the Movies service after the 3.1 update.”
The news is as official as it could be, as it’s Samsung that is disseminating it – the Korean manufacturer issued a press release that states the Samsung Galaxy S users in the Nordic countries and the UK will be the first to taste Android 2.3. That will happen in mid-May, while from then on owners of the other above-mentioned Samsung devices in other parts of the world – namely other European markets, North America, Southeast Asia, the Middle East Asia, Africa and rest of the world – will get Gingerbread “according to the regional plan”.
As there is no information about the North America regional plan, we can only guess when exactly we will see Android 2.3 on the Samsung Galaxy Tab and the Samsung Galaxy S, but at least it’s now certain that Gingie is coming to these devices.
NVIDIA is one of the main driving hardware forces in the Android tablet world and slow sales of tablets with Google’s operating systems seem to have touched NVIDIA’s CEO Jen-Hsun Huang on the raw. Huang uttered not one, but a couple of arguments detailing the reasons behind the slow start of Android tablet sales in an interview for CNET: “It’s a point of sales problem. It’s an expertise at retail problem. It’s a marketing problem to consumers. It is a price point problem,” he mentioned.
While the first three arguments seem to touch on all Honeycomb tablets, most of which run on the dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 chip, the price point issue instantly spurs thoughts about the Motorola XOOM. “The baseline configuration included 3G when it shouldn’t have,” Huang underlined. “Tablets should have a Wi-Fi configuration and be more affordable. And those are the ones that were selling more rapidly than the 3G and fully configured ones,” he further explained his point. The Motorola XOOM hit retail shelves with a hard-to-swallow $799 price tag for a 3G version and lacking a Wi-Fi only model initially. In comparison, the iPad 2 carries a much more affordable $499 price tag for the base model with no 3G.
Echoing what rival Apple has been pointing out for a couple of months now, NVIDIA’s main man added: “And it’s a software richness of content problem.” The scarce number of tablet-specific apps seems to become the chant for tablet makers as Motorola’s own Sanjay Jha also mentioned the problem.
But all of those negatives have been “largely addressed by a new wave” of tablets as per Huang’s words. We can only hope for the upcoming Galaxy Tab 10.1 and 8.9 to live up to the expectations this time and give us, the users, more arguments to opt for an Android slate. But what’s your opinion about the slow start of Android slates and the underlying reasons? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below.
Until now, if you wanted to update the software on your 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab to a newer Android version, the only way this could be done was by installing an unofficial Gingerbread build. Well, things have changed – an official update to Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread is already live in Italy, and if you own an original Samsung Galaxy Tab, the update should be also coming to your tablet pretty soon.
The news comes from numerous Italian Samsung Galaxy Tab users, who reported receiving the update via Kies when hooking their tablets to their computers. Unfortunately, nobody outside of Italy has confirmed getting treated to Gingerbread yet, but it shouldn’t take long before the update goes live in other countries as well. However, if you are not patient enough to wait, there is a way to install the update manually – just follow the link below where a detailed description of the procedure is available. We only urge you to be careful if you attempt installing Gingerbread by yourself. You don’t want ending up with a bricked device now, do you?
To read how you can install the update manually, click here.
Although it’s not yet available with Three UK, consumers who are eagerly waiting for the HTC Flyer to land in the UK will find the juicy set of tidbits found in Three UK’s catalog to be especially intriguing.
Specifically, its seems that the highly anticipated Android 2.3 Gingerbread HTC Flyer is going to be priced at £169 ($275) with a 2-year agreement, and it’s required to be on a £25 per month data plan at the very least, which provides a healthy 15GB data allotment. Honestly, some will undoubtedly find the pricing to be more than considerate, especially when you take into account all the wonderful set of hardware packed inside of it. And even though no specific date has been tied to its release just yet, we’re hopeful that it’ll land some time this month.
Finally, if you’re on the fence on picking this up because it’s flaunting Gingerbread as opposed to Honeycomb, fear not seeing that it should receive its dose of Honeycomb shortly after its release; hopefully.
Those with the Verizon 3G version of the Motorola XOOM are going to be the first to receive the Android 3.1 update on their tablet. The new build will allow the XOOM to receive movie rentals from the Android Market, re-size homescreen widgets, adds more features for bluetooth, and supports Adobe Flash Player 10.2.Other additions include a faster web browser, a new books app and a new video editing app called Movie Studio.
Even though Motorola’s announcement said that variants of the Honeycomb flavored tablet besides the 3G Verizon model would get the Android 3.1 update in the coming weeks, some members of Motorola’s Support Forum have written to say that their Wi-Fi only XOOM have received the upgrade.
The first day of the Google I/O event gave us and the fans a thorough update of what was being baked in Google’s busy kitchen, but as for the attendees – all 5000 of them had the privilege of walking away with a brand new, limited edition Samsung GALAXY Tab 10.1 dressed up in an eye-catching white outfit. Feeling like you want to grab yourself one as well even though the device has not been launched yet? If money is not an issue for you, eBay currently has at least a couple of these special edition Honeycomb tablets for sale with a four-digit price tag.
With a little over six days until the auction is over, the special edition Samsung GALAXY Tab 10.1’s current bid stands at $1001 without the shipping costs – twice as much as its starting price was when the item got listed a day ago. If you do not like to wait, there is another unit available from a different seller with a Buy It Now price of $1399 and free worldwide shipping included. The slimmer GALAXY Tab 10.1 model is expected to launch in a little less than a month after Samsung decided to redesign it and make it about as slim as an iPad 2. However, a white version of the tablet has not been officially announced yet, and its release along with the black model is only a matter of speculation for now.