While these were great to kick the two-day event in high gear, they were not the only things announced for the relatively short 55 minutes keynote. Google also demonstrated the so-called Android Open Accessory project. In a nutshell, it allows accessories to connect via USB ports to Android-powered gear (Android 2.3.4 and above only), where they act as an USB host, providing at least 500mAh at 5V for charging.
The whole premise is based on the Arduino open source electronic prototyping platform, and was demonstrated in a funny way by one employee riding a stationary bike. The bike was connected via USB to a phone running Android Ice Cream Sandwich, and the guy had to guide a little green robot through a cave’s perils by speeding up and down, in an app called CardioQuest.
Google has released a free Android Development Kit for techies to start working on the numerous possibilities that come to mind, and also demoed how a Motorola XOOM tablet commands a physical Labyrinth board via USB. The fun starts at 35:40 into in the video.
Another glimpse into the future of Android was shown with the so-called Android@Home automation service. Google’s mobile OS is seriously gearing up to control your home lighting, HVAC, and home appliances. Lights can be turned on and off according to your alarm schedule or events in your Calendar, washing machines can be given marching orders, and one cool music device concept named Tungsten was shown. It is an Android-powered device hub, demonstrated in different shapes and forms, and an ability to store and playback your CDs by just nearing their NFC tags to Tungsten was showcased. The Android@Home demonstration starts at 42:37 into the video
Now that pictures of accessories and promotional material for the Samsung Droid Charge have been revealed, it shouldn’t be too long before Verizon launches its next LTE enabled handset. The phone offers a 4.3 inch Super AMOLED Plus screen, an 8MP camera on back, a front-facing 1.3MP shooter and a 1GHz processor along with LTE connectivity. As we reported, the mobile hotspot on the Droid Charge will support up to 10 devices.
We previously told you that Verizon had put a Minimum Advertised Price of $299.99 on the handset. And that is for a phone with a single-core 1GHz chip under the hood. But there could be a rebate placed on the phone, or perhaps the carrier has decided to come in with a lower price point for the device. No sense getting worked up until we get the official pricing and launch information from Verizon. And seeing that the accessories are starting to get shipped into the stores, it shouldn’t be too long before Verizon customers get a second choice besides the HTC ThunderBolt for a 4G enabled phone.
It was approximately close to a month ago when we first feasted our eyes on a Motorola XOOM with Sprint’s branding on it, but yet, we’re still at a lost as to when this device will launch. Even more, Sprint has kept a relatively low profile surrounding this device that’s expected to run off Sprint’s 4G WiMAX network.
Today though, it seems that some Sprint stores nationwide are beginning to receive shipments on cases for the Motorola XOOM. In fact, one individual managed to snap a photo of the would be case that’s expected to protect the premium tablet. Additionally, a screen shot of Sprint’s inventory reveals a SKU number given to a protective case for the XOOM and is priced at $44.99 – which is a good indicator that the tablet is definitely coming at this point.
Even though the arrival of these cases pretty much confirm the tablet’s existence, we’re still in the dark regarding an official launch date for this one – still, it shouldn’t be long at this point.
Even though there’s going to be plenty of face time available for the upcoming high end device, we find that there will be an available accessory that closely follows what’s offered with the Motorola ATRIX 4G. Planted straight with the Samsung Droid Charge in the leaked promotion material is nothing more than a Multimedia Desktop Dock. Similar to the one for the Motorola ATRIX 4G, the dock makes for a descent pedestal stand for the handset, but adding to its arsenal is the ability change a spare battery simultaneously.
However, it’s not clear from the material whether or not the dock will be able to output video to an HD television, but as always, this is increasingly something that’s becoming standard for most high caliber smartphones on the market.
If you’re unfamiliar with Cobra, then you’re either not a driver, or you’re one of those abnormally law-abiding motorists. Cobra is the largest radar detector company in world, and is responsible for preventing untold millions of traffic tickets.
Their smartphone app/radar detector combination, called iRadar, has been available for the iPhone since October, 2010. It uses Bluetooth to connect your detector and device, allowing you to integrate your GPS navigation with various traffic alerts. Now, predictably, they’re expanding iRadar to Android devices on April 4th. The iPhone and Android versions both cost $129.95.
Using AURA, a verified database of traffic threats, the driver will be made aware of speed traps, red-light cameras, hazards, and dangerous intersections. The crowd-sourcing feature also allows users to report their own findings, creating a real-time picture of potential threats.
The Cobra iRadar app also allows you to monitor your car battery’s status, view your compass heading, and configure the radar detector itself. While radar detectors are legal in many states, we’re curious to see if legislators will begin to attack such crowd-sourced traffic evasion, after they’re done with the D.U.I. checkpoint apps.
We are sure that among our readers there are people who may not get a minute of sleep tonight in anticipation for the HTC ThunderBolt, which Verizon is launching tomorrow after a number of delays. Little has been mentioned though about what accessories will come with the smartphone and how tempting it may be to purchase any of them.
Fortunately, some light has been shed on the issue by a leak straight from Verizon’s inventory. From what the rumor suggests, the HTC ThunderBolt will probably get an optional beefier battery with nearly double the capacity of the stock one. Spending $50 on one of them might turn out to be a good idea if the LTE radio turns out to drain more juice than one would expect. Another potentially useful accessory may be a multimedia dock, which will also have the capability of charging an additional battery besides the one inside of the HTC ThunderBolt. Speaking of charging and batteries, a special battery cover is expected to retail around $40 and will allow your smartphone to charge wirelessly though it isn’t exactly clear how much more you will have to spend on a compatible charging station.
The rest of the accessories, holsters and cases for the HTC ThunderBolt, are not really that special. However, to us it seems like Verizon is making sure we have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to charging the HTC ThunderBolt. Could this be a hint regarding the smartphone’s battery performance?
Whenever a major partner is flaunting accessories for big time devices on their web site, it generally hints to a sooner than expected launch of a particular handset.
For a while there, everyone was questioning whether or not we would ever see the light of day with the HTC Merge, but more recently, it appeared once again in Verizon’s system. However, taking a look at Best Buy’s web site, one can visibly see that the HTC Merge is being shown off in pictures alongside some accessories made specifically for it. Furthermore, we also find Big Red’s upcoming Motorola DROID BIONIC in yet another image being surrounded by cases.
However, it’s worth noting that no information regarding the actual handsets have been posted online, but it makes you really think long and hard about their upcoming availability. Since they’re plastered on Best Buy’s web site, it can mean that a release might not be too far off in the distance at this point.
If you’ve recently purchased or plan to buy the Samsung Galaxy Tab in Germany, then you should be aware about a free custom body skin that you’re entitled to receive.
Samsung Germany is treating buyers of their highly regarded Android powered tablet to a free custom body skin from YOUNiik. The recent partnership qualifies anyone who purchases the Samsung Galaxy Tab between January and March 31st to get their free body skin that provides a dash of flavor to the tablet.
Basically, you can select from up to 1,500 various skins or simply choose to personalize your very own one with custom images. In order to claim your special body skin, you’ll have to fill out some personal information along with the IMEI of your Galaxy Tab to receive a coupon.
There’s no denying that we’re all getting excited about the impending events that are going to unfold during MWC, but AT&T is readying themselves with the festivities surrounding the highly anticipated Motorola ATRIX 4G.
Starting on February 13th, just in time for MWC and Valentine’s Day, AT&T customers can fetch themselves pre-orders for the high powered Android smartphone – which will be sold for $199.99 with a 2-year contract. Currently, it seems like March 6th will be the date when you can pick one up at AT&T and select retail channels, but it can potentially arrive earlier than that.
Furthermore, the feature packed Motorola ATRIX 4G is being bundled with the Motorola Laptop Dock for a mere $499.99 on-contract after a $100-mail-in-rebate. And lastly, they’re also selling an Entertainment Access Kit for $189.99 that consists of the Motorola HD Multimedia Dock, a Bluetooth keyboard & mouse, and a remote control.
Now that all of that is out in the open, are you still considering purchasing this Android powered smartphone? Then again, you can always wait it out for something better or possibly check out the inexpensive offering with the HTC Inspire 4G.
If you’re set on buying the Motorola ATRIX 4G when it’s made available, then you’ll probably look at buying its dock as well since it adds yet more functionality.
However, the driving factor that will propel most people in deciding whether or not to purchase the dock is undoubtedly its pricing. And with that, we’re confident that the $59.95 price that one web site is asking for online will surely sound agreeable for most people. Not only will it act as the perfect pedestal dock for the smartphone, but it enables you to connect it a monitor and still continue to use the phone’s various functions.
If the pricing found on Fommy.com is to be believed, it could mean that buying the highly anticipated smartphone and dock will come to just over $200 – which isn’t shabby since that’s the golden price found with most top tiered smartphones nowadays.