According to a recent filing with the SEC, Barnes and Noble is planning to launch a new eReader later this month. During a meeting with analysts and investors, the big-box and online bookstore said “it expects to make an announcement on May 24, 2011 regarding the launch of a new eReader device.” It’s unclear if the new eReader will carry the NOOK moniker, but if Barnes & Noble is reworking the Nook Color already powered by Android we suspect it will have more powerful hardware and perhaps Android 3.0, which is designed for tablets. Late last year, Barnes & Noble went on the record saying that since the introduction of its NOOK eReaders, it began selling more digital books than physical books. With an even more robust device, B&N may be able to break into the tablet market, too.
Google has released a new version of Google Earth optimized for Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) Tablets. The new version brings 3D buildings (where available) and options to search for places and 'fly to your location'. It also adds layers like Places, Panaromio, 3D buildings and Wikipedia. If you own a Honeycomb Tablet, download Google Earth from the Android Market and be ready to ooh and aah just like you did the first time you used Google Earth on a desktop half-a-decade ago.
According to a new report from industry watcher DigiTimes on Tuesday, Amazon has placed orders with manufacturers to build its first tablet PC. The report claims Taiwan-based Quanta Computer has received orders for between 700,000 and 800,000 tablets from Amazon, and the finished devices should begin shipping in the second half of this year. Earlier rumors suggested an Amazon tablet would launch this summer, so the timing of this new report further supports those claims. Amazon has built several successful devices with tablet-like form factors it’s Kindle eBook reader is the best-selling product of all time on Amazon.com but this would be the company’s first device to venture beyond eBooks. Amazon’s tablet, which is said to be based on the Android platform, will like showcase several Amazon products and services such as the Amazon Appstore, Amazon’s digital music store and the company’s new Cloud Drive digital music locker service.
A recent Adobe Flash Player 10.2 update has spilled the beans on Android 3.1. The update says that Flash Player 10.2 supports “hardware accelerated video,” provided that a user is running the unannounced Android 3.1 operating system. This should drastically increase video playback performance, specifically with HD video, on Honeycomb tablets. Google hasn’t yet announced Android 3.1, but we expect to hear more it during Google’s I/O developer conference on May 10th and 11th in San Francisco.
It looks like PC manufacturer Lenovo is planning to throw its hat into the tablet ring, and a detailed report filed by This is my next explains what the Chinese OEM may have up its sleeve. According to the blog, Lenovo is working on a 10.1-inch, NVIDIA Tegra 2 powered slate that packs quite a punch. The device, which will run Google’s Honeycomb operating system, will come in one of three now-standard tablet storage configurations: 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB and has a target release date of July. The aforementioned 10.1-inch IPS window will boast as 1280 x 800 pixel resolution which will facilitate control of the tablet’s hardware features: 3G and 4G cellular connectivity, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, full-sized SD card slot, HDMI-out, and a laptop-like docking station. The tablet, like much of Lenovo’s hardware, seems to be geared towards the corporate buyer there are slides dedicated to Cisco, McAfee and Symantec integration and security. But if we know our readers (and we think we do), there will be a few of you adding this tablet to your technology war chest upon its release.
Amazon is said to be prepping a new tablet device that may launch as early as this summer. According to a report from gadget site gdgt, Amazon has chosen Samsung to help design and build the tablet, which may run Honeycomb or even a custom operating system based on Google’s Android platform. Rumors of an Amazon tablet have been around for quite some time, and Android was always expected to be Amazon’s OS of choice. News that the company may be building its own OS on top of Android suggests it may forgo some of Google’s core Android services, possibly including the Android Marketplace, and instead use the device to foster adoption of the Amazon Appstore, Cloud Drive and other Amazon services. Of course eBooks specifically, Amazon’s Kindle platform are expected to be a major focus of the tablet as well, and Amazon will also likely use the new device to push its music and movie services. Given the added weight and drastically reduced battery life of tablets compared to dedicated eBook readers like the Kindle, it is likely that Amazon’s forthcoming tablet will compliment the Kindle eReader rather than replace it.
In case you haven’t heard, Android is kind of a big deal. Some research firms say it’s already the world’s top smartphone operating system, having recently passed Symbian’s quarterly sales pace for the first time, and just about every firm on the planet is predicting that Android’s market share will continue to grow for the
Last week reports surfaced claiming that Google was clamping down on what its Android partners could and could not tweak in newer versions of the operating system. One report filed by Bloomberg Businessweek cited “dozens” of industry executives who said that Android partners will no longer be able to make “willy-nilly tweaks to the software” if they want early access to new builds. On Wednesday Google’s Andy Rubin, vice president of engineering for Android, wrote a blog post in an effort to address concerns. “We don t believe in a ‘one size fits all’ solution,” Rubin wrote. “The Android platform has already spurred the development of hundreds of different types of devices many of which were not originally contemplated when the platform was first created. As always, device makers are free to modify Android to customize any range of features for Android devices. This enables device makers to support the unique and differentiating functionality of their products. If someone wishes to market a device as Android-compatible or include Google applications on the device, we do require the device to conform with some basic compatibility requirements.” Rubin said Android’s “anti-fragmentation” program has been in place since Android 1.0, and exists as an effort to help create some consistency for developers. He added that Google remains committed to keeping Android an open platform and confirmed Google’s coders are hard at work bringing Honeycomb features to phones.
The debate surrounding Android fragmentation continues to draw attention, and the issue resurfaced on Monday following the results of a recent survey. According to Baird analyst William Powers, roughly 87% of Android developers believe that fragmentation is a problem for the Android platform. 57% feel Android’s fragmentation problem is either “huge” or “meaningful,” and about 30% agree that it is a problem to a lesser degree. Google said this past November that the overwhelming majority of Android devices 77% run Android 2.1 or Android 2.2, but developers apparently still feel that the existence of multiple Android versions in the market at the same time is less than ideal. What’s more, the company’s recent decision to provide limited early access to upcoming Android builds for partners whose plans for the software are approved by Google suggests that the company views fragmentation as more of a problem than it might convey publicly.
According to intel acquired by blog Mobile Review, LG has been tasked with producing a pure-Google, Nexus tablet for the Mountain View-based Android maker. Details are scarce (and unconfirmed), but the site states that the device will be used as Google’s base for development, run the latest tablet-optimized operating system Honeycomb (Android 3.0) and should be ready in “mid-summer or early autumn.” It is important to keep in mind that this device could be an engineering prototype used by Google internally for Android tablet development. Either way, it is an exciting and juicy rumor.
Ahead of a planned launch event next week, ASUS on Friday made its latest tablet official. The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer is a device we may not see much of stateside, but it seemingly has it all. The unique design marries a standard 10.1-inch tablet with a QWERTY-equipped hinged dock. When combined, the result is a full-sized touchscreen laptop experience that can afford up to a staggering 16 hours of battery life on a single charge. When apart, the Eee Pad Transformer becomes a regular Honeycomb tablet. Spec highlights include a dual-core 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, a 10.1-inch Gorilla Glass-covered display with 1280 x 800-pixel resolution and 10-point multitouch support, 1GB of RAM, up to 32GB of storage, dual cameras and an HDMI-out port. ASUS has not yet provided any details regarding pricing, launch markets or a release date. Hit the jump for specs and the full press release.
When we sat down with Samsung yesterday to check out the new Galaxy Tab 8.9 and the improved and thinner Galaxy Tab 10, we were alerted that its TouchWiz UX user interface is the first custom UI on top of Android 3.0 Honeycomb. While it won’t ship on any of the Galaxy Tab family of tablets right away, Samsung does plan to issue an update that applies TouchWiz UX down the road a bit in fact the new UI should wind up on all of the Galaxy Tab tablets in the near future. Samsung’s UI adds a bunch of features on top of Honeycomb, so hit the jump and we’ll go through some of them together and don’t forget to check out our photo gallery!
That’s right folks, CTIA’s annual CTIA Wireless show kicks off tomorrow and the BGR team is on the ground in sunny, humid Orlando to bring all the latest news to you as it breaks. In spite of the huge news that came out of AT&T’s camp over the weekend, Sprint is shaping up to be
Samsung wasn’t exactly coy about its plans to launch an 8.9-inch Galaxy Tab during CTIA this week, and that’s exactly what it just did. On Tuesday Samsung took the wraps off of the Galaxy Tab 8.9, its third Android-powered tablet. The Galaxy Tab 8.9 runs Android 3.0 Honeycomb, and features a mini-apps drawer for quickly launching your favorite applications. A future update will also bring Samsung’s custom UI to the slate. As its name implies, the Galaxy Tab 8.9 has an 8.9-inch screen with a 1280 x 600-pixel resolution. Despite being thin and light it weighs just 470g and is 8.6mm thick it packs some serious hardware muscle including a 1GHz dual-core processor and support for 802.11n Wi-Fi in both the 2GHz and 5GHz frequency bands. The 16GB Wi-Fi-only model of the Galaxy Tab 8.9 will retail for $469 and the 32GB version will cost $569 when the devices launch later this year. Hit the jump for the full release, and be sure to check out our hands-on.
We met up with Samsung during the CTIA Wireless trade show in Orlando to get up close and personal with the Galaxy Tab 8.9, Samsung’s new Android tablet that fills the space between its current 10-inch and 7-inch models. We certainly think Samsung hit the sweet spot with this one. The Galaxy Tab 8.9 is just 8.6mm thick, and it felt amazing it’s much more sleek in the hand than the original chunkier 7-inch Galaxy Tab. Under its hood, the Galaxy Tab 8.9 has a 1GHz dual-core processor just like the 10-inch model. Demo devices weren’t powering up when we played with them, though, so we tested the Galaxy Tab 8.9′s fresh new user interface on a Galaxy Tab 10.1 and we definitely have some thoughts on the new UI to share. Hit the jump for more hands-on thoughts and don’t forget to check out our photo gallery.
BGR has learned from multiple trusted sources that Research In Motion is planning to bring its beloved BlackBerry Messenger app and service to Android, and eventually to iOS as well. According to our sources, RIM has not yet finalized details surrounding timing or pricing, but we have heard that the company might make the software free to all users. We're also told strategy is still being developed, however, and RIM may end up charging users a one-time fee or even a recurring fee for access to its BBM service on third-party platforms.
Adobe Flash support was noticeably absent from the Motorola XOOM at launch, though it was because Adobe wanted to ship Flash 10.2 as opposed to 10.1, and that’s all finally in the past. Starting today, Adobe Flash 10.2 will be available in the Android market for most Android devices Froyo, Gingerbread and Honeycomb. It supports