Monday, July 23, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Injunction Stays in Place

Samsung vs iPad
While some laughed at Apple’s patent attacks against Samsung, which seemed like losing battles from the get-go, the joke is starting to be on Sammy. After some relatively insignificant wins in Europe and Australia some time ago, Tim Cook’s giant knocked it off the park in the past month or so, with a couple of US injunctions against two popular Samsung devices.

The Galaxy Nexus sales ban might have been lifted for the time being, but Sammy still has some splitting headaches with the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet. The 10-incher has been banned for sale in the US last month, and, after the denial of Samsung’s first appeal on the decision, the Koreans have been hit hard again by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

The Federal Circuit denied Samsung’s motion to stay Judge Koh’s preliminary injunction for the duration of the appellate proceedings and also refused to grant a motion to expedite the appeal. That means Sammy is now officially out of tricks up its sleeve. The Koreans will have to confront Apple in court starting on July 30 regarding a design patent allegedly infringed by the Korean mammoth.
iPad 2 vs Galaxy Tab 10.1
Furthermore, Samsung’s chances for a win in court are not too good, considering that the temporary lifting of the Tab 10.1 sales ban has been denied exactly because the “movant hasn’t established a strong likelihood of success on the merits or demonstrated that it has a substantial case on the merits and that the harm factors militate in its favor.” In other words, the Federal Circuit thought Sammy’s chances for a victory in court were slim, as they didn’t provide enough evidence to contradict Apple’s accusations.

For the time being, Samsung doesn’t have much to lose due to the preliminary injunction against the Tab 10.1, as the 10-incher is not very popular in the US. Then again, in a few short weeks the ban might be made definitive, which would allow Apple to ask for consistent financial compensation, but also to go against other more popular Samsung devices (including the Galaxy S3).

The future looks pretty bleak for Samsung in this exhausting patent war with Apple, but things might still change in Sammy’s favor. Stay tuned on our website to find out if that’ll happen!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Nexus 7 16GB Tablet is Sold Out at Google Play store

The 16GB version of Google's Nexus 7 is out of stock, as evident by the "Coming Soon" Google Play store. The 8GB version is in stock and ships within 3 to 5 business days. Apparently, Google thought that the $199 8GB version would be the big seller, according to reporting by the Guardian:

"The Guardian understands that Google's planners had thought that buyers on the Google Play store, more than from physical or online retailers, would be more committed to the company's "cloud" concept, and so would have more of their content stored online, rather than wanting to keep it on the device."

Retailers such as Staples, Sam's Club and Office Depot are also having a hard time satisfying demand for the Nexus 7. Buyers who can't wait to procure a 16B Nexus 7 tablet might find one at a cost of $300 to $400 on eBay.

CNET reviewer Eric Franklin rated the Nexus 7 as the best 7-inch tablet available at this time (read the full review). He wrote, "With a beautiful screen, fast performance, a comfortable design, and overall great media options, the Nexus 7 is easily the best 7-inch tablet available and one of the top tablets on the market."

Apple is rumored to be prepping a 7.85-inch iPad to compete in what is turning out to be a popular form factor for tablets.
                       

from cnet

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Nexus 7,A Nightmare for Other Android Tablets Maker?

Tablet gallery front
The Google Nexus 7 is right now one of the most popular 7-inch tablets out there, and considering it’s a Nexus-branded device ready to offer buyers a pure Android experience, it will probably become one of the best sold tablets of the year.

Google is yet to mention sales numbers for the device that started shipping last week and which is currently sold out with certain third-party retailers, but Digitimes reports that according to “industry sources” the Search giant may ship as many as 2.5-3 million units this year.

That may not seem like an impressive number, as the tablet is only available in a limited number of markets right now, but will Google hurt its partners when it comes to overall tablet sales and profits? The Nexus 7 doesn’t, and can’t, target the iPad – Apple is expected to sell tens of millions of iPads each quarter – but instead it’s meant to compete against the Kindle Fire, a product Google can’t afford to ignore.

Amazon’s tablet became popular with the crowds because it’s an affordable device, ready to offer a good enough experience for that price, not to mention access to the company’s digital content stores.

Google has adopted the same model, selling the device at cost, hoping to prevent users from jumping ship to Amazon and have them immersed in an improved Google Play environment instead. But while Google can sell the Nexus 7 without making any profits because users would then spend more money in its digital stores, other Android makers won’t be able to enjoy the same perks.
Kindle Fire
And they won’t be able to come up with similarly priced devices ready to offer a similar experience. Google did say that’s plenty of room left for innovation in the tablet environment, implying that its product will not hurt tablet sales from its Android partners, but the fact is that each Nexus 7 buyer is a customer that may have chosen an Android tablet from a different OEM. At the same time, that customer may have chosen the iPad too, so having him or her purchase a Nexus 7 instead is a better alternative for Google.

But, and I’ll say this again, Apple may sell as many as 30 million iPads by the end of the year (that’s a guesstimate from my part), that’s not counting what it has already sold in the first two quarters. And Apple did not cut the price of its tablets once the Nexus 7 launched. And Apple also has its digital stores in place that can be accessed almost in full in more markets that Google Play is available in, which means Apple too can make plenty of money off of its digital offerings.

Meanwhile, other Android device makers will have to suck it up, and fight even harder for a piece of the (Android) tablet ecosystem. The same Digitimes reports that various OEMs including Samsung, Asus and Acer, have started to cut the prices of their tablet offerings in order to better adapt to the new competition from Google’s tablet:

Samsung, which enjoys a high level of brand recognition, cut slightly the prices of its tablets in order to cope with increasing competition and to pave the way for the launch of its own new models.

But for Acer and Asustek Computer, they seem to have adopted the same strategy of lowering the prices of their 10.1-inch models to the levels close to those quoted for 7-inch models by Google or other rivals in order to attract consumers.

So is the Nexus 7 a wolf in sheep’s clothing for the Android tablet ecosystem? We’ll be able to better asses that in the following months when we’ll find out more details about tablet sales from the most important players in the business.
iPad Mini
Finally, there’s also one more negative effect of the Nexus 7 that we can’t overlook – the iPad mini. Apple was rumored since last year to be working on a 7.85-inch iOS tablet, but the company didn’t make it public. Then the Kindle Fire appeared and the Google Nexus 7 rolled out seven months later revealing that there’s a certain share of the population that’s interested in purchasing cheaper tablets – but not the very cheapest, as there are various cheap Android tablets from unrecognized brands that don’t enjoy the popularity of the Kindle Fire or Nexus 7. And that could be a good enough reason for Apple to launch its smaller iPad this fall/winter. Android tablet makers will then have to fight against the smaller tablet as well.

What tablet are you buying this year?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Nexus 7 Comes to UK Stores

Google's Nexus 7 Android tablet has gone on sale in bricks-and-mortar stores in the UK, with Currys and PC World shops stocking it as of Thursday.

Nexus Jelly bean
The release, which manufacturer Asus has reportedly called a "soft launch", means people can buy the Nexus 7 in-store before those who pre-ordered the device online get their units delivered.

A spokeswoman for the Dixons Retail Group told ZDNet on Wednesday that the device will be available in stores from tomorrow.

Google emailed those who pre-ordered the tablet earlier in the week, telling them: "All Nexus 7 8GB orders will ship by July 20, and Nexus 7 16GB orders will ship by next week."

The device has already garnered very positive reviews for the up-to-date innards that it provides. Most Android tablets at this £159-£199 price point offer lacklustre hardware and old versions of Android, but the Nexus 7 runs the brand new Android 'Jelly Bean' 4.1 on a quad-core processor.

The Nexus 7 is a 7-inch tablet, arguably making it more of a rival to Amazon's Kindle Fire than to Apple's larger and much pricier iPad. However, the Kindle Fire has not yet been released in the UK, so the Nexus 7 is likely to dominate the media-consumption, small-tablet niche for a while at least.

from zdnet

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

B & N to Release The New Tablet With Revolutionary Screen Technology

With Google Nexus 7’s success in the new tablet market, Amazon and Apple are said to lunch new tablets soon to fight against Nexus 7.On this occasion, a new member will join in the tablet family-Barnes &Noble will release the new 7-inch Nook tablet from knowledgeable sources. The Nook tablet features” revolutionary screen technology”.

Nook tablet preview

Barnes & Noble will continue to focus on "reading" and the Nook tablet running Android system will have a unique function according to sources.

The Nook tablet is likely to debut by the end of September or early October, is expected to sell at the price of around $ 200.

What will the situation of tablet market change when Nook takes part in the game? I think it is early to answer this question. Although Google succeed in the first around, who will be the next winner? We cannot know it. The thing we can ensure is that it will be a surprise to consumers.

Just wait for the coming of Nook tablet.

Nexus 7 Screen Washout and Ghosting a Potential Matter ?


Nexus 7
We may have stumbled onto a small and isolated issue with the Nexus 7 Tablet, or we may have just uncovered a bigger problem with the screens on the Nexus 7. Today we received a shipment of three Nexus 7 Tablets for office and development use, and noticed shortly after setting them up that one of them exhibited a washed-out screen that was also plagued with "ghosting." For those of you unfamiliar with the term ghosting, it simply means that whatever image/widgets/apps/clock etc was on the screen previously, they are still barely visible when you move or swipe to another screen. The picture above is a prime example of ghosting. You can see the time is still barely visible after unlocking the Tablet.

Nexus 7 Nexus 7

In case you are wondering why we take such terribly washed out pictures, we can tell you that is not the fault of the camera. This is how the screen looked after taking it out of sleep mode and moving through the various screens. So what did we do to try and fix this issue. First in the line of business was to go to the obvious and play with the brightness settings. That was a no go. Next up was to shut the device down completely. Upon restarting the tablet we finally fixed the problem....or not. The same issue reared it's ugly head once again. Now it was time to take radical measures to get this problem fixed. When all else fails, reset. Much to our disappointment the reset did not work. We'd like to note that the problem didn't instantly appear. It happened approximately an hour later after setting up the tablet.

This all may be just an isolated incident with only a few devices affected, but we can't be sure until more units hit customers hands. We did notice however that a user on XDA seems to be suffering through the same problem. We have reached out to Google to see if this is just an isolated problem and will report back if we hear anything. For inquiring minds our units came via the Play Store. We'd love to hear if anyone else is experiencing this issue, so please sound off in the comments and let us know.

from nexustablets

Monday, July 16, 2012

10-inch Kindle Fire Rumored after the Nexus 7 and iPad Mini

A new article from the New York Times let loose a firestorm of speculation and rumor-mongering today, heating up the tablet wars even further. Just as the launch of the Google Nexus 7 seems to be going strong, this NYT article suggests that the two other biggest heavy-weights in the tablet industry are developing rivals. Supposedly, the NYT can confirm (through unnamed sources) that Apple is taking the threat of the Amazon Kindle Fire and the new Nexus 7 tablet seriously. Despite the reservations from the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs, the Cupertino company is supposedly planning to launch a 7.85-inch iPad Mini sometime this fall.

Kindle-fire big and small
Of course, Amazon is not going to be sitting on their hands either. Also according to this same article, Amazon is working on a 10-inch Kindle Fire variant to go head-to-head with the current iPad. Of course, this isn't too surprising because a larger variant from Amazon has been rumored several times previously. Still, in the past, the NYT has been very good at predicting these things, so they must have good sources. This also means that this possibility is even more of a probability than before. There are no details other than Amazon may also be looking to launch in the Fall too. It would be interesting to see Amazon launch at the same time as Apple, sine they might take some of the wind out of their sails at just the right moment.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sony to launch tablet for Christmas

Sony has confirmed that it will launch a tablet by the end of the year.

The technology giant isn't the most well-known tablet maker but after speaking to various Sony representatives this week, a follow-up to the current tablets in on the cards. The Tablet P and Tablet S both launched last year and we've seen nothing from Sony since.

Sony tablet ice-cream

Details are limited but one spokesperson told PC Advisor they were sure we would be taking a look at a new device at some point over the next few months which will tip up before Christmas.

Both the Tablet S and Tablet P run on Google's Android operating system but it is unclear whether the mystery tablet will continue this trend or offer something different like Windows 8. In our opinion it is possible Sony will make different models offering Windows 8 and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

Windows 8 will launch by the end of October and after all, just about every other vendor is fighting to get a Windows 8 tablet out first. We'd like to see a new tablet or two from Sony so stay tuned for further details.

Another firm looking to launch a new tablet is HTC. The smartphone maker told PC Advisor it will launch a follow-up to the Flyer in the UK.

So,which will be the best-selling tablet?Time will tell us.
frompcadvisor

Friday, July 13, 2012

How to Play M2TS Videos On Kindle Fire 2

So,guys,2012 London Olympics are coming near. Are you ready? You are lucky if you got the tickets of Olympics. Undoubtedly,you should prepare camera so that you can record the process of competition.Certainly,you can get the game video first and share it on the Facebook, Tweet and burn a DVD and so on. However, there is a problem. You want to play it on your Kindle Fire 2,but the video format that camera outputs is .mts or.m2ts.It is evident that your Kindle Fire 2 which can only support MP4 and VP8 cannot play it,so a video converter is a must.

OK,just don't worry.Leawo video converter can help you.It can support most popular formats such as AVI, MPEG, WMV, MP4, FLV, RM, MOV, Xvid, 3GP, etc.Now I will show you how to convert the 2mts to the format Kindle Fire 2 can support.

Firstly, we should download the leawo video converter and install it in our computer.Then, we can begin the conversion.

Step1 Load your video

Click the"add video"button and import your recorded video or just drag your video to the left side.You can add two or more videos if you want to merge the videos into a video. You can preview the video on the right.

add videos

Step2  Edit video with customized features

Click the “Edit“button to enter into the edit interface, you can do the operation of trimming ,cropping, enabling the watermarks and other operations.
Edit the video

Step3 Setting

(1) Click drop-down button next to “Profile” on the main interface to find the suitable format.We can find the Kindle Fire and we choose it.We choose the Kindle File as the output.The converter also have specialized formats for iPad, iPhone and other mobile devices.

choose the format

(2) Click “Settings” button to open the “Settings” interface to make detail setting. The main specifications which are decided by your tablet we should concern are video codec and video size and we can save the  new format for later use.Since we have chose the Kindle fire,we don't need to set it.

format setting

Step4 Start to convert

Click the “convert” button on the right bottom, and the video begins to convert, and done .The converted video is in your Kindle Fire 2 and you can play it.

converting

Also,you can convert your video into 3D video if you want.

We have already finished the conversion,it is easy and convenient,isn't it?Now,you can go to the Olmypic games without worry. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Review of Lenovo IdeaTab S2109 (16GB)

As technology advances, so do expectations and what was good, even three months ago, can be an overpriced waste of money today.

Despite the Lenovo IdeaTab S2109A's performance issues (detailed below), price is the major deterrent. It's not terribly expensive and even includes some useful connections for its price. At the end of the day, however, you want to buy the best product, and unfortunately, the S2109A just can't hold a candle to other, similarly priced tablets that more clearly push the envelope in performance and features.

Design

Though it shares a few dimensional similarities with the iPad (and more specifically, the iPad 2), I doubt you'd have difficulty distinguishing the Lenovo IdeaTab S2109A from Apple's tablet. First, the similarities: each tablet houses a screen with a 4:3 aspect ratio, sporting a 1,024x768-pixel resolution. Dimensions and weight are also nearly identical, but the S2109A has a wider side bezel.
Lenovo IdeaTab S2109
Then, the differences begin to slowly seep in. The S2109A's corners are more rounded and the beveled edges on the back aren't as dramatic. These more bulbous corners keep the tablet from digging into my palms, making it more comfortable to hold with two hands. The back is made of a medium-gray plastic panel that curves around the tablet's edge to the front, creeping a bit into the bezel.

Unfortunately, this creates a seam between the bezel and the back panel that feels like shoddy workmanship and serves as an unintentional reservoir for small particles like crumbs, if you're the type (unlike me, of course) who likes to eat while you do tablety things. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

In the center of the left-side bezel is a 1.3-megapixel camera, and on the tablet's left edge is the easily depressible power/sleep button, with the headphone jack directly above it. On the left top edge sits the volume rocker.

Ports and connections, however, are what some buyers look to when making their tablet-purchasing decisions, and the S2109A shows up as fairly strong in that department. Along the right edge, from left are a microSD slot, a Micro-HDMI port, and a Micro-USB port. On the back are four speakers, two each on the right and left sides. 
Ports and connections
Overall build quality seems sturdy enough, but there's little chance you'd mistake this for a high-end device. It just lacks the kind of panache and sound design sensibilities you find on tablets like the Nexus 7 and Transformer TF300. It's difficult to articulate exactly what's "off," but if someone told you the S2109A costs less than $300 (it actually starts at $350 for 16GB), you'd probably reply with a "Yep. That sounds about right," rather than, "OMG! Amazeballs!!"

Software features

The S2109A ships with Android 4.0.4, but I didn't notice any changes from 4.0.3, and most of the apps included on the tablet can be pulled from the Google Play store for free. File Browser, which is a handy app that allows you to directly access files on the drive, is the only notable exclusive app addition.
software
The tablet also includes an SRS sound setting, allowing you to switch the speakers from music and movie mode, but this pales in comparison to SRS settings (like an Ambient Noise Equalizer) Toshiba offers on its tablets.

Hardware features

The S2109A houses a 1GHz dual-core OMAP 4430 processor and 1GB of DDR2 RAM, and comes in 16GB and 32GB varieties. Tablet mainstays like 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi support, Bluetooth 3.0, and GPS are included as well as gyroscope, accelerometer, and digital-compass support.

Performance

The S2109A uses an IPS panel for its screen, sporting wide viewing angles and a high brightness. And as mentioned, the screen runs at a resolution of 1,024x768 pixels. While that matches the screen specs of the iPad 2, it's actually lower than what you get on the vast majority of Android tablets. The lack of pixel density of the S2109A's screen isn't really noticeable in most apps; however, home screen text and text on the Web are noticeably blunted.

When swiping through pages and navigating menus, the screen matches the sensitivity of most Android tablets out there but can't quite compete with the ubersensitivity of the Transformer Pad TF300, and on some occasions it was frustratingly difficult to swipe open the lock screen on the S2109A. Apps launched without delay, in that they began their launching process as I tapped the appropriate icon, but some larger apps, like games, clearly took longer to load compared with even other dual-core based tablets, like the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1.

Web and app download speeds were, on average, slower than when using most other Android tablets when within 5 feet of our test router. App downloads especially took up to four times longer to download than on the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1.
Depending on the speed of the tablet's CPU, Riptide GP will deliver a noticeable increase or decrease in frame rate. The S2109A delivered playable frame rates, about on par with other 1GHz, dual-core-based tablets, but obviously didn't approach Tegra 3 levels of quad-core-infused performance.
The 1.3-megapixel front camera
Successfully playing movie files was fraught with frustrating inconsistency. MP4 and MOV files usually played without requiring much coaxing, but even that wasn't guaranteed. MKV files, though (once I could actually convince them to play; usually by restarting the tablet) played with stuttery performance. This was using the Dice Player, one of the most compatible players I know of, and again, isn't something I've seen lately with the deluge of Tegra 3 tablets I've crossed paths with. 

As mentioned, the S2109A has a front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera, and the 720p video recorded with it looks like 720p video recorded on a typical tablet: Webcam-looking stuff, with a distinct lack of clarity and washed-out colors. That is, if I could get the camera app to actually start.
One of the 4 speakers on the S2109A
Battery life appeared to drain a bit faster than what we typically see on tablets and required a recharge after about 8 hours of periodic use. Check back soon for official battery life results, once CNET Labs has a chance to fully test it.

Conclusion

The S2109A is a decent device and $350 is an appealing price, but the tablet is less than the sum of its parts. When you start paying close attention to what else is out there, this becomes readily apparent. If you're strictly looking for a 10-inch tablet in this price range, I recommend the $400 iPad 2. If you prefer Android, however, the $380 Transformer TF300 is worth the extra $30 (or more) you'd be paying over the S2109A. It has most of the S2109A's ports and is much faster and more stable, with really good cameras, and useful Asus software features.
If you absolutely have to save that last $30 or so, then money is probably too tight and a tablet may not be the wisest of investments. If you have the disposable income, however, the TF300 is the better Android buy, with the iPad 2 being the overall recommendation in the $300-to-$400 10-inch tablet subcategory.

from cnet

Kindle Fire is accessible to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean port

Ever since it launched, the Kindle Fire has been hacked like no tomorrow. Earlier this week, Google open-sourced Android (Jelly Bean) 4.1 for third-party modification. As such, nobody should be surprised to learn Kindle Fire owners can now install Jelly Bean on their tablet. 

Over on XDA Developers, forum user "Hashcode" revealed that he has ported Google's latest mobile OS to the device. Amazon will probably not be very pleased, but anyone who knows that their Kindle Fire is outdated will be jumping up and down. There's currently no hardware video acceleration support, and enabling Wi-Fi is a pain, but it's definitely a start. 

It is now my job to give you the usual warnings. If you're not feeling confident, don't bother doing it. Stick with whatever you currently have on your Kindle Fire, either the custom version of Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) or something later.
You're going to be rooting your device. You're going to be installing custom software. You're going to have to do it all the way through. You may end up bricking your device and rendering it useless. You may have to do some extra tinkering. You may run into problems (this is the first build, and it's labeled as a beta). 

Hashcode has provided the following to-do list for himself, which should give you an idea of what's to come:
  • Fix the wifi script.
  • Wifi location fix.
  • Add superuser and a compatible su binary.
  • Default CPU to 1.2ghz instead of 1ghz.
  • Fix slower I/O performance via init*.rc script changes.
  • Add Terminal Emulator.
  • Add File Manager.
  • Fix HD Codecs.
  • Fix the over rotation issue in frameworks/base.
  • Probably lower headphone volume a bit.
  • Add in the libwvm file.
  • Change Bootanimation.
  • Figure out /emmc sharing issues.
With all that out of the way, the download links you need are as follows: ROM and Google apps. The basic instructions are simple: "Flash in recovery, wipe data/cache and reboot." If you want more, Liliputing has put together a detailed walk-through of the process. 

from zdnet

Google Nexus 7 Costs $151.75 To Make, Analysist Says

Google released their own brand Nexus 7 tablet at the IO conference, Nexus 7's low price causes people’s great interest. How much does its hardware really cost? Whether Google sells it at a loss or not? Google and Asus were said to earn about $15 each machine before, in other words, the cost of Nexus 7 was $184. However, ISuppli brought a other answer to us today, the total cost of the hardware construction of Nexus 7(8 GB version) is $151.75, most of the costs use for flash memory, NVIDA Tegra 3 processor and 7 inches 1280 x800 IPS display screen.

Compared with Amazon Kindle Fire, Nexus 7 is more advanced. Its CPU is four nuclear Tegra 3 and the screen is 1280x800 pixel,but Kindle Fire has only DE instrument dual-core processor OMAP 4430 and 1024 X600 pixel screen.

The report says the switch technology in-plane Nexus 7 uses costs $38, Kindle Fire only $35.

Nexus 7‘s camera costs $2.5, Kindle Fire don’t have one. In addition, the Nexus 7 also imports the technology chips, supplied by NXP and supporting NFC (near field communication), and the GPS receiver chips, supplied by Broadcom and supporting map.

The accelerometer and gyroscope supplied by Invensense Company are also a concern. Many mobile devices have applied Invensense’s gyroscope, but it is rare that accelerometer and gyroscope are integrated into the same chip just like Nexus 7.

Accelerometer and gyroscope are mainly used to judge the position and movement of mobile devices. Only Samsung Galaxy S3 is equipped with these two devices besides Nexus 7. Accelerometer and gyroscope Galaxy S3 has used are provided by the European chips supplier STMicroelectronics.

Overall, as IHS iSuppli estimates, the cost of production of Nexus 7 is $18 higher than Kindle Fire .IHS iSuppli also points out, Amazon Kindle Fire will use the new higher quality display screen, so the situation will soon change.
Hardware Google Nexus 7

Hardware Google Nexus 7

Hardware Google Nexus 7

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Nexus 7 has "smart cover" sensor

You thought you knew everything there was to know about the Nexus 7? Well, you thought wrong. A curious owner of the device started doing what any totally rational person does with a brand-new tablet: expose it to magnetic forces. The results yielded an as-yet hidden feature in the Nexus 7, in the form a magnetic smart cover sensor. Simply take a magnet and put it up against the front or back of your Nexus 7 along the bottom left-hand side while in portrait mode with the display on, and you can see the effect for yourself. Or, you could just watch this video of our tipster doing it:

While Google does sell covers for the Nexus 7, it's unclear if they support this feature (though ASUS does call it a "smart cover" here). It would be a little odd, given they open from right to left, and the magnetic sensor is on the left side. Still, it's entirely possible. We've confirmed it on our own I/O Nexus 7s, so this is definitely legit.

The iPad has its Smart Cover since the iPad 2, and it seems a similar functionality will be present on Microsoft's Surface tablet. Apple does have a patent for its Smart Cover magnetic system, but it's not a very broad one.

Reviewing Apple's patent on its Smart Cover, it seems to be rather narrowly tailored in form and function for the Smart Cover and iPad mechanism specifically, and focuses more on its ability to latch onto the host device rather than turning its display off and on. There is talk of "useful functionality" being added by the cover, but based on the patent language, that seems to still fall only within Apple's particular design and mechanism - not in general. So, it's entirely possible (even likely) Google and ASUS's design here isn't sufficiently similar to infringe - but we don't know. That's the kind of question that only a teardown, an engineer, and a patent lawyer can fully answer.

Office Depot Nexus 7 launch Start July 12?

Google’s Nexus 7 is slowly but surely approaching its official launch as both Google and other third-party retailers are getting ready to accommodate your tablet needs – and by that I mean shipping the Nexus 7 or making the device available in stores.
office debut nexus 7
While we wait for Google to announce the release date of the Nexus 7 – somewhere around mid July – we’ll tell you that pre-orders are still available to anyone interested in the device. In fact, Office Depot is the latest retailer to offer Google Nexus 7 pre-orders. According to a leaked document dug up by Droid-Life, Office Depot “will be authorized to pre-sell the new 16GB Google Nexus 7 tablet in all stores and online.” The device will cost $249.99, which is what Google is charging for it inside Google Play.

Furthermore, the same document reveals that the 16GB Nexus 7 tablet will ship starting with Thursday, July 12 – on the same day, inventory will begin to arrive to 341 select stores.

Those of you interested in getting their hands on a Google Nexus 7 tablet as fast as possible should definitely check with your closest Office Depot retail store to find out more details about the availability of the device. The company will not sell the 8GB version initially, although the document hints that the cheaper Nexus 7 will hit Office Depot at some point in the future.

In case the July 12 date turns out to be the day Office Depot does indeed start shipping the Nexus 7, then we can only assume that Google will also ship the device to those of you that pre-ordered it from Google Play around the same day.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The distinction between Google Nexus 7 and Apple iPad Mini and Amazon Kindle Fire 2 and Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0)

Although budget tablets have been the object of numerous discussions over the past six months or so, when Google announced the Asus-built Nexus 7 tablet in late June at the Google I/O conference, the speculation dam just imploded as most of the online tech media has begun publishing stories on how other tablet manufacturers will respond to this move.

As it turns out, all of the major tablet manufacturers are believed to make their presence felt in the 7-inch tablet market by the end of September: Apple is rumored to be working on an iPad Mini, Amazon is bound to release a successor to the original 7-inch budget tablet, the Kindle Fire, while Samsung is the proud manufacturer of the best budget tablet currently available for purchase, the 7-inch Galaxy Tab 2.0.

Please note that since the Apple iPad Mini has been rumored for the past year or so, the credibility of the info we have on it has a lot to suffer. But we can still make some educated assumptions. Throughout the rest of the article, I will presume that Apple is indeed working on a 7-inch tablet.

While the Kindle Fire 2 is also an unconfirmed device, we’re pretty sure that Amazon won’t simply give up a fight that it started itself, which is exactly what the numerous rumors that have surfaced about the Kindle Fire 2 seem to confirm. I guess what I’m trying to say is that you shouldn’t consider this article to be a buying guide, but rather an opinion piece on the future of budget tablets, based on the specs we have for the Google/Asus Nexus 7 and the 7-inch Galaxy Tab 2.0, spiced by the rumors regarding the iPad Mini and the Kindle Fire 2.

Now that we got the introduction out of the way, let’s take a look at the future of 7-inch budget tablets, as we go though the five points of interest of any device: display, hardware, extras, OS and price.
  • Display
Nowadays, the quality of the display is a very important buying factor for all devices, but tablet buyers tend to place the display above all else when considering their future purchase. As all of the four tablets covered in this article have 7-inch displays, the resolution plays a decisive role in the overall quality of the display, although the actual technology behind it shouldn’t be overlooked either.

The Google Nexus 7 IPS LCD display runs at a 1280 x 800 pixel resolution, which translates into a 216 PPI (Pixels Per Inch) density, not bad for a budget tablet and definitely better than what the 7-inch Galaxy Tab has to offer via its Super PLS display running at 1024 x 600 pixels (170 PPI).

While Amazon did not make any announcements regarding the Kindle Fire 2, CNET sources reported that the retail giant will actually release four different tablets that will bear the Kindle Fire brand, featuring two different displays: one that runs at 1024 x 600 pixels and one that runs at 1280 x 800 pixels.

According to insider sources quoted by The Wall Street Journal, the iPad Mini will feature an LG display (we think it’s going to be an IPS+ LCD display). The display will not be of Retina quality, although I’d expect Apple to try and steal the show via the quality of the display, as was the case with all three 9.7-inch iPad versions. On the other hand, chinese sources claim that the iPad Mini will employ IGZO displays made by Sharp, capable to offer 330 PPI quality, or Retina quality.
sung galary tab
Overall, it’s going to be really hard for Amazon or Apple to beat the quality of the display on the Nexus 7 (they could match it though), as it looks like you can’t go any higher on the quality ladder without pushing the price too high.
  • Hardware: CPU, GPU & RAM
Although the display is more than decent, it’s the Nvidia Tegra 3 SoC (1.3 GHz quad-core A9 CPU and 12-core Nvidia ULP GPU) alongside the 1GB of RAM that make the Nexus 7 a hard-to-beat budget tablet. Considering that the Nvidia Tegra 3 SoC is also powering arguably the best Android tablet currently out there (the ASUS Transformer Prime), it’s hard to see how any tablet manufacturer could offer better specs and still keep a competitive price.

Some sources report that Amazon is considering the use of the Nvidia Tegra 3 SoC inside the Kindle Fire 2, an impressive upgrade from the OMAP4430 (1GHz dual-core A9 processor and PowerVR SGX540 GPU) used by the original Kindle Fire. The Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 features the same outdated TI OMAP4430 alongside 1GB of RAM, thus losing badly in this sector.

As far as the Apple iPad Mini goes, sources were unable to provide an indication for the processor, although it doesn’t seem that improbable for Apple to equip the Mini with the same 1GHz dual-core A5 processor you can find inside the iPad 2.
apple iPad Mini
1GB of RAM seems to be the standard for all tablets these days, so I wouldn’t expect any of that 512MB nonsense on the Kindle Fire 2 or iPad Mini.
Extras

The first things a tablet manufacturer spares when designing a budget tablet seem to be the rear camera, the 3G/4G radios and the microSD card slot. While I personally don’t find it very comfortable to use a tablet for taking pictures and while 3G/4G radios on a tablet are a matter of personal preference, a microSD card slot is definitely something all users want from their devices, whether smartphones or tablets, high-end or budget. Unfortunately, the Nexus 7 does not feature such a microSD card slot, as is the case with the original Kindle Fire, or the existing iPad versions. While Amazon could place an SD slot in the Kindle Fire 2 (although I wouldn’t bet on it), it’s highly unlikely that Apple will go that way with the iPad Mini.

If, for whatever reason, you cannot conceive buying a budget tablet that lacks an SD card slot, the 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab 2.0 is the best choice for you.
  • OS
I know some of our more casual readers are not seeing any truly significant differences amongst these tablets thus far, but this is the segment where all that will change.

The 7-inch Galaxy Tab runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (the first Android version that doesn’t suck – in a major way – on tablets) and should get its Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update in the future, although all manufacturers are historically late to provide the updates. If you’re a major Android fan (and with this being an Android website, I sincerely hope you are), the main advantage of buying the Nexus 7 tablet is that it comes with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out of the box, as well as the promise that all future OS updates will reach the Nexus 7 weeks (if not months) before it arrives on other devices – it’s the Nexus mantra, if you will.
Kindle Fire 2
The Kindle Fire 2, just like its predecessor, will run on a heavily modified version of Android that makes the tablet incompatible with a lot of Android apps. Hopefully, those of you that want a Kindle Fire 2, especially for access to the Amazon Appstore, won’t be too discouraged by this.

Last but not least, in the eventuality that the iPad Mini turns out to be real product, the device will run Apple’s latest iOS vesion. If Apple can think of a way of scaling all the apps designed for 9.7-inch iPads down to a 7-inch display, the iPad Mini would be the budget tablet with the highest number of high-quality apps available, as was the case with the three 9.7-inch iPads rolled out by Apple so far – quite an advantage if you don’t think much of tweaking your devices.
  • Price
All of these tablets will be priced roughly the same: the Nexus 7 costs $199 for the 8GB variant and $249 for the 16GB variant, the Kindle Fire 2 should be priced the same as the original ($199 for 8GB), while the 7-inch Galaxy Tab 2 costs $249 (the 8GB version). The iPad Mini should be designed to compete with these tablets, meaning we expect it to be priced under $250 as well.
  • Conclusion
Now that we have analyzed these four tablets, let me draw the line and sum up your options for you:

If you want to get a budget tablet today, don’t think too little of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and desperately need an SD card slot, the 7-inch Galaxy Tab 2.0 is the budget tablet for you.

If you’re an Android purist on the lookout for the tablet that offers the best price / performance ratio, you should wait a few weeks and get yourself a Google/Asus Nexus 7.
Google nexus 7
If you’re deeply tied into Amazon’s ecosystem, my advice is that you wait a couple of months and get yourself an Amazon Kindle Fire 2. I assure you that the bump in performance over the current model will be worth the wait.

If you hate Android but still want a budget tablet, you might have to wait as much as until the end of the year until Apple releases the iPad Mini. Of course, you also run the risk that all the rumors surrounding the iPad Mini may turn out to be completely false.

from androidauthority

Samsung Wins U.K. Apple Over the Design ‘Not as Cool’ Galaxy Tab

apple vs Samsung
One of Apple’s legal claims against Samsung, based on the alleged similarity between the Samsung Galaxy Tab and the iPad, was thrown away in an UK court last week. A British High Judge, Colin Biriss ruled that there is a big difference between both products, although he did noted that there are some design similarities.

What’s interesting is that the judge’s somehow expressed his appreciation for Apple’s designs. Biriss stated that the Galaxy Tab devices “do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design”. The judge also said that even though the devices are not identical, they are “rather similar” in appearance from the front.

Biriss’ final conclusion on the argument was that the Galaxy Tab’s design was simply “not as cool”, compared to Apple’s tablet. The judges said that the Galaxy Tab’s thinness and design of the rear side differentiated it from the iPad, enough to ensure that customers can’t confuse them.

The legal team at Samsung might be not pleased that they don’t live up to the UK judge’s expectations, however, they are delighted that they won the case, stating that:

“Should Apple continue to make excessive legal claims in other countries based on such generic designs, innovation in the industry could be harmed and consumer choice unduly limited.”

In case you have not been following the recent legal spats between Samsung and Apple, just last week, Apple obtained a preliminary injunction against Samsung, preventing further sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the United States. Cupertino has also obtained a temporary ban against the Galaxy Nexus, although Google is widely expected to issue a software patch that will remove the feature that the court found infringing. Apple’s offense hasn’t been so strong in the United Kingdom, with HTC winning an important battle just last week.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Google announces Android 4.1 source code

Android .4.1 Jelly BeanIn a sweet treat for modders and developers, Google has released the source code for Android 4.1, aka Jelly Bean.

The source code for the latest version of Google's mobile operating system was released today as part of the Android Open Source Project, Jean-Baptiste M. "JBQ" Queru, lead engineer on the project, said in a company blog post.

"We recommend that you create new clients, even if you're working in the master branch," Queru said. "It'll make your clients smaller and faster to sync."

He also noted that proprietary binaries are also now available for the Nexus 7 and Galaxy Nexus. Binaries for Nexus S and Xoom will follow.

Android 4.1, which the Web giant unveiled last month at the Google I/O developers conference, features a more responsive user interface, better voice transcription, overhauled search, and a major new feature called Google Now that tries to anticipate what a person needs to know at any given moment.

from cnet

Two more Android tablet makers adds to Microsoft's patent-licensing list

Microsoft has added yet two more companies with Android- and Chrome OS-based products to its patent-licensing list.

msandroidliscening

The latest additions, which Microsoft announced on July 9, are Aluratek and Coby Electronics. Microsoft officials said as of today's latest signees, "Microsoft has licensed more than 70 percent of all U.S. Android devices."

As part of today's deals, Microsoft will be receiving undisclosed royalty payments from both vendors.

Aluratek makes Android-based tablets, e-book readers, digital picture frames and other consumer electronics devices. Coby makes Android-based tablets and netbooks, TVS, and other consumer electronics devices.

Microsoft's claim is that Android and Chrome OS violate publicly-unspecified Microsoft patents and companies that are choosing to build products around these Google operating systems are making a risky bet.

Microsoft has convinced a number of Android and Linux-based device makers that it's better and cheaper to pay than fight. Among those companies with Android- and Linux-based devices that have capitulated are Amazon, Buffalo, Compal, General Dynamics, HTC, LG Electronics, Samsung, TomTom, Velocity Micro and others.

Barnes & Noble was a holdout, refusing to sign a patent deal with Microsoft, but a coule of months ago, opted to settle and sign with Microsoft. Microsoft invested $300 million in a new joint venture with B&N as part of that settlement.

from zdnet

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The New Kindle Fire Tablets

Come November, Amazon’s Kindle Fire Android tablet will be a year old, which means that its successor is shortly on the way.

Sources “familiar with Amazon’s plans” have told AllThingsD that the next-generation Kindle Fire will be thinner and lighter, and feature a built-in camera. It will also have a display resolution of 1,280 x 800 pixels — about the same as the iPad 2, and a substantial upgrade from the current Kindle Fire’s 1,024 x 600-pixel screen. (The iPad 3′s “retina” display is 2,048 x 1,536 pixels, for comparison.)

The Kindle Fire 2′s screen won’t only be sharper, it will also be slightly more square, AllThingsD‘s sources said. The screen of the next Kindle Fire will have an aspect ratio of 1.60, compared to the current Kindle Fire’s more elongated 1.71 aspect ratio.

The device is expected to ship before September.
AmazonKindle

AllThingsD made no mention of a second forthcoming tablet. Last week, tech blog BGR reported that Amazon is planning to announce two new Kindle Fires as soon as next month: a 7-inch version called “Coyote” and a 10-inch “Hollywood” tablet. The Coyote, BGR says, has a dual-core processor just like the current Kindle Fire, while the Hollywood is said to pack a more powerful quad-core processor.

Whether it launches one tablet or two, Amazon is going to face some tough competition leading into the holidays. According to multiple credible outlets, Apple is planning to launch a 7-inch “iPad Mini” that could come within the price range of the $199 Kindle Fire. Google’s 7-inch, $199 Nexus 7 has also already received rave reviews from the press — our own Christina Warren called it “the Android media tablet the Kindle Fire was supposed to be.”

Of the one actual and two rumored tablets — that is, the Kindle Fire 2, the iPad Mini and the Nexus 7 — which do you expect will lead the pack through the holidays?

from mashable

Android: The Motorola Tablet's Update

Let's see, it's 5:00 and the cable guy was supposed to show up at 1:00. And, oh yeah, where's my Android update?

I hear Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) is great. I've been hearing how great ICS is since October (when it was released).

Which is about the same time I got my Motorola Xyboard (aka, Xoom 2) -- with Honeycomb. You know, Android 3.0, the old version of Android.

Think about it. Motorola announced a brand-new tablet design just as ICS was coming out but saddled it with Honeycomb.

So, I've been waiting.

It wasn't exactly encouraging when Motorola posted a schedule of upcoming updates last year showing the 10.1-inch Xyboard ICS update slated for "early Q3 2012."

When I first saw this I thought, wait, don't you mean Q1? Somebody must be getting their quarters mixed up.

Now I hear the ICS update is finally ready and "runs extremely smooth."

Like I said, I hear Ice Cream Sandwich is great. Motorola is not officially offering the upgrade yet. (I check for official updates constantly.)

This Android update thing gets under my skin because I like Motorola's Xyboard. A lot.

In fact, I like its physical design more than that of my third-generation iPad. The Xyboard is lighter, thinner, and easier to hold. (The Xyboard is 8.8mm thick versus the iPad's 9.4mm, and weighs 603 grams versus the iPad's 652 grams.)

Weight and weight distribution in a tablet is really important to me. And Motorola nailed it with the Xyboard.

I also wanted the Xyboard because it came with 4G -- at the time of purchase this wasn't an option on the iPad. And, oh, the Xyboard has a killer display.

And I like the Android market. I like the fact that there are a lot of different tablet designs to choose from in all shapes and sizes (though this has a dark side too, in the form of fragmentation). In that sense, Android is a lot more dynamic than Apple's one-design-fits-all.

Motorola tablet
And I like the Android OS. Or, I should say, I want to like it. Despite all the griping (yeah, I'm guilty of raising a stink, too) about the lack of apps on Android, I can get most of the apps I need.

The biggest problem I have is with updates and, consequently, performance. Honeycomb on the Xyboard is not always a smooth experience. Basic things (like text input, Web browsing) can, at times, become too slow to be productive. (A 3.2.2 update improved things but not as much as I thought initially.)

But it doesn't have to be that way. Other Android tablets running ICS, such as the Asus Transformer Prime and, now, Google's Nexus 7 with Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean), are fast and smooth.

And up to date. So, hurry up with the update Motorola while I wait for the cable guy to show up.
from cnet

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Best Android Tablet for Power / Business User--Lenovo K2 / K2010

Lenovo K2010/K2
The Lenovo K2010 / K2, as it is likely to be known, demonstrated several things to us. Firstly, Lenovo makes quality products. Their line of ThinkPad laptops are known the world over by business mavens and students alike, and for good reason. Their laptops are among the industry’s best, and are built with durability, power use, and quality in mind. In the time that I was able to spend with Lenovo’s Tegra 3 speed demon, it really demonstrated that it has what it takes to be a leader among the crowded forum that are Android tablets.

With industry leading specs and utility, this is the world’s first Android tablet with 2GB of RAM, and it has the Tegra 3 Quad (5 core) SoC clocked at a ridiculous 1.7Ghz. Not to worry though, this is the absolute max that the CPU’s are capable of running at. Tegra 3 employs extremely aggressive power gating to ensure that as much power is saved as possible. With its fifth companion core, normal, common tasks like reading web pages, or an RSS reader, or email will consume barely any power at all. In fact, it’s significantly better on power consumption than its contemporary and predecessor, Tegra 2.

But down to business. This is a tablet that is packing a 1920×1200 10.1 inch display in an 11mm thin profile, and features a full USB port as well as a full sized SD card reader on the tablet itself. From our probing we were able to gather that the SD card reader will support SD, SDHC and even SDXC cards, resulting in potentially unlimited storage as 128GB and 256GB SDXC cards come to market with lower prices in the near future. Additionally, you will be able to purchase a keyboard dock, much like what the original Transformer, Transformer Prime, and Transformer Prime 700T have. It’s actually quite a good keyboard, and aside from having a bit of flex, will boost the units total battery life into the 20 hour range. Very impressive. If you are concerned about having as much flexibility, power and utility out of your tablet as possible, then this may be the one to get.

 Spec
  • Bluetooth 3.0+ WiFi a/b/g/n, SIM card slot for 3G or 4G connectivity
  • Tegra 3 @ 1.7Ghz
  • 12 core Tegra 3
  • Quad Core ARM Cortex A9 1.7Ghz
  • 10.1″ screen with a 1920×1200 resolution display
  • 224.17 pixels per inch
  • 11mm thin profile
  • IPS Display
  • Full SD Card reader, full sized USB port, SIM card (4g?), Micro USB, HDMI, 3.5mm headphone jack 5MP rear with LED flash, 1.3MP front camera
  • Android 4.0 out of the box
  • GPS
  • Q2 2012 release date
  • 32GB, 64GB, expandable to 128GB or even 256GB with full sized SD/HC/XC
  • 10 Hours, 20 hours with keyboard dock
  • 730 grams
  • 2GB of RAM – the most of any Android tablet in the world
from androidauthority

Hugo Barra talks about Nexus 7 in interview

Nexus 7
Android Director of Product Management Hugo Barra appeared for the first time on stage at the Honeycomb event last year. Back then, I remember thinking he didn’t do a very good job presenting Honeycomb, but I think it was also the whole environment that didn’t make sense and put him in a bad light. It looked a lot less professional than any Google I/O event, and it seemed like they just quickly rented a room to show Honeycomb, which wouldn’t be the only rushed thing they did in relation to Android 4.0. However, at this year’s Google I/O event I thought Barra did a very good job presenting Jelly Bean, and he did it in a very confident manner.

Of course, giving speeches is not his main job at Google. His job is to manage most of the Android teams, and make sure Android as a whole turns out to be a good product. But if he’s going to be the one presenting the new version of Android every time, then I’m glad he can do a good job with that, as well. Presenting a product can be almost as important as building it, and we’ve learned that from Steve Jobs’s keynotes, where he could make almost any small thing or feature sound like a big deal and get everyone hyped about it.

Wired managed to take an interview with Barra, and ask him more details about Nexus 7.

Nexus 7

Hugo Barra
Barra thinks that the Nexus 7 is the most powerful 7-inch tablet on the market by leaps and bounds, not just through its no-compromise hardware, which in many ways is as good as a $500 tablet, but also through its Jelly Bean OS, for which Google adopted a more phone-like UI. Apparently people want to use such a device mostly in portrait mode and he thinks this is the direction the industry needs to take for 7-inch tablets.

When asked about a possible 10-inch tablet, his answer was a bit unsatisfactory, as he said that they will take it one step at a time. And they’ll first wait and see what their partners do with the 10-inch form factor. That doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t release a Nexus 10 tablet this fall, especially if Android 5.0 is meant to improve the UI for 10-inch tablets some more. However, those changes are not ready now, so between now and then Android device manufacturers will have to figure out for themselves how they can modify the more phone-like Jelly Bean to work well on a 10-inch device. 
from androidauthority