Motorola’s Android 2.1 Upgrade Timeline Gets An Update

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Over the weekend, it appears that Motorola has updated their chart outlining upgrades for several of their Android-based phones. Most phones are still only planned to be receiving Android 2.1 (Motorola Droid’s rollout has finished, while the Milestone is still currently being rolled out in stages for other international markets).

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For the Motorola Backflip, they’re targeting a Q3 window, with all of Motorola’s phones with T-Mobile USA (the CLIQ and CLIQ XT) looking at a Q2 window. Upgrades for Verizon’s Motorola Devour and the some versions of the Motorola DEXT (the international version of the Motorola CLIQ) are still to be determined (Asia’s 2.1 upgrade for the DEXT is planned for Q3, as well).

Only time will tell if some of Motorola’s MOTOBLUR-enabled phones will truly be getting their upgrades as the entire month of June still qualifies as Q2.

[via AndroidCentral]

http://phandroid.com/2010/06/01/motorolas-android-2-1-upgrade-timeline-gets-an-update/

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MSI Wind-Pad, a Featherlight Multi-Touch Tablet

MSI, the OG of Atom-powered netbooks, is all set to try the same budget-hardware trick with tablets: behold, the Wind-Pad. This originally-named slate will have a 10-inch, 1024×600 capacitive touch-screen and contain a 1.66GHz Atom processor, 2GB RAM and a 32GB SSD along with HDMI-out, 3G and a claimed eight-hour battery life.

Care to guess which OS the all-plastic computer will run? Android? Chrome? Nope, it will be encumbered with a full-on desktop operating system in the shape of Windows 7. MSI has papered a thin software covering over the top in the shape of the Wind Touch UI, which should make things a little more finger-friendly. Windows 7 does technically support touch out of the box, but I have tried it and it pretty much sucks.

Essentially, then, this is a netbook without a keyboard. On the other hand, the video demonstration shared by TweakTown and shot at the Computex show this year, shows that although this is no slick and sexy iPad, it does seem a lot easier to use than a regular netbook.

And remember, the Wind in its many forms has been a winner in the market, both as the perfect hackintosh machine and as a cheap-o portable computer. Apple certainly doesn’t need to worry about anything, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t be a hit – as long as the price is right. Available in the first half of 2010.

MSI Wind-Pad [MSI]


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http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/06/msi-wind-pad-a-featherlight-multi-touch-tablet/

HTC Selling the EVO 4G Themselves, Too; $549 Off-Contract, Pre-order Now

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HTC’s launched their preorder site for the HTC EVO 4G for Sprint. They’re offering three different conditions under which you can pre-order: you can buy the phone with a new Sprint service plan for $199.99 (after a $100 instant online discount), you can buy the phone with a contract extension if you’re a current Sprint customer for $299.99 (after a $150 instant online discount), or you can buy the phone outright for $549.99 without the need to mess with those ugly agreements. Regardless of how you buy it, you won’t have to worry about paying for shipping.

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It sounds like the off-contract pricing will vary depending on who you buy the phone through. Best Buy is expected to sell the phone for $600 without a two-year contract, while we’ve learned Sprint might just be charging $449.99 (we confirmed that with a Sprint PR rep not too long ago). Radio Shack, however, looks to be selling it for $499.99.

If you’re looking to buy the phone with a two-year agreement, though, most of these retailers are offering it for the same price after their instant or mail-in rebates, putting it at $199.99. The only thing differentiating these retailers, then, would be any side-offers they’re willing to throw in (such as Radio Shack offering a $20 gift card toward accessories for your new phone).

So where will you pre-order your EVO 4G?

[via GoodAndEvo]

http://phandroid.com/2010/06/01/htc-selling-the-evo-4g-themselves-too-549-off-contract-pre-order-now/

HTC Aria spied for AT&T

We have known for awhile that AT&T was getting their own exclusive HTC Android phone, but many of us thought it was going to feature a keyboard. However, new evidence from AndroidGuys suggest the HTC Aria will be a mini Android phone that is touch screen only.

Pictured above is the rumored HTC Aria next to a business card. The source who submitted the picture claims it is “the smallest Android device” they have seen and we estimate the display is 2.5 to 2.8 inches (QVGA). Not a lot of the technical hardware specs are known, but my guess is the device will mirror the internals of the HTC Wildefire.

Stay tuned next week because AT&T is reportedly going to unveil this HTC phone (and maybe a few other surprises) on June 7th.

Rumored specs of the HTC Aria include:

  • 2.5 or 2.8 inch display
  • Optical joystick
  • 5 megapixel camera
  • microUSB port
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Android 2.1 with Sense UI

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http://androidandme.com/2010/06/news/htc-aria-spied-for-att/

Smartphones and Computing Devices To Generate 87% of US Cellular Traffic by 2014

According to a report on US mobile operator network traffic, smartphones and connected computing devices will be the primary drivers of data traffic over the next five years. By 2014, says ABI Research, these device categories will generate more than 87% of total mobile network data traffic for US operators.

Continue reading…

http://www.cellphonedigest.net/news/2010/05/smartphones_and_computing_devi.php

Sony patenting dual-screen tablet, notebook hybrid

sonydualtablet.jpgSony’s ambitions in the tablet field may have been partly spoiled by a patent filing published on Thursday. The concept is on the surface a dual-touchscreen e-book reader but would change functions as it’s rotated. On its side, the device could turn into a notebook with a keyboard below and and content up top….

http://www.electronista.com/articles/10/05/28/sonys.tablet.plans.get.clue.in.uspto.filing/

Report: Apple Prepping Cheap, Cloud-Based Apple TV For War With Google

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The idea of putting iPhone apps on the Apple TV has been something some of us have been thinking about since at least 2008, when the original App Store launched. When rumors were swirling about Google TV, it became an even better idea as the living room was likely to be a new battleground for Apple/Google. And with the unveiling of Google TV last week, it became clear that this would be a next major fight — provided Apple started taking it seriously. Soon, they will be, if Engadget’s sources are correct.

The gadget blog says that a tip they’ve since confirmed with “a source very close to Apple” suggests that Apple has been working on the next version of the Apple TV. The goods according to them: it will be a very small box (smaller than the current one) with perhaps only outputs for power and TV-out cables. It will run on Apple’s new A4 chip (the one found in the iPad and soon the new iPhone). It will still do 1080p video, but may have as little as 16GB of flash memory. That’s because the thing will be based around streaming over the cloud (or from other computers in your home) rather than local storage. Most significantly, it will run the iPhone OS.

Basically, it’s an “iPhone without a screen,” is how Engadget hears it. Oh — and it will cost only $99, supposedly.

A product update may seem obvious from Apple, considering the steady pace at which they iterate devices. But the Apple TV hasn’t received a major hardware upgrade in its entire lifespan — almost exactly 3 years. The reason is that Apple still considered the device a “hobby.” The likely reason for that is because they haven’t figured out a way to make money from it yet.

But Google’s announcement of Google TV — a platform which will run on the mobile Android OS — changes everything. Apple needs to take the Apple TV seriously now, or it runs the risk of losing what should be an important battle with Google. While Engadget notes this product has been in development before Google’s announcement, you can probably bet that the announcement put it on the fast-track.

Still, it seems hopeful at best that we’ll hear about it at Apple’s WWDC event next week in San Francisco. The new iPhone is expected to be the centerpiece there. But, if this new device really does run iPhone OS, might Apple hint at it considering the event will be iPhone-centric? Remember, Apple first showed off the original Apple TV a full 6 months before it launched (when it was still tentatively called “iTV”).

Also consider that getting the iPhone OS on to the Apple TV will require some work as developers will yet again (just as with the iPad) have to work on scaling apps to correct resolutions. And that may be a big issue since people have all kinds of different TVs with all kinds of different resolutions.

It’s possible that Apple could pull an iPhone and release the device as a closed system first (maybe in the Fall), and then later open it up to third-party apps. It all depends on how threatened they feel by Google TV — which will also be out in the Fall. But, again, Google TV will run Android apps out of the box, so if Apple released an Apple TV that doesn’t, it will disappoint a lot of people.

Engadget notes that there’s no word on if apps will be included with the product or not. But it makes little sense to use the iPhone OS for this device and not includes apps (at least eventually). As I noted, the reason Apple hasn’t been taking the Apple TV seriously up until now is because they hadn’t figured out the best way to make money from it. That’s largely because Apple makes money off of hardware sales, and for devices like the iPod, those are driven by the availability of content at a good price. That’s the reason the Apple TV has failed to catch on: not enough content at a good price.

The reason there’s not enough content is likely because Hollywood is giving Apple much more push-back than the music industry did. For example, they won’t yet agree to Apple’s idea of subscription-based iTunes TV show packages. But apps could change all of that. Apps are content, and they would immediately vault the Apple TV into must-own status. Imagine playing all those thousands of cheap games on your TV. Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony must be shitting themselves.

And if something like the Netflix app or the ABC app for the iPad worked on the Apple TV, the bitching about a lack of content would simmer down quickly.

Of course, there’s the issue of how you would control those apps — since you’re not about to walk up and touch your giant screen TV anytime soon. But there’s an easy solution for that: make iPhone, iPod touches, and iPads the controllers for the apps on the TV. They already have a Remote app you can use on your iPhone to control the Apple TV.

The $99 price is interesting to me because it suggests that Apple may not make a lot of money off of the device. It’s not clear if that price is just wrong, or if Apple would do something like that because it’s that concerned about Google owning the space. With no glass touch screen needed, it is possible that Apple could produce these things cheaply, but that cheaply?

Assuming these details are right, this Apple TV/Google TV battle should be a good one. Yes, it’s iPhone OS vs. Android in a new battlefield, but the devices would also have their own strengths and weaknesses. For example, Apple TV would have access to all of your existing iTunes content (and possibly over the cloud). Google TV, meanwhile, would work with your existing cable television, and would simply overlay the Android OS on top of it.

My only hope is that this battle will lead to a killing off of the existing cable television ecosystem in the U.S. For too long it has absolutely sucked.

CrunchBase Information

Apple TV

Google TV

Information provided by CrunchBase

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