Tag Archives: OS

Ice Cream Sandwich Tablet Version Gets Pictured in Leaked Press Picture

Samsung Galaxy Nexus is getting ready for its international launch, we’ve yet to learn some solid info about the release of the newest Android version on tablets. However, we have a tiny hint, thanks to a leaked press image showing Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in its tablet version.

Last I heard among the first slates to receive the update there were the Samsung Galaxy Tabs from 2011 and the Motorola Xoom. We’re also expecting HTC Quattro, a quad core tablet and a Lenovo and Acer slate to debut with four cores of power, too, all of them running Android 4.0. The image above is the one leaked, showing a render made by Google and detailing two devices that look like the Galaxy Nexus and something that resembles the Galaxy Tab.

Of course, don’t expect to be blown away by the experience of Android 4.0 on a slate, as this OS has Honeycomb at its core. Other stuff worth mentioning is the set of 3 buttons in the lower left, that have a changed design, plus the cyan-colored accents. New fonts are also used and new symbols for various statuses.

We have yet to see Android Ice Cream Sandwich running on a tablet but I guess that before the year is out we’ll get that…

Android Malware Instances Spike, Up 472% since July

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You can turn a blind eye to it all you want, but malware is becoming a serious problem for Android users. After registering steady growth since the launch of the OS, instances of malware have spiked over the past several months as the Android continues to expand as the leading mobile platform. Since July of this year, malware has seen a 472 percent increase, according to Juniper Network’s Global Threat Center. Juniper notes that not only has the volume of malware increased, but so has its level of sophistication.

As Android gains prevalence, hackers are shifting their focus from older platforms and taking advantage of the Android Market’s lack of screening to quickly upload bogus apps and trojans. These malicious apps mostly focus on mining personal data, but some can go so far as to root a user’s device or even give a hacker remote access.

The good news is that despite the increase in malware, protection is still fairly simple — users need only be more observant of the apps they are downloading from the market by thoroughly checking out the description, permissions, and comments/ratings. With many apps often spoofing popular offerings from trusted brands, this admittedly isn’t as easy as it sounds. Click the infographic to the left for the more interesting details of their report.

[via Juniper]

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Hybrid Ultrabook Comes With Android for Extra Battery Life

Lenovo hasn’t only been messing with the tablet segment, but also with the ultrabooks it seems, since there’s a new model out there, that was just uncovered. This is the ThinkPad X1 Hybrid, a device that adopts the ultraportable X1 slick design and combines it with a touch of Android for extra battery life.

There’s an Instant Media Mode here, one related to the Android use, that will give us the flavor of the Google mobile OS that Lenovo has been offering on its tablets till now. The advantage here is that the Hybrid comes with instant boot, double battery life, reaching 10 hours of web browsing and a very user friendly experience and all thanks to the Instant Media Mode.

I’m curious if this device will be able to switch between operating systems on the fly or simply dual boot them. If so, what are the other options, aside from Android? MeeGo, Windows 7, Windows 8 maybe? Hopefully this model will be better than the Lenovo ThinkPad tablet we’ve just reviewed…

Android 4.0 NDK Updated: Developers Get Moving On New Streaming Audio APIs

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We’ve seen the Galaxy Nexus up close and personal, and it’s design and functionality are quite a diversion from what we’ve seen in Gingerbread and to a lesser extent Honeycomb. It’s great that the OS itself has improved, but giving developers greater access to equally improve their own apps is the second half of the battle. Google made that step on Friday, updating the Android 4.0 NDK to Version 7 which provides access to two new APIs associated with improving streaming audio-performance within apps:

Low-level streaming multimedia: A new API based on Khronos OpenMAX AL 1.0.1 provides a direct, efficient path for low-level streaming multimedia. The new path is ideal for applications that need to maintain complete control over media data before passing it to the platform for presentation. For example, media applications can now retrieve data from any source, apply proprietary encryption/decryption, and then send the data to the platform for display.

Audio decoding into PCM: Extensions to the existing native audio API based on Khronos OpenSL ES let native apps decode compressed audio assets to PCM format.

Any developers out there want to tell us how or if they plan on incorporating these new APIs into their apps?

Firefox 9 Beta Available Now, Brings Fresh Lion and Android Tablet Interfaces

Mozilla is working hard on all fronts, so it has both an OS coming next year and new versions of its famous browser. Firefox 8 is already out and considered a pretty complete version of the famous browser, but now we also have Firefox 9 in beta phase, bringing a fresh UI to Android tablets and Lion machines.

Firefox 9 can be found in the beta channel here for desktop and Android. In the first version it’ll support two finger scrolling and multiple displays, that’s very cool. Improved speed is another advantage of the new browser as well as inference supporting JavaScript engine, plus the option of breaking XML web requests into pieces, in order for complex pages to load faster.

Tablets are also taken into account by this version, since it gets a new look, optimized for larger screens and places tabs on the side with thumbnails. This reminds me a bit of Honeycomb’s multitasking pane, but there’s still enough room on the right for a full web page, so worry not. An action bar includes all the features you could have ever needed into a more compact space.

Bing for Android Update Utilizes HTML5 [Video]

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Video: Bing for Mobile Goes HTML5

While I’m not a huge fan of Bing, I felt the need to check it out after Microsoft spent some time highlighting the changes they’ve made to the experience. Their Android and iOS applications have been overhauled to make extensive use of HTML5 for several reasons.

Their aim is to create a unified experience for both platforms (and presumably more in the future, including their own Windows Phone 7) so that no matter which device you happen to be using the “Bing experience” will always remain the same.

HTML5 also gives them the ability to update their application and servers without the user needing to head to the Android market. We imagine the only time they’d need to issue an update is for a security patch, a bug fix or a new feature or two that ties into the OS.

The technology, HTML5, is great, but in this day and age I still prefer a native application. After using the new version of Bing, I could tell it wasn’t quite as “snappy” or “fluid” as some apps are when their UI elements are not being rendered in webview.

Even then, Bing’s new app was still friendly to touch and it’s exciting to see how HTML5 will help their service evolve in the near future. Find the application in the Android market here and check out the video highlighting all the new changes above or over at Microsoft’s site.

[Update] Rumor: Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet Headed Our Way, Original NOOK Color to Get $200 Price Tag

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Android Central have apparently gotten their hands on materials regarding one old and one new device by Barnes & Noble. First off, that NOOK Tablet. It’s said to be a bit smaller and thinner than the NOOK Color, though with a nice set of internals to help OS performance.

Inside will be a 1.2GHz TI OMAP4 dual core processor, 16GB of RAM and a 32GB microSD card slot for expansion. Its display comes in at 7 inches and has 1024×600 resolution. We’re also getting WiFi n. So it’ll be faster, that’s for sure, but that’s about all we know for now.

It’ll cost $250 and should be available beginning November 16th, according to the slides. This puts it right behind Amazon in terms of launch, though the price tag could be a major difference in consumers’ purchase decision. I should note that the NOOK Color will get a price drop to $200 – more on that below.

If true, both tablets will be in time for Black Friday, one of the biggest shopping days of the season. It’ll be interesting to see who comes out ahead in this race. We have a slight idea, but we won’t entertain the thoughts at this time.

While OS details weren’t mentioned, we’d imagine some form of Android 2.x sits beneath Barnes & Noble’s customization. Android 4.0? Well, this tablet just wasn’t meant for it officially, but there could be some very good stuff headed our way unofficially once it does launch.

With that comes a supposed imminent price drop for the NOOK Color. It will go down to $200 from $250 and we’re also supposed to be seeing a software update to version 1.4 soon. It brings with it Hulu support, Rhapsody, MOG, Grooveshark, more digital magazines to choose from and a lot more apps. Doesn’t sound like a bad deal at all.

Head to the source links for more details. [1,2]

[Update]: It looks like the NOOK Simple Touch is getting a drop to $99. [via]

Dell Streak 5 Becomes US Defense Gear, First Android Device With Such Certification

Dell Streak 5 may become US Army material, since it has just received US Defense certification. This 5 inch Android slate has been worked on by the Department of Defense ever since last year. The high ranking state officials want to turn this gizmo into mandatory equipment for civilian and military personal connected to the government.

Dell has tweaked the security of the tablet, adapted its features to meet the Defense Information Systems Agency specs and brought in support for secure but unclassified communications. The Streak 5 is able to transmit unclassified messages and it allows users to remotely wipe data in case of theft or loss. The device can be remotely wiped, locked after invalid passwords are used and remote controlled in various security levels.

Till now BlackBerries were the favorite of the “men in black”, but the trend seems to be switching to Android, that’s the leading smartphone OS after all… right? What’s next? A Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 used to guide missiles?

Motorola XOOM 2 Tablet Pamphlet Leaks Pricing and Image

Motorola XOOM 2 has been a lot in the press lately, including in a bunch of images and with presumed specs available. Now we also get a pamphlet showing the device, that Engadget dug up from its sources. It appears the product will be sold for 399.99 euro by Carphone Warehouse in Ireland.

Taking note of the presents pictured here and the Christmas mention, we’re talking about an Xmas offer, so we might see the product launched around the winter holiday time. Xoom 2 is supposed to come with a 10.1 inch display, a dual core 1.2GHz processor, a camera with 1080p recording ability and 1GB of RAM.

The device is 9mm thick, just a bit beefier than the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, at 8.6mm. Motorola hasn’t yet announced the Xoom 2 and in case you’re wondering about the OS, I wouldn’t be surprised if this were Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich material. Considering Motorola Mobility was purchased by Google this is one of the perks of the acquisition: getting Android 4.0 on new products first.

Quad Core ASUS Transformer Prime Tablet Coming on November 9th, Now Confirmed

It appears that November will be a month of premieres, too, at least in the tablet segment. The quad core ASUS Transformer
Prime has just been confirmed for launch this month and it’s coming on November 9th, it seems. The confirmation came through a couple of leaked slides from an investor’s conference on Monday.

The slate will come with the quad core Tegra 3 processor on board and strangely enough Android 4.0 is also mentioned in the mix, so we could actually see this ASUS device as the first Ice Cream Sandwich tablet. Last I heard, the Motorola Xoom was supposed to be the first tablet with this OS, through an upgrade. The slides from ASUS also mentioned two Android products coming in early 2012, focused on “innovation and product perfection).

Windows 8 tablets are also there, scheduled for Q3 2012 and it looks like a busy year ahead of ASUS. Since the Eee Pad Transformer managed to sell 400k units a month at some point, the expectations from its follow-up are great. Will they be met?