The possibilities of getting news on your Android device are endless. Just head over to the Market, search for news and look at the number of options that come up (10,475 last time I checked…). But the question is, which one do you use?
Well, we’ve already had a good look at Feedly, a popular Google Reader based news reader for Android phones and we loved it. It allows you to browse easily browse news from a variety of different sources and it’s completely free. But now, there is a tablet version available for Honeycomb tablets such as the Motorola Xoom and Galaxy Tab 10.1.
It may surprise you to learn that I’m a big tech nerd. I love my devices and I like to upgrade when I can. Back in October, I picked up an iPad (first gen), admittedly knowing it was probably poor timing. While it was the best on the market at the time, I figured that in 4-6 months time some new ones would hit the market. I used it for a while but wasn’t really impressed with it. Aside from some nice apps, it was pretty heavy, and generic as far as UI goes. I couldn’t find a great use for it. When the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 was announced in May I knew that it was my next tablet. I went out and bought it last week and was excited to see how it would measure up compared to my personal hype.
There is a lot to like about this device: two cameras, Honeycomb, some super sweet accessories that are coming out for it, and more. My favorite part about it is the size and weight.
Although Honeycomb tablets have gotten off to quite a shaky start, most tablets such as the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Motorola XOOM are now drawing on the increased power of NVIDIA Tegra to deliver better graphics and promise console-standard gaming. Honeycomb already has quite a wide choice of games that have been specifically optimised for it, but to make your life easier I have chosen 10 of the best to help you while away those hours of boredom.
Google’s foray into the tablet market has, up till now, not been a very successful one, especially when you compare it to the success of Android on smartphones. Figures released a few days ago show that the Motorola XOOM, the first device to run Honeycomb, has sold 440,000 units since its release back in February. A handsome number, you may think, but when you think that in the same period the iPad 2 sold over 9 million units, Motorola’s figure seems puny in comparison.
Who is to blame for this? Well, it seems that both Google and the manufacturers are at fault, in my opinion, for the poor sales of Honeycomb tablets. They have both made fatal errors in many different areas which may have spelt out the early death of Honeycomb (it is due to be replaced by Ice Cream Sandwich in Q4 of this year). Let’s take a look at these errors in a bit more detail.
Android media has come a long way in recent times, with more and more media apps being released for the platform. Just take a look at the sheer volume of alternative music apps that have been released for the platform, such as doubleTwist and Instinctiv. This demonstrates that the demand is there and people want new and intuitive ways to play their media on their Android device.
Now, however, the spotlight is on Plex. Think of it as AirPlay for Android. Plex is what every Android user has been dreaming about – a way to stream your music, videos and much more either over your local WiFi connection or, if you’re willing to play about with port forwarding, over any 3G connection. There are similar apps that offer this functionality with regards to music (such as doubleTwist, which does it better) but Plex allows you to stream all your media, no matter what it is.
Is Plex a solution for all our media needs? Read on to find out. (more…)
Mobile gaming has really taken off ever since the advent of apps, and it keeps progressing each year thanks to hardware and software developments on the handsets. At E3 this week, we’re bound so see some new and exciting developments in the mobile gaming landscape, but the past few months have produced some interesting news in themselves.
Thanks to the fast paced development of mobile hardware, we’re beginning to see phones that can run even more powerful games, and output them to HDTVs. (more…)
A few weeks ago, Michael James Williams declared that Froyo Tablets are Embarrassing. Today, I want to suggest a counter argument: Android needs Froyo tablets.
I believe that Froyo could be the real OS to help build up tablet market share for Google-powered tablets. The openness of Froyo plus the cheaper hardware it can be run on results in a great way to target those who still see tablets as a want and don’t want to shell out hundreds for a flashy brick. (more…)
I’m sure that you, like me, have seen all those TV commercials for those Windows phones at the moment. The major point Microsoft is focusing on is that a version of Office is available on Windows Mobile 7. Gates and his crew are pitching it to people who feel tied down to the office and promises that it allows you to work on the move, which is certainly something that is very appealing in today’s society. Even Apple have ported their iWork office suite onto the iPad and although it is quite a cut down version of the one you’d expect to see on any Macintosh computer, it’s still relatively functional, if little basic.
Android users are a little spoilt for choice with regards to office suites. Google even finally pulled their finger out and recently released the long-awaited Google Docs standalone application for Android, but it does have limited features (to say the least). Other than that, QuickOffice, DocumentsToGo, OfficeSuite and ThinkFree are all available for Android and all are priced around the $15 mark for the full editions (the free editions will often allow you to read Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents but not to edit them).
The newest version of Google’s popular Android operating system, Honeycomb, was released to the general public last month with a radical new interface and new features designed specifically for larger tablet screens. For a full rundown of the new features and a critical look at Android 3.0, please feel free to read my in-depth review of the OS.
As I wrote in my Honeycomb review, there are currently only about 120 applications available on the Android Market that are optimized for Honeycomb (meaning that their interface has been redesigned or upgraded to suit a larger screen). Having said that, most of the applications available right now are practical and very functional in their performance, and certainly do Honeycomb justice rather than being white elephants and simply hogging space on your tablet.
Here’s my rundown on the top 10 apps to download onto your new Honeycomb tablet right now. All the apps listed below (apart from MoboPlayer) have been optimized for Honeycomb and were tested on my Motorola XOOM.
When the iPad was released in April 2010, it completely changed the way we looked at tablet computing. Before the iPad, tablets were seen as a niche market, and rarely seen on the shelves of stores. Nowadays, tablets are everywhere with a whole range of different price levels and features and they are the hot gadget to get at the moment (remember the queues outside the Apple stores on the day of the iPad 2 launch).
Google is now wanting a slice of a market which is still predominantly dominated by Apple and it hopes that the latest version of its popular Android operating system, Android 3.0 (codenamed Honeycomb), will knock Apple off that top spot. Honeycomb is the first version of Android that was designed specifically for tablets, and you really do get whiffs of this whilst scouting round their brand new OS. Previous Android tablets ran Android 2.2 (Froyo), which, as noted by one of my colleagues in another article, looks pretty dire when stretched across a large screen.
Read on for a detailed review of Honeycomb, including a look at the new features, how it fares up to other versions of Android, and the crucial question: is it up to iOS standard?