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Category Archives: Android Tablet

Amazon Kindle Touch impressions

One of the three major devices launched at today’s Amazon event, the Kindle Touch is aimed firmly at the latest touchscreen Nook and Kobo devices. Like those readers, the new Kindle is based around an infrared touchscreen in the place of a physical keyboard, making the device a good deal smaller than the Kindle 3. The touchscreen is fairly responsive, and the thing flips through pages quickly with a swipe or a tap, refreshing about once every six pages or so, a rate about on-par with that of its chief competition. A task like performing a search on the other hand, requires a much larger screen refresh — still, activities like these and typing are performed quite quickly for an E-Ink device. The search function itself is rather precise, letting the user locate instances of things like character names throughout a text. In all, it looks as though Amazon has produced a worthy competitor to the space-leading touch devices — and the $99 / $149 price tags for the WiFi and 3G versions certainly don’t hurt.

Check out a video of the device after the break.

 

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2011 in Android Tablet

 

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Google Announces Plans To Bake Android-Like Web Intents Into Chrome

There’s a lot of innovation going on in the browser wars these days, with huge strides in features and performance from all the top vendors. And there’s a new feature on the horizon that’s going to make web apps even more powerful and flexible: Web Intents, which will allow web apps to communicate with each other.

Today, Google has announced that it’s planning to integrate Web Intents into Chrome. The news comes on the heels of Mozilla’s announcement last month that it is also working on the project (Google’s post seems to indicate that the two projects used to be distinct, but that they’re now being unified under a single API).

So what exactly are Web Intents? The name and the purpose are both similar to the Intents system that’s present in Google’s Android platform. In short, Intents allow two separate applications to communicate with each other, without either of them having to actually know what the other one is. Instead, they offer and listen for generic hooks.

On Android this means that if you install a new image editing application, the default Gallery app doesn’t have to integrate any special APIs in order to send a photo to that editing app. Likewise in the case of a web app, this means that a new photo hosting site could easily integrate editing functionality from something like Aviary or Picnik, without either of those services needing to implement a special API unique to that photo hosting site.

Yes, it’s slightly confusing, but it’s a good thing, and it means web apps will be able to operate more like native applications.

Via: TC

 

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2011 in Android Tablet, Google, Software, Technology

 

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Poptuit Looks To Reinvent The Android Dialer By Making It Sleeker And Smarter

It’s a cliche by now, but there’s no question that the launch of the iPhone in 2007 changed the future of mobile devices forever. Even the actual phone portion of the device saw huge improvements: visual voicemail, relatively easy contact management, and quick access to your recent calls. And, err, the dialer has looked just about the same ever since. As has Android’s dialer, which is basically identical to the iPhone’s.

They’re drab, they don’t do a good job consolidating different channels of communication, and they aren’t nearly as smart as they could be.

Enter Poptuit, a new startup that’s looking to reinvent your smartphone’s dialer by turning it into a central hub for all of your social content — and it’s much nicer  looking to boot. At this point the Android-only application is in private beta, but the first 100 readers to go here and enter the code ‘Crunch’ will get access.

In a word, Poptuit looks slick. The dialer has gotten a nice facelift, and, more important, it’s actually smarter than the one you’re used to. As you call your friends, coworkers, and family, Poptuit will intelligently display their faces in a grid, so your most-called contacts are easily accessible.

Via: TC

 

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2011 in Android Tablet, Google

 

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Android Market Now Supports Multiple APKs

Today Google announced that it’s pushing a significant update to the developer-facing side of Android Market, and it’s one that consumers will benefit from too: Android Market will now allow developers to distribute multiple APKs (the filetype Android uses for applications) that will all be considered the same app, at least as the marketplace is concerned.

Yes, that sounds mundane, but it’s important. Consider this: right now, if you ran a query for “Fruit Ninja” from an Android tablet, you’d have the option to download either the ‘regular’ Fruit Ninja or Fruit Ninja THD, a version that’s been optimized for the Tegra processor found in most Android tablets to date. Obviously you’d want the latter — but then if you went to play the same game on your phone, you’d have to purchase the regular version.

This update fixes that: Halfbrick Studios (the company behind Fruit Ninja) can now list the game once in Android Market, and Google will send the optimal version to whatever device you’re downloading it from.

Of course, Google has always encouraged developers to make sure a single APK works across all Android devices. Menus are supposed to adapt to various screen sizes, images are supposed to scale nicely, and so on. But there are some instances where this doesn’t make sense — a game might only want to include high-res textures for larger screen sizes, for example. Another use case: if a developer implements features that require the newest version of the Android OS, they can now roll that out, while still letting users on older devices access the old version. And under this system developers will be able to consolidate all of their user reviews under one application as opposed to having them spread across multiple mobile and ‘HD’ versions.

Of course, some developers may prefer to ignore the new feature and prompt users to purchase different versions of their apps for different devices. This wouldn’t necessarily be motivated by greed, either — some developers build completely new apps for different form factors, which in some cases warrant separate purchases.

Incidentally, as I wrote this I received an email alert that Halfbrick is now selling a free version of Fruit Ninja (I’m guessing it’s taking advantage of this new feature).

Via: TC