Back in October, as you may recall, Adobe unveiled its Touch Appsfamily — a collection of six tools designed to make life easier and more tactile for tablet-using creative types. Today, those apps are finally available on the Android Market, for tablets running Android 3.1 or higher. The sextet includes Photoshop Touch, Collage and Proto, among other Adobe products, each of which is priced at $9.99. These applications will also play a central role in Adobe’s forthcoming Creative Cloud initiative, which will allow users to share, view and transfer files across multiple devices. That isn’t expected to launch until the first half of next year, while the full suite of Touch Apps for iOS users should be released by “early 2012″ (Adobe Ideas is the only member currently available on iTunes). Android slate wielders can get their hands on all the Touch Apps now, though Adobe says they’ll need at least an 8.9-inch, 1280 x 800 display to get the most out of it. Check out the source link below for more details, or head past the break for the full PR treatment.
Want Honeycomb on your TV? You can take your chances with a Google TV-enabled set from Sony, or you can get the full Android experience by adding a connected tablet to your HD mix — if Istanbul-based Ardic gets its solution out the door, at least. The Turkish company’s prototype uses a 10-inch Android Honeycomb-based tablet to power a 65-inch LCD with 1080p support for basic gestures, like pinch and zoom. The display currently has two touch sensors, but a version with four sensors is on the way, which will bring multi-touch support. The tablet is powered by an NVIDIA Tegra 2 SoC, and includes 1GB of RAM, 16GB of flash memory, dual cameras, HDMI, USB, microSD and 3G and WiFi connectivity. A dock enables instant connectivity with the OEM TV, including HDMI for video and audio, and USB for touch input (a wireless version is in the works as well).
The devs customized Android to support 1080p output, and it appears to work quite seamlessly, as you’ll see in the embedded video. And this isn’t simply another goofy demo or proof of concept — the Turkish company is in talks with education and enterprise customers and hopes to bring this setup to production as a more power- and cost-efficient smart board alternative. The company eventually hopes to offer displays in a variety of sizes, that will all be powered by a pocketable device, such as a smartphone, but watch in wonder as the 65-inch proto we have today struts its stuff in the video after the break.
It has been a long year for Google TV. The first (and only, so far) round of hardware started shipping in October 2010 and at the time, promised the Android Marketplace with its wealth of third party apps early in the next year. That clearly didn’t happen, and it quickly became most notable for what it was being blocked from doing, like streaming video from TV providers like Hulu and various network TV websites. After various false starts and delays, Sony Google TV and Logitech Revue hardware will finally receive updates to Android 3.1 Honeycomb (congratulations Google, now where’s Ice Cream Sandwich?) starting this weekend with Sony up first and Logitech “shortly thereafter.” The biggest additions are the aforementioned apps, a new interface, and a refocused system for content discovery that starts with the new TV & Movies app pictured above. Check out the gallery for more pictures of the new Google TV, while more details and videos follow after the break.
Google’s rolling in the dough in no small part due to Android’s success in the smartphone market. When it comes to tablets? Eh, not so much. Intrepid developer Al Sutton figures that only 3.4 million Honeycomb devices are currently in use, which pales in comparison to the number of slates sold by the competition in Cupertino. He arrived at the figure using Google’s data — Larry Page said that there are 190 million Android devices out there on yesterday’s earnings call, and the Android Developers website shows that only 1.8 percent of ‘droids accessing the Android Market during a recent two week period were running Google’s tablet OS. Do the math, and that’s just 3.42 million tablets running Android 3.x. It’s hardly an official figure, but it does indicate that Android’s got its work cut out for it the tablet space. That Ice Cream Sandwichbetter be mighty tasty if the bots from Mountain View are going to grab a bigger chunk of the market.
You know that microSD card slot that’s been laying dormant in your Motorola Xoom? Provided you don’t reside in the US, that’ll be getting activated soon as part of the tablet’s Android 3.1 update, which is starting to roll out now and should have all of Europe covered within the next few weeks. Motorola explicitly identifies this as a firmware update for “non-US” Xooms, so Canadians would be well advised to check their software update utility, though the big question is why didn’t the American 3.1 update include microSD support as well? What tangled web of intrigue lies behind this selective activation?
Hard to say why Google chose to roll its Movies app out first to 3G-packed tablets sporting Android 3.1 (a smaller testbed, perhaps?), but it looks as if it won’t matter for much longer. We’ve received a number of tips this evening suggesting that Google Movies can now be downloaded from the Android Market by WiFi-only Xoom tablets, though some are seeing a litany of server errors when trying to actually use the service. That said, we didn’t see any issues here at Engadget HQ, so it’s possible that a few kinks are still being worked out on select servers. Give it a whirl and let us know how it turns out in comments below, and if you’re a proud owner of a Galaxy Tab 10.1… well, we guess you’re also the proud owner of a trait called “patience.”
As promised, Toshiba is marking June 13th with pre-order availability of its Thrive Android (3.1!) tablet, a device whose life aspiration and name happen to coincide perfectly. This 10-inch Tegra 2 portable has the usual 1280 x 800 resolution, dual cameras (5 megapixel on the back, 2 megapixel up front), a gigabyte of RAM, and a 23WHr battery, but it also brings nice expandability with full-size HDMI, USB 2.0 and SD card slots. The Easy Grip back covers can be swapped — which, yes, means you can also replace the battery — though you’ll have to splash out $20 for any non-black hues. The 8GB Thrive costs $430, followed by the 16GB unit at $480 and the 32GB option at $580. You can order yours directly from Toshiba or at Amazon, Best Buy or Office Direct, with deliveries slated for mid-July.
When we met with Samsung in late May, company representatives didn’t seem entirely sure that the company would meet the rumored June 8th ship date here in the US, but lo and behold, it’s done just that. The tablet’s launching at noon today at the Best Buy in New York City’s Union Square, and if you can’t make it up to the Big Apple, it’ll hit the rest of the nation on June 17th. But here’s the real question: is it worth making an effort to snag it on either date? The Galaxy Tab 10.1, much like its Limited Edition sibling that we reviewed last month, is ever-so-slightly thinner than the iPad 2, a slate that most sane individuals (and competitors, for that matter) would confess is the market leader today.
Naturally, everyone and their sister is gunning for Apple in this space, and Honeycomb’s the first mobile OS we’ve seen that has the potential to put any sort of damper on Cupertino’s ongoing rave. By and large, the consumer version of the Tab 10.1 is the same as the device launched at Google I/O, but there’s two key differences that we’ll focus on here: the tamed design, and the thoroughly different OS version (v3.1 here versus v3.0 before). Head on past the break for an in-depth look into both of those, but be sure to first take a gander at our Limited Edition review to wrap your noodle around the basics.
That Toshiba Thrive tablet that surfaced on J&R’s site last month? Turns out, someone got a little excited — the company just confirmed the listing went up prematurely and that the price was wrong. But, we just got word that the Thrive will indeed debut as Toshiba’s first tablet for the US market, with pre-orders beginning June 13th at Best Buy, along with the usual “office superstores” and “e-commerce players,” and a mid-July ship date (we’re hearing the 10th). The 10.1-inch (1280 x 800) tablet runs Android 3.1, and comes in three sizes: 8GB ($429), 16GB ($479), and 32GB ($579). Not bad, when you consider the 16GB model undercuts the Galaxy Tab 10.1 by $20.
If you’ve been following along, you already know it’s powered by Tegra 2 and has WiFi, Bluetooth, full-sized USB and HDMI ports, an SD slot, a 2 MP front-facing camera, and a 5MP rear one. But the company also just unleashed a slew of other details. Head on past the break for a run-down, won’t you?
The Thrive’s got a haptic display and a button to lock the screen orientation. It also comes with a Toshiba-branded file manager and Swype pre-installed — though, as always, you can switch to the stock Android keyboard. The company also bundled its Resolution+ software, which it already uses to clean up and upscale video in its TVs and laptops. And, it also has a removable battery that’s rated up to seven hours of continuous HD video playback, and promises to recharge up to 90 percent in an hour and a half.
We’re stoked to handle one of these in person, as you can imagine, but at the moment we’re a bit concerned about the weight: at 1.6 pounds, it’s about as heavy as the first-gen iPad, which, like, scads of other tablets, has since gone on a diet. Then again, Toshiba was late to the netbook market and served up one of the best minis of all time, and few other tablets let you swap out the battery, so we’ll just have to reserve judgment until we get one of these bad boys in to review.
Remember the Android tablet we said might be the first real competitor to the iPad 2 earlier this month? Well, it just made its debut on the Best Buy site, and while the big “Coming Soon” button has crushed our dreams of pre-ordering one today, the site is offering up a few more details on the thing — or at least some confirmation of what we already knew. For one thing, it looks like the system will indeed pack Android 3.1, unlike the version we tested, which was rocking the 3.0.1. Also, on a more disappointing note, the adorable Android army on the model we picked up at Google I/O is gone, with a plain white back or metallic gray in its place, unlike the black one we were expecting — perhaps Samsung will offer up both color options when the device actually ships. In the meantime, we’ll see if we can find the number of a good laser engraver.
Lenovo still hasn’t officially confirmed it, but all signs are pointing to an imminent US launch of its Android-based IdeaPad K1 tablet. It just hit the FCC under the “K1″ moniker earlier this month, and it’s now gotten a full blown listing on Buy.com, complete with specs and some pictures that show off Lenovo’s “custom-built Android interface.” Those specs include a 10.1-inch display, a Tegra 2 processor (not a Snapdragon as we had seen on the LePad), 32GB of storage, dual cameras (5 megapixel rear and 2 megapixel front-facing), a microSD card slot, a micro HDMI out, and even a SIM card slot — somewhat notably it’s also listed as coming with Netflix pre-installed. While most of those specs seem like a safe bet, others apparently aren’t quite set in stone, the listing alternatively mentions both Android 3.0 and Android 3.1, for instance, and both a 1280 x 720 and 1280 x 800 resolution (though the latter seems likely). What’s more, while Buy.com isn’t providing a price just yet, the tablet has also hit Krex Computers of all places, where it’s listed at $510. Hit up the gallery below for a closer look.
Google has just announced Android 3.1, and it’s rolling out to Verizon Xoom 3G customers today. It brings with it a range of improvements and refinements including resizeable widgets, and a new host mode that will let you import photos to your tablet directly from your digital camera, and take advantage of a “ridiculous” number of USB devices, even including Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 controllers. It also includes Google’s new Movies app that will let you rent thousands of movies from the Android market, a new Books app, a new video editing app dubbed Movie Studio, and updated versions of most of Google’s main apps, including a “faster” web browser with a new Quick Controls menu — and to top things off, the OS will be hitting Google TV sometime “this summer” as well. Unfortunately, there’s still no firm word on when it will hit non-Xoom 3G tablets, although Google did mention that the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 that it’s giving away to everyone at IO will be getting the update in the “next couple of weeks.”
Android 3.1 gets namechecked by Adobe Flash Player 10.2, will be required to enjoy accelerated 720p video
Remember how Adobe said Flash 10.2 wasn’t living up to its full hardware-accelerated potential on Honeycomb thus far? Well, it seems the company’s found a solution by the name of Android 3.1. We’ve been inundated with tips (and have confirmed with Adobe) that there’s a sticky-sweet new build of Android on the way for the recent crop of slates that OEMs and carriers are rolling out, and that — just like last time — you’ll need that software to take advantage of all the hardware rendering and compositing that your Tegra 2 silicon can afford. With any luck, 720p playback won’t burn our eyeballs this time around. By the way, the Android Market item above was updated this morning to read “requires an upcoming release of Android 3″ rather than “Android 3.1,” but it’s unclear whether the original number was inaccurate or whether Adobe got in trouble.