Splashtop is one of the premier remote desktop apps out there and, at CES, we got a pretty sweet demo of it pushing full screen games and HD video from a Windows 7 PC to a Tegra 3 tablet. Now that version (THD) is available for download in the Android Market for $6.99. Of course, you’ll need a Tegra 3 slate running Ice Cream Sandwich to take advantage, while playing Skyrimin full screen has the added requirement of PC sporting a GeForce GPU. Once you’ve gotten those basic requirements out of the way you’ll still want to make sure you’ve got a solid and quick wireless connection — all the processing power in the world won’t be able to compensate for a lack of bandwidth. Check out the video after the break to see it in action and hit up the source link to buy it yourself.
Texas Instruments dual WiFi module lets your tablet connect to your TV and the web simultaneously (hands-on)
Texas Instruments is helping to lead the way when it comes to mobile computing — when we want an early look at what’s to come months and even years down the road, TI is always one of our first stops. At this year’s Mobile World Congress, the semiconductor leader wasn’t shy about showing off its latest innovations, including those from its manufacturing and design partners. Today’s demo focused on wireless video streaming — a concept that engineers are approaching from every imaginable angle, and that is bound to make its way to consumers in a very big way within the next few years. TI’s flavor is based on WiFi, and offers a dual-connection solution, letting you pair a tablet with a TV using peer-to-peer while also creating a second link between the tablet and a wireless router for Internet.
We took the tech for a spin using one of TI’s development platform tablets and an external WiFi dongle (shipping versions will be integrated), and everything worked as described, though the video stream was noticeably choppy and compressed. TI reps explained that they dialed down the bitrate in order to maintain a connection at the MWC expo hall, which, as you might imagine, probably had a wireless signal density greater than any other room in the world. The tablet we saw was running a very slick context-aware UI that displays one of three home screens based on your current location — there’s one for work (that displays your calendar), one for home (media and home automation controls) and another for travel (restaurant reviews and weather). Pushing content from the tablet to the TV seemed to be seamless, and while both the UI and wireless functionality may appear to be ready to make their way into your home, TI isn’t making any announcements about availability. There’s no need to wait for a teaser, however, which you’ll find just past the break.
A new version of Google Voice has just crawled out of the woodwork, and while the changes are minor, we think most users will like what’s in store. First and foremost, we were greeted with a new, darker interface that better matches Honeycomb’s design philosophy, along with a refreshed icon that more closely resembles the messaging app in Ice Cream Sandwich. There’s also a curious new feature known as asynchronous SMS, which allows you to queue up messages for later delivery when you happen to be without signal. To test this out, we put our handset into airplane mode, fired off a few texts — which showed up as queued — and then took our phone back onto the network. Once back online, the messages were delivered as expected. And hey, it can’t get much better than that, really.
So, Google is finally making the move we’ve been expecting for some time now and bringing Chrome to Android. Now, you’ll need a device running Ice Cream Sandwich to get the new mobile browser up and running but, thankfully, we happened to have a Galaxy Nexus on hand. As you might expect, mobile Chrome (much like its desktop sibling) is fast — a little buggy perhaps, but fast. It isn’t, however, the fastest browser for the platform. Chrome Beta holds its own, but the standard Android browser, the stable version of Firefox and Dolphin HD all edged it out in SunSpider. Numbers don’t tell the whole story though, so head on past the break for more.
Texas Instruments demos first OMAP 5, Android 4.0-based reference design, promises it in laptops next year (video)
Texas Instruments promised us a new helping of OMAP right around a year ago, and sure enough, OMAP 5 processors will be sampling to partners as early as next week. Texas Instruments’ Remi El-Ouazzane (VP of OMAP) just debuted an OMAP 5-based reference design (or “development platform,” if you will) on our CES stage, a solid four years after OMAP 3 debuted on a nondescript Archos tablet. OMAP 5 brings along a pair of cores and plenty of power savings, a dual-GPU architecture and more raw horsepower than the average simpleton is used to handling in a single palm. We saw quite a bit of swiping through Android 4.0.1, and as you’d expect, everything looked decidedly snappy. 720p video at 30 frames per second is no real chore, with the platform capable of pushing 1080p material at 64 frames per second (130 frames per second without screen refresh limitations). Of course, with everything being hardware accelerated, we can’t feign surprise about its future on netbooks and laptops. To quote Remi:
Well it looks like we have a surprise guest at Showstoppers tonight. Lenovo just dropped by with its just-announced K800 — the first Intel-powered smartphone to see the light of day. The beastly 4.5-inch 720p device sample that the company had on-hand is running a highly modified version of Android, and while the interface may not look familiar, the overall app experience shouldn’t be much different from what you’re used to. The official spec list includes a 1.6GHz Intel Medfield processor, Android 2.3, a TFT display and an 8 megapixel camera with a maximum sensitivity of ISO 3200. For now, the K800 is compatible with WCDMA HSPA+ and was running on AT&T’s 3G network — there’s no word of LTE on this version, which seems logical considering that the 4G network is a bit hard to come by in Lenovo’s native China, where the device is expected to launch first. Naturally, there’s also 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0 and GPS connectivity. We’ll be bringing you more on what’s undoubtedly the hottest gadget of the evening in the days to come, but jump past the break for an early look at the world’s first Medfield smartphone.
Intel’s first Medfield smartphone is Lenovo’s K800, coming first to China Unicom in Q2 with Android 4.0
Intel’s been promising a smartphone of its own for about as long as men have been walking the ground of Earth, but it looks as if its May 2011 claims of “early next year” are finally getting close to being “accurate.” Here at the company’s CES 2012 keynote, the Medfield-based Lenovo K800 was revealed as the first Intel-powered smartphone (boasting Android 4.0, no less), with Lenovo’s home turf being pegged as getting first dibs. There’s a 4.5-inch 720p display and rear camera with dual-LED flash but outside of a tip that it’ll be shipping to China Unicom in Q2 of this year, everything else surrounding it remains a mystery.
First off, it’s downright amazing to hear Intel finally give us a date to mark down, but it remains to be seen how many phone manufacturers will drop their existing adoration for Qualcomm and NVIDIA in order to given Intel’s (historically power-sucking) mobile chips a go.
Is it a Google TV? Well, yes and no. Lenovo’s just trotted out a spankin’ new 55-inch flat panel dubbed LeTV or IdeaTV at CES Unveiled, and while it’s got that special Mountain View magic within, it’s of the Ice Cream Sandwich variety. That’s right, the company’s powered this set up with Android 4.0, slapped on its own skin and is prepping it for a Chinese launch later this spring. One of the company’s reps treated us to a brief walkthrough of the next-gen TV, so hop on past the break to get a glimpse of the frozen delights loaded up inside.
Remember our lovely leak of Lenovo’s Tegra 3 tablet from last November? Well, it showed up here at CES under the LePad K2010 moniker for China, while elsewhere it’ll likely be known as the IdeaTab K2. We won’t comment much on the unfinished software (so no luck with controlling the cursor using the fingerprint scanner on the back), but build quality wise we enjoyed the faux brushed metal cover on the back, and similarly, the sharp 1,920 x 1,200 IPS display between the speakers was very impressive (yes, we double-checked with Lenovo on these numbers).
We also received confirmation that the camera on the back has an eight-megapixel resolution, but obviously we’ll wait and see if the picture quality lives up to expectation. Alas, there’s still no word on availability, but regardless, China will get first dibs on this juicy quad-core slate. On the bright side, this should give ample time for potential buyers to save up — the K2010 is aimed at high-end business users, after all. Hands-on video after the break.
Back in late November last year, Lenovo’s Chinese folks teased a certain IdeaTV or LeTV for launch this year, and now we finally get to see it in its full glory. Dubbed the K91, we’re looking at a 55-inch IPS 3D HDTV running Android Ice Cream Sandwich (a first for smart TVs, yet not quite a Google TV), and inside it sits a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon APQ8060. Dig a little deeper and you’ll also find 1GB of RAM, 8GB storage, SD card expansion, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, 10M/100M Ethernet, HDMI and USB 2.0 connectivity (which is much needed for an external hard drive to store video content). As you can see in the pictures, the K91 will come with some Lenovo cloud services, including an app store (but the TV will have over 100 apps preloaded, anyway) and video-on-demand, along with voice control and facial recognition (mainly for child lock, we presume) using its five-megapixel webcam. As always, we’ll get back to you as soon as we get information on dates and prices.
New year, new you ROMs. Yep, the Galaxy S II is getting even more attention, with a duo of Ice Cream Sandwich versions landing on that capacious 4.3-inch screen. They consist of an early Android 4.0.1 build made on December 20th and version 4.0.3 crafted just ten days later. The interesting part is that, according to YouMobile, both of these will arrive through Kies, Samsung’s Android connectivity software. The mobile news site also suspects that these are close (but still buggy) approximations of what we’ll see on our as-yet un-tinkered Galaxy S IIs in the very near future. These Kies-capable builds also have a few cosmetic differences to the build leaked earlier, like a distinct lack of Tron hues adorning the notification bar at the top. While we await a release through the official channels, you can check out a swift run-through right after the break.
Ever since the mighty Galaxy Note first popped up at IFA we’ve been curious about that S-pen and how it’ll make its way into our real-life workflow. Samsung promisedthere’d be an SDK back at its October London launch and it’s finally here, letting developers get busy adding some S-pen magic to their apps. Version 1.0 lets you add a basic canvas, a pop-up for pen settings (opacity, line color and so on) as well as erase and un/redo. Sure, ICS might natively support stylus input, but as Samsung is keen to point out — with its capacitive tip and configurable button — a simple stylus this is not. And remember: until the Note gets an ICS update, you’ll be scribbling all over that snappy Gingerbread install anyway. Tap that source link if you want to get your hands on the goods, and let the tic-tac-toe commence.
Each year, several dozen smartphones land on our collective desks. They come in different shapes and sizes, boast different features and sell at different price points. We take each of them for a spin and review most of them, but only a handful really stand out. This is especially true with Android handsets, where incremental updates appear to be the modus operandi. Every now and then a device comes along that we really look forward to getting our hands on. Google’s line of Nexus smartphones falls into this category, setting the new standard for Android each year.
In early 2010, the Nexus One became the yardstick for all future Android handsets and, later that year, the launch vehicle for FroYo. A year ago, the Nexus S introduced us to Gingerbread on the popular Galaxy S platform. Now, a few weeks after being unveiled with much fanfare, we’re finally able to sink our teeth into Ice Cream Sandwich with the Galaxy Nexus, arguably the latest addition to Samsung’s critically acclaimed Galaxy S II family. So, does this highly anticipated device live up to our expectations? Is the Galaxy Nexus the smartphone to beat? Most importantly, is Ice Cream Sandwich ready to take Android to the next level? In a word, yes. Read on for our full review.
Sure, the Transformer Prime has been official for a couple of weeks now, but we haven’t seen the 10-inch tablet get much action, aside from a few quick hands-ons. ASUS is finally ready to show us the quad-core Tegra 3 tablet — running Ice Cream Sandwich, no less. The tablet won’t actually ship with the brain-freezing mobile OS, but the company has promised a sweet, sweet upgrade. Check out the video, including 1080p video playback and some time with the quad-core-friendly Riptide GP after the break.