Archive for the ‘android 2.2’ Category
Samsung Epic 4G, Galaxy Tab and Transform software updates coming March 21st: Froyo and / or Sprint ID in tow
Today, Adobe Flash 10.2 will hit the Android Market for devices running Froyo, Gingerbread and Honeycomb, and by now you’re probably familiar with what it brings — increased performance for dual-core smartphones running Android 2.2 and Android 2.3, and the promise of seriously sped-up Flash content and better battery life for Android 3.0 tablets (not to mention Flash, period). Well, we’ve already spent a full day with the latest build of Flash 10.2 for Android and quizzed the company thoroughly about the release, and there are a couple surprises in store.
First off, you don’t absolutely need a dual-core phone to take advantage of Flash 10.2 — Adobe VP Danny Winokur told us, and we confirmed in testing, that there are slight performance improvements on earlier devices too. With our trusty Droid 2’s 1Ghz OMAP3 chip, we saw a slight but noticeable boost in framerate when playing a YouTube trailer at 480p, which admittedly only took took that particular video from “unwatchable” to merely “fairly jerky.” With the Tegra 2-toting Motorola Xoom, however, 480p videos ran perfectly smooth, even as the tablet had trouble rendering 720p content as anything but a series of images. However, Adobe says even that will change soon, as this beta release doesn’t take advantage of full hardware acceleration — it’s actually turned off right now. Though the Tegra 2 is natively decoding video, Adobe told us that hardware rendering and compositing will be added in a subsequent release, and when they are it “will bring 720p playback to a really smooth, enjoyable level.” We also noticed that phone temperatures seemed slightly cooler with Flash 10.2, which suggests better battery life. The other work-in-progress is Flash integration into Google’s Honeycomb browser, which presently has trouble detecting finger taps when Flash isn’t played full screen, but which will — Adobe hopes — play exactly the same inside and outside the browser when work on Flash 10.2 is complete. Sounds promising, no? Then why not download it yourself this evening and give it a go?
At about $200 on-contract, Dell’s Streak 7 is one of the cheaper ways to get yourself into an Android tablet — or at least into one made by a manufacturer you’ve actually heard of before. But, that “on-contract” bit means of course the 3G-equipped handheld will be considerably more expensive in the long-run — or $450 up-front if you skip the contract. Here’s one that isn’t. Early this AM we got word that a WiFi only version of the tablet had been certified and, now, here it is up on Amazon for pre-order. No release date is available but the price is: $379.99. That’s about $70 less than the 3G model and $20 less than the 3G-free Galaxy Tab is expected to retail for. Is that cheap enough to make up for its flaws? That, dear reader, is a question you must answer for yourself.
So what do you think of the first touchscreen Sidekick? A desperate attempt to keep an archaic brand alive with unrelated hardware or a modern retelling of a successful retail story? Either way, T-Mobile’s keeping the popular name alive, albeit with an Android 2.2 foundation and Samsung-built guts. The new slider mechanism, which replaces the popular 180-degree swivel that was the hallmark of Sidekick devices, has now been treated to a neat video demo, where it’s assured upwards thrust gives us cause to be cautiously optimistic. Phone Scoop has also received confirmation that Android’s built-in mobile hotspot and USB tethering functions will be supported on the new device, along with MicroSD memory expansion — 1GB of storage on board will be supplemented with a 2GB card in the box — WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS. Video follows after the break.
[Thanks, Brandon and Timothy]
Considering that we’re about nine months removed from Google’s release of Froyo, you’d expect that version of its mobile OS to have been distributed quite widely by now and indeed it has. 61.3 percent of (the many) active Android devices — handsets and tablets, anything with access to the Market is eligible — worldwide are now running version 2.2, making it the most prevalent iteration of the software at the moment. Even more encouraging news is that, when taken together with Android 2.1, that group swells to account for more than 90 percent of active Google devices. If you want to look at the reverse, rather moldy, side of the coin, however, you’ll note that the latest mobile version of the OS, Gingerbread (2.3), is only on 1 percent of devices, while the absolute finest Android, Honeycomb (3.0), barely scrapes a couple tenths of a percent together. So yes, things are moving inexorably forward, just not as rapidly as some might have hoped.