"You can expect My Tracks to become better than ever with the contributions we hope it will receive from other developers, and also that many applications which work side-by-side with My Tracks will be written," Google engineer Rodrigo Damazio said in an e-mail list posting Friday. "For instance, one could easily build an application for tracking fitness activities, geocaching, aviation, and so … Read more
Editors' note: Updated January 12, 2011.
As manufacturers rush to capitalize on the attention given to the Apple iPad, there's seems to be a new tablet announced every week. We can't keep track of every slate thrown into the wild, but if you're curious to know what options are out there, we've compiled a general overview of the tablet landscape.
There's probably no explanation needed for this one. With a million iPads sold within the first month of its introduction, the iPad has quickly taken the lead position in the tablet category.
Pros: Elegant hardware; vibrant App Store; ideal for media playback; large selection of games; fast processor; responsive multitouch screen; long battery life; priced as low as $499.
Cons: Users must buy their software from Apple; existing Mac and Windows software isn't supported; lacks Adobe Flash compatibility; limited hardware support.
Historically, tablets running Microsoft's Windows operating system made up the major share of the market. These include several subcategories, such as slates, convertible laptops, UMPCs, and MIDs. Windows-based tablets still thrive, especially in niche professional applications that demand the capabilities and broad software compatibility of Windows.
Pros: Familiar interface; broadest software and hardware compatibility; Adobe Flash support; multitasking; wide range of screen sizes, pricing, and implementations.
Cons: Windows desktop interface doesn't always translate well to the touch screen without intermediating software or stylus input; typically longer boot times compared with mobile OS; cumbersome software installation; more prone to computer virus; typically shorter battery life.
Smartphones running Google's Android OS are some of the biggest competitors to Apple's iPhone. Android takes an approach similar to Apple's iOS, offering a streamlined interface based around lightweight, third-party apps.
In 2010, CNET reviewed several tablets running versions of Android up to 2.2 (aka Froyo), which essentially duplicated the Android smartphone experience onto a larger screen. Since that time, Google announced its tablet-optimized version of Android 3.0, named Honeycomb, due out in the first quarter of 2011 on Motorola's Xoom tablet.
Pros: A large variety of apps; quick boot time; third-party manufacturers competing to provide hardware; one-touch access to Google Web search; options priced as low as $199.
Cons: Many Android features and developer specs (pre-Honeycomb) are more fitting for smartphones than tablets; legacy apps designed for phone screens don't scale well; accessory compatibility changes from manufacturer to manufacturer; not all tablet hardware will support Android Honeycomb.
Now that all the juicy details of Android 2.2 "Froyo" are out, the question for current Android phone owners inevitably turns to "When do I get it?" Well, there is good news for some, bad news for others, and no news for the rest.
Starting with the good, Google announced via its Google I/O Twitter account that Froyo will be served to Nexus One users in the next few weeks. Not terribly surprising that the N1 would be one of the first to get the update considering its direct ties to Google (though that … Read more
Google kept us busy with announcements at its I/O developer conference in San Francisco, like news of a Chrome Web Store, Google TV, a forthcoming update to the Android operating system that includes the first full-fledged Flash Player for a mobile phone, changes to the camera app, and support for tethering and portable hot spots, among a list of other additions.
We happen to have a version of Android 2.2 (albeit a prefinal one) loaded on a Nexus One, and dove inside to survey the new features for ourselves.
Until March of this year, Simplify offered a free software application for PC and Mac that let users stream music from the iTunes or WinAmp libraries on their home computer, over the Internet, to other devices they own. The company also made an iPhone app that let the iPhone or iPod Touch receive these streams.
It was a nifty solution for users with big music libraries at home and … Read more
I was never a fan of the original Dolphin browser for Android, but when DolphinHD was released for Android 2.0 and above I figured I'd check it out for the feature set alone. Little did I know that within a day I'd make it the default browser on my Motorola Droid.
Much like the Skyfire browser, which boasts unique in-house Flash video playback, DolphinHD's feature set gives users significant feature enhancements over the default browser. There's tabbed browsing, link sharing via your installed social networking apps, add-ons, themes, smoother in-browser multitouch, a generally high level of customization, the ability to save your cache and history to the SD card, and one of the most logical features for a touch-screen phone browser, customizable gesture support.
There used to be one other awesome feature: YouTube video downloading. But lest you think that only Apple played hardball with its application developers, Google forced Dolphin's publishers to remove the feature for a Google and YouTube Terms of Service violation within a week of the browser's release.
For me, the gesture support is Dolphin's killer feature. It comes with several default actions, including jumping to your bookmarks, moving forward and backward in site navigation, jumping to the top or bottom of the page you're on, reloading the page you're looking at, and sharing the page you're on. You can also set gestures to load specific sites, open new tabs, or add a bookmark. In all, Dolphin comes with 20 gesture options. A few have been wedded by default to predetermined gestures, but you can overwrite them easily with motions more to your liking, or move the gesture hot corner around. … Read more
Mobilizy, maker of the Wikitude augmented-reality apps for iPhone, Android, and Nokia phones, has announced Wikitude Drive, the first augmented-reality turn-by-turn navigation app for Android phones (OS version 1.6 or greater). The app utilizes the phone's camera and GPS receiver in tandem, layering the selected route over a live view of what's ahead of the car. Sort of like Google Maps' Street View, but in real time.
The Wikitude Drive app entered limited beta Thursday for the first 2,000 downloads from the Android Market. Once the app hits the 2,000 mark, it will be pulled … Read more
Google released information about Google TV today. Here is what I can gather about it so far: It is Google Search on your TV and it will marry Web video with broadcast and cable TV. So if you want to watch Top Chef Masters (and why wouldn't you?), you could just search "Top Chef Masters" and it would tell you … Read more
Apparently, Australian border guards can now search your laptops for porn when you enter the country. Um. Ok. As a protest, we suggest everyone flying there just declare that they have porn. Why not? Also, tons of news coming from Google I/O, including the very interesting Google TV and the latest on Android 2.2. Let the waiting begin.Subscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360)… Read more