CrowdGadgets Episode 4
Download: CrowdGadgets Podcast Archive
Welcome to CrowdGadgets, the official podcast of the CrowdGather Gadget Network. The podcast is hosted by Brodie Duncan, Calob Horton, John Freml, Stuart Cope, and William Devereux. This week’s episode covers the latest news from each of the CrowdGather gadget sites: Anythingbutiphone, Anythingbutipod, Good and EVO, Nothing But Tablets, Pocketables, and StreakSmart.
HTC announced its fall Windows Phone 7.5 “Mango” lineup at a Berlin event this week. The 4.7-inch HTC TITAN is a massive handset, with a 1.5GHz processor, an 8MP camera, and 16GB of internal memory. The slightly smaller 3.8-inch HTC Radar, meanwhile, will include a 1GHz processor, a 5MP camera, and 8GB of internal memory. Both devices will come with front-facing cameras, 10 plus hours of battery life, tethering, and much more. The handsets are expected to go on sale in October, alongside the optional dock accessories.
Also coming this fall is the HTC Holiday. The device will sport a 4.5-inch screen, 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and an 8MP camera. A 1.3MP camera will grace the front of the 4G LTE device, which will come with Android 2.3.4 and HTC Sense 3.0 pre-installed.
Sony’s Xperia arc S Android phone will also be released in October. The arc S–yes, “arc” is lower case–will come with a 1.4GHz processor, an 8.1MP camera, and support for up to 32GB of internal storage. The phone only comes with 320MB of onboard storage, but an 8GB microSD card is included in the box.
Samsung announced a “new class of device” at its IFA press conference this week. The Samsung Galaxy Note is designed to fit between the smartphone and tablets form factors. The enormous 5.3-inch Super AMOLED screen beats out the HTC TITAN. It also comes with both front (2MP) and back-facing (8MP) cameras, Android Gingerbread, and an S Pen stylus.
The massively popular Samsung Galaxy S II is finally coming to the United States. AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile will each be getting its own variant of the phone, which has already sold more than five million units in Europe and Korea. AT&T’s version of the Galaxy S II will come with the standard 4.3-inc h screen, but Sprint and T-Mobile are getting an upgrade to a 4.52-inch screen.
The LG Thrill 4G will be available on AT&T starting September 4th. The handset includes autostereoscopy technology, allowing users to see pictures in glasses-free 3D. Like most new top-of-the-line phones, the Thrill 4G’s screen will be larger than 4-inches. 4.3, to be exact. It will also come with a 1GHz processor, 512MB of RAM, and a 5MP camera. It will also support 4G network speeds, as the name implies.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed a lawsuit against AT&T, temporarily putting a stop to the $39 billion merger with T-Mobile. If the DOJ wins the subsequent court case, AT&T will be forced to pay T-Mobile a “breakup fee” of $3.8 billion. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is still investigating the acquisition. Many high-profile tech companies have voiced their support for the merger, but competing wireless carriers are obviously against it.
Microsoft has released an updated version of the Windows Phone 7 Connector for Mac. Version 2.0 is a pretty hefty update, adding support for the Windows Phone Marketplace, synchronization with Mango handsets, custom ringtones, and much more. It should be noted that the Connector also supports synchronization with the Zune HD.
Good and EVO
Sprint users are able to exit their contracts ETF-free from now through September 30 due to an administrative fee increase to $1.50.
There is a Sprint strategy update scheduled for October 7, where the company’s 4G strategy will hopefully become a bit clearer.
Honeycomb custom ROMs are already showing up for the HTC Flyer tablet, thanks to an unofficial beta leak from HTC. If the ROMs are already leaking, Honeycomb on the EVO View 4G tablet should be right around the corner.
If you’ve been on the fence, now is the perfect time to get an EVO 3D. Many retailers have recently cut the price of the device, with Wirefly selling the EVO 3D for as low as $19.99. The device will also be made available in additional colors, white and purple, in the near future.
GetJar is offering over $50 in paid apps for free, including the popular SwiftKey X keyboard (regularly $4.06), TuneIn Radio Pro ($0.99), TekTrack Mobile Security ($4.99), AllSport GPS Pro ($3.99), and App Protector Pro ($1.99).
Nothing But Tablets
AT&T will be getting its first 4G LTE tablet on September 4. The 10.1-inch device, dubbed the HTC Jetstream, will include a 1.5GHz processor, HTC Scribe input pen (sold separately), a 1.3MP front-facing camera, and an 8MP back camera with dual-LED flash. The device will also support memory expansion via a microSD card slot. All this will run an exorbitant $699 on contract or $849 off contract.
Toshiba plans to slim down its tablet lineup. The company’s upcoming 10-inch tablet will reportedly be half as thin as the Thrive. Of course, this will come at a cost. Gone are the full-sized USB ports, SD card slot, and full size HDMI port. Micro-sized versions of these ports will still be included. Thankfully, the internals are getting a hardware upgrade, highlighted by a 1.5GHz dual-core processor.
Windows 8’s dual-UI will incorporate the best of both worlds, providing tablets with a versatile experience. Thankfully, it shouldn’t come at the expense of battery life or performance. Microsoft aims to have a “no compromise” design. Users will be able to live in the Metro-style interface without ever venturing into the traditional desktop. Windows 8 won’t even load the code for the desktop until the user explicitly asks to switch over. It’s an intriguing concept, and it should make Windows 8 a great tablet experience.
Improv Electronics is preparing to release a new “eWriting” tablet called the Boogie Board Rip. “Rip,” of course, stands for “Record. Image. Preserve.” The manufacturer claims that the stylus and e-ink makes note-taking a much better experience. Notes can then be transferred to a computer as a PDF for easy use. It’s a neat concept, but the product name could certainly be better.
Pirated games might be showing up on the Android Market. Two titles from Gameloft, a popular mobile game developer, have appeared on the Android Market’s catalog. Unfortunately, Gameloft isn’t credited anywhere on the page or in the app itself. Gameloft is one of the developers that has chosen to sell its games exclusively on its website, so these listings in the Android Market are extremely suspicious. Hopefully, this isn’t a sign of more problems to come.
Lenovo has decided to put out 7-inch Android tablet under the name IdeaPad A1. It seems to be a pretty good deal at only $249, including a 1GHz processor and a 7-inch 1024 x 600 screen. Also included is a dedicated GPS, which eliminates the need for a data contract. Lenovo wants to save you money here, it seems, and that’s a terrific business model to go into this market with.
A 7-inch Android tablet from Amazon might be released in October, which would make a lot of sense. Amazon has a ton of media outlets and a tablet would only bring in more customers. Amazon already has a massive number of customers, so an affordable tablet could be very appealing.
Sony has upgraded the specs on its S2 Tablet and given the device a new name: the Tablet P. It’ll have 512MB of RAM, a Tegra 2 processor, and just over half the weight of the iPad 2. The device will also come with two screens, rather than the standard single screen.
A Verizon representative has issued an official statement on Samsung Droid Charge issue, but it is pretty disappointing. “This is not an issue that has been widely reported by our customers. Any customer who has an issue with a Verizon Wireless phone is encouraged to bring it back to their local Verizon Wireless store for analysis. All of our phones are under warranty against manufacturer defects for one year.” So in other words, Verizon won’t be helping you out.
The Dell Streak 7 running Honeycomb 3.2 was caught on video at the IFA conference in Berlin. The device was hidden away behind the scenes of the NVIDIA booth. This is good news for Streak 7 owners, because it shows that Dell hasn’t given up on its Streak line of Android tablets. The company is still committed to bringing software updates to the Streak 7, even after the Streak 5 was discontinued last month.
Unfortunately, there also appears to be a worrying shortage of Dell Streak 7s. Either the device has been more popular than Dell expected, or it didn’t order enough units to meet demand. Dell might also be preparing to make engineering changes to the Streak. Sadly, the same thing happened to the Streak 5 shortly before it was discontinued.