CrowdGadgets Episode 6
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.
Microsoft has once again informed customers that Windows Phone Mango will be released this fall. Carriers, meanwhile, are already wrapping up testing on the highly anticipated update. Vodafone Australia, Deutsche Telekom, Optus Australia, and Telstra have all completed testing, with O2 and AT&T expected to be close behind.
AT&T announced that it is launching its 4G LTE network on September 18. Most devices sold through AT&T do not support 4G LTE yet, but the wireless carrier is expected to make its first 4G LTE smartphones available later this fall. The new network greatly improves on its current “4G” network, providing speeds approaching 28.87Mbps up and 10.4Mbps down.
The HTC Sensation XE will be released later this month with Beats Audio technology. The device will pack a 4.3-inch qHD display and a 1.5GHz dual-core processor. It will also come bundled with Beats by Dre headphones, thanks to HTC’s recent partnership with the company.
Samsung handsets will dominate AT&T’s fall Windows Phone lineup. The two companies jointly revealed the successors to the Samsung Focus this week. The high-end version, the Focus S, will sport a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display, a 1.4GHz processor, a 1.3MP front-facing camera, and an 8MP back-facing camera. The Focus Flash, meanwhile, will have a slightly smaller 3.7-inch Super AMOLED display, a 1.4GHz processor, and a 5MP back-facing camera. Both handsets will be released later this fall.
The Sony Z1000 Android media player has been announced in Japan. The device will run a customized version of Android 2.3 and include a 4.3-inch screen, Bluetooth 2.1, and 802.11 b/g/n WiFi. It will be available in capacities of up to 64GB and the battery will support up to 20 hours of audio and 5 hours of video.
Good and EVO
Bad news for current and future HTC EVO owners: the Sprint Premier loyalty program is coming to a close, which means that it will no longer be possible for long-time Sprint customers or big spenders to be eligible for yearly upgrades. In addition, Sprint is no longer offering one year contracts or early upgrade discounts of $75. There are also increased upgrade fees of $36 per line (formerly $18), and a new 14 day exchange and return policy (formerly 30 days), effective September 16. Be sure to read our take on these events, and see what other G&E readers have to say.
CyanogenMod 7 is finally available for the HTC EVO 3D! But before you get too excited, keep in mind that this is an early alpha build, which means that not everything is working yet, and there are bugs. Additionally, this build is only available for the CDMA version of the EVO 3D on Sprint.
Facebook for Android has gotten another update that has brought it closer to its iOS counterpart. The latest version (1.7) features easier sharing options, the ability to tag friends and places in photos and posts, a new Profile design, swiping for photo browsing, improved messages and notifications, swiping to delete posts or archive messages, and a new pull-to-refresh feature in the News Feed.
While ooVoo Video Calling has already been available on the HTC EVO 4G for quite some time now, those who upgraded to the HTC EVO 3D were not able to count themselves as part of the lucky ones who could use this particular video calling app. However, following ooVoo’s latest update, that has now changed, and ooVoo has become one of a growing number of Skype alternatives that are available on the EVO 3D. Additionally, unlike many competing video chat services, ooVoo allows for free multi-party video chats with up to six participants over 3G, 4G, and WiFi. ooVoo supports cell-to-computer video chat and simple voice calling between ooVoo users.
Nothing But Tablets
A new ePaper tablet has been announced by Ricoh. This new eWriting tablet uses an eink screen to allow the user to not only read documents over a 3G or WiFi connection, but also sign the documents using the touch-sensitive screen. It features 8GB of onboard storage, but storage space is essentially increased thanks to its server connectivity. The company has yet to disclose information about the release date, but it will reportedly cost less than $500 USD.
The ASUS Eee Pad Slider has been pretty dormant as of late, but it is beginning to re-emerge. ASUS recently announced that the device will feature a fully attached slide-out QWERTY keyboard, a 10-inch screen, Android 3.1 (upgradeable to 3.2), a 1.2MP front-facing camera, and a 5MP back-facing camera. It is estimated to cost around $475 USD and it should be available near the end of the month.
Archos, a brand known for its devices with massive storage sizes, has announced a new range of tablets. The Archos G9 tablets will come with 8-inch or 10-inch screens, and users will have a choice between 8 or 16GB of internal storage plus a microSDHC card slot or a 250GB hard drive. The tablets will run Honeycomb and include a dual-core processor. Prices start at $299 and run up to $469, depending on model and configuration.
RIM is still trying hard with the PlayBook. The company plans to cut the price of the device and release a software update sometime this fall. The software update is a much-needed upgrade, bringing native email and calendar support. For prospective owners of the PlayBook, the software update and a reduction in price is going to be huge for them.
Android Gingerbread will run on Intel Atom processors soon, which should help expand Intel’s mobile presence by at least a little bit. The processor giant has been pretty late to the smartphone/tablet game, so having the most successful and popular operating system running on its hardware should help push it into the mobile spotlight.
7-inch tablets are on the rise, according to a German sales tracking website. In fact, 7-inch is the second-fastest growing screen size; the first is 10-inch. Expect to see more manufacturers release more and more 7-inch tablets and devices in 2012.
Would you throw Windows 8 on your Dell Streak 7? Microsoft announced the next version of its Windows operating system juggernaut, set for release next year. One of Windows 8’s exciting features is support for ARM processors like the NVIDIA Tegra 2 chip found in the Dell Streak 7. Could hackers be working to bring the Windows 8 Developer Preview to the Streak 7 and other Android OS tablets in the future?
As mentioned last week, Netflix now supports video playback on ‘all Android 2.2 and 2.3 devices, including the Dell Streak 5 and Streak 7. Unfortunately, support for the Steak 7 may be coming to an end after the 7-inch tablet receives the Android 3.2 (Honeycomb) update in the near future. StreakSmart reviewed the Netflix app on the Streak 7 and found that it worked very well and was easy to use. The app is highly recommended for Netflix subscribers.