April 2011

MIPS now porting to Android 3.0 (Honeycomb)
MIPS Technologies, one of the original RISC processor pioneers and now primarily a provider of processor architecture and core licensing for digital home, networking and mobile applications, announced that MIPS is now porting Android 3.0 to the MIPS architecture. This is an important step for MIPS as there is a market perception that Android is largely an ARM-centric platform and that Google's anti-fragmentation efforts might affect non-ARM platforms. [See MIPS release] -- Posted Tuesday, April 26, 2011 by chb

Is the race for media tablet supremacy already over? Many developers think so
Who could forget Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer stomping around the stage and yelling "developers, developers, developers!" at conferences in the mid-2000s (see Balmer developers spoof video on YouTube)? Well, according to the Appcelerator/IDC Mobile Developer Report, April 2011, the developers have spoken and the news isn't at all good for Microsoft, and not even that good for Android. [read more] -- Posted Tuesday, April 26, 2011 by chb

Android tablets: developer enthusiasm stalled?
Appcelerator and IDC surveyed 2,760 Appcelerator Titanium developers from April 11-13 on perceptions on mobile OS priorities, feature priorities, and mobile development plans in 2011. The survey reveals that developer momentum is shifting back toward Apple as fragmentation and tepid interest in current Android tablets chip away at Googles recent gains. Though these drops stand in contrast to steadily increasing developer interest in Android, they are consistent with an increase in developer frustration with Android. Nearly two-thirds (63%) said device fragmentation in Android poses the biggest risk to Android, followed by weak initial traction in tablets (30%) and multiple Android app stores (28%). Ominous news for Microsoft: 62% of respondents say it will be impossible for anyone to catch up to market leaders Apple and Google. [See Appcelerator/IDC Mobile Developer Report, April 2011] -- Posted Tuesday, April 26, 2011 by chb

Sony announces two tablets
In the midst of the ongoing downtime of its apparently hacked PlayStation Network, Sony announced two tablets, the S1 and the S2. The S1 is a media tablet with a 9.4-inch display and a somewhat gimmicky design that invokes an opened print magazine with pages flipped over. The S2 is a clamshell design with two 5.5-inch displays that looks more like Sony's answer to Nintendo's dual screen handheld games. Both devices run Android 3.0 on Tegra 2 chips, have WiFi and 3G/4G WWAN, and Sony hints at significant content and network integration. No additional specs for now, and the devices won't be available until Fall 2011. -- Posted Tuesday, April 26, 2011 by chb

Netbook vendors facing predicament
It must be tough to be a netbook vendor these days. The web is full of reports on how Apple is soaking up virtually the entire touch screen production capacity out there, leaving traditional netbook makers with not only an uncertain future, but also a component logistics problem. Add to that not knowing what OS and size to bet on, and how to differentiate yourself from Apple, and netbook vendors are in a tough spot. -- Posted Monday, April 25, 2011 by chb

RIM BlackBerry Playbook under fire
InfoWorld published a very negative review of the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook, calling it "unfinished, unusable" and gave it an overall "poor" score. The reviewer was particularly chagrined over inconsistent security and the PlayBook's requirement to have a BlackBerry phone tethered to it to access business mail, contacts and calendars. [See InfoWorld PlayBook review] -- Posted Thursday, April 21, 2011 by chb

RAM mounting solutions for media tablets
With millions of media tablets increasingly used in all walks of life and business, people need proper proper mounting solutions for them. We're taking a look at RAM Mount's media tablet mounting solutions for the iPad/iPad 2, Motorola Xoom, BlackBerry PlayBook, the Samsung tablets and any other 7- and 10-inch tablet, including lock-mounts, an iPad case and various mounting methods. [See RAM mounting solutions for media tablets] -- Posted Tuesday, April 19, 2011 by chb

Acer selects Atmel maXTouch for Iconia Tab A500
Atmel, which offers microcontroller and touch technology solutions, announced that the Atmel maXTouch solution is being used in the recently-announced 10.1-inch Android Iconia Tab A500 tablet from Acer. -- Posted Tuesday, April 12, 2011 by chb

Gartner: iOS will dominate media tablets through 2015
Gartner has also issued a report forecasting the media tablet OS landscape through 2015. Here the Apple iOS platform will continue to dominate, rocketing from about 15 million sold in 2010 (83.9% market share) to almost 140 million in 2015, with still a 47.1% market share. Android is expected to steadily gain share, from 14.2% in 2010 to 38.6% and 113 million in 2015. Gartner doesn't see anyone else gain traction; QNX (RIM) will reach 10% by 2015, WebOS just 3%. No mention of Microsoft at all, so Gartner apparently does not expect a media tablet version of Windows. [See press release] -- Posted Monday, April 11, 2011 by chb

Kno gets an additional US$30 million in funding
Beleaguered tablet company Kno announced it received an additional US$30 million investment from Intel Capital, Andreessen Horowitz and Advanced Publishing. Apparently, a lot of people in high places believe in Kno and its effort to design education tablet computers for students around the globe. The original Kno dual-tablet, which was rather large and heavy, has been dropped. Our take: a commendable effort as schools will inevitably switch from heavy, expensive text books to tablets, but also a tough sell against the likes of Apple and Android-based tablets. -- Posted Friday, April 8, 2011 by chb

Acer Iconia A500 tablet available for BestBuy pre-order
Acer announced that its Iconia Tab A500 media tablet is now available for pre-order at BestBuy. The Iconia Tab A500 uses a 1GHz dual-core Nvidia Tegra 250 processor, 1GB of DDR2 RAM, 16GB of storage (32GB available later), and has a 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 pixel multi-touch screen. There are dual batteries providing up to ten hours of life, an HDMI mini port, USB 2.0, Bluetooth 2.1, 802.1a/b/g/n WiFi, dual cameras (2mp front, 5mp rear), a 6-axis accelerometer, a microSD card slot, but so far no 3G. The Aluminum-bodied Iconia A500 measures 10.25 x 7 x .52 inches and weighs 1.7 pounds, making it larger, thicker and heavier than the iPad 2. [See Acer Iconia Tab A500, and updated Media Tablet Table] -- Posted Friday, April 8, 2011 by chb