Archos 5 Internet Tablet announced, running Android

Archos just unvielved the Archos 5 Internet Tablet running Android. Looking at Engaget’s hands-on videos I must say that I’m really impressed by the thickness of the devices. It looks really thin! Archos skinned Android but not by much unfortunitaly (I always thought that the vanilla UI is ugly as hell). Specs are really impressive too. It’s got a 5″ resisitve WVGA touch screen, TI OMAP3440 clocked @ 800Mhz, a GPS reciever, it can play 720P WMV and H.264 videos and output them through HDMI, it also support WMV DRM files (playforsure). You’ll also get full acces to the Android market. Check out the PR for more info:

DENVER, CO – September 15, 2009 – ARCHOS, Inc., a top innovator in the portable media market, announced today the new ARCHOS 5 Internet Tablet that combines the best of ARCHOS, featuring high-definition content, TV recording and built-in GPS, with the best of the Android platform for Internet browsing and nearly unlimited customization with applications .

The ARCHOS 5 Internet Tablet features a sleek and slim design, 5-inch high-resolution touch-screen, ultra-fast speeds of a PC, full fledge Internet browser, 3D GPS navigation, integrated applications that rival Mobile Internet Devices, and far more capacity and flexibility. Up to 500GB of capacity ensures the ARCHOS 5 keeps up with the growth of consumer content, offering the ability to store Android applications along with hundreds of full-length HD movies, songs, photos and more.

“With the steady growth of mobile Internet adoption, easier ways to access the Internet and digital media, and an increasing need for device customization, ARCHOS brings it all together by integrating GPS, HD and the Android platform,” said Henri Crohas, ARCHOS chief executive officer. “Android offers to the consumer unlimited ways to customize the tablet with thousands of apps, all easily available on the device or through the AppsLib Store.”

New AppsLib Store for Large-Screen Android Applications
ARCHOS introduces the AppsLib Store for unlimited access to free and paid applications developed specifically for the larger 5-inch touch screen display of the ARCHOS 5 Internet Tablet. Consumers can simply access Android applications from the AppsLib Store through the ARCHOS 5 device and download in one-click, with the application resizing to fit the larger screen in portrait or landscape view.

In addition to accessing applications through the AppsLib Store, the ARCHOS 5 Internet Tablet will include several pre-installed Android apps, including the popular eBuddy instant messaging app, Twidroid for sending and receiving tweets, Craigsphone for posting or accessing classified ads, Thinksfree for viewing Microsoft® Office™ files, Quickpedia and much more.

Fastest Wireless Connection
With WiFi n network capabilities, the ARCHOS 5 Internet Tablet is connected where and when consumers want and with broadband-like connection speeds. Without WiFi access, consumers can use the 3.5G connection of their mobile phone and connect through the Bluetooth™ to the ARCHOS 5 Internet Tablet, without requiring an additional subscription.

The brilliant 5-inch screen of the ARCHOS 5 Internet Tablet, combined with the new superscalar microprocessor ARM® CortexTM A8 from Texas Instrument, allows consumers to surf the Web on a high-resolution 800×480 touch screen, as if they were surfing on their PC. Unlike the small 2- and 3-inch screens of most Smartphones and media players, the ARCHOS 5 Internet Tablet makes surfing the Web, watching movies, sending email, Twittering or updating Facebook pages easy and comfortable.

Integrated GPS Features 3D Maps and Adventure Mode Compass
The ARCHOS 5 features an embedded GPS application that can be used in the car, around town or even in “adventure mode” for off road travels. With voice assistance, Points of Interest, multiple-route calculations, maps from TeleAtlas® with 3D landmarks, and a unique 3D photo realistic feature for in-city navigation edited by BLOM, the ARCHOS 5 ensures one less device in the pocket and keeps consumers moving. With multiple view angles, four zoom levels and digital compass, the ARCHOS 5 keeps users on track whether in city or back-country.

ARCHOS offers a seven day free trial of the GPS features to test the power and performance before subscribing.

Entertainment Your Way with the Highest Quality Content
The ARCHOS 5 Internet Tablet offers a host of content options, including:
16GB to 500GB Capacities: Provides enough storage to hold up to 710 full-length, HD quality movies, 3.2 million photos or 190,000 songs.
HD capabilities: Consumers don’t need to make compromises concerning their videos. The ARCHOS 5 Internet Tablet can handle the widest range of video formats even at HD 720p resolution (H.264 HD, MPEG-4 HD, and WMV HD).
Web TV and Radio: Users can stream thousands of Web TV channels and more than 10,000 radio stations directly to the ARCHOS 5 Internet Tablet.
TV Recording: With the optional DVR station accessory, ARCHOS 5 Internet Tablets offer a fast and easy way to record live TV and play back favorite HD movies directly on the Tablet or TV.
ARCHOS Media Club: The easiest way to access content on the go, the Media Club features the latest movies, TV shows, music and games from a host of providers.

Personalize with Plug-Ins and Accessories
Furthering the company’s strategy to offer multiple customization options, the ARCHOS 5 Internet Tablet offers a host of optional plug-in and accessories from the ARCHOS store or Web site:
HD Cinema plug-In: Play WMV HD movies in 720p resolution as well as movies in MPEG-2/VOB format with AC3 sound.
Accessories: DVR Station, Battery dock, HDMI Mini-Dock, GPS In-Car Holder, , and more can be used to record TV, charge the device, transfer photos from a digital camera, record videos on the go, etc.

Pricing and Availability
The ARCHOS 5 Internet Tablet will be available from retailers, Amazon and the ARCHOS Website beginning September 16, 2009, at prices ranging from $249.99 to $439.99.

Head over here to see some more video footage and pictures.

Source: Engadget

Windows Mobile 6.5 build 23049 leaked

Another day, another Windows Mobile 6.5 build leaks, this time it’s build 23046. What’s new ? Well as you can see in the the screenshots the big ugly icons seen in the previous builds are no longer round and look quite a bit nicer.

Update: Turns out that those nice icons are just a skin done by some XDA guys. The original icons are still the same.

Source: XDA

HTC facing increasing competition in Q4 2009


With the announcements of the Motorola CLIQ and the LG GW620 among others (like the Samsung Galaxy in Europe), HTC is no longer the only Android smartphone provider in the market now and this will only get “worse” for them in the future (Motorola is expected to launch a second Android phone in the coming weeks). Because of this, analysts are now lowering the Q4 09 & Q1 10 forecast for HTC as reported by Digitimes:

HTC is currently cooperating with T-Mobile in the US and Europe, with T-Mobile USA contributing 5-10% to HTC’s total revenues a year, the Chinese-language Economic Daily News (EDN) quoted sources at Credit Suisse as indicating.

Credit Suisse has maintained a neutral rating for HTC stock with a target price of NT$380 (US$11.62), according to EDN. HTC share prices gained NT$2 to close at NT$354 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TSE) on September 15.

Facing increasing competition, HTC may count on US-based carrier Verizon Wireless as well as Google to help sustain revenue growth in the fourth quarter, the Chinese-language Commercial Times said in a September 15 report.

Verizon is expected to cooperate with HTC to launch its first Android-powered smartphone, the HTC Desire, in the fourth quarter, Commercial Times said, noting that the pair will also launch a mobile TV handset, the Whitestone, in the fourth quarter.

HTC is also likely to cooperate with Google again to roll out the next-generation Google phone, the Passion, in the fourth quarter, the paper added.

Meanwhile, HTC may also begin volume production of its high-end, BMP (Brew Mobile Platform)-based feature handsets in September or October and is expected to team up with Sprint Nextel to launch the Qualcomm-based handsets in the US soon.

The Windows Mobile 6.5 HTC Whitestone still hasn’t been announced but is expected on Verizon for the holydays season. Nothing is known about the rumored Brew phone and Digitimes may be mistaking this (in the quote above) with the HTC Hero launching on Sprint next month.

Source: Digitimes

Samsung Omnia to get official Windows Mobile 6.5 update ?

Omnia 65

Nothing much is is known at this time, but according to a post on the forums a user got the following answer from Samsung yesterday:

In your email you ask the question if windows mobile 6.5 will be released for the omnia.
We can comfirm that this is coming, however de exact release date isn’t known yet, we therefore advice you to keep an eye on

If true, this would be a major blow to HTC who is only offering Windows Mobile 6.5 upgrades to this years devices (Diamond 2, Touch Pro2 & Snap) and not the original Diamond, Touch Pro and HD released around the same time as the Omnia last year. This wouldn’t be a surprising move made by Samsung given their awesome support lately ( SDK, App Store, etc..)


No third-party application marketplace for the Zune, should “plug” into Windows Marketplace for Mobile in the future

According to Microsoft’s Zune marketing manager Brian Seitz, the newly launched Zune HD will not have a third-party application marketplace. Microsoft is going to develop in-house application at first (like twitter, facebook apps etc..) and if all goes as planned, the Zune team may be able to tap into the Windows Mobile Marketplace in the future for third-party apps. This would confirm that Windows Mobile 7 may get full Zune integration (and maybe the same UI) when it comes out later in 2010. Here’s what Techflash reported:

At the same time, Microsoft is promising to come out with Facebook and Twitter applications for the Zune HD by the end of the year, in addition to new games for the device. The company is not, however, launching a full, open third-party application marketplace for the Zune, contrary to speculation. That leaves the rival iPod touch with an advantage on that front.

Microsoft will create a limited number of apps itself or work closely with selected companies to bring apps to the device, said Zune marketing manager Brian Seitz. The move builds on a limited selection of games previously introduced for Zune.

Why no open application marketplace for the Zune? Seitz noted that the Windows Mobile group is already working on a mobile application marketplace. Even though Zune isn’t currently taking advantage of that fact, he said, the company wants to avoid an overlap between the two development teams.

“We’re trying to get out of the business of building similar things in the company that don’t work together, and the Windows Mobile team is tackling the challenge of a mobile apps marketplace right now,” Seitz said. “We don’t necessarily line up perfectly with that, to take advantage of whatever ends up coming out of that from the Zune HD standpoint, but down the line if there’s a way that we can plug into what they’re doing, I’m sure we’ll look into whether that makes sense for the business.”

Until they reach that point, the Zune team “didn’t want to basically just say, ‘We got nothin’ ” in terms of apps, Seitz explained. That’s why it’s planning to offer the limited selection of apps, which will be available for free. Games will include versions of “Project Gotham Racing,” “Audiosurf Tilt,” and others.

It’s also noted that all apps should be free. Check this Q&A

Q: What’s happening with apps?

A: In the marketplace you’ll see an apps tab on the device and in the software.

Last year our apps were games. We introduced a bundle of games in the update, which was convenient but also really painful because the download was really big. So we stripped those out. Now they’re a side-load experience through the software in the marketplace or on the device.

When it comes to apps on Zune on the 15th what you’ll see is primarily games. We’re refreshing a lot of the games to take advantage of the multitouch. Casual games. plus a couple of apps like the weather app and calculator. Plus we’re building a Twitter (app), a Facebook (app) and a bunch of 3D games like “Project Gotham Racing” that will come out in November.
All of our apps are free … and it’s a managed solution right now, so we’re building these apps or working with third parties to build these apps and provide them to our customers for free.

Q: Will it open up for third-party app developers?

A: It’s hard to say right now. If you look around the company at other places where things like this are important, Windows Mobile rises to the top. They have devices which are always connected, which make applications like maps really cool and important.

On a sometimes-connected device, what people are using them for are games. So what we didn’t want to do was build two parallel app store experiences that didn’t work together.

Right now our product roadmaps didn’t line up perfectly for us to snap to what they’re doing or vice versa. That being said, we know people want things like this on their devices so we’re going to build them ourselves, they’re going to be super high-quality, and they’re going to be free.

Down the road if there’s a way we can work with Windows Mobile or another group inside the company that’s building an app store and take advantage of that, that’s something we’ll look into.

In Short: Microsoft’s mobile strategy is totally messed up. Windows Mobile 7 is so late it ain’t funny anymore. Now the Zune HD won’t get a really appstore until it’s all sorted out… the future.
Source: TechFlash & Seattle Times

Zune 4.0 software is out! Twitter, FaceBook and 3D games announced

Today is Zune day and it’s starting with a bang! First, the Zune 4.0 software is finally available on for download. If you already have an original Zune it will automatically upgrade the Firmware to version 3.2 (no word on what’s new here). The second nugget coms from Microsoft’s press releasse:

“Later this year, Zune plans to release free applications such as Twitter for Zune and Facebook for Zune, in addition to fun 3-D games such as “Project Gotham Racing: Ferrari Edition,” “Vans Sk8: Pool Service” and “Audiosurf(TM) Tilt.” Games can be added to Zune HD via Zune Marketplace over the Wi-Fi connection or when connected to the Zune PC software.”

Looks like Micorosft is finally going head-to head against Apple iPod Touch (only in the US !). Hopefully tihs means good things are coming for Windows Mobile 7.

Source: Microsoft

ShopSavvy Windows Mobile 6.5 version screeshots

Only a couple of weeks left before ShopSavvy becomes available on the Windows Marketplace for Mobile and the iPhone’s app store. To make you salivate a bit, Big In Japan (the developers) have posted some Screenshots of the app running on Windows Mobile 6.5:

Source: Big In Japan via WMPoweruser