Google announces Android Ice Cream sandwich and Q4 2011 release

Google has just announced the next version of Android named Ice Scream Sandwich scheduled to be released in Q4 2011. This new version of the mobile os will run on tablets and smartphones: This will effectively merge Gingerbread and Honeycomb into one single OS. Stay tuned for more info. This newer version will include features like, voice recognition coupled with  face tracking, new application framework and holographic UI (first introduced in Honeycomb).

HTC Flyer preview: Hardware specifications and thoughts

First off, big thumbs down to HTC who only allowed those, who were able to go to the press event, to get a closer look at the HTC Flyer yesterday and even those present at the event weren’t allowed to touch it… (I had a meeting with MS at the same time so I couldn’t be present at HTC’s announcement). So everybody else was left with 3 devices running a promo video behind a glass (see video after the break). Anyway, so what is the Flyer all about? Well, I’m still trying to figure out what went through HTC’s mind here and why they decided to make this weird Android 2.4 tablet instead of going for a Tegra 2 powered Android 3.0 Honeycomb product like every other major OEM. The company definitely seems to be in so kind of identity crisis and thinks that it’s more important for them to push out their brand name with recycled hardware (HD2-HD7, Desire HD -> Incredible S, Desire S etc..) instead of pushing the hardware forward or even updating the current device with their latest software version so that we won’t have to buy exactly the same hardware (re-branded and renamed) just to have the latest version of Android and Sense. But I then remembered something: HTC has always done this back in the Windows Mobile days. Every single WinMo phone that came out after the original HTC Touch was the same frigging hardware internally and all that changed was the TouchFlo version (their last innovative product was the HTC HD2). The same is happening now with their Android devices and this is seriously starting to piss off some people. Now when you think about it, the MSM8255 that was first introduced in the Desire HD is still one of the best SoC out there so there was no real reason to change it and personally think that what Samsung and LG are doing is just overkill given that Android doesn’t seem to take any real advantage out of the crazy processing power found in their newly announced handsets.. The main problem here is that HTC is going to market those new devices as something brand new super phones when they are in fact just recycled Desire HD’ with smaller screens.

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HTC Flyer tablet announced

HTC has just introduced it’s new 7 inch Android 2.4 tablet with a pressure sensitive capacitive stylus today. The HTC Flyer definitely looks like a weird offering compared to the bunch of Tegra 2 powered Android 3.0 powerhouses that are coming out in the coming weeks. The device is powered by a single-core 1.5Ghz SoC (from Qualcomm I guess) has 1Gb of Ram, a 7inch screen with a resolution of 1024×600, 32Gb of internal storage and a new version of Sense. and will support the OnLive gaming service that HTC invested in a not long ago. I will go hands-on with it later today to see what it’s all about because so far it looks really disappointing to me. Full press release after the break:

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Android event taking place on February 2nd

Google has just sent out invites for a special Android event on February 2nd to formerly introduce Android 3.0 aka Honeycomb to the press. The tablet oriented OS was first shown a couple of weeks ago during the D conference and later during CES when the Motorola Xoom was unveiled. Unfortunately the public and members of the press weren’t allowed to try it out so next weeks event will be the first time people outside of Google and its OEMs finally take a in-depth peek at Honeycomb. Sure you can already “try it out” through the SDK emulator but nothing beats using an OS on an actual device. Google will also hopefully tells us what are their plans for Android 3.0 on smartphones because as of right now the latest official word from the company is that people shouldn’t expect to see it appear on handsets before the end of the year. The next smartphone oriented version is supposedly Android 2.4 aka Ice Cream Sandwich.

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Button-less HTC Android smartphone out in the wild too

It’s leaking today…Hot on the heals of the mysterious HTC device spotted in the metro he comes the recently rumored at Pocketnow button-less HTC Android device posing in the wild too. The back of the device looks identical to the ugly HTC Incredible and the front shows that there’s no hardware buttons, unless there are capacitive and only light up when the phone is on (that would be stupid…). I really wonder how that thing will work given that Android relies heavily on the phones hardware buttons to access all the applications and device menus.The phone is also Verizon branded like the Incredible. More pictures after the break:

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HTC’s upcoming flagship Android phone snapped in the wild

Here are the first live pictures of HTC’s upcoming flagship Android phone ( HTC Saga or HTC Desire 2) that will probably be officially unveiled next month during MWC in Barcelona. The device was snapped in the Taiwanese metro and looks similar to the latest HTC devices released in the past months. I do admit that I’m not really fond of HTC’s new design style but I4m probably in the minority here. Anyway,not much is known about it but I’m willing to bet that it packs an MSM8255 and Android 2.3. More pictures after the break:

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Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro 2 shows up in the wild?

Another unannounced Android smartphone from Sony Ericsson just showed up in live pictures today on a chinese message board. The device is said to be running Android 2.4 (?), has an tiny 3″ HVGA screen, a 1GHZ CPU with an Adreno 205 GPU….hold on a second.. this doesn’t make much sense right? If it’s indeed a 1Ghz Qualcomm chipset with an Adreno 205 then it can only be an MSM8255 but there’s no way that SE will pack such a chipset into a low-end device which only has HVGA screen. The other possibility is the mid-range MSM7230 (used in the T-Mobile G2, HTC Desire Z) but it doesn’t add up either because it’s only clocked at 800Mhz so the specs mentioned in the post seem fishy at best. The Neocore score is also on the lower end of the spectrum…

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