Author Archives: Chris Burns

Kindle ebooks on loan now at 11,000 libraries

This week the Android-powered Kindle eReader gets a massive bump as Amazon's library ebook lending scheme is initiated at over 11,000 libraries across the United States. Through this program, libraries will be offering ebooks for checkout for periods of time similar to what a normal book checkout would be. This will more than likely also boost physical library attendance as folks with the Kindle hardware will be encouraged to actually visit the locations to pick up the ebooks. This program is also working starting today on Android apps for devices of all types.

TankBot Android-controlled micro-vehicle revealed [Video]

While the most recent Android smartphone-controlled device that's anywhere near a car has been the Sphero, a device much more along the lines of an RC-object, the fine folks at Desk Pets have taken an alternate approach: make the tiniest tank in the world, make it in several colors, make it smartphone controllable, and price it cheap! That's what we like to hear for the next generation of new smartphone adopters, those thinking they need a high-priced smartphone to run anything awesome. I say thee nay! The future is here! Tiny little RC cars that are inexpensive and can be run with any Android you've got!

Sphero Android-Controlled Robotic Balls Hands-on with CEO Paul Berberian [Video]

It's time for some robots, ladies and gentlemen, of the spherical kind - this is Sphero, made by Orbotix, and we've got a first-hand look at how far this awesome project is along and how close it is to production courtesy of Paul Berberian. Now for those of you that don't recognize that epic name, Berberian is the CEO of the group, Orbotix, who manufacture the Sphero ball. Just this past week we were in NYC for the 2011 Pepcom Holiday Spectacular and Orbotix were up and running with Spheros galore - so close to the sales floor we can taste it!

AT&T ACER Iconia Tab A501 4G Review [Video]

If it was good the first time, it's certainly good the second time, thus says Acer with their Iconia Tab A501, a device which is, in almost every way imaginable, exactly the same as the original Iconia Tab A500 we reviewed back on April 20, 2011. Therefor what we've got here is a bit of an upgrade to the original review, a bit of re-upping the details, and a few benchmarks to keep your mouth wetted for the big dinner.

Verizon HTC Rhyme Hands-On [Video]

What we've got here is a rather feminine device created by HTC to appeal to those who love to be fashion forward and have a bit of a unique coolness to their smartphone. Much in the same way the bright red version of the HTC Inspire 4G, the HTC Rhyme (here in its Verizon iteration) aims to spice up more than just the specifications inside the phone - the exterior aesthetic here is enhanced, made to work with the way the user and the device interact visually. And it finally, finally brings the "charm" to the USA with a little light-up square that lets you know you've got a notification. Japan Kawaii, here we come!

Gameloft offers Back to School game deals

For those of you who somehow have NOT tried three of the most awesome games on Android, hands-down, this is your lucky day. Gameloft is having a back-to-school sale on a few of their most awesomely popular games, starting with Backstab HD, a game which allows you, a pirate-sort of person, to go about murdering your way to glory from the start of the game to the finish - this game, as with the other two in this post, has been compared many multiples of times to console or PC-level quality games, and with good reason. It's friggin in the riggin sweet, and you'll be able to get it now for a limited time for $0.99 USD.

Google Wallet launches officially on Nexus S 4G

It's the 4G version of the Nexus S that'll receive the update to Google Wallet first, Google tells us, this brand new NFC-based electronic payments system working with Visa, American Express, and Discover right out of the gate. This system will allow you, as you may already know, to tap your device to an in-store payment device and instantly pay your bill with your "Wallet". Your update to full alpha Google Wallet functionality will occur in an over-the-air manner, meaning that if you've got a Samsung Nexus S 4G, you'll be seeing a notification right away immediately if not soon.

Android Ice Cream Sandwich Confirmed by NI for October

It's difficult to take the folks at Notion Ink seriously after all we've heard from them, confirmations that turned out flat, a device whose insides certainly did not end up pretty, and stories of them leaving their customers in the dark the moment their device was shipped and the money was in the bank. Oh the other hand, they haven't disappeared completely quite yet, and Rohan Shravan, their face, has a bit to say about Ice Cream Sandwich that may end up being dipped in truth sauce when it comes down to it. The key sentence: "Official (“update button”) Ice Cream Sandwich update in November after Google’s launch in late Oct". Did Shravan just leak the launch date of the next Android treat?

Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch Review

Welcome to the United States, Galaxy S II, I see you've got the longest name in the history of smartphones here in your initial iteration! Don't worry, though, it's nothing to be afraid of - you're still the thinnest 4G device on any and every carrier you'll be on here in the states, and with this first launch on the WiMAX carrying carrier, you're round and lovely as well. The Epic 4G Touch has what many might call the most unique look to it of all the Galaxy S II devices out thus far, having a 4.5-inch display, the roundest edges in a Galaxy S II thus far, and almost spherical back corners with a textured battery cover. Four buttons at the bottom and it's lost its international single-center-button charm, will it add up to the legends we've heard of this device as it's been out for the past few months in Europe in Asia?

The Android wristwatch that isn’t

There's a wristwatch company out there that's got a name you might well be rather familiar with, the ring of which might lead you to believe that you'll be making some telephone calls on it soon. It's the Android USA watch company, and though they do not offer the ability to transfer files via Bluetooth, connection to the Android App Store, or apps of any kind, they do present a rather unique bit of detail in the end: ceramic. These watches, made by a company in business since all the way back in 1991, creates a touch, lightweight, and scratch-resistant device that's just lovely to look at when you simply want the time on your wrist.