Android Tablets

CyanogenMod 9 may use Onskreen’s Cornerstone multitasking engine

Android's always been pretty handy with multitasking, but if CyanogenMod is your custom ROM of choice, it may soon be getting even better. The CyanogenMod team stated on a Google+ post that they're investigating the possibility of including Onskreen's Cornerstone software in their final CM9 build, based on Ice Cream Sandwich. The sudden addition is due to Cornerstone's recent move to the world of open source, allowing modders like the CM team to include it in their ROMs for free. "We will probably include this into CM9. it needs some polish, but the concept is just great," said an official update.

Onskreen Cornerstone brings windowed apps to Android tablets

Tablets are big. Smartphone apps are small. This would seem to present an obvious answer to the many, many Android apps that scale up to massive resolutions instead of adjusting their total user interface Ice Cream Sandwich-style. But no, apps form unconcerned or merely oblivious developers continue to scale up, as if someone ran over an Android smartphone with a steamroller. Enter Cornerstone, a method for managing windows of apps on Android, jut like on Linux, OS X and, uh, Windows.

LibreOffice Android port progresses to prototype

A few months ago we brought you news that LibreOffice, the open source offshoot of popular free office suite Open Office, was headed to Android. While it would be wrong to say that the team of developers is making rapid progress, progress is nonetheless being made. The prototype app for Android tablets (Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich) was recently shown off in a single screenshot. Without passing too much judgement this early in development, I can say this: for those frustrated with the relatively sparse feature-sets of mobile office suites like Google Docs, it'll be well worth the wait.

ZTE Optik official: 7-inch 3G Honeycomb tablet for $99 on contract

The options for cheap tablets are increasing, thanks to Chinese manufacturers like ZTE. Their first entry into the American tablet market is the Optik, a 7-inch Honeycomb tablet bound for The Now Network starting this Sunday, February 5th. The Optik is roughly the equal of the Huawei Springboard (AKA MediaPad) over on T-Mobile, with one important distinction: it starts at just $99. Of course, to get that sweet price you'll need to sign a two-year contract for a data plan. This tablet is probably in the same family as the ZTE V66 we saw earlier.

Gingerbread runs on 73% of Android devices, says reseacher

If you're reading this on your Android phone, odds are pretty good that it's running Gingerbread and has a screen four inches or larger with a resolution of 800x480. That's the conclusion reached by Localytics, a research firm taking a long hard look at data supplied by apps that use the company's proprietary analytic data. Localytics claims that a full 73% of Android devices (smartphone and tablets) run Gingerbread. That figure disagrees with the latest numbers from Google, now a month old, which claim that Gingerbread runs on just 55% of Android hardware.

Mint.com updates app for Android tablets

Users of the popular Mint service for personal financial tracking have a new option for accessing the service today, as the company announces an expanded app for Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich tablets. While the Mint app has been available for months, its formatting on anything larger than a smartphone has been lacking. The updated app brings a new interface and features when used on Android 3.0 or higher. You can download the app for free in the Android Market, though you'll need an active Mint account (also free) to use it.

Lenovo promises Ice Cream Sandwich update for ThinkPad Tablet in Q2

Lenovo's got some pretty exciting things lined up for 2012 as far as Android hardware goes, but apparently they haven't forgot about users of their buttoned-down ThinkPad tablet. ITWorld reports that the company has committed to upgrading the Honeycomb tablet to Ice Cream Sandwich some time in the second quarter of this year. Specific dates weren't given, but the should put the release at somewhere between 2 and 5 months from now, barring and delays.

Motorola shipped just 1 million tablets in 2011

It's quarterly earnings season in the technology world, also known as the most breathlessly exciting time in a tech blogger's existence. Amid reports of an $80 million loss that the company attributes to expenses for the upcoming Google acquisition, Motorola noted that they sold just 200,000 XOOM tablets in the fourth quarter of 2011. Combined with the first three quarters and (low) early sales of the DROID XYBOARD tablets on Verizon, that makes for a rough figure of about 1 million tablets shipped.

Rogers’ LG Optimus Pad is now free on contract

Free phones, even free smartphones, are nothing new in contract-laden world of wireless providers. But a free tablet? Now that's downright novel. Canadian cellular carrier Rogers just slashed the price down to nuthin, nil and nada for the LG Optimus Pad, the Honeycomb tablet first made available on Rogers in May of last year. If you buy the tablet ouutright it'll still cost you $549.99 CAD, or $499.99/$449.99 for a month-to-month or one-year contract, respectively.

SwitchMe brings multiple user profiles to (rooted) Android phones and tablets

There's one thing that I've heard requested more than anything when it comes to Android tablets: support fur desktop-style user profiles. It's rare that more than one person uses a smartphone, but tablets were practically made for sharing, especially in the communal area of the family coffee table. While Google graciously allows you to connect more than one Gmail account to a single device, true separation (as in apps, passwords, and settings) is impossible. Enter SwitchMe, the first enabler of a truly multi-user device. The app is free in the Android Market, but requires a $1.98 license key for more than two profiles.
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