Dell demo Android OS 1.5 Cupcake on Mini 10v netbook [Video]

Android OS 1.5 Cupcake hasn't even had its official release onto G1 handsets in the US, but that hasn't stopped Dell from experimenting with the open-source OS on their latest netbook.  The Dell Inspiron Mini 10v packs the usual mixture of an Intel Atom N270 processor, 1GB of RAM and a 120GB hard-drive, but Dell normally fit it with Windows XP Home. In this video demo, however, Dell's Doug Anson shows the Mini 10v running three different platforms, including Cupcake.  There's little detail, sadly, but he does say that it's a "small, snappy" OS and that it "runs fairly nicely". Sadly Anson also reiterates that Dell have no "announced product plans with the Android environment", but the fact that they're testing it and with seemingly decent results does bode well for the future.  The Inspiron Mini 10v retails from $299 in the US, and is available to order now. [youtube][/youtube]

Skytone Alpha 680 Android video demo

A two-part video demo of the Skytone Alpha 680 netbook running the Android OS has been released.  The Alpha 680 is intended to be a budget netbook with a target price of $250; for that, though, you'll at least get a touchscreen. Unfortunately the touchscreen is pretty much the start and end of any decent specs, with the rest of the Alpha 680's abilities being seriously underwhelming.  An ARM11 533MHz processor, 1GB of storage (4GB max) and just 128MB of RAM (256MB max) are disappointing even in netbook circles, hence Android running on the 680 pretty much as it does on a G1. The videos also demonstrate the problem with putting what's right now a mobile OS onto a larger device, without reworking to suit the bigger display.  The Skytone's touchscreen may only be 7-inches, but Android still looks comically spread out.  [youtube][/youtube] [youtube][/youtube] [via]

Android Community Week in Review: Week 17 2009

As we wait for the HTC Magic to land, with what's expected to be a May 5th launch on Vodafone UK, this week has been all about alternative devices from the standard Android smartphone. We kicked off with a video demo of a hacked-together Android netbook, only to find the real thing - or at least the promise of it - in the shape of the Skytone Alpha 680 later. Based on an ARM11 processor, the Alpha 680's specs might have trouble blowing the skin off of custard, but it's enough to run Android "fairly well" including some YouTube viewing. In fact the only real disappointment could be the price: early rumors led us to believe that Skytone were aiming for $100 sticker, a figure new information from the company's co-founder has proved inaccurate. The Alpha 680 will actually come in at around $250, with Skytone's target audience being emerging markets. If you'd rather a more pocketable device, and don't mind giving up the QWERTY keyboard, then Routon's P730 and P760 might fill a niche. The compact MIDs are currently seeing distributors, with the promise of Android to sweeten the deal. Finally, what's tipped as Samsung's first Android handset, the I7500, has broken cover. Bearing an AMOLED touchscreen and the usual UMTS/GPS/WiFi connectivity of Android handsets we've seen already, the I7500 is apparently headed to O2 Germany in June.

Android-based Skytone Alpha 680 netbook gets $250 tag

Some things are too good to be true, and the early tipped price for the Skytone Alpha 680 Android netbook is one example.  While initial predictions put the Alpha 680's sticker at the $100 mark, in actual fact the ARM-based netbook will come in at around $250 if Skytone's development goes to plan. According to Skytone co-founder Nixon Wu, the Alpha 680 will measure roughly 8.5 x 6.0 x 1.2 inches and tip the scales at 1.5lbs; that's smaller than the original ASUS Eee PC 701.  Unlike the Eee, it will use a 533MHz ARM11 processor rather than an Intel chip, paired with a 7-inch 800 x 480 display, 128MB of RAM and 1GB of storage.  Wu claims the minimal specs cope with Android "fairly well", with YouTube videos "playing fine". The promise of cross-platform applications will take some time to fulfill, however, as Wu admits that 20-percent of the software currently in the Android Market are incompatible with the Alpha 680.  Wu has also confirmed that pre-installed software will be minimal, and that battery life from the compact 2-cell pack will suffice for 2-4hrs of surfing over WiFi. Skytone's expectation is that the cost of the Alpha 680 will drop as production ramps up, which will come as good news to the company's target audience.  Developing countries and emerging markets are where Skytone expects to shift the most units, for whom "watching TV over the internet is not the most urgent thing" Wu highlighted.  Already Skytone has received "300 inquiries from different countries", the executive claims. More Skytone Alpha 680 Android netbook images here.

Skytone Alpha 680 Android netbook

From Android-based MIDs to an Android netbook, the first budget ultraportable to adopt Google's open-source OS looks to be the Skytone Alpha 680.  A convertible netbook with a 7-inch 800 x 480 display, ARM11 533MHz processor and mere 1GB of onboard storage, the Alpha 680's selling point looks set to be its price, suggested as just $100. For that you get a "capacitive touchpad", which we're assuming means the trackpad below the keyboard rather than the netbook's display itself.  Other specs include WiFi, 128MB of DDR2 RAM (expandable to a heady 256MB) and two USB 2.0 ports.  3G is another option, but there's no telling whether it's integrated or merely plugs into one of those USB ports. The hardware won't blow anybody away, but if Skytone can bring the Alpha 680 to market then they'll likely find at least a few buyers.  We'd wager this is a product in desperate search of a distributor, however, so don't hold your breath. [gallery] [via UMPC Fever]

Android netbook gets video demo

We've seen netbooks running Android before, but they're still rare enough to prod our curiosity.  Over at NetbookNews they've been playing with an i-Buddie netbook that's been loaded with Google's open-source OS, and the Atom N270-based ultraportable certainly runs Android. It can't exactly be said to run it smoothly, however, with numerous error messages popping up throughout the demo.  It's unclear exactly whether this is of i-Buddie's doing or something the NetbookNews team have attempted themselves; we're thinking it's the latter. While the end result does look a little like a smartphone stretched to unwieldy lengths across a 10-inch display, don't underestimate Android's potential for netbooks.  According to the latest rumors, ODM manufacturer Compal is already ramping up for Android netbook production this year, while Intel are preparing to support the OS with their mobile processors. [youtube][/youtube]

Android netbooks from ODM Compal in development

Taiwanese ODM Compal Communications are preparing to develop Android-based netbooks, according to the latest reports in the Commercial Times.  Compal, who were tipped to take over manufacturing of the Acer Aspire One, and are believed to be the ODM for the Dell range of Inspiron Mini netbooks, are supposedly in negotiations with several notebook vendors regarding the project. Details on the netbooks themselves are slim, with neither DigiTimes nor the Chinese-language paper suggesting what specifications Compal have in mind.  One possibility is that the ODM will use the somewhat traditional Intel Atom platform; Android has already been shown to run successfully on the Atom N270-based ASUS Eee PC. Another possibility is that Compal could turn to ARM's chipset range, selecting either a more basic processor or something HD-capable such as Qualcomm's Snapdragon.  Android-based Snapdragon devices are expected to launch this year, complete with 1080p support and high-speed WWAN connectivity.

Android home-phone & tablet from T-Mobile in 2010

According to the NYT, T-Mobile USA are planning both a home phone and a tablet computer that will run the Android OS.  The former will have a recharging docking station, that handles data synchronization. As for the tablet, that apparently resembles a 7-inch netbook only without the keyboard section.  The touchscreen is used to access internet-based data, such as weather reports, or "managing data across a variety of devices in the home", which makes it sound like an intelligent remote. T-Mobile USA themselves have declined to comment on specific rumors, but spokesperson Peter Dobrow did confirm that the carrier has plans for "several devices" based on the Google open-source platform.  According to the leak source - "confidential documents obtained from one of the company's partners" - the home phone will launch early next year (2010) with the tablet coming shortly after.

Google axed Android multitouch at Apple’s request

Multitouch support was dropped from the Android platform, and therefore the T-Mobile G1, after Apple requested it not be included.  That's the latest rumor, apparently confirmed by an unnamed Android team member, who described the arrangement as an attempt by Google to avoid the IP aggression we've recently seen between Apple and Palm. While the G1's capacitive touchscreen certainly recognizes multitouch input - as recent hacks have demonstrated - and earlier builds of Android code included what's believed to be Google-written, but subsequently disabled, multitouch support, the functionality did not ship in the released device.  At the time, this was generally put down to Google's ambitious launch schedule, promising an Android device by the end of 2008, and that lack of timing meaning that multitouch fell by the wayside.  However it now looks as though its omission was purposeful, with Google prioritizing their good working relationship with Apple - and, some might say, common foe in Microsoft - over the handset's eventual capabilities. The unnamed source also confirmed the rumors that Intel is expending great efforts in supporting Android netbook development, suggesting that the chipset company is keen to be further involved in open-source budget ultraportable hardware.  While Intel's specific plans are unknown, the Android team member revealed that there are many different Android-based netbooks - as well as other, non-phone and non-netbook hardware - in development at present.

Intel Prepares For Android Netbooks

Anticipating an influx of Android-powered netbooks to the market, Intel has begun preparations to supply manufacturers with chipsets that will support the platform. Traditionally a Windows and Linux-dominated market, netbooks could benefit greatly from Android's design as a mobile and small-footprint operating system.
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