Nice, basic implementation of a feature that many — including myself — have been (im)patiently waiting for. Thanks, Google!
Hugo Barra, director of products for mobile at Google:
Android is an open platform. We saw at IFA 2010 all sorts of devices running Android, so it’s already running on tablets, but the way Android Market works is it’s not going to be available on devices that don’t allow applications to run correctly. […] Which devices do, and which don’t will be unit specific, but Froyo is not optimized for use on tablets. […] We want to make sure that we’re going to create a application distribution mechanism for the Android market, to ensure our users have right experience.
I really wonder if companies like Samsung aren’t jumping the gun with their tablet exploits after reading this quote. The Galaxy Tab is a nice piece of hardware, but how attractive will it be if it can’t run apps from Android Marketplace, especially when a proper Android tablet — presumably running Android 3.0, aka Gingerbread, or Chrome OS — pops up early next year?
With the holidays fast approaching — and its tablet already making some teasing appearances online — it was only a matter of time before Samsung officially introduced its first direct competitor to Apple’s iPad. On Thursday, before its press conference at IFA 2010, Samsung went public with the Galaxy Tab.
Samsung’s Galaxy Tab will run Android 2.2, aka Froyo, with a TouchWiz 3.0 overlay on a 7″ Super TFT capacitive touchscreen with 1024 x 600 resolution (WSVGA). The Tab will be powered by Samsung’s own 1GHz Hummingbird SoC that it introduced in its Galaxy S line of phones — an ARM Cortex A8 chip very similar to Apple’s A4. It will boast a PowerVR SGX540 GPU for graphics applications.
As far as connectivity, the Galaxy Tab that was revealed will have quad-band GSM/EDGE and tri-band 3G. Although not officially announced, expect a CDMA version to debut on Verizon before the year is out. The Tab will also sport 5GHz dual-band 802.11n WiFi, A-GPS, and Bluetooth 3.0. Additional features include a 3.5mm headphone jack, an integrated speaker, a 3 megapixel camera capable of recording 720p HD video equipped with an LED flash, and a VGA webcam on the front for video calls. The Galaxy tab will be available with either 16GB or 32GB of built-in flash memory with a microSD slot allowing for up to 32GB of additional storage.
Unlike the iPad, the Galaxy Tab will be able to make voice calls, although it lacks a dedicated earpiece. The Tab will also be capable of playing full 1080p HD video as well as Adobe Flash content. Along with Flash Player 10.1, Swype, Google Navigation, and ThinkFree are a few more killer apps preloaded onto the device. The 4000mAh battery should be capable of 7 hours of video watching or 1000 minutes of talk time.
Samsung plans to launch the tablet some time in September — first in Europe, then Korea, the US, and Asia in the following months. There has been no official word on pricing, although don’t be surprised to see the Galaxy Tab commanding a price tag of over $1000 overseas completely unlocked. Here in the States, I would expect the price to be between $300 to $500 after carrier subsidies to be competitive with Apple’s iPad. It will be interesting to see how the Galaxy Tab will fare with consumers if it requires them to sign another contract. Having said that, it certainly seems like a distinct, viable alternative to the iPad that should attract a loyal following.
Continue on to see Samsung’s Galaxy Tab YouTube commercial and to read their official press release.
Could the Samsung Galaxy Tab be coming to AT&T as well? It’s a distinct possibility now that a version of the device has been unearthed in an FCC filing under the name “SHW-M180S”. This version of Samsung’s slate boasts HSDPA connectivity and a quad-band GSM radio that includes an AT&T-friendly 1900MHz radio frequency. An even juicier tidbit is revealed in the paperwork: dual-band 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi that should allow for greater building penetration as well as speeds in excess of 100Mbps. At this rate, we may see a version of the Galaxy Tab launch on every major carrier before the year is through.
With tablets becoming a hot item again with the introduction of Apple’s iPad earlier this year, it is no wonder that Verizon would like to cash in on one of its own during this holiday season. Boy Genius Report has found evidence by way of a screenshot of Verizon’s internal systems that Samsung’s Galaxy Tab — the big brother to the Galaxy S series of smartphones — is indeed coming to Big Red.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab, which has made several teasing appearances online, will have a 7″ screen that runs Android 2.2 on a processor that is reportedly clocked at 1.3 GHz. There has been no definitive information on the resolution of the Galaxy Tab’s screen or whether it will feature Samsung’s Super AMOLED technology. Also no word on whether this is a Verizon exclusive.
The Galaxy Tab will most likely be Verizon’s inaugural tablet offering followed closely by a 10″ Motorola tablet running Android 3.0, aka Gingerbread, and perhaps an HTC tablet running Google’s Chrome OS. Both are rumored to have dual-core Snapdragon processors that will most likely be clocked around 1.5 – 2.0 GHz.
Avram Piltch of Laptop Mag:
After spending time playing with Flash Player 10.1 on the new Droid 2, the first Android 2.2 phone to come with the player pre-installed, I’m sad to admit that Steve Jobs was right. Adobe’s offering seems like it’s too little, too late.
It is somewhat anticlimactic for how long we have been waiting to see an official Flash build in all its glory on mobile devices, but Adobe has just released a stable version of its Flash Player that is available for download on the Android Marketplace for Google’s Nexus One. Presumably, all Android phones running Froyo will be able to grab the final version soon, as well. So, has the wait for the ‘real Web’ been worth it N1 owners, or is Flash overrated for mobile?