Those rumors of Google letting Android app developers experiment with what you see in the Play Store? Yes, they’re true. Creators can now conduct tests to see what pricing works best, or whether one icon color is more alluring than others — you’ll only view one of each while the test is ongoing. Also, app makers are getting Developer Pages (shown above) that showcase all of their apps, so you’ll have a one-stop shop for everything from your preferred brand. If all goes well, you’ll find more Android apps with prices you’re willing to pay, and you won’t have to scrounge quite so much to get every app you need.
Don’t miss out on all the latest news and updates from Google I/O 2015. Follow along at our events page.
If you’re fascinated (or baffled) by Google’s spatially aware, three-dimensionally scanning Project Tango tablet, you can now buy and try one yourself. The in-development tablet is now (still?) $512, invite-free at the Google Store. While the device is no longer a conceptual toy, it’s still expressly aimed at developers, as Google looks to them to add functionality — and ideas as to what to do with those spatial sensors built inside. Perhaps the most unusual part is that this wider retail release was dropped a mere day before Google I/O kicks off. Don’t get too aggrieved if Project Tango 2 suddenly appears.
Via: Android Police
Source: Google Store
If you thought Microsoft’s app deal with Samsung was surprising… well, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The Windows maker has reached agreements to bundle its apps and services on Android tablets from 20 companies. Most of these firms are small regional brands, but there are a few global powerhouses that include LG (which will include Microsoft on an unnamed future device) and Sony (starting with the Xperia Z4 Tablet). Yes, this probably means getting the Office suite and other apps you might not use much, if at all. However, it’s evident that Microsoft doesn’t mind — it’d rather make its services as ubiquitous as possible than send you straight into Google’s arms.
Source: Official Microsoft Blog
Microsoft has been mighty busy today. Earlier today, it was announced that Microsoft would be bringing Cortana to both iOS and Android, as well as the addition of a Phone Companion app for Windows 10 and the ability to stream music from OneDrive account via an updated Xbox Music application. Well now, Microsoft has announced that the suite of Microsoft Office applications will be pre-installed on select Android tablets.
Here is a list of the manufacturers of the tablets that have agreed to include Microsoft Office pre-installled are:
- Axdia International GMBH – Germany
- Cube – China
- DL – Brazil
- General Procurement – United States
- Grupo Nucleo – Argentina
- Haier – China
- Inco – Mexico
- Ionik GBMH – Germany
- Iview – United States and Latam
- LG – Global
- Multilaser – Brazil
- Noblex – Argentina
- Pacific (Vulcan) – Mexico
- Philco – Argentina
- Positivo – Brazil
- Prestigio – EMEA
- Sony – Global
- Teclast – China
- TMAX Digital – North America
- Wortmannn – Germany
It’s also worth noting that Microsoft stated that the Microsoft Office suite WILL be available on a new LG tablet and Sony’s Xperia Z4 in the next 90 days. of course the specific tablet wasn’t mentioned, but there’s a little insight into what we can expect from LG in the coming weeks or months.
In March, we made access to Microsoft apps and services on mobile devices easier for customers by announcing strategic agreements with global OEMs Samsung and Dell, eight regional OEMs and top original device manufacturer Pegatron to pre-install Microsoft Office and Skype on Android tablets. Today I’m excited to announce that 20 additional global and local OEM partners, including LG, Sony, Haier, Positivo and Wortman, will make Microsoft productivity applications and services available on their Android tablets. These 31 partners will offer Android tablets pre-installed with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, OneDrive and Skype in the near future. They will be available on a new LG tablet, and Sony will include them on their Xperia Z4 tablet in the next 90 days.
What are your thoughts on Microsoft Office being pre-installed on select Android tablets? Let us know in the comments below.
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It’s Computex next week, which means we’ll be busy fiddling with a whole bunch of new ASUS devices. According to Ausdroid, some of these will be contributed by a new Android tablet line dubbed ZenPad, which will allegedly come in 7-inch 1,024 x 600 and 8-inch 2,048 x 1,536 flavors — with the latter having a 4:3 screen ratio, as featured on the iPads, the Nexus 9 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab A. Given the sweet romance between ASUS and Intel, it’s no surprise to see the latter’s chips powering the ZenPad line. Judging by the leaked press render obtained by Ausdroid, the larger model packs front-facing stereo speakers, and the backside somewhat resembles the sleeve design applied onto the latest MeMO Pad 7. Little else is known about these new tablets, but we’ll find out more in a week’s time.
Via: Engadget Chinese
We’ve heard multiple times that HTC wanted to get back into the tablet market with something based off of their recent Nexus 9. While the Nexus 9 fills a high end role, (and is mostly maintained by Google) HTC was planning on releasing something a little lower-end to try to appeal to the budget-minded consumers all while keeping some of the fantastic features of the N9. Nothing concrete has come out of those rumors yet, though.
On Thursday, HTC completely more or less side-stepped the question by saying that they’re looking closely at the tablet market, but the company is still focused on other markets where it’s easier to make money. Profit margins on cheap tablets are extremely thin, and it’s already a very competitive, saturated market, so that might not be a wise move for a company that’s still trying to right a sinking ship.
Not too long ago, HTC has said that they weren’t interested in making super cheap tablets, but they were open to the idea of more co-branding with companies like Google, and that they were planning on getting back into the tablet space at some point in 2015.
With how many rumors are swirling around about an HTC tablet, I think it’s only a matter of time before we hear something. The Nexus 9 has done relatively well, and a premium HTC tablet might be able to compete on the high-end of the tablet market, especially considering there aren’t any killer Android tablets that command market share like Apple’s iPad.
source: Focus Taiwan
Come comment on this article: HTC still considering taking a stab at the budget-friendly tablet market
Talking to Chinese media at the Taiwan launch of the One M9+, HTC North Asia boss Jack Tong said the company is “looking closely” at the entry-level and mid-tier tablet market.
“There is less room for product differentiation and a fierce price war, so we must be very cautious about running that business. We will see if we can get better returns on smartphones or other businesses. But we are looking closely at it,” Tong said.
Tong did not confirm or deny that HTC has an affordable tablet coming down the pike, but his statement is a reversal from what he said in November, when he hinted that HTC was interested in the upper segment of the market.
Tong’s comment seems to be related to a rumor started by @upleaks and picked up by several websites earlier this week. HTC is working on a low-end tablet device codenamed H7 that should launch in Q2 (by the end of June), according to @upleaks, who has a solid track-record with HTC rumors. No other details about the H7 are known.
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HTC has long been rumored to be working on self-branded tablets, to profit from the positive exposure generated by the launch of the Google co-branded Nexus 9. We were expecting a new HTC tablet much sooner, to be honest; almost eight months after the Nexus 9’s release, HTC has done little to take advantage of the opportunity. In short, the Nexus 9 has not become the launch pad we hoped it would be.
Tablet sales are waning, as large smartphones are making them less interesting and laptops have refused to fade away, as post-PC theoreticians have predicted. Still, HTC can still reap some benefits out of the tablet business, especially now that the company is launching new product categories in order to wean itself off smartphones.
The hottest-selling tablets aren’t likely to be iPads or Galaxy Tabs these days — if anything, they’re the cut-rate slabs you see in the back of the drug store. Strategy Analytics estimates that shipments of generic “white box” tablets (which typically run Android) overtook iPads in the first quarter of this year, claiming 28.4 percent of the market versus Apple’s 24.3. The analysts largely chalk this up to consistently tepid iPad sales, but they also suggest that small, budget-minded tablet makers are having a field day. That’s not totally surprising. Low-cost Android gear also dominates the smartphone market, and a lot of these tiny outfits operate in China, where price is more of a concern. You don’t need a $500 slate just to watch video in bed, after all.
That shift is partly borne out by what’s happening with other big-name competitors. Cost-conscious Chinese brands like Huawei and Lenovo are thriving, while higher-end rivals that don’t do so well in China (such as ASUS and Samsung) are struggling. If these relative outsiders are going to come back, they may need to either compete more on price or give buyers a reason to pony up. There are signs that this is happening (see Samsung’s Galaxy Tab A and rumors of a giant iPad), but you may not see the results of these efforts until later in the year.
[Image credit: AP Photo/Koji Sasahara]
Source: Strategy Analytics
According to a recent FCC filing, ASUS is set to launch a couple of new Android-powered tablets within the next twelve weeks. Both slates will carry the ZenPad name, but will be available in a two different sizes.
First up we have the ZenPad 8, which is the larger of the two, packing as the name suggests an 8-inch display with a resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels, an Intel Atom Z3560 processor, 16/32/64GB of internal memory and 2GB of RAM.
Next we have the ZenPad 7, which sports a 7-inch panel and a slightly lower resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels. It’s powered by an Intel Aton x3 processor, coupled with 1GB of RAM and 8/16GB of internal storage.
The duo come with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth as standard, with 2-megapixel rear-facing and VGA front-facing shooters on board. They also ship running the latest build of Android 5.0 Lollipop.
The ZenPad 7 and 8 are expected to be launch in early to mid July for $158 and $180, respectively.
Come comment on this article: ASUS will launch a couple of new Android-powered tablets in July
AT&T has announced their first self branded tablet, the Android 5.0 Lollipop powered Trek HD 4G LTE. This is a fairly big move for the big U.S. carrier, and a big vote of confidence in tablets, as a form factor.
The Trek HD 4G LTE is an 8-inch tablet with 1280×800 resolution display. Powering it is a 1.6 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 SoC with 1GB of RAM. Internal storage clocks in at 16GB, with room to slide in a 32GB microSD card for expanded space.
When it comes to keeping the lights on, a 4060mAh battery is said to provide up to 8 hours of juice. Keeping the device connected is made simple, AT&T has equipped the tablet with all the radios for their own LTE network, allowing you to connect through their DataConnect or Mobile Share Value plan for as low as $10 per month.
For more info, AT&T has started with a Trek HD Mobile Minute video clip, here, check it out.
Affordability is the name of the game here. AT&T is offering up the tablet for as little as $49 with qualifying agreement. That works into a $199.00 purchase outright, or $10 per month for 20 months on AT&T’s Tablet Installment plan. Head on over to the AT&T page for more information, or to order up your new Trek HD 4G LTE. Sales start today May 12th, online, look for the tablet in stores on May 15th.
Are you interested in AT&T’s new budget minded tablet, the Trek HD 4G LTE?