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Microsoft to show off a slew of tablets at CES

Who knew that the collective noun for a group of tablets was a “slew”?

Not us, but that’s the word that The New York Times has gone with when it describes just how many slate devices Microsoft will be showing off at CES in January.

The report quotes a number of people “familiar with Microsoft’s plans” and indicates that Mr Excitable himself, Steve Ballmer, will take to the stage to demo Windows devices from the likes of Dell and Samsung.

There’s even a suggestion that the shiny headed CEO will give us a sneak peak of some devices running Windows 8. Oooooh (that right there is genuine intrigue people).

The new tablet-like devices are said to have the iPad in their sights, although with an extended reach.

“The company believes there is a huge market for business people who want to enjoy a slate for reading newspapers and magazines and then work on Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint while doing work”. said a NYT source.

The Samsung one is described as being “similar in size and shape to the Apple iPad, although it is not as thin. It also includes a unique and slick keyboard that slides out from below for easy typing”.

Now we’ve heard rumours about a slider QWERTY Samsung slate before, but it has so far been mentioned in the same breath as Android. Could it be that it will be making the jump to the good ship Windows?

The devices are said to run Windows 7 in landscape mode, but with a new “layered-interface” when you swivel the machine into portrait. Oooooh – again, genuine intrigue.

Windows tablets are often talked up and Ballmer even promised himself that we’d see some before Christmas. But, so far, the only big player to come to the market with one is HP with the business-aimed Slate 500, although we have also seen efforts from the likes of ViewSonic and Tega.

Could CES 2011 really be the big launch pad for mainstream Windows tablets?

We hope so, because with rumours of the iPad 2 heating up, and Honeycomb bringing Android into a more comfortable tablet space, next year could be an exciting one in the tablet market.


Google Voice app now supports iPad and iPod touch, brings Click2Call

So, how exactly does a voice app work on devices without any cellular ties? Glad you asked! Google has just updated the iOS Google Voice app to include support for the iPod touch and iPad, but neither of them can make cellular calls directly. Instead, you can use the app to initiate GVoice calls with a nearby phone. The process is known as Click2Call — users simply click any ‘Call’ button within the app and then choose which of their phones they want to ring. It’s probably more time consuming than just grabbing your phone from the start, but hey, there it is. In other news, the app now disables text forwarding when you enable Push Notifications (to avoid double alerts), and there’s a new Do Not Disturb option in the Settings tab for those who’d prefer to disconnect. Hit the iTunes link below to get your download on, and let us know how things shake out in comments.


Download and install the new Android Market on your rooted 2.2+ device

Been dying to try out the new Android Market, announced last week? If so, we’ve got a package here you might like. Available for download is the new Android Market version 2.2.6, and we’re going to tell you how to install it, as well as how to get rid of it if it causes you problems. As always, TalkAndroid cannot be held liable for any damage you may do to your device, as you will be messing with some base system files, but if you’re ready to don your geek hat, hit the break for a full set of instructions.

Requirements: You will need your device to be rooted, as well as running a ROM that is based on 2.2 or above. You will also need root access to the file system. We will be showing you how to do this with Root Explorer, which is a $2.50 app, but well worth the cost. I use it just about every day. Read more »

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