The vast number of possible Android launchers has increased by yet another as Samsung has released their own UI rendition called Pure Breeze from Samsung San Jose Mobile Lab. The launcher replaces the standard Android Home layout (for any Android device 2.1 or greater) in the hopes of giving users custom options, better organization and simplified navigation to apps and files. The twist? It works around a unique grouping system with a floating “Kite” that holds those groups and acts as your home screen. Whether or not this is a recipe for success remains questionable however.
Here’s what they say:
Pure Breeze is a customizable user interface that lets you easily organize your apps, groups, and tasks, and create shortcuts. Pure Breeze replaces your default home screen and allows you to enhance navigation by organizing your applications into groups. The “Kite”, a customizable floating window is always available with one touch to access your phone’s widgets and shortcuts. The “Kite” becomes your new launcher and home screen.
Hey, it’s our old pal, the Acer W4. We’ve heard tell of the device and seen our share of mockups, and this week at IFA, we actually got to play with the thing. The 3.6-inch handset is fairly compact, and pretty slick looking, with its black front and curved white backing. It’s not particularly exciting on the spec side, with its 1GHz Qualcomm processor. Nope, what’s most exciting here is the inclusion of Mango, which should look rather familiar to Windows Phone 7 owners, while adding some welcomed updates to the mix.
According to Acer, the handset should be arrive some point next month, though the company isn’t offering up much in terms of pricing. Check out a hands-on video after the break.
PocketBook, primarily known for its e-readers, introduced the A 10 this week at IFA — that’s “A” for Android and “10” for 10-inches (well, 10.1 inches). The Android in this case is Gingerbread, nothing particularly exciting on that front, in a world that has largely moved on to Honeycomb in all its iterations, but at the very least, the company is doing some cool stuff on the design front in a world of infringingly lookalike devices. The body was reportedly inspired by an airplane wing, encased in white plastic that forms a wedge on the rear. The tablet’s a bit on the chunky side, with a row of actual physical buttons located on the bottom of the bezel. On the rear is a white plastic around a soft, rubbery back.
The tablet is a bit less exciting on the inside, with 4GB of storage, a 1GHz TI OMAP 3621 processor, WiFi and optional 3G. Not surprisingly, given the company’s history, the device is reading-minded, with proprietary software built around the e-book experience and page buttons built in. The company is also looking to possibly position the device for the educational sector.
HTC just threw two new Windows Phone handsets down on the table and politely requested that we be impressed. The high-end Titan (previously leaked as the ‘Eternity’) is indeed an awe-inspiring brute, wielding a 4.7-inch SLCD display, 8MP rear camera and 1.3MP front-facing snapper to take full advantage of Mango’s newfangled Skype integration. Its over-sized guts include a single-core 1.5GHz processor, 512MB of RAM and up to 16GB of fixed flash storage. Meanwhile, the Radar (which also recently leaked out as the ‘Omega’) comes significantly less pumped in order to meet a lower price point and — we suppose — the expectations of a more mainstream audience. It can be seen as an updated Trophy, with similar weight and dimensions, plus the same 3.8-inch LCD, 1GHz processor clock speed, 5MP rear camera resolution, RAM and maximum 8GB fixed storage. The key upgrades involve the cameras: HTC says it has an improved 28mm wide-angle lens on the rear, plus of course there’s the front-facer, which is unfortunately only VGA. Although HTC intends to update its existing WP7 range to Mango starting in mid September, the Titan and Radar will be the company’s first innately Mango-fied devices when they arrive in early October. What do we make of them? By all means, click past the break to find out.
Until a few days ago we’d heard surprisingly little about the Galaxy Note, a handset rumored to be launching alongside the Galaxy Tab 7.7 and Wave 3 at IFA. It’s ironic, really, because of all the phones to have kept a low profile, this is a memorable one. Behold, a 5.3-inch handset with a stowaway pen for note-taking, drawing and grabbing screen captures. In other words, a Dell Streak-esque hunk of a device that blurs the lines between phone and tablet. You’re looking at a Gingerbread-running HSPA+ handset with a 1280 x 800 Super AMOLED display, dual 8MP and 2MP cameras, a removable 2,500mAh battery and the same Samsung-made dual-core 1.4GHz processor you’ll find in the just-announced Galaxy Tab 7.7. For a phone this gargantuan, it’s actually quite thin at light, at 9.65mm (0.38 inches) thick and a reasonable 178 grams (6.3 ounces). We had a few minutes to handle the phone in advance of today’s press conference, and found it surprisingly easy to grip, even in our small hands. As with the Infuse 4G –whose own 4.5-inch screen once seemed impossibly sprawling — the thin shape makes it tenable, as does the lightweight, textured plastic lining the back.
As you’d expect, Android 2.3 comes layered with TouchWiz on top and, in this case, seven home screens and a touch-optimized interface dubbed “S Pen” designed to take advantage of that pen. These include S Planner, a native calendar and to-do list app, from which you can drag and drop appointments, changing time slots without having to open an entry. S Memo for note-taking, meanwhile, accepts voice, photo, text and handwritten input. We also got a quick glimpse of Virtual Whiteboard, a more collaborative form of note-taking. On top of that, Samsung says it’s releasing the S Pen SDK to third-party developers, and the company’s banking on more apps for organizing photos and drawing, among other things. For now, this is merely a global launch: Samsung says it’s still in discussions with carriers worldwide, so depending on your neck of the woods it might be awhile before you hear anything definitive about pricing or availabilit