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Print 41 comment(s) - last by Tony Swash.. on Sep 13 at 11:54 AM


Samsung's upcoming Galaxy Tab 7-inch MID will use Android 2.2 Froyo, which Google says isn't for tablets.  (Source: Samsung via YouTube)
Nickname of Android 3.5 -- "Honeycomb" -- is also revealed by Samsung

For tablets with form-factors of approximately 10-inches and larger (such as the iPad), Google says its best solution for this year at least is going to be Chrome OS.  Chrome OS tablets are expected to launch this fall.

Some are looking to jump the gun and potentially try to get Android 2.2 "Froyo" tablets to market.  Google says that it may disallow such designs the ability to use its Android Market app marketplace.  

Hugo Barra, director of mobile products at Google states, "Android is an open platform. We saw at IFA 2010 all sorts of devices running Android, so it 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.  If you want Android market on that platform, the apps just wouldn't run, [Froyo] is just not designed for that form factor.  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."  

While it may be disappointing to some that Google is not currently allowing Android tablets (by and large) to access the Android Market, it makes sense somewhat.  After all, Apple, who ignited the tablet craze, has a dedicated section of its App Store exclusively for distributing iPad apps.

When it comes to app store bans, Google may go easy on mobile internet devices (MIDs) such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab.  These typically 5-inches or 7-inch devices aren't quite phones, but aren't quite full-size tablets either.  Samsung has said the 7-inch Galaxy Tab, which will soon launch on Sprint (3G/4G) and Verizon (3G only) will run on Android 2.2.  

It seems unlikely that Google will deny Tab users access to the marketplace.

Samsung's head of mobile communications, J.K. Shin, also leaked some more big Android news at the IFA 2010 trade show in Germany.  He revealed that the next version of Android following Android 3.0 "Gingerbread" will be Android 3.5 "Honeycomb".

Google reportedly will implement a more tablet friendly set of APIs for Gingerbread and Honeycomb.  Samsung's competitor Motorola has already announced its intention to launch a 10-inch iPad-competitor with "Gingerbread" early next year.  Likewise Mr. Shin says that 10-inch "Gingerbread" and "Honeycomb" tablets should arrive from his company next year.





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Keep up the good work
By bug77 on 9/10/2010 11:06:22 AM , Rating: 5
In short: no root access to install what you want, no upgrades until some manufacturers deems it worthy, no access to marketplace if you're not using the right OS, no access to marketplace for developers in most countries... Hey Google, if you open-up a bit more you're going to make Apple jealous.




RE: Keep up the good work
By Trekie on 9/10/2010 11:11:16 AM , Rating: 2
You beat me to the punch! I was going to say the same thing. Google keeps this up, they are just going to become Apple... makes me a little sad.


RE: Keep up the good work
By B3an on 9/10/2010 7:14:13 PM , Rating: 2
With Android 3.0 i think Google will also not be allowing manufacturers to have custom skins/UI's ... personally i like what Google are finally doing with Android, as right now it's way too fragmented and lacks polish and consistency. It's a mess basically.

Doing things like giving all users root access is totally not needed for atleast 95% of users. Even without root, i know many people that manage to mess us there Android phones, which i then have to fix, because google have given these fools too much power/customisation. They also need stricter rules for market apps, many of which crash, gain access to things they shouldn't, and are of ridiculously poor quality.


RE: Keep up the good work
By MPE on 9/10/2010 11:49:50 AM , Rating: 2
I disagree. Google should impose some sort of unified front. There are too many versions of the OS floating around, thus varying the experience of users. It does not have to be a complete lockdown like Apple iOS but it would be nice that it would be more consistent.

It makes sense money wise, support wise and experience wise.


RE: Keep up the good work
By Tony Swash on 9/10/10, Rating: 0
RE: Keep up the good work
By omnicronx on 9/10/2010 12:40:42 PM , Rating: 2
Where exactly do you think they are heading?

Gingerbread will supposively be the end of custom ui's like sense, and whatever crap companies like Sony Ericsson put out..

At that point the ball is in Googles court, they will be able to update the OS independently of carriers and other third parties. This will surely help fragmentation on Android devices (which Google is definitely aware of). I expect such support to be available in the next few releases. (and even if its not in Gingerbread, no custom ui's will mean Carriers will have little excuse to hold up updates)

At some point though, a lot of power is going to be taken away from the carriers, and considering the only other OEM alternative in the coming months is also taking the same approach (Win phone 7), it looks like this is going to be the norm going forward, whether the carriers like it or not. (which is a good thing for consumers)


RE: Keep up the good work
By Tony Swash on 9/10/10, Rating: 0
RE: Keep up the good work
By omnicronx on 9/10/2010 2:38:57 PM , Rating: 3
I think you overestimate the influence carriers have this time around. You are kidding yourself if you think any major player is ever going to fork Android, forgo the Android app store, and basically start new when Googles Android will most likely always remain the superior of the two.

By the time gingerbread roles out, custom UI's will be a thing of the past. Apple, Palm, Microsoft and now Android will all have a standard gui, and none of them will be allowing OEM's to add their own. What the carriers will want is irrelevent, as there will be no other major alternatives.

I'm not merely talking about Google here, this is where the mobilespace is heading in general. Power is being taken away from the carriers slowly but surely, whether they like it or not..

As much as I like custom UI's like sense, they surely do hinder Android in the long run. Having to wait for a phone manufacturer and then a carrier everytime you want to release an update is a bad way to do business, and every single smartphone OS maker seems to realize this and are heading in the opposite direction.

ITs not neccesarily about control, its about making the best possible platform, and mass fragmentation that exists with Android and previously existed with Windows Mobile have been proven to be ineffective.

Trying to make the claim that carriers/OEM's need the ability to differentiate their products with customs UI's is ridiculous (and sounds like something a telco exec would say). There are many ways to differenciate your product. How about carriers having more competitive pricing/perhaps free feature apps if you signed onto their service (maybe free TV or something). On the OEM end, product design, components, look etc etc all have the same effect. Do you really think Motorola having a stupid Motorola interface truly impacts sales?


RE: Keep up the good work
By Tony Swash on 9/10/10, Rating: 0
RE: Keep up the good work
By bug77 on 9/10/2010 5:47:36 PM , Rating: 2
Gotta agree with you there. I mean, what good would Linux be it you couldn't log in as root? Or gain root rights?


RE: Keep up the good work
By acer905 on 9/10/2010 12:49:42 PM , Rating: 4
So... you are saying that by locking into one carrier for years Apple was breaking the power of the carriers? Makes sense...

And, why would a carrier want you to buy another phone, other than to extend your contract. All the money they make comes from your service plan, regardless of your phone. The phone manufacturers are the ones who want you to switch, and they offer a highly competitive field of phones, which provides the end users with the ability to chose for themselves what they feel their phone should be able to do... instead of letting a nearly mythical guru decide for them...

Choice wins


RE: Keep up the good work
By omnicronx on 9/10/2010 1:01:58 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly, its about getting you on a new contract, not about the phone. (remember they are subsidizing and losing money on the upfront purchase, only to regain from contract fees).

That being said, choice does not always win. It has been shown time and time again that completely uncontrolled choice causes fragmentation, which is never a good thing for the average consumer.

In order for Android to be successful, Google needs to retain some amount of control, whether you like it or not. From the sounds of it, that is going to come in the form of no longer allowing custom UI's.. This takes control away from the manufacturer and carriers in many situations..

I'll take that any day over a little extra choice.. Its not like us power users won't be able to mod the crap out of it anyways..


RE: Keep up the good work
By Pirks on 9/10/2010 5:39:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'll take that any day over a little extra choice
Keep saying things like that and you'll sleep with Steve Jobs in no time.


RE: Keep up the good work
By Tony Swash on 9/10/10, Rating: -1
RE: Keep up the good work
By acer905 on 9/10/2010 6:37:37 PM , Rating: 2
When the chain of commentary begins with Verizon Wireless, a US company, announcing something, ones mind tends to focus on the proper demographic, which is the American people. In america, Apple locked into AT&T thus giving them all the power that they could. For America, it doesn't matter who runs it in Europe, because Orange doesn't affect american's at all.

If you are against carrier power how can you ignore locking an entire market to one carrier? Is there a good reason for this? Can you justify it? or will you simply avoid the question, bury yourself in sarcasm, and feel smug?


RE: Keep up the good work
By Tony Swash on 9/10/2010 7:35:05 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Those rules were anti competitive., monopolistic BS, that only works to your advantage if you have a stable monopoly.


You know as well as I do that when Apple launched the iPhone in the US it had no track record and little leverage with the carriers. In order to secure the deal Apple wanted - that is wresting total control of the iPhone platform, content and user experience away from the carrier - they had to bargain. The bargain was exclusivity for ATT in the US for an agreed period.

Once the iPhone was launched and became the sensational success it was then Apple had much more leverage with other non-US carriers and wherever possible it has tried work with any carrier and multiple carriers as long as the carrier seed all control of the iPhone to Apple.

Do you actually think that Apple wants to restrict the iPhone to one carrier in the US - why would they want such a thing. Of course they want it on other carriers but only on condition that carriers agree to Apple controlling the iPhone platform.

If you don't like the carriers then you should support Apple, so far its the only major player who has shown willing to take them.


RE: Keep up the good work
By acer905 on 9/10/2010 10:10:59 PM , Rating: 2
So then, they gave AT&T a crapload of "power" by getting into an exclusive agreement with them, so that in the rest of the world they would lead a high and mighty campaign?

Really sucks them for the people in the US... Doubtful that AT&T will let the iPhone go anytime in the near future, some are saying they have just extended the contract till 2013. If they lost the exclusivity they know everyone would ditch them due to spotty service and constantly evil actions.

Apple doesn't care about anything but profit. If they did, their products wouldn't have absurdly high profit margins.


RE: Keep up the good work
By Tony Swash on 9/11/2010 6:39:39 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
So then, they gave AT&T a crapload of "power" by getting into an exclusive agreement with them, so that in the rest of the world they would lead a high and mighty campaign?


Are you being deliberately disingenuous or are you actually obtuse?

What "power" (other than having the iPhone exclusive for a set period) did Apple give ATT?

As far as I can see (and please do correct me if I am wrong preferably with some evidence) Apple completely controls the iPhone platform and user experience.

There are no craplets, no tweaked UIs, no obligatory bundled carrier services. In short none of the usual carrier crap.

The iPhone was a victory over carrier power which should be celebrated. Google desperately needs to emulate it if Android is to be anything other than some free R&D for the carriers.

quote:
Apple doesn't care about anything but profit. If they did, their products wouldn't have absurdly high profit margins.


Apple have high profit margins precisely because they care about other things.


RE: Keep up the good work
By wolrah on 9/12/2010 4:28:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What "power" (other than having the iPhone exclusive for a set period) did Apple give ATT?


Blocking a number of streaming apps from operating over 3G entirely at the request of AT&T. They did later reverse this decision, but it never should have happened in the first place if they want to claim independence from carrier control.

quote:
There are no craplets, no tweaked UIs, no obligatory bundled carrier services . In short none of the usual carrier crap.


Oh really? Pop any non-iPhone AT&T SIM in to an iPhone 3G or later and watch AT&T automatically add an iPhone data plan. Even if you have all data features turned off they detect the IMEI of the iPhone and add it anyways. You can not just use it as a phone.


RE: Keep up the good work
By Tony Swash on 9/13/2010 7:11:11 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Blocking a number of streaming apps from operating over 3G entirely at the request of AT&T. They did later reverse this decision, but it never should have happened in the first place if they want to claim independence from carrier control.


Crikey - I really have to spell this thing out for you one step at a time don't I.

Read through my step by step guide below - take notes if you find yourself losing the thread.

This is the real world.

In the real world the carriers have had the most power in the world of mobile for a long time.

The carriers mostly used that power to offer very poor deals and experiences for users of their mobile platforms

Apple were the first player to stand up to that power in a serious way and get a result.

The result was that Apple gained an unprecedented amount of control over the iPhone, its content and the whole user experience.

As new comers to the phone business and with no track record in the phone business it was hard to negotiate that deal.

They could only manage it with one carrier at first and the cost was an exclusive carrier deal for a specified period.

Once Apple had a hit with the iPhone they have shown no propensity to keep the iPhone as a single carrier phone in other countries and neither have they diluted their control of the iPhone.

It is safe to assume that when the exclusive deal with ATT expires, and if other carriers agree to surrendar control in the same way ATT did, the iPhone will appear on other carriers in the US.

This was a victory over the carriers.

It should be celebrated by people here.

It was not a total victory.

The carriers still exist, they still hold a lots of cards, they still want to claw back their power, they would like to erode Apple's gains.

Android does not yet come to the carriers with the sort of strings that iPhone did, it does not as yet dilute carrier power.

Google may want to fight the carriers in the future to gain control of the user experience on Android phones.

Google has not done that as yet.

If Google chooses to fight the carriers it is not clear that they will have the clout (or will) to succeed.

The current Android licensing model for carriers does not challenge their power and gives them a means to fend of competition from the iPhone so in a real sense it has helped, so far, to perpetuate carrier power.

If Google does not take on and beat the carriers the future use of the Android OS will be decided by the carriers.

So far the way that many carriers have chosen to use Android does not bode well for a future where they continue to control Android deployment and use.

The window for Google to take on and beat the carriers is not infinite, its actually quite short. The next couple releases of the Android OS and the next year and half is probably critical.

If Google don't beat the carriers by then, then they probably never will.


RE: Keep up the good work
By bug77 on 9/13/2010 7:38:03 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The result was that Apple gained an unprecedented amount of control over the iPhone, its content and the whole user experience.


Many of my friends have been upgrading firmware and installing applications on their Nokia and Sony-Ericsson phones for years, here in Europe. So I'm not quite sure which one is the "unprecedented" part.


RE: Keep up the good work
By Tony Swash on 9/13/10, Rating: 0
RE: Keep up the good work
By bug77 on 9/13/2010 9:29:13 AM , Rating: 3
I get it now.

If you look at one country, at one carrier, at one phone maker and in the way you think everyone should look, then Apple is actually the next Founding Father.

In case you really didn't understand: we don't threaten them because in Europe (and probably the rest of the world, minus US), there's nothing to threat. Carriers simply don't have that much power to begin with.


RE: Keep up the good work
By Tony Swash on 9/13/2010 11:54:15 AM , Rating: 1
You may want to read this.

http://www.engadget.com/2010/09/12/entelligence-wi...

If you like Android you should not be complacent.

Claiming there is nothing to learn from Apple's approach would be foolish.


RE: Keep up the good work
By bodar on 9/10/2010 11:49:50 PM , Rating: 1
FYI, that info is outdated. It's currently 28% of Android phones:

http://www.androidcentral.com/android-22-froyo-alr...


RE: Keep up the good work
By Disenchanted on 9/12/2010 7:11:12 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
By the way current Android 2.2 adoption is a pathetic 4.5%


Really?

http://google.corpfreespeech.com/android-22-finall...


RE: Keep up the good work
By Wolfpup on 9/13/2010 10:39:13 AM , Rating: 2
Plus the "Apple has a section just for the iPad" is ignoring that the iPad runs all iPod programs too.


A little late?
By jvillaro on 9/10/2010 12:51:58 PM , Rating: 2
I understand why they would like to do this. And make you wait for a tablet frendly version of Android but... Isn´t this announcement a little to late? I thinks it´s been over a year we´ve been hearing about Android tablets and now it´s that they´re going to come out and say this?.
Maybe it was all tactics, letting the buzz get bigger and bigger, so they can evaluate the market... I don´t know, I just think it´s kinda lame...




RE: A little late?
By acer905 on 9/10/2010 12:59:30 PM , Rating: 2
... Not related and might just be somethin weird with my computer... but what is with your apostrophe's?

Copied from you: it´s
Written by me: it's

???


RE: A little late?
By jvillaro on 9/10/2010 1:29:37 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry you're right, I have a spanish keyboard and I'm hitting the accent (´) instead of the apostrophe's (')


RE: A little late?
By jvillaro on 9/10/2010 1:32:24 PM , Rating: 2
I have some computers with english keyboards and others with spanish ones... so habbits are a b!tch :)


RE: A little late?
By acer905 on 9/10/2010 6:42:41 PM , Rating: 2
Ah, that makes sense... I was just making sure i wasn't going insane... lol


Cisco won't be happy about this.
By Chris Peredun on 9/10/2010 11:20:08 AM , Rating: 2
Considering that the Cius is supposed to launch with Froyo and Cisco is claiming Market support:

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/voicesw...

Mind you, it's got a 7" screen, so it might classify itself as a "MID." But then again, it's 1024x600 and an Atom processor, so that might push it closer to Google's idea of a "tablet." And it's slated for a 2011 launch, so Gingerbread may end up coming standard.

Either way, I don't like the idea of shutting the Market down entirely. A disclaimer and a "You may experience weird, broken functionality with apps that aren't designed to handle your device specifications" popup, sure, but blocking it outright is a little over the top.




RE: Cisco won't be happy about this.
By omnicronx on 9/10/2010 11:33:30 AM , Rating: 2
I think you fail to see the issue, its a terrible idea to tell everyone Android Tablets are on the horizon that will dethrone the iPad, and then manufacturers release a bunch of tablets with an OS not designed for screens that large.

It could easily be a nightmare for anyone that is not a technical user and could very well give Apple the firepower it needs to say 'hey, we told you the iPad was in a league of its own'.

I'd rather give Google the time get it it RIGHT, I could care less if that means a few manufacturers make a little less money for 6 months.

People are expecting an iPad competitor, and no Android 2.2 tablet is going to compete on the same level. You don't compete with a product that was in the makings for a few years by rushing to release a tablet with a hacked GUI..

As such I can see where Google is coming from, lock down the appstore as to not piss of the masses before the real product (that will truly be able to compete with the Ipad) that is a mere 6 months away gets released..


By robinthakur on 9/13/2010 7:52:38 AM , Rating: 2
What you say is completely correct, but a further 6 months for Google to 'get it right' is another 6 months of the iPad being in a dominant unique position to build market share, build lock-in to iTunes and the Apple app ecosystem, with the only other competitors being those cheap and horrible iPad clones from Asia running a version < 2.2 Android. Oh and the Dell Streak. These all seem to copy the Apple aesthetic so far with some even having a virtual identical box lol.

Then when Google releases its tablet sanctioned version of Gingerbread it will probably get stomped by Apple's iPad hardware refresh in terms of marketing. The features it adds might well be limited to a RAM increase to match iPhone 4 and Facetime, but these are really the only ones iPad users have requested thus far (as in the people who bought the device and don't just slag it off online, naturally)

The iPad is currently Apple's star product, its debateable that all their recent concessions are probably to redress the harm that the iPhone 4 debacle has done to them...


I understand..
By omnicronx on 9/10/2010 11:20:24 AM , Rating: 3
Its simple, Android 2.2 is not designed for larger displays especially at higher resolutions. UI elements are designed for a small screen for easy finger navigation. You can't expect anything to look good on a larger screen (Aside from what the manufacturer has added themselves, such as a revised on screen keyboard). UI elements will be huge, things will look disproportionate and the user experience won't be nearly as good as mobile phones. (in fact it would not surprise me if the entire homescreen itself is a giant hack to make things look good, I don't even think froyo supports the home screen in landscape)

The iPad has exactly the same issue, iPhone apps (designed for HVGA resolution) do not play well or look nice on the iPad.

That being said, the iPad still supports apps for its native resolution, with UI elements made specifically for its screen size. Regardless of what Samsung/others make the size of their screen, they will always be limited to 800x480 for all apps on the market.

So even if dev's decide to make tablet specific apps (with ui elements designed for the screen, but they will still be limited to 800x480), the user experience will not be as good as the iPad, and certainly won't be as good as Android on current smartphones.

Unless these things are dropping for 200-300 dollars with a guarantee for tablet supported Android 3, I would stay away for now. Its almost doing Android a disservice for releasing these things too early.

All people are going to see is a tablet that can't match Apples offerings (i.e it will give it undue bad press), even though a more than capable Android 3 is right on the Horizon that could easily surpass the iPad.




RE: I understand..
By SunAngel on 9/10/2010 11:40:45 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
even though a more than capable Android 3 is right on the Horizon that could easily surpass the iPad.


...but will Android 3 surpass the iPad 2 aka the iPad LTE aka the iPad Canvass.


RE: I understand..
By omnicronx on 9/10/2010 12:05:06 PM , Rating: 2
I would say yes.. I would be very surprised if the next iPad refresh was anything more than a ram upgrade and facetime support (and perhaps 3 axis gyros found in iPhone 4). I think Android 3 can easily equal if not surpass this.

That being said, it will be a completely different ballgame if Apple manages to get a dualcore Cortex A9 in the next version, although I vastly doubt that.. (seems a bit too quick to switch from the A4)


seems like a dangerous stance...
By Iridium130m on 9/10/2010 11:12:18 AM , Rating: 2
...when your main competitor has homogeneous access to their app store from all of their form factored devices. (read iPhone, iPad).

I'd think you would WANT everything to integrate in to a single place to get apps so developers have a single place to post apps that could be multi form factor aware.




By Nehemoth on 9/10/2010 11:20:28 AM , Rating: 2
Google can not (and should not) force the user of another OS, release the new Android 3 with table capabilities and all will be fine.


A lesson from linux
By bupkus on 9/10/2010 4:10:03 PM , Rating: 2
Is Android like a linux distribution?
Lets take Ubuntu as an example. All distributions build off the highly controlled core. Distributions can be built upon other distributions as Mint is build upon Ubuntu. Will any smart phone manufacturer or service want to fiddle with the core? I don't think so. Any time a new core is released Ubuntu must be sure their dist will work on the new core. Following this, Mint must work on their modifications of Ubuntu.
Is it any different with Android? And should it be?




“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith













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