When the weather gets cold and the skies turn grey, we usually get a hankering for something warm to eat. Hot cocoa, anyone? But our tummies are rumbling for something a bit cooler in these early days of winter: delicious Android-flavored Ice Cream Sandwich. Just last week, Asus’ Transformer Prime received the new OS, and now, an oldie-but-goodie is getting in on the action: the Motorola Xoom.
Way back in September, a tech geek brouhaha flared up when Linux fans pointed out that if Microsoft required Windows 8 to ship with UEFI Secure Boot enabled, that could mean Linux distros might not be able to run on the hardware. Don’t worry, Microsoft said at the time; OEMs had the option to include an option that disabled Secure Boot. Things calmed down after that, but now, the debate has resurfaced: new guidelines require x86-based Windows 8 systems to include the ability to disable Secure Boot, but ARM-based systems specifically CANNOT be able to turn Secure Boot off.
After an uncertain few months, it looks like JooJoo/CrunchPad maker Fusion Garage is going under. According to a leaked document sent to Business Insider, creditors are preparing to force the company into liquidation. The total owed to investors by FusionGarage is said to be in the neighborhood of $40 million.
If imitation is the highest form of flattery, than Acer has a serious case of Apple envy. At the company’s pre-CES conference in Las Vegas, Acer introduced a brand new Ultrabook tablet powered by a new set of cloud services that seem more than a little familiar. AcerCloud, not to be confused with iCloud offers photo, document, and media sharing between your PC or other Android devices.
Before it shipped, a friend of mine expressed a great deal of skepticism—even hostility—about the Kindle Fire. This was right after HP had dropped their remaining stock of Touchpads onto the market for $200 each.
My buddy failed to understand two things—first, HP was abandoning the Touchpad and cleaning out their warehouses. And second, the Kindle Fire is not a tablet—it’s a low-cost content-delivery system. This is critical to understanding what the Kindle can and can’t do.
Assuming that the laws of modern day economics didn’t completely change over with the New Year, we can only assume that Sony’s decision to cut $100 off the price of its Tablet S is something of a bad sign for market demand. We just got word that the 16GB model can now be had for a mere $400, or you can step up to the 32GB edition for $500. Finding stock also doesn’t seem to be an issue.
Mozilla’s desktop browser is locked in a fierce battle for market share with Google Chrome, and by the looks of it has got its back to the wall. Just as that battle rages on, the open-source outfit is also trying to get a firm foothold in the mobile market. Conquering the mobile market isn’t going to be any easier, though. It’s important to ensure an equally good browsing experience across both phones and tablets of various sizes. To this end, Mozilla has released Firefox 9 for Android.
Owners of the Kindle Fire were certainly fired up when Amazon disabled root access in the newest firmware update, but Nook Tablet users have even more reason to be upset. The newest update to Barnes and Noble’s device not only kills root access, but blocks the installation of third-party apps completely.
While not offering any specifics, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam has again raised the issue of family data pricing. Consumers have been begging for a carrier to move in this direction for years, and McAdam seems at least open to the idea. According to the CEO, a family data plan for multiple devices could arrive in 2012.
Besides releasing the Windows 8 Developer Preview at the BUILD developer conference in September, Microsoft also announced an app store for Metro-style apps called the Windows Store. However, the Windows Store can’t be accessed from within that pre-beta build of Microsoft’s upcoming tablet-friendly OS. This will change in February when the Redmond-based company releases the beta of Windows 8.