And in this corner, featuring Android 4.1 and a $149 price tag: Asus MeMO Pad.
Perhaps because the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week was so heavily focused on Windows 8 devices and technologies, Asus chose to wait for the dust to settle before introducing its Android-powered MeMO Pad tablet. Or maybe Asus didn't want anything else to overshadow the fact that it's launching a 7-inch Jelly Bean tablet for just $149. Could this be the beginning of a new generation of low-cost Android slates?
Walmart's disc-to-digital in-home service will "convert" your existing movie collection to UltraViolet digital copies starting at $2 a pop.
It's not just tablet makers and hardware manufacturers in general making a splash at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Retailers have joined the party, including Walmart, which used the annual convention to announce that it's expanding its in-store Disc-to-Digital service to allow for the same service from the comfort of your home. As an aside, Wally World also launched a new Facebook app that provides access to exclusive movie content and allows users to decide what movies are sold in-store and online.
Only Android and iOS saw market share growth last quarter.
The latest data from the comScore MobileLens service suggests that Microsoft is having a rough time carving smartphone market share in the U.S. away from Google and Apple. It happened just the opposite, actually. Android and iOS were the only two mobile operating systems to see market share growth for the three month period ending in November 2012, while Microsoft's Windows Phone platform declined by 0.6 percent.
Throughout the month of January, Amazon is offering its Student Prime members a $50 discount on the Kindle Fire HD 8.9" tablet, bringing the starting price down to $249. That's a pretty good deal that more than offsets the cost of a Student membership, which runs $39 per year. For those who are unfamiliar, Amazon's Prime program offers members free two-day shipping on millions of items with no minimum order, free instant streaming to its catalog of movies and TV shows, and a free Kindle book to borrow each month from the Kindle Owners' Lending Library.
Apparently the mobile market isn't the only non-desktop/server space Intel is interested in encroaching; the world's largest semiconductor player also wants to dip its toes into the cable TV sector, as has been previously rumored. Word on the web is that Intel has grown frustrated with smart TV manufacturers who have bungled the whole Google TV initiative, so it's taking matters into its own hands and plans to launch its own hardware.
Split-screen multi-tasking in the original Galaxy Note? Yes, please!
Original Galaxy Note owners no longer have to look at their Galaxy Note II brethren with envy, at least not as it pertains to software. That's because Samsung is allowing Galaxy Note owners to feast on Jelly Bean, as confirmed by an updated product page detailing the device's Premium Suite update. It's a pretty extensive update that brings with it many of the same tricks and features found on the Galaxy Note II, including dual-window multitasking, pop-up Notes, photo frames, an enhanced S Note, and more.
Whether or not Windows Phone can compete with Android and iOS will depend on apps.
As 2012 comes to an end, Microsoft finds itself in a reflective mood, looking back at what it's accomplished in the past year and what its plans are for 2013. One of Microsoft's biggest areas of focus in 2012 has been mobile, and towards that end, the Redmond outfit published 75,000 new Windows Phone apps and games to effectively more than double the catalog size, and over 300,000 app updates.
Arguably the biggest mistake Google's hardware partners made at the outset of Android and the whole tablet craze was not undercutting the iPad in price. Sure, you could find some cheaply built Android tablets from overseas manufacturers, but they weren't very good. It appears they may have finally learned their lesson, hence the influx of lower cost Android tablets that are available at every turn, and even rumors of $99 tablets.
An even lower cost Nexus 7 tablet could be on the horizon.
Google seems to understand that the best way of promoting Android is through low-cost hardware that doesn't suck. Such is the case with the Nexus 4 smartphone (that seems to never be in stock) and the Nexus 7 tablet, the world's first official Jelly Bean device and arguably the only true competitor to the iPad (Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet owners might scoff at that notion). The Nexus 7 is already affordable, but might we see a $99 tablet from Google?
Android users rejoice, Vudu is now available (for certain tablets).
At long last, Vudu is finally available for select Android tablets. The new app arrives at Google Play about a year after Vudu launched to iOS, and it brings with it access to more than 100,000 movies and TV shows to supported tablets running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or later. Vudu says it plans on expanding support to include "many more tablet models and smartphones" in the near future, though stopped short of offering up any specifics.