Google just announced Android Open Accessory, which will allow developers to create accessories that take advantage of software installed on Android devices. Google will offer hardware and software support for the open accessory design kit (ADK) there’s no approval process or fees. In one demo, a Google employee showed off a device with a USB accessory called CardioQuest for monitoring his heartbeat while exercising. In another, a user controlled the classic labyrinth board game using his tablet. In yet another demo, Google demoed the power of its ADK with a life-sized labyrinth controlled by a tablet. Android Open Accessory allows accessory makers to create apps that take advantage of the accessory — if an owner plugs a device into their phone, the user will be prompted to install the corresponding software. It’s available for Honeycomb and Gingerbread devices and works with USB now but Bluetooth support is coming in the future.
T-Mobile and HTC have finally released the anticipated Android 2.2 (Froyo) update for the T-Mobile myTouch 3G Slide. The update adds support for placing free calls over Wi-Fi networks in addition to a new low-storage notification, resolved Bluetooth compatibility issues, text messaging and picture messaging bug fixes, and improved overall reliability. The software will also add support for both USB tethering and mobile hotspot, which will allow users to share their 3G connections with other devices via Wi-Fi. You’ll need 25MB of storage space on your phone to get started, and unfortunately it’s only available to Windows users for now. Hit the jump for a download link and instructions on how to update. More →
Looking to lasso yourself some of those sweet, sweet LTE airwaves being emitted by Verizon Wireless towers? Don’t really need a new smartphone? You’re in luck. In a pair of press releases today, Verizon announced two, new LTE-enabled network devices, the Verizon USB551L modem (made by Novatel) and the Samsung 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot. The USB551L is a standard USB data-stick modem capable of connecting your Windows or Mac-based machine to Verizon’s ultra-fast, LTE network. The Samsung 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot is a MiFi-like device that supports up to five simultaneous, Wi-Fi connections. Both devices will retail for $99 after a $50 mail-in rebate and 2-year contract signing, are backwards compatible with Verizon’s CDMA network, and promise LTE download speeds between 5Mbps and 12Mbps. The Samsung hotspot is available immediately and the Novatel USB511L will be available beginning on March 31st. Both press releases are after the break. More →
To Apple’s credit: it has consistently said that its Personal Hotspot feature would “support five connections.” It did this without ever actually specifying what type of connections those were. According to support documentation on the iPhone maker’s website, those utilizing the Personal Hotspot feature in iOS 4.3 will be allowed to share their phone’s internet connection with up to five devices, however, only three of them can be over Wi-Fi. Yes, it seems the other two connections will have to be made using Bluetooth and USB respectively. Most of the tech world assumed — present company included — that the five connected devices in question would all be suckling from the iPhone’s data connection via Wi-Fi. Which is, obviously, not the case. We can’t say we remember the last time (if there ever was a time) that we had five devices connected to a cellular hotspot device, but that’s just us. Is this a deal breaker for anyone? More →
While speaking with blog Phone Scoop, AT&T spokesperson Seth Bloom acknowledged his company’s plans to support the mobile hotspot feature available in iOS 4.3. “To utilize this feature, customers will need to subscribe to the DataPro 4GB, $45 tethering data plan,” said Bloom. The $45, DataPro plan is currently required by iPhone customers looking to tether their device via USB or Bluetooth. Apple will make iOS 4.3 available to the public on March 11th. Bloom did not indicate whether the feature would be supported then, on day-one, but we can’t imagine too much lag time (especially since some iOS 4.3 beta users have it working now). How many of you AT&T users are going to shell out an extra $20 a month for some Wi-Fi hotspot action? More →
Verizon Wireless on Tuesday updated its “VZAccess Manager” software to add Mac support for the Pantech UML290 LTE modem. The new update — VZAccess Manager version 7.2.4 (2534b) — adds support for Apple computers running OS X 10.4 and later. Pantech’s UML290 is a USB dongle that allows laptops to connect to Verizon’s 4G LTE network. Until now, the broadband modem could only be connected to Windows-based computers. The new software is available immediately from Verizon’s website as a free download. The carrier’s other 4G LTE modem, the LG VL600, does not yet support Mac computers. More →
After Andy Rubin, Google’s VP of Engineering, showed off a new Motorola tablet last week, information about the unreleased device has slowly started to bubble to the surface. User wnrussell from Howard Forums was kind enough to post a few images that showcase a Verizon-branded version of the Android 3.0 tablet. The images are — unfortunately — Mr. Blurrycam style, but they do reveal some additional information about the device. The pictures showcase a micro-USB port, mini-HDMI port, 3.5mm headphone jack, and dock contact points. The poster reports that the device will indeed have a 1GHz Tegra 2 processor, gyroscope, 1280 x 800 screen resolution, and 32GB of built in storage with a microSD card slot (with support for 32GB). The device will purportedly bear the name Stingray, Everest, or Trygon. Hit the read link to check out the full array of images.
UPDATE: Post updated to accurately reflect the origin of the images. More →
Verizon has just announced that they will be holding a news conference on December 1st to detail the launch of its next-generation, 4G, LTE network. With plans to go-live in “38 metropolitan areas, covering more than 110 millon people” before the end of the year, this would be the world’s largest LTE deployment. While the network is set to go live before 2011, customers will have to wait until early next year for LTE-compatible handsets to start making the rounds. Data products like USB data sticks and Mi-Fi-type devices should be available reasonably soon, however. Now, where’s that HTC Incredible HD? More →
The guys over at Notion Ink in India have revealed some user-interface updates for their upcoming Adam tablet. The tablet is expected to ship in late November 2010 and will sport a re-worked Android browser with a novel system to allow for non-intrusive tab switching. Amongst other small UI tweaks, the developers have uploaded a video of the tablet cutting through a 1080p clip like butter. The Adam tablet will come in two flavors, an LCD model and a Pixel Qi trans-reflective LCD variant; both of which rock a CPU/GPU combo of 1GHz dual-core Arm Cortex-A9 processor and Nvidia Tegra 2. Connectivity wont be a problem since the tablet is believed to feature 2 USB ports, a micro USB port, an HDMI-out port, a microSD card slot, and SIM card slot. Android aficionados will be happy to know the tablet will run Android 2.2 when released. Whilst the tech specs are more than satisfying, it remains to be seen if it can live up to buzz. Hit the read link for the latest update on the Adam. More →
Apple has a mixed record when it comes to adopting industry standards. For example, the company was the first OEM to install USB and Firewire on its desktop machines but has yet to include HDMI connectivity in its laptop line; the recently refreshed Mac Mini line were the first Apple products to sport an HDMI output. Now, Mr. Jobs has provided us with his two cents in an email response to a request for Apple to adopt USB 3.0:
We don’t see USB 3 taking off at this time. No support from Intel, for example.
The optimist in you might be hoping that Apple is holding off in favor of Intel’s upcoming Light Peak technology. Light Peak will feature an optical cable with a bandwidth of 10Gb/s (that’s gigabits) and will be a universal replacement for SCSI, SATA, USB, FireWire, PCI Express and HDMI. Are we hoping for too much? More →
About one-week ago, information on T-Mobile’s prepaid phone and data plans leaked… and the information was dead on. Today, T-Mobile officially announced the new prepaid monthly plans that will be available on October 18. The plans looks like this:
Prepaid Monthly Phone Data Plans
- $70/month Unlimited Talk and Text with 2 GB of Data
- $50/month Unlimited Talk and Text with 100 MB of Data
- $30/month 1,500 Talk and Text (mix and match voice and text messages) with 30 MB of Data
- Unlimited Text and $0.10/minute
- $1.49/day Web DayPass
Prepaid Mobile Broadband
- $10 week pass (100 MB)
- $30 month pass (300 MB)
- $50 month pass (1 GB)
The prepaid mobile broadband plans will be available on a new “Jet USB Laptop Stick” that is “pre-packaged with a prepaid SIM card, user guide, and plug & play connection manager software” — the device will be available online on October 18th and in stores on the 20th. “T-Mobile’s prepaid mobile broadband plans have no annual contract, no credit check, no overages and can be used with any of the company’s mobile broadband products,” explains the press release. The prepaid voice plans look pretty attractive… but $50 for 1 GB of data seems pretty steep.
Today, Sprint announced the U1901 4G USB WiMax modem. The device is, “compatible with both PC and Mac computers, connecting laptops or netbooks to blazing-fast 4G speeds.” The USB device weighs in at a meager 0.9 ounces, has a Beceem BCSM250 chipset, and has two external antenna ports for a docking cradle (sold separately). Here’s the full release:
Sprint 4G USB Device U1901
High-speed Internet access on the go
Built to work specifically with the Sprint 4G Network, Sprint 4G USB Device U1901 is a small, easy-to-use modem compatible with both PC and Mac computers, connecting laptops or netbooks to blazing-fast 4G speeds. It is compatible with Windows® Vista, Windows® XP, Windows® 7, MAC OS® 10.5 and 10.6. U1901 provides access to Sprint 4G wireless speeds up to 10 times faster than 3G1 in those metropolitan areas across the country enabled with the new 4G mobile broadband service. Visit http://www.sprint.com/4G for a list of Sprint 4G cities launched to date. U1901 is ideally suited for companies wanting to deliver high-bandwidth solutions to workers on-the-go or for remote offices looking to provide basic DSL-like speeds2 to workers in the metro area. U1901 is also an affordable option for value-conscious, highly-mobile Internet users, such as high school and college students who want to browse the Web, send and receive e-mail, access information, and explore social networking and multimedia entertainment.
The device is billed as “affordable” although no price was listed in the announcement. The real deal-breaker is the device only works on 4G… there is no 3G connectivity at all. Better not leave the confines of WiMax covered areas! Hit up the read link to check out the little 4G-packin’ fella. More →
A new connect just dropped some interesting images in our inbox. What you are looking at is Verizon Wireless’ first LTE USB modem that VZW is currently testing. As you can see from our images, the manufacturer is
Samsung LG and the unit contains the much anticipated LTE SIM card. We don’t have much else to report on this one other than the hardware looks to be pretty polished… hopefully it will be released to the masses soon. We’ve got a couple more images for your scrutiny after the break. More →