Everybody knows that the default browser blows, but there is a lot of debate about which third part one is best. The most recent update of Opera Mobile has given it a chance at the title.
The first thing about Opera Mobile that you will notice is how fast it is. Check out these page load time scores to see for yourself. It loaded this website in as little as 5.6 seconds. Opera’s speed is not limited to page load time, but includes how smooth pinching to zoom is. It has a framerate that rivals iOS’s Safari browser. Unlike Safari, and every other mobile brower, it won’t ever give you a checkerbox pattern when zooming or scrolling.
Opera’s flash implementation is not as great though. Even the default browser can handle it better. That is ok though, because 90% of the time I do not need flash when browsing on my Galaxy Tab. When I do I can just open it up in another browser. A minor inconvenience, but very manageable.
The homepage sports Opera’s classic dialpad with your nine chosen websites ready to be loaded up. Each website is designated with a thumbnail preview of the website.
Go ahead and give Opera Mobile a shot. Search for Opera Mobile Web Browser or click this Android Market link on your Galaxy Tab or computer.
Just like with the first generation Galaxy Tab, Samsung is bringing a slew of first party accessories. No prices were announced, but some of them look pretty nifty.
The first is a Stick Type Bluetooth Headset that you do not wear on your head. Oddly enough it is just a wireless microphone shaped like a pen that is meant for a shirt/jacket pocket. It gets a decent 6 hours of talk time and vibrates to notify you of incoming Skype calls, presumably.
Next is a Sound Station. It has something known as a GEL Woofer and looks pretty cool. You just dock your Tab in there and you can play music. It has a 2.1 speaker which means it has two speakers and one subwoofer.
The Desk Dock is a simple dock for charging and syncing. Also it has a built in HDMI port, so it is necessary to buy if you plan on using HDMI to display videos on the big screen.
Another port that Samsung left out is a USB port. So they are selling a USB Connection Kit. It will be a SD card reader and allow USB input and output. For some reason it is only available on the Galaxy Tab 8.9.
The last accessory is a case. Well maybe it is a stand. No it is both a case and a stand! Without a doubt it was a quick design to combat the iPad 2′s Smart Cover. It does not look nearly as good as it though. That is ok because Samsung spent its time on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and 8.9 hardware instead.
Do any of these accessories seem cool to you?
Lots of people are in lust with Windows Phone 7′s Metro UI because of how clean and smooth it is. Now through the magic of home screen replacement, you can run a Metro UI skin on your Galaxy Tab.
Installing it is a breeze. Just enter a search for Launcher 7 in the Android Market or use this link. There are two different versions, a free one with ads and a donate version without them. Try out the free version first. Download and install it. Then press the home button and a dialog box will pop up and ask which launcher you would like to use. Select Launcher 7.
There you go, now your Galaxy Tab looks just like a Windows Phone. Of course, you can customize how it looks to suit your needs better. You can change the color of the tiles, add a cool background, or use a live wallpaper. The last option is in a very alpha stage at this current time though.
You can add widgets too, but most of them will not look that great. The battery life widget in the picture to the left fits in seamlessly though. Just go ahead and give it a shot, and if you absolutely hate it you can tell me in the comments below.
This is what Engadget would call a KIRF (Keeping It Real Fake) device. Just a half-baked attempt at making a device that looks nearly identical to another more famous product by an unknown company. The company AnyDATA is responsible for creating this deformed cousin of the original Galaxy Tab.
The knockoff, AMD 120/810, looks fairly good on paper but will likely fall apart the first day you own it. It has two versions, one with a 1.2 GHz CPU and one with a 1.5 GHz CPU. Both of the CPU’s are Qualcomm Snapdragons. It also has a WSVGA display, which is the same resolution of the original Galaxy Tab. There is also a whole slew of features such as GPS, USB, Bluetooth, and more. No reason to keep going because buying this would be a disgrace to anybody with a shred of self respect.
The most interesting thing is that it has Android 3.0 Honeycomb preinstalled with a rip of TouchWiz 3.0. If this clunky paperweight has Honeycomb, then why can’t current Galaxy Tab owners have it? Oh well, XDA has got us covered.
Source – Hot Hardware
Of course the Android Market is riddled with all sorts of task managers and task killers, but none of them beat the one that Samsung includes with the Galaxy Tab. Even though I am not the biggest fan of the TouchWiz interface, this feature has kept me from switching to another launcher.
Android devices support multitasking and while that is an amazing feature, it can bog down your system unnecessarily. I know that I hardly ever need five applications open at the same time. The 1 GHz processor and 512 MB of RAM can not handle too many invasive applications at once. So what do you do? Use the Task Manager of course!
It is always readily available. The quickest way to access it is by longpressing on the home button to bring up your recent apps. Under them you will see a button that says Task Manger. Tap it and you are in.
Once in, it will show you your running applications and how much RAM and CPU they are taking up. You can quit out specific apps by clicking the Exit button to the right of the respective application, or you can exit them all at once by pressing Exit All in the top right.
That is not always enough for me though, so I like to switch over to the RAM tab at the top of the app. If its over 300 MB I know that I can usually clear up some of the RAM, so I press the Clear Memory button and closes some more background processes.
The absolute best feature of the built in Task Manager is the widget. It will always show you the active number of applications open at one time, so you know if something is open in the background that you do not need. Tapping on the widget brings you back to the Running Applications page and you can manage them as described above.
Do you use the Task Manager?
Samsung plans on developing extremely high resolution displays for tablets years out in the future. The Galaxy Tab has a 1024 x 600 resolution with ~170 ppi.
The next round of displays will likely have a 200 – 300 ppi, which is close to what Apple determines is the resolution required for the human eye to not differentiate between pixels. These tablets will be able to squeeze out 8 hours on one charge are labeled as thin.
Closer to 2015, the Galaxy Tab displays will have resolutions of 300 – 400 ppi and are Ultra Thin. Most astoundingly is that they will have even lower battery consumption and get 10 hours of life on a 24.8 Wh battery.
Samsung is holding out on the whole 3D fad until it sees how many consumers react to it. If they do decide to go into the 3D market, then they foresee developing glasses-free 3D displays as well.
We all have been waiting patiently for Honeycomb on the Galaxy Tab, but our wait may soon be over. XDA is pulling through once again and bringing us a Honeycomb port. I have been following the developer, spacemoose1, since he first posted in early March his intentions to port the latest version of Android.
I have held off on posting until there was some decent progress. Earlier today he posted letting us know that touch input now works. He will also be posting a video tomorrow of his port, even though he warns that some of the drivers are not working properly.
The device that spacemoose1 is developing on is CDMA, not GSM. Specifically the Verizon model. Do not worry though, as the port will eventually work on all versions. Check out the post from the developer below.
That’s a good question, one I was avoiding addressing as long as possible (until I knew more). My device is a vzw cdma, so naturally, my build will be for a CDMA tab… however, I think all I may have to do is compile a separate kernel (which will be pretty simple,) and tack on a few drivers. Theoretically, it won’t be much more trouble to do both tabs at about the same time (though the CDMA tab will come a few days before the rest.) Ideally, I’d like the build to use a script to allow the user to select a driver/settings set for any tab, but I’m not there yet. Basically, if the port works for one tab, it will work for all tabs (with a few small modifications). The differences are actually small.
This post will be updated as soon as the video is uploaded, so stay tuned for that. Also once spacemoose1 finishes and releases the port, please consider donating to him (or maybe her because the paypal email is to a Michelle) if you plan on using it.
Source – XDA
On a scale of 10 to 10 how excited are you?!
TouchWiz UX was announced yesterday at CTIA with the Galaxy Tab 8.9 and redesigned Galaxy Tab 10.1. I know a lot of you are worried about how this will affect you and your decision to buy the second generation models of the Galaxy Tab. Well let’s dive right in!
In the past, Samsung has completely reskinned and reprogrammed how Android looks and works. That is not the case this time. The features do not dampen the already beautiful Android 3.0 Honeycomb experience.
Samsung’s first modification is called Live Panel. These panels are dynamic widgets that live on your homescreens. They allow you to further customize your homescreens and are constantly updated to give you the information you need. They include calendar, stocks, contacts, and more. An added bonus is that they can be resized with a simple longpress, just as you would in launchers such as Launcher Pro.
The next feature of the customized software is dubbed Mini Apps Tray. It puts simple functions in a tray on the bottom of the screen that appears in just a tap. You can open up the desired Mini App and it will pop up in a window that appears on top of the current app you are in. It can be moved around so that you can see the information in the app and use the simple function of the mini app at the same time. At first I thought this was pointless, but it has grown on me.
After extensive research and polling of tablet users and people in the market for one, Samsung found that the most common features desired were social features. So they included a Social Hub into the new TouchWiz UX. There are two tabs inside of te Social Hub application – Messages and Feeds. The messages tab is a unified inbox with all of your emails, instant messages, and social networking messages. The feed tab on the other hand delivers all of your social media status updates.
Reading and tablets almost go hand in hand. Even though I am not normally a book reader, it has been hard to keep away from reading ebooks on my original Galaxy Tab. Samsung realizes this and includes a Readers Hub built into the new tablets. The hub contains around 2 million books, 2 thousand newspapers in 49 languages, and 2.3 thousand magazines in 22 languages.
Entertainment is another key feature for tablet users, so a Music Hub and Media Hub were added. The Media Hub is only available in the United States, but the Music Hub is globally. You can download all your favorite music on the go with it. The Media Hub allows you to watch day-after-air tv shows and recently released movies.
Lastly, Samsung made many graphical changes. The preinstalled application icons are skinned as well as many of the applications themselves, which gives it a classic TouchWiz look. Other than that there are only minor changes, like different icons for the home, back, and application switcher. All of the other elements of stock Android shine through though and you will still get a very similar experience to stock, even if you do not wish to use some of the TouchWiz features.
What do you think of TouchWiz UX?
How to add a wallpaper for noobs.
- Click the download link above on your Galaxy Tab
- Longpress on the wallpaper image
- Click set as wallpaper
Remember how Samsung seemed to freak like a teenager when the iPad 2 was announced because it was so thin? Well they got their act together fast and redesigned the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in what seems like no time. They managed to shave over 2 mm off bringing it down to the exact same size as the Galaxy Tab 8.9 at 8.6 mm thin.
The only tradeoff from the original Galaxy Tab 10.1 is a lower resolution rear facing camera. What was originally supposed to be 8 MP is down to 3 MP. With that video recording capabilities have decreased from 1080p at 24 fps to 720p at 30 fps.
Also, it will no longer run stock Android 3.0 Honeycomb. Do not be alarmed though because it does not appear to be as deeply integrated as past installations of TouchWiz have been in the past. Instead TouchWiz UX just adds custom widgets, live view panels, and a few other useful features while still giving it the look and feel of stock Honeycomb.
Samsung also announced an official price for the Wi-Fi version of the 10.1. The 16 GB version will be $499 and the 32 GB will be $599, which by no coincidence match the iPad’s price points. The only downfall of this new design is that it will be coming out June 8th instead of this month.
What do you think of the new design of the 10.1?