Android

Sony debuts Android-based Walkman prototype

BERLIN--Sony Electronics, trying to advance its music players into the modern age of digital devices, showed a prototype today of a new Walkman based on Google's Android operating system--and CNET got the first public look.

The Walkman prototype is designed "for music lovers by music lovers," said engineer Shinichiro Torii in an interview here at the IFA electronics show. But unlike the company's other Walkman products, it can go well beyond that by running the thousands of Android applications available today, making it a better match for Apple's iPod Touch as well as many competitors' smartphones. … Read more

Sony bets on quality with S and P Android tablets

Sony is one of the last major manufacturers to jump into the tablet wars, but at least it's arriving in style. Today, Sony published all the details surrounding its two planned Android 3.1 tablets, originally codenamed S1 and S2.

For the first bit of business, the official names have been figured out. The larger of the two tablets with the 9.4-inch screen will be called the Sony S tablet, while their folding tablet made from two 5.5-inch screens will be called the Sony P tablet. The P, apparently, stands for "pocket."

The S tablet … Read more

Android nabs 41 percent share in U.S., study finds

Try as it might to catch up to Android, iOS simply isn't gaining ground, a new study from research firm ComScore has found.

During the three-month period that ended in July, Android captured 41.8 percent of the U.S. smartphone market, representing a 5.4 percentage point increase over the 36.4 percent market share it had in the quarter that ended in April.

Apple's iOS platform came in second during the three-month period, earning 27 percent market share, up from the 26 percent it had in the prior period. RIM's BlackBerry OS came in third … Read more

This Day in Tech: Apple wants its prototype 3G MacBook returned

Too busy to keep up with the tech news? Here are some of the more interesting stories from CNET News for Tuesday, August 30.

Apple wants its prototype 3G MacBook back. A North Carolina man has it now, after he bought it off Craigslist. CNET's Josh Lowensohn writes: "Beneath the notebook's metal frame was a slot for a SIM card and on the lid was an external antenna, suggesting Apple was testing built-in cellular networking in its notebook computers right around the time the first iPhones were hitting store shelves."

The TouchPad is coming back (for … Read more

Your phone will soon recognize things it sees

Mobile-browser maker Layar is about to make augmented reality all that you thought it could be. The company has added visual search to its augmented-reality browser. Point your phone's camera at an object in the real world and an appropriate digital activity will occur on your handset.

For instance, point your phone at a historic house and a video clip will play; point your phone at your friend's new shoes and a buy button will pop up; or point your phone at an article in a paper magazine and a social-media button will pop up asking if you want to share the digital version with friends.

Layar's augmented-reality browser for iPhone and Android runs apps written for it. Layar also offers a player that software makers can embed in iPhone and Android apps. Both will gain visual search. The browser app upgrade will be in app stores at the end of the third quarter. The player upgrade will be available in the fourth quarter.… Read more

The 411: A T-Mobile smartphone without a data plan

Welcome to the 411, my column answering all your questions about cell phones and cell phone accessories. I receive plenty of questions about these subjects via e-mail, so I figured many of you might have similar queries, too. At times, I might solicit answers from readers if I'm stumped. Send your questions and comments to me at nicole.lee@cnet.com. If you prefer to remain anonymous, let me know in the e-mail.

Dear Nicole: I want a CURRENT cell phone. The problem is, I am unable to find a phone other than the smartphones that have the features I want. Please assist me in choosing a phone. I use my phone for calling when I am away from home. I prefer to use the speaker phone option, so voice quality, both reception and delivery, are important. I rarely text, but I often take pictures so I need something more powerful than a 2.0 megapixel camera. I travel abroad frequently and therefore, a GSM cell phone is essential. In addition, I need the option of charging my phone in my car. My NEW phone preference would be a touch screen, although I have no problem with a slider phone. I currently have a Motorola RIZR Z3 - Rose. The phone is OLD, texting is awkward and the camera does not take QUALITY pictures. I have access to the Internet at home and at work, and this is the only reason I am resisting a smartphone. I do not want to pay extra for a service I do not think I will use. Am I right or wrong? Please suggest some phones for me. I am currently with T Mobile, but I am not opposed to switching providers. -- Mahlet, via e-mail… Read more

Motorola announces Pro+ for Europe and Asia

Motorola unveiled its latest Android smartphone today, the Pro+, announcing it for European and Asian markets.

Looking very similar to Sprint's Motorola XPRT, the handset runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread and features a 3.1-inch display atop a portrait-style QWERTY keyboard.

Peeking under the hood we find a 1GHz processor, 5-megapixel camera, 4GB internal storage, and 512MB RAM. Like nearly every other Android phone on the market, there's also support for Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, and a microSD expansion slot.

The business-friendly handset comes preloaded with Quickoffice Connect for creating and accessing documents on the go and secure enterprise software.

The 3G Mobile Hotspot feature will allow user to connect multiple devices for mobile Internet access while Corning Gorilla Glass provides peace of mind in knowing the display can take a moderate beating. … Read more

Klipsch S4A headphones for Android available for preorder, software included

The Klipsch Image S4 earphones and the iOS-compatible Image S4i continue to earn their position in our Best 5 Headphones list for their unique conical ear-tips and exceptional sound quality , so it's not surprising the company just released a model for Android users--the Image S4A.

Available now for $99, the S4A headphones come with a unique accessory we don't normally see packaged with headphones: software.

Although not necessary for audio purposes, the Klipsch Control Android app lets you change the functions of the remote buttons--you can specify voice search and commands, auto-dial a phone number, and advance tracks. … Read more

Amazon could sell 5 million tablets next quarter

At the right price, an Amazon tablet could hit unit sales as high as 5 million in the fourth quarter alone, says an analyst from Forrester Research.

Sharing her thoughts in a blog post yesterday, Forrester analyst Sarah Rotman Epps said that if Amazon can launch a tablet below $300 and provide enough supply to meet demand, it could sell anywhere from 3 million to 5 million tablets in the next quarter.

Earlier this month, Taiwanese news outlet CENS cited information that claimed Amazon was already planning to order anywhere from 800,000 to 1 million tablets per month from … Read more

Five SMS alternatives for smartphones

Short messaging services (SMS) are very popular, but can end up costing you a lot if you don't have an unlimited plan for your smartphone. All the apps in this collection offer more features than standard SMS clients, and can often be more fun to use. For instance, some send pictures, show you when a message is read by the recipient, or send videos and voice clips. There's even an app that lets people without smartphones reply to you from a user-selected phone number.

Kik

Kik is a simple yet functional messenger app. No other service can match … Read more