Amazon Intros New Kindle Fire HD Tablets

At a major event today, Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos introduced a new line of Kindle Fire HD tablets. The family of Fire now includes an updated 7-inch tablet along with two larger 8.9-inch tablets, one of which will support 4G LTE. Amazon claims the new Fire tablets will offer the ‘fastest WiFi’ large in part to dual antennas, dual-band and MIMO.  They all run a heavily modified version of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Kindle Fire HD

  • Ultra-fast 4G LTE wireless, powered by the latest generation 4G chipset, support for all 10 4G bands, and Amazon’s breakthrough 4G LTE data package—customers save hundreds of dollars in the first year compared to other 4G tablets.
  • Stunning custom HD display with in-plane switching, Advanced True Wide polarizing filter and custom laminated touch sensor for 25% less glare with rich color and deep contrast from any viewing angle.
  • Fastest Wi-Fi of any tablet—dual antenna, dual-band, and MIMO—40% faster downloads and streaming compared to the next fastest tablet.
  • High-performance processor and graphics engine for snappy and smooth performance.
  • Dual stereo speakers with Dolby Digital Plus audio—the standard in high-end audio—available for the first time on a tablet.
  • Kindle Fire HD starts with 16 GB of local storage, enough to accommodate the larger file sizes of HD content.
  • Exceptional battery life—7” Kindle Fire HD gets 11 hours of battery life.
  • Front-facing HD camera with custom Skype application for video calling from anywhere in the world.
  • New Amazon-exclusive features like X-Ray for Movies, X-Ray for Textbooks, Immersion Reading, Whispersync for Voice, Whispersync for Games, and Kindle FreeTime.
  • World’s best content ecosystem—over 22 million movies, TV shows, songs, apps, games, books, audiobooks and magazines.
  • Best cross-platform interoperability, with Amazon apps available on the largest number of devices and platforms so customers can access content anytime, anywhere.

There are three models, each with two storage configurations.

Kindle Fire HD pricing

  • Kindle Fire HD: 16GB – $199, 32GB $249
  • Kindle Fire HD 8.9: 16GB – $299, 32GB – $369
  • Kindle Fire HD 8.9 4G LTE: 32GB – $499, 64GB – $599

Amazon has definitely amped up the specs from the first generation and now provide a new larger option, even with 4G LTE. All of this will some incredibly competitive pricing. Google’s Nexus 7 in the 8GB version is $199, while the Fire HD offers double the storage at the same price. This new line also fires a salvo at Apple with the larger 8.9-inch priced at $299.

The updated 7-inch Fire ships September 14th. The big boy ships on November 20th, with pre-orders starting today.

 

Ice Cream Sandwich Update Available for Motorola Xyboard

If you are the owner of the Motorola Xyboard 10.1 or 8.2, then good news awaits you today. Motorola has announced the OTA (over the air) release of the Ice Cream Sandwich update for your Android tablet. Okay, so it’s no Jelly Bean, but it’s progress. The full changelog for your ICS update is available after the break.

Motorola Xyboard

  • Updated Browser with faster rendering, zoom and pan: Users can also now save pages for offline reading and request desktop versions of websites.
  • Swipe to dismiss notifications and recent apps: You can now dismiss individual notifications and apps from the Recent Apps list with a simple swipe of a finger.
  • Redesigned app launcher: In All Apps launcher, you can now simply drag an app to get information about it, immediately uninstall it, or disable a pre-installed app.
  • New System Font for Improved Readability: An entirely new typeface (called Roboto) optimized for high resolution screens improves readability and brings a polished feel to the user interface.
  • Updated “People” Application: Replaces contacts and integrates seamlessly with Google+ and other social networks.
  • Improved text input and spell-checking: The keyboard now features improved accuracy to make text input faster. It also now includes an in-line spell checker to make corrections easier.
  • Type with your voice: Now you can simply touch the microphone on the keyboard and start talking to write emails, or any other text—more than 20 languages supported. Text appears in real time, so there’s no waiting for server processing.
  • Richer and versatile imaging capabilities: For new flexibility and convenience while shooting video, you can now take snapshots at full video resolution just by tapping the screen as video continues to record. For capturing larger scenes, the camera introduces a single motion panorama mode. You can also launch camera directly from the Lockscreen. When you shoot videos, you can now choose from a number of silly faces and other fun effects which recognize individual facial features so you can give your friends big eyes, squeeze heads, make noses bigger, or change the scenery with background replacement.
  • Redesigned Gallery app with photo editor: To help pictures look their best, the Gallery now offers a powerful photo editor so you can crop and rotate pictures, set levels, remove red eyes, add effects, and much more.
  • Richer, resizable widgets: You can expand widgets to show more content, or shrink them to save space.
  • Quicker screen rotation
  • A new setting to choose whether the power button immediately locks the device or not: shows up only when you have a pattern, PIN or password lock, it then lets you set a timer for how long it takes to lock after pressing the sleep button.
  • Microsoft Exchange improvements with additional EAS policies
  • Improved stability
  • Face Unlock: Face Unlock is a new screen-lock option that lets you unlock your device with your face. It takes advantage of the device front-facing camera and state-of-the-art facial recognition technology to register a face during setup and then to recognize it again when unlocking the device. Just hold your device in front of your face to unlock, or use back up PIN or pattern.

Install the update? How’s it going for you? If you need help, hit up our Android forums.
Source: Droid Dog

 

Google’s $199 Nexus 7 Tablet Available For Pre-Order Today

Google today announced the not-so secret Nexus 7 tablet, which is available for pre-order today from the Google Play Store for $199, with shipments starting in July. Those in attendance at Google’s I/O conference received one today, for free. As for the tablet, it appears to be an amped up Kindle Fire, with a heavy dose of Google apps. The focus of this tablet is certainly on the Google Play Store. Oh by the way, the Nexus 7 comes loaded with some great entertainment in the form of “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” movie, “The Bourne Dominion” book, magazines including Conde Nast Traveler and Popular Science. You’ll also receive a handful of songs from the likes of Coldplay and the Rolling Stones. The handouts don’t stop there, you also receive a $25 credit in the Google Play Store.

Nexus 7

Nexus 7 Specs

SCREEN

  • 7” 1280×800 HD display (216 ppi)
  • Back-lit IPS display
  • Scratch-resistant Corning glass
  • 1.2MP front-facing camera

WEIGHT

  • 340 grams

MEMORY

  • 8 or 16 GB internal storage
  • 1 GB RAM

BATTERY

  • 4325 mAh (Up to 8 hours of active use)

CPU

  • Quad-core Tegra 3 processor

SIZE

  • 198.5 x 120 x 10.45mm

WIRELESS

  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth
  • USB
  • Micro USB

OS

  • Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)

FEATURES

  • Microphone
  • NFC (Android Beam)
  • Accelerometer
  • GPS
  • Magnetometer
  • Gyroscope

US Cellular’s HTC Flyer Starts At $399

HTC Flyer w/ Stylus

US Cellular has announced pricing options for its release of the HTC Flyer, 7-inch Android Tablet. The Flyer will be available on US Cellular starting tomorrow – October 7th – at two different price points.

The Flyer starts at $399 with a new, 5GB, $54 per month data plan or you can opt for the cheaper, 20MB data plan (at $15 per month) and pay $599 for the Flyer instead. The ball is in your court! Check out the full press release below.

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Samsung Galaxy Note Coming to UK, November 17th

Samsung has announced that the Samsung Galaxy Note will be dunking its crumpets in tea starting on November 17th, in the United Kingdom.

The Note features a 5.3-inch display, 1.4GHz dual-core CPU, 1GB RAM and supports stylus usage (stylus included) for drawing note taking or whatever else your wonderful imagination can dream of. No pricing was available yet but it shouldn’t be too far off!

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