Google has reportedly stopped manufacturers from putting their own custom skins on top of its latest version of Android 3.0 Honeycomb. The revelation comes from an LG spokesperson who explained at the Droidcon conference in Berlin that the Korean firm has been given the red light by Google to make adjustments to the Android 3.0 interface for the time being.
The news provides a reasonable explanation as to why HTC’s Flyer tablet (apparently due out next month), has Android 2.3 Gingerbread rather than the tablet-optimised version of Google’s hugely popular OS. The same could also be said for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 which has been slimmed down from the original version announced at Mobile World Congress. While its thicker counterpart is pure Honeycomb, the 8.6mm model of the upcoming tablet will come with Samsung’s own TouchWiz UI.
While the pieces of this particular puzzle seem to fit together nicely, Google is apparently readying a version of Honeycomb that will allow custom UI’s, however, there’s no word on a release date at the moment. Funny that, because Samsung has kept quiet on when exactly the Galaxy Tab 8.9 and the newly-revised Galaxy Tab 10.1 will be coming out too.
Apple is bound to be pleased about Google holding back the release of several big name tablets, especially now the iPad 2 is out of the door. Up until now, Android has been renowned as being the easy going platform but with Google tightening the reins on what manufacturers can and can’t do to the UI, will it end up being a costly mistake for Apple’s biggest operating system rival?
HTC is preparing to launch two more versions of its Flyer tablet this summer according to Digitimes. The IT news resource reports that the new additions to the manufacturer’s Flyer range will come sporting Android 3.0 Honeycomb, indicating that the rest of the spec line up could be just as impressive.
The Taiwanese tech firm announced the original Flyer tablet at last month’s Mobile World Congress but despite a slew of Honeycomb-sporting, dual-core processor tablets coming out left, right and centre, it came as a surprise to find out that the HTC’s debut 7 -inch slate shipped with Android 2.3 Gingerbread and a single core processor.
We had already heard rumblings that more HTC tablets would be coming to the party later this year but Digitimessuggests that the Gingerbread-toting Flyer might only make a fleeting appearance in the UK: “HTC is expected to launch HTC Flyer…in small volumes mainly in the US market in late March or early April 2011.”
It begs the question as to how much of these so-called “small volumes” of the tablet are bound for the UK when we know full well that the Flyer will be coming to our fair shores some point soon. The Taiwan-based publication cited touch panel suppliers close to the production of the HTC tablet for the information, who added that the manufacturer encountered difficulties in the Flyer ‘s production process, which could explain why it hasn’t been pushed into mass production yet.
Apart from revealing a mid-2011 release date for HTC’s dual tablet offering, other spec details are anyone’s guess right now but we would assume that a 10-inch version of the device will be part of the pack, following last week’s uncovering of a tablet roadmap in the US.
As we head towards summer, rumours on this new pair of high-flying tablet should hot up too.
A HTC Wildfire refresh could be on the cards for Mobile World Congress after a Wildfire lookalike appeared on an official advert posted on the company’s YouTube channel.
In the ad, a pebble morphs into the handset at the very start for an extremely brief peek of what lies in store, although it’s a real ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ glimpse. There’s only so much you can tell from the picture but judging by the device’s size and the fact that it no longer has an optical trackpad like many other new HTC pieces, it could very well be the new Wildfire.
A handset called the HTC Wildfire S also showed up in a German inventory so not only could a next-generation version of the smartphone exist, it might be joining the HTC clan in Barcelona.
The Taiwanese firm is hosting a press event on February 15 where it is thought they’ll make a whole range of new devices official including the dual-core HTC Pyramid, the HTC Flyer tablet and the new Desire. You can bet we’ll be keeping a close eye on proceedings and we’ll let you know what goes down as soon as HTC speaks up.
While you wait, why not check out HTC’s new advert below: