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CES 2012 raining Android launches, roundup of 30+ devices

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It’s raining Androids

At the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the pace at which companies are announcing Android-operated devices is simply astonishing, it’s definitely raining Androids. There were dozens of rumors leading up to the massive annual conference in Las Vegas, some of which have been substantiated below, others which were proven to be false.

Below is a roundup of over 30 Android devices that have been either launched or spotted on the tradeshow floor at CES:

  1. Acer Iconia Tab A200 – “Acer has unveiled its upcoming Iconia Tab A200, the very latest in Acer’s line of Android tablets. The newest tablet from Acer will feature a 10.1-inch screen and will allows users to enjoy and access a host of games, e-books , movies, music, photography, social networking, and more. Weighing in at 1.5 pounds, Acers latest tablet will showcase a slim, titanium gray-colored casing and HD multi-touch display. The new Iconia Tab A200 will be available on January 15 and be priced at an aggressive $329.99. “
  2. Acer Iconia Tab A700 – “The Tegra 3-powered unit is the oft rumored and leaked Iconia Tab A700, though, we were told repeatedly that this is just a technology demo and not a consumer product — so don’t be surprised if you never see an A700 come to market. Underneath the hood is a 1.3GHz quad-core Tegra 3 and a full gig of RAM for pushing a customized version of Ice Cream Sandwich to its 10.1-inch 1080p “IPS quality” panel.”
  3. Asus Eee Pad Transformer Pad MeMO – “…a newbie to the market that as far as we know will be called the ASUS Eee Pad MeMO. Not only is the Prime the first official (as in Google Official) Ice Cream Sandwich tablet, but ASUS will also have the first 7? ICS tablet too.”
  4. Coby tablet collection – “Extensive New Lineup of Powerful, Feature-Packed Ice Cream Sandwich-Operated Capacitive Touch Units – All Under $300,” “highly-anticipated collection of Android™ 4.0 OS – “Ice Cream Sandwich” – Internet tablets” priced from $179 to $299, ranging in size from 7 inches to 10 inches.”
  5. Fujitsu ARROWS ES IS12F smartphone – “The ARROWS is, according to Fujitsu and partner Toshiba, the thinnest smartphone available in the world. Measuring a mere 6.7mm thick, that’s certainly a believable claim. Other specs of note include a 4-inch touchscreen display with WVGA (800 x 480 pixel) resolution, 1GB of built-in storage teamed up with a single-core Qualcomm 1.4GHz processor, and a 1400mAh battery. It also comes equipped with a 5.1 megapixel camera and 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi support. All this is fitted into a body that weighs only 105g (3.7oz).”
  6. Huawei Ascend Smartphones – ” Both are among the fastest smartphones because of their dual-core 1.5GHz processor, and both are among the first phones announced in the U.S. with Google’s Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) OS. Both models also feature 4G 21Mbps HSPA+ technology and are banded for use on the AT&T and T-Mobile networks. Both also operate in foreign HSPA+ markets. The phones will be available in Europe by the end of March and could appear in the U.S. in mid-2012.”
  7. Intel’s first smartphones – “Otellini then showed Intel’s phone reference design that hardware companies can use to quickly build their own Android phones with 8 megapixel cameras, 1080p video, 8 hours of talk time and 14 days of standby time. The device is less than 10 millimeters thick, has HDMI ports and NFC payment capability.”
  8. Le Pan affordable tablets -“Ice Cream Sandwich on a budget? That’s what Le Pan is promising at CES today, with a trio of new tablets. The higher end of the two is the Le Pan III, an Android 4.0-laced slate that’s powered by a 1.5GHz, dual-core TI-OMAP 4460 processor, with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage. This Bluetooth 4.0-enabled device also comes with a five-megapixel rear camera and a two-megapixel front-facing shooter, and supports 1080p video output. Joining the Le Pan II is the TC978, which features just about the same specs, save for a slightly lower octane (1GHz) processor, and the lack of a five-megapixel camera. The Le Pan II, meanwhile, ships with Android 3.2 Honeycomb rather than Ice Cream Sandwich, but can make the jump to 4.0 with a simple upgrade. The device features a 9.7-inch display at 1024 x 768 resolution and is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core CPU, but the rest of its specs are just about identical to those of the TC978. No word yet on when the Le Pan III and TC978 will hit the market, but the Le Pan II is already available on Amazon for $300.”
  9. LG Spectrum phone for Verizon – ” 8 megapixel camera up top capable of 1080p video capture. Underneath the back, you’ll find an 1830mAh battery, microSD slot loaded with a 16GB card to complement the 4GB of internal storage. Running the Android OS is a dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S3 processor that’s bolstered by 1GB of RAM and it shows. The phone is incredibly responsive to touch, shooting through homescreens and submenus rapidly and smoothly.”
  10. LG Viper on Sprint – “The LG Viper joins the Samsung Galaxy Nexus as the first LTE phones from Sprint. The candy bar design fits the Android mold with a trim profile and rectangular shape. Among the features are Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), a 1.2 dual-core GHz processor, a 5-megapixel camera around back, a second front-facing camera, and support for NFC Google Wallet.”
  11. Motorla DROID 4 on Verizon – “The DROID 4 packs a solid 5-row keyboard that was really easy to type on but it’s also very thin and measures just 0.5-inches thick. The smartphone comes equipped by a sharp 4-inch qHD display, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, support for Verizon’s 4G LTE network, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, an 8-megapixel camera, and the ability to record 1080p video. We think this is the most exciting step for the keyboard-toting DROID family”
  12. Motorola Motoluxe – “The MOTOLUXE packs a 4-inch 854 x 480 touchscreen, 800MHz processor running Android 2.3.7, dualband UMTS and an 8-megapixel camera. The MOTOLUXE measures in at 117.7 x 60.5 x 9.85 mm and 123.6g, with a 1400 mAh battery, Bluetooth 3.0, WiFi b/g/n, GPS and an FM radio. There’s also a VGA front-facing camera, 512MB of RAM and 1GB of ROM.”
  13. Motorola Defy Mini – “…the DEFY MINI has a smaller, 3.2-inch 480 x 320 display, 600MHz processor and a mere 3-megapixel camera, but is wrapped up in a ruggedized casing with Gorilla Glass fascia. The DEFY MINI is a smaller 109 x 58.5 x 12.55 mm and 107g, but accommodates a larger 1650 mAh battery along with Bluetooth 2.1, WiFi b/g/n (with WiFi Direct support) and an FM radio. It too has a VGA front-facing camera, dual-band HSDPA and quadband EDGE.”
  14. Pantech Burst – “has a 4-inch Super AMOLED display, 16GB of on-board memory (expandable to 32GB), a dual-core 1.2GHz processor with 1080p video playback. The 5-megapixel camera can capture video in up to 720p resolution and there’s a VGA camera for video chat. And of course, you also get the benefit of AT&T’s fast LTE 4G speeds. All of this is pretty sweet at $50.”
  15. Pantech Element – “AT&T emphasized the concept of “LTE for the masses” and with its $300 price tag, the Pantech Element exemplifies that. The Element might not have the most cutting edge specs, but with a dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon processor, LTE speeds, HDMI-out, 1080p video playback and a 5-megapixel camera you get a lot for your money. Oh yeah, and did I mention it is waterproof?”
  16. Patriot Memory WiFi Personal Cloud Storage Device – “The device connects to iOS and Android devices using a simple app. The Wi-Fi integration allows the smartphone or tablet user to shoot content over to the storage device. The Gauntlet Wifi has an internal battery good for five hours per charge and can stream video to the devices. It has USB 3.0 for connectivity to a PC. The specifications of the Gauntlet Wifi include 64MB of SDRAM, 802.11 a/b/g/n, WPA security, embedded antenna and a transfer rate of 150Mbit. The Gauntlet Wifi supports IE 6 or higher, Firefox, and Safari browsers.”
  17. Samsung Exhilarate – “The Samsung Exhilarate is constructed from 80 percent recycled post-consumer materials and is certified Platinum by UL Environment, achieving the highest level of sustainability certification. It features eco-modes and tools for more energy efficient operation. And, it has a 4-inch Super AMOLED display, front- and rear-facing cameras, voice recognition, and access to AT&T U-Verse Live TV.”>
  18. Samsung Galaxy Note for AT&T – “The Galaxy Note is a monster of a device, as Samsung says it bridges the divide between a smartphone and a tablet. The display is a 5.3-inch, Super AMOLED unit with 1280 x 800 pixels of resolution. It is powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM, and comes with 16GB of internal storage plus a microSD memory card slot for up to 32GB more.”
  19. Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus – “the Galaxy Ace Plus is an update to the Galaxy Ace that comes with a faster 1GHz processor. In addition, it also sports a 3.65-inch HVGA touchscreen, HSPA and Wi-Fi connectivity, 5-megapixel camera with auto-focus and LED flash, 512MB of RAM, GPS, Bluetooth 3.0, and 3GB of built-in memory that is further expandable with microSD cards.”
  20. Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket HD – “has a 4.65-inch HD Super AMOLED screen, as well as a 1.5GHz dual-core processor. It’s about 9.27 millimeters thick and will be available in coming months, AT&T said.”
  21. Samsung InTouch HD WebCam – “Samsung InTouch is an Android based HD webcam for HD televisions coming out with Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS pre-installed. It will also include pal sized QWERTY layout keypad for surfing the web and sending emails. Also it will include 512 MB of storage capacity. Samsung InTouch first up is in competition with TelyHD which comes up with Android 2.2 and provides 2 Gb of internal storage. Like other HD webcams it will also come with additional preloaded apps like YouTube, Google News and Weather and full web browsing support. It can also display photos stored on a thumbdrive.” $199
  22. Sierra Wireless Tri-Network Hotspot – “rounds out Sprint’s new offerings. It combines 3G and 4G technology, with 3G offered over EVDO, but has 4G on WiMAX and LTE, meaning its speeds won’t often drop to 3G. The hotspot handles up to eight Wi-Fi users and supports up to 32-gigabytes of shared storage.”
  23. Sony Ericsson LT28at – “The superphone has some pretty impressive specs to go along with the huge camera. According to one fan blog the phone will come with a huge 4.55-inch Reality display with a 720×1280 pixel resolution. The phone will be LTE enabled and along with the 13MP camera on the back side, the phone will have a 720p camera on the front side. “
  24. Sony Smartwatch – Sony plans later this year to launch a small device it is calling the SmartWatch, which links to Android phones via Bluetooth and runs a suite of custom mini-apps. The new device, which is approximately the shape and size of an iPod nano, including the clip on the rear, is an apparent successor to the Sony Ericsson LiveView, which was first announced in 2010. It will debut worldwide some time near the end of March, for US$149.”
  25. Sony Xperia S – “This handset will run on Android 2.3 Gingerbread and is expected to receive the Ice Cream Sandwich update by the second half of 2012.” Specs include “Android Gingerbread, 4.3-inch HD display with a resolution of 1280 x 720, 1.5GHz dual-core processor with a MSM8260 chipset, 12 megapixel camera with Sony Exmor R sensor and 1080p video recording capabilities, 32GB internal memory, Weighs 144g.”
  26. Sony LT27i, code name “Pepper” – “Sony Ericsson Pepper MT27i will feature a 3.7 inch touchscreen display with 480 x 854 pixel native resolution. Under the hood, this smartphone may house an ST-Ericsson NovaThor U8500 mobile chipset. Ideally meant to be the successor of Xperia neo V, this new MT27i Pepper smartphone features a 5 megapixel camera capable of recording 720p HD video.”
  27. Toshiba Excite X10 – the world’s thinnest tablet, “As well as being ultra slim, it’s also lightweight at 0.54kg and features a 10.1 inch (1280×800 resolution) IPS display, a 1.2GHz TI OMAP 4420 dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM and two cameras (five megapixel and two megapixel.) It also sports built-in speakers, a micro-HDMI, micro-USB 2.0, and a microSD card slot. Due to be released this quarter, priced at $529 for the 16GB and $600 for the 32GB version in the US.”
  28. Toshiba tablet with Organic EL – “Toshiba showed the prototype to the media that has a 7.7-inch organic EL display, saying it aims to develop a tablet up to 350 grams in weight and less than 8 millimeters thick.”
  29. Toshiba’s underwater tablet – “A Toshiba representative said the technology could eventually end up in devices made for browsing poolside or in the bathroom. Toshiba’s prototype can be charged via magnetic signals from a transceiver. The charger needs to be within 3 inches.”
  30. Velocity Micro Cruzes – “While Cruz tablets are certainly not going to be rivaling the iPad or other premium tablets anytime soon, they may very well give the Amazon Kindle Fire a run for its money this year. Velocity Micro currently has two tablets on the market: the Cruz T408 (8? display) and Cruz T410 (10? display) which retail for $199 and $299; and this week, the company launched the T507 (7?) and T510 (10?) two ultra-thin, lightweight tablets running Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0). Both devices are set to hit stores by the end of February and will retail between $149- $249.”
  31. ViewSonic ViewPad E70 tablet – “The new Viewsonic Viewpad E70 costs only $169—and while it doesn’t run ICS at blazing speed, it definitely runs ICS adequately enough.
    The Viewpad E70 isn’t a geek’s dream of a device. The little white tablet has pretty decent specs for a unit that costs under $200 without a subsidy. It has dual cameras, HDMI out, and room for a MicroSD memory card. It’s solidly built, but you can tell it’s an inexpensive device when you look at the relatively dim, grainy 800-by-480 screen.”
  32. ViewSonic ViewPhone 3 – “…the ViewSonic ViewPhone 3 is a dual-SIM handset running Android 2.3 Gingerbread and set to drop late this quarter for $279 unlocked. Two SIMs allow for both business and work use on the same device, and there’s HSDPA connectivity along with WiFi and Bluetooth. The screen is a 3.5-inch panel, while Gingerbread runs on a conservative 800MHz processor.”

Marti Trewe reports on business and technology news, chasing his passion for helping entrepreneurs and small businesses to stay well informed in the fast paced 140-character world. Marti rarely sleeps and thrives on reader news tips, especially about startups and big moves in leadership.

Tech News

How to opt out of Google’s robots calling your business phone

(TECH) Google’s robots now call businesses to set appointments, but not all companies are okay with talking to an artificial intelligence tool like a person. Here’s how to opt out.

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You know what’s not hard? Calling a restaurant and making a reservation. You know what’s even easier? Making that reservation though OpenTable. You know what we really don’t need, but it’s here so we have to deal with it? Google Duplex.

Falling under “just because we can do it, doesn’t mean we should do it,” Duplex, Google’s eerily human-sounding AI chat agent that can arrange appointments for Pixel users via Google Assistant has rolled out in several cities including New York, Atlanta, Phoenix, and San Francisco which now means you can have a robot do menial tasks for you.

There’s even a demo video of someone using Google Duplex to find an area restaurant and make a reservation and in the time it took him to tell the robot what to do, he could’ve called and booked a reservation himself.

Aside from booking the reservation for you, Duplex can also offer you updates on your reservation or even cancel it. Big whoop. What’s difficult to understand is the need or even demand for Duplex. If you’re already asking Google Assistant to make the reservation, what’s stopping you from making it yourself? And the most unsettling thing about Duplex? It’s too human.

It’s unethical to imply human interaction. We should feel squeamish about a robo-middleman making our calls and setting our appointments when we’re perfectly capable of doing these things.

However, there is hope. Google Duplex is here, but you don’t have to get used to it.

Your company can opt out of accepting calls by changing the setting in your Google My Business accounts. If robots are already calling restaurants and businesses in your city, give your staff a heads-up. While they may receive reservations via Duplex, at least they’ll be prepared to talk to a robot.

And if you plan on not opting out, at least train your staff on what to do when the Google robots call.

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Bose launches headphone-less headphones for your face

(TECHNOLOGY) Bose is using augmented reality in a fascinating new way (even if we’re poking fun at it).

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Just in time for the holidays, Bose releases Frames, their new breakthrough sunglasses that combine the protection and style of premium sunglasses, the functionality and performance of wireless headphones, and the world’s first audio augmented reality platform.

At $199 per pair, they’re the perfect gift for the person who has everything and who will eventually lose them in a lake, leave them in a fitting room, or crush them in a car seat.

Frames have the ability to stream music and information, take and make calls, and access virtual assistants. Bose promises that your playlists, entertainment, and conversations will stay private, although how your conversations will remain private is unclear. Expect confusion from every stranger within earshot.

Bose is calling Frames a revolutionary wearable, but aren’t these just headphones for your face? Very cool headphones for your face?

Bose is pushing the AR functionality hard.

Although they can’t change what you see, they know what you’re seeing using a 9-axis head motion sensor and the GPS from your iOS or Android. Once they know what you see, the AR automatically tunes you into audio commentary for that place, opening users to endless possibilities for travel, learning, entertainment, and gaming.

They claim Frames are hands-free and clear-eyed, but even if that’s the case, do we really need more people walking around under the influence of distraction? As if it weren’t enough to have people’s eyes glued to their phones, now we can have people in matching sunglasses wandering around talking to themselves. Now who looks bonkers?

Frames are available for preorder now and are expected to ship in January 2019. Look for Bose to release updates to their AR at SXSW in March.

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What’s TikTok, why’s it so huge, and why is Facebook scared of it?

(TECH) TikTok has taken the internet by storm – you’ve probably seen the videos floating around, so here’s the context your business needs to know.

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Jimmy Fallon recently challenged his viewers to his version of a #sharpiechallenge. That’s where you toss a sharpie into the air, catch it, take the cap off and draw a mustache on yourself with it. He requested that viewers use TikTok to record it and upload it.

As of this writing, the hashtag boasts 8.2 million views in TikTok alone – if it wasn’t big before it gained Fallon as a fan, it is now.

What Is TikTok?

The TikTok app is the brainchild of Bytedance, a Chinese company that once owned Muscal.ly, and it launched in September 2016 as Douyin (it’s Chinese moniker). When it launched internationally, a year later, they branded the social media app TikTok. When Musical.ly shut down, users had to switch.

The app lets users view, create and share 15-second videos (kind of like Vine, RIP). It’s estimated that there are over 500 million users worldwide. The app has been highly ranked in the charts for number of downloads over the past few months, with a spike when Fallon had his first challenge, #tumbleweedchallenge. (For the record, Fallon and The Tonight Show do not have a business relationship with Bytedance.)

Users can lip-sync, do duets, record a reactions video and has some excellent tech in the app for video editing. Users can comment on videos and create video memes. It’s pretty fascinating. And wildly appealing to the masses.

One of the best things about TikTok is that the app doesn’t have advertising or monetization capabilities, even though it has a broad audience. With an estimated 500 million users, it’s just a matter of time.

Facebook launches a TikTok-clone.

Facebook doesn’t want to be late to the game. In classic follower fashion, they have launched their own short-video app, Lasso.

I played with both apps, and Lasso just doesn’t have comparable content.

What Facebook does have is its user base. By integrating with Facebook itself, Lasso may outdo TikTok eventually, but it will need to increase its capabilities.

Why should your business take notice?

Small businesses should be aware of these apps. Online videos are driving social media engagement. Content is king, and you’ve been reading here for years that video is a powerful component of any social media strategy.

TikTok and Lasso give you video-making and video-sharing tools that could increase your online presence.

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