Google Android 3.0 on track for New Year tablet launches
Google has told hardware and software developers to expect Android 3.0 in December.
So say moles from within Taiwan's hardware manufacturing community, according to a report from local newssite DigiTimes.
It was always believed that Android 3.0 would ship to developers in December, paving the way for sample hardware in the same month and product launches in January. However, Google's announcement shows that that timetable is to be met.
Android 3.0 - aka Gingerbread - is expected to bring a host of tablet-centric capabilities to the Google smartphone OS, and a fair few tablet makers have been patiently waiting for the arrival of the new version before the ship their iPad rivals.
Acer is one of them, and LG recently stated publicly that it doesn't want to release its tablet until Gingerbread is ready. Android 2.2 - the version used by, for example, Samsung's Galaxy Tab, which ships on 1 November - is not suitable for tablets, it said.
It seems likely that other firms, such as Asus, Toshiba, HTC, Lenovo and Motorola, will also hold back releases until early 2011.
Expect January's Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to play host to many Android 3.0 launch announcements. ®
iPad 2 will be an hardware device, GingerBread will be an operating system.
That is like bitching Win 7 (or whatever OS) saying: "Oh, but apple is already going to deliver the new Mac Air 2!".
Get a grip...
It's taken bloody ages for anyone to finally ship tablets based on Android 2.x, despite the fact that we've seen the hardware demod for ages now.
What makes anyone think that LG, Samsung, etc. will receive 3.0 sometime in December, turnaround the testing, make any necessary changes, and start shipping product in less than a month?
I suspect we'll only start seeing credible (i.e. not no-brand Chinese tat) 3.0 tablets at the end of Q1 2011. Or pretty much an entire year since the iPad was announced.
Honestly, they've not been all that good thus far.
For example, AFAIK very few have nice capacitive screens, I believe only the high end Archos ones do.
I suppose it really boils down to what you want to do with it and how urgently you need it.
Netbooks are really quite good for browsing in bed, on the toilet etc. I'll grant that the keyboard occasionally gets in the way when all you want to do is read an ebook, but the flexibility of having one, in my opinion outweighs the inconvenience of not. At the moment, I'm actually also coding on the bloody thing and designing some artwork. When I can code on a tablet, I'll buy one I reckon ;)
Wait a bit and see what happens, I would think.