August 2010

Android soon to be in Marvell-powered Rydeen navigation device
Android is apparently also coming to navigation devices. Marvell announced that the upcoming (November 2010) Rydeeen GCOM701, powered by the Marvell ARMADA 166 application processor, will use Android, have a 7-inch 800 x 480 pixel touchscreen, WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth, camera, and 6-hour battery life. While the GCOM701 will primarily be a navigation device with four million POIs, it is also suitable for Web surfing, reading eBooks and viewing images and video. [see Marvell press releasee] -- Posted Tuesday, August 31, 2010 by chb

Learning about Android on tablets for US$169
Experts expect tens of millions of tablets will sell over the next couple of years, and their OS of choice may well be Android. Yet, despite all the tablet announcements, we really haven't seen much. Enter the Augen GenTouch78, a US$169 tablet running Android 2.1. It's available at, of all places, KMart. No, it's not an iPad competitor, it's really stylus and not touch, and it's not very polished. But it provides an inexpensive look at the potential of Android on tablets (and it's better than any Pocket PC ever was). RuggedPCReview.com took a detailed look at the Augen GenTouch, including inside. [See full review of the Augen GenTouch78 Android tablet] -- Posted Sunday, August 29, 2010 by chb

iSuppli: Apple will dominate tablet market through 2012
According to a report by iSuppli Market Research, Apple is expected to dominate the tablet market at least through 2012. In 2010, the iPad accounts for 74% of all tablet shipments, with the remainder older-style Tablet PCs and competing ablets. In 2011, even with the advent of competition, the iPad is expected to maintain 70% of the market. In 2012, the iPad's share is still expected to be over 60%. iSuppli also says that it took iPhone competitors about three years to come up with truly competitive products. [See iSuppli release] -- Posted Thursday, August 26, 2010 by chb

Samsung uses Corning Gorilla Glass to protect their Galaxy S smartphone
Smartphone users sick of fearing the screen of their fragile phone to break at the drop of a hat will welcome a trend now being pioneered by Samsung: the 4-inch super AMOLED display of the new Samsung Galaxy S will be protected by Corning Gorilla Glass (see our blog entry on Gorilla Glass), an environmentally friendly alkali-aluminosilicate thin sheet glass that is both extremely scratch resistant and durable. -- Posted Wednesday, August 25, 2010 by chb

Full review: Handheld Algiz 7
The advent of Intel's Atom processors a couple of years ago made possible a new generation of smaller, lighter and less expensive "netbook" computers that provide adequate performance and functionality for a wide range of applications. Likewise, we're now seeing a new generation of smaller, lighter tablet computers that use similarly targeted technology for vertical market applications. The Algiz 7 by the Handheld Group is such a product--lighter, handier and smaller than full-size tablets. RuggedPCReview.com presents a detailed assessment of the Algiz 7, its features and performance, and its suitability for tough outdoors jobs. [See full review of the Handheld Group Algiz 7] -- Posted Wednesday, August 25, 2010 by chb

Surveying software on DAP Kinysis tablets
The American Surveyer reports on a "New Tool for Highway Surveyors and Engineers Available on Rugged Tablet Computer". What they're talking about is Highway Surveyors’ ReGen software available on DAP Technologies’ rugged Kinysis tablet computer. ReGen is a data collection, survey management, and data optimization tool with a Google Maps interface; the Kinysis is a handy, rugged tablet computer, available in versions with or without integrated keyboard, running Windows Embedded Standard -- Posted Tuesday, August 24, 2010 by chb

Australian aged care home chooses Motion C5v tablets
Aiming to be entirely paperless within two years, Australian healthcare organization Jacaranda Village is taking delivery of the Motion Computing C5v Mobile Clinical Assistant (MCA) as it commits itself to mobility solutions. Using i-Care software, electronic medication charts, and the device's wireless functionality, means, according to Jacaranda Village’s chief executive Sue Bowditch, "our staff can spend more time with the residents and still get their work done.” [See Motion press release] -- Posted Tuesday, August 24, 2010 by chb

New Intel Atoms, and how Oracle is helping Microsoft
So Intel adds a couple of new Atom chips to its growing and rather confusing roster of low-end chips. What do the new D425 and D525 mean for you? And Oracle's suing Google over Android! What's up with that? [read more...] -- Posted Thursday, August 19, 2010 by chb

BSQUARE doing well
Mobile computing pioneers may remember BSQUARE as an early Windows CE software developer as a mobile and embedded systems house. While not too many companies from that era are still around, BSQUARE is, and is doing well. They just reported record earnings of US$26.9 million for Q2 of 2010, and scored a record net income of US$4 million. BSQUARE CEO Brian Crowley reported "a great job of driving sales growth of both Microsoft Embedded and Windows Mobile licenses" and a general "continued momentum in Microsoft Windows Mobile license sales." [See BSQUARE press release] -- Posted Wednesday, August 18, 2010 by chb

Intel releases two Atom chips with DDR3 SODIMM support
Intel has added two more processors to its growing family of Atom processor products. The single-core Atom D425 and the dual-core Atom D525 both run at 1.8GHz, representing a small step up from the existing 1.6GHz D410 and D510. Thermal Design Power remains at 10 and 13 watts, and the stated quantity prices of US$42 and US$63 is also the same as that of the earlier chips (which, however, enjoy "embedded" status). There is a difference, however: the two new chips support DDR3 SODIMM, and Intel is promoting them for home and small business network storage devices. [See Intel release on Atom D425 and D525] -- Posted Tuesday, August 17, 2010 by chb

Assessment of potential iPad competitors
With the Apple iPad having such a huge lead in the tablet market, how will the compeition react? That's what CNET's Erica Ogg discusses in her insightful article "The clock is ticking for iPad competitors". -- Posted Tuesday, August 17, 2010 by chb

LXE announces Atom/Windows 7 Marathon field computer
LXE announced an interesting new machine. The LXE Marathon field computer picks up the "open book" design that combines a display and a keyboard in a very compact tablet. The Marathon weighs just over two pounds, has a 7-inch outdoor-viewable touchscreen, runs Windows 7 on an Intel Atom processor, and includes a high-res camera, a fingerprint reader that doubles as a mouse, and also offers a wealth of bolt-on accessories such as a mag stripe reader, 2D imager and extended battery for up to 8 and 12-hour operation. The device, which measures about 8 x 7.6 inches, includes Gobi WWAN, 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth, and is sealed to IP 65 specs. [See LXE press release] -- Posted Friday, August 13, 2010 by chb

Android contemplations
Off the cuff, the way we see it is that Android has a better than even chance of becoming the OS of choice for tablets and other mobile devices. Android is really nothing more than another Linux distribution, but one backed and sort of run by Google. Microsoft, of course, will make the usual argument of leverage and security and integration into other Microsoft products, but the fact is that Linux itself can be at least as secure as anything Microsoft makes. Just look at the Mac OS which is also Unix-based, and Unix is the basis of Linux. [read more...] -- Posted Thursday, August 12, 2010 by chb

Foxconn annualized revenues over US$70 billion
According to Digitimes, Foxconn's July 2010 revenues were US$6.2 billion, which translates into over US$70 billion on an annualized basis. Foxconn, a Taiwanese electronics contract manufacturer and part of Hoi Han Precision Industries, makes products for Apple, HP, Dell, Nokia, Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, etc. Foxconn has had some bad press recently (employee suicides), and the phenomenal growth raises a question: how much longer will US companies actually be able to build anything themselves? Will that manufacturing knowledge simply get lost and the efforts to avoid higher US salaries turn out to have been short-sighted in the long run? -- Posted Wednesday, August 11, 2010 by chb

Full review: Advantech PPC-157T panel PC
There are numerous industrial and control applications that require rugged panel PCs. RuggedPCReview.com tested the Advantech PPC-157T, a versatile industrial panel computer from an experienced Taiwanese embedded and industrial systems manufacturer. The 15-inch panel offers good performance with a 2.16GHz Core 2 Duo processor, comes with your choice of touchscreen (resistive, capacitive or WAV), and offers excellent onboard connectivity, including extensive legacy support. [See review of the Advantech PPC-157T panel PC] -- Posted Monday, August 9, 2010 by chb

Motion and Bluebeam host seminar for construction professionals
Design and construction professionals looking for new ways to cut costs during closeout will have a unique learning opportunity next week. Bluebeam Software, the developer of PDF solutions for the architecture, engineering and construction industry, and Motion Computing are teaming up to present a case study webinar titled, "Take PDF Punchlists Mobile with Tablet PCs." For more information or to register visit: www.motioncomputing.com/promotions/webinars.asp -- Posted Monday, August 9, 2010 by chb

Why I may not use an iPhone much longer
Yes I know, provocative title. But I didn't choose it to add to the anti-iPhone chorus and litany championed by legacy publications like PC World. And I also didn't choose it to tell you about the latest HTC Awesome or Droid Maxximus that outdoes the iPhone in this spec or that. I didn't even choose it because I have become a convert to Android, though as a professional reviewer I am certainly interested in that latest and apparently finally successful mobile Linux implementation. [read more...] -- Posted Monday, August 9, 2010 by chb

Port to WebOS, get a million
The Palm PDK Hot Apps Program offers developers $1 million in cash or HP Products for applications developed using the Palm webOS Plug-in Development Kit (PDK), and rewards developers of the most-installed free and highest-revenue paid applications. The count begins July 15, 2010 and will last until September 30, 2010. [See PDK Hot Apps Program] -- Posted Thursday, August 5, 2010 by chb

Rugged HD vidcam with G-sensor and GPS contest!
Oregon Scientific has long been known for supercool, yet affordable electronic gadgets. They're doing it again with a rugged, all-terrain, waterproof (to 65 feet), shock-resistant HD video camera that can record 1080P video onto microSD cards up to 32GB. The Oregon Scientific ATC9K camera comes with numerous mounting options and can be attached to a helmet, handlebars, surfboard, snowboard, etc., can measure G-force during acceleration, deceleration and hang time, and there's even an optional GPS module to record location, speed and distance using Google Maps or Google Earth. You can even share video of your outdoor adventures on the ATC9K’s Facebook page for a chance to win a grand prize package worth $750! [See Oregon Scientific ATC9K camera Facebook contest] -- Posted Tuesday, August 3, 2010 by chb

Dr. Tim on the HTC Droid Incredible
After many years as a Windows Mobile champion and somewhat vocal critic of the iPhone, Dr. Tim has become enchanted with Android. "Tthe HTC Droid Incredible is no exaggeration," says Dr. Tim. "It’s a keeper as it naturally cuddles in the cup of your hand insinuating itself like a heat-seeking puppy looking for a new master. I have fallen hopelessly in love with it under its enchanting spell. I guess I have to say it was love at first sight. [Read Dr. Tim's full assessment of the HTC Droid Incredible] -- Posted Tuesday, August 3, 2010 by chb

Electric vehicle designer incorporates iPad
Why design an expensive custom onboard information system when an iPad can do? That's the approach avant-garde electric vehicle manufacturer T3 Motion takes by incorporating the iPad into its sleek GT3 as " the central information hub in the vehicle for everything from travel planning and GPS to audio, video and games." -- Posted Tuesday, August 3, 2010 by chb

General Dynamics Itronix introduces Android-based GD300 wearable computer
General Dynamics Itronix announced the GD300, a small wearable computer that combines rugged computing, GPS and data communication into one device specifically designed to provide access to tactical networks and enhance situational awareness. Interestingly, the GD300, which has a 3.5-inch 800 x 480 pixel touch display, runs the Android OS, making it probably the first ruggedized device from a major provider to use Android instead of Windows CE/Mobile. [See description and specs of the General Dynamics Itronix GD300] -- Posted Tuesday, August 3, 2010 by chb