iPad is popular among American adults

popularity of tablets among american adultsThe popularity of the tablet is sky rocketing and 25% of American adults have embraced the technology.

According to the study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, the growth in tablet ownership has tremendously increased over the past year.

52% of them own an iPad while 48% own an Android based device.

The 52% market share of Apple’s iPad fell down from the previous year when it had 80% of the share. Android on the other hand continues to chomp down on the latter’s lead as the 15% market share of the previous year rose to 48%.

It is good to keep in mind that this study was made before Google released their Nexus 7 and Amazon’s Kindle Fire, so it is good to speculate that Android’s market share will still rise in the next few months.

The study also showed that the Kindle Fire is the most popular Android tablet, holding 21% of the market share of the 48% it’s holding.

Amongst mobile phone operating systems, 46% of American adults currently run on the Android OS, followed by iOS with 38%. Research In Motion’s BlackBerry only holds 10% of the share.

What’s running on your smartphone?

Image Source: engadget.com

Surface tablet to be priced like Apple’s iPad

Tech developers who are wary of a $200 Surface tablet gave a sigh of relief after Steve Ballmer hinted that their Surface tab would most likely be priced at the price range of Apple’s iPad.

In an interview with the Seattle Times, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said that their Surface tablet will be priced comparable to that of the iPad rather than the Kindle Fire.

In the interview, Ballmer said, “I think most people would tell you that the iPad is not a superexpensive device… (When) people offer cheaper, they do less. They look less good, they’re chintzier, they’re cheaper.”

“If you say to somebody, would you use one of the 7-inch tablets, would somebody ever use a Kindle to do their homework? The answer is no; you never would. It’s just not a good enough product. It doesn’t mean you might not read a book on it,” he added.

The rumored iPad release next month can possibly affect the price of the Surface tablet.

Currently, the iPad is priced between $400 to $800 depending on the generation and storage size.

Ballmer is very optimistic as to what the Surface tablet can do. According to him, “I’m not paid to have doubts. I don’t have any. It’s a fantastic product.”

Image Source: bgr.com

Amazon takes revenge on Google while striking at Apple

The new Amazon tablets are out, and the Kindle Fire has never looked better. When we thought Amazon and their upstart Kindle Fire was finally put to rest by Google’s Nexus 7, they launched a counter offensive that not only sought to out price the Nexus 7, but also sought outperform the Google product.

Amazon launched a flurry of tablets during the press event. First is the revived Kindle Fire with better RAM, processor, and battery, making it viable option despite the Nexus 7. It was also priced competitively low, at only $159 apiece. That is not bad, considering the original Kindle Fire was still very attractive to customers even when the Nexus 7 was already out.

If the revamped Kindle Fire was not enough to beat Google’s Nexus 7 on the spot, they have a new device at the $199 price point – the Kindle Fire HD. It is everything the Kindle Fire once was, with a high definition display, a 5GHz band Wi-Fi capability, and better sound Dolby Digital Plus. It also beats the Nexus 7 in the memory category, starting at 16 GB at $199 and 32 GB at $249. The Nexus 7 16 GB version starts at $249. Amazon really rules in price right now.

It uses a customized secure Amazon Android ICS version. There is no word on getting Jelly Bean, but it wouldn’t matter, as Amazon routinely cuts out anything Google from the OS, so the Google-centric changes in Jelly Bean would not even make it to the device. Amazon even makes sure the default search engine searches Amazon’s site first, especially for purchasable items and multimedia content.

At this point, everything Amazon did was more than expected. They managed to dish out a competitive product while keeping the price lower than the Google Nexus 7. What we didn’t expect, is Amazon attacking the Apple iPad.

Using the 3rd Generation iPad as a benchmark, Amazon shows how they beat Apple in competitive pricing with their Kindle Fire HD 8.9, but first, let’s look at what the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 has to offer.

The larger Kindle Fire HD tablet has a Retina class display, going at 254 ppi, compared to the iPad with a 264 ppi. Both devices have highly dense displays that make sure you won’t see the pixels when you look at the screen.

The Kindle Fire HD also sports a dual band Wi-Fi antenna, which in theory makes browsing the internet much faster than both the Nexus 7 and the iPad 3. Usage of this technology will still depend on your Wi-Fi router, but it is still an awesome addition to the product specifications.

Speaking of specifications, the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 also uses a dual core processor similar to the old version, but with a better integrated GPU. This allows higher graphical performance necessary for the Retina quality displays. The processor is clocked at a whopping 1.8 GHz. Much like the iPad, the Kindle Fire HD also has a 4G LTE version, aptly named the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 4G LTE.

Now back to the pricing, the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 starts at $299 for the 16 GB version, while the iPad is priced at $499. It is even lower than the 2nd Generation iPad, which is currently priced at $399 for the 16 GB model.

Going higher in memory, the Wi-Fi only Kindle is priced at $399 for the 32 GB version while the 4G LTE version is priced at $499 for 32 GB. The new iPad is priced at $599 for Wi-Fi, and $729 for the 4G version.

The Kindle Fire HD 8.9 4G LTE also has a 64 GB option, priced at $599. The iPad has 64 GB on both the Wi-Fi and 4G options, but are priced at a hefty sum of $699 and $829 respectively.

As you can see, the Kindle Fire HD 8.9, which was presented in a way that truly screams “aimed at the iPad”, is priced very competitively. Google tried to beat Amazon in price, and Amazon just beat them back to the ground taking Apple along for the ride.

This has yet to take into consideration the added Kindle specific features that are not present in other Android versions, most notably, the high integration with the Amazon AppStore, the X-Ray for books and movies, and the advanced built in parental controls.

There are certainly a lot of factors to consider when buying your tablet. If price is all you are worried about, then the Kindle lineup has you covered while providing features and specifications that are able to go toe to toe with all the other tablets in the market. Will a Kindle be your next device?

Image sources: theverge.com, 9to5google.com

Amazon partners with Bing as their default web browser

Microsoft’s search engine, Bing, has been lagging behind the search engine wars. Now, the company is on the offensive after they told Mashable that they have inked a deal with Amazon to be Kindle Fire HD’s default Web browser.

The deal was only finalized a few days ago according to general manager of communications and influencer marketing of Bing Adam Sohn. This makes Bing the default engine of the Kindle Fire HD and the new Kindle Fire tablets, though users can opt to change their default browser preference.

Amazon is the second company to have a tie-up with Microsoft. Research In Motion was the first company to have a deal with Microsoft. RIM will power search and maps of BlackBerry phones from then on.

Bing has slowly but surely gained market share. Bing is currently used by individuals 15.6% when they search something online.

Microsoft has been losing money on their online services division and Bing is a big part of it. Instead of cutting the lifeline of Bing, Microsoft is trying to revamp and rejuvenate the fledging search engine.

It may take a while, but this partnership could eventually lead to more usage of Bing.

Do you think that Microsoft did the right decision in maintaining Bing?

Image Source: allthingsd.com

Amazon to offer ad-free Kindle Fire HD

Good news for new Kindle Fire HD owners, as Amazon has decided to offer their clients a way to remove the advertisements that appear on their screens.

Though it doesn’t come free, it’s an excellent way for Kindle Fire HD owners to use their tablets without those unwanted advertisements.

Kindle Fire HD owners have to shell out $15 to remove these advertisements that appear every time the user locks the screen of their Kindles.

A statement released by Amazon said, “I wanted to let you know that with Kindle Fire HD there will be a special offer opt-out option for $15.”

“We know from our Kindle reader line that customers love our special offers and very few people choose to opt out. We’re happy to offer customers the choice,” they added.

These ad-free Kindles will not be directly available in the market. Kindle Fire HD owners need to purchase the tablet first then pay the $15 fee to remove the ads.

Amazon began the ad lock screen two years ago to help offer their tablets to their clients in a cheaper price.

Analysts said that Amazon didn’t initially want to offer the fee for their clients. But since then, they have changed their mind.

Image Source: talkandroid.com

Amazon teams up with Google on new Kindle Fire

Amazon is going ballistic, as the company unveiled a number of devices in their bid to dethrone other tablets out of their lofty perch.

The company did not only reveal new members of their Kindle Fire line. In fact, Amazon was able to unveil new sets of devices that the company hopes they could make a major breakthrough in the tech world.

Focusing on their new Kindle Fire models: the 7 inch, 8.9 inch and 4G LTE version Kindle Fire, the company has teamed up with Google to help power their new tablets.

A spokesperson from the company confirmed that these devices will be running on Google’s Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Android 4.1 Jellybean fans may be saddened by these news, but Ice Cream Sandwich isn’t that bad at all. Though there is still no use yet as to updating the devices OS, at least these new Kindle Fire tablets now run on Android. And that is the good news.

As for the Kindle Paperwhite, it is still unclear whether it’s going to run on Android. Hopefully, Amazon will release a statement regarding on the operating system of the latter.

Is this a great move by Amazon to team up with Google?

Image Source: gearburn.com

Google might make the Nexus 7 truly mobile with 3G

The Google Nexus 7 has truly been popular. The Nexus name itself is enough of a reason to get it if you are into Android, but there were a lot of things about the Nexus that can really catch a person’s attention the first time they see it.

The Google Nexus 7 was made alongside ASUS, who is known in the Android community as a popular Android tablet maker. They make it really cheap, too. The Nexus 7 was made with ASUS’ connection to get the lowest price for the best parts possible.

The Nexus 7 had a price tag of $199, the same price tag that competitor Amazon had for their Kindle fire. The main difference here is the sheer power that the Nexus 7 brings to the customer at that price. You get a quad core Tegra 3 processor, a 7 inch 1280×800 HD display, emerging tech such as the NFC based Android Beam, and best of all, the latest Android operating system, 4.1 Jelly Bean.

The Kindle Fire was blown out the water in an instance. The Nexus 7 beat it in every way, making it the clear choice in a low cost, high yield android tablet market. Despite the popularity, the Google Nexus 7 had a few faults that critics seem to focus at.

One is the lack of SD memory expansion. Just to say, for a Nexus device, that is already a given. Google seeks to encourage Nexus users to utilize the cloud based services, such as Google Drive, Google Music, Google Videos, etc., in the absence of memory space. I didn’t see what the issue was, as Amazon’s little Kindle Fire didn’t have one as well.

The Google Nexus 7 was indeed built to be a mobile device, but Google failed in one area – connectivity. Since the device was meant to be a mobile device that focuses on cloud based services, it is a given that the user would need internet access all the time to access their data on the cloud. The problem was the Google Nexus 7 was only built with Wi-Fi connectivity.

People have worked around the issue by tethering data from their mobile phones when on the go, but this causes battery strain for 2 devices at the same time. Many wished that the Nexus 7 had access to network based data. Google probably figured this out, so according to a “reliable and well-placed source”, Google is about ready to ship a batch of Nexus 7 equipped with 3G capabilities in a matter of 6 weeks (give or take).

If this leak is proven to be true, a lot of people hesitant about getting a Nexus 7 for themselves would surely have good reason to get one if their only cause for concern is the lack of 3G data. Do take note that while it will have 3G capabilities, it does not mean that it can be used for texting and calling.

Are you finally ready to give Google’s latest Nexus a go? Sure, it will be priced a bit higher for adding 3G technologies, but it will still be the best bang for your buck tablet out there. It definitely beats the previous Kindle Fire, but I wonder how well it would fare now that the second Kindle Fire is nearly on stage?

Image sources: osxdaily.com, techproud.com, blogspot.com

Kindle Fire finally receives Spotify App

Digital music service provider Spotify is finally making their app available to Kindle Fire users as the latter can now download the Spotify app at the Amazon app store.

Users -either on Kindle Fire or not- who download the free version of the Spotify app can stream music being played by Internet radio stations with commercial breaks. Those who pay for their subscription on the other hand, or Premium users, will have a “full mobile experience”.

Premium subscription costs $9.99 per month and users can create and listen to customized playlist, enjoy the app’s social media features and the best of it all, no commercial breaks.

The Spotify app for the Kindle Fire app includes upgrades, such as slide out navigation windows. It also features a crossfaded playback and the ability to create folders for different playlists.

Spotify recently updated their Spotify app for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich users. The update includes a 32-kbps “extreme” sound quality.

But the latter is also heavily dependent on the headphones or speakers that you use on your MP3 device.

So if you’re a music fanatic and can’t live without it whenever you go out on a stroll, then download the Spotify app in your Kindle Fire so you could have music everywhere you go.

Kindle Fire owners must be happy now!

Image Source: theverge.com

Your Nexus 7 pre-order may soon be at your doorstep

Good news to those who have pre-ordered their Google Nexus 7 tablets from Google Play. It seems like you will be receiving your device soon as an automated phone message on Google’s support line is saying that shipment for those who have pre-ordered the Nexus 7 have already begun.

The message says that pre-orders are scheduled to ship within the next three days. If your Nexus 7 tablet is shipped, you will receive an email confirmation and the tracking number of the package.

The Nexus 7 tablet is priced at $199 and is being pitted against the likes of Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet and the Nook Tablet of Barnes & Noble.

The Nexus 7 is pre-installed with the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS and has access to all the apps in Google’s Play Store and from Amazon.

Compared with other tablets in the market, the Nexus 7 packs a higher resolution screen and a faster processor.

But if you check the Google Play page, it says that the Nexus 7 will be shipped weeks from now, specifically 1-2 weeks.

The Nexus 7 tablet was designed to have a better battery life. Google says that owners can enjoy up to 9 hours of HD video playback, 10 hours of web browsing experience and 10 hours of e-reading for one single charge.

Let’s see what Google has to offer then!

Image Source: androidauthority.com

Kindle Fire 2 by Amazon to sport a bigger screen size

Tablet manufacturers are racing to develop smaller devices to cut costs and produce a tablet for the mass market.

But Amazon is said to be going against the tide, as analysts have said that the Amazon Kindle Fire 2 will feature a screen that is bigger than its predecessor.

The Amazon Kindle Fire 2 is said to feature a 1280 x 800 pixel resolution, compared to the 1024 x 600 pixel that the current Kindle Fire has. It would also feature a new aspect ratio that will change the shape of the screen.

This information comes from All Things D, which they say that the details come from Amazon developers.

All Things D also reported that the Amazon Kindle Fire 2 will sport a built-in camera and will be thinner and lighter than its predecessor.

Amazon is said to release the Kindle Fire 2 in the third quarter of this year.

The first version of the Kindle Fire never made it out of US shores. But Amazon is rumored to be distributing the Kindle Fire 2 worldwide to take on Apple’s rumored Apple iPad Mini and the Google Nexus 7.

Care to purchase a Kindle Fire 2 once it is made available?

Image Source: blog.gadgethelpline.com