Dedicated tablet app looks just like the phone equivalent
British satellite broadcaster BSkyB has launched a dedicated tablet version of its Sky Go app, which allows subscribers to stream live TV and on-demand content to their Android devices. Sky says the app, like its smartphone counterpart, also gives customers access to more than 800 movies and a library of "hundreds" of entertainment shows and kids' content.
The launch of an official tablet app follows the gradual rollout of the Sky Go smartphone app over the past year — that app is available for a selection of popular Android devices sold in the UK. However the design of Sky Go for Android hasn't changed markedly in the tablet version — in fact it's almost identical to the phone version, leaving a lot of dead space on a 7-inch screen.
Sky Go for tablets is available now on Google Play for free, though you'll need a Sky subscription to use it. The app is compatible with "the majority of Android tablets that are 7 inches or larger and running Android 4.0 or later," according to the Play Store listing.
Sometimes holiday deals are best ignored — we've got your guide to get the most bang for your buck
It's that time of year. Everywhere you look, you'll see incredible deals on "official" tablets that run "Google Android," often times starting at well under $100. Huge retail discount sales — whether real or imagined — during the holiday season are part of American culture. But we're here to help you not get burned by falling into the trap of buying a craplet.
Android is free. People can debate about that issue all they like, but the fact that we see Android installed on pieces of hardware from companies we've never heard of for sale at the local gas station pretty much proves the point that anyone can use Android in any way they like. Free software is a wonderful thing, and we're glad that anyone can build it and use it.
That doesn't mean we think you should buy just any cheap tablet, though. Money doesn't grow on trees, right?
We've got your guide to the best low-cost tablets we'd be willing to spend our own hard-earned cash on.
Verizon is hoping to get more people hooked on mobile data for their tablets with a new $5 "Daily Plan." The new plan slots in below the previous low offering of $20 for 1GB of data each month, and gives you 24 hours of access to 300MB of data, with the plan running out at whichever limit you reach first.
The new Daily Plan is applicable to any of Verizon's tablets or connected devices, like a Samsung Galaxy Camera, and can be used as many times as you please. For example you could simply string together three Daily Plans for 900MB over those three days for $15, but anywhere past that and you'd likely prefer to just sign up for a monthly plan or pay the $10 to add the tablet to a Share Everything plan.
It isn't exactly the best deal in the world considering T-Mobile is offering any tablet (whether they sell it or not) 200MB of data per month for free, but if you're already a Verizon customer you may want to take a look on your next trip with a data-enabled tablet.
Google apps on the £49 'Avoca' tablet were not properly licensed, according to reports
Following the arrival of cheap Android tablets from British retailers Argos and Tesco, retail chain Carphone Warehouse made headlines with the launch of its own budget slate, priced at just £49. By all accounts the "Avoca" tablet packed pretty basic hardware — a 1GHz CPU, WVGA display and 512MB of RAM stands out as being decidedly low-end — but at least it included the full suite of Google apps.
Now it seems the those apps may have been loaded onto the device without being properly licensed. The UK-based Mobile Magazine reports via "industry sources" that the Avoca's software was not licensed by Google, and as such manufacturer STB Developments had loaded apps like Google Maps and the Google Play Store onto the tablet without permission. Applications like this form the GMS (Google Mobile Services) package, which is licensed separately to the open-source Android OS.
Achos has announced the latest tablet in its Gen 11 range, the Archos 101 XS 2. It's a 10.1-inch 1280x800-resolution tablet with front-facing speakers and a Archos' "Coverboard" keyboard cover — a magnetic keyboard which clips onto the device. On the inside it's powered by an 1.6GHz quad-core CPU with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, backed up by Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and the full complement of Google apps. Archos has also bundled OfficeSuite Pro 6 for MS Office document support, along with its own suite of media center apps for movie and TV show playback.
The tablet is due to arrive in the UK this December, priced £249.99 from Archos' own web store.
UK retailer Carphone Warehouse has announced that it's dropping the price of the budget "Avoca" 7-inch tablet to just £49 — half the usual price of £99. The new price makes the device one of the cheapest Google Play-certified tablets around, and significantly undercuts low-cost rivals from Argos and Tesco.
Though at such a low price you'll get exactly what you pay for. The Avoca 7-inch tablet is powered by a 1GHz CPU, with a WVGA (800x480) display and 512MB of RAM — so don't expect an exceptionally speedy experience in Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. You do at least get a reasonable 8GB of storage and microSD expandability, as well as a promised 8 hours of battery life.
However considering it's essentially a disposable tablet, you can't really argue with what you get for the price. CPW says the Avoca tablet will remain at £49 while stocks last.
T-Mobile has announced a new way to try their network with your LTE-enabled tablet. As part of the Un-carrier 3.0 initiative, users — even those who are not a current T-Mobile customer — will receive 200MB of free LTE data on any eligible device every 30 days. This offer is good for tablets purchased through T-Mobile, or any compatible device you may already have or have purchased elsewhere. Users who already have a tablet data plan with T-Mobile will get an extra 200MB monthly. this offer will last for the life of the device.
This won't work like the current Simple Choice plans. Once you use the "free" bandwidth, you're shut off instead of being throttled. You'll be given an opportunity to sign up for a day pass, or any other plan, but you can always choose to just disconnect until your 30-day cycle refreshes. Current customers won't have to do anything for the extra data bucket, their plan will be automatically adjusted to take advantage of the new offer.
This all goes into effect November 1. CEO John Legere was also quick to mention that they're not done yet with their Un-carrier program. Will bring you more if and when it happens, but for now be sure to click the link below to get all the information, and you can always hit up @TMobile with questions on Twitter.
Apps designed for tablets will be more visible from your tablet come November 21
Google has announced that some changes are coming to Google Play on November 21, and that the tablet app section will take front and center.
With all new tablet sales being 50 percent Android, Google wants to expand and showcase the "Designed for Tablets" section of Google Play, where applications that have been written to take better advantage of the extra real estate that a 7-inch or 10-inch tablet can offer are highlighted.
Come late November, users browsing the Google Play app on their tablet will now have the "Designed for Tablets" view as the default when looking through the top lists (Top Paid, Top Free, Top Grossing, Top New Paid, Top New Free, and Trending). We'll still be able to switch to see all apps if we like, but this should make sure we notice the apps that will look and run best on out tablets.
If you're an app developer, you'll want to get in on this action. The Android Developers Blog is a great place to start, and getting your app primed for the big tablet push is their goal. Hit the source link and get started. And don't forget to holler at us when you're done — we're always looking for the best apps to feature on the blog.
7-inch, LTE-capable tablet coming to Sprint this Friday for $49 on a two-year plan
Samsung has announced that the 7-inch Galaxy Tab 3 will be making its way to Sprint from this Friday, Oct 11. Priced at $49 on a two-year plan, the Tab 3 7.0 runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean on a 7-inch, 1024x600-resolution display. There's also a 3-megapixel rear camera and 1.3-megapixel front-facer, and if Sprint's Tab 3 is anything like the Wifi-only version, it should be powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core CPU with 1GB of RAM. (No specific internals are mentioned in today's press release.) Existing Sprint customers can add data for a Tab 3 to their accounts for an additional monthly fee starting at $5 plus tax.
As a TouchWiz tablet, Sprint's Tab 3 features some of the headline features from Samsung's smartphones, including the WatchON TV app, which uses a built-in IR blaster, and Group Play for multimedia sharing. The tablet will go on sale this Friday through Sprint's brick-and-mortar stores as well as online and telesales channels. At first it'll be available in white, with a black version to follow in time for the holidays.
16GB model may sell for £350 in the UK, fresh retail leak suggests
It's been a little over a month since we first caught wind that Taiwanese manufacturer ASUS might be making the next 10-inch Nexus tablet, and now a fresh flurry of retail leaks brings some corroborating evidence. Yesterday a PC World employee tweeted a screenshot showing the tablet's name in the UK chain's systems; today we've received some more details from an anonymous tipster at Currys, a UK retailer owned by the same company.
The images given to us corroborate the £349.99 price point for the device, and suggest that this could be the price for the 16GB model. (By comparison, the current 16GB Samsung Nexus 10 sells for £319 on Google Play.) It's still far from official, but the buzz around the purported tablet certainly seems to be growing. While we wait on an official announcement, hit the comments and let us know what you'd like to see in an ASUS Nexus 10.