Hello and welcome to another edition of the Pocket Picks roundup.
We’ve been a bit on-and-off recently, what with me popping off to various foreign climes on other duties. But don’t despair - there’s plenty of top news happening in the world of handsets, tablets, and apps to get through now I’m back.
You were despairing, right?
The ‘hot’ news (ho ho) this week is the official announcement of Amazon’s worst-kept secret: the Kindle Fire, an Android tablet that hopes to pull the rug from under Apple’s feet with its shockingly low price. There’s one major drawback to it, but we’ll get onto that in a second.
In other news, MeeGo looks like it may make a return in some form or another while Nokia launches its one and only device for the OS, the N9.
So sit back on the grass and shield your tablet/laptop from the unusually hot October sun - this is going to be a scorcher.
Phew! Finally all (well, most) of the rumours about Amazon releasing a tablet can stop.
The company finally announced that it would be launching the 7-inch Kindle Fire tablet this week. It comes with a limited Amazon Prime membership (for a bit of extra coin) and access to Amazon’s own Appstore and Kindle app for apps and e-books respecitvely.
In terms of specs, it’s not really that amazing. There’s a dual-core CPU inside its innards, but the machine lacks any camera and is actually running a heavily modified version of Android 2.1.
But that means very little when you see the price - $199, even cheaper than expected and only slightly more than a 3G-equipped Kindle e-book reader.
However, as can probably be guessed by the usage of dollars, the Kindle Fire is not yet scheduled to launch outside the USA, which puts the brakes on any excitement on this side of the pond for the time being.
Remember MeeGo, the open-source OS Nokia and Intel developed before the former switched strategy completely and threw its lot in with Microsoft? Well, it’s back. Sort of.
Now the second largest mobile manufacturer in the world, Samsung, has picked up the baton where Nokia left it, and has teamed up with Intel to deliver Tizen - a new open-source Linux-based OS - instead.
It’ll be based on HTML5 and is expected to ready to roll out be early 2012. However, the likelihood of seeing any devices with it until mid-year is about as likely as Nokia returning to MeeGo as its OS of choice.
Nokia N9 launches worldwide
Talking of MeeGo and Nokia, the one handset that the company developed running the OS has finally launched worldwide - the Nokia N9. Though to say it’s keeping rather quiet about this fact is a bit of an understatement (try finding it mentioned on the official page for the phone, for instance).
Still, while the fact it runs MeeGo is interesting to us nerdy types, it’s the design that will intrigue everyone else. The N9’s chassis is expected to be the very similar to the first Windows Phone from the Finnish company, and it’s not hard to see why - it’s rather splendid.
No doubt enterprising programmers and hackers will find a way of making it run a more - ahem - supported operating system in a few weeks time, so we wouldn’t be overly concerned about lack of support for the device. Unofficial support, that is.
While Nokia dallies with the release of its iPhone beating Windows Phone (it hopes) Samsung has been making a very nice home in the realm of premium smartphones with its Galaxy S range.
Now the company has announced that the latest version, the Galaxy S II, has managed to ship a rather impressive 10 million phones worldwide since its release in the middle of the year.
That figure is slightly faster than the previous iteration, which took five months to hit the same milestone, which is a decent sign that the brand appears to be gaining traction with high-end users.
However, Samsung still has quite some way to go if it’s to catch Apple’s baby, the iPhone 4, which stood at 71 million(ish) sold in under a year.
Android users fond of sharing up photos on Flickr should be rushing to download the site’s free app that went live on the Market this week.
The Flickr app for Android does exactly what you’d imagine it to do - that is to say, offers up a quick and easy way of uploading images straight to your social network of choice, without any faffing about.
As I know you all don’t like having to search through the Market manually (to be honest, neither do I) here’s a direct link for you all to enjoy (download).