If you’ve been following thedroidguy for a while than you know that I love unique phones. Although it didn’t do so well and we knocked it a bit, the Kyocera Echo was a phone that I thought was great because of it’s unique form factor. I also used a Droid Pro for the better part of a year as my main phone. Again, not a superphone, just at the time unique.
The same is the case here for the Pantech Pocket. When we first met with Pantech at CTIA in October in San Diego the thing that attracted me to this phone was it’s unique shape. Rather than a 4.3″ or 4.5″ rectangular shaped phone the Pantech Pocket is a 4 inch square phone.
The 4″ square display has a 4:3 aspect ratio making it great for consuming content. The resolution is 600×800 and it’s a capacitive multi touch display. The square shape makes it perfect for movies, tv programs, playing games and GPS. The way the maps consume the screen in either AT&T Navigator or Google Maps, it feels like a stand alone GPS unit.
The e-reading market is heating up. We have the Kindle Fire reportedly shipping very soon, the just announced Nook tablet and now a Google Books update.
The new Google Books update supports the ability to +1 books that you’re reading. It’s also reportedly fixed book search and flow in both portrait and landscape mode.
The biggest thing in the latest update to Google Books is compatibility for 7″ tablet screens. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 plus, the new T-Mobile (Huawei) Springboard, and the Acer A100 will all benefit from this update. Personally I like reading books on a 7″ tablet vs a 10″ tablet because of the weight and the size being closer to a paperback.
Although the first “real” Android tablet was in the 7 inch flavor it wasn’t Honeycomb so Google overlooked it for it’s Google Books library application. Now that there is a new onslaught of 7″ Honeycomb tablets, Google has updated it’s Google Books app to display better on 7″ tablets. The Acer Iconia A100, Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7, Samsung Galaxy Tab Plus, the T-Mobile 7″ Google Tablet and the Toshiba Thrive 7″ version will all have a better Google Books experience now.
Google has also added the ability to search within books, as well as a +1 button so you can share which books you like and which ones you don’t.
Google Books boasts over 5,000,000 downloads in the Android Market and over 3 million titles.
Google recently launched the iRiver Google book reader at Target. The dedicated e-reader looks very similar to the original Kindle and original Nook. However after a few weeks at Target stores it’s already been discounted.
As we all know, over the course of the end of last week the HP Touchpad saw some very troubling news. First, Best Buy reportedly wanted a refund on over 200,000 Touchpads that they had ordered to fill their shelves. Then HP announced it was moving away from webOS. We now believe that Best Buy had been tipped off to the fact that HP was dumping webOS and didn’t want to sell a tablet HP wouldn’t support, especially at a premium price.
Over the weekend HP adjusted their MSRP pricing for the HP Touchpad to $99 for the 16gb version and $149 for the 32gb version. Sure at that price they’re going to sell and sell quickly. In fact, as Phonearena reports, the HP Touchpad very quickly became the hottest item selling on Amazon.com.
Things just got a little tougher for Apple iPad and iPhone users with an Amazon Kindle or Barnes & Noble Nook account for their respective iPad/iPhone apps.
Earlier in the year Apple revamped their app store policies requiring any in app purchases to be within an app and not a link to a website or outside source. Both Amazon’s Kindle app for iOS and Barnes & Noble’s Nook app for iOS would allow customers to peruse titles within their apps however to purchase the title they were taken to a website outside of the app to complete. Now, with Apple’s new policy coming into action Amazon and Barnes & Noble are required to change their strategy.
In a heartfelt and humble letter sent to all the customers on Borders’ email list, CEO Mike Edwards details the end of a 40 year book buying tradition. Borders found themselves without a suitable buyer earlier this month and returned to court to start the liquidation process.
The book publishing industry has been in a downward spiral since the introduction of e-readers like the Kindle, the Kobo and the Android powered Nook and Nook Color. People are preferring to get their reading material instantly, and have it with them on the go.
Google has announced on the official Google blog that the newest version of Android Market is rolling out to Android devices running 2.2 and higher. The new Android Market update brings out Google Books and Google Movies to the masses.
The Android Market now allows you to rent movies for $1.99 directly to your phone, tablet or the web via your Google account. This service was originally announced at Google IO back in May. With Google’s Video App you can start watching movies instantly or have them download to your Android device so that you don’t need an internet connection to view them.
Google and IRiver have announced a partnership to bring a Google Books e-reader to market. According to our good friends at mobileburn.com, the e-reader will have access to millions of free Google Books along with hundreds of thousands of premium Google Books titles.
Currently Google Books is only available for Android devices. Google Books made it’s debut with the Motorola Xoom and now it can be downloaded to any device running Android 2.x or better. Like most e-readers, Google Books allows you to keep your page no matter what device you use for the book. For instance if you start a book on your Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 you can catch up on your Android phone as well.
Everyone has noticed that the Android Market has really grown up in the last few weeks. Earlier this week we ran a story about the impending launch of Google Music based on a slip of the tongue from Motorola Mobility CEO, Sanjay Jha. Now Androidcommunity.com is reporting that the Android Market will roll out music, movies and books with Honeycomb Android 3.0 as early as this month when the Motorola Xoom releases to the US via Verizon Wireless.
To top that off, the guys over at Frandroid (some of the coolest Android guys out there) uncovered the photo at the top of this story while playing with the Motorola Xoom which clearly has a tab for books.
Earlier this week our very own 16 year old app editor Elijah Ketchum uncovered a url that 404’d in the android market. Most dismissed this as possibly just going to a music apps page, but why? There is already a music apps category. Put it all together with the other urls that have cropped up and we have a whole Google-Tunes ecosystem budding.
David C Drummond currently holds the position of Senior Vice President of Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer for Google.
Drummond’s background with Google can be traced virtually back to the beginning. Drummond was the first outside legal counsel for Sergey Brin and Larry Page when they were searching for their first initial round of financing. At the time Drummond was with the law firm Wison Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati.
After leaving Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati Drummond joined SmartForce, an educational applications company where he serves as Chief Financial Officer from 1999-2002. In 2002 he joined Google as Vice President of Corporate Development. Drummond played a major role in preparing Google for their very well received initial public offering in 2004.
In 2006 Drummond was promoted to Senior Vice President of Corporate Development and again in 2006 added the title Chief Legal Officer, the position he holds today.
Some of Drummond’s most notable feats at Google have included taking an instrumental role in the Google Book Search, a service that has archived many out of print books, magazines and other periodicals. At one point Drummond had to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on the topic of “Competition and Commerce In Digital Books”. “The benefits far outweigh any of these criticisms that are being made, many of which are quite theoretical,” he said. “We have a good process now for taking into account some of the objections.”
Read more on David Drummond after the break (more…)