Inventec Ships Off 60k CR-48 Laptops For Chrome OS Testing

It’s time to get testing Chrome OS pilots. With yesterday’s announcement of the Chrome OS pilot program, those with enough experience and luck can receive a free CR-48 laptop from Google to be used for testing Chrome OS all the way till release, and it stays yours forever. Needless to say, I’ve registered for the CR-48 and plan to excessively test it with Google. While 60,000 units may not be the final amount of the unbranded, prototype-stage laptop shipped, it’s what Google is going with now.

Via: Good ‘Ol Not So Reliable DigiTimes

HTC EVO 4G Shift seen with accessories, release shouldn’t be too far out

Here’s the tidbit of new news on the HTC Knight/EVO 4G Shift/Speedy, an Android 2.2 handset resembling the Droid Incredible and EVO 4G combined with a 3.7-inch display, 8-megapixel camera, 1GHz brain, slide-out QWERTY keyboard and “4G” WiMAX connectivity from Sprint. HTCPedia (a die-hard site about HTC products) has acquired some shots of the Knight inside of those god-awful cases people buy to protect their beautiful phones.

Essentially with a leak such as this, a release can’t be so far off, as well as an update with Sense to that awesome Gingerbread recipe. Via: BGR

Chrome OS Demoed On A Test Laptop, And It’s Fast (As In Seconds)

Chrome OS. That’s the second thing to focus on from Google today, and that was demoed on “reference hardware” called the CR-48, which will be provided to press, developers, and consumers who are randomly chosen for testing. Ways of getting a Cr-48 notebook will be through a random page loaded when you launch a new tab in Chrome, and even from this application form. Final hardware will be built by Samsung and Acer.

Things like a first-boot is done extremely quickly, account switching on the same machine (which keeps all of your data incognito), and millisecond-fast with instant-Internet connectivity even when waking from standby. Offline usage is also available, so that when Wi-Fi access (or 3G which will be available on all Chrome OS notebooks) is available your data is re-synced, including some Chrome Web Store apps, which would use HTML5 caching for use in almost any situation. Cloud Print will be included as well, and is available now in beta.

Verizon Wireless is also a close buddy of Chrome OS (notice a trend here?), and 100MB of data will be offered free every month for 2 years with every Chrome OS device, and data can also be bought in different pricing schemes, starting at $9.99. Taking tips from Google Chrome browser, auto-updating and auto application updating is enabled by default.

Security is also extremely tightened by multiple software and even hardware techniques, so that Chrome OS “will be the most secure operating system for consumers ever shipped”. Very gutsy stuff from Google.

Chrome OS will also available for enterprise users, which includes more security-based software mainly for enterprises, and of course stuff like that is extremely boring, yet fascinating, and interacts in the cloud for apps and data such as documents and full Windows applications which can be managed and used from the Chrome OS, courtesy from Citrix.

And lastly, Chrome OS will be updated on a cycle much like Chrome, so as each laptop gets older, it will become faster as improvments are released constantly.

Google Chrome Upcoming Features Announced, Including CrankShaft And Web Store

The Google Chrome OS conference today is focused exactly on Chrome OS and Chrome as a whole. First thing up, is that Chrome has hit 120 million users who use it as their primary browser. Upcoming Chrome 9 features were demoed, which include Google Instant in the Omnibox, and when typing the first letter in a site you frequently visit, it will load in the same manner that a search does in Google Search.

Another improvement to the Chrome browser will be PDF viewing, which as demoed, could load the entire Health Care Reform bill in its 1000+ pages in no more than a second. As for graphical elements, WebGL is the engine used for GPU support in Chrome for extreme graphical operations, including a demo with sharks and eyes as lasers (!). And one more thing: the focus of Chrome is more speed. Speed.

The V8 engine has also been upgraded with CrankShaft (yeah, that name), which provides 2x speed increase depending on the benchmark used.

Google is also worried about security, and Chrome now focuses on it. Full auto-updating is now enabled, to ensure that users are using the latest version and patches. Secondly is the “sandbox security boundaries”, which contains a virus inside of Chrome, and does not allow the malware to escape to the hard drive of the user’s computer, thus creating a smart way of stopping viruses.

Lastly is the Chrome Web Store, which allows developers and users to connect. The Web Store will contain apps such as games (as well as boring and casual), apps, and extensions. A problem explained by Google is apps and developer reputation, which makes it nearly impossible for the average web users to trust a web dev to pay and use his/her app. Thus with the Web Store, apps can be bought, be subscribed to (at a cost) and get trials, get reviewed, have reputation, and is a secure way to deliver software to the browser.

Partners like EA and their flagship game PopIt, Amazon with Kindle For The Web, NPR, ESPN, and others will be some of the very large publishers included in the Chrome Web Store, which will total about 500 apps to start. The store launches today, and will be rolled out slowly at Via: Chrome Live Stream

Andy Rubin Uses Android 3.0 Honeycomb On A Motorola MOTOPAD Tablet

This is what makes Android an amazing operating system: development at the speed of sound. Earlier today, we had Nexus S, and its companion Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Both have been primed and polished for consumers and ready to be released on the 16 of December in the United States, but today, Google’s Andy Rubin has shown off the Motorola MOTOPAD complete with a test build of Android 3.0 Honeycomb, which according to him, launches next year.

Apps he demoed include an amazingly polished Gmail app that’s better than the Galaxy Tab’s try at a tablet-oriented email app and the iPad version. A 3D-and-vector-based Google Maps app was revealed, and will be part of a new usual Google Maps update for Android phones. Interface speaking, I see no resemblance here to anything Android has every done; every button is tablet-optimized and sized, and there’s even the mentioning of Andy that apps could be separated into widgets, along with a new lock screen.

I believed the Galaxy Tab was a good start for Android tablets. Honeycomb makes everything — even Gingerbread and the Nexus S — feel old. Even though “next year” isn’t a solid statement, Andy also let everyone know that Honeycomb would come to phones, and “it’s a bit of both” when referring to whether it was tablets-only or compatible with Android phones. Via: TC, Engadget Liveblog

Tumblr Is Slowly Bringing Themselves Out Of Their Painful Outage

According to a recent tweet, Tumblr is slowly rolling out a few blogs that were hosted on the service before when it went down. Tumblr, if you didn’t know, is advertised as the easiest way to blog, and since it doesn’t use a legacy comment system, is one of the most interesting CMSes. Their downtime has been more than 15 hours and counting, and as Tumblr put it themselves: “This has been a slow and painful recovery, but we’re almost through”. It sure has been.

I do have a blog on the Tumblr service, but haven’t truly paid much attention to it. I’ll just make a few tweaks when the service is back up, and a certain Michael Bettiol says his is already running.

Update: And now Tumblr is up and running, albeit with some parts not fully functioning yet.

Hello, Nexus S On T-Mobile With Android 2.3 Gingerbread

The Nexus S — is here. It contains Android 2.3 Gingerbread stock without any extra UI coatings, and will launch on T-Mobile this December 16th. The specs are a 4-inch WVGA “Contour” Display at a crisp 235 ppi with Super AMOLED, triband HSPA with AWS support (no HSPA+), 5 megapixel camera with 480p or 720p video recording (a page on the Nexus S site say it only records in 480p, another says HD) and VGA front-facing camera, NFC chip, 16GB of onboard storage, 512MB of RAM, 1GHz Cortex A8-based Hummingbird processor, Bluetooth 2.1, and a gyroscope like all Galaxy S phones due to Samsung manufacturing the Nexus S.

Gingerbread on the other hand brings a built-in task manager, front-facing camera video chat support, improved copy-and-paste, deeply rooted VoIP support, NFC integration, gyroscope support for more accurate orientations, new download manager, and redesigned keyboard with full multitouch support (!).

With the Nexus S officially announced, it’s time to be eager to get my hands on one, and better yet, for it to be released. Promo vids for both the Nexus S and Gingerbread after the break. Also, Nexus One users are receiving their Gingerbread updates, and the Nexus S will also be available unlocked on the 20th, and on contract on the 16th at only BestBuy (a marketing choice learned from the faults that was the original Nexus One web-only sales model).

Update: Now we have pricing: $529 unlocked with a contract for use on almost any carrier (sans AT&T’s 3G) and $199 on a 2-year contract.

Via: Google Nexus S, Official Google Blog