We post several hundred Android related blog posts every month, but the reality is that only a few stories generate the majority of the buzz. It is easy to pick out the trends each week to see what things people are searching for and which stories are getting the most engagement, so I figured we would start recapping the hottest topics every Wednesday. This week we explore the latest on Google’s new content store, HTC’s flagship device, and Samsung’s rumored next-gen tablet.
Google Play Store
It was only announced one week ago, so it’s no surprise that the Google Play Store is one of the most searched terms on our site. The average Android user does not read the blogs on a daily basis, so a large amount of people were confused when Android Market started to disappear from devices and the Google Play Store took over.
Verizon must have received a lot of customer service calls about the issue, since they were forced to send out a text alert to their subscribers this week. The short message read, “Android Market is now Google Play” and provided users with a link to learn more.
In other Google Play Store news, it was revealed that Eric Chu was stepping away from overseeing Android’s app store to explore other options inside Google. Kim-mai Cutler of TechCrunch reports that the app store had been a “secondary priority” because Andy Rubin had been measuring the success of Android through total device activations and mobile search revenue.
Now Jamie Rosenberg will get increased oversight for apps and games inside the Google Play Store. He previously was the face of the Google Music launch and also worked with Andy Rubin at Danger Inc. as Vice President, Premium Services.
A surprising majority of developers I talk with are still unsatisfied with the speed of innovation with Google’s store, so hopefully all these changes will help improve that.
HTC One X release date
As the most popular phone of Mobile World Congress, everyone wants to know when the HTC One X will be released on their carrier. HTC already said the phone was coming to a record number of carriers around the globe sometime in Q2, but specific release dates have not been announced.
The One X appears to be coming to a number of European countries next month, according to expected ship dates of online pre-orders. Amazon UK and Handtec say the phone will ship April 5th, while MarcoPolo Shop says it could ship by April 2nd in Italy.
In the United States, only AT&T has announced they will carry the One X. HTC is said to be holding some kind of media event next month in New York, so we could learn the release date of the AT&T version soon.
The HTC One X is also rumored to be coming to Sprint and T-Mobile, but we likely won’t hear anything new until the CTIA Wireless show in May.
If you want the latest info on the HTC One X release date, HTC suggested signing up for HTC news on their official blog.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 11.6
A mockup of the Galaxy Tab 11.6 from Tabtech.
At this point the Galaxy Tab 11.6 is nothing more than a rumor that goes back to last year. Jonathan Geller of BGR first reported on the device in December, then I saw a working prototype that matched a similar description with my own eyes at CES in January.
Based on what I saw behind closed doors at CES, I predicted the tablet would launch at Mobile World Congress, but I was wrong. Samsung has now publicly said their new strategy is to unveil devices “closer to commercial availability of the product,” so we could be waiting several more months.
Rumored specs of the Galaxy Tab 11.6 include:
11.6 inch display with 2560 x 1600 WXQGA resolution
2 GHz Exynos 5250 (2x ARM Cortex-A15 CPUs, quad-core ARM Mali-T604 GPU)
Most recently Samsung said they had an “exciting special announcement” at SXSW which started up the Galaxy Tab 11.6 rumors again, but it turned out that Samsung just demoed Angry Birds Space on the Galaxy Note.
At this point, we have no idea when Samsung’s next-generation tablet will hit stores. The 2 GHz Exynos 5250 chip that is expected to power the Galaxy Tab 11.6 goes into mass production during Q2, so we might not see the rumored tablet until the second half of the year.