Android 3.1 tablets on the way; Cut the Rope launches exclusive on GetJar

by Kristen Nicole

Another iPad competitor is headed our way, with the unveiling of the Archos G9. It’s one of a string of Android tablets revealed in recent weeks, all vying for the opportunity to knock the iPad off its throne. The G9 is reportedly packed with enough hardware to go up against Apple’s domineering tablet, with a dual-core ARM-powered processor at 1.5GHz and a super-slim Seagate hard drive with 250GB of storage. Other features include HDMI output with 1080p media playback and support for Wi-Fi and 3G. But what makes the G9 stand out even amongst other Android tablets is the Honeycomb 3.1 OS. Making it even more attractive is the price: the Archos G9, which is available as an 8-inch or 10-inch version, is offered at $279 and $349 respectively. Expect the G9 to hit stores in September.

With the G9, Archos joins a growing group of manufacturers that include Samsung and Motorola, but more than a year after first hitting the scene, the iPad continues to rule the tablet world. And while Android’s managed to take over the smartphone market, the realm of tablets is a new opportunity for rivaling operating systems. HP’s going the Apple route, preparing webOS for its debut, coupling it with HP’s own device, the TouchPad. Whether or not HP can be a true competitor to iOS or Android remains to be seen, but its OS/device strategy takes cues from Apple, while its interface works quite similarly to current Android devices. The biggest benefit HP has is learning from Apple and Android’s years of experience, with aims of becoming the third player in a two-player game.

One noticeable affect of our addiction to mobile devices is an increase of data usage, with Wi-Fi-connected smartphones and tablets overtaking desktop platforms. Carriers are responding in kind, stripping away unlimited data plans and charging for all the additional access for which mobile devices hunger. AT&T and Verizon are both anxious to cap data usage, even as they roll-out high-speed networks like 4G. The promise of millions of connected devices is a point of competition amongst carriers, and this comes through especially when you look at the marketing campaigns around 4G networks. AT&T and Verizon have different ideas of what really consists of a 4G network, incurring ideas of regulation regarding their branding efforts from the public sector.

GetJar exclusively launches Cut the Rope on Android

On the entertainment side of things, Android users can finally get their hands on an official version of Cut the Rope. This week’s been a waiting game, deciphering teaser tweets and trying to determine if they were part of another Cut the Rope scam. But the popular iPhone game has finally launched an Android version, available from GetJar, where it will be available as a free download for six days before appearing in the Android Market. GetJar’s own third party marketplace is becoming a viable competitor to Amazon’s Appstore, both of which appeal to Android gamers with various promotions. It’s another big win for GetJar, which gained a great deal of notoriety with its exclusive Angry Birds for Android launch last year.