Welcome to our newest Monday feature — Android Ecosystem! My own little experiment in running Android on an Intel Core Solo UMPC is about to take another step forward. The Android-x86 team has a new stable build that I’m downloading this very second. As I’ve shown before in video (shown below), Android really flies with a mobile notebook processor. Unfortunately, these custom builds are meant to work with the lowest common denominators, so many device-specific features aren’t yet working for me. The biggest killer for me is the lack of a Menu key, but that functionality is now integrated into Android’s menubar — even if my touchscreen isn’t working, I should be able to access it with the integrated joystick. More to follow once I get the image installed.
Of course, when most people think of Android, they’re thinking of handhelds, not computers. And Android handhelds are growing in acceptance by web users according to the latest numbers from AdMob. Om reviews the latest report over at GigaOm and while AdMob only measures usage from sites and apps that use its advertising platform, there’s a big jump in web traffic from Android units. Out of all of the AdMob-measured traffic, the Motorola Droid accounts for 24% of requests. Motorola’s CLIQ generated another 6%, but HTC is still the dominant player as measured by AdMob: its Magic, Dream and Hero combined generated 59% 0f all Android traffic through AdMob sites and apps last month.
Another Android is about to launch next month and Pocketables has video demonstration to show you the Camangi WebStation. Like my UMPC, this tablet has a 7″ touchscreen, but it’s far thinner. In fact, it’s iPhone thin and looks like what most people would envision when asked “what might an Apple slate tablet look like?” Unfortunately, the $399 device appears rather constrained by a low-powered processor — YouTube videos showed frame drops left and right. That’s a tragedy because an 800 x 480 display at that size is crying out for solid media playback. The form factor gets a thumbs-up from me, but the processor, not so much — especially at this price.