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Android This Week: Devour Launches, Slacker Caches, Alex Gets Delayed

Verizon’s (s vz) latest entry in the Android (s goog) space, the Motorola (s mot) Devour, which is already being referred to as the Baby Droid due to its similar appearance to Verizon’s first Android phone, went on sale this week. The Devour is smaller than the Droid, and retains the sliding QWERTY keyboard for text entry. It has a smooth metal finish, and most notably, ships with the MotoBlur application first seen on the Motorola Cliq. MotoBlur is Motorola’s social network aggregator, where users can see all of their contacts’ status updates on one screen. The Devour retails for $49.99 with a two-year contract.

Also this week, the Slacker music streaming service got better for both Android and BlackBerry (s rimm) devices with the addition of wireless music caching. Slacker is a music streaming service that uses technology to determine what kind of music you like, which it then streams to your phone over either Wi-Fi or a 3G data connection. Using it, music can now be cached on the handset, stored for playback whenever desired. The Slacker service costs $4.99 per month.

In the meantime, the Android-based e-book reader from Spring Design, aka the Alex, was scheduled to appear this week but was instead delayed until March. The Alex sports two screens: a large e-Ink screen for reading books and a smaller, color touchscreen for controlling the device. We were impressed with a hands-on demonstration of the Alex we saw at the CES in January. Alex owners will be able to use e-book content from bookseller Borders (s bgp) as part of the sales agreement signed by the two companies in January.

5 Responses to “Android This Week: Devour Launches, Slacker Caches, Alex Gets Delayed”

  1. The Devour is indeed another strong offering by Motorola. I think that it will appeal to many younger users looking for a phone that is a bit more affordable than the Droid (just today the Devour was listed at $29.99 on DevourDeals.com).

    Besides, MotoBLUR just looks cool. That should be enough to sell some Devours on Verizon.

  2. The Slacker application for BlackBerry has had caching since it was first released. It was exclusive to that platform. It’s only new on Android.

    I’m hoping that the iPhone app will have the ability to cache one day, but I haven’t had any problems simply using it to stream for hours on end. On my iPhone, Slacker has been winning out over Pandora because the pre-defined stations are pretty cool.