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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Android weekend rumor recap

It's time once again for the weekly rumor recap post! This is where we quickly summarize the best Android related rumors and leaks of the past week, complete with our commentary on each. If you prefer to follow rumors as they come in, we recommend any of the fine Android sites listed to the right. Now, on to the rumors!

First up is a leak first spotted by DroidLife that clearly shows the Best Buy Facebook page for their Grand Rapids store listing exact release dates for some upcoming Verizon devices. They claim the Motorola Xoom will launch on February 24, and that the HTC Thunderbolt will launch on February 14. The original Facebook post has, of course, since been removed.
Ryan says: Release dates have a nasty tendency of changing, so this isn't all that reliable. That being said, that's a heck of a lot sooner than anybody expected the Xoom to launch. That's less than a month away, which is quite exciting, even though I have no intention of actually buying it.
Shelsy says: Yeah, I'm not holding my breath, but I definitely wasn't expecting to see the Xoom anytime soon, let alone in just a couple of weeks.

According to a leaked picture obtained by Phandroid, LG's upcoming 3D phone, the Optimus 3D, is very real and is coming very soon. Rumored specs are a dual core processor, 4" or 4.3" screen, glasses-free 3D display, and possibly even dual cameras for 3D video capture. It is rumored to be landing on Sprint in the US.
Ryan says: After the news of the LG Tablet being 3D, I totally believe this rumor. Glasses-free displays work better on smaller devices, so this could be very cool and I seriously want to see it in person.
Shelsy says: This is very interesting. I'd love to see a phone like this, and to see this display in person. I personally wouldn't buy this phone, just because it's too big, but I'm curious to see if this idea catches on.

Next we have two very similar rumors about new devices headed to Sprint. The carrier seems prepped to get two new vertical, non-slider QWERTY devices, one by Samsung and one by Motorola. Both appear to be Nextel direct-connect enabled. No prices or release dates yet.
Ryan says: These are pretty cool, and I definitely like that design. I think these will be quite popular with the Nextel-carrying crowd who want smartphones, but are still addicted to their BlackBerrys.
Shelsy says: I think Ryan has a good point about the targeted audience for this phone. These could be very successful with that group. I like this style of phone and it's always nice to see it presented as an option, besides the typical slate-style phones.

Finally, an article from the Wall Street Journal says that Google is hiring "dozens" of expert app developers to boost their offering of high quality Android apps. The article says that these will go beyond apps for existing Google services like Gmail and Maps, and will focus on new ideas, including games. No mention was made about how soon we might see these new apps hit the Market, but most (if not all) of these new apps are expected to be free with ads.
Ryan says: I can't say this surprises me. Google already makes some of the best Android apps available, so it's natural to see them want to continue. The mention of games is interesting, since that would mean Google plans to develop their own games in-house, which could be pretty cool. I look forward to trying their new stuff when it's released.
Shelsy says: This is exciting. I am definitely inclined to trust Google apps, and I especially like that they'll be free. I'm curious about what their games would be like--it would be fun to see what they can do there. Although, I kind of feel like they should be putting more of an effort into making really great apps for their existing services--including improving the Blogger app and creating a Docs app.

Another week has passed, and it's time for a new one to begin! What exciting rumors will this upcoming week bring? Be sure to check back next weekend for another round of recapped rumors

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