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Texas Instruments talks about Archos at Mobile World Congress 2010

Posted by Charbax on 24th February 2010

Ameet Suri, Strategic Marketing Manager at Texas Instruments, explains some of how Texas Instruments is working with Archos on powering the awesome Archos 5 Internet Tablet series running Android, what kind of work goes into it, he tells a bit about how TI supports Archos and how Archos innovates impressively in the industry.

This is one of about 55 videos that I filmed for my other site at http://armdevices.net at Mobile World Congress 2010 last week in Barcelona.

I spoke with the Texas Instruments people a lot off camera as well about Archos, and I think there is a lot of very interesting updates that you can be looking forward to coming up. For more ideas about what type of Texas Instrument technologies you may look forward for Archos to implement look for my upcoming OMAP3440 video running Android 2.1, comparing it to the 1ghz 45nm performance of OMAP3640 and also check out my amazing OMAP4 video, even look forward to my Texas Instruments nHD DLP Pico Projector video.

You can discuss about this video at http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=31121

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My recommendations on Archos cheap Android Tablet revolution

Posted by Charbax on 29th January 2010

Archos 5 Internet Tablet Extreme Viewing Angle
Image by umpcportal.com via Flickr

In terms of the recently rumored £149 pricing for Archos 7 Internet Tablet (8GB), I was very positively surprised by the completely insanely cheap price target!!!!!

This is absolutely the kind of pricing that I would expect Archos to be able to reach. I know Archos can do it. Cheaper prices could convince the masses to buy Archos instead of Apple.

Here are my suggestions as to what I think Archos should target the pricing of the whole high-end Archos Android Tablet range in the coming couple of months. Make sure to only read these prices as my speculation on what the prices are that Archos could now try to target:

A4A (8GB) $159 = 149€ = £129
A5A (8GB) $179 = 159€ = £139
A7A (8GB) $199 = 179€ = £149
A9A (8GB) $239 = 209€ = £169
A10A (8GB) $279 = 239€ = £199

For more capacity additional pricing should be something like this:

16GB + $50 = 40€ = £30
32GB + $75 = 60€ = £45
64GB + $150 = 120€ = £90

250GB + $75 = 60€ = £45
500GB + $150 = 120€ = £90

For built-in HSDPA additional pricing should be still unlocked:

Built-in Unlocked HSDPA SIM Card Reader + $50 = 40€ = £30

I think all new Archos tablets should come with the OMAP3640 1ghz 45nm processor, 512MB RAM, Pixel Qi screen technology, Camera, Compass and snap-on foldable Keyboard that doubles as a screen protector.

It would be nice that Archos reach super stable Android 2.1 Eclair firmware soon on the whole range, with the optimal RAM utilization, stable power management and stable Android applications support.

If the newer 1ghz processor improves the MKV 720p High Profile bitrate support then that would be great as well. The target should be to support 99.99% of all MKV movie files that are available on the Internet.

If Archos could lower the amount of bezel around the screen to cover if possible less than 10% of the overall surface area of the product, that would be great.

Built-in full sized HDMI output, built-in AC Adaptor connector, built-in full sized USB-host and full sized SDHC support instead of MicroSDHC card support I think could be meaningful goals as well.

From then on, Archos can then work to integrate the OMAP4 ARM Cortex A9 based processor on the next generation of Archos Android Tablets, which can add 1080p encode/decode, 20megapixel photos (if the optics of the photo camera mode can be made good enough), up to dual-core 2ghz processing speed for even faster web browsing speeds, a processor fast enough to run the full high resolution Google Chrome web browser within the Android OS.

You can discuss these suggestions in the forum: http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=30077&p=197980#p197980

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Archos 7 Android: First Pics, Specs, Release Date and Pricing

Posted by map002 on 27th January 2010

p>DataMind posted preliminary pics and specs for the Archos 5 IT’s bigger younger brother, the Archos 7 Android.

Archos 7 Internet Tablet

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Archos 7 Internet Tablet

Availability was given as March of 2010 and price for the 8GB model (the only model listed thus far) was £149.99 (including 17.5% UK VAT) and they are apparently accepting pre-orders here..

Differences form the current A5 IT include a user-facing webcam, a DC charger, a sliding and locking on-off switch, either dual viagra canada prescription speakers or a microphone that is

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to the speaker as on the A5 IT and of course the 7″ screen.

Software changes also appear to be in store for the Archos Media Center app. Song lyrics support is new and

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the addition of the high-quality APE codec will please audiophiles.

Still no hardware buttons, so this does not look like it will meet the current guidelines for Google Experience apps

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(Market, Maps, Gmail, etc.). Does Archos know something we don’t about Google changing it’s mind? It seems they’re still betting on Google changing their minds and relaxing hardware standards to let the A7 (and the A5) Android models get in on the Google App goodness.

Also of interest? The Archos Media Center widget is conspicuous in it’s absence from this screen mockup. Could this be a simple omission or is the Media Center (or at least it’s widget) perhaps getting a much needed graphical overhaul that will be revealed in March? Only time will tell!

You can discuss the Archos 7 Android in the forum: http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=30077

-Michael P

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Speculations: What will Archos show at CES?

Posted by Charbax on 22nd December 2009

no original description
Image via Wikipedia

I am going to CES in Las Vegas on January 4th to 11th to film an extensive HD quality video coverage for my new site http://armdevices.net. I expect this CES to be an awesome one with many new ARM Powered Laptops, Tablets and Phones to be unveiled. But I am also, of course, very much looking forward to film for you some videos of the new Archos products that will be shown at the show.

While I am looking forward to see new Archos products unveiled officially at the CES, I would like to post here some of my speculations on what I expect we could see demonstrated and announced by Europe’s best consumer electronics company, Archos, during this CES event, that I would recommend them to show if they want to be again the Best of CES which Archos was several times since back in 2003 with the AV100. I would like to emphasize that those speculations are only based on my common sense and logical thinking, I have not been informed by any Archos insiders on these matters, I have followed every piece of news and rumors on Archos during the past months and years though, which helps me to formulate following speculations:

OMAP3640 and OMAP4?
Archos may announce products based on Texas Instruments 1ghz OMAP3640 or even Texas Instruments OMAP4 ARM Cortex A9 platforms. That is, if OMAP3640 is as I would speculate it to be, the next compatible Texas Instruments processor that Archos could easily implement in next generation of products without having to change the software, to thus achieve the 1ghz that Archos has previously announced would be shown in a new product at CES.

The advantages of the OMAP3640 are as far as I understand it not only the faster clock speed at 1ghz versus 800mhz, it is also the finer processor processed at 45 nanometer instead of 65 nanometer. Which means that this new Texas Instruments processor may be slightly smaller and consume less energy even though it would be more powerful. Which means Archos devices may achieve longer battery time and produce less heat with this processor.

If Archos decides to pre-announce the next generation based on ARM Cortex A9 processors of Texas Instruments OMAP4 platform, that could be a strategical decision of Archos to announce products that may not be available for 6 to 9 months. But in case Apple also announces a Tablet, this early Cortex A9 based announcement by Archos may be appropriate to continue to lead in terms of announcements.

A built-in mini-HDMI port would be nice. A custom design of a foldable keyboard to cover the screen would be cool to transform it as well into a Laptop form factor and if well designed the thin foldable keyboard could double as a screen protector instead of a leather case.

Pixel Qi screen?
While it would be unlikely that Archos will anounce any new product with the Pixel Qi screen, I would absolutely recommend Archos to consider contacting Pixel Qi to have their sunlight readable low power ereader LCD screen technology integrated in all Archos tablet products as soon as possible. Pixel Qi will only provide 10.1″ screen sizes for a start, but 4.8″ and 7″ sizes may be coming soon as well. I filmed Pixel Qi technology at Computex: http://armdevices.net/2009/06/07/pixel-qi-vs-kindle-vs-toshiba-r600-vs-regular-lcd-tablet/. In my opinion the perfect Archos 5 Android Tablet would use a Pixel Qi screen, this way transforming it into a Kindle as well, enabling one to read books and read blogs, emails and websites comfortably for hours on a battery, and have better use of it outdoors. Together with the Pixel Qi, capacitative touch screen technology would probably be required for optimal quality of the screen.

Built-in 3G, Compass and Camera
I would like to see Archos announce a version of the Archos 5 Internet Tablet, not only with the new 1ghz processor, but also with it having a built-in HSDPA sim card reader like on last year’s Archos 5G model which was only released to few consumers in France and the UK. The announcement of Archos of this 3G model also having a built-in compass and camera would be really nice and would thus make it totally compatible with most Android applications. I would really like to have Augmented Reality applications, Youtube uploading and live video broadcasting working on it.

Less screen bezel
Although the current Archos 5 Internet Tablet with Android I think has a pretty awesome design already, the flash based model is amazingly thin and light, I would still like it to have even less bezel around the screen. It would be nice if Archos could keep the same sized screen but somehow make the device even more compact. The goal would be for the whole device keeping the same awesome 4.8″ 800×480 screen size yet to have a total device size closer to the size of all the existing 3.5″ and 3.7″ phones.

7″ Android Tablet
My guess is that it should not require too much work for Archos to provide all the Archos Android features in a 7″ sized tablet. Just as Archos has been able to do it every year since 2005 with the AV700, AV704, Archos 705 and Archos 7. Basically the 7″ Archos Android tablet should include all the same features as the 4.8″ version, just with a larger screen, usually more storage and a larger battery. Perhaps Archos would manage to include a higher resolution screen, perhaps 1024×600 or something like that which may be really awesome for web browsing. I would expect the 1ghz processor in this one, an amazingly thin form factor keeping enough battery for 10 hours of web browsing. For Archos to announce a 7″ Android tablet would provide Archos with huge attention from the press and media so it would be worth it just from a marketing perspective even if the launch of such 7″ Android tablet may not actually happen until March or so. A built-in full sized HDMI port would be nice. A custom design of a foldable keyboard to cover the screen would be cool to transform it as well into a Laptop form factor and if well designed could double as a screen protector instead of a leather case.

4.3″ Android Tablet instead of the Archos Phone
The Archos Phone might still be shown, though I would much prefer a basic Archos Android Tablet version with a 4.3″ screen. Thus it would be very compact, Flash memory based only and I think it could be announced for a very very cheap price. Perhaps as little as $150 or $200. Then I think Archos should be able to provide a 3G HSDPA version as well.

I prefer Archos VOIP to Archos Phone
Although it may very well happen that Archos will launch an Archos Phone in partnership with several international telecom carriers, where you pay some unreasonably huge amount of money over a 2-year contract to use it. I would though much much prefer if somehow Archos decided to instead focus on what it does best, focus on the Tablet aspect and instead make a really big splash and announce that Archos will optimize all the firmwares to support the best possible Android VOIP applications and support those in the best possible way. Supporting VOIP perfectly is not a small and easy task. I for example have not yet really been able to experience suitable Android VOIP experience on my Archos 5 Internet Tablet with Android. The way Archos should implement VOIP is by supporting VOIP standby by hardware and firmware. Meaning, using very little battery, the Archos should be able to constantly be available on a VOIP version of Google Voice, on Skype, on SIP networks and on Google Talk and other voice-enabled Instant Messaging platforms. Sure, the VOIP part are all done in Android applications that some are available and others probably will be available soon for Android. On the other side though, Archos would really need to implement very optimized power management to be able to go into deep but connected standby and be able to *ring* on incoming phone calls.

My hope is that Archos can announce more than 20 hours of connected standby in this mode. What this would mean is that one can save tons of $$$ by using Archos for VOIP instead of using a regular phone with very expensive phone subscriptions. I think Archos would profit much more from disrupting the telecom industry than by simply playing the same game as all the other phone manufacturers. If some telecoms try to block VOIP usage on their 3G networks, then that should not be Archos problem, that should quickly become the telecom’s own problem because Archos should then help to point out which telecoms are behaving badly and public pressure maybe even Government intervention through Net Neutrality regulations would prevent VOIP drop-outs and bandwidth throttling from happening.

Android 1.6 firmware release
My expectation is that Archos will soon be able to release the Android 1.6 firmware update. With it, Google will hopefully allow Archos to include the Google Marketplace by default. Really, I find that there would be absolutely no reason for Google not to authorize it at that point. Android 1.6 and 2.0 officially provide the support for 800×480 screen resolutions.

Android 2.0 firmware announcement
Perhaps only a few weeks or so after the Android 1.6 firmware update, I expect Archos may already have a 2.0 firmware update available. This Android 2.0 firmware update would also come with full Flash 10.1 support, that is if Adobe manages to make it available by then.

Archos 9 pctablet broad release
Something may have delayed the full release of the Intel powered Archos 9 pctablet. My guess is that the issue may have been related to a BIOS bug related to the way Archos is implementing the Intel Atom processor for the first time in this exact type of form factor. Also, perhaps that Microsoft has contributed a few software fixes to the Archos 9 tablet experience over the past few weeks. For example, perhaps that Microsoft is contemplating to include cheaper access to the Windows 7 Tablet features to the Windows 7 Starter Edition that Archos includes on the tablet to save costs. In either way, if Windows 7 Tablet features only come on the more expensive Ultimate edition (or however it’s called), perhaps Archos could announce that consumers may have an official way to upgrade for a specific fee to a different version of Windows 7 if they so choose to. Releasing the Archos 9 broadly worldwide should provide Archos with plenty of good and enthusiastic press coverage and enthusiasm from fans of Intel based tablets.

I think Archos should announce ARM Powered laptops
Archos has done some Intel powered netbooks. Now I think would be the appropriate time for Archos to announce that they will also design and release some ARM Cortex powered laptops as well! Although for Archos the timing may be a bit early to announce any ARM Cortex powered Laptops, I am sure Archos will do it eventually. I am really going to be looking forward to all the ARM Powered laptops that will be shown at CES and follow all my videos of those that I will post to my new site http://armdevices.net

Archos to unveil cheaper Android devices
I think Archos may show a new generation of the Archos 3, 4, 5 and 7 Vision which may all use Android and WiFi, yet they may not come with GPS, Bluetooth and only be PMP centric and provide provide only basic WiFi functions. Thus the Archos 3 Vision Android would be sold at $80, Archos 4 Vision Android at $100, Archos 5 Vision Android $125 and Archos 7 Vision Android $150. Those may all come with 8GB built-in storage and a SD card memory slot for storage expansion.

You can discuss these speculations in the forum: http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=28779

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Archos works with the ARM Solution Center for Android

Posted by Charbax on 22nd November 2009

ARM is the processor technology used by Archos for more than 10 years to create all its portable multimedia products. There are more than 4 billion ARM processors shipped in consumer electronics and enterprise products each year. Archos has always worked very closely with leader in ARM processor technologies Texas Instruments, to always implement the newest and latest embedded processing technologies many months if not years ahead of competitors.

With the release of the awesome Archos 5 Internet Tablet with Android, Archos has in fact released a product so far in advance of everyone else, even Google has not yet provided all the tools for a full 800×480 medium density Google Android OS experience on a 4.8″ WiFi and Bluetooth Tablet form factor. Google is though delivering this next level of Android experience with the Android 1.6 and 2.0 upgrades, which are also starting to be used by all the third party Android applications developers, who are doing the changes sometimes necessary to optimize the experience of their Android applications to work well on larger screen sizes and higher resolutions. We can expect Archos to release 1.6 and 2.0 updates in the next days, weeks and months.

Until then, ARM is providing the ARM Solution Center for Android, which I believe will be used by Archos and Texas Instruments for achieving some of following features (those are my speculations):

- Optimize Android features and user interfaces for use on the HDTV

- Optimize 1280×720 keyboard/mouse interfaces for Android even before Google does it officially

- Integrating the full Multimedia powers of Archos and Texas Instruments into a special optimized version of Android which I believe could eventually permit Archos to free up RAM memory and stabilize the firmware further. Even to enable Android firmware updates on previous Archos generations Archos 5 Internet Media Tablet (released in 2008), Archos 605 WiFi (released in 2007), Archos 604 WiFi (released in 2006) and even Archos PMA400 (released in 2005).

- Extract the full Chrome browser for ARM from Chrome OS and use it in Android powered hardware in Archos 5 IT with its HDMI 1280×720 output as well as Laptop/Netbook/Smartbook form factors.

- Provide easy to implement tools for using Android on Picture frames, sub-$100 mp3 players like the Archos 3 Vision form factor, using Android in Archos 4 Vision and Archos 7 Vision.

- Encourage the development of Applications for non-phone devices, for larger screen devices with higher resolutions and features different from the usual suspects HTC, Samsung and company making 3.5″ 480×320 Android smartphones. For example, we need apps for HD video-on-demand, for keyboard/mouse input on a HDTV, for remote control input on a HDTV.

Eventually, with the work of the ARM Solution Center for Android in parralel with the advancements of the Open Handset Alliance and Google, Archos could release a whole range of Android products with prices from $50 to $500, with screen sizes from 3″ to 15″, with form factors from Tablets to Laptops and set-topboxes. Look forward to a lot of awesome firmware upgrades and new Android products coming out of this work.

You can discuss this news and speculation in the forum: http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=27803

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Google Maps works on Archos 5 Internet Tablet with Android

Posted by Charbax on 22nd November 2009

With the latest firmware 1.3.07, the official Google Android application Google Maps is now working very smoothly and nicely. This could be a clue towards the full Google Experience with Gmail, Listen, Contacts, Google Earth, Google Talk, Google Voice (with Gizmo VOIP) and even Youtube adapted to take advantage of Archos specific superior Android Tablet hardware. And most importantly of course, full Google Marketplace support so we can more easily get access to all 10 thousand Android applications, filtered for full hardware compatibility.

Archos 5 Internet Tablet with Google Maps

Archos 5 Internet Tablet with Android and Google Maps Walking Directions

Google Street View works as well:

Archos 5 Internet Tablet with Android and Google Streetview

Archos 5 Internet Tablet with Android and Google Street View

To have a perfect Google Maps with Navigation experience on Archos, since we don’t all have our 3G Bluetooth tethering for wireless data access working all the time, it would be really great to have some ways to download into cache storage the maps for a whole city in advance and thus have access to offline version of Google Maps with Navigation. That is something we can expect to be available with Android 2.0 and the Google Maps with Navigation software that has been demoed to have offline maps caching features available to it. Pre-loading basic maps would probably not require much more than a few tens of megabytes per city, while high resolution satellite imagery could require hundreds of megabytes per city, and 3D satellite imagery could require even more.

Source for this info and you can download Google Maps and Google Street View apk files at: http://www.archoslounge.net/Google-Maps-enfin-sur-l-Archos-5IT,9176.html

You can discuss Google Maps on Archos 5 IT in the forum: http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?p=180172#p180172

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Archos CEO: “Marketplace within weeks”

Posted by Charbax on 11th November 2009

Wow, this is cool. JBMM.fr and ArchosLounge.net have made a really cool interview with Archos CEO Henri Crohas which they are publishing as 7 episodes with a new episode published each day. Today’s episode has truly fascinating infos on our upcoming Google Marketplace firmware upgrade, Archos relations with Google, on upcoming cheaper Archos Android products, on the feasibility of Archos Smartbooks, Ubuntu netbooks and more.

Consider, this interview was made on October 22nd at the Archos headquarters in Paris by JBMM.fr and ArchosLounge.net, since then they took the time to transcribe the audio recordings of the interview, so the “within weeks” of the Google Marketplace and Google Apps availability might mean “within days” at this point.

As per simple logic, Google probably skipped providing support for 800×480 and 1280×720 screens on Android 1.5 Cupcake version of the OS which is the one Archos is currently using. Though with the Android 1.6 and 2.0 updates, which Archos has confirmed to be working on, Google officially provides support for Archos 800×480 medium density touch screen resolution, so logically, Google will then be able to provide Archos with a full access to a customized version of Google Android Marketplace and the Google Android Apps like Gmail, Google Maps, Google Listen, Google Contacts, Google Latitude and Google Maps Navigation.

Archos CEO Henri Crohas also announced that Archos is soon to release a broader ranger of Android products to democratize the use of Android, starting this January or February with different screen sizes, at 100-200 dollar in 2010 and in 2011 below 100 dollars!

What is important in Android, is that the opening of the platform is open to all applications. Today, we don’t yet have the Marketplace, but we nevertheless hope to have it and, anyway, we will continue to develop our AppsLib because all Android products will not necessarily have the Marketplace. Now we will go further than today’s market positioning, where we are now competing with the iPod Touch in the same price range (roughly between 250 and 350 euros).

Why is this a big revolution? I think we can make the Android products at $100 to $200 in 2010. In January / February, we will introduce new products that are not 5 inches, but will be differentiated products and sold at less than 200 euros. And I think in 2011 we get to reach below the 100 euros price with such products. This means Android will invade an entire class of new markets such as photo frames, PMPs with larger screens, even clock radios … Android will therefore enable us to deploy a much broader range.

You can find a collarobative effort in correcting the Google Translation of this interview at: http://wiki.archosfans.com/index.php?title=Better_Translation_of_Archos_CEO_interview_Episode_3_of_JBMM.fr_and_ArchosLounge.net

You can discuss this interview at http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=27462

Original interview Episode 3 in French: http://www.jbmm.fr/2009/11/11/episode-3-l%e2%80%99archos-5it-rupture-ou-simple-transition/

Translated to English: http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=fr&tl=en&u=http://www.jbmm.fr/2009/11/11/episode-3-l%25E2%2580%2599archos-5it-rupture-ou-simple-transition/

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Archos 1 Vision released

Posted by Charbax on 5th November 2009

Archos 1 Vision

Price: 30€ in Europe, probably around $30 in the USA (waiting for confirmation on that). Thus down to 20€ or $20 at the cheapest resellers that compete on pricing. This is obviously the cheapest 4GB 1.5″ Mp3 player in the world, positioned at 4x cheaper than the ipod nano.

Capacity: 4GB

Screen size: 1.5″ color screen at 128×128 resolution

Battery Life: up to 20 hours of audio playback

Weight: 28 grams

Formats supported: APE, FLAC, MP3, WAV and WMA

Source for this news: http://neuerdings.com/2009/11/05/archos-1-vision-guenstige-loesung/

You can discuss this new product in http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=27281

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My source at Archos provides more information on the new stable Firmware

Posted by Charbax on 15th October 2009

According to forum reports (1, 2, 3, 4, 5), the new firmware update 1.1.01 that Archos released this past monday (changelog) fixes a lot of the bugs that were present in the early firmwares. Those early firmware bugs probably also caused that temporary freeze of orders on Amazon has been reported by some blogs since my guess is early users complained to Amazon about the bugs, but those should now be mostly fixed.

I asked one of my sources at Archos a bunch of questions about the new firmware and overall the status of the Archos 5 Internet Tablet with Android, questions that most of us Archos Fans have been discussing in the http://forum.archosfans.com This source of mine at Archos has started to reply to some of these questions, so hereby I quote snippets of those responses on the status with this latest firmware:

H.264 & MKV Container:
- The new fimware 1.1.01 allows the user to read the H264HD & MKV container in a better quality because this firmware optimizes the playback of both formats.
- The End-User has to be registered to get the free plug-in H264
- Concerning the MKV files playback problem : most of MKV files contain H.264 or HD264HD format combined with AC3 sound (in 90% of cases). This explains why these files (MKV) cannot be played with audio tracks even after the online registration (which offers you the free pack plug-in). In fact, the consumer has to purchase the HD cinema plug-in to read these files.

I will be testing MKV 720p High Profile H264 playback in the next few days and report if I can get most of my “scene releases” to work. Such as those 4.7GB 720p Movies and 720p TV shows that people can find on the Internet.

There has been some tests in the forum, though not many using the new firmware that improves on H264HD playback, and not many specifically testing “scene releases” of High Profile 720p contents.

Also, I will report soon back about how good the Youtube HD playback performs! If it can stream most Youtube HD contents smoothly on an HDTV, this will be fantastic and the first time this has been achieved on a consumer electronics device!

WiFi:
- The new firmware 1.1.01 optimizes the connection and stability while improving WiFi scanning and Bluetooth stability

Early reports in the forum are confirming that WiFi-N connections are stable now. I will be testing to see which options there are for WiFi switch on/off widgets to put on the Android desktop for quick WiFi connection management. I will see if FON Maps, FON connector and other automatic WiFi hotspot connection Android apps are working to provide a super quick and automatic way to connect to the Internet.

I will also test WiFi-N transfer speeds and range.

Tethering:
- This function is working with most of 3G phones & smartphones like Samsung, LG, Nokia. The iPhone, the Android Phones, Blackberry phones & Windows phones have not included the thethering function. The non compatibility with iPhone, Blackberry, Android and Windows phones is therefore not a problem from ARCHOS but from the manufacturer itself.

In the forum http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=26482, we are trying to come up with lists of specific phones models that are tested to provide compatible bluetooth tethering support.

I’m looking forward to test if there is support for some really cheap Bluetooth tethering phones (such as some cheap Motorola, Nokia, LG and Samsung ones) to act as the 3G modem to use on the Archos, using Data-centric HSDPA sim cards only, with no need to actually use that phone for Voice and SMS. My plan is to use my Archos as a VOIP and IM terminal instead of having a normal mobile phone. And I would like to use those Data SIM cards that cost around $20 per month without contract, just pre-paid each month, and that provide up to 10GB or 20GB of bandwidth. At least here in Denmark and in some other European countries, such Data-only HSDPA sim cards are available. It will be interesting to test if those block VOIP packets or if VOIP works fine (once more VOIP apps are available for Android).

I believe any better Bluetooth Tethering support on the Archos 5 Internet Tablet with Android will have to come from Google to provide such more features in future Android updates. For example, hopefully that Android 2.0 could support these other types of “priprietary” Bluetooth tethering from such devices as the Windows Mobile 6 devices, Iphones, Androids and Blackberries. Discuss Bluetooth Tethering in the forum: http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=26482

Flash:
- The ARCHOS 5 supports Flash Lite through the ARCHOS AVOS (Games à Flash…)
- The ARCHOS 5 can play videos from website such as Youtube (via their mobile website) or Dailymotion via the pre installed applications
- The ARCHOS 5 does not support flash animations (web ads for instance)

Previously, Archos has confirmed that Flash 10.1 support will be added to this device once Adobe releases it. According to this video, the Flash 10.1 player for Android should be available within the next few months: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pee3nT4bPw4

Archos has previously supported Flash 9 Lite in the Opera browser of the last 2 generations of devices. Though the Webkit based browser in Android does not support Flash 9 Lite for now. So Archos is I think probably waiting for the official Flash 10.1 release, before adding support for it, probably not before Android 2.0. Also, if rumors of Firefox Fennec, Opera and the full Google Chrome browsers developped using the Android Native SDK are true, then Archos could support Flash in those as well.

Donut – New android firmware :
- Donut (Android 1.6) should be available for the ARCHOS 5 before end of 2009. For your information, there is currently no device that is running Donut at the moment. All manufacturers are developping and adapting their devices to do so.

In a previous video, Archos representative Steve Martin said that the Android 1.6 update would be available for the Archos later in October, though my source at Archos tells me that Android 1.6 firmware might be about 5 weeks away from today. Though before the end of 2009 is probably the more conservative estimate.

Regarding the support for the Google applications on Archos, what I have been asking in the android-discuss newsgroup is to ask if anyone else had seen any pre-release of the Google Android apps such as the Gmail client, Contacts, Google Maps, Google Listen, Google Voice, Latitude, Talk and other of these Google Android apps. But nobody has yet answered if they have seen anything.

Hopefully since Android 1.6 adds support for WVGA 800×480 screens, now Google will soon release all the Google apps to use on the Archos 5 Internet Tablet and other of the many Android devices with Android 1.6 that are coming out.

My contact at Archos is telling me that Archos is in talks with Google to get those apps for when Archos releases the Donut update. My guess is that Google will release the “Google Experience” across more Android devices including Archos in the coming weeks while Android 1.6 is being spread around and while more Android devices are being announced and released by dozens more manufacturers.

I also expect that the Google Marketplace app will eventually work on the Archos since Google has announced that they now provide resolution, manufacturer and carrier specific filtering for the Google Marketplace.

- APK problem :
On some ARCHOS 5 with Flash Memory the pre-installed applications are not on the desktop of the device. To reinstall the Third-Party Android applications : download the file on http://www.archos.com/support/support_tech/updates.html?country=fr&lang=fr (choose ARCHOS 5 Internet Tablet), and copy it to the root of your ARCHOS 5. Unplug your ARCHOS device, and double click on the file you just copied. Launch the Installation Wizard (from Menu>Settings>About my Product>Repair and Format tools). The wizard will automatically launch at the next reboot of your ARCHOS 5 internet tablet. Follow the steps of the Wizard.

That .apk problem is a small one previously resolved quickly in the forum. One can just download AppsLib from here to get the Archos applications library back up.

According to reports on http://www.archoslounge.net/AppsLib-ca-se-remplit-vite,9068.html , there are now more than 1087 Android applications available in the Archos http://appslib.com applications library.

gunnar-medial has posted a “HOWTO: ADB support on Ubuntu Linux (on-device debugging!)” since this latest Archos 5 Internet Tablet firmware update (1.1.01) enables ADB (Android Debug Bridge). This is a major step forward in efficient development of apps for this tablet device! http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=26483

You can discuss this post and suggest other questions to ask in the forum: http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=26490

The Archos 5 Internet Tablet with Android (500GB) has been shipping for a couple of days from Amazon.com for $489

The 32GB has been shipping for about 2 weeks from Amazon.com for $369

Posted in Exclusives, Firmwares, Rumors | View Comments

Archos Android A5 Internet Tablet gets pictures and pricing leaked on B&H Photo Video site

Posted by Charbax on 2nd September 2009

These are the leaked prices from B&H Photo Video. Consider that these prices have not been confirmed officially at this point:

Flash based:
Archos A5 16GB: $293.95
Archos A5 32GB: $369.95

Hard drive based:
Archos A5 160GB: $319.95
Archos A5 500GB: $419.95

Those could be the manufacturer’s suggested retail prices, since B&H Photo Video often sells at MSRP prices at new product launches.

There is also a new DVR Station: $129.95

Why the DVR Station might be more expensive than it uses to be, it’s uncertain if it may be because of new better connectors, or if it would be because the new DVR Station would have the full Archos Android based on Texas Instruments with internal storage and support for external storage like I have been suggesting.

This leak happened in the forum at http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=25450

Discussions about it are happening at http://www.engadget.com/2009/09/01/android-based-archos-gets-pictured-briefly-priced-by-bandh/

Posted in News, Rumors, Suggestions | View Comments