Sprint says Galaxy Tab still under development

Reacting to concerns over applications with Froyo, Sprint says it will offer "best possible user experience"

A Sprint Nextel spokesman said late Friday that the Galaxy Tab with the Android Froyo operating system is still under development, and suggested that reported problems with running Android apps would be fixed before the device is released this fall.

A Google executive and two industry analysts have said that the Galaxy Tab will not render apps downloaded from Android Market or won't render them properly because the Galaxy runs Froyo, also known as Android 2.2. That OS is not optimized for tablet computers, and was designed for the smaller screens on smartphones , the Google executive and the analysts have said.

But the Sprint spokesman said there's time to further develop the Galaxy with Froyo for full app support.

"From Sprint's perspective, the [Galaxy] product is still in development," said Sprint spokesman Mark Elliott in an interview. "So what it looks like when it becomes available is something we will work very closely with Samsung on as well as software developers of apps to make sure we offer the best possible user experience."

In addition to working with Samsung and developers in coming weeks, Sprint is holding a developer's conference 26-28 October in Santa Clara, Calif., where sessions will be focused on app development for the Galaxy Tab, Elliott said. "We're going to have sessions devoted to this particular device becauses it's new and different and we'll make sure developers have the best possible apps, " he said. "What we are trying to offer is the best possible customer experience, and that's a combination of hardware and software and the apps that come with Galaxy [as well as downloaded apps]."

With the developer sessions so late in October, it appears likely that Sprint won't be releasing the Galaxy until early November, although Sprint would not comment on a release date. Samsung on Thursday announced that Sprint is one of four major U.S. carriers that will launch the tablet this fall. The others are Verizon Wireless, AT&T and T-Mobile. A Verizon spokeswoman would not comment on the concerns raised about the Galaxy's ability to run apps properly.

Google, Samsung, T-Mobile and AT&T could not be reached for comment.

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Matt Hamblen

Computerworld (US)
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