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Android-based gadgets to ship in October

Apr 17, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 5 views

GiiNii will ship an Android-based portable media player (PMP) and portable Internet appliance in October and January, respectively, according to a spokesperson. The Movit Mini and larger Movit Maxx include touchscreens, WiFi, a webcam, and optional Bluetooth, says the company.

(Click for larger view of the Movit Mini)

When prototype versions of the Movit devices were shown by GiiNii at the CES show in January, the company expected to ship the devices in late summer, but it is now targeting an October 1 ship date for the Mini and a January 1 shipment for the Maxx, said the GiiNii spokesperson. Still, the devices should be among the first Android-based models to arrive in their respective categories.

GiiNii doesn't call its Movit Mini device a mobile Internet device (MID), but the portable player appears to be somewhat similar to the first crop of Intel Atom-based MIDs running the Linux-based Moblin stack, such as the BenQ S6, or the Aigo P8860D. Offering a smaller screen at 4.3 inches, compared to the standard 4.8-inch MID format, the unit also offers a lower resolution (480 x 272) touchscreen and lesser flash storage, and appears to have smaller dimensions. Otherwise, however, it provides similar WiFi, and optional Bluetooth radios, as well as a webcam, speaker, and microphone. GiiNii did not disclose the processor or memory used on its Movit devices.

Movit Mini, back and side views
(Click on either to enlarge)

The Mini is said to offer preinstalled Skype VoIP service via WiFi, as well as music and video players, web browser, an address book, and a few other basic apps. Of course, with Android on tap, Movit Mini would also presumably have access to the growing number of Google- and third-party apps. The Android stack is receiving a version 1.5 (“Cupcake”) upgrade this Spring, with new features like a virtual keyboard, video and voice recording, and a new WebKit browser with the Squirrelfish Javascript engine.

So far, the touch-oriented, Linux/Java-based Android stack has been used only on smartphones, but later this year, it appears to be destined for a variety of netbooks. Among PMP products, the only formally announced Android product we know of is the MID-like Archos Internet Media Tablet, which runs on an ARM Cortex-A8-based Texas Instruments OMAP3440, and is due to ship in the third quarter.

Features listed for the GiiNii Movit Mini include:

  • Flash — 256MB
  • Display — 4.3-inch touchscreen at 480 x 272 resolution
  • Communications — WiFi and Bluetooth 2.0 (optional)
  • USB — Mini-USB 2.0 port
  • Audio — built-in microphone/speaker; stereo headset jack
  • Camera — video and still capture
  • Battery — Lithium Ion
  • Applications — Skype (VoIP), music and video players, calculator, address book, alarm
  • Operating system — Android (based on Linux and Java)

Movit Maxx

Movit Maxx

GiiNii still has only minimal information on the Movit Maxx device, which is designed for in-home use. The Android-driven device will have a larger screen, “starting at 7 inches,” says GiiNii. While the Maxx resembles a typical digital picture frame, it has a built-in lithium-ion battery and is positioned as a “portable interactive Internet appliance.” The panel is said to offer streaming updates on headlines and sports updates, which is reminiscent of the Linux-based, but not yet Android-based, Chumby interface, which is expected to be ported to several DPF devices this year.

Movit Maxx, front and back
(Click on either to enlarge)

Stated GiiNii President Scott Reeves when the Movit Mini was first announced, “It's the ultimate portable social networking device, easily slipping into a pocket, purse, tote or briefcase. Because it's Wi-Fi-enabled and so small, the GiiNii Movit Mini is ready to use anywhere in the world for social networking, making phone calls, surfing the Web, watching videos, playing games and viewing photos.”


The Movit Mini will ship Oct. 1, and the Movit Maxx will ship on Jan. 1, 2010, says GiiNii. Based in San Ramon, Calif., GiiNii International designs, engineers, procures components, and oversees assembly of DPFs, digital cameras, HDTVs and other consumer electronics devices, says the company.

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