updated 06:55 pm EST, Wed March 10, 2010
JooJoo delay leads to new interface
Fusion Garage in an evening update revealed that it has implemented a major revamp of the JooJoo tablet's interface. Taking advantage of the recent delay, the startup has replaced the plain, minimalist interface shown so far with a more stylized look that includes customizable wallpaper and a translucent bar that combines both status and a web address field. Company head Chandra Rathakrishnan added to Engadget that the tablet now uses a simpler interface with single-touch for a virtual mouse pointer and dual-touch for scrolling, both of which should help on sites like Google Maps that recognize a scroll command as a zoom feature.
The keyboard has been given a similar lift and is now smaller relative to the 12-inch display but also movable: it can sit on one side both for one-handed use and to reveal text fields that might otherwise be obscured, such as in an entry form. Besides two-finger scrolling, multi-touch works in the keyboard and lets users press more than one key at the same time, a trick that Apple and others use to speed up typing.
Flash now has reportedly been properly implemented and supports either in-browser viewing or a dedicated viewer that invokes hardware acceleration; hardware in-browser is still waiting on the finished release of Flash 10.1. The viewer recognizes YouTube-friendly H.264 videos and other formats, and will also play supported formats from a USB drive.
The hardware largely remains the same $499 device promised earlier and is a series of trade-offs versus the same-price iPad. While it only has 4GB of storage and is limited to viewing web apps, the JooJoo's larger screen and 1080p video support are advantages over the 720p-maximum Apple device. Fusion Garage has noted that it's changing the color of the tablet from black to a much lighter champagne. Barring any extra delays, the JooJoo should ship on March 25th.