Posted tagged ‘Android Picture’

Android is Here…What Next?

October 22, 2008

T-Mobile USA has made the formal, nationwide launch of its G1. This is the first phone to run Google’s Android operating system. The G1 smartphone is now available to consumers at retail outlets in cities where T-Mobile’s 3G service is available, including Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, and Seattle.

CNET, James Martin

Credit: CNET, James Martin

Google made its first retail sale of the G1 last night in San Francisco. Now that it’s here, the question many will ask is what’s next? Can Android live up to the hype? Will it be an iPhone killer? What should expectations be for this much anticipated device?

From the Associated Press:

Google is jumping into the mobile phone business with its new G1 phone. The G1 is available starting today for $179 with a two-year contract from T-Mobile.

The new gadget features a touch screen, slide-out keyboard and a trackball.

This alternative to Apple’s iPhone is the first cell phone powered by Google’s Android operating system.

From CNET:

Along with 3G support, the HTC-built G1 features a touch screen, a full QWERTY keyboard, and GPS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth connectivity. But the big attraction for many will be the open-source Android software, the means by which Google is seeking to up-end the old ways of the telecommunications business.

The Android mobile operating system is closely tied to Google services and, says CNET News’ Stephen Shankland, it gives the Internet titan yet another way to get people to use them. For instance:

Search ads are, of course, Google’s bread and butter. Android’s Web browser can use others’ search engines, but a secondary part of the G1′s home screen features a prominent Google search box. There’s no option to change the search box to use search from Microsoft or Yahoo.

CNET Reviews, meanwhile, offers this bottom line on the G1 as a phone:

While we’re not in love with the design and would have liked some additional features, the real beauty of the T-Mobile G1 is the Google Android platform, as it has the potential to make smartphones more personal and powerful. That said, it’s not quite there yet, so for now, the G1 is best suited for early adopters and gadget hounds, rather than consumers and business users.

For the full review, see: HTC Dream T-Mobile G1. CNET’s Kent German, too, offers his own assessment: On Call: Welcoming the G1.

From ZDNet:

The excitement the mobile industry feels over delivery of Android software is all about a single number.

The number is 21. That’s the percentage by which AT&T’s wireless profits jumped in the last quarter. The most attractive business, postpaid (long-term) contracts, rose 40%.

During the quarter AT&T activated 2.4 million Apple 3G accounts, 40% of them new customers. Those are killer numbers.

The telecom business has suddenly become a struggle for survival. Shares in all the major wireless carriers are down sharply this year, mostly 30-40%, although Sprint shares are down 70%.

Apple is keeping AT&T afloat in these tough times. Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile can’t compete. Verizon is trying everything it can think of, buying Alltel for its market share, even considering contract-free plans, but nothing is working.

Worse, all carriers are doing expensive network build-outs, increasing the bandwidth they deliver customers using devices that might compete with the Apple 3G. Trouble is nothing does.

It’s not going to just be about price, as Funambol thinks. Handset makers have to deliver something that will encourage the data network use the iPhone stimulates. Some estimate iPhones take 500 times the bits of other mobile users.

In this, Android is not the only option. Carriers are willing to support Windows Mobile, the Blackberry, LiMo phones, even Symbian.

From InternetNews.com:

The arrival Wednesday of the T-Mobile G1, the first Android smartphone, marks the debut of the most open mobile operating system yet.

Android’s creators – the Open Handset Alliance (OHA), Google and T-Mobile – have pledged to fully support third-party application development, promising no one will dictate what users can download to the G1, or what developers can upload to the Android Market storefront.

Such openness is aimed at advancing mobile applications, fostering innovative services and, of course, becoming the ‘game changer’ in a competitive and crowded smartphone market.

Apple’s success with its popular consumer-friendly iPhone, and RIM’s (NASDAQ: RIMM) leading enterprise device, the BlackBerry, are proof that tight development and security controls can prove successful.

In fact, RIM’s co-CEO noted today at the vendor’s first developer conference that BlackBerry is known as “the” secure enterprise device.

Android leaders don’t dispute security is a critical smartphone aspect. Google has put a ‘kill switch’ clause within Android’s Market service agreement that states Google can and will remove applications that have a “malicious intent.”

But the search giant and its Android partners have also made it clear they won’t be policing and patrolling applications as closely as Apple or RIM. At the G1 product launch event last month the companies said they would not prohibit third-party Skype applications that would allow voice communications away from T-Mobile’s network.

Android’s Five Most Annoying Flaws

September 25, 2008

If you are interested in Google’s Android, and an opinion on the platform, you’ll have to check out Gizmodo for this article on the worst aspects of T-Mobile’s G1.

Gizmodo

Credit: Gizmodo

From the article:

While I was more impressed by the T-Mobile G1 than I thought I’d be, the list of catches for Android and the phone are quickly piling up—some that might very well be dealbreakers. Topping the list, it’s tightly integrated with your Google account—so tightly tha t you can only use one Google account with the phone. If you want to switch to another account, you have to do a whole factory reset. Update: Added a new, deeply aggravating bonus flaw, plus in light of new info, one isn’t as bad as it seemed.

A Googler told us the workaround they’ve been employing is using a separate IMAP mail app for their secondary Gmail accounts, but that still screws you if you’ve got calendars on multiple Google accounts—like if you’ve got a hosted Google Apps account for your site and a personal one, you’ve gotta pick one or the other. This is a technical limitation of Android 1.0, so it should be fixed in the future, but for now, as someone with a work account and a personal one, it definitely stings.

Contacts and Syncing: As mentioned, there is no desktop syncing app. It’s all about the cloud—your Google contacts and cal are considered the masters. So if it’s all on your desktop or god forbird, MobileMe, you’ve gotta move it over to your Google account. At launch, however it’ll be able to do remote syncing, so if you make a change or download an app on your desktop, your device will automatically sync up. Still, it’ll be open for developers to fill this market, as well as the lack of Exchange support. Whether this is a plus or minus might depend on how you feel about Google being the masterkeeper of your contacts and info.

Video: There’s no video playback at all right now, except for YouTube. The expectation is that developers will create video playback apps and the requisite support. That’s one of those big holes we worried Google would leave to developers to fill. Same story for video recording. Devs can add it in, though we’ve heard the video quality will look much better after Qualcomm’s video accelerator is released.

Hardware Inadequacies: No multitouch on the G1 and there never will be, since the panel itself doesn’t support it. However, Googlers said they expected a full touchscreen device with multitouch in the future. The lack of a headphone jack, though kinda common for HTC devices, is pretty galling, especially for a consumer device. Mini-USB adapters are annoying as hell.

Miscellaneous: You’ve gotta have an SD card for any kind of music or video playback, once the latter arrives—there’s no internal storage for media playback. It’s one of two problems we ran into with Amazon’s MP3 store, the other being that you can only down tracks over-the-air with Wi-Fi. We’d like some over-3G action.

For all of the choices when it comes to navigation, the fact that you have to use the QWERTY keyboard for all text entry can be annoying, since it involves a lot of flipping the phone around to type if you’re navigating vertically. Some onscreen action would be nice, but once again, they’re leaving that to developers.

Finally, it’s locked to T-Mobile. A Googler lamented that as well since it goes against the openness of Android, but said that in the long run, that won’t matter, since there will be a ton of devices. But like everything else, in the meantime, developers can step in and release an unlock app. On the Android market, even. So Android’s strengths—and weaknesses—really are as much in developers’ hands as they are Google, hardware makers and carriers’.

Update: T-Mobile has confirmed they will unlock it for you after your account has been active for 90 days, so this isn’t as much of an issue—not that it was huge initially, since devs can and probably will put unlocking apps in the Android Market.

Bonus T-Mobile obnoxious flaw: If you’re lucky enough to live in one of the markets sprinkled with 3G, after you’ve used 1GB of data, T-Mobile will slow you down to 50Kbps for the rest of the month. That’s slower than EDGE, which is theoretically capable of 384Kbps, though in real world it’s closer to 100Kbps.

I realize that’s no doubt due in part to the relative immaturity of T-Mobile’s 3G network, but as many times as I had to hear the words “mobile internet” and “future” today in reference to this phone, that’s absolutely ludicrous. Especially when you consider that you’re paying $25 for 3G data—the iPhone’s $30 plan is totally unlimited, and the speed only drops when AT&T’s network is sucking a fat one. The implications of this will make themselves more apparent over time as we see more apps populate the Android market and get a better idea of what they’re capable of, but it’s definitely looking like a large-to-critical pain point, besides just being annoying as balls.

Happy Birthday Google Android! Welcome to Planet Earth!

September 23, 2008

It’s September 23, 2008 and that means the birth of the platform known as Google Android. Welcome to the world. You have survived childbirth, now let’s see what you do with your life. You have been hyped as much as anything in recent history, so we shall soon see what the people really think of you. It’s hard to be judged before you’re even born, huh?

Gizmodo

Credit: Gizmodo

Gizmodo has full details of the gPhone:

The long-awaited HTC Dream, the first commercial handset running Google’s Android operating system, will be coming to T-Mobile as the G1 for $179 on October 22nd. Featuring a 3-inch touchscreen, internet navigation buttons and a full QWERTY keypad, the smartphone market has finally broken free of Symbian, Windows Mobile and the sweet clutches of fruit companies. Read on for the details, and you can decide whether or not the competition is a good thing.

Features:

Date and Pricing
$179 on October 22nd. (That’s with a two year contract.) Unlimited internet with “some messaging” will run $25/month. Unlimited internet and messaging is $35/month. Data plans will require voice plans.

Screen
The G1 sports a 3.17″ 65K color touchscreen that runs in HVGA (480×320) resolution.

Battery Life
You can talk for 5 hours, or keep the phone in standby for 130 hours.

Camera
3.1MP, or right around 35mm quality.

Frequency Fun
GSM/GPRS/EDGE/Wi-Fi and UMTS/HSDPA
850/900/1700/1800/1900/2100Mhz

Dimensions
4.60” x 2.16” x 0.62”; Weight: 5.6 ounces. And available in white, black and brown.

Storage
1GB MicroSD card preinstalled. Supports 8GB MicroSD.

GPS
Of course, what would Google Maps be without it?

Google Maps
As we’ve seen in a recent update, the G1′s Maps application will integrate Street View so you can see where you are going. But in an industry first, a built-in compass orients the map to your position. North is always up!

Android Market
Similar to the iPhone’s mobile App Store, the Android Market will allow downloading of various Android apps from the phone, to the phone.

Amazon MP3 Store
Amazon’s MP3 store will be preloaded on every G1, allowing the download of 6 million DRM-free tracks with singles starting at 89 cents. Downloading music requires a Wi-Fi connection, previewing can be done over T-Mobile’s network.

YouTube
Yup, it’s on there.

Other Apps
ShopSavvy: designed to help people do comparative shopping

Ecorio: developed to help people keep track of their daily travels and view what their carbon footprint looks like BreadCrumbz: enables people to create a step-by-step visual map using photos; customers can create their own routes, share them with friends or with the world

Boy Genius Report

Credit: Boy Genius Report

Dan Frommer at Silicon Alley Insider has live coverage from the Google press conference:

We’re here at Guastavino’s under the Queensboro Bridge, where Google (GOOG) and T-Mobile will unveil the first Android-powered ‘GPhone’ in a few minutes. We’ll be covering the announcement live; please refresh this page for live updates. (It looks like T-Mobile is offering live video of the press conference here, too.)

LIVE notes; refresh for the latest.

10:28 Lights dimming, latecomers taking their seats. On today’s agenda: Chats from Cole Brodman, CTO for T-Mobile; Christopher Schläffer, Deutsche Telekom (DT); Andy Rubin, Google’s Android guy; and Peter Chou, CEO of HTC, the company that’s making the G1.

10:29 Silence!

10:30 Eurofunk music. Video showing scenes across Europe and the rest of the world.

10:30 Brodman takes the stage. Welcome, thanks for joining us! “That video cptures the human essence in our need to connect with one another.” Can’t be face to face anymore. Technology has bridged that gap via mobile phone and Internet. Haven’t been able to rely on integration of those two in the past. Here today to change that: New platform, new device, new system, new set of services.

10:31 Introducing the others, who are sitting in the front row. Andy Rubin wearing a suit! Very nice.

10:32 Chris from DT here. Austrian! Not German! Continuing strong tradition of being pioneers of open mobile Internet. Launching the world’s first Android-based phone ,T-Mobile G1, in an exclusive partnership between Google and T-Mobile. For us, this is first because we’re launching the same device on both sides of the Atlantic.

10:33 Come along way with partners and friends at Google in pioneering approach to open up the wireless Internet. Since 2005 first telecom operator to open up, move away from walled gardens/closed portals. Really? We’ll take his word for it. Dress code appears to be suit, no tie today, btw. Think mobile Internet is huge growth opportunity going forward. In Europe, grown mobile data revs without SMS by 43%. Also traffic has grown 250% or so. Needto capitalize further on that opportunitiy.

10:35 Going through history with HTC. Ladies and gentlemen, Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile is committed to open platforms. T-Mobile G1 is a milestone in bringing the open mobile Internet to the mass market. Thank you. Here comes Andy Rubin.

10:36 Rubin takes the stage. On G1, a dev will be able to use as a platform. Dev will also be able to modify the platform and make it better. Somewhat future proof because it has openness built in. So far this is NOT like a Steve Jobs keynote at all. Lots of “open” …

10:37 Peter Chou, CEO of HTC congratulating team on strategy, execution, etc. Tremendous effort to make this Android Open Handset Alliance happen. Good job!

10:38 A variety of Google services, content, etc. for people to use and enjoy. HTC has worked closely with Google and T-Mobile to develop a unique iconic design unlike anything else in the market that will maximize mobile Internet experience with impressive touch experience and a cool keyboard. Will appeal to a broad variety of people.

10:40 Android is nimble, flexible, and powerful. Contributing to a fundamental shift of how people will use the mobile Internet. Lots of hype, we’ll see…

10:40 Cole back on. Started about three years ago, thanking people for their contribution. Why did we invest in the Android platform with HTC and Google? Mobile broadband networks have been around, but what’s been missing is compelling set of devices and services. US Consumers overconsume everything! Yet mobile Internet penetration lags at dismal 16%. Why? Haven’t been that many compelling experiences.

10:41 Open, open, open! Embrace third parties that have driven the creation of the Internet to create new services for mobile Internet.

10:42 No more fuzzy pictures, no more unsubstantiated blog posts, no more rumors! Here it is.

10:43 Video showing lots of iPhone-like features — touch gestures, video, Amazon MP3 store, etc. Now the four guys are on stage posing with the phones like it’s some sort of Olympics medal ceremony. Wow.

10:44 Photo shoot still going on. Guys posing for at least 20 cameras. And counting…

10:45 We’ll all get to photograph it LIVE! later. And use it.

10:45 Another video — the services. Great touch screen. Swiping gestures. Also “long press” to open options and features. Drop picture on your home screen. Drag and drop any application. Amazon MP3 store.

10:46 “Terrific” music player. Music recommendations? “Powerful communicator” with IM.

10:48 Google maps with Street View. Wonder how fast it’ll load over 3G. Compass mode. Pretty cool.

10:48 Zooming in Web browser doesn’t look as elegant as on iPhone. Lags while dragging on video. Search button on keyboard.

10:49 “Copy Link URL!” COPY AND PASTE!!! Get on it, Apple!

10:50 “Always something new to discover.” So whaddya think? Woo! says the audience. “Trust me, it’s a lot of fun.” Cole says he played Pacman for 30 minutes instead of preparing speech notes. But where is SPORE?

10:51 The beauty and magic of android platform is rich toolkit. One thing as humans we can always count on is change. This platform is going to embrace that change by allowing third parties to write whatever they want. From garages to graduate schools, from small towns to big cities, think third parties will drive innovation. SAPPY!

10:52 Another video. Nerds sitting in a room talking about open source. WHAT IS THIS FOR?! MORE PHONE!

10:53 This video is a little ridiculous. Lots of dudes talking about open source. You’re not missing anything. These guys appear to be sitting on an orange/red leather IKEA Klippan couch talking about open source.

10:54 Applause. Cole back on stage.

10:55 Carbon footprint tracking people here. Shopsavvy people too. I think these are Android developer challenge winners. Yes, these are the barcode scanning people. Not sure they they’re not giving demos.

10:56 15-minute Q&A period led by T-Mobile Flack. $179, existing T-Mobile customers can buy. Can order and have it shipped to their phone. October 22. Two very compelling data and messaging plan options. $25 option with limited messaging, web, etc. $35 with unlimited.

10:58 27 3G markets by mid-November. Europe? Keen to launch in Europe? Is that what he said? UK in November, across europe in Q1 of 2009.

10:59 Rubin: Open sourcing platform. Beyond that, pretty focused road map. Going broader with more features and functionality. LONG TAIL!

11:00 HTC guy talking about mobile Internet innovation. Very proud of it.

11:00 Now Q&A opening up. Tethered modem? On top of voice plan or just data plan? All in one device; mobile device, not a tethered modem. Data plan will require a voice plan on T-Mobile’s network as well.

11:00 Gartenberg: Any support for Office or Exchange? Can read Word docs and PDF docs; Excel docs. Currently no Exchange compatibility but perfect opportunity for third-party developer. SIM Locked to T-Mobile.

11:02 GMAIL IS PUSH, other IMAP is not.

11:02 Missed this one. Something about syncing. Will be available in markets without 3G. Device also includes wifi.

11:03 Digging a little bit deeper into SIM lock question. How locked is it going to be? With iPhone, space race to unlock, etc. Any comments to that? No guarantees in technology, seen a lot happen in the last year and a half “with the device you mentioned”… $179 is cheap compared to T-Mobile’s full cost; hence is reason we’ve locked it to T-Mobile.

11:04 Google will help marketing starting in October, the biggest marketing campaign T-Mobile has ever launched. Very unique business relationship with Google; not worth commenting on at this point.

11:05 No desktop application; what Bluetooth profiles supported? Device syncs to Google services, also Yahoo, Microsoft and AIM, as far as Bluetooth profiles: headsets, handsfree, others coming later.

11:06 Who device aimed at? Business users? Consumers? Corporate market? How broad? This device going to have “mass appeal.” Something for everybody. Set off in beginning to build a device that appeals to young and social segment. Consumer device, not necessarily enterprise device. But you’ll see enterprise workers use it for that as well.

11:07 More about GMail? Rubin: As far as GMail goes, pretty robust Gmail experience. Same threading; ALLOWS YOU TO SEARCH EMAIL. A lot of email services will be integrated via Gmail powered front-end. IM: First implementation of online presence inside the phone book. More powerful communications services built into phone book.

11:08 Will it work with iTunes? Supports AAC, WMA, MP3, etc, but not iTunes-DRM compatible. Content would have to be DRM-unlocked. No Skype. Will work with any GSM network in the world, then bands that Tmobile will operate on in US, other bands around the world.

11:09 LARRY AND SERGEY! Rushed here from Google Transit launch; very exciting to be here today, says Sergey. What really gives me pleasure: I’m a bit of a geek. The way I grew up playing in college and grad school with computers, mess around with Linux, touch all the parts of the system. Get the same pleasure playing with the G1 here. Have been using it for a while now.

11:11 Sergey wrote an app that lets you throw phone up in the air, measure how many seconds until you catch it or it hits the floor. Exciting to me as a computer geek that I can have a phone I can innovate on as I have with computers in the past. Larry page talking about enjoying using it for email, been giving Andy lots and lots of feedback. Excited about possibilities it means.

11:12 As good a computer as we had a few years ago is in this phone. If asked you guys to do a Web search, coudl see how long it takes. Hard to carry your laptop “especially if you’re rollerblading.”

11:14 We now pause for a very special photo session with everyone holding their phones.

11:15 Press conference over, people filing out and heading down to demo stations.

Live blogging also from TechCrunch:

What’s known so far:

  • In-store, immediate sales only available in locations within 5 miles of a 3G covered area. If a store is beyond that range, representatives will walk customers through a T-mobile.com purchase
  • One touch access to: Search, Maps, Gmail, Youtube, Calendar, and Google Talk
  • Gmail account and data plan required
  • GPS
  • 3.1 mp camera, no video recording
  • No stereo bluetooth (A2DP)
  • Dimensions: 4.6 x 2.16 x 0.63 in
  • Weighs 5.6 ounces
  • 480×320 65K color screen
  • 5 hour talk time, 130 hour standby time
  • Expandable up to 8GB

From Fortune:

If Google plays its cards right, its unveiling of the first Android-powered phone on Tuesday will prove to be more than a distraction from iPhone-mania – it will be the moment the search giant capitalizes on Apple’s control issues.

From InformationWeek:

The feverish readers of TmoNews.com have discovered some images and specifications of the G1 phone from HTC, set to be announced later this morning. What’s surprising is what isn’t included.

It appears that the G1 will only be available in regions covered by T-Mobile’s 3G network. Given that there are only a dozen or so active 3G markets across the U.S., that’s a pretty limiting factor. T-Mobile is set to expand its 3G footprint in the coming months, but to limit the availability of a phone people have a lot of interest in is a weird move.

TmoNews quotes a source as saying, “Available in all stores within 3G boundary area, regardless of whether or not store is in a 3G dead spot. Available in some locations directly outside of the 3G boundary area due to the fact that some customers who live in the 3G boundary area shop within a 2 – 5 mile radius and the store they would go to is outside of the 3G boundary area. For those stores not in 3G markets, a demo unit and merchandising will be in store so rep can show customer what the experience on G1 is like on the 2G network. If customer is ok with experience, Rep can help them purchase a device on T-Mobile.com.”

Other specs that TmoNews was able to snag show that the device will have one-touch access to the Internet, Maps Gmail, YouTube, Calendar andGoogle (NSDQ: GOOG) Talk (Google’s chat program). A Google account is required. You have to have a Google account in order to use the phone. This isn’t overly surprising. Being that the Google faithful are the ones likely to be most interested in this device, that isn’t going to put too many people off.

It will have a 3.1 megapixel camera, but the camera won’t be able to shot video, just as with the iPhone. This makes it a non-starter for me. I really like to be able to shot video. The phone also doesn’t include support for stereo Bluetooth, which is another feature lacking on the iPhone and another disappointment.It will, however, include GPS.

From ZDNet:

There’s a feeling of excitement around today’s expected launch of Android, Google’s long-anticipated mobile operating system. But when I drove past a few electronics stores last night, I didn’t see anyone camping out the way people were lined up for Apple’s iPhone.

I suspect there’s some confusion about what Android is, exactly. Early on, it was dubbed the gPhone – but that’s somewhat misleading if you try to do an Apples-to-apples comparison with the iPhone. In the case of Apple’s iPhone, it was an operating system, too, but for one phone only – Apple’s. Google’s operating system, which also encourages the development of mobile applications, is eventually expected to land on a variety of devices. And now, there’s some buzz that the Google’s open-source operating system might eventually reach beyond phones and land on other products – maybe set-top boxes, TVs or even cars.

For now, the emphasis is on mobile phones. A growing number of mobile phones – beyond the iPhone – are already Web-capable. Google wants to supply those mobile surfers with the information they’re seeking from a mobile Web connection.

To a certain extent, Google is already doing that by enhancing its mobile offerings. Applications like Gmail, Reader and, of course, search are already available through a mobile Web browser. In addition, a number of other operating systems – iPhone, Blackberry, Windows Mobile and others – are supporting Google Apps for Mobile, a much more attractive and user-friendly version of Google’s most popular services. Last week, Google Maps for Mobile was upgraded to include Street View images. In addition, Google has been offering for some time now an SMS version of its search functionality. Send a SMS text message to GOOGL (46645) with a simple search such as “pizza, 94105″ and you’ll receive a text listing of pizza joints in the San Francisco zip code.

I’ve been running Google services on my phone (a Blackberry) for some time now so the excitement around a gPhone – err, Android – just isn’t all that exciting to me. I’ll certainly check out an Android phone as soon as I can – but I don’t think I’ll consider a switch to T-Mobile the way I considered a switch to AT&T for the iPhone.

Why would I? In many ways, I feel like my phone is already a Google phone.

Google Android’s Dream Could Turn Into a Nightmare for Apple?

September 22, 2008

Hard to say but a lot of questions will *hopefully* be answered tomorrow at the anticipated Android press conference. The HTC Dream, brought to you by T-Mobile, will be the first handset to run Google’s new mobile operating system, Android. The device promises to give mobile-phone users a lot more freedom and flexibility.

Credit: Rizzn.com

From eWEEK:

Apple’s overnight sensation iPhone shipped 1 million units in 74 days. I argued the Dream could do the same, thanks to sheer hype and word of mouth.

From InformationWeek:

It is very hard for companies to keep anything secret these days, thanks to the Internet. That said, I am surprised images of the Android handset from HTC haven’t made the rounds sooner. Some blurry shots circulated a while ago, but today we’ve got three clear shots of it.

According to Mark “Rizzn” Hopkins, “One of my super secret spies at Google just happened to trade contact information with someone who admitted that the phone in his hand was the rumored Dream.”

You can view the goods here.

From Forbes:

Google has handed a few hundred phones to its internal teams of engineers for real world testing. These reference models, presumably preproduction versions of the HTC Dream, are inconspicuous. Thicker than an iPhone, the flat, grayish-black hunk of plastic does not call attention to itself. It takes a savvy pedestrian to spot its identifying marks: a bank of serial numbers engraved across its face and backplate and a discrete white “with Google” badge stamped on the back.

But they are out there.

Forbes.com spotted a phone on the streets of San Francisco. It resembles alleged HTC Dream footage leaked in a blurry video on YouTube in August. A large touch screen eats up most of the phone’s available real estate. However, unlike Apple’s device, it boasts a palette of physical buttons (both for selection and call initiation) and a small trackball for zipping across its multipaged menus. The screen slides up to reveal a shallow keyboard. Think of it as an anorexic T-Mobile Sidekick.

From CNET:

There will be plenty of hullabaloo on Tuesday when T-Mobile unveils the first phone powered by Google’s Android operating system. But the event is only the beginning of a long effort to rewrite the rules of the mobile communications industry.

The phone, a somewhat chunky model called Dream built by HTC, is expected to cost about $200 from T-Mobile and go on sale in October. Until other partners in the Google-spawned, 34-member Open Handset Alliance bring their Android products to market, this small piece of electronics will shoulder a lot of ambitions.

For T-Mobile, an Android phone could bring some Google buzz to the scrappy carrier, helping match what AT&T got from Apple’s iPhone. It also could potentially persuade customers T-Mobile’s new 3G network is worth paying give T-Mobile new revenue from online application sales.

For Google, Android is a tool to spread Internet-savvy phones far and wide. People with powerful networked phones use the Internet much more, and Google wants to be the top company supplying the information they demand online.

“Look at Japan, (where) we have far more usage of mobile Web. It’s similar with the iPhone,” said Google co-founder Sergey Brin in a meeting with reporters last week. “If the Internet is widely available, that’s good for us.”

What’s not yet clear is how well Android phones will fare in the marketplace. Google’s software is untested, and there are plenty of competitors in the mobile phone market.

But Google’s advertising business is a money factory, and the company has shown it has patience to invest that money in key projects. So even if the first-generation Android phones don’t entice people to line up around the block, competitors who develop mainstream phone operating systems such as Nokia’s SymbianMicrosoft’s Windows Mobile doubtless are taking heed. and

From ZDNet:

I realize that the iPhone has been a massive hit for the company, and it promises to be a goldmine for developers, but I’m surprised that developers are willing to take the risk of developing for a closed platform like the iPhone – where their primary if not sole route to customers can be blocked arbitrarily for “competing” with a native application?

Google Android Arrives September 23

September 11, 2008

Reuters is reporting that Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile unit is set to start selling a mobile phone based on Google Inc’s Android software within weeks.

From the article:

“T-Mobile and Google will be making an announcement this month in New York City,” two people told Reuters on Wednesday, adding Sept. 23 was a likely date for the announcement.

T-Mobile declined to comment and Google was not immediately available.

In February, T-Mobile Chief Executive Hamid Akhavan said at a trade fair in Barcelona the company planned to launch a device operating on the Android software platform in the fourth quarter, which Akhavan had promised would not disappoint.

“Early results we have seen have given us all the confidence that it will be groundbreaking,” he said at the time.

The device, dubbed the Google “Dream” phone, is being made by smartphone maker High Tech Computer Corp and is expected to challenge Apple Inc’s iPhone as well as other smartphones that run software from Palm Inc, Research in Motion, Microsoft Corp and Nokia Oyj.

It will operate using T-Mobile’s third-generation network and feature a slide-out keypad. Apple’s successful iPhone uses a touch-screen keyboard.

From Silicon Alley Insider:

Google’s first Android-powered ‘GPhone’ could be announced at a New York press event as soon as Sept. 23, Reuters reports, citing the usual “people familiar with the matter.” We can’t confirm the report, but it makes sense — most consumer electronics brands are announcing their holiday gadget lineups this month and next month, like Apple’s (AAPL) new iPod roster, unveiled yesterday, and Microsoft’s (MSFT) new Zunes, announced Monday.

From InformationWeek:

I am not one for fancy colors. I don’t need a lot of choice when it comes to cell phone hues. But since HTC is making products for everyone else, it appears that the Android phone will come in black, white and brown. A chocolate-colored smartphone?

The Android Guys have dug up a document that they say details the SKU for the upcoming G1. They write:

The internal point of sale system from T-Mobile has apparently been updated to include the SKU/UPC for each version. Typically, these are implemented into the system a few days to weeks before the sale date. The price is not usually put on until the day of release however, so we cannot confirm costs yet. You can also check the UPC code against the national database to find it exists. Not really much in the way of exciting news, but it helps confirm the eventual release is just that much closer.

From Internet News:

Reuters is reporting that Google’s first Android smartphone will debut on September 24th — just two weeks from now, though exclusive carrier T-Mobile and Google of course aren’t publicly commenting on the impending smartphone arrival.

If it does arrive, it bodes well for what’s likely the most anticipated mobile device since Apple launched its iPhone just over a year ago. But whether it’s anticipation level is on par with the iPhone debut is still a huge unknown in my view.

The Android has drawn attention due to its open source platform approach, and of course, because Google’s behind it. But is that enough for the mainstream mobile user to care?

Given what Google is, are mobile users just projecting that its search innovation will transcend into mobility device innovation?

As pundits have repeatedly stated, users want smartphones that offer something better than the last one did, or speedier connectivity, or more exciting software tools.

I mean look what the touch screen design has done for smartphones — one pundit said that feature alone can help propel device sales for players who have been lagging. So it’s no surprise Nokia and Motorola are running touch screen capability to market very soon.

So I’m guessing Android will have a touch screen (what a story it would be if it didn’t right…), and it’ll have some great applications — at least I’m assuming since it’s all about the platform right.

But what else could it have that the iPhone or any other device doesn’t have right now?

Or will the Google hook be enough to cause another product swell in the marketplace?

From Mobile Magazine:

Initial rumors said that the HTC Dream G1, the first Android smartphone, would launch with T-Mobile USA some time in October. It seems that things are actually ahead of schedule and the phone is ready for this month instead. More specifically, current rumors are pointing toward a possible announcement on September 23 by the guys at T-Mobile and Google in New York City.

Bear in mind that September 23rd is the rumored date for an announcement. It’s still perfectly fathomable that the HTC Dream G1 won’t actually launch until October (or later).

Google Android To Be Trimmed With Chrome

September 4, 2008

A version of Google’s new Chrome browser will find itself onto the company’s Android mobile platform, according to company co-founder Sergey Brin.

Google

Credit: Google

From Computerworld:

In yet another example of Google Inc.‘s expanding influence, the search company’s co-founder, Sergey Brin, said he expects the new Google browser, Chrome, to eventually become part of the Android wireless phone platform, which is under separate development by the Google-led Open Handset Alliance.

Brin, in an interview with CNET at the Chrome announcement yesterday, said that “probably a subsequent version of Android is going to pick up a lot of the Chrome stack.” Google officials were unavailable to elaborate.

Although they are being developed separately, both Chrome and Android’s browser rely on WebKit open-source software for interpreting the HTML code that builds and renders a Web page.

The first Android phone is expected to launch in November. Known as the Dream phone, it will be manufactured by HTC and will be first sold in the U.S. by T-Mobile.

Google’s ultimate ability to increase its influence in the mobile device market may well depend on whether a mobile Chrome browser is used in any other phones that use Android software, several analysts said. The mobile browsers available today include FireFox, Internet Explorer, Opera and the emerging Skyfire.

From InformationWeek:

Android and Chrome were developed separately, but will probably be tied closer now that the first Android-powered handsets are just around the corner.

Stephen Shankland/CNET News

Credit: Stephen Shankland/CNET News

“Probably a subsequent version of Android is going to pick up a lot of the Chrome stack,” Brin said in an interview with Cnet Tuesday. The search company unveiled Chrome Tuesday to much fanfare as the company claims the open-source browser is the fastest out there.

Chrome is built on Apple’s WebKit engine, and includes a JavaScript engine that’s designed to handle multiple processes, each with its own memory. Additionally, the browser has draggable tabs, and it has been optimized to be used with Web applications, including the company’s Gmail, Google Docs, and more.

While features like multiple sandboxed processes would probably not make the cut on a cell phone, a mobile version would probably be built on the same fundamental technologies. Being able to easily and efficiently integrate with Web apps could give Android an advantage in the increasingly competitive mobile browser market.

Take a spin through our Google Chrome image gallery and have a look at the browser that’s being touted as a game-changer.

From CNET:

Google’s new Chrome browser is for PCs today, but company co-founder Sergey Brin expects the technology will make its way to Android, the company’s mobile phone operating system and software suite.

Chrome and Android were developed largely separately, Brin said in an interview at the Chrome launch event Tuesday. “We have not wanted to bind one’s hands to the other’s,” Brin said. But you can expect that to change now that both projects are public and nearing their first final releases.

“Probably a subsequent version of Android is going to pick up a lot of the Chrome stack,” Brin said, pointing to JavaScript improvements as one area.

And the brand name likely will follow. “My guess is we’ll have ‘Chrome-like’ or something similar,” he said.

Chrome and Android’s current browser both already employ WebKit, an open-source project for the process of interpreting the HTML code that makes up a Web page and rendering it on a screen.

Google Details its Android Application Strategy

August 29, 2008

Android Market, an open-source answer to Apple’s Phone App Store, will act as the hub of Google’s platform for users to buy, download and review applications and other content. Google said it was trying to make it easy for developers to produce applications and get them into users’ hands.

Google

Credit: Google

From CNET:

Google on Thursday announced Android Market, an online center that will let people find, buy, download, and rate applications and other content for mobile phones equipped with the open-source operating system.

Attracting developer attention is a key part of the Google-led Android software effort, and those who produce applications will have an easy time getting them to the market, Eric Chu of Google’s Android project said in a Thursday blog post.

“Similar to YouTube, content can debut in the marketplace after only three simple steps: register as a merchant, upload and describe your content and publish it,” Chu said. “We chose the term ‘market’ rather than ‘store’ because we feel that developers should have an open and unobstructed environment to make their content available.”

Though the first Android phones are planned to arrive later this year, Chu said to expect the initial phone-based Android Market application to be a beta version that might only support distribution of free applications. An update later will handle different versions of applications, support for different profiles of Android phones, and analytics to help developers track adoption.

From InformationWeek:

[The] Android Market [is]an open content distribution system that will help end users find, purchase, download and install various types of content on their Android-powered devices. The concept is simple: leverage Google’s expertise in infrastructure, search and relevance to connect users with content created by developers like you.Developers will be able to make their content available on an open service hosted by Google that features a feedback and rating system similar to YouTube. We chose the term “market” rather than “store” because we feel that developers should have an open and unobstructed environment to make their content available. Similar to YouTube, content can debut in the marketplace after only three simple steps: register as a merchant, upload and describe your content and publish it. We also intend to provide developers with a useful dashboard and analytics to help drive their business and ultimately improve their offerings.

I also wanted to share some early details to help with planning your efforts so that you can be ready as our partners release the first Android-powered handsets. Developers can expect the first handsets to be enabled with a beta version of Android Market. Some decisions are still being made, but at a minimum you can expect support for free (unpaid) applications. Soon after launch an update will be provided that supports download of paid content and more features such as versioning, multiple device profile support, analytics, etc.

From ZDNet:

Google released early details yesterday about their plans for Android Market, an online bazaar for programs that run on Android phones. Essentially an Android version of the iPhone’s popular App Store, it offers three key advantages over Apple’s offering:

  1. It will follow the YouTube model of instant gratification: just upload and publish. Your content will appear immediately in the Market. By contrast Apple requires each iPhone app to be vetted and approved. Android’s multi-level security model will help protect your handset from malicious or just plain broken programs.
  2. It will provide developers with a dashboard and analytics to “help drive their business and ultimately improve their offerings”. All iPhone devs get right now is a daily count of downloads.
  3. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to use it! Unlike the iPhone, if someone comes up with a better store interface with their own catalog they are free to do so. Of course the Google one will be pre-installed on phones, which gives it an immediate advantage. But in theory a 3rd party store could work out their own deal with carriers and have theirs bundled too.

Initially all content in the Market will be free, but the next phase will include paid apps, probably purchased through Google Checkout. Google hasn’t said what their “cut” of the price for non-free programs will be, but it will most likely be less than the 30% Apple takes from App Store sales.

Android Drawings Revealed

August 26, 2008

“Android Guys” has published an engineering drawing of T-Mobile’s soon to be released Android phone (T-Mobile G1).

From CNET:

The images show more information about the device than any of the other mock-ups that have zipped around the blogosphere.

One of the more interesting tidbits from the drawing is a slight tilt of the bottom part of the phone where the trackball is located. The device has a full QWERTY keyboard with nicely spaced buttons. The Android Guys note this is reminiscent of recent Sidekick designs, and the site gives it a thumbs-up.

The blog “Android Community” has used the drawing to calculate the phone’s dimensions and reports that the thickness of the G1, also known as the HTC Dream, is approximately 0.64-inches or 16.35mm. Apple’s iPhone, which doesn’t have a flip-out screen, is 12.3 mm thick. It also looks like the G1′s screen size is comparable to the iPhone’s 3.5-inch screen.

There is also a “menu” button on the G1, according to the drawing, which will likely be used to launch Google services.

The device is expected to be priced at about $399 full retail or about $150 with a two-year contract from T-Mobile. One blog reports that the device will go on sale October 13, 2008, with pre-orders for existing T-Mobile customers to begin September 17.

Credit: Android Guys

The HTC phone is expected to be the first phone that will use Google’s Android operating system. Rumors about the phone have been running rampant over the Internet for months in anticipation of its launch.

Photos, video and now drawings. It appears that Android may actually show up after all. I’m still waiting to see the product before I draw any conclusions whether the product will live up to the hype and be what consumers have been “dreaming” about. Thoughts?

Google Android Update: Size of the HTC Dream Revealed

August 26, 2008

An important piece of information has emerged surrounding the anticipated HTC Dream, which will be the first device running Google’s Android operating system. New information from the FCC  Web site gives this smartphone’s size which is approximately 2.2 inches wide and 4.5 inches long.

Brighthand.com

Credit: Brighthand.com

From Brighthand.com:

Last week, when the Dream received its approval from the FCC — a necessary step before it can be released in the U.S. — this government agency posted a diagram of this device that HTC thought revealed too much about it (see image at right). This company therefore asked the FCC to switch diagrams to sometime less detailed.

The agency complied, and the new diagram is just a simple outline of the smartphone. Nevertheless, it contains an import piece of information the original did not: the exact dimensions of the HTC Dream.

Therefore, it’s now known that this model will be 2.2 inches wide and 4.5 inches long (55 mm by 115 mm). The FCC did not reveal the width of the device.

For comparison, the AT&T Tilt — a similar model also made by HTC — is 2.3 inches by 4.4 inches. Some have compared the Dream to a T-Mobile Sidekick, a device that is 2.3 inches by 4.7 inches.

Leaked video and images of the HTC Dream have shown that it will have a touchscreen that moves to one side to expose a landscape-oriented keyboard. The FCC documents confirmed earlier reports that this smartphone will support T-Mobile’s 3G network.

Google Android Applications May Not Feature Bluetooth

August 23, 2008

An interesting development today in the always up to the minute updated news of the Google Android Platform.

From IDG News Service:

While developers have been hard at work building Android applications that can use GPS (Global Positioning System), Wi-Fi and cameras, they just discovered they likely won’t be able to offer applications that use one common mobile phone feature: Bluetooth.

The most recent Android SDK (software development kit), released on Monday, says that Android 1.0 won’t include a “comprehensive” Bluetooth API (application programming interface).

Developers aren’t exactly sure what that means and a Google spokeswoman said the company plans to elaborate later on Friday in a blog post.

Some developers contributing to Google’s Android forum say they find it hard to believe that Android 1.0, the first version of the Linux-based mobile operating system expected to become available soon, won’t support Bluetooth. “HTC would not release a smartphone in this day and age that lacked Bluetooth support,” wrote a developer going by the name Jeff Craig on the forum.

HTC’s Dream phone is expected to be the first on the market to run Android software.

Google may plan to build support for Bluetooth into Android so that end users can wirelessly link standard Bluetooth gear, such as ear pieces, to the phone. But a lack of APIs would mean that developers couldn’t build applications that use Bluetooth.

End users and developers have both eagerly anticipated the release of Android. With the anticipated release just a few weeks away, more news will probably available frequently.


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