Posted tagged ‘Google Phone’

The Top Media & Marketing Innovations of 2008

December 16, 2008

Adweek has called out Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg’s decision to open the social network platform to developers who wanted to create applications for users as a top media and marketing innovation of 2008. The magazine notes Facebook’s move had ripple effects, influencing Steve Jobs to open the Apple iPhone to developers and MySpace to open its network to third-party applications.

From AdWeek:

Zuckerberg’s Most Popular

Facebook may not, as CEO Mark Zuckerberg awkwardly proclaimed when announcing its ad strategy over a year ago, have changed the face of media, but it most certainly has changed the development of a medium. Its move in May of last year to open the social-networking service to outside developers proved remarkably farsighted and influential. Its platform spread like a virus in 2008. As MySpace quarreled with widget makers about building business off its audience, Facebook embraced the outside help. The rationale was simple but revolutionary: The surest way to build out services is to have an outside army of developers do it. To date, 400,000 developers have introduced some 52,000 apps-and Facebook, not coincidentally, has exploded, expanding its user base to 130 million worldwide. That not only led MySpace to embrace outside developers but also paved the way for Apple to open the iPhone platform. The result: Everyone has found platform religion. David Verklin, head of the cable TV consortium Project Canoe, even talks of the boob tube as a platform. When the book is written on Facebook — and many are in the works — its critical choice to open up to outsiders may be seen as its most lasting contribution to the development of digital media.

iPhone Juices Mobile Medium
Apple’s iPhone 3G may not singlehandedly push mobile advertising to seriously-big-bucks, steady-line-on-the-flowchart status in 2009 — the sorry economy will most likely keep that from happening. And the trendy device won’t have the U.S. suddenly turning into South Korea, where 90 percent of the population dumps their PCs and starts watching movies and playing games on their mobiles. But in 2008, the iPhone phenomenon did create a shift in the mindset of the American consumer — from “Why would I want to surf the Web on my crappy phone?” to “I can do that? I want one now!” Thus, the touch screen has become the default design choice among models ranging from Google’s G1 and Samsung’s Instinct to the BlackBerry Storm (which, upon its debut last month, managed to create lines outside retail outlets reminiscent of those for the latest iPhone this past July). Then there are the many iPhone games and applications that have launched — everything from a New York Times app to the Social Gaming Network’s iBowl. It’s now clear that the mobile medium is going to get there, and that advertisers are going to have a real canvas to play on in the near future, one that goes beyond short-code messages and clunky WAP sites. For that, they can thank Steve Jobs.

All A-Twitter
It’s easy to make fun of Twitter. The short-messaging service’s simple concept — roadcast what you’re doing right now — has become synonymous with banal updates like your friend is “eating a taco.” To be sure, plenty of taco-eating bulletins are broadcast daily by the six million registered users of the two-and-a-half-year-old service. But the surging popularity of Twitter points to a social-networking truth: Our conceptions of one another — and brands — are often formed by bite-sized interactions. A single update does not in itself mean much — but taken with hundreds, even thousands of them, those little messages can come together to paint a rich portrait. What’s more, Twitter nailed something that’s fundamental to the Web: Keep it simple. Frustrating to some for its lack of bells and whistles, Twitter’s simple “What are you doing?” query and 140-character message limit are arguably its strengths. Twitter also proved that the most successful Web applications are flexible and open. Twitter’s designers never envisioned that consumers would use the service to communicate with one another, but users refashioned it as such, employing the prefix “@+user name” to direct replies. So, Twitter rejiggered to support that back-and-forth, while also letting outside developers build apps, further bolstering Twitter’s popularity. “Tweeting” may not be for everyone, but it’s clearly onto something: The 25-person company recently turned down a $500 million acquisition offer from Facebook.

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Android G1 Phone Unlocked and Unleashed on Developers

December 8, 2008

Google is hoping to spur cell phone developers’ creative juices by selling them an unlocked Android G1 handset for $399 that can work with any SIM and includes a system image fully compatible with the operating system. To accommodate demand, Google’s Android Open Handset Alliance Project is limiting sales of the Android Dev Phone 1 to one per customer.

From CNET:

Good news if you’re a developer itching to get your creative developer hands on a T-Mobile G1–and especially good news if you happen to be a developer who lives outside an area covered by T-Mobile. Google has announced a SIM- and hardware-unlocked version of the first Android smartphone.

To get an Android Dev Phone 1, you’ll first need to register as an Android developer on the Android Market site, which entails a one-time setup fee of $25. Then the device will cost you $399 (free shipping here in the States). To accommodate demand, Google says it’s one device per developer account–for now.

The device will be available for purchase in 18 international markets, including the U.S., U.K., Germany, Japan, India, Canada, France, Taiwan, Spain, Australia, Singapore, Switzerland, Netherlands, Austria, Sweden, Finland, Poland, and Hungary. And more territories are on the way, Google says.

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 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).