Posted tagged ‘HTC’

Samsung Announces First Android Phone

April 27, 2009

Sascha Segan at PC Magazine has a great article today about the Samsung i7500, the companies first phone that will run the Google Android OS.

From PC Magazine:

The i7500’s technical specs come close to guaranteeing it will be available from T-Mobile USA later this year.

The Samsung i7500 supports HSDPA on the 900, 1700, and 2100 Mhz bands, and T-Mobile is the only major carrier in the world to support HSDPA 1700. The phone lacks the 850 and 1900 Mhz bands which AT&T or Canada’s Rogers Wireless would need.

Of course, T-Mobile could still reject the phone. A few phones have been announced in HSDPA 1700 versions which never made it to shelves, most notably the Sony Ericsson Xperia X1.

The i7500 features a 3.2-inch, 320-by-480 AMOLED touch screen, Wi-Fi, a 5-megapixel camera, and 8GB of internal memory. It also has a memory card slot, a large 1500 mAh battery, and a standard 3.5-mm headphone jack.

The phone’s AMOLED screen is a relatively new technology, seen first on AT&T’s Samsung Impression, and offers unusually bright, sharp images.

Advertisements

Google Android Invasion…

October 21, 2008

T-minus 24 hours until Android arrives. Less than a year after announcing Android, the open-source phone operating system intended to jump-start the mobile Internet, Google began sharing the project’s underlying source code. The Android Open Source Project site includes a project list, a feature description, a guides to the roles people can have in the project and how to contribute, and of course the Android source code itself.

From IDG News Service:

Google planned to announce on Tuesday that the source code for its mobile operating system, Android, is now available for anyone to use free.

The move was expected, although the timing was uncertain.

Developers can find the source code on the Web site for the Android Open Source Project.

“An open-sourced mobile platform, that’s constantly being improved upon by the community and is available for everyone to use, speeds innovation, is an engine of economic opportunity and provides a better mobile experience for users,” said Andy Rubin, senior director of mobile platforms for Google, in a statement.

But Google’s model for Android has some critics. The LiMo Foundation, which publishes specifications for middleware for mobile Linux devices, and of which Google is not a member, says that Google’s model might be too open.

From CNET:

Google has one team of programmers building the software and another professional services group to help support phone makers building Android phones. Now, though, as T-Mobile’s G1 arrives on the market, Google hopes to multiply that by drawing upon the collective energy of outside contributors to the project.

“Our plan is a launching point for a much more vibrant open-source community,” said Rich Miner, vice president of Google’s mobile platforms business. “For the past almost four years, this has been a large effort between Google and our partners. There have been a lot of people working on the code, but that’s going to be multiplied by several orders of magnitude.”

Open-source software can be freely used, modified, and redistributed by anyone, freedoms that make it a daunting competitor to proprietary software companies that charge for the code. Although open-source software rarely has been the sole basis for a thriving company, it can be a powerful tool to aid a broader agenda. Sophisticated technology companies such as IBM, Oracle, and even Apple often subsidize open-source projects for that reason, and Android fits into that category.

The first Google Android phone isn’t yet on the market but the G1 goes on sale in the U.S. from T-Mobile tomorrow. Journalists were first able to publish their reviews of the phone last week.

Here’s the press release from Google:

Google and the Open Handset Alliance Announce Android Open Source Availability

Today, Google and the Open Handset Alliance announced the availability of the Android platform source code to everyone, for free, under the new Android Open Source Project. This represents the first truly open and fully featured mobile platform which will enable people to create a mobile device without restrictions, build applications that run on Android powered devices, and contribute to the core platform.

As an open source project, anyone can contribute to Android and influence its direction. It means that anyone can download, build, and run the code needed to create a complete mobile device. With an open source platform, developers, OEMs, carriers and code contributors are given the opportunity to build faster, cheaper and more innovative devices and services.

Android is a complete, end-to-end software platform that can be adapted to work on any number of hardware configurations. Having an open source mobile platform will dramatically reduce the time and resources required to bring mobile devices to market. Handset manufactures can access a complete, full featured mobile stack without any barriers and get a head-start in creating as contemporary a device that they want to build. Developers for the first time can contribute code, with a full set APIs that allows the platform to host applications written by third-party developers and carriers can offer faster, cheaper and more innovative devices and services.

“Open source allows everyone and anyone equal access to the ideas and innovation that can make good products great,” said Andy Rubin, senior director of mobile platforms, Google. “An open sourced mobile platform, that’s constantly being improved upon by the community and is available for everyone to use, speeds innovation, is an engine of economic opportunity and provides a better mobile experience for users.

With the availability of Android to the open source community, consumers will start to see more applications like location-based travel tools, games and social networking offerings available to them directly; cheaper and faster phones at lower costs; and a better mobile web experience through 3G networks with richer screens.

The code can be found under the Android Open Source Project, the open source initiative for Android now available at source.android.com.

Motorola Preparing Its Own Google Android Phone

October 20, 2008

Motorola is reportedly making its own version of a phone based on Google’s Android operating system and is expected to release the handset in mid-2009. The device will likely house such features as a touch-screen interface, slide-out keyboard and social-network-related applications. Without detailing its intentions, Motorola stated that it was excited about the innovation possibilities on Android and look forward to delivering great products in partnership with Google.

From BusinessWeek:

As the wireless world awaits the Oct. 22 debut of the first phone based on the Google-backed Android software, engineers at Motorola are hard at work on their own Android handset. Motorola’s version will boast an iPhone-like touch screen, a slide-out qwerty keyboard, and a host of social-network-friendly features, BusinessWeek.com has learned.

Motorola has been showing spec sheets and images of the phone to carriers around the world in the past two months and is likely to introduce the handset in the U.S. sometime in the second quarter of 2009, according to people familiar with Motorola’s plans. Building a phone based on the highly anticipated Android operating system is part of Motorola’s effort to revive a loss-making handset division that has forfeited market share amid a drought of bestselling phones. Motorola stock, which on Oct. 17 rose a penny to 5.62, is hovering near a 16-year low.

The phone will appear among a new class of social smartphones designed to make it easy for users to connect quickly and easily to mobile social networks such as Facebook and News Corp.’s MySpace. Such phones let users message in-network friends directly from phone contact lists, for example. A Facebook representative declined to comment on the company’s work with Motorola. MySpace.com didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Motorola declined to elaborate on its plans, but said in a statement: “We’re excited about the innovation possibilities on Android and look forward to delivering great products in partnership with Google” and the community of developers known as the Open Handset Alliance that are working on the Android operating system.

From InformationWeek:

More specs of the Android-based phone from Motorola have hit the Webosphere and the news is looking good. The phone will have a large touchscreen, a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and will undercut the HTC G1 by $30.

We already know that Motorola is working on an Android phone. Recently, we learned that the phone will provide access to social networking services. BusinessWeek has confirmed this, and that the phone will have a touchscreen similar to the iPhone and also a QWERTY keyboard for easier text input. According to the BW report, insiders say the device will bear similar design language as the recently-announced Motorola Krave ZN4.

Word is that the phone will have a higher-end look when compared to the HTC G1, which goes on sale starting this week. While the G1 will sell for about $180 after rebates with new contract, the as-yet unnamed Motorola Android phone will be priced at the $150 level.

What we don’t know is what network technology the Motorola Android phone will use. The HTC G1 uses the GSM system, and is compatible with networks worldwide. Given the large number of European companies invovled in the Open Handset Alliance, it would make sense for Motorola to choose GSM-based networking technologies for its device, as opposed to the CDMA-based technology used by Sprint and Verizon Wireless.

The bad news is that the phone won’t be ready until some time in the second quarter of 2009, which could easily put it as much as six months behind the G1’s launch. We don’t know if this is because Motorola started developing later for the Android than HTC did or simply because Motorola is taking its time to make sure things turn out as good as possible.

From GigaOM:

Sanjay Jha, who now heads up Motorola’s handset business (which is likely to be spun out some time soon), was another proponent of Android, back when he was the COO of Qualcomm. (Related: GigaOM Interview with Sanjay Jha.) Here are some notable bits about the upcoming phone:

  • Motorola is showing specs and images to carriers.
  • The phone could be introduced sometime in second quarter of 20098.
  • The phone will have a touchscreen the size of iPhone screen and a slide-out qwerty keyboard.
  • The phone will focus on social networking features.
  • The team spearheading the Android development is the one that came to Motorola via acquisition of Good Technology.

The new phone based on Android may not be such a bad idea for Motorola, but the company needs to rationalize its vast array of devices that use an equally confusing number of operating systems. In addition to Android, Motorola has two different Linux efforts — its internal version and LiMo-based Linux devices — as well as Motorola’s proprietary operating system, Qualcomm’s Brew and Microsoft’s Windows Mobile.

From CRN:

While Motorola has declined to specify its plans, it issued a statement saying, “We’re excited about the innovation possibilities on Android and look forward to delivering great products in partnership with Google,” BusinessWeek.com reported, indicating that Motorola has been showing wireless carriers spec sheets and images of the device, which is expected to hit the U.S. market in the second quarter of 2009.

Word of Motorola’s first Android-based device comes just weeks after reports surfaced noting that the Schaumburg, Ill.-based handset maker is trumping up its Android development team by assembling a group of up to 350 Android developers to reinvigorate its struggling mobile device business. The added developers will bulk up Motorola’s Android team from the 50 members it has today.

Motorola’s Android device will pit it head-to-head against other touch-screen titans that have recently stormed the market in attempts to dethrone Apple’s 3G iPhone from its spot at the top. As a sort of prelude, Motorola last week released its first-ever touch-screen phone, the Motorola Krave, which launched Oct. 14 on Verizon Wireless.

From CNET:

Motorola’s Android phone, according to the report, is expected to feature a touch screen similar to Apple’s popular iPhone, as well as a slide-out QWERTY keyboard that allows users to connect to such social-networking sites as MySpace and Facebook. It is unclear how similar it will be to T-Mobile USA’s newly released G1 phone, manufactured by HTC, which also uses Android.

The phone is anticipated to make its U.S. debut in the second quarter of next year, according to sources cited in the BusinessWeek report, which noted that carriers have already seen spec sheets and images of the devices.

Motorola’s Android phone may carry a price of approximately $150 to $180, with a two-year carrier contract, according to the report.

Storm Brewing for the iPhone?

October 8, 2008

Research in Motion’s BlackBerry Storm smartphone will be hitting the market in the U.S. and Europe next month with exclusive rights belonging to Verizon Wireless and Vodafone. The Storm features a 3.25-inch screen, which is slightly smaller than the iPhone’s; the BlackBerry’s first touch-screen interface; and 3G network support. But, on the negative side, the BlackBerry Storm lacks Wi-Fi access and weighs approximately 16 percent more than the iPhone.

Research in Motion

Credit: Research in Motion

From the Wall Street Journal:

Research in Motion Ltd. is rolling out its first real answer to Apple Inc.’s iPhone, the touch-screen BlackBerry Storm, which will work on broadband networks on both sides of the Atlantic and be exclusive to Verizon Wireless in the U.S. and to Vodafone Group PLC throughout Europe.

BlackBerry will have to distinguish itself amid the wave of other sleek do-everything smart phones coming to market, like Google Inc.’s G1, made by HTC Corp.. The Storm, BlackBerry’s first touch-screen device, aims to make it harder to inadvertently select items while moving images across the screen.

The success of Apple’s iPhone has spawned a series of touch-screen smart-phones from manufacturers around the world over the past year. Consumers will have a multitude of options this holiday season — among them, Samsung Electronics Co.’s Instinct, LG Electronics’ Dare, and the soon-to-be-launched G1 from T-Mobile USA Inc., a unit of Deutsche Telekom AG, and Google.

From InformationWeek:

The much-awaited smartphone sports many of the features of Apple’s handsets, and even outshines it in certain categories. The touch-screen smartphone may give Verizon Wireless a legitimate rival to the iPhone 3G, and it may help stem the loss of subscribers to AT&T. The Storm has 3.25-inch touch screen that has a 360 by 480 resolution. Like the iPhone, the Storm has support for multi-touch interface, but RIM’s device will have haptic feedback for its virtual keyboard, and it will be capable of cut and paste. The keyboard will have RIM’s SureType layout in portrait mode, and it will be a full QWERTY layout in landscape orientation.

From CNET:

Tech journalists and gadget lovers across the globe are rejoicing over the announcement of the BlackBerry Storm, RIM’s first touchscreen cell phone to compete with the iPhone.

Those who can’t wait to get their hands on BlackBerry’s latest call it a marvel and its keyboard functionality, which makes you press down on the screen to register a “touch”, is something worth drooling over.

OK, I guess I can concede that the Storm is really neat and the touchscreen idea is fantastic. But I still don’t see how the BlackBerry Storm will be able to compete on any level with the iPhone 3G.

It’s not that I have a problem with RIM–I think the BlackBerry Curve is a fantastic device–or that I’m not impressed by the Storm. I just don’t see how BlackBerry’s first touchscreen device can compete against the iPhone if the vast majority of “mainstream” users simply don’t know anything about it.

Go ahead and ask the person next to you at the office about the BlackBerry Storm. Chances are, if they aren’t in to technology like you and I, they wouldn’t have the slightest clue about it even though it’s making headlines all over the tech world today.

Then ask those people what they knew about the iPhone the day after it was announced. I’ll bet you’ll find that they knew much more about the iPhone than the BlackBerry Storm.

Do you see what I’m getting at here? No matter how important a new device in the cell phone business may be to the growth of the industry, it will never be able to outshine the iPhone.

From ZDNet:

I just got done reading Matthew Miller’s preview of the BlackBerry Storm, RIM’s first BlackBerry that’s replaced the keyboard with a touchscreen system — one that you must physically depress with your finger to manipulate (resulting in a “satisfying click,” as many reviewers have reported).

My question is simple: is this truly an advancement?

It occurs to me that, while RIM’s responsive touchscreen technology, called ClickThrough, allows it to differentiate itself from the iPhone, it’s not a great advancement in the long run. Well-built as any BlackBerry is, I feel that the screen would eventually give out over frequent, Crackberry-level usage. And when the screen doesn’t press anymore (or worse, when it presses too far), then what?

It strikes me that such physical use of the device is actually backtracking a bit, technologically. Perhaps advancement, to me at least, is removing a “touch” altogether.

RIM’s “push-screen,” as I think it should properly be called, seems to bridge the gap between a true keyboard and a true touchscreen. Which is good for RIM’s keyboard-happy users, but by no means some groundbreaking new technology.

Plus, it also occurs to me that this technology would actually slow down the speedier users among us, because you actually have to take the time to depress the screen when tapping a message out.

But we’ll see when Matt gets his hands on one in a month or so.

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?