There's no denying that the release of new Android phones has been – and we're putting this mildly – much slower than expected. But it looks like the MID market is picking up, and now comes word that MSI, best known for its internal hardware and now for its Wind series of netbooks, may be getting into the Android game.
Micro-Star International (MSI) plans to showcase an Android-based netbook at Computex 2009 aiming to gain orders from global PC vendors, according to a Chinese-language Economic Daily News (EDN) report.
So while we might not be seeing as many Android phones as we'd hoped at this point, at least the platform itself seems to be steadily growing. Question is: Will this become the year of the Android netbook?
“We have not made any formal announcement of an Android- based device, although it’s likely that we’ll have one in 2009,” Aymar de Lencquesaing commented in a television interview today from Singapore. “We intend to have devices that will take advantage of multiple platforms.”
What's going to be unique about Acer's Android Devices is that they're going to use its presence in both the computer and mobile phone worlds to offer a better synchronizing experience--a synergy of sorts. They want to answer the question, "How do I port my environment from one device to another?"
Answer it Acer, answer it. We can't wait to see what you guys are cooking up!
Amidst all the disappointing news in T-Mobile's Q1 financial results was one lone bright spot--a milestone reached: the T-Mobile G1 had finally passed the 1 Million units sold in the USA. And though many may think that the G1 selling a million units since October isn't big a deal, realize the circumstances--T-Mobile is the smallest carrier in the US, its 3G network has just begun to rollout, and well, that's a lot to overcome.
We commend the G1 for selling a million units and we welcome all you brand new Android users out there! Once T-Mobile brings in more Android devices, there'll surely be more good news to pass around.
Yeah, that mean, mean animal of an economy shows no mercy. T-Mobile only had 415,000 net additions compared to 981,000 additions last year...you don't need an economist to tell you that's a pretty steep drop. It looks like T-Mobile is facing steeper competition from budget-carrier such as Boost Mobile, MetroPCS, etc. Expect more good deals to come out from T-Mobile to combat the competition.
Well, that didn't take long. No sooner than CEO Hideki Komiyama says there's "some time to go" before SE puts out an Android device we get word that we could possibly see a phone on the Orange network by the end of the year.
The Commercial Times quoted market sources citing internal documents at Europe-based carrier Orange which indicate that Sony Ericsson and Orange will jointly launch Android phones in time for the 2009 year-end holiday season.
Looks like there may be stockings filled with little Android phones after all.
If you were wondering how the on-screen keyboard works in Android 1.5 (aka Cupcake), the good folks over at the Android Developer's Blog have a great write up on soft keyboards and all its glory.
There are multiple ways for developers to implement soft keyboards in their applications: a basic pan and scan method that basically moves the target application around to accommodate for the soft keyboard, a resize method that resizes the application window so that all aspects are visible, and a fullscreen or extract method where the target application is left as is and the keyboard pops up to re-orient it (this is mainly for landscape inputs).
If you're a developer, you can geek out with the details, code, etc over at the Android Developer's Blog. If you're just a regular old Android user, know that with a landscape keyboard, your fat fingers should have no problem typing on a soft keyboard.
Yep, another day another Android netbook. The Alpha 680 netbook is made by China-based Skytone and it comes in a very unique tablet-esque form factor. However, as sweet as the convert-ability looks, the Alpha 680 packs a very light punch. Here's the very-underwhelming hardware details: 533 MHz ARM processor, 7 inch 800x600 touchscreen, 128MB ram, 1GB hard drive with SD card expansion, and optional 3G.
Yeah, the hardware ain't so hot but reports have this netbook selling in the $100 range. For $100? A pretty good deal. Anything more? Not so great.
Is anyone interested in an Android netbook? What about one with such weak specs?
We can't source this much past the XDA Developers post, but if it pans out, there could well be a new Android phone coming to the United States this fall. User atomixpaintball says he works for a company that's prepping the Hero for an Oct. 11 targeted release date.
I work for a wireless developer firm and I have just received word from the US carrier (cannot disclose who yet) that the release date for the HTC Hero (Android) is October 11th 2009.
The carrier is giving us specifications to develop wallpaper, ring tones and apps to sell in their market place.
Certainly we'll have to take all this with a grain of salt for a while, but we will say this: Oct. 11 is a Sunday. And a gold star goes to the first commenter who can tell us which carrier loves to release phones on Sundays (hint: And wasn't all that keen on Android in the beginning).
Quite possibly the biggest game-changing feature in Android 1.5 is support for homescreen widgets. If you've messed with Widgets on a computer, the idea remains the same for Android. It's basically a quick glimpse into full-featured applications, for example you could post a calendar widget, or a stock widget, or a weather widget, etc. It's always-on and always-updated, pretty darn nifty right? In Googlewords:
When widgets are dropped onto the home screen, they are given a reserved space to display custom content provided by your app. Users can also interact with your app through the widget, for example pausing or switching music tracks.
What's even cooler is that the Android developers blog has an incredibly detailed post showing how to make Widgets and have released the full source code for you developers to learn from. So if you're at all interested in Widgets and how to create them, feel free to click on over.
But yep. Widgets = Awesome. Days like these make me feel good for picking Android.
The uber-sexyOphone is reportedly being released to China in May. This is noteworthy because it is supposed to be a direct competitor to the impending-iPhone launch on a competing carrier and because it runs a custom build of Android.
Obviously, we want to see what those crazy kids at China Mobile did to Android and how it performs but having the Ophone and the iPhone go head to head...boy that's going to be fun.
Here's yet another video of a netbook (this time the German I-Buddie) running Android. It's definitely a work-in-progress but from the reports, it looks like they want to ship this thing soon. We already know that netbook companies are going to take Android very seriously but we're still a little unsure of how it'll turn out. They'll definitely need to write some custom software on top of Android, right?
During Google's Q1 Investor's Conference, Google CEO Eric Schmidt is on record of saying:
"Overall, it looks like Android is going to have a very strong year," New announcements of Android-related products and partnerships with mobile phone service providers and device makers will be "quite significant" this year, he said.
What we can expect, according to Schmidty, is some Android-powered netbooks. Many netbook manufacturers have put Android onto their netbooks on their own, with no influence from Google. Yep, more rumored non-smartphone Android devices for us to use. Joy!
Honestly, you can look at this two ways: that Android's real goodies are coming later this year or that Google is propping Android up to be something it's not. We're hoping/wishing/dreaming that it's the former but if it's the latter, we won't be that crushed. Yeah, this is what it's come to.
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