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.
A lot of phone manufacturer's Android plans are kept tightly under wraps and probably none more so than Sony Ericsson, but when Sony Ericsson posted its third straight quarterly loss with their Q1 loss at €358 million we fully expected them to announce their Android plans to boost morale. Not so fast says CEO Hideki Komiyama because according to his interview with Reuters:
"[Going Android] does require a lot of evaluation, as well as a lot of testing, a lot of acceptance from a consumer viewpoint, and there is still some time to go."
Hey Mr. Komiyama, you know what could raise interest to your product line and potentially increase profits? A Sony Ericsson Android device! The last thing this smartphone market needs is another delayed Android device so if you're smart (or at least have brains) you'd put all your resources into putting an Android phone that beats the market. We're not saying, we're just saying..
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