Google just announced a new Android application: Google Shopper. It basically combines Google Googles and voice search to deliver a neat little shopping tool in a Googlefied way. You can choose whether to scan barcodes or simply snap a photo through the app and it'll display the results. Yep, it's kind of like ShopSavvy, kind of like the Amazon app, and really, kind of like a lot of things that already exist in the Market. To quote Google:
Shopper lets you find product information quickly by using your phone's camera. It can recognize cover art of books, CDs, DVDs, and video games, along with most barcodes. You can also speak the name of the product you're looking for. Use Shopper to make smart decisions about what to buy, what price to pay, and where to buy it.
Go get it in the Android Market and tell us what you think! And hit the jump if you want to see how Google Shopper works on video.
Garmin-Asus was showing off the nuvifone A50 at Mobile World Congress, and we took it out for a spin. It's a 3.5-inch (320x480) device running Android 1.6 but is completely skinned. It's being billed as the "No-excuses navigation smartphone," and it certainly is. Nav is first and foremost, and it it was easy to follow in our demo.
Despite being a GPS unit on steroids, it has all the expected hooks into the Google ecosystem and will handle whatever e-mail you can throw at it. Android is Android, never mind everything that's been put on top of it. Video after the break.
It looks like Sprint is planning on launching their first WiMAX equipped phone by this summer. Speaking with Forbes, Sprint said that they're launching a WiMAX device in the first half of this year. Remember, WiMAX is 4G and Sprint's WiMAX network has been rolling out for some time now. A device to take advantage of Sprint's WiMAX network was bound to be released, this new timeframe is just a few months earlier than expected.
But what device could it be? Forbes cites the HTC Supersonic, which we've seen multiple times at Android Central in renders and product roadmaps and it would make a lot of sense. HTC has a good relationship with Sprint (it was the first carrier of the HTC Hero) and typically dabbles in top-of-the-line technology (Snapdragon, HD2) and plus, the name Supersonic could not be more fitting.
Looks like T-Mobile is starting to push out a minor update to both the Motorola Cliq and the Samsung Behold 2. Motorola had previously confirmed that an update would be coming to the Cliq this week, so it's not the biggest of surprises but it's always nice to have companies follow on their word. The Cliq update started to roll out yesterday, February 18th, so check your system update to see if you got it. The Samsung Behold 2's update should fall between February 18th and February 25th, so be on the look out!
Hit the jump to see what the updates fix. Let us know if you see any performance upgrades after the update!
If you're into packing all sorts of things into tiny spaces, this little bit of news is right up your alley. SK Telecom showed off a prototype called Android SIM that would combine a processor, memory, internal storage, and our favorite Android OS on a single SIM card. You know, a SIM card, those floppy things you put in your T-Mobile or AT&T phones to get things in working order.
The idea is nothing short of amazing, an Android SIM card would carry everything you need to power a phone. SK Telecom envisions popping out the SIM and swapping phones on the go, all your applications and user data would follow and phones would just pretty much become skeletons. It's obviously far off in the future, but we could see a market for it, especially in dumbphones. The SIM becomes the heart, soul, and brain of the phone.
Feel free to hit up Engadget to see SK Telecom's so-crazy-of-an-idea-that-it-just-might-work in action!
Google Voice is awesome, we can tell you that much. We'll leave it to Google to fully explain what Google Voice is. So if you ever wanted to know what exactly Google Voice is, Google just released a series of videos explaining what it is, what it does, what it can do, and so on. It's styled in that typical Google-sketch and is easy to watch and just as easy to understand. Google has even set up a YouTube channel for your viewing pleasure.
The Google Voice integration on Android is Android's trump card. No other platform offers a better Google Voice experience. Get to know Google Voice today!
We guess we can kind of, sort of understand why Sony Ericsson didn't want to build the Nexus One, especially if their end goal is to push their own UI over Android. If they want a consistent model for their phone lineup, building one for Google wouldn't have fulfilled that. But even with that explanation, it's very shortsighted to not want to partner up with Google for Google's Android on Google's phone. The Nexus One clearly has a leg up on the competition (it runs Android 2.1), who wouldn't want to make that phone now?
We're actually more surprised that Google asked Sony Ericsson in the first place. HTC had been such a wonderful partner for Google and Android and was fully capable of building a stellar device (as proven by the actual Nexus One itself), that it's almost shocking that Google would approach another phone manufacturer. To us, HTC exemplifies what we want in a handset. It was a no brainer for HTC to build the Nexus One and we're happy it ended up that way.
And maybe Sony Ericsson could build a device as awesome as HTC built the Nexus One, but then it probably wouldn't be available until April. What do you guys think about Sony Ericsson turning down Google?
A few days ago, Best Buy started taking pre-orders for the Motorola Devour without announcing how much it'll exactly cost. Now we know. According to the Best Buy price tag above, the Devour will run for $149.99 with new 2-year contract on Verizon Wireless. It'll run for $549.99 without contract, if that's your thing.
The $149 price point is a solid starting point for the Devour, it's a decidedly mid-end device for Motorola. With the Droid being the high-end Android handset and the Cliq and Backflip targeting the lower-end, the Devour just fits right in the portfolio. We're excited to see if this puppy can take off.
AT&T just announced what we already expected, that the Motorola Backflip will become the first Android device on the AT&T network. The Backflip will be available in AT&T stores and online beginning March 7th for $99.99 after $100 mail-in-rebate. Great news all around!
It's interesting that AT&T chose an oddball device (we like the Backflip but it's still an oddball) to be the first Android phone on their network. Plus, since the Backflip runs Motoblur, it's not as "Android-y" as say a Droid or Nexus One. But perhaps people will fall in love with the interesting form factor and unique touchpad, we became quite smitten when we played with it at CES. It doesn't hurt that it's at a great price point either. We'll definitely take this over the Cliq any day of the week.
There's been no word on US availability, but the HTC Desire & HTC Legend have gotten priced and dated across the pond. eXpansys, a UK retailer, has posted a £399.99 price for the HTC Legend and a £449.99 price point for the HTC Desire. That roughly translates to $625 and $700 respectively. That ain't cheap. eXpansys also lists April 12th as the date it'll become available. The Desire should be available in the UK through T-Mobile, Orange, O2, and Vodafone. We haven't nailed down a carrier for the Legend.
Amazon Germany actually has the price of the Desire listed at €419 which would make it roughly $570, a much more reasonable starting price point. In the end though, these devices can certainly expected to sell for much less when (and if) they get on a US carrier. $199 is almost always the starting point for new devices, anything lower is a bonus. But if you can't wait to get your hands on the latest Android offerings, be prepared to spend a little paper.
General Mobile, the maker of the dual-sim DSTL1 if you didn't know, showcased a few Android devices at MWC. The wonderful thing is that they're all beautifully designed and come with more than capable specs. The sad thing is that they were all dummy units that offer promise but nothing else.
The phone above is called the Touch Stone and is basically a dead ringer for an HTC HD2. It comes with a 4.3-inch WVGA screen, 5-megapixel camera, and runs Android 2.0 via an ARM9-based processor. Yep, this kind of, sort of fulfills the dream of having an HD2 run Android. Of course, it's not in working order yet and General Mobile doesn't expect to release it by the end of the year so really it's nothing more than dreaming how cool an Android HD2 would be. But boy, this thing looks like it would be so darn cool.
There are also 2 other General Mobile Android devices, the Cosmo and Cosmo 2. We know very little of those devices other than the fact that they're also awesomely designed yet as real as vaporware right now. Hit the link to see more pictures of General Mobile's Android "offerings".
First off, don't kill the messenger. It looks like Verizon has started pushing out the long awaited Android 2.1 update ( with Sense UI ) to Droid Eris users. Not very many people are reporting getting it, but of the few that have one user over at Androidforums makes the claim, and has pictures to back it up.
Not all is Rosie (pun intended) though. There are reports of complete device wipes, as well as Google account sync issues. My advice, Eris users invest in some backup software and get everything ready in case this is the "real deal" and not a technical glitch.
Stick a fork in us, folks. We're done at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. We still have a little more coverage coming, and likely a big wrap-up podcast, but here's Phil, Kevin and Dieter going over the final two days of the event.
Be forewarned: The first 20 minutes or so are dominated by BlackBerry, but it's good stuff. See you guys back in the States.
If you didn't know, the HTC Desire and the Nexus One are very, very similar. They rock the same internals and aside from a few buttons here and an optical trackpad there, they're basically the same device. So it's not that surprising to find that the Desire ROM has been ported over to the Nexus One, but what is surprising is how fast it's been done. These modders sure are good.
Having the Desire ROM on the Nexus One means one gets to enjoy the wonders of the new Sense UI. Flash 10.1 also works on the Nexus One so you Flash-lovers out there should certainly get excited. There's a few complications, such as the system file was too big for the Nexus One's internal storage so re-arranging some bits was necessary but all in all, it's a great first step for the modding community. We're sure they'll hammer out the final details soon enough.
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