How would you like to have the little green 'droid in your car, or part of your home entertainment system? Fujitsu Japan has announced "Service Built for Android", a new project rolling out where Fujitsu aims to assist companies desiring to develop products utilizing the Android OS, like for cars and consumer electronics, to name a few. The open platform of Android would certainly save money for companies wanting to implement the OS in their products.
Fujitsu will offer a variety of services to support their customers in implementing Android quickly and cheaply. It's exciting to see some big names associated with Android development and implementation. It should bode well for all of us consumers out there.
According to Neville Ray, T-Mobile USA's senior VP of engineering and operations, there's more Android G-series goodness on the way, and possibly soon. Although he was mainly talking about T-Mobile doubling their 3G coverage, his hand tipped a little and he couldn't help but blurt out, "we will be launching more G series phones and other products... in the coming weeks and months."
Maybe it will be the Sapphire or Rhodium? I don't really care what it's called - heck, call it the "Tofu" - let's have some more Android phones already! Given the flexibility of the Android platform, let's hope the dam breaks soon and that numerous phone options spill forth!
Are there times you need to charge your T-Mobile G1 Android phone on-the-go? Maybe there are times you're stuck between your home and office, or your home and the shopping mall, or your home and just about anywhere else, and you are without a wall socket to plug in. The HTC Car Charger for T-Mobile G1, available here in the Android Central Store for $19.95, is a great way to keep your G1 battery fresh and ready to use, especially if you are a "road warrior." Keep reading after the break for a review!
The HTC Car Charger for T-Mobile G1 is, well, a car charger. It plugs into the lighter socket in your car or truck and enables you to charge your G1. Car chargers are rarely fancy nor anything to get incredibly excited about, but this car charger is noteworthy for it's design and it's build quality.
The lighter adapter end of the charger is made of plastic with a chrome-like cap on one end with HTC's branding and a bluish light to indicate a positive connection to your lighter socket. The power cord connection is robust, with a section of coiled, flexible cord in the middle. A mini-USB connector on the other end fits the mini-USB port on your G1.
The HTC Car Charger, designed to fit standard lighter sockets, has a snug fit and easily connects to the mini-USB port of the G1. The cable is about 2 feet before extending the coiled portion. I like the coiled section in that it permits some flexibility in length without the nuisance of a power cord getting entangled with the stick shift, console, or anything else in the cabin of your car.
Both the power cord and connectors are robust and of decent quality, promising a long life of mobile charging. When driving, I can just plug my G1 into the HTC Car Charger and top off my battery while I'm driving, yet still answer the phone if a call comes in. Using a Bluetooth headset is a good idea when driving, especially when you have your phone connected to a charger.
For only $19.95, the HTC Car Charger for T-Mobile G1 is a useful, quality product that stands head and shoulders above the cheap knock-off chargers that are out there which are sold at close to the same price. The design is attractive with the bluish power indicator, and the flexible cord is a great design for use in a car when you don't want a long cable that can get tangled up. If you spend a lot of time in your car away from any wall sockets to charge your G1, or if you just want to top off your battery during your morning or evening commute, you can't go wrong with the HTC Car Charger.
Why next month, you ask? Well the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona is happening--that's where all the bigwigs of the major phone makers come to show off their new (and hopefully Android-powered) devices--so that's as good a time as any to announce a brand spanking new Dell Smartphone.
WSJ's article states that there are two prototypes in the works: a full touchscreen device and a slider-styled device with a full QWERTY keyboard beneath the screen. iPhone-esque and Pre-esque, anyone? Supposedly they have both of these prototype devices on Windows Mobile AND Android. Could we soon see some Dell Built Android Powered devices?! Sounds pretty darn good to us. We're crossing our fingers. and toes.
T-Mobile just announced its subscriber numbers for Q4 2008:
“In the fourth quarter of 2008, T-Mobile USA added 621,000 net new customers compared to 670,000 in the third quarter of 2008 and 951,000 in the fourth quarter of 2007. T-Mobile USA’s gross customer addition growth in 2008 compared to 2007 was offset by higher blended churn, as explained below. Net new contract customer additions amounted to 267,000 in the fourth quarter of 2008, or 43% of total net new customer additions, compared to 293,000 or 44% in the third quarter of 2008 and 733,000 or 77% in the fourth quarter of 2007. Contract customers include FlexPay contract customers.”
With all things considered (read: bad economy), it looks like T-Mobile did a fairly decent job in retaining its customers and a not-so-bad job at gaining new ones. The official Q4 2008 numbers won't come out til later but for the most part T-Mobile seems confident in its growth because of their continuing 3G rollout and new attractive devices. G2 anyone?
The 1 million sales mark is a pretty good barometer in determining early success, popularity, and consumer interest in a particular smartphone model. Obviously it has its pitfalls in that gauging such short term success ignores longevity and overall success but it does serve us pretty well when the G1 is such a solid performer.
Taking a look at the chart (via Engadget) it looks like the T-Mobile G1 comes in at a solid 3rd place--which is already a magnificent feat. But upon closer inspection we must realize the odds stacked against our most loved device. The iPhone 3G sold a million units in 3 days because it released in 21 countries simultaneously. Likewise, the Nokia 5800 is certain to have similar massive worldwide appeal. Our G1 numbers come strictly from the United States. No foreign help necessary.
Combine the fact that AT&T and Verizon, which are exclusive carriers to the iPhone 3G and Blackberry Storm respectively, are the MOST POPULAR carriers in the US while T-Mobile is a distant 4th--the sales numbers of the G1 become even more incredible.
This is almost writing itself into an underdog story. The G1 has been an unequivocal success for T-Mobile--it didn't launch in multiple countries nor is part of a larger network yet it still manages to perform pretty favorably. Good job G1!
Probably one of the most anticipated smartphone firmware updates ever, Cupcake for Android sure is taking its sweet time to release. Obviously, the on-screen keyboard is a huge draw in its interest but there are a ton of new features that we shouldn't overlook. In the embedded video, a developer details the newest features of Android after the Cupcake Update. It's a great watch. And if you want to take Android Cupcake out for a personal spin (on an emulator, of course) here's how:
1. Download and install the Android SDK found here.
2. Download this zip containing new latest Android images:
The much-ballyhooed Cupcake Update to Android is all the rage in the new year. We've been tracking the ups and downs of the entire journey and remain hopeful that we'll one day get Cupcake in our hands. In the meantime, screenshots detailing what's new in Android after Cupcake will have to do.
We don't claim to have any inside information, in fact we know pretty much nothing about this Acer smartphone which is supposed to be announced on February 16th at MWC in Barcelona. But after getting spurned by the Agora and still (im)patiently waiting for the much fabled Second Android Device, we're grasping for straws here. Acer + Android, anybody? Or will they go Windows Mobile?
Opera Mini has finally left its beta stage and is being officially released for the Android platform. Watch out Chrome-Lite because Opera Mini 4.2 offers numerous fixes and some new features such as [via ZDNet]:
1. Now you can upload and download files through Opera Mini and save pages for offline viewing
2. Videos will be redirected to the system’s video player
3. Double tap now works for zooming in and out
4. Inline URL entry instead of using native input
5. Fixed password text entry to hide characters
6. Fixed problems with exiting application when back button was pressed
7. Improved trackball speed
8. All internal pages, like the start page, now have font size extra large for easier navigation
Everything sounds pretty nifty to us, the ability to save pages for offline viewing is especially crucial considering T-Mobile's anemic 3G coverage. We're pretty big fans of choice here at Android Central and though the native "chrome-lite" browser on Android is great, it looks like Opera Mini 4.2 is shaping up to be a real contender. What do you guy think? Anyone using Opera Mini over Android's Chrome?
She's a beauty, ain't she? Here's a closer look at the dual-SIM DSTL1 Android that General Mobile is bringing to the table at Barcelona next month for the 3GSM. It looks quite a bit like my iPhone 3G, but bolder. It most certainly makes my T-Mobile G1 look shamefully clunky, but hey, with a new platform like Android, you gotta start somewhere.
Is it an iPhone killer? Let's be honest, can anything really be an "iPhone killer" or just something to steal some of that prized market share? As Android matures and as phones like the DSTL1 become available with impressive specs and features, Apple may just want to keep one eye on the road and another eye looking over their shoulder.
Hot on the heels of some good news about the resurfacing Agora, there's more titillating news of new Android phones, specifically General Mobile's dual-SIM DSTL1 Android phone that they will showcase at the 2009 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February. According to General Mobile, this will be the FIRST dual-SIM Android phone and is expected to ship in Q3 2009.
Here are the specs for this device (subject to change, of course):
135g (4.75oz), 112 x 54 x 16mm (4.4 x 2.1 x .6 inches)
5 megapixel autofocus camera with flash (made by Sharp)
The picture provided here is a rendition of the phone, but should undergo some cosmetic changes (like the addition of more buttons) to accommodate the requirements for the Android OS. Also, the screen resolution is 400 x 240 - it will be interesting to see if this device can handle Android given that the Kogan Agora was initially shelved for a 320 x 240 resolution.
I would sure like me a dual-SIM phone, and especially one running Android. It would be a great way for me to carry my two phone lines in one place. Let's hope the DSTL1 is available when promised (or sooner!), available in the States, and available at a good price!
One of the more useful accessories for a smartphone is a sync and charge cable, and one of the better ones I've used is the Seidio Retractable S&C Cable for the T-Mobile G1 available here in the Android Central Store for $12.95. Read on after the jump for the complete review!
The Seidio Retractable S&C Cable has a solid, sturdy plastic housing with the "Seidio" logo on one side. At one end of the retractable ribbon cable is a standard USB connector and on the other end is a mini-USB connector for your T-Mobile G1 phone.
When coiled up, this sync and charge cable is only 4.5 inches long, making it easy to carry in a bag without entangling with anything. This is a huge plus for me due to the fact I'm a gadget freak and carry at least a couple sync and charge cables with me for various devices. The Seidio Retractable cable takes up very little space and I never have to worry about untangling the cable before use.
Once fully extended, the cable provides two feet of length from end to end. Just plug the USB connector into your laptop or desktop and the other end into your G1, and you're ready to sync and charge.
The design of the Seidio Retractable S&C Cable make it very usable for syncing and charging your G1. When extending the cable for use, just hold one of the connectors in each hand and pull them apart at the same time. You can extend the cable to the desired length, all the way up to the full two feet if you wish. When you are finished with the cable, just grab each end and pull both ends apart at the same time just enough to activate the spring in the housing, resulting in both ends winding up in the middle for easy storage.
When in use with your G1 Android phone, you can charge from your desktop, laptop, or Seidio USB wall charger. This cable is very handy for the traveler or if you just want to make sure you have a means of charging at any time, whether at home or work.
Given it's usefulness, compact design, and syncing/charging capability, I highly recommend the Seidio Retractable S&C Cable for your T-Mobile G1. It's small enough to throw in your pocket, backpack or case, and it easily extends to a reasonable length for easy use in syncing and charging. It then retracts easily for storage. If you want to reduce the frustration of tangled cables and have a means of syncing and charging your G1 that fits neatly in your pocket or bag, then head over to the Android Central Store and pick up the Seidio Retractable S&C Cable for $12.95 right here.
It appears the Kogan Agora still has a pulse, albeit no release date at this time. Ruslan Kogan has made it known that his previous Android attempt, the Agora, had screen compatibility issues, preventing mass production and release of a $200 unlocked Android phone as a second entrant into the Android world. We all held our breath and hoped, and now it appears our hoping is not in vain.
No code name has been leaked for the new device (perhaps "Phoenix" would be appropriate in that Kogan's new device seems to rise from the Agora ashes), but Mr. Kogan intimates that the new Agora's development is well under way and he still expects it to be available as the second Android handset (following on the heels of the T-Mobile G1, of course). He also hints that the phone will have the same pricing - let's all hope for a $200 unlocked Android handset with front-facing QWERTY keyboard, eh? Good luck on the new design, Mr. Kogan. We here at Android Central are pulling for you!
You may have heard the rumor and conjecture about Android supporting multi-touch in the not-too-distant future. Well, if you are a brave soul and are willing to gain root access on your beloved Android T-Mobile G1 device, then multi-touch may be ready for you sooner than you think.
Although still in the proof-of-concept phase, some ingenious people in the development community have provided an unofficial hack for multi-touch, including multi-touch browser and, as seen in the video, a multi-touch map app. If you are feeling adventurous and have an idea of what you are doing, then try it at your own risk. If you don't even know what "root access" means, then you may want to sit this one out and wait for official multi-touch.
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