Hip hip hooray! T-Mobile is rolling out an update to the T-Mobile G1! Yay! Wait, what? It's not Cupcake!? Then what is it!?
Chances are that's what is going on in your mind right now. We were supposed to get Cupcake by the end of January. January is over, still no cupcake. Not even close. This non-cupcake update updates the firmware on the G1 to 1.1 and is build RC33. Though it isn't quite cupcake, RC33 still packs a few goodies: Google Voice Search, for one. And it will reportedly allow saving images via a long press, a manual update check process, and of course, bug fixes.
“To ensure a great experience with the T-Mobile G1 with Google, customers with these devices will receive an Over the Air (OTA) update to their devices between February 5 and February 15. This OTA will include new system enhancements such as the ability to save pictures or files to file by long-pressing an item, check for system updates, and use the Google Voice Search feature. The OTA will also fix a number of known issues. New G1 activations will receive the OTA up to three days after service has been activated.”
So where's Cupcake? Anyone get the RC33 update yet?
It's starting to look like Android is a much more versatile OS than imagined. Case in point: Intel is supposedly preparing itself to supply manufacturers with chipsets that can support Android for their Android-powered netbooks. The netbook is a potentially huge market considering the current state of our economy and their bang for the buck pricing. The netbook market has typically been a Linux stomping ground but Android has popped up a few times already.
We're not exactly sure what the chipset for Android-powered netbooks would be or if any hardware needs to be changed, but we can surely expect more Android devices outside the smartphone realm--the Android OS is particularly attractive to netbook manufacturers because of its small overall footprint. it'll definitely be interesting to see how Android translates to different hardware and what that'll mean to developers developing apps for the platform.
In the good 'ol U.S. of A., our legal system provides that a defendant is innocent until proven guilty, otherwise known as presumption of innocence. But just as fast as you can type "maliciously maligned MemoryUp", the Internet can be used to defame before due process.
Earlier we posted that some were having problems with MemoryUp, an app from Peter Liu. Apparently this all started with a Geek.com article with claims that Android Market reviewers had blamed MemoryUp for all kinds of problems, ranging from spam email and deleted SD cards to installation of adware and removing contacts.
Google has heard the cries of "foul!" and has examined MemoryUp more closely, and they conclude, “We have investigated and determined that MemoryUp is not malware. In the versions we tested, MemoryUp cannot perform any of the malicious things it is reported to have done.”
It would be a shame if developer Peter Liu and his app were being unfairly and unjustly maligned, but in the event you want to give this app a try, I recommend backing up your G1. It's always a good idea to back up your phone's content on a regular basis, especially if you are installing unfamiliar software. Have YOU tried MemoryUp? If so, what's your take?
Samsung may be ready to unveil an Android device in as early as two weeks at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, says GSM Helpdesk. For quite some time now, Samsung has made noises about developing handsets for the Android platform, and according to an unnamed Samsung insider, the company had “accelerated the development process” to meet wireless carrier exams.
It's nice to know that other Android handset options are coming with increasing urgency. Given the success of Samsung's Blackjack and Blackjack II, will a Samsung 'droid phone be like the phone pictured to the right, or will it offer a front-facing keyboard like the Blackjack design? If it did, would you buy it, or are you a slider fan?
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.
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