So let’s paint a picture of a fantasy world. There’s this hot product that have a lot of folks abuzz and excited about. The product can be had by any company with no licensing costs and will certainly garner your company loads of media attention and likely success. Your company is also losing money and in dire need for a breath of fresh air—in short, you need this product. You definitely launch the product, right?
Well, if your company is Sony, Motorola, or Sprint and the product is Android, then the answer is no. Even though their companies aren’t doing so hot (and in some cases bleeding money) they’ve yet to launch an Android phone to the market or even bothered with a product announcement. It really breaks common logic.
Sprint might be the biggest offender of them all. Even though they launched the hotly anticipated Palm Pre this past quarter, they still managed to post $384 million dollars in losses and lost 257,000 subscribers. Could one HTC Hero come to the rescue for Sprint?
Motorola, though they beat analyst estimates, still only managed to sell around half the handsets they sold the same period last year. Motorola Calgary, Ironman, Sholes, or Morrison to the rescue?
Sony’s bad financial quarter ($400 million loss) can be summed up in other markets—they’re so large a company it’s borderline ridiculous—but Sony Ericsson could definitely use a jolt in the excitement department. The ‘Rachael’ would definitely do the trick.
Though we don’t claim to be financial experts (does it even matter these days?) we think that launching an Android phone would certainly do more help to their portfolio than harm. The phones rumored to show up by these companies are the most exciting phones that Android has in the pipeline, why not make it priority number one?
If you were disappointed with the Motorola Morrison, you weren’t alone. We thought that Motorola’s purported first Android effort was targeted more for the messaging heavy customer base (read: teenage girls) than the traditional smartphone user (read: us). And coming from a company like Motorola, whose hardware design is typically top-notch, we couldn’t help but feel underwhelmed. Luckily, that’s not Motorola’s only Android device. Meet the Motorola Sholes.
According to multiple reports, the Motorola Sholes has a 3.7” (480 x 854) touchscreen, 512 MB storage, 256 MB RAM, microSD/SDHC support up to 16 gig (with 8gb sd card shipping with the phone), 5 megapixel camera with autofocus, GPS, WiFi, and support for CDMA and EVDO Rev A. Oh yeah, it runs Android and is supposed to launch in October of this year.
The product photos point towards the Motorola Sholes being a Verizon phone but it’s still fairly early in the game to confirm. The design can definitely be likened to the Morrison but it looks loads more polished and light years more ‘grown up’. Though we’re good with the design, we’re a little confused about the Bottom Edge of the phone which feels incomplete, the slider front doesn’t cover the end—weird.
We’ve already reported on the much hyped Android application, Sherpa, being available on Android Market. Little did we know that another highly anticipated application, Visual Voicemail, was making its debut the same time. Both Sherpa and Visual Voicemail are a part of the T-Mobile AppPack that we reported on a while back.
The T-Mobile AppPack is a collection of Android applications that T-Mobile officially endorses, most of the applications are T-Mobile applications themselves but others are definitely ‘must haves’ on the Android platform. Go check out T-Mobile’s AppPack, along with Sherpa and Visual Voicemail, now!
We love the FCC—they always inadvertently leak information about upcoming tech products and we always reap the benefits. The Motorola Morrison, Motorola’s first Android Phone, just passed through the FCC with specs detailing T-Mobile 3G bands and UMA support. And judging by the fact that T-Mobile runs their own 3G band in the States and is the only carrier to offer UMA support, hmm, we think that the Morrison will be available on T-Mobile.
Hopefully with the Motorola Morrison hitting the FCC now, it means that it’ll release sooner than later. Not that we’re especially excited for the Morrison, but it may mean that the Motorola Ironman or Calgary is coming soon too!
Sherpa is the main application that T-Mobile has been pushing with their release of the myTouch 3G. Marketing it as a smart application for smartphones, it was booked as a standout feature for the myTouch 3G. But don’t worry, if you were expecting it to be a myTouch exclusive, you were thankfully wrong—it’s now available to all Android users via Android Market.
So users of the T-Mobile G1 will also be able to take advantage of this unique app. Sherpa ‘learns’ from users’ actions and remembers what and where you’ve visited in order to display similar options in the future. With the personality it develops from your usage, it can use location awareness to display options that are tailored to your liking. As T-Mobile puts it, the application learns your likes and dislikes through behavior and user feedback, prioritizing recommended retailers, restaurants and attractions.
We had just reported on the Philips V808 Android Phone and were pretty excited to see what Philips would do with their first Android device. We now know that it carries nothing but disappointment because the Philips V808 runs China Mobile’s proprietary Android build, Ophone OS. The Ophone OS on the Philips V808 won’t have access to Android Market, instead applications will be downloaded via a carrier store (read: suck).
The Philips V808 also fails in that it’s a device without 3G, without WiFi, and without multitouch support. Basically China Mobile customers who invest in the Philips V808 will get a device that’s relevant 5 years ago. But no worries, Android is available on sweet devices like the HTC Hero and Samsung Galaxy, so there’s little loss here.
An official Facebook Android application has been peculiarly missing from Android Market and some have pointed towards Google and Facebook's contentious history as being the reason why. Well, it looks like that's all about to change. Reports are pointing towards an official Facebook Android application to launch possibly as soon as the end of this week.
What's in store for the official Facebook application? Well, it's going to launch with a limited feature set (when compared to the iPhone Facebook app) that'll focus on having the full Facebook stream. The Android Facebook app is built around the stream and status updates, which should tie in neatly with Android's beautiful notification system.
So Facebook and Android sitting in a tree. Hopefully, it'll be a worthwhile application! What current app do you use for Facebook on your Android Phone?
We know that the iPod Touch has become wildly popular in part because it's seen as an iPhone without the phone. An iPod Touch gives you most of the functionality of an iPhone without being bogged down by an expensive data contract. Is there a similar device on Android? There is now.
Meet the Creative Zii Egg Plaszma (yeah, that's a mouthful). This iPod touch competitor has some pretty amazing specs: 3.5" 320 x 480 10-point multi-touch capacitive touchscreen, rear HD Video camera, front facing live chat VGA camera, 32 GB storage with SDHC card expansion, Flash Lite support, GPS, Wi-Fi and the ability to output 1080p video. And the knockout punch? It runs Android.
Investing in a Creative Zii Egg Plaszma will reportedly only run you about $199, a pretty good deal considering the oozing tech that you get. What's even more important is that you;re going to be using a desktop class OS to power it all, not some janky proprietary hogwash. Meet our future.
If you want more pizzazz than the graphite color option for you HTC Hero, you can head over to Carphone Warehouse to choose either pink or brown. The pink definitely adds a nice soft touch to an otherwise sharp phone. We personally prefer graphite over brown but that's just a matter of opinion. Which color of the HTC Hero is your favorite?
And as reported yesterday, T-Mobile UK has begun offergin the G2 Touch aka the HTC Hero on their website.
As excited we are for our friends across the pond to get their hands on the HTC Hero, the bigger question for us is, when are we going to get it? Can we at least get an HTC Hero announcement?
We’re getting some reports that the T-Mobile myTouch 3G has shipped and tracking info has been already sent out to customers who have pre-ordered it. Did any of you guys receive your tracking information and if so, how much longer do you have to wait?
We weren't aware that Philips had been meddling with Android but with Android's growth and popularity, it should come as no surprise. So reports have been surfacing that points the Philips V808, the phone pictured above, as Philips' first android device and it looks, okay.
The Philips V808 is rumored to have a 3.2 inch HVGA display and 3.2 megapixel camera and video. We’re not sure if Philips cooked something on top of Android like HTC and Sony Ericsson have done. What do you guys think about Philips’ reportedly first Android Phone?
Maybe the T-Mobile G2 Touch aka HTC Hero wasn't delayed after all. After rumors of a delayed August release date, it looks like T-Mobile UK will be able to push out the T-Mobile G2 Touch by the end of July.
According to T-Mobile UK’s Twitter account, the T-Mobile G2 Touch will be available online starting today and in their brick and mortar stores over the next few days. This makes for great news for our UK Android users!
We've received reports that the lovely city of Wichita, Kansas has received the beautiful benefits of T-Mobile 3G. Though the T-Mobile 3G launch isn't quite official there yet, we're hearing that users can definitely enjoy the perks and speediness of 3G.
Tmonews is also reporting that Tacoma, Washington is also getting T-Mobile 3G, so any users in that area should now enjoy 3G as well. That knocks off two cities from T-mobile 3G's rollout plan. In the meantime, there are still big cities without T-Mobile 3G so all we can do in the mean time is sit tight and wait.
It was fun while it lasted. The interwebs were a tizzy over rumored Android 2.0 multitouch support but sadly it looks like it won’t be made available. How do we know this? Android Framework Engineer Romain Guy said as much in the official Android Developers Google Group. He dropped another bomb that clarified Donut as NOT being Android 2.0.
What does this all mean? Well, first of all, not having multitouch in Android will continue to weaken the user experience. Multitouch has become the benchmark for touchscreen browsing. The iPhone has it, the Pre has it, Android should definitely have it. Why it’s not there? We have no clue, but we’re hoping to hear more from Android developers in the near future.
The reveal that Android 2.0 isn’t Donut? Not too big of a deal. We’ve had the same reports pop up regarding Cupcake and Android 1.5. The dessert themed codenames are merely a developmental branch for future versions of Android. Thusly, Cupcake and Donut weren’t and aren’t official releases of Android but they’re what future versions of Android will draw from. So though Android 2.0 isn’t quite Donut, Android 2.0 will likely consist of improvements made in the Donut developmental branch.
It’s still fairly early in the Donut developmental process so expect to hear more about Android 2.0 Donut and what it is and isn’t, or what it has or doesn’t have in the future—Donut will change. We’re pretty sure anticipation for Donut will surpass the excitement for Cupcake. What do you guys think?
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