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5 years ago

Motorola Lays Off 77 in Mobile Division

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It's no secret that we love us some Motorola around these parts. We've been saying Motorola Hardware combined with Android Software would simply be a killer device. It's almost sad for us to document the current downfall of a once great company. Motorola has laid off 77 employees in Florida, mostly from their floundering mobile division.

What's interesting about these layoffs is that they were all working on Windows Mobile development. Is this a sign that Motorola may be Android-only as previously suggested? Are they re-allocating their resources to become Android exclusive? What do you guys think?

[via BGR]

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5 years ago

Watch Out For Fake G2, Dream, Second Android Devices

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Since Android is open-source and requires no licensing costs, there will surely be plenty of Android devices in the future. But currently, the only smartphone that runs Android is the T-Mobile G1. Sure, there have been rumors, reports, and pictures about the T-Mobile G2 (code name: Sapphire) but at this point in time, nothing else exists for Android other than the T-Mobile G1.

So when you see pictures and products claiming to the be the G2 or the Dream, those unofficial products are not doing much other than trying to capitalize (read: steal) on the brand name of the G1. Most of them are probably going to be mock ups, others may be actual phones, but in the end, when the Second Android Device is released for public consumption--we'll be there to let you know. In the meantime, we advise you to stay away.

So when you stumble upon a purported G2 remember that it doesn't exist yet. Would we want all these fake G2s to be actual Android Devices? Yeah, of course. But do we trust these devices? Not one bit.

[via Gizmodo]

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5 years ago

ShopSavvy = Consumer-Empowering

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It started in the early days of the Android Market with GoCart, an ingenious and useful app from Big In Japan that allowed users to use their G1's camera to scan the barcode of products. Then, GoCart would automatically search online for comparison pricing and use the G1's GPS to direct the shopper to the best deal. After winning a cool $250,000 from the Android Developer Challenge, GoCart has evolved into ShopSavvy and will soon sport a host of improvements.

According to an email exchange between Ernest Doku of omio and Big In Japan co-founder Alexander Muse, ShopSavvy will soon include:

  • improved location data (i.e. combining wifi/gps/celltower) to determine your exact location.
  • ability to include easter eggs for certain items (retailers can offer specials to ShopSavvy users) when scanned in certain stores.
  • we will be including the ability to instantly pay for items with ShopSavvy.
  • we will be allowing users to submit prices, retailers, pictures and reviews.
  • our iPhone version will be released (US only for now).
  • additional product information will be included for items (i.e. food allergy and health info).

With all the power ShopSavvy is soon to bring to you and me, the consumers, it's no surprise that (to coin an '80s song) the future's so bright, Big In Japan has got to wear shades.

Thanks, Ernest!

[omio]

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5 years ago

Review: Krusell Horizon Multidapt Case for T-Mobile G1

5

The Krusell Horizon Multidapt (S-Wide) case for the T-Mobile G1 is available in the Android Central Store for $24.95 and can be purchased here. It offers a couple different carrying options and fits the G1 Android phone and sports a magnetic closure to secure the phone. How does it perform as a case for your valuable G1? Read on for the full review after the break!

Design and Performance of Case

I've used many Krusell case products over the years for my various PDA or phone devices, and I've always been impressed with their quality and design. This Horizon case is no exception with respect to quality and design. The packaging is the first positive to me in that the packaging is a heavy paper/card stock material that makes it easy to access the case. The case is actually clipped into the packaging using the unique multidapt system and requires the end of a ball point pen to release the case from the packaging. The case itself is black nappa leather on the outside with a light cream-colored interior. The exterior of the case is accentuated with light-colored stitching and adorned with a small Krusell nameplate on the outside of the magnetic closure.

The case has an opening along the bottom to more easily push the phone upward and out of the case. There is a long rectangular cut-out on one end to provide easy access to the mini-USB port on the bottom of the G1, but requires fitting the G1 into the case in an upside-down configuration. Then again, what is really considered "upside-down" in a horizontal case? This may be a nuisance to some but not to others, so it's really a matter of personal taste. For me, it's a little awkward because I normally carry my G1 flipped the other way around.

On the back of the case there are two options for carrying - two belt loops on either side of the multidapt connector or the multidapt connector itself. The multidapt system includes the connector attached to the case itself, and a removable plastic spring-loaded clip. The clip is sturdy and durable and removed by depressing a recessed button with the end of a ball point pen or other pointed object. The multidapt system is nice in that you have the option to carry the case with the clip or, if you wish to use the belt loops, the clip can be removed. The belt loops are wide enough to accommodate even most wider belts.

The Krusell Horizon case is more than adequate as a case, offering protection to your G1, a stylish way to carry it, options for carrying with either the clip or the belt loops, and a convenient magnetic closure. Although convenient, the magnetic closure is my only gripe. Rather than the button magnetic closure found on this case, my preference is for one without the metal button, like found on Palm's leather Treo horizontal carrying case. In my opinion, the magnetic closure is much easier when the metal button is eliminated and the magnet is sewn inside of the leather. When the design of the case closure incorporates the magnet inside of the leather, then precision when closing the case is not required - it's just a leather-on-leather contact. The magnetized button snap closure requires a little more precision when closing and I simply don't want to have to deal with precision; I just want to put my G1 in the case and shut the flap and feel that it is secured.

Conclusion

The Krusell Horizon Multidapt (S-Wide) Case for the T-Mobile G1 is another good product from Krusell. It's a stylish way to protect and carry your G1 and offers the convenience of a couple ways to carry it: belt loops or the multidapt clip. Either way you carry it, it should stay put on your person. The nappa leather is good quality and the magnetic closure is convenient.

On the down side, the same convenient magnetic closure also requires a little more precision when closing than a sewn-in magnet minus the magnetic snap-button that is currently part of the case's design. Also, the cutout to access the G1's mini-USB port is really located on the wrong end of the case for this G1 user. Others may not have a problem with it's location. In any event, the case is a nice one for the money and should make most people happy who are looking for a stylish and secure way to carry their G1.

Android Central Rating: 4/5

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5 years ago

Last.fm Available for Android

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Last.fm, an internet radio streaming app, is now available for the Android platform. You can find it in the Android Market or download it here from their site.

According to the Last.fm site, the app allows you to "choose an artist or genre and Last.fm builds the perfect playlist just for you, fresh every time, featuring your favorites and new discoveries powered by millions of Last.fm users sharing the music they love."

Check out Last.fm today and see how it works for you.

[Androidcommunity]

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5 years ago

T-Mobile G1 Available in ALL U.S. Markets Tomorrow!

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Good news for those who have patiently awaited T-Mobile G1 Android availability in their non-3G market. If you'll recall, the G1's release on T-Mo's network was limited to stores in 3G markets ONLY, really dumping the rain on the parade of would-be G1 consumers who found nary a G1 in their stores. Now, starting tomorrow (Jan. 24), T-Mobile has announced that the G1 will be available in ALL U.S. markets! If you don't have a G1 already, what are you waiting for?

[Gizmodo]

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5 years ago

T-Mobile Has No Immediate Cupcake Release Plans ?

20

Uh oh. This isn't good. According to a post by the T-Mobile Support Forums administrator, the Cupcake Update to Android is not currently planned for release to T-Mobile G1 users. Contrary to reports that claim Cupcake would come to the T-Mobile G1 at the end of this month, a message sent to the T-Mobile Forum Admin sent from T-Mobile PR is that:

According to the Android team, “Cupcake,” which is the code name for an Android software build, is still a work in progress that is considered to be a development branch and not for general availability. We will update you as T-Mobile G1 software updates are made available to T-Mobile customers.

We don't know what to think. Cupcake is going to be an integral part of Android's future so it's important that the Android Team gets this right, if it means delaying the update, that's fine by us. On the other hand, we've been itching for Cupcake since the G1 released, to wait even longer would be terribly painful. What do you guys think?

[via AndroidTapp]

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5 years ago

Kogan Unaware Of Agora-Clone ?

1

We originally reported on the striking similarity (downright copied) between the Kogan Agora and this "shining" phone available on alibaba. We had our suspicions about the device, its availability, its power to run Android, its quality etc. but apparently Kogan had no idea about this device. Huh!?

Ruslan Kogan says:

"I am not aware of this manufacturer and I have doubts that it runs Android OS. It is certainly not what the Agora was going to be or in anyway related to it."

So I guess you should take that as a sign as don't buy that "shining" phone! Hopefully Kogan can figure everything out with the Agora and put it out on the market before more people steal the design.

[engadget]

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5 years ago

Huawei To Showcase Android Phone At Mobile World Congress in February

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Do you remember Huawei? They're a China-based phone manufacturer with Android aspirations. Just recently they announced that they'll be showcasing their Android-powered device at the Mobile World Congress at Barcelona in February. The details are incredibly vague at the moment but don't ignore Huawei, it is quite likely that they'll build the phone and have a more popular and notable company brand it. We'll be eager to hear what Huawei has cooking for Android and remain hopeful to see who will become Android's Second Device.

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5 years ago

Could Android OS Run on a Jailbroken Palm Pre?

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We would be straight lying to you if we told you guys we don't pay attention to Palm Pre news. Simply put, it's going to be very interesting to see if the smartphone market can sustain so many power players, so keeping an eye on an upcoming competitor is something we have to do. So you could imagine our surprise when we heard that development on porting Android over to the Palm Pre was in the works and theoretically possible. Because well if the Palm Pre could run Android--that'd be a freaking sweet Android device!

The fine folks at PreCentral.net have connected the dots for us. The processor in the Pre is a OMAP3430 from Texas Instruments. There has been ongoing development on porting Android to the OMAP 3 System. The Palm Pre's processor is based on OMAP 3. So yeah, the stars do line up for this to be possible.

What would be necessary? A 2 stage bootloader, the linux kernel, and android filesystem and not to mention the countless drivers needed to get everything in working order. It'll be a tough task to get Android on a Palm Pre but at the moment, it certainly looks possible.

[PreCentral.net]

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5 years ago

New Android Cupcake Screenshots Show Virtual Keyboard, New Features

2

This is getting exciting. As more and more news of the Cupcake Update for Android comes in, we can't help but believe that it's going to freshen up the platform and provide developers with more avenues to create applications. Here are some of the latest screenshots of Cupcake and some of the new features it'll include.

The biggest draw of the Cupcake Update, for me at least, is the virtual onscreen keyboard--some folks are still wary of soft keyboards but I believe it offers tremendous convenience and versatility. Obviously in order to succeed it needs a great auto-correct feature and a customizable dictionary but I think it'll help the Android platform expand.

According to developer Arron La, Cupcake is very rough around the edges. This doesn't bode particularly well considering we want our Cupcake now! But we'll give the Android team ample time to figure out all the kinks so that they can release a polished product.

Included in these new screenshots of Cupcake are some new features [via Arron La]:

1. New Local Setting Page - Gives you option to pick different locales and pick different text inputs. 2. New Option to view running and third party applications - An option to view running and third party applications from the normal application list. Does not provide a way to terminate them. 3. New windows opening/closing animation effect - a new popping effect when windows are opened/closed. 4. New default notepad - a very simple and ugly default notepad. 5. New Global Time application - not sure if it will be provided by T-Mobile but it’s just a rotating Earth and I couldn’t get it to do anything else. 6. New Spare Parts Application - Once again not sure if the official version will have this, but it provides a number of extra settings such as setting windows animation and transition animation speed, font size, end button behavior and etc. It also has a “display rotation” option which supposedly should allow auto-rotate base on orientation across the entire os, but it is not currently working. 7. New Virtual Keyboard - The virtual keyboard will pop up on every edit box. I didn’t feel any haptic feedback but I am thinking that it’s just not there on the example keyboard. Because the phone does not auto-rotate (an option exists but it doesn’t work), it’s very hard to type on it. The sample keyboard also does not provide auto-corrections. 8. Slightly better looking buttons with more shadow.

After the jump, more screenshots of the Cupcake Update to Android!

[via IntoMobile]

[gallery]

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5 years ago

Smartphone Round Robin -- Announcing the Winners!

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As it did the year before, the Smartphone Round Robin needed to go into overtime again this time around -- but we're finished now!  If you haven't been following along, here's what you missed:  Each of the editors of our five Smartphone Experts sites swapped phones for a week or so, reviewing and leanring what it's like to wear another smarphone user's shoes.  The result is the entire series of articles you see linked on this handy page, the Smartphone Round Robin of 2008.

What will you learn there?  You'll learn that there was no single smartphone that 'won' the Round Robin -- but that's by design.  There's no perfect smartphone out there, but there just might be the perfect smartphone to fit your needs.  If you're looking to get a new smartphone soon, think about what you need it do to and then hit up these articles -- you'll find that depending on what each of us care about, we'll give you a useful perspective on whether a given smartphone matches up. 

Actually, we explain it all pretty well on this page. Oh, yeah, one more thing, we are giving away fabulous prizes:

Find out who the winners are, after the break!

As it did the year before, the Smartphone Round Robin needed to go into overtime again this time around -- but we're finished now!  If you haven't been following along, here's what you missed:  Each of the editors of our five Smartphone Experts sites swapped phones for a week or so, reviewing and leanring what it's like to wear another smarphone user's shoes.  The result is the entire series of articles you see linked on this handy page, the Smartphone Round Robin of 2008.

What will you learn there?  You'll learn that there was no single smartphone that 'won' the Round Robin -- but that's by design.  There's no perfect smartphone out there, but there just might be the perfect smartphone to fit your needs.  If you're looking to get a new smartphone soon, think about what you need it do to and then hit up these articles -- you'll find that depending on what each of us care about, we'll give you a useful perspective on whether a given smartphone matches up. 

Actually, we explain it all pretty well on this page. Oh, yeah, one more thing, we are giving away fabulous prizes:

Find out who the winners are, after the break!

Smartphone Round Robin Winners!

Here are all the winners for the 2008 Smartphone Round Robin, chosen randomly in accordance with the contest rules:

From Android Central, winning the T-Mobile G1, the BlueAnt Z9 Bluetooth Headset, and SPE Screen Protectors, we have:

Hunter McNabb, for this post about how the G1 is snappier than the Fuze.

The runner up, who will receive a $50 coupon to any Smartphone Experts accessory store, is Devonair.

From CrackBerry.com, winning the BlackBerry Bold, Spare Battery, and Case-Mate Second Skin, we have:

Dimietriev, for this post about one of the 'little things' we pay attention to on Smartphones, namely the calculator.

The runner up, who will receive a $50 coupon to any Smartphone Experts accessory store, is jordanmah.

From The iPhone Blog, winning the iPhone 3G, Case-Mate Naked Case, and Motorola H9 Bluetooth Headset, we have:

Mark, for this post about his primary need in a smarpthone: messaging.

The runner up, who will receive a $50 coupon to any Smartphone Experts accessory store, is Jeff.

From TreoCentral, winning the Treo Pro, Case-Mate Clear Armor, and Aliph Jawbone Bluetooth Headset (original), we have:

berdinkerdickle, for this post about just how important one-handed use is -- how else can you eat that sandwich?

The runner up, who will receive a $50 coupon to any Smartphone Experts accessory store, is Geo-Treo.

From WMExperts, winning the HTC Fuze and the Celio Redfly Mobile Companion, we have

Pamina, for this post about how somewhere in the the Fuze there's an awesome phone that's just waiting to come out.

The runner up, who will receive a $50 coupon to any Smartphone Experts accessory store, is blancmik.

Congratulations to all of our winners!  You can expect an email from Dieter (aka me) over the weekend.

A special thanks goes out to the sponsors of the Smartphone Round Robin, without whom we couldn't have possibly pulled it off:

Celio Corp

Palm

Case-Mate

Smartphone Outlet

Well, the Smartphone Round Robin has been a ridiculous amount of fun (and an equal share of work and shipping fees!) and we loved doing it.  We hope you loved following along and learned as much as we did along the way. 

We'll bring it back again, of course, later in 2009.  Here's a promise: this year we'll actually bring in some Nokia/Symbian action and heck, we might even deign to include a Windows Mobile Standard device.  Oh yeah, and there's that whole Palm Pre/webOS thing to look forward to as well.

The smartphone world is going to rock in 2009, and Smartphone Experts will be there to cover it all for you.

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5 years ago

Truphone Anywhere Launches on Android G1

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Truphone Anywhere, an app that enables the user to make low-cost international calls and send IMs on a variety of platforms, is now available in the Android Market for Android phones, including the T-Mobile G1. According to the press release from Comunicano, Inc., Truphone Anywhere is now available for customers in the U.S. and U.K. markets and should be available in March in the Germany and Austria Android Market. According to the press release:

As well as being able to make low-cost international voice calls, Truphone customers can also easily instant-message their friends across a variety of networks including MSN, Yahoo!, Google Talk and Twitter from within one Android application. Customers can also call friends anywhere in the world on Google Talk for the price of a local call, and similarly will soon will be able to instant-message and call their friends on Skype.

It's exciting as developers make more apps available for the Android platform that increase the usefulness of our 'droid phones. Truphone is already running on iPhone, iPod Touch, BlackBerry, and Nokia, so it's nice that Android can now join the club. Give it a try and let us know what you think!

[Comunicano]

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5 years ago

Samsung Android For T-Mobile and Sprint

1

Just another black slab, or something more? Samsung Electronics will be releasing a Google Android phone on the T-Mobile and Sprint Nextel networks sometime in 2009. Although there are no details yet on pricing and specifications, this new Android phone is expected to look similar to the Samsung Omnia and Instinct with a large touchscreen. There has been a great deal of news and rumor lately about the race for a second Android handset - will this be the winner for second? Or will it be HTC or the warehoused Kogan Agora?

[phonemag]

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5 years ago

Android G2: Slimmed Down and Sans Keyboard

11

It would appear that some spy photos of the Android G2 from HTC have been leaked. If these are real, they reveal a sleeker, shinier, and slimmed-down G2. This device is allegedly sporting a 3.2 megapixel camera and it is minus one keyboard. Availability of this bad boy is predicted to be mid-May, so until then or until something else rears it's green 'droid head, the "second Android handset" drought will continue. If the software keyboard is on par with the likes of the iPhone, I would welcome a keyboard-less device. What about you?

[gizmodo]

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