Hey HTC Hero users, maybe you won't be left in the dust after all. A HTC Hero has been caught in the wild running Android 2.1--yeah, you read that right, not Android 1.6, not Android 2.0--but Android 2.1!
Android 2.1 is expected to be a minor update to the major update which was Android 2.0 'Eclair'. Android 2.0 is currently only available on the Motorola DROID--their are still devices stuck on either Android 1.5 or 1.6. It definitely makes more sense for HTC to tweak HTC Sense and the like for the most recent Android version and that looks to be Android 2.1.
If Android 2.1 can run on the HTC Hero, it should theoretically be able to run on other first generation Android devices like the T-Mobile G1 and myTouch 3G. So stay hopeful, it looks like Android 2.1 will come to you eventually. There's no details on a rollout but if you're interested in looking at some screenshots, hit the jump!
“There is definitely momentum behind Android. The pace is faster than most would have anticipated one year ago,”
Acer has plans to launch 8-10 handsets in 2010, so given the 'balance' that Acer aspires, we can kind of, sort of assume that half the devices will run Android. At the very least we can assume three Android devices. However, judging by the great looks and specs of the Acer Liquid, we're hoping that Acer surprises us with a ton of quality Android handsets. If Acer is looking to get serious in the smartphone space, it'll know that Android is where it's headed.
It sure looks like the next big thing for Android will be MIDs. Inbrics just announced that they'll be showing one off at CES in January and hope to deliver it to the US in 2010. The video above showcases the Inbrics Android MID (but we're not sure if it's actually the real, working device) and it pretty much promises you the moon. Obviously, that won't happen but the device looks to be a great start.
The Inbrics Android MID will have a full sliding QWERTY keyboard, AMOLED touchscreen, Wi-Fi, GPS, and a digital compass, all powered by an ARM Cortex A8 800MHz processor. The price and release date is unknown but if it does come to the US like promised, we'll surely hear more about this device.
Camangi, a company focusing on Internet Communication, just announced their plans to launch the WebStation, which is basically an Android-powered MID. The WebStation will pack a 7-inch glass touchscreen (WVGA 800x480 resolution), Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0, GPS, and USB port. The WebStation also has a front-facing camera and back-facing camera. The Android-powered MID will run Android 1.5 on a Marvell 624MHz PXA303 processor.
The WebStation looks to be smartly styled and could be successful given the burgeoning market for Android MIDs. Camangi has also launched Camangi Market which will be a place to find apps designed for larger-than-usual Android devices (such as MIDs).
We're definitely excited to see more of the Camangi WebStation. No pricing has been announced but it'll be available sometime in December.
Paris – Gameloft®, a world leader in the publishing and development of downloadable video games, plans to launch High Definition games on next generation Android phones like the Motorola Droid and the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10.
“The arrival of this new generation of phones will allow the development of High Definition games that make the most of the technological capacity and the speed of execution offered by the new Android phones. Consumers will benefit from a top quality gaming experience,” says Gonzague de Vallois, vice-president of Publishing at Gameloft.
Gameloft also continues to support the current generation of Android phones and announces the imminent arrival of titles such as Assassin’s Creed. These titles will be accessible on the Android Marketplace and Gameloft internet sites and will further strengthen our catalogue of Android games already available.
Though the reversal is stunning considering Gameloft had just stated that they make 400x more money on the iPhone platform, we think it's a great decision on Gameloft's part. Android now has stellar devices (and will have even more in the future) that will be more than capable in running impressive games. To cut investment in Android at this juncture would just be irresponsible.
However, the problem remains that in-depth, powerful games take up a lot of megabytes (and sometimes even gigabytes) and Android can't currently install applications on the SD card, which leaves a paltry amount of space for apps. Heck, if Gameloft can solve that issue with Android, we'll completely forgive them.
If you're interested in buying an Android phone anytime soon, this Black Friday is the time to do it and from the looks of it, Best Buy has some of the best deals to do so. On Black Friday, they'll be offering 5 different Android phones for $99 each. In some cases it's nearly 50% off the retail price you'd find in the carrier stores. The Android phones available for $99 are:
Um, wait what? According to statistics from YouGov's BrandIndex (who?), Motorola has just passed Apple in brand loyalty among men ages 18 and up. This coincides with the launch of the Motorola DROID so perhaps those terminator inspired ads from Verizon really worked.
It's pretty amazing to see Motorola, a company that took 5 years to deliver a notable handset after the RAZR, surpass Apple, king of all branding, in brand loyalty. In fact, it's more than just amazing--it's downright stunning. Is Apple starting to feel the negative effects of being aligned with AT&T for the iPhone? Or is this just the nature of being king of the hill, where the newest kid on the block always takes the shine? We're definitely going to have to see if the DROID can maintain this kind of brand loyalty for Motorola long term, but in the short term, the DROID has been nothing short of successful.
We're not sure how YouGov cooked up these numbers but hey, we're rolling with them until someone says different. What do you guys think?
We've seen the LG GW880 Android Phone before but now it's official and heading to China Mobile. Like the Dell Mini 3i, the LG GW880 will run the Ophone UI which pretty much masks Android into giant, easy-to-press icons (ahem, iPhone-like). The GW880 specs:
3.5 inch WVGA display
5 megapixel camera
TD-SCDMA for 3G
CMMB for mobile TV tuning
We've previously heard that it won't have Wi-Fi but that's not really a surprise with China Mobile phones. We'll probably never sniff this phone here in the States which begs the question, when is LG going to release an Android Phone for the US?
The public judging for Android Developer Challenge 2, or ADC2, has been closed and winners of the challenge will be announced on Monday, November 30th. There were a lot of great applications that participated and we're excited to see what Android users pegged as the winners. To quote Google:
Thanks to tens of thousands of Android users around the world who participated in the review of ADC 2 finalist applications, we have now collected sufficient scores to complete 2nd round public judging.
We are reviewing the final results and will announce the top winners this coming Monday, November 30. Thanks to all who've participated in ADC 2 and good luck to all the finalists.
We're sure a lot of developers are interested to hear the results of ADC2 considering the cash prizes on the line. Enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner and hopefully the good news will come after the holiday weekend! Good luck!
The feature that gets most users riled up in their smartphones is the quality of the keyboard. Whether if it's a soft virtual keyboard or a hardware QWERTY, it seems to be one of the biggest factors/dividers in buying a smartphone. Obviously no keyboard is perfect for everyone, but there is a new technology called Swype on the way that may change the way we type on our mobile devices.
The video above showcases Swype and what's unique about it is that though all the keys are laid out in the familiar QWERTY format, you don't 'press' multiple letters to form a word, rather you drag your fingers to touch the letters and trust the system to figure out the rest. The video pits a Samsung Omnia II vs an iPhone in a test of 25 words. The Swype system handedly defeats the iPhone but given it's a Swype-created video, it may be a wee bit biased.
Even though Swype looks great, we're not sure if we could ever completely abandon QWERTY keyboards. There will always be a need for them. Swype is planning on porting the technology over to Android in early 2010.
What do you guys think about Swype? What's your favorite keyboard option on Android? G1 keyboard? HTC soft keyboard? Virtual Android keyboard? Let us know in the comments!
As always, we keep our eyes and ears close to the ground to stay updated with the latest cities to receive T-Mobile 3G. Considering that T-Mobile is seriously lagging behind in their 3G network (when compared to Sprint and Verizon) and that the other networks are offering amazing Android devices to boot, it's safe to assume that T-Mobile is doing everything in their power to get their 3G network on par with its competitors. Here's the latest:
Enjoy your T-Mobile 3G! For those without it, it has to come sooner than later, right?
If you're looking for a great deal on Android devices, this coming week is probably your best bet to take the plunge. Wal-Mart is currently selling the Verizon Droid Eris for $30 with new 2-year contract (via phandroid). Thirty dollars! That's 70% off the listed price for a pretty amazing device on the "world's most reliable network". Unless you find it for free, it's probably the best deal available. This is exactly the type of pricing that we could fall in love with--daring and oh so, inviting.
AdMob just released some statistics detailing the mobile web space detailing usage, device market share, and other data that shines a rather flattering light on the Android platform. Considering it's been only a year since the T-Mobile G1 first launched and considering again that most of that year was spent with only one device, it's rather impressive how quickly Android has shot up the statistics. According to AdMob, 20% of US mobile web traffic comes from Android devices, which is a solid second in overall rankings. Imagine how much it'll be when recent Android devices like the DROID and Hero actually are available for longer than a month.
In another graphic (after the jump), it provides a breakdown of web traffic among all Android devices. Here's the nuts and bolts:
HTC Dream - 36%
Motorola DROID - 24%
HTC Magic - 21%
HTC Hero - 8%
Motorola CLIQ - 6%
Other - 5%
Considering that the DROID has only been available for a few weeks, the fact that it's already gained so much ground on the other, more entrenched Android devices is simply stunning. These numbers continue to prove that the DROID is an out and out success that will undoubtedly change the entire landscape.
And though the numbers already look great for Android right now, we're expecting them to be dramatically different in the next couple of months. Android is already driving a considerable amount of mobile web traffic and it's only going to grow.
Dell's first Android smartphone, the Dell Mini 3i, is set to launch in China on China Mobile and some details have finally come to light. According to China Mobile, the Dell Mini 3i packs:
Dimensions: 58.35 x 122 x 11.7
Weight: < 105g (grams)
Display: 3.5” nHD, 640×360
Bluetooth, GPS, Micro SD (up to 32GB)
No word on the processor or other internals so we're going to assume that the Mini 3i packs the run-of-the-mill 528MHz processor that's been in most Android devices. The Mini 3i runs the China Mobile Ophone platform which pretty much changes the entire skin of Android to give the device an iPhone-like UI. We're eager to see how Dell does in China and hopeful they'll eventually bring a handset to the US.
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