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5 years ago

Android Central on the Palm Pre, webOS, and Sprint

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If you missed Palm’s keynote yesterday, be sure to check out TreoCentral’s coverage of all things Palm, Pre, and webOS! To quickly recap: Palm held their keynote showcasing their new device and platform. Here are Android Central's impressions on the events.

When word started spreading about a new Palm device and the Nova OS, we at Android Central ignored it—mostly because we only focus on Android happenings—but also because in recent years Palm has been just trudging along, barely innovating, and minimally surviving that it didn’t warrant any extra attention. Our honest expectations of the Palm keynote? Announce a barely evolutionary device with another limited OS. Miss crucial opportunity. Everyone walks away disappointed. And then fade to obscurity.

Read on to see what happened and what Android Central thinks?

Suffice to say, that didn’t happen. In fact, it was the exact opposite. Instead of the predicted eulogy of a keynote, we got a stunning showcase of innovation. Palm hit it out the proverbial ballpark and the industry just got a jolt sent through every platform: Android isn’t polished enough. iPhone is too limited. Blackberry is outdated. Windows Mobile isn’t as user friendly. Announcement: The smartphone market just gained a shiny, trusted & capable competitor. Welcome back to the mix, Palm.

But as surprised and as blown away as we were after the keynote (and trust us, we’re still thinking about it) the fact of the matter is: the Palm Pre doesn’t exist yet. It’s certainly some great ideas packed in sleek looking devices but it’s as good as vaporware on prototypes (okay maybe not that bad). But honestly, we don’t know when it’ll release, how good it’ll really be, how much it’ll cost, etc.

What if the Pre retails at $499? What if Sprint bleeds so much money that they’ll no longer be able to support it? What if there are more hardware cracking issues? What if webOS is buggy? There are still a ton of questions still left about stability, development, execution and everything. We know it looks good, we don’t know if it’ll actually be good. Yes, Palm showcased a great product yesterday. But it didn’t debut it and it didn’t seem like they were anywhere near ready to debut it. It re-instills faith in the Palm faithful but should it stop you in believing in the Android movement? Definitely, no.

Whenever the Palm Pre releases, Android will have that much time to get better. If it’s 3 months down the line, the Cupcake update would be on our G1 and we’ll have countless third party apps. 6 months? 9 months? We’ll be on Android’s first birthday cake. Can you imagine the advancements and third party apps we’ll get before the Pre even releases? Yeah, me neither. The Palm Pre simply challenges Android to get better and Android can certainly handle that.

The point is, yes, Palm announced a great product and platform in their keynote, but the battle for smartphone supremacy doesn’t end there. This marks the beginning—it starts here. The keynote was a breath of fresh air in a slowly suffocating industry. But I’d worry more about Windows Mobile and Blackberry than I would Android. Android still has a desktop class operating system behind it, a growing community that develops innovative third party apps, the promise of multiple form factors, and of course, the open sourceness of it all.

So as impressed as we were with Palm, we’re only excited about using it in the Smartphone Round Robin 2009—not to replace our G1's with. We still think the safest and best horse to bet on in this Smartphone Race is, and will always be, Android.

What did you guys think about the Palm Pre?

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5 years ago

CES 2009: GiiNii Movit Mini, Android Tablet Device

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Imagine an Android Version of the iPod Touch. Make it a little bit bigger and you got the GiiNii Movit Mini, an Android Tablet that needs no data plan from any carrier to be fully functional. Here are the specs: 4.3 inch 480x272 resistive touchscreen (argh!), 256 MB Internal Memory, microSD slot, Bluetooth, Microphone/speaker, front facing camera, headset jack, mini USB, WiFi, and an onscreen keyboard (!).

There's a soft keyboard on the device so rumors are it's running the Cupcake update and reportedly the soft keyboard runs wonderfully well. The biggest downside? The resistive touchscreen which is no way near as good as the G1's capacitive touch. Either way, we'll be keeping a look out for more devices like this because though we're still not getting any phone announcements, more devices for Android is a good thing.

One last thing, the price is supposed to be $149 and there's a 7 inch model on the way. Nice. More pictures after the jump!

[Engadget]

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5 years ago

CES 2009: NIMble Desktop Phone Runs Android OS

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We're used to expecting Android Phones around these parts so when a new non-phone device pops up that's running Android...well you're definitely going to get some attention. The NIMble Desktop Phone, which runs Android, is a device meant for places like your Kitchen Countertop or Coffee Table. It's designed by Mark Hamblin who was a Product Design Lead of the original iPhone touchscreen and sports a 624 MHz Marvel Processor, 512 MB memory, SD card slot, 2MP camera, WiFi, Bluetooth (A2DP), etc.

The snapshot above shows some custom software that Touch Revolution (the name of the company) developed on top of Android. But no worries friends, the Android onboard is fully functional and ready to use. Pricing is currently at $300 or free with $10-$20 contract (not sure what that means, exactly). It's certainly cool to see Android pop up on different devices such as a desktop phone, but dude, where's our Android mobile phones?

[Gizmodo]

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5 years ago

T-Mobile Sending G1 Owners A Survey, Precursor to Battery Replacements?

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Google And Blog is reporting that T-Mobile G1 users are slowly receiving surveys regarding their G1 experience that ask specific questions regarding their satisfaction level with the device. A main focus of the survey deals with the subpar battery on the G1, so maybe T-Mobile is taking in data to see if the reported battery replacement program is necessary. Other issues touched on in the survey are Flash and Exchange support.

Seeing T-Mobile semi-acknowledge the weaknesses of the G1 and Android platform is definitely a good start. Seeing results would be even better. Did any of you guys receive the T-Mobile G1 survey?

[Google And Blog]

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5 years ago

Is Google Developing A Google Router?

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According to SD Times sources, Google may be developing its own router. Why would Google be interested in doing this? Supposedly, Google is growing tired of the limitations in their current Jupiter Networks and believe that they could do a better job in providing enough bandwidth to accommodate their understandably massive data.

What does this mean? Well, not much for now. It's hard to imagine Google delving into the deep end with hardware routers but it would be interesting to see what the guys at Google can come up with in terms of ideas and technology on how to improve a rather stagnant market. For now, we'll just keep an eye out on this rumor and see what happens next.

[Engadget]

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5 years ago

Skype Application in Android Market

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The news that came out from CES 2009 was that Skype would soon be available for Android. The only question left was how soon? The wait was not long because it's available for download right now! So if you're a big Skype user you can go ahead and download Skype Lite in the Android Market right now!

Skype Lite marks the first native VoIP Client for Java and it should be available for other handsets as well. You'll still need to pay Skype to make calls with Skype Lite but messaging your contact list is done over your data connection.

Is anyone excited to see Skype on Android? What are other VoIP Applications you use?

[Gizmodo]

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5 years ago

Android Central Is At CES 2009!

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CES 2009. The biggest consumer electronics show of the year is happening as we speak and we forgot to tell you that we're there! We're on scene in Las Vegas, Nevada and covering as much Android news and sneak peeks as possible!

Editor in Chief Dieter Bohn has been keeping himself busy with keynote after keynote, but fear not, we'll be able to get our hands on Android devices very, very soon. So stay tuned to this space because Android is in the mind of a lot of people and we'll try to get you as much Android-related news, products, gossip, etc. as possible!

What do you guys want to see Android-related from CES 2009?

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5 years ago

FlyCast at CES, Coming to Android G1

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If you are at CES in Las Vegas, drop on by the BlackBerry booth 36206, South Hall, for a demo of FlyCast. FlyCast is a FREE service for your mobile device that streams internet radio and talk radio. It currently supports BlackBerry, the iPhone, and iPod Touch, but according to Kim Hermanson of FlyCast, Android support is coming very soon!

There are numerous improvements coming to FlyCast, but in a nutshell, here are some notable ones:

  1. Android/G1 support! T-Mobile G1 users will soon be able to download FlyCast from the App Market. Check out some images of FlyCast in action right here.
  2. A desktop version of FlyCast for PC & MAC is available for download now. You can get it here.
  3. Updated program guide so you can see "What's On Now" and the ability to use StreamShift to join a broadcast at any point in the stream.
  4. Unlimited song-skipping for over 300 channels.
  5. Facebook Connect - log in with your Facebook ID and post your streams to your Facebook page.
  6. AccuWeather.com - FlyCast Main Guide supports an automatic link to your local weather.
  7. AAC+ and Windows Media Support.
Check out the press release for more detailed information about FlyCast enhancements. Thanks to Kim Hermanson of FlyCast for the information! [FlyCast]

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5 years ago

Video of Kogan Agora Android Device

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Hot on the heels of some photos of the world's second Android phone, the Kogan Agora (as Ryan so aptly stated - thanks, Ryan!), we now have video of the Agora compliments of Gizmodo Australia via Kogan's PR agency. Mr. Kogan is at CES and hopefully we'll have a chance to rub elbows with him later this week and see if we can get a hands-on of the pre-production unit as featured in the video. Apparently the production units will be sans silver bezel and will be bordered in black instead. Good choice.

Although I'm a proud owner of the G1 and enjoy the screen real estate, I'm also a huge fan of a front-facing keyboard, even at the expense of a larger screen. The front-facing QWERTY usually equates to better one-handed operation and it will be interesting to see how one-handed Android can be on the Agora. If you had your druthers, which would it be? Slider or front-facing keyboard?

Thanks again for the tip, Ryan!

[Gizmodo Australia]

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5 years ago

New Pictures of the Kogan Agora, the World's Second Android Device

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The Kogan Agora, if you didn't know, will be the world's Second Android Device and Australia's First Android Device. We've seen some revised digital product shots of the device before but this may be the first shots of the device in the "real life". And though it looks a little bit unwieldily, we're becoming huge fans of this phone. And though Kogan is unknown in these parts, it seems to be fairly reputable in its home base of Australia.

It definitely has a Motorola Q9h or Samsung Blackjack look to it and the keyboard seems to be expansive enough. The biggest question is probably going to be can the smaller screen accommodate a capacitive touchscreen? Either way, we're glad that Kogan is releasing an Android Device with a front facing QWERTY because more choices in Android form factor is always a good thing.

The Kogan Agora is supposed to be released by the end of January, so expect more news to be coming about the world's second Android Device!

[via Gizmodo AU]

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5 years ago

Girl Tattoos Android Robot Onto Her Wrist

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We'll be the first to admit that the Android Robot is probably the cutest green robot we've ever seen. I mean, look at it! It's round, has plenty of character, and seems just so...friendly. But even we were surprised when we stumbled on a girl tattooing the Android Logo onto her wrist--cute green robot and all.

Her name is Natalie "Kommodore" Thompson and she's either the biggest fan of open source operating systems or just loved that green robot more than us. And hey, we don't have any problem with this kind of self-expression because come on, the Android Robot is certainly a better tattoo to get than the Storm on your ankle.

Anyone else have Android Tattoos they'd like to share?

[Myspace via Engadget]

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5 years ago

T-Mobile G1 Users Getting Unknown SMS Messages ?

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Apparently, some G1 users have encountered an odd problem that has them sending/receiving SMS and MMS messages to/from unknown numbers. The scenario: a G1 user receives a text claiming that they've been sending multiple texts to the unknown number. Not too big of a deal, could simply be just texting to the wrong phone number, right? Well, until they post the problem on a forum and multiple G1 users are claiming to experience the same issue! A lot of folks are supposedly receiving texts asking them "who is this" or claiming they had sent something that they didn't. Just odd.

The folks over at modmyGphone are saying that its an issue with the messaging servers that T-Mobile has set up for the G1. The problem is only apparent in the G1 and they are trying to fix it immediately.

Is anyone else experiencing this almost comically weird phenomenon? Let us know!

[via modmyGphone]

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5 years ago

HTC Touch HD Running Android -- VIDEO

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You may be familiar with the HTC Touch HD, it's that massively beautiful device that is spurning North America for reasons we simply don't understand. Even our friends over at WMExperts are in awe of this beautiful device and we can't blame them: 480 x 800 VGA edge-to-edge screen.

So it's not just another day at the office when we come across a video of the HTC Touch HD running Android. If any device can make EVERYONE pay attention to Android, it's definitely got to be the Touch HD. In the video, the HTC Touch HD demoes the Android Market and though it's ridiculously blurry and horribly lit, this might be the most exciting video I've seen in 2009.

[via modmyGphone]

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5 years ago

Android Shows Up on OpenMoko FreeRunner

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We've previously reported on the union of Android and OpenMoko (the Open Source mobile platform before Android) and some shots of Android running on an OpenMoko Neo FreeRunner have popped up yet again. The FreeRunner looks the same as previous generations which doesn't exactly bode well since Android is a lot more intensive than OpenMoko was. It has the basic specs of any smartphone: A 400 MHz processor, WiFi, aGPS, Bluetooth, and a microSD slot.

Either way, even if this isn't exactly the NEWEST of hardware, we can stick it out. Old hardware or not, more devices on Android is always a good thing.

[Gizmodo]

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5 years ago

Yes! We Want Android On Every WM Device, Please

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So our good friends over at WMExperts (check out their new layout!) are in an uproar over Android being ported to all their devices. We had a stab at the Tilt, the Touch, and now it looks like we're even getting onto the uber-sexy Touch Diamond! Can you blame us? After the promise of Android being on multiple devices, it still is only available on the G1--we're simply itching for more devices!

Though porting Android to the Touch Diamond is more of a proof-of-concept than anything else (nothing really works yet), it sure would be flipping cool to have Android show up on different form factors. I think of all our biggest wishes for 2009, more Android devices tops the list! So in the meantime, thank you Windows Mobile for providing the hardware home for our Android. =)

[WMExperts]

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