If you're rocking an Android 1.6 device like the T-Mobile G1 or myTouch 3G you'll be happy to know that you can now download Google Maps Navigation in Android Market. Yep, after drooling over the screenshots of Google Maps Navigation in Android 2.0, Google has decided to extend this killer app over to Android 1.6 (and above) devices. According to Google:
If you have a phone running Android 1.6, you can download an updated version of Google Maps from Android Market to use Navigation today. Google Maps Navigation is in beta and is currently available in the United States. Some features of Android 2.0 are not available on Android 1.6, for example, the ability to use the "navigate to" voice command as shown in our demo video.
We're getting this onto our T-Mobile G1 as we speak and will report back on how it compares to Google Maps Navigation on the Motorola DROID. Go and get it now!
If you're a sucker for rare electronics, love prototype devices, or prefer silver trim over gold trim, it looks like you're in luck. A Motorola DROID Prototype has popped up on eBay and can be yours if you want (current bid is $510). According to the seller, this Motorola DROID is one of five devices made specifically for Motorola Engineers. The difference from your 'run of the mill' Verizon Motorola DROID is that it styles a chrome bezel instead of black, silver buttons instead of gold, and has enhanced LED lights on the touchscreen buttons. The seller promises that it'll work perfectly and comes with a clean ESN, ready for activation.
We prefer the look of the gold-accented, available to everyone Motorola DROID but hey, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What do you guys think?
Since Android is now on Sprint and Verizon and both networks have expansive 3G networks, the rather adolescent 3G coverage on T-Mobile becomes even more magnified. Luckily, like they have been doing, T-Mobile is tirelessly working on rolling out and expanding their 3G network to cover more Magenta users. Here's the latest:
Considering we've never even heard of these cities (apologies to said cities residents), it looks like the T-Mobile 3G rollout is reaching more obscure areas of the country (relatively speaking, of course). We'd love to know which cities are still without T-Mobile 3G, so please let us know in the comments!
If you think we're only living in a Motorola DROID or Sprint HTC Hero world now, think again. T-Mobile wants to remind you about the T-Mobile myTouch 3G and continues to stress the personalization, available apps, and all around fun factor of the phone through familiar celebrity faces. These commercials are fun to watch if only for the famous faces goofing off with the still lovable myTouch 3G.
The spot above is titled 'Music' and features Wycleaf Jean, Avril Lavigne, and Brad Paisley. The soundtrack is a Wyclef Jean remix to the Cat Stevens song that's been heard in the previous T-Mobile myTouch 3G commercial. The commercial after the jump is entitled, 'Comics', and it features Chevy Chase, Molly Shannon, Dana Carvey, and Darrell Hammond comically (natch) interacting with the myTouch 3G.
Maybe AT&T will acknowledge Android after all. According to the specs page of the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10, the American version of the XPERIA X10 packs 3G bands that fit with AT&T and not T-Mobile. To quote:
UMTS HSPA 800/850/1900 only available for phones sold in Americas (except Brazil) and Australia. UMTS HSPA 900/1700 not available for phones sold in Americas. UMTS HSPA 1900/2100 available worldwide.
Obviously having the XPERIA X10 head to AT&T is in no way confirmed, especially considering the fact that AT&T has publicly ignored Android. We also have to consider the fact that our friendly neighbors to the north, Canada, also has carriers (Rogers, Fido, Telus) that operate 3G with those same bands, so there's a possibility that it may land in Canada and never officially make its way to the States. One thing we can discern from the snippet above, however, is that it doesn't look like T-Mobile US will get the XPERIA X10. Sorry Magenta fans.
Yikes. We knew apps in Android Market weren't exactly selling like hotcakes but with newfound buzz and interest in Android from the recent releases of the DROID, DROID Eris, HTC Hero, etc. we figured developers would continue to plug in and eventually reap the benefits. Unfortunately, Gameloft thinks differently. They've chosen to cut back on Android development due to the 'weakness' of Android Market. To quote:
We have significantly cut our investment in Android platform, just like … many others. [The Android Market] is not as neatly done as on the iPhone. Google has not been very good to entice customers to actually buy products. On Android nobody is making significant revenue.”
According to Gameloft, one of the biggest mobile game publishers around, they're selling '400 times more games on iPhone than on Android'. That's an astounding difference but could probably be explained. Perhaps Android users aren't purchasing apps because of the relatively miniscule available memory for apps on Android devices. Or maybe looking at 400x sales isn't fair considering Android phones have yet to take off like the iPhone has (but in time, surely will). Either way, we think there's still a lot more to be said about the success of Android Apps than what Gameloft is saying. Cutting back investment in Android right now may be a little too rash.
If you're an avid reader of Google News, you might have noticed a mobile facelift of the news aggregator on your Android devices. That's because Google just released the new Google News for Mobile (Android, iPhone, Palm Pre) and as Google explains it:
This new version provides the same richness and personalization on your phone as Google News provides on desktop. Our new homepage displays more stories, sources, and images while keeping a familiar look and feel. Also, you can now reach your favorite sections, discover new ones, find articles and play videos in fewer clicks. If you are an existing Google News reader on desktop, you will find that all of your personalizations are honored in this mobile version too.
We think it's a pretty good translation for the Android screen but then again, we're not hardcore Google News users. What do you guys think?
Android finally has options when it comes to Twitter applications. Seesmic just announced their Android application and after our first go around with it, it works and looks great. It has 4 large, easy-to-press tabs for quick navigation (timeline, replies, messages, and profile) that make for a very smooth user experience. Seesmic also allows users to link your bit.ly account, choose which photo and video service to use, and share your location, among other Twitter-specific actions.
One downside is that Seesmic doesn't currently support multiple accounts nor does it offer a widget for Android. But other than those missing features, we're sure that Seesmic will find a following in the Android community. Twidroid watch out!
So what you guys think? Seesmic or Twidroid or something else?
If you're interested in getting to know Google Chrome OS, Google's latest development in re-creating how we use computers, the videos after the jump are a great start. The funny thing about Google Chrome OS is that it's ambitious in what it's trying to do but relatively tame in its execution. The idea of Google Chrome OS centers around creating a browser as the Operating System, which makes some sense for a lot of users. Since what we do on a computer is often just access the internet through the browser already, the extra weight and fluff of an OS doesn't apply as much anymore.
So Google Chrome OS is basically a browser. Your applications are fueled by either pre-existing web apps like Gmail, Google Docs, etc. or forthcoming ones that'll be developed according to web standards but more powerful (has access similar to what native apps have in other OS's). It looks pretty much exactly like what the browser Chrome looks like just with a few more tabs. It also supports little things to extend usability like 'virtual desktops', the ability to place smaller windows of apps on top of everything, and running different processes for each tab, so it's a bit more powerful than your run of the mill browser.
So what kind of hardware will Chrome OS run on? And how does it relate to Android? Hit the jump!
Read more about Android Central's thoughts on Google Chrome OS after the jump!
No question of loyalty here. Sergey Brin, one half of Google's dynamic duo aka the Masters of Search aka the Founders, was caught using a Motorola DROID at the Chrome OS event. We would take that as a ringing endorsement for the DROID and great for our ego considering Brin's worth billions of dollars and invented the closest thing to the answer-of-life, Google, yet he uses the same device available to all of us.
Maybe he had a top-secret HTC Dragon running Android 3.0 in his other pocket but yep, like we said, the DROID is the current go to device for Android users.
Now we know why Sony Ericsson is desperate to find a US carrier to subsidize the phone, there's no way it can find a market at that price. And even when you consider carrier subsidies, it'll still be the most expensive Android phone around. When other Android devices are available for $400-$500 off-contract and sub-$200 with contract, even after carrier's subsidize the $879 price you're still looking at a $400-$500 premium over every other Android phones. It's just ridiculous.
We know this is just a report and not official word from Sony Ericsson but in a world where you can get top-notch devices for under $200 on 2-year contract, you're asking for failure with a ridiculous cost.
The picture above, under all the blurriness, is the Motorola Motus, Motorola's next Android phone. It definitely shares a significant resemblance to the Motorola CLIQ but comes off with more sleekness. The keyboard is very flat looking but the buttons look pretty sizable, at least there's no d-pad to throw off the symmetry. What's most interesting to us is that the Motus looks like it could have an interesting slide/flip mechanism, from our perspective it looks like the screen and the keyboard look like they're completely side-by-side with little overlap.
We're not exactly sure what 'Reverse flip keyboard' means exactly other than it's different from your typical reveal of the keyboard. The 'Rear directional touchpad' is easier to determine but still confusing in how it'll be executed, really a touchpad on the back of a phone? In any case, it looks like the Motorola Motus will join the CLIQ and extend the MOTOBLUR family! We'll definitely keep an eye on this!
It has been rumored that the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 was slated for a February 2010 release, but after seeing people's first impressions of the device, well, it looks like there's still a lot of work to be done. The Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 just got a bunch of first looks and hands on from the usual suspects and we tidied up their thoughts for your reading pleasure. Here it goes!
It's missing that spark, the emotional drippings of OMG, that say, the Droid has. The X10 is perfectly fine. It's just that everything outwardly belies the specialness of what's going on inside. The all plastic-build feels just slightly better than cheap, the shape is kind of awkward unless you have gorilla hands, the design—it all just feels, well, incredibly ordinary.
It seems that performance is very contingent upon how much content is loaded into the device and what particular thing it's trying to perform. Sometimes we'd fly through the stacks of faces, while other times we'd sit there waiting for the simplest thumbnails to load up. The good news is that we have until next year to see this thing really come together, and the word is that the software is improving and a rapid pace.
The UI is very functional and it gets the job done, but it’s not as attractive as HTC’s Sense UI. We’re not quite sure what it is about the XPERIA X10, but we’re just not feeling that “wow” we got with the Droid, for example.
Overall, it seems like everyone was ready to love the XPERIA X10, but the XPERIA X10 never gave them a reason to. The design isn't groundbreaking, the hardware wasn't amazing, and the software still needed work. To be fair, it wasn't all bad. The 8.1 megapixel camera got rave reviews from everybody, the screen is lovely, and Timescape and Mediascape (features of the Nexus UX formerly the 'Rachael' UI) were great ideas. But in the end, it just seemed as if the XPERIA X10 just simply isn't ready.
There's no official release date (and we'd much rather have Sony Ericsson spend time tweaking everything anyway) and no official carrier linked to it (Sony Ericsson says they're working with US carriers to get it subsidized), so there's still a lot of unknown with the device. We had high hopes for the XPERIA X10 and we still think that Sony Ericsson can deliver a winner of a device. It's just going to take more time than we thought.
Hit the jump to see pictures of the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10!
Sprint has decided to join the party of releasing commercials for Android devices and market the Sprint HTC Hero as a highly customizable phone with access to thousands of applications. The Sprint ad spot shows Sprint's impressive holiday phone lineup: the Palm Pre, Blackberry Tour, and HTC Hero. We love how the HTC Hero is finally getting its well deserved shine in the spotlight and hope that it'll spur more folks to go Android.
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