The news that Samsung is preparing three Android Devices for the European Market in 2009 isn't that much of a stretch because we're already anticipating three devices from Samsung stateside. Either way we look at this, it's a win-win. Whatever Android devices we get or Europe gets, it should happen both ways--that's okay in our book.
What is interesting however, is that it seems like Europe is taking a keen interest with Android and seems to be more excited about the platform than the US market. Will we actually see Android target Nokia as a competitor rather than the iPhone/RIM duo?
How about it European readers? Are you guys more excited about Android than your US counterparts? Let us know!
We had already filled you in with the details of the new T-Mobile rate plans and though they're definitely a nice little improvement, it's certainly no game changer. Overall, T-Mobile has added unlimited mobile-to-mobile to every plan $49.99 and up and also introduced a new $89.99 myFaves family plan with 1800 minutes.
Yeah, it's not going to change the telco industry but if you're in the market, T-Mobile still has some of the best prices out there.
The 'cubic' name can also potentially hint at a 3D cube-like user interface that'll be integrated to the Android OS. We're hoping that Samsung is putting something nifty on top of Android because honestly, it shouldn't have taken so long to release an ordinary Android device.
The specs of the S8000 are as follows:
3.1″ AMOLED display, WVGA, 16 million colors
12 mm thin
5 MP camera with auto-focus and flash
2GB internal memory/microSD slot
3.5mm jack and FM radio
3G, Wi-Fi, GPS with A-GPS, Bluetooth 2.1 and USB
Quad band GSM/GPRS/EDGE (850/900/1800/1900 MHz)
Dual band UMTS (900/2100 MHz)
The overall specs look pretty good and we're crossing our fingers and hoping that the S8000 releases to Android in the near future. What do you guys think?
Buttons and checkboxes have a new design and though it doesn't change the overall binary/source compatibility, it may break the UI of your application. To quote Google:
For instance, Android 1.1 buttons have a minimum size of 44x48 pixels whereas Android 1.5 buttons now have a minimum size of 24x48 pixels. If you rely on the button's minimum size, then the layout of your application may not be the same in Android 1.5 as it was in Android 1.1 because of this change.
Luckily, Google offers a solution to this potential problem:
This layout could easily be fixed by using the android:layout_weight attribute or by replacing theLinearLayout containers with a TableLayout.
It looks like developers can easily accommodate for this design change and we think it definitely looks more polished. What do you guys think?
Hit the jump to see more pictures of the design changes in Android 1.5
Google has just announced an "Early Look" SDK for Android 1.5 which is based off the much ballyhooed Cupcake development branch. Android 1.5 packs a lot of goodies such as APIs for soft keyboards, live folders, home screen widgets, stereo bluetooth, and much, much more.
Android 1.5 is going to improve on the performance of Android, such as having a faster camera start up time, acquiring GPS location faster, smoother page scrolling, etc. There is also mention of some UI refinements. Overall, it looks like a hefty update to Android and we can't wait to see it trickle down to real-world usage.
Rats. It looks like T-Mobile is bringing back upgrade fees. This is a bit of a downer since it comes off the rather good news of T-Mobile changing some rate plans and also reverses the news we reported back in December about upgrade fees being gone forever.
Though the $18 upgrade fee isn't necessarily a dealbreaker for those looking to upgrade their handsets, it's certainly annoying to have to shell out money for no tangible reason. It's as if the carriers just decided that they could charge, so they charge. Sigh.
Elan Microelectronics, a small Taiwanese outfit that recently made news for suing Apple for copyright infringement over their multi-touch technology, recently release the above video demonstrating multi-touch on an Android device. Multi-touch, with the ability to "pinch" and zoom with finger gestures, is particularly useful when reading web pages and looking at photos. Hopefully this is a feature that will come to the Android platform for all Android devices. How important is it to you that you can pinch and zoom?
Want more news of a "planned" Android device with little to no details? Well you got it! The Bluetooth SIG group have registered the HTC Fiesta which is a handheld phone (predictably) that is going to run Android! The details are so sparse that we can only tell you that it'll run Android, it'll be released in Asia, Europe, and North America and oh yeah, it'll have Bluetooth.
There was no mention of the HTC Fiesta in HTC's 2009 leaked product line so maybe we'll see this device in 2010? Or is HTC keeping this one heavily under wraps? Only time will tell. In the meantime...FIESTA!
Why do we think it's going to be Blackberry-focused? Well, T-Mobile is co-hosting an event in London the same exact day WITH Blackberry, so unless their releasing two different devices on the same day...it looks like the G2 talks were a little premature.
We'll keep our eyes peeled (and our fingers crossed!) for any news regarding Android but don't be saddened if you get a new Blackberry device instead of a G2. Yeah, either way, we're already preparing ourselves for the worst.
Do you guys still have hopes to see the G2 on April 21st?
We can all agree that T-Mobile is a pretty good carrier in terms of pricing and customer service, right? Well if you don't agree you've probably never paid Verizon's rates and never experienced AT&T's customer service! Anyways, there was a big hoopla about T-Mobile changing their rate plans and we've got a list of what will change:
We’re adding unlimited mobile to mobile on all single line plans at $49.99 and higher, at no additional cost.
New promotional myFaves plan for $89.99 that includes 1800 minutes, unlimited nights and weekends, unlimited mobile to mobile and my Faves.
Adding 500 additional minutes to the $99.99 and $129.99 FamilyTime Plans at no extra cost.
For the $119.99 and $149.99 myFaves for families plans, we are adding 500 minutes, and we are lowering their prices by $10.
Family Allowance change
The introductory period for Family Allowances is now ending, and we are now changing the price to $4.99 per month per account for new customers.
What do you guys think about the changes? Awesome? Meh? Wanted more? Tell us in the comments!
Do you have post-CTIA-syndrome? Feel like all the hot new smartphone news happened two weeks ago and not much has happened since? Wondering if you have the strength to make it through another day without a pithy overview of everything that happened in the smartphone world last week? Easter feast have you feeling too lazy to do anything but peruse enough smartphone news to fill out a short novella?
Fret not, our best of SPE news roundup has you covered. Get clicking!
Have you had a chance to check out Google's web app for Gmail and Calendar on your Android device lately? Google is touting it as "a new and improved experience when you access Gmail and Calendar through the browser" of your Android device. Improvements include things like the user interface to make messaging on the go even easier, along with a "Floaty Bar" that makes common actions, like archive and delete, just one click away.
The reasons given for using the web app model are good ones: Google can introduce new upgrades and iterations of the product far more quickly, not requiring a whole new download for you, the user, each time there is a change. This should also equate to more frequent improvements. Also, Google can much more efficiently share code across multiple platforms, like in the case of a 90%+ code share between Android and iPhone.
If you haven't tried it already, what are you waiting for? Watch the video above, then give it a go on your Android phone. Then, let us know what you think!
Oh boy! T-Mobile just sent out invitations for a private launch event in New York City on April 21st. Remember the last time we had a T-Mobile private launch event in New York City? Yep, that was the launch of the T-Mobile G1. What could this event be for? The T-Mobile G2 aka HTC Magic? Cupcake? It absolutely has to be Android related, right? Save the date, because it's going to be big.
Demonstrating that the old adage "beauty is only skin deep" is true, we've learned that the sleek, full touchscreen Huawei G7000 is running a propriety OS rather than Google's Android. This beauty is launching inside China and may never see the world outside of the Great Wall. Strikingly similar to a certain phone that sounds like "eye-fone", it's a shame that we won't see the little green 'droid bounding happily across it's full touchscreen. Huawei, if you're listening, feel free to consider an Android device. We just may wants it!
We've detailed the Lenovo Ophone before on Android Central and damn, if it ain't sexy. We've been drooling over the images of the Ophone since it was first leaked but now we get to see it in action, in hands-on video glory. We get a few run throughs of the UI which looks admittedly iPhone-esque. If it looks nothing like Android, don't be surprised, we think it's kind of the point. However, you'll surely recognize some of the Android apps. The cube metaphor for swiping screens is pretty nifty and we actually get to see some widgets be put to use. Overall, we're pretty impressed by this and hopefully we can see this type of innovation trickle down to future Android builds. If we could even remotely understand Chinese, we'd definitely be interested in using this! What do you guys think? [via modmygphone]
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