Headlines

6 years ago

Review: Android Market on the T-Mobile G1

12

Although in its infancy, I've had a chance to spend some time wandering up and down the aisles of the Android Market on my shiny new T-Mobile G1 (unlocked for use on AT&T, of course. Ahem). The shelves are a bit sparse when compared to the "big box" online stores that house bazillion apps for Windows Mobile and Palm, not to mention the ever-bloating App Store for iPhone. However, I'm encouraged that there ARE apps on the shelf, ready to download for FREE, and the availability of more apps and the entire process looks promising. Read on for a quick review!

Right off the bat, it's refreshing to have a new G1 phone, the new Android OS, and the Android Market already installed so I can browse the Market and pick up some free apps to try out on my device. I am excited for this open OS and look forward to what the development community can bring to this market (and Market) of new Android users!

Following is a short step-by-step walkthrough of using the Android Market and then some of my thoughts about it.

Using Android Market

When you first tap on the Android Market shopping bag icon on your G1, the main menu will pop up with Featured apps displayed across the top part of your screen. Below that is a scrollable list of categories: Applications (a quick look at all applications and by broader category), Games (by category), Search (pulls up a Search Android Market at the top of your screen), and My Downloads (lists all of the apps you have downloaded). At any time, you can press the "arrow" (return) hardware button on your G1 to return to the previous screen.

My immediate impression of accessing the Android Market is a good one. I like that I can jump straight into a list of Applications by category, or Search for what I want. It is rather obvious that the Android Market recognizes that enough users will want Games first and foremost that one of the few menu items on the main Market screen is, of course, Games. This is an interesting statement about the G1 and Android demographic.

When you select a specific category, like Games, you can then select a sub-category. Sub-categories under Games include All games, Arcade & Action, Brain & Puzzle, Cards & Casino, and Casual. I expect these category lists to grow as more games and, consequently, more genres are added. In this example, selecting All games pulls up a list of all game apps available with two tabs for filtering games "By popularity" or games "By date."

The Android Market "remembers" what you have already installed by placing "Installed" where the price would be. As of now, all apps are free until some future time that the Android Market is updated with purchasing capability from your G1.

Each application will have a one-to-five star designation where other users have downloaded, then rated it. Right out of the gate, I like that users are unable to rate an app unless they have downloaded it first. This, of course, is not a full-proof way of guaranteeing that an app isn't maliciously rated without being used first, but it's better than giving people the ability to rate an app they have never downloaded, much less tried.

When you revisit an app that you have previously downloaded, you have the new options of rating or uninstalling the app. When you uninstall an app, a "survey" screen pops up asking the reason you removed the app: "I don't use or want the application", "The application is defective or malicious", or "I don't want to say." This is a nice touch for quality control purposes. For example, if you select the second option for defective or malicious content, an additional window allows you to enter further information for reporting purposes. It's nice to see an effort by the Android Market to oversee quality and root out the bad apples.

When you select an app you are interested in, the next screen displays a brief description of the app, it's version and file size, and then an example of most recent comments from other users. If it looks like something you want, just tap "Install" and the app will download and install for use on your G1. A notification will appear in the upper left corner of your G1 to report the status of the download.

Hopefully in the future, Android Market will provide more information in this area, like screenshots of the app and even options to download demo versions once we are faced with the choice of buying an app or not.

Once you tap Install, the next screen informs you regarding the resources the app will require on your G1. The app you are downloading may have access and require internet service, GPS functions, personal information, and more. In essence, this is the "caveat emptor" (buyer beware) screen so you know what you are getting yourself into. Tapping "OK" indicates you agree and are walking into this transaction with your eyes wide open. Or, if the list of required resources is long and you have an uneasy feeling about it, just tap Cancel and the app will not be installed.

Like I mentioned before, the upper left corner of your G1 displays any notifications for your phone, and when in the Android Market, this area will display your downloads and the status of those downloads. To this day, I cannot download PAC-MAN, even though it's listed as FREE for a limited time. The download is always declined - perhaps you have encountered this as well?

Anyway, when this area fills up with notifications, it's easy to just tap "Clear Notifications" to refresh the screen and make room for more notifications. I like the drop-down screen so I can get the details if I want them, and then hide them by flicking my finger back up the screen.

All Applications is a look at everything in the Android Market. If you have some spare time on your hands and want to see everything in the store, by either popularity or by date (so you can see all the new stuff), then this is the way to go. Sometimes I don't have a particular category in mind, so I like being able to see it all and filter the content by popularity or "freshness."

Conclusion

The Android Market is new and compelling. It is evident that they have learned from where others have gone before and have made small, but noticeable, improvements to the app buying experience. The requirement of downloading material first before having access to review it, as well as being fully informed about the resources the app will require, are two big improvements in my opinion.

This is a work in progress and I am excited to see where it goes. I hope to see very soon the ability to download demos, view screenshots of the app before downloading, and the ability to purchase apps directly from my G1.

The interface is user-friendly and is a basic skeleton open for growth. Keep an eye on this one - the Android Market is already changing the game, raising the bar, and will push others to do the same.

Read more and comment

 
6 years ago

T-Mobile G1 Update Pulled Because of Security Flaw

1

We should have put two and two together, huh? First, there was a software update (RC28) that was supposed to update G1's OTA immediately after launch. Second, there was a security flaw found in Android that definitely needed to be fixed. And finally, a T-Mobile G1 update showed up but in RC29 form.

Apparently, Google was in the mix of updating the software for G1 users when they identified the security flaw in Android's browser. Instead of updating all users to RC28 and then fixing the flaw in another software patch they decided to pull the update and rebuild the update. Thus, RC29. It's been released to users around 4PM Pacific Time, October 27th.

Thanks for your concern Google, I probably wouldn't have liked updating two days in a row anyway. Now where's my update? Anyone get the RC29 (or RC28) update?

[Android Community]

Read more and comment

 
6 years ago

Scratch That: T-Mobile G1 Available at Wal-Mart TODAY

1

We previously reported that Wal-Mart was going to sell the T-Mobile G1 starting November 24th which was right in time for the holidays. According to CNN Money, we need to fast forward that date to...TODAY.

Yeah folks, a spokesperson for Wal-Mart confirmed it. The G1 will be available in 550 Wal-Mart Stores at the low, low price of $148.88. Go get yours and tell us about it!

[CNN Money]

Read more and comment

 
6 years ago

China Mobile & Lenovo Launching Android Device in China Early 2009

0

We at Android Central only knew of Lenovo as the maker of laptops and tablets. Admittedly, we're a fan of their PC work but we had no idea that they were big time makers of cell phones and smartphones in China. Until now.

China Mobile and Lenovo will team together to launch an Android Device for the Chinese Market in Early 2009. Spurning the likes of HTC, Motorola, Nokia etc. China Mobile chose Lenovo to capitalize on the skyrocketing demand for a G1 and/or Android device.

We're still a bit confused at choosing Lenovo though. What's wrong with the G1?

[Gizmodo]

Read more and comment

 
6 years ago

Motorola Cutting Jobs, Focusing On Android

1

We love Motorola here at Android Central, we really do. So it's sad for us to report that Motorola is planning to cut more jobs in an effort to cut costs and, well, make a buck in these tough economic times. According to sources who spoke to the WSJ, cuts are reportedly going to number in the thousands. Along with the job cuts, Motorola will "scrap dozens of phone designs" and focus on only a few projects.

Namely, Android.

We were half-kidding before that Motorola desperately needs Android to succeed and that their first Android device will be their last-ditch effort at survival. We're not kidding anymore. Whenever that Motorola Android phone comes out, it needs to be a hit or the Motorola we know and love will no longer be around. Make us proud Moto.

[WSJ via Engadget]

Read more and comment

 
6 years ago

Detroit Gets T-Mobile 3G!

1

TmoNews has got the news that T-Mobile has gifted Detroit with 3G! Slowly but surely the boys in Magenta will cover the entire nation (hopefully, before 4G/LTE/WiMax/or whatever is next is done) with 3G networks!

This is good news for those living in Detroit because that means you'll be able to walk into a store and grab a T-Mobile G1. We know next to nothing about Detroit (other than the Pistons, Tigers, and Lions) but we hope that 3G+G1 will make your day!

[TmoNews]

Read more and comment

 
6 years ago

G1 to sit next to iPhone at Walmart?

0

Don't these two look good together? Through an unconfirmed report via anonymous tipster to Chris Ziegler at engadget, the T-Mobile G1 may be coming to a Walmart near you. This isn't too surprising given that I've seen some of my most favorite and sought-after phones pop up in places like Best Buy and Super Target, but the intriguing part is the price.

According to the anonymous tip, Walmart will be selling the G1 at a significantly lower price point at a wonky $148.88 with a 2-year contract. Last time I checked, the best price you can get from T-Mobile is $179.99. When can you expect this discounted G1 at Walmart? Try November 24th, in plenty of time for Christmas. I wonder what T-Mobile salespeople in the corporate stores will think of this? What do YOU think?

(Thank you, James (cherryhead25), for the tip!)

Read more and comment

 
6 years ago

Android Market: Developer Registration Already Started

1

If you're a developer with a great idea, don't forget that the registration to get your app into Android Market has already started! Follow this link to get your app to millions of Android Users! And Android Users expect an onslaught of apps and games to come to the Market as soon as possible! We're already noticing the new stuff and can't wait to see what's next.

Be sure to check this space to see all the great apps that are coming our way!

Read more and comment

 
6 years ago

RC29 Update on T-Mobile G1

1

Huh. Color us confused. We had originally reported about an OTA update that would update the build of Android on your T-Mobile G1 to the build number of RC28. The original build was RC19. The one showing up to a few lucky folks who got the update early? RC29. 

What do all these build numbers mean? Probably a whole lot of nothing yet other than the basic bug fixes and stability issues. Other than that, we're probably saying goodbye to RC28 before we ever said hello. Nice to meet you RC29!

The update reportedly takes only about 5 minutes and requires a reboot of your G1.

[Engadget]

Read more and comment

 
6 years ago

T-Mobile G1 Pouring Into China

1

This is kind of interesting. China, notorious for their hands-on control over the Internet and such, is actually getting a lot of T-Mobile G1 units in all of its Android openness. The report says that the G1s are "pouring into China" since it was released in the US last week. The prices are hefty too, about $584 for the G1 and $73 to unlock it, I guess they really want some of that freedom.

[mocoNews via Engadget]

Read more and comment

 
6 years ago

Some Android Free Apps Aren't Really Free

2

Have you guys run into this problem yet? Gizmodo is reporting that certain apps in the Android Market are posing as free but actually pulling a bait and switch on you to get you to pay for the apps. How are they doing this? Well, they put up the app on the Market for free and after you download it, the app's sole purpose is to link you to their website where you can buy the actual app. Not free but for $9.99.

MobiHand is somewhere between an offender and a bystander for this little bit of purposeful miscommunication -- they didn't list the app in the Market, but hopefully they'll be able to keep such nefariousness from becoming commonplace on *their* store. You know, we at Android Central will pay for apps, we support the developer. And a lot of you developers definitely deserve it but seriously, don't need to pull a stunt like this to get money. How about you spend your time making a good app instead.

That'll get you money. And some self-respect.

[Gizmodo]

Read more and comment

 
6 years ago

Android Market Can Has Lolcat Builder

0

lolcat (via http://speaklolcat.com/):

GRAB UR G1, OPEN ANDROID MARKIT, AN DOWNLOAD TEH LOLCAT BUILDR BY DAVID BROWN. ONCE INSTALLD, U SIMPLY SELECT FOTO, ADD UR LOLCAT CAPSHUNS 2 TEH TOP OR BOTTOM (OR BOTH), AN DEN THARS CONVENIENT BUTN 2 BOTH SAVE AN DEN SHARE UR FOTO WIF TEH WURLD!

English:

Grab your G1, open Android Market, and download the Lolcat Builder by David Brown. Once installed, you simply select a photo, add your lolcat captions to the top or bottom (or both), and then there's a convenient button to both save and then share your photo with the world!

Read more and comment

 
6 years ago

Security Flaw Found in Android Browser

0

Well, that was fast wasn't it? Before we could even get our hands really dirty with the T-Mobile G1 and Android, a security flaw has already been found. A group of security researchers have found that after visiting a malicious website, malicious code and software can be installed onto your G1 which will track your keystrokes. This is obviously not good news for anyone who uses Mobile Banking or enters their Credit Card number, among other things.

Google is a little peeved at the whole situation, wishing that the research group would have kept the flaw quiet until they come up with a fix. But the truth is, with phones becoming more and more like their PC counterparts, we all need to be aware of the power of smartphones and thus the risk.

[New York Times via BGR]

Read more and comment

 
6 years ago

Sprint: Android Isn't Good Enough Yet

4

We at Android Central would think that if you're a carrier that is bleeding users, selling off bits and pieces in hopes of a major buyout, and just all around flailing around, that you would consider anything to help your company. Certainly you would consider the most buzzed about and anticipated phone platform in years. Without a doubt you'd take more than a passing glance at Android right? So why would Sprint CEO Dan Hesse say that Android isn't good enough in its current form to put the Sprint brand on, effectively passing on Android until some point in the future.

We've been using the T-Mobile G1 and Android extensively for the past weeks and you know what Sprint? It is good enough. It might even be better on a carrier with a better 3G network. It'll certainly be amazing on WiMAX. Go and save yourself Sprint by grabbing an Android device early so you can satisfy your customers and shareholders.

[Reuters via Gizmodo]

Read more and comment

 
6 years ago

T-Mobile G1 To Sell 600,000 Units By Year End

1

Curious to know how successful the T-Mobile G1 has been? We had previously mentioned a 1.5 million mark for the T-Mobile G1 that proved to be more guesstimate than anything. But this time the source is more solid since it's HTC CEO Peter Chou and the figure is at roughly 600,000 units by year end. Not quite 1.5 million but impressive nonetheless. To quote:

"It will be more than we originally planned. I'm saying we will ship more than 600,000."

 

It looks like Peter Chou and HTC are setting the 600,000 unit mark as the base for units sold. When the holiday season kicks in and people get more familiar with Android, we won't be surprised to see that number even higher.

[Android Guys]

Read more and comment

 
Show More Headlines

Pages