Just in time for the expected launch of a little phone from Google, T-Mobile today announced that it has upgraded its entire 3G network to full HSPA speeds. That's 7.2Mbps, for those of you playing at home. T-Mo also said it's testing HSPA+ (that's 21Mbps) in Philadelphia and hopes to have it up and running by the middle of 2010 elsewhere. [via Phonescoop]
Spring Design's Alex e-reader, which still isn't actually available (though we expect to see it this week at CES), has announce a deal that gives it access to Google's books library, gaining the use of more than 1 million items online or downloaded onto the reader.
With the Alex touch screen browser, users can access the Internet to search and read eBooks directly on Alex’s eReader’s 6” EPD (Electronic Paper Display) screen while browsing in full color on the Internet simultaneously. Users can click on hyperlinks within online books that lead to relevant web-based information or multimedia content found online to enrich their reading experience. EPUB digital books can be searched and downloaded using Google API applications provided by Alex’s eReader.
Very cool. We'll definitely be checking that out this week. [Presser]
Let's be honest here, texting through SMS and carriers is very convenient but it's nothing short of a complete rip off. What are they charging these days? A quarter per SMS?! That's why apps like textPlus, that offer free texting through an application, can get so popular. textPlus, which has enjoyed over 3.5 million downloads on the iPhone/iPod touch platform, has decided to jump over to Android and many of us won't have to pay the carriers another cent for SMS charges.
How textPlus works is it sends the recipient (presumably, a non textPlus user) a message that details it's from your username and gives instructions on how to reply back to you. If you're texting another textPlus user, we're sure the experience can get even more seamless. What's even cooler is that textPlus allows for group texting--up to 20 of your friends can respond to one another and everyone can see it (great for planning nights out). Think of it as an e-mail chain but for texts!
Your eyes aren't deceiving you. No, that's not a new Android phone but rather the Windows Mobile HTC Imagio running our favorite OS. A PPCGeeks forum user got Android 2.0.1 (take that non-Droid phones!) running on the Windows Mobile device and it's really for kicks and giggles than for any real functionality. The forum user, drellisdee says:
I've gotten android 2.01 to boot on Imagio based on the topaz work on xda. After changing the the startup config's I've got the touchscreen responding properly but the hardware keys arent mapped right. The latest kernel noted in post 602 on xda didnt boot but the original pkg did. PS vol down is for vol and backup key as its mapped currently and the bottom right onscreen button on the press the android to start will let you change the lang to english.
The CDMA Radio, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, and hardware buttons still need some work but hey, it's a start. Us Android users and Windows Mobile users can certainly live peacefully together.
But what we really want to see is that HD2 running Android..
If you're up either late at night or early in the morning (we never know which is it) in anticipation for tomorrow's Google Event for the Nexus One, there's a solid full review of the Nexus One over at Engadget for your reading pleasure. Surprisingly, unlike other pre-release reviews of the Nexus One, the Engadget guys aren't completely blown away by the device and are actually a little unsure if it's significantly better than the Droid. Here's the highlights:
the Nexus One is nothing if not handsome. From its ultra-thin body to sleek, curved edges, the phone is absolutely lustworthy.
we actually had some real trouble with those four dedicated buttons.
The phone is fast, assuredly, but not so much of a leap up from the Droid that we felt it kept pace with the boost we were expecting.
We found colors on the Nexus One, particularly in the reds and oranges, to be severely blown-out and oversaturated
Not only has Google bumped up the speed of the camera app, but the 5 megapixel lens and flash took sharp, detailed images with none of the HTC-related issues we've seen on other models.
Well the real story is that Android 2.1 is in no way dramatically different than the iteration of the OS which is currently running on the Motorola Droid (2.0.1). Of the notable changes, many are cosmetic
The whole review is worth the read, at least to hold you over until the official announcement! We still can't wait to get a hold of ours and we're sure you guys are in the same boat!
We're in full Google Nexus One bat-poop-crazy mode for the next 24 hours or so. And as such we can tell you that the official support page went live for a fleeting moment. And as quickly as it appeared, it vanished, leaving us what you see above. And don't be alarmed: We're still expecting the Nexus One to launch with Android 2.1, never mind the picture. Also of note is that the "Terms of Sale" page apparently confirmed the previous pricing numbers, though it, also, has disappeared. [via TmoNews] (Thanks, Jerry!)
Logitech, best known for its computer peripherals, apparently has some sort of Android-powered product in the pipeline, according to a recent job posting.
They're looking for "a super-star engineer with the ability to design and implement world-class Android applications that delight customers and provide break-through functionality. As part of the Digital Home Group, the applicant will be "defining a ground-breaking new product that will give users access to a broader range of media than ever before. The applications you develop will be where the magic happens, where powerful system capabilities become entertaining user experiences."
A survey of 4,068 people conducted Dec. 9-14 found that 21 percent of those planning to buy a smartphone in the next 90 days would prefer Android. That's 15 percentage points higher than in September -- the largest gain among the major smartphone operating systems. (RIM was the other winner, increasing 1 percentage point over September's survey.)
Other interesting facts:
13 percent said they'd prefer a Motorola Android phone, compared to 9 percent for an HTC phone. (In September, it was 5 percent for HTC versus 1 percent for Motorola. (Of course, that was before the Droid line was launched on Verizon.)
Apple, RIM and Palm all saw declines in likely future purchases.
Android was ranked second (72 percent) among customers who said there were "very satisfied" with their current cell phone. (iPhone 77 percent; BlackBerry 41 percent; Palm OS/webOS 33 percent; Windows Mobile 25 percent)
It can't be all sunshine and kittens head of Tuesday's expected Google Nexus One launch. ZDNet has published a list of how much extra those of you outside of the United States will have to pay for the Nexus One -- on top of the $530 unlocked price. All we can say is that if you're in Sweden, well, start saving up, as you're going to have to shell out an extra $218. If you're in Taiwan (home of HTC, which is manufacturing the Nexus One), it's a meager $70. Full list of who has to pay what is after the break. [ZDNet]
Forget the phones. One of our first stops at CES this week is going to have to be with Touch Revolution, whose NIM1000 drop-in module is bringing Android to microwave ovens, washer/dryers/refridgerators ... OK, "bringing" may be a bit much at this point. But being able to stream Pandora while grabbing a cold one, heating up a burrito and cleaning the stains from both? You just can't beat that. [Presser via Gizmodo]
Google wanted Spotify badly enough that they were willing to cover the label costs for every user of $3 – $4 per month. Spotify would add advertising on top of it, as they do with the free version in Europe, to make additional revenue. Without Google paying those label fees there was no way Spotify could handle the costs of the user flow that 2.1 would provide. Currently, European users must pay for Spotify Premium to use the mobile versions of the service.
Arrington later hedges his bets, saying he hasn't heard whether the deal actually was made, and that it "has likely gone cold." At which point the word "linkbait" starts floating through our un-caffeinated minds. But even if we don't see Spotify launch in the U.S. this week, we could well see it in the coming future. And that'll have to be good enough for now.
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