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]
Close your eyes for a second and imagine the next T-Mobile Android device. Imagine the sexy code name Sapphire or the alluring Vodafone release of Magic, now think of a name that would fit such a device. What did you come up with?
Hopefully it's not myTouch 3G with Google, Genius 3G with Google or Prism 3G with Google because well, quite frankly, those names are terrible. Where did we find those names? Well, T-Mobile is reportedly doing some market testing on what to name the next Android device and that is what they came up with. We wish we were kidding.
Why can't they just stick with G2 or call it the Magic? Why call it a 3G device when similar named devices (iPhone 3G) came out a year ago? Hopefully this is just regular procedure because if they ruin the Sapphire/Magic with branding like that, it'd be like fumbling a guaranteed touchdown.
We've previously reported on Sony Ericsson's Android plans which were to expect a high-end device to launch the Sony Ericsson Android party in 2009 and other, more affordable devices to follow suit. So a mysterious Sony Ericsson device dubbed the CS8 has popped up in T-Mobile's tentative release plans (via tmonews) and the dots are slowly connecting...could this be the high-end Sony Ericsson Android device!?
Leap with us here, the Sony Ericsson CS8 is to be released on June 24, 2009. The 8 in CS8 is being speculated as an 8 megapixel camera--which definitely qualifies as a "high-end" feature. With no other Sony Ericsson device making any news, perhaps this is what will run Android?
We know it's pure hearsay and rumors at this point but after going through MWC and CTIA with little Android news, we're willing to grasp at straws. Let's hope that the CS8 is an Android device and that it will be released by June!
Eek. The recession (or is it depression?) spares no one huh? Not even one of the biggest and most relevant smartphone makers today can avoid the wrath of a weak economy. HTC just reported their first quarter earnings which revealed that their profits have fallen 30% year-over-year.
Still, HTC managed to beat analyst estimates and put the blame on missed product shipping deadlines. Could the delayed product be the HTC Magic?
The NBA and T-Mobile share a great relationship and it looks like that goodwill extends over to Android! The NBA has just released an official application to keep track of scores, standings, schedules, and so forth for all your NBA basketball needs.
After taking 'Game Time' for a quick spin, we can tell you that it's a great looking app that gives you the box score for any game you would want. What we would LOVE to see is some video (or even audio) integration much like the iPhone's MLB app. Sure, 'Game Time' is free and MLB At Bat costs money, but if it's a full-featured app, I'd love to pay.
What is odd is the timing of the release. The NBA regular season started back in October and is a week or so from ending. Sure we have the playoffs to keep us busy but I would have loved to use this app throughout the entire season!
TmoNews got their hands on the jackpot, a purported list of T-Mobile 3G locations for 2009. We've documented T-Mobile's 3G rollout in the past but this list shows the roadmap of the future. Soon, T-Mobile 3G will blanket the country (just in time for 4G, d'oh!).
Taking a quick glance at the list we can see a lot of Texas and Arizona cities will be getting the good 'ol 3G. Are any of your guys' city still missing? Let us know in the comments!
Amico is a Taiwanese firm that was sporting their new Android handset at CTIA this week, and it looks like a pretty decent phone with some good specs. Although it's been whisked back to the workbench for a 3G upgrade, it has a fairly decent list of goodies: 3 megapixel camera, 624 MHz Marvell core, microSD slot, and a 3-inch resistive WQVGA display. A capacitive screen would be nicer, but if the price is right, then maybe this can be forgiven.
On a quirky note, this Amico Android handset is labeled "BRAVA" - coincidentally not far removed from Sony's BRAVIA - in what seems to be a shameless attempt to falsely affiliate with Sony's big name. That's unfortunate and Amico should consider changing this before it goes to market. Why not give us the Amico "Atomizer" or some such colorful, unique name? Let's wait and see what happens when it's all said and done, and in the meantime, check out a video of the "BRAVA" here.
The NYT is reporting that T-Mobile has plans to make a Tablet-styled Device AND a home phone for next year (2010) and that both of those devices will run Android. Wow. We're not getting more Android phones, we're getting more Android devices.
The Home Phone is supposed to come with a docking station to handle syncing and re-charging purposes with a release earlier than the tablet device. The tablet device is shrouded in mystery but you can expect a 7-inch, laptop looking device that'll handle the basic computing tasks.
We're not really sure if these two Android-powered fill a niche or create a niche or whatever, we're just intrigued by the possibility of Android in the home. The Home Phone is of particular interest to us because it's a relatively new market that may just be unnecessary. Why pay a monthly subscription for a device that's similarly powered to our smartphone but infinitely less mobile?
Is anyone interested in these two future Android powered T-Mobile devices?
According to T-Mobile USA, G1 Android users downloaded an average of at least 40 applications for their phones while iPhone users averaged about 37 apps. There is no data as to retention of apps - G1 users may have downloaded their 40 apps, only to keep half that number, while iPhone users may retain more on their device, and vice versa.
What we DO know, however, is that the Android Market is alive and well with G1 users digging into plenty of the apps offered there. Further data suggests that 80% of G1 owners download an Android application at least once per week.
Whether it's Google's Android Market or Apple's iTunes App Store, the model for offering apps from third-party developers in one convenient, easy-to-use location seems to be successful. What has your experience been like using the Android Market?
In the same article where Samsung revealed their plans for Android, they dropped a very interesting nugget regarding the status of Android. Samsung gave a clear distinction between the Android OS and "Google Experience" devices, lining themselves more with Android than with Google.
[Samsung] drew a distinction between devices built on the Android platform and "Google Experience" devices, which not only use Android but are also Google-centric, packed with the search giant's own applications. "Our commitment is more to the Android phone than the Google Experience device,".
This whole time, we've been lumping Android and Google together, believing that they were one and the same. Android was Google and Google was Android, the lines were blurred, there was no difference. Could we have been wrong?
Read on to see what Android Central thinks the phone industry thinks about Android and Google!
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