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5 years ago

Review: Freedom Mobile Power for T-Mobile G1

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It’s no secret that the T-Mobile G1’s battery is one of the weakest aspects of the phone. Quite simply the 1150 mAh battery is not enough. It’s downright anemic by today’s standards and when you put into consideration the drain that 3G, Wi-Fi, and GPS add, you’ll be at 50% battery by midday. This isn’t an issue if you’re near an electrical outlet, but what if you’re not, what to do then? We’re going to be taking a look at battery solutions in the next few weeks here at Android Central to find the ideal solution. We first start off with the Freedom Mobile Power for T-Mobile G1 ($49.95). It’s a compact solution that allows for charging your G1 wherever you go, so how does it perform? Read on for the rest of the review!

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5 years ago

Vodafone HTC Magic Launching In The UK In April

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Vodafone UK's website is confirming that the HTC Magic will be available to UK customers beginning in April 2009. There aren't any specifics yet, no firm launch date, no pricing announced or phone plan specified but it looks like the Second Android Device will almost certainly be the HTC Magic. Now onto guessing about the Third Android Device...

[via slashgear]

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5 years ago

Black HTC Magic Spotted In The Wild

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If you've been wondering what the HTC Magic looks like in black, take a look at the picture up top. It definitely looks much glossier than the matte finish on the G1 and certainly a lot more luxurious. Personally, we still like the white version that was shown off at MWC better because it looked so dang clean and pristine. This black is a pretty good alternative though, sleek and modern.

This black version of the HTC Magic is still the pre-production unit that was shown off at MWC, which means it doesn't have the updated button layout. Wonder when we'll see the official version...

There's more pictures after the jump!

[mobilecowboys via engadget]

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5 years ago

Evernote Mobile Site Optimized for Android

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Evernote is a service that enables you to capture information, no matter where you are, what you are doing, and whether you have a smartphone or computer. Use software, browser plug-ins, and even your phone's camera, for creating and sharing notes or photos with others and as reminders for yourself.

Not only is Evernote a great service for capturing your information, but it's even better with a mobile site that's been recently optimized for Android phones. This Android optimization makes it easier for G1 users to create, search, read, and share notes and photos.

If an Android-optimized mobile site isn't enough, Evernote is planning on releasing an Android app in the future. Rolling with the green 'droid just gets better and better!

[androinica]

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5 years ago

HTC Doubles Workforce, Focusing on Android Phones?

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HTC, maker of the G1 and the upcoming Magic, is currently the only "real" player in the Android game. No other bigwig company has officially announced anything so it should be no surprise to us that HTC is quite smitten with our Android.

How smitten? Well, even in our current economic state, reports show that HTC has increased their workforce by 46% and it wouldn't be a far off guess that most of the new workforce will revolve around Android.

Even more so, an analyst speculates that HTC will release FIVE new Android phones this year. We're definitely crossing our fingers for that to come true! What do you guys think? Will HTC become the most important Android phone maker? Or is it already?

[via androinica]

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5 years ago

Android Mobile Browser Share Fourth Overall

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Our sister site the iPhone Blog dug up a great graph that charts the usage of mobile web browsers. Unsurprisingly, they bragged about their iPhone dominating the market but it's interesting to note that Android is coming up fairly quickly considering it only released in October of last year and is on the smallest carrier in the United States.

It'll soon outpace Windows Mobile and we wouldn't be too surprised if it took a solid 2nd place in the near future. The Android web browser is effective at rendering pages and also easy to use, there's no question it's one of the better mobile browsers on the market. As Android grows, so will its browser marketshare.

What do you guys think?

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5 years ago

Orange Bringing HTC Dream to France This Week?

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Engadget Mobile reports that Orange is going to be bringing the HTC Dream (facelift and all) to France on March 5th. Supposedly, it's going to cost 99 euros (~$124) after rebate on a 2-year contract with Orange's Origami Star Plus package (42 euros, ~$53) which includes unlimited data, unlimited text, and 50 hours of Orange Wi-Fi access spots.

Do we have anybody in France excited about this offer? Or does everyone just want the HTC Magic now?

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5 years ago

T-Mobile Loyalty Unlimited Plan Goes National

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Remember those unlimited voice plans from T-Mobile? Well, they're real. $49.99/month for unlimited voice on a single line and $89.99/month on a two-line family plan. The add-on's are pretty sweet too with $24.99 unlimited data and $9.99 unlimited messaging, all in all it seems like a very good deal for those interested in unlimited plans.

The fine print says that you have to be a T-Mobile customer for 22+ months in order to qualify and have a reliable payment history. Who knows what reliable means. Did anyone get this yet? Is anyone going to? Let us know!

[via tmonews]

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5 years ago

New T-Mobile G1 Commercial Leaves Steve Speechless

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We've seen this new T-Mobile G1 commercial on TV lately but it just recently popped up on T-Mobile's youtube channel for everyone's viewing pleasure. While the first G1 commercial focused on what the G1 can do, this spot sheds light on all the positive reviews that the G1 has been receiving. You get quotables from all the bigwigs like PC World, Gizmodo, GQ, the LA Times and Time.com effusing praise for the G1.

What's most interesting and hilarious is the subtle jab at a particular Steve who is speechless about the G1. His quote in the commercial:

"                   "  -Steve

Is this Steve Jobs? Steve Ballmer? Perhaps both!? Let us know who you think 'Steve' is.

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5 years ago

Running Windows and Android Simultaneously with VMWare

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Although this is a video of a Nokia N800, which isn't even a smartphone, VMWare's MVP hypervisor virtual machine is enabling it to run both Windows and Android simultaneously. The virtual machine runs in the background of the native OS and allows a user to install different OSes as applications, then run them at the same time, if desired.

According to VMWare, the MVP is headed for smartphones sometime in the near future. The challenge they may face is the fact that they must partner with smartphone manufacturers and persuade them to install hypervisor on their handsets in order for MVP to work. It's difficult to imagine handset manufacturers wanting to open their device to multiple OSes, but then again, it could expand market appeal without adding much cost, if any. Would you want a handset enabled to run several OSes?

[i.gizmodo]

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5 years ago

German G1 Users Getting RC9 Update, Very Similar To RC33

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According to modmyGphone, we have news that German G1 Users are receiving the RC9 Firmware Update which is supposedly very similar to our RC33 Update. The UK still seems to be left out but it's in its testing phase and should roll out soon.

Again, if you're sick and tired of waiting for RC33 to come be sure to check out our great how-to article on how to update HERE. The RC9 package can be found here.

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5 years ago

Plain Ol' LG KS360 is LG's First Android Phone ?

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Here at Android Central we lament the fact that there are no Android Devices other than the G1. The original promise of hundreds of different Android Devices has yet to be realized and well, it's very disappointing to say the least. But is this LG offering any better?

LG recently announced that they're going to be releasing 3 Android Devices in 2009 and one of them, we're already familiar with: the LG KS360. More or less, the LG KS360 is simply just a text-messaging feature phone at best. Sure it has a sliding QWERTY keyboard, microSD slot, and 2 megapixel camera but it's lacking 3G, Wi-Fi and GPS. We thought the bare minimum for Android was higher than that.

So is this the road that Android might take? Will we see multiple tiers of phone models? Going form basic featurephones to higher end smartphones? Won't this confuse the Android user? A phone with no GPS and Wi-Fi can hardly take advantage of the Google's location based services. Or could we see the same body and form factor with different hardware specs?

[via Androinica]

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5 years ago

Around SPE for 1 March, 2009

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In a sense, it was a calm after the Mobile World Congress storm this week, but we got together and recorded a massive hour-and-a-half-long Smartphone Experts Roundtable Podcast to discuss all the news from Windows Mobile 6.5 to the Ovi app Store to Apple's "absent presence" at the show.

If you didn't realize, SPE has four podcasts for your listening pleasure: the CrackBerry.com Podcast, the Phone Different Podcast (with the occasional iPhone LIVE! show), the PalmCast on both TreoCentral and PreCentral.net, and finally the WMExperts Podcast. The bold and daring may even want to try the (still in Beta, since it's based on the somewhat unreliable Yahoo Pipes feature) Smartphone Experts Combined Podcast Feed, which puts all four podcasts into a single feed -- also available in iTunes, if that's how you roll.

Now for the roundup of the week's news!


Android Central

On the Android side of things, we have a lively discussion going on about whether or not Android's open source attitude is actually resulting in open results, given that Paid apps aren't showing up on Unlocked G1s, that outlook isn't as rosy as we'd like -- even Symbian is talking trash on the subject! Meanwhile we're watching to see if and when Android will show up on AT&T. We're also eyeing two potential new handsets from Yuhua and General Mobile

CrackBerry.com

CrackBerry's Birthday festivities overshadowed the news this week and if you hurry you might be able to get in on some contests. Most contest draws end tonight (Sunday night) at Midnight PST. You can click here for the full list of CrackBerry contests (including a new BlackBerry Curve 8900 custom painted by ColorWare!). As for actual BlackBerry news, there is excitement over the CDMA version of the Bold thanks to new details emerging and Mac + BlackBerry users have a new media syncing with doubleTwist!

Nokia Experts

The economic situation is impacting just about everyone Nokia is trying out some unique programs to try to reduce costs. OPK also made a single comment this week that has many jumping to the conclusion that Nokia will be entering the laptop business, but I think it is too early to really stated that. Unfortunately, Nokia had a difficult week with the very confusing 5800 XpressMusic launch here in the U.S. and needs to get their act together if they really want to increase sales here. Our Nokia Experts Launch Contest is now over and we'll be picking the winners soon.

PreCentral.net

While we're doing our level best not to be too jealous of the Celebrities getting the Palm Pre, the biggest news of the week has come in terms of webOS development. There were quite a few details to be gleaned from the developer web presentation, leaving us both hot and cold on the widget platform. Yes, we're still trying to pin down a Pre release date, right now the feeling on the web is that later is more likely than sooner.

The iPhone Blog

Previously, on TiPb: Apple gave MobileMe a facelift just in time for the new Safari 4 beta. Meanwhile, the App Store cleaned out non-customer reviews, banished Emoji-enablers, and just said "No!" to Howard Stern and the Sirius/XM radio iPhone app.

Microsoft talked iPhone. AT&T talked iPhone (and slapped a customer with a $28K bill!). And Apple? They didn't say much at their annual shareholders meeting. But they did sing Happy Birthday to Steve Jobs on his 54th!

TreoCentral

At TreoCentral we heard that for the 2nd time in 2009, Deutsche Bank analyst Jonathan Goldberg raised his rating on PALM, this time bumping it us to a Buy.  There was an interesting Smartphone Experts Roundtable Podcast in which the editors discussed Mobile World Congress 2009.  Plus, we heard that the CDMA Treo Pro has been officially released on Bell Canada, while Sprint customers here in the states are still waiting for the smartphone. A post in the forums does give a bit of hope for a 3/15 release though.

WMExperts

So much for a post-Mobile World Congress hangover. WMExperts learned with great relief that the HTC Touch Pro 2 is destined for North America. And speaking of HTC, we saw updates to the orginial Touch Pro as well as the Touch Diamond. Both also are scheduled for release in Europe through T-Mobile.

The Sprint Treo Pro is on pre-sale at Best Buy.The Celio REDFLY finally is playing nice with Opera 9.5. Speaking of browsers, Mozilla's "Fennec" browser will sync tabs from your desktop and will be known simply as "Firefox," and we got in deep with the Iris browser.

And, finally, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer laid out plans for the company at his Strategic Update Meeting, where he talked about Windows Mobile, and again mentioned that WM7 will come out in 2010.

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5 years ago

Review: Mobi Products Skin Case for G1

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Cases for our beloved smartphones are a way to personalize our mass-produced device, and there are a variety of them available. Slider phones, like the T-Mobile G1, present a challenge to case-makers to make a case that protects the phone but still provides unfettered functionality of the slide-out keyboard. Mobi Products Skin Case for the T-Mobile G1, available here in the Android Central Store for $14.95, is a Silicone "skin" case that can help you personalize your G1 while protecting it at the same time. It accommodates the G1's slide-out keyboard and is available in four colors: black, blue, red and pink. I selected the black case for this review and you can see what I think of this case after the break!

Case Design

The are four reasons I can think of to use a skin case for your smartphone: 1) protect your phone from bumps and scratches; 2) add as little bulk to the phone as possible while still protecting it; 3) more grip in your hand and when resting on other surfaces; and 4) add some color and style to your phone. Given that the G1 has a slide-out keyboard, Mobi Products has taken on the challenge to design a thin Silicone case that still allows the slider to slide.

The Mobi Skin case is made of thin Silicone with an anti-dust coating. There are cutouts for access to the trackball on the front, the charging/syncing port on the bottom, the mic, the camera lens and speaker on the back, and the screen and slide-out keyboard are fully accessible.

There is also a cutaway for access to the memory card door, a compromise that provides much easier access to the memory card slot but, in my opinion, compromises the fit of the case in a slightly irritating way. By leaving a gap for the memory card door, the flap of Silicone covering the bottom of the G1 peels back too easily for my liking. I would have preferred a complete covering on the left, over the door, identical to the right side. This would be better for me because I don't ever access the memory card - I just slap a high-capacity card in and forget about it. Others who may swap cards all the time will likely not be bothered by this cutout. The pictures I have included give the case a silvery look due to camera flash, but in fact the case is very black.

Instead of cutouts for the buttons and volume rocker, Mobi has designed generously-raised surfaces to easily press the buttons and adjust the volume. I think they did a great job with this and is one thing I really like about the case.

The way Mobi handled the slide-out keyboard is creative. In order to secure the case to the top of the phone and still allow unfettered sliding, Mobi implemented a very thin band of material that still fits under the sliding mechanism.

Usability

The Mobi Skin case for G1 has a soft satin feel, likely due the the anti-dust component applied to the case. It still has a grippy feel in the hand, making it easier to keep hold of your G1 and help prevent accidental drops. The material of the case is thin and flexible, adding minimal bulk to your smartphone. The case must be applied a bit carefully and delicately on the top of the phone where the thin strap of material is positioned under the sliding screen. 

Using my G1 is easy with the Mobi case on. The raised buttons are excellent and the trackball functions flawlessly. I was concerned that the case might shift around a little bit when working the slider, but if used normally, the slider does not affect the case at all.  Again, my only gripe is the less-secured flap of material at the bottom left where the material is cut away to give access to the memory card door. If this cutout was eliminated, I could give this case the highest marks.

Conclusion

Given the design of the G1, it's a challenge to create a case that protects and allows full functionality, and I think Mobi did a nice job here with a case that accommodates full function of the slider while still offering the G1 some protection, grippiness, and accessibility to all buttons and trackball. For the price, it's a very good case for your G1 and with four color options you can add some pizazz.

Pros

  • Full access to buttons, trackball, camera and slider
  • Adds grippiness, yet still a soft touch
  • Anti-dust coating
  • Four different colors

Cons

  • Cutaway for memory card door compromises secure fit on bottom

Android Central Rating: 4/5

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5 years ago

Yuhua Announces Xphone-SDK Android

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It was only in late January that we got a look at General Mobile's DSTL1 Android phone, and it was also displayed at the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Android users are anxious for more Android hardware, and Yuhua, a Chinese company also behind the DSTL1, says they are ready to deliver.

Their new Android phone that is ready for manufacture is the Xphone-SDK and it sports a 3-inch Sharp touchscreen, tri-band GPRS/EDGE radio, and a 3MP camera. Here are the specs:

  • Processor — Marvell PXA-310 624Mhz
  • Memory — 128MB SDRAM; 256MB internal ROM
  • Flash — MicroSD card slot for up to 16GB external
  • Cellular — 900/1800/1900MHz GPRS/EDGE
  • Display — 3-inch TFT WQVGA (240 x 400)
  • WiFi — 802.11b/g
  • Bluetooth — Bluetooth 2.0
  • Camera — 3Mpix camera (no flash)
  • Video playback — H.264, streaming, 3GPP, MPEG4, Codec 3GP
  • Audio playback — G-streamer based engine supports major codec media files, including MP3, AAC, AAC+, WMA, MPEG4, WAV, MIDI
  • Image support — JPG, BMP, PNG, GIF
  • Web and messaging — HTTP, WAP Push, xHTML, SMS, MMS
  • Other features — Data kits for USB/JTAG connectivity
  • Battery — 1000mAh
  • Operating system — Android (Linux/Java)
It looks sleek, sexy, and will run Android. Give it to us now, please!

[phandroid via LinuxDevices, AndroidAuthority]

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