You could make an argument that the two biggest technology stories of 2008 was Android and netbooks. Android is a potential game-changer in both the wireless world and the mobile industry as a whole. Netbooks are an increasingly popular option for those who simply need the bare basics for their computing. So what could the biggest story of 2009 be? Perhaps, Android-Powered Netbooks? Netbooks running Android? We think so!
HP is reportedly looking into Android as the potential OS for its netbook line and honestly, it can make sense. Windows is currently too beefy for the netbook spectrum and Android is free, open-source, and extremely versatile. HP definitely should take a long and serious look into seeing if it is practical for a netbook to run Android because the potential is off the charts.
If this happens, and it still is a big if, Android is certainly going to be bigger than even we anticipated. HP is one of the biggest computer manufacturers in the US and having Android on their netbooks would put Android at the forefront of the revolution. Android in computers? Cool! Android in everyday life? Even better.
What do you guys think? Do you think Android would make a good OS for netbooks?
Yup. Just like Mobile World Congress 2009, Android Central will be reporting live and on location from CTIA Wireless 2009. The show is typically one of the biggest mobile/smartphone/wireless events of the year so hopefully we can get some Android related announcements and heaven forbid, actual Android devices.
We had already speculated that the HTC Magic aka T-Mobile G2 will show up at CTIA but other than that prediction, we don't have much else to base on. So we'll go with our gut and expect 4 Android Devices to be showcased and a few others to be simply announced. Let's go with one from Motorola, one from Samsung, and 2 from HTC (fingers crossed).
Android can't possibly make it two quite tradeshows in a row can they? What do you guys think will happen for Android at CTIA 2009?
"Google enters into distribution agreements with device manufacturers and Authorized Carriers to place the Market software client application for the Market on Devices. These distribution agreements may require the involuntary removal of Products in violation of the Device manufacturer’s or Authorized Carrier’s terms of service."
"Your Data Plan is intended for Web browsing, messaging, and similar activities on your device and not on any other equipment. Unless explicitly permitted by your Data Plan, other uses, including for example, tethering your device to a personal computer or other hardware, are not permitted."
Hm. This isn't particularly good news for anyone hoping that Android will be different and allow for more freedom, I guess that "open" platform concept might be put to the test. The developer goes on to wonder aloud if Android Market will always follow T-Mobile's Terms of Service and thus have the world's Android users feel the wrath of an American Carrier (albeit the friendliest American Carrier).
We don't know what this exactly means for Android and Android Market but we would love to hear an official statement from Google. Hopefully, they can let us know what happened here.
We had originally reported back in February that the mysterious Huawei Android Device would launch in Q3 2009. Well, reports are again popping up that Huawei is planning to launch their device on T-Mobile in that same time frame.
No details are confirmed, we're still not sure what cell phone maker is going to adopt the Huawei device as their own but it looks like this mysterious iPhone-like device will be coming to Android. And you can expect a 5 megapixel camera, 3.5mm headphone jack, cupcake, and wifi along with it.
We're still loving the design of the phone but a little confused at how well it would work with the Android OS. At least Q3 2009 seems to be shaping up for some exciting times!
These pictures all but confirm that the HTC Magic will be releasing on T-Mobile (apparently Android's favorite carrier) because the T-Mobile logo is smack on top. So we can safely assume that the HTC Magic will have T-Mobile's 1700 MHz band of 3G along with the 2100 MHz Euro flavor. There are reports buzzing that the camera has been bumped up to 5 megapixels and that it'll support UMA. Very interesting.
Archos has made it no secret that it planned to release an Android-Powered Tablet Device in the past. And though we're not particularly sure the exact target market for this type of device, it sure sounds drool-worthy. Ultra-thin, plays high-def video on its high-resolution 5-inch touchscreen, DivX playback, full screen Adobe Flash, and so much more.
There isn't a firm release date on this puppy but the start of Q3 2009 can be expected. We're excited to see if Android can prove its versatility in porting to non-phone devices. If it is going to be a tablet device, then so be it.
As much as we love Android Market, we know it has some weaknesses. The categories could be a bit more specific, the reviews could still be better, and well, the search feature needs to be more exact. Luckily, the Android Team is hard at work and listening to user complaints.
In an Android Discussion Group, Google's Dan Morrill are looking to improve Android Market by adding some cool features:
Separate category for themes
Adding more sorting options
Creating a desktop/web version of Android Market
Though these features are simply some ideas being tossed around by the Android Team, it is good to know that Google is keeping an ear on the community. Android Market is a great way to deliver applications to users but it definitely needs to get better. Of the listed ideas, we would absolutely LOVE to use a web version of Android Market--browsing apps would be so much easier.
What do you guys think? How would you improve Android Market?
You'll want to stay tuned to the Smartphone Experts family of sites next week - we'll be live at the CTIA Wireless convention, bringing you all the latest from every manufacturer on all of our sites. Will Android finally have its coming out party? Will Palm finally tell us when the Pre is being released? Will the AT&T Nokia E71 ever get official? Whatever happens, we'll give you the scoop.
Score one for the Android user, kind of. BSQUARE has announced that they'll be porting Flash over to Android for a "global tier-1 carrier". Their words, not ours. We're going to go out on a limb there and predict that the "global tier-1 carrier" is T-Mobile. Shocking, we know.
One of the more popular apps for Android (and a personal favorite), Shop Savvy, just got a pretty nice update. If you're unfamiliar with Shop Savvy, it's a barcode scanning application that'll find you the best deals on any scannable product online or in-store. We love it because it uses features that are unique to Android and the G1 and plus, it's a great conversation starter.
Now ShopSavvy gets even better. Not only can it find your item, it can actually detail inventory at said locations. So you'll always know if the deal you find through ShopSavvy is actually available. Pretty sweet if you ask us.
It looks like China Unicom may have scored a coup against bigger rival China Mobile. They just might be the carrier in China that will launch the HTC Dream (T-Mobile G1) and the iPhone. Take that China Mobile!
There isn't an official confirmation but China Unicom has posted specs of the G1 and listed it as a supported handset. Getting on a Chinese carrier is almost guaranteeing Android a large slice of the worldwide mobile handset marketshare. What with billions of potential customers at their bidding, millions of new Android users aren't out of the question.
We'll wait for word confirming the G1 to China Unicom but it's looking pretty good.
Orange France is reportedly lining up to deliver 6 Android Phones in 2009. Yeah, we're stunned too. SIX! One of the six is already on Orange: the HTC Dream (aka T-Mobile G1). Another of the devices we already know about: the HTC Hero which was leaked with the rest of HTC's 2009 product line. To us, the Hero looks like the true successor to the Dream with the same form factor and lovely chin.
But what's truly crazy is that the rest of the Android devices will be coming from the other bigwigs: Motorola, Samsung, LG, and Sony Ericsson. So one device from each of these (currently silent) companies may 'easily' bring the Android Device count to 6.
Orange also confirmed that the Cupcake update will arrive in late April with another major update arriving in May.
Though we'd love for this to happen, we just don't see it in the cards. Maybe that's our cynicism speaking since we still only have ONE Android Device but six in one year seems just a bit outrageous. What do you guys think?
We love it when an application fills a need that only becomes glaringly obvious when said application is released. T-Mobile announced the 'My Account' application for Android that'll allow you to access all the details of your account, your current usage, remaining minutes and texts, online payment capabilities, support, among other features.
It makes so much sense being able to access your account right on your handheld. The information is cleaner, the options are easier, and it's a win for everybody involved. Instead of digging through the carrier website, you can now gain access directly from your G1. We wouldn't be surprised to see other carriers adopt this type of application.
Amazingly (or predictably?), Android has already made its mark on the mobile market. In only a few months time, Android has managed to build up 5% of the US smartphone web traffic.
This could be viewed as surprising to some because the T-Mobile G1 is still relatively new to the game and that it's locked onto the smallest carrier in the United States. On the flip side, it could be an obvious conclusion because the web browsing experience on the Android is better than any other mobile device (only the iPhone could argue).
So does this chart tell us that Android is wildly popular or that the Android browser, though new, is just that good? We're going to lean toward the latter because we still don't think Android has really taken off yet. Let's see this data in a year after more Android devices release and tell us what the pie chart marketshare looks like then. We expect an even bigger, more impressive slice.
If you've been searching for an IM application on Android that fits all your needs, Palringo may have just delivered the goods. Palringo was just announced to Android Market for the low cost of FREE. If you're not familiar with Palringo, (TiPb did a review of the iPhone version a while back) it's a fairly popular mobile IM application that supports AIM, Google Talk, MSN, Yahoo, Facebook, and other messaging platforms.
What makes Palringo even better is its versatility. Not only can you IM with your buddies but you can also send pictures and share your location. From our experience with Palringo with the iPhone we expect a great application. We'll be back soon with our full thoughts on Palringo on Android!
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