Our Editor-in-Chief Dieter Bohn is at MWC in Barcelona, Spain gathering all the news he can about new devices, applications, and basically the state of the mobile industry. He's been doing a wonderful job for our sister site WMExperts but where's the love for Android? We had expected a HUGE Android turnout at the show but at the moment, the biggest news coming out of MWC is the complete lack of Android Devices--Android is just no where to be found.
We're quite obviously disappointed because as great as we think the T-Mobile G1 is, the appeal of Android is in its potential--not its current performance. We knew that the bigwigs like Samsung and Motorola weren't ready to showcase their devices but we expected a heck of a lot more from other companies that could definitely use some of the press. HTC announced all Windows Mobile devices. Nokia is sticking with Symbian. Huawei is just showing off a non-working prototype. And honestly, we're starting to worry.
Talking to our main man Dieter, he tells us there just isn't any Android news to report on. After a solid launch of the T-Mobile G1, Android could have gained a ton of momentum with official announcements of upcoming devices. Sadly, the opposite happened. We got nothing. When we were at CES, there was no Android Smartphones announced. And now at Mobile World Congress, one of the bigger shows of the year, it looks like we might walk down that same path again...nothing.
We're going to keep our fingers crossed and hope that some Android-related news will pop up at MWC but if not, we'll continue to dig at the absence of Android. Stay tuned!
Even though the month is only half over, Google is pouring it on with giving us even more "wow" and pizazz. Now you can view, edit, filter, and sort spreadsheets via List View on your G1! According to Google's Blog:
Today, I’m happy to announce that we’ve made mobile access even better by adding new capabilities with List View for spreadsheets. You can quickly view, edit, sort, and filter your spreadsheets on a variety of mobile devices including Android-powered devices like the T-Mobile G1, the iPhone and iPod touch, and the Nokia S60.
Our sister site, The iPhone blog, lists all the other goodness that Google has bestowed on us this month, and with a couple more weeks in February to go, is there still more to come? What else would you like to be able to do with your G1?
Just a few days ago, we posted right here that the Samsung Android phone was delayed and would not make an appearance at MWC 2009. According to Samsung, we (along with just about every other blogger in the Intertube universe) only got this one HALF right. According to Kim Titus of Samsung: "Somebody decided that we had said we were going to show Android here and then said we weren't. We never said we were going to show Android, and we were never planning to. There's no delay, and we're on track to launch later this year as expected," he said.
I'm glad that's all cleared up. Samsung never intended the delay to show an Android phone at MWC - I mean, that would be CRAZY talk to feature a new phone, new platform at the Mobile World Congress, right? So the question is, will we then see an Android OS Samsung handset sometime this year?
Looking back at the 2009 lineup from HTC, it looks like this could very well be the Vodafone edition of the Sapphire/G2. The button layout looks a wee bit different and in these pictures the "Android-Chin" is less severe but overall it looks like a big step forward for Android Devices. From what we can determine, there looks to be 6 buttons: call, end call, search, home, back, and another button we can't quite make out.
We don't quite know the specs of this device yet but we can surely expect the usual 3G, WiFi, GPS to be in the mix--you can't go backwards now can ya? There doesn't seem to be a physical keyboard so this Vodafone "Magic" / HTC Sapphire / G2 device must wait for Cupcake to fully roll out. Also, the pictures we received were also named HTC Pioneer, so who knows what this officially is. We'll definitely be on the lookout for more details regarding pricing and availability, so stay tuned!
Click the jump for the rest of the pictures of the HTC Magic or HTC Sapphire or G2 !
This is all mere speculation but following the news that Apple asked Google to not include multi-touch in Android (which Google complied with) we have some speculation that Apple also asked Google not to include a 3.5mm headphone jack. Apple's use of remote buttons on their headset to control media functions is supposedly the sticking point. What the!?
We semi, sorta get Google agreeing to not implement multi-touch (esp. considering the drama that the Palm Pre v. Apple is getting into) but certainly Apple does not have the flex to manipulate Android HARDWARE as well, right? Our good friend Rene at TiPb is equally skeptical (and of course managed to put in an Android zinger, as well):
Other smartphones have long used the 3.5mm headphone jack, and since the G1 is hardly a media powerhouse (it doesn’t even include a built-in video app), there’s little reason to believe HTC couldn’t have included a non-remote, standard 3.5mm jack.
We hate the fact that the G1 lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack, it's especially ridiculous in today's climate of media-heavy smartphones but we highly doubt that this was a Google/Android decision. Take a look at HTC's previous phones and future lineup--no 3.5mm headphone jack, just the "jack of all trades" ExtUSB (lame!). So what do you guys think? Is Apple being the master puppeteer here or is this not feasible at all?
The current range will be set anywhere from $0.99 to $200. We think that's a fair price range that should hopefully avoid stupid elitist $1000 apps like that "I am Rich" application for the iPhone. What do you guys think?
By the end of this year, we can expect Android to be running Flash Player 10 which will display the same videos and applications as desktop computers. This is obviously great news for people who want to experience the "full web" and another step for mobile devices to reach the heights of their desktop counterparts.
Having Flash is great for Android because it "one ups" the iPhone and Blackberry who are as of now, Flash-less. Score.
NVIDIA's Tegra is something that got kind of swept under the radar here at Android Central. We weren't too familiar with the details of this ridiculously powerful "mobile computer on a chip" because it wasn't yet tooled for Android. Well, we should all get ready for Tegra because it will be coming to Android.
Why, now? Because NVIDIA sees Android surpassing Windows Mobile sales in 2012 and they want to be ready for the Android onslaught. The NVIDIA Tegra 2600 is going to be developed for Android OEM development and should release in Q2 this year.
To tell you guys more about Tegra, take a look at these specs:
The Tegra line will be all-in-one, integrated systems on a chip, containing an 800MHz ARM CPU, GeForce GPU, image processor, HD video processor, and controllers for all other aspects of core operations (memory, USB ports, communication) -- in a package about the size of a dime.
The chipset is 1/10th the size of Intel's Atom and is ultra-low power. A single charge can allow the user to run audio for 130 hours or HD video for up to 30 hours.
Basically, Tegra is going to pack a ton of power and be a media powerhorse. Can Android catch up to the specs? We'll soon see.
With our editor-in-chief, Dieter Bohn off in Barcelona for Mobile World Congress, the inmates site editors are left running Around SPE this week. So, while he'll be breaking news and giving us some hands-on observations on all the new software and hardware on display, we'll be keeping you covered here at home, starting with a quick recap of where we are right now:
In the world of BlackBerry, T-Mobile customers were happy to see the official roll out of the next-generation BlackBerry Curve 8900 this week. With AT&T said to be dropping support for 2G phones, there has been some worry that this new Curve wouldn't come to AT&T, but with the 8900 SKU now showing up on AT&T systems, it's likely the device will launch there in the next month.
The BIG new this week comes from the CrackBerry Podcast. Kevin was in NYC on for a RIM Business Solutions Press Preview. While there, him and Craig recorded a podcast and for the first time had an employee from Research in Motion on the show. Joined by Mike Kirkup, Manager of Developer Relations, they tackle a bunch of topics from the upcoming App Store to OS 5.0 and whether or not Flash support will appear in a BlackBerry browser and more! Listen Here.
News was a bit slow this week as everyone in the mobile space waits for big announcements from Mobile World Congress next week, including some announcements about devices and services from Nokia. We are in our third week of the the launch contest so make sure to get your entry in and look for week four's entry task. Great input and information is coming in from the contest entries. Also, check out our SBSH Reminders giveaway for a chance to win a free registration code.
Moxier Mail Beta is now available in the Android Market for T-Mobile G1 users and promises the first Exchange ActiveSync push email solution for Android users. Moxier Mail will allow you to compose, send and receive email on your Android handset and sync/send via Exchange server.
Currently you should be able to download the app for free, but now that the Android Market is able to accept payment for paid apps, it's unknown how long the app will be free. It is also unknown to what extent you can sync information - whether it's limited to email or if you can also browse contacts on Exchange and sync contacts and calendar entries. It certainly wouldn't hurt to head on over to the Android Market and check out this app for yourself.
Does this smartphone look familiar? Hard to hide those lines, those curves, that little trackball. Telefonica will soon be selling an Android phone in Spain, but instead of the G1, it will be this HTC Dream. The innards are likely the same, but as you can see, the exterior has undergone some renovations. There is no release date yet, but when it does land on the shelves, the pricing is estimated to be between €0 and €199 depending on subscriber status and voice/data plan. It's nice to see Android continue to go global!
We reported that Android Market was going to get paid applications this week. Well, today is the day that developers can start uploading applications to Android Market with end user pricing. Priced Applications will be available to the US and UK Market by mid next week. Germany, Austria, Netherlands, France, and Spain will offer priced applications later this quarter.
Google Checkout (what else?) will serve as the payment and billing mechanism for Android Market. Developers without a Google Checkout merchant account should set one up via the publisher website.
A lot of the best applications for Android is made by Google themselves so when Google announces a new Android Application, we pay attention. This new one from Google is called My Tracks which serves as a GPS tracking application. Specifically:
My Tracks records tracks of outdoor activities using the phone's built-in GPS. It shows these tracks on a map and presents live statistics, including an elevation profile. And here's the best part: it lets you easily share your activities with friends and the world using Google Maps, as well as archive your training history with Google Docs.
You can just download the application from Android Market and be on your tracking way! No dongles necessary, no additional desktop software required. Here's a specific list of things that can be done with My Tracks:
Record and visualize GPS tracks while running, hiking, biking, skiing — or any other outdoor activity
Get live statistics, such as total/moving time, (average) speed, distance, and elevation profile
Send performance statistics to Google Docs to build a training history
Mark places and describe activities for others to discover via Google Maps
If you're eager to learn more about this new app, click the jump to see a video of My Tracks in action!
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