HTC, maker of the T-Mobile G1 and hotly anticipated HTC Magic, is quite obviously the biggest (read: only) Android Smartphone maker on the market. So when HTC speaks, the Android world stops to listen. Peter Chou, the CEO of HTC, says that we can expect "at least" three Android Devices this year from HTC. We're not mad at that.
If you count the HTC Magic as one of the "three" devices, we should still expect two more HTC built, Android powered devices. What would be interesting is if they choose a different route for form factor so that they can offer a complete product line for Android. With the G1 being the sliding form factor and the Magic being the all touch device could we expect a Blackberry/Treo-esque front facing QWERTY design and a HTC Touch HD 'maxed out the specs' form factor? Only time will tell.
China Mobile has a highly customized HTC Magic in the works loaded with custom firmware and TD-SCDMA capabilities (China's own network which should mean no Wi-Fi or 3G). If you take a look at the pictures you can see that this pre-production model has a lot of the software that is different from typical Android goodies, you almost get an iPhone-esque layout that honestly bears no resemblance to Android.
The HTC Magic China Mobile edition is supposed to be on track for a May release but details on pricing are still non-existent. Supposedly it's going to be called the Dopod G2. This obviously has little to do with the US or European market, but hey, it's always good to see the HTC Magic form factor!
Hit the jump to see more pictures of China Mobile's HTC Magic.
Okay. Since this limbo of will we, won't we get Cupcake is currently at a won't we, the next best thing has got to be watching Cupcake in all its glory on video. An Android Developer decided to play nice and showcase some of the new features in Cupcake and we're all thankful for that.
He goes over the Live Folders feature (which we're now excited for), the soft virtual keyboard (of course), a switch to a black and white photo preview for taking pictures (better response rate), video recording, a spinning globe, and some new settings tweaks.
From the video, the current build of Cupcake looks to be fairly solid and almost ready for the primetime. The only thing we noticed to not work was video recording but we're sure the Android Team is hammering the final details. After seeing this video we've got to say, we can't look at our G1's the same anymore. We want Cupcake. NOW.
As you can see, the video shows what a "Live Folder" is to Android. A Live Folder is basically a created folder that is automatically updated. In the video, it showcases a digg Live Folder--you have access to the top stories on digg right from your home screen via the Live Folder. We can definitely see potential for this in rss feeds, news feeds, twitter, etc. The ability to have an always on folder could be groundbreaking.
Anyone excited to use Live Folders in Android? We'll ask, how about more widgets while you're at it Google!
An analyst from Oppenheimer & Co. recently stated that Motorola plans to release 10 smartphones in the second half of this year. This obviously isn't concrete news from Motorola itself, but analysts do have some research (formula? magic? voodoo?) on determining this.
If this is true, this is amazing. 10 smartphones in the second half? Heck, if it's even half true, we'll be happy. There's no telling how many of those devices will run Android but we like our odds if they release 10 devices.
It seems that Android and paid apps just don't seem to get along as they should. What with Dev Phone 1 users getting locked out, some users not having access to paid apps, it's definitely been a rocky start for paid apps. Now news comes in that developers are having trouble linking merchant accounts to their Android developer accounts, which leaves them unable to list paid apps in Android Market.
The image above is being seen by many developers locked out of the Android Market unable to offer their applications. The system is unable to setup the Merchan account. We're not sure if this is still going on, but if any Android Developer has come across this issue, let us know in the comments! Hopefully, we can get this fixed already.
Sigh. This cat and mouse game between reports on when the Android Cupcake update is coming out and what T-Mobile is "officially" saying just doesn't seem to stop. Just when we thought we were going to get Cupcake and all of its goodiness in April, a T-Mobile spokesman said it was merely an unconfirmed rumor and that there are no plans for an update "as far as I know".
Huh. Back to square one. When will we ever get to use you Cupcake!?
Welcome to Around SPE, where we highlight the big news of the week from around the network in a format that's more than just a list-o-bullets. This week we're putting the spotlight on Android Central, which saw a fairly hefty redesign on Wednesday night. Search, registration, commenting, navigation, the whole shootin' match is all much improved.
BGR is trying to put two and two together and predicting (with no sources, leaks, or tips) that the T-Mobile G2 is going to show up at CTIA. For those keeping score: the T-Mobile G2 is the HTC Magic and CTIA is a pretty huge mobile industry convention. What makes this interesting is that CTIA is right around the corner (April 1-3) and well, it does make a little sense.
Consider the fact that Android needs to become more relevant to be considered a true contender in the mobile industry. After the relatively quiet MWC we had to go through, the WORST thing would be to have another quiet convention where everyone is left wondering where Android is.
So what's better than making an impact at one of the biggest shows of the year? CTIA fits the bill perfectly. We're predicting big things for Android at CTIA because if Android is quiet again at CTIA, man we're going to be in for a long year.
Androinica reports that Google has updated their Google Image Search on Android devices. It's nicer, faster, and better suited for the mobile platform. They've even included filtering options which'll allow you to sort by Faces, Clip Art, Line Drawings, Photo Content and SafeSearch. The layout is improved as well, showing 20 images per page.
We're pretty big fans of this new Google Image Search and think it'll be even more useful with the new features. What do you guys think? Go test it out and tell us your thoughts!
If you didn't cash in on the Amazon T-Mobile G1 deal, you're in luck. It's even cheaper at Costco. For only $79.99 you can get your hands on a T-Mobile G1! Yep, that's $100 off. Costco is offering the deal via the manufacturer's coupon shown above. That's just an amazing price to get your hand on a powerful, innovative smartphone.
We had originally believed that the Amazon could not be beat, but Costco proved us wrong. Do you guys think the price for the T-Mobile G1 can go any lower?
This is amazing. The video above previews the app Torrent Droid which basically serves as a tool that combines unique G1 features, ease-of-use, and resourcefulness into one great application.
So the basic premise of the app is that it has the ability to scan the barcode (UPC) of any item and it'll automatically search for a bittorrent file of that item. It'll download said bittorrent file and then here's the good part, Torrent Droid sends the bittorrent file to your PC for automatic download. Take a look at the video. A pirate's dream? We think so.
Imagine scanning the UPC of a DVD in store. Sending it to your PC and it downloads while you drive home. When you finally get home, it's ready for your viewing pleasure! This is magnificent stuff! And of course, it popped up on Android first.
What do you guys think? Just say no to pirates or is this pretty darn cool?
We know we have a lot of G1 Users across the pond who are a little peeved that they still don't have paid apps available to them in Android Market. I mean, what's the point of an Android Market without the ability to use the best apps!?
Luckily it looks like paid apps is coming to the UK Android Market soon. As in today. Regan Whitehead of T-Mobile UK said that paid applications will be supported in the UK Android Market starting March 12th. Yeap, that's today! Hip hip hooray!
So to our UK friends, do you guys see paid applications popping up yet?
Oh yes. Cupcake rumors that we wish oh so much to be true are once again at the forefront of the discussion. This time Pocket-lint claims that T-Mobile representatives have confirmed that the Cupcake software update for Android will be released in April. To quote:
"We will be offering G1 users the firmware update sometime in April"
This does make a lot of sense considering the HTC Magic is going to be released in the same time frame and the Magic needs the soft keyboard that the Cupcake software update has. To remind you guys: Cupcake is supposed to include a soft on-screen keyboard, video recording, voice recorder, stereo Bluetooth, save MMS, among other features.
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