Headlines

5 years ago

More Information And Pictures On General Mobile's DSTL1

We had already showed you a first look on General Mobile's Android Device, the DSTL1. We're excited for General Mobile's offerings for three reasons: first, they look like they know how to design a phone. Second, the dual-sim capabilities is a fairly intriguing (yet niched) feature. And third, we want more Android devices already! Though the DSTL1 looks like a high end device, it kind of teeters back and forth between luxury and basic features. For example, the camera packs a punch. We're talking about 5 megapixels, autofocus, LED flash made by Sharp. There's also supposed to be video conferencing support as well. On the other hand, this is a EDGE only device that uses a resistive touchscreen. Yeah, color us confused. Luckily, General Mobile will be putting out more Android Devices in the future. Including the DSTL1, General Mobile has three Android Devices in development. It looks like the other 2 devices will have 3G connectivity, one of the devices will have a QWERTY keyboard and another a slim touchscreen. No details on availability yet. In any case, there's a ton of pictures of the DSTL1 after the break! Thanks for the tip Meraj! [photos via phonereport] The front face of the DSTL1 houses a WQVGA resistive touchscreen. It also has 2 send call and 2 end call buttons so you can control your different SIM cards with little hassle. You can see the edges and lines of the phone were carefully designed. It's definitely a sharp looking device that gives off a "high luxury" feel. Again, the lines are worth mentioning. This is pretty good design from a small unknown company. Here's a close up shot of the bottom of the phone. Has a resemblance to the AT&T Fuze, no? And there's the back of the phone with the 5.0 megapixel camera with autofocus and LED flash! I think aside from the styling, the camera is the DSTL1's best feature.

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5 years ago

Reminder: TeleNav GPS Navigator Is Now Available

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Just a reminder guys! TeleNav GPS Navigator for Android was made available to the public yesterday. You get turn-by-turn directions, 3D maps, millions of POI's, and traffic alerts in a potentially very useful application. We're still testing the software out for our review but in the meantime so far, so good!

[TeleNav]

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5 years ago

Smartphone Experts Roundtable Podcast 3

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SPE Roundtable

Join Dieter, Matthew, Kevin, Rene, and Casey as they discuss Mobile World Congress 2009 -- there's a little bit for everybody in this gigantic cross-platfrom smartphone podcast!

Show notes after the break.

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5 years ago

HTC Magic Passes Through the FCC

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Engadget reports that the HTC Magic went through the FCC to go through what the FCC does to hot item gadgets--inspect 'em. Though the HTC Magic doesn't have T-Mobile 3G capable bands (1700MHz) we can surely expect two different regional models in the future (the G1 did that). We're not sure if this means the HTC Magic or T-Mobile G2 is coming sooner than later, but it's good to know the FCC knows about it. We think.

[FCC]

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5 years ago

Ballmer Finally Sees Android As a Competitor...For PCs

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Steve Ballmer. Microsoft CEO. A quote machine. He initially brushed off Android as a mobile platform with no business model and pitted it as just version one. Now comes a quote from him saying that Android is now a viable competitor...for PC's.

"We’re very focused in on both Apple as a competitor and Linux as a competitor. I think the dynamic with Linux is changing somewhat. I assume we’re going to see Android-based, Linux-based laptops in addition to phones. We’ll see Google more as a competitor in the desktop operating system than we ever have before. The seams between what’s a phone operating system and a PC operating system will change and so we have ramped the investment in the client operating system."

We poke fun at Ballmer a lot but he's no dummy. Android is incredibly versatile and if "netbooks" are the burgeoning market--a free and capable OS like Android has the potential to dominate. So yeah, Android is a legitimate competitor against Windows and PC's, we just can't wait until he realizes Android is a competitor against Windows Mobile as well.

[via modmygphone]

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5 years ago

HTC Magic Skin Available for Android Emulators

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Want to see what Android looks like on the Motorola Q form factor? How about a Treo Pro, or the anticipated Kogan Agora? Over at Tea Vui Huang's Android Page, you can grab these skins and even one for the new HTC Magic for Vodafone.

In order to use the HTC Magic skin, follow these directions:

To install, download and unzip “HVGA-P-HTCMagic.zip” to the Android skin directory, e.g. “C:\android-sdk-windows-0.9_beta\tools\lib\images\skins”.

To run the Android emulator with this HTC skin, enter this on the command line: “emulator -skin HVGA-P-HTCMagic”.

Check it out today and let us know what you think!

[androidguys]

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5 years ago

Android and Symbian Trade Jabs Over Openness

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Google's Android and the Symbian Foundation recently traded jabs over who is more "open" and who is just talking the talk, but not walking the walk. Symbian Foundation director Lee Williams was quoted as saying:

Android is not open. It's a marketing label. It's controlled by Google. It's a pretty label but I don't think the use of Linux is synonymous with open and they may have made that mistake of assuming it is.

Rich Miner, co-founder of Android and Google's VP of mobile, responded that Google has been open with mobile technology, even with competitors. Miner jabs back at Symbian and their $1,500 annual membership fee required to join the Foundation, which also isn't open to individuals. He said:

If you're talking about a platform and the source code isn't completely available for that platform, I would say it's misleading to call that platform open.

Open platforms are a good thing, and if two competitors go the rounds about who is more open, then it should prove to be a good thing for all of us.

[androidcommunity]

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5 years ago

Review: SPE Screen Protectors (3-Pack) for T-Mobile G1

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Until just a few days ago, I still had the manufacturer plastic covering on my G1's screen. Pathetic, eh? Maybe so, but I'm extraordinarily protective of my smartphones, and had my G1 had nothing usable on the screen out of the box, it would have had a screen protector applied before even turning it on. Fortunately I received the Smartphone Experts Screen Protectors for T-Mobile G1, a handy 3-pack available here in the Android Central Store for $14.95. How well does it protect my G1's sparkling screen? Read on for the full review!

Overview

The SPE Screen Protectors for the T-Mobile G1 are packaged in a card-stock envelope, complete with simple, illustrated 2-step instructions for application. The screen protectors have a matte finish, reducing screen glare for easier viewing of your G1's bright, colorful screen.  Each screen protector has an adhesive side protected by a peel-away sheet of plastic with a small tab, making it easier to remove prior to applying the protector to your G1's screen.

These G1 screen protectors are not only anti-glare, but they protect the vulnerable plastic screen of your G1 from scratches, dust, and fingerprints. They are also washable and reusable, so if dust or fingerprints somehow come between the screen protector and your G1's screen, just remove it, rinse it off with water, and carefully reapply.

Application and Performance

The screen protectors are fairly easy to apply to your G1's screen. First, carefully clean the screen of your G1, preferably with just a soft cloth, like microfiber. It is very important that you remove all the dust, dirt, and fingerprints you can before applying the screen protector. Next, find the tab of the protective backing on your screen protector and peel back the protective backing about an inch, exposing one end of the screen protector. CAREFUL! Make sure you don't touch the adhesive side - no point in leaving fingerprints on the protector before you have applied it to your G1's screen. If you accidentally touch it or if dust gets on the adhesive side, just rinse it off and you're ready to try again.

Once you've peeled back the protective covering and exposed a portion of the adhesive side, carefully align it with the top edge of your screen. Once aligned, smooth the screen cover downward, peeling away the protective covering as you go until the screen protector covers the entire screen.

The SPE Screen Protector is not textured, so it's smooth to the touch just like your G1's screen. You are still able to swipe and tap as before, but now your screen is protected from distracting glare, scratches, fingerprints, smudges, dirt and dust. These screen protectors are a great value, too. Not only do you get a 3-pack for your money, but the protectors are reusable simply by rinsing off any dirt and dust and reapplying.

Conclusion

If you want a great way to protect your G1's touchscreen, you will be hard pressed to find a better screen protector than the SPE Screen Protectors from the Android Central Store. With a matte finish, they are anti-glare for easier screen viewing in all lighting conditions, they protect against scratches, fingerprints, dust and smudges, and they are both easy to apply and reusable. I can confidently recommend this product and enjoy using them myself.

Rating: 5/5

 

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5 years ago

AT&T CEO Talks About Android

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Currently, AT&T is conspicuously missing in the Open Handset Alliance which is particularly damaging considering how large the AT&T network is. Android is reaching less customers because of T-Mobile's considerably smaller footprint. In an interview with Engadget Mobile, AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph De La Vega discusses why this is so:

Regarding AT&T's stance on Android:

"No, actually, I think that [my previous thoughts on Android] have been somewhat validated in that… we like the Android as an operating system on its own, but we want to make sure that we have, and customers have the option, to put applications on that device that are not just Google applications, so when the G1 came out and T-Mobile launched it, it’s primarily a Google phone. And we want to give customers the choice of other applications on that device, not just the same Google applications."

 

What AT&T is waiting Android to become:

"Well, to be open. (Laughter.) Right? I mean, the whole idea behind Android is that it’s gonna be an open OS, and so I don’t wanna roll an open OS to market that has primarily Google apps on it, and I think that’s gonna happen. I mean, I see a lot of activity, I think it’s got a good future, and I think it makes a lot of sense that the OS is open-source, separate from Google apps that are also very good."

 

Concerns on Android's stability:

"Well, I am not 100 percent comfortable until our people kick the tires on it in the lab, and what worries me most is malware and security and privacy issues that can get into that phone. You know, T-Mobile has had a couple of issues as you know, and so it validated our concerns that we had up front that… I don’t mind having the open OS, but I want to make sure that when our customers use it, their security or their privacy is not going to be compromised. That they’re not going to be subject to attacks and malware."

 

Essentially, what Ralph De La Vega is saying between the lines is that AT&T is taking the safe route with Android: the wait and see approach. Because AT&T is the leading carrier in the USA right now, they don't need to jeopardize themselves and their relationships with a new platform and go through the growing pains of maturation.

The risks that AT&T do take (iPhone) need to be successful from the get go. And as much as we love Android, in AT&T's eye Android's risk outweighed its rewards. From AT&T's perspective it seems like they have no need to lend a helping hand in growing a platform because honestly, as it stands now, Android needs AT&T more than AT&T needs Android.

Will we eventually see an AT&T Android Device? Of course. But Android needs to prove itself capable first. Luckily, we're already on our way.

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5 years ago

Gmail Is Down! Service Outage! UPDATE: Fixed!

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UPDATE: Apparently everything is a-ok now! Did anyone get affected by this?

Whoa, this is crazy. Gmail is currently down worldwide. Both Gmail consumer and business users aren't currently able to access their e-mail. However, I've gotten a few e-mails through my G1. How is Gmail on your G1 working out for you guys?

[official google blog]

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5 years ago

Kogan Agora To Be Full Touchscreen Android Device

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We've tracked the Kogan Agora pretty intensely here at Android Central. It was originally targeted to be the Second Android Device but due to a screen resolution issue, it didn't quite materialize as expected. We loved the form factor of the original prototype--Android definitely needs a front facing QWERTY keyboard model in their lineup.

Unfortunately, it looks like the Agora as we know it won't be released. Instead, Kogan is looking to release a full touchscreen model that'll take advantage of Cupcake's soft keyboard. At least it'll come in an iPhone-esque 3.8 inch screen.

We're still rooting for Kogan because it's always great to see smaller companies make it and who doesn't want more Android devices? But we can't help but be a bit saddened that the original Agora isn't going to land in our hands. From Gizmodo's hands on, it definitely looked like a worthwhile device.

[via gizmodo.au]

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5 years ago

"I Am Richer" App Shows Up in Android Market for $200

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You know how we said there wouldn't be as many non-sensical, egregiously overpriced apps like "I am Rich" on Android Market as there is in the App Store? Well, we were wrong. Instead of the $1000 app "I am Rich" we Android users get the $200 "I am Richer". Now with blue diamond.

Sigh.

[via gizmodo]

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5 years ago

Google's Android OS on Future Asus Eee PCs

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With Android-based netbooks being a possibility in the near future, it may come as no surprise that Asus is working on a low-cost laptop powered by Google's Android OS. Asus introduced the popular Eee subnotebook running Linux, so Android may be a natural (evolution?) fit for a new low-cost subnotebook.

The advantages to Asus for using Android are several:

  • Android is open, so no licensing fees
  • Google / Android branding = name recognition
  • Third-party software availability
  • Android familiarity due to Asus Android smartphone development
Having recently browsed the aisles of Costco, I discovered an Acer netbook running Windows for only $299. In order to capture market share and divert would-be Windows users to an Android-powered subnotebook, what kind of price range can we expect for an Asus Android-powered laptop? $199? $99??

[brighthand]

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5 years ago

Some Paid Apps Invisible to Unlocked Android Phones

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It seems that the Google Android OS, the platform touted as being open for all, is a little less open for some than others. If you own an unlocked developer G1 Android phone, even those received by Google employees, you may be missing out on some paid apps in the Android Market.

So far, apps like Shazam and Calorie Counter only appear as free apps - at least they do on my unlocked G1. According to Google's Android Market help site, “copy-protected applications, including Shazam and Calorie Counter” are invisible to unlocked developer phones. I guess the developer phones make it easier to commit pirating mayhem. Hopefully this issue will be remedied quickly because those with developer and unlocked phones should find this untenable. If you have an unlocked or developer G1, are you missing anything?

[androinica]

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5 years ago

What's Better: Open or Closed? Android or iPhone?

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There's a pretty good article over at GigaOM that touches on the Open vs Closed argument of technology. Specifically, it pits Android and iPhone against each other because of the obvious contrasting strategies and philosophies behind their parent companies, Google and Apple.

We can't deny that the iPhone is wildly successful in spite of (or because of?) their closed, proprietary nature. It's essentially the dilemma that iPhone users have been trying to find the balance to--the iPhone's closed nature creates a clean, seamless and synergetic user experience but it often comes at the expense of the freedom of choice. You have to trust Apple enough to play nice and take a leap of faith with the direction of the iPhone.

But does that leave Google free and clear? According to GigaOM: hardly. The point has been driven before but Android isn't married to a specific hardware form factor, any philosophical software, or well, anything, for that matter. Google has made it loud and clear that Android is open source and that it can be shaped however the user base intends to shape it. But does that openness come at the expense of the user experience? Google can't remain fully "open" for fear of fracturing that holy grail of user experience. In a sense, GigaOM is advising Google to remain open with limits; implementing a sort of theoretically open playground that would still necessitate rules and fair play.

And though we believe Android is unique and its ceiling is higher than its competitors because of that "openness", we tend to agree with GigaOM: that Google needs to set "parameters" with Android because mobile platforms are all about predictability and user friendliness and less about openness. In a sense, being open is good, being less than fully "open" is better.

The general public wants a phone to act and react a certain way, and without a certain amount of consistency in the platform--it can create a jagged experience that turns off many. Sure, a lot of people complain about the iPhone's stringent app approval process but there's certainly a lot more who are happy with just how easy and simple everything else works. It's going to be dangerous territory for Android to tread because the tech savvy will be undoubtedly saddened if Google closes its openness but the more general public may see it as a heck of a lot more friendly.

GigaOM sums it up best:

The reality is that openness is just an attribute -– it’s not an outcome, and customers buy outcomes. They want the entire solution and they want it to work predictability. Only a tiny minority actually cares about how or why it works. It’s little wonder, then, that the two device families that have won the hearts, minds and pocketbooks of consumers, developers and service providers alike (i.e., BlackBerry and iPhone) are the most deeply integrated from a hardware, software and service layer perspective.

 

We know it's a lot to digest but we want to know what do you guys think. Open or closed? Android or iPhone? Does it even matter?

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