Not as crazy as it sounds. It looks there's now a way to enable USB Host mode on the Motorola Droid. In a nutshell, this is the first step towards using a USB memory stick or printer right from the miniUSB port on your Droid. It's not the first phone to do this, but it's a welcome step on an Android device.
Right now, it’s still in the “hack” phase, and it’s an ugly union of a few different parts (as the picture above illustrates). The software needs some work as well, as up until now there was no reason to add drivers for USB devices to the Android kernel. I can think of a handful of things that I’d like to attach to my phone, and I’m sure many of you guys can as well. USB headset? USB memory stick? USB printing? Or go all the way and use a USB joystick to play those SNES emulators … Why not? The Droid’s hardware tops the old consoles of the 1980s anyway. [Chis Padget's blog via Android Community]
An Android-powered Garmin-ASUS nuvifone has been in the works since 2008 and it's finally ready to be unveiled at MWC next week. Meet the Android-powered nuvifone A50 which has all the location-based technology you can ever want in a smartphone along with a 3.5-inch HVGA capacitive touchscreen, 4GB internal storage, and accelerometer. The UI looks to focus on big, touchable icons probably for easy pressing on the go. It runs Android 1.6 and comes with your usual Google offerings along with Garmin turn-by-turn navigation and the whistles and bells that come with Garmin.
We're not sure how successful a Garmin Android phone will be given that Android phones now come with Google Maps Navigation. But then again, Google Maps Navigation is currently only available for the US and the Garmin nuvifone A50 is hitting Europe in the first half of 2010. We'll be sure to get some time with the A50 at MWC!
Boy, we've come a pretty long way from giving you guys basic updates on what cities are getting T-Mobile 3G, haven't we? For 2010, T-Mobile is stepping up and announcing that it will soon be delivering HSPA+ to cities in the East & West Cost. Meaning 21 Mbps this year is going to be last years 7.2 Mbps. GigaOM sat down with T-Mobile and got them to explain the meaning of HSPA+ to T-Mobile and how soon we will see 21Mbps. Here's the juicy parts:
T-Mobile has already upgraded the existing HSPA software in “major cities” along the California Coast and said “major cities from Washington, D.C. to Boston” will have it on the East Coast, including Philadelphia, where it’s already live.
T-Mobile has deployed fiber to 7 percent of its towers with 20 Mbps of capacity on those fiber strands. He also said that within the next few weeks the operator will turn on fiber to about 25 percent of its towers.
So basically, the towers on the coast are HSPA+ ready but the backhaul needs to be improved for devices to eventually take advantage of it. T-Mobile believes that their stance with HSPA+ (which is like 3.5G) is better compared to their competitors' stance on LTE (4G) because T-Mobile will be able to get HSPA+ rolling this year while it may take AT&T & Verizon until 2011 or 2012 to get things ready. Plus 3.5G is plenty fast.
But even though we can't wait for devices to take advantage of the 21Mbps network, we're still sure some of you guys are without even regular T-Mobile 3G. Let us know which cities don't have T-Mobile 3G in the comments!
Most collaborations and special edition devices come off as contrived ideas that aren't much different from the original device. The myTouch 3G was not your typical special edition device. The design was stellar, the execution was awesome, and judging from its sales, it was wildly successful. We noticed that the myTouch 3G Fender wasn't available for upgrade users a week ago and guessed that it sold out. We were right. Tmonews is reporting that all 17,250 units of the myTouch 3G Fender Edition has been sold out. The demand for the myTouch 3G Fender is so high that T-Mobile is ordering a second round of devices for release in April. If you missed out today, don't miss out in April!
For those of you who were wondering (that was one or two of you, right?) here's the situation regarding the details of the Android 2.1 update for the Motorola Droid: First Moto said on its Facebook page that the update is coming "this week." Then we got a look at what exactly the update would entail, but that page has since been taken down.
Now we get word in the Moto support forums explaining why. It's not going to do much to pacify all of you (and us) waiting for the update, but it is something. [Motorola via Gear Log]
It was just a day ago that we started hearing whispers of the Motorola Devour launching on Feb. 25. And now there's some documentation to back that up. The Boy Genius Report scored these slides that show the Devour -- aka the Calgary -- first hitting indirect channels (aka authorized distributors) before month's end, and then everywhere else March 15.
No official word on pricing, though BGR's been told they're looking at $99 after the usual contract and rebates. [BGR]
Sure, everybodyand their mother is getting pinch-to-zoom these days. But here's one you probably haven't seen yet: It's Android 2.1 and HTC's Sense interface on a Hero, and you can pinch-to-zoom within Sense itself. That lets you see all of your home panels at the same time, and it's pretty darn cool, if you ask us. Check out the video after the break, and skip to about 6 minutes in, unless you're really in need of some Poker Face. [HTCSource]
This Flash-or-no-Flash-on-Android is getting rather hard to keep track of. Somedays it looks like Android is getting Flash right around the corner, while other days it looks so far off in the future for Android to ever receive Flash. Today, it's kind of in the middle of that. Adobe told Engadget:
Support for full Flash Player 10.1 requires some enhancements to existing versions of Android. These enhancements are expected to be available as an upgrade to existing devices and for new devices starting in Q2 2010.
What's confusing is that the statement is unclear. Does that mean when all Android devices hit Android 2.1, then everyone can have Flash? Or does it mean that we're going to have to wait past 2.1, to get every device capable of Flash. If it's the former, why not release Flash 10.1 on the Nexus One already? And if it's the latter, can all the manufacturers speed up the Android 2.1 upgrade, please? More clarification should be forthcoming.
The rumors are true, folks. The new version of T-Mobile's myTouch 3G sports the Swype keyboard, and that's just the start of the lovefest. Swype announced today that it'll be on "a number of future devices," including the Windows Mobile-powered HTC HD2.
For the uninitiated, Swype is a keyboard that in addition to normal touch typing allows you to slide your finger from letter to letter, and a lot of you swear by it. [Swype]
AOL Mobile has just released their very own AIM instant messaging client into the Android Market. If you been trying other IM clients in the market and have not been satisfied, this may be just the app you've been in search for as it is packed with a ton of great features.
Send and receive messages with your buddies instantly
Real time updates of your buddies' status and availability
Fling support for switching between conversations
Update your status, post to your Lifestream and also cross post to any synced Facebook or Twitter accounts
Facebook chat support so you can chat with your Facebook friends
Portrait and Landscape support
Supports 1.5, 1.6. 2.0, 2.1 Android OS
The app seems pretty well polished and possibly is the best AIM client available in the market. It is free, so you have nothing to lose. Give it a try and let us know how it's working for you! Scan the QR code above, or click on it in your Android browser, to download.
We kind of knew this day would come. Google has just announced that it's building and testing a 1-gigabit-per-second network in "a small number of locations across the United States." They're talking straight fiber to the home (hello, FiOS) for at least 50,000 people up front, and building up to as many as 500,000. We'll let Google tell its story:
We're planning to build and test ultra high-speed broadband networks in a small number of trial locations across the United States. We'll deliver Internet speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have access to today with 1 gigabit per second, fiber-to-the-home connections. We plan to offer service at a competitive price to at least 50,000 and potentially up to 500,000 people.
Our goal is to experiment with new ways to help make Internet access better and faster for everyone. Here are some specific things that we have in mind:
Next generation apps: We want to see what developers and users can do with ultra high-speeds, whether it's creating new bandwidth-intensive "killer apps" and services, or other uses we can't yet imagine.
New deployment techniques: We'll test new ways to build fiber networks, and to help inform and support deployments elsewhere, we'll share key lessons learned with the world.
Openness and choice: We'll operate an "open access" network, giving users the choice of multiple service providers. And consistent with our past advocacy, we'll manage our network in an open, non-discriminatory and transparent way.
This is still in the early planning stages, and Google's asking for you to nominate your neighborhood as a test site. You can do so here. [Google]
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We've known for a while that Opera was planning on bringing a version of its Opera Mobile browser to Android. And now we're going to get a look at it. Opera announced in a news release that it will unveil Opera Mobile 10 for Android at Mobile World Congress next week in Barcelona. And if it's anything like the version Windows Mobile users have been enjoying, it's definitely something you're going to want to check out. [Opera]
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