Google has just announced an "Early Look" SDK for Android 1.5 which is based off the much ballyhooed Cupcake development branch. Android 1.5 packs a lot of goodies such as APIs for soft keyboards, live folders, home screen widgets, stereo bluetooth, and much, much more.
Android 1.5 is going to improve on the performance of Android, such as having a faster camera start up time, acquiring GPS location faster, smoother page scrolling, etc. There is also mention of some UI refinements. Overall, it looks like a hefty update to Android and we can't wait to see it trickle down to real-world usage.
Rats. It looks like T-Mobile is bringing back upgrade fees. This is a bit of a downer since it comes off the rather good news of T-Mobile changing some rate plans and also reverses the news we reported back in December about upgrade fees being gone forever.
Though the $18 upgrade fee isn't necessarily a dealbreaker for those looking to upgrade their handsets, it's certainly annoying to have to shell out money for no tangible reason. It's as if the carriers just decided that they could charge, so they charge. Sigh.
Elan Microelectronics, a small Taiwanese outfit that recently made news for suing Apple for copyright infringement over their multi-touch technology, recently release the above video demonstrating multi-touch on an Android device. Multi-touch, with the ability to "pinch" and zoom with finger gestures, is particularly useful when reading web pages and looking at photos. Hopefully this is a feature that will come to the Android platform for all Android devices. How important is it to you that you can pinch and zoom?
Want more news of a "planned" Android device with little to no details? Well you got it! The Bluetooth SIG group have registered the HTC Fiesta which is a handheld phone (predictably) that is going to run Android! The details are so sparse that we can only tell you that it'll run Android, it'll be released in Asia, Europe, and North America and oh yeah, it'll have Bluetooth.
There was no mention of the HTC Fiesta in HTC's 2009 leaked product line so maybe we'll see this device in 2010? Or is HTC keeping this one heavily under wraps? Only time will tell. In the meantime...FIESTA!
Why do we think it's going to be Blackberry-focused? Well, T-Mobile is co-hosting an event in London the same exact day WITH Blackberry, so unless their releasing two different devices on the same day...it looks like the G2 talks were a little premature.
We'll keep our eyes peeled (and our fingers crossed!) for any news regarding Android but don't be saddened if you get a new Blackberry device instead of a G2. Yeah, either way, we're already preparing ourselves for the worst.
Do you guys still have hopes to see the G2 on April 21st?
We can all agree that T-Mobile is a pretty good carrier in terms of pricing and customer service, right? Well if you don't agree you've probably never paid Verizon's rates and never experienced AT&T's customer service! Anyways, there was a big hoopla about T-Mobile changing their rate plans and we've got a list of what will change:
We’re adding unlimited mobile to mobile on all single line plans at $49.99 and higher, at no additional cost.
New promotional myFaves plan for $89.99 that includes 1800 minutes, unlimited nights and weekends, unlimited mobile to mobile and my Faves.
Adding 500 additional minutes to the $99.99 and $129.99 FamilyTime Plans at no extra cost.
For the $119.99 and $149.99 myFaves for families plans, we are adding 500 minutes, and we are lowering their prices by $10.
Family Allowance change
The introductory period for Family Allowances is now ending, and we are now changing the price to $4.99 per month per account for new customers.
What do you guys think about the changes? Awesome? Meh? Wanted more? Tell us in the comments!
Do you have post-CTIA-syndrome? Feel like all the hot new smartphone news happened two weeks ago and not much has happened since? Wondering if you have the strength to make it through another day without a pithy overview of everything that happened in the smartphone world last week? Easter feast have you feeling too lazy to do anything but peruse enough smartphone news to fill out a short novella?
Fret not, our best of SPE news roundup has you covered. Get clicking!
Have you had a chance to check out Google's web app for Gmail and Calendar on your Android device lately? Google is touting it as "a new and improved experience when you access Gmail and Calendar through the browser" of your Android device. Improvements include things like the user interface to make messaging on the go even easier, along with a "Floaty Bar" that makes common actions, like archive and delete, just one click away.
The reasons given for using the web app model are good ones: Google can introduce new upgrades and iterations of the product far more quickly, not requiring a whole new download for you, the user, each time there is a change. This should also equate to more frequent improvements. Also, Google can much more efficiently share code across multiple platforms, like in the case of a 90%+ code share between Android and iPhone.
If you haven't tried it already, what are you waiting for? Watch the video above, then give it a go on your Android phone. Then, let us know what you think!
Oh boy! T-Mobile just sent out invitations for a private launch event in New York City on April 21st. Remember the last time we had a T-Mobile private launch event in New York City? Yep, that was the launch of the T-Mobile G1. What could this event be for? The T-Mobile G2 aka HTC Magic? Cupcake? It absolutely has to be Android related, right? Save the date, because it's going to be big.
Demonstrating that the old adage "beauty is only skin deep" is true, we've learned that the sleek, full touchscreen Huawei G7000 is running a propriety OS rather than Google's Android. This beauty is launching inside China and may never see the world outside of the Great Wall. Strikingly similar to a certain phone that sounds like "eye-fone", it's a shame that we won't see the little green 'droid bounding happily across it's full touchscreen. Huawei, if you're listening, feel free to consider an Android device. We just may wants it!
We've detailed the Lenovo Ophone before on Android Central and damn, if it ain't sexy. We've been drooling over the images of the Ophone since it was first leaked but now we get to see it in action, in hands-on video glory. We get a few run throughs of the UI which looks admittedly iPhone-esque. If it looks nothing like Android, don't be surprised, we think it's kind of the point. However, you'll surely recognize some of the Android apps. The cube metaphor for swiping screens is pretty nifty and we actually get to see some widgets be put to use. Overall, we're pretty impressed by this and hopefully we can see this type of innovation trickle down to future Android builds. If we could even remotely understand Chinese, we'd definitely be interested in using this! What do you guys think? [via modmygphone]
Close your eyes for a second and imagine the next T-Mobile Android device. Imagine the sexy code name Sapphire or the alluring Vodafone release of Magic, now think of a name that would fit such a device. What did you come up with?
Hopefully it's not myTouch 3G with Google, Genius 3G with Google or Prism 3G with Google because well, quite frankly, those names are terrible. Where did we find those names? Well, T-Mobile is reportedly doing some market testing on what to name the next Android device and that is what they came up with. We wish we were kidding.
Why can't they just stick with G2 or call it the Magic? Why call it a 3G device when similar named devices (iPhone 3G) came out a year ago? Hopefully this is just regular procedure because if they ruin the Sapphire/Magic with branding like that, it'd be like fumbling a guaranteed touchdown.
We've previously reported on Sony Ericsson's Android plans which were to expect a high-end device to launch the Sony Ericsson Android party in 2009 and other, more affordable devices to follow suit. So a mysterious Sony Ericsson device dubbed the CS8 has popped up in T-Mobile's tentative release plans (via tmonews) and the dots are slowly connecting...could this be the high-end Sony Ericsson Android device!?
Leap with us here, the Sony Ericsson CS8 is to be released on June 24, 2009. The 8 in CS8 is being speculated as an 8 megapixel camera--which definitely qualifies as a "high-end" feature. With no other Sony Ericsson device making any news, perhaps this is what will run Android?
We know it's pure hearsay and rumors at this point but after going through MWC and CTIA with little Android news, we're willing to grasp at straws. Let's hope that the CS8 is an Android device and that it will be released by June!
Eek. The recession (or is it depression?) spares no one huh? Not even one of the biggest and most relevant smartphone makers today can avoid the wrath of a weak economy. HTC just reported their first quarter earnings which revealed that their profits have fallen 30% year-over-year.
Still, HTC managed to beat analyst estimates and put the blame on missed product shipping deadlines. Could the delayed product be the HTC Magic?
The NBA and T-Mobile share a great relationship and it looks like that goodwill extends over to Android! The NBA has just released an official application to keep track of scores, standings, schedules, and so forth for all your NBA basketball needs.
After taking 'Game Time' for a quick spin, we can tell you that it's a great looking app that gives you the box score for any game you would want. What we would LOVE to see is some video (or even audio) integration much like the iPhone's MLB app. Sure, 'Game Time' is free and MLB At Bat costs money, but if it's a full-featured app, I'd love to pay.
What is odd is the timing of the release. The NBA regular season started back in October and is a week or so from ending. Sure we have the playoffs to keep us busy but I would have loved to use this app throughout the entire season!
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