6 years ago

Uh Oh: Second Android Device, Kogan Agora Delayed Indefinitely


Please say no. Please say this isn't true. The supposed Second Android Device, the Kogan Agora, is going to be delayed indefinitely. We were really excited that the Kogan Agora, made by boutique electronics maker Kogan, would buck the trend of delayed Android Devices and release at the end of this month. Supposedly the reasoning is due to potential compatibility issues with future Android Apps and the screen resolution. Huh, color us confused since the Kogan Agora's specs seemed to be a fairly standard set.

But I guess the writing was on the walls since it just recently went under a slight hardware re-design and oddly didn't show up at CES (where it probably would have been the 2nd biggest news story after the Palm Pre). Hopefully, Kogan can get things in order with this device because the smartphone world is itching, nearly dying for a Second Android Device.


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6 years ago

PreCentral.net - Your #1 Source For All Things Palm Pre & webOS


Please welcome the newest member to the Smartphone Experts Family, PreCentral.net! For those of you who don't know, Palm revamped and announced a whole new smartphone platform at CES and there's a HUGE amount of buzz and hype surrounding it. The next few months will surely be exciting for any smartphone fan so make sure you keep up with all the news regarding the Palm Pre and webOS at PreCentral.net.

PreCentral.net will follow in the line of our Smartphone Experts Network which includes Crackberry, theiPhoneblog, Treo Central, WMExperts, and our very own Android Central. We already discussed our own opinion on the Palm Pre and webOS here at Android Central so make sure you head on over to PreCentral.net to see what's happening in the Palm world!

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6 years ago

Chinese Android Dream G2 Video


Although this device in the video seems real enough, there are some downright interesting (and even strange) features in this alleged Chinese Android Dream G2 phone. The green 'droid charger seems a bit too cartoon-ish (albeit cute) for those of us in the States, but could be very popular in the Asian markets. It's also a bit hard to accept the addition of a stylus when T-Mobile's G1 has taught us to use our fingertips. Then again, if this device is without a slideout keyboard and a user wishes for another option besides a software keyboard for input, the stylus could make sense. The video also shows the user implementing the stylus with handwriting recognition - Graffiti?

The multimedia capabilities of the phone in this video are on display with a movie sample and some music. The stylus is used throughout for navigation - again, a bit puzzling in my mind and seems a little like a step backward. The stylus could be dispensed with altogether if the software keyboard is on par with the likes of the iPhone, but having a keyboard of that quality may be difficult with the choice of a resistive-touchscreen, which may very well be the type of screen used in this new device. Thanks very much to Tallbruva for the heads-up on this video!

[YouTube, Tallbruva]

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6 years ago

OpenMoko FreeRunner Running Cupcake, Android On Screen Keyboard


Even though we've seen OpenMoko's FreeRunner run Android already, it's not everyday you see a device run the Cupcake Update to Android which includes the much needed, you guessed it, on-screen soft keyboard. In this shot, we can see the numbers and symbols page and well, they look really small.

But we'll reserve our judgment until we get Cupcake onto our G1s and test out the virtual keyboard. We don't think it'll be a problem because the soft keyboard included with chompSMS works fine for us. Take a look after the break to see the full, soft QWERTY keyboard in all its glory.

[Engadget Mobile]

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6 years ago

ASUS to Make Eee Phone, Will Maybe Run Android


The rumors have been around for some time now: Asus, makers of cheap notebooks, is going to make a cheap Android phone. This time, it's a wee bit more official since the CEO of Asus, Jonney Shih stated that a forthcoming Eee Phone will be integral to making people carry more Asus devices.

He wasn't exactly clear on what Operating System the Eee Phone would run but the rumors say Android and if you're trying to create a more affordable model, Android's no-cost licensing fee is a good place to start.

[the above photo is just a mock-up, so don't go overly excited]

[NYtimes via Gizmodo]

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6 years ago

Rumored Dell Smartphone To Run Android ?


The Dell smartphone rumor has been around a long time and its coming back stronger than ever. According to Engadget, Dell might unveil a Dell smartphone (dPhone?) as early as next month at 3GSM or Mobile World Congress. Engadget also independently reports that a noteworthy amount of Dell execs carry G1's with them so it may be a hint at what's to come. Also in the rumor is that S60 (Nokia) might be in the mix for the honor to run on the dPhone.

Personally, we think these rumors are fun yet a little bit useless. It's kind of like the Zune Phone rumor that keeps popping up, yeah, maybe Dell and Microsoft are looking at making smartphone hardware but the smartphone market is becoming so competitive that they'd have to pour a ton of money to be even successful. We'd love to see more Android hardware but in the mean time, we'll wait a month to see if this really happens.

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6 years ago

Motorola Still Interested In Windows Mobile, Kind Of


Fresh off of our report that Motorola was ditching Windows Mobile to focus on Android, we have caught word that that's not entirely true (yet, at least). According to Brian Viscount, Motorola's VP of Marketing for Mobile Enterprise Computing, the reports that Motorola is ditching Windows Mobile is completely false. He goes on to state that Motorola remains "100% committed to Windows Mobile".

Yeah. So though the news that Motorola isn't going to be strictly Android is a little sad, we at Android Central still fully expect a big year from Motorola on the Android front. We all know they need it.

[via WMExperts]

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6 years ago

Google Chrome Browser Coming to Mac, Linux In A Few Months


Are you a huge Google Fan who just so happens to only use Mac or Linux computer and thus are locked out of Google's semi-spanking new browser Chrome? Yeah, we can relate. Luckily, the reports are coming in that if we wait just a few more months, we'll finally get to test drive the nifty full featured Chrome desktop browser that's kind of like the big, older brother of 'chrome lite' on Android.

First half of 2009 is the target date. Let's hope they hit it sooner.


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6 years ago

Compulab's exeda runs Android AND Windows Mobile


Okay. The folks at Compulab have made a new handheld device designed for the enterprise market called the exeda (pictured above). It's notable because it's going to be able to dual boot in both Android and Windows Mobile. What's even crazier is the device itself--just take a look at that thing. There's countless buttons and controls, even a dedicated right click button!

Taking a look at the specs: 3.5" VGA touchscreen, a capacitive trackpad, 520 MHz Marvell CPU, 128 MB RAM, GSM/GPRS/CDMA/UMTS, WiFi, Bluetooth, and get this: 10/100Base-T Ethernet Port. Yeah, we told you it was crazy.

Aside from its craziness, does the Compulab exeda mark a new trend? Will we soon see more devices that dual boot Android and Windows Mobile? What do you guys think?

[exedamobile via Engadget]

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6 years ago

Android Central's Best of 2008 !


We know, we're a tad bit late on this. After all, it's already 12 days into 2009 but what's the old saying? Better late than never? 2008 marked an eventful year for us because well, that's the year that Android first released! And don't forget, it also marks the first year for Android Central.

Looking back, there were some great stories regarding Android in 2008 and even though Android has only been available for a couple months, it has already been considered a success. So let's take a look back at the year that was and see what was the best of 2008!

Hit the read link to see what Android Central thinks was the best of 2008!

Best Smartphone of the Year

The T-Mobile G1. There was some real suspense building on that one, huh? But don’t think we were just going to give away this award, the T-Mobile G1 truly earned it.

It was the perfect launching pad for Android. The G1 provided a plethora of input options that allowed smartphone users from other platforms to easily switch over. Blackberry trackball, iPhone touchscreen, hardware buttons, physical keyboards..it all worked wonderfully well.

Okay, it’s a little plain in design and the jay leno sized chin is odd. So what. No other smartphone runs Android better. And therefore, no other smartphone can be the 2008 Smartphone of the Year other than the T-Mobile G1.


Smartphone Innovation of the Year

Android Market. App Stores. This is the new standard. And to think that before these one-stop-3rd party app-shops popped up you had to go hunt down .cab files or send an SMS to receive third party software. Just Crazy.

This is going to change smartphones forever. Your smartphone becomes an ever changing and constantly growing platform. It’s easy, it’s simple, it’s fast. My only problem? Why did it take until 2008 to make App Markets and App Stores appear? How did smartphone companies not realize the potential? How did smartphone users not realize the sense? Windows Mobile, Blackberry, & Palm need to step their game up. Get an app store out by 2009 please!


Game of the Year

Was Pacman always this hard? Android Central’s Game of the Year is going to go to NAMCO’s Pacman which reminded us of the good ‘ol games of yesteryear and how timelessly frustrating they continue to be. We all got a sense of nostalgia wth Pacman as noted when Pacman quickly shot up the charts to become one of Android Market’s most downloaded game. One of the best aspects of the game? It was free!

We hope to see more attention to this category in the future because as fun as Pacman was, you’ll never mistaken it for a PSP or DS game.


IM App of the Year

Hello AIM! is pretty much everything we wanted the native IM application to be on the G1. The interface is clean, it’s stable, and it’s quite nifty switching chats. The only weakness is that it’s AIM only so those who use Google, Yahoo, or MSN for their messaging needs are left out. We at Android Central wish for an always connected, always on version of Google Talk in Android—hopefully that can come in the future.


My Favorite App of the Year

Locale. This is forward thinking innovation at its best. I can create unique profiles for my G1 depending on different criteria. For example, I can create a Work profile that dictates the G1 to set the ringer off according to my GPS coordinates. Or I can set it to turn off WiFi when the battery hits a certain level. Basically, my smartphone is finally smart enough.


Accessory of the Year

SPE Mini USB Stereo adapter for T-Mobile G1. This accessory adds support for a standard headset jack. Why the T-Mobile G1 chose to go the ExtUSB route is simply beyond me—the T-Mobile G1 is a consumer device and consumers need certain STANDARD features. Thankfully, this accessory helps as a stopgap solution. Here's our original review!

Smartphone Experts Screen Protectors (3-Pack) is also a great accessory to reduce both glare and fingerprints on the T-Mobile G1’s capacitive touchscreen. What’s great is that the screen protectors are of great quality so it doesn’t diminish sensitivity, in fact in my opinion, in improves on the tactile feedback.Here's our original review!


Bluetooth Headset of the Year

The Jawbone 2. We weren’t the biggest fans of the original Jawbone because it was a bit big and unwieldy. Compound the fact that the original Jawbone didn’t seem to fit in most years, it was definitely a tough sell. Now insert the Jawbone 2 which seemingly improves on the original Jawbone in every single way. It’s now sleeker, smaller, and offers a superb fit—what’s great is that the quality is still just as amazing.


Case of the Year

Technically our pick for 2008 isn’t a case but a skin. But Bodyguardz has done such a great job in creating this skin for the G1 that it deserves recommendation. The Bodyguardz Protective Skin for T-Mobile G1 offers comprehensive coverage on your T-Mobile G1 and protects it from nicks and scratches from daily use. Since the G1 has only been available for a couple months now, we’ll be expecting this category to become highly competitive in 2009.


Favorite Android Feature of the Year

This has to be the notification window on Android. Dieter touched on it before and it’s quite simply the best notification feature throughout all of smartphones. It’s versatile, useful, and incredibly unique. I love that it doesn’t interfere with your actions and gives quick little previews. Also, it provides a pseudo-quick launch of any necessary actions. If you haven’t seen this on Android yet—you need to pay attention. It’s that good.


Favorite Story of the Year

We could choose the release of the T-Mobile G1 and Android. We could even showcase our gallery of the crisp white T-Mobile G1. But after careul consideration, we’re going to go with how everybody ELSE felt about Android. When the first reviews hit in regards to the T-Mobile G1 everyone seemed properly satisfied—there was just enough polish to make things work right now and everybody saw the platform was oozing with potential. And when all of our editor’s got a hold of Android in the Smartphone Round Robin? Everybody came away impressed and hopeful. It seems like everyone wants to see Android succeed. Everyone is keeping their eye on Android and it’ll only get better!

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6 years ago

HTC's Entire 2009 Smartphone Lineup Leaked, Revealed


The suspense is over. The 2009 HTC device lineup has been leaked and these are the reported shots of them. Every potential HTC phone in 2009 is in this post, for now at least. HTC in 2009 looks to be filled with big screens, sleek design, and a whole lot of color (than usual). Most of these have code names for now, but most are definitely impressive and it seems that there's a flavor for every carrier so everyone can join the fun!

You obviously won't be able to see the minute details of each phone in these product shots but you can get the general idea. So which phones do you think will be running Android and which will have Windows Mobile? Which phone is the Telstra anointed Pre-killer?

The rest of HTC's 2009 device lineup is after the jump!

[via WMExperts]

Here's a look at the Sapphire. This could very well be an Android device because WMExperts knows next to nothing about it and it has the affectionate chin. Compared to the G1 the Sapphire is round and earthy instead of boxy and square.

Nothing says Android device when in parenthesis it says Android Hero. The shape is eerily similar to the G1 albeit cut in a more dramatic fashion. Also, there doesn't seem to be a trackball and this 'chin' is the largest yet. And why pink? There's so many questions, so little answers!

There's an ever so slight chin on the Memphis so we're tossing this with Android. Why is the chin associated with Android now? We don't know and we're not sure we like it but at this point, we'll take any new Android Device.

The Maple aka the 3G Excalibure which is an update of the original Excalibure aka the T-Mobile Dash.

Here's the Iolite, which according to WMExperts, will sport a WQVGA screen, 3.2mp camera, 512 ROM and 228 RAM, WiFi, etc

The Twin seems to be the CDMA+GSM World Edition of the Iolite

The Topaz looks like a HTC Diamond update?

The Citrine and Topaz C look very similar. Why did the Topaz C take the Topaz name then?

The Rhodium, Tungsten, Tungsetn W, and Rhodium W look like updated Touch Pro's aka the AT&T Fuze in sleeker and slimmer packaging.

The Willow and Cedar. We don't know much about these devices

We don't know what to make of the Beryl, Firestone, Whitestone, and Thoth either.

What is this? Off center d-pad? Trying too hard to be different? Beauty is in symmetry HTC!

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6 years ago

Interview with Ruslan Kogan, Why Agora is 2nd Android


You're looking at the face (well, TWO faces) of the next Android phone: the Kogan Agora from Down Under. Aussie Ruslan Kogan, founder of Kogan, gave some face time to Angus Kidman of APCmag.com at CES this past weekend to discuss the Agora phone and why it is coming in as the 2nd Android phone with no other contenders in sight, at least for a while.

According to Kogan, Android is a bit tricky to work with for hardware development and other manufacturing supply chains are not yet able to produce an Android phone - at least, not in time to catch up with Kogan's Agora. According to Kogan:

With Android, there's a lot of companies that have announced that they are developing for it, but it's only been a couple of months since the software's been made public.



To read more of APC's interview with Ruslan Kogan, just go here. If what Kogan says is true, it sounds like he was able to get a jump start on developing the Agora before everyone else, perhaps due to being smaller and more nimble in the marketplace. Of worthy note, Kogan plans on making the Agora available in the U.S. in as early as three months, so it will be nice to have an unlocked Android phone with an alternative form-factor to choose from. A special thanks goes out to Ryan for this news tip.


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6 years ago

Telstra Exec: New HTC Android Phones Better Than Palm Pre


We gave you our thoughts on the Palm Pre and webOS a few days ago detailing why we think Android is still the best smartphone platform in town. We did little to focus on the hardware aspect of Android smartphones because currently there's only one device and well, it's not the flashiest of the bunch.

So when a Telstra (Australian Carrier) Executive speaks up defending upcoming Android hardware designed by HTC, well, we shut up and listen. According to the Telstra Exec, HTC's upcoming Android device is "better and more functional" than the Palm Pre. Also, the new Android device (slated for a 2nd quarter release) is supposed to have custom software designed on top of Android and a screen bigger than any current HTC phone. Sounds amazing already.

If this report is to be believed, 2009 is already shaping up to be an amazing year for smartphones. If this fabled HTC Android Device can hit the market before the Palm Pre..watch out!

[smarthouse via Engadget]

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6 years ago

Motorola to Make Android Only Devices ? Bye, Bye Windows Mobile!


We've covered the whole Motorola saga here on Android Central ad nauseam. We know Motorola is going through a rough patch because they've had layoffs, they're losing appeal, marketshare, and so on. So we put two and two together and assumed that they would rush to make an early Android device to re-ignite their mobile division and shake up the industry as a whole. No such luck.

But here comes a report from PhoneScoop that Motorola is ditching Windows Mobile entirely and re-focusing their entire smartphone division to strictly Android. Huh!? We at Android Central have no complaints about that development but what took them so long to realize Android was their last chance at gaining back the customers they fumbled after the RAZR? Also in the report, Motorola is trimming down to about a dozen phones per year and won't be attending CTIA this year either.

What do you guys think? Will Motorola really leave Windows Mobile in the dust for the newer, shinier smartphone OS?

[via WMExperts]

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6 years ago

Round Robin: T-Mobile G1 Review & Final Impressions


It has been a long, long time since I've "officially" been back on the G1 and Android. In fact, the very first Round Robin post was nearly 2 months ago! But it's time to finally wrap things up and take a look back at the journey that was.

In this final Smartphone Round Robin article we'll take a look back at the T-Mobile G1 and Android and see how it compares to the other smartphone platforms and how it can improve. The G1 is such a new and unknown quantity that many of our editors overlooked it in the beginning, only to find it a lot better than they anticipated.

What's great about the Round Robin is that you get so many varying perspectives from different smartphone owners. An iPhone owner sits at a completely different vantage point than a Blackberry user, likewise with a Windows Mobile user, and so on. The great thing about the T-Mobile G1 is that it accommodates for users who are used to different smartphone platforms. A Blackberry user falls back on the trackball, an iPhone user feels comfortable with the touchscreen, some amount of tweaking is allowed for Windows Mobile, and a physical keyboard is included so no one complains. The T-Mobile G1 offers an almost non-biased user experience and everybody seemed to take to it pretty well.

So, is that a good thing? What does Android Central think about the T-Mobile G1 and Android after using all the other devices?

Also, this is the LAST Official Round Robin Contest Post, Comment to Win a T-Mobile G1 !— More Details Here

iPhone 3G


Honestly, any smartphone that releases will now be compared and sized up next to the iPhone 3G. It has become that widespread, that commonplace, and that good. We're huge fans of the iPhone 3G at AndroidCentral because its one of the easiest ecosystems to become a part of and the "it just works" feeling of it.

So why is the iPhone so successful and what can Android take from it? How did it become the smartphone that made smartphones matter? I think it boils down to the iPhone 3G's consistency in UI design, it made smartphones less "elitist" and more usable—you weren't overwhelmed by buttons, d-pads, trackballs, menus, keyboards etc. instead you used your finger. It wasn't intimidating to use, there was a minimal learning curve and everything stayed consistent. The screen layout from app to app is relatively similar, the settings aren't buried, and everything makes sense.

Luckily, the iPhone 3G is not perfect, far from it in fact. And even more important for Android is that the weaknesses of the iPhone platform are the purported strengths of Android. The features that are inexplicably missing from the iPhone are all on the roadmap for Android. The iPhone is shrouded in mystery while the Android remains open source. The benefit of pitting Android as the antithesis of the iPhone is that it opens the doors for developers who were spurned by Apple to come over to Android.

But don't think that Android will only get the crumbs of iPhone app development. Because Android has such allowances for their developers, Android will certainly pick up a lot of third party applications that push the envelope of innovation. I've already seen a lot of third party applications (Locale, chompSMS, Steel) that I wouldn't even dare of dreaming about on the iPhone.

The openness of Android directly contrasts with the iPhone's shroud of mystery and hopefully that can allow more developers to realize the potential of Android.


AT&T Fuze


The Fuze was my very first Windows Mobile device and though it was definitely frustrating at first, there are still some great aspects of Windows Mobile that Android can learn from.

In my original review of the AT&T Fuze, I had stated that I thought the most appropriate comparison for Android would be Windows Mobile because of the software-software link. The truth is, that's probably the only thing these two platforms have similar. Windows Mobile differs from Android in the sense that Windows Mobile main concern is all about power and access while Android provides alternatives.

But let's face it. What I'm jealous of Windows Mobile is the plethora of devices that they have. The promise of more Android mobile devices has yet to come to fruition and really, most specifics are being kept under wraps. I want the ability to choose form factors, to choose different makers, and to find a smartphone that fits my specific needs. Windows Mobile has some stellar hardware, no one can deny that, and if any of those devices ran Android, it could be a game changer.

On the flip side, I don't want Android to become Windows Mobile because though I'll never deny the fact that Windows Mobile is probably the most powerful and feature packed smartphone on the market, I don't think that's effective in this day and age.

To quote my original review:


Seeing the iPhone's success and the G1's potential, I think making a cleaner user interface that's easy to use, if not less intensive, is the way to swoon average users. Truthfully speaking, smartphones have been dumbed down in the past 2 years and made easier to use—even TouchFLO 3D is guilty of simplifying. For me, I would never be able to handle everything that Windows Mobile throws at you because honestly, I wouldn't know what to do with it.


Blackberry Bold


Let it be known: I'm absolutely in love with the Blackberry Bold's hardware. I think it's wonderfully built, the screen is absolutely gorgeous, and the keyboard is easy to learn. I believe that the Bold is very well on that top tier of smartphone hardware with the iPhone and well, that's saying a lot for a company whose main focus never was design.

I stick to what I said in my original review: the BBOS is the most limited smartphone platform and every other platform will soon lap it. But I can't deny the things that Blackberry does extraordinarily well. What I want from Blackberry is something similar to that "crack". Blackberry does such a great job at fostering a community that Blackberry users actually have a tangible reason (BBM, push e-mail) to stay on the platform.

To quote the review:


Think about it. For better or worse, every Blackberry user is inherently tied to another Blackberry user because of its use of NOCs and handling everything server-side. The average Blackberry user might not know it, but they're bundled up and bandied together. No other smartphone currently offers that type of communal feel and many just simply can't ever emulate that. The crack is real. Blackberrys have features that other phones don't and Blackberry Users have certain leniencies that Blackberry has allowed them, and to ask them to give it up? Yeah. Right.


Wouldn't it be cool if Android had an always-on, always connected Google Talk Application similar to BBM? It'd be a great way to create that same community feel. Even more so, the Google Talk users who use Google Talk on their desktops could even contact you directly—it could definitely improve on the limitations of BBM. Obviously, I'm uncertain of its technology possibilities but I'm sure giving away your Gmail username is a lot easier than memorizing your PIN.


Palm Treo Pro


The Palm Treo Pro is admittedly a stopgap device. But it's still a fully functional and powerful smartphone. After using the Treo Pro we became huge fans of the famed Treo one-handed use. Because of the limitations of a horizontal slider device, we can never efficiently use the G1 one handed. The hardware buttons on the Treo Pro are also a nice touch, which definitely add to its ability to be used one handed.

Other than that, the Treo Pro is a Windows Mobile device so it has the same strengths and limitations as the Fuze. Though Windows Mobile seemed a lot more comfortable on the Treo Pro, I still prefer the direction of Android over the power of Windows Mobile.


T-Mobile G1


So I guess to sum it all up: From the iPhone I hope for their developers. From Windows Mobile I want their phone hardware. From Blackberry I want the 'crack'. And from Palm I want the beautiful one-handed use. Not too much to ask, is it?

I think the most wonderful thing about the T-Mobile G1 and Android is its flexibility and even more importantly is its newness. Think about it, Android doesn't have a history weighing it down or an overly staunch user base demanding we keep things the way they were. Android has the ability to transform and morph into whatever it so chooses. There aren't round holes or square pegs here because everything is open source and the Android Market is so welcoming. Soon enough, developers will love to create applications for this platform.

But before Android gets those A-list developers on their platform they need to gain more users. They have to have more form factors on a variety of carriers. They have to build stunning hardware. Keep on building on their very capable OS. Perhaps add a community aspect to it.

What's amazing is that these aren't impossible tasks. We at Android Central aren't asking Android to change its stripes--just continue to evolve. By the time next year's Smartphone Round Robin hits, we could very well have all these new features on different types of hardware. That's why we think Android possesses the most potential out of all the smartphone platforms. That's why even after spending time with all of the other devices in the Smartphone Round Robin, we still are most excited to use the T-Mobile G1.

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