The much-ballyhooed Cupcake Update to Android is all the rage in the new year. We've been tracking the ups and downs of the entire journey and remain hopeful that we'll one day get Cupcake in our hands. In the meantime, screenshots detailing what's new in Android after Cupcake will have to do.
We don't claim to have any inside information, in fact we know pretty much nothing about this Acer smartphone which is supposed to be announced on February 16th at MWC in Barcelona. But after getting spurned by the Agora and still (im)patiently waiting for the much fabled Second Android Device, we're grasping for straws here. Acer + Android, anybody? Or will they go Windows Mobile?
Opera Mini has finally left its beta stage and is being officially released for the Android platform. Watch out Chrome-Lite because Opera Mini 4.2 offers numerous fixes and some new features such as [via ZDNet]:
1. Now you can upload and download files through Opera Mini and save pages for offline viewing
2. Videos will be redirected to the system’s video player
3. Double tap now works for zooming in and out
4. Inline URL entry instead of using native input
5. Fixed password text entry to hide characters
6. Fixed problems with exiting application when back button was pressed
7. Improved trackball speed
8. All internal pages, like the start page, now have font size extra large for easier navigation
Everything sounds pretty nifty to us, the ability to save pages for offline viewing is especially crucial considering T-Mobile's anemic 3G coverage. We're pretty big fans of choice here at Android Central and though the native "chrome-lite" browser on Android is great, it looks like Opera Mini 4.2 is shaping up to be a real contender. What do you guy think? Anyone using Opera Mini over Android's Chrome?
She's a beauty, ain't she? Here's a closer look at the dual-SIM DSTL1 Android that General Mobile is bringing to the table at Barcelona next month for the 3GSM. It looks quite a bit like my iPhone 3G, but bolder. It most certainly makes my T-Mobile G1 look shamefully clunky, but hey, with a new platform like Android, you gotta start somewhere.
Is it an iPhone killer? Let's be honest, can anything really be an "iPhone killer" or just something to steal some of that prized market share? As Android matures and as phones like the DSTL1 become available with impressive specs and features, Apple may just want to keep one eye on the road and another eye looking over their shoulder.
Hot on the heels of some good news about the resurfacing Agora, there's more titillating news of new Android phones, specifically General Mobile's dual-SIM DSTL1 Android phone that they will showcase at the 2009 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February. According to General Mobile, this will be the FIRST dual-SIM Android phone and is expected to ship in Q3 2009.
Here are the specs for this device (subject to change, of course):
135g (4.75oz), 112 x 54 x 16mm (4.4 x 2.1 x .6 inches)
5 megapixel autofocus camera with flash (made by Sharp)
The picture provided here is a rendition of the phone, but should undergo some cosmetic changes (like the addition of more buttons) to accommodate the requirements for the Android OS. Also, the screen resolution is 400 x 240 - it will be interesting to see if this device can handle Android given that the Kogan Agora was initially shelved for a 320 x 240 resolution.
I would sure like me a dual-SIM phone, and especially one running Android. It would be a great way for me to carry my two phone lines in one place. Let's hope the DSTL1 is available when promised (or sooner!), available in the States, and available at a good price!
One of the more useful accessories for a smartphone is a sync and charge cable, and one of the better ones I've used is the Seidio Retractable S&C Cable for the T-Mobile G1 available here in the Android Central Store for $12.95. Read on after the jump for the complete review!
The Seidio Retractable S&C Cable has a solid, sturdy plastic housing with the "Seidio" logo on one side. At one end of the retractable ribbon cable is a standard USB connector and on the other end is a mini-USB connector for your T-Mobile G1 phone.
When coiled up, this sync and charge cable is only 4.5 inches long, making it easy to carry in a bag without entangling with anything. This is a huge plus for me due to the fact I'm a gadget freak and carry at least a couple sync and charge cables with me for various devices. The Seidio Retractable cable takes up very little space and I never have to worry about untangling the cable before use.
Once fully extended, the cable provides two feet of length from end to end. Just plug the USB connector into your laptop or desktop and the other end into your G1, and you're ready to sync and charge.
The design of the Seidio Retractable S&C Cable make it very usable for syncing and charging your G1. When extending the cable for use, just hold one of the connectors in each hand and pull them apart at the same time. You can extend the cable to the desired length, all the way up to the full two feet if you wish. When you are finished with the cable, just grab each end and pull both ends apart at the same time just enough to activate the spring in the housing, resulting in both ends winding up in the middle for easy storage.
When in use with your G1 Android phone, you can charge from your desktop, laptop, or Seidio USB wall charger. This cable is very handy for the traveler or if you just want to make sure you have a means of charging at any time, whether at home or work.
Given it's usefulness, compact design, and syncing/charging capability, I highly recommend the Seidio Retractable S&C Cable for your T-Mobile G1. It's small enough to throw in your pocket, backpack or case, and it easily extends to a reasonable length for easy use in syncing and charging. It then retracts easily for storage. If you want to reduce the frustration of tangled cables and have a means of syncing and charging your G1 that fits neatly in your pocket or bag, then head over to the Android Central Store and pick up the Seidio Retractable S&C Cable for $12.95 right here.
It appears the Kogan Agora still has a pulse, albeit no release date at this time. Ruslan Kogan has made it known that his previous Android attempt, the Agora, had screen compatibility issues, preventing mass production and release of a $200 unlocked Android phone as a second entrant into the Android world. We all held our breath and hoped, and now it appears our hoping is not in vain.
No code name has been leaked for the new device (perhaps "Phoenix" would be appropriate in that Kogan's new device seems to rise from the Agora ashes), but Mr. Kogan intimates that the new Agora's development is well under way and he still expects it to be available as the second Android handset (following on the heels of the T-Mobile G1, of course). He also hints that the phone will have the same pricing - let's all hope for a $200 unlocked Android handset with front-facing QWERTY keyboard, eh? Good luck on the new design, Mr. Kogan. We here at Android Central are pulling for you!
You may have heard the rumor and conjecture about Android supporting multi-touch in the not-too-distant future. Well, if you are a brave soul and are willing to gain root access on your beloved Android T-Mobile G1 device, then multi-touch may be ready for you sooner than you think.
Although still in the proof-of-concept phase, some ingenious people in the development community have provided an unofficial hack for multi-touch, including multi-touch browser and, as seen in the video, a multi-touch map app. If you are feeling adventurous and have an idea of what you are doing, then try it at your own risk. If you don't even know what "root access" means, then you may want to sit this one out and wait for official multi-touch.
Matt has a ton of knowledge about a subject that the rest of us at Smartphone Experts have historically lacked, namely Nokia, S60, and the Symbian OS in general. He gives himself a brief introduction here, in the unlikely event you're not familiar.
Nokia has, as yet, not successfully made a big smartphone push in the United States, but that's quite likely to change as they have a slew of exciting new devices coming out and are also likely to have their E71 messaging smartphone picked up by AT&T very soon. In other words, if, like us, you're relatively new to Nokia and S60 but want to learn more, Nokia Experts is surely going to be one of your best resources. Heck, Matt's already published a full review of the Nokia 5800 Tube XpressMusic touch screen S60 device. The 'Tube' is already a best-selling device overseas and is more of a worthy contender than you might think, so the review is definitely worth a read.
Go on and head over to Nokia Experts now and give 'em a big ol' hello!
We're getting reports that an app in Android Market called MemoryUp is destroying personal data, erasing contacts, and installing adware. The app, which was supposed to help optimize memory is instead responsible for wiping memory and spamming e-mail. It doesn't look good folks. We hate to see the Android Market become littered with problematic apps like this so hopefully Google can maintain some control over the app. In the meantime, make sure you guys STAY AWAY from the app MemoryUp!
Also, for the record, Android doesn't need a memory optimizer because Java eventually cleans up memory on its own.
We love goofy usages of the Android platform, it makes the Android platform seem so versatile. So when we stumbled upon this robot (aptly named Forknife) being controlled by a T-Mobile G1 and Android, well, we couldn't help but smile. Though it doesn't really do much but roam around the floor and occasionally move its arms (or fork and knife), it still is quite cute and fun to see.
If you want to control a robot with your T-Mobile G1 you can head over to Macpod Software to see how to accomplish the definitely challenging task
It's no secret that we love us some Motorola around these parts. We've been saying Motorola Hardware combined with Android Software would simply be a killer device. It's almost sad for us to document the current downfall of a once great company. Motorola has laid off 77 employees in Florida, mostly from their floundering mobile division.
What's interesting about these layoffs is that they were all working on Windows Mobile development. Is this a sign that Motorola may be Android-only as previously suggested? Are they re-allocating their resources to become Android exclusive? What do you guys think?
Since Android is open-source and requires no licensing costs, there will surely be plenty of Android devices in the future. But currently, the only smartphone that runs Android is the T-Mobile G1. Sure, there have been rumors, reports, and pictures about the T-Mobile G2 (code name: Sapphire) but at this point in time, nothing else exists for Android other than the T-Mobile G1.
So when you see pictures and products claiming to the be the G2 or the Dream, those unofficial products are not doing much other than trying to capitalize (read: steal) on the brand name of the G1. Most of them are probably going to be mock ups, others may be actual phones, but in the end, when the Second Android Device is released for public consumption--we'll be there to let you know. In the meantime, we advise you to stay away.
So when you stumble upon a purported G2 remember that it doesn't exist yet. Would we want all these fake G2s to be actual Android Devices? Yeah, of course. But do we trust these devices? Not one bit.
It started in the early days of the Android Market with GoCart, an ingenious and useful app from Big In Japan that allowed users to use their G1's camera to scan the barcode of products. Then, GoCart would automatically search online for comparison pricing and use the G1's GPS to direct the shopper to the best deal. After winning a cool $250,000 from the Android Developer Challenge, GoCart has evolved into ShopSavvy and will soon sport a host of improvements.
According to an email exchange between Ernest Doku of omio and Big In Japan co-founder Alexander Muse, ShopSavvy will soon include:
improved location data (i.e. combining wifi/gps/celltower) to determine your exact location.
ability to include easter eggs for certain items (retailers can offer specials to ShopSavvy users) when scanned in certain stores.
we will be including the ability to instantly pay for items with ShopSavvy.
we will be allowing users to submit prices, retailers, pictures and reviews.
our iPhone version will be released (US only for now).
additional product information will be included for items (i.e. food allergy and health info).
With all the power ShopSavvy is soon to bring to you and me, the consumers, it's no surprise that (to coin an '80s song) the future's so bright, Big In Japan has got to wear shades.
The Krusell Horizon Multidapt (S-Wide) case for the T-Mobile G1 is available in the Android Central Store for $24.95 and can be purchased here. It offers a couple different carrying options and fits the G1 Android phone and sports a magnetic closure to secure the phone. How does it perform as a case for your valuable G1? Read on for the full review after the break!
Design and Performance of Case
I've used many Krusell case products over the years for my various PDA or phone devices, and I've always been impressed with their quality and design. This Horizon case is no exception with respect to quality and design. The packaging is the first positive to me in that the packaging is a heavy paper/card stock material that makes it easy to access the case. The case is actually clipped into the packaging using the unique multidapt system and requires the end of a ball point pen to release the case from the packaging. The case itself is black nappa leather on the outside with a light cream-colored interior. The exterior of the case is accentuated with light-colored stitching and adorned with a small Krusell nameplate on the outside of the magnetic closure.
The case has an opening along the bottom to more easily push the phone upward and out of the case. There is a long rectangular cut-out on one end to provide easy access to the mini-USB port on the bottom of the G1, but requires fitting the G1 into the case in an upside-down configuration. Then again, what is really considered "upside-down" in a horizontal case? This may be a nuisance to some but not to others, so it's really a matter of personal taste. For me, it's a little awkward because I normally carry my G1 flipped the other way around.
On the back of the case there are two options for carrying - two belt loops on either side of the multidapt connector or the multidapt connector itself. The multidapt system includes the connector attached to the case itself, and a removable plastic spring-loaded clip. The clip is sturdy and durable and removed by depressing a recessed button with the end of a ball point pen or other pointed object. The multidapt system is nice in that you have the option to carry the case with the clip or, if you wish to use the belt loops, the clip can be removed. The belt loops are wide enough to accommodate even most wider belts.
The Krusell Horizon case is more than adequate as a case, offering protection to your G1, a stylish way to carry it, options for carrying with either the clip or the belt loops, and a convenient magnetic closure. Although convenient, the magnetic closure is my only gripe. Rather than the button magnetic closure found on this case, my preference is for one without the metal button, like found on Palm's leather Treo horizontal carrying case. In my opinion, the magnetic closure is much easier when the metal button is eliminated and the magnet is sewn inside of the leather. When the design of the case closure incorporates the magnet inside of the leather, then precision when closing the case is not required - it's just a leather-on-leather contact. The magnetized button snap closure requires a little more precision when closing and I simply don't want to have to deal with precision; I just want to put my G1 in the case and shut the flap and feel that it is secured.
The Krusell Horizon Multidapt (S-Wide) Case for the T-Mobile G1 is another good product from Krusell. It's a stylish way to protect and carry your G1 and offers the convenience of a couple ways to carry it: belt loops or the multidapt clip. Either way you carry it, it should stay put on your person. The nappa leather is good quality and the magnetic closure is convenient.
On the down side, the same convenient magnetic closure also requires a little more precision when closing than a sewn-in magnet minus the magnetic snap-button that is currently part of the case's design. Also, the cutout to access the G1's mini-USB port is really located on the wrong end of the case for this G1 user. Others may not have a problem with it's location. In any event, the case is a nice one for the money and should make most people happy who are looking for a stylish and secure way to carry their G1.
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