You have to love Google. Not only do they name their Android builds after desserts, they actually bring in gigantic-sized models of said desserts and place them on their campus. If you remember, Android 2.0 is going to be called 'Eclair' and since it's now been placed on the Google Campus, we can likely expect it sooner than we thought.
The first device to run Android 2.0 'Eclair' is expected to be the Verizon Motorola Droid (aka Tao aka Sholes) and with the Droid leaking images left and right and the giant Eclair being set on the Google Campus, maybe we're in for a great (and productive) end of the year! And if it does come that soon, can and will devices jump to 'Eclair' from 'Cupcake' and bypass 'Donut' entirely?
Hit the jump to see a picture of the giant Android Robot, Cupcake, & Donut!
Reviews of the Motorola CLIQ have been popping up all over the web and the general consensus is that the CLIQ is a good and solid first Android effort from Motorola that leaves them wanting more. We've yet to receive our own Motorola CLIQ so we've gathered the other reviews together for your reading pleasure. We've included some highlight quotes that should give you a good idea on how the CLIQ performs. So without further ado, here's where you can find the reviews
The CLIQ definitely steps up to the plate here, ditching the wacky arc-shaped screen opening mechanism for a traditional slide, losing the angled chin, and generally upping the quality of materials throughout the phone -- but the keyboard is another story...The biggest issue with the CLIQ's keyboard, though, is the placement of the spacebar, Alt, Symbol, Search, and back keys. Unlike the rest of the pad, that bottom row is concave rather than convex, meaning they're essentially buried beneath the edge of the device.
Gizmodo loved MOTOBLUR but think it's held back by the CLIQ's processor (the same processor in every Android device):
Like we said in the hardware section, the major thing holding back the Cliq from being a fantastic phone is the processor. The animations are smooth, the UI touches are smart and the social networking stuff is useful; we just wish we could have a bit more account customization, do all of that on faster hardware.
Blur is clever. When you start up the phone it asks for all of your login particulars. Everyone, be they in Twitter or Facebook or Gmail, shows up as a contact. Most of these contacts will automatically connect with each other, ensuring you don’t have too many duplicates.
Check out the rest of the reviews and don't forget to wait for Android Central's take on the Motorola CLIQ and MOTOBLUR!
Finally! After dealing with dark and fuzzy pictures of the Motorola Droid aka Tao aka Sholes, we finally get a clean and clear picture of it--and yes, it looks as good as we want it to. This picture-perfect angle of what we expect to be the first Verizon Android device shows that it is in fact, called the Motorola Droid and that it will run Android 2.0 'Eclair' as listed in the above settings. We're crossing our fingers that Verizon and Motorola plan to launch this very, very soon.
These Android devices just keep coming, don't they? After copping out with a dual-booting Android Netbook, it looks like Acer is ready to support Android in a big way. Acer just announced the Acer Liquid, Acer's first Android smartphone. The Acer Liquid (which we're assuming is the much discussed A1) will use Qualcomm's 1GHz Snapdragon Processor, marking it the first Android handset to use the chipset (which we expect to be super fast). Along with the super speedy processor, the Acer Liquid will have a drool-worthy High Definition WVGA capacitive touchscreen and run Android 1.6 'Donut'.
Improved power management to help achieve longer battery autonomy for intense users;
A new user interface with easy access to entertainment and web bookmarks
An optimized camera with geo-tagging, ISO, self-timer options and accelerated auto-focus performance
Exclusive Spinlets application providing free streaming of worldwide music and video, that can be shared with friends and family through web-posting or e-mail
Smart integration of Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Picasa and Flickr in the address book, with realtime notification of status or content updates.
Though no date, price, carrier, or any real information was announced, we're sure that the Acer Liquid will shake up the current Android smartphone market into using faster processors (we hope). Either way, we can't wait to use one of these!
BGR got their hands on another picture of the Motorola Droid aka Tao aka Sholes and it's...fuzzy. Though of course, a picture of the upcoming Verizon Motorola Android handset is better than nothing, we do wish it came at a higher resolution. BGR's sources also tell them that the ROM on the Droid aka Tao aka Sholes is getting new builds daily--maybe they're trying to reach a deadline and release this puppy? Let's hope so.
We've heard about the Acer Android Netbook for so long that it's almost surprising that it's now a reality...sort of. You can pre-order the Acer Android Netbook right now on Amazon for the netbook-ish price of $349.99. The Acer Aspire One D250 will dual-boot Android and Windows XP and pack your typical netbook specs: 1.66 GHz Intel Atom Processor, 1GB RAM, 160GB HD, and 10.1" display. Battery life is supposed to hit 9 hours (or just around your T-Mobile G1. zing!)
There's no ship date listed but we're hoping this comes out very, very soon! Who's going to buy this Android netbook?
Here's a quick tour of the major features of the Motoblur interface and service on the Motorola Cliq. I got this tour at the Moto booth at CTIA and after fighting a recalcitrant SD card for several days, I'm happy to say I've saved the video and present it here for you slavering Cliq fans.
Overall I'm quite impressed with the Cliq - but as with the Sense UI on the HTC Hero, I worry that the proliferation of widgets, email clients, and the like will confuse new users. As a power user myself, I find them all to be a joy. Perhaps we're approaching the day where all smartphone users start to look like power users. What do you think - does Motoblur look like it would appeal to Aunt May?
By now, we're hoping that you guys are all enjoying Android 1.6 'Donut' and using all the new, unique features of 'Donut'. Google highlighted one of these features, Quick Search Box, in the above video and we think it's worth a look to see how powerful the Search toolbar has become.
Basically, Quick Search Box searches both locally on your phone and on the web. You can search through your own personal apps, contacts, and browser history as well as on the web for local businesses, weather, movie showtimes, etc. all through one search box. It's smart, it's fast, and it'll find you what you need.
Suggestions begin to pop up while you type and Quick Search Box even 'learns' your habits, providing faster access to items you search for and use most often. The microphone button can be used to both search and call contacts, a great new feature! But it doesn't end there, third party developers will be able to offer suggestions in Quick Search Box--greatly expanding the scope of Search. Imagine being able to search Twitter on your home screen via a Twitter application that supports Quick Search Box. This is going to be huge for Android.
If you're into planning and saving the date, Google would like to let you know that Google I/O, Google's largest developer conference, will be returning to the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA on May 19-20, 2010. There's not much you can do for the event now, considering early registration starts in January 2010, but consider our calendars marked. Google I/O 2009 was the event where they gave free Google Ions aka HTC Magics aka myTouch 3Gs to attendees and introduced Google Wave. What will be in store for 2010?
The HTC Tattoo, HTC's other Android device that runs HTC Sense, is now available across the pond. Vodafone UK customers are now able to purchase this highly customizable, highly affordable Android device and immediately 'make it their own'. By heading to TattooMyHTC.com, users can either choose from a slew of design options or even dabble and create their own. Basically, you can Tattoo your Tattoo.
If you want to buy a pre-existing design cover, it'll run you €11.99 but if you want to harness your own creative nature and completely build your own design from scratch, it'll be offered for €14.99. Let us know what designs you guys come up with!
T-Mobile's Project Dark (or Project Black) is purported to be the ace in the hole for T-Mobile. There are rumors abound suggesting that it most definitely is game changing, but no one really knows what it's going to be. Some are even speculating the spectacular--that the iPhone is on its way to T-Mobile (not going to happen). But we think even the iPhone isn't big enough for this announcement --T-Mobile will need something truly shocking.
More reasonable suggestions of what Project Dark is, is that T-Mobile is prepping successive launches for their most anticipated handsets (Motorola CLIQ,Samsung Behold II,Blackberry 9700) along with a hyper-launch of T-Mobile's 21Mbps HSPA+ super-3G network. Having top-end handsets with the absolute fastest 3G network in the US is certainly noteworthy. But the best and what we think most game changing feature would be is the report that T-Mobile is planning to launch a $50 all-you-can-eat rate plan that'll give users unlimited SMS, MMS, and data along with your usual slew of minutes. Can you imagine every other carrier scrambling to respond to that? The whole industry would be shaken up (and we reap the benefits!).
As far as we know, T-Mobile is planning to launch Project Dark by the end of this month (October 25th being the date everyone is pointing to). Is it possible to fulfill impossible hype?
Likely in response to the launch of the HTC Hero on Sprint, Walmart has just dropped the price of the original Android phones. Both the T-Mobile G1 and the myTouch 3G received price drops and if you're a current T-Mobile customer wanting to get a taste of Android, it's as good a deal as you're going to find. The T-Mobile G1 is now $48.88 and the myTouch 3G is $98.88 (with new 2-year contract). It's a really great deal considering how many 'dumbphones' are offered for the same price.
To check when your Hero was manufactured, open up the dialer and punch in ##786# to get Reverse Logistics open and scroll down to the Manufacturer's Date. The date will be listed in the d/m/y format. To see which EV-DO you're connected to go to Settings > About Phone > Status > Mobile Network Type. We're not certain there's an actual difference between Hero's branded as 'with Google' and those without but if we're all using EV-DO Rev. 0, that's alarming.
Our Hero at Android Central does not have the 'with Google' logo, was manufactured on 4/9/2009 (Sept. 4, 2009), and currently reads EV-DO Rev. 0.
What about yours?
Update: According to Sprint, the Rev. 0 issue is a mere visual display bug. Even though your Hero says you're connected to EV-DO Rev. 0 and only EV-DO Rev. 0, if you live in an EV-DO Rev. A area, you'll be connected to that Rev. A network no matter what the phone says. We'll have to take their word for it and hope this visual display bug gets fixed in the future!
a big thanks to Andrew Starr & tom for the tip and the Sprint Users forum for the info!
Last week was the CTIA Wireless IT & Entertainment conference. We had coverage at a few of our sites, but Kevin Michaluk and I also sat down with Mickey Papillon of The Cell Phone Junkie to record a podcast about our thoughts on the event - worth checking out. Here's what else went on in the smartphone world this week.
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