Well it looks like everyone is eventually going to join the Android Party. Samsung and LG are expected to take a wait and see approach with Android and will probably come out with Android Devices in the second half of 2009 "at the earliest".
Though we at AndroidCentral would absolutely love a Samsung Instinct or LG Dare to run Android, it's a safe move on Samsung and LG's part, waiting almost a year to see how Android shapes up and let HTC and T-Mobile take the first hit on bugs, problems, and the like.
We can see more and more phone makers announce future Android plans but they'll likely keep a close eye on the T-Mobile G1. As for the T-Mobile G1, it'll likely succeed considering it's going to be the only Android device on the market.
Visa has announced that they are going to offer an application in Android that will deliver notifications about Chase Visa Customers and Android Users. The plan is to give account activity updates, transfer money, show merchant offers, and also a unique location-based service that will allow Android Users to see where the merchants are offering specials.
If it succeeds, Visa will extend this type of relationship with other banks. Hey, pretty soon all we would have to carry is just an Android Device right?
Having not been able to capitalize on the success of the original RAZR (has it been 4 years already?), Motorla is obviously in need of some shaking up. With sales declining and fewer and fewer capable models left in the pipeline, it should come to no surprise that Motorola is betting on the Android (after all, they are a member of the Open Handset Alliance). What is a surprise is how big they are betting.
TechCrunch is reporting that they have 50 people already on the Android Team and are planning to expand the Android division to 350 people strong. Obviously, Motorola needs to plan for the future and with Android looking like the next biggest thing, it isn't surprising that Motorola is hinging their success with Android. Motorola is already heavily involved in the Windows Mobile Game, so making a phone for Android (with no licensing costs) is a no brainer.
After all, Motorola still makes pretty phones..it's just that shoddy software that has disinterested folks.
Gizmodo is reporting that the T-Mobile G1 is close to selling out, so you guys better act quick if you want the first Android Device delivered to your doorstep! Though originally, it looked like it had sold out, it seemed to only be a technical glitch in T-Mobile's system. Either way, it is being reported that there are "only a small quantity of T-Mobile G1s available", so if you were on the fence about buying one...make your decision now!
We at AndroidCentral tried to hop on the T-Mobile G1 site to see if it was still available but were squashed by a come back later error. Hopefully, it's another technical error or you can kiss the T-Mobile G1 goodbye until October!
We at AndroidCentral certainly love our fonts and can absolutely appreciate the hard work it takes to create a "great" font. But when we heard that Google and Ascender (a digital typeface company) took two years of work to create the official font for Android, even we were stunned.
Aptly named Droid, the font is unique for Google because Google's logo is playful and fun while the Droid Font is simply "approachable". The Droid Font will be embedded in all of Android from drop-down menus, address book, maps, keyboard, characters, etc. Google's goals for the font?
"We wanted the type to be very useful, comfortable to read, and not in any way distracting." The teams also wanted a typeface that would work well with the distinctive Android logo, which was designed by another company.
Apparently, the white version of the T-Mobile G1 is currently having "paint chipping issues" that causes the white paint on the T-Mobile G1 to well, chip away. T-Mobile is currently rectifying the problem and promises to have the white version of the T-Mobile G1 back in stock when they can.
Hey potential T-Mobile G1 users! The Quick Start guide (in PDF form) for our future phone, the T-Mobile G1, is available to download at THIS LINK (Via Gizmodo). It's a PDF link so be wary!
There are 48 pages of goodies on how to work the T-Mobile G1 so if you want to get a head start on studying and learning, go and download it! I mean, it's a long way til October 22nd isn't it? Relevant reading material will help pass the time faster.
We'll be sure to give it a detailed look and report to you guys what we've found. So what are you doing here still? GO GET IT. In the mean time, we'll be reading!
Ulf Waschbusch, ex-Google Mobile Product Manager now at MySpace Mobile, was recently reported all across the interweb as trashing the T-Mobile G1 on his blog:
It’s funny - but the first time I heard about Android was about 2.5 years ago, when Eric Schmidt told me about the device at Stanford after I got a job offer from Google (yet before I accepted it!). Since then I have seen many iterations of the software. The software. Not the device itself, because sadly it hasn’t changed much in a while. (Not sure how long). The reason many people see the G1 as ugly and old-fashioned is simply… because it IS! It’s a design unchanged for a while (it’s now available in Zune-brown along with white and black). The hardware itself though went through many iterations I am sure, as it’s top-notch (3G on AWS, GPS, 3MP autofocus camera etc.).
Is this a case of a disgruntled ex-employee mad at Google and Android? Well, not quite. He retorted to a lot of people who claimed he was just mad at Google by saying he loves Android, the Android Team, and everything at Google. His only beef? That the T-Mobile G1 looks a little bit dated.
Just to make sure you guys have been paying attention, the T-Mobile G1 does NOT have a 3.5mm headphone jack which means all your music will have to be either routed through an adapter or use a proprietary ExtUSB headset. Obviously, this blows big time but it does go along with many other HTC products (just not the HTC Touch HD) so it's not exactly from left field. However, it will be interesting to see if this affects sales at the Amazon MP3 Store for the T-Mobile G1 or will people just fold and use whatever headset HTC provides? I can't imagine people buying music if they can't listen to it the way they want to.
Hah! Either T-Mobile listened to our complaints about the 1GB Data Cap or got strong-armed by Google, either way that 1 GB cap that was originally in place? Gone! Remove from the powers of T-Mobile. Taking a page out of the Google "Don't Be Evil" Playbook, it looks like T-Mobile folded to customer complaints in less than a day and will instead focus their throttling efforts on the small percentage who use their devices excessively. The new fine print isn't quite finalized yet but we'll be sure to report it once we hear it.
Here's the full T-Mobile statement:
Our goal, when the T-Mobile G1 becomes available in October, is to provide affordable, high-speed data service allowing customers to experience the full data capabilities of the device and our 3G network. At the same time, we have a responsibility to provide the best network experience for all of our customers so we reserve the right to temporarily reduce data throughput for a small fraction of our customers who have excessive or disproportionate usage that interferes with our network performance or our ability to provide quality service to all of our customers.
We removed the 1GB soft limit from our policy statement, and we are confident that T-Mobile G1 customers will enjoy the high speed of data access over our 3G network. The specific terms for our new data plans are still being reviewed and once they are final we will be certain to share this broadly with current customers and potential new customers.
First, the thing is open source and anybody can write whatever they want for it, so T-Mobile isn't going to go to any great lengths to stop us from tethering. Problem there, of course, is that they're also saying that they're going to cap data at a ridiculously low 1GB per month, which makes tethering a little dicey.
Secondly, T-Mobile has a long-standing (and rather impressive) policy of freely offering unlock codes to most customers upon request and after a 3 month period to make it easier for them to travel overseas. That apparently won't change with the G1. There's a caveat here too, though, if you're thinking of slapping in an AT&T SIM card: it will work on an unlocked G1, but you're never going to get 3G because T-Mobile and AT&T use different radio bands for 3G. So much for GSM being the universal standard, eh?
Android Community has a great video on the actual workings of Google Maps Street View on the T-Mobile G1. Google Maps will certainly be a killer app on the T-Mobile G1 because of a feature that no cell phone currently offers--the ability to control Street View by just moving the device around, as if you were looking at the world through a looking glass.
Because the T-Mobile G1 includes an internal compass, it allows you to control your view of Street View by simply moving your body. You will be able to turn completely around with the G1 to "see" what's behind you on 5th Avenue, zoom in for amazing detail to see where the nearest parking garage is, and much, much more.
It certainly looks like Google Maps with Street View on the T-Mobile G1 will redefine mobile maps and challenge everyone who offers mapping programs to step their game up. Check out the demo in the video!
Amidst all of the hoopla of the Android Event we may have missed a couple of good nuggets about the T-Mobile G1 and Android in general. Luckily, Ryan Block has filled us in with a couple of good ones. Namely, the T-Mobile G1 will support microSDHC meaning there is no cap at 4GB, when bigger cards become available your G1 will be able to take advantage of the extra leg room. Also, the WebKit-based browser is not exactly Chrome or Chrome Mobile or Chrome On-the-Go but chooses to avoid the Chrome moniker, for now. Andy Rubin says it can be thought of as Chrome Light. But then again, that's not an official name.
It's an exciting time for the T-Mobile G1 and we'll be sure to keep you updated with as many interesting nuggets in the upcoming weeks. Stay tuned!
After reporting that the $179 price of the T-Mobile G1 may or may not be "real" we decided to find out for ourselves. Initially, the T-Mobile system was down and asked us to try again but after a few more tries, we were finally able to get in. Hoping to snatch one of these puppies for the $179 price, we typed in our login information only to find that we didn't qualify for that much reported price. Instead we were faced with the $299 offer.
Hmm. At the Android Event we don't remember anyone from T-Mobile or Google mentioning that there would be different price tiers, but it looks like that is to be the case. After getting off the phone with a T-Mobile Rep, they helped us determine that the $179 offer is those who are eligible for an upgrade. Specifically, those in the 22nd month and beyond of a 2 year contract. It looks like all those T-Mobile customers who don't fit that bill will be getting the $299 offer.
In other words, tough luck us. Unless you qualify for an upgrade be aware that the price of the T-Mobile G1 will be $299. As for the price for new T-Mobile customers? We don't quite know that yet..
Good news, developers, the SDK for developing applications for Android and their brand new app market is no longer a pre-release, but is official. Go check out the details at the developer's blog:
Yes, that means we're officially at 1.0. Of course the SDK won't remain static—we'll keep improving the tools by adding features and fixing bugs. But now developers can rely on the APIs in the SDK, and can update their applications to run on Android 1.0-compatible devices. The Android Market beta will also launch with the T-Mobile G1, providing developers an easy and open way to distribute their applications on that and later devices. I've already seen a lot of applications that have me stoked, and I can't wait to see things really come together as developers cross that final mile to prepare their applications for Android 1.0
Hooray for stable APIs! Also exciting: you'll be able to utilize true Copy and Paste on data fields:
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