Ah, the serene infinity water wallpaper. The giant clock. The battery charge icon. It all looks so familiar--but what is that darned Blackberry Logo doing on the bottom tab !? Well, turns out folks, our friends over at Crackberry have found a way to make their Bolds look more like Androids and from our perspective, it looks pretty accurate. There are a few obvious Blackberry touches but for the most part Jason Calhoun, the creator of this theme, did a really great job. What is more than a bit weird is that the Giant Clock doesn't actually work...it's just for show.
We've said it before but Android needs a Blackberry Bold type form factor because that simply would be a game changer. We guess merging an Android Theme with the Bold is a semi-start, kind of?
Fresh off our report that the T-Mobile G1 should be receiving the Cupcake Update to Android by the end of January, more reported facts are coming out in regards to the G1, Cupcake, and Android. Here's a list of them which include some already known pieces of information:
There WILL be a G1 update shortly as it was INTENDED to be by mid-January so the next target is now by the end of January.
T-Mobile will not just provide Cupcake elements to the G2 and leave the G1 behind.
The next update will be called RC31 and include Cupcake elements.
The mass of calls lately for Cupcake is registering and causing T-Mobile to double their efforts in getting the update out.
NO ONE has received RC31 as of today.
When the update is released it will be done in stages “Over The Air” but it will be by region not when you purchased the G1.
The memo I was privy to is NOT distributed to Support personnel.
T-Mobile Specialists & Support are LAST to know when an update happens and are notified AFTER it is released as was the case with RC29 & RC30.
T-Mobile does have a battery improvement program in motion
T-Mobile’s plan for battery improvement will be one of OR a combination of efficiencies in an OTA update and an extended life battery replacement.
One of T-Mobile's flagship offerings is their MyFaves feature which allows free calling to a certain amount of people on any network. It's a fairly popular aspect of T-Mobile and according to some customers, it is now being offered (for a limited time only, of course) as a free add-on!
We're not sure about the exact specifics necessary in your rate plan, length of contract, etc. in order to receive MyFaves for free but it's definitely worth calling T-Mobile and checking it out. From what we're hearing, a lot of folks are receiving it but some aren't so lucky. Let us know in the comments if you do try to add MyFaves for free!
Google's Eric Chu has contacted Android Developers that new countries can now be targeted in Android Market. Though not all of these countries actually have Android-capable phones quite yet, when they finally do, they'll have a slew of apps to choose from.
What's currently unclear is what their exact plans for releasing Android in those markets are. We'll be on the lookout for more news on the European Front as it comes by.
Here's the full E-Mail, as delivered:
I'm writing to let you know that Android Market will become available to users in Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Netherlands, and Poland in the
coming weeks. You can now target these countries for your application(s)
via the publisher website at market.android.com/publish. As we add support
for additional countries, we will send out subsequent notifications to
you. Note that your apps will not become available in these new countries
unless you specifically select them in the publisher website.
Thanks for your support, and we look forward to continue working with you
on Android Market.
According to AndroidGuys, CellHut.com, a fairly popular online website that is known to sell unlocked phones, has begun to sell a contract-free T-Mobile G1 for $499. After digging through the CellHut website it looks like it isn't a fully unlocked version since it specifically states that it's only compatible with T-Mobile.
The news that it isn't unlcoked is a bit strange but if you're looking for a place to buy your T-Mobile G1 you can now add CellHut.com and Amazon.com to your list of options.
There had been rumors that the T-Mobile G1 wasn't going to be receiving the much anticipated Cupcake Update to Android. Thankfully, those reports proved to be false. In even better news, we're getting news that the Cupcake Update might actually show up at the end of January. As in the end of this month.
Supposedly, the update will be delivered through a series of OTA updates and determined through your region, not the date of purchase. Whichever way we have it, we want it. Hopefully T-Mobile and Google can stick to their target date and get it out by the end of this month because we're SO looking forward to an on-screen keyboard.
We're not exactly sure when this happened--whether it was a month ago, a week ago, or a day ago--but the T-Mobile G1 is now available for purchase on Amazon.com! Unlike other phones sold on Amazon.com there isn't any amazing deal, in fact, it's priced at the usual $179.99 price point (albeit with free two day shipping). Typical for Amazon.com phone purchases however is that there's a $250 fee for canceling the service plan before 181 days. Eek.
Either way, even though it isn't a lovely Amazon Gold Box deal, we see that T-Mobile is expanding its footprint with the G1 and starting to offer it to the mass market. We're excited to see how big the T-Mobile G1 can get.
Ah, the worst is to be expected when it comes to Motorola and our current economic climate. Motorola announced that 4,000 workers will be laid off and most of it will come in their struggling mobile division. Definitely sad news for a company that was so dominant just a few years ago.
However, the Android Team is supposed to be safe so maybe they can pump out an Android Device and be successful so they won't have to lay off all those hard working employees. We at Android Central have been desperately wishing for a Motorola Android Device--hopefully it really can save the company from going under.
We won't really get into the stylistic elements of this Android-powered camera "hat", I mean that model speaks for itself, no? But what is kind of, semi-cool is that someone actually made a Camera Hat based on Android to help those who have no idea how to solve common tech problems.
Dan O'Sullivan created this Android Camera-hat to help his mom with basic tech support--I mean it's a heck of a lot easier helping those with technology when you can see what they're doing wrong right? What's a little bit bothering is that Android seems to be being ported to EVERYTHING other than smartphones. What's the deal with that guys?
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.
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.
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!
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.
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]
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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