All signs have been pointing to Acer joining the Android Phone brigade and it's finally official: Acer has announced that they're joining the Open Handset Alliance and bringing an Android Phone to the market by late 2009.
The Open Handset Alliance and its members work towards the develop Android and stay committed to openness. Currently there are over 40 members in the Open Handset Alliance and the number hopes to grow even larger in the future.
If you're interested in Android Netbooks, we may have the first one to get you excited. What you'll see in the embedded video after the jump is an Asus Eee PC 'smartbook' prototype that runs Android on a 1GHz Snapdragon chipset by Qualcomm (as opposed to the typical Intel Atom chip).
What's so cool about this is not just the Android part, it's that this prototype is fanless. The Snapdragon chipset consumes so little power that there's no need for a fan to cool down the computer! Can you imagine the battery life? The thinness?
Check out the video below if you're interested in this cool Asus Eee PC prototype!
We can't tell you how haykuro does it but the man is amazing. He continues to feed us video after video detailing the future of Android. In this particular video we get to see more of the sleekness that is the HTC Hero's ROM. It's really a joy to watch. We don't know if we'll ever see this on a consumer Android handset but if there's a way to easily get this onto our devices, we'll definitely sign up.
The video is definitely worth a watch, if only to brighten up your Monday morning.
We've been suggesting that there's a difference between Google and Android for quite some time now. And it actually turns out that we were right (kind of)! Specifically, there are three different types of Android phones that can offer three entirely different experiences. So though some Android phones may look exactly alike, they could very well be the same device running three different versions of Android.
The Obligation Free Option: device manufacturers can download a free version of Android, load it onto their devices and provide access to as many or as few apps as they want. But the manufacturers cannot preload popular Google applications, like Gmail or Google calendar.
The Small Strings Option: Same as Option 1, except that manufacturers sign a distribution agreement to include Google applications on the phone. Of the 18 to 20 phones coming out this year, Mr. Rubin said, 12 to 14 subscribe to this option.
The Bigger Strips Option (or the No Censorship Version): This option is the "Google Experience" Option. You can determine the phones in these categories by the Google logo (like the T-Mobile G1). Google Applications are included, Android Market access cannot be blocked. Of the phones coming out this year, five or six belong to this category, Mr. Rubin said.
It's definitely been quiet since we first heard about OpenMoko and Android but hey, it was always the logical conclusion, right? But with so many Android devices coming out already, we think it might be a little too late for the FreeRunner to do any damage. There will just be more compelling offerings than an EDGE only device made by a (relatively) unknown company.
Unfortunately, the purported promotional video showcasing the HTC Hero has been pulled from Youtube. What we can gather is that the famed 'Rosie' GUI is the main attraction--widgets, new clocks, control bars and more all pop up more than a couple times. Also, it looks like the HTC Hero will be available in 7 different colors: black, white, teal, yellow, pink, mustard, and red. We guess HTC is hoping that the multiple color options will hide the fact that the HTC Hero is a poorly designed device.
It's interesting to know so much about a device that has yet to be officially announced. Reports have pointed to Orange UK being an exclusive carrier but honestly, we don't know other release details. As familiar and excited as we are for the HTC Hero, we highly doubt that we'll pick the Hero over forthcoming Android Phones. How about you guys?
This was to be expected. After Google gave away free HTC Magics aka the Google Ion at Google I/O, people were bound to put this special edition, possibly Android Dev Phone 2 onto eBay. Users hit quick and capitalized on the lack of an official US HTC Magic to maximize profit--it seems that more than a few people are looking to make a quick buck rather than incorporate a wonderful phone into their daily life.
The prices are pretty amazing considering everyone got one for free at the conference. What would you guys have done, sell the Google Ion on eBay or keep it and use it? Let us know! We think we would have kept it, used it, and sold our T-Mobile G1 instead!
We personally couldn't wait for T-Mobile to roll out to our G1, choosing to manually install it ourselves. Is anyone still waiting for Cupcake via T-Mobile? Let us know! (And let us hope that this is for real, for real!).
We know a lot of you guys wanted it, we know a lot of you guys have been waiting for it, and the time has finally come: Android is coming to Verizon. Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam announced that yes, Verizon aka Big Red will be carrying Android Devices, possibly as soon as the end of 2009. We don't know what phone manufacturer will offer up the Android goods for Verizon but initial signs are pointing to Motorola.
With Big Red in tow, it looks like all the national US carriers will have a horse in the Android race. This is quickly shaping up to be a fantastic year for Android. We can't wait to see what's next.
How excited are you guys to get a Verizon Android Phone?
We're quickly learning that Google isn't playing around when it comes to Android--they fully expect Android to become the future pseudo-standard for all smartphones. And in order to become that relevant, Android is going to need more devices. At Google I/O, we have news that Google is expecting 18-20 NEW Android Phones to hit the market by the end of 2009. Yeah. Eighteen to Twenty Android Phones in 2009. Say it with us: oh. em. gee.
Sadly, Google expects more Android devices to hit in foreign (read: non US) countries first with US releases to lag behind the world. Why? Because US carriers seem to be a bit pickier when it comes to final firmware, customization, and the like. There wasn't any specific manufacturers named but man, 18 to 20 after months with only 1 Android Device? Simply A-Mazing.
Looks like 2009 is shaping up to be what we expected it to be!
Before the Android 1.5 Cupcake Update is released to ALL Android Users, we already have word on the new features of Android 2.0 'Donut'. There are some neat new features but nothing especially game changing...yet. What piques our interest and makes incredible sense for a search-based company like Google is Donut's universal search, aptly dubbed 'Android Search'. Android Search will allow you to search online and locally on the device (contacts, music, calendars, etc).
Also, there's a new text-to-speech API that'll allow developers to take advantage of voice search-esque implementation for their application. What's even cooler is new support for handwriting gestures--as we see it, you can draw out any letter on the touchscreen and it'll automatically jump to that section in whatever list you're in. So for example, in the music app you can handwrite 'e' on the touchscreen and you'll be brought to the corresponding 'e' section. That new feature should be incredibly useful.
We're growing more and more excited about Android 2.0 by the day and we're hoping/praying/begging that T-Mobile will handle the release of Donut a lot better than they did Cupcake. Who's with us?
Following up their Android Dev Phone 2 giveaway at Google I/O, Google just announced that Android Developer Challenge 2. With the release of the Android 1.5 Cupcake Update, we can fully expect a slew of new apps that'll take advantage of the new aspects and features of Android 1.5.
If you remember, the first Android Developer Challenge was hugely successful, bringing the likes of popular apps such as ShopSavvy and Locale. As always, the winner of the Android Developer Challenge 2 will be determined by Android user votes. The Android Developer Challenge 2 will be specifically targeted for NEW Android applications that run smoothly on Cupcake 1.5. There'll be 10 categories for which developers can submit their apps for.
We're definitely excited to see what new applications the Android Developer Challenge 2 brings. If history is any barometer, we can fully expect some game-changing applications to be developed for Android. Definitely exciting stuff.
According to reports, Orange UK will be the exclusive carrier for the HTC Hero. We had originally reported that Orange was looking to release 6 Android Phones this year--landing the HTC Hero would be a great start. Currently, there isn't an Android Phone in Orange's lineup--the Hero would be the first.
If you've forgotten what the HTC Hero looks like, you can head over to this story. We're not a big fan of it style-wise but if it packs Android, that's always a good thing. We don't know how long this exclusivity will last, a 6 month timeframe would be par for the course.
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