Swype has been given the what-for on Windows Mobile for a while now, and it's gained a bit of a following, coming standard on the Samsung Omnia II. For the uninitiated, it's an on-screen keyboard on which you drag your finger across the screen instead of picking it up every time you type a letter.
MobileCrunch has gotten an early look at Swype on the Verizon Droid Eris, and it looks exactly the same as what I've used on Windows Mobile (as it should). If you've never used Swype, it's a very odd feeling. I'm not sold on it, but to each his own. (And it should be noted that you can still use it as a normal keyboard.)
Let's get a few things straight regarding the almighty Nexus One, shall we?
There is no "Google Phone." As of this writing, the only semi-official name out there is the Nexus One.
"Google Phone" is what it's been dubbed because Google reportedly may go it alone, bypassing carriers. But that's looking increasingly unlikely. That and it sounds good. And with Google's simple branding, coming up with something better would require, you know, thinking.
HTC, not Google, is the manufacturer. Sure, Google likely has had a pretty big hand in the details. But that's hardly unusual in the developement of a smartphone. Usually a company such as HTC brings a basic design to the table, and then the carriers change (or break) options at will.
Currently, no carriers have been announced. T-Mobile is the front-runner, given that the Nexus One sports a 1700MHz radio in it. And T-Mobile is the only U.S. carrier that uses 1700MHz. Dots connected.
We don't know if it will be available for purchase by the general public. Currently, only Google employees have the Nexus One.
We don't know when the Nexus One may be made available for sale.A Reuters story, citing (not quoting) an unnamed source, says it could be available "as early as January 5." That's not the same as "will be available Jan. 5." Remember that when your kids wake up disappointed.
(Our favorite line from the Reuters piece: "The phone is similar to Apple Inc's iPhone but has, among other features, an exchangeable battery." OH.)
We don't know what it will cost. Free is unlikely. And even my grandmother can speculate it will be somewhere between $99 and $299. Next.
The Nexus One, for all intents and purposes, has the basic features of today's high-end smartphones. Large capacitive AMOLED touchscreen. Snapdragon processor. Accelerometer. All important things, but not one of them is new to smartphones. (Hell, the the Samsung Omnia II and HTC HD2 cover the spread for Windows Mobile.)
So, again, let's all take a deep breath. It's exciting anytime a new phone is discovered. And we're not even a week into the news of the Nexus One. If there's anything that really piques our interest here, it will be Google's relationship with the carriers regarding the Nexus One. Standing up to carriers is really something only Apple has been successful at so far. Microsoft has hinted at it regarding Windows Mobile 7, but that's yet to be announced, either.
See? What did we tell you ... We quickly saw the boot animation stripped off the Nexus One along with the wallpaper and ringtones, and now its Android 2.1 operating system has been ported over to the Motorola Droid. Again, no great surprise there. Of course, being on the bleeding edge comes with its downsides, which often read like pharmaceutical side-effects.
Case in point:
1) Keyboard backlight is no longer functioning properly. The only way to get the keyboard to turn back on is to use the Power widget and toggle the brightness. This is a one-time fix and needs to be done repeatedly.
2) Superuser and the su binary for local root and escalated privileges no longer works (even if pushed to the device). If you drop to a terminal and execute “su” it seems like it wants to do something and then ultimately gives a “permission denied.”
3) Landscape mode app drawer acts weird. The little “home” icon on the screen is off-centered and when pressed launches the Camera application.
4) The Messaging app still notifies you of Messages even when it’s set not to.
5) The carrier shows up as T-CDMA 64
6) General, non-repeatable inconsistencies with the home screens. Issues like no longer being able to swipe to change home screens, or not being able to launch apps from the home screen.
Yikes. That's quite the list. But, obviously, if you take the time to hack one OS onto another phone, this comes with the territory. They're used to it. We're used to it. But at the end of the day, when you're the only kid on your block rocking Android 2.1, these things can seem a bit trivial. [Sholes.info; image via Engadget]
We're not usually ones to tout numbers — looking at you, tipb! — but the Android Market has unofficially passed 20,000 apps, according to AndroLib.com, which keeps track of such things. (Google isn't publicly releasing any numbers.) And as you can see from the breakdown above, 62 percent of the apps are free. Not a bad ratio at all.
But what's really stunning to us is the rate of growth, skyrocketing from about 6,000 applications in June 2009 to the 20,003 number you see before you today. And when you consider that Android is still just on a handful of phones, it's even more astonishing. Now consider the explosion of devices that we're expecting in 2010. That kind of growth is a testament as much to the developers as it is those downloading the apps. Keep it up, folks! [via Techcrunch]
As many of you (and some of us) come from a Windows Mobile background, you're likely used to seeing new and unreleased ROMs stripped off HTC phones spread into the wild. Such is the case with Android 2.1, aka Flan, which was ripped off the infamous Nexus One and is making the rounds on the likes of XDA Developers and elsewhere.
The ROM itself isn't up and running -- yet -- on other devices, but the boot animation apparently works just fine on the Motorola Droid, which is what we see above. [via Nexus One blog] And after the break, a closer look at the animation sequence. Visually striking, to say the least.
And when a ROM is ripped, so are its wallpaper and ringtones, which are available for all. You can snag them here.
From the Forums is a great way to get the inside scoop of what's going on within our forums. To participate you must first register. To do so it is free and will only take a moment of your time. So what are you waiting for?
Is it just me or do a lot of you feel this big mystery Google phone, Nexus One, seems to be a lot of hype? Besides the Snapdragon processor there really is no major bump in specs. Seems to be a HTC Android device running 2.1. Jump into this thread and let us know what you think!
Let's get it started! The Third Annual Smartphone Round Robin officially begins NOW! For the first week we're taking a look at Windows Phone and seeing how it compares to our very own Android. From an Android standpoint, there's definitely a lot to learn from Windows Phone, from having multiple form factors to developing apps for different versions and screen resolutions to HTC and more, there's just so many similarities.
After the jump, you'll see my hands-on video with Windows Phone with a whole lot of help from WMExpert's Phil Nickinson. We've also got great comparison pictures that showcase both platforms' flagship devices. The two Windows Phone devices we used, the AT&T Tilt 2 and HTC HD 2, are amazing pieces of hardware, how do you guys think the software will hold up?
Why, hello again Motorola Zeppelin. We've seen the back of you already, and now we finally get to see your front face. Not too shabby in our opinion, the contours of the Zeppelin, or XT800 as it's called in China, liken in to a rock or pebble--there's something very natural about it. The same good stuff we reported might be even better than imagined--the Zeppelin is rumored to have a 3.7 inch 854x480 touchscreen with GSM & CDMA, 3G, Wi-Fi, HDMI port and 5 megapixel camera rocking the internals (we had originally pegged the screen at 3.1 inch 480x320).
Surprisingly, there's another Motorola Android device headed to China as well, the MT710. Details are slim on that device but you can see what looks like a front-facing camera and a 5-megapixel back-facing camera on the MT710. There's also what could be a TV-logo (?) next to the front facing camera. Or they can all just be ordinary sensors, but that's no fun, right? Check out the rectangluar beast after the jump!
No new news on when either device will be available so we're going to assume the original Q1 2010 timeframe is still in play. They're looking to be China releases in the beginning with a more global reach to follow (not sure if that global reach extends stateside, but we're hoping!).
Oh yes. Leave it to the great minds in the Android dev community to already gain root access to the Nook. Meaning it's been hacked and ready to be unleashed. We're going to see some very cool usage of the Nook very, very soon. But you know what would be cooler? If people could actually buy the Nook, the Android-powered e-reader, in stores.
The current root process is not for the faint of heart, you have to pry open the casing, pull out the microSD card, and then tinker with said microSD card via computer. In time, we expect a much more fluid method to come about. However, the implications of rooting the Nook are huge--the Nook comes with an always-free AT&T 3G connection (granted, it's for e-books), if anyone can utilize that connection under root, well, it'd be poetic considering AT&T has yet to even acknowledge Android.
Surely, AT&T has a way in limiting the 3G data for the Nook but knowing the genius of the dev community, we're sure to see some amazing but unofficial stuff from the Nook. The guys at nookdevs are pretty hopeful that they can get the Nook to do whatever a rooted Android phone can do. We believe them. Now if we can only buy one..
Previously rumored for release on February 10th, it looks like the highly anticipated Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 could beat that launch date by nearly a month. Play.com is pegging the release date of the Xperia X10 for January 18th 2010. Play.com is a UK-based retailer so it's still unclear when (or if ever) the Xperia X10 will hit the States. Only our friends across the pond are guaranteed to enjoy.
However, for those interested in getting one of these puppies, it'll run you nearly $863. Even though the Xperia X10 packs Snapdragon and a 8 megapixel camera it's still insanely priced but hey, when you buy unlocked phones you have to deal with ridiculousness. On the bright side, your good money buys you a great color option, 'Sensuous Black'.
Not that there's any doubt what the Nexus One looks like, but there's a nice fat gallery of the phone over at Engadget, and it's very much running on T-Mobile, and it's very much running Android 2.1. New appears to be a grid icon at the bottom of the home screen, which likely is just new UI candy for the drawer. Engadget also notes a quick-start link that points to a currently dead page at google.com/phone/support. Check out their entire gallery. [Engadget]
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