As much as we all love Android, we can all agree that Android could use a better media player. Android's current media player has always been a little more utilitarian than anything and quickly showing its age. Thankfully, Sony Ericsson is looking to improve upon that in their upcoming Android phone, the 'Rachael' XPERIA X3. From the concept video above, they've made the media player look completely fresh and insanely drool-worthy, can we have it now?
The media player in the 'Rachael' UI looks a little bit like the Zune HD's (learn more at WMExperts) but still manages to come off as entirely its own. The 'Rachael's media player takes advantage of the large screen (480x854, same as the DROID) to offer an experience much more fluid than your regular boring lists of artists and albums. The page for artist's is an eye-catcher as well, with photos and cover art adding so much color to the page. Overall, it's seriously a huge upgrade to the stock Android media player and one that just might catapult it into a media powerhouse (better syncing software still needs to be included).
The above video serves as a teaser for the event and you can see the beautiful lines and lovely design of the 'Rachael'. We know you're excited about the Motorola DROID (we are too!), but we think that Sony Ericsson might sway you differently. We haven't heard of an official carrier attached yet but our eyes are wide open for November 3rd.
What do you guys think? Do you think it'll be able to compete with the DROID?
Hey, hey! Look at the video above, it's your friendly T-Mobile G1 running the brand spanking new Android 2.0 'Eclair'. It's not a final Android 2.0 build nor is it anywhere close to being an official release, but it's definitely still a sight to see. The amazing minds we have in the Android community decided to port over what they had in the Android 2.0 SDK (just released) to the Android device nearest and dearest to our heart, the T-Mobile G1. Good call.
As you'll see in the video, the 2.0 port on the G1 is very, very rough. It's sluggish and not really usable but hey, it's the proof-of-concept and effort that counts! The video goes through some new Android 2.0 features and while some stuff obviously doesn't work, you still get the overall feel. The T-Mobile G1 (and myTouch 3G) hasn't yet been confirmed to officially receive Android 2.0 but we're crossing our fingers it'll come soon. There's no doubt that running Android 2.0 will make them feel brand new all over again. Let's make it happen!
There's a good look of a real, breathing, 3-dimensional DROID Eris. BGR's tipster says it runs pretty much exactly like the HTC Hero except it feels a little faster. Maybe that's the new shine of the device speaking? Also, it's a little taller and thinner. For a reported $99, this looks like a steal on Verizon. As cool and hyped as the DROID is, we're sure the DROID Eris will find its own success. Now if only Verizon will announce the device!
The app will cost $39.99, a significant cost to pay, but well worth it if you're an avid NBA fan always on the go. It's a whole season's worth of games! What's cool about NBA League Pass Mobile is that some games will still be available to watch after they've aired and there's DVR functionality to rewind that last Lebron James dunk or Kevin Durant swish.
The NBA also introduced NBA Game Time and Game Time Lite. The Lite version is free and comes with Live scores, player stats, standings, and team schedules. The $9.99 Game Time includes streaming game audio of Home and Away radio broadcasts, game alerts, game highlights and video recaps, and everything in Game Time Lite.
Note that NBA Game Time and Game Time Lite are available for the T-Mobile G1 and myTouch 3G with Android 1.5 or higher. NBA League Pass Mobile is available for the same devices with Android 1.6 or higher. No word on the HTC Hero or any upcoming Android device. There also doesn't seem to be any discount for NBA League Pass subscribers.
Time for the check up on some Android-related companies who've been struggling in our economic downturn. Will actually having Android devices in their stable eventually help their bottom line? Let's take a look!
First up, Sprint. The good bad news: Sprint lost 801,000 postpaid subscribers which was actually under the analysts estimate of 870,000 losses. This is still bad news but certainly much better news than the 991,000 and 1.25 million subscribers lost in previous quarters. In fact, CEO Dan Hesse says that "the sequential improvement the best in more than five years, and he expects a smaller postpaid subscriber loss again in the fourth quarter."
So how did Motorola do considering those devices weren't available in Q3? Their Mobile Division still lost $183 million but it was offset by gains in Motorola's other divisions resulting in a $12 million profit! Score, they made money. We're expecting a lot more from Motorola in Q4 and beyond because simply put, they have their eye on Android and are banking on Android to take them back to the glory days. We think they made the right choice. [engadget]
"Technically, we could make the HD2 an Android phone, but I have to take care of Windows Mobile...We're working hard on these kinds of products to get excitement about Windows Mobile back"
So it looks like while Windows Mobile is struggling and losing followers to much more exciting platforms (read: Android), HTC is remaining ever faithful and acting on its own to drum up excitement. We guess HTC cares about Windows Mobile more than Microsoft does?
Obviously not putting a top-end device like the HD2 on Android raises questions on the relationship HTC has with Android, is it not all rainbows and unicorns? Though he believes that because Google wants to do things differently and some of Google's moves may be 'destructive, Chou believes that HTC "can work with Google for a long time".
So end of story is that HTC can make an Android HD2 but won't because of loyalty (or is it sympathy) towards Windows Mobile. Regardless of this news, we still believe that HTC will continue to deliver top-end handsets to Android. They've got to come to their senses sooner or later.
Can't wait to get familiar with the Motorola DROID? Want to learn all you can about this most anticipated Android device? Well, luckily, Krynj in our Android Central Forums has got you covered. He's scored both the Motorola DROID User Manual AND the Motorola DROID Verizon Launch Kit for your reading pleasure and it's certainly a doozy.
We admit it. We're guilty of Droid-fever here at Android Central and haven't paid enough attention to other Android devices that are releasing just as soon. Take LG's first Android device, the LG GW620 Eve, which from the looks of it, is pretty much ready to launch and go head on with the Motorola CLIQ. Sadly, there has been no official word of the LG Eve jumping onto any US carrier, so this particular device might not see the light of day here in the states. If you're interested in learning more about the Eve and it's social network heavy ad campaign, head to their site.
In a separate report, Phandroid just got a tip that the LG Eve will be available to our neighbors to the north on November 3rd. It looks like the LG Eve will be offered for $49 with new 3-year contract on Rogers as early as next week!
Hit the jump to see the promo ads for the LG GW620 Eve!
Starting today, Best Buy Mobile will begin to take pre-orders for the Motorola DROID. The DROID is launching on November 6th for $199 and we expect it to be a huge success, so if you're thinking about going DROID, head to Best Buy as soon as you can! Buying your phone at Best Buy is a much easier process than going through Verizon stores because Best Buy offers instant rebates (instead of mail-in-rebates).
It's odd that HTC didn't address the Magic or Dream's situation with Android 2.0, only choosing to discuss the Hero. Hopefully we'll hear more information regarding the other devices soon. In any case, we expect HTC to fix whatever issues Sense has with Android 2.0 and have the HTC Hero ready for Android 2.0 as quickly as possible. Then it'll be up to Sprint to deliver the update to us. Cross our fingers?
Years from now, we might look back at October 28th, 2009 as Droid Day, the day Android stole everyone's attention. It was arguably a bigger day for Android than the launch of the first Android device, the T-Mobile G1. With the unveiling of the Verizon Motorola Droid, there was so much news popping up and information floating around that it was nearly impossible to keep track of it all. Luckily, the dust is beginning to settle a little bit--the Droid looks like a winner, Verizon finally has a great phone, and Android 2.0 is going to rock--so we gathered all our DROID-related posts in one neat roundup for your reading pleasure.
If you're a big baseball fan, you probably already know what happened in Game 1 of the World Series (Phillies won, Cliff Lee dominated). What you probably didn't know is that Major League Baseball has released their At Bat application for Android that'll allow you to keep track of what is sure to be a classic World Series. The At Bat application has been available for the iPhone and it's a truly immersive application that pretty much sets the bar for sport-specific apps. At Bat for Android delivers live scoreboards, box scores, pitch-by-pitch updates, and video highlights. Sadly, it won't stream live games (the iPhone version does) but you'll be able to stream audio of the World Series.
At Bat for Android is only in beta and MLB is releasing it for download through their mobile MLB.com site (not available in Android Market). MLB says they're only testing waters with this app and will not confirm whether At Bat for Android will arrive next season. We would love to have the MLB At Bat app for Android next year, it'll make keeping track of next season's Dodgers World Series run all the more easier.
One of the biggest selling points of the Motorola DROID is that it'll be on the Verizon network. We've all seen Verizon commercials--America's most reliable network, can you hear me now?, there's a map for that--Big Red likes to market themselves as being everywhere. And most Verizon customers we run into seem to be more than satisfied with their network's reception. The one sticking point with Verizon? Price.
As prices for unlimited voice+messaging+data plans are shrinking thanks to the likes of Sprint and T-Mobile, rate plans on Verizon are still sky high. So with Android finally coming to Verizon with the DROID, how will the price look when compared to Android phones already in existence such as the T-Mobile myTouch 3G and the Sprint HTC Hero? Why let's find out!
In order to level the playing field, we're going to use two different rate plans for each device. The first look will be given to the overall cheapest rate plan (with 2-year contract) we can find on their respective websites. The second chart will show the price of unlimited voice + messaging + data plans for each device on their respective carriers. We know that T-Mobile just introduced their Even More Plus (contract-free) option but since it doesn't include a 2-year contract, we chose to ignore those plans for the purpose of this study.
Who has the best bang for your buck? Who's the most expensive? Who's the cheapest?
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