I’ve been at Google for six years but it feels more like “Two years at Google and four years in a small start up called Android that plans to revolutionize the mobile industry”. I don’t know what’s the most surprising: how ambitious that goal was four years ago or how far Android has come today.
It’s hard to believe that Android shipped its first device about a year and a half ago and at that time, Apple had already sold more than ten million iPhones. Who would have guessed that it would only take Android eighteen months to catch up and pass the iPhone in market share?
In this short period of time, we’ve gone through four major releases (and many, many minor ones, some of which you probably never even heard of), and each new version has been a major milestone that got everyone on the team incredibly excited.
Before anybody gets all up in arms over a couple of big names leaving, we'll say that Android is way bigger than one person. Or even two. It's me. It's you. It's all of us singing and dancing around a big oak tree. Oh, and it's a giant robot out to crush the soulless iPhones. And speaking of which, Buest takes a minute to trumpet Froyo, saying "prepare to be blown away by what you will see very soon."
By now we've all seen some of the great 3D PC games ported over to the smaller screen, but we haven't seen this trick. Youtube user Moblisher has the classic first person shooter Quake III running on a Motorola Milestone, and has a Zeemote JS1 controller running the controls. Zeemotes are fairly popular with Nokia users, as well as gamers on that other iPlatform, so it's great to see they are offering an Android version. It's even better that it seems to be working as well as it does. Hit the break for one very cool video. Thanks Andrew for sending this in!
Aside from the 4G WiMax hotspot, one of the other cool new features of the Sprint Evo 4G is honest-to-goodness two-way video chat, with Qik serving it all up. And it worked fairly well in the demo. You can choose to stream video either from the 8MP rear camera, or the 1.3MP front-facing camera. And it works over all three of the Evo 4G's data options -- EVDO, WiMax or WiFi (though the later two definitely will give you better results thanks to their higher speeds).
Here's Sony Ericsson's latest ad spot on the Xperia X10 Mini (which just cleared the FCC!) and while we applaud the amazing finger dancing choreography, we just don't get it. Sure, fingers dancing on a table can look great on screen but it does nothing to show off the actual features of the phone. Wouldn't it be much more effective if the fingers danced on the phone's screen, showing off its features, than around it? So why not show off the Xperia X10 Mini's biggest appeal, its portability, instead?
What do you guys think? Should we relax and enjoy the "fun-ness" of the ad spot? Or did Sony Ericsson miss once again? [via androidandme]
Sprint. Simultaneous voice and data. Two things that, until now, have never gone together. But with the HTC Evo 4G (we've mentioned you can get it June 4 for $199, right?), it's finally a reality, bringing it in line with AT&T and T-Mobile. (If you're wondering what the holdup's been, it's a technical thing.) There is a caveat, however: Simultaneous voice and data only works over 4G and WiFi. So if you're in a 3G-only city, you're out of luck unless you're on WiFi. But it's better than nothing, and it's long overdue, and it's demoed after the break.
If for whatever reason you get the craving for some good old retro Windows action on your Android phone then look no further. aDOSBox is a handy little application that will enable you to run or install anything that requires the archaic DOS platform. One of our own forum members, drraccoon, was tinkering around with Doom and Heretic on his Droid when the idea of getting WIN 3.1 to run popped into his head. After a couple lines of commands (and pots of coffee), voila it worked! Even though doing this is virtually useless, you can bet it will impress even the geekiest Android fan boy. For detailed steps on getting 3.1 up and running, check out drraccoon’s blog.
The good news: Tech Crunch found that USB tethering and the ability to serve as a WiFi hotspot will be built into Android 2.2, aka Froyo. The bad news: Don't count on all carriers leaving this feature intact. OK, so Sprint has its $29-a-month hotspot option on the Evo 4G, and Verizon has its free hotspot option on the Palm Pre. So it's not unprecedented. As for TMo and AT&T? Nothing official yet. But those of us running custom ROMs know that it's plenty easy to tether in spite of a carrier's wishes, so we're not all worked up about anything. One way or another, it's a welcome addition to Froyo, which should be unveiled next week at Google I\O. [Tech Crunch]
When we first saw the Sprint Evo 4G at CTIA a couple months ago, we didn't get a good look at the software because, well, it wasn't ready. But that was some 60 days ago, and it's time to take it for a spin. After the break, we take a walk through a few on the new features on the Evo 4G.
It sure appears that the HTC EVO 4G will be a hot number, and much like the Droid Incrediblesupplies might get low. Unless you're the type that likes to camp out at the Sprint store on the night before, you might be interested that Best Buy has started taking pre-orders for the HTC EVO 4G. I know some people prefer to do business directly with their carrier, but for the rest this sounds like a good way to make sure your EVO is in your hands come launch day. No online ordering though (LAME!), so you'll have to head to your local Best Buy to get in on this one. [Best Buy]
Finally, we've got pricing and availability information for the Sprint Evo 4G, dropped on us at the launch party tonight in New York City. The world's first WiMax phone will go on sale June 4 for $199 after contract. More as Dan Hesse gives it.
As we expected, the 4G mobile hot spot will cost extra, to the tune of $29 a month. Could be worse, we guess, and that's the price you pay to be on the cutting edge. Full presser after the break.
Oh, and how about this: Simultaneous voice and data. They just demoed it, and that's without even having 4G. (Update: OK, that's simultaneous voice-data with 4G or WiFi. Not 3G.) That's right, folks. Sprint. Voice. Data. All in one big love fest.
That's right, folks, we're in the Big Apple at Sprint's Evo 4G pre-launch party. They're tying it in with the upcoming Jake Gyllenhaal movie "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time," and we'll be watching it tonight, too. But when we're not in the cone of movie silence, we should be getting some quality hands-on time with the Evo 4G, and trying to squeeze some launch information out of Sprint.
We wish everybody could be here with us, but instead we've got the next-best thing. Check in after the break for our live updates, as they happen, in living color and such.
Just a few months ago Google added Tim Bray to their team as an Android Advocate, and today Erick Tseng has announced he will be leaving Google and Android and joining forces with Facebook. For those unaware, Erick is the senior product manager for Android at Google, a very crucial part of the Android team. It is currently unknown how Google will react, and how they will fill the position, but odds are that an opening will be posted soon to get that spot filled quickly. [Erick Tseng (Twitter) via Engadget]
Mark this in the ridiculously cool, we're almost in the future column. Square is aiming to be the new way to take credit card payments and it works on your Android phone today. Simply download the Square app, plug in the dongle into your 3.5mm headphone jack on your Android phone, swipe the credit card through, and you get paid. Square is aiming big and looking to take down entrenched merchant accounts, their system comes contract-free without monthly fees. Users will only pay a very competitive transaction rate. We imagine many tech savvy store owners will make the switch. Check out the video after the jump! [square]
The MyTouch Slide sure has been getting a lot of attention lately, between its appearance on eBay , the first hands on we saw, and the second, but that doesn't appear to stop people from filming the device any chance they can. Another video has surfaced, this time someone that seems a bit more tech savvy, and actually shows off some of the speed of the phone. Still no release date has been set, but with the recent increase in how many of these are appearing in the wild, one would have to speculate that the release is soon to come. [via YouTube]
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