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7 years ago

Android Netbooks by 2010?


It appears that Android isn't just for phones anymore. Matthäus Krzykowski and Daniel Hartmann of have an Asus EEEPC 1000H running Google's Android mobile operating system. After a few hours of compiling, Android is up and running on the small Asus notebook.

Imagine the splash that Google could make with cheap netbooks running the open-source Android OS? If Microsoft isn't looking over their shoulder already, they may want to at least install rearview mirrors. Check out the article at here for more details. Regarding the significance of Android netbooks being available by 2010 - what do YOU think?


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7 years ago

The Smartphone Round Robin Extended to January 10th!


Well, lucky you! Due to the holidays, the time each device takes, the depth of each article...and of course a bit of irresponsibility on our part (sorry!) we're going to extend the Smartphone Round Robin until January 10th! So though you won't be able to rock the T-Mobile G1 as your daily driver (if you win, of course) when the ball drops to 2009, you'll certainly have 10 more days to enter the Win a Smartphone contest!

So to remind you of what you can win here at Android Central: the T-Mobile G1, the BlueAnt Z9 Bluetooth Headset, and SPE Screen Protectors. Not a bad deal to ring in the new year! And to make it even easier for any latecomers who've just heard about the Round Robin or even if you want a refresher on all the reviews from an Android User's perspective, we've tidied up a list of all the eligible posts after the break.

So what are ya waiting for? Comment on any of the posts to give your chance a shot at winning! You have until January 10th! Heck, we'll even make THIS post a Round Robin contest post! 

This is an Official Round Robin Contest Post, Comment To Win a T-Mobile G1! – Details Here

iPhone 3G

iPhone 3G Video Review

Questions on iPhone 3G

iPhone 3G Final Review

Answers to iPhone 3G Questions


AT&T Fuze

Fuze Video Review

Fuze Final Review

Answers to Fuze Questions


Blackberry Bold

Bold Video Review

Questions on Bold

Bold Final Review

Answers to Bold Questions


Palm Treo Pro

Treo Pro Video Review

Questions on Treo Pro

Treo Pro Final Review


T-Mobile G1

T-Mobile G1 Video Review


Others on the T-Mobile G1

TiPb Rene's Video Review

Help Rene in the Forums!

TiPb Rene's Final Thoughts on the T-Mobile G1

Crackberry Kevin's Video Review

Help Kevin in the Forums!

Crackberry Kevin's Final Thoughts on the T-Mobile G1

TreoCentral Jennifer's Video Review

TreoCentral Jennifer's Final Thoughts on the T-Mobile G1

WMExpert Dieter's Video Review


Smartphone Round Robin Roundtable

Smartphone Round Robin Roundtable 1

Smartphone Round Robin Roundtable 2

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7 years ago

Paid Apps Coming to Android Market in Q1 2009


With the release of Android and the Android Market opening it's doors for our downloading pleasure, I'm probably like the rest of you and have been anxiously awaiting the day I could put down some cash for some epic Android apps. The free apps available thus far have been good and many have whetted our appetites for what the Android platform is capable of, but of course we want more!

More is on the way, and likely as soon as Q1 2009. Ross Miller over at engadget mobile reports that Eric Chu of Google has emailed registered Android Market members with news that paid apps are still coming in Q1 of '09. According to Chu, paid apps will first roll out to the U.S. and the U.K., followed by Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, France, Italy, and Spain. More countries will be announced later. Also, developers will have the ability to market their apps to specific countries. When developers can make some payola for their apps, it's certain to mean more variety and higher quality of apps - just look at the explosion of Apple's App Store. Will the Android Market explode in similar fashion?

[engadget mobile]

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7 years ago

Round Robin: Answers to Your Palm Treo Pro Questions


To wrap up the Palm Treo Pro round of the Smartphone Round Robin, we're going to give you the answers to a few of your questions on this HTC built, Windows Mobile powered, Palm branded device.

It seems that a lot of folks were wondering about the keyboard (and its smallness) and the cracking issues. I don't think the Treo Pro's keyboard layout is ideal (it's a bit too tight) but I do find the quality of the keys to be superb. With the cracking issues, I can't give a definitive answer since I'm not a day-to-day Treo user but I did do my best!

Read on to see your answers to your questions about the Palm Treo Pro!

Also, this is an Official Round Robin Contest Post, Comment to Win a T-Mobile G1 !— More Details Here


CraigV asks What is the deal with the cracking on the cases? I'm thinking about one of these Treo Pros when it comes to Sprint, but the cracks have me worried. Do you think the Sprint version will fix that issue?


The Treo Pro that I used had no such cracks in the casing and since I don't have much experience with the Treo World, I'll defer to an article posted on TreoCentral regarding cracks with the Treo Pro. From what I can tell, it looks like the cracks are happening near the buttons and switches, I'm guessing it's a bit weaker at those points. Maybe a bad batch of plastic?


Bla1ze asks Is it as big as it looks in the pics?…to help, a size and weight comparison to the Bold would be great, not asking for specs or anything just a personal opinion.


Does it look big in the pictures? Maybe I'm just getting the wrong angles because to me the Treo Pro is very close to the perfect form factor. It's similarly shaped to the iPhone but less "slabby" feeling. The Bold is much wider and more gargantuan looking (though overall the Bold was fine for me) so I prefer the Treo form factor over the Bold. Though the Treo does compromise in keyboard space.


Devonair asks Is the stylus held in magnetically like on the Fuze? It seems like regular use would make it too loose to stay in the bottom-facing housing.


No, it's not magnetically held like in the Fuze. I thought that was a great idea in the Fuze and I don't understand why they didn't include it in the Treo Pro. If you're going to include a stylus, might as well make a cool way to store the stylus. Either way, the stylus is actually fairly secure and I don't think it'll get loose over time.


Dr. Tyrell asks My question for Casey is how snappy WinMo seems on the Treo Pro? Is there the lag common to the Fuze and some other WinMo devices?


Windows Mobile felt so much more at home on the Treo Pro than on the Fuze. I accepted the stylus and the menu system much quicker than on the Fuze. Would I consider it snappy when compared to the G1 or Bold? Not particularly. But is it better than most Windows Mobile phones? I'd say yes (though my experience is limited).


bas.o asks Can't wait for the sprint version to be released, do you think palm will release a refresh on the color scheme?


I'm no Treo Expert but I think color options are probably in the roadmap. The uber-popular Centro was made available in a ton of different colors so I wouldn't be surprised to see the Palm Treo Pro extend its lifespan by offering more color options.


Nick asks How perfect would this type of form factor be for the android os? (rhetorical question)


Switch out the resistive screen for a capacitive and I'll fork over my credit card.


Jake asks I know the keypad on the Centro was terrible, is this one any better?


Hmm. Because the form factor is so skinny, there are some compromises in keyboard space—the space between each key is non-existent. I eventually started to type with my nails because I found it to be more accurate than thumb typing. In all honesty, you'll get used to the keyboard after a while and be a pro in no time.


Charlotte asks how is the typing experience with the keyboard? do you have to use extra force into pressing the keys? and the keys look a little small, do they really seem that way?


The keys are smaller than I'm used to, the spaces between the keys are also smaller than I'm used to but after a good few days of typing, you can get used to it. I don't think the smaller-than-typical keyboard is a deal breaker.

There's no extra force necessary to hit the buttons. My advice to type well on the Treo Pro—use your nails.


Cory asks Is Winmo actually useable with the d-pad or is it there for looks? Also how responsive/easy to use is it? It looks kind of thin and awkward to use. Is actually finding your desired contact and placing the call achievable with one hand?


The 5-way (d-pad) works fine with Windows Mobile, I was maneuvering fairly quickly with it. I do wish that the 5-way had a scroll wheel or something to that effect.

One handed use is a Treo staple. I had no problem doing any task one handed.


Steve asks Is this screen capacitive or resistive?


Resistive. Windows Mobile "supposedly" works better with a resistive screen because of the menu system and its popularity in Asian countries. Also, the smaller screen may have something to do with it.


Unkle Grouch asks Is the Treo Pro available on AT&T or Verizon?


Not quite. It's currently available unlocked so you can use it with any GSM carrier meaning AT&T or T-Mobile. Sprint is supposed to get a CDMA version by January 25th. Verizon? Do they ever have any good phones?


Neil asks My question is about performance, as in does it seem on par with the Fuze you guys also tested in the Round Robin…just talking about the OS itself, not TouchFlo 3D or any other add on UI.


I think the Treo Pro performs a lot better than the Fuze. I was instantly more comfortable with Windows Mobile on the Treo Pro. One problem with the Treo Pro is that it doesn't come out-of-the-box with as many third party apps as the Fuze does. So a few extra steps are necessary to make it "work" for you.


Ilikephones asks What 3 things would you change? Bigger/higher resolution screen? More battery life? Larger keyboard?


Larger capacitive screen. Wider keyboard. Run Android.


Roy asks does anyone actually prefer a stylus to fingers?


They say the Asian market (where WinMob is big) loves the stylus—something with Asian Characters being easier to write that way. And with smaller screen real estate it can be argued that a capacitive touch screen won't be as accurate.


Ryan asks How does that keyboard compare with a Curve's?


Hmm. Quality wise, I was never a fan of the Blackberry Curve's keyboard. I found it much too plasticky and hollow for my tastes. The Treo Pro's keyboard provides better texture, solidness, and feedback. But the Curve's spacing is darn near perfect for such a small space, so in the end I would probably still side with the Curve's keyboard.

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7 years ago

Will Cupcake Come to the G1? (Update: Yes!)


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We've all been on pins and needles over the upcoming cupcake build of Android, which is slated to add useful things like an on-screen keyboard, A2DP Stereo Bluetooth, and more. One of those pins just burst our bubble (to extend the metaphor), as Robert just tipped us on this thread over at Google Groups, where Jean-Baptiste Queru writes about how the G1's code isn't being currently rolled into Cupcake:

The G1 contains a significant number of proprietary applications, drivers, etc... that aren't part of the core Android Open-Source Project. Even if the source code for the 1.0 platform that powers the G1 was released, you'd still be missing many parts to turn the base platform into something that exactly matches what shipped on the G1. [...] Cupcake sets a base that should reduce the impact of the first aspect, with the open-source tree being hopefully eventually close (or identical) to the underlying platform of the stuff that ends up on consumer devices.

The part that's straightforward: it makes sense not to take a specific version of Android -- namely the one built for the G1 -- and put it back into the 'main build' of the core of Android. The question, then, is will the changes in Cupcake filter back out to the G1 branch? Robert feels that the answer is likely "No." We're less sure -- it sort of depends on how much support T-Mobile and HTC want to throw at a device that is, perhaps, more of a first effort than a sign of what Android will look like in a year.

If nothing else, take this post as a reminder that we're not at all sure yet what the update scenario is for Android on the G1. If it will be the iPhone-style "everybody gets it all the time" kind of scenario or the BlackBerry-style "You get it when the carrier gets around to it, but meanwhile feel free to try to hack it on yourself" kind of scenario

In other cupcake-related news, it has been merged into the master branch for Android, so it's now 'canon' code.

Update: Engadget confirms: it's coming to the G1!

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7 years ago

Round Robin: T-Mobile G1 Video Review



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It feels so good to be home! The Smartphone Round Robin is over and we're all back on our original devices, meaning I'm finally, finally done with Bolds, Fuzes, iPhones, & Treos! No more non touchscreens, closed systems, or resistive touch! I'm back on the most potential packed, exciting smartphone OS and do-it-all hardware available in today's smartphone market.

But like all the other devices in the Smartphone Round Robin, we're going to take a look at the T-Mobile G1 in a Video Review and then follow up with a comprehensive, in-depth written review that'll compare the G1 with the other devices and also examine the status of Android. So stay tuned to Android Central where it's going to be all T-Mobile G1 and Android once again.

This is an Official Round Robin Contest Post, Comment To Win a T-Mobile G1! – Details Here

Update: The Smartphone Round Robin isn't exactly over (the part where I have to use other phones is done, though). We're in the last round of the Round Robin so we'll be wrapping things up in the next few days, stay tuned!

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7 years ago

Connect Your T-Mobile G1 to iPod Dock


If you like to tinker with your electronics and aren't afraid to roll up your sleeves, grab your soldering iron and check out a step-by-step posted at for connecting your T-Mo G1 with an iPod dock. This feat will result in piping your G1's music and YouTube audio through iPod speakers, and it even charges your G1. If you feel so inclined, give it a try - just make sure you have a keen eye, a steady hand, and don't cross any wires. Thanks to for posting excellent step-by-step instructions, complete with pictures and diagrams. If you are daring enough to replicate this hack, let us know how it works for you!


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7 years ago

HKC Pearl Android Phone Looks, Sounds Familiar


Thanks to engadget mobile, we have a first look at the HKC Pearl, a phone from China that bears the RIM name and the HTC Touch look. It's likely this phone will only be available in Asia, so stateside lawyers can stop salivating over copyright and trademark infringements (maybe).

The HKC Pearl, like the Chinese QiGi i6, will be available in both Android and Windows Mobile versions. The reported specs for this phone include a 2.8 inch QVGA display, 256 MB of ROM, 128 MB of RAM, WiFi, and a 2-megapixel camera.

[engadget mobile]

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7 years ago

Second HTC Android Coming Soon?


What do you get when HTC says they are committed to the Android platform and their first effort, T-Mobile's G1, is on pace to sell over 1 million phones? You got it. HTC has indicated that a second Android-based phone may be available as early as Q1 of 2009. According to Ed Hardy over at

HTC's second Android-based device may debut in the first quarter of 2009, according to a report in the Chinese-language Economic Daily News, which cites unnamed sources at Taiwan-based securities houses as its source. Other sources say this product will launch in April.


So it appears that a second HTC Android phone will be available very soon. It's also encouraging that HTC, a major player in the production of Windows Mobile devices, is also fully committing to Android device development and production. That's good news for all of us!


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7 years ago

Round Robin: Palm Treo Pro Review & Final Thoughts


Our time with the Palm Treo Pro has come to an end and that means the Smartphone Round Robin is over and we'll be back on the G1 in no time! Was it a learning experience? Did I have fun? Well, these are all questions I'll get into next week because we still have to talk us some Treo!

The Palm Treo Pro, as mentioned before, is a confused device—it's built by HTC, runs Windows Mobile, and branded a Treo by Palm. Is this a good thing? Or is this a case of too many chefs spoiling the broth? Is there an identity crisis with the device? Possibly a disconnect due to miscommunication?

Well, in short, no. The penultimate review of the Smartphone Round Robin isn't going to be that dramatic—the Palm Treo Pro is a great and very solid device. The form factor was well designed, the hardware buttons were very useful and Windows Mobile felt more at home. But how does it work for an Android user?

Read on for the full review of the Palm Treo Pro!

Also, This is an Official Round Robin Contest Post, Comment To Win a T-Mobile G1! – Details Here


To kick things off with the hardware, the Palm Treo Pro is a great looking device. It is very much a modern device that captures the taste of the current generation's design—glossy, flush screen, attractive buttons—the Palm Treo Pro certainly looks better than any Palm before it and most current phones. Though it doesn't reach the iPhone or Bold level of sexiness, it's no more than a notch or two below.

During my time with the Palm Treo Pro, I became a huge fan of the form factor—it just seemed like the perfect size to make phone calls with. It was instantly pocketable, much more so than my G1, and I found it very easy to grip. But the size does come with limitations—the keyboard is a tight fit that teeters on the line of unusable. With the Palm Treo Pro I was using more of my fingernails to type than my thumbs and definitely encountered more mistakes with it than any other physical keyboard. Granted, I got used to the space limitations over time, I still could not be as effective as I was on the G1 or Bold.

There are also a lot of nice touches on the Treo Pro—the speaker grille lays to the side of the device so it isn't covered when faced flat, a hardware wi-fi toggle switch for easy on/off, a 3.5 mm headphone jack thank you sir, and etc.

I had one minor, minor problem with the hardware and that dealt with the ports on the bottom, they just jut out a tad bit and it makes it a little bit odd to hold. It would've been a bit nicer if the ports were flush with the casing. Oh well, can't have it all. Other than that, solid and modern all around.



It looks like Palm is now focusing their efforts on a new Nova OS and even newer hardware making the Treo Pro effectively a stop gap device for Palm fans. But I didn't notice this one bit. I thought the Palm Treo Pro was a fine device that was carefully designed and ran a powerful OS.

But I guess I should make my confession here: I've never used a Palm device before. I mean I played around with a 650 for a few weeks and fiddled with a Centro here and there, but for the most part, my smartphone experience has been relatively Palm free. Chances are you guys aren't like me. Palm has an obvious soft spot in the hearts of many longtime smartphone users and to see the Treo brand become a part of another platform is definitely saddening. I suggest you go check out Dieter and Rene's thoughts to see how the Treo platform has come to this point.

I, on the other hand, will be looking at the Treo Pro through the relatively new Android-tinted glasses and guess what? I think the Palm Treo Pro is a fine, fine Windows Mobile device. For some odd reason, I felt instantly more comfortable with Windows Mobile on the Treo Pro than I ever did on the AT&T Fuze. It was like two completely different experiences. With the Palm Treo Pro there was no disconnect between TouchFLO 3D and Windows Mobile, it was just strictly Windows Mobile and I think that works a lot better.

I'm also going to admit that I found the stylus immensely useful for Windows Mobile. I'm not saying I particularly like using a stylus (I don't) and I definitely don't want it in Android but the way Windows Mobiles menus and UI are constructed, I think a stylus is necessary and after some time, definitely manageable. With that said, HTC should have included the magnetic stylus they put in the Fuze onto the Treo Pro.

And though I like the design of the 5-way on the Palm Treo Pro, I still think a trackball is a better implementation of non-touch direction. Wouldn't it be cool if the chrome rim around the 5-way could also scroll? The flush hardware buttons are a great touch because you get instant access to your most popular applications but they're not all created equal. The top two, Windows and OK button are much harder to press than the bottom two, Calendar and Mail.

As you can see, the Treo Pro hardware is impressive--there is very little to complain about. But in the end Windows Mobile is still Windows Mobile, I wrote about it at length and how it compares with Android in the Fuze Usage Review. No need to toot that horn again. Just know it's not for me and probably never will be for me, I'm just not the type to be tinkering away at memory management and so on.

Skyfire was pretty cool. Really cool in fact. But when it comes down to it, I'm still not comfortable with proxy browsers so I'm not excited about Skyfire in the sense of the application itself but rather I'm excited to get that type of browsing experience on Android natively.


Palm is like..


Since it seems like some of us are trying something new in this last round of the Smartphone Round Robin, I'm going to try to make an analogy (a la Dieterstyles) about Palm and where it stands in the smartphone industry. Let me know if I am completely off base too.

I think Palm is in a similar position to Sega. Everybody remembers Sega right? Sega Genesis, Saturn, Dreamcast, Game Gear. Back in the day when the gaming industry was only a two company race between Sega and Nintendo, they were relative equals. Regardless of who was better, Sega pioneered some true innovation in the industry and helped shape what video games and its consoles are today.

So what happened to Sega consoles? Well, sadly, they pulled out of the hardware market after the Dreamcast. Sega decided that in order to survive in an uber-competitive market they would focus on software only. Even though they were responsible for creating the industry, they couldn't pour in the manpower or money to create as innovative and compelling hardware again. They simply didn't have as staunch a fanbase as Nintendo or as large and powerful a company as Sony or Microsoft to entrench themselves in money-bleeding competition. They made the tough decision to abandon hardware and focus on software, and after some trying times, they succeeded in making the switch.

Doesn't that situation sound eerily similar to what's happening now in the smartphone industry? For starter's sake: Palm = Sega, Blackberry = Nintendo, Apple iPhone = Sony Playstation, and Google Android = Microsoft Xbox. (I guess that makes Windows Mobile, PC Gaming?)

Palm was a pioneer in the smartphone industry and holds a soft spot among its many fans. They also pushed a lot of great innovation in smartphone hardware and software and are largely responsible for creating what smartphones are today.

A few years back you couldn't honestly tell me which was a better smartphone—Palm or Blackberry—much like Sega and Nintendo were relative equals at first. Not until Apple (Sony) jumped in the smartphone market did we realize how far behind and how out of their league Palm (Sega) really is/was. With Google following suit (Microsoft Xbox) and dedicating themselves to the mobile industry, the sheer power of these companies who want a part of the smartphone market will simply overwhelm a company like Palm. Blackberry is fine, much like Nintendo, because of their cult-like fan following. But Palm is at risk. Should they focus strictly on software? What about only making hardware and then using Android or Windows Mobile for software? Should they re-evaluate how they are going to effectively compete against the likes of Apple and Google?

But I hope they don't give up too soon like Sega did. Many Sega fans think that the Dreamcast could have been successful and I'm sure many more Palm fans will think the same of Nova. We'll soon see if Nova can capture that same amount of innovation and re-capture a segment of the market soon enough. It's never fun when a pioneer is forced to bow out of the race. As flawed as my analogy may be, let's hope Palm proves me completely wrong.


Round Robin Must Do's

1. Use their assigned smartphone as their "main brain" and may not use any other smartphone OR music device (such as an iPod) for one full week. 

As I stated before, Windows Mobile was much easier to use on the Palm Treo Pro. This might be because I'm now a bit more familiar with Windows Mobile so I knew what to expect, but I'm also sure that the lack of TouchFLO 3D is a good thing.

2. Get their PIM data onto their phone. Ideally they will 'Sync with the Cloud," but a computer sync is ok too.

I used NuevaSync to get over my Google Contacts and Calendar over because I didn't need to download anything onto the device and could just use ActiveSync to get everything done.

3. Get up their email on the smartphone

I got my Gmail onto the Palm Treo Pro fairly easily. I'm a big fan of the dedicated E-mail button, I found myself launching applications from this quite often.

4. Use their smartphone to get directions at least once.

I'm smitten with turn-by-turn directions. Android needs this soon.

5. Use their smartphone with a bluetooth headset.

It's easy enough to pair. I should have invested in some wireless Bluetooth headsets to see what the quality is like.

6. Install at least 2 3rd-party apps (if possible) on their smartphone.

I went with two browsers: Skyfire and Opera Mobile. Skyfire is really cool to use, it gives you a true desktop-esque browsing experience and it's relatively speedy.

7. Play a game

I played Bubble Breaker and having a stylus for that makes it easier and definitely a lot more accurate.

8. Browse the internet

Unlike the Fuze, the Palm Treo Pro didn't come with as many third party applications. I had to go and download a new browser because that excuse of a browser called Internet Explorer was truly abysmal. Luckily, Opera Mobile and Skyfire can both get it done.

9. Add music to their smartphone and use it as their music device.

I didn't buy MissingSync to link the Fuze with my Mac but if I was to use Windows Mobile full time, I've heard nothing but good things from it. For the time being, I was completely music less.

10. Watch a video on their device.

Skyfire made a lot of the videos on the web viewable. Videos even automatically started playing when I went to

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7 years ago

T-Mobile Sending Battery Replacements To G1 Owners?


Huh. Google And Blog is reporting that T-Mobile has been planning to deliver a Christmas Present to all T-Mobile G1 users in the form of a new longer-lasting battery. The current battery is an anemic 1150mAh and any G1 user will tell you that it drains FAST. Anything over 1150 mAh would be lovely. If T-Mobile were giving out exchanges to improve battery life, they would definitely solve the complaints of many users.

As great as this sounds there is still no official word from T-Mobile, so we'll take a wait and see approach on the rumor. We're unsure of how T-Mobile can manage to pull this off, so we're going to do some more investigation and report back. Keep your eyes peeled!

[Google And Blog]

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7 years ago

Smarpthone Experts Round Robin Round Table 2


It happened live last Tuesday, but you can listen in to the (slightly foreshortened) version in our podcast feed: the 2nd (and last) Smartphone Round Robin Rount Table. Join Casey, Kevin, Rene, and Dieter as we discuss the final two devices in our Smartphone Round Robin: the T-Mobile G1 and the the HTC Fuze. Plus, we answer your questions live -- well, it was live then, so forgive the slightly worse-than-usual sound quality.

Naturally, this is an official Round Robin post, every day you make an entry here qualifies you for a chance to win a G1 and more. Full details here

Music: Our Slanted Voices by DoKashiteru

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7 years ago

Lenovo OPhone compared to iPhone, iPhone 3G


We've showed you the OPhone before--that sexy device coming from Lenovo, made only for China--but now you get to see it compared to the original iPhone and current iPhone 3G (via Gizmodo). Obviously, the OPhone takes MANY design cues from the iPhone--I mean those giant screen, one slab devices can only look so different--but it still manages to hold its own.

The OPhone is 1mm bigger than the original iPhone, has a dedicated camera button, 5MP camera, flash, microSD slot and 3.5mm headphone jack. Yeah. Sounds pretty flippin' sweet to us too.

Click the jump to see the rest of the pictures!

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7 years ago

SMS Popup Gives Android Pop Up Text Messages


Mark this up as another reason why I love Android. I love the notifications on Android, I think it's the best system notification feature throughout all of smartphones, but that's not to say that it can't get better. One thing I would prefer on Android is that SMS messages come directly onto the screen instead of scrolling on the top bar of the notifications menu.

This is solved with SMS Popup, an app that just popped up (ha!) in the Android Market. Basically, when you receive a SMS a pop up bubble appears on the screen and allows you to either close or reply. iPhone users will recognize this option because it's pretty much exactly like the iPhone experience. If you have a photo icon for your buddy, it'll show up along with the SMS. I'm a huge fan of this method because now I can instantly read the SMS and decide whether or not to reply or close without sliding down the notification window. Sweet apps.

Go download SMS Popup in Android Market and see if you like it!

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7 years ago

aTrackDog, a Not So Good Idea?


When I saw the app aTrackDog in Android Market and read about how it updates users on which of their applications are up to date I thought it was perfect. It fits a hole in the whole Android Market + Android relationship and should do a great, behind the scenes, type job at notifying users when their applications are out of date.

Not so much. According to the good guys over at Big in Japan (developers of ShopSavvy) though the premise of aTrackDog is sound, its method is severely flawed. To quote:


aTrackDog has a MAJOR design flaw: if a beta user who is also an aTrackDog user has a beta version of your application on their phone - ALL aTrackDog users get an alert indicating they are running an out of date version of the software despite the fact that they have the most recent public release.  Starting on Friday we began getting emails from aTrackDog users who complained that they could not download the latest release of our software.  Our current version is 3.0.0, but aTrackDog showed that our most recent version was 3.0.5 (an internal alpha version).  We DO have a public beta running at 3.0.4, but the most recent public/stable release (i.e. the one in the Market) is 3.0.0.  aTrackDog is listing 3.0.5 as our latest release so each aTrackDog user receives an alert that they need to update their version of ShopSavvy.  Our users are becoming more and more frustrated as their emails reveal.


To sum it up, basically if any user is using a beta version AND aTrackDog, aTrackDog will send out notifications for an update to users who aren't beta users and even though the update isn't officially ready. Big in Japan thinks aTrackDog is an application created purely for data collection (which would be immensely valuable), we just hope aTrackDog could fix a bit of this design flaw as soon as possible.

What do you think?

[Big in Japan via Android Community]

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