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7 years ago

German G1 Users Getting RC9 Update, Very Similar To RC33


According to modmyGphone, we have news that German G1 Users are receiving the RC9 Firmware Update which is supposedly very similar to our RC33 Update. The UK still seems to be left out but it's in its testing phase and should roll out soon.

Again, if you're sick and tired of waiting for RC33 to come be sure to check out our great how-to article on how to update HERE. The RC9 package can be found here.

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7 years ago

Plain Ol' LG KS360 is LG's First Android Phone ?


Here at Android Central we lament the fact that there are no Android Devices other than the G1. The original promise of hundreds of different Android Devices has yet to be realized and well, it's very disappointing to say the least. But is this LG offering any better?

LG recently announced that they're going to be releasing 3 Android Devices in 2009 and one of them, we're already familiar with: the LG KS360. More or less, the LG KS360 is simply just a text-messaging feature phone at best. Sure it has a sliding QWERTY keyboard, microSD slot, and 2 megapixel camera but it's lacking 3G, Wi-Fi and GPS. We thought the bare minimum for Android was higher than that.

So is this the road that Android might take? Will we see multiple tiers of phone models? Going form basic featurephones to higher end smartphones? Won't this confuse the Android user? A phone with no GPS and Wi-Fi can hardly take advantage of the Google's location based services. Or could we see the same body and form factor with different hardware specs?

[via Androinica]

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7 years ago

Around SPE for 1 March, 2009


In a sense, it was a calm after the Mobile World Congress storm this week, but we got together and recorded a massive hour-and-a-half-long Smartphone Experts Roundtable Podcast to discuss all the news from Windows Mobile 6.5 to the Ovi app Store to Apple's "absent presence" at the show.

If you didn't realize, SPE has four podcasts for your listening pleasure: the Podcast, the Phone Different Podcast (with the occasional iPhone LIVE! show), the PalmCast on both TreoCentral and, and finally the WMExperts Podcast. The bold and daring may even want to try the (still in Beta, since it's based on the somewhat unreliable Yahoo Pipes feature) Smartphone Experts Combined Podcast Feed, which puts all four podcasts into a single feed -- also available in iTunes, if that's how you roll.

Now for the roundup of the week's news!

Android Central

On the Android side of things, we have a lively discussion going on about whether or not Android's open source attitude is actually resulting in open results, given that Paid apps aren't showing up on Unlocked G1s, that outlook isn't as rosy as we'd like -- even Symbian is talking trash on the subject! Meanwhile we're watching to see if and when Android will show up on AT&T. We're also eyeing two potential new handsets from Yuhua and General Mobile

CrackBerry's Birthday festivities overshadowed the news this week and if you hurry you might be able to get in on some contests. Most contest draws end tonight (Sunday night) at Midnight PST. You can click here for the full list of CrackBerry contests (including a new BlackBerry Curve 8900 custom painted by ColorWare!). As for actual BlackBerry news, there is excitement over the CDMA version of the Bold thanks to new details emerging and Mac + BlackBerry users have a new media syncing with doubleTwist!

Nokia Experts

The economic situation is impacting just about everyone Nokia is trying out some unique programs to try to reduce costs. OPK also made a single comment this week that has many jumping to the conclusion that Nokia will be entering the laptop business, but I think it is too early to really stated that. Unfortunately, Nokia had a difficult week with the very confusing 5800 XpressMusic launch here in the U.S. and needs to get their act together if they really want to increase sales here. Our Nokia Experts Launch Contest is now over and we'll be picking the winners soon.

While we're doing our level best not to be too jealous of the Celebrities getting the Palm Pre, the biggest news of the week has come in terms of webOS development. There were quite a few details to be gleaned from the developer web presentation, leaving us both hot and cold on the widget platform. Yes, we're still trying to pin down a Pre release date, right now the feeling on the web is that later is more likely than sooner.

The iPhone Blog

Previously, on TiPb: Apple gave MobileMe a facelift just in time for the new Safari 4 beta. Meanwhile, the App Store cleaned out non-customer reviews, banished Emoji-enablers, and just said "No!" to Howard Stern and the Sirius/XM radio iPhone app.

Microsoft talked iPhone. AT&T talked iPhone (and slapped a customer with a $28K bill!). And Apple? They didn't say much at their annual shareholders meeting. But they did sing Happy Birthday to Steve Jobs on his 54th!


At TreoCentral we heard that for the 2nd time in 2009, Deutsche Bank analyst Jonathan Goldberg raised his rating on PALM, this time bumping it us to a Buy.  There was an interesting Smartphone Experts Roundtable Podcast in which the editors discussed Mobile World Congress 2009.  Plus, we heard that the CDMA Treo Pro has been officially released on Bell Canada, while Sprint customers here in the states are still waiting for the smartphone. A post in the forums does give a bit of hope for a 3/15 release though.


So much for a post-Mobile World Congress hangover. WMExperts learned with great relief that the HTC Touch Pro 2 is destined for North America. And speaking of HTC, we saw updates to the orginial Touch Pro as well as the Touch Diamond. Both also are scheduled for release in Europe through T-Mobile.

The Sprint Treo Pro is on pre-sale at Best Buy.The Celio REDFLY finally is playing nice with Opera 9.5. Speaking of browsers, Mozilla's "Fennec" browser will sync tabs from your desktop and will be known simply as "Firefox," and we got in deep with the Iris browser.

And, finally, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer laid out plans for the company at his Strategic Update Meeting, where he talked about Windows Mobile, and again mentioned that WM7 will come out in 2010.

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7 years ago

Review: Mobi Products Skin Case for G1


Cases for our beloved smartphones are a way to personalize our mass-produced device, and there are a variety of them available. Slider phones, like the T-Mobile G1, present a challenge to case-makers to make a case that protects the phone but still provides unfettered functionality of the slide-out keyboard. Mobi Products Skin Case for the T-Mobile G1, available here in the Android Central Store for $14.95, is a Silicone "skin" case that can help you personalize your G1 while protecting it at the same time. It accommodates the G1's slide-out keyboard and is available in four colors: black, blue, red and pink. I selected the black case for this review and you can see what I think of this case after the break!

Case Design

The are four reasons I can think of to use a skin case for your smartphone: 1) protect your phone from bumps and scratches; 2) add as little bulk to the phone as possible while still protecting it; 3) more grip in your hand and when resting on other surfaces; and 4) add some color and style to your phone. Given that the G1 has a slide-out keyboard, Mobi Products has taken on the challenge to design a thin Silicone case that still allows the slider to slide.

The Mobi Skin case is made of thin Silicone with an anti-dust coating. There are cutouts for access to the trackball on the front, the charging/syncing port on the bottom, the mic, the camera lens and speaker on the back, and the screen and slide-out keyboard are fully accessible.

There is also a cutaway for access to the memory card door, a compromise that provides much easier access to the memory card slot but, in my opinion, compromises the fit of the case in a slightly irritating way. By leaving a gap for the memory card door, the flap of Silicone covering the bottom of the G1 peels back too easily for my liking. I would have preferred a complete covering on the left, over the door, identical to the right side. This would be better for me because I don't ever access the memory card - I just slap a high-capacity card in and forget about it. Others who may swap cards all the time will likely not be bothered by this cutout. The pictures I have included give the case a silvery look due to camera flash, but in fact the case is very black.

Instead of cutouts for the buttons and volume rocker, Mobi has designed generously-raised surfaces to easily press the buttons and adjust the volume. I think they did a great job with this and is one thing I really like about the case.

The way Mobi handled the slide-out keyboard is creative. In order to secure the case to the top of the phone and still allow unfettered sliding, Mobi implemented a very thin band of material that still fits under the sliding mechanism.


The Mobi Skin case for G1 has a soft satin feel, likely due the the anti-dust component applied to the case. It still has a grippy feel in the hand, making it easier to keep hold of your G1 and help prevent accidental drops. The material of the case is thin and flexible, adding minimal bulk to your smartphone. The case must be applied a bit carefully and delicately on the top of the phone where the thin strap of material is positioned under the sliding screen. 

Using my G1 is easy with the Mobi case on. The raised buttons are excellent and the trackball functions flawlessly. I was concerned that the case might shift around a little bit when working the slider, but if used normally, the slider does not affect the case at all.  Again, my only gripe is the less-secured flap of material at the bottom left where the material is cut away to give access to the memory card door. If this cutout was eliminated, I could give this case the highest marks.


Given the design of the G1, it's a challenge to create a case that protects and allows full functionality, and I think Mobi did a nice job here with a case that accommodates full function of the slider while still offering the G1 some protection, grippiness, and accessibility to all buttons and trackball. For the price, it's a very good case for your G1 and with four color options you can add some pizazz.


  • Full access to buttons, trackball, camera and slider
  • Adds grippiness, yet still a soft touch
  • Anti-dust coating
  • Four different colors


  • Cutaway for memory card door compromises secure fit on bottom

Android Central Rating: 4/5

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7 years ago

Yuhua Announces Xphone-SDK Android


It was only in late January that we got a look at General Mobile's DSTL1 Android phone, and it was also displayed at the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Android users are anxious for more Android hardware, and Yuhua, a Chinese company also behind the DSTL1, says they are ready to deliver.

Their new Android phone that is ready for manufacture is the Xphone-SDK and it sports a 3-inch Sharp touchscreen, tri-band GPRS/EDGE radio, and a 3MP camera. Here are the specs:

  • Processor — Marvell PXA-310 624Mhz
  • Memory — 128MB SDRAM; 256MB internal ROM
  • Flash — MicroSD card slot for up to 16GB external
  • Cellular — 900/1800/1900MHz GPRS/EDGE
  • Display — 3-inch TFT WQVGA (240 x 400)
  • WiFi — 802.11b/g
  • Bluetooth — Bluetooth 2.0
  • Camera — 3Mpix camera (no flash)
  • Video playback — H.264, streaming, 3GPP, MPEG4, Codec 3GP
  • Audio playback — G-streamer based engine supports major codec media files, including MP3, AAC, AAC+, WMA, MPEG4, WAV, MIDI
  • Image support — JPG, BMP, PNG, GIF
  • Web and messaging — HTTP, WAP Push, xHTML, SMS, MMS
  • Other features — Data kits for USB/JTAG connectivity
  • Battery — 1000mAh
  • Operating system — Android (Linux/Java)
It looks sleek, sexy, and will run Android. Give it to us now, please!

[phandroid via LinuxDevices, AndroidAuthority]

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7 years ago

Google Dev Phone = No Paid Apps


Just a few days ago, we reported that those with Google Developer phones (unlocked, root access) would not be able to buy certain apps in the Android Market. It appears there were some teeth to this report - big, sharp, ugly teeth, in fact. Allegedly due to concerns that apps would be easy to pirate with the Google Dev 1- which has full root access to raw files, or every file on the device - all paid apps cannot be purchased with the Dev 1 phone.

If Google doesn't take a couple steps back from this rigid position, there could be many a disgruntled Google Dev 1 customer, considering they forked out $400 for their Androidness. It will be interesting to see how (or if) Google responds to this issue, but until then, is there anyone out there with a Dev 1 that would care to comment?


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7 years ago

More Information And Pictures On General Mobile's DSTL1

We had already showed you a first look on General Mobile's Android Device, the DSTL1. We're excited for General Mobile's offerings for three reasons: first, they look like they know how to design a phone. Second, the dual-sim capabilities is a fairly intriguing (yet niched) feature. And third, we want more Android devices already! Though the DSTL1 looks like a high end device, it kind of teeters back and forth between luxury and basic features. For example, the camera packs a punch. We're talking about 5 megapixels, autofocus, LED flash made by Sharp. There's also supposed to be video conferencing support as well. On the other hand, this is a EDGE only device that uses a resistive touchscreen. Yeah, color us confused. Luckily, General Mobile will be putting out more Android Devices in the future. Including the DSTL1, General Mobile has three Android Devices in development. It looks like the other 2 devices will have 3G connectivity, one of the devices will have a QWERTY keyboard and another a slim touchscreen. No details on availability yet. In any case, there's a ton of pictures of the DSTL1 after the break! Thanks for the tip Meraj! [photos via phonereport] The front face of the DSTL1 houses a WQVGA resistive touchscreen. It also has 2 send call and 2 end call buttons so you can control your different SIM cards with little hassle. You can see the edges and lines of the phone were carefully designed. It's definitely a sharp looking device that gives off a "high luxury" feel. Again, the lines are worth mentioning. This is pretty good design from a small unknown company. Here's a close up shot of the bottom of the phone. Has a resemblance to the AT&T Fuze, no? And there's the back of the phone with the 5.0 megapixel camera with autofocus and LED flash! I think aside from the styling, the camera is the DSTL1's best feature.

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7 years ago

Reminder: TeleNav GPS Navigator Is Now Available


Just a reminder guys! TeleNav GPS Navigator for Android was made available to the public yesterday. You get turn-by-turn directions, 3D maps, millions of POI's, and traffic alerts in a potentially very useful application. We're still testing the software out for our review but in the meantime so far, so good!


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7 years ago

Smartphone Experts Roundtable Podcast 3


SPE Roundtable

Join Dieter, Matthew, Kevin, Rene, and Casey as they discuss Mobile World Congress 2009 -- there's a little bit for everybody in this gigantic cross-platfrom smartphone podcast!

Show notes after the break.

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7 years ago

HTC Magic Passes Through the FCC


Engadget reports that the HTC Magic went through the FCC to go through what the FCC does to hot item gadgets--inspect 'em. Though the HTC Magic doesn't have T-Mobile 3G capable bands (1700MHz) we can surely expect two different regional models in the future (the G1 did that). We're not sure if this means the HTC Magic or T-Mobile G2 is coming sooner than later, but it's good to know the FCC knows about it. We think.


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7 years ago

Ballmer Finally Sees Android As a Competitor...For PCs


Steve Ballmer. Microsoft CEO. A quote machine. He initially brushed off Android as a mobile platform with no business model and pitted it as just version one. Now comes a quote from him saying that Android is now a viable competitor...for PC's.

"We’re very focused in on both Apple as a competitor and Linux as a competitor. I think the dynamic with Linux is changing somewhat. I assume we’re going to see Android-based, Linux-based laptops in addition to phones. We’ll see Google more as a competitor in the desktop operating system than we ever have before. The seams between what’s a phone operating system and a PC operating system will change and so we have ramped the investment in the client operating system."

We poke fun at Ballmer a lot but he's no dummy. Android is incredibly versatile and if "netbooks" are the burgeoning market--a free and capable OS like Android has the potential to dominate. So yeah, Android is a legitimate competitor against Windows and PC's, we just can't wait until he realizes Android is a competitor against Windows Mobile as well.

[via modmygphone]

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7 years ago

HTC Magic Skin Available for Android Emulators


Want to see what Android looks like on the Motorola Q form factor? How about a Treo Pro, or the anticipated Kogan Agora? Over at Tea Vui Huang's Android Page, you can grab these skins and even one for the new HTC Magic for Vodafone.

In order to use the HTC Magic skin, follow these directions:

To install, download and unzip “” to the Android skin directory, e.g. “C:\android-sdk-windows-0.9_beta\tools\lib\images\skins”.

To run the Android emulator with this HTC skin, enter this on the command line: “emulator -skin HVGA-P-HTCMagic”.

Check it out today and let us know what you think!


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7 years ago

Android and Symbian Trade Jabs Over Openness


Google's Android and the Symbian Foundation recently traded jabs over who is more "open" and who is just talking the talk, but not walking the walk. Symbian Foundation director Lee Williams was quoted as saying:

Android is not open. It's a marketing label. It's controlled by Google. It's a pretty label but I don't think the use of Linux is synonymous with open and they may have made that mistake of assuming it is.

Rich Miner, co-founder of Android and Google's VP of mobile, responded that Google has been open with mobile technology, even with competitors. Miner jabs back at Symbian and their $1,500 annual membership fee required to join the Foundation, which also isn't open to individuals. He said:

If you're talking about a platform and the source code isn't completely available for that platform, I would say it's misleading to call that platform open.

Open platforms are a good thing, and if two competitors go the rounds about who is more open, then it should prove to be a good thing for all of us.


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7 years ago

Review: SPE Screen Protectors (3-Pack) for T-Mobile G1


Until just a few days ago, I still had the manufacturer plastic covering on my G1's screen. Pathetic, eh? Maybe so, but I'm extraordinarily protective of my smartphones, and had my G1 had nothing usable on the screen out of the box, it would have had a screen protector applied before even turning it on. Fortunately I received the Smartphone Experts Screen Protectors for T-Mobile G1, a handy 3-pack available here in the Android Central Store for $14.95. How well does it protect my G1's sparkling screen? Read on for the full review!


The SPE Screen Protectors for the T-Mobile G1 are packaged in a card-stock envelope, complete with simple, illustrated 2-step instructions for application. The screen protectors have a matte finish, reducing screen glare for easier viewing of your G1's bright, colorful screen.  Each screen protector has an adhesive side protected by a peel-away sheet of plastic with a small tab, making it easier to remove prior to applying the protector to your G1's screen.

These G1 screen protectors are not only anti-glare, but they protect the vulnerable plastic screen of your G1 from scratches, dust, and fingerprints. They are also washable and reusable, so if dust or fingerprints somehow come between the screen protector and your G1's screen, just remove it, rinse it off with water, and carefully reapply.

Application and Performance

The screen protectors are fairly easy to apply to your G1's screen. First, carefully clean the screen of your G1, preferably with just a soft cloth, like microfiber. It is very important that you remove all the dust, dirt, and fingerprints you can before applying the screen protector. Next, find the tab of the protective backing on your screen protector and peel back the protective backing about an inch, exposing one end of the screen protector. CAREFUL! Make sure you don't touch the adhesive side - no point in leaving fingerprints on the protector before you have applied it to your G1's screen. If you accidentally touch it or if dust gets on the adhesive side, just rinse it off and you're ready to try again.

Once you've peeled back the protective covering and exposed a portion of the adhesive side, carefully align it with the top edge of your screen. Once aligned, smooth the screen cover downward, peeling away the protective covering as you go until the screen protector covers the entire screen.

The SPE Screen Protector is not textured, so it's smooth to the touch just like your G1's screen. You are still able to swipe and tap as before, but now your screen is protected from distracting glare, scratches, fingerprints, smudges, dirt and dust. These screen protectors are a great value, too. Not only do you get a 3-pack for your money, but the protectors are reusable simply by rinsing off any dirt and dust and reapplying.


If you want a great way to protect your G1's touchscreen, you will be hard pressed to find a better screen protector than the SPE Screen Protectors from the Android Central Store. With a matte finish, they are anti-glare for easier screen viewing in all lighting conditions, they protect against scratches, fingerprints, dust and smudges, and they are both easy to apply and reusable. I can confidently recommend this product and enjoy using them myself.

Rating: 5/5


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7 years ago

AT&T CEO Talks About Android


Currently, AT&T is conspicuously missing in the Open Handset Alliance which is particularly damaging considering how large the AT&T network is. Android is reaching less customers because of T-Mobile's considerably smaller footprint. In an interview with Engadget Mobile, AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph De La Vega discusses why this is so:

Regarding AT&T's stance on Android:

"No, actually, I think that [my previous thoughts on Android] have been somewhat validated in that… we like the Android as an operating system on its own, but we want to make sure that we have, and customers have the option, to put applications on that device that are not just Google applications, so when the G1 came out and T-Mobile launched it, it’s primarily a Google phone. And we want to give customers the choice of other applications on that device, not just the same Google applications."


What AT&T is waiting Android to become:

"Well, to be open. (Laughter.) Right? I mean, the whole idea behind Android is that it’s gonna be an open OS, and so I don’t wanna roll an open OS to market that has primarily Google apps on it, and I think that’s gonna happen. I mean, I see a lot of activity, I think it’s got a good future, and I think it makes a lot of sense that the OS is open-source, separate from Google apps that are also very good."


Concerns on Android's stability:

"Well, I am not 100 percent comfortable until our people kick the tires on it in the lab, and what worries me most is malware and security and privacy issues that can get into that phone. You know, T-Mobile has had a couple of issues as you know, and so it validated our concerns that we had up front that… I don’t mind having the open OS, but I want to make sure that when our customers use it, their security or their privacy is not going to be compromised. That they’re not going to be subject to attacks and malware."


Essentially, what Ralph De La Vega is saying between the lines is that AT&T is taking the safe route with Android: the wait and see approach. Because AT&T is the leading carrier in the USA right now, they don't need to jeopardize themselves and their relationships with a new platform and go through the growing pains of maturation.

The risks that AT&T do take (iPhone) need to be successful from the get go. And as much as we love Android, in AT&T's eye Android's risk outweighed its rewards. From AT&T's perspective it seems like they have no need to lend a helping hand in growing a platform because honestly, as it stands now, Android needs AT&T more than AT&T needs Android.

Will we eventually see an AT&T Android Device? Of course. But Android needs to prove itself capable first. Luckily, we're already on our way.

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