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7 years ago

Round Robin: Answers To Your Blackberry Bold Questions


With week 3 of the Smartphone Round Robin nearly over, here are the answers to your questions on the Blackberry Bold!

A lot of folks were wondering how good the screen is on the Bold and if you didn't see my reaction to it in my Video Review or in the in-depth Review, you'll get a final answer today. I'm definitely going to miss the Blackberry Bold and hope/pray for similar hardware to come to Android. Blackberry Way, Bold, RIM, whatever--it's a fine device!

Read on to see the answers to your questions on the Blackberry Bold!


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

Jake asks Is this any different from an ordinary blackberry?


Ah, a great question to start with. The Bold's hardware is far from ordinary. Every aspect of the hardware is top-notch, from the amazingly gorgeous screen to the leather backing to even the clickiness of the buttons—the Bold screams luxury. Also, it's the first and only Blackberry to have 3G, GPS, and Wi-Fi all in one package.

But if you can look past the beauty of the Bold, I get what you're saying, it is an ordinary Blackberry—albeit an ordinary Blackberry on steroids. It's not a completely different like the Storm and though hardware wise it's a tremendous step up from a Curve, the basic Blackberry form factor remains the same.

Also, the BBOS has gotten a minimal facelift and a better browser—after that, everything is pretty much the same. I hate to call such a great device ordinary, but yeah, the Bold is an "ordinary" Blackberry.


ilikephones asks Casey, How much do you like the screen? Do you think this is a phone you could actually switch to and be happy? Does the ability to use one handed have that much of an impact on you?


I love the screen. I can't stress it enough. If you haven't seen the screen, do yourself a favor and find it now. I'm not even afraid of hyping it up too much and raising your expectations: it is THAT good.

Could I switch to this phone? Definitely. Blackberry makes things easy and manageable, and since the OS has pretty much matured you'll experience few growing pains. But would I be happy? I would be satisfied, but I'm pretty sure the Bold wouldn't excite me as much as Android or the iPhone. (Yeah, I know. What kind of guy needs a phone to excite them? That's dumb)

And yeah, you can use the Bold one handed but for me one-handed use or the lack of one-handed use is neither a deal breaker or deal maker.


Tim asks does the bold's os have any problems like the storm's os?


Not this build. I think any problems or bugs in the OS have been fixed and I haven't really experienced anything but snappiness and speediness with the Bold. I guess that makes good for Storm owners because you know that EVENTUALLY you'll get a semi-working phone.


Brian P. asks Which would you pick. Storm or Bold? How do you like the app offerings from blackberry vs. android vs. iphone?


Bold. 10 times out of 10 Bold. I never saw the appeal of the Storm. If you want to buy into the Blackberry Way, get the best Blackberry ever and a Blackberry that is built for the OS. And that happens to be the Bold.

If you want a touchscreen device—get a G1 or iPhone. I just don't think the BBOS was built for a touchscreen. My gripe with the lack of touchscreen in the Bold is more so because I wanted a complement to the trackball experience. Trackball + Touchscreen will always be greater than just a trackball, there's just no way around it.

The Android app offerings blow Blackberry app offerings out of the water. When you compare ease of getting apps, the cost of apps, and the innovation in the apps—it's really no contest. And the crazy thing? Android hasn't even been out 2 months.


Uppity Trini asks How do u feel about the messaging compared to the g1?


I think Blackberry is messaging made simple. You can fire off an e-mail, a SMS, a BBM in a moment's notice. Blackberry is undoubtedly a messaging powerhouse. The G1 is good but the Blackberry is the best.


Devonair asks Is it possible to install and run apps off of a memory card?


No, I don't think this is possible. You'll have to use the on board memory for apps instead.


matt asks 1) is this device as big as it looks? 2) what software did you miss from the g1? What software did you wish the g1 had?


Yeah, it is as big at it looks. People used to smaller devices will certainly notice the larger footprint of the Bold. I didn't find it too bothersome but I know a lot of people would prefer a smaller Curve-sized or Treo Pro-sized device.

For the software I missed from the G1? I missed the Android Market. Apps made easy should be the forthcoming theme for all smartphone platforms. I also missed the cool third party apps like Locale. What I would like in the G1? I wouldn't mind a unified inbox but then again, with the current notification setup on Android, it's not a big a deal.


Charlotte asks with a new os, how is it an improvement?


It looks a heck of a lot more modern. RIM must've realized that fonts actually matter in 2008. Thank god for that. Other than that, the browser got a much-needed update. Not sure of anything after that.


inportb asks Hm… it may not have a touchscreen, but it does have a super-awesome keypad and trackball. How does the trackball compare to the G1's?


I felt that they were exactly the same. There was no discernable difference in movements except that I feel like the Bold's trackball can get dirtier easier. One thing though, the trackball placement on the Bold is a lot more convenient for your hand.


Jlai asks What is the resolution of the screen?


480x320 of crisp, colorful, vibrant pixels.


Blueline asks I have heard you can see some sort of mesh looking design on the screen. Have you noticed this and if so what do you think it is.


Hmm. I didn't notice it before, but now that you mention it there is a slight mesh-iness to it. BB expert B1aze says it's a side effect of the theme, change your theme and you should be fine. Thanks B1aze!

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7 years ago

Kogan's Agora Slighty Changes Design


The Kogan Agora, better known as the World's Second Android Device, made Australian boutique electronics maker Kogan has gotten a little bit of a facelift right before release. From what we can gather, and again this is only a render not the actual image, it looks like they clarified the button situation and also put in a real directional d-pad. They also re-mapped some of the keyboard functions and it seems a wee bit wider.

The pricing remains the same--$299 and $399 for the Pro. Looking at the specs, it seems as if the Pro includes Wi-Fi and a 2.0 megapixel camera for the added cost. Overall, we're still pretty impressed with the speed that a boutique company could put out a seemingly solid Android device and definitely still excited to get this thing in our hands.

[Kogan via Engadget]

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7 years ago

Kansas City Getting T-Mobile 3G on December 19th


After a fairly quiet 3G rollout from T-Mobile, they're getting things kicked off again with a planned 3G rollout for Kansas City! We know the Chiefs have been struggling so what else to ease the pain of a bad football team than to surf the internet on your smartphone via blazing fast 3G networks?

As always, we'll keep you posted when more cities get T-Mobile 3G!


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7 years ago

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


TreoCentral's Jennifer has finished her time with the T-Mobile G1 and comes away fairly impressed! She's still not the biggest fan of the hardware but she does like the nifty little tricks of Android. One of her biggest gripes with the hardware is that the keyboard is kind of hard to read in certain conditions, which we agree with, but the black version of the G1 doesn't seem to run into these problems.

Overall, she liked Android because she could navigate the OS pretty easily. The simplicity reminded her of her Palm OS and she loved the customization of the home screen. Overall, it seems like she had such a good time with the Android OS and the G1!

Go check out TreoCentral's full review of the T-Mobile G1!


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

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7 years ago

Lenovo's China-Only Android Ophone Makes Us Jealous


Hey HTC! Wake Up! You see that phone right there? It's supposed to be a work in progress Android phone for China Mobile. Currently dubbed the Ophone, it's only going to support China's own TD-SCDMA 3G Network and will also use some China Open Standards as well. Made by Lenovo, it looks stylish and definitely a lot better than the G1. Sadly, this puppy will never see the light of day here in the States because it won't fit into the technology here.

So though we might never get the Ophone here in the US of A, maybe, just maybe HTC will take some of those design cues and put it towards an Android device. Android can look pretty too!


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7 years ago

Top 10 Most Downloaded Android Apps


Medialets has come again with some Android Market statistics, this time for the month of November. The top 10 list is a combination of some games, some social networking tools, and some multimedia applications. Not a bad mix for a still green smartphone platform.

The number one application, and the only one to reach the "More than 250,000" download range is Namco's Pac-Man. Us Android Users definitely have a soft spot for tradition, don't we? MySpace Mobile and the Weather Channel are 2 and 3, respectively.

Here's the full list:

  1. Pac-Man by Namco
  2. MySpace Mobile
  3. The Weather Channel
  4. ShopSavvy
  5. Ringdroid
  6. imeem Mobile
  7. Shazam
  8. Rings Extended
  9. Bonsai Blast
  10. Brain Genius Deluxe

How many of the top 10 Android Apps do you have?

[via Gizmodo]

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7 years ago

Round Robin: Blackberry Bold Review & Final Thoughts


So my week with the Blackberry Bold has ended and well, it's not quite a tearful goodbye, but let's just say I thought about the implications of ignoring Crackbery Kevin's e-mails on where his Bold was. (Lost in shipping? I would have responded) I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Bold and though I still run into a few quirks, it's really quite easy to get used to.

But did my time go without complaints? Far from it. I'm still a bit dissatisfied with a few things, of which we'll get into in this review, but make no mistake, as it stands now, the Blackberry Bold is a fine device that can handle pretty much anything you throw at it.


Read on to read the rest of Android Central's take on the Blackberry Bold of!

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



I covered a lot of the hardware in my Video Review of the Blackberry Bold and not a lot has changed since then. I'm still a huge fan of the absolutely gorgeous screen, still think the keyboard is solid, still think it's a wee bit wide, and still nonplussed about the leather backing.

Some new observations: the chrome rim seems to be of lesser grade than I expected, I'm not confident that it'll hold up to the stress of daily routine. I'm a really big fan of the quality of the 'clickiness' of the four main buttons, same goes for the keyboard—the buttons all have a great springiness to it. But the trackball has gotten a bit sluggish, even though I have sensitivity way up, it doesn't react as smoothly when I navigate left. Not exactly sure what to make of that.

But in the end, this much is undoubtedly true: this is the best Blackberry hardware ever and I would definitely put the Bold on the top tier of quality craftsmanship throughout all of smartphones. Blackberrys used to have a certain utilitarian look and feel to it and not until the Pearl and Curve released did RIM make a conscious effort to fight off that stigma. The Bold (and Storm and Curve 8900) is an extension of those first steps and RIM has simply hit it out of the park with their current lineup. Hardware wise at least.



I also went over a little of how the Blackberry OS responded to my usage and for the most part, everything worked out quite well. I had some trouble activating the Bold because unbeknownst to me, every Blackberry user needs to be tied to the BIS (or BES) in order to get their devices in Blackberry-functional order. Meaning if you want two Blackberry staples, BBM and push-email, you need to get on their data plan. Which isn't exactly a bad thing, just a bit odd.

Did I mention I'm absolutely in love with the gorgeous screen? I'm absolutely in love with the gorgeous screen. But why oh why couldn't it be a touch screen? I'm not knocking the trackball, in fact, I like the trackball, the G1 has a trackball. But I think the G1 has proven that a trackball AND touchscreen combination is one of the best ways to navigate.

Case in point: Web browsing. Compared to browsing with a touchscreen, browsing without a touchscreen simply pales in comparison (read: it sucks). You can't possibly convince me otherwise. With all things equal, use the G1's input method vs the Bold's. The G1's experience is 10x better because of the touchscreen and just as accurate because it also has the trackball. I guess we have to wait for the Niagra (?) to get that on a Blackberry

There are some things I absolutely love about using a Blackberry though. Like the depth of keyboard shortcuts; I thought the G1 used keyboard shortcuts well, but it doesn't even compare to the Bold. I'm also a fan of the Blackberry button, I mean, it's similar to the Menu button on the G1 and it gives a certain versatility and depth to your actions. You're almost surprised at the extent of what is capable after pressing the Blackberry button.

Overall, I find it hard to complain about how things work on the Bold because well, they work. My e-mail comes through. It's a great tool to communicate with. The browser is decent. I have my favorite weekly view in Calendar. Google Sync makes things easy. Media capabilities are okay. You're probably not going to find a glaring flaw within the Blackberry OS because everything is good enough. Blackberry has been around long enough to work out most of the usage kinks and have developed a way of doing things that's been proven to work.


Questioning Blackberry


But I guess the bigger question for me is: is good enough, good enough? I know it's being nitpicky and I might be at a loss here, but how do you get excited about the Blackberry OS? This current OS doesn't seem much different than last year's Curve (other than the facelift and better browser) and I just don't see the room for "potential" or how it can "grow". Sure, the Bold SPEEDS through tasks and is very, very efficient, but where is Blackberry headed?

From my brief use with Blackberrry, and you can flame me in the comments if I'm wrong, but I didn't encounter any killer third party apps. There was nothing that I desperately needed to try, nothing amazingly innovative, and nothing to really challenge the platform to be better. In fact, it hardly felt like a platform at all. Anything notable that didn't come from RIM seemed like an imitation of something on another device.

Run with me here. If you buy a G1, or an iPhone, or a Fuze—you're on an actual platform that can grow rather than just being stuck on a device that stays the same. Your OS is constantly improving (well, maybe not WM) and you're getting some amazing new features that push the innovation bar. You can download some amazing third party apps that make you take a step back and go whoa, are you sure this is a phone?

With the Blackberry you're left to ask, where's the innovation? Push E-Mail won't get any faster and BBM can only cover up so much. Using Blackberry, and again this isn't necessarily a bad thing, you never really step away from that "this is a phone" mindset. My phone gets emails, my phone surfs the web, my phone can BlackBerry messenger people.

I'm 70% sure that that feeling comes from being trapped by the keys and trackball, but I'm also semi-certain its because the BBOS has run its course. I don't think even the most die-hard Crackberry Addict can reasonably argue that the BBOS is the best smartphone platform. Key word: platform.


Does It Matter?


So before I get branded as a Blackberry hater, know this, I'm not sure being a smartphone platform matters right now. In 3 years, yeah it'll matter because our phones will become true platforms and more mobile computers than phones. All I'm saying is that I'm afraid Blackberry seems to have more in common with the Palms of yesteryear than the Androids of today. And again, this isn't a bad thing because there is one thing that Blackberry does better than any other smartphone that allows it to stay relevant.

What Blackberry does phenomenally well (and I never use the word phenomenal) is that it fosters a community like no other smartphone can. And I'm not saying in the way that Apple creates fanboys or WinMob has its tinkerers—users actually have a tangible reason of staying attached to Blackberry.

Think about it. For better or worse, every Blackberry user is inherently tied to another Blackberry user because of its use of NOCs and handling everything server-side. The average Blackberry user might not know it, but they're bundled up and bandied together. No other smartphone currently offers that type of communal feel and many just simply can't ever emulate that.

Blackberry Messenger is proof enough. A closed messaging system becomes a feature that not just Blackberry has but every other phone LACKS. Moving to another phone means giving up that avenue of communication. And though they handle push e-mail differently than other platforms, the fact that ALL Blackberry's push without prejudice to your e-mail client has all Blackberry users confused at why other phones don't. The crack is real. Blackberrys have features that other phones don't and Blackberry Users have certain leniencies that Blackberry has allowed them, and to ask them to give it up? Yeah. Right.

I think, and this is more hypothesis than anything, but a Blackberry user has more reason to stay a Blackberry user moreso than any other smartphone user. Some of their feature set is unique and everything else is good enough. I do think Android has the best chance in matching that "crack" per se because of its connectedness to Google. If and when Android makes better use of a more unique relationship with Google, there may be reason to jump ship.


Final Thoughts


Here's a comparison: Android is the rookie, the newest and friendliest kid on the block while Blackberry is the veteran behemoth. Android is intriguing not because it outpaces Blackberry right now, but because of its potential to. Unlike Blackberry, Android is adept and prepared for the future and ready to lead the way. If Blackberry doesn't react with a more advanced OS and an App Market, well, you guys have seen what happened to Palm.

In the end, I can offer you this much advice:

If you're a Blackberry User that uses any other Blackberry than the Bold, you'll absolutely love the Bold. You can definitively say that this is the best Blackberry ever. If it's within your budget, you won't regret buying the Bold. It's snappy, it's beautiful, and it's Blackerry.

If you're a current smartphone user, know that you'll have to give up some liberties and completely buy into a new way of doing things in order to fully enjoy your time with the Bold. And I just made it sound way harder than it is. It's not that hard. It's just not for me. And I assume it's not for a lot of people. Though the screen certainly earns brownie points.

If you're new to the smartphone world, I wouldn't go with Blackberry. I just don't think the Blackberry Way can successfully translate into the future. There just seems like a lack of growth with the Blackberry Way and the BBOS has pretty much matured. Android will outpace it soon enough.

I think I really could sum up the Bold in a few sentences. Stellar hardware. Amazing screen. Unexciting OS. RIM is good at making Blackberrys good in itself, just not necessarily good and packaged as a platform. So final tally? Bold is great. Blackberry is just, good enough.


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.

This was really easy. The Bold was the device I was most excited to use when the Round Robin started. And the screen! Oh the screen!

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

Thanks to Google, I used Google Sync to get all my Gmail Contacts and Calendar information over OTA. It was odd that that "trust certificate" prompt kept popping up time and time again when all I was using was Google Sync though.

3. Get up their email on the smartphone

After some activation issues, I got the push e-mail from BIS. Here's one thing you can't deny: it sure is fast. It was beating my G1 in terms of push by 5-10 seconds every time.

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

I used Blackberry Maps and uh, I'm not a fan of it. I quickly changed to Google Maps which made things A LOT easier and I felt right at home.

5. Use their smartphone with a bluetooth headset.

It's easy to pair. I again really wish I had a pair of Bluetooth Stereo headsets so I could hear what I'm missing with the G1.

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

I used Gmail and Googe Maps, does that count? I actually preferred the Gmail App on Blackberry to their regular e-mail application. With the Gmail App I got better control of my inbox the way I set it up. Does anyone else feel like that? Blackberry email kind of strips away all that you've painstakingly built.

7. Play a game

BrickBreaker is lame. Word Mole is where it's at. I had to say it.

8. Browse the internet

Browser is a lot better than the Curve's. But just browsing the real web with a trackball just feels outdated. I can't wait til Blackberry adds a touchscreen to a Bold-like device.

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

Eh, the music player is nothing to write home about. Thank god for 3.5 mm headphone jacks though!

10. Watch a video on their device.

Best. Screen. Ever.

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7 years ago

Review: Seidio Mini USB to 3.5mm Adapter for G1


Sometimes from small and simple things, great things can come to pass. If you own a T-Mobile Android G1 smartphone and enjoy listening to music on your G1, then the Seidio Mini USB to 3.5mm Adapter is a must-have. Available here in the Android Central Store for $9.95, it's just the thing for any G1 owner and will make a GREAT stocking-stuffer! Read on for the review!


If you were one of the first out there to snag a T-Mobile G1 smartphone running the much-anticipated Android OS, you were also sorely disappointed if you want to plug your headphones into that baby out of the box and crank some tunes. The G1 sports a mini-USB port only, so any standard 3.5mm pin would require an adapter. Even though HTC has announced that all new shipments of G1 phones will include an adapter, there's thousands upon thousands out there already needing assimilation - (adapter) resistance is futile!

The Seidio Mini USB to 3.5mm Adapter is the answer to the problem - a mini USB connecter on one end and a 3.5mm socket on the other, you can plug your standard headphones in and enjoy stereo audio on your G1.


The adapter is about 4 1/2 inches from end to end, with about 2 inches of flexible in between the mini USB pin and the 3.5mm jack. The plastics used are solid and cable is roughly the same gauge (thickness) as a standard set of stereo headphones. As with any cable, you will want to be careful to avoid any unnecessary bending or strain on the cable, particularly at either end where the flexible cable connects to the connectors.


This accessory is pretty straight-forward: just plug the mini USB end into the mini USB port on your G1 and your favorite headphones into the 3.5mm jack on the other end, and you are in business. This accessory should have shipped from day one with the G1, but since it did not, now is the time to take action and order one for yourself or your family member or friend that has a G1 - there's no reason that Santa can't deliver G1 accessories!

My experience with Seidio has always been pretty positive, and this Mini USB to 3.5mm Adapter for G1 is no exception. It is a simple design, constructed well, and connects easily but firmly to the mini USB port on the G1. The length of the cable is just long enough to allow a bit of flexing between connectors and is not too long to become cumbersome. It's small size makes it easy to store and carry with you, whether in a  bag or in your pocket. In fact, if your G1 is your main music machine, then you might as well leave this cable attached to your headphones so you always have it with you.


The Seidio Mini USB to 3.5mm Adapter for G1 is a no-brainer if you picked up a G1 before they started shipping with an adapter. If you want to use your 3.5mm pin headphones for audio on your G1, you will need an adapter, period. This adapter is constructed well and is just the right length. The connectors are solid and it performs as it should - no degradation in sound quality and small enough to leave attached to your headphones or carry in your pocket or bag.

Android Central Rating: 5/5

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7 years ago

Loopt Available in the Android Market


Loopt, a popular social networking app already available on the iPhone and BlackBerry, is now available for the low, low price of FREE in the Android Market! Loopt utilizes the built-in GPS on your T-Mo G1 or other Android handset to show you the location of all your friends so you can look in on them and see what they're doing. Hey, what's privacy between friends, right? 

Among the many features offered by Loopt, you can get background location updating, view the location of your friends live via satellite view and map mode, and even traffic delay monitoring. If you want to pick up Loopt for your G1, just head over to the Android Market for the free download or use your G1's browser to download it via


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7 years ago

Android Developers Meet in NYC


An Android Developer Meetup, the first of it's kind, will take place in New York City on Tuesday, December 16, 2008, according to an announcement from Fast Company. This is exciting news in that thirty of the top Android developers in the New York area will be on-hand to discuss their apps and working with Android.

The dollars are rolling in as more companies jump on the Android wagon, and it's a great time to join the Android community of developers. Any developers interested in following along can RSVP at Check out more of the story here. Anyone from the Android Central community going to follow along?


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7 years ago

Round Robin: Questions About the Blackberry Bold?


Our week with the Blackberry Bold is nearing the end and we're working on our final review of the Bold but before we pass it on to TiPb's Rene, we'd like to ask you G1 users if you have any questions regarding this device? Ever wonder how a non-touch smartphone device works? Curious as to how much I really like the screen?  Want to know more about the Blackberry way? Ask away in the comments!

And if you didn't know, here at Android Central (and every other SPE site), anytime you comment on an official Round Robin post, you're qualified to win a T-Mobile G1 (or a Bold, or a iPhone, or a Fuze, or a Treo Pro)! Flippin' sweet right? Well, ask away my friends!


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

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7 years ago

Dataviz Bringing Microsoft Office to Android


This is great news! DataViz, makers of the uber-popular and uber-good suite, Documents To Go is bringing their award winning mobileOffice suite to Android! So if you're a productivity beast or heavy business user, there's one more reason to test out Android! You'll have access to Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint and PDF files on the go with Documents To Go. We've heard nothing but good things from Documents To Go so be ready to download their software in 2009! 

Also, DataViz is bringing their Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync client RoadSync to Android as well, so users of Exchange take note! Everything is expected to release in 2009, which coincides with Android Market being capable of paid applications. We don't know exact pricing yet, but one can expect a price near $29.99--a price that'll surely be worth it for any heavy business user.

[Office Mobility Blog via Phandroid]

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7 years ago

Sony Ericsson, HTC to Release NEW Android Phones in 2009


This bit a news was a foregone conclusion but hey, it doesn't hurt to have an almost-confirmation of new Android devices now does it? An SE spokesman has confirmed that Sony Ericsson has plans for a high-end Android device in 2009 to kick things off and then follow up with cheaper devices aimed at a broader market. We also have news that HTC (they make the G1 if you didn't know) is also planning on having a whole portfolio (!) of Android devices by the summer of 2009. According to an HTC Exec:

Yes, we will have one or more Android-products by the summer of 2009. I can say that we are working on a portfolio of models.


High end Sony Ericsson? Xperia X1, anyone? A whole HTC portfolio? Hmm..Touch 2.0 series, perhaps? Anyways, this is exciting times for the Android platform and 2009 will surely be a year to remember.

[via Phandroid]

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7 years ago

HTC Touch Running Android -- VIDEO



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So earlier today we answered a question whether we would ever see Android on the iPhone and posed a larger question if Android will ever be available on current devices. Well, lo and behold, the community has answered back with a video of Android running on an HTC Touch. From the video, everything looks like it runs fine and dandy and it even has a custom soft keyboard!

Overall, it looks like its a pretty smooth experience but supposedly scaling the UI to QVGA caused some problems and GPS and Bluetooth don't work quite yet. This is a great start in getting Android in current devices, what's the next device you want to see?


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7 years ago

Ask Android Central: Why Android isn't on the iPhone


We're starting a new feature here at Android Central and it involves you guys, the readers. Do you have a question regarding Android? Need to know anything about Android? Send it over to us and we'll do our best to explain, as in depth and head on as we can, and hopefully provide you with an answer!

To kick off the very first Ask Android Central,

Derek asks do you know if there is an Android OS for the iPhone? If not, why not? Any idea if it will ever be possible to get Android on the iPhone? Your thoughts are appreciated!


Android Central tackles this question after the break!


Ah, the ol' iPhone is linked to our beloved Android once again. We totally understand: you like the iPhone but may be a little bit wary of joining the closed Apple ecosystem where seemingly Steve Jobs' fleeting emotions are the only say in deciding which app gets passed and which app gets banned. Trust us, we've been there.

And you see Android. The shiniest of new toys, undoubtedly the one with the most potential and perhaps the most anti-Apple of them all, and you think, why not combine my two interests? You get the great iPhone hardware with the great Android software. PERFECT, right?

Not so much. A brief trip down memory lane might serve us good. I know it's a bit hard to imagine these days but Apple is first and foremost, a software company. Not a smartphone company. Not a music company. Not a computer company. A software company (and okay, maybe a computer company). The Mac OS is the backbone of all things Apple and even though their recent hits might suggest hardware (iPhone, iPod, Macbook)—they still do software best (think iTunes, iLife, OS X, etc).

Step back and think about it for a second, every Apple product runs their own specific Apple software. You may get a bit more leniency with the Mac because you can load Windows onto it but that's probably the length of freedom you're officially allowed. So to imagine an Apple product without Apple software? To the legions of Apple fanboys, that would almost be blasphemous. To the boys in Cupertino, that would probably be illegal. So to answer your question, in short, at least: No, there won't ever be an official iPhone Android.

The longer answer would be, yeah, sooner or later you'd probably be able to hack Android onto the iPhone because well, that's what hacking is here for. The technology behind the iPhone and Android makes it at least theoretically possible and the awareness of the two platforms make it entertaining. Because Android can be ported onto any device without any licensing fees, a very astute homebrew iPhone hacker might one day be able to get Android on the iPhone.

So obviously, it wouldn't the most official way—but with the flexibility of the Android OS and the genius of the iPhone dev team—well I wouldn't bet against it happening, unofficially of course. And they are probably already well on their way, here's a video of the iPhone running Linux and with Android being based on the Linux kernel, it can be assumed that Android would be the logical next step.


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But I guess the bigger question would then be, would we want Android on the iPhone? And after some serious thought (confession: we were once iPhone users) we at Android Central actually think it's a bad idea.

The benefits of having Android on the iPhone, cool hacking factor aside, just isn't worth it. Stripping the iPhone OS away from the iPhone really takes a lot of the shine off the iPhone. What you're left with is simply a shell—a form factor that only support one button, doesn't have Stereo Bluetooth (though Android doesn't have that just yet), and has middling call quality. Also, Android doesn't yet support a soft keyboard so there won't be any headway on this hack until Android gets that feature.

Just comparatively speaking, the iPhone's hardware isn't miles ahead of the competition. Let's be honest and take a look. The iPhone's killer feature? It's large and expansive touchscreen. It's great to be sure, but it also has remain unchanged since the original iPhone. That's almost 2-year-old technology. And that goes towards the rest of the iPhone—aside from quickly evolving its software—the iPhone is still relatively the same phone hardware-wise it was 2 years ago.

If we were to look at current phones to port Android to, I'd much rather prefer an HTC Touch HD or a Blackberry Bold to run Android. Something to take advantage of today's offerings and give us an amazingly gorgeous screen to play with. But then again, those phones weren't designed or specified to run Android, so it obviously won't offer the best user experience.

So it'll be definitely more exciting to look forward to what's next in terms of smartphone hardware designed for Android. Android allows a certain amount of flexibility that running it on the iPhone would strip away. There's no need to limit the OS onto the iPhone's self-imposed limitations. I mean, if we got Android ported onto the iPhone, what would be the difference of having, let's say, Android on the Touch Diamond? Stripping the iPhone OS away from the iPhone really makes it nothing more than ordinary.

The iPhone limits itself in ways that Android has no intention. The fewest buttons possible on the iPhone is a design choice that Apple has to live with, not us Android users. The iPhone is the iPhone because of its OS, not its hardware. So no, there won't ever be an official way to get Android on the iPhone. But yeah, there'll probably be some enterprising genius who manages to do so. And yeah, the interweb will probably go crazy for it. And heck, we will too. But after we come to our senses and realize its issues—we would pass.

So don't worry Derek, if Android ever gets on the iPhone, just check Android Central to find out! In the mean time, look forward to using some better hardware with the same great Android OS in the near future!

Did we get anything wrong? Tell us so in the comments! And if you have a question to ask Android Central, feel free to contact us via our Contacts Form and your question just might be featured in the next Ask Android Central!

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