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7 years ago

What's Better: Open or Closed? Android or iPhone?


There's a pretty good article over at GigaOM that touches on the Open vs Closed argument of technology. Specifically, it pits Android and iPhone against each other because of the obvious contrasting strategies and philosophies behind their parent companies, Google and Apple.

We can't deny that the iPhone is wildly successful in spite of (or because of?) their closed, proprietary nature. It's essentially the dilemma that iPhone users have been trying to find the balance to--the iPhone's closed nature creates a clean, seamless and synergetic user experience but it often comes at the expense of the freedom of choice. You have to trust Apple enough to play nice and take a leap of faith with the direction of the iPhone.

But does that leave Google free and clear? According to GigaOM: hardly. The point has been driven before but Android isn't married to a specific hardware form factor, any philosophical software, or well, anything, for that matter. Google has made it loud and clear that Android is open source and that it can be shaped however the user base intends to shape it. But does that openness come at the expense of the user experience? Google can't remain fully "open" for fear of fracturing that holy grail of user experience. In a sense, GigaOM is advising Google to remain open with limits; implementing a sort of theoretically open playground that would still necessitate rules and fair play.

And though we believe Android is unique and its ceiling is higher than its competitors because of that "openness", we tend to agree with GigaOM: that Google needs to set "parameters" with Android because mobile platforms are all about predictability and user friendliness and less about openness. In a sense, being open is good, being less than fully "open" is better.

The general public wants a phone to act and react a certain way, and without a certain amount of consistency in the platform--it can create a jagged experience that turns off many. Sure, a lot of people complain about the iPhone's stringent app approval process but there's certainly a lot more who are happy with just how easy and simple everything else works. It's going to be dangerous territory for Android to tread because the tech savvy will be undoubtedly saddened if Google closes its openness but the more general public may see it as a heck of a lot more friendly.

GigaOM sums it up best:

The reality is that openness is just an attribute -– it’s not an outcome, and customers buy outcomes. They want the entire solution and they want it to work predictability. Only a tiny minority actually cares about how or why it works. It’s little wonder, then, that the two device families that have won the hearts, minds and pocketbooks of consumers, developers and service providers alike (i.e., BlackBerry and iPhone) are the most deeply integrated from a hardware, software and service layer perspective.


We know it's a lot to digest but we want to know what do you guys think. Open or closed? Android or iPhone? Does it even matter?

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7 years ago

Mysterious Huawei Android Phone Heading to T-Mobile Q3 2009 ?


Remember Huawei's Android Phone at MWC? It was shrouded in mystery because though it was on display, it was merely a non-working prototype. We had originally reported that Huawei expected to release the device in Q3 2009 and that time frame is starting to look more and more like a reality.

According to SlashGear, Huawei has signed a deal with T-Mobile to bring this iPhone-esque device stateside by, you guessed it, Q3 2009. According to the article we can expect more from Huawei and T-Mobile. However, the Android device will likely carry another company's brand name (no information on which one yet).

We're not sure how we feel about this device because though it certainly is pretty, the one-button iPhone shtick isn't exactly suited for the Android OS. We need menu buttons, back buttons, and home buttons people! What do you guys think?

[via slashgear]

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7 years ago

MWC Loose Ends: LG Plans Android Phone by June, Two More by End of the Year


Raise your hand if you heard this before. Company X announces multiple Android Devices, said Android Devices will ship in 2nd half 2009. Yeap. We're going down the all too familiar road, this time the company is LG and they're promising THREE Android Devices this year. One of which should release by June with two following later in the year. As always, we'll keep an eye on this for you guys. 2009 looks to be a huge year for Android!

[via engadget]

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7 years ago

Firefox Mobile aka Fennec Isn't Coming To Android Anytime Soon


As great as Firefox is for desktop web browsing, right now, it's just as bad for mobile browsing. Okay, it's not that bad. But really, Firefox Mobile (they dropped the Fennec moniker to prevent confusion) is at such an infantile stage that it's hardly relevant in the scope of mobile web browsers.

But not all hope is lost because the Firefox Mobile team has some pretty great ideas about mobile web browsing. They want to build Firefox Mobile on the same pillars of the desktop Firefox: include the "awesome bar" where the url bar doubles as a search bar, maintain the security of Firefox, and more importantly and dramatically, include add-ons.

The bigger question is will all that potentially great stuff come to Android? The answer: not in the near future. According to Mozilla's head of business:

 "The BlackBerry platform is basically a Java environment that they expose to application developers, and we're not written in Java, so that's tricky. The same is true for Android, so you won't see our mobile browser on Android for the moment"


I guess it doesn't hurt to wait for a Firefox Mobile because it's clearly not ready for prime time yet but we're going to be VERY disappointed if it never supports Android. What do you guys think? Anyone interested in using Firefox Mobile?

[via moconews]

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7 years ago

Around SPE for 22 Feb, 2009




It's been quite a week for SPE, we wrapped up a bootload of live coverage of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. With details on Windows Mobile 6.5, the new HTC Magic Android phone, the new Ovi Application Store at Nokia Experts, and even a sneak preview of a GPS App for the iPhone, we were chock full of breaking mobile news.

This week we'll be bringing you more of the same, of course. Be sure you are paying special attention to, as this will be a HUGE week for CrackBerry Nation. This coming Thursday, February 26th, the site officially turns 2 years old!! And when turns another year older, it doesn't mean a day of celebrating, it means a week birthday festivities! Whether you're a BlackBerry owner or not you'll want to stay glued to the site for great contests, deals and giveaways each and every day. If you're not a daily visitor but want to follow the action, you can always subscribe to the CrackBerry RSS feeds or follow the site on Twitter at @crackberry.

Speaking of giveaways, time is running out for your chances to win a Nokia N85 or E71 at Nokia Experts, so be sure to head over and learn how to enter this week.

Android Central

This was a big week over at Android Central because MWC brought new devices, new features, and so much Android news. The biggest news of the week had to have been the announcement of the HTC Magic--a great looking, full touchscreen device--the Android device that many have been waiting for. We got our hands on it and came away pretty impressed. You can catch up on all of Android Central's MWC coverage here. What was arguably more exciting for current Android users is that paid applications are now available in Android Market! The quality of apps have literally grown overnight! Games like Guitar Hero and apps like Quickoffice are already on the Market with many more exciting apps to come.

Nokia Experts

This past week Dieter sent in reports from Mobile World Congress, including the new Samsung Omnia HD, the Nokia N86, and Nokia E75 and N97. Though it's not as flashy, the most interesting MWC news might have been all the details on Nokia's new app store, the Ovi Store. Nokia Experts is still in the midset of their launch contest too, so be sure to check out your chances to win a new Nokia phone!

PreCentral was also in on the Mobile World Congress action, where Dieter got a chance to get his mitts (barely) on the GSM Palm Pre. We also brought you a Full Palm Pre Feature Roundup and learned that Palm and O'Reilly have begun releasing a ton of development information for the webOS. We still don't have a release date for the Palm Pre pinned down, but after getting another chance to see it in person (in GSM no less!), we have to say we're starting to get antsy!

The iPhone Blog

While Mobile World Congress tried to ignore our iPhone, Dieter still scored us a pair of eyes-on DocsToGo for iPhone, and Sygic Turn-by-Turn GPS. Google continued their lovefest with editable spreadsheets and an offline Gmail demo. Multicore processors, likely iPhone-bound were also sneak-peaked, and while Apple was busy wolfing down every scrap of RAM in the world, was the next gen case already leaked?

And with the voting done and your voices heard, why waste time with the Oscars? The TiPb Reader's Choice Awards are being unveiled TODAY!


Over at TreoCentral we heard that the Treo Pro might be available through Bell Canada on February 27th for as low as $99.95, with a 3-year plan. We also learned that while at MWC, ACCESS announced and demonstrated a broad range of mobile solutions, including Version 3.0 of the Access Linux Platform (ALP), which was announced in October. ALP supports "Hollywood-style" graphics and add LiMo (Linux Mobile) support while retaining compatibility for the legacy Garnet OS.


Life at WMExperts last week could be summed up in three words: Mobile World Congress. And our own Dieter Bohn was there in Barcelona, Spain. The biggest announcement of the event was Microsoft and Windows Mobile 6.5.. HTC also was there, announcing the Touch Pro 2 and the Touch Diamond 2. Dieter logged a total of 528 miles on the showroom floor and saw too much new stuff to round up in this space, but you can find all of the Mobile World Congress coverage here.

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7 years ago

Freescale Android Netbook for $199, Coming Soon?

Several days ago we reported that Freescale has developed a system-on-chip (SoC) for Android, opening up netbook possibilities. Desiring to carve out their share of the netbook pie, Glen Burchers, Marketing Director for Freescale, hinted at a summer 2009 availability and a price point of around $199. Providing a little something stronger than a hint, he said:

“Nobody needs this stuff but they want it, everybody wants it. And at the price point of $199, it’s a great Christmas present or birthday present.”

If the mention of Christmas present is a little more than a cliché, then the summer timeframe for a Freescale Netbook seems feasible. His assertion that nobody "needs" a netbook is probably true, but his further assertion that we "want" it is pretty accurate also. The summer timeframe is questionable, but an Android netbook will come our way sooner or later. Do you "need" or "want" a netbook running Android? [phandroid]

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7 years ago

Friday Fun: Shaq Uses a T-Mobile G1 ?!


Since it's Friday (yeah!) we have some cool bit of news for you guys. It's not everyday we hear about a celebrity/athlete/personality using a T-Mobile G1 so when we do, we pay close attention. Crackberry can have their celeb sightings because we'll take the biggest (literally) star on the planet: Shaquille O'neal!

There's a great story about some normal guys' experience with meeting Shaq, the realness of Shaq's twitter account, and Shaq's surprising interest in technology,  that mentions this tidbit:

As I pulled out my phone to take a picture he snatched it out of my hand and inspected it. "What's this got? Windows Mobile?" He gave it the once over before handing it back and showing off his Google Phone.


I loved Shaq before, but now knowing that he's a fellow Android user?! Imagining his huge hands trying to type on the G1 keyboard? Complaining about the 'chin'? The possibilities are endless. In the end, it makes a lot of sense. T-Mobile has a huge NBA presence and many athletes have proclaimed their love for Sidekicks and the G1 is just a natural extension from there. Obviously, we'll never hear his stance on Open Source OS's but Shaq using a "Google Phone". Instant credibility. Sort of.

The story is a pretty good read if you're interested. And if you're not, it's Friday!

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7 years ago

Android Cupcake Video


If you like your Google Android G1 from T-Mobile but you aren't crazy about the slide-out keyboard, cupcake may soon give you the much-anticipated on-screen keyboard as an option. This video, created by Brian Jepson, is a walkthrough of the on-screen keyboard on a G1 as well as more interesting screen transitions and some Linux shell time.

Although still a little buggy, this demo of cupcake is creating excitement for the good things to come, like better one-handed operation of the G1. Take a look at the video and share your impressions - are you excited for cupcake?


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7 years ago

MWC Roundup: Android Central's Coverage of Mobile World Congress 2009


Now that MWC '09 is but a distant memory we thought it'd be a good idea to round up all the Android news stories that Android Central covered in one easy, trackable post! The biggest news on the Android front was quite obviously the HTC Magic. It's sultry form factor, clean lines, and cupcake firmware simply stole the show! But don't think it was the only Android news because after a slow start to the Mobile World Congress, things picked up pretty nicely. So here are the links to all MWC Android news so you can catch-up, fall back in love with magic, and/or just refresh your memory:

HTC Magic

Other Hardware:


We still have some MWC loose ends we want to tie up, so even though the conference is over, expect a few more posts detailing all things Android at MWC. Thanks!

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7 years ago

MWC: Haier Shows Off Android Phones?


Engadget reports that Haier, a company associated with household appliances to us, showed off a few noteworthy devices at MWC. Unfortunately we know next to nothing about these two devices other than the fact that they supposedly run Android. They couldn't even showcase the phone in action because it was "out of batteries". Not to mention that the two phones are called the G1 and G2. Huh!?

The fun doesn't stop there. There's supposed to be a Blackberry Curve 8900 look-a-like device that wasn't shown and ANOTHER device that the PR for Haier wasn't even certain of. So really, in all, Haier didn't show anything other than two supposed Android devices (one strikingly resembles a Blackberry Storm) and two vaporware devices. Yeah..

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7 years ago

Sprint Loses A Million Subscribers, $1.6 Billion Dollars Too


We hate to focus on negativity here, especially in our country's current economic state, but Sprint just announced their Q4 2008 numbers and it ain't pretty. They lost 1.3 million subscribers and $1.6 billion. Apparently, as big as those numbers are it wasn't as bad as anticipated so their stock actually went up. Go figure.

Anyways, we know that the Palm Pre is going to give Sprint a flagship device but what about Android? Here's an idea: Sprint and Motorola team up to offer an Android device. 2 birds. 1 stone.

[via gizmodo]

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7 years ago

Paid Apps Already In Android Market ?


BGR is reporting that paid applications have been released in Android Market. We can't seem to find any on our G1, how about you guys? Anyone buy any apps yet? Anyone see any paid apps yet? Let us know in the comments!

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7 years ago

Google's Demo Reveals HTC Magic is the T-Mobile G2 ?


We've been calling the HTC Magic the T-Mobile G2 around these parts because well, to us it already made sense. The HTC Magic was codenamed the Sapphire which was supposed to be the G2. And since Vodafone (and not T-Mobile, whom have the 'G' rights) is carrying the HTC Magic outside of the US it won't receive the "G" moniker..yet. But once it hits T-Mobile USA? We think G2 would be the safe assumption.

Engadget has dug up these slides (during the offline Gmail presentation) of a HTC Magic with T-Mobile US branding. So yeah, we do think the HTC Magic is going to be the G2. Time will tell if there'll be any unique tweaks for us stateside.

[via engadget]

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7 years ago

MWC: Google Demos Offline Gmail for Android


Google snuck in a pretty cool feature for Android at MWC--Offline Gmail. If you're a big time Gmail User, you might know that a new Labs feature was implemented that allows offline viewing and using of your desktop Gmail account. Well, this is in the works for Android as well. You can basically do everything you do on Gmail--labels, compose, etc--just offline. It'll save everything you do locally and after you get an internet connection, the web app will sync everything back to Gmail. Almost magic, ain't it?

There's no telling when this will be available but it might prove that future offline webapps are possible. Supposedly all this is made possible through HTML5 standards. Definitely interesting.

Check out the video after the jump!

[via engadget]


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7 years ago

Review: Seidio Innocase Surface Case for T-Mobile G1


Because the G1 is so new, the market for cases for the G1 is only beginning to be realized. With all the unique aspects of the G1, making a case that works with the G1 can be a complicated process: the chin, the sliding mechanism, etc are all factors that have to be considered. Luckily, experienced companies like Seidio have stepped to the plate to offer a case solution for our T-Mobile G1 that works surprisingly well.

We’ll start our in-depth look at all the available cases for the T-Mobile G1 with a review of the Seidio Innocase Surface Case ($29.95) for the T-Mobile G1. How does this streamlined case work? How is the design? Does it offer adequate protection?

Read on for the rest of the review!


The appeal of the Seidio Innocase Surface Case is its streamline design. In fact, when the case is applied—you can barely tell it’s there. According to Seidio, the Innocase Surface Case adds only 1mm of thickness. Quite simply, it offers great protection while adding only minimal bulk.

In order to accommodate for the T-Mobile G1’s moving parts, the case comes in two parts. The larger portion protects the body of the G1 including all of the back, the bottom of the phone, and the sides. It leaves cutouts open for the camera, speaker, and all of the controls. The top part of the Innocase Surface Case protects the rim and edges of the screen.

The only portion that remains uncovered is the front face of the chin—everything else is well protected by the Seidio Innocase Surface Case.



The Innocase Surface Case is very easy to put on. Everything is pretty much self-explanatory, you snap the G1 in where it can fit and voila—instant protection. Removing the case is just as easy—snap off and you’re back to normal. Seidio did a really good job in making these cases easy to apply and remove.

What I really liked about the case was the rubberized material it was made from. This offered immensely better grip of the T-Mobile G1 thus making the G1 less prone to slipping out of my hands. I think the added grip offers a lot more security than the sleeker surface of the G1. Also, I found the case to be extremely durable and easily capable of withstanding daily use. I no longer feared the scratches that come from being jangled with keys, change, and the like.

Another great touch to the Innocase is that the case is lined with felt—this creates a pillow-like cushion between the phone and case and helps prevent minor abrasions.

I only have one minor quibble with the Seidio Innocase Surface Case—it’s a little bit more difficult to remove the “charging cap” on the G1 because the cap becomes a bit recessed when the case is applied. It’s definitely not a deal breaker, just mildly annoying.


Final Thoughts

Overall, the Seidio Innocase Surface Case is a solid effort from the folks at Seidio. They really took the time and effort to thoughtfully form a great case that is both highly usable and unobtrusive. When you have the Innocase Surface Case on your T-Mobile G1, you can hardly notice it—it doesn’t detract from the overall look at all. But when you go about using your G1 you’ll grow to appreciate the added depth of field and texture on the case, the material is just great. I am a huge fan of this case and can give it my full recommendation for any G1 user looking for a potential case.



  • Streamline Design Adds Minimal Bulk
  • Great Texture That Offers Better Grip
  • Easy To Snap On/Off


  • Doesn't offer screen or chin protection

Final Rating: 4.5/5

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