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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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7 years ago

Gmail Is Down! Service Outage! UPDATE: Fixed!


UPDATE: Apparently everything is a-ok now! Did anyone get affected by this?

Whoa, this is crazy. Gmail is currently down worldwide. Both Gmail consumer and business users aren't currently able to access their e-mail. However, I've gotten a few e-mails through my G1. How is Gmail on your G1 working out for you guys?

[official google blog]

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7 years ago

Kogan Agora To Be Full Touchscreen Android Device


We've tracked the Kogan Agora pretty intensely here at Android Central. It was originally targeted to be the Second Android Device but due to a screen resolution issue, it didn't quite materialize as expected. We loved the form factor of the original prototype--Android definitely needs a front facing QWERTY keyboard model in their lineup.

Unfortunately, it looks like the Agora as we know it won't be released. Instead, Kogan is looking to release a full touchscreen model that'll take advantage of Cupcake's soft keyboard. At least it'll come in an iPhone-esque 3.8 inch screen.

We're still rooting for Kogan because it's always great to see smaller companies make it and who doesn't want more Android devices? But we can't help but be a bit saddened that the original Agora isn't going to land in our hands. From Gizmodo's hands on, it definitely looked like a worthwhile device.


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7 years ago

"I Am Richer" App Shows Up in Android Market for $200


You know how we said there wouldn't be as many non-sensical, egregiously overpriced apps like "I am Rich" on Android Market as there is in the App Store? Well, we were wrong. Instead of the $1000 app "I am Rich" we Android users get the $200 "I am Richer". Now with blue diamond.


[via gizmodo]

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7 years ago

Google's Android OS on Future Asus Eee PCs


With Android-based netbooks being a possibility in the near future, it may come as no surprise that Asus is working on a low-cost laptop powered by Google's Android OS. Asus introduced the popular Eee subnotebook running Linux, so Android may be a natural (evolution?) fit for a new low-cost subnotebook.

The advantages to Asus for using Android are several:

  • Android is open, so no licensing fees
  • Google / Android branding = name recognition
  • Third-party software availability
  • Android familiarity due to Asus Android smartphone development
Having recently browsed the aisles of Costco, I discovered an Acer netbook running Windows for only $299. In order to capture market share and divert would-be Windows users to an Android-powered subnotebook, what kind of price range can we expect for an Asus Android-powered laptop? $199? $99??


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7 years ago

Some Paid Apps Invisible to Unlocked Android Phones


It seems that the Google Android OS, the platform touted as being open for all, is a little less open for some than others. If you own an unlocked developer G1 Android phone, even those received by Google employees, you may be missing out on some paid apps in the Android Market.

So far, apps like Shazam and Calorie Counter only appear as free apps - at least they do on my unlocked G1. According to Google's Android Market help site, "copy-protected applications, including Shazam and Calorie Counter" are invisible to unlocked developer phones. I guess the developer phones make it easier to commit pirating mayhem. Hopefully this issue will be remedied quickly because those with developer and unlocked phones should find this untenable. If you have an unlocked or developer G1, are you missing anything?


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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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