T-Mobile G1 Android phone is ready for SanDisk 16GB microSDHC card

Even though Google said that T-Mobile G1 only supports up to an 8GB microSDHC card, with future support for the 16GB version after a firmware upgrade, that's not the case.  We just got confirmation from Google spokesperson that the current version of Android can handle the new SanDisk 16GB card right out of the box.

"We have completed tests, and the new SanDisk 16GB card will run on the current version of Android.  No new firmware required." -Google Spokesperson

SanDisk's 16GB microSDHC card has an MSRP of $99.99 and will be available at Best Buy Mobile stores in October and Verizon Wireless stores in November - the only major retailers in the United States to carry this mobile storage capacity in 2008. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_JAehcnKYQ[/youtube]

T-Mobile G1 hands-on: Award-Winning Android App feature ShopSavvy

We had a little bit of time today to get an exclusive one on one time with the G1 for our Android Community members, at a special developers event held in Dallas. The company behind Google Application Challenge award winning app ShopSavvy, Big In Japan - were there, demonstrating the software in action on a G1.

The G1 phone was quick and responsive as when we played with it at the launch event last week. We were able to get hands on time with the full version of ShopSavvy. We scanned a barcode (for demonstration purposes, a Logitech webcam) and were able to compare prices online as well as at many stores in the area. No word on when the application will be released, or if it will be a free application or one in which you must purchase. We can imagine it would be particularly useful for all the Christmas shopping coming up over the next few months.  One particularly useful feature is price alert, allowing you to save products to a wish-list that updates you when the product is discounted into your pre-set price range. Check out the video interview we did with Big In Japan here. [gallery]

Samsung and LG releasing Androids as soon as Q3 2009

As more and more rumors float around about future Android-powered handsets, we all get a little more excited in anticipation for the next big device. Samsung and LG are now working on bringing Android powered-handsets to market. There is still no definite date as to when we will be seeing them but we do know that contrary to what was said earlier, it wont be till the second half of 2009 "at the earliest".

With Lg producing Android-powered devices that puts Verizon in a really good place to have one of their own. Lg being a major manufacturer for them would make it a lot easier for them to agree on terms for the first Android-powered handset on there network. Sources say that the delay is because of "negative responses" from mobile operators as well advertising sponsors being skeptical about Google's profit model for phones. While neither Samsung or LG have said anything about releasing an Android-powered handset it looks very likely with both being members of the Open Handset Alliance. I would love to see phones comparable to the Samsung Omnia or the LG Dare coming to market running the Android Os. At this point only time will tell. Picture provided by forum member missxoash. [Via Unwiredview]

China working on TD-SCDMA 3G Android Phone?

We have heard very little thus far on Android coming to other countries. The largest operator of mobile communication services in china, China Mobile Communications (China Mobile), may introduce the first Android to China. They plan to include outsourced production by Taiwan-based High Tech Computer (HTC) who made the T-Mobile G1.

China Mobile is the only mobile operator in China to join the Open Handset Alliance (OHA). China Mobile and Google, Marvell, China-based software developer Borqs International formed a technology alliance in September 2007 to promote a Linux-based open mobile system (OMS), integrating mobile applications specifically for the China market, the sources indicated. China Mobile had originally planned to have an Android-powered handset by the end of 2008, with Borqs developing OMS applications. The development of OMS applications has been behind schedule forcing China Mobile to postpone releasing a handset until the second quarter of 2009. Alternatively China Mobile may ask HTC to offer an Android handset by the end of 2008 before creating OMS handsets, these Android devices possibly will support China's TD-SCDMA 3G. HTC plans to set up subsidiary in China to promote cooperation with China Mobile. [Via Digitimes]

Motorola expands Android team; Nokia and Verizon eyeing platform?

Several cell phone manufacturers are gearing up to start releasing Android powered handsets in coming months. Although there is not much being said about what companies are doing, Motorola has reportedly been trying to recruit members to its small Android team. Motorola was one of the first original partners of the Open Handset Alliance and has decided to expand their 50 member Android team to 350.

Many are thrilled to hear about such a large player in the cell phone industry making such a huge commitment to developing Android on there handsets. The same source has reported Nokia and Verizon at a recent Android developer conference put on by Google last week for developers who had not yet seen the G1 to help prepare them for its launch. Recently Nokia recently acquired the rest of Symbian it didn’t already own, hinting that they intend to go in another direction. Chances are Nokia has an Android team sniffing around if for nothing more than to gain competitive intelligence. It will be hard for Nokia to compete with the several Android powered handsets set to hit the market this coming year. Android remains a good option for cell phone companies because it is an open-source OS, manufacturers don’t have to pay a licensing fee to the company that controls the Orating System. [Via Android Community]

Android Community Week in Review – Week 38 2008

It has been a very busy week for Google's Android platform with the announcement of the G1. T-Mobile has started taking pre-orders for the G1 with price starting at $179,with a release date of October 22nd. A lot of people however were not happy to hear the data plan being capped at 1Gig. T-Mobile quickly removed the 1Gig soft cap after getting a lot of negative feedback about the decision.

Android comes full of much loved features such as Youtube, and the Android equivalent to iTunes "Amazon MP3". The clean interface on these applications give them the edge over competitors applications of the same nature. Google's new mobile version of Street View is a feature that all people will find useful. Visa has been at work creating an application that will offer account notifications, merchant offers and ATM locations. It appears that the white G1 was held back from pre-orders, rumor is the white paint used to coat the device was chipping. The white version was even scarcely seen at T-Mobile's G1 announcement. The G1 "Getting Started" guide got out a few weeks early revealing a lot more about the device including the box contents. Also released this week was the long awaited official Android SDK 1.0. Not much new to see in this polished version. Photo of the dressed up Android is courtesy of Android Community's member htc_dreamer. [gallery] [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kngcp0ooDig[/youtube] [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3omdLHn6YM[/youtube] [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSCOGxh5LEk[/youtube] [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZoxIqZtYJ4[/youtube] [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POI1n0v-GDA[/youtube]

EA Mobile to bring games to Android

It appears the demand for top of the line mobile games is going to be huge with Android. From the demand for new cutting edge games, to the desire to have emulators that play retro games. A lot of open source fans are also avid gamers. It comes as no surprise that Glu Mobile and Namco Networks have announced their first Android games already. Due to the fact that Android Market will initially have free applications, Bonsai Blast and Pac-Man will be given away for free. EA has not yet jumped into the Android Market with their larger games because the level of design put into each game make them easy candidates for a higher price. "EA will support the Android platform, as any platform that can deliver a robust game experience is good for introducing new consumers to mobile games," "EA Mobile has elected to wait for the launch of a content billing solution to bring their premier IP to market." It looks like Android owners will have to wait for The Sims, FIFA or Spore Origins until EA can charge for them. However with the phrase 'premier IP' hints that the publisher might release a few free games for G1 owners until Android Market allows for paid content. It is possible to see a light version of Soduku or Solitaire. [Via Pocketgamer]

T-Mobile G1 pre-order has come to an end [Updated]

Update: Pre-order is back up.  Thanks A-Tron!  We heard from our friends at T-Mobile today and here's the official statement:

"The T-Mobile G1 microsite experienced a technical glitch this morning, and is now back up and running.  Since Tuesday's announcement, we've experienced heavy demand for the device.  A small quantity of T-Mobile G1s are still available at this time for T-Mobile customers. Please visit http://www.T-MobileG1.com for details." -thanks Kristen!

Note that there are only a small quantity of the T-Mobile G1s are available.  That means if you want a G1, you better hurry because T-Mobile is running out! With the overwhelming response to the announcement of the T-Mobile has run out of available devices for the G1 pre-order. Hundreds of people immediately jumped on T-Mobile's site to pre-order their device. So many in fact that the site was down for several hours.

Android gets Visa Mobile Payment-Related Services

Visa has announced plans to make a mobile payment-related application primarily for use on Android. The service is targeted to be broadly available to the United States by the end of the year, initially available to Chase Visa cardholders. The first set of services for Chase Visa card holders will be to receive notifications on their phone about any account activity they have; get offers from a wide array of merchants; and use GPS to quickly map nearby merchants where they can redeem Visa offers and locate ATMs that accept Visa. Visa is working to eventually bring the payment-related services to all Visa card holders. Visa also plans to eventually create a way for people holding Visa accounts to make mobile payments in retail locations nationwide, or while on the go, over wireless networks.
"By developing these mobile services for the Android platform, Visa has taken a major step toward achieving our goal of combining two of the world's most powerful and ubiquitous consumer innovations, electronic payments and mobile technology," said Elizabeth Buse, Global Head of Product at Visa Inc. "Through this effort, U.S. consumers will, for the first time, be able to download Visa mobile service applications directly to their handsets. Visa cardholders have come to expect more from their Visa account than just convenience and security of payment, and wireless customers expect their mobile devices to carry a multitude of applications. Extending Visa payments and services to the mobile device is a natural extension, and makes the consumer payment experience more convenient, more secure and more rewarding."
Customers who sign up to a new card would have the option to choose weather they would like to participate in this service or not. Visa plans to work on three key service points to make the customers life easier: Alerts, Offers and Locator. Alerts will give you real time notifications of any account transactions that go through. You can set parameters, such as the size of the transaction, or whether the transaction is in foreign currency. Offers will range from discounts to loyalty offers that could be based on prior purchases. Location is pretty self explanatory, helping you find ATMs that accept Visa.
"We're pleased to extend the value of Visa to the mobile channel," said Buse. "With more than 3 billion mobile devices already in market today, we have an opportunity deliver the convenience and security of Visa to consumers around the globe."
[Via Corperate.Visa.com]

T-Mobile G1 ‘Getting Started’ guide released early

The Getting Started manual [pdf link] for T-Mobile's G1 has been discovered on the carrier's support site, presumably waiting for its official unveiling once the Android handset itself goes on sale.  While there are no obvious surprises in terms of functionality, it does give more of an idea of how the Android user interface is structured, and what apps will be installed out of the box. There's a particularly tongue-in-cheek section on page 33, entitled "Caring for your phone", which among other things advises you to protect the G1 from "tears of joy" as water will damage it.  It also reminds owners that "phones aren't cheap", which may be a painful reminder to anyone who didn't qualify for the $179 price. Hopefully this will keep anyone who pre-ordered the handset content until theirs is delivered on October 22nd. Remember, Android Community has video demos of the main G1 functionality here, here and here. [Thanks tjferris and Pete!] [gallery]
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