China gets desperate for Android

A lot of people in China are getting desperate for a T-Mobile G1, so desperate in fact that they are buying the devices illegally from American consumers at a costly price. The T-Mobile G1 has not yet been released in any country other than the United States.

In China people are purchasing the T-Mobile G1 for about RMB 3,999 or about $584 USD, if you wish to have the device unlocked it will cost you an extra RMB 500, about $73 USD. Even though the Chinese seem to be getting a lot of these handsets, the price will remain high until they get the Android-powered handset that will become available next year. We would not be surprised if this happened in other countries as well. However we don’t believe that the UK is doing this, for the G1 will be available on October 30th. If the phone was released in another country, you can bet that the United States market would be dying to get their hands on it. Would the price and risk be enough to keep us from doing the same? Photo courtesy of Android Community member heyitsnan. [Via Moconews]

Splashplay brings learning guitar to Android

SplashPlay is now available in the Android Market for guitar players everywhere. While the application title does portray that it is geared around music, it does not do the application justice. SplashPlay claims to have people strumming away to their favorite songs in minutes. For those of us who have always wanted to learn how to play guitar here is our chance. SplashPlay offers a new generation of learning to play the guitar. Only G1 owners have the ability to interact with videos giving them exclusive features. Getting started is easy, just attach the pod and light panel to your guitar and download the software.
  • Share and learn music on different instruments using the SplashPod and a paper-thin light panel.
  • Combines freely available tutorials with optionally available hardware.
  • Learn songs or chords wherever you want, on a bus or train or even in your tent at a music festival.
  • Use the phone to wirelessly control the light panel using Bluetooth.
This application is very portable, SplashPlay sends information to the pod from a mobile phone or computer using a Bluetooth connection. Some features SplashPlay also offer include a guitar tuner, metronome and hands free Bluetooth foot pedal. The guitar version of SplashPlay is scheduled for early 2009, shortly followed by light panel releases for the keyboard/piano, drums, violin and many other instruments.

Wal-Mart confirmed to sell T-Mobile G1 very soon

Just the other day we reported on rumors of the T-Mobile G1 coming to Wal-Mart and a lot of people were surprisingly mad about it although the device will be getting a lot more recognition. The rumors are true with the exception of the date that it will hit shelves.

The device will be on sale a lot sooner than expected, Wednesday morning the G1 will be available at a discount. The price has been confirmed at $148.88, which is over $30 cheaper. The G1 will blow many of the Wal-Mart’s current phone lineup out of the water. The question is, will this help or hurt T-Mobile? Any cell phone enthusiast will not be very happy about this decision, especially with the G1 being the first phone to run Android. Many of our users are either very angry about the decision or cracking jokes at the thought of it. Either way this will bring the T-Mobile G1 to a larger market and will help with the one-stop Christmas shopping this year. There may be more of a chance to get a G1 in areas where there is a shortage of devices. We want to know what you think about T-Mobile’s decision to allow Wal-Mart to sell this phone. Photo courtesy of Android Community member heyitsnan. [Via CNN Money]

PocketFinder finds its way into the Android Market

Today Location Based Technologies Inc announced that Android smartphone users will now be able to download PocketFinder. This application gives users the ability to stay connected in several ways. Some of the features PocketFinder has to offer include real-time location, zone and speed alerts, instant messaging, and travel history for one low service fee. The CEO of Location Based Technologies (LBT), Dave Moros stated, "In addition, our new Android-based application will eventually support other smartphones and smartphone platforms as we intensify our development efforts to make this enhancement available to their customers and expand our coverage of the global marketplace." PocketFinder is now available in the Android Market with a 15-day free trial, starting November users may purchase the app for $4.95/month per phone through the month of November. It will remain at that price as long as the account is kept current and in good standing. Users can even integrate PocketFinder with other devices such as the PetFinder device. PocketFinder will eventually work its way to other smartphone handsets making this a perfect application for families that need to know where everyone is.

China Mobile working with Lenovo on Android

China Mobile has set plans in motion for the release on an Android-powered handset sometime between February and March 2009. Unlike the first Android phone, China Mobile has decided not to go with Taiwanese phone manufacturer HTC.

China Mobile has turned to Lenovo to help deliver the first Android-powered handset to China. Looking at the Lenovo site is a bit of a disappointment for many with the phone that they currently offer, this Android will almost certainly be anything but special. The site lacks the “flashy eye candy” of other major mobile phone manufactures such as Motorola, Nokia and HTC. We can’t help but question the motive behind the decision to use this company over all the other available companies. We certainly expected the first China Mobile phone to run Android to come from a company that is a member of the Open Handset Alliance (OHA). Do you think that this phone will fail given the reputation of both China Mobile and Lenovo? Photo courtesy of Android Community member heyitsnan. [Via Shanghaiist]

Caller ID from WhitePages hits Android Market

Among the applications that hit the Android Market today, one in particular stands out in our minds. Caller ID from WhitePages is a handy application that very well might get looked over. This application provides you with advanced caller ID functionality on your Android-powered handset that you would normally only get on a land line. Utilizing the mapping tools and promoting the truly mobile nature of the device. Caller ID from WhitePages allows users to:
  • See name of incoming caller (based on one of more than 200 million listings in WhitePages online directory)
  • Map location of caller
  • Add caller to contacts
It took less than two weeks to create this clean, branded user-interface with simple, clean functionality. This application is just what a mobile phone needs, it takes the guesswork out of incoming calls. Caller ID from WhitePages is perfect for those of us who screen our calls. Below is a video provided by Vice president of monetization and mobile for WhitePages, Kevin Nakao. [youtube][/youtube]

JOYity brings mobile gaming into the real world

JOYity has brought social based gaming to a whole new level with Android. JOYity uses GPS to help users play adventure-based games with other people in the real world like it has never been done before.

JOYity is not one but three games in a single application. Once you download the application you can either choose to play YouCatch, Roads, San Francisco or City Race Munich or choose to design your own game. In Roads of San Francisco you have to follow clues all around the city. When you arrive at one location, a text or picture message tells you where to go next. The game is basically a Scavenger Hunt with a story line that can be played with several people. YouCatch is a version of Manhunt in which players in the same proximity sign up for the game. Everyone acts as a hunter and the hunted, the game assigns you a person to hunt while assigning you to someone else as the victim. The location of everyone is periodically flashed on the map so you can locate others. When you get within 25 feet of your victim just press the scroll ball for the kill, the catch is your location is broadcast every time you press the scroll button. The winner is the last person left standing. Below you can see two video reviews from AppVee of Roads of San Francisco and YouCatch. YouCatch is being played in Madison Square Park in New York City. AppVee was also impressed with this application saying that it is a “massive multiplayer trans-reality game.” What do you think about the new direction mobile gaming is going? [youtube][/youtube] [youtube][/youtube] [Via Tech Crunch]

Wal-Mart selling the T-Mobile G1 for cheaper?

Somewhat believable rumors about Wal-Mart are flying around again, this one is about the arrival of the G1 at a cheaper price. The top ten Wal-Mart locations in each market will be getting the T-Mobile G1 on the 24th of November just in time for Christmas.

It comes as no surprise because big box stores such as Costco are already selling the G1 in many of their stores. Wireless sales in these stores have proven to be a good market for these companies. It is no doubt that Wal-Mart, who boasts low prices, will offer some sort of discount on the device, luring customers to their stores rather than the T-mobile retail locations. Rumors say that the price will be $148.88 with activation and a two-year contract. For many the $31 dollar discount is not worth waiting a month to get this phone. Those who are interested in the G1 are more likely to want it sooner rather than later. The price will help with Christmas shopping this year for those effected by our economy. With so many T-Mobile stores outside of the 3G area, T-Mobile is wise to be allowing the overflow of G1 handsets to be sold in other stores as well bringing the market to those who would have otherwise missed. Photo courtesy of Android Community member heyitsnan. [Via EngadgetMobile]

Android not good enough for Sprint name

Sprint has been having a lot of trouble marketing their own handsets in the last few years. They simply don’t have many phones to talk about, weather it be feature phones or smartphones. While Sprint’s phones are nothing special, Chief Executive Dan Hesse says Google’s Android mobile operating system is far from it.

Hesse told the National Press Club in Washington that he did not think Android, as of right now is ”not good enough to put the Sprint brand on it.” Our questions is, are phones such as the Motorola i850 or i365 any better than Android? We don’t see how the mobile operating system on these phones are better in any way. As part of the Open Handset Alliance (OHA) along with about 30 other companies, Hesse promised that Sprint will sell an Android-powered handset “at some time in the future”. Looks like Sprint is going to be the last service provider out of the gate with an Android-powered handset. Many of our users are very upset to hear this news. Do you think we will be seeing an Android from Sprint by the end of 2009? [Via Reuters]

Android Community Week in Review – Week 43 2008

Just before the launch of the T-Mobile G1 this week, Google decided to pull almost all of the applications in the Android Market. It turns out that they were pre-production applications that were only there for demo purposes only. It was not long before applications returned to the Android Market in completed form.  Myspace was the first social networking based application to hit the Android Market. With no sign of a Facebook app reports began to surface exposing the bad blood between Facebook and Google.

One San Francisco store was given the OK to sell the T-Mobile G1 a few hours early. The line grew rather long as people from all over the area lined up for a chance to get the G1 early. Many T-Mobile customers found a pleasant surprise on their doorsteps Monday morning as most of the pre-orders arrived 2 days early. Google finally released the source code for their Android operating system, however it appears it will only be for those who are running OSX or Linux. Kyocera also announced they are working on an Android-powered handset. No details about the device have been released at this time. T-Mobile's exclusive Hotspot Connect application was released into the Android Market this week allowing T-Mobile customers to connect to any T-Mobile Hotspot for free. The long awaited day came with the official launch of the T-Mobile G1, the first handset to run Google's Android platform. TmoNews reported that there was to be an over the air update (OTA) for the G1 on the 23rd, but after no update was made available, reports changed the release date to November 2nd. One concept of the Android interface surfaced in the Show Room for the Swedish software technology and design company Tat. Seen in the concept was a layout at the bottom that somewhat resembled that of the iPhone dock. Google announced that they will start allowing paid applications to enter the Android Market in early 2009. Another picture surfaced this week bringing hope to G1 owners who would like an on-screen keyboard, the picture showed an on-screen keyboard that very closely resembles that of Apple's iPhone. Instructions surfaced helping people activate their G1 at home without having an account, although to achieve this an activated T-Mobile SIM card is required. Hop-on is the latest company to announce that they are developing a phone to run the Android platform. Hop-on plans to unveil their Android in January at CES 2009. Stories are coming from all over the place stating that T-Mobile employees in non-3G areas know little or nothing about the G1 because they will not be selling the device. Two developers of award winning Android applications TuneWiki and Shopsavvy, held an AndroidDevCamp in Dallas on the 25th to help developers get started with Android. HTC CEO Peter Chou, told Mercury News that G1 sales for 2008 would be more than 600,000 units rather than the 1.5 million reported to be sold already in pre-orders. Security researchers have already found a security flaw in the G1 that can potentially allow attackers to record keystrokes made within the devise's browser application. Google is aware of this problem and states that it is not as bad as it appears and that they are already working on it. Our Golla G1 Case Giveaway came to an end this week, we would like to take the time again to thank our sponsor Smartphone Experts for making the giveaway posible. I am going to pick up a Golla case myself, the cases were actually really nice and fit very well. I would also like to say thank you to all of our members for making this week another record breaking week for us here at Android Community!
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