T-Mobile G1 browser security flaws revealed

With the T-Mobile G1 only being out for a few days, a group of security researchers have already found a serious flaw in the Android software by Google. It appears that the G1 is threatened by many of the same security threats that personal computer owners face. We are not surprised that something such as this was found in the first device of its kind, the iPhone, being the second of its kind still has security flaws despite having several updates.

Charles A. Miller, a former National Security Agency computer security specialist, notified Google of this security flaw this week and said he was not publicizing it because he believes that in general phone users are not aware that smartphones face the same threats that plague PCs connected to the internet. Miller said, the flaw could be used by an attacker to trick a G1 user into visiting an unsafe Website. Google acknowledge the security issue and say the security features of the phone will limit the extent of damage that could be done, compared with today’s PCs and other phones. Unlike computers and advances smartphones such as the iPhone, Android creates a series of compartments that limit access by intruders to a single application. Google security engineer, Rich Cannings said, “We wanted to sandbox every single application because you can’t trust any of them,” Miller says the security flaw is in the web browser partition of the phone, making it possible for an intruder to install programs that can capture keystrokes made on the phone. This would make it easy for someone to steal personal information such as credit card numbers, usernames and passwords that are entered on Webpages. Google executives say that they believe Miller has violated an unwritten code between companies and researchers that gives companies time to fix problems before they are publicized. Miller said he is withholding technical details, he believes that customers have a right to know that these products have security flaws. We feel he did the right thing in bringing such a large security flaw to our attention rather than keeping it from G1 users. [Via NewYork Times]

T-Mobile to sell more than 600,000 G1 handsets in 2008

A while back we wrote about a story reported by Fool.com that told about T-Mobile selling 1.5 million pre-orders. It turns out that the numbers were just uneducated guesses made by a single party. The actual number could not be disclosed but it is reported to be more than 600,000. HTC CEO Peter Chou told Mercury News, “We are very excited about this new Android (Google's mobile operating system) approach. This will give us more opportunities for growth. Of course, we are not de-prioritizing Windows Mobile by any means. However, with Android we can do more. We should be doing good numbers, but I can't disclose the details. It will be more than what we originally planned. I'm saying we will ship more than 600,000.” People are asking where the number 1.5 million came from, the number is based off of an irreverent number for projected sales in all of 2008 (400,000), rather than pre-order numbers. After selling all of an undisclosed number of pre-order units, T-Mobile then tripled production and soon sold out of stock. The 400,000 projected for all of 2008 is not only pre-order, but also handsets sold in stores., therefore making it impossible to already have sold 1.5 million. Chou wouldn’t say what he believes 2009 will look like stating, “Apple doesn’t even talk about things that far down the road.” The CEO went on to say that the reason the device is not called the HTC G1 is because brand recognition for T-Mobile is very high and that is ok with them to help promote that. We all know how important it is to T-Mobile to have their name on T-Mobile handsets. Photo courtesy of Android Community member heyitsnan. [Via Mercury News]

AndroidDevCamp 1 being held in Dallas

Today an event called AndroidDevCamp is being held in Dallas Texas to help developers prepare for further developing for the Android platform. Developers will be able to learn from not one but two of the Android Developers Challenge winners.

Jason Hudgins, developer that worked on Tunewiki (and that is now a part of ShopSavvy), along with Rylan Barnes, the original developer of GoCart (now known as ShopSavvy) will be demonstrating their applications and sharing development experience on Google’s Android platform. Basic points that will be covered during the camp are: How to get started on Android, Google’s Android Developers I and II, lessons learned in the development of ShopSavvy and understanding Android fundamentals. The event will include breakout sessions where developers can share ideas and form working groups to begin building Android apps. AndroidDevCamp 1 in Dalas is being sponsored by SpringStage and hosted in the Big in Japan/Architel offices located in the Dallas INFOMART. They can support around 75 'campers' for the day. AndroidDevCamp is organized by Anuj Bhatia, Alexander Muse, Rylan Barnes and Jason Hudgins. If you are interested in sponsoring, helping, organizing or hosting an event please email Alexander Muse at amuse 'at' m-ven.com. Event location: Infomart 1950 Stemmons Fwy Suite 2022 Dallas, TX 75207 Photo courtesy of Android Community member heyitsnan. [Via Upcoming - Yahoo]

T-Mobile employees clueless about the G1

It appears that many T-Mobile stores tell customers that they do not sell the G1 because they are out of the 3G coverage area. Although all of the stores may have the large posters of the G1 and even a demo model many are saying they don’t sell them, when in reality you can purchase one wherever you are located within the US.

Whether or not the employees are well informed or not, the store may not have them in stock, but they can order one for you. Many people have been turned away which in some cases persuade the customer not to even bother trying to get the phone when it is as simple as ordering it. Neil Gaiman was a victim of the ignorance of others, writing about it on his blog. It strikes us as odd to read that the employees did not seem to know what it was they were talking about.
“I opened the Google window and found myself looking at an advert for a G1 phone. A couple of clicks later I was on the T-mobile website, checking prices and thinking, "Well, I do need a new phone..." But randomly buying a phone I haven't even held seemed like, well, something that I couldn't imagine myself doing. I wanted to hold it. I wanted to know the specs and such, so I put dog in the back of the car and drove to the local T-Mobile shop. I knew I was in the right place because there were huge posters everywhere, some bigger than I was, all advertising the new t-Mobile G1. "Hello," I said, like a man entering a cheeseshop. "I'd like to play with a G1, please." There was a man and a woman behind the counter. They said they were sorry but they didn't have a G1 for me to play with. "When will you get them in?" "We won't get them in." "No?" "No." "Look, are we talking about the same thing? G1 phone. The one on that poster. And that poster. And that one..." The posters were staring at me from the counter. They were all around me. "No. We won't sell it. We're out of the range and the Google and things that the phone comes with, they won't work on it." I pulled out my phone, a Nokia N 73, with a T-Mobile SIM card, that happily spends much too much time on the internet doing, er, Google and things. "But this works here..." "The G1 won't work. It won't do the Google here. So we aren't allowed to sell it." "But...." I tried to think with this. then I said, "But you have posters." I gestured at them. All pictures of the phone in question, extolling its virtues and explaining that you could only get it here. "We're a T-Mobile franchise. They send them to us. That's what we have to put up. The posters they send." "Well, can we talk about the G1 specs?" "We don't know them." The man and the woman behind the counter seemed very sad about this. The man added, wistfully,"We don't even know the price." I knew the price, from the website earlier, and I felt guilty about this. "They have them in the Twin Cities," said the woman. "You could buy one there." "But if I buy it there, it still won't work here?" "No," she said, with sadness and with, I suspect envy in her voice. "but they sell it." There was a bit of a pause. I think I may have said, "Sorry about the posters," as I went out, or I may have just thought it very loudly. They all had pretty pictures of the G1 on them, a phone I don't think I'm going to bother getting.”
[Via Neil Gaiman's Journal]

Hop-on to announce Android at CES 2009

Mobile phone company Hop-on, has recently announced that they too will be releasing an Android-powered handset in the future. Looks like the official announcement will be made in January 2009 at CES 2009 in Las Vegas; we will be there to cover the story for our members. Hop-on is knows for their super inexpensive, recyclable phones. They offer both CDMA and GSM/GPRS phones to their customers. Like Virgin Mobile, Hop-on has pre-paid based service, and focuses largely on Mobile Gaming for sales, although many of the Hop-on handsets are better quality than the ones offed by Virgin Mobile. They boast having a $10 recyclable phone that is virtually disposable. We are certainly surprised to hear that such a company is interested in Android. Hop-on’s CEO, Peter Michaels, was quoted in the announcement as stating, “Hop-on is committed in bringing the latest technology to the market, the Android open platform makes Hop-on competitive in the high end mobile phone market. This will create market value for our shareholders.” Photo courtesy of Android Community member heyitsnan. [Via AndroidAuthority]

How to activate a T-Mobile G1 from home – no contract required

T-Mobile has been turning several people away who are trying to purchase a G1 without signing a 2 year contract. T-Mobile stores have been instructed not to sell the G1 without at least getting a data plan contract signed because of the projected demand for the phone. Many people have approached us who would like to purchase a G1 without a contract, but T-Mobile simply would not sell it to them. The guys over at Love For Biz were able to convince a T-Mobile store in their area to sell them one after sales were not so good for the area. They report that there is no need for a store activation, the phone can be activated from home if you wish. The hard part is persuading a T-Mobile employee to sell one to you without a contract. Here are the steps to activating a T-Mobile G1 without first having an activated SIM card. (Note you will need to borrow and activated SIM card for only a few minutes.) 1. Insert friends activated T-mobile SIM into G1 along with battery 2. Power on and wait for setup screen 3. Go through setup process to link any Gmail account 4. Go to Settings > Wireless Controls > Wi-Fi Settings > Enable Wi-Fi 5. Connect to nearby Wi-Fi network if one is available 6. Optional: Stop the phone from syncing with Gmail account by going to Data Synchronization and unchecking Auto-sync, Gmail, Calendar, and Contacts 7. Once done, take out friends SIM card and insert unactivated SIM that came with G1 You may also use a prepaid T-Mobile SIM card to activate the G1. We do not see T-Mobile taking any measures to prevent this process as customers are paying the full price for the phone. Another thing to note, if you would ever like to change the Gmail account that was used to setup the G1 a soft reset is required and the process must be followed again. Photo courtesy of Android Community member heyitsnan. [Via Love For Biz]

Golla G1 case Giveaway comes to an end

It felt like out Golla G1 case Giveaway went on forever. We gave away one case a day from October 8th to the launch of the T-Mobile G1 on October 22nd. We want to give our sponsor SmartPhoneExperts a big thank you for making this all possible. Marcus has been a huge help in making this giveaway happen. We had an opportunity to test these cases on launch day and they turned out to be pretty nice. The pouches hold the G1 tightly without making it impossible to get it out easily. The pouches are made of good quality material in very bold colors and styles. The users who won the cases are as follows: djdlite512 Meavi2 Audemars She a g e e justme467 Sun Diego Bratman foxdie mixpix405 isaac65 lukster almightyA Xondria johnvarvatos PixelHenge We're looking forward to running more giveaways here on Android Community in the near future, so keep reading!

Glu Mobile launches two games into Android Market

The leading global publisher of mobile games, Glu Mobile, has announced the launch of two new games into Android Market. Glu Mobile is one for the first mobile game publishers to develop and launch games for Android. T-Mobile G1 owners now have the opportunity to download Bonsai Blast and Brain Genius Deluxe for free. "Our work with Google along with the Open Handset Alliance has allowed us to develop Bonsai Blast and Brain Genius Deluxe using the full capabilities of the platform," said Alex Galvagni, senior vice president of global production and chief technology officer, Glu. "Through our relationship with the Open Handset Alliance, we have had the ability to become one of the first mobile games developers to explore the device and exploit its technology to create truly engaging games that T-Mobile G1 consumers can enjoy." Brain Genius Deluxe takes players thought daily brain challenging games that are actually very fun. There are 24 different touch motion-controlled games that also utilize the accelerometer to play as well as 4 types of bonus puzzle games including Sudoku and Jiggsaws. Brain Genius Deluxe stores game statistics to compare over time and with other device users. Bonsai Blast may seem familiar to many flash based games found on the web. This extremely addictive puzzle games requires you to shoot and matched colored balls before time runs out to progress through more than 20 levels. Bonsai Blast is different from other games in many ways, some of the added features include ricochets, tunneled chains, and swappable shooter locations. Having touch screen controls in conjunction with the accelerometer adds a nice spin to things. Photo courtesy of Android Community member heyitsnan.

Android getting virtual keyboard

One of the largest complaints that I have noticed is the lack of an on-screen keyboard on the T-Mobile G1. The answer to everyone’s prayers, an on-screen QWERTY keyboard, will be released in Q1 2009.

One-handed text messaging, email and instant messages will finally become a reality thanks to Android roadmap. One question that arises in our heads is, just how fast will you be able to text with an on-screen keyboard? The G1 does not support multitouch and we find that there is a little delay when using the dialer. Still, people who find the need to flip the G1 open each time they type rather annoying will love this shortcut. The site reads: “At the moment, Android does not support any virtual keyboard, but that may soon This feature will enable support for input methods other than physical keyboards, for example soft keyboards. IMF will also enable application developers to provide IME (see below) applications based on the framework. Input method engines (IME) IME will support soft keyboards, a dictionary of suggestions, and a suggestion algorithm. The Android platform may contain few reference IMEs, and developers can provide IME applications through the Android Market.” [Via HTC Source]

Android may never see a Facebook app

The appearance of a MySpace application in the Android Market without a Facebook app to keep it company may be no coincidence. Reports are emerging bringing up the bad blood between Google and Facebook. The social-networking site revealed that hey will not be releasing a Facebook application for the Android platform.

Friction between the two brands began when Facebook blocked Google’s Friend Connect, claiming there were security issues over the competing application. Facebook also teamed up with Microsoft for which is hardly a Google supporter. Rumors are flying around everywhere stating that a Facebook representative said, "Android sucks, it doesn't matter." Whether these reports are true or not is yet to be determined. Facebook has not completely ruled out the possibility of a Facebook application for Android. They simply said that Google or a third party will have to do it for the site, as it won't be dedicating any resources to the project. Facebook promptly released an application for the iPhone that was developed internally. Although Facebook did not create a Rim version of the application, they lent engineers for the development of it. [Via Techradar]
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