Happy New Year from Android Community!

As 2008 comes to an end, everyone is ready to welcome 2009 with a bang. The Android Community team is going to spend this holiday with our friends and family. We hope all of our readers and community members have a fun and safe holiday out there. Unfortunately there will be no news on New Years (unless there is something too good to ignore), we will see all of you back here on Friday.

HTC is convinced that the cupcake update will legitimately make it to the T-mobile G1

HTC has reason to believe that the cupcake update (or at least most of it) will likely be making it to the T-Mobile G1 as a legitimate over-the-air update. Needless to say HTC is not a part of this update so they are not in charge of deciding what makes it in the update and what does not. HTC however believes that it is only a matter of time before T-Mobile makes this update a reality for everyone. As of right now HTC is still out of the loop on when and how things will proceed. It’s all up to Google and T-Mobile. Google has been quick to send out patches and updates to fix bugs, but we have yes to see any major changes since Android released. Right now it appears that T-Mobile, Google and HTC are not making comments on any rumors or speculation just yet. With the on-screen keyboard is such high demand, Google would be wise to deliver this update asap. [Via Engadget]

Android Market gets updated with support for paid apps in mid-January

Google has finally come around and decided to update the Android Market for developers. Google sent out an email to one of our users stating that they have been working on “several significant updates” to the Android Market.  First off Android Market will become available to users to download apps in more European and Asian countries starting early in the first quarter of 2009. Some of these countries include Germany, Austria, Czech Republic and the Netherlands.  In mid January Google will update the Android Market publisher website in order to enable country targeting. They also confirm that priced applications will be available at the same time (early January). Apparently the payment support from country to country is not very easy to setup. The priced applications will be starting in the United States and the UK, following the initial launch Germany, Austria and Netherlands will have paid apps and France, Italy and Spain will have them by the end of the first quarter. The Android Market website also gives applications a second channel of exposure other than the handset itself. Below is a copy of the attached letter.
Hello, Thank you for your participation in Android Market! Since we launched a couple months ago, the team has been working on several significant updates to Android Market. I'd like to let you know about these upcoming changes and what they will mean to you and other members of our developer community. Many of you have asked about international expansion plans. I'm happy to inform you that Android Market will become available to users to download apps in additional European countries starting early Q1 2009. Some of the countries we will initially support are Germany, Austria, Czech Republic and the Netherlands. As we add support for additional countries in Europe and Asia, we will send out subsequent notifications to you. In mid-January, we will update the Android Market publisher website to enable country targeting. Please start thinking about which countries you want to target and begin preparing your products accordingly (e.g., localization). Note that your apps will not become available in these new countries unless you specifically select them in the publisher website, after we update it. Additionally, I would like to confirm that Android Market will support priced applications starting early Q1 2009, as we'd originally stated last fall. Given the country-by-country work required to set up payment support for developers in different countries, we will enable priced app support in Q1 for developers operating in these countries in the following order: (1) United States and UK; (2) Germany, Austria and Netherlands; (3) France, Italy and Spain. By the end of Q1 2009, we will announce support for developers operating in additional countries. Developers operating in the above listed countries should begin finalizing their priced applications, including determining the appropriate pricing strategy. Finally, please note that our team may need to occasionally contact you via email or the publisher website to collect necessary product information (such as screenshots and descriptions). This information would be used for the Android Market website, found at http://market.android.com, which gives applications a second channel of exposure via the web in addition to the normal on-device access. We will send out additional details on all these items in the coming weeks. Thanks for your support, and we look forward to continue working with you on Android Market. Eric Chu, Android Market Google, Inc. 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway Mountain View, CA 94043

Help ShopSavvy Win the Crunchies 2008 Best Mobile App award

The Crunchies 2008 awards are coming up and our friends over at Big In Japan are in the running for Best Mobile App of 2008. ShopSavvy is not only an award winning application, but one of our favorite applications and is going to need the communities help in order to stand up against some of the iPhone’s apps. If you wouldn’t mind taking a trip over to the Crunchies Awards page and casting a vote for them it would be fantastic. They really have a shot at winning this award and we feel they deserve it more than anything. The developers over at Big In Japan have put countless hours of support into making sure Shopsavvy is as up to date as possible. All it takes is 5 seconds of your time and two clicks of a button to cast the vote. On a side note tell us what you think of the application. Where does it exceed expectations and where can it use a bit of improvement. Your input helps this application get better every day.

More blurry photos of OpenMoko’s Android-powered handset

Mr. Blurrycam has made his rounds again and this time he brings us something that we don’t really need or care to see again. We all know what the OpenMoko Neo FreeRunner looks like and we also know what Android looks like, so we ask what is the point of taking yet another set of “blurry” photos with what seems to be a pretty nice camera? Sources are saying that the Android version of the Neo FreeRunner is all ready for a worldwide launch and while prices are not set in stone, they are set to be announced very soon. We don’t suspect this handset will sell very well even with Android. The phone itself is really nothing special unless you have a stylus for a finger. The Neo FreeRunner has all your basic specs including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi 2.5mm audio jack, microSD card slot and GPS. On the inside you will find a Samsung 2442 SoC @ 400 MHz processor, 128 MB SDRAM and 256 MB NAND flash which is expandable up to 16GB. The touchscreen is a 2.8-inch VGA (480 x 640) TFT, 282 pixels. [gallery]

Android running Python, still a little rough

A lot of people are getting into development mode and really tearing into their T-Mobile G1, but developing in Java doesn’t seem to suit just anyone these days. For those open source fanatics out there who prefer Python to Java have we got a treat for you.

Damon over at damonkohler.com has managed to install Python on his G1 with the help of his friends Manuel and Thomas. As you can imagine this is still a bit rough around the edges, but will only get better with time. It sure is exciting to see what users are coming up with when they tear into their G1. Here's an early Christmas present for all those Python fanatics (self included) out there! With a lot of help from my friends (thanks Manuel and Thomas!) I managed to install Python 2.4.5 on my G1. It's still rough around the edges, but I think it's a good start. Klaus Reimer has a nice overview of how to cross-compile Python. My instructions borrow a lot from his. This method is not for anyone however. Only those who know how to apply patches and compile code should attempt this method as it does have its risks.

Small hack makes the iPod docks compatible with T-Mobile G1

In an effort to at least show that the iPhone has nothing on the T-Mobile G1, someone has found a way t make the G1 work with an iPhone/iPod Touch dock. This hack may not be what you expect or anything to look at really, but it does show that this is in fact possible. The easily recognized iPod dock connector has a very well known pinout so the process was not too hard to figure out.  To figure out the pinout of the HTC USB connector he just split open the hands free adapter he got with his T-Mobile Dash. Below is the process outlined to create this converter.
Most of the wires were labeled, “L” “R” “M” ect. It took a bit of fiddling to discover that connecting pin 7 to the audio ground ( pin 8 ) turns on the external audio. Sparkfun sells 30 awg (Gauge) wire wrap wire that is perfect for soldering to the ultra tiny pins on both the HTC ExtUSB connector and the iPod Female connector. We used pins 1, 2, 3, 4, 16, and 23 on the iPod Female connector. If you gently bend the pins out it makes it much easier to solder, but be careful the pins break easy. 1 & 2 are Ground - 3 is Right Audio + 4 is Left Audio + 16 is USB Ground - 23 is USB Power +5 It is important that you do not mix the audio and power grounds or you can get a nasty hum. On the G1 side of things the upper half of the connector is a standard mini-usb pinout, the bottom is very different. We used Pins 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 10. 1 is USB Power +5v in 5 is USB Ground - 6 is Left Audio + 7 is marked “AG” on the T-Mobile Dash headset board, connect this one to pin 8 to enable audio. 8 is Audio Ground - 10 is Right Audio + Now we wire the two connectors together like so: iPod pin - HTC ExtUSB pin 1 ———— 8 3 ———— 10 4 ———— 6 16 ———— 5 23 ———— 1 Don’t forget to solder together pins 1 & 2 on the iPod side and pins 7 & 8 on the G1 side. When its done it looks like this: droid-dock So we have audio from Audio player and YouTube, and the speaker dock charges the G1 too. Have fun!
[Via Webnetta]

Android Community Week in Review – Week 52 2008

There have been a few extended life batteries released that will give the T-Mobile G1 up to 15-20 percent more battery life.  The battery that ships with the G1 is 1150mAh while the replacement batteries are 1400mAh. There was an unfounded rumor that T-Mobile was sending out extended life batteries to current G1 owners. Unlike the above mentioned extended life battery, these batteries are rumored to be larger requiring a replacement back for the G1. A video demo of the new cupcake updates on-screen keyboard has surfaced. From what we can see this long awaited keyboard is very functional and easy to use. We can’t wait to get our hands on it and take it for a spin. Garmin has announced that they will be releasing an Android-powered personal navigation device. Android bringing us turn-by-turn navigation with the backing of Garmin just seems too good to be true. Google employees this year won’t be taking home a big Christmas bonus check (not most of them anyway), instead they will be taking home an unlocked “Dream Phone” with a special “droid” design on the back. The countries where Google’s legal team could not swing an unlocked G1 were given the monetary value (about $400) of the device. These countries include, India, China, Brazil, Korea, Israel, Russia, Argentina, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Mexico, Turkey, Kenya, United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Egypt, Chile, and the Ukraine. The aTrackDog application keeps track of your updates for all of your applications, but this application is not without major flaws and the collection of very valuable data market intelligence from the users. Many developers push out beta updates that will trigger this application to give all users false information about updates. We have announced the 6 winners of the Plantronics Discovery 925 Bluetooth headsets in our Android Community holiday giveaway. Congratulations to Message, Cycledroid, fstltna, Scythe, Adam Sowa and youngmack2k4. We also found quite a gallery of hands on pictures of the HKC Pearl on Engadget China. The HKC Pearl runs both Windows Mobile and Google’s Android OS as a dual booting system. This handset has a touchscreen and scroll ball just as you would find on the T-Mobile G1. The Lenovo OPhone also got a size comparison with the iPhone and iPhone 3G. The OPhone measures in at 115.84 x 61.57 x 57.12.03mm, which is only 1mm larger than the original iPhone in all dimensions. The OPhone’s headphone jack is located at the bottom of the device rather than the top. Also the very similar standby/power button is located on the left side on the top rather than the right as the iPhone.

T-Mobile shipping out extended life battery to current T-Mobile G1 owners

Reports are coming in that T-Mobile has finally admitted that the T-Mobile G1 does indeed have a battery problem as we stated in our review of the Android-powered device. With the inability to end background processes which kill the battery in less than a single day, T-mobile is giving lucky G1 owners an extended life battery. While this is still just a rumor, T-Mobile may just be doing a little preventative maintenance under our nose in preparation for the stereo Bluetooth and video recording coming to handsets in January. T-Mobile is reportedly sending a new extended life battery and a compatible back cover within the month to all T-Mobile G1 owners. You know what this means, having an even larger device. It pains us to hear that the back cover is going to make the device even larger now. The T-Mobile G1 currently has a 1150mAh battery which will more than likely be replaced with a 1400mAh battery which holds about 20% more charge. T-Mobile G1 owners are suppose to be getting a notice about this within the next few weeks. We have not heard anything confirming this to be true, please let us know if you have received such a notice. [Via Googleandblog]

Sizemodo: Lenovo OPhone vs. iPhone 3G and iPhone

Here are the first ever images of the highly anticipated Lenovo OPhone sizemodo against the iPhone 3G and iPhone.  As far as size goes, the OPhone definitely holds its own against the two giants.  The OPhone measures in at 115.84 x 61.57 x 57.12.03mm, which is only 1mm larger than the original iPhone in all dimensions.  Located on the left hand side right next to the volume rocker lives a slot for a microSD card.   According to the website, OPhone support is capable of supporting microSD card size of 16GB. Unlike the original iPhone and iPhone 3G, the 3.5mm headphone jack is located at the bottom right hand side of the OPhone.  The microUSB slot for synching and charging is placed to the left of the headphone jack. There's a dedicated camera button on the right hand side. One of the main reasons that I'm still carrying a Nokia N95 8GB NAM (now sporting the new N85 NAM edition) is because of the 5MP camera and flash.  Unfortunately both of these features are missing from the iPhone 3G.  Seems as though Lenovo has thought long and hard about these two features and have included them into the OPhone.  Another much needed feature is a removable battery. I'm looking forward to next year for the OPhone to hit the market; I'll fly to China if I have to - to buy one of these babies!  Obviously, I suspect the OPhone will show up at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. [gallery] Sina Blog [via Gizmodo]
1 2 3 4 5 6 7