Video of the QiGi i6 running Android finally spotted

We just received word that China will be releasing the QiGi i6 in an Android version and a Windows Mobile version. Soon after first hearing about it there was a video released showing a full version of Android running smoothly. For those of you who currently use the T-Mobile G1, this may appear a little different because it is formatted to fit a different sized phone. The video is one second shy of ten minutes so there is plenty for you to feast your eyes on. At the very end the show a little bit of what appears to be cheaply made hardware, but we will leave that to you to decide. Given the specs and this video, do you think this is something you would fork out that kind of money for? [youtube][/youtube]

Android Community Week in Review – Week 49 2008

This week kicked off with a killer deal being put on by American Express where they offered a T-Mobile G1 for only $125. The My Wishlist promotion went fast though, as the supply was limited to only 200 units. There was also a video showing Android booting on a Nokia n810. This video may have just been a fake, but this is still exciting. We have seen Android run on other exciting devices in the past. We also received an inside tip informing us of the training of T-Mobile employees for the new data plans that T-Mobile is putting into place. New customers are going to be faced with higher data plants and a 10GB cap is being put into place. One user was surprised to find that taking his T-Mobile G1 out of the country, even with data turned off would still give you data roaming charges. Customer service told him that he would be fine overseas when in fact he racked up a $102.85 bill. We later found out that in UK models of the G1, data roaming is turned off by default. We find it very odd that one version would be setup in this way while the other impossible to stop. It seems the UK is having all the luck with the G1 when compared to those of us here in the US. Now it appears that people who purchase the G1 in the UK will be getting a killer deal on their monthly subscription cost. T-Mobile decided to cut a whopping 25 percent off of the monthly price, bringing it now to only £30 (about $45 USD). Now the Android Market has welcomed FotMob, this application is bringing football scores to the palm of your hand. With FotMob you can get live coverage of Premier League, Championship, Bundesliga, Serie A, Primera Division, SAS ligaen, Tippeligaen, Adeccoligaen and Champions Leagues anywhere you go. We now know what next next official Android-powered handset is going to be, but we are very surprised that it wont be out of China. The Kogan Agora Pro is available for pre-order out of Australia right now. This handset is going to cost you $399 for the better version and just $299 for the stripped out version that is missing features such as the camera. The handsets specifications do not impress in many ways so don’t expect too much out of it. On January 29th the Kogan Agora Pro will begin shipping to those who pre-ordered the device. It turns out Hop-on will actually be announcing gambling software for Android at CES 2009. Apparently the mobile gambling industry is growing at a rapid rate. People just can’t wait to throw their money away while waiting for a doctor’s appointment or riding the bus. In other application news Shazam has added 2 million new songs to their database making it even more useful. This application remains free, as it has always been in the past. Google has also released a $399 unlocked version of the G1 for developers. This version includes a bootloader that does not restrict the device to officially signed firmware builds. In order to purchase this G1 you will have to be a registered developer and pay the $25 fee to register. One cool feature that Google has included on this version is a very nice graphic on the back piece. Also this week a new mobile browers for Android has been released. Steel may still be in the early stages, but has a lot of promise. One thing that we are looking forward to is the on-screen keyboard.

Steel mobile browser hits the Android Market, comes equipped with an on-screen keyboard

It seems as soon as the one new application hits the Android Market, the floodgates are opened and more quickly follow. Opera just recently launched their very famous Brower for Android and now we are seeing other companies release their browsers as well. Steel is the latest to give us more options when it comes to browsing the Internet on our T-Mobile G1. Kolbysoft’s Steel is based off WebKit just as the G1’s browser and iPhone’s Safari. Eventually Steel will have plenty of great features including multiple windows, downloads, configurations, clear application history and cache and an on-screen keyboard. Yes you read it right, an on-screen keyboard will be added. This come from behind browser is still in the early stages so don’t expect it to outshine Opera anytime soon, but definitely give it a spin. For those who cannot live without an on-screen keyboard, this just may be the browser for you as there has been no word on keyboards in other browsers at this time. We are certainly happy to see very useful applications come to the Android Market rather than another version of the tip calculator.

Google now offering special unlocked version of the G1 to developers

Google has released a special unlocked version of the T-Mobile G1 to help developers develop their applications. This version is going to run you $399 and is both SIM unlocked as well as hardware unlocked. You must first be registered as a developer to be eligible to purchase this handset; registrations fees will run you $25. Now developers don’t have to purchase this phone from T-Mobile and wait for ages after requesting an unlock code. This development version also has a bootloader that does not restrict the device to officially signed firmware builds. It looks like this may be a way for countries to legally get their hands on one as well. This version is currently available to Japan, Germany, India, France, Taiwan, Australia, Switzerland, Sweden, Canada, Finland, Hungry, Poland, Spain, the Netherlands, Austria, the US and the UK. Google plans to expand the regions in the future.  Although this handset is meant specifically for developers, consumers can register and have these devices shipped right to their door. Is this what it takes to get one in a country that does not currently have the G1? [Via XDA]

Shazam adds 2 million songs to database

One application we were excited to see on Android is Shazam. After using it so frequently on the iPhone it makes the transition that much easier. Now the only problem we have had with Shazam is the large focus on pop music while leaving many other genres in the dust. Shazam has taken this into account and is now expanding their database by 2 million songs, that’s a database growth of 30 percent! This brings the grand total to over 8 million available songs. It appears that Shazam is gaining the upper hand in what seems to be a down hill battle. My personal music collection still stumps this application more often than not, but when it comes to the radio there is no contest. Will Mils, head of music said, “This increase in our database cements Shazam’s position as the leading mobile music discovery service in the world. With our strong music alliances we gain access to the most relevant music well before many other music services, which ensures users can discover popular and niche music all over the globe. No matter where they are, or what they’re listening to, users are taken on an unforgettable musical journey. This unequaled user experience and superior technology has made Shazam the perfect partner for mobile phone operators and handset manufacturers across the world.”

Roaming disabled by default in UK G1 models

Just the other day we reported that one user was charged over $100 for taking his T-Mobile G1 out of the country even though customer service said it would be fine and turning all data on their phone off. Apparently this is only an issue with US versions of the T-mobile G1. To ensure that customers to not rack up unexpected costs, roaming is by default disabled in all new UK models. If a user so wishes to enable it a warning message will pop informing users that there will be additional costs. You may be asking yourself, why in the world is it disabled for them and now us? Just to note, when roaming is turned off it includes not just data roaming but all roaming. If you do not wish to incur data roaming charges you will not be able to use your phone. For those of you who travel overseas often, the T-Mobile G1 is about the worst phone for you to own. Unless you have money to burn we don’t suggest even taking the G1 with you.

Hop-on actually announcing gambling software for Android at CES 2009

We have heard that Hop-on will be announcing a new Android-powered handset at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Well that may not be entirely true, it appears that they will however be announcing its new Casino Wagering Software. According to research done by High Beam, "The Bets are on Mobile Gambling: Worldwide Revenues Forecasted to Reach $16 Billion According to Alexander Resources." This year has been a very encouraging year for mobile gambling service providers, many of them seeing total wager increasing by more than 100%. For now the services have been rolling out in only a few key markets including the UK.

Kogan announces the second Android-powered handset, the Agora

We are very surprised to see that the latest Android-powered handset to come to market is not coming from China, but in fact from Australia. We are very excited to hear that the Kogan Agora Pro is available for international pre-order. More details after the jump. For $399 you will be getting a business-like Android smartphone fully equipped with a 2.5-inch resistive touchscreen, 3G data network and full QWERTY keyboard. Taking a good long look at what customers want at a price they can afford, Kogan has managed to deliver a very beautiful handset. This smartphone has GPS, 624 MHz processor, 128 MB RAM, 2-megapixel camera and Wi-Fi. If $399 is a little bit more than you would like to spend you can go with the cheaper $299 version. This cheaper version lacks some big features such as Wi-Fi, GPS and the 2-megapixel camera. The Agora is available to anyone without a contract no matter where they are located. Hurry and pre-order yours now and your Agora will be shipped January 29th.
MELBOURNE, Thursday 4th December 2008 – Kogan Technologies today unveiled the Kogan Agora, the first Australian mobile phone powered by the Android™ operating system. Kogan Technologies will sell the Agora for AU$299 and the Agora Pro for AU$399. Both models are available for sale today on The phones are sold outright – with no contract – and will work on any network. The Kogan Agora (AU$299) features a full QWERTY keyboard, central navigation key, 2.5” touchscreen, microSD slot, and 3G connectivity. The Kogan Agora Pro (AU$399) adds a 2 MP camera, Wi-Fi, and GPS to the Agora’s impressive specifications. Both models will ship to customers – in Australia and internationally – on January 29th 2009. Kogan Technologies founder, Ruslan Kogan, said the Agora is proof that his company is achieving its goal of offering the latest technology at the best value prices. “The Kogan team have been working very hard to bring out the exciting new phones powered by Google’s Android operating system at the right mix of price and specifications,” Kogan said. “We’ve been listening to customers through our blog, and crammed in all the features we possibly could. The end result is the best value, fully-featured phone in the Australian market. “We worked closely with manufacturers and vendors to develop drivers, software, and tweaks to make the Agora an intuitive and exciting experience for everyone. “The design and features of the Kogan Agora makes the phone appeal to both consumers and business users. “The Android operating system means the handset can capture and play music, photos and video, surf the web, play games, navigate, and organise your life with extremely powerful applications." Kogan has been a long time supporter of open source and Android™ provides a real alternative to Apple’s proprietary operating system for the iPhone. “Google is a key player in developing efficient and innovative online solutions for customers around the world. The open source nature of Android means the operating system will continually improve over time,” Kogan said. Some of the applications pre-loaded on the Kogan Agora are: · Gmail™ · Google Search™ · Google Calender™ · Google Maps™ · Google Talk™ · YouTube™ HIGHLIGHTS: · 2.5-inch TFT-LCD flat touch-sensitive screen · Integrated QWERTY keyboard · High-speed 3G network connection · One-Touch Google Search ™ · Easy Web Browsing · Easy-to-use email with attachment support for images, videos, music and documents · Customisable Home Screen with instant Email, text message and IM notifications · Instant access to mobile Internet services (Gmail ™, YouTube ™, Google Talk ™, Google Calendar ™, Google Maps ™) · Music Player · microSD™ expansion slot for all your storage needs · Wi-Fi network access (included with Kogan Agora Pro) · GPS navigation capability (included with Kogan Agora Pro) · 2.0 megapixel camera (included with Kogan Agora Pro) SPECIFICATIONS: Operating System Android™ Google Mobile Functions Google Search™, Gmail™, YouTube™, Google Maps™, Google Talk™, Google Calendar™. Display 2.5-inch TFT-LCD flat touch-sensitive screen with 262K QVGA (320 X 240 pixel) resolution Device Control Central Navigation Key Keyboard QWERTY keyboard Keyboard backlighting GPS GPS navigation capability (included with Kogan Agora Pro) Connectivity Bluetooth® 2.0 with Enhanced Data Rate Wi-Fi®: IEEE 802.11b/g (included with Kogan Agora Pro) Camera 2.0 megapixel colour camera (included with Kogan Agora Pro) Audio Built-in microphone and speaker Headphone jack Ring tone formats: · MIDI, MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV, PCM Video Video formats supported: · MPEG2 H263, H264, MPEG4, AVI Mail attachment support Viewable document types: · JPEG, GIF, WBMP, MIDI, AMR, MP3, WAV Dimensions (HxWxD) 108 mm x 64 mm x 14.8 mm Weight 130g Battery Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery Capacity: 1300 mAh Talk Time Up to approximately 400 minutes Standby Time Up to approximately 300 hours Processor MHz 624 MHz Memory ROM: 256 MB RAM: 128 MB microSD™ card expansion slot Network UMTS/HSDPA (850, 1900, 2100 MHz) GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz) Other than as described in this release, Kogan and its products, are not affiliated with Google Inc or its products. Google™, Android™, Google Search™, Gmail™, YouTube™, Google Maps™, Google Talk™, Google Calendar™ are trademarks of Google Inc. Use of these trademarks is subject to Google Permissions. About Kogan Technologies Kogan Technologies is a wholly-owned Australian company established in 2006 by entrepreneur Ruslan Kogan. Kogan sells a wide range of consumer electronics in Australia, New Zealand, and around the world. The Kogan promise is based on a unique business model that passes the savings of dealing direct with the manufacturers onto Australian consumers. Bypassing middlemen, Kogan is able to offer the latest technology at the most affordable prices. Kogan’s unique blend of quality technology and value for money offers price-conscious Australian technology consumers a real choice.

UK G1 owners will be getting monthly subscription costs cut

G1 owners here in the US have been envious of UK residents since the launch of the T-Mobile G1 in the UK. They were offered the white G1 along with a 2GB memory card and if that was not bad enough they got it for free with a £40 ($60 USD) per month plan.  Well prepare to be disappointed yet again. With the holidays quickly approaching T-Mobile UK has decided to knock off %25 of the monthly fees for the G1 to compete with other offers.  Now starting at only £30 ($45 USD) per month you can get your hands on the G1 and have a little extra for holiday spending this season. A T-Mobile representative said, "We have chosen to offer the device free with a £30 contract to make the pricing more competitive in light of recent device launches. We are well on track to achieve our sales forecasts". The good news here is that anyone who already picked up this Android-powered handset can cash in on the savings as well. Though T-Mobile will not be making house calls to promote spending less money, they are more than happy to adjust your account if you give them a call. [Via PocketLint]

Android Market gets even more sports applications with FotMob

The leading score provider for mobile football, Score Service, has announced their now free Android version of FotMob. This application is already highly popular among Java and Windows Mobile users, now Android users will be able to see what all the hype is about. With FotMob you can get live coverage of Premier League, Championship, Bundesliga, Serie A, Primera Division, SAS ligaen, Tippeligaen, Adeccoligaen and Champions Leagues. You also get dynamically retrieves new season data without the need for upgrade. The score tables and match details such as red/yellow cards are updated live. Score Service is also currently working on a similar application for the NHL. It sure seems that Android is getting plenty of support for sports fans of all kinds.
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