G1 Not Carrier Switch-Worthy?

According to Q4 earnings reports, T-Mobile has reported just 621,000 new customers for the final 3 months of 2008, a 35 percent drop in new subscribers from the same period in 2007. That brings T-Mobile's total subscriber base to an estimated 32.8 million users.

T-Mobile USA confirm more G-Series devices in 2009; likely to be HSPA

T-Mobile will definitely be releasing more G-series devices in 2009, almost certainly offering HSPA high-speed mobile internet access.  That's the not particularly surprising news from Neville Ray, senior vice president of engineering and operations at T-Mobile USA, who has confirmed that the carrier stands behind the Android-based smartphones in an interview with Fierce Wireless. Ray also revealed that T-Mobile USA are looking to double their "3G reach" in 2009, referring to the amount of coverage the network offers.  The device focus, however, will remain on handsets and consumer devices, rather than data cards, with Ray describing HSPA-enabled smartphones as satisfying a "sweet spot" for "compelling devices".
"Our plan in 2009 is to double the number of covered POPs and top 208 million POPs. We expect to be in more than 300 cities by the end of 2009. That takes us to competitive parity in most areas of the country with Verizon and AT&T" Neville Ray
Unfortunately the interview did not press the engineer on specific details of upcoming Android-based devices, meaning that overall it's slim-pickings if you're looking for hot new information.  Nonetheless, it seems to suggest that T-Mobile would be reluctant to pick up a handset such as the General Mobile DLST1, which in its current state lacks 3G support. [via MobileBurn]

Fujitsu launch ‘Service Built for Android’ for bespoke device design

Fujitsu Japan have announced a new project called "Service Built for Android", in which they offer to assist any other company looking to deploy the Android OS.  The service is not limited to smartphones, either, with Fujitsu suggesting cars, consumer electronics and embedded devices being ideal candidates for Google's open-source platform. Assistance can take any form of consulting, training, engineering and embedded middleware.  It's unclear how much Fujitsu will be charging for the technical support, but they maintain that in utilizing both the free platform and their own services will see a cheaper final product and faster deployment. Fujitsu's hardware partner appears to be Freescale Semiconductor, with the company producing evaluation boards using their Android-compatible processors.  A number of seminars discussing Android's potential impact on embedded systems are scheduled for February. [via Akihabara]

Android Bootcamp developer training: What’s the best way to learn?

One of the key factors in Android's favor is the fact that it's open-source, meaning developers are free to code their own apps for the platform and go on to release them through the Android Market.  What, though, if your ambitions and ideas are more impressive than your coding skills?  Interestingly, there's a growing industry in Android-specific developer training . One such project is the Android Bootcamp, which promises a week long intensive course of Android-themed developer training, under the tutelage of Mark Murphy, founder of CommonsWare and author of The Busy Coder's Guide to Android Development, among other titles.  Taking place in Atlanta, the course costs $3,500 including lodging, meals and classes, though not your airfare.
"You will not only learn the basics of setting up activities and UI widgets, but the advanced capabilities that make Android compelling, such as GPS, mapping, Web service access, and on-device search"
I'm curious to know your opinion on courses like this.  Obviously $3,500 is a whole lot of money; do you think this is the best way to get into developing for Android - or for any platform, for that matter?  Press Release:
Register for Android Bootcamp Atlanta, GA - January 15, 2009 - Get Your Android Training at the Big Nerd Ranch, March 16-20, 2009 The biggest idea in new technology comes in the smallest package. When Google announced it was entering the mobile device market with Android, developers got excited. Really excited. Now, the recent partnership between Google and T-Mobile has spurred top-tier mobile device manufacturers to start developing devices for Android, setting the stage for Android to become a dominant mobile application platform. Based in Java, Android boasts an open architecture with an open source foundation that stands out from any other mobile development platform, with untapped potential for software development. For entrepreneurs wanting to tap that potential, the Big Nerd Ranch, premier provider of intensive, week-long classes for programmers, web developers and system administrators, is now offering Android Bootcamp, March 16-20, 2009. The Android training class is taught by one of the top names in the mobile development industry, Mark Murphy, founder of CommonsWare and author of The Busy Coder's Guide to Android Development (Version 2.0) and The Busy Coder's Guide to Advanced Android Development (Version 1.0), slated to be released in March or April of 2009. The ebook version of the book was released June 3, 2008 and has become a top- selling guide to Android programming. Mark has more than 25 years experience as a development trainer and consultant, building real- world applications for top companies. He is a frequent contributor to the Android support Google Groups. "Android is significantly different from any other mobile development platform or Java-based environment," said Android instructor, Mark Murphy. "This class will immerse you in the Android platform, leveraging your existing Java expertise, so you walk away able to build Android GUIs and related components. You will not only learn the basics of setting up activities and UI widgets, but the advanced capabilities that make Android compelling, such as GPS, mapping, Web service access, and on-device search." Mark draws upon his extensive mobile development experience and leverages students' existing Java expertise to immerse students in the Android platform and guide them in building sophisticated Android GUIs and components. By the end of the week, students attending the class will be to: • Create professional Android user interfaces using XML • Connect Android applications to the Internet, embed browsers into applications and create database-driven applications • Utilize content providers to publish data to Android applications and communicate with other applications to use their data • Use services to build long-running Android processes • Integrate advanced Android features like mapping, search, and location-based (GPS) services into applications Read more about Android Bootcamp (including the complete syllabus) or our instructor Mark Murphy. The Big Nerd Ranch incorporates intensive training classes for Unix and Mac OS X programmers in a retreat setting outside Atlanta, GA. Class price of $3500 includes lodging, all meals, original instruction materials, 24-hour lab access, and transportation to and from the Atlanta airport. Students are encouraged to bring independent projects to class, allowing for input from classmates and individual instructor attention. For more information, call (404) 527-6211 or visit www.bignerdranch.com

Opera Mini 4.2 final version for Android released

Opera have announced a new version of the Opera Mini 4 browser for Android-based devices such as the T-Mobile G1.  The updated browser - which can be downloaded now from the Applications > Communications category in the Android Market - is in fact the first non-beta version of Opera's software for the platform, and brings with it new features such as file uploads and downloads, support for video playback and double-tap zoom control. Opera first released a version of their Mini smartphone browser for the Android platform shortly after the OS itself was launched.  However certain missing features - notably the app's previous inability to call the video viewer - generally left users straddling both the standard browser and Opera Mini. With this new update, which also brings with it a number of bug fixes, G1 users have the choice to leave behind the standard browser and switch completely to Opera Mini.  The app is a free download. Changes from the beta version:
  • Now you can upload and download files through Opera Mini and save pages for offline viewing
  • Videos will be redirected to the system's video player
  • Double tap now works for zooming in and out
  • Inline URL entry instead of using native input
  • Fixed password text entry to hide characters
  • Fixed problems with exiting application when back button was pressed
  • Improved trackball speed
  • All internal pages, like the start page, now have font size extra large for easier navigation
[via SlashPhone]

Android Cupcake gets Video Demo

More and more developers are getting their hands on Cupcake, the non-official next-gen build  of Android, as Google seemingly relax their grip on the software.  After we saw screenshots late last week, now it's time for some video: a walkthrough of firmware 1.5. In it, the new portrait-orientation keyboard is demonstrated - meaning that owners of devices like the T-Mobile G1 wouldn't have to slide out the hardware QWERTY in order to type a message - together with the new notepad application.  There's also some screentime for the two new apps, both presumed to be demo rather than full-release candidates, and the Global Time app which shows which parts of the earth are currently in sunlight. Less eye-catching, but arguably more useful, are the Live Folders - which can be set to auto-refresh on your desktop, with "All Contacts", "Contacts with phone number", and "Starred Contacts" currently supported - and the new emoticon support for both SMS messages and IM chats.  Google have also thrown in a lot of multi-region language support. Nothing, for the most part, that we haven't seen before, but if you've been desperately watching the still images to see if they start moving, the clip below is for you.  If, more excitingly, you'd like to try Cupcake out for yourself, check out this tutorial. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfsvXJUVlY0[/youtube]

General Mobile DLST1 dual-SIM Android phone coming to MWC

General Mobile have been flaunting renders of their DLST1, the handset they intend to be their first Android smartphone.  With a 3-inch touchscreen, 5-megapixel camera with autofocus and flash (made by Sharp) and WiFi b/g, the specs certainly look promising.  Still, there's plenty of work to be done before General Mobile's intended Q3 2009 launch. For a start, the buttons are getting a rework - there aren't enough for Android's required home, back, menu, send and end - and the display may be overhauled as well.  General Mobile still aren't sure whether its 400 x 240 WQVGA resolution will be high enough for Android applications, and if not the panel will be changed.  We're hoping they also rethink the connectivity, too, as the preliminary specs list cellular data as topping out at GSM/EDGE. The DSTL1 also has dual-SIM slots, with the facility to have both lines active simultaneously, together with Bluetooth.  Under the hood a 624MHz Marvell PXA 310 processor keeps things chugging.  It measures 112 x 54 x 16mm, weighs 135g, and should be making an appearance at Mobile World Congress next month. [gallery] [via AndroidAuthority]

Multitouch hack for T-Mobile G1: Video Demo

While the hardware of the T-Mobile G1 can support multitouch, and the users certainly could deal with it, neither HTC nor Google themselves gave the smartphone the ability to recognize more than one simultaneous touch.  Now that's all changed, thanks to coder Luke Hutchison, who has put together a multitouch hack for the G1.  As you can see in the video demo, the hack adds pinch & spread zooming to the G1's browser, together with maps support, replacing the usual zoom controls. Right now this is more a proof-of-concept than anything else, though it's usable, and needs OpenGL acceleration support and kinetic scrolling (where the page continues scrolling after you "flick" it) before it will go as smoothly as multitouch on the Apple iPhone is.  Installation is not for the faint-hearted, either, requiring a reflash of the G1's hardware and the potential risk of bricking your smartphone. If you're brave, the full instructions are here.  The hacked apps - Browser and MapViewer - also include accelerometer-linked screen rotation, so you can use them in landscape mode without needing to flick out the keyboard.  There's also a photo browser with multitouch support. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZEshnuQcno[/youtube] [Thanks Simon!]

Android Market App Destroying Phone Data

According to the application reviews from the Android Market, the app "MemoryUp Personal" is destroying personal data when installed onto an Android handset. There are reports of e-mail accounts being spammed, adware installed, and SD cards being erased - all linked to the installation of this app. This has sparked several discussions about the appeal of the open source community when personal data is at stake. Traditionally a friendly, help-one-help-all environment, the open source community is under attack by many who have had their phone book, calendar, and SD cards erased by this rogue application. Another issue raised is the Android Market app approval process, of which we're not really sure there is one. Several commenters have expressed interest in Google taking more of an Apple AppStore approach, with stricter app requirements before allowing downloads by the masses. A link to the application was not provided for obvious reasons.

All T-Mobile Retail Outlets to Get G1

Are you a resident of T-Mobile's still-fairly-limited 3G coverage area? If so, you've been the only ones getting your hands on the G1 from an actual store...up until now. Word has it that tomorrow, January 24th, all T-mobile retail outlets across the country will begin selling the T-Mobile G1 with Google to customers directly in-store.
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