Last.fm For Android Launches

Last.fm has announced the availability of their internet radio streaming app on the Android platform.  It is available in the Android Market now for download, or by clicking here. Similar to Pandora radio, Last.fm learns your music tastes as you listen, and suggests new music that it thinks you may like by inserting songs in between your old favorites.  The entire service is backed by the Last.fm website with access to information about everything you hear on the streaming stations.  

Android Cupcake screenshots show new QWERTY, settings

Screenshots and hands-on feedback of the Android Cupcake development build have emerged, hinting at changes users might see rolled out over the next few months.  Although no specific time-scale has been given for Cupcake's release, developer Arron La was able to play with an early release; right now there doesn't appear to be a "killer feature" to long for, merely a number of incremental tweaks and a couple of new, basic apps. These include a new default notepad app, which Arron describes as both "very simple" and "ugly", a new Global Time app which currently will only show a rotating earth, and an unusual Spare Parts" app which allows changes to be made to windows animation, transition animation and other device settings.  Unfortunately its "display rotation" option, which presumably allows the accelerometer to control portrait and landscape changes wherever in the OS you are, does not currently work. More interestingly, considering this week's leaked images purporting to be of the keyboard-free T-Mobile G2 by HTC, there's also a shot of the new on-screen keyboard, which Arron reports will appear for every edit box.  No haptic feedback as yet, but this could be a common sight to G2 users.
  • New Local Setting Page - Gives you option to pick different locales and pick different text inputs.
  • New Option to view running and third party applications - An option to view running and third party applications from the normal application list.  Does not provide a way to terminate them.
  • New windows opening/closing animation effect - a new popping effect when windows are opened/closed.
  • New default notepad - a very simple and ugly default notepad.
  • New Global Time application - not sure if it will be provided by TMobile but it’s just a rotating earth and I couldn’t get it to do anything else.
  • New Spare Parts Application - Once again not sure if the official version will have this, but it provides a number of extra settings such as setting windows animation and transition animation speed, font size, end button behavior and etc.  It also has a “display rotation” option which supposedly should allow auto-rotate base on orientation across the entire os, but it is not currently working.
  • New Virtual Keyboard - The virtual keyboard will pop up on every edit box.  I didn’t feel any haptic feedback but I am thinking that it’s just not there on the example keyboard.  Because the phone does not auto-rotate (an option exists but it doesn’t work), it’s very hard to type on it.  The sample keyboard also does not provide auto-corrections.
  • Slightly better looking buttons with more shadow.
  • [gallery] [via IntoMobile]

    Porting Android to Palm Pre

    We are still presumably months away from the launch of what’s hyped to be 2009’s hottest handset, the Palm Pre.  The timeframe hasn’t stopped a few, however, from beginning the port of Google’s open mobile OS, Android, to the newest must-have device. In fact, efforts to port Android's system to the OMAP 3 language (the processor architecture used in the Pre) have been ongoing since July of last year.  The biggest hurdles will be accessing the Pre’s low-level system, called the bootloader, to enable switching between its webOS and Android, and finding enough space to do it in Pre’s fixed 8GB of internal storage.

    Truphone Anywhere ‘VoIP’ app for Android launches

    Truphone have announced a version of their Truphone Anywhere client for the T-Mobile G1.  The app, a free download from the Android Market, is available in the US, UK and, in preparation for the G1's release in Germany come March 2009, in German.  As well as free VoIP calls over WiFi between Truphone users, the service claims to offer lower-cost international calls.

    nru location-based activities app for G1: Video Demo

    Travel website lastminute.com have released an app for the T-Mobile G1 that flags up nearby activities on a radar-style display.  nru ("near you") takes advantage of the G1's GPS and compass to work out where the user is, offering up a range of bars, restaurants, cinemas and cafés - among other things - that are geographically close.   The app uses information from several online databases, including Qype and fonefood, and thanks to the compass the display is automatically changed depending on which direction you're currently pointing in.  It can also find nearby shows and concerts, landmarks, and presumably any other category that lastminute later add.  Once you've found a place that sounds interesting, a tap opens up the venue listing with whatever details, reviews and photos are available. Held horizontally, with the screen facing up, nru shows the radar-style interface; hold it up, in either portrait or landscape orientation, and it shows whereabouts on your sight-line the nearest venue is.  A free download from the Android Marketplace, nru is currently only available to UK G1 users. [youtube]http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=fMA7wAU5BH0[/youtube] [Thanks Toby!]

    T-Mobile G2 by HTC spotted in wild: no QWERTY, coming May

    The first images of the T-Mobile G2 have emerged, showing another HTC-made smartphone that now lacks the full QWERTY keyboard of the T-Mobile G1.  The G2 handset keeps the touchscreen and trackball of the G1, but tweaks the front-panel buttons and is, of course, slimmer thanks to the absence of a slide-section. HTC have also given the T-Mobile G2 a 3.2-megapixel camera, though it's unclear whether it has autofocus or not, and there appears to still be no flash.  The casing has a high-gloss finish, but we're not sure of measurements as yet. The original source of the photos reports that the G2's interface is "very similar" to that of the original G1, and that T-Mobile will be releasing the smartphone come mid-May.  No spec details available as yet, though we'd presume an on-screen keyboard - something the G1 lacked as standard - has now been developed.  Renders of the new G2 were among the leaked shots of HTC's 2009 line-up.

    CellHut selling T-Mobile G1 without a contract for a pretty penny

    CellHut is now offering the T-Mobile G1 apparently without a contract. Some of you want the regular version of the T-Mobile G1 without purchasing the unlocked developers version even with the cool graphic on the back. The “T-Mobile Google G1” as they call it wont cost you the $699.99 that is advertised on the CellHut website, but the sale price of $499.99, this may be a lot of money but hey you get free shipping! . At this point we just recommend just getting the unlocked developers version, at least you get the cool design and save $100. For those who are still a bit new about this type of phone, an unlocked handset is one in which you can use on any GSM/ SIM card enabled network with supported radio bands. For example the T-Mobile G1 is factory locked to only work with T-mobile, if you get an unlocked version you can then use it with AT&T, Cricket and MetroPCS phone plans. [Via CellHut]

    Steven Horowitz says goodbye to Google

    One of the original software engineers for Google’s Android platform, Steven Horowitz, has reportedly left the Google team for a position with Coupons Inc. This company designs software for creating, distributing and tracking coupons on the move. Steven Horowitz was recruited to the Android staff by Andy Rubin back in 2006 where he has helped make Android such an amazing platform. After spending so much time on Android, Horowitz believes that it is a good time for him to move on as right now is the beginning of the transformation of the mobile industry. Steven Horowitz hints that there are many good things to come and that he is aware that any other companies are porting the Android platform to devices other than mobile phones.  We would like to thank Steven Horowitz for his contribution to this platform and we wish him good luck with Coupons Inc. [Via WSJ]

    Waterfield Designs T-Mobile G1 Ultrasuede Slipcase

    Chances are you have slipped and dropped your mobile phone on the ground at some point. Everyone can use a nice case for whatever your favorite device may be. Now Waterfield Designs has come up with a very nice Ultrasuede Slipcase for the T-mobile G1. Even if already use an Invisible Shield case for your T-Mobile G1, you may also want to try out this nice little sleeve for added protection. Not only does it provide protection against scratching the surface of your device, it also helps soften the blow does to the drops and bumps that your handset may experience, something the Invisible Shield is unable to do. The Slipcase holds your G1 snugly and will lay flat and roll up nicely when not in use. The best part is this case will cost you less than traditional cases at only $9 a piece. If you would like to add a pocket you will only have to shell out another $4. This looks like a win win situation for scratch protection. [Via ZDNet]
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