Hands-on with OpenMoko’s Android-powered Neo FreeRunner

We had a chance to stop by the OpenMoko booth at CES this year to get a quick look at the progress they have made with the Neo FreeRunner.  Unfortunately this device did not get and changes as far as hardware specifications. They have however made plenty of software improvements so the phone itself is more responsive to commands compared to previously handled models. Of course the Neo FreeRunner was shown running Android. The reason they are showing the phone running a competing operating system is because OpenMoko supports the open source movements by welcoming any development involving their handset.  It comes as no surprise that Android runs quite well on this handset. While this phone is not designed for mainstream users, OpenMoko confirms that is was indeed designed for developers and hackers. Most mainstream users will be upset to find that despite having usable basic features, the Neo FreeRunner does lack many common features found on today’s pones such as a camera. Many developers have requested that hardware features be added, but OpenMoko has not given us any information as to if these requests will be filled. [Via SlashGear]

Asus joining in with an Android-powered Eee Phone?

There have been plenty of rumors flying around that Asus was going to be working on a low cost Eee netbook that is powered by Android. Well now we are sure that they will be working on a low cost Eee phone that of course is running the Android operating system. So far Asus has more than proven their worth in the netbook market, but just how well will they do in the mobile phone market against companies such as Motorola and HTC? Asus head Jonney Shih told the New York Times that the forthcoming Eee phone would be integrated to control a home full of Asus products including the Eee Top touchscreen PSs. There were not too many details about the Android-powered handsets, but the New York Times do not lie or spread rumors. With Asus capable of making los cost products combined with Android’s zero cost licensing fees we suspect a very respectable phone and a great price. [Via NYTimes]

CompuLab introduces exeda complete with Android

CompuLab has just introduced the exeda Android-powered handset. This mobile device has a very high usability and an abundance of both wired and wireless connectivity.  Designed as an enterprise digital assistant (EDA), the exeda has guaranteed long-term availability and can be custom configured when ordered in volume. exeda offers an open source u-boot bootloader, full BSP’s, 10/100Base-T Ethernet port, JTAG interface, RS-232 and an unlocked SIM. It is easy to see what is going on with the 3.5-inch VGA sun-readable touchscreen display. At the bottom there is a five-row full QWERTY keyboard with a unique capacitive touchpad acting as a mouse. Connectivity includes quad band GSM/GPRS, CDMA or 3G UMTS, 802.11g WLAN, Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR, 2 USB ports and a RS-232 port.  CompuLab also provides extensions with a 100Base-T Ethernet through RJ45 connector, SDIO socket and JTAG header. Other connectivity devices for exeda will be provided by 3rd parties and will include a Marvell PXA270 520MB CPU, 128MB RAM, 2 banks of internal FLASH that are 512MB each, 2-megapixel camera with flash, GPS with built-in and external antennas, microSD socket with SDHC support, built-in microphone and speaker + 3.5mm stereo jack and a high capacity 3000mAh battery. This device will be available running Android, Windows Mobile 6.1, Windows CE 6 and Angstrom Linux. Availability is set for March of 2009 with pricing to come soon.

FlyCast finally comes over to Android

More ways to listen to music for free are coming to the Android Market. FlyCast has made its way to Android after stopping off on the iPhone and BlackBerry handsets. Similar to the concept of Pandora, FlyCast brings screaming music to the palm of your hand without needing to download or store it on your device. FlyCast is a bit different than the other applications because it allows users to listen to stations in which only a few allow you to skip songs. They have also partnered up with Facebook, AccuWeather.com and support AAC+ and Windows Media streams. Users can download a desktop player that mirrors exactly the FlyCast mobile application with 1000 traditional stations plus 300 ‘personalized’ stations with unlimited song skipping. “2009 will be a year of transition for broadcasting, as hundreds of millions of new ’smart devices’ hit the streets, with incredible media consumption capabilities,” noted FlyCast CEO Sam Abadir. “FlyCast continues to lead the way in offering broadcasters and webcasters innovative platform capabilities to take full advantage of these new and compelling distribution opportunities.” Now between Pandora and FlyCast how many more streaming music applications will be released? Personally I have no need for another streaming application, Pandora and FlyCast have all the areas important to me covered. FlyCast will be available soon, no definite date has been set though. [Via FlyCast]

GiiNii Movit Mini Internet tablet spotted at CES

GiiNii was at CES this past week with a demonstration of their newest product the Movit Mini.  This sort of Internet tablet has support for Wi-Fi but there is no support for cellular bands. The good thing about this tablet is that it is Android-powered. The Movit Mini comes with a beautiful 4.3-inch touchscreen with a resolution of 480 x 272 pixels. With the aid of a microphone, speaker and webcam you will be able to place Skype calls with the built-in support for Skype. Internally there is 256MB of memory expandable via microSD card slot. Along the side you will find a 3.5mm headphone jack and there is also interface support for Bluetooth 2.0. It sure seems that smaller companies are looking to Android to help boost them into the more mainstream market. The GiiNii Movit Mini will be released to the public about the middle of 2009 for about $149.

Wind River announces commercial Android solution

Wind River, a member of the Open handset Alliance (OHA), has announced that they will begin to offer a commercial software solution based off of Google’s Android platform. This solution is designed to comprise software systems integration services and compatible commercially supported Android software platform for both handset manufacturers and developers looking to develop for Android. Wind River joined the OHA back in November of 2007, but we have not heard very much out of them at the time. In addition to this announcement Wind River also announced that Kyocera Wireless Corp. to help develop a new product that incorporates Android, can you say cheap Android phone?
“Wind River is leveraging its deep involvement with the Open Handset Alliance to offer a Wind River supported and maintained Android solution to companies planning to deploy Android,” said Jason Whitmire, general manager of the Mobile segment at Wind River. “This is compelling to manufacturers and operators because it mitigates the cost and risk associated with open source solutions.”
Wind River’s software integration services include end-to-end Android implementations including the customization, testing tailored to customer’s devices and optimization.  Currently these services for Android are being sent to customers worldwide.  Earlier on in 2008, Wind River partnered up with Texas Instruments, NEC Electronics and STMicroelectronics to demonstrate the Android platform at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. As with most new Android breakthroughs this should be available in the first half of 2009. It seems to be a growing trend to not give any specifics in reference to a release date on anything Android related. [Via MoneyControl]

New Android-powered HTC Hero?

It appears that HTC may have leaked a little info, which is not always a bad thing, especially for us. Someone over at the PPCCGeeks forum is claiming to have HTC’s full 2009 roadmap. Now we all know what’s coming next, one of the rumored handsets is an Android-powered one. The HTC Hero or “Android Hero” actually looks like a Hello Kitty yakked all over a cheap Chinese knock off of the T-Mobile G1 crossed with the HTC Touch Pro. It does not appear that this rumored device will indeed be a US bound handset, but it is still said to be running Android and that in itself is exciting enough. There are always going to be rumors of a new HTC Android-powered handset floating around because of the G1. Why in the world would HTC – a company known for their sleek black phones – go with a pink handset? There are also plenty of other reasons this does not lineup. We want to hear from you guys, what do you think about this handset if it were real? Why is or isn’t this a real phone? [Via PPCGeek]

Another multi-touch G1 video, this time without kernel modification

Some of you may be getting sick of seeing the same Android news over and over again while hoping for something new. Sadly this post is just another story with a different look. Multi-touch has been demonstrated on the T-Mobile G1 before, but here we go again. Back in November we reported on a video made by RyeBrye that showed that two separate finger presses could be recorded on the G1 if the kernel was recompiled with the functionality put back in. Now we have another video created by Sir Luke Hutch. He claims to provide this demo on a stock G1 and will release instructions for developers who would like to incorporate it into their applications. He modified just one system class in the Java-based user interface stack. From what we can see this appears to work perfectly. So does this mean we will be seeing multi-touch in Android applications in the near future?  Got 6 minutes? Take a look at this video and tell us what you think. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enAinQizxyM&feature=channel_page[/youtube] [Via YouTube]

Android Community Week in Review – Week 2 2009

There was not much new reported in the way of Android this week partially due to the to CES this week in Los Vegas. We will be playing catch-up this coming week not only in Android news but also in the community as well. This week started off with a young girl by the name of “Kommodore” who got an Android tattoo on the inside of her arm. Though plenty of people have talked about it, no one has actually gone through with it. Also this week Mr. Blurry Cam got us some pictures of the new Kogan Agora Pro. This is not the first time we have seen this handset and it is no surprise to us how it appears. One thing we did not account for in the previous pictures is the overall plain square look. We certainly hope the handset manages to get another tweak before we actually see it come to market. At CES this week we did get to see some Android displays. This one however is not particularly a device, more like a prototype demonstration of what Android is capable of. We did manage to snag some video of it in action though. Qualcomm demoed Android on a large WVGA screen with 1.5GHz dual-core CPU complete with integrated HSPA+, support for1080p high definition, mobile TV and also GPS capability. This certainly shows us that Snapdragon is ideal for Android with its heavily Internet based functions.

Qualcomm Snapdragon Android prototype complete with Video Demo

At CES this past week Qualcomm was demonstrating the Snapdragon-based reference prototype running Google’s Android operating system. This demo included a large WVGA display along with Snapdragon’s always-on wireless connection to demonstrate the stability of Android on a larger scale device that the T-Mobile G1.It may not look like much all torn up on the table but it speaks volumes for the Android platform. The Snapdragon has a 1.5GHz dual-core CPU complete with integrated HSPA+, and support for1080p high definition. It also has support for mobile TV and GPS capabilities making this perfect for the on the go user. Based on an ARM platform, Qualcomm has modified the processors to run at three times the normal speed. The company suggests that the Snapdragon-based devices will be able to stay connected to a data network. Qualcomm says that Snapdragon is ideal for Android with its heavily Internet based functions. This company has demonstrated a touchscreen netbook based on this chipset. They have also confirmed that Snapdragon devices will launch sometime in 2009. We are all aware that Google intended the Android platform to be more than just a mobile phone platform. I will gladly take an Android-powered netbook any day, lets just hope that they push one out sooner rather than later. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qv45ZeGcoZ0&eurl=http://www.slashgear.com/ces-2009-qualcomm-snapdragon-android-prototype-1029836/&feature=player_embedded[/youtube] [Via SlashGear] [gallery]
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