Sprint says domo arigato Mr. Roboto

For the last few months Sprint has been closely tied to the Palm Pre as the exclusive provider of the smartphone. However, Sprint knows that despite record settings sales for a smartphone on its network its fortunes can’t live and die on the Pre alone. Especially considering in the handset is going to Verizon as well early next year. Sprint has announced that it plans to offer an Android-powered smartphone later this year. Sprint CEO Dan Hesse has said that Android is ready for primetime. Hesse says he would elaborate on the providers plans Wednesday when Sprint announces earnings.

Donut details continue: It’s not OS 2.0 and there’s no Multitouch, says official dev

After the excitement over finding new code in the Android development repository, it's now time for the usual clarifications, provisos and news tweaks that inevitably follow.  While Donut was initially suggested as being one and the same with Android OS 2.0, one of the Android framework engineers, Romain Guy, has spoken up to suggest than in fact Donut is not the same thing as 2.0. Perhaps more frustratingly for end users, Guy also maintains that there is no multitouch support in Donut, despite what initial feedback from the developer community may have said.  The touchscreen feature - which the current crop of Android smartphones are technically capable of supporting, though which Google's official Android code falls short of enabling - was initially believed to be present in Donut, along with such things as VPN support, CDMA support and more. The takeaway part to all this is the distinction between development branches and official releases.  As AndroidGuys explain, Donut is a development branch - a chunk of newly developed test code, patches and other tweaks - which Google is pushing out so that it can be tested, evaluated, and have OEMs check for compatibility with their hardware.  Some of those new features may find their way into an official release - we don't know if that will be 2.0 or any other release number, though Guy's comments suggest that it's not 2.0 as we expect it - while others will be put on the backburner or junked altogether. [Thanks Robert and simms22!; via Engadget]

Android OS 2.0 Donut released to devs: multitouch, CDMA and more

Google have released elements of Android OS 2.0 Donut to the developer community, and the changelist is already prompting excitement.  Among the differences already noted are multitouch and gesture support, together with CDMA compatibility opening up the possibility of Android devices on US networks like Verizon and Sprint. There's also improved universal search, automated backups and what developers are already calling a huge amount of performance tweaking that should hopefully see the platform running more smoothly even on existing hardware.  More technical issues have been tweaked, too, with WPA Enterprise encryption support together with VPN functionality. It seems Google and HTC have been thinking along the same lines, too, as one of the most visible changes is the connectivity bar in the above screenshot, which allows for one-touch homescreen control over WiFi, Bluetooth and other connections.  The first hacked ROM suitable for the G1 has already been prepared, though be warned: core aspects such as network connectivity do not work, and this is really a build for early testers rather than those looking for the most functionality from their Android devices.  Such users should wait a while, as the frontline devs are promising new versions of OS 1.5 Cupcake with elements taken from 2.0 Donut. [gallery] [via Engadget]

Motorola App Accelerator program launches for Android devs

Pretty much everyone knows today that the key to success with smartphones of all sorts from the iPhone to Android devices is more than just the sum of the hardware parts. Success also depends equally as heavy on the software available for the device. Motorola has announced a new program called App Accelerator Program with the goal of getting developers to create new software for Android devices. Motorola says that the software will launch later this year.

HTC Hero Bluetooth profiles detailed

HTC have told Android Community exactly which Bluetooth profiles the HTC Hero supports, useful details if you're considering coding a wireless app for the platform or just wondering whether it will work with your car kit.  According to the official spec sheet, the Hero - which we reviewed earlier this week - has support for the usual headset and hands-free profiles, but lacks more advanced ones such as Remote SIM Access. When we invited questions from our Android Community members, one of first was which Bluetooth profiles the Hero would support.  Unfortunately that information wasn't clear from our review unit, but HTC have got back to use to confirm the list. The news will come as a disappointment to a minority of users, but for most the inclusion of A2DP/AVRCP will be enough to keep them happy.  However the absence of any OBEX-style remote file system exploration is a frustration.

Android set to come home

Android was first conceived as an operating system for smartphones, but the OS may have far more use than that. We already know that some computer makers are eyeing Android as an OS for netbooks and other low cost systems. Android my not stop at computers though. Forbes reports that Touch Revolution says several Android-powered household gadgets will hit the market before the end of the year. The gadgets promise to deliver screens from 4.3 to 10-inches.

Android now a contender in smartphone fight

It's been months now since the first Android powered device the T-Mobile G1 hit the market. The problem for Google was that the G1 had some serious issues at launch that didn’t show Android in the best light. BusinessWeek reports that this summer and fall will mark Android becoming a true contender in the smartphone war against the iPhone and devices from Nokia and other smartphone makers. The new crop of handsets coming to market like the HTC Hero are much more robust feature wise and will show Android in the best light.

Pandora coming to Android soon

Pandora is a slick streaming music streaming application on the Internet and it is available on some smartphone platforms as well. Our beloved Android platform is so far not one of those supported platforms. A blog post at TomConrad.net says that the Pandora application for Android is now under development. The post says that sometimes plans change, but the next big platform for Pandora should be Android. The Pandora developers say that their ultimate goal is to have all smartphone platforms supported by Pandora.

Entry-level HTC Click Android phone spied

Earlier this week I mentioned that there were rumors that an entry-level Android device from HTC was coming. Today the rumored entry-level device was spotted in the wild, and the images aren’t even blurry. The HTC Click is believed to be the entry-level device that we have been waiting for. The shots show an HTC branded device with a touchscreen and a button scheme that looks a lot like the HTC Magic.
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