HTC Hero in the house! Video unboxing & overview

HTC dropped a present at our door today: an unlocked HTC Hero, all ready for the official Android Community review.  We wasted no time in shooting a video unboxing and brief Sense UI overview video, together with a few in-hand photos to whet your (and our!) appetites. In case you've forgotten, the HTC Hero has a 3.2-inch capacitive touchscreen, 5-megapixel camera, HSPA, WiFi b/g and GPS, together with the latest Android OS 1.5 "Cupcake".  Where it differs from HTC's previous Android devices, however, is in HTC Sense, the company's new UI which integrates with the open-source OS and adds numerous widgets and other usability improvements. We'll have the full review of the HTC Hero very soon, after we've had the chance to put it through its paces.  First impressions?  It's perhaps the best Android device to-date. HTC Hero unboxing and Sense UI overview: [vms 9af4dd08de5d1de54f68] [gallery]

Skyhook wireless location service added to Kijiten Android app

Losing your Android smartphone is bad enough, but having it stolen is even worse. With the wealth of information that can be stored on Android devices, losing them is giving a thief the keys to your email and other personal information. Skyhook Wireless announced this week that its recovery software has been added to the Where is My Android app. The software allows the user to find the real-time location of their lost or stolen Android application form the company's website.

Noser working on Android-powered home automation devices

We know that Android is being used on smartphones and being eyed for use on netbooks. Android has also turned up on devices like music players and more as well. A company called Noser is working on using Android for home smartphones. If you are wondering what a home smartphone is, think desktop phone running Android that allows you to send texts and surf the net. The company is also looking at a complete line of products for smart homes.

Analysts expect Dell Android phone to hit China

Dell has said on a couple occasions that it will be entering into the smartphone market. Dell is eyeing this market as a way to improve profitability by stepping into a market that is growing well despite the poor economy and the slump in global PC sales. According to Barron's analysts believe that Dell will have a limited launch of an Android-based smartphone through China Unicom this fall. Analyst Ashok Kumar from Collins Stewart cites Foxconn as the source for the news.

Android hacked to run on x86

Android runs on ARM processors for the most part. That means that putting the OS onto a netbook or notebook running an x86 processor was not possible with a plain Android distro. A couple programmers have announced that they have hacked Android to run on x86 hardware in a LiveCD version. It may be only weeks before we see the Acer Android and XP machine hit the PC market, but we are one step closer to being able to install Android on our computers ourselves.

Borqs grabs $17.4M for Android development

One of the big features of some of the Android flavors that Google offers is that the OS can be customized with an overlay that allows carriers to customize the look and feel of Android. Some carriers may lack the in house talent needed to make a custom UI for Android and luckily for them Borqs has landed funding to make UIs for carriers. The company has closed $17.4 million in series B venture financing with Northwest Venture Partners leading this round of financing. Borqs is a mobile software developer that builds software for operators with client-side software for Android.

Acer Android/XP netbook coming next month says source

We have talked before about the number of major computer makers that are looking at putting Android onto their netbook computers. Among those considering Android are HP, Asus, Dell, and Acer. According to a Chinese newspaper called Apple Daily the Acer dual booting netbook is set to hit in August. The rig will run Windows XP and Android and you can count on the machine costing more than the typical Acer netbook.

HTC Says all the Android love doesn’t mean WM is dead

I think I can speak for lots of smartphone users out there when I say that Windows Mobile isn't the most popular OS for a smartphone with many users. HTC has been making big news recently with several major Android-powered handsets. However, HTC says that all the Android love doesn't mean it will be forsaking Windows Mobile. Techtree reports that HTC's Jon French said that Windows Mobile would continue to be a priority for the company.

Will Chrome OS be the death of Android netbooks?

Fans of open source operating systems and haters of Microsoft were thrilled when word started coming out that some of the major computer makers were going to be offering netbooks that run Android. Among the major makers looking at Android are Acer, Dell, and HP with a few early machines from lesser known companies already showing up at trade shows with Android installed. With the announcement of the new Google Chrome OS coming soon, the Android plans for many of these computer makers have to be in question. Why would a major computer maker like Acer want to put Android on a netbook when it appears that Google will be favoring Chrome for computers?

Android and Google Chrome OS “may merge closer” in future

According to Google CEO Eric Schmidt, the company's Android mobile platform and their newly-announced Google Chrome OS have "a great deal of commonality."  In fact, according to the executive, the two OSes "may merge even closer" in the future. Speaking at a press conference this week, ostensibly to discuss the new netbook platform but which covered various points of Google's business, Schmidt and company founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page discussed the open-nature of the new platform.  While in their initial blog post about Chrome OS they indicated that it and Android would remain separate, and that "choice will drive innovation for the benefit of everyone, including Google", there now seems to be signs that the two will shift from parallel to integrated projects. The trio also discussed the nature of open-source software and how they do not envisage Chrome OS as a direct competitor to Windows.  In fact, Schmidt said, "Microsoft is welcome to put Internet Explorer on our operating system," but that "it's highly unlikely they would do it.  They would have to port it and the port is not trivial ... the ball is in their court."  Referring to Google's well-known "do no evil" pledge, he highlighted the fact that because Chrome is open-source "even if we had an evil moment [to block out Microsoft], we would be unsuccessful." The first netbooks running Google Chrome OS are expected in the second half of 2010.
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