Expect More Android-based Acer Phones by Next Year

So Acer has their first Android phone named Acer Liquid A1 already in the UK. Now, it appears that they are planning on launching more Android-based phones by next year, according to Reuters. Aymar de Lencquesaing - Acer's head of mobile phone products - told Reuters in an interview, that they expect to reach a 'milestone' of 1 million handsets sold next year. As of now, Acer has 9 cellphones using Microsoft's Windows Mobile operating system, and just one using the Android OS. But that's about to change, as Acer plans to introduce more Android phones to the market by next year. Next is what Aymar de Lencquesaing said, when questioned about their plans on Android phones:
Next year it will be much more balanced. There is definitely momentum behind Android. The pace is faster than most would have anticipated one year ago.
He also said that Acer has no plans to make dozens or even hundreds of cellphones like bigger companies do. De Lencquesaing said Acer's "sweet spot is probably 8-10 devices, there we would feel comfortable." He said that the fast-growing smartphone industry it's a crowded market place, but believes there's still benefit to PC makers like Acer.

HTC Hero Caught in Wild Running Android 2.1 with new HTC Sense UI

Recently, Sprint Hero users received good news about a maintenance release update from the carrier, as you might remember. But unfortunately, no update to Android 2.0. Well, do not loose hope just yet, it would appear that there's something better cooking up. As we all know, HTC has promised an update to Android 2.0 to all Hero users, but so far, no update from HTC has been outed. But hope has reached new levels now that there are some images of a HTC Hero running Android 2.1, as you can see on the images above and below. Apparently, HTC is working on an update for the Sense UI to release it for all its Android smartphones, instead of reworking it just for the Hero. Android 2.1 is tipped to arrive before the end of this year as a minor update to Eclair (Android 2.0). There seems to be new shortcuts to different wireless connections, and a new control bar added to the homescreen. [Via SlashGear]

Google Maps Navigation Now Working Outside the US, Little “Hacking” Required

As most of you - if not all - already know; Google has officially announced that those who are using Android 1.6 or higher will be able to use Google Navigation Maps Beta. But unfortunately for Android users outside the US, they cannot use this navigation feature. Until now, that is, the bad news, at least for some users, is that you have to hack into your smartphone to get this. The folks over at Electricpig have a Google Maps Navigation version that will work on non-US Android handsets. As you can see on the image above, they have it working on their HTC Magic, across the pond in the United Kingdom. There are still a few kinks though, so if you live outside the US and want to try this, be warned. They have also put out an easy to follow tutorial on how to go about and do this hack. But remember that any hack (small or big), is always at your own risk. Here's what you need in case you want to go ahead with it: First, an Android 1.6 phone, one microSD card and microSD card reader or USB cable. For the full tutorial, you'll need to check their site, so click here to get there. If you live outside the US and have this already on your Android phone, let us know in the comments. Chris, are you reading this? Let us know if you have Google Navigation Maps Beta working on an Android smartphone.

Twidroid V3.0 Released, adds Threaded Conversations

One of the things that many smartphone users do with their devices is 'talk' with other people using a twitter client. On Google's free mobile OS, many are using Twidroid, which today, has released the new 3.0 version, with various new features. One of those new features is one that many were waiting for, threaded conversations, which, works a la Palm Pre style, according to some users. Other important features that you will find on this latest 3.0 version are time saving, for example, now you can bring up a tweet box directly by typing @, and it autocompletes usernames for timeline and replies. Twidroid is available as a free and commercial pro version, if you are not familiar with it and like to find out more about it, click here. Below, you will find all the new features for the 3.0 version of Twidroid. You also will get a glimpse into the future release of version 3.1. RELEASE NOTES * 09-11-30 / 3.0: * new: threaded conversations * new: in-app image previews for twitpic, yfrog, twitgoo, phodroid, posterous and twitter profile images * new: in-app link previews * new: twidroid plugins 1.0 + example on our website * new: action menu design streamlined with icons * new: share option for single tweet * new: view large avatar in profile * new: saved searches sync with twitter * new: marker for tweets annotated with geo information * new: report spam * new: remember timeline position setting (default: on) * new: jump to top in timeline button * new: autocomplete usernames for timeline and replies * new: bring up tweet box directly by typing @ * new: DM list now with avatars * fix: HTC hero image upload (finally) * friends/followers also available in free version | moved to profile view * [coming 3.1] new: merged action and inline link menu – whole tweet brings up the menu now * [coming 3.1] new interface language: chinese * [coming 3.1] new: offline tweets

Android Community Sleek Audio giveaway!

We're big fans of Sleek Audio, and with the launch of the SA1 earphones the company's range is even more accessible than before. To celebrate the new SA1's Sleek Audio have given us two sets to give away to our readers, and they've also thrown in a grand prize of an SA6 W-1 wireless bundle - comprising a pair of SA6 earphones and the lossless Kleer Audio wireless system - too. The SA1 earphones are all about making high-quality audio more personal, with their VQ tuning system that allows you to tweak the treble performance according to your individual tastes, so we're keen to find out what helped your music get personal. To stand a chance of winning a set of SA1 earphones, or the SA6 W-1 bundle, head over to this forum thread and let us know about your first portable music system. Maybe you were an early iPod adopter, or perhaps you rocked an old Sony Walkman and still long wistfully for the old days of cassette tapes. Entries will be accepted until midnight EST on December 3rd, and we'll be picking three comments at random: one to win the SA6 W-1 bundle and two to take away a set of SA1 earphones each. Full competition rules are below; good luck! Rules Competition is open to residents of the US over the age of 18. Family members of Sleek Audio, SlashGear or Android Community are not permitted to enter. Competition entries are only accepted via the specified SlashGear forum thread; entries left in the comments section of this or any other post will not be recognized. Entries should be submitted before midnight eastern time on December 3rd 2009; one entry per person (and yes, we check). The winners will be announced on SlashGear and Android Community and contacted via email; they will be expected to respond within 24 hours else their prize may be forfeit and another winner selected. Editors decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. Winner agrees that their name and details of their entry may be used for promotional purposes by, but not limited to, SlashGear and Android Community. Prize consists of one SA6 W-1 Wireless Bundle and two sets of SA1 earphones to be shared between three winners. There is no cash alternative. Should this prize become unavailable, SlashGear, Android Community and Sleek Audio reserve the right to substitute another prize of equal or greater value.

Gameloft Decides to Come Back to Android

So just a couple of days ago Gameloft decided to quit from the Android platform and said it was because they were not making any money. Now, it would appear, they had a change of hearth, or maybe someone was a little confused. I don't know, the thing is, they are coming back. Gameloft’s finance director Alexandre de Rochefort, said last time that they were significantly cutting their investment in Android platform, just like many others. And that the Android Market is not as neatly done as on the iPhone. But now, the company has posted a press release with the title "Gameloft Supports The 2nd Generation of Android Phones". Okay, so, were they cutting back on first generation Android phones the other day, or what the heck? I mean, de Rochefort also mentioned that Gameloft are selling 400 times more games on iPhone than on Android. And that on Android 'nobody is making significant revenue'. So why the change of hearth? Now they will work for free? Well, whatever it was, here's the press release for your reading pleasure:
CORPORATE Gameloft Supports the 2nd Generation of Android Phones Paris – Gameloft®, a world leader in the publishing and development of downloadable video games, plans to launch High Definition games on next generation Android phones like the Motorola Droid and the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10. "The arrival of this new generation of phones will allow the development of High Definition games that make the most of the technological capacity and the speed of execution offered by the new Android phones. Consumers will benefit from a top quality gaming experience," says Gonzague de Vallois, vice-president of Publishing at Gameloft. Gameloft also continues to support the current generation of Android phones and announces the imminent arrival of titles such as Assassin’s Creed. These titles will be accessible on the Android Marketplace and Gameloft internet sites and will further strengthen our catalogue of Android games already available.

Inbrics: Another Android MID, will Show up at CES 2010 [Video]

So the Android MIDs keep on showing up, just yesterday we talked about another MID running Android that goes by the name of Camangi WebStation. Now we have word from our good friend Chris over at SlashGear, about the Android MID called inbrics, that promises to make an appearance on CES 2010. Apparently, this Android device not only will show up at CES 2010, but also will be release here in the good ol' US of A. So far we don't have a lot of information on this upcoming device, but there are a few known specs out there already. Okay, so the first we all know; it will run Android. The phone will be a slider, and the processor is an ARM Cortex - A8 800MHz, QWERTY Keyboard, and an AMOLED touch screen. There's also a GPS and a digital compass and WiFi connectivity. Price and release date are unknown at this time, and there isn't any word on which US carrier will get it, if any. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ar9K3YHuBvI[/youtube]

Motorola Enjoying Stronger Brand Loyalty than Apple?

Yes, you read that right, many dare not to believe, but according to a survey from YouGov’s BrandIndex, that's exactly what's going on as of lately. YouGov is a market research agency founded in May 2000, it uses the Internet and information technology to collect "higher-quality in-depth data for market research and public consultation." Either the Motorola DROID advertising campaign was very successful, or was frightening enough to have this effect on men 18+. At least that's what the survey shows, as you can see on the image above. Now how exactly does YouGov measure all this? Well, we are not sure, but below is how they try to explained it:
BrandIndex is a daily measure of public perception of 850 consumer brands across 34 sectors, measured on a 7-point profile: general impression, ‘buzz’, quality, value, corporate reputation, customer satisfaction and whether respondents would recommend the brand to a friend.
Oh, okay, so pretty easy right? Right...Okay, so there you have it folks, whether you believe this or not, the truth is that, Android is here to stay, and the latest smartphones sporting the free OS from Google are cool, especially the Motorola DROID. So maybe there is truth on this, and now many people are loyal to Motorola not just for the DROID but also the CLIQ. And not just them, but all of us expect more and better devices from Motorola now. [Via Engadget]

China Mobile gets the LG GW880 Android-based smartphone

So the last time we heard from an LG android smartphone it was when the LG GW620, aka Eve made it to the Great White North. Now, the second Android smartphone from LG has been officially launched, and it is called LG GW880 Amundsen. China Mobile is the first to get this smartphone running Android from LG. But unlike the LG GW620, the GW880 doesn't have a keyboard, it comes with a nice big touchscreen of 3.5inch (800 x 480). Talking abot the screen, it seems you can fit many icons on the homescreen ala iPhone. It also has Chinese-spec TD-SCDMA 3G connectivity, along with Bluetooth, a 5-megapixel camera and GPS. There's no mention of WiFi on this phone but it comes with CMMB (China Multi Media Broadcasting) TV tuner for mobile entertainment. Price is unclear at this moment and LG has not mention about releasing this Android phone in other parts of the world.

Are Google Chrome OS and Android Destined to Converge?

A lot of you probably saw this one coming, I mean, after all, what is the point of having two separate OSes for almost all the same devices. Unless Google wants to go all out with Chrome OS into computers and Android for mobile devices only. Google’s execs have agreeing that Chrome OS and the Android platform have “a great deal of commonality” and “may merge even closer.” And now Sergey Brin, one of Google’s founders, has told reporters - after last week’s Chrome OS reveal - that “Android and Chrome will likely converge over time”. Brin also said: “A subsequent version of Android is going to pick up a lot of the Chrome stack. My guess is we’ll have ‘Chrome Lite’ or something similar.” He cited among other things, the common Linux and Webkit code base present in both projects. But Google's Sundar Pichai, Vice President, Product Management, said in his presentation:
We're reaching a perfect storm of converging trends where computers are behaving more like mobile devices, and phones are behaving more like small computers. Having two open source operating systems from Google provides both users and device manufacturers with more choice and helps contribute a wealth of new code to the open source community.
That last statement from Google was in response to questions about how and when the two projects would merge. Seems like they wanted to downplay Brin's statement. What do you think, do you like the idea of merging both projects? Let us know in the comments. [Via SlashGear]
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