Android Community kicked off this week with a real treat. The QiGi was spotted in a hand on video demonstrating Android. The interface seems to fit the screen very well and respond with ease. The user flipped the handset over for a brief glimpse of the camera and interesting Android logo.
Another bit of great news we received this week was instructions on how to change the bootloader on the T-Mobile G1 to that of the developers’ model. Now we can all hack out T-Mobile G1 without having to register as a developer and purchase the $399 version from Google. We also reported that there are new AdWord options for Android and the iPhone. Now those of us who are AdWords advertisers to your desktop text and image ads on the T-Mobile G1, or any device that has a full HTML browser.
Another bit of fantastic news is the addition of 14 companies to the Open Handset Alliance (OHA). The companies who joined include, AKM Semiconductor Inc., ARM, ASUSTek Computer Inc., Atheros Communications, Borqs, Ericsson, Garmin International Inc., Huawei Technologies, Omron Software Co. Ltd, Softbank Mobile Corporation, Sony Ericsson, Teleca AB, Toshiba Corporation and Vodafone. Can it be we are seeing not one but two laptop manufactures joining? We can’t wait to see what they have up their sleeves.
Probably the most notable of all the companies who joined is Sony Ericsson. We received word that they are taking Android very seriously and will be releasing multiple handsets starting in the summer of 2009. Now Sprint can’t possibly ignore Android any longer. A how-to has been released giving instructions on how to run Android on your HTC Touch. We have been very curious as to how it is done after seeing video demonstrations in the past.
T-Mobile finally came fourth commenting on the international roaming issue that one user had. They claim that the T-Mobile G1 will not use data when the option is turned off, however applications are free to access the Internet regardless whenever they like. This brings us back to one of the original issue we have been experiencing with the lack of the ability to end processes – including applications –running in the background.
Data Viz has announced that they will be bringing office solutions to the Android platform in 2009. They plan to allow users to view, edit and create Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents all with the help from their Documents To Go application. This is one application that we will be closely watching as it is one feature that Android currently lacks. In other application news, Visa Mobile Application finally made its way to the Android Market claiming the first financial application for Android title. This app is currently in the beta stages but offers users alerts, offers and location services to help with your financial management.
Loopt has finally made its way over to the Android Market. Now users can keep tabs on where their friends are and what they are up to. Loopt is available on many different carriers as well as over 100 different handsets including the iPhone and Blackberry line. Reketu is offering a services that is very much like Truphone, allowing users to place international phone to phone, phone to computer or computer to phone calls for a much smaller rate.
Sprint is finally looking to Android to help pull them out of the pit that they have managed to work themselves into. This change comes less than two months after Sprint CEO Dan Hasse said that Android is ”not good enough to put the Sprint brand on it.” Who knows what they are thinking over there, whatever it is, it has yet to work. T-Mobile has just started selling the inline 3.5mm headphone adapters at retail locations for $9.99. Now early adopters of the T-Mobile G1 can have this godsend. The adapter also includes a microphone and answer/ mute button for use with headphones.
To wrap up the week we got a glimpse of the new “Ophone” being developed by Lenovo, who joined the OHA just recently. Unfortunately this handset will only be available in China. This large touchscreen Android-powered handset has a shape that is very familiar, almost like the new BlackBerry Storm with the curve on the top and bottom. With all these Android-powered handsets coming out of China we may be considering a move.