Author Archives: Brady Landgren


Android Community Week In Review – Week 5 2009

This week saw a few big stories for the Android platform, the most anticipated being T-Mobile's official announcement of offering more Android-based handsets in 2009. A specific number was not given, but HSPA capabilities on these handsets are almost a given, with T-Mobile's stance that they will have 3G data networks available in 300 cities by the end of 2009. This would make T-mobile highly competitive with Verizon and AT&T. T-Mobile also released their Q4 2008 numbers, and the results left some wondering if the G1 was really able to compete with the iPhone, as it hadn't drawn near the same number of subscribers to T-Mobile from previous carriers. Another factor to consider is the currently bleak job market and economy, and the possible unwillingness to pay early termination fees to switch for a new phone.

SlingPlayer Mobile’s Next Stop: Android?

A few sources, including one of our very own, have come across an un-official confirmation that Sling Media's mobile player will make its way to Android handsets. SlingPlayer is software that allows streaming of user content from Slingbox, a home media set-top unit, over the internet to computers and other mobile devices. We don't have any timeframes just yet, but a software developer connected with Sling Media has targeted Android as the next potential platform to tackle. Sling Media forum user and developer MegaZone writes, "At this time we have not officially announced any development for Android or webOS, but we’re keeping an eye on both of them. Android seems to be the next logical platform, looking at the overall market, and Sling reps have talked about it a few times. I believe some have gone as far as to say it is our next platform, but I won’t since we haven’t made any announcements. The kind of support we’re seeing through the OHA is very promising, and if even some of the announced devices and partners come to market it will be a strong player." "There has to be a business justification to invest the resources in developing the client. The next logical platform is Android, which we're already taking a strong look at. Unlike webOS, Android already has multiple announced devices with commitments from several major device makers for even more, with carriers lined up world-wide. Remember that from our point of view it is the intersection of users with the platform *and* a Slingbox who are also interested in using SPM. Engineering resources aren't free, so there has to be some return on investment." Without coming out and saying, it would appear Sling Media has taken a wait-and-see stance with webOS, sure to be another heavy competitor in the smartphone arena. With several Android-based phones already announced and more reportedly on the way, the platform seems indeed logical as the next obstacle Sling Media must overcome in taking over the streaming media universe. Purely as speculation, one has to wonder if Sling Media would host some type of beta program with a mobile application on Android, given the open-nature of the platform. Wouldn't that just be aces?

G1 Not Carrier Switch-Worthy?

According to Q4 earnings reports, T-Mobile has reported just 621,000 new customers for the final 3 months of 2008, a 35 percent drop in new subscribers from the same period in 2007. That brings T-Mobile's total subscriber base to an estimated 32.8 million users.

Android Market App Destroying Phone Data

According to the application reviews from the Android Market, the app "MemoryUp Personal" is destroying personal data when installed onto an Android handset. There are reports of e-mail accounts being spammed, adware installed, and SD cards being erased - all linked to the installation of this app. This has sparked several discussions about the appeal of the open source community when personal data is at stake. Traditionally a friendly, help-one-help-all environment, the open source community is under attack by many who have had their phone book, calendar, and SD cards erased by this rogue application. Another issue raised is the Android Market app approval process, of which we're not really sure there is one. Several commenters have expressed interest in Google taking more of an Apple AppStore approach, with stricter app requirements before allowing downloads by the masses. A link to the application was not provided for obvious reasons.

All T-Mobile Retail Outlets to Get G1

Are you a resident of T-Mobile's still-fairly-limited 3G coverage area? If so, you've been the only ones getting your hands on the G1 from an actual store...up until now. Word has it that tomorrow, January 24th, all T-mobile retail outlets across the country will begin selling the T-Mobile G1 with Google to customers directly in-store.

Last.fm For Android Launches

Last.fm has announced the availability of their internet radio streaming app on the Android platform.  It is available in the Android Market now for download, or by clicking here. Similar to Pandora radio, Last.fm learns your music tastes as you listen, and suggests new music that it thinks you may like by inserting songs in between your old favorites.  The entire service is backed by the Last.fm website with access to information about everything you hear on the streaming stations.  

Porting Android to Palm Pre

We are still presumably months away from the launch of what’s hyped to be 2009’s hottest handset, the Palm Pre.  The timeframe hasn’t stopped a few, however, from beginning the port of Google’s open mobile OS, Android, to the newest must-have device. In fact, efforts to port Android's system to the OMAP 3 language (the processor architecture used in the Pre) have been ongoing since July of last year.  The biggest hurdles will be accessing the Pre’s low-level system, called the bootloader, to enable switching between its webOS and Android, and finding enough space to do it in Pre’s fixed 8GB of internal storage.

Limited time MyFaves promo

According to some tidbits at the TmoNews Forums and HowardForums, T-Mobile subscribers have been able to add the MyFaves feature on to their accounts for free.  MyFaves is T-Mobile’s distinguishing service that allows unlimited, any-network calls to five phone numbers of the caller’s choosing. More info after the jump.
So far, it seems the most successful process for accomplishing this is as follows: •Call 611 from your T-mobile handset or 877-453-1304 from a landline •Say “Cancel” at the automated prompt - this connects you with a “Retentions Department” representative •Ask for the “Free MyFaves Add-On” •Depending on the rep, you may be required to agree to a contract extension
If all goes well, you will have MyFaves added on to your current rate plan, without any additional fees.  Please note, a contract extension varying from 1-2 years may be required, though it has been reported of the add-on being given without an extension.  There have also been reported issues with the add-on not being compatible with corporate or company-discounted lines, though your mileage may vary. This has been reported as a very limited time promotion, ending as early as today, January 19th.  If you’re interested, best bet is to try now. Check in at the forums to let us know if this worked for you!
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