Author Archives: Brenda Barron


Can Android be truly ‘open’ on the T-Mobile-locked G1?

All the way up until the official announcement of the T-Mobile G1 phone, we constantly heard about T-Mobile's status as a founding member of the Open Handset Alliance and how Android was to be a truly open piece of software, allowing third-party developers to not only create applications for Android, but to actually change the software itself for improved functioning. And while this all has been confirmed as of this morning we also learned that the G1 would be locked to T-Mobile. And while it's pretty standard these days for phones to be locked to specific carriers, it still raises some questions. For instance, can you truly have an "open" piece of software if it is officially restricted to just one carrier? There's already a thread going about the subject in our Forums and many seem to think there will be an iPhone-style rush to unlock the G1 in the coming days and weeks. Does this mean there will be a G1 Dev Team, too? And while a mad dash to unlock the G1 still remains to be seen, the fact that we even have to have this conversation is a tad bit unsettling. After all, isn't the entire point of an Open Handset Alliance to maintain an open attitude and allow for the free exchange of ideas for the betterment of the final product? That's what I took it to mean, anyway. What do you think? If the G1 is locked to T-Mobile can Android be truly allowed to grow to its fullest potential? Or am I just overreacting?

First T-Mobile G1 Promo Video Surfaces

Smarterer. Connecteder. Funnerer. That's what the new T-Mobile G1 advertising video promises to deliver to users. And really, the ad is quite convincing. When it comes to a slick marketing campaign, T-Mobile is definitely delivering this time around.

"The most exciting phone in the history of phones," begins the ad. And I suppose it is when you take into consideration the months and months of anticipation and the sheer span of interest. That's because the G1 was not to be just another phone running on a familiar operating system. Rather, it would be powered by Android, Google's mobile software. The overall message here seems to be that this phone can do everything you need it to and then some. It's for the business-minded, the busy parent and the teen that wants to rock out. Notably absent from the ad, however, is the name we've all come to know and love, "Android." Instead, the ad ends with the name of the product, the T-Mobile G1 with Google. Watch the ad below. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZHgZr3SXCA[/youtube]

T-Mobile G1 as low as $179; could be as high as $299

According to the T-Mobile G1 event today and the T-Mobile pre-order page, you can get the long-awaited phone for as low as $179 come October 22nd. But some members of our Android Community have found their pre-order price to be exponentially higher. In fact, one member pre-ordered the device for a whopping $299. That's a significant leap from the flat-out stated $179 price tag. The pre-order page isn't quite so firm with the "as low as" language, but this will no doubt upset quite a few people. The only individuals allowed to pre-order the G1 at the moment are current T-Mobile customers. Perhaps this higher price is for those that do not agree to the two-year contract terms or have a much older phone and plan? It's interesting to say the least and while most people expect to pay a bit more in taxes and fees, a hundred and then some more is a lot.

T-Mobile Android handset to retail for $199

According to the Wallstreet Journal, the first ever Google-powered handset will be selling for $199. And when you think about it, this makes perfect sense. The $199 price tag puts the new smartphone right in line with the competition, such as the iPhone, which is currently retailing for the same price. The HTC phone will feature a touchscreen and the Google-created Android operating system. Come Tuesday, we'll know much more about Android and the handset it's to be featured on when Google and T-Mobile team up to put the device and the software on display. And if all goes well here, which all indications point to it doing rather well, Android will be appearing on many a handset in the near future. But when it comes to breaking the ice, they're going to have to make a big impression, especially if Android is to pull consumers from their current carriers and current devices to an HTC handset on T-Mobile. [via Techland]

Android Firmware 1.0 found at CTIA: Video Demos

At CTIA Wireless 2008, Qualcomm had one phone on display that lacked significant signage. Turns out, the phone appeared to be running Android firmware version 1.0, which confirms some of our suspicions about release dates. So in order to walk away with some proof, we got some great footage of the OS in action. Full video walkthroughs of the browser, IM client, the game Quake and more follow.   The device used couldn't access a 3G signal and was not designed with Android in mind. But even in that worse case scenario with a D-pad and EDGE speeds, Android performed like a champ. It looked great on the VGA resolution screen and all the menus loaded super fast. And even though we couldn't load up the IM client, the browser flew. Based on the same tech as the desktop browser, Chrome, Google seems to have left a Flash plugin out of this mobile browser. At least for now. Check out the videos below and you'll see that Android is just about ready for the public. And we should be seeing it pretty soon. September 23 is a date we keep hearing and that may very well be the day the world learns about Android. Android Browser Demo Part I [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ng_tfGOS-6s[/youtube] Android Browser Demo Part II [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J63wbnSU7-A[/youtube] Android IM Client First-Look [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slDZgB-IvJc[/youtube] Quake on Android Demo [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0DZ8-CPb5s[/youtube] Calling an iPhone with an Android phone [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LP8fjJt_i4w[/youtube] YouTube Interface on Android Lacks Flash [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Am_jJemrLM[/youtube] Settings Menu for Firmware 1.0 [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ma58nGfV24Y[/youtube] [via SlashGear]

Android phone on T-Mobile; announcement is coming

The T-Mobile unit from Deutsche Telekom is gearing up to roll out the first Android-based phone ever and it looks as if an announcement will be coming this month. Could the ever elusive HTC Dream really make its debut in as soon as a week or two?   According to "people familiar with the matter," both Google and T-Mobile will make the announcement sometime this month in New York City. The specific date seems to be hovering around September 23. Of course, neither Google nor T-Mobile were willing to comment on the matter, so that usually means the info is pretty close to the mark. Can you feel the excitement? Announcement day is getting close, folks! [via Yahoo! News]

SKU codes confirm first Android phone is close to launch

With all of the leaks and tidbits coming out about Android and the "Dream" phone, it's enough to make anyone's head spin! But if you're looking for more solid evidence that this new mobile operating system is truly coming soon, check out the screenshot below of SKU codes. This confirms not only that the first phone (ever!) to have Android is coming out soon. It also confirms that the phone will be available in three colors: black, brown and white. Okay, so that's not so exciting, but what is exciting is that the G1 will be released super soon. You may notice the highly anticipated Android phone is dubbed the G1 in the SKUs, however the FCC documents call it the Dream. It's hard to say why the double monikers keep persisting, but one thing is for certain: all will be revealed very soon. [via TmoNews]

Android Gizmondo in the future?

Gizmondo seems pretty keen on the idea of Android coming to their device. The Linux-based mobile operating system has been in the works for quite some time, but expectations are high that it will do well and Gizmondo is certainly paying attention.   Since Android is very flexible and many have already gotten a taste via the free SDK, an Android version of the Gizmondo may already be in the works! And check out this quote:
"We are excited about the potential of Android and have been working on an Android version of the Giz...Android would be a TERRIFIC addition to the Gizmondo and enable a TON of open source development." - Rich Jenkins CEO Media Power Inc.
And though older Gizmondos may have trouble updating, new ones could revive the device by maintaining its commitment to being open source and allowing fresh content to make an appearance. [via Gizmondo Forums]

Google Chrome coming to Android

The new web browser, Google Chrome, launched yesterday and while it is initially intended for your PC, expect to see it on Android in the near future. Google co-founder, Sergey Brin revealed a few interesting tidbits about the Chrome/Android connection yesterday during the browser's launch event. As both Android and Chrome near their 1.0 releases, it is expected the two will begin to work together, even though they were developed mostly on separate terms. "Probably a subsequent version of Android is going to pick up a lot of the Chrome stack," said Brin and cited JavaScript improvements as an example. And "Chrome-like" is an example of what the mobile version of Chrome would be called in order to indicate both its relation to the full blown PC version and its mobile status. The age of complete mobile browsing is upon us! [via Webware at CNET]