Author Archives: Staff Editor

Extended G1 battery life anyone?

Some of you are having a really problem fighting the battery life of your T-Mobile G1. Do far the rumors that T-Mobile is shipping extended life batteries out is seeming to by just a myth. There are solutions but you have to ask yourself, how much am I willing to give for a device that lasts a little longer? Power users and those who game on their T-Mobile G1 will need to pick up this extended life battery from Seidio. This battery does make your device a lot thicker than it is normally, but hey its only $55 and your phone wont need a charge as often. The battery is so big that a back cover is needed just to house it. Take a look at the picture for a moment and try to get a good realization of just how large this makes your handset before ordering, you may be surprised. The standard battery is 1150mAh, but this monster backs 2600mAh! At least now you can bring down even the largest person from across the room with one good throw of your handset.  Do you feel this extra bulk is worth it? [Via Seidio]

Kogan Agora delayed indefinitely

The Australian consumer electronics maker who promised the release of the first Android-powered handset in Australia has “delayed the launch indefinitely saying it was due to "potential future interoperability issues". Ruslan Kogan was suppose to release the Kogan Agora and Agora Pro running Android on January 29th. The reason being he would like redesign it "to ensure its compatibility with all future Android applications." This decision is likely the result of a recent meeting he had with Google at their US headquarters, which Kogan flagged earlier this year. Due to a very strict non-disclosure agreement signed with Google he was not able to comment further on what the meeting what about. "The Agora reached a very late stage of development, manufacturing had commenced and we were within days of shipping the product to customers. But it now seems certain the current Agora specifications will limit its compatibility or interoperability in the near future," Kogan, 25, said. One thing that is a major issue is the screen resolution and size, one day developers may create an application in a higher resolution that the Agora Pro is capable of. From the sounds of it we are only lucky that the handset did not make it to consumers hands, at least as it is now. Originally this handset was planned to launch on December 15th for just $199, but later the date was delayed and the price bumped to $299 for the basic model and $399 for the Pro which includes Wi-Fi, GPS and a camera. [Via TheAge]

New T-Mobile G1 hat!

Dan O’Sullivan has had a lot of problems with trying to help people (mostly his mother) out with technical problems around the house such as TV and computer problems. Needless to say tech support would be a lot easier if you could actually see what was going on instead of being told by someone who needs your help. At fist he though that one of those network cameras would work well, but his mother does not have an Internet connection so that went out the door.  The perfect idea came to mind, streaming the video live such as the application Qik does. He decided to program Android to do the job, it was a single day project for ITP’s 4in4. The code he came up with basically munches together the camera preview example from the Android api. Now all you have to do is create a ridiculous hat to stick on your mother as she runs around the house fixing technical problems. I guess the questions is, would you resort to putting your mother through this in order to make your life easier? [Via NYU]

Android 101 workshop being held in Pakistan

Google representative in Pakistan, Badar Khushnood, has reportedly sent out emails to a few people about an Android developers workshop in LUMS or Lahore.  The workshop is to help make developers aware of the vision that Google has for Android and help better introduce them to the platform. The session is basically an introduction to creating Android applications using the SDK and developers tools provided. Software Engineer for Google, Omer Shakij, will be speaking to people and giving a walkthrough of building a non-trivial application and use it as a basis for discussing the carious facets of the Android application framework. On the agenda they have an Overview of resources available to Android developers, Hello Android, Few API Demos from the SDK, HTC G1 Live Demo and a Q&A Session. If you reside in Pakistan and would like to attend this workshop then head over to the registration page for more details.

New “Dream G2” video surfaces, no surprise its out of China

Looks like we have picked up another curious Android-powered handset that is being called the “G2 mobile phone china cellphone” as the video claims, or “Dream G2” as the device actually states. From what we can see this is nothing more than a cheap knock off of an Android handset that China is producing. There is no HTC branding, as the HTC Dream was the running name of the T-Mobile G1 in the early stages. The first clue we the inconsistency in the name, the title not being the T-Mobile G2 is a clear indication.  At first glance this handset reminded me of the Velocity 103. Many of the menus and the need for a stylus suggest that it is possible this is running on top of Windows Mobile 6.1. Go ahead and watch the entire seven minutes and try to think of what the continuous “Connection failed, please press OK to continue” may indicate.  Handwriting recognition is a clear indication that this is a Chinese based phone and what kind of phones usually come out of China? Even the charger was the cheap Android USB one that is selling on the Internet currently. We will let you be the judge, let us know what you think. [youtube][/youtube]

Hands-on with OpenMoko’s Android-powered Neo FreeRunner

We had a chance to stop by the OpenMoko booth at CES this year to get a quick look at the progress they have made with the Neo FreeRunner.  Unfortunately this device did not get and changes as far as hardware specifications. They have however made plenty of software improvements so the phone itself is more responsive to commands compared to previously handled models. Of course the Neo FreeRunner was shown running Android. The reason they are showing the phone running a competing operating system is because OpenMoko supports the open source movements by welcoming any development involving their handset.  It comes as no surprise that Android runs quite well on this handset. While this phone is not designed for mainstream users, OpenMoko confirms that is was indeed designed for developers and hackers. Most mainstream users will be upset to find that despite having usable basic features, the Neo FreeRunner does lack many common features found on today’s pones such as a camera. Many developers have requested that hardware features be added, but OpenMoko has not given us any information as to if these requests will be filled. [Via SlashGear]

Asus joining in with an Android-powered Eee Phone?

There have been plenty of rumors flying around that Asus was going to be working on a low cost Eee netbook that is powered by Android. Well now we are sure that they will be working on a low cost Eee phone that of course is running the Android operating system. So far Asus has more than proven their worth in the netbook market, but just how well will they do in the mobile phone market against companies such as Motorola and HTC? Asus head Jonney Shih told the New York Times that the forthcoming Eee phone would be integrated to control a home full of Asus products including the Eee Top touchscreen PSs. There were not too many details about the Android-powered handsets, but the New York Times do not lie or spread rumors. With Asus capable of making los cost products combined with Android’s zero cost licensing fees we suspect a very respectable phone and a great price. [Via NYTimes]

CompuLab introduces exeda complete with Android

CompuLab has just introduced the exeda Android-powered handset. This mobile device has a very high usability and an abundance of both wired and wireless connectivity.  Designed as an enterprise digital assistant (EDA), the exeda has guaranteed long-term availability and can be custom configured when ordered in volume. exeda offers an open source u-boot bootloader, full BSP’s, 10/100Base-T Ethernet port, JTAG interface, RS-232 and an unlocked SIM. It is easy to see what is going on with the 3.5-inch VGA sun-readable touchscreen display. At the bottom there is a five-row full QWERTY keyboard with a unique capacitive touchpad acting as a mouse. Connectivity includes quad band GSM/GPRS, CDMA or 3G UMTS, 802.11g WLAN, Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR, 2 USB ports and a RS-232 port.  CompuLab also provides extensions with a 100Base-T Ethernet through RJ45 connector, SDIO socket and JTAG header. Other connectivity devices for exeda will be provided by 3rd parties and will include a Marvell PXA270 520MB CPU, 128MB RAM, 2 banks of internal FLASH that are 512MB each, 2-megapixel camera with flash, GPS with built-in and external antennas, microSD socket with SDHC support, built-in microphone and speaker + 3.5mm stereo jack and a high capacity 3000mAh battery. This device will be available running Android, Windows Mobile 6.1, Windows CE 6 and Angstrom Linux. Availability is set for March of 2009 with pricing to come soon.

FlyCast finally comes over to Android

More ways to listen to music for free are coming to the Android Market. FlyCast has made its way to Android after stopping off on the iPhone and BlackBerry handsets. Similar to the concept of Pandora, FlyCast brings screaming music to the palm of your hand without needing to download or store it on your device. FlyCast is a bit different than the other applications because it allows users to listen to stations in which only a few allow you to skip songs. They have also partnered up with Facebook, and support AAC+ and Windows Media streams. Users can download a desktop player that mirrors exactly the FlyCast mobile application with 1000 traditional stations plus 300 ‘personalized’ stations with unlimited song skipping. “2009 will be a year of transition for broadcasting, as hundreds of millions of new ’smart devices’ hit the streets, with incredible media consumption capabilities,” noted FlyCast CEO Sam Abadir. “FlyCast continues to lead the way in offering broadcasters and webcasters innovative platform capabilities to take full advantage of these new and compelling distribution opportunities.” Now between Pandora and FlyCast how many more streaming music applications will be released? Personally I have no need for another streaming application, Pandora and FlyCast have all the areas important to me covered. FlyCast will be available soon, no definite date has been set though. [Via FlyCast]

GiiNii Movit Mini Internet tablet spotted at CES

GiiNii was at CES this past week with a demonstration of their newest product the Movit Mini.  This sort of Internet tablet has support for Wi-Fi but there is no support for cellular bands. The good thing about this tablet is that it is Android-powered. The Movit Mini comes with a beautiful 4.3-inch touchscreen with a resolution of 480 x 272 pixels. With the aid of a microphone, speaker and webcam you will be able to place Skype calls with the built-in support for Skype. Internally there is 256MB of memory expandable via microSD card slot. Along the side you will find a 3.5mm headphone jack and there is also interface support for Bluetooth 2.0. It sure seems that smaller companies are looking to Android to help boost them into the more mainstream market. The GiiNii Movit Mini will be released to the public about the middle of 2009 for about $149.
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