Author Archives: Staff Editor

Samsung working on an Android-powered handset for late 2009

We have received word that Samsung is working on their “Gphone” with the aim of second quarter next year for Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile. It is with heavy heart that we inform you guys that there are no leaked spy photos or renders of this handset….yet. Samsung currently has 30 Linux and Java experts working very hard on pushing out the new Android-powered handset. They have a team of up to 80 developers currently working on this project. These developers have reportedly been hard at work for about a year now, all we know is Sprint better get a phone quick. Now down to the fun stuff, the “Gphone” will apparently be a touchscreen – which Samsung is particularly not good at – and will be much sleeker than the Omnia. Samsung officials said, “We are accelerating the development process for Google phone in order to meet the specific need of local carriers. We will be able to release Google phone in the second quarter of the next year in the US market. ” [Via SlashGear]

Android has free turn-by-turn navigation

Android now has fully audible real-time turn-by-turn navigation with an application called AndNav2. This one is now only a public Alpha, but due to all the experience gained in AndNav1 this version is actually in a really solid state. AndNav2 is free, for the time being anyway. Unlike Garmin services there is no monthly charge or need to download extra map pack upgrades. The only way they can maintain a free application is by placing ads into the applications itself and through donations. It’s a very small price to pay to keep from having to purchase this application. Right now AndNav2 supports Contacts/POI/Address-Search and many more, but even the recently released free Text2Speech library by Charles L. Chen giving users fully audible turn-by-turn directions. AndNav2 is currently only available in the United Kingdom, Germany, Ireland, France, Denmark, Spain, Switzerland, Italy and Austria. [youtube][/youtube] [Via GoogleAndBlog]

Huawei will release Android-powered handset in 2009

Huawei said that Australian telecommunications companies would be able to start selling their Chinese based Android-powered handsets by the third quarter of 2009 if they would like to. Huawei was one of the companies to enter the Open Handset Alliance (OHA) earlier this month announcing plans to bring an Android-powered handset to market in 2009. Australia was excluded from the launch of the T-Mobile G1, but now Telcos has the choice not Huawei. "Huawei can confirm that their first Android smartphone is scheduled to launch in the third quarter of 2009. Huawei's smartphones can be ordered and developed for Australian operators based on any such requests," the spokesperson said. Kogan Technologies' Agora, which will hit Australia on January 29th, is still going to be the first to legally make it to Australia. We are also expecting several Android-powered handsets out of China throughout 2009. We certainly hope to see much growth with Android in the coming year, especially in the Android Market, which has seemed to slow to a crawl. [Via CNET]

Android Community is celebrating Christmas this year with more Giveaways!

Its giveaway time again here at Android Community, just in time for the holidays. This time we have 6 Plantronics Discovery 925 Bluetooth Headsets to give away to our Members. These headsets have grown very popular since being released, the only thing we did not like about this headset is the price.  Find out how after the jump. All you have to do is head over to our Christmas contest thread and tell us whats on your Christmas list this year. Maybe some of you are still hopping for a T-Mobile G1, or maybe your sights are set on that special car you've always wanted. Six lucky winners will be chosen at random to receive a Plantronics Discovery 925 Bluetooth Headset. See the rules below for full details. Remember, the SlashGear HP Magic Giveaway is still accepting entries, but the closing date is approaching fast.  Find out how to take part here.
Rules Competition is open to residents of the US over the age of 18.  Family members of Plantronics are not permitted to enter.  Competition entries are only accepted via the specified Android Community forum thread; entries left in the comments section of this, or any other post, will not be recognized.  Entries should be submitted before midnight central time on December 23rd; one entry per person. The winner will be announced on 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, Android Community. Prize consists of six Plantronics Discovery 925 Bluetooth Headsets.  There is no cash alternative and colors may vary.  Should this prize become unavailable, Android Community and Plantronics reserve the right to substitute another prize of equal or greater value.

T-Mobile kills $18 handset upgrade fee

T-Mobile has just ended their handset upgrade fee, which adds $18 to the cost of any upgraded mobile phone. T-Mobile reportedly ended the feels on Wednesday and will be applied to all outlets whether it be purchased through the online store, retail location or over the phone. This also applies to those who have been patiently waiting for an upgrade and are picking up the Android-powered T-Mobile G1. This is yet another testament that patience pays off, early adopters loose again. T-Mobile is offering this as a promotion for this holidays and has not set an ending date on this offer. This is “another way T-Mobile is thanking its loyal customers”. We all know the upgrade fees raised a lot of negative publicity for T-Mobile right around the announcement of the T-Mobile G1 because new members were getting a better deal that existing customers. The advertized price with a two-year agreement was $179.99, but loyal customers were paying more like $200 for the G1. Lets just hope this promotion is so popular that T-Mobile decides to hang onto it. [Via SlashGear]

T-Mobile G1 complete service manual reaches users

The T-Mobile G1 (HTC Dream) service manual has popped up on the Internet for those of you do it yourselfers. Although we don’t believe they intended for us to have this document, it does go along with one of the open source theories, if you can’t open it, you don’t actually own it. This 113-page service manual is basically the ultimate in geek porn, covering full teardown techniques to testing and troubleshooting methods. You may even see “certified G1 technicians” popping up on Craigslist over the next few weeks. This guide also gives you pinouts and other various technical specifications so that you can get your mod on. For those of you who are brave enough to tear your expensive G1 down even if just for fun, we want your pictures! I know I have been the first to tear into a perfectly fine primary device based on curiosity and bringing tutorials to users.  Post a comment and show us your teardown and be sure to include your screen name in there so you don’t get flamed. And yes we do know if you post a picture from the manual.

New “cupcake” update details surface

New “cupcake” update details have been announced on the Android project site. Apparently we will be getting a lot more than a few bug fixes and supposed security patches. Just what else is there, take a look after the jump. Google has decided to tear into the camera and pull out video recording for all T-Mobile G1 owners. No longer will we be behind with the rest of the phones because the lack of basic features. The browser will be getting an inline find function that implements very selective copy and paste. There are also a few speed enhancements that may or may not be recognizable to the average user. The rest of the updates are more for future devices as they are not G1 specific enhancements. One update that has us stumped is the addition of “Basic x86 support.” Another addition will be the framework that allows for simple system-wide on-screen input. There is also a note of faster MMS scrolling and the ability to save attachments from MMS, come on Google. [Via AndroidProject]

Top ten applications in the Android market have been announced

The top ten applications in the Android Market have finally been figured out. With the Android market still in the early stages this is no grand achievement, but it really puts the most popular apps into perspective for us.  For instance, we expected an award winning application to be number one, but the coveted first place was swooped by the Namco classic Pac-Man with more than 250,000 total downloads. According to a report done by Medialets, the top ten most frequently downloaded applications for Android are as follows:
  • Pac-Man by Namco
  • MySpace Mobile
  • The Weather Channel
  • ShopSavvy
  • Ringdroid
  • imeem Mobile
  • Shazam
  • Rings Extended
  • Bonsai Blast
  • Brain Genius Deluxe
Now MySpace Mobile is the application that we expected to take the number one spot on the list. MySpace applications always make it to the top three applications, usually behind the Facebook application. ShopSavvy was also another application we expected to be filling the top three spots, but somehow it made it to number 4 on the list. Ringdroid, imeem Mobile and Shazam were sure bets as all three of these applications hit on very key points for mobile phones such as free ringtones. Shazam has been doing very well on other handsets such as the iPhone. Brain Genius Deluxe was another huge hit among other handsets and a great game to play. We suspect that this game will remain one of the most popular games on Android for quite some time. Let us know what Android applications you enjoy most. [Via Medialets]

HulloMail brings visual voicemail with email integration

HulloMail allows users to view their voicemail with a very simple easy to read interface. Much like Visual Voicemail for the iPhone, you can view your voicemail and choose which one you would like to without having to navigate through annoying menus and listening to voicemail you do not wish to listen to. In the coming months many features will be added including, audio and name greetings that allow you to easily create your own personalized greeting. The HulloMail service will sync with your Gmail contacts allowing users to reply to voicemail with either a voice call, text message or email. HulloMail is free to download from the Android Market and registration is simple. You can also have your voicemail converted to an MP3 file and send it directly to your IMAP4 email, MobileMe or Gmail inbox. Eventually they will integrate sync support for Hotmail, AOL and Yahoo mail. [youtube][/youtube]

More Lenovo OPhone picture leaked

It appears that more images of the Lenovo OPhone have surfaced and we are simply dying to get our hands on this device. We brought you the first actual picture not long ago and already there is more. Forget Christmas, just release this handset already. It looks like the photographer apparently enjoys rocks. There are a few more details and plenty more picture to check out after the jump.

From what we can see in the pictures, the OPhone has a 5-megapixel camera with autofocus and flash. There is also a microSD card slot –no surprises there. It’s a no-brainer that there will be an onscreen keyboard, but there will be Chinese and English input methods. Though we are unsure if there is any data exchange support, what we do know is there will be a video recorder and Bluetooth support.

We are still waiting on the core specs of the device; we will let you know the second we find out more about the Lenovo OPhone. There is still no word on whether this will be branded under the "OPhone" name or not. The only branding we see is the red circle with "MS" next to it. This is a very curious branding as the last time I checked MS did not stand for Andoid. [gallery]
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