Author Archives: Staff Editor


Google now offering special unlocked version of the G1 to developers

Google has released a special unlocked version of the T-Mobile G1 to help developers develop their applications. This version is going to run you $399 and is both SIM unlocked as well as hardware unlocked. You must first be registered as a developer to be eligible to purchase this handset; registrations fees will run you $25. Now developers don’t have to purchase this phone from T-Mobile and wait for ages after requesting an unlock code. This development version also has a bootloader that does not restrict the device to officially signed firmware builds. It looks like this may be a way for countries to legally get their hands on one as well. This version is currently available to Japan, Germany, India, France, Taiwan, Australia, Switzerland, Sweden, Canada, Finland, Hungry, Poland, Spain, the Netherlands, Austria, the US and the UK. Google plans to expand the regions in the future.  Although this handset is meant specifically for developers, consumers can register and have these devices shipped right to their door. Is this what it takes to get one in a country that does not currently have the G1? [Via XDA]

Shazam adds 2 million songs to database

One application we were excited to see on Android is Shazam. After using it so frequently on the iPhone it makes the transition that much easier. Now the only problem we have had with Shazam is the large focus on pop music while leaving many other genres in the dust. Shazam has taken this into account and is now expanding their database by 2 million songs, that’s a database growth of 30 percent! This brings the grand total to over 8 million available songs. It appears that Shazam is gaining the upper hand in what seems to be a down hill battle. My personal music collection still stumps this application more often than not, but when it comes to the radio there is no contest. Will Mils, head of music said, “This increase in our database cements Shazam’s position as the leading mobile music discovery service in the world. With our strong music alliances we gain access to the most relevant music well before many other music services, which ensures users can discover popular and niche music all over the globe. No matter where they are, or what they’re listening to, users are taken on an unforgettable musical journey. This unequaled user experience and superior technology has made Shazam the perfect partner for mobile phone operators and handset manufacturers across the world.”

Roaming disabled by default in UK G1 models

Just the other day we reported that one user was charged over $100 for taking his T-Mobile G1 out of the country even though customer service said it would be fine and turning all data on their phone off. Apparently this is only an issue with US versions of the T-mobile G1. To ensure that customers to not rack up unexpected costs, roaming is by default disabled in all new UK models. If a user so wishes to enable it a warning message will pop informing users that there will be additional costs. You may be asking yourself, why in the world is it disabled for them and now us? Just to note, when roaming is turned off it includes not just data roaming but all roaming. If you do not wish to incur data roaming charges you will not be able to use your phone. For those of you who travel overseas often, the T-Mobile G1 is about the worst phone for you to own. Unless you have money to burn we don’t suggest even taking the G1 with you.

Hop-on actually announcing gambling software for Android at CES 2009

We have heard that Hop-on will be announcing a new Android-powered handset at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Well that may not be entirely true, it appears that they will however be announcing its new Casino Wagering Software. According to research done by High Beam, "The Bets are on Mobile Gambling: Worldwide Revenues Forecasted to Reach $16 Billion According to Alexander Resources." This year has been a very encouraging year for mobile gambling service providers, many of them seeing total wager increasing by more than 100%. For now the services have been rolling out in only a few key markets including the UK.

Kogan announces the second Android-powered handset, the Agora

We are very surprised to see that the latest Android-powered handset to come to market is not coming from China, but in fact from Australia. We are very excited to hear that the Kogan Agora Pro is available for international pre-order. More details after the jump. For $399 you will be getting a business-like Android smartphone fully equipped with a 2.5-inch resistive touchscreen, 3G data network and full QWERTY keyboard. Taking a good long look at what customers want at a price they can afford, Kogan has managed to deliver a very beautiful handset. This smartphone has GPS, 624 MHz processor, 128 MB RAM, 2-megapixel camera and Wi-Fi. If $399 is a little bit more than you would like to spend you can go with the cheaper $299 version. This cheaper version lacks some big features such as Wi-Fi, GPS and the 2-megapixel camera. The Agora is available to anyone without a contract no matter where they are located. Hurry and pre-order yours now and your Agora will be shipped January 29th.
MELBOURNE, Thursday 4th December 2008 – Kogan Technologies today unveiled the Kogan Agora, the first Australian mobile phone powered by the Android™ operating system. Kogan Technologies will sell the Agora for AU$299 and the Agora Pro for AU$399. Both models are available for sale today on www.kogan.com.au. The phones are sold outright – with no contract – and will work on any network. The Kogan Agora (AU$299) features a full QWERTY keyboard, central navigation key, 2.5” touchscreen, microSD slot, and 3G connectivity. The Kogan Agora Pro (AU$399) adds a 2 MP camera, Wi-Fi, and GPS to the Agora’s impressive specifications. Both models will ship to customers – in Australia and internationally – on January 29th 2009. Kogan Technologies founder, Ruslan Kogan, said the Agora is proof that his company is achieving its goal of offering the latest technology at the best value prices. “The Kogan team have been working very hard to bring out the exciting new phones powered by Google’s Android operating system at the right mix of price and specifications,” Kogan said. “We’ve been listening to customers through our blog, and crammed in all the features we possibly could. The end result is the best value, fully-featured phone in the Australian market. “We worked closely with manufacturers and vendors to develop drivers, software, and tweaks to make the Agora an intuitive and exciting experience for everyone. “The design and features of the Kogan Agora makes the phone appeal to both consumers and business users. “The Android operating system means the handset can capture and play music, photos and video, surf the web, play games, navigate, and organise your life with extremely powerful applications." Kogan has been a long time supporter of open source and Android™ provides a real alternative to Apple’s proprietary operating system for the iPhone. “Google is a key player in developing efficient and innovative online solutions for customers around the world. The open source nature of Android means the operating system will continually improve over time,” Kogan said. Some of the applications pre-loaded on the Kogan Agora are: · Gmail™ · Google Search™ · Google Calender™ · Google Maps™ · Google Talk™ · YouTube™ HIGHLIGHTS: · 2.5-inch TFT-LCD flat touch-sensitive screen · Integrated QWERTY keyboard · High-speed 3G network connection · One-Touch Google Search ™ · Easy Web Browsing · Easy-to-use email with attachment support for images, videos, music and documents · Customisable Home Screen with instant Email, text message and IM notifications · Instant access to mobile Internet services (Gmail ™, YouTube ™, Google Talk ™, Google Calendar ™, Google Maps ™) · Music Player · microSD™ expansion slot for all your storage needs · Wi-Fi network access (included with Kogan Agora Pro) · GPS navigation capability (included with Kogan Agora Pro) · 2.0 megapixel camera (included with Kogan Agora Pro) SPECIFICATIONS: Operating System Android™ Google Mobile Functions Google Search™, Gmail™, YouTube™, Google Maps™, Google Talk™, Google Calendar™. Display 2.5-inch TFT-LCD flat touch-sensitive screen with 262K QVGA (320 X 240 pixel) resolution Device Control Central Navigation Key Keyboard QWERTY keyboard Keyboard backlighting GPS GPS navigation capability (included with Kogan Agora Pro) Connectivity Bluetooth® 2.0 with Enhanced Data Rate Wi-Fi®: IEEE 802.11b/g (included with Kogan Agora Pro) Camera 2.0 megapixel colour camera (included with Kogan Agora Pro) Audio Built-in microphone and speaker Headphone jack Ring tone formats: · MIDI, MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV, PCM Video Video formats supported: · MPEG2 H263, H264, MPEG4, AVI Mail attachment support Viewable document types: · JPEG, GIF, WBMP, MIDI, AMR, MP3, WAV Dimensions (HxWxD) 108 mm x 64 mm x 14.8 mm Weight 130g Battery Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery Capacity: 1300 mAh Talk Time Up to approximately 400 minutes Standby Time Up to approximately 300 hours Processor MHz 624 MHz Memory ROM: 256 MB RAM: 128 MB microSD™ card expansion slot Network UMTS/HSDPA (850, 1900, 2100 MHz) GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz) Other than as described in this release, Kogan and its products, are not affiliated with Google Inc or its products. Google™, Android™, Google Search™, Gmail™, YouTube™, Google Maps™, Google Talk™, Google Calendar™ are trademarks of Google Inc. Use of these trademarks is subject to Google Permissions. About Kogan Technologies Kogan Technologies is a wholly-owned Australian company established in 2006 by entrepreneur Ruslan Kogan. Kogan sells a wide range of consumer electronics in Australia, New Zealand, and around the world. The Kogan promise is based on a unique business model that passes the savings of dealing direct with the manufacturers onto Australian consumers. Bypassing middlemen, Kogan is able to offer the latest technology at the most affordable prices. Kogan’s unique blend of quality technology and value for money offers price-conscious Australian technology consumers a real choice.

UK G1 owners will be getting monthly subscription costs cut

G1 owners here in the US have been envious of UK residents since the launch of the T-Mobile G1 in the UK. They were offered the white G1 along with a 2GB memory card and if that was not bad enough they got it for free with a £40 ($60 USD) per month plan.  Well prepare to be disappointed yet again. With the holidays quickly approaching T-Mobile UK has decided to knock off %25 of the monthly fees for the G1 to compete with other offers.  Now starting at only £30 ($45 USD) per month you can get your hands on the G1 and have a little extra for holiday spending this season. A T-Mobile representative said, "We have chosen to offer the device free with a £30 contract to make the pricing more competitive in light of recent device launches. We are well on track to achieve our sales forecasts". The good news here is that anyone who already picked up this Android-powered handset can cash in on the savings as well. Though T-Mobile will not be making house calls to promote spending less money, they are more than happy to adjust your account if you give them a call. [Via PocketLint]

Android Market gets even more sports applications with FotMob

The leading score provider for mobile football, Score Service, has announced their now free Android version of FotMob. This application is already highly popular among Java and Windows Mobile users, now Android users will be able to see what all the hype is about. With FotMob you can get live coverage of Premier League, Championship, Bundesliga, Serie A, Primera Division, SAS ligaen, Tippeligaen, Adeccoligaen and Champions Leagues. You also get dynamically retrieves new season data without the need for upgrade. The score tables and match details such as red/yellow cards are updated live. Score Service is also currently working on a similar application for the NHL. It sure seems that Android is getting plenty of support for sports fans of all kinds.

T-Mobile G1, a true always on connection

Users are finding out the hard way why T-Mobile says you need to have a data play in order to have the T-Mobile G1. One user traveled abroad and ended up racking up a $102.85 bill while data roaming. The big twist here is the fact that he had turned off roaming data sync and 3G completely. Apparently after getting back from a trip to the UK, he gave T-Mobile a call and spoke with several customer service representatives until a supervisor explained the situation.  The G1 always accesses the Internet, even when the Internet services are turned off; the G1 will reach out for sending text messages or even placing calls.  In the end the customer service supervisor said, "the phone should have been left in the USA to avoid these charges." It comes as no surprise that at no time this was mentioned during the phone call placed to enable international calling on his plan. The representatives only stated that he would be charged $10 for every MB of data used and that if he simply stayed off the Internet than he would have no problem. He was being charged about $.15 every 3-7 minutes on average whether on a call or not. It looks like our G1 is not going overseas with us.

Inside tip confirms new T-Mobile data plans

One of our members has brought it upon themselves to help arm users with inside knowledge so that we are not left in the dark anymore. He brings us word that there are some changes going around over at T-Mobile that are now in "For training only" status. This means that all the employees are being trained on these policies, but there is no definite date for them to take place and they have a slight chance of changing. He reports that the 10GB data cap is coming, but its not just for G1 owners, this cap will cover all phones including the SideKick line. Half of the calls that user receives are customers with over 50GB of data already used.  He also went on to say, “when you reach the 10GB cap we will strike the mighty throttle upon your line to 50kb or less.” Also as we previously brought up T-Mobile will be adjusting Internet pricing for many phone including the SideKick who’s data pricing may go as high as to double the current price.  T-Mobile will also be changing the mid-grade phones Internet service and rebranding it under the name web2go. It appears that T-Mobile has had a lot of time to think about how data plans now match up to their new 3G network.

Video proof of Android booting on Nokia n810

We are shocked that since the official release of the Android source code we have not seen more devices running Android. It seems that there were more devices running a port of Android even without the source code than there are today. We have recently come across a video of the Nokia n810 Internet tablet booting Android. While not much is shown in the video, we can see the slide-out menu works correctly. It seems that when Android is ported it automatically fits the screen that you are using. Even though we know this port lacks functionality, we can’t help but be excited about what is to come. With advancements like this being made it shows great potential for Android in the future. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33vIr6ovpmU&eurl=http://www.droideo.com/video/n810-android-boot&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]