Author Archives: Vincent Nguyen


T-Mobile Android launch confirmed Sept 23rd: We’ll be Live Blogging

Android Community has just been invited to an event that will see the launch of the first Android powered T-Mobile smartphone.  The press conference will be on September 23rd at 10:30AM EDT and we'll be Live Blogging the whole event, together with bringing you hands-on photos of the new Android device from a live product demonstration.

The cellphone we expect to see officially unveiled is HTC's Dream, which is believed to be branded the T-Mobile G1.  The September 23rd event ties in with the previously leaked suggestion that the carrier would be announcing their Android handset on this date, with availability by the end of October. Both T-Mobile and Google executives will be presenting the G1, and we'll have all the details as they happen.  The Live Blog address is http://Live.AndroidCommunity.com/ so join us on September 23rd!

Android Photostream App

Google just announced a new open source sample application called Photostream.  Photostream has been added to the aapps-for-android project, and it's available for you to test drive.

Photostream is a simple photos browser and viewer for Flickr. All you need to use it is a Flickr screen name or user name (the application offers a default user name if you just want to try it.) This application serves as an illustrative example of several Android features and APIs:
  • Activity aliases
  • Adding custom shortcuts to Home
  • Adding a new wallpaper chooser to the system
  • Custom layouts
  • Custom XML attributes
  • Use of themes
  • Use of styles
  • Use of text colors
  • Use of <include>
  • Use of bitmap and layer drawables from XML
  • Use of HttpClient
  • Proper interaction between background threads and the UI thread
  • Efficient display rotation (using the new onRetainNonConfigurationInstance() API)
  • Animations and layout animations
  • Cropping an image
  • Image manipulation
My favorite feature is the ability to add a new shortcut type in Home, to create a shortcut to any Flickr account. The shortcut shows a custom icon, downloaded from the Flickr user profile:

If you plan on reusing the source code to access Flickr in your own application, you should modify the Flickr.java file to replace the existing API key with your own. The application source code also contains a very handy class called UserTask.java. This class is designed to help you easily write background operations that interact with the UI thread.
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T-Mobile G1 phone images leaked!

The Google's Android-powered phone for T-Mobile called G1 gets very real with the newly leaked images on a Chinese forum.  We've seen the G1 demoed at Google IO earlier this year and another demo by Andy Rubin, but never have we've seen spy shots in the wild.  So here is the T-Mobile G1 in all her glory!

Looking over the images, I'm not terribly surprised by it's appearance since we've already seen a leak diagram a few days back.  Just as expected, the G1 phone will come in white with T-Mobile brand across the top.  The display slides up to reveal a five row full QWERTY keyboard.  There's a dedicated Menu button, a phone button, home, back and end call button.  As expected the G1 features a jogball similar to what we'd find on a Sidekick.

The G1's specs and features are still unknown but it is rumored to sport a 528Mhz Qualcomm 7201 processor; Data kit for USB connectivity in the box; 64128MB Internal RAM; 128256MB Internal ROM, 1GB MicroSD card; Dedicated camera button; 3.1MP camera (no flash) 2048 x 1536; Video playback files - H.264, streaming, 3GPP, MPEG4, and Codec 3GP and a Dedicated YouTube Player.  Yes, I agree the memory is really low, but this is still a rumor so take it with a grain of salt. Also, the rumor going around the Internet is that T-Mobile is set to launch in less than 8 weeks. On October 13th, 2008 you can get the G1 phone for the subsidized price of $199; this price is instant with no mail in rebates.  Furthermore, existing T-Mobile subscribers "should" expect to be able to pre-order the G1 phone on September 17th. Customers who pre-order the G1 will receive it on launch day! Unfortunately, only postpaid customers with 22 months of tenure for people on a 2-year contract or 11 months of tenure for people on a 1-year contract will be able to pre-order it. Employees, FlexPay or Prepaid customers will not be able to pre-order it either. [gallery] [Engadget Via Gizmodo]

Congrats to Winners of the Android Developer Challenge I

Google officially announced the winners of Android Developer Challenge.  Out of 50 teams of finalists, 10 teams received a $275,000 award each and 10 teams received a $100,000 award each.  Congratulations to everyone. $275,000 Award Recipients
cab4me Konrad Huebner, Henning Boeger Ever been looking for a cab? cab4me is the answer. Anywhere. Anytime. Read more CompareEverywhere Jeffrey Sharkey Shop smarter using your phone. Compare prices, read reviews, and connect with local stores. Read more Ecorio Jeff Kao, Gary Pong, Robert Lam, Taneem Talukdar Ecorio automatically tracks your mobile carbon footprint, suggests transit and carpooling alternatives and lets you stay carbon neutral by offsetting your trips easily. Read more GoCart Rylan Barnes Scan a product's barcode with your phone's camera and view all the best prices online and at nearby, local stores. Read more Life360 Chris Hulls, Dilpreet Singh, Luis Carvalho, Phuong Nguyen, Steve Potell From major natural disasters to little things like your child wandering away at the mall, there is a lot you might worry about. Life360 can help. Read more Locale Carter Jernigan, Clare Bayley, Jasper Lin, Christina Wright Locale is an advanced settings manager that automatically changes your phone's settings based on conditions, such as location. Read more PicSay Eric Wijngaard Easy to use image editor that enables you to quickly personalize your pictures and share them with friends or photo sites. Read more Softrace Staffan Kjellberg, Thomas Kjellberg Turn your workout into a thrilling race and challenge the world in real time. Read more TuneWiki TuneWiki Inc. TuneWiki Social Media Player, is an advanced player, featuring synchronized lyrics for audio or video, translation, music maps and a social network. Read more Wertago Kelvin Cheung,Teresa Ko, Peter Ree, Robert Sarvis, Douglas Young The mobile application nightlifers have been waiting for. Find the hottest parties in town and connect with friends and others all night long. Read more
$100,000 Award Recipients
BreadCrumbz Amos Yoffe BreadCrumbz offers a unique approach to navigation. What sets it apart is its focus on picture-based navigation and user-created navigation content. Read more Cooking Capsules Mary Ann Cotter, Muthu Ramadoss Inspiration for novices and chefs alike, Cooking Capsules puts a fresh, elegant and portable new way to cook in the palm of your hand. Read more Maverick Virgil Dobjanschi Maverick is a multimedia enabled, Google Talk compatible instant messenger and a Google Blogger publishing tool which runs on the Android Platform. Read more PebbleBox Yin Wang, Tao Jin A location-based information exchange and sharing application, allowing people to collect and distribute various geo-related information through mobile phones. Read more PhoneBook 2.0 Voxmobili PhoneBook 2.0 is a secure, contextual and social address book. Ideally suited for teenagers willing to share their mood and location, it also helps business people to keep their contacts secure and up-to-date. Read more Piggyback Christophe Petit, Sébastien Petit Piggyback is a revolutionary real-time carpooling application for mobile phones that helps you save time and money while reducing your carbon footprint. Read more Pocket Journey Anthony Stevens, Rosie Pongracz Pocket Journey turns your mobile phone into a personal tour guide by connecting you to location-specific multimedia created by a community of the most professional tour guides and storytellers worldwide. Read more Rayfarla Stephen Oldmeadow Have fun with music. Play music based games and make music with your phone using a range of virtual musical instruments. Read more ShareYourBoard Mikhail Ksenzov ShareYourBoard is an Android application for capturing, processing and sharing whiteboard data. Read more Teradesk e-Storage José Augusto Ferrarini Teradeks is an application for Virtual Storage and Remote File Access allowing companies and individuals to keep their files in the cloud, accessible from anywhere. Read more

Finalists

B4E Mr. Che, Mr. Happy C. B4E focuses on information broadcasting and online transactions, creating value for the society and individuals. Read more Beetaun Sergey Gritsyuk, Dmitri Shipilov Beetaun is a social network application for everyone wishing to share and explore interesting and extraordinary places and routes in the city they visit or live in. Read more BioWallet José Luis Huertas Fernández Biometric authentication system and security platform that performs user identification based on something that user is, rather than something that the user knows or owns. Read more City Slikkers PoroCity Media and Virtual Logic Systems City Slikkers is a Pervasive Game which takes place in the real-existing city. It is designed to connect a large number of players through-out the city and lets them organize the city's metaphorical recapture. Read more Commandro Alex Pisarev, Andrey Tapekha Commandro is a universal map-centric application, allowing users to set up and share activities, places, and map-markers with others, set alerts, and send invitations. Read more Diggin Daniel Johansson, Aramis Waernbaum, Andreas Hedin Play your music in style and listen to thousands of streaming radio stations. Personalize your music collection, and your music player as well! Read more Dyno Virachat Boondharigaputra Dyno is an application used to evaluate vehicle performance on the road. Read more e-ventr Michael Zitzelsberger e‐ventr is your personal event organizer and friendship scout for your mobile. Read more Em-Radar Jack Kwok Em-Radar keeps you informed of severe weather and emergencies near your location. Its Em-Beacon feature helps you stay connected to your family and friends in an emergency. Read more Fingerpaint Rob Mickle Fingerpaint is a collaborative drawing application. Draw by yourself, or together with friends – anywhere in the world. Read more FreeFamilyWatch.com Navee Technologies LLC Free location-based services helping family to navigate safety risks in daily living through real-time and risk-preventing measures against crimes, environmental health hazards and distressing emergencies. Read more GolfPlay Inizziativa Networks Provides support to all real time necessities of a golf player during a game. Read more gwalk Klaus ten Hagen, Marko Modsching, Christian Klinger, Rene Scholze Discover a destination individually by a multimedial gWalk tour that is fully based on personal preferences including interests, available time and position. Read more iMap Mobile™ Weathertop Consulting, LLC iMap Mobile™ builds on WDT's iMap Weather™ multimedia weather platform to provide radar images, lightning strikes, conditions and forecasts at your location and locations you choose. Read more IMEasy Yan Shi IMEasy is an IM based application designed particularly for touch screen mobile users. Read more JOYity Zelfi AG JOYity is a platform for next generation mobile entertainment applications and provides a pioneering mixture of real-life adventure games, geocaching and intensive social networking activities. Read more LifeAware Gregory Moore, Aaron O’Brien, Jawad Akhtar Be aware of your surroundings and the location of your friends and family. Take control of your social life. LifeAware™ - Where is Your Life? Read more Marvin Laurent Pontier Publish in private, to your peer network or to the world, geolocalized rich messages. Broadcast personal information feeds on the move using the Marvin Services. Read more mobeedo Sengaro GmbH mobeedo aims to become a comprehensive and uniform system for providing, consuming, and recording all kinds of information relevant in mobile everyday life. Read more MyCloset Mamoru Tokashiki Manages photographs and information about the fashion items you own, and coordinates and records your daily outfits. Read more PedNav RouteMe2 Technologies Inc. PedNav is a location-aware day planner that allows you to create an itinerary and can suggest public transit routes as well as provide walking directions. Read more SafetyNet Michael DeJadon SafetyNet is an automated alert system that combines the concept of social networking along with the latest mobile technologies to help protect our loved ones. Read more ShapeWriter ShapeWriter Inc ShapeWriter is an innovative, easy, fast and fun method of entering text into touch screen mobile phones. One can write an entire word with a single gesture. Read more SocialMonster Tommy Ng, Ben Hui Stay on top of your social life with SocialMonster and start organizing personal events with all your contacts in your handset’s phonebook. Read more SplashPlay Andreas Ipp, Keith Sturch, Friedger Müffke and Ronan Schwarz SplashPlay provides an easier method to learn, create and share music. Quickly learn guitar chords to your favorite songs and share creations with others. Read more Sustain Niraj Swami Sustain is a utility that helps its users naturally and fluidly communicate with their contacts. Read more SynchroSpot Shaun Terry Service featuring location-based personal reminders and geo-specific notes for others. Also provides for the receipt of special, targeted discounts and offers from nearby businesses. Read more The Weather Channel for Android The Weather Channel Interactive Inc. The Weather Channel for Android is a fully customizable weather application catering to both weekend planners and serious weather enthusiasts alike. Read more TokPlay Sung-Suh Park TokPlay provides the opportunity of talking to friends, family and others using video and voice messages, bringing a human touch back to communication. Read more Wikitude Philipp Breuss Wikitude is a mobile travel guide based on location-based Wikipedia content. Points of interest can be viewed in a map, list, or a cam view. Read more

HTC Dream G1 rendered based on info so far

Working from the leaked photos, videos and engineers' sketches, artist Neo Carlo Magno has put together this render of what the HTC Dream G1 will probably look like. It's a first attempt, but does include the full QWERTY keyboard and row of shortcuts on the G1's "chin" section, together with the unusual arc slide mechanism. What it doesn't show is the camera, which is currently unclear in the sketches we've seen so far. Logos are also missing, despite them being visible in the engineer's sketch, and the trackball navigation device on the "chin" does look more like a button here. Still, as more details emerge the renders will undoubtedly get clearer, at least until the first leaked images of the actual T-Mobile G1 start coming through (an inevitability, given the interest in the handset). Specs given to accompany the render are nothing new, basically pegging the HTC Dream G1 as quadband GSM with 3G (of unstated bands), WiFi, and with a roughly 3.17-inch touchscreen display running at 480 x 320. Size is suggested at 117 x 55 x 16mm. [via PhoneReport.info]

Android-powered T-Mobile G1 Engineering drawings!

Android Community has just been invited to an event that will see the launch of the first Android powered T-Mobile smartphone.  The press conference will be on September 23rd at 10:30AM EDT and we’ll be Live Blogging the whole event, together with bringing you hands-on photos of the new Android device from a live product demonstration.

The cellphone we expect to see officially unveiled is HTC’s Dream, which is believed to be branded the T-Mobile G1.  The September 23rd event ties in with the previously leaked suggestion that the carrier would be announcing their Android handset on this date, with availability by the end of October. Both T-Mobile and Google executives will be presenting the G1, and we’ll have all the details as they happen.  The Live Blog address is http://Live.AndroidCommunity.com/ so join us on September 23rd!

Sept 16, 2008 -Vincent Nguyen

--- The Android Guys managed to get their mitts on the first real drawings of the T-Mobile G1. The images reveal a lot more information that we've only been able to speculate on up until now. The most notable part of the T-Mobile G1 is the "chin". It's located towards the bottom of the handset where the jogball and buttons are located. This design doesn't make any sense to me whatsoever. The slide up display and the chin alone will drive case makers mad! I hope for the sake of the G1's longevity that the outer shell is well-built from scratch-resistant material. Other exterior markings include "with Google" located on the back of the G1, while the HTC logo and the T-Mobile myFaves logo live underneath the slide up display. As the Android Guys pointed out, I'm happy to see HTC branded on the Dream phone since they're the first to go to market so heck yes, they deserve to show off their brand.

The most important part of the engineering diagram is the sizing. Based on the dimensions given, we can calculate that the thickness of the G1 is approximately 0.64-inches or 16.35mm. This isn't bad considering the iPhone is 12.3mm thick, without a flip-out screen section. We're still unsure of the display's dimensions, but we can hope that it'll at least match the iPhoneís 3.5-inch screen. T-Mobile G1 specs/feature update - NOTE: the list is speculative and can change at anytime. Other specs AndroidGuys reported later via anonymous sources said the device will sport a 528Mhz Qualcomm 7201 processor; Data kit for USB connectivity in the box; 64128MB Internal RAM; 128256MB Internal ROM, 1GB MicroSD card; Dedicated camera button; 3.1MP camera (no flash) 2048 x 1536; Video playback files - H.264, streaming, 3GPP, MPEG4, and Codec 3GP and a Dedicated YouTube Player. [gallery]

World’s first Android phone: call it T-Mobile G1

I'm willing to bet the farm that the world's first Android-powered phone is called T-Mobile G1.  I've been watching all the domain names starting with T-MobileG1.com through T-MobileG5.com over the past week.  Up until today, there wasn't any Name Servers attached to T-MobileG1.com and G1Phone.com!  By performing a simple whois lookup, it lists ns1.logicworks.net and ns2.logicworks.net as the Name Servers.

So, what's the connection?  T-MobileAtHome.com, Sidekick.com, T-MobileShadow.com, among others is all hosted by LogicWorks.  By adding the Name Servers to the domain T-MobileG1.com, I believe it's only a matter of time before T-Mobile officially announces the G1 Android phone. Another conclusion I've arrived at: T-Mobile plans to offer at least four more generations of gPhones after the G1.

FCC keeping the HTC Dream alive and kicking!

The HTC Dream phone just received FCC approval where it's listed as type, "Dream" with model number "DREA100."  The Dream phone is the very T-Mobile G1 Android-powered handset that we recently covered that's supposed to get announced in September with an October launch date.

Other features of the HTC Dream consist of a "jogball" similar to what you'd find on a Sidekick or BlackBerry smartphone.  Other features include 802.11 b/g, Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR, GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850/1900 and WCDMA 1700 bands or also known as T-Mobile's 3G frequency.

This is all extremely exciting for everyone waiting for the birth of the first Android phone to arrive! FCC HTC Dream WiFi Certification [Warning: PDF], FCC Cell Radios, FCC WiFi Bluetooth [via Engadget]

Question: When will the second Android Developer Challenge start?

One Google IO attendee asked for more details of second round of Android Developer Challenge; more specifically when is the start date.  Jason replied saying that they still need to complete round 1 of the Android Developer Challenge and that it’s most definitely be after Android devices hit the market or probably early next year. About Jason Chen Jason is currently a developer advocate at Google where he works on ensuring that developers for the Android platform are successful. He previously led the developer support team for Google Checkout. Prior to joining Google, Jason worked at IBM and Urchin Software. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0bGWv6k57o[/youtube]

Jason Chen answers questions about Android

Right after the Google IO keynote on Tuesday, I rushed off to attend the press conference and as result missing the first few Android sessions.  It's a good thing that Ed Burnette of ZDNet, we have a few more questions answered as well as clearing up some confusion regarding the Android platform.

The Introduction to Android platform session lasted around 90-minutes.  Jason announced that the source code to Android is currently available to Google's Open Handset Alliance (OHA) partners.  The general public will get access to the source code when the first handset (that being the Android HTC Dream phone) ships.  At such time, Android will be called "Android Version 1.0."  Android version 1.0 will be available to everyone and anyone who wants to download and port Android to any phone or any other devices they so desire.  Once Android version 1.0 hits the street, you do not have to be an OHA member and you don't need to sign anything or ask for anyone's permission to install Android on any device.  The audience wanted to know when will Android version 1.0 be available.  Unfortunately, Google would not provide any specific dates other than "the second half of 2008."  When pressed, a Google source stated that it wasn't really their call alone to make.  The release date is largely up to OHA members, especially manufacturers making the phones and the carriers who will sell and distribute the Android phones.  Lets hope all 31+ OHA members don't take too long to decide when's the best time to release Android version 1.0. After his presentation, Jason opened up the floor for questions... Q. What if somebody wants to build an application that is similar to a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) that can run other programs. What security implications are there for these kinds of applications? A. It's possible to do but we haven't thought about it. There is a large security team working on Android. There are languages that are working to port their bytecode to the Dalvik VM, so it won't just be for the Java language. Q. Traditionally carriers rip out things. What steps do you take to prevent somebody like Cingular from making an "almost-Android" phone? A. They could do that if they wanted because it's open source. But Android is a complete stack of software so why would you want to break it? There's value in a full stack and in a lot of applications. There's no incentive to alter it in ways that wouldn't be compatible. We want manufacturers and operators to customize in ways they can differentiate. They don't all have to have the same home screen, the same look and feel, and so forth but they should be able to run any Android apps. Q. When do developers get hardware? A. When everybody else does (when retail phones are for sale). Q. Does Android platform development follow the JSR (Java Specification Request) model? A. Android is not Java technology. It uses the Java programming language but Dalvik is not a JVM. It's not claiming to be Java tech. Q. Is support for Flash lite planned? A. Not at the moment. Q. Will there be an SDK for PPC Macs? A. Don't think so. Just Intel. Q. Will you have aesthetic standards like the iPhone? A. We're working with UI designers to put out a user interface guideline. Also android provides standard UI widgets. About Jason Chen Jason is currently a developer advocate at Google where he works on ensuring that developers for the Android platform are successful. He previously led the developer support team for Google Checkout. Prior to joining Google, Jason worked at IBM and Urchin Software.
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