Android 1.6

The Android-based Acer Liquid A1 is Now on Sale in the UK

Finally, the first Android-based Acer smartphones, named "Liquid A1", went up for sale in the United Kingdom as of yesterday. We already knew about retailer Clove taking orders for the Acer Liquid A1 since mid-November. But there's also another retailer selling this phone too. So now there are actually 2 retailers selling the first Acer Android smartphone in the UK; Expansys and Clove. Expansys is offering it for £339.99 ($554) including taxes, while Clove is selling the same device for a lower price; £328.90 ($536), not much, but is still cheaper, and that's always good. Now, the last time we heard from Clove on this Acer phone, they had a Qualcomm 8250 1GHz processor on the features list, but now, they have it with the same Snapdragon processor at only 768Mhz. This might have something to do with the capacity of the battery (1350mAh). And unfortunately, the Acer Liquid A1 will run Android Donut (1.6) instead of the Eclair (2.0).

A Few Updates to the Android SDK are Released

To all those interested on any available update to Android, especially to all developers, there are a few updates to the Android SDK. And Xavier Ducrohet, Android SDK Tech Lead at Android Developers wants you to know about these new updates. As you can see on the image above, there were updates to multiple components of the Android SDK last Thursday: Android 2.0.1 revision 1, Android 1.6 revision 2 and SDK Tools, revision 4. Let's begin with Android 2.0.1, which is a minor update to the mobile OS (Android 2.0) running on the Motorola DROID. This update includes several bug fixes and behavior changes. If you like to know more about this update, check the Android 2.0.1 release notes. Next is Android 1.6, revision 2, which includes fixes to the compatibility mode for those apps that don't support multiple screen sizes. For more on this update, read the release notes on the Android 1.6, revision 2 here. And now, let's talk about the SDK Tools, revision 4, which is also a minor update, with mostly bug fixes in the SDK Manager. There's also a new version of the Eclipse plug-in that embeds those fixes. For more info on the details, check the links of the SDK Tools revision 4 and the ADT (Android Development Tools) 0.9.5 release notes.

Google Maps Navigation Now Working Outside the US, Little “Hacking” Required

As most of you - if not all - already know; Google has officially announced that those who are using Android 1.6 or higher will be able to use Google Navigation Maps Beta. But unfortunately for Android users outside the US, they cannot use this navigation feature. Until now, that is, the bad news, at least for some users, is that you have to hack into your smartphone to get this. The folks over at Electricpig have a Google Maps Navigation version that will work on non-US Android handsets. As you can see on the image above, they have it working on their HTC Magic, across the pond in the United Kingdom. There are still a few kinks though, so if you live outside the US and want to try this, be warned. They have also put out an easy to follow tutorial on how to go about and do this hack. But remember that any hack (small or big), is always at your own risk. Here's what you need in case you want to go ahead with it: First, an Android 1.6 phone, one microSD card and microSD card reader or USB cable. For the full tutorial, you'll need to check their site, so click here to get there. If you live outside the US and have this already on your Android phone, let us know in the comments. Chris, are you reading this? Let us know if you have Google Navigation Maps Beta working on an Android smartphone.

Google Maps Navigation Available for Android 1.6 as an Update, no Rooting Required

Recently, the folks over at xda-developers.com had figured out a way to make Google Maps Navigation Beta to work on a T-Mobile G1 by hacking into it. This time Google has officially announced that those who are using Android 1.6 or higher will be able to use Google Navigation Maps. As you already know, Google Maps Navigation is an internet-connected GPS system with voice guidance and automatic rerouting, that runs off your mobile phone. On this update you'll find the new Layers feature, which lets you overlay geographical information on the map. You can also view My Maps, Transit lines, Wikipedia articles about places, and more. Google wants you to have a happy Thanksgiving, so if you are traveling, you'll be able to enjoy the benefits of Google Maps Navigation in your car. Is still missing some 2.0 features, and it still works only in the US, but many will be happy to have this helpful feature on their Android phones. Enjoy!

Sprint HTC Hero to get a Maintenance Release Soon, Best Buy Selling it for $99.99

As we all know, the Sprint Hero by HTC comes with Android 1.6 (oopss) 1.5, and many Hero users are waiting anxiously for the Eclair update. There's word from the Sprint Community blog about an upcoming update for the Hero, unfortunately, it appears to be just a maintenance release. According to SarahKS (Sprint Admin.), a "maintenance release is being developed for the Hero to address key items such as SMS and DST issues." She also said that the target launch will be in the "next few weeks", but she doesn't know the exact date or what is going to be included on this MR. She ends her post making a promise to update as soon as she gets more info on the matter. Now better news, at least for those who want to get a new HTC Hero. If you are amongst those who don't like the HTC Eris, but do like the shape of the Sprint Hero, BestBuy has a deal for you. They are selling the Sprint HTC Hero for $99.99 after instant discount with a new Sprint account. I personally like the Hero from Sprint better, and besides, the plans with that carrier are cheaper and give you more for your hard earn. Although that doesn't matter if you don't have good Sprint coverage where you live.

Hands On Video Of Saygus Vphone V1

So the Saygus VPhone V1 smartphone is back on the news. The first time, when it cleared the FCC the images we saw of this phone were rough. But on the second round we actually notice a nice looking phone. This time, we have two videos and more info on the Saygus Vphone running on Android. According to Saygus executives, the Saygus VPhone V1 is expected to launch late on this year or early 2010, and there's no official price just yet. The handset will ship with the Android version 1.6, but will be updated OTA (Over The Air) to Android 2.0 at some time in the near future. This device will be available to Verizon Wireless customers, but it wont be supported by the carrier, but by Saygus themselves since this smartphone is an Open Development Initiative device. The main differentiators, according to Saygus Execs for this phone are that, it will work as a wireless access point and the front-facing camera. This front VGA camera is actually the main reason this phone is important to many people. It will allow for video conferencing on the mobile device, so its users can do video calling, either handset to handset or over VoIP clients that support this device. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdzlS1Fl2c8&feature=player_embedded#[/youtube] [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAJNmwFk2p0&feature=player_embedded[/youtube] Thanks to forum member djunio for the tip!

Budget HTC Tattoo gets reviewed at SlashGear

Over at SlashGear our review of the HTC Tattoo has just gone live, and if you've been wondering whether putting HTC Sense into a budget smartphone makes, well, any sense whatsoever, you'll want to be heading over there to find out.  The Tattoo gets much of the connectivity of its more expensive siblings, but pairs it with a smaller, 2.8-inch resistive touchscreen running at QVGA resolution and Android 1.6. Of course, that means no multitouch support, and as the review explains there's also a shortage of applications in the Android Market.  It also means that HTC can reduce the Tattoo's price, however, and if you've wanted an Android smartphone but been reluctant to sign up to an expensive monthly contract then this could be your winner. You can find the full SlashGear review of the HTC Tattoo here.  Don't forget to let us know what you think in the AC forums!

Android 1.6 going OTA to G1 and myTouch 3G

Android 1.6 is currently being pushed out to T-Mobile USA subscribers, the carrier has confirmed, with myTouch 3G and G1 users told to expect a message on their handset alerting them to the new OS version.  Delivered as an OTA (over the air) update, OS 1.6 brings with it a refresh of the Android Market - complete with screenshots and more information - and a new, universal search feature.
"The rollout of Android 1.6 (Donut) to T-Mobile's G1 and myTouch 3G customers is now underway. The over-the-air update will be delivered to all G1 and myTouch customers in the coming days." T-Mobile USA statement
OS 1.6 also supports more screen resolutions, beyond the native HVGA of current handsets, as well as CDMA devices.  However those improvements won't make any difference to either the myTouch 3G (aka the HTC Magic) or the T-Mobile G1.  The update comes shortly after HTC updated their developers' handset with a build of 1.6, intended for coders to test their wares on the newly refreshed OS. Unfortunately, there's no way to prematurely trigger the new software, owners can only wait for their phones to flag up the update.  We'd be interested in hearing how Android Community users are finding OS 1.6, so let us know in the comments if your device has updated. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBRFkLKRwFw[/youtube]
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