reportedly considering using Android as the basis for an iPod touch rival, the iriver K2, which would use a 3.5-inch touchscreen, WiFi, Bluetooth and integrated digital TV tuner. The news comes from an Australian distributor, C.R. Kennedy, whose iriver product manager Danny Bejanoff has been discussing the Korean company's upcoming product range. While the device has not been signed off by iriver, leaving open the possibility that it could be shelved before making it to retail, the expectation is that the K2 would include an accelerometer and a web-browser. Although it would lack the iPod touch's Apple App Store, it would presumably have access to the Android Market for third-party software. The talkative product manager also revealed that iriver is developing an ebook reader and internet tablet. However there's no word on whether either device runs Android, nor when they might launch. [via Engadget]
Bluetooth profiles the HTC Hero supports, useful details if you're considering coding a wireless app for the platform or just wondering whether it will work with your car kit. According to the official spec sheet, the Hero - which we reviewed earlier this week - has support for the usual headset and hands-free profiles, but lacks more advanced ones such as Remote SIM Access. When we invited questions from our Android Community members, one of first was which Bluetooth profiles the Hero would support. Unfortunately that information wasn't clear from our review unit, but HTC have got back to use to confirm the list. The news will come as a disappointment to a minority of users, but for most the inclusion of A2DP/AVRCP will be enough to keep them happy. However the absence of any OBEX-style remote file system exploration is a frustration.
pledges to launch their dual-display HIGHSCREEN PP5420. The 900/2100MHz HSPA handset has a 3-inch WQVGA LCD touchscreen together with a secondary OLED navigation pad beneath it. The HIGHSCREEN PP5420 itself is seemingly an Android 1.5 version of the Mobinnova Ice, which usually runs Windows Mobile. Most of the specifications of the two devices are the same, including the 3-megapixel autofocus camera, WiFi b/g, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR and GPS. Each also has a TV output, mini USB connector, microSD card slot and uses Qualcomm's 528MHz MSM7201ATM chipset. According to Vobis Computer, the HIGHSCREEN PP5420 will cost around €360 ($507), presumable unlocked and SIM-free. No word on availability outside of Russia. [via Unwired View]
have announced that their Trimble Nomad rugged mobile computing system is now available with Android OS 1.5 Cupcake pre-installed. First announced as a Windows Mobile device with wireless data connectivity back in March 2008, the Trimble Nomad is based on an 806MHz processor with standard Bluetooth 2.0, WiFi and GPS. It has a VGA-resolution touchscreen display, up to 2GB of storage and meets the MILSTD-810F military standard for drops, vibration, humidity, altitude and extreme temperatures. What's optional, however, is the Trimble's cellular connectivity: quadband GSM with EDGE data. That's actually yet to get Cupcake support, as is the camera and Bluetooth module. The Trimble Nomad, complete with Android OS 1.5 Cupcake, starts at $1,274. [via MobileBurn]
officially announced the Samsung I7500 Android cellphone, the first device for both Samsung and the carrier. Tipped over the weekend, the I7500 has a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash, together with a 3.2-inch AMOLED touchscreen running at 320 x 480. Other specs include GPS, WiFi b/g and HSPA, together with 40GB of storage (8GB internal; up to 32GB via a microSD card). There's also Bluetooth 2.0, a 1,500mAh battery and the usual bevy of Google applications and access to the Android Market. The whole thing measures 115 x 56 x 11.9 mm, and still finds room for a 3.5mm headphone socket and microUSB port. The Samsung I7500 will be available exclusively from O2 in Germany from June 2009. Pricing for the handset itself has not been announced, but the carrier has confirmed that no specific tariffs or service plans will be required; buyers will be able to choose any from O2's range. Live hands on video demo of Samsung i7500 Android phone: [vms f5bb252d13f5f431e4bb] [gallery] Press Release:
O2 exclusively launches: the first Android mobile phone with Google Services from Samsung Samsung I7500 with 5 megapixel camera and brilliant touch display Simple and intuitive use Access to Google Mail, Google Maps and the Android market by one click MUNICH. Telefónica O2 Germany strongly expands its mobile phone product range for the mobile internet. The first Android lifestyle mobile phone with Google Services from Samsung kicks off the new offer. The Samsung I7500 is the first Android mobile phone provided by a leading brand manufacturer and will be exclusively available from O2 as of June 2009. In addition to the form factor and design with mere 11.9 mm thickness, it primarily stands out by its simple and intuitive use. The mobile internet offers a great experience for beginners and professional users alike. The Samsung I7500 combines an expandable Android platform with first-class equipment: a brilliant touch screen display, and a 5 megapixel camera with LED Flash and GPS. “The Samsung I7500 offers our customers the best internet experience based on the Android platform provided by Google“, says Lutz Schüler, Managing Director Marketing and Sales for Telefónica O2 Germany. “The Samsung I7500 kicks off a series of exciting devices for the mobile web which we will launch in the next couple of months. There is something for everyone: from beginners to heavy users. And, we put our focus on strong brands, simple use and design.” Classic applications from the PC world can be comfortably accessed by one click on the big touch screen when users are on the move. Thanks to the open platform of the Google operating system, users are able to optimally customize the device to their own requirements. A variety of applications and services is available in the Android market. The contact to friends is guaranteed by integrated and freely available Web 2.0 applications like Facebook, Flickr and Instant Messaging. Customers are always up to date anywhere they go due to the automatic synchronization of emails, contacts and appointments of Google accounts. All other popular email accounts can also be accessed. The integrated GPS receiver enables the comprehensive use of Google Maps: local positioning, detailed route description and simple navigation. The application Wikitude available in the Android market allows customers to access details of unknown sights via photos on the web. The combination of a camera, GPS and an internet browser turns into a personal and interactive guide. As the first Android mobile phone, the Samsung I7500 offers a 5 megapixel camera with LED Flash. The big 3.2“ AMOLED display ensures the brilliant representation of photos and videos and reduces the battery power due to the energy-saving technology. The battery has generous dimensions (1500 mAh) and ensures that users enjoy long calls and access to the web. The device also includes WLAN (802.11 b/g) and Bluetooth 2.0. Supporting various multimedia codec formats the I7500 is a multimedia all-rounder. With ist memory capacity of up to 40 GB it offers enough space for pictures, music and videos. The Samsung I7500 will be exclusively available in all O2 Shops, the specialized trade or on the internet from June 2009. The device can be combined with all tariffs and data packages.
pulled tethering apps from the Android Market. According to at least one developer, who contributed to the WiFi Tether for Root Users app, Google are citing their distribution agreements with carriers as the prompt for removal:
"Google enters into distribution agreements with device manufacturers and Authorized Carriers to place the Market software client application for the Market on Devices. These distribution agreements may require the involuntary removal of Products in violation of the Device manufacturer’s or Authorized Carrier’s terms of service" Google Developer Distribution AgreementThat agreement, when taken with T-Mobile's terms of service that do not permit tethering, has given Google reason to pull the software from official distribution. It's a decision that has raised more questions over just how "open" the Android platform is:
"Android phones are supposed to be released for other carriers in the future, right? Does this mean that apps in the Market have to adhere to the ToS for only T-Mobile, even when other carriers sign on? Will all apps have to adhere to the ToS for every carrier that supports Android phones?" Seth, WiFi Tether for Root Users contributorGiven that Android-based devices are already available unlocked, it seems unfair that those users - who may be with carriers that permit tethering, or have already paid for the functionality - should not have access to the software. In addition, some of the apps reportedly banned do not solely offer carrier tethering (e.g. sharing the cellular data connection via USB or WiFi) but Bluetooth tethering, where the cellphone acts as a bridge between a WiFi broadband connection and a Bluetooth-equipped device that lacks its own WiFi. One potentially unwelcome outcome could be carrier-specific versions of the Android Market, where users would have only partial access to the full app catalog depending on what their carrier allowed. [Thanks Andon!]
first Samsung Android smartphone has been released, as part of a Samsung dealer presentation in Amsterdam today. Details of the device are incomplete, but it's known to use a large capacitive touchscreen and a 528MHz processor of unknown manufacture. Other known specifications are quadband GSM (850,900, 1800 and 1900MHz) together with UMTS, HSDPA 7.2Mbps and HSUPA 1.4Mbps. It's predicted to be made in two versions, one with US-friendly UMTS 900MHz and the other with Europe/Asia-friendly UMTS 2100MHz support. Elsewhere there'll be Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP wireless stereo support and a digital camera, though there's no specific megapixel count; expect somewhere between 3.2 and 5-megapixels. As for storage, Samsung claim there will be a large amount of onboard capacity, expandable with microSD cards, however no actual figures have been confirmed. Apparently the official announcement is not far off, but again, a specific date is not known.
has announced Android compatibility for its multifunction wireless combo chip, that packages WiFi, Bluetooth and FM radio capabilities on a single component. The company has added drivers for its BCM4325 combo chip to the latest build of the Android platform, meaning that hardware manufacturers will be able to use one component for all three functions, rather than incorporate two or three separate chips as is required now. By using a combo chip rather than individual components, handsets can be smaller, use less power, and have lower parts costs. That, together with open-access to "portions" of the drivers for developers, will hopefully result in not only more compact and cheaper Android-based handsets, but a new generation of location-based, internet-connected apps to run on them. Broadcom was one of the founding members of the Open Handset Alliance, the group initially formed to collaborate and promote the Android platform. The company has not disclosed which manufacturers it's working with on Android handsets. Press Release:
Broadcom Becomes First to Enable the Android Mobile Platform to Support Wireless Connectivity 'Combo Chips' Access to Broadcom's BCM4325 Drivers Enables the Android Ecosystem to Support the Most Advanced Wireless Connectivity Solutions IRVINE, Calif. - February 5, 2009 - Broadcom Corporation (Nasdaq: BRCM), a global leader in semiconductors for wired and wireless communications, today announced that the software that controls its industry-leading Wi-Fi®/Bluetooth®/FM combination solution is a standard component of the latest Android operating system. This is the first time that the Android platform includes native support for a multi-functional wireless connectivity solution (or "combo" chip). Open access to portions of Broadcom's combo drivers provides Android developers with a head-start in designing mobile devices and applications that utilize the best in wireless connectivity solutions. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and FM technologies are becoming increasingly common in today's mobile phones, enabling a variety of popular media and data applications. The current generation of Android-based handsets features both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, but uses discrete components. The Broadcom® BCM4325 is the best-selling Bluetooth and Wi-Fi combo chip on the market, offering best-in-class space, power, cost and coexistence features. Adding Broadcom's BCM4325 drivers to the Android platform simplifies the integration of these connectivity technologies and accelerates platform development cycles. "Two of the most exciting trends in the handset industry are the growing popularity of Android and the transition to combo chips for connectivity," said Chris Bergey, Director of Broadcom's Embedded WLAN line of business. "As a founding member of the Open Handset Alliance, we are committed to advancing the Android platform by contributing our software and facilitating greater access to our combination chips in the open source community. We expect a plethora of products and applications to evolve from the connected Android platform in the not-so-distant future." The inherent benefits of multi-radio integration have changed the way many handset manufacturers think about connectivity features, which is driving significant growth for combo chips. According to IDC, a global market intelligence firm, combo chips will account for nearly 60 percent of connectivity solutions that ship into mobile phones by 2012. Broadcom was the first chipmaker to successfully combine Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and FM technologies on a single silicon die, and now offers the industry's largest portfolio of wireless combo chips. About the Android Platform Developed by the Open Handset Alliance (OHA), Android is the first free and open mobile platform. It includes everything a manufacturer or operator needs to build a mobile phone, including an operating system, middleware and key mobile applications. Developers can take advantage of the comprehensive software stack to develop innovative applications and compelling services. By contributing to the Android platform, members of the OHA can make it easier for developers to distribute and commercialize their applications. About Broadcom Broadcom Corporation is a major technology innovator and global leader in semiconductors for wired and wireless communications. Broadcom products enable the delivery of voice, video, data and multimedia to and throughout the home, the office and the mobile environment. We provide the industry's broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art system-on-a-chip and software solutions to manufacturers of computing and networking equipment, digital entertainment and broadband access products, and mobile devices. These solutions support our core mission: Connecting everything®. Broadcom is one of the world's largest fabless semiconductor companies, with 2008 revenue of $4.66 billion, and holds over 3,100 U.S. and over 1,400 foreign patents, more than 7,600 additional pending patent applications, and one of the broadest intellectual property portfolios addressing both wired and wireless transmission of voice, video, data and multimedia. Broadcom is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and has offices and research facilities in North America, Asia and Europe. Broadcom may be contacted at +1.949.926.5000 or at www.broadcom.com.[via GigaOm]