Android phones still on track this year!

Recent rumors earlier today from a source familiar with the situation reported that "although a large number of people are hard at work on the Gphone and the open-source operating system/platform for mobile devices (Android) the actual Gphone will not be ready for release this year.

The Android Dream phone demoed during the keynote wowed me along with a whole bunch of people at Google IO as well as those that didn't attend.  As far as I'm concerned, Google along with OHA partners are on track to announce Android-powered phones this year. Google Spokesperson had this to say regarding my inquiries into this matter: "We're still on track to announce Android-powered phones this year. Some of our partners are publicly stating that they plan to ship Android phones in the fourth quarter." When asked whether Google is getting into the business of making hardware, a la the gPhone, I was given the following statement: "We hope the Android platform will spur the development of thousands of different kinds of phones. It's too soon to tell what forms these phones will take, but we've excited about the possibilities this kind of open platform will engender, and the benefits that users will ultimately enjoy. We envision phones that will feature more engaging, easier-to-use interfaces and a rich portfolio of applications -- all of which will make it much easier to do more with the phone than just voice calls or simple messaging." - Google Spokesperson Well there you have it, if Google says Android is on track to announce Android phones this year, that's good enough for me.

Android prototype Q&A video and transcript plus hardware details

After wowing the IO conference crowd with their Android prototype demonstration, the developers sat down for a Q&A session.  The question on everyones' lips was what exactly the demo hardware consisted of, and who made it; while the answer to the latter was under NDA, we were given some details of the former.  Based on a 528MHz Qualcomm processor, the smartphone used a Synaptics capacitive touchscreen and the UMTS cellular standard; the demo itself was carried out using a 3.6Mbps HSDPA connection.  Android's memory requirements continue to be reasonable: the prototype had 128MB of RAM and 256MB of flash.

First LIVE images and videos of FULLSCREEN Android demos!

Google's latest Android prototype is miles improved over the versions we last saw. Back at CES the GUI was clunky and the whole thing looked relatively primative; Google themselves asked us to keep an open mind and instead concentrate on the OS' potential. Now, they've brought out a device that you could, frankly, mistake for production hardware.  The HTC Android Dream phone is a worthy competitor to the forthcoming iPhone 2.0! As our exclusive demo videos show, the Android team have been putting in some long hours bringing the user interface up to the standard people expect. The iPhone sets the bar high, and leftfield rivals like Samsung's TouchWiz GUI really pile on the pressure. What they've given us is, at first glance, a blend of the successful parts of each of those, together with a dose of Google's own minimalist aesthetic. Hopefully you'll agree with us, once you've looked through the photos and watched the video, that the design is a winner. In this first video, we see an overview of the new interface and menu structure, including the clever pattern-based unlock screen. Much of the GUI can be interacted with - for instance pulling down the title bar reveals missed calls and new messages - using the familiar palatte of swipes and taps. You can also see the straightforward way to create shortcuts on the home screen; a matter of holding down your finger and then following through the contextual menus. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arXolJrLVEg[/youtube] Next up, Google's Street View gets the Android treatment with a built-in compass. That lets you pan around the location-based image, turning the handset into something of an augmented reality device. As you can tell by the applause, this was one of the most popular apps! [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PRfVKzuUJ4[/youtube] Google briefly touched on their work with developers, including the latest round of entries in their Android Developers Challenge. Here you can see a port of Pacman, developed for the handset: [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfruA4RzzpQ[/youtube] In this last video, a demo of Google Maps, you can see how closely the Android experience matches that of the desktop. All of the usual mapping options are present - satellite views, traffic, etc. - and, with a 3G network, load and update quickly. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBHx5jHsqiU[/youtube] Pac-Man on Android for the firs time! [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4q3gGNtbxhQ[/youtube] Customize how you want to unlock Android [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGCIlAwrpvI[/youtube] [gallery]
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