Android 1.5 Cupcake released for Devs; Video Demo

HTC and Google have released Android 1.5 Cupcake for owners of the Android Dev Phone, available as a free download from the manufacturers site.  Cupcake adds video recording to Android, including one-touch uploads to YouTube, plus a new on-screen QWERTY keyboard.  There are also tweaks to the browser, predominantly to increase speed in rendering, zooming and scrolling. Arsen shot the following demo video of Cupcake 1.5 in action, including the video recording and the new auto-complete URL suggestions introduced with the on-screen keyboard.  According to their feedback, the browser does indeed run faster but 3GP video captured by the G1 was less successful, with numerous skips and judders. The HTC download will apparently only work with the HTC Dream (aka T-Mobile G1) hardware, and must be a developer device rather than a standard retail handset.  However that's unlikely to stop the teams of avid Android tweakers who right now are looking for ways to modify the firmware for a general install, ahead of the official May release. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hczgL3C2yrw[/youtube] [Thanks Paul3G and lovedumplingx!]

Adobe Flash technology hitting Android soon?

After Andy Rubin demonstrated Flash working on the T-Mobile G1 last November, the assumption has been that the technology would arrive on Android sooner rather than later.  Five months on, and there's still no sign from Adobe; however, embedded devices company Bsquare are claiming to be working with "a global, tier-one carrier" to bring Flash technology to the Android platform. Bsquare has apparently already ported the Flash Player to over 100 embedded devices.  However this time around the company is porting "Flash technology" not the player itself, to Android.  It's unclear exactly what this means for end-user functionality, and Bsquare are keeping quiet on the details. Right now there are more questions than answers, and with no timescale, software details or even a hint of which carrier the company is working with (though the obvious guess would be T-Mobile) it's hard to get excited.  Bsquare are an authorized distributor of the Adobe Flash Player and SDK, though, so we'd rate this a couple of notches above vaporware at least.

PdaNet for hack-free Android tethering

A new freeware app makes tethering the G1 to a PC or laptop straightforward, without requiring that users hack the Android firmware or have root access.  PdaNet allows a USB-connected Android cellphone to work as a tethered modem - with either cellular or WiFi data - with a single click. Currently in beta stage, and available for Windows users (together with a 64-bit Vista version), the app reportedly works well.  PdaNet is already available in Palm OS, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry and iPhone versions. Of course, while this is technically possible, it could very well contravene the terms & conditions of whichever carrier is providing 3G data access for your G1.  It's worth checking the small print to see what limitations on tethering there are in your cellphone contract. [via GAB; thanks Matthew!]

Android to outstrip iPhones by 2012

Industry watchers predict the lead iPhone has over the competition may be short lived. Informa Telecoms & Media have predicted in a new report that Android smartphone sales will outstrip iPhones by 2012. Overseas last month, Telefonica Europe said that sales of the iPhone topped 1 million in the U.K. Although T-Mobile UK, the exclusive carrier of the first Android device, the G1, would not say exactly how many of the devices had been sold, it did say the handset now accounts for 20% of its contract sales. London-based Informa believes Symbian's switch to open source will help the Symbian Foundation maintain its leadership over Android, Linux, and Microsoft over the next few years. Notwithstanding, according to Informa, both Android and OS X are eating into the market share of the best-selling smartphone OS maker, Symbian. Last year, just under half of smartphones sold were based on Symbian, a drop of 16% points from the year before when it had 65% market share. BlackBerry OS, Linux, and Windows Mobile are also gaining popularity and eating some of Symbian's share. Overall, Informa suggests smartphone sales will be immune to the global economic downturn, maintaining a prediction of "robust growth" of 35.3% year over year. The direction of phone technology will be very interesting to watch. I am at a loss to think what form a phone will take by 2010, let alone 2012! Who will you put your money on? [via CNET]

T-Mobile G1 eats some Cupcake: Video demo

With the furore over the HTC Magic, T-Mobile G1 owners might be wondering whether the halo has shifted from their original QWERTY handset to this new HTC usurper.  While the external hardware is obviously significantly altered, under the hood it's a case of different software, not different components, the most obvious being the new on-screen QWERTY keyboard.  Over at Geek.com they've been playing around with the latest Cupcake build of the Android OS on the G1, and have shot video of not only the keyboard but the Linux shell and the game Snake. Somewhat worryingly, tester Brian Jepson reports that the on-screen 'board proved trickier than expected, describing it as difficult to use one-handed and "definitely a bit buggy" .  The former is hopefully a symptom of the G1 form-factor - as you can see from our gallery, the Magic is considerably thinner and more hand-friendly than the G1 - whereas we can only assume that tweaking in some extra stability is top of HTC's priorities before the Magic's Q2 2009 launch. Still, it only crashed when trying to use the video app - which, when we saw it demonstrated on the HTC Magic, didn't encounter any problems - and generally felt stable.  Check out the video for all the details. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfXHEMPfm0Q[/youtube] [gallery]

Top 10 UK Android Market apps revealed by T-Mobile

T-Mobile UK have released a list of the top ten most popular Android applications, as downloaded to the T-Mobile G1 by users in the UK.  The list, which spans backup apps, shopping comparison search engines and horoscope information, have all been available free through the Android Market.  Top of the ranking is The Weather Channel, which offers customizable weather maps and alerts. A similar list, for US downloads, was published back in December 2008.  Google recently announced an update to the Android Market, which will allow developers to charge for their applications rather than give them away free.  It's expected that this will drive coding for the Android platform.
1. The Weather Channel – Provides customizable weather maps and alerts 2. MySpace Mobile – Allows MySpace users to keep connected via their T-Mobile G1 3. ShopSavvy – Allows users to scan a product’s barcode and compare prices online 4. Daily Horoscope – Offers a daily fix of astrology 5. Free Dictionary Org – Works just like a traditional dictionary 6. Ringdroid – Allows users to create their own ringtones using MP3 tracks, or by recording their own 7. Backgrounds – 50,000 backgrounds available to customise your T-Mobile G1 8. Barcode Scanner – Similar to ShopSavvy, allows users to scan a CD or book’s barcode to look up prices or reviews 9. Save MMS – Allows users to save images, video or audio from MMS text messages directly to the G1’s memory card 10. Compare Everywhere – Another shopping comparison service that uses the G1’s camera to scan a product’s barcode to find out more information and comparative prices
Earlier today, Vodafone and HTC announced the new HTC Magic, which will be the second phone to go on general sale with the Android OS.  You can find out more about the HTC Magic here, and see the first of our demo videos here.

Moxier Mail Exchange Sync client launches for Android G1

Moxier have announced what they're calling the first Exchange ActiveSync push email solution for the Android platform.  The Moxier Mail Beta, which is now available in the Android Market, gives T-Mobile G1 users access to their Microsoft Exchange servers, supporting full direct push synchronization of email.    According to Emtrace, Moxier Mail works just like ActiveSync does on Windows Mobile handsets, meaning you'll be able to receive, reply and compose emails on the G1 and send them via your Exchange server. It's unclear what other functionality is supported; for instance whether you can search the Exchange server from the G1, or whether contacts and calendar entries are also synchronized. Right now the Moxier Mail Beta is available free, but that looks set to change after March 31st 2009. We're assuming it will be a paid application - Emtrace have not suggested exactly how much - which might suggest that the Android Market will be offering paid apps by that date. [gallery]   Press Release:
Emtrace releases the world’s first Exchange ActiveSync® push e-mail for Android™ Emtrace Technologies USA, Inc. (www.moxier.com) has introduced Moxier Mail Beta in the Android™ market offering secure and direct push synchronization of corporate e-mail with Microsoft® Exchange server 2003 & 2007. Direct push technology in Moxier Mail with licensed Microsoft® Exchange ActiveSync® enhances end-user productivity in performing convenient access to the exchange server on Android™-powered phone (G1). With the push e-mail solution, G1 users can receive corporate e-mails, reply to urgent messages and compose new e-mails like on Blackberry and Windows Mobile smartphones. Microsoft® Exchange is the leader in North American markets for their messaging and collaborative software, and Moxier Mail can fit right in to G1 to support it for all exchange users. Moxier Mail includes many years of experience in wireless mobile solutions with Windows Mobile, LiMo, ALP, PalmOS platforms and Emtrace hopes Moxier line for Android™ and App Store will expand with more software and services attracting users’ needs. Emtrace’s Moxier Mail Beta is now available for a limited time in the Android™ market with full version of Moxier Mail V1.0 to be released thereafter. Key features for Moxier Mail Beta includes, -Direct push synchronization with Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 & 2007 -Easy to receive, reply, compose and delete Emails like on your computer -Secure environment with SSL support -HTML Email with Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 About Emtrace Technologies USA, Inc. Established in 2008, Moxier builds software and services right for mobile cloud computing.

GoTV streaming entertainment launches on Android

GoTV Networks have released an application in the Android Market that allows access to its entertainment content on the T-Mobile G1.  Available channels include Hip Hop Official, ES Musica, Rock: On Altitude, True Country and Just Nutz, each offering free access to music news, weekly updates, charts, exclusive performances, red carpet interviews and event coverage. The client is one of a number of streaming media apps to hit the G1, with FlyCast and Last.fm already offering audio entertainment on-demand.  Meanwhile there's still talk of Sling Media offering a custom Android client for their TV place-shifting technology. GoTV is already available for iPhone, Virgin Mobile, Verizon Wireless, Sprint and T-Mobile users, either via download clients or specific web portals.  You can find the GoTV Networks app in the Android Market, where it's a free download.  Press Release:
GoTV Networks Brings Music Channel Line-Up to T-Mobile G1™ Users GoTV Networks, Inc., the industry’s largest mobile media network, today announced the availability of its premium mobile entertainment channels on the T-Mobile G1™ handset, powered by Google’s Android platform. G1 users can now access multiple entertainment channels from GoTV including Hip Hop Official, ES Musica, Rock: On Altitude, True Country and Just Nutz. With music news, weekly updates, charts, exclusive performances, red carpet interviews and up-to-date event coverage, GoTV’s music channel line-up keeps users connected to the music and artists they care about. GoTV’s channels are available to users for free via a downloadable application accessed from the Google Android Market. There were over 130,000 downloads of GoTV’s channels through December 31st, 2008. The user base continues to grow and GoTV projects approximately 250,000 user downloads by the end of Q1 2009. “GoTV is the first mobile media network to offer such a wide and deep entertainment channel offering to users of Android-powered handsets,” said Thomas Ellsworth, Chief Executive Officer of GoTV Networks. “We are extremely pleased by the initial demand for our products among G1 users. We look forward to the strong future growth of Android-powered handsets that will be fueled by the introduction of new products from Motorola, HTC and others.” About GoTV Networks GoTV Networks (www.gotvnetworks.com) is the premier mobile media network and mobile media services provider in the United States. GoTV’s studio (GoTV Productions) produces original and syndicated partner programming through the company’s mobile and broadband technologies to the widest distribution network in the US. GoTV’s content is accessible to mobile users in streaming and on-demand formats on a broad range of wireless devices through the Apple iPhone Application Store, AT&T, Boost Mobile, the Google Android Market, Sprint (including Nextel), T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless (including Alltel) and Virgin Mobile. Online access is available from multiple video websites and portals. The company is headquartered in Sherman Oaks, California with regional offices in Seattle, Kansas City and Atlanta.

Google axed Android multitouch at Apple’s request

Multitouch support was dropped from the Android platform, and therefore the T-Mobile G1, after Apple requested it not be included.  That's the latest rumor, apparently confirmed by an unnamed Android team member, who described the arrangement as an attempt by Google to avoid the IP aggression we've recently seen between Apple and Palm. While the G1's capacitive touchscreen certainly recognizes multitouch input - as recent hacks have demonstrated - and earlier builds of Android code included what's believed to be Google-written, but subsequently disabled, multitouch support, the functionality did not ship in the released device.  At the time, this was generally put down to Google's ambitious launch schedule, promising an Android device by the end of 2008, and that lack of timing meaning that multitouch fell by the wayside.  However it now looks as though its omission was purposeful, with Google prioritizing their good working relationship with Apple - and, some might say, common foe in Microsoft - over the handset's eventual capabilities. The unnamed source also confirmed the rumors that Intel is expending great efforts in supporting Android netbook development, suggesting that the chipset company is keen to be further involved in open-source budget ultraportable hardware.  While Intel's specific plans are unknown, the Android team member revealed that there are many different Android-based netbooks - as well as other, non-phone and non-netbook hardware - in development at present.

JFv1.41-RC33 released: Multitouch, auto-rotate and all RC33 goodies

Popular custom firmware JF has been updated with the new features to be found in the official G1 RC-33 upgrade.  JFv1.41-RC33, the handiwork of JesusFreke and friends, adds multitouch, auto-rotate, and more straightforward access to the underlying Linux OS than the standard G1 has. The custom firmware does not, though, include one of RC-33's key features: the radio update.  This is left as a separate update, so as to avoid multiple flashes of the radio every time the v1.41 update is run.  While there's no definite word from T-Mobile as to what exactly the RC-33 radio update addresses, it's hoped that it will have a positive influence on battery life. Remember, if you've got a question about JFv1.41-RC33 or any custom firmware, you can raise it in the Android Community forums.  As ever, you can brick your cellphone if you make a mistake updating it, so it's better to have all the details before rather than after.
Fixes: Comcast fails to download more than 1 email Symptom(s): No error message but it stays on “Load More Messages” without ever pulling another email. “Messages” Stability Issue Symptom(s): When trying to send a message or exit the “Messaging” application you receive a pop up message that reads “Sorry! Activity Messaging (in application Messaging) is not responding. Force Close Wait” WiFi forcing a logout of IM Symptom(s): While using the IM clients on the G1 if you turn on or off WiFi the sessions are terminated and you will need to sign back in. No reminders for calendar items. Symptom(s): Missing appointments due to the lack of a reminder. G1 hanging at the G1 Screen Symptom(s): A small number of G1 devices hanging at the G1 screen during the initial power up New Features: Support “Check For Upgrades” (New feature to check for system upgrades) Voice Search (New Google feature for searching) Ability to save pictures recieved as MMS Ability to report offensive comments in the Market as SPAM
[via WebNetta]
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