New T-Mobile G1 hat!

Dan O’Sullivan has had a lot of problems with trying to help people (mostly his mother) out with technical problems around the house such as TV and computer problems. Needless to say tech support would be a lot easier if you could actually see what was going on instead of being told by someone who needs your help. At fist he though that one of those network cameras would work well, but his mother does not have an Internet connection so that went out the door.  The perfect idea came to mind, streaming the video live such as the application Qik does. He decided to program Android to do the job, it was a single day project for ITP’s 4in4. The code he came up with basically munches together the camera preview example from the Android api. Now all you have to do is create a ridiculous hat to stick on your mother as she runs around the house fixing technical problems. I guess the questions is, would you resort to putting your mother through this in order to make your life easier? [Via NYU]

Another multi-touch G1 video, this time without kernel modification

Some of you may be getting sick of seeing the same Android news over and over again while hoping for something new. Sadly this post is just another story with a different look. Multi-touch has been demonstrated on the T-Mobile G1 before, but here we go again. Back in November we reported on a video made by RyeBrye that showed that two separate finger presses could be recorded on the G1 if the kernel was recompiled with the functionality put back in. Now we have another video created by Sir Luke Hutch. He claims to provide this demo on a stock G1 and will release instructions for developers who would like to incorporate it into their applications. He modified just one system class in the Java-based user interface stack. From what we can see this appears to work perfectly. So does this mean we will be seeing multi-touch in Android applications in the near future?  Got 6 minutes? Take a look at this video and tell us what you think. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enAinQizxyM&feature=channel_page[/youtube] [Via YouTube]

Regain root access of your G1 with leaked RC29 firmware

How many of you upgraded your T-Mobile G1 to the RC30 firmware only to find that you no longer had root access?  A member by the name of “chavonbravo over at the XDA-developers forum has gotten his hands on the uploaded image for the RC29 firmware. The process is quite simple, simply rename the file, copy it over to your microSD card, and run through the standard procedure for re0flashing your G1. This method has been tested and does indeed work but proceed with caution, as with all firmware hacking of any kind there are risks involved. Good luck to all those who are going to revert to a much easier hackable firmware. With this new method out there, how many of you are now going to slave away trying to regain control of your handset?

Small hack makes the iPod docks compatible with T-Mobile G1

In an effort to at least show that the iPhone has nothing on the T-Mobile G1, someone has found a way t make the G1 work with an iPhone/iPod Touch dock. This hack may not be what you expect or anything to look at really, but it does show that this is in fact possible. The easily recognized iPod dock connector has a very well known pinout so the process was not too hard to figure out.  To figure out the pinout of the HTC USB connector he just split open the hands free adapter he got with his T-Mobile Dash. Below is the process outlined to create this converter.
Most of the wires were labeled, “L” “R” “M” ect. It took a bit of fiddling to discover that connecting pin 7 to the audio ground ( pin 8 ) turns on the external audio. Sparkfun sells 30 awg (Gauge) wire wrap wire that is perfect for soldering to the ultra tiny pins on both the HTC ExtUSB connector and the iPod Female connector. We used pins 1, 2, 3, 4, 16, and 23 on the iPod Female connector. If you gently bend the pins out it makes it much easier to solder, but be careful the pins break easy. 1 & 2 are Ground - 3 is Right Audio + 4 is Left Audio + 16 is USB Ground - 23 is USB Power +5 It is important that you do not mix the audio and power grounds or you can get a nasty hum. On the G1 side of things the upper half of the connector is a standard mini-usb pinout, the bottom is very different. We used Pins 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 10. 1 is USB Power +5v in 5 is USB Ground - 6 is Left Audio + 7 is marked “AG” on the T-Mobile Dash headset board, connect this one to pin 8 to enable audio. 8 is Audio Ground - 10 is Right Audio + Now we wire the two connectors together like so: iPod pin - HTC ExtUSB pin 1 ———— 8 3 ———— 10 4 ———— 6 16 ———— 5 23 ———— 1 Don’t forget to solder together pins 1 & 2 on the iPod side and pins 7 & 8 on the G1 side. When its done it looks like this: droid-dock So we have audio from Audio player and YouTube, and the speaker dock charges the G1 too. Have fun!
[Via Webnetta]

Android Community Week in Review – Week 52 2008

There have been a few extended life batteries released that will give the T-Mobile G1 up to 15-20 percent more battery life.  The battery that ships with the G1 is 1150mAh while the replacement batteries are 1400mAh. There was an unfounded rumor that T-Mobile was sending out extended life batteries to current G1 owners. Unlike the above mentioned extended life battery, these batteries are rumored to be larger requiring a replacement back for the G1. A video demo of the new cupcake updates on-screen keyboard has surfaced. From what we can see this long awaited keyboard is very functional and easy to use. We can’t wait to get our hands on it and take it for a spin. Garmin has announced that they will be releasing an Android-powered personal navigation device. Android bringing us turn-by-turn navigation with the backing of Garmin just seems too good to be true. Google employees this year won’t be taking home a big Christmas bonus check (not most of them anyway), instead they will be taking home an unlocked “Dream Phone” with a special “droid” design on the back. The countries where Google’s legal team could not swing an unlocked G1 were given the monetary value (about $400) of the device. These countries include, India, China, Brazil, Korea, Israel, Russia, Argentina, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Mexico, Turkey, Kenya, United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Egypt, Chile, and the Ukraine. The aTrackDog application keeps track of your updates for all of your applications, but this application is not without major flaws and the collection of very valuable data market intelligence from the users. Many developers push out beta updates that will trigger this application to give all users false information about updates. We have announced the 6 winners of the Plantronics Discovery 925 Bluetooth headsets in our Android Community holiday giveaway. Congratulations to Message, Cycledroid, fstltna, Scythe, Adam Sowa and youngmack2k4. We also found quite a gallery of hands on pictures of the HKC Pearl on Engadget China. The HKC Pearl runs both Windows Mobile and Google’s Android OS as a dual booting system. This handset has a touchscreen and scroll ball just as you would find on the T-Mobile G1. The Lenovo OPhone also got a size comparison with the iPhone and iPhone 3G. The OPhone measures in at 115.84 x 61.57 x 57.12.03mm, which is only 1mm larger than the original iPhone in all dimensions. The OPhone’s headphone jack is located at the bottom of the device rather than the top. Also the very similar standby/power button is located on the left side on the top rather than the right as the iPhone.

T-Mobile shipping out extended life battery to current T-Mobile G1 owners

Reports are coming in that T-Mobile has finally admitted that the T-Mobile G1 does indeed have a battery problem as we stated in our review of the Android-powered device. With the inability to end background processes which kill the battery in less than a single day, T-mobile is giving lucky G1 owners an extended life battery. While this is still just a rumor, T-Mobile may just be doing a little preventative maintenance under our nose in preparation for the stereo Bluetooth and video recording coming to handsets in January. T-Mobile is reportedly sending a new extended life battery and a compatible back cover within the month to all T-Mobile G1 owners. You know what this means, having an even larger device. It pains us to hear that the back cover is going to make the device even larger now. The T-Mobile G1 currently has a 1150mAh battery which will more than likely be replaced with a 1400mAh battery which holds about 20% more charge. T-Mobile G1 owners are suppose to be getting a notice about this within the next few weeks. We have not heard anything confirming this to be true, please let us know if you have received such a notice. [Via Googleandblog]

Google gives employees “Dream Phones” for holiday bonuses

When one thinks about a holiday bonus they usually think about a large paycheck helping families in need during an expensive time of the year, but what happens when the holiday season comes rolling around and you get a gift rather than cash? Employees over at Google didn’t experience a swell in their paycheck, but rather a “Dream Phone.” How many presents can you buy your family with a T-Mobile G1? Of course these G1s are not just your everyday run of the mill handsets, these have a special “droid” on the back to sweeten the deal. You can probably expect a lot of these “special edition phones” on Ebay in the next few weeks. This must be Google’s way of converting their team. Google did manage to at least make these handsets unlocked so that team members can use any carrier they would like. There are a few countries that Google’s legal team could not “work their magic.” These countries include India, China, Brazil, Korea, Israel, Russia, Argentina, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Mexico, Turkey, Kenya, United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Egypt, Chile, and the Ukraine. The employees in those countries will receive the cash equivalent (about $400) in their December paycheck. Google has even attached a Q&A to the letter for anyone who has any more questions.
The full employee letter: Googlers, The holiday bonus is a Google tradition - it’s a great way to thank everyone for their hard work. In the past, we’ve done this in cash. This year, we’ve decided to give Googlers a different kind of present - a Dream phone (this is the same device T-Mobile (NYSE: DT) markets as the G1). We’re really excited about getting the phone to more Googlers in more countries, and also seeing all the cool new things you do with it. Shipping these special edition phones in such a short time frame (they were designed especially for Googlers with a ‘droid’ on the back) and making sure they would work anywhere in the world was no small feat. So a big thank you to the Android and Legal teams for making this happen. While these phones do not have SIM cards, they are unlocked so they can be used with the network provider of your choice. Plus - thanks to more fancy footwork from the Android team - they’ll work immediately as WiFi devices! Sadly, despite all our best efforts, there are some countries - India, China, Brazil, Korea, Israel, Russia, Argentina, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Mexico, Turkey, Kenya, United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Egypt, Chile, and the Ukraine - where even our legal team could not work their magic. Googlers in these countries will receive the cash equivalent of the phone in their December paychecks, which is about $400 USD. Overall though almost 85% of Googlers globally will be able to receive the phone - including the United States, Western and Central Europe, Canada, Australia, Singapore, and Japan. The holiday gift team in your office will be sending out an email with logistical information on distribution shortly. We know that some of you are already on your holidays - don’t worry - your phones will be waiting for you when you come back! For more information, check out the FAQ here. Some of you will of course be wondering why we decided to change from a cash bonus to the Dream phone. Here are the reasons. First, we’ve never developed anything like the Android software before and this represented a unique opportunity to celebrate that achievement. Googlers globally have been asking for the Dream phone and we’re looking forward to seeing all the different things that you do with them. This is a chance for us to once again dogfood a product and make it even better! Second, as we discussed in our email this week, the current economic crisis requires us to be more conservative about how we spend our money. We felt that giving the Dream phone would be a great holiday present - something we could all celebrate. Thank you for all that you do to make Google the company that it is. We hope that you will enjoy using your Dream phone in 2009 and have a very happy holiday! …and the Q&A that followed: Q: What is the holiday bonus for 2008?
The holiday bonus is a Google tradition. In the past, we have chosen to make this a monetary gift. This year we decided to try something different: on December 19th, we will begin distributing free Dream phones to Googlers worldwide. Q: I already have an Android phone. What happens to my holiday bonus?
These phones are a personal gift. We hope you will put them to good use! Please do not resell them as this is against Google [policy link removed]. Q: Why did we decide to give Dream phones as our holiday bonus this year?
The launch of Android was one of this year’s highlights for the company. When the Android phone was announced, Googler interest was extremely high - we had scores of TGIF questions, misc threads, and just general buzz about how Googlers could get a phone of their own. After seeing the amount of interest in the Android phones from Googlers, we agreed that every Googler should have one. Q: Will all Googlers get phones?
It was a huge task to ensure that the phones would work around the world and we want to thank the Android team and Legal team for making this happen. We’re proud to say that almost 85% of Googlers globally will receive Dream phones, including Googlers in the United States, Europe, Canada, Australia, Singapore, and Japan. Q: I’m not getting a Dream phone because I don’t live in an eligible country. Do I still get a holiday bonus?
Yes, Googlers who live in countries where it was not currently feasible to distribute Dream devices will be getting a cash equivalent gift in your paycheck in December. This includes people in India, China, Brazil, Korea, Israel, Russia, Argentina, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Mexico, Turkey, Kenya, United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Egypt, Chile, and Ukraine. For more information, please see [removed]. Q: I do live in an eligible country. Can I opt for the cash equivalent gift instead?
Only those Googlers in countries where it was not currently feasible to distribute Dream devices will be getting the cash equivalent gift. All other Googlers will receive a Dream phone. Q: Can I resell my phone?
Googlers should not resell any item given to them by Google. Please review our Personal Transactions policy [removed]. Q: Will I be able to take my SIM from my Google managed Corporate Mobile device (BlackBerry (NSDQ: RIMM)) and use it in my new Dream phone?
No, this is against policy and Google could incur significant overage charges. Placing a Blackberry SIM into a Dream device may cause the data plans to be disabled and break data for both the Dream and the Blackberry. Please review [link removed] for more info. Q: Are there tax implications to this?
Google is covering the taxes for this gift; there will be an extra payroll run before the end of the year to cover the taxes. If you have further payroll or HR-related questions about this gift please email [address removed].

Video demo of new on-screen keyboard for T-Mobile G1

With the new Android “cupcake” update there are going to be a lot of additions including video recording. What we did not know was the cupcake branch of Android which reportedly was made available a software keyboard on Nokia's line of Internet Tablets. A video of the on-screen keyboard working on the T-Mobile G1 has popped up on YouTube and we just had to share. We cannot tell you how excited we are to see that there is a full-blown working on-screen keyboard on the T-Mobile G1. This means that you wont have to slide out the keyboard to message someone and say hi, or quickly search for the nearest burger joint. The video shows the black full QWERTY keyboard being used in the Google search bar at the Homs screen and throughout the native browser. From what we can see the keyboard is very responsive and easy to use. Laid out much like the keyboard on the iPhone it seems to work well with your fingertips. While we cant vouch for the authenticity of this video, it certainly makes up excited. For now this will remain an unconfirmed rumor. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4Nvy3iRffM[/youtube]

Extended life battery for those experience less than desired G1 battery life

There have been complaints about the T-Mobile G1 battery life since we first unboxed it and hit the road with it. Well for those of you who are looking to replace the included 1150mAh battery with something that last a bit longer you are now in luck. Everyone could use a little extra battery life no matter what phone you currently have. Now you can go over to Seidio.com and pick up the Innocell 1400mAh Extended Life Battery, which has just started shipping for $42.95.  Hopefully now users can dig out a few extra hours of battery life out of their T-Mobile G1. The Innocell 1400mAh Extended Life Battery claims to pack up to 15 percent more juice than that of the standard battery. One of the best features is the battery is the exact same size so there is no need for a modified battery cover that makes the device larger. If anyone decides to go over and grab one please let us know how it works for you. We are in dire need of more battery life. [Via SeidioonLine]

T-Mobile kills $18 handset upgrade fee

T-Mobile has just ended their handset upgrade fee, which adds $18 to the cost of any upgraded mobile phone. T-Mobile reportedly ended the feels on Wednesday and will be applied to all outlets whether it be purchased through the online store, retail location or over the phone. This also applies to those who have been patiently waiting for an upgrade and are picking up the Android-powered T-Mobile G1. This is yet another testament that patience pays off, early adopters loose again. T-Mobile is offering this as a promotion for this holidays and has not set an ending date on this offer. This is “another way T-Mobile is thanking its loyal customers”. We all know the upgrade fees raised a lot of negative publicity for T-Mobile right around the announcement of the T-Mobile G1 because new members were getting a better deal that existing customers. The advertized price with a two-year agreement was $179.99, but loyal customers were paying more like $200 for the G1. Lets just hope this promotion is so popular that T-Mobile decides to hang onto it. [Via SlashGear]
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