Android Community site updates

There has been a lot of growth with Android Community the last few weeks. Our members have been eagerly anticipating the arrival of the first Android-powered handset the T-Mobile G1. The forum has just exploded with news today that the G1 has already been shipped and people may be receiving their G1 a little early.

We have been running several contests recently, the most recent of which is the Golla G1 Case Giveaway. We have been giving a case away every day from October 8th till the launch of the T-Mobile G1. We would like to take the time to thank our premier sponsor Smartphone Experts for sponsoring the Golla G1 Case Giveaway for us. Come on down to our Android Community G1 launch party on Saturday October 18th in the Dallas/ Fort Worth Texas for a chance to meet with Vincent, Ewdi and myself (refused9150) as well as many of our local members. We will be serving food and drinks as well as giving away prizes to our community members. There will be a few very important people attending this event with us, to celebrate the launch of the T-Mobile G1. As many of our users have noticed we have a new banner for our site with the logo "Have you evolved?". We would like to extend our deepest appreciation to DesignDawg for creating this for us. We loved his design for the Signature contest so much that we even decided to print a few limited edition Android Community shirts.

T-Mobile G1 Powered by Android Review

October 16th, and we're finally allowed to tell you what we've wanted to say for the past week: the T-Mobile G1 is a very good cellphone indeed. The first handset commercially available to run Google's Android platform and, with the exception perhaps of the iPhone 3G, the most anticipate mobile device launch of the year, the HTC-made G1 has a lot riding on it. Not only is it T-Mobile USA's flagship 3G handset, it's the first time Android has been seen outside prototypes and pre-production hyperbole. Can the G1 live up to it? Check out the full Android Community review to find out.

The form of the G1 is both familiar and new at the same time. Familiar because we've seen the gradual progression from part-glimpsed HTC prototype, because of the sense of familiarity with SideKick handsets, and new by virtue of its surprisingly clean design. It's 158g weight sits well in the hand, heavy enough to feel solid but not so much to feel cumbersome. Flip open the arc-curved side-sliding touchscreen and you'll find - or perhaps not even notice - that the handset has been weighted so that it doesn't topple backwards. That much-maligned 'chin' section, angled with the trackball and buttons, nestles into the curve of your hand and goes unnoticed. Under the hood, a 528MHz Qualcomm MSM7201A processor lends the G1 its grunt, paired with 256MB ROM and 192MB RAM. HTC have given the handset dualband HSPA/WCDMA in the US (1700/2100MHz) or single-band in Europe (2100MHz), capable of supporting up to 7.2Mbps downloads (network depending), together with quadband GSM/GPRS/EDGE. There's also WiFi b/g, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR and GPS, as well as a digital compass and accelerometer orientation sensor. Users are faced with a breadth of input options, including a full QWERTY keyboard, 3.2-inch 320 x 480 HVGA capacitive touchscreen and trackball. Get used to flipping out the keyboard, however, as Android v1.0 lacks an on-screen keyboard beyond basic the numeric pad for dialing. Thankfully the G1's 'board is well laid-out, five-rows of letters and dedicated number keys, together with useful shortcuts to key applications. Shortcuts can also be user-programmed, to any number or letter you so wish, whether a pre-loaded app or something downloaded from the Android Market. Our only criticism would be the keyboard backlighting, which could definitely do with being brighter. The touchscreen is even more of a success. Unlike other HTC smartphones it uses a capacitive panel, similar to that of the iPhone, responding well to even gentle touches. It's a shame, then, that it's not capable of multitouch, which remains an iPhone exclusive in cellphones at least. Still, the G1's interface is very quick, with no long load times or pauses as applications load. The home screen is neatly laid-out and straightforward to customize, and can be as complex or as streamlined as you choose. Here the G1 edges ahead of the iPhone, with Android's freedom to add any variety of contact cards, picture frames, apps and widgets to the home screen and its folders. Along the top of the display sits the notification bar, a well organized way to view SMS, MMS, email, IM and download notifications, among others, as well as a list of recent activities similar to that found at the top of the Start menu in Windows Mobile. Also similar to the Microsoft mobile OS, and an unwelcome decision at that, is the absence of a task manager to end background applications. Android promises to manage which software is closed and which stays open, but we'd rather it was more draconian for the sake of battery life. All those secretly active programs take their toll, via background processes, on the 1150mAh Li-Ion battery. As far as we can tell, the only way to shut apps down completely is to power-cycle the handset. In a way, the lack of manual closing makes the G1's absence of lag, even having opened several programs, all the more surprising. Anybody coming from Windows Mobile, used to watching their smartphone crawl to a sluggish halt as cycles and RAM are monopolized, will be impressed with how responsive the G1 remains. In fact, the only app crashes we observed happened well in advance of the G1 slowing down, with only a message warning of an instability that requires the program's restarting. Generally, though, for a first-generation device the G1 - and Android itself - is remarkably stable. Whether closed in the background or not, software picks up exactly where you left off, and the speed of start-up makes the transition around the OS pretty seamless. Google's search history (if you'll pardon the pun) has culminated in one of the most useful features of Android on the G1, in the shape of the dedicated search key. Accessible at any time, it makes searching for files significantly faster than straight browsing, and its consistency across applications means it soon becomes an instinctive action. There's no way to search cross-app, however, so you can't for instance browse through documents while in the media player, only media content. You'd also expect a Google-branded product to excel at internet browsing, and here the G1 is a mixed-bag. Based on the same open-source WebKit engine as the iPhone, Nokia's S60 browser and others, it's full-HTML compatible and handled most any site we pointed it at. Navigation is via a combination of the touchscreen and the trackball, with a Nokia-style magnification window (which shows the position of the current view in terms of the page as a whole) when zoomed-in. Magnification is neither as slick nor as smooth as on the iPhone, a point where the absence of multitouch is a real drawback. Instead, you swipe across the screen with your finger, which summons up a virtual lens with which to focus down on specific sections. It's workable, but nowhere near as intuitive as on Apple's device. Another shortcoming is the bizarre lack of integration with the accelerometer: rotating the G1 does not rotate the screen, you're forced to slide out the keyboard in order to do that. Finally, cut & paste only appears to work with URLs, not text anywhere on webpages, and there's no Flash support at present. Of course, Google's other forte is messaging, and the G1 ships with a full breadth of IM compatibility including Google Talk, AOL Instant Messenger, Windows Live and Yahoo! Messenger, all of which can be logged-into simultaneously and remain so in the background. New messages are flagged up on the notification bar and done so relatively discretely, so as not to distract too much from whatever app you're currently using. Frustratingly, though, the different providers are all grouped separately, meaning your MSN contacts, say, are in a different list from your AOL buddies. That can be preferable on the desktop, where you're more likely to differentiate and organize your social groups, but on a mobile device we'd have preferred to see at least the option to integrate all contacts into a single online/offline list. Still, you can see the golden touch of ex-SideKick Andy Rubin in the IM experience as a whole, as it's one of the more - if not the most - successful on a mobile device. Different conversations are easily switched between, and the keyboard comes into its own for rapid pecking. That ease of use continues into the SMS/MMS client, where messages are threaded into conversations and send seemingly instantaneously. Photos are courtesy of a 3.2-megapixel camera with mechanical autofocus, the latter being something of a rariety in a mobile device. It lends the G1 a far more professional feel, more like a compact digital camera than an afterthought. Half-pressing the dedicated camera button focuses the picture, fully-pressing it fires off the shot. Images themselves are crisp, if a little on the light side, but decent for a cellphone; all the more frustrating, then, that in the absence of a flash dimly-lit areas are often impossible to photograph. At present the camera will only take still photos, not video. The G1 relies on microSDHC cards for storage, and is compatible with the latest 16GB models for iPhone-equalling capacity. The slot itself is hidden underneath the rear cover, as is the SIM slot, but unlike the SIM you're not required to remove the battery pack in order to switch memory cards. Some might prefer a more accessible microSDHC slot, but anyone who has accidentally dropped several gigabytes of content will confirm that, when it comes to memory cards the size of your fingernail, safety outsts a few seconds time-saving. Add a card and the G1 automatically locates any music, pictures and video stored on it. Choose a file and you're asked which app you want to play it with; if it's a video, you'll have to make a trip to the Android Market first, though, as the pre-installed Android media player can only handle audio files. Playback is via a wired stereo headset - which requires an HTC breakout dongle, as the G1 lacks a dedicated 3.5mm headphone jack. At this time, the G1 does not support A2DP stereo Bluetooth, but should after a future firmware update. We paired a number of different hands free Bluetooth headsets with the G1 and experienced no problems at all. A nice touch is that, when listening to music, you're given the option to search for the video in the standalone YouTube app; only problem is, switch away from the video and it automatically pauses, so you can't use it as a streaming music player in the background. We've mentioned the Android Market several times, and Google's answer to the Apple AppStore holds its own on the G1. The application database is intelligently managed; the entire list of available software isn't fully synchronized every time you open the Market, only the new titles, and it keeps track of which you've already downloaded and/or installed. Applications you download are installed to the pull-out menu on the home screen, in alphabetical order, keeping it both tidy and well-organized. Google seem to be taking a different stance to Apple in their management of the Android Market: unlike on the iPhone, apps will go through no vetting before being available to download. Instead, a review & rate system is being implemented, where users score and comment on downloads. The plus side to that is the range of titles (Apple have a habit of pruning out what they don't think is "suitable" for their cellphone) and the speed at which updates can be posted; the negative is the potential for malware or poorly coded apps to get onto at least a handful of devices until the software can be flagged up as harmful. When installing a new app, Android flags up which services - camera, network, GPS, etc. - it will use. That way, the user can judge whether the software is going to do what it claims it will, or something nefarious. It's useful, but it assumes a degree of understanding that many users just won't have. In a way that's unusual for Android, because you can tell Google have tried hard to make it approachable for entry-level users. The settings menu has easy-to-comprehend descriptions, and the synchronization summary clearly shows which items are up to date and which have encountered problems. Meanwhile the applications manager - with the frustrating exception of a kill switch - runs through how much space each program takes up and what it's properties are. It's an area that Windows Mobile, with its multple, convoluted settings screens and seemingly endless tabs, would do well to learn from. If a key motivation for picking up a new cellphone is the extent to which you can impress friends and family, you'll be pleased to know that the G1 has just such an app. Android obviously includes Google Maps for Mobile, but they've given it some extra wow-factor with compass-enabled Street View. Hold up the phone with Google's street-level photos loaded up and, as you physically turn around, the on-screen representation does so too. It sounds like a gimmick - and indeed it can be, if you're using it to justify your new purchase to your spouse or bank manager - but it's also a handy way of figuring out which way to go at an unfamiliar intersection. When you're finished panning around places you used to live, or stalking ex-partners, the GPS quickly locks on and gives straightforward, accurate directions. Of course, at its heart the G1 is a phone, and one intended to show off T-Mobile's 3G network to boot. Call quality is, thankfully, excellent, both normally and through the loud, clear speakerphone. T-Mobile's 3G network has surprising reach, too; although the carrier is only really promoting Phoenix and New York City as flooded with their high-speed access, we had no problem getting a 3G signal in San Jose, with next to zero dropped calls. In fact, it'll be battery life that curtails your use of the G1, not the network. Despite the sizeable power-pack, with heavy use the G1 only lasted 2-3hrs. That's a mixture of voice calls, internet browsing, GPS and media playback, but it leaves us doubtful that the handset would last a full day if used in earnest. Our suspicion is that it's background processes putting their demands on the battery, and we wouldn't be surprised to see a software update pushed out sooner rather than later which attempts to manage that better. Hopefully an aftermarket task manager will also make a speedy appearance. You can charge the handset either with the included AC adapter - which takes about an hour - or via a USB connection to your PC or Mac; the G1 shows up as a removable drive, to which you can drag media or document files. While we're talking about frustrations, the G1 is a real fingerprint and grease magnet. Like any phone with a large display, the glass smudges readily; however the entire G1 seems particularly prone. With no screen protectors to hand, we resorted to cutting up an iPhone protector and using that. In judging the T-Mobile G1, you're really coming to two conclusions. The first is of the handset itself, while the second is more about Android as a platform. That's going to make things tricky, and you'll no doubt read plenty of reviews and opinions basically claiming Android falls down because the reviewer doesn't like the G1. Happily, we've been impressed - and surprised, even - on both counts. The T-Mobile G1 certainly isn't perfect - you definitely need a second battery if you're a power-user, the capacitive touchscreen is great but, without multitouch, seems only half used, and the app management needs either a stern talking-to or a user-accessible way to kill running processes - but it's very, very good. HTC, T-Mobile and Google have said that they set out to design a true internet-enabled mobile device, and they've done just that. The G1 will inevitably be compared to Apple's iPhone 3G, but it represents a sightly different angle on the mobile experience. Where the iPhone is, by virtue of Apple's omni-present controlling hand, a relatively closed system (and no less successful, or attractive, for it, mind), the G1 panders instead to those who would prefer something more tweakable, more customizable. Android, meanwhile, has exactly what it needs: a device on which to showcase its features and tempt with the promise of what's to come. Again, it's nowhere near perfect, but it's also version one; think back to the first iPhone experience, back even further to the early stages of Windows Mobile, and then recognize that Google have poured - and will continue to pour - masses of investment into making this platform work. Owners of the first G1 handsets will undoubtedly profit from that investment, upgrading and taking advantage of new drivers, new software and new third-party hacks; in fact anything the open-source community can come up with. We're excited by the T-Mobile G1 in a way we haven't been by a mobile device in a long time. It might lack the drool-inducing instant allure of the iPhone 3G, but it counters that both with usable, thought-out abilities today and real promise for tomorrow. Android and the G1 are no iPhone-killer, but they're certainly a game-changer. Unboxing T-Mobile G1 (Birds eye view) [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RWdINrq_S0[/youtube] Setting up T-Mobile G1 [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOw65-jb1Xk[/youtube] T-Mobile G1 Hardware walkthrough [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ak8gv5T84e8[/youtube] [gallery] Unboxing T-Mobile G1 (facing us) [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfcqCG-oulY[/youtube]

First T-Mobile G1 user review

Android Community has done it again, this time we bring you an exclusive first time user review of T-Mobile’s G1. Forum member kaziko has given us a sneak peak at T-Mobile’s first device to run Google’s Android operating system. He put together a nice Q&A as well as providing us with a pros and cons list. The more we hear about the G1 the more anticipation builds, as we all wait for the 22nd to get our hands on this gem.

This device is very similar to the SideKick, Kaziko went on to say “Its a sidekick on massive steroids ... If it had a box on the left side it would feel exactly like a Sidekick”. This is good news for a lot of the current Sidekick users who are looking for a long awaited upgrade to a device that sees very little change. This device has great call quality and a relatively loud speaker in comparison to other HTC devices. The G1 comes pre-loaded with a smooth running, easy to use instant messaging client that supports Google Talk, AIM, ICQ and MSN out of the box. With all phones there is a bit of a downside to them, and in Kaiziko's words “[the] phone does not run as smoothly as you would think”. Some of the applications “stutter” as they start up and from time to time the device must be restarted in order to run smoothly. Thankfully these drawbacks can ultimately be fixed with firmware and software upgrades. The battery charger makes the bottom of the device very hot and is in an awkward location for text messaging while it is charging. PRO's:
  • The device is fairly quick to startup compared to other HTC devices.
  • It is very light considering what's inside.
  • The slide out keyboard works well and doesn't have a flimsy feel to it.
  • The Android Market works just as well as the iPhone's App Store.
  • There are already a lot of useful apps to download from the Android Market, including a free ringtone maker.
  • The earpiece is fairly clear when making and receiving calls, you hear absolutely no static.
  • The speaker is relatively loud compared to other HTC devices.
  • The G1 has a big memory leak somewhere, and has to be restarted in order to get it running smoothly again.
  • The battery charger makes the bottom of the phone extremely hot.
  • No virtual QWERTY keyboard included.
  • The phone doesn't run as smoothly as you would think, programs sometimes stutter trying to start up.
  • There is no folder system like that found on other HTC devices: finding your files requires you to search around in one of the various programs associated with the file type you're trying to view.
  • Video playback is very limited. The G1 would not play .mpg or .wmv files which are pretty much the standard when it comes to videos downloaded off the net.
kaziko answered questions that Android Community forum members have about the G1: Q. Any word on saving the apps from the market on the microSD card? A. Not even sure where the market apps are stored at this point in time. Q. Does the G1 have vibrate then ring? A. The only option I see is vibrate on/vibrate off. Q. I have a Sidekick 2008 right now, could I use the same microSD card that is in my Sidekick 08 for the G1? A. Yes you can use your microSD card up to 8GB without having to reformat. Q. Is there any word about a third party applications using AIM, ICQ, MSN? A. There is a program pre-installed that handles all instant messaging (Google Talk, AIM, ICQ, MSN). Q. How are IM app buddy lists structured? Are all buddies (GTalk, AIM, Y!M, MSN) on one list, or are they separate screens? And are groups utilized on the buddy lists if you are using them in AIM, etc? A. They are not structured like they should be for sure. Each messaging program has its own group and your personal groups are broken down inside the specific clients. Q. Do the buttons on the chin light up like the UK version? A. I'm not exactly sure what you mean by the buttons by the chin, but the visible buttons do light up. Q. Can I use my $19.95 unlimited family messaging plan with the $25 dollar G1 internet feature? A. You can actually just use a $19.99 Data plan alongside the $19.95 messaging to eliminate wasting the $5.00, T-Mobile just doesn't want people to know they can do this. Q. How is the responsiveness of the touch screen? A. Ever played with an iPhone? If so, it's rather responsive, anybody who's owned an HTC device knows how aggravating the touchscreens can be. HTC pulled a fast one and really made the TS [on the G1] extremely usable with just the slight "touch" of a finger. Q. If you lock the phone, does sliding [the screen] up automatically unlock it? A. The only form of lock I've used is pressing the power button to blank the screen and that pretty much locks the device, opening the keyboard does not turn the screen back on. i will try to pattern lock tonight and get back with a better answer on this. Q. Is there any kind of headphone adapter in the box? A. No, the G1 comes in box with a stereo headset with inline volume control and answer/end/command button, a G1 branded microfiber slipper protective case, travel charger, USB cable and a user manual/getting started guide. This is what was in my G1, which is a pre-release model and might be different than the one actually released. Q. Is the screen made of glass (like the iPhone) or plastic? A. I'm not sure 100% about this but I think it's glass, plastic screens don't seem to have the sensitivity like glass screens do, and this runs perfectly so I'm assuming glass but I will get clarification on this matter. I want to thank Android Community member Kaziko for giving us the first user review of the G1. He has really gone out of the way to give us an exclusive inside look at the device. We would be nothing without our members, support from users like him are what make us what we are. Disclaimer: The views / opinions expressed in this article are solely of forum member kaziko, and does not reflect that of Android Community. [gallery]

Some G1 pre-orders to arrive late

T-Mobile has been selling pre-orders of the G1 ever since the T-mobile G1 announcement event on September 23rd. The first carrier to sell an Android handset ran out of available G1 devices for pre-order in no time; pre-ordering is back, but with new fine-print that could delay delivery past those picking the handset up in-store.

T-Mobile ended up tripling production for the presale of the G1 trying to satisfy the strong demand. T-Mobile has just announced some more information that may make consumers want to wait in line rather than pre-order the G1 online. Located in the fine print there is a lot of surprising information as to just when you will be receiving your pre-order. For those customers who pre-ordered their Android before October 3rd, the soonest they will be receiving their phone will be October 22nd. Anyone who got a late start on the pre-order and ordered the G1 after October 3rd will receive it no sooner than November 10th. That date is tentative as the first date you may receive it. T-Mobile’s site reads, “Order yours before October 21, 2008, and it will be delivered as early as November 10, 2008.* After all, as a loyal customer, you deserve to get what you want—when you want it.” I find this kind of odd as loyal customers would want the device on launch day if not sooner, not after new customers were already able to purchase theirs. I want to know what you guys think about this policy. [Via Gadgetell]

T-Mobile G1 Emulator and 360 view

T-Mobile has a G1 360 view emulator that allows you to rotate the new G1 360 degrees to get a really good look at all angles of this device. The 360 allows you to slide the screen up to reveal the full Qwerty keyboard.

The guide tab gives you 4 different options for viewing how the hardware of the G1 works. The first demonstrates how the screen slides up for use of the keyboard. The battery removal shows just how the back of the device is taken off to reveal the battery. Sim Card Insertion shows that in order to replace the Sim Card you must first remove the battery. However you do not have to remove the battery to insert or remove the MicroSD card. This makes accidentally loosing the card a lot easier and opens the opportunity of getting dirt inside the slot. The G1 emulator is very functional and fun to play with. However many of the applications that require data do not work in this particular example. You can view a demo of incoming calls, incoming picture messages (MMS), incoming text messages (SMS), incoming email or incoming instant message. Using this emulator will really help customers get a general idea of what the device will be like before purchasing it. More discussion can be found at Android Community Forums. Special thanks to LocrKurgan for bringing this to our attention. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VChBj_gV3U\[/youtube] [Via Android Community]

T-Mobile USA Update On T-Mobile G1 Pre-Launch Availability

Here's the latest official response from T-Mobile pertaining to the T-Mobile G1 pre-launch availability.  If you didn't pre-order the T-Mobile G1, you are now OFFICIALLY SOL.

Given the great anticipation and the heavy pre-sale demand for the T-Mobile G1 with Google, we nearly tripled the number of phones initially available for delivery on our Oct. 22 launch date, and have sold through them all.  However, to accommodate additional T-Mobile customers who want to pre-order a device, they now have the opportunity to place a pre-order through Oct. 21, for delivery at a later date.

Also, people can still pre-register on the T-Mobile G1 Web site to be notified prior to launch where they can purchase the device beginning Oct. 22.  Details are available on the T-Mobile G1 Web site, www.T-MobileG1.com.

UPDATE: T-Mobile customers who want to pre-order a device, they now have the opportunity to place a pre-order through Oct. 21, for delivery sometime in early November 10th time frame. Thanks Kristen, T-Mobile Spokesperson

T-Mobile G1 coming soon to Best Buy

Best Buy has been expanding their mobile phone section for months now. New leaks points to Best Buy selling the T-Mobile G1 sometime in October or early November time frame per the screen below.

With the shelf date almost a month after they receive the devices, this will gives T-Mobile a chance to sell quite a few handsets before giving sales to other companies. T-Mobile will official release the G1 on October 22nd. By looking at the screenshots that came across Boy Genius Report, Best Buy will be getting not only the T-Mobile G1, but the unlocked crappy Treo Pro and the new BlackBerry Pear Flip (in red), which is the first flip version of the ever-popular BlackBerry smartphone. The red BlackBerry Flip is set to be on Best Buy shelves October 26th while the Palm Tro Pro does not appear to have a definite sale date. [Via Wired]

Android: Apps without borders

With Android, applications can integrate features, data from other applications and information through web API’s, as well as use all of the hardware sensors on the device such as the camera, GPS, accelerometer and the compass. This feature is entitled Applications Without Boarders.

Zebra Crossing is a fantastic example of one such application. It uses an open-source library used to decode barcodes using the camera. Zebra Crossing can recognize your everyday barcodes as well as 2d barcodes called QR codes. One example, scanning a barcode on the back of a business card will give you the contact information allowing you to directly call the number, email the contact information or allows you to save the contact without entering in the information. Zebra Crossing also publishes information (intent) so that other applications may use it as well.

Other developers now have to ability to develop similar applications without having to do all the work. One application that uses the open-source library, stores books on your handset for readers on the go then has the ability to scan the barcode on the back of a book and take the intent from Zebra Crossing and use it to find book information and directly download new books to your library.

Panoramio uses GPS to find your current location and link it to the most popular photos taken within your area. From there you can learn more about that particular photograph and even locate where it was taken on a map. Panoramio also uses the compass feature to provide you with a radar view for walking directions to where the photo was taken as well as your distance from the location.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LkNlTNHZzE[/youtube] [gallery]

T-Mobile G1 hands-on: Award-Winning Android App feature ShopSavvy

We had a little bit of time today to get an exclusive one on one time with the G1 for our Android Community members, at a special developers event held in Dallas. The company behind Google Application Challenge award winning app ShopSavvy, Big In Japan - were there, demonstrating the software in action on a G1.

The G1 phone was quick and responsive as when we played with it at the launch event last week. We were able to get hands on time with the full version of ShopSavvy. We scanned a barcode (for demonstration purposes, a Logitech webcam) and were able to compare prices online as well as at many stores in the area. No word on when the application will be released, or if it will be a free application or one in which you must purchase. We can imagine it would be particularly useful for all the Christmas shopping coming up over the next few months.  One particularly useful feature is price alert, allowing you to save products to a wish-list that updates you when the product is discounted into your pre-set price range. Check out the video interview we did with Big In Japan here. [gallery]

Android Community Week in Review – Week 38 2008

It has been a very busy week for Google's Android platform with the announcement of the G1. T-Mobile has started taking pre-orders for the G1 with price starting at $179,with a release date of October 22nd. A lot of people however were not happy to hear the data plan being capped at 1Gig. T-Mobile quickly removed the 1Gig soft cap after getting a lot of negative feedback about the decision.

Android comes full of much loved features such as Youtube, and the Android equivalent to iTunes "Amazon MP3". The clean interface on these applications give them the edge over competitors applications of the same nature. Google's new mobile version of Street View is a feature that all people will find useful. Visa has been at work creating an application that will offer account notifications, merchant offers and ATM locations. It appears that the white G1 was held back from pre-orders, rumor is the white paint used to coat the device was chipping. The white version was even scarcely seen at T-Mobile's G1 announcement. The G1 "Getting Started" guide got out a few weeks early revealing a lot more about the device including the box contents. Also released this week was the long awaited official Android SDK 1.0. Not much new to see in this polished version. Photo of the dressed up Android is courtesy of Android Community's member htc_dreamer. [gallery] [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kngcp0ooDig[/youtube] [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3omdLHn6YM[/youtube] [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSCOGxh5LEk[/youtube] [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZoxIqZtYJ4[/youtube] [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POI1n0v-GDA[/youtube]
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