Palm lays the smack down on Pre theme for Android

Posted on August 13, 2009. Filed under: Google, Mobile World | Tags: , , |

By Chris Ziegler, Engadget

palm-pre-android-theme

Android’s supposed to be all about peace, love, and openness, but that apparently doesn’t exempt it from copyright law and trigger-happy general counsels (who knew?). In a move that should come as absolutely no surprise to anyone, Palm has sicced its legal team on the makers of the aptly-named “Palm Pre Android Theme” that borrows icons, wallpapers, and mojo (not to be confused with Mojo) directly from webOS. The concerns center around the usual suspects — graphics copyrights and trademark infringement — and the company is demanding that they cease use of the Pre’s interface, name, and all that good stuff by some date that’s been redacted from the leaked letter (we’re assuming it’s soon). To be fair, Palm comes out and says that it “appreciates that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery,” but at the end of the day, they’re concerned about the potential for consumer confusion. Interestingly, to the best of our knowledge, they haven’t given the iPhone-based theme the same treatment — but hey, maybe it’s easier to confuse a Hero with a Pre than it is an iPhone… or something.

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How I Learned To Quit The iPhone And Love Google Voice

Posted on August 10, 2009. Filed under: Google, iPhone, Mobile World | Tags: , , |

By Michael Arrington, Tech crunch

noiphoneAt the end of July I declared my intention to quit the iPhone and AT&T, port my mobile phone number to Google Voice and use any mobile device that I pleased (or lots of them at once) in the future. Like others, I will no longer blindly follow all things Apple. Today I’m pleased to report a status update on those efforts: complete. I am no longer a member of the Cult of iPhone.

Porting my phone number to Google Voice was a three day process, which I was pre-warned about. The mobile carriers in the U.S. have made the porting process between them fairly easy, and it occurs over a couple of hours. But they are in no hurry to help customers move their phone numbers to Google Voice, and so it took a few extra days. Also, I’m one of the first people to port their phone number to Google Voice, and there are always a few hiccups when you’re a guinea pig.

A week ago I was an unhappy AT&T iPhone customer. I couldn’t get cell phone reception here at my house and so I was always missing important calls.

Today I’m a happy Google Voice customer. My old mobile number, which all of my contacts already have, now rings simultaneously on my home Vonage phone and the TMobile myTouch 3G Android phone that I’ve started using (and, by the way, TMobile works just fine here at home, too). If I want to start using a new phone, I can make a switch in the settings at Google Voice and calls will ring through to that instead. no carrier will ever have a stranglehold on me again.

iphoneNot only are calls being sent to both of my phones simultaneously now, but all my voicemails are now aggregated at Google Voice and immediately transcribed and emailed and SMS’d to me (complete overview of Google Voice is here). And since I’m using the Google Voice application for the Android, all my outgoing calls appear to be from my existing phone number, not the one assigned to the phone.

Single best feature of Google Voice: Call blocking. Someone spams my SMS or calls me too much, I click a button and they can never call or SMS me again.

So what’s the downside?

I had to pay the AT&T termination fee of $175. But that’s it.

And this myTouch phone (which TMobile has supplied to me for free for a test period) is an excellent piece of hardware. I believe it is superior to the iPhone 3GS – it loads the camera app and video app faster, and web pages load in about 2/3 the time it takes on the iPhone/AT&T (likely more AT&T’s fault than the iPhone). The Android apps are far more interesting because they have the ability to integrate with any native function (so, for example, Google Voice, banned on the iPhone, has taken over the myTouch native dialer). And I can run persistent apps in the background like Google Talk, which lets me keep a chat window open to contacts all the time.

Google Voice really is nearly perfect. The only thing that would be better is if they became a MVNO and offered mobile services directly as well. And tethering would be a nice feature. But for now I’m extremely happy with my mobile situation. And I plan to never do business directly with a carrier again.

Want to port your mobile number to Google Voice and do what I’ve done? You can’t just yet, but porting will be released later this year publicly. Prepare yourselves, and don’t sign any new long term contracts with your carrier. Life will soon be good for you, too.

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Android Dev Phone Update: Version 1.1!

Posted on March 12, 2009. Filed under: Mobile World | Tags: , , , |

By Rob Jackson, Phandroid

Anybody can buy an unlocked T-Mobile G1 / HTC Dream courtesy of Google – all you have to do is buy one of Google’s own Android Dev Phone 1 devices for $400 plus a few fees. Many have been reluctant to do so though, originally with frequency of OS updates being of concern and most recently non-access to Paid Apps being the issue. Google and HTC have now resolved both of these with Version 1.1 of Android for the Android Dev Phone launching today.

android-dev-phone

The release notes provide a list of everything that is new and some of the improvements included are:

Support for Search by Voice
Priced Apps
Alarm Clock Fixes
Sending Gmail freeze fixed
Fixes mail notifications and refreshing intervals
Maps now show business reviews

Many of the improvements are in regards to the POP3 e-mail accounts which I’m sure will make people using the Dev Phone 1 as their main phone very happy. A bunch of API changes have been made as well.

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Vodafone To Start Shipping HTC Magic In April

Posted on March 4, 2009. Filed under: Mobile World | Tags: , , , |

By Robin Wauters – Mobilecrunch.com

A tipster points out to Phandroid that the Vodafone website confirms the Android-powered HTC Magic, recently announced, is arriving in April.

htc-magic

Here are the specs:

* HSDPA
* Built in GPS Navigation
* 3.0 -4.0 megapixel – (meaning 3.2)
* GPRS
* Games
* Calendar
* WiFi
* Full Touch Screen
* MP3 Player
* Handsfree headset
* Triband
* Vodafone Mobile Internet
* Camera/Video
* White
* 3G
* Bluetooth
* Email
* Alarm clock

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Video: Windows CE and Android running simultaneously on a Nokia N800

Posted on March 2, 2009. Filed under: Mobile World | Tags: , , |

By Matt Burns

VMWare says it’s in talks with handset manufacturers to offer this sort of virtualization but somehow we doubt we will see this outside of geekland anytime soon. It seems a tad over the head of the average consumer. Still, a great proof of concept and something most of us would love to play with.

Source: mobilecrunch

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iVerse Comic Reader for iPhone and Android looks sweet, if limited

Posted on March 1, 2009. Filed under: Mobile World | Tags: , , |

By Devin Coldewey

Carrying around a little screen at all times means — what else? — that you can read comics all over the place while looking as if you’re checking your email. The iVerse app, for both iPhone and Android, lets you read comics that have been customized for viewing on a small screen. Instead of having you zoom around a full-sized page, they’ve cut the pages into smaller, screen-size chunks. Not the best for full-page art and the like, but much more convenient and natural to read.

I downloaded “Proof” #1 (looks kind of interesting); it was clear and easy to read. Trouble is, every comic downloads as a separate app. If you were to start using iVerse with any regularity, that would get really annoying, really fast.

This isn’t going to be replacing print comics any time soon (or digital distributables for your regular display), but it’s a good venue for comics that don’t require that level of visual fidelity. I hope to see more comic makers taking advantage of this platform soon.

Source: mobilecrunch

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Wealth-flaunting app arrives on Android phones

Posted on February 25, 2009. Filed under: Mobile World | Tags: , , , |

By Stephen Shankland

android_rich_app

An application that did nothing beyond showing a person was willing to spend gobs of money for it didn’t last long on Apple’s App Store, but now we’ll begin to see if Google lives up to its more laissez-faire approach to its rival Android Market.

Apple banned Armin Heinrich’s “I Am Rich”, which cost $1,000 and only showed a red ruby, from its App Store last August. Now the conceptually similar “I Am Richer” has arrived on the Android Market from Mike DG.

Perhaps owners of T-Mobile’s G1 phone are more cost-conscious, or the recession has hurt the market for inane software, or Android programmers are willing to offer greater value, though, because the new application offers basically the same feature set for only $200, a fifth the price of the app Apple banned.

“Prove your wealth to others by running this app and showing them the mesmerizing glowing crystal,” the software’s description says.

Google has some rules for Android Market–no malware is allowed, for example–but generally has a much more liberal attitude than Apple. While each application on the App Store requires Apple’s approval, Google plans to let the world at large sort out Android applications through the mechanisms such as the rating system. Good applications will eventually sift their way to the top of the heap the way good YouTube videos do, Google argues.

Source: cnet

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Installing Linux GUI’s on Google Android phones

Posted on February 25, 2009. Filed under: Google, Mobile World | Tags: , , , |

By Brad Linder

linux-gui-g1

Sure, Google has put a lot of time and effort into developing a graphical user interface for its Android operating system. It’s designed for cellphones and provides quick and easy access to the features you need the most, like the phone dialer and web browser. But if you want some real geek cred, you might want to think about installing a desktop-style window manager on your Android-powered phone.

Ghostwalker at Android Fanatic has posted instructions for loading IceWM, LXDE, or other Linux desktop environments on Google Android. This requires installing a Debian Shell and a series of other utilities including an X server. It’s not for the Linux newbies. Or for people who just want to use their phone the way Google intended.

In theory, you should be able to install GNOME or KDE following similar steps, but they’d probably be as slow as molasses on a phone like the T-Mobile G1. IceWM and LXDE have lower memory footprints and are designed to run on machines with slower processors.

Source: downloadsquad

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Much fabled Kogan Agora Android phone prototype gets hands-on’d

Posted on February 25, 2009. Filed under: Mobile World | Tags: , , , , |

By Greg Kumparak

agora

Back in December, the Kogan Agora was revealed and caused all kinds of excitement amongst mobile geeks. Not only was it going to be dirt cheap (around $250 bucks, unsubsidized), and not only was it being pushed out by what was about as close as you can get to a mom-and-pop electronics manufacturer, but it looked like they were going to beat just about everyone besides HTC to getting an Android product on the shelf. Then it got canned.

Cries of vaporware rang through the halls, many believing it never truly existed. It did exist, however, and the proof is now out there; in an experience I would assume was akin to petting a unicorn whilst having a skype chat with bigfoot, Gizmodo Australia got to poke and prod at a real life working prototype – and they liked it!

Ruslan Kogan’s still staying keeping mum on why the Agora won’t see the light of day, but reaffirms that Kogan’s not done with Android yet. To quote Giz:

The final release model will almost certainly ditch the qwerty keypad for a 3.8-inch, iPhone like touchscreen which will take advantage of the cupcake update’s onscreen keypad.

Source: mobilecrunch

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Huawei Android smartphones hitting T-Mobile later this year

Posted on February 25, 2009. Filed under: Mobile World | Tags: , , , , , , |

By Matt Burns

huaweiuphone

Huawei’s Android phone broke cover last week and while we weren’t able to get all touchy-feely with it yet, we might be seeing the phone soon. Reportable, the phone set to come from T-Mobile and carry the same nameplate as the brand. Details are still developing but it seems that the touchscreen ‘UPhone’ (their words, not ours) will start shipping sometime in the late summer of 2009.

We’re not entirely sure what market it will hit first though: T-Mobile US or T-Mobile the rest of the world. Hopefully it will drop on both America and Europe giving everyone more Android options even though the HTC Magic appears to be the Android phone to beat. Still, we’ll welcome more Android options.

Source: mobilecrunch

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Is Windows Mobile 6.5 a worthy competitor for Apple’s iPhone and Google Android?

Posted on February 24, 2009. Filed under: Apple, iPhone, Mobile World, Tech News | Tags: , , , , , , , |

by Tanner Godarzi

Microsoft’s plans to launch an update to Windows Mobile may be too little too late in the face of intense competition from Google and Apple. Is version 6.5 as innovative as it seems?

windows mobile

Mimicking its desktop counterpart, Windows Mobile has aspired to be the de facto choice for Smartphones everywhere but stagnation during software development and intense competition from Apple, RIM, Symbian, Google and more recently Palm, has put Windows Mobile in the backseat. Microsoft might be making a play for hearts and minds with Windows Mobile 6.5, which was announced during last week’s Mobile World Congress, but this newest update feels like a patch. You might not get excited until Windows Mobile 7 arrives sometime next year.

Windows Myphone beta

Mobile Me and the iPhone go hand in hand allowing you to sync data from to your Mac and PC. Microsoft is taking a similar (Mac-less) approach but broadening the spectrum of what data can be synced. Music, videos, photos, contacts and calendars can be transferred in to the cloud back to your computer; efficient isn’t it?

Considering the massive push behind Windows Live, MyPhone feels like another service that could have appeared much sooner, but in the face of competition from data syncing services Microsoft has chosen to finally pick up the pace and push out its own alternative. Just like Windows Mobile version 6.5 and 7, it’s coming too little too late.

But if MyPhone can actually be pushed out soon, video and photo syncing would set it apart from the likes of Mobile Me. The unfortunate thing: time isn’t on Microsoft’s side and the lack of Mac support cuts out a few potential customers.

App marketplace

Windows Marketplace is Microsoft’s answer to the iPhone’s App Store. This of course is a great first step but its inclusion within Windows Mobile 6.5 is a hinderance as well. Even more unsettling is the dearth of compelling features.

Windows Marketplace packs all the typical features of a mobile app repository. Developers can submit their applications for review. Anyone can download an app through his or her Windows computer or the phone itself.

This time around, Microsoft (and Nokia) are playing catch up in making a central app repository available on its handsets. You’d thik this would have come sooner, considering that Windows Mobile has been one of the oldest platforms for smart phones to support third party applications.

The hassle of upgrading

The biggest deterrent to switching to Windows Mobile 6.5 besides the far off shipping date is the lack of easy upgradability. Apple still provides software upgrades for its first generation iPhone and Google pushes updates to Android running phones. To get all of the new features in version 6.5, you will likely have to buy a totally new smartphone running Microsoft’s latest mobile operating system.

This is because a new hardware specification is being tacked on to Windows Mobile 6.5 that is requiring a physical start button be present on any device it runs on. This is comparable to the iPhone’s home button, which takes you to your home screen filled with apps. In Windows Mobile, you will be taken to the new honeycomb interface.

The incentive for handset manufacturers like Sony, Samsung and HTC to provide an upgrade path for you to jump to version 6.1 to 6.5 just diminished a great deal. Then again, when has an easy software upgrade been something worth providing when merely charging for a new phone running the latest Windows Mobile OS is more profitable?

Source: obsessable

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Desktops on cell phones: X-Windows comes to Android

Posted on February 24, 2009. Filed under: Google, iPhone, Notebook, Tech News | Tags: , , , , |

By Erica Sadun

In one of those odd expressions of synchronicity that life throws out every now and then, both the Android G1 and the iPhone debuted desktop-style windowing solutions today. That’s not to say these efforts were similar in nature or overall utility.

The Android G1 and the iPhone do not initially seem like ideal desktop computing platforms. They are small, with limited screen space and compromised keyboards. And yet both of them are running fully capable Unix solutions under their hoods. So it’s not unthinkable that you could deploy traditional windows-icon-menu-pointer (WIMP) desktops onto these devices, understanding the compromises involved.

On the Android front, ghostwalker of the Android Fanatic site recently posted directions for running X-Windows on Android devices. The server runs from a Debian shell that you can install on your jailbroken Android G1. The shell offers a command-line interface that you must run as root on your system; your G1 must be jailbroken to achieve this.

Once you have root shell access, follow the directions in ghostwalker’s post to install a VNC server and the GUI of your choice. Ghostwalker recommends LDXE, which he writes is “an energy saving and extremely fast and performing desktop solution. It works well with computers on the low end of the performance spectrum such as new generation netbooks and other small mobile computers.” Although you could get away with installing more advanced GUIs such as GNOME or KDE, these would likely run very slowly on the G1.

The instructions go through setting up the VNC resolution to 480×320 to match the G1 display and show you how to run the X-Windows services in the background. It’s essential that these services are backgrounded because you need to return to the Android menu to access those services from a client.

With the VNC server and the desktop running in the background, you connect to the VNC server from a VNC client. Although you can obviously connect from a personal computer (or even from an iPhone for that matter), the idea here is that you run the VNC client on the same G1 as the server. This brings up the X-Windows GUI running natively on Android. The following screen shot shows an LDXE session.

xwindowsonandroidlxde3

There’s absolutely no reason that a similar solution would not work on a jailbroken iPhone outside the need to port the software to Apple’s version of Unix. I looked around this morning to see if anyone had done so but came up empty-handed in my search. The iPhone offers both VNC servers as well as VNC clients but no X-Windows support that I could find.

For the moment, if you want to add a WIMP interface to your iPhone, you need to take a trip back through time. The open source Mini vMac effort has been ported to the iPhone. Mini vMac emulates the 4MB Mac Plus. And, as these screen shots show, provides a full windowing interface, albeit one that dates from around 1986.

Unfortunately, I was unable to actually test the system out. Cydia refused to recognize the namedfork.net repository and my attempts to check out the most recent svn source failed. Even after installing the software, you are responsible for tracking down a Mac Plus ROM image and any Mac disk images you wish to run. As far as I can tell, the emulator does not gain complete access to your iPhone Unix file system; you’re limited to the disk images you create and import.

Leaving aside the gosh-wow factor, why would anyone be interested in running desktop systems on their phone hardware? The most compelling reason is portability. We are very close to the point where we can stick an entire world of computing in our pocket. It’s not just about bringing along your music and videos; soon you’ll be able to bring along your entire “office” or your entire “life,” with all the material that normally sits on your desktop.

Sure we can use phones on the road when we are away from our desks via their mobile interfaces. The simple GUIs ease those tasks you need to perform on the go. But when we arrive at wherever we’re going, users should be able to access documents and files and interact with the hardware without mobile interface limitations.

Instead of thinking that a phone is limited by its very nature, people may soon start thinking of them by how they are used in different places and different scenarios. Why shouldn’t your G1 or iPhone start serving full windows to monitors when you reach your desk? Why shouldn’t they act like the mobile platform you know and love when you hit the road? A growing new class of computing continues to diminish the distinction between hand-held and desktop devices. These tentative first steps into adding desktop abilities onto hand-held systems are leading us to a destination of truly ubiquitous computing.

Source: arstechnica

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HTC’s The Only Google Android Game In Town, For Now

Posted on February 22, 2009. Filed under: Google, Mobile World | Tags: , , , , , |

by Andrew R Hickey

All eyes were on the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week with the expectation that device makers would lift the curtain on a host of new Google Android-based devices.

But as mobile heavyweights pack up and leave the show, it appears Taiwanese mobile device maker HTC is the first and only manufacturer to capitalize on the much-talked-about open-source Google Android platform.

Other smartphone builders have paid lip service to Android, promising devices within the year, or even into 2010. Device makers like Huawei, Samsung, Motorola and Sony Ericsson have all made note of their Android plans, but so far, it’s all been just talk.

There was little mention of Android among the myriad devices announced at Mobile World Congress. Most attention was paid to Microsoft’s mobility strategy, which included an updated Windows Mobile operating system, version 6.5, a new cloud-based mobile syncing service and an mobile application store called Marketplace.

HTC, on the other hand, has single-handedly cornered the market with little to no competition, releasing the only true Android-based handhelds into the market. HTC also released a pair of new Windows Mobile devices at Mobile World Congress, but it was its Android-focused smartphones that took center stage.

HTC hit the market with the first Google Android phone, the T-Mobile G1, in October, and hasn’t looked back.

And at the Mobile World Congress this week, HTC continued that momentum, unveiling the HTC Magic, the next Android touch screen in its arsenal. Dubbed “Android No. 2” the Magic takes some if its cues from the G1, though it will not feature the slide-out QWERTY keyboard that set the G1 apart from other touch-screen titans like the Apple iPhone 3G and the BlackBerry Storm.

At the onset, the Magic will only be available through Vodafone, meaning European smartphone users will get a taste of Android in the U.K., Spain, Germany, France and Italy. There are rumors that the HTC Magic will eventually make it to the U.S., but they have not been confirmed.

According to HTC, the Magic, which will be released in the spring, features a 3.2-inch TFT-LCD touch screen with 320 x 480 HVGA resolution. It also features a navigation trackball similar to its U.S. counterpart, an internal GPS antenna, Bluetooth 2.0 connectivity, Wi-Fi and a 3.2-megapixel camera.

Like the G1, the Magic will support most Google Applications, including search, Gmail, Google Talk and Google Maps.

And on Friday, SingTel, Asia’s largest communications provider, said it will begin selling the HTC Dream, another HTC smartphone with Google Android guts, come Feb. 21.

Like previous HTC releases built on Google Android, the SingTel’s Dream will provide access to most Google applications and SingTel will offer subscribers video-on-demand via the handheld, according to Reuters. SingTel also launched the Dream in Australia earlier this month.

HTC’s Android dominance comes as other device makers either delay or are just ramping up their Android plans.

Korean smartphone maker Samsung was expected to unveil a new Android device at Mobile World Congress but reportedly scrapped those plans, delaying the release to later this year as it hammers out talks with various carriers.

Motorola has also been rumored to be focusing heavily on Google Android devices, the fruits of which remain to be seen. Same goes for Sony Ericsson, NTT DoCoMo and Garmin.

Huawei, too, used the Mobile World Congress to tout its upcoming Android handset, but few details were available.

As it stands, HTC has the Android device market locked down, having the only Android devices in production. For the rest jumping on the open-source bandwagon, they’ll have to play catch-up.

Source: crn.com

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Paid Apps Hitting Android Market?

Posted on February 20, 2009. Filed under: Google, Mobile World | Tags: , , , , |

by Rob Jackson

I got an email tip that Paid Android Apps were hitting the Android Market about 30 minutes ago. With my G1 in front of me I looked for myself… nothing. But it seemed blogs around the interwebz were reporting the same thing from readers writing in but the bloggers themselves? Nothing.

I was lucky enough to have a tipster who also sent in a picture (Thanks Ryan!):

paid android apps

You can clearly see two applications for sale:

•  Aviator Watch by Ian Schumaker for $1
•  Universal Unit Converter by Chris Baker for $0.99

Apparently the paid apps are showing up based on the day they were SUBMITTED not based on the current time they appear in the Android Market so you have to scroll quite a ways down to see them. I scrolled pretty far but saw nothing… so perhaps the rollout to the market is what? Regional?

I’m not sure exactly what’s going on but we’re teetering on the edge of an important day in the history of Android. Reserve some funds in your bank accounts… its almost time to play big league ball!

Source: phandroid

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Sprint CEO: Google Phone Coming, Will Launch Palm Pre When Ready (S)

Posted on February 20, 2009. Filed under: Google, Mobile World | Tags: , , , |

By Dan Frommer

What’s next for Sprint Nextel?

Palm’s (PALM) Pre smartphone — due before the end of June — is the most anticipated new Sprint phone. But the company is still working with Google (GOOG) on an Android-based phone, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse assured us today in an interview.Palmpre

Hesse wouldn’t offer specifics on the Android phone, such as when it would be available. But he suggested it will not be tied to Sprint’s nascent 4G WiMax network, which the company spun into Clearwire (CLWR) late last year.

How about the Palm Pre? Hesse says Sprint (S) has “high expectations” for the gadget, hoping it can please both consumer and business customers. He says it’s still on schedule to launch in the first half of 2009, but that Sprint wants to make sure they really got it right before they launch it.

We — and Palm’s shareholders, who are counting on the Pre to rejuvenate the company — hope that doesn’t mean it’ll face any meaningful delays. Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone 3G and RIM’s (RIMM) BlackBerry Storm both suffered launch bugs that would have best been ironed out before the gadgets went on sale.

Sprint shares are up 27% today after the company announced Q4 results this morning that suggested Hesse’s turnaround plan may be working.

Source: businessinsider

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Google demos Palm Pre running HTML5 Google Maps

Posted on February 19, 2009. Filed under: Google | Tags: , , , , |

by Chris Davies

google-demos-palm-pre-running-html5-google-maps

That same engine is also used in the Android platform browser and the iPhone’s browser, which means that developers are able to code a single app that will run identically on any of these devices. It relies on HTML5’s AppCache, GeoLocation and Database standards to keep an offline record of not only data but app functionality. Gundotra also demonstrated an offline-capable version of GMail, which not only has an executable state on an unconnected device – such as when in airplane mode – but a floating menu and labelling support, and that which looks identical on both the iPhone 3G and the HTC Magic Android device.

Incidentally, Gundotra also described the Pre as “arguably one of my most favorite devices”, a sentiment which after our time with the handset here at MWC we can’t disagree with. More hands-on video with the Pre coming up shortly.

Via: precommunity

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Vodafone and HTC Team Up on New Google Phone

Posted on February 18, 2009. Filed under: Google | Tags: , , , , , , |

Google Phone

Five months after T-Mobile introduced the first phone powered by Google’s Android operating system, cellphone giant Vodafone is unveiling the second. Like its predecessor, the new device is made by Taiwanese manufacturer HTC. It is called the HTC Magic and has a touchscreen, but not the slide-out keyboard that the T-Mobile G1 has.

Starting this spring, the HTC Magic will be available exclusively to Vodafone customers in Great Britain, Germany, Spain and France and non-exclusively in Italy. Pricing was not disclosed. HTC executives, speaking at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, said they were working on making the device available in the United States.

The T-Mobile G1 received generally good reviews, but its appeal was limited by its exclusive availability on T-Mobile, the fourth-largest carrier in the United States. The size of Vodafone, the largest mobile carrier in the world by revenue, should help Android gain broad distribution in Europe.

Google, however, is not pinning hopes for Android’s success on any one phone, but rather on a multitude of phones from different manufacturers. Several others are expected to unveil Android based phones in 2009.

Source: NYTimes

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Google Starts Selling Apps In Android Market

Posted on February 17, 2009. Filed under: Google | Tags: , , , , , |

Following the opening of its Android Market last fall, Google will begin offering paid applications through the online store this week in the U.S. and UK for devices powered by the Android mobile operating system.

Charging for apps will give increased incentive to developers to create Android programs and generate revenue for Google, which will take a 30% cut of each purchase. The search giant announced plans to sell mobile apps in connection with the launch of the Android-powered G1 phone with T-Mobile in October.

But up to now, the more than 1,000 apps available so far in the Android Market have been free. Google still has a long way to go to catch up with Apple’s App Store, which offers more than 20,000 iPhone apps and boasts more than 500 million downloads to date. Google and smartphone manufacturers including Palm, BlackBerry and Nokia are now ramping up or starting their own app stores to compete.

It’s not hard to see why. Jeremy Horwitz–editor in chief of iLounge, a site tracking all things iPhone–estimates that Apple has pulled in revenue of $200 million to $300 million to date via the App Store. That would put Apple’s 30% take in the range of $60 million to $90 million. Horwitz figures charges for about three-quarters of iPhone apps, at an average price of $2 to $3.

Perhaps more important for Apple is that the proliferation of iPhone apps helps to drive sales of the device itself–a strategy other handset makers surely want to emulate with their own app stores. So far, the G1 is the only Android-powered phone, and handset maker HTC has not disclosed sales of the phone. But it’s likely only a fraction of the 17 million iPhones sold to date.

More Google phones are on the way. A T-Mobile executive said last month that the carrier plans to introduce additional G phones this year and Sprint may launch its own Android-powered handset next year. Other announcements are expected to follow.

When it comes to apps, Google plans to start selling them in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, France and Spain by the end of the first quarter in addition to the U.S. and the U.K. Other countries will also be added by the end of March. Google Checkout will power Android Market’s billing and payment system.

Source: MediaPost

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Google, Nvidia Bringing Android to Tegra Chips

Posted on February 17, 2009. Filed under: Google | Tags: , , , , , , |

Nvidia on Monday said it is working with Google to build support for Linux applications on smartphones with its upcoming Tegra mobile chips.

The company has allied with Google and the Open Handset Alliance to support the open-source Android software stack, which is increasingly being adopted by smartphone makers including Samsung and HTC.

Primarily known as a graphics card vendor, Nvidia said Tegra chips would bring advanced graphics capabilities to smartphones while drawing less power.

The support for the Android platform is an attempt to drive up Tegra’s adoption among smartphone makers. Nvidia is displaying an Android-based phone with a Tegra chip at the GSMA Mobile World Congress being held in Barcelona from Monday to Thursday.

Tegra-based phones will combine advanced graphics, better battery life and always-on Internet access, Nvidia said in a press release. Smartphone makers can now use the Android platform to build Web 2.0 and Internet-based applications for Tegra-based smartphones, the company said.

Tegra chips put an Arm-based processor core, a GeForce graphics core and other components on a single chip. The product lineup includes the Tegra 600 running at 700MHz and Tegra 650 running at 800MHz. It also includes Tegra APX 2500 and APX 2600.

The systems-on-chips will start shipping in mid-2009 for handheld devices like smartphones and mobile Internet devices. Nvidia couldn’t immediately name companies that may ship smartphones with the chips. However, an analyst last week speculated that Microsoft would launch a smartphone with Tegra’s APX 2600 chip at MWC.

Beyond open-source support, Tegra chips also support Windows-based applications. At last year’s MWC, Nvidia announced Tegra would support Windows Mobile and enable 3D user interfaces and high-definition video on smartphones.

Nvidia also wants to help bring about mobile Internet devices (MIDs) for US$100 with Tegra chips. Mobile Internet devices are handheld communication and Internet devices that fall somewhere between a sub-notebook and a smartphone.

A $99 Tegra-based MID is expected to be announced by Nvidia at MWC. The MID includes full high-definition 1080p video playback and full Wi-Fi and 3G mobile broadband connectivity capabilities. The always-on device can go “days” between battery charges, a company spokesman said.

Other than saying similar MIDs would ship in the second half, the company provided no further details about the product.

Source: pcworld

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