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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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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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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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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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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HTC’s ‘Magic’ Touch: Google Android Phone No. 2

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

European smartphone users can start getting ready for the second phone running Google’s Android operating system. The HTC Magic at first will only be available in Europe through Vodaphone.

Unlike the G1 Android phone that U.S. customers have gotten used to, the HTC Magic will operate without a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, instead relying on a 3.2-inch TFT-LCD touch screen with 320 x 480 HVGA resolution. The trackball that G1 users are used to, however, will still remain.

An internal GPS antenna helps ensure that the device is location-aware and connectivity is handled through the usual means. Bluetooth 2.0 with enhanced data rate is build into the HTC Magic, and Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g provides a quick and reliable connection to the Web.

A 3.2-megapixel camera without a flash is also standard for the new Google-operated device, although some users may lament the fact that there is no flash to accompany the camera. The HTC Magic supports MP4 and 3GP video types.

A microSD memory card expansion slot enhances the 192 MB of RAM and 512 MB of ROM memory on the Magic.

Like the G1, the HTC Magic comes prepared to support the full range of Google applications, including Google search, Gmail, Google Talk and Google Maps.

There is no word yet on when the HTC Magic with Android operating system will be available in Europe.

Source: crn.com

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Google’s Android Market accepts price tags

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

Googles AndroidUS and and UK developers can now include price tags when uploading mobile apps to Google’s Android Market, the Chocolate Factory’s answer to the iPhone App Store. Google says that priced apps will go on-sale sometime this week – but only in the US.

On Friday, with a post to the official Android Developers blog, Googler Eric Chu said that non-free apps will reach non-US handsets “in the coming months.” And by the end of March, Google will allow true app sales from developers in Germany, Austria, Netherlands, France, and Spain.

Meanwhile, the company has now opened a free-app Android Market in Australia. And free-apps will reach Singapore “in the coming weeks.”

Google first launched its US Android Market in late October, following the debut of the first Googlephone: T-Mobile’s G1. But up to now, it has only offered free applications.

Naturally, the priced-tagged Android Market will use Google Checkout, the Chocolate Factory’s answer to eBay’s PayPal. Developers who don’t have a Checkout account – i.e. almost every developer on the planet – can sign up for one at the official Android publisher site.

Developers can upload applications for all Android Markets – including the new US priced market and the new OZ free market – from the same site.

Despite what BusinessWeek thinks, the Android Market will not be a Google revenue generator. At least not yet.

Developers get a 70 per cent cut from app sales, and the remaining 30 per cent goes to wireless carriers (after the subtraction of billing settlement fees). Unlike Apple over at the iPhone App Store, Google does not take a cut for itself. Apple makes the same 70-30 split, but keeps the 30 for itself.

Source: Register UK

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