There’s absolutely no guarantee it will find a home with AT&T (or even Bell, Rogers or TELUS, for that matter), but Acer’s Liquid aka A1 has been spotted in an FCC filing complete with 850MHz and 1900MHz bands of HSDPA. Much has been made in the past about the device thanks in part to its Snapdragon processor — unfortunately underclocked to 768MHz — and in recent months rumors that would see it carried by AT&T have been on the uptick. Not speaking directly to the matter, one Acer exec went so far as to say that AT&T and T-Mobile would be foolish to not pursue a strong relationship with the Taiwanese company. As for whether or not such a thing would ever materialize is up for debate, but perhaps this is the first of many regulatory precursors needed for a full-scale smartphone invasion.
If you’re currently using every other Android device besides the Motorola DROID, you might have thought that Google was holding out on that navigation love. Luckily, and just in time for your holiday travels, Google Maps Navigation has just been made available for Android 1.6. Now your myTouch 3G, Motorola CLIQ and T-Mobile G1 can better help you in getting around your in-laws’ town for turkey day with GPS voice navigation, automatic re-routing and Google’s new Layers feature for navigation. Unfortunately for Hero and Eris users, you’re left out in the dark until HTC and your respective carriers crank out that 1.6 Donut update for your phones. We’re crossing our fingers for you that it hits before Christmas. More →
And yet another manufacturer has officially entered the Android game as Sony Ericsson has formally announced the XPERIA X10. Powered by a 1GHz Snapdragon processor and running on Android 1.6 “Donut”, the X10 boasts a 4″ WVGA capacitive touchscreen display, an 8.1 megapixel camera, Wi-Fi, GPS and two flavors of UMTS/HSPA — one of which supports T-Mobile, the other, AT&T — in addition to quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE. Regrettably there is only 1GB of built in memory, although an 8GB microSD card ships in the box. In terms of UI customization, the X10 comes with the UI overlay UX called Rachael (user experience) which extends into two premier apps: Mediascape — the media player which we’ve already seen twice — and Timescape, which more or less is SE’s answer to a MOTOBLUR type skin. Pricing and countries of availability has yet to be announced, but the XPERIA X10 will be available in Q1 2010 in Sensuous Black and Lustre White (yes, we LOL’d, too). Hit the jump for a promo video and a press release.
This is pretty interesting even if it doesn’t apply to you (you’re not a T-Mobile G1 owner): apparently since the T-Mobile’s G1 internal flash memory is so puny, any OS updates after Cupcake (1.5) simply won’t fit. That means besides for some possible security updates, little fixes here and there, the T-Mobile G1 is a wrap as far as new software from an operating system perspective is concerned.
What’s even more interesting is how Google-branded HTC devices differ in memory compared to straight HTC Android smartphones. Besides any licensing restrictions as far as the Google name is concerned, the reason why HTC’s Sense UI won’t be coming to Google devices is that the built in RAM is much lower than HTC phones. Anyone willing to bet that the HTC Dream will be upgradable beyond Android 1.5 and Google devices again get the short end of the stick?
Just a theory, though…
Chinese tech journal DigiTimes recently sat down for a chat with HTC CEO Peter Chou and managed to glean a couple of tasty morsels in its extremely brief yet interesting interview. First and foremost, Chou revealed that HTC has sold over 1 million HTC Magic handsets to date. The Magic, released initially this past April, took less than four months to hit the million mark — certainly a respectable feat though it falls well short of recent numbers reported for more popular handsets such as the iPhone and the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic. Beyond that, Chou stated that HTC will focus on mid-range smartphones during the latter half of 2009. 50 to 60 percent of HTC’s handset shipments will fall into the mid-range category, with target prices around $300. As is always the case, forthcoming HTC handsets have been leaking left and right lately so it looks like we can expect a solid portion of them to be nice and affordable once they drop. Go HTC, go.
It looks as if Google has some sweet, sweet treats headed to those who are going to be left out of the Sense UI game as the company has released the code for Donut to developers. Apparently designed to work on all existing devices (read G1 and Magic), Donut will include such lusted after features including but not limited to multi-touch support, universal search, text-to-speech, automated backups and a redesigned camera app. There are also a bunch of new widgets including a much welcome home screen toggle for things Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, screen brightness and more. CDMA radio support looks to be included within Donut under the call settings menu — something not at all surprising considering Sprint’s Dan Hesse has recently been talking about his company’s intentions with Android. One thing to note is that XDA’s cyanogen claims that Donut is not Android 2.0 but is more or less an incremental upgrade to the OS, like Cupcake was. We’re not too sure yet if this is indeed the case but cyanogen is certainly a reliable source. In the words of Ace Ventura, iiiinteresting. Hit the jump for some screenshots.
Thanks to everyone who sent this in!
Not to be overshadowed by Chrome OS, Android is still moving strong and has plenty of updates coming in the future. Google and T-Mobile held a media event on June 10th and Andy Rubin, vice president of engineering at Google, clarified Chrome OS is not a replacement for Android — duh. Future updates are still full steam ahead and will include more support for social networking along with different application payment methods besides Google Checkout. T-Mobile will allow payment to be directed to the user’s monthly bill, just like ringtones, wallpapers and themes (if anyone actually still buys that stuff through carrier mediums). The updates are also going to carry some sweet, cavity-inducing, diabetes-spiking names that all started with “Cupcake”. Ahead we’ll find “Donut”, “Eclair” and the slightly more exotic “Flan”. Will Google continue to class things up and issue “Tiramisu” and “Creme Brulee” down the road or will it take things down a notch with “Deep Fried Snickers Bar”? Of course no one really cares as long as those updates keep coming.
Right on cue, HTC has announced its latest Android device in the Hero. With many of the Hero’s specs being the same as the Magic, the handset does manage to beat out the Magic with its 5 megapixel camera with auto-focus, 3.5mm headphone jack (finally!!!), improved battery life and Adobe Flash support. But what makes the Hero really exciting is the fresh new GUI overlay. Much like with TouchFLO 3D for Windows Mobile, the new HTC Sense UI gives Android a much needed injection of style and functionality by allowing users to keep the content that matter to them — such as weather, contacts, photos, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and bookmarks — at their fingertips.
Another feature found within Sense is Scenes, which essentially allows users to switch from “work to weekend mode” (think of it as Modes on Nokia’s Eseries but sexier) and also helps organize emails, texts, photos, Facebook updates, call logs and more per contract entry much like Palm’s webOS. The Hero’s dedicated Search button features Spotlight-like search, meaning finding the contact, email, app, Tweet and more you’re looking for couldn’t be more simple. One last thing — the Hero is coated in Teflon that not only feels soft to the touch and thus easier to grip, but also protects the devices paint job from your greasy hands.
The Hero will be available next month in Europe with Asian availability coming in the later summer months (Orange UK has already announced it will be carrying the Hero in graphite for as low as £0 on contract this July). As for North Americans, well, we’re just going to have to wait for a little while longer. Hit the jump for the complete specs, some pics and a video.
Steadfast HTC fans brace yourselves as The Economic Daily News is reporting that HTC will launch the Hero and Memphis aka the AT&T-bound Lancaster at a press event in London on June 24th. Obviously this is nothing more than a rumor at this point, but we know HTC will be holding events in London and New York City on that date so something is definitely cooking. Mmmmmmmm, Android.
Haykuro from the xda-developers forum, the 17-year-old phenom known for bringing cupcake to the masses ahead of schedule, has just issued a video Android fans will surely be drooling over. Cupcake? What Cupcake? All the cool kids are rocking Donut. Haykuro dug up a ROM from the upcoming HTC Hero and — as you might imagine someone with his talents might do — he smacked it into submission before firing it up on an HTC G1. Yes. For those wanting to see what the future has in store for Android but who are too lazy to search for the cooked ROM, hit the jump to see Donut in all of its glory. Kids, don’t try this at home.