Ok, seriously… Layar kicks ass. Big time. Sure you look ridiculous swinging your phone around to see which new icons jump onto the screen, but it’s totally worth it. For those who haven’t yet heard of Layar, here’s how it works: Using the camera on your Android handset, Layar displays the world around you with an added layer of location-based content on top. So if you search Google or Yelp for a restaurant, the Layar browser will plot results in a 3D layer above the live video displayed on your screen from your camera. But it gets better. Layar is actually a platform more than anything else, so a number of third-party developers have jumped on board to provide their own layers (or Layars). Currently available content includes Flickr, Wikipedia, Yelp, Google local search, Qype, Britekite, Twitter and more. With Layar’s recent announcement, the augmented reality browser is now available globally on the Android OS — it even ships pre-installed on the Samsung Galaxy in the Netherlands. What’s more, the company is already eying the iPhone 3GS and plans to have its browser ready for the handset some time next year. In the meantime, Android users need to hit the Android Market ASAP to snag Layar. Hit the jump for a pair of demo videos.
Good news: HTC’s Sense UI will indeed be made available to owners of the HTC Magic come October. Bad news: Owners of the T-Mobile myTouch 3G and any other “with Google” variants of the Magic are going to be left high and dry, as most have presumed. The reason for the lack of love is legal as the Android licensing agreement that T-Mobile and others signed forbids them from getting all cozy with Android’s hot new look. Lame, yes, but at least a few people are going to come out on top with this. For those who feel burnt, please take our advice: hit up the xda-developers forum.
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.
What’s that? Another big launch for Tmo today? If you managed to make it through the entire summer without picking up a Pre, iPhone 3GS, N97 or Tour then perhaps T-Mobile can tempt you with the myTouch 3G. Available today online, in stores and over the phone, the smartphone that should have been named anything but myTouch 3G will set you back a penny shy of two C-notes on a 2-year contract — a price no where near as crippling as the inferiority complex that you’ll develop knowing that you’ll never see the infinitely better Hero on T-Mobile. If you can stomach that, then by all means, please go nuts.
Apparently the only way to stop people from continuously sending this tip in is to run it, so here we go: Eric Schmidt was caught rocking a BlackBerry. Oooooooo. Sure Google’s CEO can have his pick from the current stock of Android-powered handsets and likely from amongst a handful of unannounced devices as well. It would appear as though Schmidt knows what everyone else in the free world knows, however — if you want to get stuff done, use a BlackBerry. We imagine Schmidt has a handful of Android devices he uses as well of course, but it’s always fun to point and laugh. So people… Point and laugh.
Thanks to everyone who sent this in!
Are you one of the many T-Mobile customers itching to get your hands on a sexy new myTouch 3G? We don’t blame you — as long as a physical QWERTY isn’t a prerequisite for you, this little guy is definitely a solid choice for Tmo customers looking to get some Android love. As of today, subscribers can pre-order the myTouch 3G starting at $199.99 and T-Mobile will guarantee delivery by August 5th. The pre-order offer in its current state ends July 28th so you’ve got plenty of time to mull it over if you’re still on the fence for whatever reason. As a side note, several tipsters are reporting issues with placing their orders — among them, even qualified upgrades are showing up at a $399.99 price point upon checkout — so you may want to hold off a bit until T-Mobile can iron out the kinks. If you do decide to dive right in however, let us know how it goes!
Thanks to everyone who sent this in!
It was pretty much expected that T-Mobile USA’s Android phones would be passed over where HTC’s Sense UI is concerned, but we still got our hopes up just a little when HTC CEO Peter Chou said the UI would be hitting current handsets. According to some statements reportedly made by an HTC representative, Android devices that bear “with Google” branding such as T-Mobile’s G1/myTouch 3G and Vodafone’s Magic will indeed not receive Sense due to licensing issues with Google. But it gets worse. Some handsets that don’t have the “with Google” mark are reportedly not even guaranteed to be getting the update either as a result of licensing, logistics and cost issues. Of course, it’s not quite a nightmare scenario considering anyone who is capable of following a tutorial will be able to load a custom ROM onto an upgrade-ineligible device. But still, it would’ve been cool to not have to worry about custom ROMs.
Sure, current Android handset owners, it’s understandable that you’re looking at HTC’s new Hero handset with a bit of jealousy. The new Sense UI alone is reason enough to be envious of course, as HTC has seemingly done for Android what it has done previously for Windows Mobile — added a UI layer that boosts sex appeal by about a million times. Don’t fret though… It looks like at least some of you will be getting some Sense UI love in the near future. HTC CEO Peter Chou is reportedly quoted as stating, “HTC sense will be available on some other existing devices.” That little snippet can be interpreted a variety of ways of course, but suffice it to say that the Dream/G1 or the Magic/myTouch 3G (or even both) are destined for updates that include the new Sense UI. As for what carrier versions will be privy to said update, your guess is as good as ours for the time being. Keep those fingers crossed, T-Mobile subscribers.
Sure it was just made official this morning but that doesn’t mean our ninjas are going to take their time serving up live shots of T-Mobile’s second Android-powered handset. Behold the T-Mobile myTouch 3G, aka Magic or whatever else you want to call it. We’re sure you’re just as anxious as we are to get your hands on T-Mobile’s version of this sexy HTC phone but in the meantime, hit the jump for more shots of the myTouch 3G lounging around in its retail getup and then stripped naked and powered on. Shameless.
We’re finally allowed to tell you that T-Mobile’s second Android-powered handset will indeed be the T-Mobile myTouch 3G. An HTC-manufactured device, already available in other countries with other carriers, finally will make its way to T-Mobile USA in early August. It is available for pre-order on July 8th for a retail price of $199 with two year agreement. The rumored color options were correct with white, black, and “distinctive merlot” colorizations. Here’s a list of full specifications, and further information is available after the break!
- Quad-band EDGE, UMTS/HSDPA (1700MHz/2100MHz)
- 3.2 megapixel autofocus camera with YouTube and Picasa uploading support
- MicroSD slot with included 4GB microSD card
- 3.2″ HVGA capacitive touch screen
- Microsoft Exchange support
T-Mobile is really pushing customization options on the myTouch 3G with exclusive applications like the ones below: