Introducing 'Around SPE'
You may not realize it, but the site you're reading right now is a part of one of the premier networks of smartphone news and review sites. We call it the 'Smartphone Experts Network' and if you haven't heard, we've recently added a new member to our family, Android Central. That brings the number of our smartphone communities up to five sites. You can find links to these sites and to their latest stories either in the sidebar or footer of every SPE site.
I thought now would be a good time to introduce a new weekly blog post I'll be putting up at each of our sites called 'Around SPE,' which will give you a very quick roundup of the biggest stories at each of our sites. Now, 'big stories' are just a tiny part of what we offer, as each of our sites also feature vibrant communities, engaging podcasts, and also accessory stores if you're looking to make your smartphone a little better.
In addition to our new sister site, there's also some other SPE Network news to share, so follow me after the break to learn more!
Let's start with a quick note about Smartphone Experts:
Beyond the launch of Android Central, there's also a couple other things that may interest you. First and foremost, we're going to be launching the 2nd Annual Smartphone Round Robin on November 17th! If you're unfamiliar with the Round Robin, here's how it works. An editor from each of our five sites must, for one full week, give up their smartphone of choice and use a competing smartphone. During the course of that week, each editor will be publishing a review of that new smartphone from their unique perspective. It's a great way to gain insight into how all these different smartphones work.
We have chosen our devices for this year (it was tough!) and everybody's getting ready to give up their own favorite phones to try their hand with the others. We're going to mix things up a bit this year with some multimedia coverage and maybe another surprise or two -- so stay tuned! If you want to get caught up, you can check out all the articles from the 1st Annual Smartphone Round Robin here.
One other quick note -- I'm an RSS fiend and I figure maybe some of you are too. I've created a Combined RSS Feed for the SPE Network that mixes all of our daily postings in a single feed. Heck -- you can even Subscribe to SPE Network by Email. I'm going to go ahead can call the combined feed a "Beta" for now, there are a few kinks to work out in our system. The good news is the URL will always stay the same.
Alright, enough of that, let's get to the news of the week!
-Dieter Bohn, Editor in Chief, Smartphone Experts
The biggest news of the past week in the entire smartphone world is -- without question -- the release of the T-Mobile G1. At Android Central, we've been covering the news from every angle. The most important angle has to be our full reviews of the device.
If you're unfamiliar with Android, our video overview of the platform is a great primer. If you're interested to hear how this first ever 'Google Phone' is from a hardware perspective, our hardware review of the T-Mobile G1 has you covered. Finally, we've also published a full review of Android on the G1. Grab yourself a tasty beverage and dig in. If you have any questions about the G1 or about Android in general, be sure to stop by the new Android Forums.
Over at CrackBerry.com, you'll find there was a lot of news out of the first-ever BlackBerry Developer Conference. While the BlackBerry App Center/App Store news was big, perhaps the most exciting takeaway wasn't made in the form of an announcement at all, but rather that RIM is becoming a much more sociable company as they focus their energy on the consumer market. Day 1 and Day 2 highlights give a good impression of what went down at DevCon.
Who are we kidding? The biggest news of the week was that Kevin has posted his full hands-on review the BlackBerry Storm!
One of the best things about Windows Mobile is the multiplicity of devices available for the platform. This week at WMExperts.com has been a pretty good example of that. We gave one of the first reviews of the Samsung Epix on the web, looked forward to the AT&T Fuze, and celebrated the official launch of the Touch Pro on Sprint.
A story that may have flew under your radar is a roundup of rumors coming from what appears to be an insider at HTC. If you're of a more technical bent -- or just want to see what sorts of crazy hacks are possible on Windows Mobile, check out Registry Edits I Have Loved.
The iPhone Blog has been focusing on how The iPhone made huge financial numbers this week for both Apple and AT&T, with almost 7 million iPhones sold -- (temporarily?) eclipsing both Blackberry and Windows Mobile. Just imagine what an iPhone HD could do! At 5500 Apps and 200,000,000 downloads to date (some of which you can win right now in TiPb's AT WORK contest!), however, questions remain as to whether or not developers for the iPhone's market defining App Store will likewise enjoy the "long tail" of success.
Over at TreoCentral, we read that Access recently unveiled their new version of the Access Linux Platform (ALP). Although not strictly-Treo-related, it is an interesting look at what might-have-been for the Treo. Access is the company that ultimately purchased the rights of Palm's original next generation platform, then called Cobalt, before scuttling it. It will be interesting to see if ALP picks up any traction against Android or Palm's upcoming OS.
We also learned that Sprint is finally joining their competitors in trimming the outrageous fees they charge for early termination of cell phone service contracts. In an interview with the Associated Press this week, Sprint's CEO, Dan Hesse, said Sprint could start lowering the fees as soon as December, pending updates to its billing software.
That's it for this week, folks! Stay tuned for more details on the Smartphone Round Robin and be sure to say hello over at Android Central!