Android

UPDATED: The Competition: Google Nexus One Phone Gets Hands-on, UI Walkthrough

Gizmodo got somes hands on a Google Phone Nexus One and shared some impressions.

A tad thinner, lighter, and "silky"-er feeling in the hand compared to the iPhone, Nexus One also sports a less cheap, more rubbery back. (The rubber lobby is no doubt thrilled with that bump in cachet). Its screen POPS and blows everything away, and it's (likely 1GHz processor powered) web rendering is a bit faster than the iPhone 3GS, both of which are faster than the Droid. (Though the iPhone 3GS still outscored all comers on JavaScript benchmarks. Nitro FTW!) It's also got a crazy animated background system that can launch bit blocks or ripple when you touch it, but becomes a visualizer when music is playing. Like Sense UI's animated weather, that kind of eye candy is just sweet.

With iPhone 4.0 and a 4th generation iPhone due June/July 2010, how selfish are we to beg all comers to "bring the awesome!" so that Apple is incentivized to bring their own innovation to market faster? Exactly this selfish: well done, Nexus One, you're not failing to impress.

Speaking of which, check out Android Guys video UI walkthrough after the break, and tell us what you think!

UPDATED: Engadget scores an invitation-only pre-sale rumor starting Jan. 5 with a T-Mobile rollout, perhaps, to follow. Also, specs galore, with what looks like 802.11n(!) support, 8??x480 WVGA AMOLED screen, 1 GHz proc, and all the trimmings.

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Crazy Competition Rumor: Secret Google Phone Running Secret Android is Real

Gizmodo isn't waiting for the new year to shoot old rumors into the stratosphere, gossiping that the Google Phone (an honest-to-Jobs unique, branded phone by Google) is in a fact a fact, runs the here-to-fore unseen "real" Android (yes, everything from the G1 to the Droid has been running fakety fake fake Android), and is about to flood Google's HQ for testing:

Our best guess is an Android OS with Google Voice at its heart.

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Gameloft Flip Flops -- Will Develop for iPhone AND Android

After making a lot of noise about Android Market not being ready and how they would be scaling back development for the platform, Gameloft has done an about face and looks to be full speed ahead:

Paris – Gameloft®, a world leader in the publishing and development of downloadable video games, plans to launch High Definition games on next generation Android phones like the Motorola Droid and the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10.

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On Google ChromeOS, VoIP-only gPhones, and How the iPhone Benefits

When Google first mentioned ChromeOS, we figured it was their reaction to launching Android, then seeing Palm come out with webOS, and smacking their heads -- they could have done that with V8! (What, too nerdy?)

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UPDATED: Google to Pull a Zune, Go Head-to-Head with iPhone in Software and Hardware Next Year?

UPDATE: Daring Fireball points out:

[This story] puts [TechCrunch's Michael] Arrington on the same side as the almost-always-full-of-sh*t Scott Moritz. On the other side: Andy Rubin, vice president of engineering for Android at Google, who just two weeks ago said Google would not “compete with its customers” and “We’re not making hardware. We’re enabling other people to build hardware.”

So either Mike Arrington is totally wrong or Andy Rubin is a liar.

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Facebook App: An iPhone vs. Droid Quick Comparison

I'm a big Facebook user, and I'm guessing many of you are as well, given the interest in our Facebook for iPhone posts. Well, I was able to spend a little time with the Droid in a Verizon store on launch day, and while I wouldn't call this a full-blown comparison, it is a quick overview of some of the similarities and differences I noticed between their Facebook applications.

The setup is a little different than the iPhone. For starters, it was reminiscent of the Palm Pre; the Droid will sync your contacts to your address book. After the initial setup, I was eager to get started using the app.

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Updated: Google Maps Navigation [Free as in Just Free] for Android 2.0 -- Coming Eventually to iPhone

UPDATE 3: As pointed out in the comments, there's no sign of ad support in Google Maps Navigation (at least not yet). It's just free as in free. UPDATE 2: According to Gizmodo, Google:

implied they are working closely with Apple now on [Google Maps Navigation].

iPhone 2.2 saw Google Street View, could iPhone 3.2 see Google Maps Navigation? Let the drooling begin!

UPDATE 1: Replaced video with official version, moved TechCrunch preview below the fold. Enjoy both!

ORIGINAL: Just a few hours ago TiPb posted about the rumors surrounding a free (with ad support, of course) Google Navigation app, and now TechCrunch has the goods -- it's real, and it's (so far) exclusive to Android 2.0. And we quote:

  • Search in plain English. No need to know the address. You can type a business name (e.g. “starbucks”) or even a kind of a business (e.g. “thai restaurant”), just like you would on Google.

  • Search by voice. Speak your destination instead of typing (English only): “Navigate to the de Young Museum in San Francisco”.

  • Traffic view. An on-screen indicator glows green, yellow, or red based on the current traffic conditions along your route. A single touch on the indicator toggles a traffic view that shows the traffic ahead.

  • Search along route. Search for any kind of business along your route, or turn on popular layers such as gas stations, restaurants, or parking.

  • Satellite view. View your route overlaid on 3D satellite views with Google’s high-resolution aerial imagery.

  • Street View. Visualize turns overlaid on Google’s Street View imagery. Navigation automatically switches to Street View as you approach your destination.

  • Car dock mode. For certain devices, placing your phone in a car dock activates a special mode that makes it easy to use your device at arm’s length.

To quote our own editor-in-chief, it looks "bad@$$", and so far it also looks exclusive to the US, and to Android 2.0, at least for now. But come on Google, you want to give it to everyone outside the US too, right?

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The Competition: Google Unveils Android 2.0 Eclair -- Target Set on Windows Mobile?

Google has just posted the above video tour of Android 2.0 Eclair, but does it look as yummy to you as its namesake? Android Central has already dished the specs, but it's nice to see them in motion and all official.

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T-Mobile Android myTouch Commercial Helps Sell iPhone Apps

TechCrunch is reporting that sales of the iPhone app iFog [$0.99 - iTunes link] have shot up following a T-Mobile commercial for the myTouch (their rebranded Google Android Magic, which in no way is meant to glom any mind share from i(Pod) touch), where Saturday Night Live alum, Dana Carvey demonstrates a similar Android app.

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Symbian Exec: Google is Fragmented and Evil. Apple, Just Greedy.

Lee Williams, executive director at Symbian, sits down with GigaOM's Om Malik, and gets candid -- really candid -- about Apple and Google:

“Android is building a perfect storm of fragmentation. I don’t view Apple as evil, just greedy. Google … Come on.”

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