There has been a ton of Google Android-related news lately as we move closer to the anticipated release of T-Mobile’s Dream/G1 phone. Given our time constraints, we figured we’d try to boil it all down in this one post. So here goes.
First of all, though Bluetooth and a repurposed Google Talk were API’s available in early Android SDK’s, they were mysteriously missing from the recent 0.9 SDK. Of course that means they won’t be available as API’s in the final 1.0 release, but why? The repurposed Google Talk, known as GTalkService, was removed mainly for security reasons and as with any two-way service there shouldn’t be any need to go into depth about what those security reasons are. As for Bluetooth, the 1.0 release won’t include an API, but handsets and the version itself will include support for it. Why? The team simply ran out of time to complete it but they do intend to include it in later versions of Android.
Okay, now on to the newly announced Android Market. Similar to the iTunes App store, but at the same time completely different, the Android Market is an “open content distribution system that will help end users find, purchase, download and install various types of content on their Android-powered devices”. Google leverages their search capabilities to help users looking for apps to find them on an open service hosted by Google and rates applications with a YouTube-like rating system. So, rather than the closed, proprietary system Apple uses, Google will use a supply-and-demand-oriented approach, hence Android Market. The first Android handsets will feature a beta version of the service and guaranteed support for free apps, but Google is still making some decisions surrounding deployment of paid apps, but they too will be supported soon after launch.
It only made sense to announce the winners of the inaugural Android Developer Challenge in conjunction with the Android Market announcement. 7 judges picked apart the 50 apps chosen as finalists and awarded 10 teams $275, 000 and $100, 000 to a second group of 10 teams. Not surprisingly, location seemed to be the dominant theme among the top 20 big money winners. We won’t highlight every app at the moment, because we want to contact some of the winners and do comprehensive reviews of their apps and the teams’ plans for the future, but head over to the Android site and you’ll see a gallery of all the winners.
Android looks to be covered for the time being, but what about T-Mobile’s highly anticipated Android-driven Dream/G1 handset? Just look to Engadget for the best first-hand info. Acting on a tip, the team discovered what look to be potential photos of the HTC-manufacturered Android phone on a Taiwanese forum. The pics below are branded with the T-Mobile insignia and seem to show a finished product, albeit an ugly one, but the real question is: are they real?
When trying to judge whether or not these leaked pics are for real, it helps to know that the form factor displayed is supported by some sketches of the handset released by the FCC and discovered by the AndroidGuys.
It’s tough to see, but on the right side of the picture is the scale measurements for drawing. Applying them suggests that the Dream has a height of 115 mm, width of 55 mm (both in line with FCC specs) and an approximate thickness of 16.35 mm.
Other specs we’ve managed to find, all rumored of course, include:
- 528Mhz Qualcomm 7201 processor
- Data kit for USB connectivity in the box
- 128MB Internal RAM
- 256MB Internal ROM
- 1GB MicroSD card
- Dedicated camera button; 3.1MP camera (no flash) 2048 x 1536
- Video playback files – H.264, streaming, 3GPP, MPEG4, and Codec 3GP and a Dedicated YouTube Player
So now it’s just a waiting game to see if the rumored September 17 T-mobile pre-order date pans out.