News updated for HTC’s Android phones.
It’s always a pleasant surprise when I get an e-mail from an app developer, letting me know that they have updated their app or are pushing something new out to the Android market and want me to give it a quick run through. Yesterday, Electric Pocket let us know that their PhoneFace app is now available on the Android Market. I’m actually already a bit familiar with the app since a friend of mine uses it on his Blackberry. PhoneFace is a simple contact manager that allows you to scroll through your contacts by their picture. A quick tap on one of your contact’s pictures give you options to call, text, email, or map their address (depending on what information you already have filled in for their profile). There are a few apps on the market that already do this, but PhoneFace has a few extra features that make it stand out. If you don’t have a picture for one of your contacts, PhoneFace can connect with your FaceBook or Twitter account and grab them for your. You have the option of adding your entire contact list to PhoneFace or simply selecting the contacts you want. The app works great, but the UI could be a little more fluid. I’m still waiting for a developer to create a contacts app that look like the one HTC built inside TouchFLO 3D. Search the Android Market for PhoneFace or Electric Pocket and don’t forget to check out http://phoneface.com/
HTC and Android phones have something to celebrate today. News has broken out that the G1 has been purchased by more than 1 million customers in America. It seems every tech site on the planet is breaking down the numbers and showing how it compares to the iPhone. We’re not going to do that. What we will tell you is that T-Mobile G1 users make up about 66% of T-Mobile’s 3G subscriber base. Their 3G network did only launch last fall (a month or so before the G1) so I’m sure that percentage will fluctuate a bit in the years to come.
In less than two weeks, Vodafone will be launching the HTC Magic. It will be the second phone to be powered by the Android OS, but the first powered by Android 1.5 (aka the cupcake build). There are quite a few enhancements included in this new build, many of which I wrote about when I reviewed a Google build and an HTC build of Android 15 for the HTC Magic. But the one new addition that stands out the most with the introduction of Android 1.5 is the support for home screen widgets.
Android widgets aren’t anything new. Google included three of them (analog clock, search, and picture frame) in the original Android 1.0 that shipped on the T-Mobile G1. But to the developer’s disappointment, the Android team didn’t release any documentation on how additional widgets could be developed.
We’re know about the HTC Hero since HTC’s 2009 lineup was leaked a few months back. The only image floating around the web is of a hot pink phone, sporting a chin that looks similar to that of the T-Mobile G1. Daniel (aka atomixpaintball on xda-developers.com) has indicated that HTC and an unspecified U.S. wireless service provider will be launching the HTC Hero on October 11.
I work for a wireless developer firm and I have just received word from the US carrier (cannot disclose who yet) that the release date for the HTC Hero (Android) is October 11th 2009. The carrier is giving us specifications to develop wallpaper, ring tones and apps to sell in their market place. This is just a bit of teaser information for now. I will provide more info as allowed.
As stated in the title, this is merely a rumor. October 11 is still quite a ways out and we’re still waiting for T-Mobile to give us a launch date for the HTC Magic.
Rumors are starting to float around the web, indicating that Vodafone may start offering pre-orders ofthe HTC Magic starting tomorrow. Vodafone is expected to start shipping the HTC Magic on May 1, just two weeks from today. There’s still no words on the U.S. release of the handset, but many speculate that T-mobile will be announcing details of the launch at a press event scheduled for April 21.
If you already own the G1 and have been wondering what it would be like to have the latest Android build on your handset, you might want to check this out.
As I mentioned yesterday, a contributor known as Haykuro on xda-developers was able to port two Android builds to the T-Mobile G1 that were intended for the HTC Magic. Yesterday, I gave you a walkthrough of the Google Android build, so today I’ll be doing the same for the HTC Android build.
Flashing the HTC build was just as simple as flashing the Google build. After a few minutes, my G1 rebooted and I was greeted by the T-Mobile G1 logo. But unlike the other install, the G1 logo was followed by HTC’s signature chime that you hear when you start up their latest Windows Mobile phones and an animated HTC logo faded into view. The Android setup process was mainly the same, but HTC added an additional step to get the user acquainted with the soft keyboard.
The home screen loaded up and I went to work to see what the differences were between this new HTC build and the Google build. Just like the Google build, the HTC build features sight UI graphical updates. The main graphical differences between the two are the app tab at the bottom of the screen and the home screen widgets. HTC’s widgets all featured the same fading transparency effect.
Last night, one of our readers asked if I could post up a video taken with my G1 to show off the quality. It seemed like a reasonable request, so on my way to work this morning, I shot a short clip. After I was finished, I hit the "Share" button on the screen, thinking I would email the clip to myself. To my surprise, I was greeted with the option to share the video clip with YouTube. I selected the option, filling in my YouTube account information (not sure why since it’s the same as my Google account info) and then filled in the title, added some tags, and a short description. Hitting the upload button, a small YouTube icon appeared on the status bar that indicated the clip was being uploaded.
After about 20 seconds though, my G1 froze and restarted. I wasn’t surprised at all since the Android build I’m running is intended for the HTC Magic. Once the phone rebooted, I tried uploading the video again. This time it worked. I headed over to the YouTube app on my G1, pressed the menu button and selected "My Account". The clip was there and even had a comment under it that read ‘This video was uploaded from an android phone". Since it worked, you might be wondering why the video above if hosted on Vimeo. While the upload worked fine, a lot of the quality was lost during the process. The Vimeo clip more accurately displays the video quality as is appears on the G1.
Thanks to Manny for the request. There are some additional screen shots of the YouTube upload process after the jump. If anyone else has a question about this Android build, feel free to ask.