News updated for HTC’s Android phones.
Within the next few days, T-Mobile G1 users will be able to download Skype’s new app for the Android platform. Skype Lite will allow users to chat with their contacts and will also be able to make Skype calls without using the data connection for low fees. This app will be a "must have" for current Skype desktop users to stay in touch with peopel on the go. Skype is expected to have app the app in the Android Market within the next few day.
Only a week after the T-Mobile G1 was launched, a security hole was discovered that allowed access to Android’s root directory on the G1. google and T-Mobile worked quickly to patch the hole and T-mobile sent out an over the air firmware upgrade to G1 users. For many, the RC30 firmware upgrade did not do much. A few big fixes were included to make the general public happy, but developers and system hackers were only disappointed. To them, the security hole was an opportunity to dive further into the core of Android and tweak the system a bit more. Some developers have used root access in an attempt to start skinning the default Andorid UI, but other than that there have been no major advancements for those who still have root access.
Just recently, one of the developers on the xda-developers forum came up with a pretty simply way for G1 users to revert back to their original RC29 firmware and regain root access. I must warn that doing this could void your warranty and brick your phone, but there are quite a few success stories of forum members who have tried it. So if you’re interested in making your G1 UI look a little more unique
Oh, and there’s one thing that I want to help clear up. Getting root access on Andoid is not called "Jailbreaking". That was a term used for unlocking the iPhone to install apps on it. Root access is nothing like that since Android is an open source system. It seems there are a lot of bloggers out there simply using the wrong term.
Google’s Android Market team wanted to finish off the year by reminding developers that the "apps for pay" market will still be launching in Q1 of 2009. An e-mail was sent out to the registered developers of the Android Market, stating that the service will soon be going live. Due to payment support systems for multiple countries, staggered roll-out will go to (1) United States and UK; (2) Germany, Austria and Netherlands; (3) France, Italy and Spain with additional countries to be announced at the end of Q1 09. The e-mail also lets developers know that they will now be able to tailor their apps for different markets. When launching an app, developers will chose which countries it will launch in. This should help keep the market clean for users. There have already bee a handful of apps that are country of language specific that should not be visible to the entire market.
If you want to read the entire e-mail, be sure to hit the read more link. Thanks to TalkAndroid for the news.
When we first got wind that google was going to be rolling “cupcake” into the Android open source project, but noted that there may be a chance that T-Mobile G1 users may never see then on their handsets. It’s completely up to T-Mobile to decide what version of Android makes it onto the G1. However, Engadget got a note from HTC yesterday afternoon, stating that they were confident that the majority of the “cupcake” updates would make it to the G1. HTC made it clear that they have no control over the situation and that the decision is up to T-Mobile.
I would like to note that Google has a vested interest in making the G1 a successful phone. Adding stereo Bluetooth support, on screen keyboard, and other capabilities would only increase the G1’s marketability and in turn would boost Android’s reputation. We can’t say when or what will be included in T-Mobile’s next OTA (over the air) update for the G1, but I’d expect it to add a few more desperately needed features.
It looks like someone has either created their own on screen koeboard for Android, or been able to compile Google’s cupcake project onto Android already. Androidguys is showing off a video of someone using the on screen keyboard. It is very similar to the one on the iPhone, but we’ll just have to wait and see hwo it actually works. They are also featuring a second video that shows off some sliding transitions. This could be a feature in cupcake, but many people already have this running on their G1. Head over to xda-developers for the download. It also includes a little compass that displays in Google Maps.
It seems the blogosphere is ablaze with a whole lot of speculation about the G2. If you have not heard anything yet, don’t worry. All you are missing is pure speculation by people "not in the know". The rumors contain specs on the G2 that claim it will have a 5MP camera, flash, no qwerty keyboard, support 16GB microSD memory cards, video calling, and more.
The rumor started by stating that the G2 would be available in January. Within 24 hours the other sites are claiming that its now been pushed back to April. Unfortunately, there is no concrete evidence to prove that T-Mobile is currently preparing to launch the G2 any time soon. If T-Mobile will be using an HTC device as the G2, we already have word from HTC that they will be launching one or more Android handsets in early summer of 2009. If they were cooking up something before then, I’m sure they would have let the masses know about that rather than putting a date on something that’s more than 6 months out.
When we first got wind of Google’s top secret development branch, we were a bit perplexed. What does baking have anything to do with Android. Ok, for there are a few cooking apps in the Marketplace, but should Google really be geting into that? Lucky for us, Google’s "cupcake" development branch has nothing to do with cooking of holiday treats and a lot to do with making Android a much better mobile OS.
Google’s been working on "cupcake" for a while and it includes a plethora of new and improved features for Android. Some of the main things to stand out on the list are the video recording more, video thumbnails, saving MMS attachments, and A2DP & AVRCP Bluetooth profiles. "Cupcake" also includes some much needed fixes to the e-mail client on Android and the app manager that also includes some UI enhancements. Since the list of items is quite lengthy, I’d encourage you to check it our for yourself. You will not be disappointed.
Google will be rolling "cupcake" into the Android OpenSource development project so that none of the other improvements that developers have made over the past month and a half will be lost. Due to the holidays coming up, Google expects to have "cupcake" rolled out by the first week on January. Unfortunately, there’s no news from T-Mobile of HTC to indicate that the new "cupcake" features will be carried over to the T-Mobile G1. I’m sure we’ll hear more on this in the weeks to come, so stay tuned.