When the HTC Magic made its first trip through the halls of the FCC, there was no indication which U.S. carrier was going to pull the handset out of its’ hat. Over a month passes, and now we find the device back at the FCC but this time it is wearing the branding of T-Mobile USA. The phone becomes the first T-Mobile model to pass through the Feds with both the carrier’s 3G and UMA. Other specs include a 5MP camera, although the European version has 3.2MP one, and Wi-Fi. While availability date and pricing have not been mentioned, it looks like this unit has three choices for a name. There is the chronologically correct but sparse G2, the quaint Sapphire, or the mystical name being used in Europe – the HTC Magic. Does any of the names do it for you, or you have a better idea for this smartphone’s title?
Another goodie for Android users comes from the company BSQUARE, which has announced its intentions to bring Flash to the platform. There isn’t much information about this one, but the source informs that all this would happen on behalf of a “global Tier 1 carrier”.
Last but certainly not least, the much-anticipated Office document managing application DocsToGo has finally hit Android Market. The Android version of the popular program will allow for viewing, editing and creating of Microsoft Office documents. Unlike its Windows Mobile and BlackBerry variants, it currently manages only Word and Excel files. DocsToGo (Standard Edition) is compatible with Office 97-2008 documents and will be able to view and download Gmail attachments. You can get the app at an introductory price of $19.99. Its regular price will be $29.99.
New stuff for Android continues to flood the space. No, there isn’t an on-screen QWERTY keyboard, at least for now. Still, those who are not satisfied with Google’s online store for mobile applications, the Android Market, might just find something that would suit their taste better.
The new solution is freshly called SlideME and it also features a special app, bearing the lively name of SAM, the purpose of which is to assist you in managing and purchasing applications. Users will be able to pay with credit cards via PayPal or a SlideME MasterCard debit account. Fortunately, free apps will also be on board.
“My Account” is the first official T-Mobile Android app which was released to owners of the G1. As its name implies, the application is designed to give you important and useful information on your account, like minutes and texts remaining for the month and a summary of your bill. If for some reason you are suffering from cellular amnesia, you can get a run down on your current plan and the cost. With “My Account” you can also access help guides and join forums. The app is available for free at the Android Marketplace and appears to be a must have service for G1 owners.
Instant Messaging has already accumulated too much fans… and it seems there are more coming, because Palringo, one of the most popular mobile IM applications, is now available to all Android users through Android Market. It basically allows you to communicate with your friends via AIM, Google Talk, MSN, Facebook, Yahoo! Messenger and other messaging services and social networks. With Palringo, users will be also able to send photo messages and share their location and proximity with each other, displayed next to their status in Palringo’s contacts list. So, if you feel like taking part in the IM mania that has come over everybody, you know what to do.
After Acer has recently announced its debut in the world of smartphones, which took place at the MWC this year, the popular computer manufacturer is now rumored to introduce a phone, running on the Android operating system, in September. According to the Philippine Business Mirror newspaper, the handset is called A1 and will be one of four phones Acer is to debut this September. While this information is still unconfirmed officially, one thing is clear – Acer is a smart player. Entering the smartphone industry in first place was a wise move by the Taiwanese-based company, since this is still a progressing market. Announcing an Android-based product comes truly natural, since it is expected that Android would become more and more popular in the future.
It has long been thought that PC maker Dell would start producing a line of smartphones. According to stock market analyst Shaw Wu, who practices his craft at Kaufman Brothers, it is back to the drawing board for Dell after prototypes of the company’s smartphones were rejected by the cellular carriers. According to a story on Barron’s web site, Dell had produced prototypes of handsets running Windows Mobile and others running the Android OS. The carriers were not impressed, according to Wu, and they felt that there was not enough “differentiation” between Dell’s mock-ups and smartphones scheduled to be released by manufacturers like Samsung, LG, Nokia and Motorola among others. Wu’s sources tell him that the PC maker is not giving up and that the company is aware of the numbers that show that the smartphone niche of the cellphone business is expected to grow in the next two years despite the weak world-wide economy. With the increasing data gathering and crunching these phones can do, this sector of the industry is also taking business away from Dell’s computer sales. Now that other PC makers like Acer are pushing a strong line of smartphones, Wu says that Dell is working on designing a phone with enough differences to catch the attention of the cellular networkers. Another option for the company would be an acquisition of a cellphone manufacturer. Considering how low stock market prices are, there could be plenty of opportunities for Dell to buy their way into the industry.
With the G1 already on the market for months, the HTC Magic due out in Europe as soon as next month, and rumors of a new G2 model to be officially revealed soon, HTC is the leader in producing Android powered handsets. But the manufacturer soon could have competition from Samsung as the latter manufacturer wants to start competing with the Korean firm as soon as the third quarter of this year, and at the same time, become a top 5 producer of handsets using Google’s open source OS. To get the ball rolling, DigiTimes is reporting that leaked information from Samsung shows that their first Android based model (is it this one?) will resemble the Magic and both will use Qualcomm’s 3.5G chipset. A launch date, carrier availability, and pricing all were not mentioned. As we reported, HTC won’t be sitting on their laurels as they plan on producing two additional Android models in 2009 besides the Magic, according to company president and CEO Peter Chou who revealed this at a Merrill Lynch technology conference in Taipei. With all of this talk about producing more Android handsets, the winner is certainly going to be cellphone users everywhere.
Hola to all Android buddies out there! The first unofficial image of Samsung’s upcoming Android device has hit the streets. The picture has been taken at a presentation made at a dealer event in Amsterdam. The phone seems to sport the candybar form-factor, but there is always a chance that a super-handy side-sliding QWERTY keyboard may be hiding behind what we see on this “incredibly crisp and clear” image. The touch screen of the future device is said to incorporate the capacitive technology, which will allow for multi-touch functionality. According to the source, the handset will be powered by a 528MHz processor and will probably utilize a 3.2 or a 5-megapixel camera, microSD card slot and Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP support. Google Maps with Street View and Latitude will also be on board. It is expected that there will be two versions of the phone: one designed to work with U.S. 3G networks and another with Europen/Asian 3G but… when? For how much? These are questions that do not lead anywhere for now
As you probably know, the Taiwanese manufacturer, HTC Corp, is the largest Windows Mobile smartphone manufacturer. Strange as it may seem, due to fact that other companies have not yet rolled out their Android projects (and still others have cancelled theirs), HTC is also the largest Android phone manufacturer, leading the chart with just one device, namely the G1. However, it seems that if things are going on this way, the situation in the end of the year may not be very different. It is said that at a Merrill Lynch technology conference, held in Taipei, the executive has been asked whether the rumors that HTC is to release five new handsets, running Google’s OS, were true. To this, Peter Chou, HTC CEO, has said that his company plans to release “at least” three Android-powered devices in the course of this year. Indeed, three sounds a lot more real to us, that’s for sure. The first one, the HTC Magic, which is more like a QWERTY-less variant of the G1, will soon be available with Vodafone in Europe, let’s just hope that the company will manage to deliver the other phones on time and that they would be more interesting.