Although sluggish, slow and in need of further refinement, the industrious folks over at XDA-Developers have ported Android 2.0 to a T-Mobile G1. The G1 is underpowered to handle this Eclair goodness and should really stick to a Donut diet, but it’s fun and interesting to see what can be done with a little ROM cooking. The fact it’s running at all on the G1 provides a glimmer of hope that XDA-Developers may be able to refine it enough to have Android 2.0 running on a G1/Dream and even the myTouch 3G/Magic on a daily basis. We won’t hold our collective breath, but take a look at the video and see for yourself.
If you’re up in Canada and want some screaming deals for some hot Android handsets, Rogers has a barn-burner deal going on with their HTC Dream and Magic phones. At this time, Rogers is selling the Dream (T-Mobile G1) and Magic (T-Mobile myTouch 3G) for only $79.99 CAD. There’s a catch, of course – if you want the $79.99 price, then get ready to marry Rogers for three years. If you don’t have a problem with this kind of commitment, then strike while the iron is hot and get a sweet Android handset for a pauper’s price. We can only hope that this kind of pricing makes it’s way south of the border.
China Mobile and Dopod will soon be serving up some Android deliciousness before the year is out, compliments of HTC and three of their Android handsets: the Click, Magic, and Hero. PC World got their hands on some pricing information and here is the rundown: Click priced around 3,400 yuan ($500), will be available around Q4 of 2009, and include a pair of changeable front covers; the Hero will be available as soon as late August for 5,600 yuan ($820), will support 3G (TD-SCDMA), and also be carried by China Unicom; no info is available yet on Magic pricing and availability. All in all, Android’s future in China is looking up.
Due to licensing issues and a bunch of legal mumbo-jumbo, the fabulous and greatly-hoped-for HTC Sense UI will not… I repeat, NOT… be available for any Google-branded phones. Essentially, both the G1 and myTouch 3G on T-Mobile are Google-branded and are disqualified from the HTC Sense experience, so if you want HTC Sense on your Android phone, it appears that hackery the Dream and Magic are your best options.
If you do somehow manage to get the HTC Sense experience on your phone, let us know how it is for you!
Do you like what you see with HTC’s Sense UI overlay on Android? If you want the Sense interface of the Hero but are sticking with the Android handset you already have, there is a glimmer of hope that you can have the Sense UI on your existing device. Peter Chou, the CEO of HTC, was recently quoted as saying, “HTC Sense will be available on some other existing devices.”
That’s a broad statement, but since the only Android phones available at this time are the Dream/G1 and Magic/myTouch 3G, it may be fair to say that one or both receive an update to get Sense up and running. Hopefully Dream/G1 and Magic/myTouch 3G owners can enjoy a UI facelift when Sense is made available to the older devices. Do you want Sense on your Android handset?
Did you expect the HTC Magic to come out in Spain that early? Probably not, but better warm up, because Vodafone has now launched the Android-powered Magic through its Spanish division. The much-anticipated handset is only available with a special Internet data plan at a price of Euro 19 per month. Some of the highlights here include (naturally) the Android OS, accompanied by all sorts of Google services (Market, Maps, YouTube, Navigator, etc). When it comes to pure hardware power, the Magic features a large 3.2-inch capacitive touchscreen, Wi-Fi and quad-band 3.5G support. Congrats, amigos!
The second Android powered device is available for pre-order now from Vodafone in Europe. And the best thing is, the phone is free as long as you sign up for a monthly plan costing 30 BP or more. The carrier expects to have the phones in the hands of those who pre-order by May 5th. The Magic is equipped with a 3.2MP camera to snap the jealous look on your pal’s faces. And you can view the pictures of their envy on the unit’s 3.2 inch touchscreen. Other parts of the feature set include GPS, HTML browser, 3G connectivity and Wi-Fi. No word on when we can expect some Magic in the States, but not too long ago we showed you the handset wearing the T-Mobile brand while getting thumbs up from the FCC, so it might not be that long before we reach into this hat and pull out the next Android phone in the U.S.
Who said Cupcake is not released yet? Okay, it isn’t, but there is now a completely reliable way to get all those much-wanted goodies, such as an on-screen QWERTY, video recording, updated browser and more. The story is that a user, nicknamed haykuro, has managed to port the HTC Magic’s software, version 1.5, to the G1. Side by side with the folks at XDA forums, the advancement of the project continues with more bug fixes.
Here’s the moment to introduce you the two available versions of the port: the G line (meaning Google-sourced) and the H line (from HTC-sourced). What’s the difference? The biggest difference by now is the fact that Google has actually blocked the access to Android Market for the G ROMs. One theory is that the company has done this, because a G1 with the Android 1.5 version has been detected as an HTC Magic phone, so it wanted to limit such devices until the Magic has been officially released. Or… the other possibility that comes to our minds – the companies want to keep sales up. As the users have become tired of waiting for the promised Cupcake update, they have thought of their own ways to get the features, even push it one step further!
Then how come Google’s bunch of contributing developers was unable to deliver the much-needed features in such a long period of time? If these guys are so slow every time an update is needed, then this whole open-source initiative is totally senseless. Maybe we are just missing the idea – the companies might be as well holding Cupcake’s release until the Magic is finally on the market. Why? Well, what does the Magic have that the G1 doesn’t? On-screen QWERTY, video recording, updated browser… Exactly, the Magic will not offer almost anything new in terms of hardware. Even the QWERTY keyboard has been removed. That is why Google has decided to cut the access to Android Market for “rooted” G1s after a few days of usage – in order to give you a reason to buy the Magic. Users report that it is still possible to use the storefront with the H builds, so just go ahead and don’t forget that we would like to know what you guys are thinking on the matter.
You can download the latest version of the port here.
For those Android lovers who were waiting for Vodafone to release the HTC Magic in the UK this month, there apparently is some bad news. According to Pocket-lint, an issue with a late hardware change has forced the manufacturer to push the launch back to May. While the carrier’s own web page still shows delivery scheduled for this month, a call to their sales center comes back with a release date of May 1st. HTC has also released a statement, saying, “We are delighted with the interest that the HTC Magic has received since its launch with Vodafone at Mobile World Congress 2009. We are confident that Vodafone’s customers will be delighted with the HTC Magic in spite of a short delay due to a last minute hardware change”. With the Magic on the sidelines for at least another month, could another Android powered device pull off an end run to be the second handset with the Google open source OS? Wonder what is happening to the Kogan Agora these days.
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?