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Google To Sell Truly Open Android Dev Phone

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the what-were-they-waiting-for dept.

Handhelds 219

binary.bang writes "Google has announced an unlocked version of T-Mobile's G1 for sale at the same unlocked price of $399. The Android Dev Phone 1 is the G1, except being truly open: no SIM-lock, no hardware lock. Feel free to flash your customized Android build — the bootloader won't be checking for signatures. Don't be misled by the word 'Dev,' looks like all you need to qualify is an Android Market account. This looks like the Open Handset Alliance delivering the promised Open Handset: yes root, yes flash-your-build, no contract, no strings attached. Anyone else relieved & thrilled?"

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No support (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26032331)

Don't get this if you expect them to support it when it breaks. It's for "advanced developers", "not for end users". Rea

Re:No support (5, Insightful)

SudoScience (1314289) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034149)

No end user who is interested in flashing debian onto their G1 would be concerned about getting support from Google.

Re:No support (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034315)

Yeah, well I don't call Dell for gentoo support either. Who cares, they don't know anything.

Actually it's $ 424 (5, Informative)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 5 years ago | (#26032337)

There's a $25 Developer Marketplace fee on top of teh phone. Tempting, though...

Re:Actually it's $ 424 (2, Insightful)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 5 years ago | (#26032989)

If that's the price of freedom, I'm glad to pay it.

No, it's $594 if you are in Europe (5, Informative)

ccguy (1116865) | more than 5 years ago | (#26033021)

As additional info, you pay those $25 with google checkout, but for the actual phone you need to give your credit card details again to brightstarcorp.com.

Also, shipping to Spain:

UPS Innovations (Tracking) - $170.14

That small piece of info is shown after you give your credit card details. So the total price if you are in Spain (I assume it's the same everywhere in Europe) is $594. I don't feel like giving UPS half the price of the device, so I'm going to pass. $25 down the drain, though.

Re:No, it's $594 if you are in Europe (1)

TheMeuge (645043) | more than 5 years ago | (#26033203)

You don't know anyone in the US who would purchase the device for you and ship it for $20?

Time to get a pen pal.

Re:No, it's $594 if you are in Europe (4, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26033303)

How many people do you know in Spain? And asking for a stranger to do the transaction for you is a good way to get ripped off.

Re:No, it's $594 if you are in Europe (5, Informative)

ccguy (1116865) | more than 5 years ago | (#26033341)

I do. But then, it's a phone and not something I really need. Just because I can get it if I really really want it doesn't mean I'm going to jump through hoops for the fun of Google or anyone else.

I'm a developer (not an android developer, though), so I'd like to get the unlocked version just in case I feel like doing something eventually.

Anyway, I'm sure these facts: - You need to pay $25 to get all the details
- You need to give your credit card details to Google and some other party
- Only when you do 1) and 2) you learn that you have to pay at least $179 extra for shipping (much more in other countries according to another post)

Is going to be enough to render what was originally a good thing into a piss off for many potential developers.

By the way, you can only order ONE. If at least you could get 10 and share the shipping cost it could be somewhat more of a decent deal.

Re:No, it's $594 if you are in Europe (5, Funny)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034363)

You don't know anyone in the US who would purchase the device for you and ship it for $20? Time to get a pen pal.

Penpals in Nigeria are waiting to serve you...

Re:No, it's $594 if you are in Europe (2, Informative)

mmurphy000 (556983) | more than 5 years ago | (#26033965)

FWIW, the word is that the "shipping" charge also includes customs duties and taxes.

Re:No, it's $594 if you are in Europe (4, Insightful)

ccguy (1116865) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034191)

Unless the phone is actually manufactured in the U.S. there's no reasonable reason for Europeans to pay 50% more than Americans.

They could ship it from China (or wherever) and we wouldn't be paying double of everything for no good reason.

Trust me, the Chinese have decent shipping fees.

Problem (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26032341)

I want to take a dump on T-Mobile's chest.

How will this help me accomplish that?

Re:Problem (0, Offtopic)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#26032619)

T Mobile is a company. Do you want to drop a cleveland steamer on every member of their board of directors? or maybe their CxO? Or maybe paid celebrity endorser Catherine Zeta Jones?

i heard about this yesterday (1, Redundant)

yincrash (854885) | more than 5 years ago | (#26032343)

the dev account cost $25.
it's not much, but it's worth mentioning that it is part of the cost. this is really awesome though.

FCC (4, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 5 years ago | (#26032349)

How does the FCC ensure that this phone is operating within [parameters]?

I would have to assume that the G1's output power is hardware limited.
Otherwise I don't see how the phone will stay within its FCC certification.

Re:FCC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26032463)

That is probably why the "dev" tag has been added. I'm not expert but I'm guessing the FCC is a little more lenient on what gets sold to developers...

Re:FCC (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26032515)

As you have probably read, it states that these devices are 'not for end users', and therefore should be considered as prototypes.
That means they probably have no certification, although hopefully some of the RF calibration be set.

Effectively this means you are liable for any problems that you cause.

Re:FCC (5, Interesting)

smilindog2000 (907665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26032593)

Like all cell phones, you are not legally allowed to hack the actual modem. Ultimate protection is at the modem layer.

Personally, I think this is another huge step for Google/Android. I've already bought a G1, and the software from Google rocks. Unfortunately, the hardware from Taiwan's HTC sucks big-time. I'm eagerly awaiting Motorola's Android offering next year, and T-Mobile's G3 roll-out in NC. The iPhone is awesome, but Android is a huge threat.

Re:FCC (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 5 years ago | (#26032909)

This. Android = huge step forward. Cheap breakable phone from HTC? Not so much. Hopefully more physically robust Android phones are on the way.

Re:FCC (1)

f1vlad (1253784) | more than 5 years ago | (#26033037)

Exactly, I've been awaiting device which has touch screen and no moving parts; nothing flipping or sliding, and no qwerty. Yes yes benchmark being iphone or new blackberry if you will. Or even HTC Diamond. Then I'd be all over it. I just don't like phones with moving parts.

Re:FCC (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 5 years ago | (#26033133)

Agreed. I'd love if I could flash by Blackberry Curve with the Android OS.

Re:FCC (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#26033561)

its just a matter of time til somebody gets Debian running on it.

Re:FCC (2, Insightful)

pdbogen (596723) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034037)

For what it's worth, I've owned several HTC devices over the past few years (currently, I have an AT&T-branded HTC Touch Pro), and I've never had any trouble with the "moving parts."

You're free to like what you want, of course- but if you're just worried that it might be fragile or get damaged, your fears may be unwarranted.

Re:FCC (1)

f1vlad (1253784) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034133)

Yeah, and honestly, you're not the first one to tell me that. But for some reason, maybe because I had bad experiences with flip phones in the past, I just am afraid of phones with moving parts. And yes that is exactly my paranoia of device being fragile.

Re:FCC (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#26033145)

I'm curious. Are you legally prevented from hacking the modem at all, or just legally prevented from hacking the modem to do illegal things with it? Which law prohibits this?

Re:FCC (4, Informative)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 5 years ago | (#26033285)

I'm not sure what the laws are, but there are plenty of technical barriers to messing with the modem.

The radio portion of these devices is NOT like modern WLAN cards or Winmodems where the host O/S controls most functionality - it's like the classic modems/printers where there is a clearly defined interface between the host and the device, and the device has its own firmware/regulatory functions.

In the case of GSM modems, the GSM module itself has a lot of anti-tamper functionality in it, and can only be accessed by predefined interfaces. There's not much hacking you can do.

Note: Some devices do allow you to update the firmware for the modem section, but while many devices allow for unsigned host O/Ses, nearly all devices still require signed radio firmware. See for example the HTC Kaiser (aka TyTn II aka AT&T Tilt) - Removing the host O/S locks were easy and happened quickly, but getting modified radio ROMs (for the purposes of removing SIMlocks) were a whole different story.

Re:FCC (1)

smilindog2000 (907665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26033287)

IANAL, but my understanding is that you may not legally hack the modem itself or it's software driver. You do not break any law by writing software that manipulates the modem through it's provided driver, so feel free to hack at that level.

Re:FCC (5, Interesting)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 5 years ago | (#26033469)

"I've already bought a G1, and the software from Google rocks"

Uhuh.

The POP email client is dysfunctional; not retaining downloaded mail in the Inbox but making me reload it every time I launch the app. It does keep the 11 or so OLDEST messages, and will not delete them. Yahoo! Mail works great, and GMail of course also. So why not POP? Also, the POP client regularly shows a connection error despite my mail server being readily available to the rest of the Internet. K9 doesn't show connection errors, but handles the Inbox the same way. Even in IMAP.

Cut & paste is beyond difficult to use. Just ain't ready for primetime.

Browser has a wierd habit of not honoring a touch on some web page links, but requiring you to click the trackball instead. Go figure.

There are other rough edges. Lack of A2DP is probably temporary, but if it ends up being a failure, that might get me to send this back. We'll see if I can.

If the G1 RC30 software 'rocks' for you, God bless you. It ain't rockin' my world.

And yet, I'm strangely attached to this device. My life as a happy BlackBerry user has evolved into a Linux phone struggle. Not-quite-right software, waiting for the next release, and of course the ever-helpful advice from the community.

It's my fault. I admit it. Step One.

Re:FCC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26032613)

Easy answer: you don't have access to the GSM/UMTS/etc. firmware! Like in nearly all smart phone designs the telephony part is mostly controlled by AT commands over a serial interface and digital audio is directly routed to the audio codec chip.

here's why (5, Informative)

v1 (525388) | more than 5 years ago | (#26032707)

It's possible to compartmentalize things in firmware for that. Everything that radio-wise interacts with the cellular network can be on firmware on a chip, (possibly not an open source chip either) and the phone just tells it how to operate within its fixed parameters.

The "open" nature of the phone doesn't refer to its being open to mods on its cellular networking, but on its functional platform. Things like writing apps for the phone.

Sort of like how I can't write an iPhone app that spoofs my ESN or cranks up my transmit power. The API doesn't have any function calls for that sort of behavior. The firmware on this phone doesn't have to have that either.

We need to get an expert in the thread here that is in the loop on the design of the chips in the cell phones. Based on my experience with other similar electronics, there's usually a handful of chip makers for any given specialty market, and they all make single-solution chips that handle this sort of stuff for you so you don't have to re-develop the same thing that everyone else needs. You just interface with the chip and tell it what you want to do and it takes care of the details for you.

To illustrate this example, I can't write a program on my linux box to write any arbitrary series of 1's and 0's on my hard drive's platter. I have to hand the sata controller a 512 byte block and coordinates, and it writes it for me, including the headers and checksum etc, I have no control over that. That doesn't mean my linux isn't "open". It just means I don't have that level of control over the hardware.

Back in 'the day', on 1980's hardware, I wrote my own disk IO drivers, and COULD write any arbitrary series of 1's and 0's because I had direct access to the read/write latch. And I bet the first cell phones made, the software had a great deal of control over the radio itself too. But these things change, because other parties want to make end-user products and are looking for chips that handle all the dirty work so they don't have to bother with it. Cheaper, more reliable, faster to develop.

The FCC will type-accept anything that operates within their parameters, and is not easily user-modifiable, but it's a slow process, not something you want to have to redo several times a year. For quicker type-acceptance, manufacturers will compartmentalize their designs so that only one small part has to be type-accepted, and then after they have that developed they can play with the rest of the device all they want without getting it re-typed. (the "radio module" is usually what gets typed) All computers nowadays have their bluetooth and 802.11 on a separate card for exactly this reason. Nothing in the software of the computer can cause these separate boards to operate outside their type-acceptance. So the computer manufacturers can make a new motherboard every week without getting the FCC involved again, as long as they keep using the typed wireless boards.

mod parent up n/t (0)

platypussrex (594064) | more than 5 years ago | (#26032939)

n/t

Re:here's why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26033831)

While I'm not an expert, someone who IS one on the subject of these devices indicated that the GSM/G3 modem on the units is it's own thing within a walled garden. You'd have to have substantively more moxy to get access to THOSE control knobs than you have via the app OS on them. The most you can do is to attempt to make a call or log into the data egde of the network from there.

Re:here's why (5, Informative)

cats-paw (34890) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034227)

You're basically right. The control of the RF portion of the design is what the FCC is interested in and they want you to demonstrate that it would be very difficult (nothing is impossible) to change RF operation.

Typically the control is hard-coded in a MAC-like device which runs the phone. Things like channel selection and power output would be hard coded in the sense that even if you had access to the registers which set them, you would not be able to set them to illegal values. However, even setting them to legal values could be a problem, as you could create a jammer, so there has to be a layer there which is responsible for the low-level protocol to talk to the cell site and conduct operation of the physical layer - you can forget about having access to that. So you can't tell the phone to start transmitting on a particular channel, but you can tell it to initiate a phone call.

However you can always get after things with a soldering iron if you are so inclined. Doing that would not be illegal, but causing the phone to operate in a manner in which it is not intended, e.g. as a jammer, would be (duh).

The latest chip sets integrate the RF _and_ the baseband control _and_ the MAC, so even with a soldering iron, you'd have a tough time getting at low-level RF control.

Re:FCC (1)

jfonseca (203760) | more than 5 years ago | (#26033353)

Each mobile standard defines a maximum, which the accredited hardware maker needs to abide by. Yes it's a hardware limit but it's not determined by the hardware maker, but by the standard they want to be accreditted for.

Example: for GSM standard phones, it's 2 Watts maximum.

For older analog phones it was 3.6 Watts.

For CDMA2000 and D-Amps it's currently under 1 Watt.

Re:FCC (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 5 years ago | (#26033395)

I believe the wireless is a separate system, that coexists with the embedded computer. The computer can tell the wireless to transmit at an arbitrary power, but the wireless doesn't have to respect the command.

As well, there could be physical limitations. If you broadcast with too much power, you might instead just produce a nasty odor and a useless phone with a brown spot on the board.

think of the modem chipset as being a phone (5, Informative)

lkcl (517947) | more than 5 years ago | (#26033493)

the best way to think of all these smartphones is as a combined phone + laptop on one circuit board, where they're even connected together using USB.

so what these embedded OSes do is quite literally nothing other than send "AT" modem commands (and sometimes a bit more, using escape sequencing) to the on-board modem chipset.

so, unless you start hacking the firmware of the on-board modem, you will still remain within the FCC regulations.

however, some of the cheaper smartphones - in particular the ones based on the TI OMAP series - run a dual-core processor - a TI ARM core plus a TI DSP core - typically a 200mhz one (because lower than 200mhz is utterly useless for smartphone features. but hey, it's cheap).

these phones _are_ a serious risk, because the two CPUs share memory (!) and you can reprogram the registers etc. etc. you can look up exactly how to do it.

anyway, the point is: the radio modem firmware is downloaded _directly_ to the processor, where all of the signal baseband processing is done. things like the GSM signal-strength of the radio can be manipulated DIRECTLY by changing a memory location, using the ARM cpu.

or worse.

clearly, this is bad.

however, the design of the more expensive HTC-designed phones - typically involves a _much_ better setup - with "standard" 400 to 600mhz ARM cpus and a completely isolated "standard" chipset.

the price of the G1 is indicative that it is one of these better setups.

if you want more info, here's where you're going to get it - from the xda-developers and the #htc-linux irc channel on freenode.net. DO NOT waste the developers time on #htc-linux - they are NOT paid to work on the reverse-engineering of HTC phones, but have stuck diligently to the task for over four years, nearly five now, to bring _proper_ community-driven support for linux to these hand-held smartphones.

forum on G1 dev:
http://forum.xda-developers.com/forumdisplay.php?f=448 [xda-developers.com]

page listing android devices:
http://wiki.xda-developers.com/index.php?pagename=Android_devices [xda-developers.com]

as people do reverse-engineering and/or find out other information (such as take the backs off and photograph the chipsets) you'll find the info listed, there.

p.s. i was one of the HTC phone reverse-engineers (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26033615)

just to clarify: i was one of the people who did reverse-engineering on HTC phones, including the ipaq hw6915, the sable, the blueangel, the himalaya and the universal. i own about nine smartphones, all of which bar one (the eten G500+) are HTC devices.

e.g. this:

http://wiki.xda-developers.com/index.php?pagename=Ipaq6915 [xda-developers.com]

Re:p.s. i was one of the HTC phone reverse-enginee (1)

lkcl (517947) | more than 5 years ago | (#26033629)

fricking fricking anonymous posting! :)
clicked the wrong damn button ha ha

Yes, but! (4, Insightful)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 5 years ago | (#26032359)

Yes, but will the phone companies actually allow you to use it? Or will they say "No, it's a security risk to our network!"?

Re:Yes, but! (4, Informative)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 5 years ago | (#26032587)

T-Mobile has (in my experience) not given two shits what phone I've stuck my SIM in, from my t-mo issued Pearl, to various HTC phones, to an unlocked iPhone, to a junk Nokia. And from what I've been told, AT&T is the same way. Sprint and Verizon are different, but that's at least partly b/c of CDMA (no SIM cards) and Verizon's control urges.

Re:Yes, but! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26032797)

And even if they do: The IMEI number can easily be reprogrammed on all cell phones I know, probably on this phone as well. Make it report a Nokia 6310 IMEI and you're good to go.

Re:Yes, but! (2, Informative)

RMH101 (636144) | more than 5 years ago | (#26033025)

I'm not sure I'd say this was easy. Also, in the UK, getting caught carries a 5 year prison sentence. I jest not.
Anyway, it's a GSM phone. GSM networks don't care which handset you use on them, so long as it's a GSM one. Insert valid SIM card, turn on, it works.

Re:Yes, but! (1)

snarfies (115214) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034103)

I can confirm this about AT&T, as a highly reluctant AT&T customer (T-Mobile, in my experience, are unbelievable screwups, and there are no other GSM choices in the USA). I am using an unlocked Nokia E61i, which is not offered by any provider on this continent. I told the lady at the AT&T store what I was planning on doing, and she said it was fine, but I couldn't expect any support if something goes wrong - which I wasn't expecting anyhow.

Re:Yes, but! (1)

Hannes2000 (1113397) | more than 5 years ago | (#26032703)

Can't be any worse for them than the OpenMoko-phones, which work with all SIM-Cards I have (three different german providers).

At your own risk (1)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 5 years ago | (#26032841)

Re:At your own risk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26033867)

This is sort of expected from a phone you can brick.

There is no security risk. (1)

msgmonkey (599753) | more than 5 years ago | (#26032865)

Phones these days have two processors, one which handles the voice/data/etc aspect and an other which has the OS/app/etcs. They have to be seperated since the people that regulate the airwaves mandate that it should be impossible for an app to have access to the RF side of the phone.

Even in OpenMoko this is the case, infact a few pages of the schematic are missing because of TI NDA's so the real sense there are no truely open phones.

Re:Yes, but! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26032901)

It's a phone. Why wouldn't they? And how would they prevent it?

T-Mobile are fine (2, Interesting)

grahamsz (150076) | more than 5 years ago | (#26033265)

Most euro operators won't bat an eyelid if you bring your own phone, and t-mobile US seems to be the same way.

T-Mo US even has an unsupported handsets division to help you get unsupported handsets onto their network.

Re:Yes, but! (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26033593)

I know people that work for the handset testing department at Tmo. To answer the points on this thread:

"It's a security risk to our network." Is a weak excuse Verizon uses to charge people insane amounts of money for data services.

The staggering number of iPhone users on the T-Mobile network is a testament to how much they don't give a shit what you unlocked to use their service.

The firmware separation others are talking about speculatively is not speculative. Typically, these handsets are controlled entirely through AT commands on a serial-like datachannel. The AT commands might let you keep the power at the maximum legal limit when the cell has asked you to turn it down, but it's your battery-power to waste, if the cell is asking you to turn it down it's because it was already loud and clear.

"You could just change the IMEI." Yes, you can change your IMEI, but this isn't a Cloak of Invisibility. If you caused a technical problem large enough for the nodeb techs to notice they can pull all the call records for anyone in a call, on that cell, during the time of the trouble. After 3 or 4 such queries, your number will be the only one that was in all of them. They'll call you, let you know your phone is broken, and probably offer you a free handset upgrade when they ask you to stop using it. If this repeats, they'll deactivate your SIM. This may sound overbearing of them, but it's worth noting that by the time you've gotten this kind of attention you have stomped on many dozen's other people's calls, and you are, in fact, the dickwad in this situation.

As to the phone. All HTC phones are "value oriented." Nokia makes several $800 phones with iPhone quality, and a price tag Tmo's customer base would not bear. That said, I have never seen a pocket video player that plays as well as the iPhone. The things to consider when buying a G1:

I carry both an iPhone and a G1. I fully adapted to the iPhone keyboard for the 8 months that it was my primary phone. It doesn't hold a candle to the easy double-thumb typing of the G1.

The G1 GPS is weak (the iPhone 3G isn't much better).

The 3G data transfers go much faster if you take your left hand off the phone (the antenna is in the top in the portrait orientation).

I have 3 8Gig microSD cards, they were all plug and play, and any music I buy from the Amazon service appears on them in a tidy directory structure without a hint of DRM. I can literally plug them into my computer, drag and drop them into my music tree, refresh the playlist and listen. They will be mine long after my Mac has been donated to some needy kid in another country.

Connectbot is the best ssh client on any phone, and the lowered latencies of 3G make it quite workable to ssh into a system you are maintaining, get a clustat, and fail over systems that aren't working, all while your salted caramel signature hot chocolate is being freshly steamed at Starbucks.

YAYAYAYA (0)

kcbanner (929309) | more than 5 years ago | (#26032361)

I'm so happy! I wish it was like 200$ not 400$ :(

Re:YAYAYAYA (2, Funny)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#26032653)

eh. They should give it away for free and sell support.

Re:YAYAYAYA (1)

yincrash (854885) | more than 5 years ago | (#26032929)

why?

Re:YAYAYAYA (1)

brainnolo (688900) | more than 5 years ago | (#26033043)

Wooooooooooosh

Re:YAYAYAYA (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26033065)

* <------ Old joke about linux and FOSS in general

  o
/1\ <-- you
  |\

You mean like the freerunner? (1)

Buskaatt (124333) | more than 5 years ago | (#26032379)

That's been around for months hasn't it? What's the big deal?

Re:You mean like the freerunner? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26032585)

Compare what you get for your $400 between the freerunner and the android dev phone. I think the hardware's quite a bit nicer (more powerful CPU, UMTS/3G radio, keyboard, etc, etc) and the OS is actually fully functional today (shipping as a commercial phone OS) *and* source is available.

No 3G on AT&T (1)

tritohc (1123603) | more than 5 years ago | (#26032381)

I have heard that the G1 will not work on AT&T's 3G network.

Re:No 3G on AT&T (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26032793)

Right. AT&T uses a frequency that no other country in the world does.

Re:No 3G on AT&T (1, Informative)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 5 years ago | (#26033347)

T-Mo isn't much better, I'm fairly certain they do UMTS in the 1700 MHz band, not the 2100 MHz band.

So the G1's 3G won't work in most of the rest of the world either. I do believe a small handful of countries do use the 1700 MHz band but not many.

Re:No 3G on AT&T (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26033383)

It definitely works in Europe and Japan. I think AT&T is one of the few oddball carriers that G1 UMTS does not work with.

Re:No 3G on AT&T (2, Informative)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 5 years ago | (#26033411)

Oops: I looked again and it seems like the G1 actually does 2100 also, for some reason I thought it was a 1700-only device.

Re:No 3G on AT&T (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 5 years ago | (#26033249)

t-mobile uses the frequency that no one else uses. 1700MHz for 3g as opposed to the 2100MHz standard that everyone uses.

No pun inteded... (1)

fph il quozientatore (971015) | more than 5 years ago | (#26032407)

...but does it phone home?

Re:No pun inte(n)ded... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26033173)

No pun taken.

This is pretty cool... (1)

decalod85 (1214532) | more than 5 years ago | (#26032419)

... in a world where I cannot download pictures off my cell phone because the cellular company wants to sock me with charges so I can e-mail them to myself. Hopefully, this will be a success and other technology companies will follow suit.

Re:This is pretty cool... (2, Informative)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 5 years ago | (#26032755)

Have you tried BitPim [bitpim.org] ?

You won't be able to change the modem code (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26032429)

As Google don't even own the modem (GSM/WCDMA) code, I very much doubt that you will be able to modify that in any way whatsoever...

Re:You won't be able to change the modem code (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 5 years ago | (#26033435)

That's fine, because that lives in a separate system that's physically connected in the phone. Just like you don't drive a modem directly (you send it Hayes commands), you wouldn't drive that part of the phone directly.

Re:You won't be able to change the modem code (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26034137)

Yea, that's abstraction that is.

Well played, Google (1)

kamikazearun (1282408) | more than 5 years ago | (#26032561)

This move will ensure easier availability of their phone around the world, unlike the i-phone which needed to be jailbroken in countries where it wasn't officially launched.

Where is the schematics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26032581)

Shouldn't it be openhardware as well to be "truly open"?

Source for Android on Neo FreeRunner available (4, Informative)

lkcl (517947) | more than 5 years ago | (#26032699)

Timing sux. (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 5 years ago | (#26032745)

With the economy being what it is, I think that a whole lot less will be sold.

Re:Timing sux. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26032809)

I think it's actually great timing - not too early to kill sales of the consumer G1, and not too late for Xmas.

Wireless attack platform, yessire. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26032789)

This and it's descendants is going to be really useful for hacking/pen testing. It's the perfect platform model for wireless attacks. Imagine walking through a crowd with one of these in your pocket, compromising computers and phones as people stream around you. Or, you could use it as a deniable relay, penetrating a 802.11 network via a cell connection to the phone. Or as a http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Box [wikipedia.org] , enabling control of a rootkited server via a cell connection. That kind of stuff will be a lot easier to pull off with this kind of platform. Yes, i have a perverted mind. *sigh* But i think people with similiar minds will put this one to some real clever uses. I mean, all the heavy computing can be moved to a host behind TOR hidden service, or in a "bulletproof" country.

Re:Wireless attack platform, yessire. (1)

Surreal Puppet (1408635) | more than 5 years ago | (#26032811)

This and it's descendants is going to be really useful for hacking/pen testing. It's the perfect platform model for wireless attacks. Imagine walking through a crowd with one of these in your pocket, compromising computers and phones as people stream around you. Or, you could use it as a deniable relay, penetrating a 802.11 network via a cell connection to the phone. Or as a http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Box [wikipedia.org] , enabling control of a rootkited server via a cell connection. That kind of stuff will be a lot easier to pull off with this kind of platform. Yes, i have a perverted mind. *sigh* But i think people with similiar minds will put this one to some real clever uses. I mean, all the heavy computing can be moved to a host behind TOR hidden service, or in a "bulletproof" country.

Whoopsie, I posted anonymous for some reason?

Re:Wireless attack platform, yessire. (2, Interesting)

babyrat (314371) | more than 5 years ago | (#26033591)

So why can't everything you have just described be done with a jailbreaked iPhone? Or any of the windows smarthphones? Or a cell phone tethered to a laptop?

How about an open IPhone? (1)

Britz (170620) | more than 5 years ago | (#26032843)

Maybe Apple will now do the same? Or rather not:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJn_jC4FNDo [youtube.com]

You decide who to trust!

Binary blobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26032877)

It might very likely not be truely open,
as drivers for GSM/3g chip, gps, or whatever
advanced features the phone contains,
probably only are available as binary blobs,
similarly to the nvidia driver issue on the pc.
This is also why projects like openmoko,
still are highly interesting as alternatives.

Re:Binary blobs (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26033637)

openmoko is shit, it has no camera. Why the fuck would anyone want that piece of shit phone?

OpenMoko lost already, android has won.

Re:Binary blobs (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#26033995)

The OpenMoko isn't truly open either so I don't get your point.

There is hardware in the openMoko you can not access either. The only difference I see here is that openMoko has had a head start over android and they still have only one phone which you can not use for phone calls whereas android have numerous phones coming out and (this is the most important part) the phone works.

Not only all this however the android's line up are good phones with standard features such as having a camera. There was no way I could justify buying a substandard phone such as the openMoko just because it had more open source stuff.

With the Android package I can easily buy that phone because it has much better features then the phone I already have, an A1200 motorola which even though it's a closed source Linux phone older then the moko still beats it hands down.

Shipping outside of US (5, Informative)

levi47 (799253) | more than 5 years ago | (#26033125)

It's too bad the shipping cost completely eliminate any savings you could get ordering this phone outside of the US: Int'l Shipments 1 Phone Canada $ 264.49 UK $ 171.53 Hungary $ 199.99 Austria $ 189.99 Germany $ 178.90 France $ 183.81 Spain $ 170.14 Poland $ 210.09 Switzerland $ 130.43 Netherlands $ 172.99 Sweden $ 214.81 Finland $ 199.92 India $ 224.60 Japan $ 109.55 Taiwan $ 156.66 Australia $ 140.23 Singapore $ 119.36 Wasted 30$ signing up for a marketplace Dev account only to find a 70% markup to get this phone in Canada

Re:Shipping outside of US (1)

despisethesun (880261) | more than 5 years ago | (#26033839)

Do you know if you can use 3G with this version on Rogers, or if it's truly identical to the T-Mobile version, aside from the firmware? I know that the T-Mobile model won't do better than EDGE in Canada because Rogers uses a different frequency band. I was planning on buying a G1 until I found that out, and even with the price difference in Canada it's still similarly priced to an unlocked G1.

Re:Shipping outside of US (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034157)

Geez, those are pretty high. I live in the US and I'd be willing to ship this phone internationally for the shipping cost, shipping materials, plus 20% of the cost/materials. Email me if you're seriously interested... lol, don't know what I'm getting myself into.

Re:Shipping outside of US (1)

rhpenguin (655576) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034271)

Get yourself your own customs broker. I ship things from the USofA to myself in Canada all the time via a private broker at a greatly reduced rate. DHL, FedEX and UPS'es rates really suck compared to what I can get.

Question... (1)

PJ1216 (1063738) | more than 5 years ago | (#26033241)

Can one remove their sim card from their iPhone 3g and use it in the open android phone? I know the iPhone can only use its own sim cards, but would other phones be able to use the iphone sim card? this could be a tempting offer if i don't need to buy another sim card and/or phone plan.

Re:Question... (1)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 5 years ago | (#26033627)

Yes, it can take any SIM. But, keep in mind it only has 3G support for the 1700MHz (T-Mo USA) and 2100MHz (Europe) bands, so think twice if you're on AT&T or Rogers.

Re:Question... (1)

PJ1216 (1063738) | more than 5 years ago | (#26033817)

I'm more interested from a hobby point of view (i like to tinker and code a bit), not as a replacement phone. So, I wouldn't really need 3g support. But its interesting to know.

Competition and free markets work every time. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26033311)

To Apple, nanny nanny boo boo. To Google, kudos. To Microsoft, what the hell are you waiting for? Competition. Free market system. It works every time.

I want Grand Central/Google Talk intergration (4, Interesting)

Dr. Spork (142693) | more than 5 years ago | (#26033325)

One really awesome thing for which we could use more help from Google would be this: You get one GrandCentral number and if your phone is connected to a Wifi spot, your calling is by default VoIP. You'd only use the cellular network if you somewhere out of reach of a hotspot.

There should be a way to configure Grand Central to be sensitive to the context of your handset and route the call in the optimal way, automatically.

Since I spend about 90% of my time in some sort of a hotspot (I work at a university), it would mean that I would probably cancel my monthly contract altogether and switch to a prepaid minutes/data plan. That savings would go a long way towards paying back my unsubsidized four hundred bucks for the handset.

Re:I want Grand Central/Google Talk intergration (1)

yincrash (854885) | more than 5 years ago | (#26033523)

There is a grand central app on the android market and does let you use your gc number to make calls, which is awesome. however, unless i'm mistaken, i'm pretty sure grand central does not allow free voip calling to real phone numbers?

Frequencies / UMTS Bands? Will it work with AT& (3, Informative)

Kizeh (71312) | more than 5 years ago | (#26033355)

The only technical data I can find is for the T-Mobile G1, and it uses the oddball UMTS / WCMDA frequency bands specific to T-Mobile. My understanding is that consequently it won't work on any other 3G network on the planet, including AT&T. I'd love to be proven wrong.

Re:Frequencies / UMTS Bands? Will it work with AT& (2, Informative)

shreddertomas (1323967) | more than 5 years ago | (#26033771)

According to the spec it supports a couple of 3G frequencies where 2100MHz is the frequency most commonly used by most operators in europe. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UMTS_frequency_bands [wikipedia.org]

The Sprint Problem (1)

Rahga (13479) | more than 5 years ago | (#26033531)

I'm stuck on Sprint right now and probably the near future, unfortunately. As much as I'd love to develop for Android, Sprint has made it very clear that they don't value my business. CDMA keeps me from using this developer phone on Sprint. The only way I'll be able to switch is if I come across a magical pile of money that makes it all relatively painless.

Re:The Sprint Problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26034015)

Sprint will have an android phone in 3rd-4th quarter 2009. Meanwhile, if you want one now, you can run android on an HTC Touch: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?p=2084090

Collectors Item (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26033655)

Android Dev Phone 1 still in it's shrink wrapped packaging - one for my tech musuem. This could be seen as the turning point in mobile phone development.

Shipping Charges (1)

madmancanuck (997076) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034125)

The one thing that I hard about this (http://www.mobilecrunch.com/2008/12/05/google-launches-android-dev-phone/) was that the shipping charges were truly excessive. Shipping the G1 to Canada for instance, I was told would cost $200+ US.
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