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Google Releases Experimental Phone To Employees

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the it's-just-dogfood dept.

Cellphones 141

alphadogg, as is his wont, sends in a Network World piece on the resurgent rumors of a Google Phone. "Google has handed out a new mobile phone running its Android software to some employees, stirring another wave of speculation that the oft-rumored Google Phone is real. In a blog post on Saturday morning, Google said the phones are being distributed so that workers can experiment with new mobile features. It did not say the device will be a Google-branded phone. Since even before Google unveiled Android, onlookers have wondered whether the search giant will release its own phone. Instead, it released an open source operating system that other hardware vendors can use to make phones."

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141 comments

How does it compare to the Droid? (3, Interesting)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 4 years ago | (#30420966)

Is there anywhere enough details available to say if whatever this thing is will be better than the Droid? (At least the impression i've gotten without doing a great deal of research is that the Droid is the best Android phone out so far.)

Re:How does it compare to the Droid? (2, Informative)

tangent3 (449222) | more than 4 years ago | (#30420974)

Specs seems equivalent to Droid, with a faster processor, minus the physical Qwerty keyboard

Re:How does it compare to the Droid? (1)

yakumo.unr (833476) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421862)

And an oled screen, news on other sites said it was going o be manufacturered for google by HTC. and in fact sounded identical to the HTC Passion/Bravo.

We'd probably need some deep specifications to tell them apart.

Re:How does it compare to the Droid? (4, Informative)

beakerMeep (716990) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421010)

I'd say it would be about equal to the Droid. Here's the rumors I've heard/read: - Processor speed will probably beat the droid, - HTC SenseUI will be nice, - Battery will probably be worse due to the stronger processor. - Screen should be nice an beautiful like the droid's, maybe ever more stunning. - Haven't heard anything about an LED flash like the droid's - No hardware keyboard - Sounds like T-Mobile's (weird flavor of?) GSM. - HTC Trackball v Moto'd directional pad - No discount, so looking at $300-800 ish? Full bias disclosure: I own a Droid and love it. Plan to marry it. Verizon has me by the balls in the prenup though.

Re:How does it compare to the Droid? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30421498)

Full bias disclosure: I own a Droid and love it. Plan to marry it. Verizon has me by the balls in the prenup though.

Sorry for being AC, but would you still care to explain? I'm sincerely interested. What's so good about droid? I had a droid phone at work (had to code some apps for it) and absolutely hated the damn thing:

  - tiny screen (resolution)
  - web pages take ages (=long enough to be frustrating) to load
  - locked down OS

Re:How does it compare to the Droid? (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421670)

Are you mixed up with Droid vs Android? These are two different things, although the latter is using the former.

Re:How does it compare to the Droid? (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421742)

...although the latter is using the former.

Ooops, I think I got mixed up...

Re:How does it compare to the Droid? (2, Informative)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421680)

Battery will probably be worse due to the stronger processor

Maybe not - the screen is an AMOLED, which should use less juice than the Droid's. Dunno if it's enough to make up for more juice for the CPU, so only time will tell.

This phone seems to be the HTC Passion, the CDMA version of which (the Bravo) is rumoured for Verizon in 1Q2010, so if you don't need the crappy keyboard of the Droid, and want a faster processor, better screen, and FM radio, that would be the one to wait for (assuming the rumours are true). Flash on the Bravo is rumoured to be dual LED, btw.

Re:How does it compare to the Droid? (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421822)

It almost seems like expectations of constant race towards put some number here times faster hardware shifted from PCs to smartphones... (since the former are good/fast enough for some time now)

Fast/high pixel count hardware doesn't make the phone "best". Where's long battery life? Sturdiness? Low price with rest of the features balanced? (yes, that includes two I mentioned previously)

Re:How does it compare to the Droid? (1)

phonewebcam (446772) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421902)

GSM is a pretty darn well-defined spec. The FCC compliance process takes months and is amongst the strictest in the business. You either conform completely or you don't get a licence. So WTF are these flavours you speak of?

Re:How does it compare to the Droid? (3, Informative)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422338)

GSM is a pretty darn well-defined spec. The FCC compliance process takes months and is amongst the strictest in the business. You either conform completely or you don't get a licence. So WTF are these flavours you speak of?

ATT and T-Mobile use different frequency for 3G; so while the GSM phone bands are pretty standard the data bands are not. Hence no ATT 3G for teh Nokia N900 or T-Mobile 3G for unlocked ATT iPhones.

Re:How does it compare to the Droid? (4, Informative)

the ReviveR (1106541) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422046)

Most americans seem to have quite a hard time comparing prices simply because most of the time your carriers subsidize so much of the actual price.

Here are some prices from one of the cheaper web stores in Finland. Please note that these have taxes included and probably the "europeans are idiots" bonus (1 dollar = 1 euro)
  • iPhone 3GS 32GB - 528 euro (+ 12 month contract with "normal" prices)
  • iPhone 3G 8GB - 396 euro (+12 month contract with "normal" prices)
  • HTC Hero - 489.90 euro (no contract)
  • Motorola Milestone - 549.90 euro (no contract + 50 euro for localized keyboard)
  • Nokia N900 - 569.00 euro (no contract)
  • Samsung Galaxy i7500 - 489.90 euro( no contract)
  • Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 Android - 749.90 euro (no contract)

Based on these it would seem that most top of the line phones actually cost around 500 - 600 euro (that is probably 500$-600$ in US) and even correlates pretty nicely with release schedule. Don't get the price on the Sony Ericsson, though it isn't actually out yet I think.

Math fail. (1, Informative)

ImYourVirus (1443523) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422650)

Sorry but your math fails. 1 usd != 1 euro

1 U.S. dollar = 0.684134911 Euros
1 Euro = 1.4617 U.S. dollars

500 Euros = 730.85 U.S. dollars
500 U.S. dollars = 342.067456 Euros

Re:Math fail. (4, Informative)

the ReviveR (1106541) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422856)

I am perfectly aware of current EURUSD conversion rate. What I am trying to say is, most electronics and software in EU is priced like the conversion rate would be 1 dollar = 1 euro. For example computer games on steam are priced about 50 dollars in US and about 50 euros in EU (I am talking about english version in both cases). I do not think anyone could explain the current difference based on actual expenses.

I know the rates wary from case to case, but while the actual value of dollar has gone down and euro has gone up, the actual prices in US haven't risen at the same rate and prices in EU certainly haven't gone down. Most big companies seem to charge what ever the market can take.

Re:Math fail. (0, Troll)

ImYourVirus (1443523) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423966)

Your explanation still fails, since steam ala valve is based in the U.S. if they charge 50 euros they are actually making more money, off of people overseas, then domestic people, but nice try.

Re:Math fail. (1)

the ReviveR (1106541) | more than 4 years ago | (#30424078)

I haven't said anything about making more money. That is not the point. What I am saying is that when comparing prices of software or electronics 1 euro in EU usually means 1 dollar in US.

Couple more examples...

Windows 7 Ultimate edition - Finnish web store 289.90 Euros - Amazon.com 285.50$
Apple iPod classic 160GB - Finnish web store 248.90 Euros - Amazon.com 229.95$

Re:How does it compare to the Droid? (1)

sucati (611768) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423006)

What exactly do you mean by "weird flavor"? Would this work on AT&T?

Re:How does it compare to the Droid? (1)

Karganeth (1017580) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423180)

It will not have the sense UI. It has the normal android UI but modified slightly .... with lasers (no I'm not joking). The screen will definitely look better thanks to the OLED technology. And this OLED technology also helps the battery life - it may have better battery life than the Droid. Also, early images of the device clearly show a flash light (http://www.cellphones.ca/news/upload/2009/10/htc-passion-back.jpg) (yes that's the Nexus one, not the passion/bravo. There was a lot of early confused about the naming)

Re:How does it compare to the Droid? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30423296)

So basically you made up some shit so vague and general anybody could have done.
Better screen. Oh yeah !
Better processor speed. Oh yeah !
No keybard. Oh yeah !
Even if TFA is shitty, not need to respond with some deeper crap dude.

Re:How does it compare to the Droid? (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 4 years ago | (#30424448)

Main issue is the missing keyboard, I have an HTC Hero and I miss the keyboard really, while you are better off than with T9 the autocompletion does get you only that far.
I will use my Hero for the next year, but I am pretty sure I will get a phone with a slideout keyboard after that!
And yes HTC Sense is nice, but I think the biggest + simply is the 7 homescreens instead of 3.

Way better than the droid (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30421088)

No keyboard, but it comes with a general purpose cutting blade, corkscrew, philips and standard screwdriver blades, as well as ultrasonic toothbrush, and still slimmer than the droid.

Also has new experimental plasma generated focused nadion particle emitter. At the risk of battery life, it should be useful for self-defense, or even for heating up cans of soup or rocks on cold days.

Re:How does it compare to the Droid? (1)

Rennt (582550) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421252)

Droid has the best specs, but the materials and build quality of the handset itself is disappointing. HTC units feel much nicer.

Re:How does it compare to the Droid? (2, Interesting)

hey! (33014) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422598)

I think it probably depends on what aspect of the Droid you are talking about. I think the most interesting thing about the Droid is its lack of non-proprietary video out connectors. The upshot is that you can't use the droid to drive your TV by putting it in a docking cradle, as you can with the iPhone. It's a significant, but interesting limitation,and if the Google phone is like that as well that tells us something.

My theory is that the big difference between Android and the iPhone is that ultimately for Android the device is secondary -- just a terminal into the cloud. You don't need a media connector in that vision, because your TV will be connected to the cloud as well. If the Google phone has some provision for HDMI output, that'd tell us that Google is hedging its bets.

At the current state of development, iPhone is more polished and useful. The user interface for the Safari and the iPhone email app are more convenient. At present my TV does not have software that work with non-proprietary Internet standards, so it's really quite helpful to be able to dock my iPod touch to my TV. But it'd be even *more* convenient not to have to connect my mobile device at all. If my TV were something like giant Archos box, or just a display peripheral to such a device, then I wouldn't miss the media connectors.

We all know about the limitations of the "cloud" concept, but let's not forget that the idea of every device being a storage device has its limitations too. We take it for granted that to use our *home* data, we have to become network and server admins. We accept that without question because that's the status quo, but even people who *can* be competent home network admins don't always *want* to be. I think Apple realizes this too, which is why they push the MobileMe service.

For my personal data, I'd much rather kiss dependency on any single device goodbye and let Google be the primary manager of my data, provided that (a) I had reliable network access, (b) my devices could work when the network fails by caching the data I'm most likely to want and (c) I had some kind of backup medium that I could recover *all* my data from if I had a dispute with Google.

Re:How does it compare to the Droid? (1)

Captain Spam (66120) | more than 4 years ago | (#30424234)

Honestly, if it were just a US version of the Milestone (so, a GSM Droid with a 3G radio that can talk to US networks), I think I'd be plenty happy enough...

Any good? (2, Interesting)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#30420972)

I've been quite unimpressed so far with the current Android phones, so I'm very interested in what features Google would add on top of the base Android OS. I'm particularly interested in how they intend to support Exchange users.

Re:Any good? (2, Interesting)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421256)

Not sure where you are or what provider you are with, but Exchange sync is offered by at least one carrier selling Android phones in Oz and there are apps for it in the market if your carrier doesn't offer it. It's not really Google/Android's job to supply software to sync with a proprietary system from some other company, but vendors are free to value add to attract customers.

This is what I think makes Android so promising. It's an open OS that is available to any manufacturer to implement and they automatically get a ton of apps already built for it. Compare that to iPhone - only one player allowed to manufacture hardware and supply the OS and a heavily restricted market for apps, much like when Windows was available for any cheap hardware vendor to install and MacOS wasn't. Mac went from being the superior machine to near annihilation. Looks like Google learned from the 1990s PC vs Mac thing better than Apple did and Apple was in it and lost the first time!

Maybe Google will move into the hardware business, maybe they wont. I don't think they will improve on offerings by Sony Ericsson (when that finally comes out), but either way, they win.

Re:Any good? (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421276)

Yes, I'm aware that they have no responsibility to release an Exchange client, but if they are developing a phone that takes the user experience above and beyond the current crop of Android phones or even iPhone (good luck at that), it would be really nice for them to include a good Exchange client.

Then again, they may try to take the phone in a completely different direction. If that's the case, we'll have to wait and see whether it's useful for a very large segment of business users.

Re:Any good? (2, Insightful)

beakerMeep (716990) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421340)

I don't know a lot about Exchange, but couldn't you also say it would be really nice for Exchange to support more standards for other devices to connect? (IMAP maybe?). Seems an appropriate devil's advocate question. Cue Keanu Reeves.

Re:Any good? (1)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421728)

EAS allows you to sync contacts and calender, but for mail only you could use IMAP.

(Though Exchange's IMAP support isn't really good)

Re:Any good? (1)

rabbit994 (686936) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421900)

Newest Android OS supports Exchange ActiveSync which Microsoft's recommend way of pulling data off Exchange server for mobile devices. I haven't been able to fully test it though since our demo model from Sprint hasn't arrived at the office. We are hoping to support it but it depends on how much Google implemented it. For those who don't know, Microsoft licenses Activesync to companies and Google bought it to use with GMail and Android.

Re:Any good? (1)

great om (18682) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422178)

it doesn't, at least on the Droid variant, support remote wipe, making it against the regulations for most company's exchange/activesync policies. Even my company which allows users to have nearly whatever they want) will not allow android because of this

Re:Any good? (1)

Alpha830RulZ (939527) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422568)

I don't much about electricity, but it seems like the power companies could support more standards for devices to connect? It's so inconvenient to have to use an ac/dc converter....

I don't think it makes much sense for MSFT to support a lot of different standards for Exchange connectivity. If they have standard, published APIs for the various types of platforms we use, which they appear to do, I think that's a pretty good place for us to be. Not so many years ago, the MSFT party line was pretty much, you can connect with us if and only if you use our software. Now, I can get to my company e-mail/calendar using my phone, my windows machines, my linux machines, and with a web browser running firefox or other non-MSFT browser. That's not too bad.

Re:Any good? (2, Interesting)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421860)

There is one downside to each manufacturer having their own implementation - the market fragments. Especially when some phones don't get updates to newer OS versions (that's already happening). Also, the benefits of open app market look nice on paper...but haven't materialized.

That said, I also agree that history will repeat itself in regards to Apple loosing dominance. But I have some doubts if it will be due to Android...

Re:Any good? (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422104)

well it's been 8 years of ipod killers and none have really shown up. I figure the iphone won't have any real competition until at least 2012. and then the apocalypse will happen so it won't matter.

The trick with the ipod, and the iphone is the complete package is balanced just right. hardware and software. It can be the best hardware out there, but if he average luser can't use it then it is useless. Now admittedly I haven't played with a droid yet. or andriod 2.1 so i haven't seen how much it has improved.

Here comes the fanbois (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30422802)

well, if you are talking about apple's marketing + RDF effect + fanboy cult, yes, there has not been any ipod killer. If you talking about better functional devices, there have been few superior to ipod devices.

For iphone, well, as you have been living under a cave for some time, you would not know this phone called Droid from Motorola running Android. It's first real Android device matching iphone's processing power and aesthetics. And now that Motorola and Verizon have matched Apple and AT&T's marketing, it actually is giving iphone a good competition. Wait till few more equally powerful android phone comes into the market, and iphone is well on it's way to become mac of the phones.

But do not let reality distort your fantasy (and please DO NOT play with Droid before writing them off). Continue to masturbate on Steve Job's picture with black turtleneck.

Re:Any good? (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423316)

What do you understand by "iPod killer"? Or what means seriously competing with iPhone?

Marketshare? Visible momentum of one manufacturer with small product line? Yes, those two Apple devices are darlings of US and few other markets. But they represent a small minority of each class.

For quite a few years mobile phones with audio player functionality vastly outsold iPods (it's more or less "they ship in bigger numbers in given year than all iPods ever produced up to that point"). iPod popularity isn't very typical throughout the world, and yes, for some time if I see somebody listening to music it's usually from a mobile phone.

As for iPhone...it is given max 3 or 4% of the market from what I've heard. It's better when looking only at smartphones (however ambiguous that term would be...SE "dumphones", not included usually, might qualify on merit of features, when comparing with iPhone), but in this class you have Symbian trumping all with over 50% of sales.

Are iPods zombies? Is Nokia domination unreal and therefore beyond competition?

Re:Any good? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30421560)

That is a software feature. There's no need to build your own device for that.

Re:Any good? (3, Insightful)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421614)

Google will not release their own phone. Here's why:

Google likes to dominate the software spectrum. If they release their own phone, then companies will look a bit suspicious at their "you can use our OS too!, fro free!"

In the end that will result in less Android phones and thus less people that use Google products and less people to click on their adds, which is their main source of imcome anyway.

The best Android phone I've seen so far is the HTC Hero. It whipes the floor with the iPhone in every aspect. Except for the fact that it doesn't help Microsoft with growing the Exchange user base...

Re:Any good? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30421770)

are you fucking retarded? There's about a BILLION different sources reporting google WILL RELEASE THEIR OWN PHONE. AND NO, IT WONT DISCOURAGE MANUFACTURERS FROM MAKING AN ANDROID PHONE. COMPANIES WILL NOT FIND IT SUSPICIOUS THAT GOOGLE IS USING THE SOFTWARE THEY MADE. This phone will DEFINITELY result in MORE android phones. honestly, who the fuck modded you insightful? You're so wrong. How did you fuck up logic so badly that you arrived at those conclusions?

Re:Any good? (1)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422044)

OH MY GOD?!?!?!?111111 one one eleven. REALY? OmFg I d1Dn't not1c3 teH S0uRceS! OMG WTF BBQ!!!!

Now do the world a favor and get yourself a screwdriver and remove that Caps Lock key from your keyboard...

Oh and have you ever visited Digg.com? You'd make a valuable contributor.

Re:Any good? (4, Funny)

adolf (21054) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422198)

A guy calling himself "V!NCENT" should perhaps have a good, hard look at himself before sarcastically insulting others in 1337-speak.

Re:Any good? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30423998)

OH MY GOD?!?!?!?111111 one one eleven. REALY? OmFg I d1Dn't not1c3 teH S0uRceS! OMG WTF BBQ!!!!

Now do the world a favor and get yourself a screwdriver and remove that Caps Lock key from your keyboard...

Oh and have you ever visited Digg.com? You'd make a valuable contributor.

Ugh. do you realize that you come across as a twelve year old moron when you insult Digg? I'm willing to bet you had an account there at one time.

The worst part is people like you going around and ruining other websites by using your digg account and saying "digg sucks! I'm going to _____".

If it sucks, and you want to keep the suck contained, stfu.

Re:Any good? (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 4 years ago | (#30424512)

Well I have a Hero but it lacks the speed of the iPhone this is multitasking inherent, and that some parts of the OS and the drivers are not optimized, heck even the 3d graphics are not that well optimized yet, the phone could do more from its hardware, there are rumours that HTC simply was to stingy to pay for the optimized qualcom 3d drivers, whether it is true or not I do not know, the qualcom test reveals around 30 fps.

But it is way better than an iPhone for its openness.

I just hate the head in the arse attitude HTC has regarding non Windows connectivity, they simply do not support it period. A hacked rom can run Wifi Tethering, HTCs official stance is we do not support it neither do we support OSX.

USB Tethering can be enabled out of the box, but no drivers which would make it work on OSX. There are hacks to enable it on a stock ROM, but HTCs support does not even know about the hack via OpenVPN which allows to do it.

The phone itself is very sturdy and like most HTCs phones a real workhose, but the companies stance on non windows in their clients is simply annoying, they dont even read the mails properly once the encounter the word OSX and just do a copy paste answer!

Re:Any good? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30421802)

I have the Moto Droid/Verizon, and it works fine...native Activesync with my employer's Exchange server.

Syncs mail, contacts, calendar.

Re:Any good? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30421956)

The Android Eris by HTC (Verizon) has Exchange support right now. I entered in my Exchange information during the initial setup and it synched my Mail, Contacts and Calendar without any issues. I just got it a few days ago and absolutely LOVE it.

Android 2.0 already supports Exchange (1)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422450)

Android 2.0 Highlights [android.com]

Multiple accounts can be added to a device for email and contact synchronization, including Exchange accounts. (Handset manufacturers can choose whether to include Exchange support in their devices.)

The Droid was the first Android 2.0 device.

Dumb rumors (4, Insightful)

Undead Waffle (1447615) | more than 4 years ago | (#30420988)

We recently came up with the concept of a mobile lab, which is a device that combines innovative hardware from a partner with software that runs on Android to experiment with new mobile features and capabilities

I'm reading this as "some hardware manufacturer invented the big red button and we want our employees to be able to play around with what the software will do when the big red button is pressed." Or maybe they're just talking about faster processors, more memory, or some other somewhat minor upgrade. I see nothing to indicate they're going to enter the phone market themselves especially since it mentions the hardware is from "a partner".

Re:Dumb rumors (3, Funny)

adamchou (993073) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421368)

what the software will do when the big red button is pressed

You will get one million dollars, but someone you don't know will die... that or a staples employee will appear out of no where and say "That was easy!"

Re:Dumb rumors (3, Funny)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421698)

You will get one million dollars, but someone you don't know will die... that or a staples employee will appear out of no where and say "That was easy!"

Can it be the Staples employee that dies? Cuz that's a deal I could live with. So to speak.

Re:Dumb rumors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30424466)

Click.

Great, now how do I get rid of this body?

Re:Dumb rumors (3, Insightful)

jabithew (1340853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421410)

I can't see Google releasing their own hardware; it seems like a Slashdot wet dream. If you look at their current strategy with Chrome (OS) and Android, it seems like their attitude is that if you look after the software, the hardware will look after itself.

It would also be quite outside their core competence. Google have never done any hardware releases for consumers, and there's no reason at all to expect them to be any good at it.

Re:Dumb rumors (2, Insightful)

slifox (605302) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421894)

You're probably right that they won't make the hardware -- at most they'll probably contract HTC to do it...

The real question is if Google is going to find a way into the cell phone service-provider business... be it on the physical infrastructure side (unlikely), or on the communications service side

There's been some past /. discussion on this, and what I gathered from it was that Google will put themselves at odds with the infrastructure owners (e.g. AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, etc) by forcing them into a data-provider role rather their current communications-provider role (which is much more lucrative -- e.g. charging $0.10 for a 160-byte text message).

The speculation stems from the Google Voice service, but I think they can get away with that because they're still making use of the cell providers' telephone network, and not turning everything into "just data". I can't see the current monopolies being particularly happy if Google takes any further steps in this direction, though. Then again, the cell phone service-providers sorely need a competitor to force them to provide better service (e.g. AT&T no longer investing in their oversold 3G network because they're focusing on 4G planning).

Re:Dumb rumors (1)

cfriedt (1189527) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421460)

I see nothing to indicate they're going to enter the phone market themselves especially since it mentions the hardware is from "a partner".

I guess I missed the 'partner' keyword on my first read. That would seem a little bit more realistic than for Google to start manufacturing themselves. It would certainly make the OHA continue to resemble more of a playground than a battlefield.

One interesting note, is that the article does not explicitly say its a phone but rather a "device". Could this finally be the next step in the evolution of Qualcomm's SmartBook [youtube.com]? Personally, I see it as a highly compatible platform for the Chrome OS [chromium.org].

WSJ says it's real (3, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421016)

The Wall Street Journal says it's real [wsj.com].

I was doubtful myself, it seemed really weird that Google would compete against partners like this. It seems like most technical people that would even want Android to start with would flock to this phone and drop the others. Heck, I might even buy one to have something to tether my iPhone to when traveling internationally!!

I had a chance to try out a Droid, and it was still pretty pokey (especially when using the built in browser). Perhaps the Google phone will finally hit a good performance stride.

Re:WSJ says it's real (3, Insightful)

Undead Waffle (1447615) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421044)

The Wall Street Journal says it's real [wsj.com].

I was doubtful myself, it seemed really weird that Google would compete against partners like this. It seems like most technical people that would even want Android to start with would flock to this phone and drop the others. Heck, I might even buy one to have something to tether my iPhone to when traveling internationally!!

I had a chance to try out a Droid, and it was still pretty pokey (especially when using the built in browser). Perhaps the Google phone will finally hit a good performance stride.

And from that link:

The phone is called the Nexus One and is being manufactured for Google by HTC Corp.

But unlike the more than half-dozen Android phones made by phone manufacturers today, Google designed virtually the entire software experience behind the phone

Subscription required beyond that.

So it's made by HTC. And "designed virtually the entire software experience" isn't saying much. Sounds like another "myTouch 3G with Google" sort of deal.

Says everything (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#30424132)

So it's made by HTC. And "designed virtually the entire software experience" isn't saying much. Sounds like another "myTouch 3G with Google" sort of deal.

Yeah, but Google pushing it and spending a lot of development time on it is a big deal. Because they are cutting out the carriers. That is the deal, that is surprising.

Joy! Droid Feedback From A Mac Loony... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30421428)

LOL! What a loser...

Re:Joy! Droid Feedback From A Mac Loony... (1)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422826)

Well said. I have seen this time and again - only people I have seen criticizing droid are iphone/mac/apple cult. But I take it as a positive sign for Droid - it's doing something right to piss off all the fanbois.

*And here I go in flame*

Re:WSJ says it's real (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 4 years ago | (#30424480)

Actually this is system inherent, the main issue simply is multitasking, the phone terminates on a LRU algorithm the programs once the ram runs out, so if you do a lot on the phone some task might drag you the processor cycles away or the phone stops for a second to kill another app and reclaim the ram. Also if you switch the keyboard direction it can happen that the phone has to load the keyboard app for the proper keyboard because the app was terminated.

I can see that pretty well on my phone, first it is blazingly fast but after a while it loses around 30% of its performance due to the multitasking, killing all apps again restores the performance to a level similar to the iPhone (I have an HTC Hero btw. way slower than the Droid)

I used to kill the apps constantly a while ago, but now I dont even bother anymore, because the phone stays usable and it is way faster than the WinCE phone I had before! You get used to the occasional hickups!

But the OS definitely has a load of potential for performance improvement, starting with the Dog slow Dalvik VM which thankfully does not show that much thanks to native C code being accessed left and right on classlib level and ending with the way the user has to deal with background processes.

It's the season (4, Interesting)

mknutty (1684802) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421034)

Google likes to give its employees little toys every year for Christmas. There aren't that many Google-related toys out there to give, so they could end up picking a phone even if it's nothing special.

Oooorrr... it could be teh awesomest Googlest phone evar.

Re:It's the season (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30423452)

Not true. Some years they just give us cash.

Well... (2, Funny)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421040)

Well, at least they are testing them on employees rather then the general public.

Probably cost them a lot less in legal fees when the batteries start exploding.

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30421126)

Ah, so they're competing with Sony then?

google dialing (4, Funny)

C18H27NO3 (1282172) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421046)

This is probably how a phone call would proceed on a Google phone:

555-1212

Results 1 - 30 of about 499,000 for 555-1212. (0.24 seconds)

www.555-1212.com

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Directory_assistance

phones.whitepages.com/703-555-1212

. . .
et al.

Somewhere in there would be the option to dial the number you wanted. If you happen to have SafeDial turned on you can forget about ever connecting to your sex^H^H^Hchat line. In all serious I would think that perhaps they are trying to incorporate something Googly to reach a larger userbase but certainly their own phone with that ability would be much more lucrative.

Re:google dialing (3, Funny)

WGFCrafty (1062506) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421082)

Safe dial?

Is this like safe phone sex?

For porn from your phone the only answer is SexDial(tm)!

Re:google dialing (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421160)

Safe dial?

Is this like safe phone sex?

For a low, low, introductory price, specially trained Google technicians will come to Your Home and install a Gondom on your telephone receiver!

Re:google dialing (1)

j0hnyquest (1571815) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421164)

maybe it will have something like safari's "private browsing" so you can still call your phone sex line without anyone knowing...

Re:google dialing (1)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421290)

This is probably how a phone call would proceed on a Google phone:

555-1212

Results 1 - 30 of about 499,000 for 555-1212. (0.24 seconds)

Did you mean 9545-1212 ?

Anonymous Coward (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30421056)

it appears to be the HTC passion. The twitter hype of this thing is extraordinary, it's like viral advertising only done right.

just google being google (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30421248)

This sounds like SOP for google... set up an open source beta, have everyone test and improve on it, and then begin selling an updated final version. Think about how they used chrome to attract open source devs and now are releasing chrome OS as a separate platform. They also did the same with gmail... collecting a huge amount of users with the beta then released a for fee version for businesses

Nexus One (5, Informative)

tuxliner (589414) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421356)

You can see a picture of this device here [engadget.com]

Re:Nexus One (1)

Provocateur (133110) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421792)

My God that thing is HUGE!

Oh,I didn't see the hand. But I saw how tiny the Blackberry was next to it and thought...

.

Re:Nexus One (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30422612)

Look at the reflection of the photographer, is he some kind of Telly Tubby? He has a white hood and giant ears!

And after five revisions... ? (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423182)

After five revisions, will they superior in strength and agility, and at least equal in intelligence, to the hardware engineers who created them?

Or will they just have a screensaver with electric sheep? ;)

Fits with Google's _true_ mission (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30421392)

Do only evil

lets hope the OHA survives... (1)

cfriedt (1189527) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421414)

Wow, if Google starts eating its own dogfood, by taking the leap into the handset manufacturing business, then I'll most certainly be eating my own words [slashdot.org].

I honestly thought that they would be more of a nonpartisan member of the OHA, focusing entirely on the software side of things. With a handset manufacturing division, they would be directly competing with the manufacturing members of the OHA. However, with Google's superiority in software, I doubt that the competition will be able to keep up, at least in the Android universe. Other manufacturers might then just be striving to make a Google phone that measures up to the actual Google phone. Surely there would be some proprietary software components that Google would not be releasing, no?

If that were the case, wouldn't that be a motivating factor for OHA members to discontinue Android development altogether? Maybe its just me... but I would certainly hope that Google keeps their Android improvements entirely open for the OHA to remain sustainable (aside from the Google API components, of course).

Re:lets hope the OHA survives... (2, Interesting)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421690)

Wow, if Google starts eating its own dogfood, by taking the leap into the handset manufacturing business, then I'll most certainly be eating my own words.

Just because Google gives out some handsets to its employees, doesn't mean it's getting into the handset business. They may just be wanting a bigger inhouse testbed, which would be a great idea.

I liked the sound of Arrington's recent rumour about a WiFi/Skype-only mobile phone from them, though. That would be an interesting option to have, if you could _only_ pay the data fees.

I friggin swear it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30421466)

Google is real life umbrella corp. I give it ten years before google has a product in every single category. Including zombie nerve agents

Re:I friggin swear it (1)

Siridar (85255) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422118)

Including zombie nerve agents

nononono...not zombie nerve agents - they're anti-aging treatments that can bring dead cells BACK TO LIFE!

Google Habits. (1)

ScottySniper (1699386) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421612)

I can't wait for a new Google Phone to be honest. I love my HTC Magic and Android phones in general, but knowing Google, this'll be a free beta!

Nobody can beat the Nokia n900 (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30421684)

I got my Nokia n900, and it's really GREAT, even better than expected. After few weeks it's out, there's already Pidgin, OpenVPN, and many more. Sure it crashes a bit, but that should be because it's still a quite young phone, and I hope that it's going to be fixed.

I quite hate the Google concept where things are SUPPOSED to be opened, but in fact, you get something which is not really modifiable. I don't see how this will change sooner or later.

What's the benefit for Google to have a device? (1)

aplusjimages (939458) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422120)

I don't see any benefit for Google to get into the device market. They seem to be doing great staying in the software/advertisement market.

Re:What's the benefit for Google to have a device? (1)

Rocketship Underpant (804162) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422430)

"Companies that are serious about software design their own hardware."-- Steve Jobs

I imagine it's much more difficult to test new ideas for Android and mobile software if you don't have your own in-house-designed hardware device to try it out on.

Re:What's the benefit for Google to have a device? (1)

daveb1 (1678608) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422436)

Customisation, enhanced trac...erh search results, google name, brand image.... Oh and did they tell you, it can make "phone calls" apparently :P

Re:What's the benefit for Google to have a device? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30422894)

uhh, iPhone? Simply put, everyone talks about 'iPhone killer this", "iPhone killer that", but in reality NO ONE has done it like Apple and the iPhone. So they're going to do that. 2 + 2 = 4. Why is it so hard for people to figure this out?

Re:What's the benefit for Google to have a device? (1)

sucati (611768) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423044)

I agree. It is so hard to figure out when you hump your iphone on a daily basis

What network? (1)

teeks99 (849132) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422550)

I didn't see it say if it was a CDMA or GSM phone. Does anyone know what network Google has had its internal phones on before? I heard they gave out some G1s, which would have been GSM...did they give out Droid phones (CDMA) internally as well?

Thank you for pointing out the obvious (1)

dkartuzinski (1572463) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422662)

Thank you fo pointing out the obvious. The Media is going crazy trying to create controversy where there isn't any. It actually makes no sense for Google to alienate all the telephone makers by making their own phone.

Need More Sets with Hardware Keyboard and Buttons (1)

highvista63 (587404) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423706)

There are some great Android phones coming down the pike, but I wish there were more with a physical keyboard and buttons. I have a G1 and wish HTC would come out with a "next generation" version with essentially the same layout but larger screen, more memory, better processor, etc. Getting rid of the call and end buttons arranged linearly at the bottom of the set seems a mistake. One example of lost functionality is the three-finger reboot available by holding down the call, menu, and end buttons simultaneously.

Forget buying it (1)

quercus.aeternam (1174283) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423752)

Google just gave a bunch of Android phones to a bunch of competent devs.

I'm not very familiar with the app situation, but if /I/ were a dev with ~20% time for personal projects, and I just got handed a shiny new toy (and a shiny new toy that everyone around me had) I would definitely consider developing for it.

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