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Google Mobile Phones Debut in Feb?

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the sure-why-not dept.

Google 127

SpinelessJelly writes "It appears that Google's Android, criticised by Microsoft as vaporware, has sprung to life. Prototype devices are circulating, software developers are experimenting with the SDK and PC-based Android emulator, and there are rumours of a show-stopping debut at February's Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona. Numerous examples of the Android GUI are also starting to leak out."

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Google Mobile Phones Debut in Feb? (1, Funny)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21821260)

How should I know, do I look like I have crystal balls? In Soviet Russia, slashdot asks YOU!

Re:Google Mobile Phones Debut in Feb? (0)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21821432)

As a matter of course, if you make the first post you will be autoimatically modded "troll", "flamebait", or more usually "offtopic". Some people have no sense of humor! You want troll? I'll give you troll [slashdot.org] , here in Springfield we do our trolling offline! And of course this would be flamebait [slashdot.org] . As to "offtopic" well, this comment is offtopic. Or not! [engadget.com]

So it seems that the oft-rumored handset from Google has taken that final leap into the "confirmed" column, though it may not be quite the be-all, end-all device we were expecting. Isabel Aguilera, Google's chief executive in Spain and Portugal, has admitted that the searchmeisters have some mobile goodness in the works but appeared to play down the project, noting that the phone is just one of 18 R&D initiatives the company currently has underway. Furthermore, she mentioned that Google's mobile skunkworks were designed to make their way into developing countries, suggesting that this may not be the Samsung sourced, iPhone-killing monster we'd been getting an earful about as of late. But hey, if Apple intends to turn the iPhone into a multi-device franchise, Google's entitled to do the same, is it not?


-mcgrew

making mods' heads assplode since 1998

Re:Google Mobile Phones Debut in Feb? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21821484)

Dear Earthling,

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Re:Google Mobile Phones Debut in Feb? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21822196)

Dear Alien Creature,
You are not the first (nor are you likely to be the last) life-form to experience disappointment when visiting /. in search of something beyond auto-eroticism.
Sorry-about-your-horniness-ly-yours,
Anonymous C. Oward

What's the bigger flop? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21821544)

Let's all put in our 2008 predictions right now:

What is going to be the bigger flop, the Google Phone or the OLPC?

Re:What's the bigger flop? (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21821584)

That's like asking "what was the biggest flop of the 1980s, the VCR or the CD?"

Re:What's the bigger flop? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21822716)

That's like asking "what was the biggest flop of the 1980s, the VCR or the CD?"


More like asking in 1995, "what's the bigger flop, Teh Lunix or Betamax?"

OLPC is a flop already: it's inferior to the Intel Classmate, which is selling at the exact same price. And the Google Phone is reportedly a buggy schizophrenic mess, just like everything Google tries to make money with except advertising.

Comparisons (5, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#21821282)

While open source provides the heart of Android, its brain is a surprisingly modest ARM 9-series processor running at 200MHz.

This ignores the fact that most handset manufacturers will probably include a 3D accelerator to improve graphical performance. Google claims [google.com] that Android has a "highly optimized 3D software rasterizer", but it remains to be seen if a mere 200MHz processor is capable of sustaining the necessary graphical power to provide a smooth experience.

In any case, it's likely that a 3D Accelerator could save on battery power. Application specific chips tend to be able to do more work with fewer cycles and less silicon. Which means that a phone manufacturer can make the choice of a faster CPU + lower battery life, or a slower CPU + 3D accelerator + higher battery life.

Re:Comparisons (2)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 6 years ago | (#21821574)

"Which means that a phone manufacturer can make the choice of a faster CPU + lower battery life, or a slower CPU + 3D accelerator + higher battery life."

But what if I want a faster CPU, 3D Accelerator AND lower battery life, HUH???

Re:Comparisons (4, Funny)

Wiseazz (267052) | more than 6 years ago | (#21821620)

I'm sure someone at Microsoft is working on it.

Re:Comparisons (0)

ischorr (657205) | more than 6 years ago | (#21822084)

They will refuse to do it which is further PROOF that Google is becoming evil.

Re:Comparisons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21821582)

200Mhz ARM is more than enough; I've recently benchmarked EP9301 (167MHz) with Nbench [tux.org] , and integer performance rating was 1.8 of Pentium-90. Now remember Doom-I running on a 33 MHz i386-SX...

Re:Comparisons (3, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#21821864)

I've recently benchmarked EP9301 (167MHz) with Nbench, and integer performance rating was 1.8 of Pentium-90.

OpenGL ES supports floating point or fixed point math. Using floating point is going to severely reduce your performance if you don't have a Floating Point Co-Processor. And fixed point math is incredibly inaccurate, leading to a lot of graphical glitches in pre-accelerator games. (And is *still* slower than pure integer computations.)

Now remember Doom-I running on a 33 MHz i386-SX.

Doom was a 2.5D raycaster, not a true 3D engine. Quake is a better comparison. Quake did run on a 90MHz processor, but it also ran in 256 color mode with rather small textures. Model meshes consisted of a handful of polygons wrapped with a single (low-res) texture. Visibility and lighting were pre-calculated using a modified BSP Tree structure that took HOURS to generate.

Android phones lack such a luxury. Graphics will be produced real-time using high-color, high-resolution textures. Scaling, rotation, and lighting are expected to be smooth and responsive. Graphical output should be crisp with little to no blurring. (Poor rendering quality is VERY bad for on-screen text.) In these situations, a 200MHz processor becomes barely adequate. In fact, it still remains to be seen if it will be able to handle the load.

It's possible that the phone manufactures who use the 200MHz chip with no 3D accelerator will keep the graphical effects to a minimum. (Obviously, a non-rotated 2D image with GL_ORTHO is going to be WAY faster to render than a full-3D scene with rotation matrices.) But that would tend to put the phone at a disadvantage in the market. The hardware is powerful enough to demand a higher price, but doesn't appear to be a good value when stacked against other smart phones.

Re:Comparisons (2, Informative)

GamerCowboy (954246) | more than 6 years ago | (#21821762)

The Nintendo DS [wikipedia.org] uses an ARM 9 paired with an ARM 7 and it can make some pretty games run at a good clip. I'm not sure how processor-intensive mobile phone software can get but games are normally considered to be intensive applications.

Re:Comparisons (3, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#21821918)

The Nintendo DS has two ARM cores paired with one 2D/3D accelerator core and one 2D accelerator core. This gives it two separate rendering pipelines with a maximum output of 120,000 triangles per second on the top screen and a touch-sensitive 2D framebuffer on the other. That's not really comparable with a single 200MHz ARM trying to perform OpenGL ES computations.

Re:Comparisons (1)

i.of.the.storm (907783) | more than 6 years ago | (#21823034)

Yeah, and then there's the fact that the ARM7 is 33mhz and the ARM9 is 67mhz, a third of the 200mhz in these phones which will probably be low end anyway. Also, the ARM7 mostly does sound processing stuff. Of course, the DS does have dedicated graphics hardware too.

Re:Comparisons (1)

ZiggyStardust1984 (1099525) | more than 6 years ago | (#21822096)

Ok, but, does it runs Call of Duty 4?

Graphics chip? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21822456)

Remember your history? The first 3D games were playable with PI-90's and no accelerator. An ARM9-200 has power to spare for such a task, especially considering that the screen factor is likely low enough resolution to be a postage stamp on most full screen monitors.

Re:Graphics chip? (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#21822674)

Remember your history?

I do. [slashdot.org] Do you? [wikipedia.org]

Re:Comparisons (2, Interesting)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 6 years ago | (#21823582)

Wont save power at all, in a phone anyway.

We are talking about lower resolution than Quake with slightly more features.
A 200mhz processor is overkill for that. 486's can do that easily.
The overhead required to power a separate chip and the interface between the two isnt worth it.

Damn Windows users thinking you need a dual core 3ghz processor to type up a document.
A 200mhz processor is freaking fast for most things including low res 3d.

Exchange integration? (4, Insightful)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 6 years ago | (#21821286)

Don't get me wrong, the phone and concept look cool, but if it wants to play in the business sector, exchange integration is a must. So... is there any exchange integration currently, or planned?

Re:Exchange integration? (4, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#21821350)

is there any exchange integration currently, or planned?

Google is offering prizes to application developers who come up with cool new Android apps. Sounds like you may have stumbled upon a good candidate for submission. Give Android the best Exchange/Phone integration to date and I bet you'll make a pretty penny off of it. ;-)

Great idea (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21821738)

Now I'll just get the API's from MS and I'll be home free!

oh, crap.

That said, If I worked at MS I would certianly take that idea and a business case way up the chain to see if I can't leverage it's success into a VP position.

Yes, I would skip several layer of management if I had to. I've done it before, with some success.

Re:Great idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21822102)

You wrote: "leverage it's success" when you should have written "leverage its success."

Improving your grammar would probably also help you in your meteoric rise to the top.

Re:Great idea (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 6 years ago | (#21823654)

I bet that MS is strongly trying to make sure Android succeeds. They have a lot to gain if it does.

More seriously I would bet they work on it, but keep it under wraps unless the platform takes off. That way if it does take off they are there with good integration, but if lack of this must have sinks the android MS has more potential in the mobile market.

Re:Exchange integration? (1)

CheeseTroll (696413) | more than 6 years ago | (#21821636)

Motorola is usually cited as one of the supporters of Android, and they now own Good Technology (which makes Blackberry-like software that hooks up with Exchange). I haven't seen any announcements that they're porting the Good client over to Android, but hopefully they see the potential in doing so!

Re:Exchange integration? (2, Insightful)

njhunter (613589) | more than 6 years ago | (#21821770)

I'm hoping the connection is a Internet standard like IMAP or POP, something that I can come to grips with should there be an issue. Dealing with Verizon and Motorola phones is a real joy, not. I'm looking forward to a proliferation of iPhones and IMAP. I'm sure Apple will have European data roaming figured out soon enough.

Re:Exchange integration? (1)

bahwi (43111) | more than 6 years ago | (#21822168)

Windows Mobile does IMAP as well, even on Verizon. That's what I'm using.

Re:Exchange integration? (1)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 6 years ago | (#21824080)

One thing most slashpeople tend to forget is that Exchange is much more than an e-mail server - its calendar server integration with Outlook is very complete and functional and is a core asset for many companies that rely on it for planning everything from meetings to training sessions to tracking resources such as projectors and flip-charts. Its workflow and forms functionality is less used but, still, companies that went with it now pretty much depend on it and will never migrate from it without a fight. Exchange is a very important tool for Microsoft to keep their vendor lock-in.

And, of course, Microsoft will never even consider making it easy for anyone to migrate away from their tools.

Re:Exchange integration? (4, Insightful)

guisar (69737) | more than 6 years ago | (#21821900)

How about exchange has to develop a way to work with the phone? I'm sick and tired of pandering to Microsoft's shifting "standards" being a prerequisite to do anything software related. Just why would google, which offers an open, standards based email system for companies of it's own be motivated to do this? How would such connectivity benefit google in any way shape or form? Google seems dedicated to keeping information accessible to all, not locking it in some secret proprietary format. I'm not saying Google is looking out for the consumer in every respect but this sort of requirement is nonsense.

Re:Exchange integration? (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 6 years ago | (#21822548)

I think it will do IMAP quite well. Oh, you mean that closed IMAP-over-RPC rip-off that doesn't even work well across a firewall? Does any of you even expose that mess to the internet?

Re:Exchange integration? (2, Interesting)

DustoneGT (969310) | more than 6 years ago | (#21823278)

The reason you think it needs exchange integration to 'play in the business sector' is that there are countless computer consulting firms spending ridiculous money to have M$ certifications and partnerships.

I used to work for a company that implemented microsoft servers, exchange, and even IIS regardless of the customer's actual needs. It's 'industry standard' to not let hardware control DHCP to these guys! You should see what happens when a server goes down after it's been set up the Microsoft way in a business network. Everything dies, including everybody's connection to the internet.

I think it's time to let Redmond know that we are not going to bend over and take it up the tailpipe on this one. I'd much rather see good integration with Google Aps before people waste time tinkering with Exchange integration.

Re:Exchange integration? (1)

kc2keo (694222) | more than 6 years ago | (#21824566)

I'd much rather see good integration with Google Aps before people waste time tinkering with Exchange integration.


Here here! I agree.

Slashdot: The place to be Gay (0, Offtopic)

TeleoMan (529859) | more than 6 years ago | (#21821294)

Believe it or not, the majority of Slashdot readers are male, aged 12 to 24, are computer literate or computer proficient, introverted, and homosexual. Slashdot creator and self-avowed homosexual Rob Malda, who, in 1997 in his Holland, Michigan dorm, was running a gay singles' list, had the following to say:

If I hadn't had Slashdot when I was coming out, I don't know what would have happened. There would have been no one to connet with, no twinks to share my rage with, no bears to gain knowledge from. Slashdot was the ultimate gay hookup and for that alone am I thankful I created it years ago.

Obviously, Slashdot serves more than the tech community it purports to cater to. In 1999, Slashdot hired then-Wired columnist Jon Katz, another openly gay literary genius. Sporting blue hair and multiple facial piercings, the angst-ridden Katz expresses in his writings are clearly visible in real life. I'd found a home with Rob. Wired was too straight, but at Slashdot I fit right in.

Finally, in early 2000, public homosexual and Nazi censor Michael Sims joined the Slashdot orgy crew. I wanted to introduce goat sex and a lot of non-Slashdot, homosexual, erect male penises to the group, said Sims, So ESR got involved with donkey dicks and we all like to suck each other off. Without Rob Malda, Michael Sims would be nothing except an aggravated gay male without a place to call home.

Slashdot is definitely the place to be gay concluded Sims. Definitely the place to be gay.

Re:Slashdot: The place to be Gay (1)

maryjanecapri (597594) | more than 6 years ago | (#21823600)

how absolutely ignorant of you.

i'll have to find out if all of my gay friends hang out at slashdot.

creators popular planet/population rescue re-debut (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21821300)

all new for 2008 & beyond.

we're intending for the corepirate nazis to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather' as well as a # of other things/events.

http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying [google.com]

the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption.

fortunately there's an 'army' of light bringers, coming yOUR way.

the little ones/innocents must/will be protected.

after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit?

for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available after the big flash.

vote with (what's left in) yOUR wallet. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable.

some of US should consider ourselves very fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate.

it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc....

as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis.

concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order.

'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US;

gov. bush denies health care for the little ones

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/bush.veto/index.html [cnn.com]

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/12/bush.war.funding/index.html [cnn.com]

& pretending that it isn't happening here

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article3086937.ece [timesonline.co.uk]

all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3046116.ece [timesonline.co.uk]

Screenshot != not vapor (4, Insightful)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#21821316)

Yes there are more solid rumors and some screen shots... But how many screen shots of DNF have we seen. I'll believe Google is in the mobile market when I have an android in my hands for the first time.

It may not be vapor but I think the February release may be rumor and marketing, maybe it's for Android(Beta)

Hmmm. (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#21821450)

have been hearing about this 1.5 years from the press. How long do you think that it takes to create this? My guess is that google introduced just before companies were going live with it. IOW, we will probably see something within 4 months.

Re:Screenshot != not vapor (1)

bdbolton (830677) | more than 6 years ago | (#21821462)

Google would NOT offer a "Best designed android application" contest if it was vaporware.

Re:Screenshot != not vapor (4, Informative)

babbling (952366) | more than 6 years ago | (#21821622)

Try the development kit.

It comes with an Android emulator, and a few of the Google applications. Included is an address book, a dummy dialling application, a working Google Maps application, a working browser... and any other applications that Android developers decide to write for it.

The only thing that is missing is the phone hardware, but we've seen pictures and videos of phone hardware running this. I'm surprised the release is so far away considering the resources available and how complete everything seems to be.

Re:Screenshot != not vapor (4, Interesting)

enjo13 (444114) | more than 6 years ago | (#21822252)

I'm not at all... they've thus far done the easy part.

Now the individual OEM's/ODP's have to A) integrate telephony (and work out the large number of issues with integrating the Android stuff with that), B) Create the mechnicals, C) Test and certify the phones for a number of different groups (OMA, FCC, etc..), D) Negotiate distribution and availability with carriers, etc... etc... etc...

Building a phone is non-trivial and involves a LOT of 3rd parties. They're on step 1a right now. I'll be duly impressed if they get a phone out before November of 2008.

Re:Screenshot != not vapor (1)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 6 years ago | (#21824130)

Actually, it's not such a huge endeavor. It's more like grabbing the hardware that's in production now running Windows Mobile and flash Android over it. Not much hardware certification, as the hardware is the same as other versions and I assume software changes do not require such steps. Most probably there must be a fast-track process for these modifications (or one would never be able to download a firmware update and flash it on their phones themselves - just imagine re-certifying everything for every bug-fix).

Re:Screenshot != not vapor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21821740)

I'll believe Google is in the mobile market when I have an android in my hands for the first time.
I think we can all agree that most Slashdotters would like an android to hold.

Re:Screenshot != not vapor (1)

i.of.the.storm (907783) | more than 6 years ago | (#21823110)

Hahah, this comment==win.

Re:Screenshot != not vapor (1)

Daver297 (1208086) | more than 6 years ago | (#21821818)

Yeah, I totally agree with this, noone has seen it, and so many things in this area are Vapor and spoken of, even shown in demos and never come to be

Android vs. Openmoko (1)

Jack Malmostoso (899729) | more than 6 years ago | (#21821346)

I held back in buying a new phone for a few months, now, hoping that my Christmas present would have been a new & shiny Neo from the Openmoko project. Unfortunately things took longer than expected and now Android seems to have put the last nail in the coffin.
I thought about getting a Nokia N810, but of all the neat things it does, it's not a phone!
So I guess now the question is: wait for Openmoko to put their act together, or jump on the Google bandwagon? I'd prefer Openmoko for the major openness of the whole project and for the undoubted underdog charme, but money is money, and a neat phone like the Neo won't be cheap.
Any advice/insight/alternative to these two players for a phone, possibly with touchscreen but definitely with Wifi and GPS, based on linux?

Re:Android vs. Openmoko (1)

ninevoltz (910404) | more than 6 years ago | (#21823144)

Show me the schematics of the "Open"Moko and only then will I agree that the project is truly "open". The wireless component market is a dirty and evil mafia. This is why you will not find schematics of the "Open"Moko, because the components are all under NDA. Total bullshit. Someone needs to come up with an open wireless chipset that doesn't infringe on some stupid ass WiFi patent.

Google has good GUI's (1)

Barryke (772876) | more than 6 years ago | (#21821370)

Among a lot of conflicting feelings i experience right now,
it is good to hear Google develops a portable device GUI.

They do know their GUI stuff.

Re:Google has good GUI's (1)

Barryke (772876) | more than 6 years ago | (#21821384)

Let me come back at this;

Design is a function of the GUI.

I do not like the design (and its GUI) picture from the article at all..
My HTC phone is better: bigger touch screen, less buttons.

Re:Google has good GUI's (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21821708)

I've never seen them deal with anything as complex as a smartphone. I completely different game from web interfaces;however, the do seem to get the 'simple and clean is better' aspect of gui's, so hopefully it will be a great product.

Re:Google has good GUI's (1)

Anomolous Cowturd (190524) | more than 6 years ago | (#21821844)

Meh. Smartphones are only complex because there was no google around to make them simple.

no-one will buy them when they come out (4, Funny)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 6 years ago | (#21821378)

in case the price drops $200 a couple of months later.

Designs (3, Insightful)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 6 years ago | (#21821420)

I think the first pic they show there has poor design, though. Not that that's Google's fault but Apple has shown that the screen is star and therefore should dominate the landscape. The new Touch and even the Palm Centro does this too and many are following. For me, any phone where the keyboard and other buttons make up more than say 20% of the face simply look bad.

Re:Designs (5, Insightful)

blake1 (1148613) | more than 6 years ago | (#21821668)

Android is a platform, not a device.

Re:Designs - RTFA (4, Informative)

slashbaby (261784) | more than 6 years ago | (#21822134)

The FA has pictures of hardware that is cobbled together so the engineers have something to work on. It is by no means what it will look like in the end. From the FA:


And yes, this big drab-looking device is dog ugly - but this isn't a slick made-for-media concept phone, it's merely a functional prototype on which the developers and engineers can tinker (and we all know that as rule, they're not big on elegant design).

RTFA!!

Re:Designs (2, Informative)

protobion (870000) | more than 6 years ago | (#21822178)

RTFA. Its a prototype. HTC put it together. Take a look at other phones by HTC (people who manufacture the O2 XDA phones). They currently come with Windows Mobile on them. It will be great to have Android on them.

Re:Designs (2, Informative)

sk8dork (842313) | more than 6 years ago | (#21822234)

you must not have even watched one of the earliest and best android videos yet, much less actually read about it... in the video they explain how the platform will be able to span a range of hardware devices from relatively low end and inexpensive, like the one you're complaining about, to higher end and more expensive with touch screens that span the whole face of the device... check the video out here. [youtube.com]

Re:Designs (2, Insightful)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 6 years ago | (#21823394)

All good points, I should have RTFA. OTOH, why even showcase it running on such an ugly device?

Re:Designs (1)

AlterTick (665659) | more than 6 years ago | (#21823628)

OTOH, why even showcase it running on such an ugly device?
Because they're showcasing the software? Because they're not hardware manufacturers? Because this isn't going to be a piece of locked down, locked out, single provider hardwae like the iPhone, but an open platform available on all sorts of devices by a myriad of developers? Seriously, are you that dense?

Re:Designs (1)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 6 years ago | (#21824354)

No I'm not that dense. I understand fully. I'm bringing up a perception issue. This isn't Linux. No one is going to save money by buying up old Motorola i90c's and loading Google's Android on them the Linux extends the life of say a PII-500Mhz.

Re:Designs (1)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 6 years ago | (#21824636)

For me, any phone where the keyboard and other buttons make up more than say 20% of the face simply look bad.

As Maddox might say, 'so you want your screen to turn into a smudgy piece of shit after a few minutes of use?'

I hink he has a point. I don't want smudgy fingerprints all over the screen, touchscreens aren't a good idea.

Vaporware? (0, Troll)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#21821436)

I'm rather amused at the idea of Microsoft knocking any other company for vaporware.

-jcr

Re:Vaporware? (1)

BeanThere (28381) | more than 6 years ago | (#21821552)

Indeed, I think they probably forgot for a moment that Google != Microsoft and are not like them.

Re:Vaporware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21821576)

i guess it looks like that when you're just a blind fanboi...

oh, that's right. microsoft doesn't rat out journalists. sorry. my bad.

Re:Vaporware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21821556)

It's not really surprising, they know that game well.

Every time they try to enter a new market they announce their product ages ago and hope potential customers don't buy the already established products.

This time it's the other way round. They already have Windows CE and fear Google using their own business practices, so they call it vaporware because they really know what that means.

Re:Vaporware? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21821698)

I'm not a fan of Microsoft, but I can't think of any vapour ware from them, ever. Lots of suckage, but always a product.

Re:Vaporware? (0, Troll)

king-manic (409855) | more than 6 years ago | (#21821866)

I'm not a fan of Microsoft, but I can't think of any vapour ware from them, ever. Lots of suckage, but always a product.
Microsoft Bob...

Re:Vaporware? (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 6 years ago | (#21822024)

Microsoft Bob was released. Did you forget the definition of Vaporware?

Re:Vaporware? (1)

ckaminski (82854) | more than 6 years ago | (#21824364)

Cairo. If DNF has longevity, Cairo should certainly knock it from the top vaporware slot of the decade. Promised since 1996, we still don't have it... And Microsoft products are still bollocks to operate.

So is every other product... WTF ever happened to computers being simple to use?

Re:Vaporware? (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#21821910)

Cairo, WinFS.. and that's just two things that I can think of off the top of my head right now.

Microsoft have been using Vapor as a marketing tactic for years.. it goes like this:

1. Competitor announces product
2. Announce your product coming 'real soon' that is same as competitor

Re:Vaporware? (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#21822554)

I can't think of any vapour ware from them, ever

How about the bulk of the features promised for Longhorn?

-jcr

Re:Vaporware? (moderate parent funny) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21824350)

Err... I'm not a fan of Britney, but she has always delivered quality intellectual music. Very challenging, but always a deep insight into modern musical theory...

C'mon. Microsoft is second only to Duke Nukem Forever [google.com] . Their immediate response to any competition is to announce that their next product will do more. Linux has a database like filesystem (Reiserfs); announce that the next version of Windows will be databased too (WinFS), whether it's a good idea or not. Firefox is winning standards wars. Announce that IE 8 can be built compliant to the ACID tests. etc. etc. etc.

The only reason I answer you is that some people honestly begin to believe that Microsoft does something other than buy up little companies.

Microsoft, Schmicrosoft... (3, Insightful)

Cleon (471197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21821486)

Microsoft can't be happy about this; they're already pissed off that Windows CE doesn't dominate the cell phone market the way Windows does for desktops.

But Apple is going to be the ones crapping their pants; they've bet the farm on the iPhone, and major competition coming from Google won't be making them happy.

If Apple's smart, they'll make the next generation iPhone fully able to run and support Google Phone applications--that'll really make some folks in Redmond change their underwear.

Re:Microsoft, Schmicrosoft... (2, Interesting)

shagoth (100818) | more than 6 years ago | (#21821656)

Unless you expect snazzy features like push email and Exchange support from Apple. That's not happened so far and no word that it will. Of course, that could all change in 2 weeks at iPodCaseWorld or whatever Apple's show in SF is called today.

Re:Microsoft, Schmicrosoft... (1)

pauljlucas (529435) | more than 6 years ago | (#21822446)

Unless you expect snazzy features like push email ... support from Apple. That's not happened so far ...
So this [apple.com] (3rd paragraph on left), this [apple.com] (under "If You Don't Have an Email Account"), and this [yahoo.com] are all wrong?

Re:Microsoft, Schmicrosoft... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21821780)

Yeah, because they couldn't implement the same support?

Re:Microsoft, Schmicrosoft... (2, Interesting)

Sancho (17056) | more than 6 years ago | (#21822142)

Apple really has little to fear from Google. Google has a long history of making good products--even products superior to what's out there--but failing to grab the marketshare. The only place where they're absolutely on top is with search.

Android looks like a really neat platform, but it's a geek platform. It won't have the enterprisey features that business people want (primarily Exchange integration) and from the looks of things, it doesn't have the sleek design that has captured the hip market (like the iPhone has.) It will almost certainly be priced comparably to other smart phones, with nothing to set it apart for the average customer.

I really hope that I'll be proven wrong, but so far, I just don't see anything that makes Android pop.

Re:Microsoft, Schmicrosoft... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21822246)

yeah, how cool would it be to have steve jobs on stage... oh, one more thing, you've wanted a way to build your own applications on the iphone platform; well, you have already seen it; we have partnered with google to make the iphone the first consumer-ready release of the android.

Re:Microsoft, Schmicrosoft... (1)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 6 years ago | (#21824172)

Apple does not need to care much. People who buy iPhones do not buy them for the functionality or openness - they buy iPhones because they are cool gadgets. iPods are not more functional than generic music players - they are just simple enough most people would be able to use them without worrying too much. I would not buy an iPod touch because it's holds more music or allows me to download software - I would buy it because it's cool.

I'm pumped! (3, Interesting)

Nerdposeur (910128) | more than 6 years ago | (#21821534)

This article doesn't say much of anything new - it mostly uses screen shots and explanations that the folks at Google put in their original announcement videos.

That said, I'm personally very pumped about getting an Android phone. I hear people dissing Google here a lot, but everything that I've used that is made by Google works great - Gmail, Picassa, Google Earth, Google Maps, and the search engine itself. If these guys make something, I pretty much believe it will be cool.

Up till now, I've had very little interest in a "smart phone" - the ones I've had my hands on are clunky, and that includes Blackberries. But if I can get a phone with Android next time my contract is up, I just might do it. If nothing else, the possibility of having features that aren't controlled by the carrier is awesome. And announcements like Android seem to be pressuring carriers to go in that direction, even though Android doesn't specifically prohibit lockdown.

Down with carrier control! Up with open access! :)

GPS (1)

Reverse Gear (891207) | more than 6 years ago | (#21821746)

I quick search on the word GPS in the article didn't come up with anything. So I guess either this will be a hardware add on or it will have rely on this technique with trying to find you position depending on your position ... but this only works with telephone companies that gives the data needed to Google. For example Google maps doesn't isn't able to locate itself on any net-providers here in Denmark with my Nokia E61i.

Unless Google has some kind of intelligent solution to this problem I doubt I am interested when this hits the market.

Re:GPS (1)

Layth (1090489) | more than 6 years ago | (#21821884)

From what I hear google seeks to triangulate your position based upon cell phone towers, rather than utilizing a GPS system.

Re:GPS (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#21821940)

Alas this is doomed to failure, as it would require them to have a database containing the locations of all towers in the world.

They don't have this, and neither do any of the other companies that claim to do this kind of thing.. I've *never* seen such applications actually work even right in the middle of major cities.

Re:GPS (1)

bahwi (43111) | more than 6 years ago | (#21822186)

Android is a platform, not a device. So some may come with GPS others may not. You can buy a bluetooth add-on for GPS and Google Maps works with it(or attempts to triangulate, but is not very accurate, as they already tell you).

All in All (3, Interesting)

Ev!LOnE (1207842) | more than 6 years ago | (#21821986)

Well, I feel that the plus point of Android is that it is open source. So that should allow future developments like GPS, motion sensing API, etc. All it needs is a bunch of enthusiastic developers(which is actually the case since Google is floating the thing). I dont think that 200Mhz processor will be a deterrent, Android should sooner or later support better processors as well. Only better hardware needs to be thrown into it. Now what we need to know is how it affects the rest of market, Or if it can compete and make users believe that it is better than symbian or windows mobile. Whatever happens, we end users will hopefully get better products.

Easy to develop ... (5, Informative)

lakshmanok (1208090) | more than 6 years ago | (#21822018)

I tried Android out -- we banged out a personalized weather application (even without a GPS chip, Android is capable of triangulating satellites to get within 300m of the user's position, which is sufficient for weather applications). The whole process took under an hour and was easy as pie. [blogspot.com] . So, no it's not vaporware. The hardware may be still be a few months away, but the software is enough to create real-world, practical applications.

Re:Easy to develop ... (1)

rukidding (931503) | more than 6 years ago | (#21822628)

This is all good news for us developers. The sooner Android is available on an actual piece of hardware the sooner developers can get a better feel for how this new platform will interact outside of the current emulator.

At Shook Labs [shooklabs.com] our new Android App [shooklabs.qsh.es] 's will rely heavily on how the platform behaves in a truly mobile setting.

lakshmanok, Good luck with you App!

Re:Easy to develop ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21823124)

(even without a GPS chip, Android is capable of triangulating satellites to get within 300m of the user's position, which is sufficient for weather applications

Satellites? I think you mean land based cell phone towers.

Re:Easy to develop ... (1)

KZigurs (638781) | more than 6 years ago | (#21823346)

uhm, ehm, ahm... triangulating w/o gps chip? Maybe you meant triangulating based on GSM base stations?

Re:Easy to develop ... (1)

lakshmanok (1208090) | more than 6 years ago | (#21824374)

oops ... i should have simply written "triangulating". I don't know what it is based on. Probably it's based on strength of signal from nearby cell-phone towers. In any case, the toolkit lets you get the user location to 300m (compared to about 3m using GPS).

Re:Easy to develop ... (1)

ceedee99uk (776244) | more than 6 years ago | (#21824832)

c.300m accuracy is good enough for me, almost all the time.
However GMaps on my S60 mobile routinely either finds me "unavailable" or well over a mile out.

If they've got the triangulating algorythms working more accurately, why not release it on GMaps?
(And yes, that was a rhetorical question...)
;-)

Re:Easy to develop ... (1)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 6 years ago | (#21824674)

How long until MS enter the phone market? With Google and Apple coming out with their versions, it's hard to see MS not coming along a few months later with an inferior knockoff.

Sigh... (1)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | more than 6 years ago | (#21822022)

And here was I holding my breath, hoping that almighty Google and its wads of cash would be brave enough to try and one up the Iphone's superb UI... oh well.

2007 over. Insert coin(s) to continue.

So, (1)

Fengpost (907072) | more than 6 years ago | (#21822030)

I sure hope Google is licensing the OS for free to keep the phone cost down and make money off the advertising just like their other services.

Android on Existing phones (1)

Inakizombie (1081219) | more than 6 years ago | (#21822176)

Does anyone know if it'll be possible to install Android on existing smartphones? I really like the hardware of my HTC Tilt, but am less than impressed with Windows Mobile 6. I went with this model over the iPhone because of a few added features I find useful, particularly on the hardware side.

Re:Android on Existing phones (2, Informative)

vhogemann (797994) | more than 6 years ago | (#21822318)

That depends,

If HTC re-use some of its existing hardware to deploy some Android phones, maybe... I've seem some threads at xda-developers and MoDaCo with people talking about flashing their phones with alternative WinMo versions.

My guess is: it probably will be possible... but HTC won't support it. Another possibility is that Android might appear as an paid upgrade, but it's very unlikely.

Mind you that you DON'T need to wipe Windows Mobile to try Linux on your smartphone, there are some bootloaders out there that can boot Linux straight from the expansion card... so we might be able to try Android before flashing it definitely into the phone.

I have a HTC s710 BTW, HTC make some cool phones indeed.

Neo1973/OpenMoko and Android (3, Interesting)

jag7720 (685739) | more than 6 years ago | (#21823192)

Why doesn't Google team up with OpenMoKo and Qtopia and really get something done.

Google's phone sounds awesome, but this is the kind of thing that hinders the "open phone" market. Too many splinters.

Can't they afford a designer? (1)

ceeam (39911) | more than 6 years ago | (#21823216)

http://apcmag.com/system/files/images/androidlive.article-width.JPG [apcmag.com]

I'm sorry, but it looks really fugly. Even with my dislike of thumb qwerty-keyboards aside.

Re:Can't they afford a designer? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21824576)

You're a moron and should have your posting privileges revoked. Did you even read the article? Did you even read anything on android in the past 6 months. I mean, Jesus Christ, it's a goddamn software platform and the device is for testing not for consumer use. If you have paid attention to any android related text...ever, you'd know that was the case. That is like saying that OSX is ugly because you see it running on a crappy beige box. Just stop posting you're ruining the internet for everyone else.

Android on an MDA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21823608)

Someone already posted about putting android on an existing phone:

Does anyone know if it'll be possible to install Android on existing smartphones? I really like the hardware of my HTC Tilt, but am less than impressed with Windows Mobile 6. I went with this model over the iPhone because of a few added features I find useful, particularly on the hardware side.
It is mentioned that android is being designed for ARM-9 @ 200mhz which is exactly the CPU in my T-Mobile MDA. Does anyone know if there are any Android beta ROMS already in the wild?

And to this clown quoted above: look for today screen modification software and apps to make it do what you want, at least you have the CPU muscle to run WM6 properly (tilt=400mhz), where as I only have half that to run WM5 loaded down with apps in my MDA, if I had a tilt I'd already know how to make it do everything I needed it to (and I'd already have most of the software needed to do it)! *Translation = Don't b!tch about the phone I want you jerk!
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