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Full Review of the T-Mobile G1 Android Device 135

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the gadget-lust-is-a-powerful-force dept.
palmsolo writes "Want to see the biggest and most in-depth review of the T-Mobile G1 Google Android device from a person who has been using it for a week? Check out over 260 photos and 5 videos of the device and just about every screen of the Google Android OS. Find out how well HTC, T-Mobile and Google did with this first-generation device." I played with one for a few minutes and found it a solid unit. It feels less polished than the iPhone, but the screen and keyboard are great. It'll be a real test of Open Source to see what happens with the iPhone App Store's closed system vs. Android's open one.
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Full Review of the T-Mobile G1 Android Device

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  • Less Polished (Score:1, Interesting)

    by thompson.ash (1346829) on Thursday October 16, 2008 @09:28AM (#25398673) Journal

    I can forgive HTC for allowing a "less polished" feel in return for not having to pay the enormous mark-up present on Apple's iPhone.

    I eagerly anticipate the post in the near future of "Android hacked onto iPhone chassis".

    Now that might make the iPhone worth the extorsionate price they're charging for it!

    Im still slightly in the gray about the open-ness of the android platform. Everywhere I've looked has said that Android is open but the official website under "Will Android work on [insert phone here]" Only gives the SDK emulator rather than an HCL.

    Can anyone shed some light on whether it will only run on specifically designed hardware or if it is "open" in the sense they lead me to believe.
    I may have got the wrong end of the stick but I hope not, I have an LG Nyx I was looking forward to androiding...

  • Two other videos (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Peter Cooper (660482) on Thursday October 16, 2008 @09:33AM (#25398739) Homepage Journal

    Dan Grigsby looks at the Android G1 in 5 minutes [vimeo.com] from an iPhone developer's perspective.

    Loren Feldman (1938media) throws in his own snarky-but-entertaining 2 cents [1938media.com].

  • by Speare (84249) on Thursday October 16, 2008 @09:43AM (#25398905) Homepage Journal

    The G1 looks like it's so close to the general feature set of the Nokia internet tablets, plus the phone bits obviously. I'm wondering what the next stage of Nokia's 770, N800, N810 series will look like. They made a WiMax version of the N810 but I haven't seen any info about a new successor. The slide-out keyboard for the N810 seems to be a lot nicer than the G1's, and the general maemo development platform has been okay for me (especially since python is well-supported with fairly extensive maemo bindings).

    If the G1 or its successor (G2?) supports Japanese input and output "out of the box" (but with English as the primary interface language) and has suitable J-E/E-J dictionary support, I'd be more interested. Haven't seen much info about that in the reviews or discussions of Android.

  • Re:Less Polished (Score:4, Interesting)

    by chrb (1083577) on Thursday October 16, 2008 @09:45AM (#25398921)

    So, Android needs to be ported, like any OS. Mobile phones, in particular, have very specific hardware. If you tried to put the OS from the G1 onto another phone, you'd need to add drivers for the other chips on it, especially things like the cellular baseband chip, and the hardware for things like audio input/output, LEDs, etc. It's sort of like RockBox in that it requires a large chunk of work to be ported. They initially ran on only one device, but, over time, gained additional compatibility.

    Ports shouldn't require a massive amount of work - mobile hardware seems to have evolved to a fairly common platform, ARM CPU, some LCD driver, audio device, wifi chip, etc. Many of those chipsets will already have Linux drivers, or slightly similar variants. When Linux was ported to the Xbox there was some amount of work, but a great deal was already done - the kernel ran on x86 already, the open source NV20 video driver worked with only some minor tweaks, audio was an Intel chipset and the driver worked with only minor changes, USB was a standard chipset and the driver worked immediately, etc. I doubt there are many mobile phones out there that would require the whole kernel porting from scratch, and certainly those that are wouldn't be used as the base for new Android based hardware.

  • Re:Less Polished (Score:3, Interesting)

    by thompson.ash (1346829) on Thursday October 16, 2008 @09:46AM (#25398939) Journal

    I'll rephrase.

    I'm not going to pay for the iPhone beacuse of the restrictive OS.

    Severely restricted bluetooth, poor / absent MMS capability... Both blackmarks for me.

    If I parted with that amount of money safe in the knowledge that an open source, extensible OS would slot in there quite nicely and not be subject to Apple's "you're not playing with that" mentality toward 3rd party apps, I'd be much happier about it.

    It's not the hardware I dislike, it's the ball and chain operating system.

  • Re:Not quite so open (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Piranhaa (672441) on Thursday October 16, 2008 @09:55AM (#25399087)

    It's not as bad as you think. Before you compare it to Apple's kill switch....

    1) The source is open. They're not hiding it from people's view, like Apple's. People had to dig down for Apple's to find it
    2) They state this in their Terms of Service: "Google may discover a product that violates the developer distribution agreement ... in such an instance, Google retains the right to remotely remove those applications from your device at its sole discretion"
    3) They offer a "return" (not sure how.. it's electric) within 24 hours if it's found the application has an issue and must be blocked. Apple does NOT do this.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Thursday October 16, 2008 @09:58AM (#25399133)

    One disturbing thing is that apps can only live in the internal phone memory (I believe 192MB). The point out most apps are just a MB or two, but as you see more games and more polished apps with more graphics, that number increases quickly. Super Monkey Ball on the iPhone for example, is I think 32MB or so.

    I imagine it's for speed of access, but should probably still be allowed...

    On the plus side, I had read before you could only sync with one google calendar but am happy to see you can at least see other calendars in addition to your own. But I think the limitation is still there to be able to only hook into one gmail account at a time, which I don't think I could work with as I have multiple gmail accounts for different domains.

  • Re:Not quite so open (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Em Ellel (523581) on Thursday October 16, 2008 @10:52AM (#25400009)

    Here is a bigger problem:
    "Google may discover a product that violates the developer distribution agreement ... in such an instance, Google retains the right to remotely remove those applications from your device at its sole discretion."

    As per article, this applies only to apps sold through their App Store. What I am curious about is - does this mean they can delete any app (regardless of how you installed it) when you use the app store or does this mean they can only delete apps you got via their app store if they discover something is wrong with it? I can kind of understand the latter with proper disclosure, but it needs to be made much clearer.

    -Em

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