Category Android

Nexus S available at Best Buy — $200 on T-Mobile, $530 unlocked

Yes, the iPhone will most likely be on Verizon early next year. Yes, there are plenty of awesome Android phones to be had for less than 2 Benjamins on contract. And yes, dual-core smartphones that run circles around the mobile devices of today — like the LG Optimus 2X — will become a dime a dozen in 2011. But if you want to experience Android like it was meant to be, Google’s Nexus S is the phone to get.

Source: Best Buy

Google Nexus S reviewed by TechCrunch — $529 unlocked

Michael Arrington on ‘the best phone on the market today’:

The bottom line is this. If you are an iPhone user this isn’t going to make you switch. If you’re an Android user you will want this phone more than any other. If you’re currently neither, we recommend that you go with the Nexus S. It is better than the iPhone in most ways. What you lose with the slightly less impressive screen and iOS’s slightly slicker user experience you will more than make up for with the Nexus S’s ability to actually make phone calls that don’t drop and Google’s exceptional Navigation and voice input applications. The fact that the phone is unlocked and can be used abroad with other carriers is also a very big plus.

I’m glad to see Google hasn’t completely abandoned their Nexus line designed to their specifications and running stock Android. By all accounts, the Nexus S looks like a top-notch phone that should serve as a reference design for the next wave of Android handsets. The curved screen is intriguing and Android 2.3 Gingerbread seems to have brought some much needed UI improvements. I am especially pleased to see that Android 2.3 and the Nexus S support Near Field Communication — a technology that should see wide-scale adoption in 2011.

The Nexus S will be available exclusively at Best Buy in the US. It can be had completely unlocked for $529 or $199 with a 2-year T-Mobile contract. If you want the best phone, the Nexus S is your best bet. If you want the best mobile device, however, it’s still the iPhone 4.

Sources: TechCrunch, Google

More video of the PlayStation Phone

A much better video of Sony Ericsson’s PlayStation Phone. Looking good.

Source: xxmajstor on Youtube via Engadget

What Android Is

What happened was, for our recent South American tour I wanted an Android architecture overview graphic. I ran across, among the Android SDK documentation, a page entitled What is Android?, and it’s perfectly OK. Except for, I really disliked the picture — on purely aesthetic grounds, just not my kind of lettering and gradients and layouts — so I decided to make another one.

A must-read article by Tim Bray.

Source: ongoing via Daring Fireball

PlayStation Phone caught on video in the wild

What highly anticipated unreleased smartphone would be complete without the obligatory blurry spy video catching it in action on the streets of a foreign country? This video from the folks of Techblog.gr espies Sony Ericsson’s PlayStation Phone in the wild on the streets of Greece. Little can be gleaned from the video other than a glimpse of the admittedly butter-smooth scrolling of the PSPhone’s UI.

The PlayStation Phone, codenamed Zeus, is a 4″ touchscreen phone with slide-out gaming controls à la PSP Go running the hitherto unreleased Android 2.3 Gingerbread. The PSPhone will have access to a special Sony Marketplace for download of exclusive game content. Reports of those who have seen the phone in action describe it as being slick and a legitimately satisfying mobile gaming experience. The PlayStation Phone is also rumored to have a resolution rivaling that of the iPhone 4’s eye-popping retina display. The PSPhone will most likely be released sometime in the first quarter of 2011.

For Sony-Ericsson’s sake — and for all those who have been impatiently waiting for a truly dedicated gaming phone — I hope the PlayStation Phone lives up to the hype. SE has always had a knack for designing lustworthy hardware, but a combination of repeatedly delayed shipments and an inability to update current devices to the latest Android OS in a timely fashion have consigned Sony-Ericsson to the back of the pack. The PSPhone is SE’s chance to catapult itself to the front of an increasingly competitive yet stale Android hardware race with an innovative mobile device that has the potential to push past the iPhone in revolutionizing the mobile gaming market.

Source: Techblog.gr via SlashGear

Google Docs now supports mobile editing for iPhone, Android

Nice, basic implementation of a feature that many — including myself — have been (im)patiently waiting for. Thanks, Google!

Source: Google Mobile Blog via Engadget

Android 2.3 Gingerbread supports NFC contactless payments

TechCrunch is reporting that Google CEO Eric Schmidt let loose at Web Summit 2.0 that Near Field Communication (NFC) support was baked into Android 2.3 Gingerbread.

NFC is a mobile technology that will allow for phones equipped with a special chip to perform specific actions in proximity to special sensors. The applications abound, but the most prevalent one is the ability to make and accept payments via mobile phone.

With Nokia and Apple slated to reveal NFC compatible devices in 2011, it looks like the mobile phone might make yet another item obsolete: the wallet.

via TechCrunch

Nexus S: the next Google-branded phone

Engadget has been on quite the roll breaking new phones lately. Coming off the revelation of an actual PlayStation Phone comes word (and pictures!) of the next Google phone — the Nexus S.

The Nexus S, as the name suggests, will be manufactured by Samsung and is styled after their popular Galaxy S line of phones. The Nexus S is a glossy black touchscreen slab that features a front-facing camera and is rumored to be the first Android phone that will ship with a plain vanilla version of Android 2.3 aka Gingerbread. No definitive word on what’s under the hood or on the display, but a 1GHz Hummingbird processor and 4″ Super AMOLED WVGA display are the most likely specs.

The US carrier for the Nexus S will almost certainly be T-Mobile, and there has been talk that Google’s phone may be a Best Buy exclusive. The Nexus S was set to be released as early as this week, but alleged hardware issues may have pushed its availability back a few weeks. I’d still bet on seeing it on sale for the holidays, though.

It should be interesting to hear Google’s rationale for releasing another Google-branded phone, especially after CEO Eric Schmidt dismissed the need for an encore to the poorly selling but ground-breaking and arguably purest of Android phones, the Nexus One. Whatever the case, here’s hoping Google will be inspiring innovation for a whole new wave of Android superphones to come in 2011.

Hit up the source link for more pictures of Google’s Nexus S.

Source: Engadget

The PlayStation Phone

Engadget just scooped up this gem. Rumors of a PlayStation Phone have been swirling for several years, but these are the first pictures that confirm its existence.

According to Engadget, the PSPhone will run Android 3.0 aka Gingerbread and be released ‘soon’. Specs include a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 512MB of RAM, 1GB of ROM, a 3.7 – 4.1 inch screen and support for microSD cards in lieu of Sony’s proprietary Memory Stick format.

The PSPhone is a landscape slider much like the PSP Go, but also seems to feature a multitouch pad in the center of the controls. Engadget reports that the PSPhone will feature a special Sony Marketplace for games designed for the new platform.

Given that the phone pictured above is a prototype that is still said to be buggy and lacking a custom UI skin, it’s a safe bet that we won’t see Sony Ericsson release this until early 2011. Hit the Engadget link below for more pictures of the PlayStation Phone.

I have mixed feelings about the PSPhone. I was a huge fan of the original PlayStation Portable and have always believed mobile gaming would eclipse console-based gaming in the future. I have eagerly awaited the PSPhone long before there was an iPhone. However, given Sony’s recent lackluster innovation in the consumer electronics space, I can only think that this effort is too little too late. I honestly hope Sony proves me wrong, though.

Sources: @joshuatopolsky, Engadget

‘Froyo is not optimized for use on tablets’

Hugo Barra, director of products for mobile at Google:

Android is an open platform. We saw at IFA 2010 all sorts of devices running Android, so it’s already running on tablets, but the way Android Market works is it’s not going to be available on devices that don’t allow applications to run correctly. […] Which devices do, and which don’t will be unit specific, but Froyo is not optimized for use on tablets. […] We want to make sure that we’re going to create a application distribution mechanism for the Android market, to ensure our users have right experience.

I really wonder if companies like Samsung aren’t jumping the gun with their tablet exploits after reading this quote. The Galaxy Tab is a nice piece of hardware, but how attractive will it be if it can’t run apps from Android Marketplace, especially when a proper Android tablet — presumably running Android 3.0, aka Gingerbread, or Chrome OS — pops up early next year?

Source: TechRadar via Engadget