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G1 Android - Ready for Prime Time?

by Sachin Balagopalan on September 24, 2008 · 1 comment

All the hype and hoopla has thankfully come to an end and now it’s time to take a real look at this thing. Google finally released Android, its operating system along with T-Mobile’s G1 cell phone. The reports have been coming in since the A.M. launch yesterday and for those of us who haven’t had a chance to test drive the device yet the information can be a little overwhelming to say the least. Nevertheless there is quite a bit of useful info out there on the blogosphere from some credible sources like GigaOm and David Pogue. As far as I’m concerned I don’t really care too much about the form factor of the HTC-G1. There were more than a few complaints that the device was rather clunky and not as sleek as the iPhone and there is a lot of “plastic” to boot. With over thirty companies committing to adopting Android I don’t think form factor is going to be a huge issue

For me the big question is how open are they really going to be? For example VoIP - Are there going to be Skype like apps available so I can make phone calls via WiFi and bypass T-Mobile’s cellular network? Theoretically because Android is supposedly open third party developers should be able to write VoIP applications. However according to GigaOM ..

VoIP: Google’s GTalk will work at launch as an IM client but you wouldn’t be able to use it to make any voice calls. Since the OS is open, there are no restrictions on VoIP apps, the company claims. Yet at the same time while T-Mobile has no restrictions on VoIP over Wi-Fi, but it says currently has no plans to support VoIP on their (3G) mobile network, either, a position in line with Apple and AT&T. This is hardly the open approach that was being touted by Google.

“No plans to support VoIP …”. Hmmm.. I wonder why! If this is true then once again we’re at the mercy of the Telcos just like AT&T. Ok so maybe no VoIP but at least data will be faster since they are coming out of the gates with 3G right?. Not! T-Mobile’s 3G network covers only 19 cities so far, compared to AT&T’s 280 so unless you live in one of those 19 cities you better look for a WiFi spot. There is some good news however and again according to GigaOM …

3G & Wireless Broadband Roaming: T-Mobile says it’s boosting its network so that 94 percent of its U.S. subscribers will have 3G access. It will use 3G in the U.S. and Europe and yes, a U.S. user will be able to use the same U.S. device on European 3G networks. All of the phones will have the capability to use both 3G networks; all the phones will be dual-band.

Okay so I can use the same US device in Europe - better than nothing - but VoIP would have been a lot easier on my wallet :-) .

My other beef is there is no out of the box video recording just like the iPhone. Sure developers can write apps to provide the service but it would have been nice to have that out of the box. Actually they’re a step behind iPhone on this because there in no video playback either except YouTube videos.

On the positive side - yes they do allow cut & paste and I’m sure the pull out keyboard had something to do with that. Also Google maps is featured predominantly and according to David Pogue…

They’ve even added a feature to Google Maps: in Street View (photos of actual locations taken from ground level), you can hold the phone perpendicular to the ground—and as you turn your body, the photo rotates, too, like a photographic compass, so that it matches what you’re seeing with your eyes. It’s amazing and actually useful, especially when you emerge from the subway and have no idea which way you’re facing.

This is actually really cool, marrying street view with G1’s on-board compass so as you move around it shows you an image of what you would actually see if you were at the location - like a video. Not sure what exactly the value is but it’s a cool little gimmick regardless.

I’m not sure if I’m going to buy this particular device but I’m keeping an open mind for now and It’ll be interesting to see if the developers embrace Android and more importantly what type of apps they churn out.


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

make a slideshow with music 02.28.11 at 12:42 pm

Thank you friend for the information

The article is very professionally written. I enjoy reading every day

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