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September 23, 2008

Android Makes its Debut in T-Mobile G1

After less than a year since the initial Android announcement, T-Mobile USA launches today the first handset that uses Android's software stack: a smartphone built by HTC, which is known for manufacturing Windows Mobile portable devices.

T-Mobile G1 showcases some of the most advanced capabilities of Android, by including a touchscreen, QWERTY keyboard, accelerated 3D graphics, Wi-Fi and 3G support, GPS and accelerometer. The device won't have an impressive design and it won't be as easy to use as an iPhone, but it will certainly be able to run a lot of interesting applications.

Android's marketplace will accept any applications without a preliminary review, so that users decide whether they're useful. That means Angelo DiNardi's MailWrangler application won't be rejected because it duplicates the functionality from a built-in application. "Developers will be able to make their content available on an open service hosted by Google that features a feedback and rating system similar to YouTube. (...) Content can debut in the marketplace after only three simple steps: register as a merchant, upload and describe your content and publish it," explains Android's blog.


Even if the first device fails to impress, it will still be a success because Android pushes the boundaries further. "Consumers will see cheaper and more innovative mobile devices and services, which will inevitably feature more engaging, easier-to-use interfaces - as well as a rich portfolio of applications," envisions Open Handset Alliance's FAQ.

We will find more at 10:30 a.m. EDT, when T-Mobile and Google will announce the device in a press conference webcasted live.


Update. HTC has more information about the device:

Processor: Qualcomm MSM7201A, 528 MHz
Size: 117.7 mm x 55.7 mm x 17.1 mm (4.60 in x 2.16 in x 0.62 in)
Weight: 158 grams (5.57 ounces)
Display: 3.2-inch TFT-LCD flat touch-sensitive screen with 320 x 480 (HVGA) resolution
Camera: 3.2 megapixel color camera with fixed focus
Battery: Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery, 1150 mAh
Talk Time: 406 minutes
Standby Time: 319 hours
Memory: microSD memory card, 1 GB included
Special features: Digital Compass, Motion Sensor

Update 2: CrunchGear informs that Amazon's MP3 music store will be preloaded on the device. "T-Mobile G1 users can search, download, buy and play music from Amazon MP3, which offers over 6 million DRM-free MP3 songs. (...) Downloading music from Amazon MP3 using the T-Mobile G1 requires a Wi-Fi connection but searching, browsing, listening to samples and buying MP3s can be done wherever customers are connected to the T-Mobile network."

Update 3. More details from T-Mobile's press release: three color options (white, brown and black); music player that supports MP3, M4A (iTunes AAC, DRM-free), AMR, WMA, MIDI, WAV, OGG Vorbis; pre-installed 1 GB Micro SD memory card; built-in instant messaging client with support for Google Talk, AOL, Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger.

Update 4: The phone costs from $179.99 to $399.99, it's locked in the T-Mobile network and it requires a 2-year subscription and a data plan that costs $25 or $35, depending on the number of messages included. T-Mobile customers from the US can pre-order the phone starting from today, but the phone will be available in stores from October 22. T-Mobile promises to launch G1 in the UK one month later and in the first quarter of 2009, for the rest of Europe.

Update 5: The entire press conference showed a surprising lack of enthusiasm until Larry Page and Sergey Brin came on stage. There were very few interesting questions about the device: we found that G1 is targeted to consumers, it doesn't support Exchange and there's no way to buy it unlocked.

Update 6. T-Mobile G1 tour (the most exciting phone in the history of phones?):



Update 7. An overview of Google's services connected to G1: search, Google Maps, Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Talk, Contacts, YouTube. There's too much Google integration: the phone even has a Google logo on the back.



Update 8: android.com is now live and it shows an interesting video about running multiple applications in Android:



This playlist highlights some cool G1 features, including the not-yet-available-in-iPhone copy & paste.



{ T-Mobile G1 image courtesy of Mark "Rizzn" Hopkins. }

31 comments:

  1. "The device won't have an impressive design and it won't be as easy to use as an iPhone, but it will certainly be able to run a lot of interesting applications"
    - I think of "Igor" - new movie.

    Plot:
    Animated fable about a cliché hunchbacked evil scientist's assistant who aspires to become a scientist himself, much to the displeasure of the rest of the evil science community. (copied from http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0465502/)

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  2. Love it. As it get the best of both worlds: touch screen and keyboard.

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  3. Let it 6 months and it will surpass the iPhone ;-)

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  4. T-Mobile's site has the following keywords in the source code: "G1, Android, Phone, Google, 3G, Gone, G One, GPhone, G Phone, Google Phone, Googlephone, Dream, Kila". Apparently, both Dream and Kila were code names for G1. But why Kila?

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  5. I think it sounds neat but I would not want to switch to T-Mobile just to try it.

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  6. Any idea when it comes to other parts of world. ?

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  7. Is it possible to purchase the device wihtout a T-Mobile data plan?
    The device can work on WiFi right?

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  8. More Detail Video fm Live even of T-Mobile G1 Launched ,

    T-Mobile G1 Released Full Details of the Google Android HTC Dream Phone

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inRMILwJa-U

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  9. ive got an iphone and looking at the new G1 i think i would rather have the G1!

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  10. @Ne0nguy:
    Unfortunately, both the voice and data plan are required. T-Mobile customers from the US can pre-order the device online at: http://www.t-mobileg1.com/pre-order-g1.aspx.

    "Order the new T-Mobile G1 for as low as $179.99 (plus taxes and fees; two-year agreement required), exclusive to T-Mobile customers only, and be one of the first to get the T-Mobile G1 delivered right to your door as early as October 22, 2008. Supplies are limited, so order yours now without hassle. Without fuss. Without any long lines. After all, as a T-Mobile customer, you deserve to get what you want—when you want it."

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  11. Mid-range phone with mid-range features for the broadest market take-up but on T-Mobile in the U.S. - can't see anyone changing provider for this though I guess the marketers will aim for this.

    Also T-Mobile's claim that they want to meet consumer demand and give them internet everywhere sounds pretty lame when they don't want customers to use the phone as a tethered modem.

    The alliance had a real opportunity here to best the iPhone in so many ways and they seem to have fluffed it.

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  12. > Ionut Alex Chitu said: But why Kila?

    iPhone Kila? :)

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  13. I'm wondering if the G1 supports other languages, I am particular interested to use it w/ Chinese (as it's my mother lang). Does the browser has Asian fonts installed? Can I input Chinese (or other lang)?

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  14. Still lacking space, it only has 1gb of memory for music! :(

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  15. I would love to see Android as a VOIP device, without the need of a carrier. Just a nice device with a robust OS free from the claws of any big cell carrier vampires.

    I have faith in Google and its products and conducts so far. I have absolutely no respect for ANY cell phone carriers in North America.

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  16. I'm also wondering if the G1 is capable of inputting other languages....I know the iPhone is but I don't like AT&T ;(

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  17. G1 will make you pay huge internet bills i guess

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  18. G1 will not survive in India.. people use less internet on phones here...

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  19. Amith GC:
    What if someone makes a phone with Android running on it when its open sourced and its as cheap as 50$, it will rock in India

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  20. the $299 price was a deal breaker for me, particularly after the promise of $179 for tmobile users. Stupid me. I took that to mean ALL tmobile users. i’m currently in mid-contract, and have been with tmobile for 10 consecutive years. the fact that currently-contracted (and long-time) customers are being punished with a higher price tag is unfair and ridiculous, and reminds me of how I despise telecoms. Although I LOVE this phone, tmobile is a greedy telecom like any other, so I’m sticking with the Nokia N810 and Skype for now.

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  21. "Buyers would be able to have access to a "contract free" G1 (with a price point of $399), and could unlock the device with T-Mobile's blessing after 90 days."

    (engadget)

    So G1 costs from $179 (locked, 2-year contract) to $399 (unlocked, no contract).

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  22. Is it just me, or is that clock widget totally fubarred? It's supposed to be reading 2:47, I presume, because that's the time in the top bar (hence, making the clock widget unnecessary anyway...). But it actually reads 9:11 or something, since it's big hand is past the 2 and the small hand is on the 9. Even if the big hand is supposed to be the hour hand, it's clearly not advanced far enough to the 3 to make it there by the end of the hour.

    Does this mean that Google's stock will drop?!

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  23. These are some of the features that are easily implemented with the software of the G1 but havent been setup yet. The third one is a hardware feature issue.

    1. Stereo Bluetooth: I love this feature on my other devices mostly for music. I have a bluetooth stereo speakerphone that i love but i cant use it for anything other than calls with the G1 in its current state. i would love to just send it over bluetooth and have it play.

    2. UMA/Hotspots calling: Yes this really should have been a launch feature but I know from other devices like the blackberry curve, the software has to be optimized to not kill the battery since its running over wifi. Blackberry has done a great job with there version so I imagine its only a matter of time before we get it on the G1.

    3. 3.5mm audio jack: This is a HTC thing, they ship the G1 with a very good quality headset but many would like to plug up the device to a auxillary or use different headphones. I believe i have seen adapters for this but the last one i saw for 10 dollars was a motorola branded one and i wouldnt take a chance on anything other than htc.

    4. Corporate email and outlook: these should come in time considering the phone lends itself to users who actually have a need for these services.

    For more see http://www.G1-Forum.com

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  24. Just got it today! import my phone book from my old phone(Motorola in T-mobile service) All the phone directory(One person with multiple phone nums) was intact, including the person's name in Chinese language.
    Now, I can see all the chinese words, and how can I input the new one? Maybe I need to wait a little bit. Since it uses touch screen, it will be just the matter of software development.

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  25. I just brought a new truck and could not pair my G1 because it doesnt' have bluetooth stereo...what a waste of phone! Can someone come up with a answer for that. Plz email me with a update.
    edwards220@comcast.net

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  26. Google G1
    Is anyone working on an Outlook Contact and Calendar sync for this phone ? This is a severe limitation for Business users and keeping our company from buying them.

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  27. I need medical ref software ie; uptodate, infopoems epocrates - help developers! even my music sonos can be controlled by iphone!! - nothing usable at handango

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  28. T-Mobile G1 offers Gmail support for POP3 mail accounts and IMAP. T-Mobile G1 offers basic features for a phone that the iPhone does not have such as MMS or voice dialing. Another best part of this is touchscreen display HVGA resolution, Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE support, 3.15 megapixel camera and much more

    For complete details, see http://forums.techarena.in/reviews/1234944.htm

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  29. the phone is awesome! i have one and i love it but the battery is crap! only lasts a day

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