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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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  • Not quite so open (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    • by chrb (1083577)

      So how open is it? Surely it's easy to disable the "kill switch"?

      More lazy questions:

      Can you replace the kernel with a custom compiled one? Are all of the drivers open source?
      Is the desktop open? Which widget toolkit does it use - can you run gtk/qt/x apps on there?
      Can you compile real apps or just Java?
      What distribution does it run? What package manager? Can you even update the applications? Is there any chance of a proper distribution like Ubuntu being ported to this thing?

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by aliquis (678370)

        Distribution obviously android.

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

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 16, 2008 @09:44AM (#25398913)

        1) Some phones will lockdown the kernel, some might allow you to replace the kernel.

        2) Android drivers are open source, but vendors might throw in binary blobs (particularly for cell phone functionality).

        3) They use their own custom GUI toolkit and display -- not X, not GTK, not QT, not swing.

        4) The app store, sdk, etc are built for java. If you have a phone that isn't locked down, you could probably put native code on it, with some work.

        5) Also, they use a custom jdk (and libraries), so the java apps have to be built specifically for android

        6) Android is the distro. The app store is the package manager

        7) The app store will be able to check for updates to installed apps

        8) Debian can be used on some ARM and SH-based smart phones.

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

          by OglinTatas (710589) on Thursday October 16, 2008 @10:28AM (#25399595)

          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."

          http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/10/16/android_kill_switch/ [theregister.co.uk]

          That is a show stopper. I'm still rooting for Openmoko.

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

            by Cornelius the Great (555189) on Thursday October 16, 2008 @10:46AM (#25399885)
            From the article:

            The clause only covers applications distributed through the Android Market, but the whole point of Android is that anyone can distribute any applications they like.

            Not quite as locked down as you think. The "App store" has the right to uninstall only the apps that it installed. I would imagine that Google is covering its ass in case someone releases malware or other potentially dangerous app into the Android store and gets downloaded by some unsuspecting users before anyone finds out. I doubt they'll remove legitimately useful apps "just because it competes with us". The resulting fallout would be enough to kill Android.

            And unlike Apple, you don't need to use the Android Market to install software.

          • 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

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by lysergic.acid (845423)

            that's only for apps distributed through the Android Market. i'm assuming this functionality is so that Google can immediately remove bad apps which violate licensing agreements or can potentially damage the phone (or contain major security holes) from all handsets that have purchased the app through Google.

            presumably this will not affect non-Android-Market-installed apps. so if you want to install your own apps on the phone via another source you don't have to worry. is it a necessary feature? maybe not, b

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

            by squiggleslash (241428) on Thursday October 16, 2008 @04:03PM (#25404475) Homepage Journal

            Does OpenMoko even have an app store?

            Before you poo-poo the question, bear in mind you don't have to use Android Marketplace to install software on an Android phone [zdnet.com]. Android Marketplace is a trusted, easily accessible, application store. A kill-switch in that context makes sense, you've downloaded something from a trusted authority and it turns out it's malware, Google has an obligation to hit the kill switch or else at minimum destroy the credibility of the store.

            From the reports, it doesn't appear as if the kill switch applies to non-marketplace software, as the switch only applies - according to Google's ToS - to software that violates the GM developer agreement.

            I'm seriously not seeing the problem here. The phone is open - you can install anything you like on it. If you choose to have your hand held, Google will hold your hand for you, but you don't have to.

        • by gbjbaanb (229885)

          4) The app store, sdk, etc are built for java. If you have a phone that isn't locked down, you could probably put native code on it, with some work.

          5) Also, they use a custom jdk (and libraries), so the java apps have to be built specifically for android

          I see a fair bit of complaints about this, a lot of developers who have existing symbian and other c++ based code want to re-use that for Android. Given that the underlying libraries are C++ [google.com] anyway, it makes sense for Google to release more native-friendly d

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Are all of the drivers open source?

        Most probably not. The baseband chipsets that provide the network interface tend to be very, very proprietary, for example.

        Is the desktop open? Which widget toolkit does it use - can you run gtk/qt/x apps on there?
        Can you compile real apps or just Java?

        I think you can probably compile anything you like, provided you have the appropriate cross-compiler and emulation environment and you can shoehorn the libraries onto the device.

        Is there any chance of a proper distribution like Ubuntu being ported to this thing?

        Ubuntu is working on their own mobile devices [ubuntu.com].

        If anyone knows anything different from what I just said, feel free to correct me.

      • by Sparr0 (451780)

        You seem to be under the mistaken impression that the G1 runs linux. It runs Android.

    • by aliquis (678370)

      Is that for viruses and such or wha kind of apps risk the treatment?

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        You can bet that they're going to kill any app that enables tethering, or VoIP calls; the phone is totally open, as long as you don't compete with T-Mobile's other (profitable) services. Sounds more and more like the iPhone store...

        • by Jellybob (597204)

          They might do that in the US. Over here in the UK T-Mobile realise that people would like to use the phones they bought, and will quite happily let you tether it. They even have tech support who are quite willing to just give you the login details if you tell them you know what you're doing.

          VoIP might be pushing it, but we do have an operator who actually sell Skype over 3G as a feature on several of their phones.

          • by aliquis (678370)

            Yeah, I don't see why they would break VoIP either. It's my phone, and how is it in Googles or HTC intrest to keep VoIP not from running? Sure in the US it may only sell from T-mobile for now but whatever.

            When I buy the phone with no subscription in Sweden if it's released I expect to be allowed to take whatever provider and plan I want if any and use it in any way I'd like. If that includes SIP then fine.

            And we have Tre with Skype here to. But I'd never buy a phone for Skype.

        • by afidel (530433)
          Actually T-Mobile LIKES VoIP, check out their Hotspot@Home program. In fact T-Mobile's program is better than any third party VoIP setup because you use your existing handset and number.
        • T-Mobile has no problems with tethering that I am aware of and I have been using it on several phones for some time. (2 different Nokia S60 phones, and a Win phone) Their support people even support it.
    • 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 Idiomatick (976696) on Thursday October 16, 2008 @10:56AM (#25400075)

        4) They are simply covering their asses incase they accidentally send a program with malware through their store. If you install an ap through a source other than the store they cannot killswitch it. Which means about 10seconds more effort to install something at WORST.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by davester666 (731373)

        "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"

        While the source for Android will eventually become available (as it isn't yet, and it will probably have binary bits), it only is useful if you can legitimately build and install onto the phone itself.

        Since the source isn't available, and there are no firmware updaters out yet, nobody can say for sure one way or the other, I'll bet T-Mobile won't make it easy for you to put a new fi

  • by anomnomnomymous (1321267) on Thursday October 16, 2008 @09:28AM (#25398671)
    In all the ads/product reviews I've seen so far, none has mentioned that it's build on an open source framework.
    Whereas people will of course be plucking the fruits of the (free) apps that will be developed, right now it's not a selling point that makes any impression with the 'normal' user.

    I hope that, once released, there will be a place where all the apps will be collected (maybe accessible from within the phone), otherwise I don't think that people will -ever- know about the existence of such apps.
    • by ThinkingInBinary (899485) <thinkinginbinary.gmail@com> on Thursday October 16, 2008 @09:45AM (#25398919) Homepage

      I hope that, once released, there will be a place where all the apps will be collected (maybe accessible from within the phone), otherwise I don't think that people will -ever- know about the existence of such apps.

      There is a Market app on the phone that allows you to download free apps. In the future it will also allow developers to sell apps. It's also perfectly possible to post source code on SourceForge or Google Code or elsewhere, and I'm sure third-party directories of Android apps will pop up.

      Frankly, advertising open source to an end user is meaningless. Advertising "lots of available apps" and "if you're a programmer, you can write your own for free" is more likely to make an impression.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        I have no clue why I was modded troll... Moderators must be on Hatorade today.

        I didn't know there'd be a Marketplace app on there, though that sounds excellent.
        But as I mentioned before: I haven't seen any pointing in the ads/product reviews of how they're going to be loads of apps: So to the ordinary user this is 'just another phone'.
  • Less Polished (Score:1, Interesting)

    by thompson.ash (1346829)

    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

    • Re:Less Polished (Score:5, Informative)

      by ThinkingInBinary (899485) <thinkinginbinary.gmail@com> on Thursday October 16, 2008 @09:33AM (#25398741) Homepage

      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.

      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.

      • So it's not a complete impossibility. That's good. I'll just have to wait! I'm nowhere near smart enough to even consider writing anything for it.

        That and my knowledge of cellular devices equates to "use of" and that's it.

        I'm just wondering if they're taking the "Open in that you have a choice of our handsets" a la symbian, or whether I'm going to be able to put it on the nyx in the fullness of time.

        Failing that, I'll just have to wait for the G1 to be available in the UK :( Roll on 2010!

      • 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.

    • 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.

      A reasonable trade off...

      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!

      So its okay for the phone to be less polished, because you won't have to pay as much for it, but you're willing to pay the iPhone's "extorsionate price" if you could get less polished

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by thompson.ash (1346829)

        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.

        • by SuperKendall (25149) on Thursday October 16, 2008 @10:17AM (#25399451)

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

          Since the G1 has the same limitations then, you must continue to be sad.

          I still don't see why anyone would use MMS when they can email or post photos. I do find it odd the iPhone still has the same limited Bluetooth support, and that Android has matching limitations... I know it would hurt battery life but I really feel they should let the user choose here.

          • oh bugger :(

            Still... I think Android has more chance of having that rectified than iPhone...

            It's bloody annoying, I can't RTFA because work has blocked it so I'm flying blind here for a few hours.

            Bloody control freaks :D

          • by thisisauniqueid (825395) on Thursday October 16, 2008 @10:44AM (#25399851)
            Google have already discussed this. The bluetooth stack simply wasn't ready in time, so they removed it. There will be full bluetooth support soon.
            • Google have already discussed this. The bluetooth stack simply wasn't ready in time, so they removed it. There will be full bluetooth support soon.

              But without a timeframe, how do we know an Aple bluetooth update would not be out first? Just because Apple has not announced anything does not mean they might not ship sooner, since they are traditionally tight lipped...

              Plus I was under the impression that was more the Bluetooth SDK, rather than baked in features. The flexibility of that SDK will then determi

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Em Ellel (523581)

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

            Since the G1 has the same limitations then, you must continue to be sad.

            Yeah, but you can write an MMS app for it without having to hack your phone and invalidate your warranty. In fact it is encouraged for Android as opposed to iPhone.

            I still don't see why anyone would use MMS when they can email or post photos.

            Erm, because most people CAN get MMS and CANNOT get email with photo attachments. Not everyone has an iPhone or G1. Before going to iPhone I used to be able to send pictures to people - can't do that with iPhone... ("Can't do that with iPhone" should be the "truth-in-advertising" campaign slogan for iPhone - it applies so well to so much)

            I do find it odd the iPhone still has the same limited Bluetooth support, and that Android has matching limitations... I know it would hurt battery life but I really feel they should let the user choose here.

            Now, are

            • ok, lets get this clear on the bluetooth side. There is a full bluetooth stack on the phones. Its none other than Bluez used my most linux distros. It does work , and thats why headset/handsfree works.

              What is not included is the full API for bluetooth, and that was because they simply ran out of time. Its nearly there, but Google did not want to risk putting a nearly there API, and then be stuck with it in the future. They wanted to get it right.

              this was all mentioned in the release notes.

              So, wait for the f

            • Yeah, but you can write an MMS app for it without having to hack your phone and invalidate your warranty. In fact it is encouraged for Android as opposed to iPhone.

              No, because MMS uses a low level cell network protocol the SDK does not allow you to access.

              Otherwise we could also have an MMS app on the iPhone...

              Erm, because most people CAN get MMS and CANNOT get email with photo attachments.

              Unless you email to an MMS gateway. Why should every suffer with the limitations of MMS when so many people have phone

              • by Em Ellel (523581)

                Otherwise we could also have an MMS app on the iPhone...

                There are MMS apps for iPhone, just not ones that run officially (i.e. you need to jailbreak the iPhone)

                -Em

                • There are MMS apps for iPhone, just not ones that run officially (i.e. you need to jailbreak the iPhone)

                  That's because they have no SDK limit - the iPhone, and Android, both have SDK limits as to what you can write, if you want to distribute apps for the phones.

                  I'm sure Android will also have a Jailbreak equivalent to let you do some things you can't with the SDK, although there's less need of it with Android.

          • by edmicman (830206)
            My KRZR cannot easily read email or browse photo sharing websites. But, it can read and send text messages, photo messages, and video messages.
        • by Lumpy (12016)

          Agreed. it's funny but in a meeting we came to the conclusion here in the office that actually right now the WM6 phones are the best to develop for if you are a developer.

          at least until Microsoft get's wind of this force people to pay them to install an app crap that Google and Apple think is so important to them.

          several of us have openmoko phones, but they are at LEAST 3 years out to be usable to joe and jane user.

    • The markup on the iphone is not huge or ridiculous (okay maybe the markup is compared to manufacturing costs...) But still, look at the cost of many unlocked phones, my old basic sony ericcson z600 which was a basic flip candy bar style phone cost me almost $400, my imate jam cost me almost $600.

      Unfortunately, I suspect the markup on those phones was pretty high as well, buying the Nokia 9000 series communicator smartphone, that was around $800 direct from nokias website.

      Phones are expensive when you buy th

      • Yeah but it's not unlocked or sim free is it?
        It's locked to O2 (Uk). It'd (probably) be worth it if it was sim-free but £399 for a different sim card... I dunno about that.

        I'd like to think that now iPhone has gone to PAYG it might follow that trend and get cheaper.

        They'll probably drop the price to celebrate the release of Duke Nukem Forever...

    • 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.

      So, it will run on whatever you port it to. The larger problem is probably getting it on to the phone. Most phones are not designed to be flashed by the end user, because it would allow them to bypass restrictions like SIM-card locks and DRM. Android will really work best when phone manufacturers themselves decide to use it.

  • The G1 isn't available in Europe yet but even if it was it would probably be to expensive. They should make something cheap which more or less could just handle a call but still using the same OS for the masses to.

    I like to have an open phone but I don't want to invest a fortune in a phone because I don't use it very much and I believe and mp3-player/pmp/DSLR/.. handle its things better.

    Sure if it really IS a kick ass mp3/pmp player.

    • by tomzyk (158497)

      1. $180 (about 133 Euro [google.com]) is not by any standards "a fotune"

      2. you want a pocket-sized, internet-enabled computer that can run custom-made applications... that isn't "too expensive"? Dude, hardware doesn't grow on trees.

      3. "I don't use it very much..." Um, then why do you want a G1? Just take the freebie clamshell phone that your wireless carrier offers you when you get a new plan. I think a lot of the freebie phones nowadays have cameras and MP3 players in them if thats a necessity for you too.

    • You do not make sense, a phone that just makes calls doesn't need an OS as complex as this. This OS is needed ONLY for smart phones. You might as well ask for a ferrari to put their engines into mopeds. No moped needs a 800 horse power en... I WANT ONE!

      • by aliquis (678370)

        With an open one you can get standardized, replaceable, skinnable menues, contact lists, syncable calendars, and so on. Things can be fixed, they can't on a closed one.

      • actually the android system can be cut down for smaller phones too. Its not that hard to believe, remember a lot of Moto phones now run on linux, and these are normal feature phones, not smart ones.

        Just ship a version of android, without touchscreen/android market/downloads, and a smaller wap broswer, and u shoudl be able to scale down.

    • the G1 will be released free on contract on T-Mobile UK (though with a £40 a month contract, which includes data)

      its MP3 player is sweet, just appears as a normal USB mass storage device, drag and drop, and supports AAC, MP3, and even the dratted wma

      • by aliquis (678370)

        But how does it sound? I've got the impression people don't think they sound as good as dedicated mp3-players?

        Also many phones have decent resolutions but lack the format support, an open one have a better chance of getting VLC or something like that running I guess.

        Cowon O2 supports:
        Video: Divx 3.11/4/5/6, Xvid, Mpeg-4 SP/ASP, WMV 7/8/9, H.264, Mpeg 1, och MJpeg.
        Audio: WMA, AAC, AC3, FLAC, Ogg Vorbis, OGG FLAC, Apple Lossless, True Audio, Monkey Audio, MusePack, Eavepack, G.726, PCM.

        Especially some of the

  • 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 jsharkey (975973) on Thursday October 16, 2008 @09:38AM (#25398813)

    A few people have put together a list of all the apps observed in Market to date [androidcommunity.com].

    I'm sure this will flood with even more over the next week when they open the developer portal. Oh yea, and I reverse engineered the iTunes remote control protocol and released an Android client GPL'ed: http://dacp.jsharkey.org/ [jsharkey.org]

  • by jav1231 (539129)
    Until Android is on other phones by other providers it's ostensibly just another phone.
  • Will change its crappy policies once the Android app store, and hell, even the blackberry app like store becomes more popular, and developers just stop making apps for the iphone because all the red tape and apples tendency to yank anything actually useful.

  • 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.

  • Oh great... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by xgr3gx (1068984) on Thursday October 16, 2008 @09:47AM (#25398951) Homepage Journal
    From the article:
    "When installing a new app, Android flags up which services - camera, network, GPS, etc. - it will use. That way, the user can judge whether the software is going to do what it claims it will, or something nefarious. It's useful, but it assumes a degree of understanding that many users just won't have."

    Just what we need...the average cell phone user having to decide wheater or not something they are about to install is nefarious.

    Get ready for automatic crank calls from a contact list worm.
    Or better yet, a virus that will randomly take snapshots with the camera, and mail/text them to everyone in your contact list
    • a) This phone is not aimed at the "average cell phone user".
      b) Any "virus" that needs to be downloaded and installed manually isn't going to spread very far. I expect that any security hole that allows a worm to spread will be closed fairly quickly.
      c) Symbian, Windows Mobile, and even J2ME already have the possibily of such nefarious applications being developed, but I am not aware of any such instances, despite having had Symbian-based phones for the last ~2.5 years and have recently switched to Windows Mo

      • by xgr3gx (1068984)
        That is true about the phone not being aimed at the average cell phone user - good point.
        But again think of how easily malware is installed by average computer users who just bang through setups by blindly hitting every "next" and "ok" button they see.
        The fact that average users probably won't have this phone negates the point.
    • by afidel (530433)
      The Blackberry has done this since at least OS4 and the world hasn't come to an end. For instance if you install Google Maps Mobile by default it cannot access your GPS, your phonebook, make a call, or even access the web (kind of makes it hard for it to provide maps!). You can grant it any or all of these privileges individually.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by 0xdeadbeef (28836)

      Just what we need...the average cell phone user having to decide wheater [sic] or not something they are about to install is nefarious.

      Mama's gonna check out all your applications for you, mama won't let anything dirty get through, mama gonna keep baby cozy and warm...

      The point is, every user knows exactly what the application can do, and the application can be denied at the API-level by the OS from accessing to those features. Android, like BlackBerry and Symbian, treats users like grown-ups who are capabl

    • by brain159 (113897)

      It's relatively hard for an Android application to actually automatically initiate a call. It requires a Permission flag which is going to be quite hard to get at install-time (I believe it'll throw a huge red WARNING sort of alert up).

      However, it's pretty easy for an app to nearly initiate a call - passing the number to the Dialler and requiring that the user approve by hitting Send/Call/Green themselves.

      If you don't empower the Average User to make that sort of decision, then you also ensure that develope

  • ARG (Score:1, Troll)

    by db32 (862117)
    Apple haters - quit bitching
    Apple fanboys - quit bitching
    Let me explain this in very simple economic terms. Right now lots of people produce widgets, but Apple has made a Super Widget. Well they are the only big production makers of the Super Widget at the moment so they get to control the field. This isn't monopoly, this is normal economics. Now, Android, OpenMoko, and so on are gearing up to also build Super Widgets. This means there will be competition in the Super Widget sector. Competition mean
    • Apple haters - quit bitching
      Apple fanboys - quit bitching

      I don't really see any bitching about the iPhone.

      Apple haters like it because it's not from Apple.

      Apple user like it because competition means better products from both companies.

      I like it for many reasons, among them is that its more open platform may draw Apple to open up a little more as well (we've already seen the SDK discussion restrictions released, for example).

      • by db32 (862117)
        Not in this thread, but every time an Android or iPhone story hits people start launching into tyraids about how evil Apple is, or how Apple is the bestest thing evar!.

        The funny thing is I never was fond of Apple until I actually sat and played with a MBP for a while. I always thought it was just over hyped over priced stuff not terribly different than any other laptop. After playing with one for a while (and eventually buying a refurb one) there is a tremendous amount of thought and design that went i
  • 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.

    • by edmicman (830206)
      Why not just manage all of them from one domain? Have them all forward to a common domain, and add "send as" accounts to that common domain so you can "send" from each of those? Would that work on the G1 I wonder?
      • "Send As" though is not a good solution for business accounts since you can still tell from the headers what "real" account it was sent from...

        I already use a forwarding service for some things in the way you describe (POBox.com) but I moved to real mail systems for business accounts as that approach just isn't the same not to mention it's much nicer to keep the email really distinct).

    • by ceoyoyo (59147) on Thursday October 16, 2008 @12:45PM (#25401691)

      The Texas Hold'em App on iPhone would fill that entire memory space.

      Guess Android, or at least that phone, won't be having any fancy apps with lots of graphics or animations.

    • There is a workaround that allows you to access up to six gmail accounts: The IMAP mail client included in the G1 will allow you to get to 5 more gmail accounts - albiet only using IMAP so you'll loose the google-specific functionality.
  • Not too helpful (Score:4, Insightful)

    by XxtraLarGe (551297) on Thursday October 16, 2008 @09:59AM (#25399143) Journal

    Without a doubt, people will compare the G1 to the iPhone and out of the box you honestly have to say the G1 wins over the original iPhone with wireless syncing capability, cut/copy/paste, games, a wireless music store, application store and 3rd party application support, integrated GPS, multiple client IM clients, and multi-tasking capability.

    Unless I'm mistaken, all iPhones can run the 2.x software, so why would he compare it to the original iPhone's software? iPhone 2.x already includes MOST of those features, and I'm sure Apple's App Store is way ahead Google's right now.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by swillden (191260)

      Unless I'm mistaken, all iPhones can run the 2.x software, so why would he compare it to the original iPhone's software?

      Because he's comparing the first generation of this phone to the first generation of that phone. That's not unreasonable, given that Android will see major upgrades quickly, just as the iPhone OS did.

      • by hellfire (86129) <deviladv.gmail@com> on Thursday October 16, 2008 @12:10PM (#25401213) Homepage

        "Because he's comparing the first generation of this phone to the first generation of that phone. That's not unreasonable, given that Android will see major upgrades quickly, just as the iPhone OS did."

        Timing is everything, and everything moves quickly in the tech industry. The original iPhone without 3G is over a year old. That's old news. By the time Google has updated it's phone, Apple will have more updates too. Comparing what you can get now to a piece of technology that's a year old is dishonest and smacks of the old tactic where PC consumer mags that would always compare the latest PCs to older Macs and declaring that PCs won in head to head tests.

        This is not properly comparing apples to apples (or as the case may be Apples to Androids). Compare what you can get now from Apple/AT&T with what you can get now from Google/T-mobile. I have no desire here to smack down google or be an Apple fanboi, I'm just saying for a smart review, you need proper comparisons.

        • by swillden (191260)

          The original iPhone without 3G is over a year old. That's old news. By the time Google has updated it's phone, Apple will have more updates too. Comparing what you can get now to a piece of technology that's a year old is dishonest

          Oh, nonsense.

          It would have been dishonest if the comparison had not made clear which iPhone version it was talking about. What the review said is that the G1 currently falls somewhere between the original iPhone and the current iPhone (except in a few areas, where the G1 exceeds the current iPhone). There's nothing misleading about that.

          Given that this is a first version, what I take away from the comment, and what I think the author intended to be understood, is that the G1 is well-positioned against

          • by hellfire (86129)

            Not nonsense. The original article said this:

            "Without a doubt, people will compare the G1 to the iPhone and out of the box you honestly have to say the G1 wins over the original iPhone with wireless syncing capability, cut/copy/paste, games, a wireless music store, application store and 3rd party application support, integrated GPS, multiple client IM clients, and multi-tasking capability."

            That's in the conclusion on the last page. I can't find mention of the iPhone 3G. And making such a statement is sil

            • by swillden (191260)

              It's like touting all the advantages a 2008 Ford F150 has over a 1957 chevy.

              Umm, don't you think you're just *sligthly* overestimating the difference between the 3G iPhone the G1 (which is also 3G).

              • by hellfire (86129)

                Considering how fast computer technology changes, no.

                • by swillden (191260)

                  You're wrong. I mean, you're talking about maybe six months' difference between the G1 and iPhone G3 capabilities -- even ignoring the areas where the G1 is more advanced. The technology moves fast, but not that fast.

  • by zogger (617870)

    I looked through the tech specs on the thing and noticed one omission-it doesn't have just a normal "real" radio in it for getting free OTA broadcasts, AM/FM, which would be a nice addition as long as it is being touted as a smart phone capable of a lot of functions.

  • Grow a pair, stop thinking that your service provider should help you pay for your device, and buy a real hunk of technology.

  • So can I buy this phone and use it on the Sprint network? It doesn't look like Sprint is coming out with an Android phone until next year

  • 1) can it make phone calls? check
    2) can it receive phone calls? check
    3) will it fit in my trouser pockets? check

    That's pretty much all I need from a phone - if I didn't have one already, I might consider this

  • Looks like what U expect from Java & HAVI widgets. It has those frequent lags, as it loads & precompiles blocks of the massive Java standards.

Uncompensated overtime? Just Say No.

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