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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.
September 23, 2008 9:32 AM
Posted by Brier Dudley
A few images of the G1, the first phone available on the Android platform initiated by Google.
You could also call it the B1, since it's coming from Bellevue-based T-Mobile USA and HTC, the Taiwanese phone company with U.S. headquarters in Bellevue.
As expected, it also comes preloaded with Amazon.com's new mobile MP3 store and an application store, similar to Apple's. More descriptions of the bundled apps are below.
"The T-Mobile G1 is our opportunity in the U.S. to accelerate the mass adoption of the mobile Web, by unleashing Google innovation with a unique software experience that mobilizes the Google services hundreds of millions of consumers rely on every day,'' said Cole Brodman, T-Mobile's chief technology and innovation officer.
Pre-orders began today, for $179 with a two-year voice and data contract. The G1 will be available and in stores starting Oct. 22. T-Mobile also announced that it has finally launched its fast 3G network in Seattle, so customers won't have to wait too long while browsing and downloading from their G1s.
The press release description of the bundled apps:
Google Maps Street View
With Google Maps, Google's groundbreaking maps service, T-Mobile G1 users can instantly view maps and satellite imagery, as well as find local business and get driving directions, all from the phone's easy-to-use touch interface. The T-Mobile G1 also includes Google Maps Street View, allowing customers to explore cities at street-level virtually while on the go. Without taking a step, customers can tour a far-away place as if they were there -- standing on the street corner. Even better, the Google Maps feature syncs with the built-in compass on the phone -- an industry first -- to allow users to view locations and navigate 360 degrees by simply moving the phone with their hand. Google Maps Street View is available today in many U.S. locations and soon in European countries.
Communicating on the Go
The T-Mobile G1 features a rich HTML e-mail client, which seamlessly syncs your e-mail, calendar and contacts from Gmail as well as most other POP3 or IMAP e-mail services. The T-Mobile G1 multitasks, so you can read a Web page while also downloading your e-mail in the background. It combines Instant Messaging support for Google Talk, as well as AOL, Yahoo! Messenger and Windows Live Messenger in the U.S. With access to high-speed Web browsing and a 3-megapixel camera with photo-sharing capabilities, the T-Mobile G1 is ideal for balancing a busy lifestyle, whether sharing pictures, checking the latest sports scores or accessing social networking sites.
Embracing User-Generated Content
Customers can use the T-Mobile G1's 3G and Wi-Fi connection to attach and share pictures over e-mail and MMS or download music from their favorite Web sites, and soon, upload and post pictures to their personal blog. Built-in support for YouTube allows customers to enjoy YouTube's originally created content, easily navigate through YouTube's familiar video browsing categories or search for specific videos.
Music at Your Fingertips
The T-Mobile G1 comes pre-loaded with a new application developed by Amazon.com that gives customers easy access to Amazon MP3, Amazon.com's digital music download store with more than 6 million DRM-free MP3 tracks. Using the new application, T-Mobile G1 customers are able to search, sample, purchase and download music from Amazon MP3 directly to their device (downloading music from Amazon MP3 using the T-Mobile G1 requires a Wi-Fi connection; searching, sampling and purchasing music can be done anywhere with a cellular connection). The T-Mobile G1 will be the first device with the Amazon MP3 mobile application pre-loaded.
The T-Mobile G1 is the first phone to offer access to Android Market, which hosts unique applications and mash ups of existing and new services from developers around the world. With just a couple of short clicks, customers can find and download a wide range of innovative software applications -- from games to social networking and on-the-go shopping -- to personalize their phone and enhance their mobile lifestyle. When the phone launches next month, dozens of unique, first-of-a-kind Android applications will be available for download on Android Market, including:
-- ShopSavvy: an application designed to help people do comparative shopping. Users scan the UPC code of a product with their phone's camera while they are shopping, and can instantly compare prices from online merchants and nearby local stores.
-- Ecorio: a new application developed to help people keep track of their daily travels and view what their carbon footprint looks like. With access to tips and tricks, Ecorio allows users to record the steps they take throughout their day to help offset their impact on the environment.
-- BreadCrumbz: a new application that enables people to create a step-by-step visual map using photos. Customers can create their own routes, share them with friends or with the world.
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Gadgets and games | Fun stuff I've written about lately includes Apple's iPhone, Hewlett-Packard's HDX laptop and Microsoft's Halo3. Also on the radar are new digital video boxes such as the Tivo HD and the Vudu.