Sunday, December 30, 2007

NTT DoCoMo considering Google/i-Mode partnership

Just as the creatively overhauled Google interface for the Apple iPhone was heralded as the search company “practising” for their own Android platform, the news that Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo is considering using Google-powered search and email functionality in their own handsets will likely be viewed as further evidence of paving the way for 2008’s gPhones. Sources quoted in the Nikkei business daily claimed that from as early as Spring DoCoMo subscribers with compatible handsets will be able to access their Google-based email, calendar, photos and searches through the i-mode network.

“We are currently studying the possibility of an alliance in search services with domestic or overseas partners, but nothing has been decided yet”

DoCoMo is already a member of the Open Handset Alliance, and according to the Nikkei 2008 will see further collaboration between Google and the carrier in developing service and technology beyond the relatively straightforward access to web searches that rival networks offer. Part of this will include releasing handsets based on the Android platform, and although it is not known which OEM manufacturer DoCoMo will look to for the technology, fellow OHA members Samsung and LG have both provided cellphones for them in the past.The news has seen NTT DoCoMo’s ailing share price re-energised, after a period of several months where new subscriber figures lagged compared to rivals. Nomura Securities analyst Daisaku Masuno also suggested that data-based revenue would also benefit from a DoCoMo/Google alliance, as users spent more time accessing internet-based services on their handsets.

Is Android Palm’s best chance for consumer smartphone success?

As 2007 nears its end, speculation about the upcoming developments of the Android platform - and, more importantly perhaps, which OEMs and developers will adopt the OS for their hardware - grows. In a podcast discussing Palm’s next-quarter roadmap, J. Edward Rutkowski and Tadd Rosenfeld (of and respectively) put forward the case for the somewhat ailing smartphone company to add a gPhone to their line-up. Given the recent news that the low-end Palm Centro is outselling company expectations, especially compared to the higher-end (and less consumer-focused) Treo series, the unsurprising fact that Palm’s profit margin on the handset is relatively low would be a reasonable incentive to adopt open-source Android. It’s not a new suggestion; Ryan Block called for Palm to make connections with Google shortly after the Android announcement. However according to the company’s roadmap they’re still on course for their own, Linux-based Palm OS sometime in 2009, having suffered extensive delays earlier this year (around the time that they cancelled the Foleo smartphone companion), and are looking to OEM providers (with Open Handset Alliance member HTC pegged as favourite) to develop new WM-based handsets.

“Palm has always been committed to open platforms for developers. And Palm has the added differentiation of being able to tightly integrate the software platform with our hardware design, which we believe gives us an advantage in delivering a great user experience. Palm customers have benefited from the availability of Google services on Palm’s platform, such as Google Maps for mobile on Palm OS. And we look forward to further collaboration with Google to offer great user experiences on Palm products”

Priorities for Palm are straightforward: continue spending on Centro marketing (which has opened new avenues as a Sidekick competitor) and meanwhile pump their seriously reduced finances into the Palm OS II platform. Many interpreted the company’s response to Block’s editorial (reprinted above) to be a dismissal of Android; however the vaguely-worded response leaves plenty of room for Palm to adopt the underlying OS source and garnish it with the tightly-integrated top layer UI that the company is known for. With profit margins slipping and new competitors entering the fray all the time, it would seem only to make sense to adopt a strategy that could cut the dangerously long 18-month delay until their new OS reaches the market.

Friday, December 28, 2007

The Google Switch: an iPhone killer?

Color us skeptics on this one, but we've got a tipster claiming to have the scoop on Google Switch. This version of the mythical Googlephone is said to be the result of a collaboration with Samsung -- not Alpha Networks or HTC. Of course, it's a button-less touchscreen device as is the rage these days only this time with GPS built-in for pinpoint navigation around Google Maps. What's pictured in that all too familiar blur (Photoshopped?) is the phone's contact program said to be an extended version of Gtalk combining Gmail, text and instant messaging. According to our tipster, the device doesn't have any on-board storage. That's right, all your applications are served up over the network with new apps "attached" to your account via a web interface. So what is it... the real deal or engorged fanboy fantasy? Check the gallery below for biggie pics suitable for dissection.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Clearing up the Rumors on the Google Phone Debute

What's better than a $400 I-Phone & a $65 per month cell bill, (minimum)?A Google Phone of course! Imagine having a phone that didn't cost you a dime and allowed you to not only talk, but search, email and browse the web... Sound too good to be true? Google has developed a prototype cell phone that will offer consumers free usage in exchange for viewing advertisements with its search engine, e-mail and Web browser software applications. All this for FREE !! This was the speculation earlier last month about the g-phone now, the Google Phone, or "gPhone", the much-speculated handset from the search giant that was rumored to bundle a fresh operating system and the company's most frequently used services, was today proven just that--a rumor. Today, however, Google introduced the new "Android" platform, which will find its way into a slew of phones from a variety of manufacturers, courtesy of the Open Handheld Alliance. Android is a new Linux-based, open-source platform from Google, as well as HTC, Motorola, Qualcomm, T-Mobile, and others (noticeably absent names from the Alliance are AT&T, Microsoft, Nokia, and RIM), that's designed to give mobile phone users a full-featured Internet experience. Although many details remain unknown, such as Android's features and the look and feel of the OS, it will include an HTML browser that enables it to replicate the desktop Web-surfing experience (advanced audio, video, and games), and it will be able to work across many phone types, ranging from basic to smart phone. The first Android-powered phones are to hit the market in the second half of 2008, but we hope we won't have to wait until then to get a glimpse of the platform: Next week, the Open Handheld Alliance will release an early SDK to developers to create applications.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Contact Information

If you have any questions please contact me. If you do not understand something write me an email with your question. Please make it clear. If you are serious and need my help please do not hesitate to email me. If you are scared to use this service for your iPhone or iTouch, do not be. It is great and you will be getting your Moneys Worth ! It is completely reversable if you do not like it, but i do not see how it is possible.

E-mail: itouchiphone @

Subject: Please state that your are sending an inquiry about the gPhone.

Five Facts About Google Phone

  1. Google Phone is based on a mobile variant of Linux, and is able to run Java virtual machines.

  2. All applications that are supposed to run on the Google Phone are java apps. The OS has ability to run multimedia files, including video clips.

  3. The user interface is similar to a UI typical of mobile phones, and the image (with red background) floating around isn’t representative of the Google Phone UI. The entire UI is said to be done in Java and is very responsive. The UI, of course has a “search box.”

  4. There is a special browser which has pan-and-browse features that are common to modern browsers such as browsers for iPhone and Symbian phones. The entire browser is apparently written in Java. But then others have told us that the browser is based on the WebKit core, the same engine in Safari and in iPhone, and Google has been making optimizations to speed it up. This is one aspect of the Google Phone I am not sure about.

  5. Initially there was one prototype, but over past few months Google has the mobile OS running on 3-to-5 devices, most of them likely made by HTC, a mobile phone maker, and all have Qwerty apps. The model that folks have seen is very similar to the T-Mobile Dash. Around 3GSM, there were rumors that Google, Orange and HTC were working together on mobile devices.

These tiny-bits of information are pretty close to what Simeon Simenov, a VC with Polaris Venture Partners had very clearly outlined on his blog eons ago. I can’t seem to find that post, so here is is an alternate link. Simenov also wrote a pretty good post on what should be an ideal mobile stack. Google is pretty close to what Simenov had outlined.We will post more details as they come our way. I had initially thought that it could be a more viable option to the $100 PC. While that argument still remains true, I think this is a strategic move by Google to keep Windows Mobile’s growing influence in check. Microsoft has spent billions on its mobile efforts including buying companies such as Tell Me Networks.

Google shows phone prototype to vendors

Google Inc. has developed a prototype cell phone that could reach markets within a year, and plans to offer consumers free subscriptions by bundling advertisements with its search engine, e-mail and Web browser software applications, according to a story published Thursday in The Wall Street Journal.Google is showing the prototype to cell phone manufacturers and network operators as it continues to hone the technical specifications that will allow the phone to offer a better mobile Web browsing experience than current products, the Journal said.Google declined to comment on the report of the prototype, but confirmed that it is working with partners to expand its software applications from the traditional Internet to mobile devices."We're partnering with carriers, manufacturers and content providers around the world to bring Google search and Google applications to mobile users everywhere," Google spokesman Michael Kirkland said in an e-mail statement."What our users and partners are telling us is that they want Google search and Google applications on mobile, and we are working hard every day to deliver that," Kirkland said.The move would echo another recent product launched by a phone industry outsider, Apple Inc.'s iPhone. But Google's product would draw its revenue from a sharply different source, relying on commercial advertising dollars instead of the sticker price of at least $499 for an iPhone and $60 per month for the AT&T Inc. service plan.Negotiating the fairest way to split those advertising revenues with service providers could be a big hurdle for Google, one analyst said. Another problem is the potential that consumers could be scared off by the prospect of listening to advertisements before being able to make phone calls, said Jeff Kagan, a wireless and telecommunications industry analyst in Atlanta."I don't know how successful it's going to be. The model of an ad-supported wireless Web has not been successful over the past 10 years," he said, referring to municipal Wi-Fi networks that offer free Internet connections to users willing to view advertisements while they surf the Web."The average adult who can afford a cell phone is not going to want to listen to ads. So this is mainly for teenagers, twenty-somethings, high schoolers or people who can't afford a phone," said Kagan.Industry watchers have long heard rumors that Google was designing its own mobile phone. Google added fuel to that speculation in July when it announced it was willing to spend $4.6 billion to buy wireless spectrum in a U.S. Federal Communications Commission auction.At the same time, an increasing number of industry newcomers have made bids to enter the market, such as Apple with the iPhone and The Walt Disney Co., which launched a wireless version of its ESPN cable sports channel that ultimately failed."We see the cell phone industry continuing to evolve," Kagan said. "We're still going to see traditional handsets, but the Apple iPhone was a brand new category in wireless, and it wasn't from a handset vendor and wasn't from a network."Google's success in its venture will depend largely on the details it is still defining with its manufacturing and network partners, and whether customers are willing to trade user fees for intrusive advertising, he said."There are a lot of unknowns, but generally speaking, it hasn't worked yet," said Kagan

Rumor: Google May Debut Handset in February

From the depths of Rumorville, sources are now stating that Google's handset, code-named Android, is close to release. According to the story, prototype units are circulating about and developers are beginning to experiment with the software development kit as well as the PC-based Android emulator. Other rumors focus on a large-scale potential debut at the February Mobile World Conference in Barcelona, Spain. As of now, these are only rumors and it's unknown as to how Google's device will affect the iPhone's market and/or software development.

Analysis: Google's Android Phone and the Four Carriers

The opening volley of official announcements from Google and the Open Handset Alliance bring good news for people sick of the carrier choke hold. Of course, it's easy to spot who gets an Android device first: T-Mobile and Sprint. And it's easy to understand why underdogs like them would be the first two carriers to sign on to the initiative. But let's look a little deeper, to see why the gPhone/Android platform is off to a much better start than the iPhone, and why you probably won't have to switch to a carrier you don't want to get a phone you might really love.

Why Verizon and AT&T Didn't Join the Open Handset Alliance (Yet)

Following the Open Handset Alliance getting official, we noted the conspicuous absence of the US's two biggest wireless carriers, and dissected some of the reasons T-Mobile and Sprint were onboard but they weren't. According to the WSJ, Verizon's still mulling joining up, while AT&T "in part because it exclusively carries the iPhone in the U.S., is restricted from partnering with Google, people familiar with the matter say."

Is the HTC Omni the Google Android 'Dream' Phone?

The possible gPhone prototype we pointed out yesterday named the "Dream" might just be this HTC Omni communicator. The first reason is that HTC's actually seen and commented on the internal Google prototype, even going so far as to consider developing a real version of the reference design. Unwired View matches up the description of the device to the leaked specs of the HTC Omni, which mesh quite well in both size, shape and functionality. So is this the real "Google Phone" design? If so, it looks less like a phone and more like a fancy—and pants tearingly-large—communicator. We wouldn't have our Google Phone any other way.

Fake Steve Jobs on Android: "It's Not a Phone, It's an Alliance"

Fake Steve's lengthy stream of bile laying waste to the Google Phone isn't simply pure invective, it's actually a mostly well-reasoned indictment of coalitions that trumpets the values of "one vision, one man, one genius." It's worth reading in its entirety, but this is our favorite quote:
The only companies that join consortia are the ones who are too stupid or shitty to make a great product on their own. It's like, Hey, we've got forty spazzo companies that can't fuck their way out of a paper bag; let's put them all together and maybe they'll magically become some kind of big bad powerhouse.

What Android's SDK Reveals: Games, Apps and Four New Smartphone Layouts

Open Handset Alliance and Google have launched the Android SDK, and a very quick glance inside shows the plan for four different smartphone configurations, very close to the design aesthetic we'd expect with HTC on board. There are also a bunch of sample images depicting a warm, friendly—I might add, familiar—user interface. We found a lunar lander game, a notepad mockup, and lots of photos measuring 320x220 or smaller. Just one thing, what's the deal with all the chihuahuas? Have a look at the gallery as we plumb the kit for more info. Oh, and by all means check it out for yourselves and report back

Android UI Screenshots

•There's a browser (no flash, but still better than the shipping Windows Mobile browser), address book, maps.

•Missing are YouTube, Gmail and Calendar apps.

•There are demos for OpenGL/3D, autocomplete, scroll bars, alarms, and pop-up notices with images.

•You know you can download and run this yourself, right now, for free. Right? Go!

•There's also a coverflow and grid type view for photos.

Details on Android's $10 Million Bounty For Your Homebrew Apps

You might have heard, Google's offering $10 million in total prizes for savvy programmers willing and able to make kickass apps for the Android platform. Why so much when other dev communities are getting into the groove for free? A Google rep told me, "We wanted to provide a big enough pool to reward and recognize as many developers who do interesting things as we could." How's that for appreciation? Here's a summary of the Android Developer Challenge

Google Going It Alone in Wireless Spectrum Auction to Open Own Wireless Network

The Wall Street Journal details a lot of the "strong signals" Google's going to bid in the upcoming 700MHz spectrum auction in order to launch a wireless network of its own. Aside from openly declaring "we are making all the necessary preparations to become an applicant to bid," what's really compelling is that back at its headquarters, Google is already operating an advanced high-speed wireless network under a test license from the FCC, according to people familiar with the matter. The company has erected transmission towers on its campus for the network. Prototype mobile handsets powered by the Android software are currently running on it.

Google Year-End Report Card: B

Google is the Tetsuo of tech. It's already massive, but it grows uncontrollably in a million different directions and almost feels like it's on the verge of creating its own gUniverse. [Ed. note: "Gooniverse"?] At times, it's both amazing and scary to watch. 2007 was the biggest year yet for Google, but crazily enough, most of it seemed to be merely setting the stage for the total world domination that will occur in 2008.

WiFi Army Game Under Development for Android, Seems Awkward

Here's an example of the kinds of unique programs we can expect on the upcoming Android platform: WiFi Army, a game that takes place in the real world using GPS and your phone's camera. Basically, when you get in range of other players your phone will let you know and show you who your enemy is. You then take them out with "weapons" and "ammo" that I assume come up when you point the camera at them.