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Google issues custom unlocked phones ahead of rumored Jan. launch

post #1 of 304
Thread Starter 
Employees of Google were allegedly given brand new, HTC-made "Google Phones" this week: an unlocked, GSM-based handset sporting an OLED screen and running a new version of the Android mobile operating system.

Bolstering evidence of the rumored January 2010 launch, the phone is said to be capable of running on both T-Mobile and AT&T networks in the U.S. According to TechCrunch, the phone sports an internal Snapdragon chip and a high-resolution OLED screen inside a form factor thinner than an iPhone.

The phones were reportedly distributed to Google employees this week, and various workers began posting to Twitter about the hardware. One person who claimed to see the hardware firsthand described the Google Phone as "an iPhone on beautifying steroids."

The touchscreen device has no physical keyboard (only virtual), but offers a voice-to-text feature that allows users to dictate e-mails and notes aloud. The handset runs the unreleased Android 2.1 and features two microphones -- a second one on the back helps eliminate background noise. The report also said the hardware has a "weirdly" large camera.

Android 2.1 has new home screen visual enhancements that are said to add new features like animated desktop wallpaper. The hardware also includes a trackball for added control. It is said to be a tweaked version of the HTC Passion, pictured here:



Google also indirectly confirmed the distribution of the hardware on its official mobile blog, noting that the company was "dogfooding" a new product by testing it with its employees. No specific details on the hardware were officially provided from Google.

"We recently came up with the concept of a mobile lab, which is a device that combines innovative hardware from a partner with software that runs on Android to experiment with new mobile features and capabilities, and we shared this device with Google employees across the globe," Mario Queiroz, vice president of Product Management at Google said on the blog. "This means they get to test out a new technology and help improve it."

Previous reports had said Google worked closely with HTC to design all aspects of the hardware on the Google Phone. With numerous reports of a January 2010 launch, it's likely something could be made official by the CES conference, which begins Jan. 7.
post #2 of 304
I imagine we will be seeing actual pics soon if it has been given to people all around the world...

And what in the hell are "beautifying steroids?"
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post #3 of 304
Well it certainly looks like Schmidt really was a snake in the grass. Seems like Google wants to take allcomers on, head to head.

Certainly all this extra competition will keep Apple on its toes, good for the consumer.
post #4 of 304
This phone is so stupid, it's just a copy off of the iPhone, which is the first cell phone invented.

It doesn't have the Apple AppStore, it doesn't have Safari Icon on the front screen, it doesn't have the Apple logo.

This phone is so stupid.
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Fragmentation is not just something we have to acknowledge and accept. Fragmentation is something that we deal with every day, and we must accept it as a fact of the iPhone platform experience.

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post #5 of 304
And the Great Android Fragmentation continues.
post #6 of 304
Quote:
Originally Posted by g3pro View Post

This phone is so stupid, it's just a copy off of the iPhone, which is the first cell phone invented.

It doesn't have the Apple AppStore, it doesn't have Safari Icon on the front screen, it doesn't have the Apple logo.

This phone is so stupid.

Well, it doesn't have a keyboard. Who wants to verbalize all of their texting and email?!
post #7 of 304
And down goes the AAPL. This probably has more potential than anything else by far to be "the" iPhone killer. I hope Apple gets the message and gets other carriers onboard with iPhone sooner rather than later. Like, NOW. I hope for my long-bet AAPL will win. They sure won with the iPod and beat the "industry" by running the whole show. But is the phone market the same? Are carriers the same as the RIAA/labels, is that a good analogy?
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post #8 of 304
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill P. View Post

Well, it doesn't have a keyboard. Who wants to verbalize all of their texting and email?!

i KNOW!!! if it doesn't have a physical keyboard, it doesn't have a keyboard at all. this phone is such a useless piece of crap. i will wipe my a** with this phone and throw it at the wall. when will these people just give up and realize that the iPhone is the only true phone??
Fragmentation is not just something we have to acknowledge and accept. Fragmentation is something that we deal with every day, and we must accept it as a fact of the iPhone platform experience.

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Fragmentation is not just something we have to acknowledge and accept. Fragmentation is something that we deal with every day, and we must accept it as a fact of the iPhone platform experience.

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post #9 of 304
Something, I imagine, that would not cut through a banana like a chainsaw.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

And what in the hell are "beautifying steroids?"
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Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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post #10 of 304
Quote:
Originally Posted by g3pro View Post

i KNOW!!! if it doesn't have a physical keyboard, it doesn't have a keyboard at all. this phone is such a useless piece of crap. i will wipe my ass with this phone and throw it at the wall. when will these people just give up and realize that the iPhone is the only true phone??
...

This phone is so stupid, it's just a copy off of the iPhone, which is the first cell phone invented.

Great. One troll gone, and another moves in to take his place. Do you post inflammatory remarks like this simply to derail the discussion?
post #11 of 304
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

Great. One troll gone, and another moves in to take his place. Do you post inflammatory remarks like this simply to derail the discussion?

First off it isn't the first phone ever, and secondly, the iphone just happened to be the first intuitive, and simple to use smart phone. I happen to think that one day someone will come out with a better product. The problem is that people are trying to make a better iphone instead of trying to make a better smartphone in general. I think there may be some better ways to make a smartphone then what apple has done, but that everyone seems to think that they need to improve on the iphone concept. That's where all companies fail.
post #12 of 304
it looks a lot like the iphone
very original, google, keep up the good work
post #13 of 304
iPhone is just a small hand-held computer with specialized communication capabilities. Improve on all capabilities and you'll have a better product.
post #14 of 304
I'm not seeing where any of this adds up to "Google phones", which is a term the article simply applies without credible reason.

What Google has actually said is that they're handing out HTC handsets to use as a testbed for new software features. That's it. Somehow we go from there to turning these HTC handsets into the fabled "Google phone", despite there being no evidence of that. At all.

I'm sure the HTC handsets are the latest and greatest, but things like OLED screens and Snapdragon processors aren't the result of Google magic, and there was no reason not to expect HTC to do anything but offer such hardware at some point.
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post #15 of 304
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill P. View Post

Well, it doesn't have a keyboard. Who wants to verbalize all of their texting and email?!

Should be really useful in a library or at a football game or anywhere you want a little privacy...

Do you dictate your userID, password, account number and PIN codes for all to hear?

Does everyone within earshot really need to know that you are surfing porn sites?

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post #16 of 304
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

I'm not seeing where any of this adds up to "Google phones", which is a term the article simply applies without credible reason.

What Google has actually said is that they're handing out HTC handsets to use as a testbed for new software features. That's it. Somehow we go from there to turning these HTC handsets into the fabled "Google phone", despite there being no evidence of that. At all.

I'm sure the HTC handsets are the latest and greatest, but things like OLED screens and Snapdragon processors aren't the result of Google magic, and there was no reason not to expect HTC to do anything but offer such hardware at some point.

I have been reading about the Pixel Qi displays. They appear to have several advantages over OLED.

1) lower cost
2) lower power
3) both ePaper, and color video
4) can be used in bright sunlight as well as controlled light (outside and inside)
5) uses existing technologies rather developing/implementing new "molecules" from the ground up and new manufacturing lines to produce them
6) can be built with existing LCD manufacturing infrastructure-- further reducing costs and creating very small manufacturing ramp-up time (months instead of years).

*
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post #17 of 304
Quote:
Originally Posted by just_a_guy View Post

First off it isn't the first phone ever, and secondly, the iphone just happened to be the first intuitive, and simple to use smart phone. I happen to think that one day someone will come out with a better product. The problem is that people are trying to make a better iphone instead of trying to make a better smartphone in general. I think there may be some better ways to make a smartphone then what apple has done, but that everyone seems to think that they need to improve on the iphone concept. That's where all companies fail.

actually, like windows response to Macintosh, the goal seems to be to simply be a "good enough" copy, not something better. I'm taking OS and overall user experience, not specific hardware specs, which typically favor the latest release until the next rev from a competitor comes along.

Good enough worked for Microsoft in the computer OS battle, It failed miserably in the MP3 player battle where Apple was able to stay ahead. It remains to be seen how the cell phone battle will go. Apple has a huge advantage in that the iPhone seamlessly replaces an iPod with full integration into iTunes. They also currently have a significant disadvantage that they don't have iPhones available for the other cell phone companies.
post #18 of 304
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Should be really useful in a library or at a football game or anywhere you want a little privacy...

Do you dictate your userID, password, account number and PIN codes for all to hear?

Does everyone within earshot really need to know that you are surfing porn sites?


You have to realize by now that AppleInsider never gives the full story, especially when it casts a competitor in a negative manner.

It has a virtual keyboard according to PC World.


http://www.pcworld.com/businesscente...employees.html
post #19 of 304
I have wondered for a long time why Apple doesn't build in dictation into their operating system. I figured it still wasn't there, yet. The last time I used an IBM dictation system, about 10 years ago, I had about a 90% accuracy rate, so about every 10th word was incorrect. Needs to be better than that. I wonder if Google is offering an improvement. In any event, from what I understand, Apple's iPhone doesn't even allow you to find the contact you want to call with voice. Is that because AT&T wants customers to pay their $4.95 charge for that service?
post #20 of 304
This HTC looks like every one I've seen before: fat and smarmy -- i.e., not beautiful. At least Google did away with HTC's horrible keyboard.
post #21 of 304
Quote:
Originally Posted by justbobf View Post

In any event, from what I understand, Apple's iPhone doesn't even allow you to find the contact you want to call with voice. Is that because AT&T wants customers to pay their $4.95 charge for that service?

No, that's perhaps because you were talking to a Verizon rep. The 3GS does voice dialing (and more). (And FWIW, I doubt the 3GS has the horsepower to support accurate dictation.)
post #22 of 304
It's so funny that so many AI readers thought that there's no virtual keyboard, and the only way to enter texts is via voice

I recall a mock add about Apple releasing a laptop with one button. I wonder how many AI readers took that for real (and wanted one, because it's Apple)
post #23 of 304
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

And the Great Android Fragmentation continues.

Why continues the fragmentation?
post #24 of 304
Quote:
Originally Posted by just_a_guy View Post

First off it isn't the first phone ever, and secondly, the iphone just happened to be the first intuitive, and simple to use smart phone. I happen to think that one day someone will come out with a better product. The problem is that people are trying to make a better iphone instead of trying to make a better smartphone in general. I think there may be some better ways to make a smartphone then what apple has done, but that everyone seems to think that they need to improve on the iphone concept. That's where all companies fail.

Exactly, I knew there was some intelligence around here. If you only try to beat the competition you will just be running in circles and lagging behind. Innovation doesn't happen by theft it happens with ingenuity. There will be something better eventually and actually some of the concept ideas people came up with before the iphone came out were quite impressive, maybe it will be one of those.

Android's seem impressive, I can't just help feeling I'd be dissapointed owning one.
post #25 of 304
Quote:
Originally Posted by doyourownthing View Post

it looks a lot like the iphone
very original, google, keep up the good work

Yes, because the iPhone doesn't resembles to previus smartphones.

My God, how can it be? Rounded?
post #26 of 304
Something missing from this conversation is wild speculation about when Google will replace the traditional cell phone provider.

Consider that Google acquired Grand Central then later came out with Google Voice. Recently Google purchased Gizmo, and anyone can speculate where that will lead.

Sure, there's no GOOG out in the countryside, but 100% free calling anywhere in the world over WiFi (and maybe even 3G) ought to give AT&T et al. some pause.

Soft rolling out such a feature only on Google-branded phone hardware would be a good start.
post #27 of 304
Apple is DOOMED!
post #28 of 304
Quote:
Originally Posted by serkol

It's so funny that AI readers thought that there's no virtual keyboard

Similar mistaken implication taken by commenters on AI's previous Moto Droid post. "Forced to use a hardware keyboard! Bwaha!"
Since Q1 2009, a vkb comes standard in both 1.x,2.x versions of AndroidOS.
post #29 of 304
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

I'm not seeing where any of this adds up to "Google phones", which is a term the article simply applies without credible reason.

What Google has actually said is that they're handing out HTC handsets to use as a testbed for new software features.

Early builds of HTC Android 2.1 ROM's for the Hero has been leaked, so your point makes more sense
post #30 of 304
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkuhns View Post

Exactly, I knew there was some intelligence around here. If you only try to beat the competition you will just be running in circles and lagging behind. Innovation doesn't happen by theft it happens with ingenuity. There will be something better eventually and actually some of the concept ideas people came up with before the iphone came out were quite impressive, maybe it will be one of those.

Android's seem impressive, I can't just help feeling I'd be dissapointed owning one.

Superb post.

Ingenuity. That's the key word. ('Innovation' is so passe). So many companies - including Google - lack that.
post #31 of 304
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Superb post.

Ingenuity. That's the key word. ('Innovation' is so passe). So many companies - including Google - lack that.

Yes, only Apple innovates, all the other companies go ahead Apple
post #32 of 304
So OLED seems to be the rage, but reviews of the Zune HD state that it is awful out in the sun. You need to be in low lit rooms to really appreciate the technology. Is there any hope for OLED screens in holding up better in light similar to LCDs?
post #33 of 304
Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post

Are you joking Google lacks innovation? People like you lose all credibility when they believe ( or at least make a pathetic attempt to make others believe) Apple in the only innovative company.

The iPhone will go the way of the iPod. Something that everyone talked about for four or five years and now its simply no big deal. There isn't anything innovative about the iPhone its just another smartphone. I hope you guys use it as much as you talk about it.

What overwhelming innovations did Android bring us?

I like Android better than the iphone btw, but that is because I'm a linux geek.
post #34 of 304
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

Great. One troll gone, and another moves in to take his place. Do you post inflammatory remarks like this simply to derail the discussion?

Somebody incapable of detecting sarcasm?
post #35 of 304
Quote:
Originally Posted by serkol View Post

It's so funny that so many AI readers thought that there's no virtual keyboard, and the only way to enter texts is via voice

I recall a mock add about Apple releasing a laptop with one button. I wonder how many AI readers took that for real (and wanted one, because it's Apple)

HA HA! HAHA! That's funny, because you are the only one.
post #36 of 304
Quote:
Originally Posted by sprockkets View Post

What overwhelming innovations did Android bring us

The same ones the iPhone brought us a year earlier, but without the great OS and robust App Store.
post #37 of 304
Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post

Are you joking Google lacks innovation? People like you lose all credibility when they believe ( or at least make a pathetic attempt to make others believe) Apple in the only innovative company.

The iPhone will go the way of the iPod. Something that everyone talked about for four or five years and now its simply no big deal. There isn't anything innovative about the iPhone its just another smartphone. I hope you guys use it as much as you talk about it.

Yeah. The iPhone is insignificant. Just another smart phone. Didn't shake up the industry at all.

You actually don't know anything about technology outside of your contempt for Apple, do you? Jesus, and you want to lecture people about "credibility"? You're a joke.
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post #38 of 304
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Apple is DOOMED!

Might as well shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.
post #39 of 304
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

The same ones the iPhone brought us a year earlier, but without the great OS and robust App Store.

Mmm, where I can activate 3rd party apps multitasking and local notifications? I didn't know that last year iPhone OS 2.x released it. Damm, a year with my 3G and without notifications and couldn't use Spotify in the background because I didn't know I could configure it.

[sarcasm off]
post #40 of 304
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Just another smart phone. Didn't shake up the industry at all.

But this applies more to USA than to Europe, USA mobile industry were, and is, a lot different
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