Score another win for open-source fans, and Google's Android platform in particular. While earlier this year LG seemingly committed to only releasing Windows Mobile-based smartphones, the handset maker today announced its first Android device, which the company hopes will give it "a broader and more dominant position in the market."
The new LG-GW620 comes with a 3-inch full touchscreen display, along with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard to mash out those Twitter updates and emails on the go.
"The LG-GW620 will appeal to first-time smartphone customers by offering a new and different kind of user experience," said Dr. Skott Ahn, President and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. "Our objective is to provide a wide selection of smartphones to satisfy the diverse preferences of today's consumers."
Perhaps looking to smooth things over with Microsoft, LG was also quick to point out that it will be introducing at least 13 other smartphones over the next 16 months, each one based on Windows Mobile.
As for the LG-GW620, it will be available in the fourth quarter in "select European markets." No word yet on price or U.S. availability.
How many times have you passed an exit on the freeway only to run into an unexpected traffic jam? If you live in southern California, this probably happens a lot. But it needn't happen again if a new Android app can live up to the hype.
Dubbed 'Augmented Traffic Views,' the app makes it possible to see what traffic looks like up ahead. It does this by adding a layer of augmented reality (AR) above the G1's (or other Android device) camera view with live traffic camera images and traffic data. The AR layer shows the user any available traffic camera points, which the user can then tap to see the most current available image taken by the street cam.
Sounds pretty groovy to us, and it also sounds like an accident waiting to happen. To address the latter, the app also supports a hands-free automated predictive tracking mode that displays images from traffic cams up ahead as you drive.
So far, the app only works in Toronto, but there are plenty of U.S. areas where this could be a boon to drivers, should the developers decide to expand. In the meantime, catch a YouTube video of what you can't have right here.
Archos might not be talking up its upcoming media tablets, but that's okay because the FCC has given us a sneak peek of the spec sheets and an early look at the devices themselves.
Revealed in FCC documents, the Archos A5S and A5H bear resemblance to the Archos 5 Internet media tablet only with a white exterior. The A5H also looks like it contains both a microSD slot and microUSB port.
According to the FCC's testing report, both devices boast 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, FM transmitter, and FM receiver. What isn't known is whether or not either tablet will come ready for 3G connectivity, though it would seem a silly oversight if neither one did.
Google's second Android Developer Challenge is underway, but if you plan to enter, you'll need to kick it into high gear - submissions close on August 31, just 5 days from now.
Android device owners will be able to weigh in on the entries by downloading a judging app from the Android Market. Submissions will then be whittled down to 20 apps in each of the following categories:
Sometime in October, a second round will commence where Android users will account for 40 percent of the vote. A Google-selected judging panel will make up the other 60 percent, with winners to be announced sometime in November. For each of the 10 categories, 1st place will be awarded $100,00, 2nd place will receive $50,000, and $25,000 for the 3rd place prize.
Asustek may have put its plans to develop an Android-based smartbook on the back burner but that is unlikely to deter other companies from dabbling in smartbooks. According to Digitimes, Taiwan’s leading technology rumormonger, Nokia is said to be working on an ARM-based smartbook. The news comes from Digitimes’ sources at Taiwanese handset makers.
Microsoft’s share of the mobile OS market has plummeted sharply in the last few years. It needs to quickly mount a counter-offensive against its more dapper rivals in the smartphone market, if it is to prevent itself from being marginalized even further. According to Taiwanese rumor mill Digitimes, Microsoft does have a strategy to counter its rivals in the smartphone market.
Thanks to a recent announcement, we now know that Creative’s new Zii Egg Plaszma (read: open source iPod Touch) will be the first to boast a flexible StemCell system architecture, which will make use of 24 floating-point processors.
The Egg, which is shipping out to developers now in a $399 SDK is being marketed as an Android-friendly “handheld computer,” that has many features similar to Apple’s offering, but beefed up in a few areas. Most notably, it features a full-sized SD card slot, a rear facing HD video camera, a front facing VGA camera, Flash Lite support, GPS, WiFi, and it has enough power under the hood to output 1080p video.
The Egg will likely retail for $199, but there’s no official as to when we can expect it on store shelves.
In the movie Braveheart, there's a pivotal scene involving Mel Gibson and a Scottish battalion where, as William Wallace, he tries to muster some courage from his ragtag company. Face painted blue and half-hysterical, he rallies them with a memorable speech about freedom and love of country. Then, the army proceeds to completely destroy the foreign oppressor in a fight to the bitter end.
In some ways, the current war on smartphone devices could be just as pivotal...and bloody. Companies such as Palm and Nokia have everything to lose if their platforms do not thoroughly crush the competition. Meanwhile, Apple has taken a strong lead with the iPhone, and BlackBerry devices do not appear to be losing any momentum, at least in the business sector. Google has entered the fight with their Android OS, attracting legions of developers to the platform in record time.
All of these operating systems support touch control, rudimentary multi-tasking, rich media, desktop-like Web browsing, and advanced messaging. Yet, only one OS is superior and will ultimately emerge as the victor. It might seem like Apple has already had their Braveheart moment, and maybe there is room for several companies at the top of the pile, but if Windows has taught us anything, it's that a single operating system can become so dominant that every other desktop OS becomes inconsequential. Developers lock into a platform, users get accustomed to it, and that OS wins the war.
We set out to put the major contenders to the test and find out which could become the most dominant. Really, it's too early to call Apple the victor, even though it would be easy to do so with 50,000 apps available and over a million iPhone users. As any technology analyst can tell you, there are actually significantly more Nokia and BlackBerry phones in use today than the iPhone, especially in Europe. The surprise is that the OS that seems to be winning the battle (the iPhone) may not eventually win the OS war in the long run.
Earlier this year Acer had announced that they’d release an Android powered phone before 2010. And, thanks to a recent statement, it would appear that we’re getting closer and closer to that day.
Acer allegedly plans to release the phone in September of this year, and the phone will be called the A1 (not to be confused with the steak sauce). No word on what exactly the phone will have under the hood, or what service providers it’ll be for, but there’s little doubt that we’ll find out in the coming months.