Opera Software has released the final version of Opera Mini 4.2 for mobile phones, giving G1 handset users looking for change from Android's built-in WebKit browser a third party alternative to play with. Opera Mini, which is the first web browser alternative on Android, sports a number of enhancements, including what Opera claims is up to a 30 percent performance boost.
"With Opera Mini 4.2, we are showing the world that Opera never gets complacent. We will always be improving our product, adding speed, new functionality and features, and ensuring that it is accessible by all,” says Jon von Tetzchner, CEO, Opera Software. “Our support of the Android platform helps fulfill our mission to be available on more platforms, for more devices and reach more users, anywhere in the world."
Opera Mini also boasts greater multilingual support with more than 90 language versions, personalization through skins, Opera Link support for notes, and support for mobile video on a wider range of phones.
Sprint may not be impressed with Google's Android in its current form and be content to sit on the sidelines, but that isn't stopping Asus from getting in the game with an Android-powered handset of its own. Citing un-named "company sources," news outlet DigiTimes reports Asus will launch an Android-based Google phone sometime in the first half of 2009. It remains unclear what Asus' marketing strategy will be, but speculation suggests the company may initially release the new phone under its own brand name in Taiwan followed up with customized models in other markets later on.
Asus isn't new to the handset game and has already shipped 30,000 units in Taiwan so far this year. The company expects that number to reach 40,000 by the end of the year. Asus will ride those shipments into 2009 with a 3G model using Qualcomm's dual-core solutions planned for Q1.
The next time you're out shopping for toilet paper, kitty treats, motor oil, and a gigantic jar of pickles, you can add a G1 Android-powered smartphone to your list and save money on that too, all without ever having to leave the store. That is, provided you're shopping at Wal-Mart.
Starting Wednesday, the mega-chain will begin selling the G1 phone to both new and existing T-Mobile customers in 550 of its stores, but there's more reason to buy the phone at Wal-Mart than just convenience. According to Wal-mart spokeswoman Melissa O'Brien, the G1 will run $149 for new customers, or $31 less than what you'd pay T-Mobile, who's selling the same phone for $180.
For those of you just coming out of a coma, the G1 is the first Google Android-powered smartphone on the market. Demand for the phone with an open-source OS has been high, with an estimated 1.5 million units already sold through pre-order sales.
Plan on picking one up? Hit the jump and sound off.
For shame, Google. The G1 has barely even launched, and it’s already faced with its first major breach. An exploit has been discovered by an independent security expert which could potentially allow hackers to hijack the web browser on the G1, allowing them access to users’ passwords, cookies and text messages.
The exploit was discovered by Charlie Miller of Independent Security Evaluators, who first noticed the hole in the Android SDK. He bought an early G1 off a T-Mobile employee on eBay, confirmed that the exploit worked on the real deal, and reported the problem to Google two days before the G1 launched.
The exploit takes advantage of a buffer overrun flaw in one of Androids 80 open-source components. Android uses an out-of-date version of the component, newer versions have addressed the flaw. To protect G1 early-adopters, Miller hasn’t publicized which of the 80 components is the one with the weakness.
Google’s response? “We are working with T-Mobile to include a fix for the browser exploit, which will soon be delivered over the air to all devices, and have addressed this in the Android open-source platform.”
T-Mobile scored a big win by partnering with Google and handset manufacturer HTC to become the first provider to offer a smartphone powered by Android, Google's open-source OS. The pre-release buzz was so strong that initial estimates indicate as many as 1.5 million HTC G1 phones were gobbled up through preorders alone. It would seem illogical to scoff at those kind of numbers, but that's what Dan Hesse, Sprint's CEO, has done.
According to a report on Reuters, the cynical CEO told the National Press Club in Washington that the current iteration of Android isn't "good enough to put the Sprint brand name on it." Is he hating on Google or pouting over being passed over? Likely not. Initial reviews of the recently released G1 show Android as having promise, but as Engadget points out, Android "has a lot of ground to cover before it's really making the competition sweat," namely platforms like the iPhone and Windows Mobile devices.
Don't fret of you're a Spring subscriber. Despite Hesse's unenthusiastic comments, he has promised to sell an Android-powered phone "at some time in the future." Of course, at some point in the future, other manufacturers besides AT&T will also carry Apple's iPhone, so perhaps this is a case where time is of the essence.
Coders, start your engines. The long awaited release of the Android source code has come to an end, thanks to the Android Open Source Project. The announcement, which was made just yesterday, hopes to potentially influence the future of mobile devices as a whole. Pretty ambitious!
“Even if you're not planning to ship a mobile device any time soon, Android has a lot to offer,” writes Dave Bort (are they out of license plates in the gift shop?) on Androiod’s blog, “Interested in working on a speech-recognition library? Looking to do some research on virtual machines? Need an out-of-the-box embedded Linux solution? All of these pieces are available, right now, as part of the Android Open Source Project, along with graphics libraries, media codecs, and some of the best development tools I've ever worked with.” He continues to encourage anyone with a great idea for a new feature to simply add it. Given the nature of the open source project, anyone can influence Android.
Some big ups have to go out to Google on this one, making Andrioid perhaps one of the easiest development tools to acquire. Considering it’s free to license and now the entire source code is available to anyone that wants it, perhaps their dream of world domination is only a few developers away.
Corporate honchos often abuse earnings calls – and other similar events - for making grandiloquent claims and promises. Google co-founder Sergey Brin used Google’s third quarter earnings calls to broadcast his partisan review of the T-Mobile G1. He went gaga over the G1.
Brin said that he has been using a G1 as his primary phone for a few months now. He pointed out a few of the endearing qualities of the G1, while omitting any possible shortcomings. “I'm able to search and browse through my Gmail just as if I was at my desktop,” said Brin. He also praised its web browser and, finally, encouraged people to try the first Android phone themselves.
Back in August there was quite a commotion over the discovery that Apple had included a “kill switch” in the iPhone, functionality that allowed them to remotely remove applications from the device without the user’s consent. Now, in the Android Market terms of service, Google has revealed that Android has its own kill switch.
To Google’s credit, they’re not attempting to hide the kill switch. They say, in the 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.” Apple, on the other hand, didn’t say a word about their remote removal function until a developer called them out on it.
Further, Android’s kill switch only applies to programs downloaded through the Android Market, meaning that if users really want some verboten app, they still have the option of getting it from the developer, or through other channels, unlike the iPhone. Also, Google says that it will try to refund the purchase price of any app bought through the Market that it has to disable.
What do you think of the kill switch? Will it help keep malware off your G1, or should that be left up to the user? Tell us after the jump.
It doesn't matter that the first-generation iPhone lacked 3G functionality or that early adopters were slapped in the face so quickly after its release. Even intentional bricking through a firmware update hasn't been enough to knock Apple's iPhone off its pedestal as the must-have cellular phone for geeks and hipsters alike. Can T-Mobile's HTC G1 Android phone deliver the right hook and make this a fight?
It's far too early to tell, but early indications look promising. According to the Motley Fool, T-Mobile subscribers have already gobbled up all of the available preorders for initial shipments of the G1, prompting T-Mobile to triple its order with handset maker HTC. Those have sold out too. All tallied, roughly 1.5 million G1s are already accounted for, with another couple million reserved for retail sales.
That still puts the G1 far behind the 10 million iPhones Apple said it would like to sell this year, but it's a good start for a phone that hasn't even been released yet and still won't be for another couple of weeks. And if the G1 is going to have any chance at taking a bite out of Apple, it's going to need to come out strong and convince buyers there's more to the Android platform than hype.
Anyone plan on picking one up or already placed a preorder? Hit the jump and sound off.
For Android to be a force to be reckoned with, the first Android-based phone has to be a success. T-Mobile is very optimistic about the sales prospects of its upcoming G1 - the maiden Android phone - which will become available on October 22, 2008. The service provider expects the Android-based G1 to take the market by storm.