Tag Archives | Google Android

HP Does Android, Experimentally

Spotted Wednesday evening at Digital Experience, an unofficial press event here in Las Vegas during CES week: an HP netbook with Google’s Android OS, a touchscreen, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. It bears a familial resemblance to HP’s Mini netbooks, but has been rethought in multiple ways–for instance, it lacks the row of function keys that’s standard equipment on all Windows PCs and Macs.

This machine’s presence at the show isn’t nearly the big deal it might be, for one simple reason: HP says it’s just experimenting with Android. This is a concept PC, and there’s no news about its chances of turning into a shipping product you can buy. Still, you gotta figure that if HP has gone through the bother of building this prototype, there’s a real chance it’ll commercialize it in 2010. Unless, that is, it decides to scrap the Android OS and begin over again with Google’s Chrome OS


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Nvidia Offers a Taste of Tablets to Come

Laying unceremoniously towards the end of Nvidia’s booth at a press event tonight was an early prototype of the Ultra, an Android 2.0 tablet developed by ICD.

It’s the same tablet (or slate — I’m as baffled as Harry by the terminology shift) that appeared briefly, of all places, on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, a 7-inch tablet with all the trimmings: Wi-Fi, 3G, Webcam, MicroSD slot, 4 GB of internal memory and, of course, Nvidia’s formidable Tegra chip. An Nvidia representative promised more and better tablets at the company’s booth tomorrow, but I had to take a stab at this one tonight.

The Ultra was a bit buggy, which explains why Nvidia wasn’t making a big deal of it. As soon as I picked it up, it crashed. Then it took a while to load up. Then the touch screen acted a bit dodgy. And yet, I walked away excited.

What most impressed me was the tablet’s speed and smoothness. Maybe it’s the iPhone effect, but lately I’ve become obsessed by this sort of thing. And because I’ve never seen Android running so smoothly — even the Nexus One phone on display elsewhere at the event showed some choppiness — using the Ultra was a pleasure. A 1080p version of Star Trek played without a stutter, and the e-reader function flipped nimbly between pages.

We don’t yet know what Apple has in store — or for that matter, whether Apple has anything in store at all — but even if it’s something completely surprising, I could get comfortable with Tegra and Android as purveyors of working class tabletslates. We’ll see what else is in store tomorrow.


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Hands on With Google’s Nexus One: Questions and Answers

How long has the gadget-loving world been talking about the idea of a Googlephone? For at least three years–before there was an iPhone, let alone an Android.  The longer people talked about it, the more revolutionary it was supposed to be. Who better than Google, after all, to show what an Android phone can be and shatter people’s assumptions about how phones and phone services are sold while it’s at it?

On Tuesday, Google finally announced the Googlephone, in the form of the Nexus One–if you define “Googlephone” as a phone with Google software and Google branding, sold by Google on a Google site.  And…there’s nothing radical about it. Judging from the first few hours I’ve spent playing with one, it’s a good phone–a really good phone. The best Android phone so far, and (along with Palm’s Pre) one of the few phones worthy of being discussed in the same breath as Apple’s iPhone.

But everything that’s better about it is evolutionary, not revolutionary. It’s a little bit better than Verizon’s Droid, which was a little bit better than HTC’s Hero, which was a little bit better than the MyTouch.  And considering that Verizon’s Droid spent just two months as the undisputed Android-phone-to-buy, it wouldn’t be the least bit surprising if the Nexus One was ousted by another little-bit-better phone by Spring. There’s also not nothing particularly remarkable about the way Google is selling the phone, although the company says to stay tuned for more phones with more hardware and carrier partners–including a Verizon Nexus One this Spring.

Bottom line: If Android-based phones are going to catch up with the iPhone–and they might–they’re going to do so in a series of baby steps, not through the Great Leap Forward that some folks expected this phone to be.

Like other journalists at Google’s launch event, I received one as a review loaner. Here are my first impressions. As is my wont, I’m going to provide them in the form of a FAQ.
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Live Coverage of the Google Phone Event

If it’s not the official unveiling of the Android-based Nexus One phone, every tech pundit on the planet will have to eat his or her respective hat–and I’ll be at Google headquarters this morning starting a few minutes before 10am PT with live coverage. Join us here.


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Should Google Get Into the Phone Biz?

This seems to be the last evening we can ruminate on Google’s Nexus One phone without knowing everything there is to know about it. So I asked my Twitter pals “Do you think Google should get into the phone biz? Why or why not?” Read their thoughts, then add your own–and please join me tomrorow at 10am PT for live coverage of Google’s phone event.

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Coming Tomorrow: Live Coverage of the Google Phone Announcement

Quick reminder: I’ll be at the Googleplex tomorrow to take in Google’s Android announcement–which seems all but certain to consist of the unveiling of the Nexus One phone. I’ll relay everything I learn as fast as I learn it–and do my best to answer your questions–via our live coverage at http://www.technologizer.co/googlephone. Join us, won’t you?


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Coming on Tuesday: Live Coverage of Google Phone Event

On Tuesday at 10am PT, Google will be holding an event at the Googleplex–and everyone assumes that the subject will be the Nexus One Android smartphone. I’ll be in attendance, and in the tradition of our coverage of Apple’s live events, I’ll be reporting on the news as it happens and doing my best to answer your questions. Please join us at www.technologizer.com/googlephone (if you head there now, you can sign up for an e-mail reminder).


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5Words: The Math Behind Free Googlephones

A free Googlephone? Could work!

Windows 7 needs less support.

Google’s own Chrome OS netbook?

The first AT&T Android phone?

How Europe’s browser ballot works.

Facebook shares ethnic usage data.

Intel antitrust issues: a history.

People click on iPhone ads.

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Android Market: 20,000 Apps and Counting

Android’s Market store now boasts 20,000 apps. That may still be a fraction of what’s available on the iPhone, but it’s enough to brag about. To me, the bigger disparity is now quality: If there’s a single program among those 20.000 that’s as impressive as, say, Tweetie, I don’t know about it yet…


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5Words: Google Phone Definitely Coming. Maybe!

Rumor: Google Phone “a certainty.”

Stewart Alsop hates his Droid.

Amazon: Kindle selling like gangbusters.

Nook’s store debut: slightly delayed.

This phone is a projector.

Manufacturers lose interest in MIDs.

Hints about next-generation iPhone.

A 4G Verizon iPhone, maybe?

I sorta like this NokiPhone.

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