T-Mobile intros Android emulator

James Middleton

October 7, 2008

2 Min Read
T-Mobile intros Android emulator

For consumers who can’t wait until October 22 to get their hands on the first Android-based gadget, the G1, US carrier T-Mobile USA has launched an emulator site.

The site gives potential buyers a preview of what to expect from the forthcoming Google gadget, including the much hyped operating system and services as well as a full 360 degree view of the hardware.

Demand for the device is understood to be higher than expected, with T-Mobile USA saying this week that it has had to secure more units for launch.

The US operator said last month that the G1 will hit shelves in the US on October 22 at $179 with a two year voice and data agreement. The device will also be available in the UK in November, and across Europe in the first quarter of 2009, with confirmed countries including Germany, Austria, Czech Republic and the Netherlands.

Google, T-Mobile and HTC showed off the first commercial device based on the Android platform last month. There wasn’t much to reveal about the hardware that wasn’t already known – the G1 is an HTC unit with touchscreen and trackball as well as a slide out QWERTY keyboard. 3G HSPA, EDGE and wifi provide the connectivity along with GPS, while the camera weighs in at 3 megapixels.

The software package comes packed with Google apps including Google Maps with Street View, Gmail, Google Talk and YouTube, as well as a full HTML web browser and Amazon’s MP3 store.

One of the cool features was the way Google Maps syncs with the GPS to allow users to view locations and navigate 360 degrees by simply moving the phone in their hand.

On a negative point the email client only interfaces with Gmail, naturally, as well as most other POP3 or IMAP mail services, leaving corporate email using Exchange etc. out in the cold. When questioned, Google said this leaves plenty of room for “third party development”.

The biggest surprise, but probably an obvious one in hindsight, was the announcement of the Android Market, which is a similar platform to Apple’s iPhone App Store.

The Market is accessed directly from the handset and allows users to browse for and download new applications. Initial offerings include a comparative shopping application, ShopSavvy, which allows users to scan the UPC code of a product with the phone’s camera and instantly compare prices; and a couple of geo-aware apps, which allow users to track their movements and plot new routes.

About the Author(s)

James Middleton

James Middleton is managing editor of telecoms.com | Follow him @telecomsjames

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