Feeds

Googlephone is coming soon

T-Mobile confirms Googlephone launch. Ish

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration

T-Mobile will launch an Android phone this year and with Google allowing developers access to version 0.9, we'll soon see if it has managed the finesse of an iPhone with Nokia-grade functionality.

Version 0.9 of Google's platform is now available for download, with a redesigned user interface and some significant improvements in functionality, as well as lots of eye-candy to seduce the iPhone crowd. But Google's revolutionary platform is still lacking some of the features we've come to expect of a smartphone, including hardware on which to run it.

It's been widely reported that T-Mobile would be launching a device from HTC using the Android platform, and AFP claims confirmation from Deutsche Telecom. However, the company refused to comment when we contacted them for confirmation, so it seems likely this is another slip of the tongue from Germany.

The New York Times is predicting an October launch, though with version 0.9 only now available that seems optimistic. Both T-Mobile and Google will be fighting to get the handset into shops by Christmas, when the vast majority of mobile phones are sold.

The developer forums are already filling with screenshots and discussions about the new features of the platform, including a requirement to sign all applications, and some features that aren't going to make it into the version 1.0 release, including a Bluetooth API and the GoogleTalk service. We don't know if it's version 1.0 that T-Mobile will be using, but there's hardly time for another major revision, so what you see here is what will appear on the shelves.

Gizmodo has put together a video of the emulated interface, but points out there's still no email or IM application - not even a calendar. These will probably come later, though how closely they'll be tied into Google's existing PIM services remains to be seen. T-Mobile may not be happy if the integration is too close, but Google has little incentive to develop stand-alone applications.

Of course, Android users will be able to add applications developed by third parties, unlike phones based on LiMO which are still closed devices once sold; and not limited to applications that conform to an arcane and secret set of rules dictated by the boys in Cupertino, like the iPhone. How many people choose to develop applications for Android, and whether buyers care about such things, are very tricky questions.

Sliding, finger-driven, interfaces are all the rage these days, so Android will feature lots of those. But Apple also managed to create a remarkably stable platform in complete secrecy. Google hasn't managed the secrecy, but it will be interesting to see if they can achieve the stability in time for Christmas. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Nice computers don’t need to go to the toilet, says Barclays
Bad computers might ask if you are Sarah Connor
4K video on terrestrial TV? Not if the WRC shares frequencies to mobiles
Have your say with Ofcom now, before Freeview becomes Feeview
PEAK LANDFILL: Why tablet gloom is good news for Windows users
Sinofsky's hybrid strategy looks dafter than ever
YES, iPhones ARE getting slower with each new release of iOS
Old hardware doesn't get any faster with new software
You didn't get the MeMO? Asus Pad 7 Android tab is ... not bad
Really, er, stands out among cheapie 7-inchers
Apple winks at parents: C'mon, get your kid a tweaked Macbook Pro
Cheapest models given new processors, more RAM
VMware builds product executables on 50 Mac Minis
And goes to the Genius Bar for support
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Microsoft stands on shore as tablet-laden boat sails away
Brit buyers still not falling for Windows' charms
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?