The official German O2 Twitter account posted a tweet this weekend that the Motorola Milestone (better known as the Verizon Droid to us Yanks) will be getting Android 2.2 in mid-late September of this year. Also contained in the announcement was news that the HTC Desire will be receiving FroYo in mid-to-late August, and the Galaxy S in mid-September while the Flipout and X10 are still TBD. It’s great to see these phones receiving prompt updates to the latest OS version after the slower rollouts of some of the previous updates (We’re looking at you Eclair).
Before Apple's iPhone and Google’s Android OS burst onto the mobile device scene in 2007, there were few significant advances in mobile technology. Frankly, "smartphones" (if we could even call them that at the time) were boring: they did little more than email, general messaging, picture taking, some basic apps and games, rudimentary internet browsing, and enterprise integration.
The biggest players at the time were Microsoft Windows Mobile, RIM's Blackberry, Palm, Symbian, and Linux.
A few weeks ago, Samsung was kind enough to send us an Intercept for review. While it may not be of Galaxy S caliber, it’s not intended to be. Rather, it’s more so aimed at the feature phone crowd – those who want something more powerful than a feature phone, but maybe not all the bells and whistles of a high-end smartphone. We spoke (unofficially) with Samsung about what other phones they think people will cross-shop the Intercept to, and they agreed its target is something like the enV Touch.
The world’s first Android phone, the T-Mobile G1 (based on the HTC Dream platform), has officially been discontinued today. It is no longer available via T-Mobile’s website.
More than anything, this marks the beginning of the end for the first-generation flagship Android devices, as phones running Android 1.5 and 1.6 are slowly phased out of the Android ecosystem—reducing version fragmentation, and allowing developers and users alike to move away from obsolete software.
Android’s introduction in the marketplace hardly seems like it was less than two years ago. In that time we’ve gone from zero apps to a robust app market and enough unique handsets to give whiplash to every early adopter wanting to ride the bleeding edge.
With over 60 different phones, 70,000 apps in the marketplace, about 20 OS updates, and enough interest to keep dozens of full time blogs crammed with news, we can’t call Android a “baby” OS anymore, but we can’t call him mature, either.
ZodTTD and yongzh have released Android’s first PlayStation emulator application, now available in the Android Market for $6.99USD. Remember, that $6.99 does not get you any games or a working BIOS (required to run the emulator), you have to “legally” obtain these on your own time (please do not post links to ROMs or BIOS images in comments, they will be deleted).
But words don’t really do this justice, hit the jump for some sexy video:
Ridge Racer, Final Fantasy, Earthworm Jim, and Warcraft on Galaxy S
Crash Bandicoot on Nexus One
Final Fantasy VII with Wiimote on Dell Streak
Yes, you read right: Wiimote.
Smartphones are already commonly used in most workplaces, and now the folks at Google are working with military contractors to equip G.I. .Joes. Reuters is reporting that Google, Motorola and HTC have been working along side Raytheon, markers of the Patriot missile defense system, to develop software which could allow a soldier on the battlefield to gain important information via an Android OS device.
According to Raytheon, Google has helped push the limits of the phone and integrate features such as detailed satellite imagery, unmanned drone video and even tap into the Patriot missile system itself.
If you’re the kind of person who isn’t exactly careful with their phone, or needs it to be usable in extreme conditions, you’re in luck. Sprint has just announced it will begin shipping the Motorola i1, the first push-to-talk Android phone, from their online store and telesales starting July 25, and from all other channels on August 8.
The phone meets military specifications for dust, shock, vibration, and rain, so it will certainly be able to handle anything you can throw at it (or anything you throw it against.) Nothing has changed since its launch on Boost Mobile last month, but here’s a refresher on its specs, now that the device is hitting one of the four major carriers:
- 5 megapixel camera with LED flash
- Swype, Opera Mini 5, and Touiteur pre-installed
- Android 1.5 with MOTOBLUR
- 600 MHz processor
- 3.1” screen
- Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth
Clearly, the fact that it is running Android 1.5 is a huge downside, but that shouldn’t matter to the market the phone is aimed at.
The first multi-device, multi-format video and audio player for Android, RockPlayer, has been officially released on the Android Market today. The free version is fully functional, but features in-video ads on occasion. The paid version eliminates said ads for the price of $10.
RockPlayer gives your Android phone (more on which ones later) a formidable array of media playback capabilities which not even the iPhone can hope to match.
One of Android Market's biggest shortcomings compared to the iOS App Store is that paid apps are available in only a handful of countries compared to this much more impressive list of countries iOS supports.
Google needs to change this situation, and if they want to make Android just as appealing to developers as iOS is, they need to do it now. The more markets with paid apps supported, the more potential customers, the more appeal.