T-Mobile and Google on Tuesday unveiled the first ever phone to feature Google Android operating system – T-Mobile G1 – that will become available shortly in the U.S. and some European countries. Although Google is not known for operating systems, the announcement seems to be significant as the G1 is widely considered as an Internet-centric device that directly rivals Apple’s iPhone.
T-Mobile G1 features 3.17” touchscreen with 480x320 resolution as well as QWERTY keyboard, a rather strange combination of features. The G1 phone, which is made by High Tech Computer (HTC), is based on Qualcomm MSM7201A processor at 528MHz and sports 128MB of random access memory, 1GB of flash memory, global positioning system, microSD slot for memory cards, Wi-Fi controller, Bluetooth support, 3.1MP camera and so on. The phone measures by 115mm x 55mm (4.53” x 2.17”), is 16mm (0.63”) thick and weighs about 160 grams (5.6 ounces). The phone will feature 5 hours talk time and 130 hours standby time.
The first Google Android-based phone comes with a plethora of pre-installed services, including such as Google Search, Google Maps, Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Talk, and YouTube. In addition the T-Mobile G1 features Amazon MP3, Amazon.com’s digital music download store with more than 6 million DRM-free MP3 tracks; Android Market, which hosts applications and mash ups of existing and new services from developers around the world.
HTC T-Mobile G1 Tour
In fact, the initial Google Android phone release may not have a substantial effect at all as Google recently removed several potentially interesting features from its Android software development kit. In particular, according to software developers, the company cut Bluetooth support by applications, removed support of Flash (the YouTube player is an exception), disabled support of Google Talk API. In addition, the G1 cannot capture video, synchronize with desktop computer or support Microsoft Exchange. Finally, the novelty comes without standard mini-jack connector for headphones, but sports HTC’s proprietary ExtUSB connector, which means that end-users will need to buy special headphones or adapters.
The new G1 phone from Google, HTC and T-Mobile once again marks a substantial change on the market of business and entertainment cellphones – after Nokia’s E-series and N-series as well as Apple’s iPhone. The G1 is actually more universal than some of the aforementioned, however, being closely tied to T-Mobile networks and Google’s Internet services, it does not give as much freedom as handsets from Nokia.
“Increasingly, connectivity does not just mean a phone call, but rather access to the world’s information. Today’s news signifies an important first step for the Open Handset Alliance: with Android, we’ve opened the mobile Web not only for millions of users, but also to mobilize the developer community that understands the next most important platform in the world rests in the palm of our hand,” said Andy Rubin, senior director of mobile platforms for Google.