Live coverage of the Google Android/Nexus One event

Live coverage of the Google Android/Nexus One event

Summary: Stay tuned here for live coverage of today's Android press event, being held at Google HQ in Mountain View, California. New announcements: the Nexus One phone from HTC, and a new Google Phone store with several manufacturer and carrier options.

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TOPICS: Google
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Stay tuned here for live coverage of today's Android press event, being held at Google HQ in Mountain View, California. It's time to finally separate the truth from the rumors.

Also see: Google's Nexus One: Is it super? And is there a market for a superphone?

9:53am: The intro slide is showing and the music is blaring. All that is shown so far on the projector is "Android Press Gathering January 5, 2010".

9:59am: Looks like about 100-200 people are in attendance.

10:04am: Still waiting...

10:05am: Ah, there we go, looks like it's starting.

10:09am: Mario Quedas of Google relates The Android Story So Far... [9 minutes and I'm already bored, lol]. 20 devices, 59 carriers.

10:10am: People with Android search the web 30 times more than people with "feature phones". [Good news for web's biggest search engine, yes?]

10:10am: The G1 begat the MyTouch3G, which begat the Motorola Droid.

10:15am: Android's principles include an open platform, always on applications, and free access.

10:15am: The next step in Android evolution is the Nexus One.

Continue reading: Live coverage of the Google Android/Nexus One event >

10:17am: We'll work even more closely with our partners to bring devices to market that will help us showcase the great software we're working on at Google.

10:18am: Nexus One was designed in close partnership with HTC. Here's the HTC CEO, Peter Chou.

10:19am: [I think I get it now - this is how Google is going to stop Android fragmentation -Ed]

10:21am: Peter: Specs have already leaked but they include 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 3.7" screen. 480x800 resolution, OLED screen.

10:22am: Nexus One embodies "HTC-branded experience" [- not Google experience?] [Maybe they're donating Sense to Android open source so they won't always be out of date?]

10:25am: Multi-colored LED-lit trackball, that's cute. They moved the LEDs that were at the top for most Android phones.

10:26am: Very thin: only 11.5mm. 5Mpix camera. 130g. LED flash, stereo bluetooth, 3.5" headphone jack, active noise suppression for better phone calls. Engraving available on back.

10:30am: He's saying it runs Android 2.1 which is "the same as the Droid" - but the Droid is 2.0.1 not 2.1. He's calling 2.1 "an update of Eclair". So does that mean 2.1 is not "Flan"? Argh!

10:32am: New phone has news and weather widgets [so does my old phone], and Live Wallpaper [hope it's not too bad on the battery]. Erick Tseng takes over the demo.

10:32am: [Slide from Google calls 2.1 an "Eclair Release" - so confirmed not Flan.]

10:36am: [Given this info I predict a 2.1 update for Motorola Droid in the not-too-distant future. So we won't have to worry about 2.0.1 AND 2.1. That's good.]

Continue reading: Live coverage of the Google Android/Nexus One event >

10:37am: Better photo gallery (finally) developed by Iris. [Now can they give us a better music player too?]

10:41am: New in Nexus One: Voice activation (speech to text) in all text boxes, not just search. For example, you can dictate an email or twitter update.

10:42am: Also new: Google Earth for Android. Has all the features of the desktop Google Earth.

10:45am: Announcing a Google-hosted web store for the phone. For this series of phones. Google selling approved phones from different manufacturers in one place. Google is calling this class of device "super phones".

10:45am: That's it for the demo. [awww] Back to the folks from Google (Queiroz).

10:46am: Today: HTC and T-Mobile. More operators, handsets (including Motorola), and countries to come.

10:48am: Vodafone and Verizon have also signed up to be part of the program. Vodafone will be available in Spring 2010.

10:50am: People can buy phones direct from Google, with or without service from carrier. Nexus One is $179 with T-Mobile service, $529 without. Web site is live now: http://www.google.com/phone for non-service purchase, shipping today. T-Mobile option available "soon".

10:53am: Phones ordered in the US can be shipped to UK, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

10:54am: Nexus One coming to Verizon this Spring.

Continue reading: Live coverage of the Google Android/Nexus One event >

10:58am: Q&A time! Chou and Rubin are on stage. Motorola's Sanja Jha is on his way.

11:00am: Q. Why only 512MB for app storage? A. In the future we'll support encryption for app storage on SD card.

11:01am: Q. 3G on T-Mobile only? A. Radio on this particular phone supports 3G on T-Mobile and European carriers. Not AT&T.

11:03am: Q. Any new iPhone-like ad campaign? A. No. Marketing online.

11:04am: Q. Is this a Google phone or an HTC phone? A. It's an HTC phone, being merchandised on Google store.

11:05am: Q. Will the new features be coming to Motorola Droid? A. Yes, when it's all open sourced which will be in a "couple of days".

11:06am: Q. Isn't $529 a lot for a phone? A. Unlocked phones are common in Europe so it might be more popular there.

11:07am: Q. Can Google do retail? A. It's another channel not intended to replace other channels. It's a showcase. An ecosystem.

11:08am: Q. How does Google make money from this? [why is everybody worried about how Google will make money. They just do.] A. Advertising (more mobile searches). Android provides "the best possible Google experience".

11:10am: Q. Does it do tethering? A. Not right now.

11:11am: Q. Can mobile networks support all the increased mobile web traffic? A. Carrier choice makes it easier to select the best quality network.

11:13am: Q. Does Google still believe in physical keyboards? A. Some people like them and some don't. Android provides choice. Rubin says Google will "carefully select" which Android phones get placed into the program, saying manufacturers will have to meet a certain bar on the experience.

Continue reading: Live coverage of the Google Android/Nexus One event >

11:18am: Q. Multi-touch? A. Hardware can do it, but not enabled in the software. Google ducks patent question. [Argh!]

11:20am: Q. Why buy a Nexus One if new phones are always coming along. A. Queiroz says "you'll have to wait for a long time" for the "next" Nexus One.

11:23am: Q. Why isn't this more revolutionary? A. Before you can revolutionize the world with new business models, you have to be in the game. Get the store up and running, then figure out what to do with it. [sigh]

11:24am: Q. Won't people want to touch and feel the phone before buying it? A. We're just keeping it simple for now, online only.

11:26am: Q. What's the difference between a Superphone and a Smartphone? A. It's the entire platform, the openness, the market place.

11:26am: Sanjah Jha from Motorola finally arrives. Says they're working on dual GSM/CDMA mode phones that will work on both Verizon and AT&T.

11:29am: Q. How will Nexus One affect Droid sales? A. Jha: "I think we will upgrade Droid to the software available on Nexus One". No mention of exactly when.

11:33am: Q. What's broken with the current phone distribution model? A. Rubin: It's about efficiencies - no need for complex marketing programs on the TV. Lower costs will mean lower prices. [Hmm, yeah the Droid marketing didn't help a bit right? And if Google is not going to advertise it, who will?]

11:36am: Q. What can we expect in terms of upgrades? A. (Peter:) We (HTC) are expecting to upgrade *some* of our existing models to 2.1. (Rubin:) There's an intention of some future proofing and more options other than OTA. (Sanjay:) We'll update to the best firmware the devices can handle - not every device can run 3D. (Jha:) 100% backward compatibility is a burden that hurts innovation. If 2.1 didn't have so much 3D it would have been compatible with legacy devices.

11:40am: Q. Will Verizon's Nexus One work on Sprint's CDMA? A. No.

11:42am: Q. Didn't Google say it wouldn't do a phone? A. (Rubin:) What I said was, "Google won't build hardware". We're software guys, internet guys, and know what to contribute to the ecosystem.

That's it folks, thanks for reading.

For other perspectives see:

Topic: Google

Ed Burnette

About Ed Burnette

Ed Burnette is a software industry veteran with more than 25 years of experience as a programmer, author, and speaker. He has written numerous technical articles and books, most recently "Hello, Android: Introducing Google's Mobile Development Platform" from the Pragmatic Programmers.

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6 comments
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  • Well there you go..

    Apple only has a smart phone. Nexus One is a "superphone". Must be better ;-)
    Economister
    • The next obvious step

      Is for someone to make the new, "SuperDuperPhone"! :)
      John Zern
      • MS (nt) ;-)

        nt
        Economister
  • "this is how Google is going to stop Android fragmentation"

    Yeah, good luck with that. A Google Android phone is an
    iPhone with most of the manufacturer lock-in but less of
    the complete integration and rock-solid stability. Oh, and
    it will be scanning everything you do for key words.

    I don't see how Google is going to work closely with
    Motorola or any other manufacturer, now that they've so
    clearly worked closely with HTC. So we'll probably see
    some kind of Android heirarchy. Google phones will be the
    "one, true Android" while Motorola and the the rest are
    "based on Android" with whatever enhancements they can
    make to differentiate themselves in the marketplace.
    [i]That[/i] will certainly make Android app development
    and support a pleasant experience.

    This should be interested to watch.
    matthew_maurice
    • Motorola

      Google also said they "worked closely with" Motorola when the Droid came out, and the Motorola rep was on stage today.

      It's unlikely Google will sell phones with different experiences like Sense and MotoBlur. I expect all the phones they sell to be updatable *by Google* at their own time table.
      Ed Burnette
  • Lots of hype but nothing super to show for it

    What a completely disappointing load of crap this turned out to be.

    A phone HTC should be selling directly for $149 without carrier subscription. The only thing google added was tons of vendor lock in to google services so they could profit off you...
    Johnny Vegas