I just returned from a meeting in Houston and then found I was unable to access the Android Market or surf with the browser, while Gmail and IM seemed to work fine. I went online to check my T-Mobile account details and there was no data services selected on my account. When I ordered my G1 online I signed up for the US$25 data plan and 400 messages and was getting data just fine until today. I called up T-Mobile customer service and found out that T-Mobile gave everyone who bought a G1 free data access for a while (seems to be about 10 days for me) before the system was supposed to automatically add the G1 data plan. Apparently, my switch didn't get automatically flipped over so the customer service representative made the update manually and I should have full data access again in the next few hours.
Smartphones and Cell Phones
It seems everyone in business has a smartphone today to keep connected to the office and enjoy their time away from the office. Matthew Miller provides you with news, commentary and in-depth reviews of the latest in mobile phones sporting iOS, Android, Wi
Matthew Miller started using a Pilot 1000 in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since.
Applications for the Apple iPhone continue to be released at a rapid pace and it looks like DataViz may be the first to launch with a full Office (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) suite in its Documents To Go application. Evernote also continues to be updated and now supports offline note creation and storage for those times when you do not have a wireless connection available.
I just posted some of my thoughts on the battery issues I have been experiencing and a reader sent me a link to this T-Mobile forums discussion where it seems the way to improve the battery life is to turn everything off. It is funny that someone actually had to post the details about this because it is obvious that turning off the 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, and auto-syncing will conserve your battery. However, didn't you just pay good money for a powerful mobile computer that lets you stay in touch and connected with the world at all times. If you bought the G1 to use primarily as a mobile phone, then I think there are some valid tips in this forum. However, why not just buy a rock solid Nokia phone that provides much better call quality if all you want is a mobile phone?
One fun aspect about the T-Mobile G1, and I imagine the same thing occurs with the Apple iPhone, is visiting the Android Market regularly to check what applications and games have been added. I visited the Android Market several times this weekend, without seeing much of anything going on. However, while browsing my RSS feeds this morning, I ran across Michael Gartenberg's post on the Android Market update and went to check out the Android Developer's blog. I then launched the Android Market and found a mini-explosion of applications with there currently being 61 applications and 20 games available. This is still a drop in the bucket compared to the iPhone, S60, and Windows Mobile platforms, but it is still early in the game.
I have used several mobile video streaming applications on my S60 devices and keep coming back to Qik as my default client. Qik now has clients for S60, Windows Mobile, Java-based devices, and jailbroken iPhones with more clients coming. Last night they announced an alpha release for select BlackBerry devices, including the Pearl 8120/8130, BlackBerry Curve 8320/8330 and BlackBerry Bold. Support for the Flip is coming soon too. The BlackBerry you want to run this on must have BlackBerry OS 4.5 or above.
I've had lots of experiences with the HTC Touch Diamond and think it is a wonderful device for those who like touch screen devices, but I still prefer to have a hardware keyboard. HTC and Sprint just officially announced the launch of the HTC Touch Pro that will be available in retailers starting next week for US$299.99 with a 2-year committment, qualified plan, and US$100 mail-in rebate. The HTC Touch Pro adds a slider QWERTY keyboard with 5 full rows for accurate text entry.
With all of the news surrounding the Google Android Linux device (see my full review) it seems that ACCESS didn't want people to forget they are still working on a mobile Linux operating system called the ACCESS Linux Platform (ALP). We learned about some screenshots that were shown in August 2007 and it seems that ACCESS continues to work on the operating system. PalmInfocenter has the latest news that the ALP is up to version 3.0 and the version designed for mobile phones will be known as ALP mini. However, it still sounds like we won't see devices with this Linux OS until late 2009.
I took a look at a Samsung Windows Mobile phone at Mobile World Congress earlier this year that was labeled the SGH-i780 and since then there has been a lot of speculation that the device would eventually come to the US. Yesterday, Samsung and AT&T announced the availability of a variant of this device, now dubbed the Samsung Epix. While most all of the specifications of these high end Windows Mobile devices are the same now, the Epix is unique due to its small touch sensitive pad (also seen on the Samsung OMNIA) instead of a more standard directional pad.
While I am enjoying the Google Android experience, I have to say I do miss the one-handedness and long battery life of my BlackBerry Curve. The Gmail application on the G1 is one of its main strengths, but Google just released Gmail for mobile 2.0 that adds a couple of those same great Android features (basic offline support and multiple drafts). Gmail for mobile 2.0 is available J2ME and BlackBerry devices, but I imagine Windows Mobile will be following shortly.
The day before I received my black G1 (DO NOT BUY the brown one because you won't be able to see the keyboard in most lighting conditions) Google took the Android Market offline for maintenance to make sure things were up and running for the full retail launch. Applications then slowly started trickling back onto the Android Market and now there are 47 applications and 15 games currently available to download and install for free. All the ones I wrote about using on my evaluation device are back up after the Video Player finally appeared overnight. You can also load up applications found online and I think we will soon see these on the Android Market too. I also discovered a few new applications that have now become part of my daily usage and have some favorites already.