T-Mobile G1: A tour of Google Android

Step through the following slides for the highlights.

  • Simple, effective security: T-Mobile G1 locks itself after a user-defined idle period to prevent accidental touches and other mishaps. It can be unlocked by pressing the Menu button. For security, the user can define a touchscreen gesture that unlocks the phone.

  • Mail landscape: Here's a landscape view of the HTML e-mail reader. All Google apps switch to landscape orientation when the T-Mobile G1's keyboard is swiveled out.

  • Linux CLI: A POSIX command shell on a phone? You bet, and you don't even have to crack the firmware to get it. Apple, are you listening?

  • Fabulous browser: This is the first of four pages of Web browser options. The Android browser, based on the open source WebKit, is Android's killer app. It's a truly desktop-grade browser with scalable fonts and a single-column view.

  • Where am I? Google Maps loses contact with GPS relatively frequently, making it inadequate for navigation. Wi-Fi location assistance inexplicably didn't work in Silicon Valley. New street-level views, with real pictures of your surroundings, help compensate for this.

  • The home screen: The home screen pulls out on a tray, showing a grid of both built-in apps and software downloaded from Google's Android Market. You can also add icons for specific Web pages and contacts and other objects you want to keep track of.

  • Pac-Man: Android Market, Google's equivalent of Apple's App Store, is just getting off the ground. But it already has some interesting titles, including the genuine Namco Pac-Man.

  • Google Maps: Naturally, Google Maps is a standard Android feature. The compass uses a magnetic field sensor rather than GPS.

  • The first mobile device born of the team of Google, T-Mobile, and HTC, the G1 combines a mobile phone, 3G and Wi-Fi data networking, a touchscreen, and a swivel-out QWERTY keyboard. The secret sauce is Google's Android operating system.

  • Skippy music player: Android's music player is just adequate. Playback is choppy when the system is busy, such as when it is acquiring a network signal. Android currently lacks a standard video player, but it has a high-quality YouTube client.

  • Mail in portrait mode: Back to the identical page in portrait mode. Note the re-wrapping of text to fit the display. By the way, you can archive both messages and attachments.

  • Block that image: With a menu option, images can be concealed by default to speed rendering over slow connections as well as avoid user-tracing Web bugs. This screen also shows the Gmail client's pop-up settings menu.

  • Hands-free dialer: In fact, when phoning a contact, you don't need to type anything. T-Mobile G1's voice dialer is a much-needed feature lacking in iPhone.

  • Touch-screen dialing: No, you don't have to swing out the T-Mobile G1's keyboard just to make a phone call. The on-screen dialer has nice, big buttons and large, legible text.

  • HTML e-mail: HTML e-mail is standard, with the trackball navigating among selectable links and controls. Unlike BlackBerry and iPhone, G1 lacks Exchange connectivity, but over-the-air sync with Google mail, calendar, and contacts is free.

  • Bonsai Blast: G1's large, bright display and fast Linux kernel are well-suited to graphics-rich games such as Bonsai Blast. Gaps in available apps --- notably Exchange sync, VPN, and document viewers --- should fill in quickly, thanks to Android's free SDK and an active, funded developer community.

Show Comments

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?