News, again: Android, OpenEZX, Motorola…

Android has been opensourced a some time ago, just in time with the release of the T-Mobile G1, and it has been adopted by the community for several devices as it seems, including OpenMoko´s Neo1973 and its younger and superior brother, the FreeRunner – certainly this is making the FreeRunner more attractive for “normal people” – the problem is that ANDROID needs a hardware keyboard ATM to be usable – and as everybody who knows the current OpenMoko Devices, knows: It should be pretty unusable.

Anyway, there have been some news regarding other devices, too (Well, there have to be, as i haven´t published a single line in october (shame on me ;) )). OpenEZX support for A910 and of course for the other devices, too – has improved, A910 is the first OpenEZX device with camera support, just to name an example. You might say “Well, who cares about this bad camera?” and you are right, but nontheless this is great news.
I haven´t done much mobile device related in the last month, i didn´t even create another Motorola-mod, but some (?) chinese guys did. It is a great mod, though I think that some of the features they implemented are.. well.. not that necessary – but they did great work that would have taken much time for me to do. One example: EDGE support – even if i don´t think that Motorola disabled EDGE for no reason. Another one? USBNET works like a charm, as it does with the unbranded firmware. I don´t know, if SIP is working, too – but anyway: this is great work, I am pretty sure that I could have done it, but: It would have taken ages for me to figure out how to get this USBNET menu option. I tried to do so, several times, in english E2 forums – but nobody wanted to tell me.
This firmware inspires me, I think you can feel that by the way I write, and I will take it as a base for another igeekmod release – hoping to have time for that on sunday. Let´s hope that no friends will think of disturbing me ;). I will basically remove some things I dislike and add a freakbox again, try to translate some chinese tools and there will be some more languages than english and chinese (at least german and french).

Finally, there are some news regarding my long time favourite cellphone builder, Motorola: They won´t go on with MotoMAGX (ok, the recently leaked and released VE66 still runs it, in a new iteration, btw), they won´t go on with UIQ (last UIQ devices were 3.5G enabled Z8 and Z10, UIQ is dead, anyway) – they will use ANDROID instead and will go on creating and producing Windows Mobile and P2K phones. I think that this is not the worst decision: they have to cut their costs – and if they had kept MotoMAGX they would have had to put much development effort into it, which would have been expensive. And ANDROID is there and quite attractive (for developers and users) thanks to its “ANDROID market” – MotoMAGX would have had no real chance against it, and “QT Software” is a part of NOKIA…
And there is even more news, which I would call “bad news”: Motorola is about to (at least that´s what they are planning to do currently) leave the european market to focus on asia and the americas. Looking at sales figures, this is easy to understand, but(!): You can´t just look at sales figures, you have to think of what you offered in europe as well, Motorola! Asia got all these nice EZX devices, and Europe? And in the US there are all these non-GSM handsets, that weren´t that bad…
It is sad. European marketing department sucks, and after that poor europeans … Well, I will stop crying. It´s not too sad. Maybe my i780 won´t stay my only Samsung, as i780 is a nice and pretty device, even though it runs Windows Mobile 6 (still no official update!) which is definitely an ugly OS – but as Samsung is looking forward to create ANDROID devices (I know that this link is old and outdated… but it shows something I dream of ;) )

ANDROID, igeekmod R2 status and new plans

This blog was really quiet lately, i have to apologize for that. I am still not at home (and without unlimited broadband internet access, which is the reason why I am writing this unsing my HTC Universal (WinMob6.1, Opera 9.5 Beta)).

Android is getting ready and the first Android device, the T-Nobile G1 (aka HTC Dream) will be on sale in the US on tuesday (if I am wrong, sorry, I can’ t do extensive (and expensive) MultiTabbing on this device) for 199$ and a two year contract. unforunately it will take some time until the device will appear on the european markets: They say it is due to translation is needed, but the fact that T-Mobile is exclusively selling the iPhone (3G) here in Germany, they don’ t have this huge need for an internet device.. ;)
Today the Open Handset Alliance released the ANDROID 1.0 SDK (unfortunately i won’t be able to test it right now and they say that ANDROID will be opensourced later this year.„

Considering the T-Mobile G1, I have to say that I am not too impressed – HTC has better hardware in its product portfolio (e.g. the Touch Pro). The G1 is marketed (and it’s no problem to discover that) an iPhone concurrent – it has similar specs; but a keyboard (I love Qwertz/qwerty keyboards on small devices) and no 3,5mm headphone jack – which is not too bad – but it is always nicer to have one, exspecially if your phone has a music store on it .

These are my first thoughts regarding the G1, if you wnat to know more about ANDROID, get yourself the SDK and read some reviews – I am pretty sure that there will be tons of reviews soon. And if you’ve got a Motorola EZX cellphone or an other phone on which you can try out ANDROID (I am pretty sure that there some people working on inofficial ANDROID builds for several phones right know).

EZX is the keyword to start talking about A910 igeekmod R2 status: No news at all. I didn’t find the time to work on it yet – and it is not too probable, that i’ll find much time to do so, soon.
But I promise to create one more release, with igeekmod R1’s speed (the unbranded R58 is dead slow), easy to set up VoIP (might be an ugly hack) and newer SHOWQ binarys – I can’t promise more, as every additional feature will take nore and more time.

As I won’t have that much time the next time, I won’t blog that much – and I’ll need a good PIM solution – that just works. I don’t like Windows Mobile – but seems to be a stable and easy to use platform (though it’s interface contains huge usability flaws and is inconsistant). But as the Universal has a good size for couchpotato surfing, but not to carry it in trousers pockets, I might need a new piece of hardware – I had a look at QWERTY-Smartphones and PocketPCs, and the one I actually liked best (beside HTCs Touch Pro, which is way to expensive for me) is the Sansung SGH-i780, which isn’t too small but pretty thin and features good performance and battery life. Some of you may say: uarghs, Windows Mobile (and I can understand that), but I don’t like Symbian, Palm OS/Garnet is nice but somewhat outdated, Openmoko/QTopia aren’t ready (and Neo Freerunner has no hardware keyboard) yet (and aren’t that extensible Windows Mobile is. Maybe there will be a Linux for this Samsung one day, e.g. ANDROID.

That’s it for now …