Motorola Droid Hands-on pictures and videos

There’s obviously a whole lot of Motoroal Droid and Android coverage thanks to the Droid launch and Google Maps Navigation announcement today. Here are acouple of pictures and videos of the device in action:

Google Navigation:

Motorola Droid walk-through:

Motorola Droid vs iPhone 3GS:

Some live pictures:

And finally a video of the GSM version:

Notice that the browser does support multi-touch zooming!

Here’s Engadget’s first impressions:

- That big screen is killer. Bright, crisp, and tons of room for your icons and widgets.
- Speed is noticeably improved — particularly when moving from app to app. We did notice that some of the home screen scrolling looked laggy.
- Android 2.0 is definitely cleaned up — but it’s most definitely still Android
- The browser seems significantly improved — pages now load up in a fully zoomed-out mode, and the load times and scrolling are way snappier.
- The keyboard takes some getting used to, and it suffers from a similar hand-position issue as the G1, but it’s fairly usable. We think it’ll be second nature once we spend some time with it.
- Facebook is integrated into accounts, which means some of that BLUR functionality is here (though now it’s part of Android 2.0 natively). The good news is that when you add a Facebook account you can choose to pull all Facebook info and contacts, or just info related to your existing contacts — a real clutter buster.

I’ll post my thoughts regarding the Droid and the new Google Navigation later on so stay tuned…

Source: Engadget & Youtube

Confirmed: HTC skipping Hero 1.6 update, going straight to Android 2.0

hero_eclair
According to the response below recieved by a HTC Hero user who contact HTC’s Europe support, The company is going straight to Android 2.0. Take it with a big grain of salt though…

Dear HTC customer,

Thank you for contacting our Customer Support Center. We are dedicated to providing you with the best quality service and answering all of your questions and concerns.

The Hero will not be receiving the Android 1.6 upgrade, it will however get the 2.0 one. Do note however that we do not have a confirmed release date for this upgrade, all I can recommend at the moment is that you keep yourself updated by visiting our website regularly as the latest information will be available to view from there.

Best regards,
HTC customer support team
HTC Corp. Global Service Division

UPDATE: It has been confirmed by HTC who got contacted by Engadget :

Yes, we are working on an Eclair update for the HTC Hero. Because Eclair is a significantly enhanced release, it will require some time to update Sense for this new version of the Android OS. Please be patient while we work to provide you with a tightly integrated experience like the one you are already enjoying on your Hero.”

UPDATE 2: HTC on Twitter

The rumors are true! Hero will be getting an Eclair update. We ask for your patience as we update Sense for the fancy new Android OS.

Source: AndroidGuys & Twitter

Full HTC HD2 review


WINMO.NL finally posted their Full review of HTC’s HD2 (we posted the first video earlier today). According to them the device feels really solid and sleek. Camera quality isn’t bad either. The device also came bundled with CoPilot GPS. Unfortunitely the review doesn’t really go in-depth so there’s nothing really new, just head over here to read the whole thing (using Google translate obviously):

capacitive But it is getting used, the combination capacitive screen + Windows Mobile.
HTC has gone to very good through the Sense HTC lot capacitive finger-friendly, but for those years with the counterpart, the resistive screen (based on real pressure on the screen) has worked to change the capacitive to practice .
In particular, typing on the virtual keyboard screen is suddenly a lot slower, because you screen compared to a resistive touchscreen just another way to touch.

Multitouch
Multitouch coming to Windows phones! Thanks HTC. Windows Mobile 6.5 supports ie not multitouch, but HTC’s Sense and the Opera Web browser interface is nice.
The principle is simple but well-known (of course the iPhone): with two fingers can now make all sorts of gestures to things happening on your screen.
The most famous, the “pinch” the HD2 is supported, allowing you to squeeze a motion picture, text and websites can zoom in and out.

Opera Mobile 9.7:

Video Playback:

Source: WINMO.NL

Motorola Droid is official, coming November 6th for $199 on contract

droid_by_motorola_frontopen_vzw_eye_hr
It’s finally here, Verizon has officially anounced the Motorola Droid,the first Android 2.0 smartphone. The device will be availalble on November 6 for $199 with a 2year contract.

BASKING RIDGE, NJ, and LIBERTYVILLE, IL — High-speed Web browsing, voice-activated search, customizable large screen, access to thousands of Android applications and hundreds of widgets and the best 3G mobile network in the country: DROID by Motorola arrives on Nov. 6.

Verizon Wireless, the company with the nation’s largest wireless 3G broadband network, and Motorola, Inc. (NYSE: MOT), a pioneer in the mobile industry, today unveiled DROID by Motorola, the first smartphone powered by Android™ 2.0. DROID by Motorola features the brainpower and breakneck speed of a modern smartphone, designed to outperform where other smartphones fall short.

“We’re proud to work with Verizon Wireless and Google™ on the first smartphone to feature Android 2.0,” said Sanjay Jha, co-chief executive officer of Motorola and chief executive officer of Motorola Mobile Devices. “DROID by Motorola delivers a rich consumer experience with warp-speed Web browsing, a mammoth screen, and Motorola’s expertise in design and voice quality. Combined with Android’s open, flexible graphical user interface and the power of Verizon Wireless’ 3G network, DROID is a smartphone that simply doesn’t compromise.”

“This is an exciting announcement for Verizon Wireless, as the DROID by Motorola is the first device that we are bringing to market under our ground-breaking strategic partnership with Google,” said John Stratton, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Verizon Wireless. “DROID by Motorola gives customers a lifestyle device with access to more than 12,000 applications that will help them stay in touch, up to date and entertained, using the best 3G network in the country.”

DROID by Motorola has a solid exterior, intelligent interior and is one of the thinnest full-QWERTY slider phones available. It is a no-fuss, high-tech, location-aware, voice-recognizing, over-the-air updating, multi-tasking machine – and it is available just in time for holiday wish lists.

With DROID by Motorola, you can:

•Zip through the Web: Access the Internet at 3G speeds via the nation’s largest and most reliable 3G network or from any Wi-Fi hotspot. The multi-window HTML browser with a massive processor delivers the Web the way you expect.
•See it all in cinema-style: View the Web, e-mail, Google Maps™, videos and more in widescreen on a brilliant 3.7” high-resolution screen. Boasting a width of 854 pixels to reduce the need for side-to-side panning and more than 400,000 pixels total, DROID has more than twice that of the leading competitor.
•Run multiple applications at once: Customize your DROID with thousands of applications and hundreds of widgets available on Android Market™. Toggle back and forth between up to six applications at a time to juggle the universe and your apps.
•Perform Google Search™ at the speed of sound: Simply tell DROID what you’re looking for using voice-activated search, and it will serve up Google search results based on your location. If you want more, simply type what you’re looking for into the search bar on the home screen and DROID will also search content on your phone, such as apps and contacts, and the Web.
•Capture moments: Snap digital camera-quality photos with a 5 megapixel camera loaded with the works, such as a dual-LED flash, AutoFocus and image stabilization, or capture your friend’s antics in 16 million colors with DVD-quality video capture and playback. Store it all on the included 16 GB memory card, so you always have it on hand.
•Multi-task like a master: Keep tabs on all your messages with integrated Gmail™ and Exchange e-mail pushed directly to you, but don’t let them get in your way. With the handy Android notification panel, go straight to the message or simply ignore it, and get back to the task at hand. And, a smart dictionary learns as you type and automatically includes your contacts.
•Get where you need to go with Google Maps Navigation (Beta): DROID is the first device with Google Maps Navigation, providing turn-by-turn voice guidance as a free feature of Google Maps. It’s powered by Google and connected to the Internet. Use voice shortcuts and simply say “Navigate to [your destination],” and you’ll be on your way. See live traffic, use Street View or satellite imagery to view your route, and get access to the most recent maps and business information from Google Maps without ever needing to update your device.
Pre-loaded Applications and Enhancements to Google Mobile Services:

•Google Maps: With layers in Google Maps, view geographic information, such as My Maps, Wikipedia, and transit lines, right on the map.
•Gmail: Multiple accounts support and undo for common operations.
•YouTube™: One-touch recording and playback from homescreen widget or app, one-touch sharing with friends, and the ability to view your own uploaded videos and high-resolution videos.
•Google Talk™: Easily switch between chats, search your chat history, and preview pictures and videos sent by links.
•Android Market: Browse and download applications created by third-party developers.
•Calendar: Ability to see who has R.S.V.P.’d to your meeting invitations.
•Amazon MP3 Store: Download the latest tracks over the air.
•Verizon Wireless Visual Voice Mail: Delete, reply and forward voice mail messages without having to listen to prior messages or voice instructions.

Source: Verizon

Google ads free turn-by-turn navigation in Android 2.0 Maps

Android 2 GPS
Big news here; Google just announced the the newest version of Google Maps included in Android 2.0 will now feature free turn-by-turn navigation, Telenav just got killed IMO. Now it’s not directly going against TomTom & Garmin etc because of the fact that Google Maps is a “Streaming” service unlike the standard GPS Nav apps where the maps are locally stored on your device (so you don’t need an active data connection to use them). But this fairly big news nonetheless. There’s still no multi-touch support though so it will be up to the OEMs to add it (like HTC did on the Hero). The new app will be available on all Android 2.0 devices from now on (the first being the Motorola Droid).

Today we’re excited to announce the next step for Google Maps for mobile: Google Maps Navigation (Beta) for Android 2.0 devices.

This new feature comes with everything you’d expect to find in a GPS navigation system, like 3D views, turn-by-turn voice guidance and automatic rerouting. But unlike most navigation systems, Google Maps Navigation was built from the ground up to take advantage of your phone’s Internet connection.

Here are seven features that are possible because Google Maps Navigation is connected to the Internet:

The most recent map and business data
When you use Google Maps Navigation, your phone automatically gets the most up-to-date maps and business listings from Google Maps — you never need to buy map upgrades or update your device. And this data is continuously improving, thanks to users who report maps issues and businesses who activate their listings with Google Local Business Center.

Search in plain English
Google Maps Navigation brings the speed, power and simplicity of Google search to your car. If you don’t know the address you’re looking for, don’t worry. Simply enter the name of a business, a landmark or just about anything into the search box, and Google will find it for you. Then press “Navigate”, and you’re on your way.

Search by voice
Typing on a phone can be difficult, especially in the car, so with Google Maps Navigation, you can say your destination instead. Hold down the search button to activate voice search, then tell your phone what you want to do (like “Navigate to Pike Place in Seattle”), and navigation will start automatically.

Traffic view
Google Maps Navigation gets live traffic data over the Internet. A traffic indicator light in the corner of the screen glows green, yellow or red, depending on the current traffic conditions along your route. If there’s a jam ahead of you, you’ll know. To get more details, tap the light to zoom out to an aerial view showing traffic speeds and incidents ahead. And if the traffic doesn’t look good, you can choose an alternate route.

Search along route
For those times when you’re already on the road and need to find a business, Google Maps Navigation searches along your route to give you results that won’t take you far from your path. You can search for a specific business by name or by type, or you can turn on popular layers, such as gas stations, restaurants or parking.

Satellite view
Google Maps Navigation uses the same satellite imagery as Google Maps on the desktop to help you get to your destination. Turn on the satellite layer for a high-resolution, 3D view of your upcoming route. Besides looking cool, satellite view can help you make sense of complicated maneuvers.

Street View
If you want to know what your next turn looks like, double-tap the map to zoom into Street View, which shows the turn as you’ll see it, with your route overlaid. And since locating an address can sometimes be tricky, we’ll show you a picture of your destination as you approach the end of your route, so you’ll know exactly what to look for.

Source: Google

Latest HTC TouchFLO/Sense has iPhone-like copy & paste

WooO looks like Apple fans are going to have a field day with this one. The way copy/paste is managed in the latest version of HTC‘s TouchFLO/Sense UI for the HTC HD2 is exactly the same as on the iPhone (minus the magifying glass). This can only be a good thing though given that Apple’s implementation is one ofthe best I’ve ever used. Wonder what happened to to the HTCMagnifier though, I guess that if will be availble once the new version of Windows Mobile 6.5 is released.

HTCmagnifier

Source: Pocketnow

HTC HD2 spotted on T-Mobile’s website

HTC HD2 Tmo
After appearing on O2′s site a couple of days ago, the most anticipated Windows Mobile device, the HTC HD2, found its way to T-Mobile’s accessories website here.

Via: WMPoweruser

HTC HD2 Sense UI video walk-through

One more HTC HD2 video for you viewing pleasure today. This time from WINMO.NL showing us a quick walk-through of the Sense UI (TouchFLO 2.5):

Update: Full review here

Source: YouTube

BlackBerry Storm2 finally available on Verizon

Verizon Storm2

Looks like there was a one week lag between the official announcement and the retail availibilty, but today is the day. Verizon is selling the Storm2 for 179.99 with a 2 year contract if you’re inlove with this device…or you can just wait for the Motorola Droid (official announcement in a few hours).

Source: Verizon thanks for the tip Marco

HTC HD2 video hands-on

Online retailer PDAShop.nl just uploaded their p/review of the Beast aka the HTC HD2. You’ll see some brief unboxing action (yeah the packaging is similar to what we saw in the previous video), quick software tour and some Opera Mobile 9.7 action. It does look like the device is running the retail ROM.

Enjoy:

Source: YouTube

LG GM750 Windows Mobile 6.5 phone Previewed

LG GM750
PhoneArena just posted their preview of LG‘s latest Windows Mobile 6.5 smartphone, the LG GM750. Specs wise the device is quite similar to last years Samsung Omnia but uses a Qualcomm MSM7200 chipset (which is worst that the Omnia).The only thing save the GM750 from being totally useless is the fact that LG did a pretty good job at porting their S-Class 3D UI to Windows Mobile and the pretty good camera. Can’t wait to see what LG & Microsoft are cooking…

Expectations:

With the appealing overall design and properly personalized interface of the LG GM750, LG can get off to a flying start on the Windows Mobile market. Certain functions start relatively slowly on our prototype, but if the issues have been fixed, the retail units can prove to be a major rival to all mainstream Windows Mobile phones. What we can do at this time is congratulate LG on the great work they have done with the proper integration of S-CLASS 3D into Windows Mobile and wait for a final, retail unit of the promising smartphone.

Source: PhoneArena via WMPoweruser

HTC Droid Eris seen in Verizon training material

HTC Droid Eris training shot
Verizon’s HTC Hero, known as the HTC Droid Eris is in the starting blocksas seen in the picture above which is supposedly from Verizon’s training material. This goes along with the November 6th launch date rumors we are hearing. November is going to be a big month for Verizon it seems.

Source: Androidguys via Techmeme

The HTC HD2 will ship with new & improved Earphones

HTC HD2 Earphones
Here’s some more info about what’s coming with the HTC HD2. According to HTC’s accesory website, the device will have new Earphones featuring media controls, you will have the ability to control music and videos with them when they are pluged into the 3.5mm jack. Those earphones are the ones found in the the packaging seen in the unboxing video here.

Keep your HD2 in your pocket with the HTC RC E160 Music Remote Control. The Music Remote Control lets you easily answer and make calls and play back your music by simply pressing a button. Clip the stylish Remote Control to your clothing and you have music playback and phone controls at your fingertips. Also, with the built-in FM antenna giving a signal boost, listening to FM radio stations is crystal clear (see note below).

Key Features

– The RC E160 includes 3.5mm stereo earphones or use your own!
– Voice dial support
– Last number redial support
– Volume buttons
– Music control buttons
– Play/Pause button
– Forward/Backward buttons for music playback or FM channel selection
– Phone buttons
– Send button to answer calls, call waiting switch or redial last number
– End button to end a call or use voice dial
– Mute button to silence ringtone when an incoming call comes or mute the microphone during an ongoing call
– Hold switch to lock/unlock the remote control
– Two colours: Black or white

HTC’s Accessory page

Nokia N97 Firmware 2.0 is finally available


Remember that Firmware 2.0 hands-on video I reported about nearly 2 months ago? Well it’s now a reality, Nokia has finally release the 2.0 update for the N97. Here’s the change log:

Improvements in firmware 20.2.019 are:

A reworked memory mapping model – this means that applications use the (relatively) limited RAM much more efficiently and you should rarely see any memory errors. Note that the available ‘Free RAM’ after booting is now a lot less (around 47MB), but don’t take this raw number too literally – apps apparently use less RAM than before

Kinetic scrolling in the User Interface in all lists and larger-than-screen views

The keyboard driver has been enhanced so that a long press on any key brings up its associated ‘function’ symbol (or number)

Music player shows album art more reliably, plus extra MP3 ID3 information

Half a dozen new social media and services widgets have been added by default

Camera still and video improvements

Improvements to stereo speaker volume

Offline mode for homescreen widgets (shown below)

The N-Gage client is now included (shown below, saving 10MB of your C disk, compared to the current situation)
(apparently not in the final distro after all)

Ovi Maps 3 is now included (shown below, saving 7MB of your C disk, compared to the current situation)

Ovi Contacts and Ovi Store clients now integrated (saving more space) (Ovi Contacts also not in the final distribution as expected)

More responsive touchscreen driver (so fewer ‘missed taps’) and the usual minor bug fixes across the board

Improvements to Sync system (hopefully paving the way for more reliable syncing with, among others, iSync on the Mac)

The v20.2.019 firmware is now available via Nokia Software Update.

Source: AllboutSymbian