Past Entry of Zippy's Telecom Blog
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November 13, 2009
Droids on the March
As I continue to work on additional underlying features of this website, I thought I should pause and see what’s happening with the onslaught of Google Android-based phones.
Dell’s Mini 3 smartphone was unveiled today, but for the moment you can buy it only in Brazil (from Claro) and China (from China Mobile). The Chinese version of the Mini 3 runs China Mobile’s modified version of Android, called Ophone. That takes care of over half a billion customers, but how about the U.S.? There were rumors last month that Dell may offer a smartphone through AT&T in early 2010. There are also rumors that the Mini 3’s features are too anemic for an American market now becoming crowded with full-bodied, Android OS-based smartphones from companies such as HTC (T-Mobile G1 and T-Mobile myTouch 3G), Motorola (Cliq) and Samsung (Moment).
For example, the new Samsung Behold II (about $230 with a two-year T-Mobile contract) has a bright, sharp, 3.2-inch, 320x480 pixel AMOLED display equipped with capacitive-touch capability. The entire phone measures 4.6 x 2.2 x 0.5 inches and weighs 4.2 ounces.
Not surprisingly, a big deal for lots of people is the ability to sync up with Outlook. One of the better initial third-party products in this area was CompanionLink Software’s package for the T-Mobile G1 (formerly known as the HTC Dream, the first smartphone to run the Google operating system), since it allows for two-way synchronization between the G1 and Outlook in terms of their contacts, calendars and tasks. First synchronization is done between your PC’s Outlook data and your Google account, and then a wireless sync is done with the Android handset—unless you make a change on the handset, in which case the process reverses and your PC’s Outlook data will ultimately be modified.
Microsoft Exchange compatibility was not high on the list of Android features (Exchange interoperability isn’t available out of the box), so users wanting their email have been working with IMAP. Many Android users are now successfully using Outlook sans Exchange (and the Android requires you to have a Gmail account). In any case, many sync software packages are starting to appear for the droids, not to mention Google’s own offerings in this area.
I’m still watching the Droid explosion play out and will analyze things in detail when the dust settles. In the meantime I’m working on this site’s infrastructure in preparation for a more official “launch”—heck, my business cards finally arrived, and I’ve ordered a new scanner, USB hubs and cabling.
While waiting to see how the spawn of Google's Android operating system are doing (it looks like Verizon will give Apple a run for its money, provided they can field more than the present "paltry" 10,000 applications), Yours Truly continues to work on upgrading this website. I'm adding 2 terabytes of network storage to my little coterie of PCs, straightening out my archive of both electronic information and telecom/computing books and journals in my archive (otherwise known as "the garage"), and I'm assembling more web development tools as I try to get version 2.0 of this site to emanate some "Wow" factor, both in terms of information and usability.