Two Android powered devices have recently been announced, growing the exposure and the adoption of the Google OS. The open source operating system is being displayed in new phones and netbooks. The Android OS currently supports Usenet newsgroups by means of the mobile version of Google Groups as well as a 3rd party newsreader application.
Samsung released its first handset based on Google’s Android platform, the I7500. O2 Germany will launch the phone in June. The candybar handset will have tri-band 7.2 Mbps HSDPA (in the 900 MHz, 1700 MHz and 2100 MHz bands), WiFi, a 3.2-inch AMOLED touchscreen display, a 5-megapixel camera and 8GB of internal storage (with a microSD slot capable of holding up to an additional 32GB). It also has Bluetooth 2.0, GPS and a 3.5 mm headset jack. The phone does not have a physical keyboard.
This model will have a tablet shape and an HVGA display. Users will need to depend on the touchscreen for text input and dialing numbers, as there is no hardware keyboard.
With the introduction of the I7500, there are now two handset makers currently selling Android phones. HTC has unveiled both the G1 and the Magic, and plans on releasing at least two more Android handsets by the end of the year. LG Electronics and Motorola have also indicated their intentions to release Android phones this year, as have smaller firms such as Acer and Huawei.
In the netbook market, Skytone announced the first Android-powered netbook earlier this week, when the Alpha 680 quietly appeared on the company’s website. The Alpha 680 is to be the first netbook to carry the Google Android platform from Guangzhou Skytone Transmission Technologies Company LTD. The Alpha 680 will run a low cost ARM chip and is expected to become available possibly within the next 3 months.
Roughly priced at $250, the Alpha 680 will run on Google’s Android operating system, and will make use of the economical and energy-efficient ARM processor – used in mobile phones, including iPhone – rather than the commonly-used Atom processor used in most netbooks.
The current prototypes measure 8.5 inches long, 6 inches wide and 1.2 inches thick, which is small enough to inside a small bag. The unit will also be very lightweight at just 700g (1.5lbs) and between 2 to 4 hours of battery life out of the Alpha 680’s 2-cell battery. ARM 11 533MHz processor,128MB RAM and 1GB of flash storage are standard on the device. An optional upgrade to 256MB RAM and 4GB flash storage is possible. For those that want more, a SDHC slot is also supported.
They were showcased at Hongkong’s electronics trade show last week and will likely be readied by June, with the final product to become available within a couple of months after that.
Currently, the only supported newsreader for the Android OS is the Groundhog Newsreader.