The new Google G1 Android phone which is set to take on Apple’s 3G iPhone has finally been unveiled in New York and will be shown for the first time next week in Australia.
Manufactured by Taiwan-based phone manufacturer HTC, the new phone has a Google operating system which is set to wreak havoc on sales of Windows Mobile based phones and a large touchscreen, which slides up to reveal a QWERTY keyboard. It also has a 3-megapixel camera.
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However one big downfall is that it has no desktop-synchronisation software which means that the only way to get an address book and calendars onto the G1 will be to upload them to Gmail and Google Calendar.
It also has limited compatibility with third party files. It will only be able to read Microsoft Office files however users will not be able to not edit them. The new music player will only be able to read MP3, Windows Media and AAC files. If you want more you’ll need to wait for a third-party to provide some sort of add-on to sync your iTunes library to the phone.
Content downloaded from the Apple iTunes Store is restricted with Apple’s “digital rights management” locked out.
Another problem will be when users come to attach the new phone to their Bluetooth device as it initially only support only hands-free kits, with “A2DP” stereo-sound. File transfers are also limited.
The Australian models will have Wi Fi and the ability to run third party applications. Users will also be able to access Google Maps as well as extensive information on organisations who advertise with Google and as predicted by 4Square Media the new phone uses the Google chrome browser which makes searching for information extremely easy.
A key feature of the new HTC is Google Maps which delivers both map’s satellite-photo and the recently launched Street View service. Also added is a location compass which shows a Street View of your surroundings. This changes as you walk or turn around however the best results are achieved when the phone is held in front of you.
Also included and very similar to the new iPhone the new Android offering has e-mail software that allows users to access Google G Mail, and Microsoft’s instant-messaging networks.
The G1’s browser is based on Apple’s open-source WebKit framework which is the same software used in Google’s Chrome desktop browser and the Apple Safari browser. It displays web page in full with users able to stretch the pages for better viewing.
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Unlike the Windows Mobile phones the new Google OS phone does have the ability to download applications however it appears that Google is waiting for developers who have built applications for the iPhone to also re write the applications for use on the Google Android phone.
At the New York launch attendees were shown a clip of a version of Pac-Man playing on the Android, and a new application called ShopSavvy, which will let users, scan a product’s bar code, and then look up different retailers’ prices for the same product.