Daily Giz Wiz 686: T-Mobile's G1

Episode 686 of the podcast

T-Mobile's G1
Subject: Review of T-Mobile's G1
Released:Monday 27 October 2008
Length:about 31 minutes
Download file:DGW-686.mp3 (14.2 MB)
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Short info

The Wi-Fi, GPS, keyboard-included T-Mobile G1 smart phone, running on Google's Android.

Detailed information

As hinted at in Episode 673 and last week, Dick and Leo finally talk about T-Mobile's G1.  Made by HTC, the G1 is the first phone featuring Google's open-source smartphone operating system Android.

It has bluetooth, wifi, GPS (though not turn-by-turn), 512 MB built-in memory, although it has an microSD card slot and comes with a 1GB card; a back-lit qwerty keyboard (which is revealed by sliding out the screen) and a replaceable battery; a 3.2MP camera, but like the iPhone, it does not shoot video, and like the iPhone it does not support Flash on the internet.  Unlike the iPhone, it supports voice dialling and "cut and paste".

Physically, it weighs just under 6 ounces.  At the bottom is a panel of buttons: a big Menu button, underneath which at the centre is a trackball (for navigation and as a select button).  To the left of the trackball are the "Call/Send" button and the "Home" button; to the right of the trackball are the "Back" and "Hangup/Power" buttons.

On the left hand side of the phone is a Volume toggle, and on the right hand side the camera button.  For the earphones, unfortunately it's a microUSB connection and you'll need an adapter for your 3.5mm jack earphones.

The display is 3.2 inches at 480 x 320 resolution, with a capacitive touch-screen.  It does not support multi-touch, but does support long presses (through which you get a context menu including "cut and paste").  It has an accelerometer and is supposed to adjust itself to Portrait/Landscape mode, at least when the qwerty keyboard is open.

Since Android is open-source, many applications are expected to come out supporting the platform, and will not be filtered as in the case of the iPhone.  You can access the apps from the Android "Market", and Google will tell you in relation to each app what types of access the app may have on the phone - such as communications, your location and your personal information.

The phone comes with the standard Google apps, such as Gmail, Contacts, Calendar, and like the iPhone, offers a mobile version of YouTube.  If you don't use Gmail, there is another mail application.  Unfortunately, this other mail app cannot open attachments (which Gmail can by HTML conversion), nor save them.  The IM app supports major instant messengers such as AIM, Windows Live, Yahoo and of course Google Talk.  Like Google's desktop browser the Chrome, the Android browser is WebKit-based.  Another app that comes with the phone is AmazonMP3, with access to Amazon's DRM-free mp3 downloads - which only works with Wifi, and not 3G or Edge.  The phone also has its own music player software.

At the moment, the phone is available in T-Mobile stores only in cities which has T-Mobile's 3G coverage.

Favourite Episodes

In Episode 679, Dick and Leo were asked if they had a list of their 20 favourite/funniest episodes.  Ludwik Trammer of gizwizsearch can answer for them.  Search queries on his site show which episodes are most frequently accessed - 182 Titanium Spork, 465 Electron Echo Piano, 462 MP4 Watch, and of course 282 Toothpick Bird.

Ludwik also tells us that the accumulative length of all the DGW shows now exceeds 7 days.

One More Thing

Ludwik is going to introduce a new feature on his site.  In fact it is already operational.  Just go to his site and see if you can spot the difference.  Otherwise, just wait for an announcement through Dick and Leo in tomorrow's recording session, or in next week's episodes.

Video Podcasts To Wait

The last time Leo talked about video podcasts (with hopes of getting DGW on video) was Episode 671.  Unfortunately, with the economic downturn, Leo has decided to be a little more prudent, and maybe putting that on hold, although he may still put out a weekly "best of" video podcast.

Second Longest Episode

At 31:03, today's show is the second longest episode, just 12 seconds short of Episode 634, the Lexmark X9575 Professional.

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Tags: Smartphone

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