byRoss Miller||January 5th 2010 at 12:47pmJanuary 5th 2010 12:47 pm
We're live at Mountain View for Google's super-secret Android press conference. Sure, we've got a prettygood idea what'll be announced here (note: it's probably not multitouch capabilities on Maps), but you never know, there might be a few surprises in store. The whole shebang is supposed to go down in just a little bit, so stay tuned!
11:42AM And that's it!
11:42AM Remember when Andy said "no Google phone?" What happened? So sayeth Rubin, "We said we'd build no hardware," and that was done by HTC, so Q.E.D.? We think not, but that's the best we're gonna get.
11:38AM Jha: "If you want to be completely 100% backwards compatible, it's a burden that hurts innovation." Had 2.1 not had so many 3D capabilities, it probably would've been more compatible with legacy devices.
11:38AM From Rubin: "What I can tell you is the intention" of some future proofing on phones and more options for updates other than OTA. Sanjay: Fundamental answer is that they intend to update the devices to the best firmware it can handle. "Not every device -- and it really comes down to some chip choices -- can run [3D]."
11:36AM What can users expect in terms of future updates? Peter: "We [HTC} are expecting some of our existing models to upgrade to 2.1, but we're working on that."
11:34AM Why does Google need to fix the business model, and how will carriers be okay with this? "You try to reach people that's appropriate with the phone. Just the way the web stores revolutionize the way you buy digital cameras, you trust dpreview or a site that reviews cameras...so we think with the evolution, online sales of phones will work. Once there's a number a phones out there, you're gonna see a number of people with the phone and can try it out then for yourself."
11:29AM Hey Sanjay, aren't you worried Nexus One will cannibalize Droid sells (and we might add, mindshare)? "I think Nexus One is a good phone, Droid is a good phone. I think we will upgrade Droid to the software available on Nexus One. Clearly Pete and I compete in the market to deliver the best phone in the market." Teases more phones to come.
11:26AM What's the differentiation between Superphone and Smartphone? "It's just the evolution of the platform, the openness coupled with the marketplace and app stores." Ecostystem, Gigahertz processors, more storage. "We just though the industry needed another term." Stay tuned for Ultraphone (beta)™ in about five years time. (We jest... hopefully.)
11:25AM And here we go with Sanjay Jha from Motorola, a bit late from traffic.
11:19AM Will native apps support multi-touch? What about international Nexus One devices (akin to the Droid / Milestone relationship)? After a bit of back-and-forth, all we got was, "We'll consider it." Totally lame.
11:14AM "What HTC believevis that there are different preferences." This device focuses on the screen. Nexus One has one of the best on-screen keyboard. Also reiterating this won't be the only phone.
11:04AM Ooh, here's a good one: will these new features be coming to a Droid phone? "Everybody will get that software once it's open source, and that'll be in a couple of days."
11:02AM Just in case these finer details concern you, Google is merchant of record, HTC is manufacturer and it ships from HTC.
10:59AM Q: "Why only 512MB for app storage?" In a future software release, we'll enable encryption for storage on SD card.
10:58AM HTC's Chou and Rubin are on the stage for Q&A. Motorola's Sanjay Jha is on the way but stuck in traffic.
10:56AM Wide, thin -- hey, there's that pencil, how Googly -- saying, finding. Widgets galore, 5 megapixels, tweeting.
10:55AM Video time.
10:54AM Recap time: A new way to buy a mobile phone from Google, with or without service. Nexus One is the first phone in this new model, and in the future: more operators, more countries, and more devices.
10:53AM Launching in US. UK, Singapore, and Hong Kong are running as test markets, and more to come after that.
10:53AM On to the two-line engraving option, double-checking all the payment information, and bam -- order confirmation and money stripped from your bank account.
10:51AM Vodafone, too, will be getting Nexus One later this year.
10:50AM We stand corrected. "The Nexus One" is coming to the Verizon this Spring!
10:49AM Storefront tour, which we've just so happened to have seen before in earlier leaks. $530 unlocked, $180 with T-Mobile plan.
10:49AM ...Note that doesn't mean Nexus One is heading to Verizon, just that the carrier will one day be a bullet point selection somewhere on the site for some phone. Enjoy your Droid for now.
10:48AM Before I go, another fun little surprise. "I mention we're going to be adding more providers." Verizon in the US and Vodafone in Europe have agreed to join the program.
10:47AM Expected to add more carriers, more devices (including Motorola) and more countries in the near future. The store will be opening up... any minute!
10:46AM Can buy from Google or from carrier, the latter of which of course gets you a discount. "Today, at launch, from www.google.com/phone, you can purchase a Nexus One with service from T-Mobile USA."
10:45AM "You might be asking how we're going to bring this to the market." Google-hosted web store.
10:45AM Our presenter Mario is back on the block. "Nexus One is a new class of device we call 'superphones.'" The first they'll bring to the market from a series of devices.
10:44AM Voice in Google Earth. "Fly me to Mount Fuji." It's almost like being there for real.
10:43AM Spinning, zooming in, etc. Too bad there's no multitouch.
10:42AM Sneak peak of Google Earth for Android, coming soon.
10:41AM "Check out this new voice keyboard exclamation mark, I just hope this demo works, period." Don't worry, it knew that was punctuation.
10:41AM Voice-searching for direction is being demonstrated just as we saw with 2.0. Now on to the age-old query, "what if I could speak my Tweets?" Voice support has been added for all text fields.
10:39AM And that's it for 3D, now onto voice... taken "to the next level."
10:38AM Background sync with Picasa web.
10:37AM Worked with Iris to better visualize photos. We're checking out his Thanksgiving dinner. Looks very scrumptious, and now the gallery plane is tilting a bit. Great novelty, but not a lot of added function with that last trick.
10:36AM "Kind of like that opening scene from Star Wars." The Droid users are going to love saying that, if / when it gets 2.1
10:35AM Media and 3D. "What you have now with these really high-end smartphones is a little computer in your pocket." Wanting to push the limit, one being live wallpapers. The next up on the list is the 3D app launcher.
10:34AM Dynamic, animated background. We're watching the serene ripples of a reflective lake.
10:33AM Minute-by-minute way of showing temperature and humidity. "A very Googly way," as he put it. Hey guys, you got Google as a verb, but the adjective just isn't cutting it quite yet. Better slap a beta sticker on it.
10:32AM It's running Android 2.1, an update of Eclair. Now we've got more panes and some new widgets, including a much better news and weather widget.
10:29AM "We think we have a good marriage of hardware and software." Bet you can't guess what topic we're up to now, eh?
10:29AM Custom engraving for two-line, warranty-voiding notes of love.
10:28AM On to the backside. Five megapixel camera with LED flash, stereo bluetooth and 3.5mm headphone jack. Active noise suppression -- one on the bottom and another on the back for noise reduction.
10:27AM No thicker than a number two pencil, no heavier than a swiss army enough. Hey, we think they've got a new ad campaign here!
10:25AM Compass, GPS, accelerometer, light and proximity sensor.
10:25AM Senior Product Manager Erick Tseng is up (this time for real!) to talk about nitty gritty hardware and software. 3.7-inch AMOLED display, 1GHz Snapdragon, and multi-color notification LED under the trackball.
10:21AM "Nexus One embody HTC-branded experience in the most tangible way."
10:20AM Chou's up! "A year ago we were unveiling the first Android product, the G1." Now up to seven, but hey, that's more than one Hero on that list!
10:18AM "We're really excited, and you're going to see some demos soon." Very closely designed with HTC. "And today, I'm pleased to announce Peter Chou, CEO of HTC."
10:17AM So we've done just that, and today we're announcing the Nexus One. Surprise! ...anyone?
10:17AM "Together with those partners, we have increased the rate of innovation. The volume [and] variety of Android phones... have exceeded our expectations. But we want to do more and one of the questions we asked ourselves a long time ago was, 'What if we worked even more closely with our partners to bring devices to the market that are going to help showcase very quickly the technology we're working at on Google."
10:15AM "We're really only in the early stages of a longer journey." Really proud of all the phones their partners have released -- A1, Xperia, Cliq, Droid, and so forth.
10:15AM Okay, history lesson's over. "I want to shift to the next step in Android evolution."
10:14AM "Android is available on one of the most aggressive, friendly developer-friendly, open source license." Lower manufacturing cost, fast to market, and the one that we really love, 'always on' applications.
10:11AM "We see Android users searching the web more than the 30 times than they do on a feature phone" -- not too hard a feat, if you've ever tried searching with T9 text entry.
10:10AM "In 2009 we launched 4 major software releases... a compatibility test suite so that new devices from our partners can be verified so we know they'll run smoothly on Android."
10:10AM "More than 20 devices across 59 carriers in 48 countries and 19 languages."
10:09AM Next up is the myTouch, introducing CDMA and a number of other features, and then of course their next flagship device, Droid.
10:08AM "One year after the OHA announcement, T-Mobile and HTC launched the G1...with full Google services and a full keyboard.
10:07AM 13 new members to OHA, including Freescale and China Telecom.
10:06AM Andy Rubin (or is it Erick Tseng? The front slide doesn't seem to know) is up, talking up the Open Handset Alliance.
10:05AM Music's off, lights are up, it's time!
9:56AM Google's VP of Engineering Vic Gundotra is walking around doing the meet-and-greet with some press and the workers. Hey Vic, any chance we can see what phone you're pocketing?
9:51AM We're here, and the Lady Gaga has given away to Katie Perry. We're sitting here sandwiched between Engadget expatriate (and current gdgt co-founder) Ryan Block and your favorite Engadget columnist, Michael Gartenberg. Solid-colored tablecloths, ominous shadows behind the stage logos, it feels all too familiar.