While I am waiting to finally lay my hands on iPhone when its launched in India in a few months, I am also very excited about what I would like to call a Gphone.
Technically there is nothing called a Gphone, instead there is a mobile OS called Android released by Google. T-Mobile USA is expected to launch first Android device this year and reportedly its manufactured by HTC which is numero uno windows mobile device manufacturer. Interesting 🙂
Android Community released first live images and videos of Android demo phone last month and I was really impressed by the great user interface on that phone. In many ways its looks quite similar to iPhone’s interface where you can do most of the stuff using your finger, but you expect Google to do some innovations, don’t you? And that’s what Google did.
I really liked the phone unlock option on the demo phone, you can just slide your finger in a preset pattern to unlock the phone. They also demonstrated how the built in compass in the phone lets you pan-around the location based images just like you are into some kind of virtual tour of that location. That’s very cool I must say. Anyway to check out all the images and videos you need to click here.
So go ahead and see for yourself what Google has to offer and let me know what do you think.
Using fingers on touch screen of your mobile is always easier and convenient then using that dumb old stylus, but then with small elements present on those small screens you need stylus, don’t you? Well Apple said you don’t with the launch of iPhone. With the big icons and buttons it allowed users to do away with stylus and just use their fingers.
Well this proved to be quite a hit as every other mobile manufacturer started working to support that finger-friendly user interface on its mobile phones.
Windows Mobile does not yet support a finger-friendly user interface, although that may change with Windows Mobile 7, but till then you a few options to jazz up your windows mobile phone.
First there is Spb Mobile Shell which costs $30. It hass user friendly Today screen, big buttons and menus for common tasks so that you don’t need to pull your stylus everytime.
Then there is HTC Touch with its TouchFlo system which not only gives you large buttons and a finger-friendly user interface. It also has those iPhone like animations and special effects where you can slide and scroll using your fingers. Its kinda a cool phone but then you can’t just install TouchFlo on any other windows mobile phone. You need to buy one of various variants of HTC Touch phones which come with TouchFlo.
Finally there is Poinui Home which is again a software like Spb Mobile Shell so you can install on any windows mobile 5 or 6 phone. I will say it really scores quite high in coolness department. Its animations are smooth and slick you can use finger to scroll like in iPhone. The animation when it starts up or the animated opening of its various screens and even its about screen effect is really word class and on top of it all its FREE. Ya you heard me right 🙂
It has a few negatives as well – many bloggers say that its uninstall does not work well. I have found its scrolling to be counter-intuitive as it scrolls left when I expect it to scroll right and vice-versa. Also sometime when I am just sliding my fingers it detects a tap and takes me inside the application or opens another screen so it does not work as smoothly as sliding on iPhone, but then I think it has to do with the TouchScreen hardware on windows mobile phones rather then their software. Nonetheless this product is making quite a splash. You can watch its very cool video at Gizmodo.
On 5th September 2007 Apple reduced the price of iPhone 8GB model by $200 to $399 just 2 months after its much hyped launch. It has also dropped the 4GB model. Many early buyers are accusing Apple of unfair pricing and feel cheated. Apple is offering them $100 credit to pacify. Financial analysts didn’t like the news as well and Apple stocks fell next day.
If you can’t wait for iPhone to be available at a store near you, I will suggest you to buy HTC Touch, which many believe is an iPhone killer. And another news doing the round is that HTC may sue Apple for naming its latest iPod model as iPod Touch. iPod touch looks quite similar to iPhone and has most of the same features minus the Phone.
Also in past few months rumors about a phone from Google aka Gphone gained momentum and some believed that it can be launched any day. Rediff.com, the numero uno Indian portal even went ahead and claimed Gphone will be launched from India. Only if there would have been some truth in the rumors, Gphone would have been launched by this time and probably I would have started considering switching my Palm Treo 680. Google’s head of research has denied Google’s interest in any hardware development a few days back so probably this will end any speculation about a Gphone now.
Anyway I am sad but I am happy with google for making the world (read cyber-world) a better place to live in so even if they don’t really launch the Gphone, I think they have done enough and continue doing some pretty innovative things in technology like DNA database, face and speech recognition, digitization of libraries etc. etc.
Update on 7th Many 08: Vodafone bringing iPhone to India in September 2008
In a clearly visible agressive marketing campaign Microsoft is advertising about windows mobile powered phones on behalf of device manufacturers. I saw recent ad with devices from i-mate, O2, HP, Motorola and HTC. Interestingly in India Symbian dominates the mobile OS market with Nokia leading the way in terms of device shipments.
India being 2nd most populous country in the world and with a swelling mobile subscriber base, it makes perfect sense for Microsoft to advertise windows mobile powered devices and in-turn make its mobile os popular and replicate the windows success once again with mobiles.
Another interesting fact is that there is no piracy concerns for a mobile OS as of now as its pre-installed on devices so Microsoft will surely get its royalty from manufacturers 🙂
For those of you interested in buying windows mobile powered phones, here are some communication channels:
Website – http://www.microsoft.com/india/windows/mobile/
For i-mate – SMS SMART A to 8888 or Call 011-41523030/90, 41523730
For O2 – SMS SMART B to 8888 or Call 9350263618
For HP – SMS SMART C to 8888 or Call 1800-4254999, 30304499
For HTC/Dopod – SMS SMART D to 8888 or Call 9910193399
For Motorola – SMS SMART E to 8888 or Call 1800-111211, 39026686
If you buy one from these guys, tell them that I told you about them, they may give me some commission 😉
For those who are thinking, what to do with such a phone – Just post a comment to this blog or mail me at sachin AT palewar DOT com
My company develops business solutions for mobiles and mobile field force, for more info please visit our website www.palewar.com