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Google To Sell Truly Open Android Dev Phone 219

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the what-were-they-waiting-for dept.
binary.bang writes "Google has announced an unlocked version of T-Mobile's G1 for sale at the same unlocked price of $399. The Android Dev Phone 1 is the G1, except being truly open: no SIM-lock, no hardware lock. Feel free to flash your customized Android build — the bootloader won't be checking for signatures. Don't be misled by the word 'Dev,' looks like all you need to qualify is an Android Market account. This looks like the Open Handset Alliance delivering the promised Open Handset: yes root, yes flash-your-build, no contract, no strings attached. Anyone else relieved & thrilled?"
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Google To Sell Truly Open Android Dev Phone

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  • No support (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 08, 2008 @09:35AM (#26032331)

    Don't get this if you expect them to support it when it breaks. It's for "advanced developers", "not for end users". Rea

    • Re:No support (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SudoScience (1314289) on Monday December 08, 2008 @11:27AM (#26034149) Homepage
      No end user who is interested in flashing debian onto their G1 would be concerned about getting support from Google.
    • by timeOday (582209)
      Yeah, well I don't call Dell for gentoo support either. Who cares, they don't know anything.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by enomar (601942)
      It's called a Developer phone for a reason; you have to know what you're doing.

      If you modify the OS, compile it and put it on your phone, you can't expect Google (or any other company) to support it for free.
    • Re:No support (Score:5, Insightful)

      by lysergic.acid (845423) on Monday December 08, 2008 @12:46PM (#26035699) Homepage

      you can't have it both ways. if you wanna be able to run your own unsigned code, then you can't expect the device to still be fully supported by Google.

      i mean, why should Google be held responsible for any damage you might cause screwing around with the device? ever tried to modify/fix a video game console or other commodity electronics yourself and see a sticker that says "warranty voided if seal is broken"? it's the same basic principle. if you want to tinker with the product beyond what is considered normal usage, then the vendor can't be held responsible for any damage you might cause.

      the dev phone obviously isn't meant for regular end-users. if you lose all your data or brick your G1 using the SDK, then that's on you, as it should be. if you want full support and warranty, then you shouldn't get a developer device.

      • You're still too far in the extreme other side, because you're assuming a dichotomy where there is none.

        The warranty/support should cover everything that's related to the hardware. For example, if you change the boot-loader, and then the display dies for some other reason, or the firmware has a bug, then Google definitely has to do support or fix it. This is another kind of support than the support for a phone's OS.
        But of course, the companies, as always, cheat the way out of that too. Even if it's illegal.

  • Actually it's $ 424 (Score:5, Informative)

    by Registered Coward v2 (447531) on Monday December 08, 2008 @09:36AM (#26032337)
    There's a $25 Developer Marketplace fee on top of teh phone. Tempting, though...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      If that's the price of freedom, I'm glad to pay it.

    • by ccguy (1116865) * on Monday December 08, 2008 @10:20AM (#26033021) Homepage
      As additional info, you pay those $25 with google checkout, but for the actual phone you need to give your credit card details again to brightstarcorp.com.

      Also, shipping to Spain:

      UPS Innovations (Tracking) - $170.14

      That small piece of info is shown after you give your credit card details. So the total price if you are in Spain (I assume it's the same everywhere in Europe) is $594. I don't feel like giving UPS half the price of the device, so I'm going to pass. $25 down the drain, though.
      • by TheMeuge (645043)

        You don't know anyone in the US who would purchase the device for you and ship it for $20?

        Time to get a pen pal.

        • by fm6 (162816) on Monday December 08, 2008 @10:39AM (#26033303) Homepage Journal

          How many people do you know in Spain? And asking for a stranger to do the transaction for you is a good way to get ripped off.

        • by ccguy (1116865) * on Monday December 08, 2008 @10:41AM (#26033341) Homepage
          I do. But then, it's a phone and not something I really need. Just because I can get it if I really really want it doesn't mean I'm going to jump through hoops for the fun of Google or anyone else.

          I'm a developer (not an android developer, though), so I'd like to get the unlocked version just in case I feel like doing something eventually.

          Anyway, I'm sure these facts: - You need to pay $25 to get all the details
          - You need to give your credit card details to Google and some other party
          - Only when you do 1) and 2) you learn that you have to pay at least $179 extra for shipping (much more in other countries according to another post)

          Is going to be enough to render what was originally a good thing into a piss off for many potential developers.

          By the way, you can only order ONE. If at least you could get 10 and share the shipping cost it could be somewhat more of a decent deal.
        • by AliasMarlowe (1042386) on Monday December 08, 2008 @11:37AM (#26034363) Journal

          You don't know anyone in the US who would purchase the device for you and ship it for $20? Time to get a pen pal.

          Penpals in Nigeria are waiting to serve you...

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by mmurphy000 (556983)
        FWIW, the word is that the "shipping" charge also includes customs duties and taxes.
        • by ccguy (1116865) * on Monday December 08, 2008 @11:30AM (#26034191) Homepage
          Unless the phone is actually manufactured in the U.S. there's no reasonable reason for Europeans to pay 50% more than Americans.

          They could ship it from China (or wherever) and we wouldn't be paying double of everything for no good reason.

          Trust me, the Chinese have decent shipping fees.
          • by Ost99 (101831)

            Add 15-25% VAT in most of Europe.
            You usually have to pay a handling fee to the shipping company to handle the VAT payment.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by cgenman (325138)

            Except that they're warehoused in the US. And shipping fees around Europe are astronomical (borders and unions everywhere). And VAT is added to the base cost of an item in Europe, whereas in the US our sales tax is added after the cost of the item. Heck, with Spain's 20% duties and 16% VAT, you can quickly reach that 40% threshold.

            If you've ever tried to get an Italian suit in the US, you'll see that cross-global commerce is expensive. You think those 40 dollar pants sell for 40 dollars in Thailand? Ev

      • by rvw (755107) on Monday December 08, 2008 @02:56PM (#26038027)
        There are special websites (like MyUS [myus.com]) that offer postal addresses in the US, and then forward the item to your address. This is probably a lot cheaper than ordering directly.
  • the dev account cost $25.
    it's not much, but it's worth mentioning that it is part of the cost. this is really awesome though.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by LingNoi (1066278)

      Not only that however you can only submit applications to the marketplace for free.

      You can't charge for apps yet which seems weird that I have to pay money for the privilege of writing and giving Google free distribution rights.

      • by enomar (601942)
        I believe it's meant to keep out spammers. If they revoke your account for uploading a spammy/malware app, you'll have to think twice before spending $25 on a new account. Also, I think it helps Google identify you as a real person.
  • FCC (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TubeSteak (669689) on Monday December 08, 2008 @09:36AM (#26032349) Journal

    How does the FCC ensure that this phone is operating within [parameters]?

    I would have to assume that the G1's output power is hardware limited.
    Otherwise I don't see how the phone will stay within its FCC certification.

    • Re:FCC (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 08, 2008 @09:47AM (#26032515)

      As you have probably read, it states that these devices are 'not for end users', and therefore should be considered as prototypes.
      That means they probably have no certification, although hopefully some of the RF calibration be set.

      Effectively this means you are liable for any problems that you cause.

    • Re:FCC (Score:5, Interesting)

      by smilindog2000 (907665) <bill@billrocks.org> on Monday December 08, 2008 @09:52AM (#26032593) Homepage

      Like all cell phones, you are not legally allowed to hack the actual modem. Ultimate protection is at the modem layer.

      Personally, I think this is another huge step for Google/Android. I've already bought a G1, and the software from Google rocks. Unfortunately, the hardware from Taiwan's HTC sucks big-time. I'm eagerly awaiting Motorola's Android offering next year, and T-Mobile's G3 roll-out in NC. The iPhone is awesome, but Android is a huge threat.

      • This. Android = huge step forward. Cheap breakable phone from HTC? Not so much. Hopefully more physically robust Android phones are on the way.

      • by Hatta (162192)

        I'm curious. Are you legally prevented from hacking the modem at all, or just legally prevented from hacking the modem to do illegal things with it? Which law prohibits this?

        • Re:FCC (Score:5, Informative)

          by Andy Dodd (701) <atd7&cornell,edu> on Monday December 08, 2008 @10:38AM (#26033285) Homepage

          I'm not sure what the laws are, but there are plenty of technical barriers to messing with the modem.

          The radio portion of these devices is NOT like modern WLAN cards or Winmodems where the host O/S controls most functionality - it's like the classic modems/printers where there is a clearly defined interface between the host and the device, and the device has its own firmware/regulatory functions.

          In the case of GSM modems, the GSM module itself has a lot of anti-tamper functionality in it, and can only be accessed by predefined interfaces. There's not much hacking you can do.

          Note: Some devices do allow you to update the firmware for the modem section, but while many devices allow for unsigned host O/Ses, nearly all devices still require signed radio firmware. See for example the HTC Kaiser (aka TyTn II aka AT&T Tilt) - Removing the host O/S locks were easy and happened quickly, but getting modified radio ROMs (for the purposes of removing SIMlocks) were a whole different story.

        • IANAL, but my understanding is that you may not legally hack the modem itself or it's software driver. You do not break any law by writing software that manipulates the modem through it's provided driver, so feel free to hack at that level.

      • Re:FCC (Score:5, Interesting)

        by rickb928 (945187) on Monday December 08, 2008 @10:48AM (#26033469) Homepage Journal

        "I've already bought a G1, and the software from Google rocks"

        Uhuh.

        The POP email client is dysfunctional; not retaining downloaded mail in the Inbox but making me reload it every time I launch the app. It does keep the 11 or so OLDEST messages, and will not delete them. Yahoo! Mail works great, and GMail of course also. So why not POP? Also, the POP client regularly shows a connection error despite my mail server being readily available to the rest of the Internet. K9 doesn't show connection errors, but handles the Inbox the same way. Even in IMAP.

        Cut & paste is beyond difficult to use. Just ain't ready for primetime.

        Browser has a wierd habit of not honoring a touch on some web page links, but requiring you to click the trackball instead. Go figure.

        There are other rough edges. Lack of A2DP is probably temporary, but if it ends up being a failure, that might get me to send this back. We'll see if I can.

        If the G1 RC30 software 'rocks' for you, God bless you. It ain't rockin' my world.

        And yet, I'm strangely attached to this device. My life as a happy BlackBerry user has evolved into a Linux phone struggle. Not-quite-right software, waiting for the next release, and of course the ever-helpful advice from the community.

        It's my fault. I admit it. Step One.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by outZider (165286)

          Why are you still using POP?

          Also, grab K-9 Mail. It's a fork of the default mail application with a lot of 'fixes'. I'm not a fan of his new 'small font' crap, but hopefully that will become an option shortly.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by rickb928 (945187)

            Had you read my comment, you would have seen my reference to K9, and what i thought about it. you also would have seen that I had issues with IMAP as well.

            Any more helpful advice?

            • by outZider (165286)

              My apologies, I didn't note the K9 reference in your comment, however, 'even in IMAP' doesn't tell me much about your IMAP use. You're using POP as your primary mail retrieval method, which is generally not the best use on a mobile device.

              What mail server are you going against? Is this over 3G, EDGE, or Wifi?

              • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

                by rickb928 (945187)

                Now this is just funny.

                I use the IMAP server that also hosts my POP. It answers both protocols. T-Mobile BB, GMail, Yahoo!, and my Outlook clients all work fine. Android E-Mail is not so happy.

                That's why I blame the client. All others are fine. It isn't the herd that's wrong in this case.

                I don't choose between G3 and Edge, since I set the phone to use G3 and it does if it can. I spend a lot of time in marginal G3 areas (home and work, go figure), but even with a solid G3 signal I have these issues.

                WiFi

                • by outZider (165286)

                  Holy crap, calm down. The last sentence was uncalled for. I was actually honestly going to try to help, since yes, this OS is not fully baked yet. I blame the client, too, but there are things you can do to make it easier to deal with. Have fun.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by smilindog2000 (907665)

          I haven't used a BlackBerry, so I can't compare to that. However, I use to own an iPhone, so I can compare against the software available there early on. The iPhone had no cut and paste, no ability to download files, but the POP client worked OK. There was also no app store, only a 4-function calculator, and no dial-by-voice. In comparison to the iPhone trajectory, Android looks quite good to me.

        • by MrCrassic (994046)
          Their software may need work, but if iPhone users are already switching to the Android, then it is definitely an imminent threat.

          I already know several people who switched to the G1 as soon as it was released.

          Just sayin'.
          • by rickb928 (945187)

            Ok, OK. I get it.

            I'm whinin' about the email thing, and K9 isn't a total solution. Read up, K9 is a 'fork', but retains most of the Android code. Like the Inbox thing.

            And I moved from an old BB 7105. So this is very cool, though of course easy cut & paste, email that just works, etc are a disappointment. But it will get better.

            I've already drunk the kool-aid. Write me when you find a cool email client, k?

    • here's why (Score:5, Informative)

      by v1 (525388) on Monday December 08, 2008 @09:59AM (#26032707) Homepage Journal

      It's possible to compartmentalize things in firmware for that. Everything that radio-wise interacts with the cellular network can be on firmware on a chip, (possibly not an open source chip either) and the phone just tells it how to operate within its fixed parameters.

      The "open" nature of the phone doesn't refer to its being open to mods on its cellular networking, but on its functional platform. Things like writing apps for the phone.

      Sort of like how I can't write an iPhone app that spoofs my ESN or cranks up my transmit power. The API doesn't have any function calls for that sort of behavior. The firmware on this phone doesn't have to have that either.

      We need to get an expert in the thread here that is in the loop on the design of the chips in the cell phones. Based on my experience with other similar electronics, there's usually a handful of chip makers for any given specialty market, and they all make single-solution chips that handle this sort of stuff for you so you don't have to re-develop the same thing that everyone else needs. You just interface with the chip and tell it what you want to do and it takes care of the details for you.

      To illustrate this example, I can't write a program on my linux box to write any arbitrary series of 1's and 0's on my hard drive's platter. I have to hand the sata controller a 512 byte block and coordinates, and it writes it for me, including the headers and checksum etc, I have no control over that. That doesn't mean my linux isn't "open". It just means I don't have that level of control over the hardware.

      Back in 'the day', on 1980's hardware, I wrote my own disk IO drivers, and COULD write any arbitrary series of 1's and 0's because I had direct access to the read/write latch. And I bet the first cell phones made, the software had a great deal of control over the radio itself too. But these things change, because other parties want to make end-user products and are looking for chips that handle all the dirty work so they don't have to bother with it. Cheaper, more reliable, faster to develop.

      The FCC will type-accept anything that operates within their parameters, and is not easily user-modifiable, but it's a slow process, not something you want to have to redo several times a year. For quicker type-acceptance, manufacturers will compartmentalize their designs so that only one small part has to be type-accepted, and then after they have that developed they can play with the rest of the device all they want without getting it re-typed. (the "radio module" is usually what gets typed) All computers nowadays have their bluetooth and 802.11 on a separate card for exactly this reason. Nothing in the software of the computer can cause these separate boards to operate outside their type-acceptance. So the computer manufacturers can make a new motherboard every week without getting the FCC involved again, as long as they keep using the typed wireless boards.

      • Re:here's why (Score:5, Informative)

        by cats-paw (34890) on Monday December 08, 2008 @11:31AM (#26034227) Homepage

        You're basically right. The control of the RF portion of the design is what the FCC is interested in and they want you to demonstrate that it would be very difficult (nothing is impossible) to change RF operation.

        Typically the control is hard-coded in a MAC-like device which runs the phone. Things like channel selection and power output would be hard coded in the sense that even if you had access to the registers which set them, you would not be able to set them to illegal values. However, even setting them to legal values could be a problem, as you could create a jammer, so there has to be a layer there which is responsible for the low-level protocol to talk to the cell site and conduct operation of the physical layer - you can forget about having access to that. So you can't tell the phone to start transmitting on a particular channel, but you can tell it to initiate a phone call.

        However you can always get after things with a soldering iron if you are so inclined. Doing that would not be illegal, but causing the phone to operate in a manner in which it is not intended, e.g. as a jammer, would be (duh).

        The latest chip sets integrate the RF _and_ the baseband control _and_ the MAC, so even with a soldering iron, you'd have a tough time getting at low-level RF control.

    • by jfonseca (203760)

      Each mobile standard defines a maximum, which the accredited hardware maker needs to abide by. Yes it's a hardware limit but it's not determined by the hardware maker, but by the standard they want to be accreditted for.

      Example: for GSM standard phones, it's 2 Watts maximum.

      For older analog phones it was 3.6 Watts.

      For CDMA2000 and D-Amps it's currently under 1 Watt.

    • by X0563511 (793323)

      I believe the wireless is a separate system, that coexists with the embedded computer. The computer can tell the wireless to transmit at an arbitrary power, but the wireless doesn't have to respect the command.

      As well, there could be physical limitations. If you broadcast with too much power, you might instead just produce a nasty odor and a useless phone with a brown spot on the board.

    • by lkcl (517947) <lkcl@lkcl.net> on Monday December 08, 2008 @10:49AM (#26033493) Homepage

      the best way to think of all these smartphones is as a combined phone + laptop on one circuit board, where they're even connected together using USB.

      so what these embedded OSes do is quite literally nothing other than send "AT" modem commands (and sometimes a bit more, using escape sequencing) to the on-board modem chipset.

      so, unless you start hacking the firmware of the on-board modem, you will still remain within the FCC regulations.

      however, some of the cheaper smartphones - in particular the ones based on the TI OMAP series - run a dual-core processor - a TI ARM core plus a TI DSP core - typically a 200mhz one (because lower than 200mhz is utterly useless for smartphone features. but hey, it's cheap).

      these phones _are_ a serious risk, because the two CPUs share memory (!) and you can reprogram the registers etc. etc. you can look up exactly how to do it.

      anyway, the point is: the radio modem firmware is downloaded _directly_ to the processor, where all of the signal baseband processing is done. things like the GSM signal-strength of the radio can be manipulated DIRECTLY by changing a memory location, using the ARM cpu.

      or worse.

      clearly, this is bad.

      however, the design of the more expensive HTC-designed phones - typically involves a _much_ better setup - with "standard" 400 to 600mhz ARM cpus and a completely isolated "standard" chipset.

      the price of the G1 is indicative that it is one of these better setups.

      if you want more info, here's where you're going to get it - from the xda-developers and the #htc-linux irc channel on freenode.net. DO NOT waste the developers time on #htc-linux - they are NOT paid to work on the reverse-engineering of HTC phones, but have stuck diligently to the task for over four years, nearly five now, to bring _proper_ community-driven support for linux to these hand-held smartphones.

      forum on G1 dev:
      http://forum.xda-developers.com/forumdisplay.php?f=448 [xda-developers.com]

      page listing android devices:
      http://wiki.xda-developers.com/index.php?pagename=Android_devices [xda-developers.com]

      as people do reverse-engineering and/or find out other information (such as take the backs off and photograph the chipsets) you'll find the info listed, there.

    • by LingNoi (1066278)

      You got it the wrong way round, the manufacturer has to make sure it meets FCC standards.

  • Yes, but! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by C_Kode (102755) on Monday December 08, 2008 @09:37AM (#26032359) Journal

    Yes, but will the phone companies actually allow you to use it? Or will they say "No, it's a security risk to our network!"?

    • Re:Yes, but! (Score:5, Informative)

      by Constantine XVI (880691) <trash DOT eighty ... AT gmail DOT com> on Monday December 08, 2008 @09:52AM (#26032587)

      T-Mobile has (in my experience) not given two shits what phone I've stuck my SIM in, from my t-mo issued Pearl, to various HTC phones, to an unlocked iPhone, to a junk Nokia. And from what I've been told, AT&T is the same way. Sprint and Verizon are different, but that's at least partly b/c of CDMA (no SIM cards) and Verizon's control urges.

      • by snarfies (115214)

        I can confirm this about AT&T, as a highly reluctant AT&T customer (T-Mobile, in my experience, are unbelievable screwups, and there are no other GSM choices in the USA). I am using an unlocked Nokia E61i, which is not offered by any provider on this continent. I told the lady at the AT&T store what I was planning on doing, and she said it was fine, but I couldn't expect any support if something goes wrong - which I wasn't expecting anyhow.

      • by weave (48069) *
        Hmm, does that mean my SIM that's signed up for the c.2003 t-mobile $20/mo unlimited VPN (means no ports blocked and a real IP, not NATed) total internet will work in it and I'd still be grandfathered under that plan?
    • Phones these days have two processors, one which handles the voice/data/etc aspect and an other which has the OS/app/etcs. They have to be seperated since the people that regulate the airwaves mandate that it should be impossible for an app to have access to the RF side of the phone.

      Even in OpenMoko this is the case, infact a few pages of the schematic are missing because of TI NDA's so the real sense there are no truely open phones.

      • by Vegeta99 (219501)

        Woo, HTC's gonna be pretty mad when they discover that I've been swapping radio ROMs and especially pissed that I've had to flash buggy radio ROMs to unlock other parts of the phone!

        Not that we can change the code much on those binary blobs, but swapping radio's around can get you improved GPS fix time and improved radio performance, anyway.

    • T-Mobile are fine (Score:3, Interesting)

      by grahamsz (150076)

      Most euro operators won't bat an eyelid if you bring your own phone, and t-mobile US seems to be the same way.

      T-Mo US even has an unsupported handsets division to help you get unsupported handsets onto their network.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I know people that work for the handset testing department at Tmo. To answer the points on this thread:

      "It's a security risk to our network." Is a weak excuse Verizon uses to charge people insane amounts of money for data services.

      The staggering number of iPhone users on the T-Mobile network is a testament to how much they don't give a shit what you unlocked to use their service.

      The firmware separation others are talking about speculatively is not speculative. Typically, these handsets are controlled ent

  • cool pattern (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Monday December 08, 2008 @09:47AM (#26032513)
    And don't forget that the dev phone has a cool pattern screened onto it, too. [engadget.com]
  • With the economy being what it is, I think that a whole lot less will be sold.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 08, 2008 @10:04AM (#26032789)

    This and it's descendants is going to be really useful for hacking/pen testing. It's the perfect platform model for wireless attacks. Imagine walking through a crowd with one of these in your pocket, compromising computers and phones as people stream around you. Or, you could use it as a deniable relay, penetrating a 802.11 network via a cell connection to the phone. Or as a http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Box [wikipedia.org], enabling control of a rootkited server via a cell connection. That kind of stuff will be a lot easier to pull off with this kind of platform. Yes, i have a perverted mind. *sigh* But i think people with similiar minds will put this one to some real clever uses. I mean, all the heavy computing can be moved to a host behind TOR hidden service, or in a "bulletproof" country.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by babyrat (314371)

      So why can't everything you have just described be done with a jailbreaked iPhone? Or any of the windows smarthphones? Or a cell phone tethered to a laptop?

  • Maybe Apple will now do the same? Or rather not:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJn_jC4FNDo [youtube.com]

    You decide who to trust!

  • by levi47 (799253) on Monday December 08, 2008 @10:28AM (#26033125) Homepage
    It's too bad the shipping cost completely eliminate any savings you could get ordering this phone outside of the US: Int'l Shipments 1 Phone Canada $ 264.49 UK $ 171.53 Hungary $ 199.99 Austria $ 189.99 Germany $ 178.90 France $ 183.81 Spain $ 170.14 Poland $ 210.09 Switzerland $ 130.43 Netherlands $ 172.99 Sweden $ 214.81 Finland $ 199.92 India $ 224.60 Japan $ 109.55 Taiwan $ 156.66 Australia $ 140.23 Singapore $ 119.36 Wasted 30$ signing up for a marketplace Dev account only to find a 70% markup to get this phone in Canada
    • Do you know if you can use 3G with this version on Rogers, or if it's truly identical to the T-Mobile version, aside from the firmware? I know that the T-Mobile model won't do better than EDGE in Canada because Rogers uses a different frequency band. I was planning on buying a G1 until I found that out, and even with the price difference in Canada it's still similarly priced to an unlocked G1.
    • Geez, those are pretty high. I live in the US and I'd be willing to ship this phone internationally for the shipping cost, shipping materials, plus 20% of the cost/materials. Email me if you're seriously interested... lol, don't know what I'm getting myself into.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Pulzar (81031)

      That's ridiculous, it costs more to ship to Canada than to Europe. :( Not to mention that UPS will take another $100 or so in "brokerage fees" and you'll end up paying more for shipping than for the phone itself.

    • by Tony Hoyle (11698) *

      Yeah me too.. they let you get right through the signup then tell you that the shipping adds 50% of the cost to the phone, which means it isn't remotely the price they claimed it was.

      Plus they use UPS, which I will *not* use - they charge extra fees and would easily add another $100+ to the cost.

  • Can one remove their sim card from their iPhone 3g and use it in the open android phone? I know the iPhone can only use its own sim cards, but would other phones be able to use the iphone sim card? this could be a tempting offer if i don't need to buy another sim card and/or phone plan.
    • Yes, it can take any SIM. But, keep in mind it only has 3G support for the 1700MHz (T-Mo USA) and 2100MHz (Europe) bands, so think twice if you're on AT&T or Rogers.

      • by PJ1216 (1063738) *
        I'm more interested from a hobby point of view (i like to tinker and code a bit), not as a replacement phone. So, I wouldn't really need 3g support. But its interesting to know.
  • by Dr. Spork (142693) on Monday December 08, 2008 @10:40AM (#26033325)

    One really awesome thing for which we could use more help from Google would be this: You get one GrandCentral number and if your phone is connected to a Wifi spot, your calling is by default VoIP. You'd only use the cellular network if you somewhere out of reach of a hotspot.

    There should be a way to configure Grand Central to be sensitive to the context of your handset and route the call in the optimal way, automatically.

    Since I spend about 90% of my time in some sort of a hotspot (I work at a university), it would mean that I would probably cancel my monthly contract altogether and switch to a prepaid minutes/data plan. That savings would go a long way towards paying back my unsubsidized four hundred bucks for the handset.

    • by yincrash (854885)
      There is a grand central app on the android market and does let you use your gc number to make calls, which is awesome. however, unless i'm mistaken, i'm pretty sure grand central does not allow free voip calling to real phone numbers?
    • T-Mobile has implemented on their network, a technology called UMA [wikipedia.org], which T-Mo markets under the name "Unlimited Hotspot Calling". Basically, for $10/mo extra on your phone plan, you can make unlimited calls via WiFi. Would be sweet if Google or someone can get UMA working on the Dev phone.

  • by Kizeh (71312) on Monday December 08, 2008 @10:42AM (#26033355)

    The only technical data I can find is for the T-Mobile G1, and it uses the oddball UMTS / WCMDA frequency bands specific to T-Mobile. My understanding is that consequently it won't work on any other 3G network on the planet, including AT&T. I'd love to be proven wrong.

  • I'm stuck on Sprint right now and probably the near future, unfortunately. As much as I'd love to develop for Android, Sprint has made it very clear that they don't value my business. CDMA keeps me from using this developer phone on Sprint. The only way I'll be able to switch is if I come across a magical pile of money that makes it all relatively painless.

  • I wonder if the phone allows access to the voice API in such a way that encryption can be added for voice calls (not VoIP). If the phone can emulate a phone modem with at least 9600bps of bandwidth and let me use the mic/earpiece of the phone is I/O devices, this would be a good start. 2 Phones could call each other as modems, exchange some sort of session key and go secure. It would also be really nice to be able to activate the modem mode during an existing call.
  • I hate cell phones, but love tech. That is, I love tech, including cell phones, but hate actually talking to humans...

    If I get a dev phone, can I take the sim card out of my current Sprint phone and I'm in business? Do I have to tell Sprint?

    See, I SAID it was a stupid question...

  • What does it take to make Linux source code apps compile and run on an Android phone?

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