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Nexus One

And our second complimentary Nexus One goes to…

Congratulations to Rick Markus who will soon be receiving a Nexus One in the post from us in our second free giveaway. We thought he was in Dublin Ireland from a quick glance at his Twitter location but have just realised that it’s Dublin USA after exchanging contact details with him! Living in Europe so long it’s easy to forget that there’s more than just one Dublin in the world.

We had a tough time choosing the winning re-tweet as there were many strong contenders with all kinds of interesting wordplay on our posts. We’ve also had some fairly dedicated re-tweeters - Gonçalo Silva deserves a special mention for being our most dedicated fan with more than 40 re-tweets of articles from all across the site.

The Nexus One goes to the re-tweet that we liked the most however and this one from Rick stood out. We chose it as the winning tweet because it’s concise but also subtly clever with some double meaning on Desirable (plus we were imagining it being spoken in a soft Irish lilt). Kind of rolls off the tongue.

How to make your Nexus One more Desirable: RT @nexusonenews http://tumblr.com/xl56paltn

Rick also re-tweeted several other strong contenders which ended up on our final short list making him the most consistently entertaining re-tweeter since his first back on 29th Jan.

So congratulations to Rick, and thanks to everyone who participated. I feel for everyone who missed out this time - I know some people have put some real effort into their tweets and appreciate that. I’m going to be dreaming up some more ways of getting Nexus handsets into the hands of real fans, and of course following all the latest on these new phones coming from Google, so if you’ve enjoyed reading so far, thank you, and stay tuned for more.

Nexus One Giveaway: Making a list, checking it twice

Later today I’ll be announcing the winner of our second Nexus One giveaway and have been browsing through our twitter favourites to try to put together a bit of a short-list. This list isn’t by any means final of course - there’s still a few hours to go before the 5pm GMT deadline, but with so many entries I thought I needed to start narrowing things down a bit. And maybe provide a bit of inspiration for anyone else who wants to take part. So here in no particular order is what’s caught my attention so far:

  • Rick puts a nice spin on the Nexus One giveaway…
  • as does Manish, with another angle entirely
  • Lewis Franck pokes some fun at one of our headlines
  • Jennifer - Yes I am susceptible to complements:)
  • Destry Wion - Not sure if I completely understand what this means but worth a mention for the Bladerunner reference.
  • Paolo - not sure about how sound the theology is here, but like the rhyme.
  • Teodor - wild imagination. One of our posts not good enough - he’s gone and made-up one of his own.
  • Goncalo - Ok, so I still have a weakness for compliments.
  • Steven - Nice. Summarises the post in just 4 words.
  • Rick - Another example of a much better headline for one of our posts.
  • James Guzikowski - 4 million?
  • Jason - not sure why, but sounds like a good idea.
  • Jorge - I was hoping for the former, but starting to think I might just be the crazy guy.
  • MadGerald(private) - get the Whole World in Your Hand.. Google Earth has just appeared in the Android Market.http://bit.ly/ap6Yi7

This is a small sample of how diverse the re-tweets have been and also gives an idea of how difficult it’s going to be for me to pick a winner. I have to admit I haven’t seen anything yet that is so good that it just has to win so there’s still time to come up with something special. Whatever happens it’s clearly going to be a tricky decision and I’ll be continuing to search through our mentions during the course of today to find the re-tweet that will rule them all. Good luck everyone!

It had to happen sooner or later: Someone’s gone and smashed their Nexus One screen

Crave UK are reporting a case of ‘broken screen’ on their brand new Nexus One. They’ve been trying to convince HTC’s support department that all this happened whilst quietly charging the phone on a desk, but HTC were not surprisingly a bit skeptical.

Putting a phone in a tight pair of jeans and sitting down would usually cause this kind of damage - HTC

HTC decided in the end to go ahead and issue a free handset, not without a little persuasion from Crave I imagine. Crave have written about the experience on their site and offer some advice to others who find themselves in the ‘same situation’.

If you’ve got the same problem, our top tip is to think hard about how it got broken — within the bounds of truthiness, of course. HTC support says it will ask you whether you’ve carried the phone in a pocket or kept it out of its case.

'Think hard about how it got broken'. Nicely worded guys. I'm still trying to get the picture of how it actually got broken out of my mind.

It’s time to come clean. Who is Nexus One News anyway?

Since starting the Nexus One news feed back on 13th December 2009 I’ve been fairly quiet about exactly who’s behind the site, publishing all my posts via the fairly anonymous whythemobile. Google’s legal department have recently been in touch asking that I more clearly state that the news is not from an official source:

Whilst our client is encouraged by the fascination surrounding the launch of its Nexus One, including your own interest in its products, our client is nevertheless concerned that the presentation of the Website will give Internet users the erroneous impression that the Website is an official Google marketing website for the device, or is a marketing website licensed or authorised by our client…

Although I thought it seemed fairly obvious that this was an unofficial news source I also thought it wasn’t a bad idea to let people know who’s behind the site. So for the record - I’m not in any way representative of or affiliated with Google and publish all the content on this site completely independently.

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Five Short Links: 4th March 2010

  • Google is seeding top Android Developers with Nexus One handsets. - Developers of Android Market applications with 3.5 stars or higher and at least 5000 downloads get a free handset from Google.

  • Google launches Gesture Search for Android.

  • An Android Success Story - An Independent Developer making $13 000 a month with an Android Market Application. Good to hear that it’s possible to make decent money on the Android platform.

  • Spare Nexus One batteries now available direct from Google.

  • Adobe demos Flash 10.1 for Android on the Nexus One.

Can you patent protect a user interface? Apple files lawsuit against HTC

Apple yesterday issued a statement announcing a lawsuit against Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer HTC for iPhone patent infringements. HTC was the first company to produce phones which ran the Android operating system and recently partnered with Google to produce the Nexus One.

This is a fairly unprecedented move by Apple and to our knowledge the first time that they have initiated a direct lawsuit against a major competitor. Although Apple have chosen to serve HTC it would seem that it is Google’s Android operating system that is the real target here.

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Nexus One - probably the best camera-phone in the world…
Mashable wrote about the Nexus One soon after it’s launch that the camera was the phone’s killer feature. Whilst there are many other features which make the Nexus One a great phone we have to agree that the camera is pretty impressive. The 5 megapixel camera, autofocus and flash, plus the software options which allow you to control flash mode, white balance, color effects, geolocation, picture size, picture quality and focus mode combine to deliver a very capable smartphone camera.
And it doesn’t take bad pictures either. Shakespearesmonkey has put together a Flickr set which compares the same scene photographed with various phones, and the Nexus One performs well. In fact it was judged to be the best performing phone from all those tested.
The built in Gallery application does a good job of providing a way to view, organise and sync photos with Picasa. And with the mobile version of Photoshop, available as a free download from the Android Market, it’s no longer necessary to transfer photos to a desktop computer in order to perform basic image manipulation. Cropping, colour, saturation and exposure adjustments can all be done in Photoshop.com Mobile right on the handset.
The result is one of the most streamlined experiences we’ve come across on a mobile device for the capture, editing, storage and retrieval of photos. It may not be the phone’s killer feature - we’d put the tight integration with Google’s cloud services fairly high up on the list, but the competence of the Nexus One’s camera hardware and software is undoubtably a great asset.

Nexus One - probably the best camera-phone in the world…

Mashable wrote about the Nexus One soon after it’s launch that the camera was the phone’s killer feature. Whilst there are many other features which make the Nexus One a great phone we have to agree that the camera is pretty impressive. The 5 megapixel camera, autofocus and flash, plus the software options which allow you to control flash mode, white balance, color effects, geolocation, picture size, picture quality and focus mode combine to deliver a very capable smartphone camera.

And it doesn’t take bad pictures either. Shakespearesmonkey has put together a Flickr set which compares the same scene photographed with various phones, and the Nexus One performs well. In fact it was judged to be the best performing phone from all those tested.

The built in Gallery application does a good job of providing a way to view, organise and sync photos with Picasa. And with the mobile version of Photoshop, available as a free download from the Android Market, it’s no longer necessary to transfer photos to a desktop computer in order to perform basic image manipulation. Cropping, colour, saturation and exposure adjustments can all be done in Photoshop.com Mobile right on the handset.

The result is one of the most streamlined experiences we’ve come across on a mobile device for the capture, editing, storage and retrieval of photos. It may not be the phone’s killer feature - we’d put the tight integration with Google’s cloud services fairly high up on the list, but the competence of the Nexus One’s camera hardware and software is undoubtably a great asset.

The Nexus One will be available on the Verizon network in the US from March 23rd, if a tip from an unnamed Google employee to Neowin is to be believed. The timing of the launch certainly sounds plausible to us, as a CDMA version of the Nexus One was yesterday approved by the FCC.
We’ve known for a while that a version of Google’s new handset would be heading to Verizon but this is the first we’ve heard of a specific launch date. So if you’re a Verizon subscriber looking to get your hands on a Nexus One it looks like you may not have much longer to wait!

The Nexus One will be available on the Verizon network in the US from March 23rd, if a tip from an unnamed Google employee to Neowin is to be believed. The timing of the launch certainly sounds plausible to us, as a CDMA version of the Nexus One was yesterday approved by the FCC.

We’ve known for a while that a version of Google’s new handset would be heading to Verizon but this is the first we’ve heard of a specific launch date. So if you’re a Verizon subscriber looking to get your hands on a Nexus One it looks like you may not have much longer to wait!

Nexus One to launch in the UK in April with Vodafone

The Telegraph is reporting an exclusive on a launch date for the Nexus One in the UK. Google’s flagship handset will launch with Vodafone in April says the paper, quoting sources close to both companies. Vodafone had been keen to launch in March apparently but are saying that April is now looking more realistic.

No word on data plans although they’re likely to be very similar to current iPhone tariffs. And the handset will of course continue be sold exclusively through Google’s online phone store.

Nexus One: CDMA version approved by the FCC for Verizon and Sprint

We’ve known for a while that a CDMA compatible version of the Nexus One would be available in the Spring, and it looks like this very same handset, bearing the model number PB99300, has just been approved by the FCC. Now that it has cleared regulator approval it will be heading to the Verizon network, as announced by Google at the Nexus One launch, and to also Sprint according to a recent report. We still don’t have an official launch date but progress through the FCC indicates that things are still on target for a launch this Spring.

Adding this to what we know from another recent FCC filing it seems that there are so far three Nexus One variants:

  • PB99100 - The handset which premiered on 5th January, currently the only model available to buy from Google’s phone store.

  • PB99110 - Recently spotted passing though the FCC. Adds support for WCDMA bands II and V meaning that it will work with AT&T’s 3G Network in the US.

  • PB99300 - The CDMA version of the phone which has just received FCC approval. Available in Spring 2010.

It’s possible that the PB99110 could be replacement for the current Nexus One, rather than addition to the range, as it has all the same capabilities but also supports AT&T 3G (plus other networks who use the WCDMA II and V bands).

This would things fairly simple for Nexus One customers who would have the choice of buying either the ‘300 Verizon/Sprint CDMA version or the ‘110, which is likely to work on all other major networks across the world.

Google announces fastest ever mobile Earth application for Nexus One

A couple of days after we noticed Google Earth appearing in the Android Market Google has officially announced the new Android application on their mobile blog. Showcased on the Nexus One the software will also be available for other devices running Android 2.1 or later versions.

As we hinted at last month, we knew Nexus One was going to be a great platform to showcase the rich (and technically demanding!) features of Google Earth. With a 1GHz processor, advanced 3D graphics, and Android 2.1, Nexus One packs a lot of performance in a thin package. Ever since we got our hands on one, we have been putting it through its paces, drawing complex scenes of 3D imagery, terrain, roads, and other layers, and Nexus One never misses a beat. Now that we have put the final touches on the app, we are happy to announce that the latest member of our family is ready for the world — Google Earth for Android. This is our fastest mobile version of Google Earth yet, with a smooth framerate and a beautiful 800 x 480 screen.

Full announcement on Google’s Mobile Blog.

Flash is dead. Long live Flash!

Ok, we admit that we might be going a little over the top with the number of Flash running on the Nexus One articles that we’ve been posting lately and we’d like to preface this post with the reassurance that this isn’t going to turn into a Flash fan site. But whatever you think of Flash it is kind of a revelation to see it running like this on a mobile device.

Interesting to note in this clip is how quickly the battery level indicator drops during the course of the demo. Apple have so far blocked the use of Flash on their mobile devices due to concerns over performance and if this demo is anything to go by it looks like this could be well founded. That said this is of course an early version of Flash for Android which hasn’t been hardware accelerated.

With the debate over the part that Flash will play in the future of internet video still ongoing we’d also recommend an article by Jason Garrett-Glaser who provides some fairly insightful comment on the state of various multimedia technologies:

…now it becomes clear why Flash is so disliked. It’s nowhere near the most insecure of popular browser plugins; Java has had far more vulnerabilities according to Secunia. It’s certainly not the least reliable, nor is it completely proprietary; as previously mentioned, the spec is public. Yet because of the above three mistakes, Adobe has made enemies of developers worldwide.

It’s interesting that Flash is coming to Android at the same time as many developers are searching for a better way of delivering multi-media content to the internet. It’s clear that users appreciate being able to run Flash as for the time being at least the experience of browsing the internet is not complete without it. But we’re coming to a crossroads. Apple have it seems already decided that the time has come to distance themselves from the technology, but with Flash still being so ubiquitous it’s a bold move. Flash may not be ideal but isn’t going away any time soon. And with Flash coming to Android later this year the choice will be put into the hands of consumers, who will be able to decide whether or not they want a Flash enabled mobile internet experience.

Flash 10.1 and HTC Sense user interface demo. This is a recent HTC Desire ROM running on a Nexus One with an early build of Flash for Android, which is due for official release some time in the first half of this year.

Google Earth has just appeared in the Android Market, and it looks for the moment like it’s Nexus One only. There’s been nothing from Google yet on their mobile blog about the release but with the application first being demoed at the Nexus One launch this would make sense. So Nexus One owners can now fly around the planet with the swipe of the finger, with the same 3D imagery available in the desktop version. It’s also possible to search by voice for cities places and businesses and browse all the layers of geo information Google has embedded into their Earth data.

Google Earth has just appeared in the Android Market, and it looks for the moment like it’s Nexus One only. There’s been nothing from Google yet on their mobile blog about the release but with the application first being demoed at the Nexus One launch this would make sense. So Nexus One owners can now fly around the planet with the swipe of the finger, with the same 3D imagery available in the desktop version. It’s also possible to search by voice for cities places and businesses and browse all the layers of geo information Google has embedded into their Earth data.

How To: Install the HTC Sense Interface on a Nexus One

HTC recently launched their new Desire handset, which turns out to be almost identical to the Nexus One in terms of hardware features. Software-wise it differs from the Nexus One in that it runs HTC’s Sense interface which the company have put a lot of work into, in an effort to create a defining HTC user experience for their phones.

The Sense interface may not be to everyone’s taste, but thanks to Android being what it is Nexus One users can now try Sense out for themselves. Paul over at Modaco forums has released an alfa version of the HTC Desire ROM which also includes Flash 10.1 for Android as well as lots of HTC Sense widgets.

Here’s Sense running on a Nexus One. There’s a few bugs as expected from an alfa release so you wouldn’t want to use this as your main ROM, but you may want to give Sense a try to see what it’s like. If you’ve followed our guide to rooting your phone then you can simply install as follows:

  • Download the latest HTC Desire ROM and copy it to over to the SD card on the phone.
  • Boot your phone into fastboot mode (power on whilst pressing the trackball)
  • select BOOTLOADER –> RECOVERY. You will be rebooted into custom RA recovery mode and allow you to do a Nandroid backup via Backup/Restore.
  • Once backed-up perform a factory wipe and then select ‘Flash zip from sdcard’ to flash your Nexus One with the latest alpha version of HTC Desire ROM.
  • Reboot and enjoy.