Jan 05 AT 3:50 PM Taylor Wimberly 36 Comments

Google Nexus One Android gathering recap

Google just wrapped up their Android gathering at its headquarters in Mountain View and we have a short recap of the event. When an archived video is available, we will get that posted.

Intro

Google VP Mario Queiroz kicks off the event with a short recap of recent Android related news.

  • The Open Handset Alliance has 13 new members (including including China Telecom and HTC).
  • Android is now featured in 20 devices on 59 carriers in 48 countries in 19 languages.

HTC CEO Peter Chou then took the stage for a few minutes, but didn’t say anything too revealing. “This is one of the best HTC phones we have designed.”

Hardware

Next up, Google engineer Erick Tseng went over all the Nexus One hardware features (most of which we already knew).

The specs he touched on included (full spec list here):

  • Display: 3.7 in AMOLED
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 1 GHz
  • Trackball: Multi-color notifications
  • Sensors: Light and proximity to offer power saving features
  • Thinness: 11.5 mm (same as a #2 pencil)
  • Camera: 5 MP with LED flash
  • Audio: Stereo bluetooth, 3.5 mm headphone jack, active noise cancellation

It was also revealed during this period that users can customize their phone with a special engraving on the back of the device. Engraved phones will ship within 72 hours of placing your order.

Software

After the hardware was described, Mr. Tseng covered some of the software highlights which included:

  • The Nexus One will be the first phone to feature Android 2.1. This is still part of the Eclair build and is not considered Flan.
  • New native application News and Weather
  • Live wallpapers which are interactive
  • 3D and media additions like the new Gallery application
  • Voice input via the speech-to-text button on the virtual keyboard
  • Google Earth app is now available

Google Phone Store

Towards the end of the event, Google unveiled their new phone store located at http://www.google.com/phone

Starting today, customers can purchase an unlocked Nexus One for $529. Users can also select to get the phone with a 2yr T-Mobile contract which lowers the price to $179.

Starting in Spring 2010, Verizon and Vodafone will also support the Nexus One device.

Additional carriers and handset makers will be added to the Google phone store throughout 2010. Motorola was one of the partners mentioned that would sell phones through Google.

Q&A

When the event was over a short Q&A session was hosted by Andy Rubin, Mario Queiroz, Peter Chou, and Sanjay Jha. I’m sure someone will post the full transcript by the time this post is up, so I will touch on the important notes.

  • Google is working on a secure encrypted solution to allow developers the option to install applications to the SD card.
  • When asked about multitouch features (pinch zoom), Google totally dodged the question.
  • Google refers to the Nexus One as a superphone, not smartphone.
  • Motorola will update the Droid to Android 2.1 (no word on the CLIQ). Mr. Jha said that backwards compatibility slows innovation so don’t hold your breath on CLIQ getting Android 2.x.

Andy Rubin also hinted at the possibility of a subsidized (free) Google Phone sometime in the future. He said they have no intention to build hardware and that launching the Google phone store was a baby step in their Android strategy.

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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