Feb 13 AT 1:06 PM Ian Wheat 19 Comments

Google Buzz: now for the rest of us


Just a few short days ago, Buzz was all the buzz on the internet and in internet-savvy circles. It didn’t take long for us, as Android users, to notice the greatest limitation of Buzz: lack of full support for pre 2.0 handsets. We complained, cried, and raised our voices in anger at Google, saying things like “you support the iPhone but not a version of Android that’s still being shipped on new phones?” Maybe Google heard us. Maybe they had this in the cards all along.

So, users of 1.6 and 1.5, take out your phones, load up your favorite browser, head to http://buzz.google.com and simply tap on “Continue on an unsupported device.” Reading Buzzes from the people you follow works fully but it seems that the Nearby feature might not be able to access your phone’s location. On my 1.6 test device I simply got “Location is not available” and, obviously, on the emulator the same message appeared.

The Google Mobile blog, back on Tuesday the 9th, told us all about Buzz. Then at about 4:40PM that day they published an “update” at the end of their post, explaining that Maps 4.0 with the Buzz layer was already available for 1.6 but that the site, buzz.google.com, would not work unless you were using 2.0+. They also said that “we’re working to support other versions soon.” Apparently soon means this weekend.

At the time of this post, I am unable to find any official word from Google, announcing access to the Buzz mobile page for unsupported devices. This is pretty typical of Google, though, as they hardly ever make a big to-do about features–just about new products or services.

The screenshots below were taken from an HTC Hero on Sprint, running an AOSP 1.6 ROM, and from Android SDK’s emulator, running Android 1.5.

As a long time fanatic for open source software and operating systems, Ian Wheat naturally fell for the little green Android. They live together quite happily, with Ian's wife, in Roanoke, TX, and spend many hours together writing about technology, watching funny television shows, and killing zombies in Left4Dead2.

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