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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  • http://Website ubernicholi

    Location works perfectly with GPS on 1.6 cyanogen mod with the backported 2.0 browser

    • http://BabbleDroid.BlogSpot.com Ian Wheat

      If I understand correctly, it has to do with how the 2.0 browser works. The standard 1.6 browser can’t dig up your location.

  • http://Website aleis

    location works on my eris 1.5 and YESS!!! :)
    i was getting a lil worried that they were patronizing the enemy a lil too much!

  • http://Website Teri

    Yep. Location working here too, but without GPS. It’s drawing my location from the internet connection.

    • http://Website teri

      I should say I’m also using 1.6 on CM

  • http://Website SnakeBiteZZ

    actually i was able to use gears on my old versions of android 1.1-1.5 stock so idk maybe they didnt write the older browsers to read from the “gears” extention or maybe you need to manually enter this into the browser as an approved site i have a nexus cliq and g1 soo yeah im on my nexus all the time but i do remember back in the day lol

  • http://Website shang

    GPS location seems to work for me with the stock 1.6 Android on T-Mobile G1.

  • http://Website Marcus Freudemann

    Anyone any idea when I can use Buzz via my Google App domain? If it will be possible at all? Marcus.

  • Manly Man

    So what the big buzz about this?

  • http://Website Skythe

    How about they just update the fricken browser app on 1.6 devices to the 2.x HTML5 version?

  • http://Website Cintra

    I am seeing the “mobile page for unsupported devices” link OK on my HTC Magic 1.5, but hitting Nearby gives me “Location is not available” although GPS is working OK on Google Maps.. however, at least its possible to post a Mobile Buzz :)

  • http://Website Ger

    works from my standard htc magic (android 1.6, vodafone branded)

  • http://Website abourne


    I selected the option to never reveal my location –> Stored in Device.

    When I try to update a status or post, I get into an endless loop of:

    “Finding Location….”

    which I can’t get out of.

    Piece of Shit!

    Every time I’m on a Buzz platform and don’t want to reveal my location or keep location private, the whole thing goes haywire.

    Fuck with buzz.

    It’s an unnecessary piece of crap feeding my redundant Twitter, facebook (from twitter) and reader updates I’ve already come across.

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