Before the T-Mobile Android phone made its appearance Tuesday, observers were wondering whether it would be called "G1" for Google, or "HTC Dream," after the Taiwanese handset manufacturer. If you put money on G1, get ready to collect.
Washington Post blogger Rob Pegoraro reports the G1 was unveiled at a much-anticipated press conference in New York, where reps from Google, T-Mobile and HTC took turns talking up their newest offering. Pegoraro says:
The G1, of course, relies on Google Maps [but] adds a location-aware "compass mode" that presents a Street View of your surroundings... [Its] browser is based on Apple's open-source WebKit framework -- the same software used in Google's Chrome desktop browser and, of course, Apple's own Safari...This phone includes e-mail software -- set up, naturally, to connect to Google's Gmail -- and instant-messaging software compatible with Google Talk as well as AOL and Microsoft's instant-messaging networks.
Like the iPhone, G1's SIM card slot will be locked to prevent its use on other providers' networks, and its Bluetooth options are limited. Unlike the iPhone, Android is not limited to one vendor's handsets. The G1's success, Pegoraro says, depends largely on the availability of third-party applications for use thereon.
I wasn't at the press conference; I haven't even had a chance to watch the recorded unveiling. I'm only reading what others have said. But initial reactions seem to be that the G1 leaves much to be desired thus far -- not the least of which is its lack of desktop synchronization software.