Tuesday, September 23, 2008

T-Mobile Android G1 is here

Nice presentation in New York today. The G1 is out. Ready to hit the market on Oct 22nd, just when everyone was saying Android was late ;-) Apparently, it is quite thin. From the pictures, it looks also quite ugly: I never liked the sliding keyboard, but who am I to complain about looks?

The cost is $179, it is locked to T-Mobile (surprise!), data plans are $25 with unlimited data and some messaging, $35 with unlimited data and messaging.

There is the Android Marketplace (that Sergey Brin called App Store during the show, ooopssie), no Skype, no tethering, can read Word, Excel and PDF (what about PowerPoint?) and it has a Chrome Lite browser, plus Google Maps with Street View (which is very cool). Music is via Amazon MP3. It runs on HDSPA, superfast, if only we had it in the US... Obviously, it has wifi and a camera.

For my world:
  1. it does NOT have a cable or a desktop application for syncing (welcome to the new millennium, bye bye iTunes!)
  2. it does NOT have Exchange compatibility (no ActiveSync)
  3. it does have push email with Gmail (but no news about the rumor that it would be free and you would not need a data plan for it). Just wondering to see how open that would be for other email servers and PIM backends...
Overall, solid launch. The device is not that good looking but the price is right ($179 vs. $199 of the iPhone), the data plans are slightly cheaper than the iPhone ones ($25 vs. $30) and it is full of features.

I'll put an order in. This is the start of a new era. A mobile open source operating system is going mainstream. The world is changing fast.