On September 23, Google, HTC and T-Mobile unveiled their long anticipated G1 phone at a press conference in New York. The G1 will be available with the service provider T-Mobile, is manufactured by HTC and runs on the Android platform which is an open source Linux OS.
The importance of this device is two-fold, firstly, the phone is placed in direct competition to the iPhone, is more feature-rich and is much cheaper. Second, and more importantly, the G1 is a step towards the visionary future of Google computing, where the OS, the widgets, the applications, and all the interaction is centred around Google. The G1 blurs the line between what a cell-phone does and the Internet. There is a single button to search through the phone and the Internet, which is useful as it is possible to search for the phone numbers of people through the search engine in America. Instant messaging is available through both the network and gtalk. The browser used for navigating the Web allows for tabbed browsing, and is called Chrome Lite. The phone comes bundled with software to keep track of your carbon footprint, to compare prices from different stores in real time, and many others. Since the operating system is open source, any kind of application can be put in by the user, and is “future-proof” according to Google. The G1 ties in with Google Maps and Street View, it is possible to use the device to look at panoramic images at street level.
As far as specs go, there is a 320x480 touch screen, a sliding QWERTY keyboard, and a trackball for navigation, which makes the G1 more accessible than the iPhone. The phone has WiFi, 3D graphics acceleration and a 3 MP camera. The phone allows for 350 minutes of talk time, and 402 hours of standby on 3G.
The phones are available in brown, black and white. Their prices will depend on the subscription plan. The G1 will be sold from October 24 in the states, from November in the United Kingdom, and early next year, it will be available all over Europe.