Math Bugs is the most fun your kids will have learning math! Instead of the traditional way of learning 1 + 1 = 2, Math Bugs turns it around where you, the player, need to come up with the right equation! Fun for kids of all levels and abilities. Earn cool Math Bugs as prizes along the way.
20 OctAndroid - G1, iPhone News | No Comment
How do you compete with free? That’s the question Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s CEO, is trying to answer every morning when he goes to work. On the server software side, Windows Server is doing well, especially with the Exchange e-mail server and the unheralded but very good collaboration server, SharePoint. These products have matured, they’re relatively easy to set up and manage by IT organizations. The Exchange component is a spectacular success: it manages e-mail, contacts, calendars for hundreds of thousands of organizations all over the world. Even Apple finally embraced Exchange: the iPhone now syncs well with Microsoft’s server and the next version of OS X promises “native” Exchange support. In plainer English: Apple’s Mail, Address Book and iCal programs, for example, will sync with Exchange “out-of-the-box” just like the iPhone does. (This will be a relief to suffering Entourage users. Entourage is Microsoft’s own Outlook sibling on the Mac, but it is a poor relative and lacks Windows’ Outlook depth and polish.) Seeing that Windows Server generated more than $20 billion last year, one is tempted to think everything is going swimmingly.
Unix is the problem or, rather, the free Open Source implementations of its function set called Linux and FreeBSD, to name the best-known variants. While Windows Server and Exchange still reign for many Enterprise applications, tens of millions of Web sites run on Linux of FreeBSD software. Further, the Open Source nature of such software encourages sophisticated users to modify the operating system to fit their specific hardware configurations or applications requirements. For example, Google designs and manufactures (!) its own servers and customizes the Open Source OS they run. There’s even a rumor they “roll their own” 10-gigabit Ethernet switches but I don’t know vouch for that one. In any event, imagine how much the Google account would be worth to Microsoft if the Mountain View company used Windows Server? Knowledgeable readers will immediately object: Google running Windows Server isn’t realistic. Not for price reasons but because Microsoft’s server software isn’t technically suitable for large “server farms” such as Google’s. True. It’ll be interesting to look at what Microsoft uses for its own Live cloud. In the past, Microsoft has had to resort to “other” server software for applications such as Hotmail. But, “scalability issues” (the ability to grow to serve very large server farms) aside, Microsoft is losing against free server software for the millions of simpler Web servers sprouting all over the world. And, as Linux and its cousins mature, they will inevitably make inroads in Enterprise applications where Microsoft still leads. Open Source competitors to Exchange do exist, they’re not yet a strong threat but, if they keep improving, they will erode Microsoft very juicy server business.
On the desktop, Linux is trouble again, but much less so than in server farms. For consumers, as opposed to technically versed sysadmins, ease of use is still a strong plus for Windows. I bought two identical Asus EeePC netbooks, one running Windows, the other a Linux distribution. Windows is still much easier to use and update, Linux is still a little rough on normal humans. One example out of many glitches: the version I used didn’t remember Wi-Fi access points and passwords. I had to re-enter everything each time I turned the machine on. This type of problem has prevented Linux from gaining much ground on the desktop.
But this could change: the success of netbooks, their large unit volumes could encourage a manufacturer such as Asus, Acer or Lenovo to invest in the needed polish to make a Linux-based netbook as easy to use as a PC or Mac — or close enough at a much lower price. And the name, netbook, reminds us it might not need today’s (or is it yesterday’s?) full suite of robust desktop applications to succeed–it will run applications on/from the Cloud. Imagine a Google netbook.
Lastly, smartphones. Ballmer tries to change the subject by suggesting Apple ought to license its iPhone OS as opposed to keeping it all to itself. Let’s skip over Microsoft’s proprietary Xbox and Zune software and, perhaps, the upcoming Danger smartphone. Danger, the maker of the Sidekick PDA, is the company Microsoft bought earlier this year,. Microsoft has been selling Windows Mobile licenses for close to eight years now. In the licensing business, the iPhone isn’t the real competition, Android is. How do you compete with a free smartphone OS, and a good one at that, which is supported by Google Cloud applications?
My guess is Steve Ballmer is working on a combined answer, one that is sketched before our very eyes already. Microsoft’s Live services are but a rehearsal for a much bigger act, Microsoft’s Cloud OS, sometimes called Strata. And, based on Microsoft’s own Cloud services, we’ll see a Danger-based smartphone, as proprietary as the Xbox and the iPod competitor Zune. Put another way, Microsoft’s future business model will borrow from Apple and Google, it will have two components: proprietary devices and “universal” Cloud services. And like its models, it will attempt to extract extra profits by nicely tying both components together. For example: iPods are tied to the iTunes service, Android phones might (we don’t know yet) better enjoy Google applications.
Interesting times ahead.
So you’re sticking with your 2G iPhone, eh? Well now there’s no reason to miss out on GPS, just because you’re smitten with its aluminium shell. The iGPS360 add-on dongle just went on sale.
Designed to plug into a jailbroken iPhone or iPod touch, it’ll cost you $75 (£43), but will add satnav skills to Apple’s original handset.
Manufacturers Orange Gadgets says it’ll only be making a thousand units to begin with, so if you’re keen to get navigating on your old iPhone 2G, get ordering sharpish!
20 OctiPhone News | No Comment
Cooliris web browser is now available on the iPhone, in the form of a native AppStore app.
Promising to revolutionize the web experience for iPhone users, Cooliris native app for the iPhone allows them to easily search for media which can be browsed through using a 3D wall that’s almost identical to the one used in original Cooliris (and is somewhat similar to iPhone’s coverlow feature).
Users are also able to instantly access news stories that are related to the media they’re viewing — this is a very handy feature that can save you a lot of time.
Additionally, the Discover feature of Cooliris offers localized newsfeeds for specific countries and regions using iPhone’s GPS feature, allowing users to see the latest local news stories.
20 OctiPhone Development, iPhone News | No Comment
If you’re an iPhone or even an Android-phone owner hoping to get in on some of that Firefox Mobile Alpha lovin’, I’ve got some bad news: it’s unlikely to transition to those platforms any time soon.
In an interview with SiliconRepublic.com, Mozilla’s director of mobile engineering Christian Sejersen has stated that development for the iPhone is certainly not going to happen due to two restrictions Apple places on developers: firstly, that you can’t write an application which duplicates built-in functionality as Firefox Mobile would for Safari; and secondly that you cannot run background processes on an iPhone.
While the iPhone ban is fairly unsurprising, the news that Android isn’t on the to-do list is certainly unexpected: according to Sejersen, the company is doing nothing for Android “now or in the near future.” Without the restrictions Apple places on developers, it’s hard to see why Mozilla isn’t developing for the Android platform – although it’s likely that the company is simply waiting for more than one device running the platform to hit the market and sell successfully before committing itself to development work.
So, what are we going to see Firefox Mobile on? According to Sejersen, the plan is to produce a Linux native version for the Nokia Internet Tablet platform – much-loved by hackers for its openness – followed by a version for both touch- and non-touch-screen Windows Mobile devices. A Symbian port has yet to be officially announced, but Sejersen has said it is “most likely” to follow the Windows Mobile versions.
Disappointed that your HTC Dream or iPhone isn’t going to be getting any Firefox joy, or are you – like me – just salivating at the thought of a Symbian port eventually hitting the ‘net?
The T-Mobile G1 compares well in many ways to Apple’s iPhone 3G
Having been an iPhone 3G owner since July, I was prepared to not be too impressed with the
T-Mobile G1, the very first mobile phone to use Google’s Android software as its operating system.
But the G1 is a lot more exciting in person — sleeker than photos make it look, and the software is impressive for an initial version. No, it’s not as elegant as the iPhone, but of the touch-screen smart phones out there, it’s the closest contender yet.
I’ve been using a G1 for about a week, long enough to find things I like and things I think need fixing. The best news about the G1 is that not only can T-Mobile fix its flaws, so can any other skilled programmer.
That’s because, like the iPhone, the G1 has a place you can go to download new applications for it. The G1 Market is increasingly full of useful programs. But unlike Apple’s iTunes App Store, there’s no gatekeeper. Anyone can write a program and add it to the Market.
The G1’s handset is made by HTC, known for its bricklike phones with screens that slide up to reveal a QWERTY keyboard. That’s the design for the G1, though the screen slides out first and then up. It’s thicker than the iPhone but not as wide. The keys are small and round, making it difficult to type quickly. You also have to press down fairly hard.
The 3.2-inch screen is bright and its resolution crisp. As with the iPhone, the G1 can switch between landscape and portrait modes, but not automatically. To get into landscape mode, you must raise the screen. The G1 does have a motion sensor, so it’s not clear why it doesn’t switch automatically based on how you’re holding the phone.
The touch screen is not quite as responsive as the iPhone and it lacks some of the iPhone’s slicker multitouch capabilities — there’s no pinching or double-tapping to shrink or expand images and Web pages.
The G1 has an angled “chin” below the screen that includes a trackball; the traditional cell-phone answer and hang-up buttons; a home-screen button; a back button; and a menu button. I liked having additional buttons, though I sometimes became irritated with having to press the Menu button to get access to features in the G1’s applications.
As you’d expect, the phone comes with GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It will use
T-Mobile’s new 3G network, which is available at the moment in less than 20 markets, Houston being one of them. If it can’t find a 3G signal, it can connect to the older, slower Edge network.
Music lovers, take note that the G1 does not have a traditional headphone jack. Instead, it comes with a stereo headset that plugs into the same port used to charge the phone or connect it to a computer. If you want a better headset, you’ll have to buy an adapter. This is not uncommon in smart phones. For example, Samsung’s BlackJack I and II require an adapter for third-party headsets.
Audio quality is very good during calls. In fact, this is one of the best-sounding phones I’ve used in a long time.
Unlike the iPhone, the G1 has a replaceable battery. Battery life is a little better than the iPhone, lasting a good two days without charging, so long as you don’t make heavy use of Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
The G1 also has expandable memory. It comes with a
1-gigabyte micro SD card and can take up to an 8-GB card. The iPhone’s memory is fixed, but its 16-GB model eclipses the G1’s storage capacity.
Google’s Android software is fun to use and includes most of the features you’ll want in a smart phone.
As you’d expect, the phone is heavily tied to Google’s services. When you set it up, you have to enter your Gmail account information — and if you don’t have a Gmail account, the phone will set one up.
If you have other e-mail services you want to access, you’ll need to use a different, included mail program. Why the two aren’t combined is a mystery, and it makes using multiple accounts a hassle.
The G1’s Web browser is based on Webkit, the same core component used in the iPhone’s Mobile Safari browser. This means that the G1 shows you Web sites as they are meant to be seen. Unfortunately, it also means you can’t see Web pages that use the ubiquitous Flash.
I found the applications included with the G1 to be … OK. Generally, they’re simple and uncluttered, but uninspired. As an example, the browser’s page viewer takes up the whole screen. On one hand, this means you have more room to view Web sites, but it also means that you must press the Menu button often to get to frequently used features.
Since you can’t pinch to zoom, Android puts plus and minus buttons onscreen. The zoom levels are imprecise, and I found myself hitting them multiple times. On the Web browser, a second button lets you box off a specific area to be enlarged.
The G1 doesn’t come with software required to connect to a computer. An included USB cable connects it to a Mac or a PC, and you can then access folders on the phone. That’s how you put music into it — just drag song files into the Music folder. I can appreciate the simplicity; manually dragging/dropping from a large library of songs gets old quickly.
If you want a G1, you may have to wait a while. It officially goes on sale Wednesday, but T-Mobile has said it’s sold out on pre-orders. It sold 1.5 million phones in advance, and it’s unclear whether you’ll be able to walk into a T-Mobile dealer next Wednesday and buy one.
If you do, you’ll pay $179 with a two-year contract. Usage plan pricing varies, but expect to pay a minimum of $55 a month for both voice and data.
And should you get one? If you’re an existing T-Mobile customer who has been thinking about an iPhone, you suddenly have a real decision to make. This is a great phone for consumers — for business users, not so much. It’s about at the same place the iPhone was in its initial release.
If you’ve been trying to decide between the iPhone 3G and the G1, I’d have to say that the former is far more elegant and polished. But the G1 holds a lot of promise, particularly with its open-software approach. There will be more Android-based phones coming, and those who aren’t wedded to any particular wireless carrier may want to wait until next year to see how things develop.
20 OctAndroid - G1, iPhone Development, iPhone News | No Comment
Amid a boom in social-network-friendly handsets, Motorola prepares a new entry, but its Android may not debut until 2009’s second quarter
As the wireless world awaits the Oct. 22 debut of the first phone based on the Google-backed Android software, engineers at Motorola (MOT) are hard at work on their own Android handset. Motorola’s version will boast an iPhone-like touch screen, a slide-out qwerty keyboard, and a host of social-network-friendly features, BusinessWeek.com has learned.
Motorola has been showing spec sheets and images of the phone to carriers around the world in the past two months and is likely to introduce the handset in the U.S. sometime in the second quarter of 2009, according to people familiar with Motorola’s plans. Building a phone based on the highly anticipated Android operating system is part of Motorola’s effort to revive a loss-making handset division that has forfeited market share amid a drought of bestselling phones. Motorola stock, which on Oct. 17 rose a penny to 5.62, is hovering near a 16-year low.
The phone will appear among a new class of social smartphones designed to make it easy for users to connect quickly and easily to mobile social networks such as Facebook and News Corp.’s (NWS) MySpace (BusinessWeek, 10/10/08). Such phones let users message in-network friends directly from phone contact lists, for example. A Facebook representative declined to comment on the company’s work with Motorola. MySpace.com didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Motorola declined to elaborate on its plans, but said in a statement: “We’re excited about the innovation possibilities on Android and look forward to delivering great products in partnership with Google (GOOG)” and the community of developers known as the Open Handset Alliance that are working on the Android operating system.
Mobile Networking Wave
In the next year, social networking phones are expected to be a hit with the 16- to 34-year-old crowd, analysts say. According to consultancy Informa (INF), the number of mobile social-networking users will rise from 2.3% of global cell-phone users at the end of 2007 to as many as 23% of all mobile users by the end of 2012.
The Android handset will feature a touch screen about the size of those on Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone, people familiar with the phone say. While it takes some of the design cues from Krave ZN4, the first touch-screen phone from Motorola launched with Verizon Wireless on Oct. 14, it’s not certain whether the Android phone screen will feature Krave’s distinctive and interactive clear flip screen.
Like the world’s first Android phone, from HTC, Motorola’s Android-based device will offer a slide-out Qwerty keyboard. People who’ve seen the pictures and spec sheets for the device say it looks like a higher-end version of the HTC phone, called the T-Mobile G1. But it’s expected to sell for less, at prices similar to the Krave, which is available for $150 with a two-year contract. After carrier subsidies, the G1 will retail for $180 with a two-year contract.
Slow Off the Mark
Motorola’s new phone likely won’t be ready to launch in the U.S. until the second quarter of next year, say people who are familiar with it. And it may not be available in Europe until the third quarter of 2009. Many analysts have been expecting Motorola to roll out an Android phone in December or January.
Any delay gives competing Android phones a chance to gain traction. London-based INQ will unveil its social-networking phone, INQ1, in Britain and Australia in about a month (BusinessWeek, 10/09/08). The slider phone, which integrates Facebook features into its address book and camera, is expected to enter the U.S. market next year. And Nokia (NOK), the world’s largest cell-phone maker, has already begun adding connectivity to its media-sharing site Ovi in some of its higher-end phones. “The sooner [Motorola] comes out with a social phone the better,” says John Jackson, an analyst with the Yankee Group. “The more you wait, the more distance gets put between you and the rest of the world.”
In the handset business, a best-selling product can reverse a company’s fortunes quickly, as Motorola has seen first with its popular StarTAC, and then with the Razr line of devices. “Motorola still has global carrier and distribution relationships” to rival those of most competing players, says Jackson. Motorola also has a relationship with industry innovator Apple, and may be able to offer iTunes downloads for upcoming phones, says Moe Tanabian, principal at researcher IBB Consulting. Music downloads may appeal to the same category of consumers that is expected to buy social phones.
The Android project is getting a lot of attention and support directly from Motorola’s new co-chief executive officer, Sanjay Jha. The Android phone—likely one of a series of Android handsets Motorola is cooking up—is the brainchild of people who joined Motorola via its 2006 acquisition of Good Technology. Good specialized in enterprise wireless messaging, data access, and security software used in such products as Motorola’s Q line of smartphones. The project is headed by Rick Osterloh, vice-president and general manager for Android products and formerly Good’s vice-president of marketing and product management.
Motorola is looking to add staff to its Android project in California, where the Good team is based. Applicants are invited to work on a “social smart phone.” One posting for a software engineer on job board Monster.com reads: “We are a new start-up division within Motorola with strong executive level sponsorship, a 50M+ budget for our Android platform. Our new CEO, Sanjay Jha, has been in the forefront of the formation of the Android Open Handset Alliance!”
In the exciting new category of modern hand-held computers - devices that fit in your pocket but are used more like a laptop than a traditional phone - there so far has been only one serious option. But that will change Wednesday, when T-Mobile and Google bring out the G1, the first hand-held computer that’s in the same class as Apple’s iPhone.
I have been testing the G1 extensively, in multiple cities and in multiple scenarios. In general, I like it and consider it a worthy competitor to the iPhone. Both devices run on fast 3G phone networks and include Wi-Fi. Both have smart-touch interfaces and robust Web browsers. Both have the ability to easily download third-party apps, or programs.
Tampa buyers should beware, however. T-Mobile does not yet have 3G service in the area, so surfing the Web will be extremely slow compared with the iPhone. The company says it will provide local high speed service soon.
But the two devices have different strengths and weaknesses, and are likely to attract different types of users.
If you’ve been lusting after the iPhone’s functionality, but didn’t like its virtual keyboard, its user interface or its U.S. carrier, AT&T, the G1 may be just the ticket for you. But it does have some significant downsides.
By far, the G1’s biggest differentiator is that it has a physical keyboard, which is revealed by sliding open the screen. The keyboard proved only fair in my tests, and is complemented by a BlackBerry-like trackball for navigation.
The G1 has a removable battery and uses removable, expandable memory cards. And it’s even a bit cheaper than its Apple rival: $179 versus $199. Its data plan also costs less - $25 a month versus $30 - and includes 400 free text messages, which cost extra on the iPhone.
The G1 has a slick, clever touch interface to go along with its keyboard, and it includes a powerful new operating system, called Android, which was built by Google.
It’s much easier to place a phone call on the G1. You can just start typing a contact name or phone number while on the home screen, sparing the need to enter the phone or contacts program.
This first Android phone, which was largely designed by Google and built by Taiwan-based HTC, also includes some key features Apple omitted. These include a limited ability to copy and paste text, and the ability to send photos to other phones without relying on e-mail. And, unlike AT&T, T-Mobile will even allow users to legally unlock the phone after 90 days and start using it on another carrier, provided you pay a hefty early-termination fee.
In my battery tests, the G1 lasted through the day, but I had to charge it every night.
However, the G1 also has downsides. It’s a chunky brick of a device. While it’s narrower than the iPhone and feels OK in the hand, it’s almost 20 percent heavier and nearly 30 percent thicker. It also has a smaller screen.
The G1 also skimps on memory. It comes with only 1 gigabyte of storage, just one-eighth of what the base iPhone offers. To increase the G1’s memory, you have to buy a larger memory card.
The G1 also is a greatly inferior multimedia device when compared with the iPhone. Its music player, while adequate, isn’t as nice as the built-in iPod on the iPhone. And it lacks a video player altogether.
And then there’s the network. T-Mobile offers 3G in just 20 U.S. metro areas.
Overall, the G1 is a good first effort, and a godsend for people who prefer physical keyboards or T-Mobile but want to be part of the new world of pocket computers.
iPhone and Android keep software away, T-Mobile prices and dates UK G1, and LG sneaks in with Renoir work of artPosted on 2008 under iPhone News | No Comment
After several weeks packed to the trumpets with huge software announcements and hot hardware releases, it’s nice to get back to more mainstream mobile news. And there’s no shortage of that this week, thanks to our gold mining Pocket Picks research leprechauns. So let’s jump into their glistening horde of hot news riches with a look at one of this week’s tastiest – and least likely to happen – stories.
In principle, this iPhone-powered ‘netbook’ is a blindingly awesome idea. Supposedly, the iPhone is plugged into this ultra mobile laptop peripheral where the touchpad would go and, as well as acting as a pointing device, provides the CPU brain for the system. Details are sparse enough to make us think that, at best, this is a concept rather than a product going into development. Apple is also notoriously strict when it comes to such uses of its darling handset, but who wouldn’t sacrifice a limb to give this little beauty a test drive?
Until something like this unlikely device actually appears, at least we’ll have the new Firefox mobile browser to help us surf. Still in development stages, some interesting WinMo screenshots have appeared to highlight a few functions we can expect to see. Along with tabbed browsing and a revamped interface more suited to the micro screen, Firefox Mobile apparently boasts some impressive benchmark tests – something which any mobile net surfer will be pleased to hear.
Also on the mobile surfing front is Adobe’s confirmation that Flash is coming to the iPhone. But before we get too excited about the prospect of running browser based games and applications, Apple has potentially put the brakes on with a cryptic statement in its SDK prohibiting ‘interpreted’ code. On top of this intention to reduce the functionality of Adobe’s Flash system, Apple has blocked Microsoft’s little used equivalent, Silverlight, from access to the iPhone. Instead, Microsoft is attempting to open doors by turning its attention to the Google systems. It already runs inside the Google Chrome browser, and will hopefully be available for the Android OS pretty soon.
The continued obstreperousness of Apple is offering all kinds of opportunities for the more accommodating competition, though perhaps not quite so many as were initially reported for sales of the T-Mobile G1 handset. Originally reported as cahching 1.5 million units on pre-order, it seems the source of the figures wasn’t especially reliable. There’s still a pretty decent UK interest in the handset, however, following on from T-Mobile’s announcement of the G1’s release date and pricing structure. Get your order in now, if the somewhat tacky looking handset doesn’t put you off (it’s what’s inside that counts, anyway).
True enough, Apple’s copped its share of flak regarding its ham-fisted methods of dealing with developers, but it now seems the forthcoming Android Market has taken a leaf from the App Store’s totalitarian regime. The online Android store is also set to incorporate a ‘kill switch’ function which allows it to delete applications from user’s handsets. The insistence is that this will only be used to remove ‘harmful’ apps, which doesn’t seem unlikely as Google will be far kinder than Apple when it comes to vetting software.
And finally, if all this talk of heavy handed manufacturer micro-management puts you off these big name handsets, LG might have quietly released an alternative just for you. The LG Renoir is a delicious piece of hardware that competes with the likes of the iPhone rather impressively. Focused more on the eight-megapixel camera side of things, the Renoir sports wi-fi, GPS, TV out, Dolby sound, face detection, a digital image stabiliser, xenon flash and a razor sharp Schneider-Kreuznach lens. With these kind of functions, this could well be the sleeper hit handset of 2008’s fourth quarter, so don’t overlook it when shopping for a next gen handset.
20 OctAndroid - G1, iPhone News | No Comment
If the iPhone’s price tag puts it too far out of your reach, two other serious contenders are waiting in the wings - and neither has anything to do with Microsoft.
The first phone, based on Google’s Android platform, goes on sale in the US on Wednesday and Australian carriers are examining the device with interest following rave reviews from critics.
As well, Hutchison subsidiary Three is working on its own brand of smart phone called INQ, which will compete with the iPhone, Android and handsets from Nokia and Motorola.
Three’s local spokeswoman Sarah Virtue said the company planned to launch INQ in Australia “prior to Christmas”. She added that Google’s Android was “an excellent platform” and that Three would be “keeping a close eye on it”.
Optus declined to comment on its Android plans. Telstra said it was considering “how an Android phone might fit into our range” and Vodafone said it was following Android developments “with keen interest”.
BusinessWeek reported that Hutchison’s goal with INQ was to slash the price of phones that let people surf the net. The handsets were expected to cost consumers $US50 ($72) or less.
People buying an iPhone would pay carriers that amount or more every month over a two-year contract.
The move makes sense for Three because the more people there are who can afford phones capable of surfing the net, the more the company will make from the mobile plans and data bundles it sells to consumers.
“I need to hit the 90 per cent that don’t buy [higher-priced phones],” Hutchison executive Frank Meehan told BusinessWeek.
The popularity of smartphones such as the iPhone, Android, INQ and BlackBerry handsets is growing rapidly in Australia.
Research released by Telesyte today revealed Australia’s annual smartphone shipments have grown by almost 40 times from five years ago and that nearly three in ten mobile phones sold this year will be smartphones.
In addition to being cheap, the INQ phones, which like Android have been built from the ground up with new software, have been designed to hook directly into Facebook, eBay and Skype, with users able to monitor their Facebook news feed from the home screen.
Last year, Three launched its first branded handset, the Skypephone, which allowed Skype users to call each other without running down their monthly mobile cap.
The first handset based on Google’s Android platform, the G1, will be sold by T-Mobile for $US179 on a two-year contract, which is also significantly cheaper than the iPhone.