All Articles
All Articles

Hands on with the T-Mobile G1

by Josh Rubin
on 21 October 2008

When it goes on sale tomorrow, the T-Mobile G1 will be the very first mobile device to utilize Google's open source operating system, Android. I've been using a G1 for the last couple of weeks and am really impressed—a relief because since the iPhone there really hasn't been a mobile that I've been excited about.

While the G1 comes in a nice form-factor with a slide-out keyboard and a beautiful screen all designed by HTC, the hero is Android. Out of the box you're prompted for your Google username and password (or given the option to create a new account). Once entered, all of your Google data is downloaded to the device in the background over EDGE, 3G or WiFi and pretty quickly your contact list, Gmail inbox and calendars are readily available. These applications are always in sync; changes made on the device are reflected online or wherever you experience Google data.

Android is an incredibly fast operating system. I have yet to see a pinwheel, spinny beach ball or delay of any sort. The use of animation is modest but effective and layers are easily accessed for the main application menu and the notifications panel. There aren't multi-touch features, though other touch screen innovations, like gesture unlocking, are a nice addition. Unlike the iPhone, Android does offer basic copy and paste functionality, however there's plenty of room for improvement for that feature.

Today the Android Market only has a handful of applications available for download directly form the device, but that's sure to change very shortly after launch. The best thing about Market apps is that they can integrate very deeply in to the Android operating system. I downloaded one application that let me adjust animation speeds (Spare Parts) and another that turned the camera button in to an application switcher (Task Switcher). The best in this category is Locale, an application that lets you associate ringtone and alert settings to specific geographic locations (the G1 has both GPS and cel triangulation).

Because all of your personal data syncs over-the-air there really isn't a need to connect your G1 to a computer. If you do, however, it just shows up as a storage device and you'll see folders in place for music and pictures. These folders are on the removable SD card; you can use the folders or not because whenever an application loads it looks to the card to find files it can read regardless of where they're located.

So yeah, I'm excited about the G1 and Android. I'm not quite ready to ditch my iPhone for it, but have willingly carried both devices for a couple weeks and intend to do so for as long as T-Mobile lets me keep the review unit.

The CH25 is a showcase of creators and innovators from a broad range of disciplines who are currently working to drive the world forward.

Alex Kalman

The tiny museum in Manhattan that’s redefining museums

Read More
The mission is to put this small simple and powerful tool into the hands of as many people as possible

Cynthia Breazeal

How an emotional, empathetic robot named Jibo stands to revolutionize communication

Read More
The thing that's so provocative about social robots is that it's fundamentally a community technology

Sabine Seymour

A future where smart clothes are as ubiquitous as zippers

Read More
In the future you will not buy a piece of 'functional' clothing without SoftSpot

Jonathan Sparks

Reinventing electronic music by inventing multi-disciplinary instruments

Read More
Recorded music is becoming so cheap, so the value of music is now in live performance

Tarren Wolfe

The next-generation appliance making kitchens greener—literally

Read More
Our goal is to provide food for everyone in the world, and the best place to start is in our very own community

LaToya Ruby Frazier

Documenting the slow, troubling change in Braddock, Pennsylvania

Read More
I am not a journalist, I am a conceptual documentary artist using my visual expression for building narratives that are unseen and unheard

Matt Kenyon

Fusing art and technology to disrupt concepts of corporate America

Read More
I want the work to live in the world and circulate, so it can generate more dialogue

Leopoldine Huyghues Despointes

The young filmmaker and non-profit founder who just wants people to follow their dreams

Read More
I feel confident and ready to accomplish so much more, the movement is on

Kathleen Supové

The NYC performance artist who’s radically reinventing the piano recital

Read More
I like pieces that are virtuosic, that show off the piano and what it can do, and are awe-inspiring

Corinne Joachim Sanon

The chocolatier bringing social change to Haiti and bean-to-bar chocolate to the world

Read More
Seeing the poverty surrounding me and the lack of jobs and opportunity bothered me

Dan Barasch + James Ramsey

A quest to make the future brighter—underground

Read More
We both share a passion for groundbreaking technology and a shared love of New York

Meredith Perry

How searching the Internet helped a 22-year-old invent wireless electricity

Read More
It’s not about where the information is, it’s about how you use the tools

Kegan Schouwenburg

Revolutionizing orthotics through 3D-printed insoles

Read More
What orthotics do is they effectively change the geometry of what your alignment is like

Vanessa Newman

Redesigning pregnancy for the post-gender generation with Butchbaby & Co.

Read More
I want my customers to feel comfortable and unchanged, in that becoming pregnant didn't take away from or compromise their identity

Melissa Kushner

Addressing the needs of orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi through microenterprise

Read More
Poverty is complicated, there is an increasing temptation and pressure in the development space to oversimplify things

Roxie Darling

From un-shampoo to transgender identity, the NYC colorist boldly defining the next chapter of hair

Read More
Hair color is as much a science as it is a craft

Lulu Mickelson

A civic leader bringing change to NYC through design

Read More
Human-centered design is one of the many tools that we can use to better engage the public

George Arriola and Monohm

An heirloom electronic for the post-smartphone era

Read More
We agonized during the design process as all hyper-obsessed craftspeople should

Joshua Harker

Pushing the boundaries of sculpture with intricate 3D printing

Read More
My intent was to explore and depict the architecture of the imagination, to interpret and share forms evident in the mind’s eye

Pauline van Dongen

The Dutch designer blazing the wearable technology path

Read More
I’m fascinated by concepts of change, movement, energy and perception; since they are closely related to the way we experience the world

Eelke Plasmeijer

The locally driven restaurant that’s upending Balinese food culture

Read More
We really try to keep things simple and let the produce do the talking

Marcus Weller

Using technology to turn motorcycle helmet design on its head

Read More
I was taken aback both by the number of people that doubted it, and by the equally large number of people that got behind it

Sarah Kunst

The entrepreneur single-handedly changing the landscape for women in tech

Read More
People who live on a planet that is half women but can never seem to find any when they need one, I have solved your problem

Tal Danino

The bioengineer who’s programming DNA to fight cancer

Read More
[Manipulating genes] is very new, people are just learning how to program these organisms

Douglas Riboud + Justin Guilbert

How a mission to create great coconut water led to a whole new way of doing business

Read More
We’ve made a conscious decision to be as transparent and honest as we can, and let people decide for themselves
Loading More...