Droid? $1831. Having the latest gadgets? Priceful.

The Droid, the new smartphone from Motogoozon, will cost $1831. Motogoozon is of course the combination of Motorola, Google, and Verizon.

The cost would be $1931, were it not for a $100 rebate: what a relief that it’s so much lower than $2K.

1831 = (299 – 100) + 24 x (39 + 29). As usual with smartphones and other fancyphones in the USA, most of the cost is in the monthly payments, rather than upfront.

I could cite many sources for this, but I’ll go with John Biggs’ post on Crunchgear. There is much rejoicing in Crunchland about the Droid.

Personally, I’m happy to see the Droid hype. It increases the chances of an Android app boom. On the other hand, there are no guarantees that new and interesting Android advances will run on my G1.

The Mobile Whale

Part of going mobile and setting up my G1 phone is getting a Twitter client. Guided by the results of a Mashable poll, I went for Twidroid.

First impression: looks good. In fact, it looks good enough that I might be able to get through a Twitter-related post without taking a dig at Twitter. Having said that, I seem to have taken a little dig in the post title… and, in the unlikely event I post about Digg, I’ll probably be unable to resist a dig about Digg.

I feel as though I’m finally seeing Twitter in its natural habitat. I can check tweets when I don’t have the attention span for the feeds to which I subscribe. By the way, my mobile feed reader is Google Reader, via the Android’s browser.

Thanks to Kiwi Mikex for making the whale photo available through Creative Commons.

Android: Anniversary, Avalanche, Automattic, etc.

The first Android phone, the G1, launched a year, less two days, ago. I got one about two months ago. Those who like their gadgets more up to the minute may have one of the more recent Android phones, or be eying the avalanche of new phones due out soon. TechCrunch offers a complete list of… Android phones. (That’s offers, in the present tense, because David Diaz promised updates to the post.)

Michael Arrington (also at TechCrunch) recently expressed a concern arising from the impressive number of Android phones and vendors. It’s that Android’s open source licensing may result in the platform splintering, thus creating much more work for application developers. The contrast with the tightly-controlled iPhone platform is obvious and troubling.

Closer to home, or at least to this blog, I’m interested in what Androidy things WordPress.com is up to. Will Automattic develop an Android app? There’s already an iPhone app, of which Automattic seems particularly proud, and a Blackberry app. Each of the two links in the previous sentence goes to the appropriate, Automattic-owned, WordPress.com-hosted blog.

When I typed in the corresponding URI for an Android app (http://android.wordpress.org/), I got a “blog is protected” message. That at least shows that the blog exists…

There is some Android-related, albeit not Android-specific, news about WordPress.com today. If you are viewing this blog on an Android, or other mobile device, you’ll see a built-for-mobile theme. The change was announced earlier today, with a link to the new Mobile Themes support page. I was at first disappointed to see that the CSS upgrade does not extend to mobile themes…

Sticking with disappointment, but going back to Android itself: the lack of a simple, built-in screen capture capability is ridiculous. To give just one example of how it would be used, I should really illustrate the theme news with screen captures showing this blog as it appears on my G1. I tried the fix described by Christina at Download Squad, couldn’t get it to work right away, and decided that I wouldn’t have time to write this post if I spent any more time on attempted screen captures.

That said, I’m bullish on Android, and will continue to post about it, grumbling only when it’s really merited.

New Yahoo Mobile Homepage

I haven’t quite given up on Yahoo, so when I saw the ReadWriteWeb post about the new Yahoo mobile homepage, I decided to give said homepage a try. I got round to it this morning, and was at once underwhlemed and amazed. The home page itself was underwhelming.

The “content” was the amazing part. Under the Today tab, the lead story is “Nobel Stunner: Obama wins peace prize.” It claims that Barack Obama has won the Nobel peace prize. While I am certainly not anti-Obama, I don’t see that his months (not years, not yet even one year) as President make him a serious contender for the award.

I would include a screenshot, but I discover that Android does not include a screenshot application. I then see another of today’s top stories on Yahoo mobile today: “Android may leapfrog the iPhone.”

Yeah right, and Yahoo has just launched “the world’s most advanced mobile homepage” (those are the words of a Yahoo exec). Rather, it has used an April fool’s day in October ploy to garner publicity for the new homepage. I guess I fell for it.

Pixelpipe From Android to Flickr

Flaky BarnThis is the first of the photos taken with the new G1 phone to make it to my Flickr account. It’s good to be able to carry a phone and a camera (and other things) in one device, and to be able to upload directly from said device (I used Pixelpipe).

But it isn’t quite as good as it might be, for a couple of reasons. First, the screen on the G1 isn’t good enough for me to decide which photos are Flickr-worthy. It’s not a question of space on Flickr (which is unlimited with a Pro account), I just like to be somewhat selective about what’s in my photostream. Most photos I take are obviously unworthy, a few are obviously worthy, but in many cases it isn’t clear from the G1 screen.

Second, I was hoping that since the G1 has a GPS, it would automatically GPS-tag each photo. I wonder if there’s a way to make this happen?

Mobile, in More Ways Than One

I’m on the mobile web at last! Well, not at this precise moment, since I’m on a PC with a pleasingly large monitor. But the family now has a smartphone. That’s mainly at my wife’s prompting, since I am a fan of prepaid phone plans, rather than commitments to hand over hundreds of dollars to a carrier over a two-year period. But it’s good to have, in one compact device, a phone, a GPS, a camera, and web access.

We got a T-Mobile G1 (I feel obliged to provide a link to the G1 site, but you aren’t obliged to click on it unless you are ready for a multimedia assault on your senses). When I saw that TM is about to come out with a pay-as-you-go Android phone, I had a shouldda-waited moment: but then I reflected that smartphones will be in the shouldda-waited phase for a while, reminded myself that the G1 is useful on our current trip, and noted that it’s TMUK, rather than TMUS, that made the announcement.

Oh yes, the currrent trip. That’s another way in which I’m mobile. We’re visiting Philadelphia and some points south this week. And the points south are related to the move we’ll likely be making soon.

Anyway, this is the first post in a new category for this blog: Mobile.

Cell Me a Phone

We are about to enter the age of the Android. As Daniel Langendorf at last100 puts it: “The long-awaited Google phone will be announced next Tuesday… The phone, which features the first release of the Android operating system, will be available near the end of October.”

I’d like a Android phone. I also intend to ditch my current phone, and can do so with no early termination charge. That makes the timing seem good.

But I think that I’ll hold off until next year. That thought is reinforced by arguments such as: the first Android phone is primarily a novelty. I’ll add that the HTC Dream is novel in its ugliness.

But my main reason for holding off on Android is that I expect the next few months to see a lot of bug-fixing, new handsets (not all of which are ugly), and application development and porting. So some time next year, perhaps in the spring, might be the time to invest in Android.

So what should I do for a cellphone for the next 6 or so months? I obviously don’t want to lock in to a plan for 2 years. I’ve never wanted to do that, and I certainly shouldn’t do it right now.

T-Mobile prepaid plans seem to rate fairly well. Since T-M is the carrier for Android (right now, the only carrier), it’ll be good to check out the T-M network. Since a Nokia 1208 is currently available from T-M for less than the value of the prepaid card they throw in with it, there doesn’t seem to be much risk. I certainly don’t fear that T-M will be worse than TracFone, which I have endured for too long now.

By the way, I know that the Nokia 1208 is a very basic phone. That’s fine by me for the moment. In fact, I rather like the fact that it draws reviews like this.

I have this phone and i am very mad. man shop telling me phone good but when i get home there be no camera bluetooth and memory card. do not be buying. You should not buy this phone will only make phone calls texts and nothing else, what is the point in that? havin a phone that only make calls. Be warned Nokia!!!

Comments and advice welcome…