Those hankering for as bit of acoustic action from their Android phone can rejoice as music download service Mewbox launches today.
The first European music download service for phones running Google’s operating system, Mewbox has 4 million tracks available to buy from over 23,000 labels, all free from DRM.
Whilst not quite catering for as broad a range of tastes as Apple’s iTunes, Mewbox has a decent mix of the biggest names and most popular albums present and correct.
With 7Digital — the company enabling MP3 purchases from streaming site Spotify — doing the heavy lifting, Mewbox is for all Android phones from the spanking new HTC Hero to the original T-Mobile G1.
Available as a download from the Mewbox site (no sign of the app on the Android Market just yet), the ‘vanilla’ version of the software can then be installed to a handset via USB.
An all-singing version of the platform is available for the Archos 5 internet tablet — the original home of Mewbox — with both versions offering a clean and clear browsing interface by track, album and artist, as well as the ability for the technology to scale to any Google-driven device.
As a celebration of the Mewbox service launch, there’s a bundle of free tunes available from the site as a taster of what to expect. Get it now, and enjoy the music!
That was quick! Everyone’s favourite Teflon-coated, Android-toting handset, the HTC Herohas already swooped in to save the day on the Orange UK site, coyly showing off its exclusive graphite finish and strong jawline.
Marked only as ‘coming soon’ and enticing with the promise of availability for free on pay monthly tariffs, the HTC Hero seems set to be a prime iPhone alternative when it launches next month.
If grey doesn’t suit you, feel free to defect to T-Mobile where the device will be masquerading as the T-Mobile G1 Touch, complete with the same 5 megapixel camera, 3.2″ touchscreen and equal parts silky and intuitive ‘HTC Sense’ user interface. Except it’ll be white!
Seems like the G1 has managed to steal a march on the iPhone in an important category – turn-by-turn satellite navigation.
Co-Pilot Live app has recently rolled out on the Android Marketplace, offering GPS guidance, lane indicators, speed camera locations and voice directions on your mobile for the princely sum of £25.99 for UK/Ireland maps and £59.99 for all of Europe.
Supported by the holy trinity of Android phones, the T-Mobile G1, HTC Magic and HTC Hero/T-Mobile G1 Touch will even allow you to divulge and share your location to your mates, Google Latitude-style.
With no monthly charge or extra costs outside of your 3G usage for services like live traffic, fuel prices or weather updates, Co-Pilot Live seems like a great, cost-effective way to get you going in the right direction!
In an expected and welcome move, HTC has stepped up the Android ante by releasing their latest handset to an expectant crowd in London this morning.
The newHTC Hero takes visual cues from the HTC Touch Diamond 2, sporting a more demure ‘chin’ than the T-Mobile G1 and a new interface based on Google’s ‘Android’ operating system called ‘HTC Sense’.
Focused on people rather than features, the Sense interface allows you to view loads of your most used widgets directly on the home screen placing messages, contacts, Facebook updates and even Twitter feeds within easy reach.
With a 3.2″ touchscreen, a 5 megapixel autofocus camera, GPS with a digital compass and a 3.5mm headset jack, the HTC Hero has the technical specs to turn heads. With 512MB of memory, the SD card slot lets you boost your memory to up to 16GB, whilst a trackball supplements navigating the touch screen, and compensates for the lack of a physical keyboard.
Get a glance on what it looks like, and what it can do, on this video.
The ease of switching between menus, clean and simple user interface and arresting looks on the HTC Hero show that some competitors know how that software is equally as important as hardware in challenging the iPhone.
With a July release on T-Mobile and Orange (the network’s first Android handset), the important thing for the HTC Hero to do is persuade those not yet swayed by the iPhone’s luxurious charms that impressive form and function is now more affordable…if you are prepared to wait a little while.
Google’s I/O developer conference held this week has already divulged many details about the future of phones with the Android operating system, and undoubtedly the most exciting news for music fans was Spotify for mobiles!
The fabulous, free music streaming service enables access to millions of tracks from some of the biggest artists, and the mobile version (demonstrated below on the T-Mobile G1) also allows music to be synchronised for offline playback.
Finally, you will be able to take Spotify to places that your Wi-Fi/3G connection cannot reach!
Custom playlists and searches are also possible, as well as allowing the handset to add tracks instantly using the desktop version of Spotify.
The potential for such a robust service as Spotify on mobiles was huge, at it is so exciting to see a demo version achieving so much of it already! A release date has not been announced, neither has price.
Perhaps this will be what gets people subscribing to the ad-free Premium version…I’ll miss you ‘Adam from Spotify’!
Yes. Around thirteen seconds after firing up streaming music client Spotify, we thought: “How awesome would this be if it was on our mobile phone?”
Good news, they were thinking that too, as numerous job openings have popped up on their jobs page for software engineers capable with Symbian S60 and Android. Apparently, they have been looking for an iPhone developer for a while now, and these operating systems have been added to the mix.
In addition, they are looking for a UK Sales Account Manager and a Summer intern software engineer. Not a bad way to spend the warmer months…
So if you have ‘a top-notch education from an impressive institution’ or ‘that ever so difficult to define “star quality,” hit them up!
The first phone that lets people listen to any music they want on the move or have lag-free access to their entire music library could have a brilliant selling point on their hands!
Vodafone UK has cemented the release date for the HTC Magic, proclaiming an April release loud and proud from their shop page.
Revealed at this year’s Mobile World Congress, the HTC Magic is the second high-profile handset to run Google’s Android operating system.
Armed with a 3.2-inch capacitive touchscreen and connectivity including 3G, HSDPA, wi-fi and Bluetooth, the Magic also has a 3.2-megapixel camera with autofocus, and a virtual QWERTY keypad to replace the T-Mobile G1‘s flippy physical one.
It’s…the icons have shadows. Just…wow. These guys may have have made the T-Mobile G1 look nice with all that parallax side-scrolling, but Swedish design gurus The Astonishing Tribe were holding the real 3D advances in design close to their chest.
This. Is. Amazing.
The first phone to come to market with this? It will sell a bajillion. TAT must have quite a few e-mails in their inbox from interested manufacturers this morning…
Last night saw some of the biggest movers and shakers in the mobile phone industry rub shoulders with celebs like hobbit-faced crooner Jamie Cullum and fashion ‘pioneer’ will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas at the National Palace in Barcelona last night, as the GSMA Awards celebrated the biggest and best innovations over the last twelve months.
Everything from best mobile game to best use of mobile for social and economic development was recognised at the event (Nuance Communications won the latter for their Airtel-T9 India Consumer Vernacular Messaging Campaigns, but you knew that already), so here are the big winners!
Best Mobile Game:
Gameloft’s Real Football 2009 was the runaway winner, official FIFPRO licensing, 3D graphics and console-quality gameplay making it a hit with the judges. How much of the praise heaped upon it was for the iPhone version, I wonder?
An honourable mention went to Digital Chocolate for AvaPeeps: FlirtNation. Looks to me that this game is teaching kids to dress up their avatars and ‘hang out’ in strange parts to proposition other real world underage “peeps”. Social networking of the dirtiest kind…
See the demo video for yourself below.
Yes, you did see “Use your sex appeal” as one of the options for your avatar.
Best Mobile Music or Video Service:
BBC’s iPlayer was the clear stand out in this category, beating out Nokia’s own Comes With Music and Sony Ericsson’s remixed PlayNow Arena. The iPlayer’s is available across all operating systems from the Nokia N96 to the Sony Ericsson Xperia X1, and the retention of the desktop version’s functionality has changed how, and where, people watch TV.
Best Mobile Technology Breakthrough:
Ooh, controversial! 2008′s mobile phone Marmite was certainly the Blackberry Storm 9500‘s ‘SurePress’ screen. The SurePress screen clicks like a physical button allowing the user to receive a tactile response from a virtual interface, one thing that has proved difficult thus far for touchscreen manufacturers.
Many felt it offered a unique experience that was the best of both worlds, whilst others found it imprecise and forced.
Nevertheless, the judges loved it!
Best Mobile Handset or Device:
The big one! The shortlist consisted of some interesting phones, all unique in terms of both looks and features. Among them was the ‘my first smartphone’ LG KS360, the ground-breaking T-Mobile G1, the touchy feely BlackBerry Storm 9500 and our Nokia E71 review showed just how good that one was!
Even so, the humble INQ¹ Facebook phonebeat them all! The seamless integration of the popular social networking site, web calls with Skype and killer looks all in one nice device was too good to beat! Congrats to 3 for making a handset good enough to make people change networks to get one!
As the black tie event went on into the early morning, we at Omio were tirelessly toiling to bring you the most interesting stories of MWC 2009. Not least because it cost an arm and a leg to attend, but because we love you loyal readers that much!
What do you guys think of the results? Were the judges crazy to put the INQ¹ ahead of the Storm? Are you amazed a great iPhone game wasn’t at the top of the charts? Let us know in the forums!
The final hindrance to the success to the Android Market is set to fall soon, as paid apps are said to be unleashed upon it this week, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Developers will be able not only be able to charge for their apps but can pocket all the profits from their Android masterpieces, as opposed to the 30% cut that Apple takes for pimping wares on iTunes.
The downside of this is would some of those apps made their millions without the beautiful shop window and easy purchasing process that the App Store provides? How to pay for apps through Android Marketplace is unclear at present, as is how to get your money back if an untested program breaks your T-Mobile G1 and steals all your data.