The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the G1 Google Phone and Android – Part 1

9 Mins read

A one-stop Manual for the T-Cellular G1 Cellphone, strolling Google’s Android Cellular running device. Android is an open-source challenge, designed mainly to make it smooth for builders, both professional and novice, to create their very own programs that get admission to every part of the Cellphone’s hardware.


Intervening time Update (beginning fifth of February)

From Android Talk (3rd of February):

“To make certain a tremendous experience with the T-Cell G1 with Google, customers with these devices will acquire an Over the Air (OTA) Replace to their gadgets between February five and February 15. This OTA will consist of new device upgrades and the ability to save images or files from documents with the aid of long-urgent an object, take a look at for gadget updates, and use the Google Voice Seek feature. The OTA will even repair some of the recognized issues. New G1 activations will get hold of the OTA up to 3 days after the carrier has been activated.”

This Replace seems to be quite lots as indexed above, adding the ability to store snapshots and documents with a long press, fixing some minor bugs (none of which I have for my part experienced, but that have been bothering other human beings), and adding Voice Seek (which is seemingly quite cool). It comes to a bunch of clients in the US, but there is now not a lot extra in terms of data about it, in all likelihood, as it’s as an alternative fundamental. There appears to be some subject approximately Voice Search turning into available in the Uk – reputedly it has a problem with our accessory! This will put off or alter the UK release.

In case you don’t want to watch for the frenzy from T-Cellular, there’s a trick to assist you in pressuring the G1 to test for updates, courtesy of a poster at the Android Talk boards. You may want Any cut established from the Market. Now lengthy-press in a clean space on your screen, and pick Shortcut/Any cut/Hobby/Device data. While you faucet this shortcut, it will take you to a screen with several exciting system records. Scroll all of the manners to the lowest, and there is a button to test for updates. If you click it and it just says “CHECKIN_SUCCESS,” there’s no Replace but.

Coming Update – Cupcake


There’s a first-rate Update, or series of updates, coming within the first region of 2009 for the G1 and other Android phones. It comes from the improvement branch called Cupcake and could encompass several fixes and improvements and upload several functions on your Phone. It needs to download straight for your G1 over the air and Replace effortlessly. The respectable Google role continues to be that It is equipped while It’s prepared. However, it is targeted for the primary area of 2009. We understand that a very early model turned into launched to application developers across the sixteenth of January. T-Cellular has noticed the flood of emails and calls approximately the issue and is seeking to push this forward as rapidly as viable from their end.

a few anticipated functions for this Update are:

* Choice to store photos and attachments from textual content messages
* capability to duplicate and paste the textual content in the browser
* Seek-inside-text for the browser
* Stepped forward video help – video recording, higher playback, and thumbnails
* Stereo Bluetooth support
* Onscreen keyboard, so that you can get kind on the screen in preference to having to slip the keyboard open
* A discount in battery drain, mainly thru the extra green use of processing electricity.
* Latitude, a geo-conscious touch system

The smooth keyboard is one of Cupcake’s most eagerly-awaited capabilities – the potential to enter text through an onscreen keyboard without having to open the slide on the G1. This selection is now provided by way of a 3rd celebration application – dotphone.Org’s Softkeyboard, available directly in the Marketplace. I will supply extra information and some facts on how to use it (the functionality isn’t always immediately apparent) in my 2d article on programs. capabilities What works, what would not, and the way to restore it


Bluetooth headsets appear to work satisfactorily at the entire. However, the Tool would not help stereo over Bluetooth, so that any audio playback might be mono sound only. This may be fixed with the Cupcake Update. The stressed-out headset that includes the G1 offers good sound pleasant. However, the Smartphone’s problem is that it doesn’t have an ordinary headphone/earphone socket, so for stressed-out add-ons, you have to shop for those that are in particular designed to be compatible with the Smartphone.

But, within the US, the G1 now ships with an adaptor, which permits you to plug in an ordinary three.5mm headset. This isn’t yet the case inside the United kingdom, but T-Mobile has told me that they make well change this coverage or even ship out adaptors to current clients if they receive enough comments. In case you are a Uk G1 client, visit T-Cell’s touch Us web page, scroll down to “send us an electronic mail,” and fill inside the form to allow T-Cellular to realize their clients need this accessory! I was given a response to my own shape, telling me that T-Cellular doesn’t plan to make this modification in the united kingdom. That essential method they have not had sufficient grievance emails/calls to make this an issue – permits’ get on this, humans!

report Transfer

As yet, disappointingly, Android would not assist file Transfer among the Cellphone and your PC by way of Bluetooth. This needs to be delivered with the Cupcake Update in mid-January. Because This selection is sincerely missing from the running device’s underlying shape, It is nearly impossible for any person else to feature it (thru downloaded software as an example) till the Update. Report Switch over the USB cable works best, even though the approach has changed from the quick Start Guide that comes with the Smartphone, which has stressed some people (me protected). While you plug the USB cable in, a set-off will come upon the G1’s notifications region (the pulldown on the top of the display screen), saying “USB Linked – pick to duplicate files to/out of your laptop.” tap the message, and when the subsequent field pops up on the screen pick “Mount.” After that, your computer will see the G1’s SD card as an external power, much like a Flash drive. The entirety of the Cellphone has stored for your SD card is organized quite in reality, and your digital photographs are below the folder known as “dim.” You may replica your tune, pics, etc. Into any folder and the G1’s, the software ought to find them.

Synchronizing Along with your programs

The G1 is designed to synchronize seamlessly and continuously with Google’s very own answers for the calendar, contacts, e-mail, and so forth. Therefore, there will not be direct answers from Google to sync your G1 Together with your Windows, Linux, or Mac laptop over Bluetooth or a cable. There are some approaches to sync Google’s online services With your laptop, giving -degree answer. I am now not going to enter them here Because I experience they’re outdoor the scope of this text, but they’re well documented on Google’s own assist pages and the net.

The usage of Your G1 As a Modem (“Tethering”)

Hooking up your G1 to a PC or laptop PC so that the system can get right of entry to the Phone’s net connection: Again, this isn’t yet without delay supported by way of the working device. However, There’s a workaround to let you do it, as long as you do not thoughts tweaking some settings. “Tetherbot” utilizing Graham – a Manual to tethering your G1 as a USB modem. Be aware: The easiest way to point Firefox to the proxy is to install the Foxyproxy plugin.


It’s nevertheless experimental and tricky, but now It’s been proved viable, someone will absolutely confident to make a friendlier clean-to-use answer very soon. When There may be one, I’ll submit it here right away. June Fabrics are within the early ranges of growing a tethering solution for Android telephones, and an Android model of WMWifiRouter is also in improvement. Both will be industrial (but affordable) solutions to the problem, and (if they work like both organizations’ preceding releases) will correctly turn your G1 right into a wifi hotspot without having every other software set up, making them like-minded with any computing device running gadget.

Audio Playback and Recording

In the intervening time, Android can play audio within the following formats: AAC, AAC, AMR-NB, MIDI, MP3, Ogg, WMA, and WMV. Playback is pretty desirable and stable in my revel in. See my next post on programs for more records. Different formats can be delivered with destiny operating device updates, or new applications may increase that list. The G1 can file audio, and a few applications already use the capability.

Video Playback and Recording, and Flash

The Android most effectively helps video in MP4 layout and from YouTube (now not thru the browser but through devoted packages, which can be certainly grabbing MP4 versions of the YouTube movies). It needs to be in quite a restricted layout. You could use any video converter compatible with the iPod Contact or iPhone to make films for you to play on Android – Videora is excellent. Different video codecs will, in all likelihood, watch for a working machine Update, even though a person may also determine out a way to feature codecs with software. Flash assist is stated to becoming very rapidly, with Adobe promising that they are operating closely with the Android team. We would actually have Flash in January. When it comes out, I will allow you to realize!

Even though Android would not but formally aid video recording, third-party software now offers this option. That is precisely why an open-source Smartphone is a thrilling proposition – the potential for unofficial 1/3 celebration projects to fill the gaps within the available functions! Dotphone.Org’s Video Recorder/Video Camera, now to be had from the Market, gives a video recording to the SD card and playback with some performance. It’s nevertheless in beta and a bit flaky; however, it works quite properly for me – even though it will drain the battery in minutes.

The Battery

The massive failure of the G1 is battery life. Between the large display screen, more than one wi-fi connection, and hefty processor use from the continuously walking historical past packages, the established 1150mAh battery would not be final long. T-Cell’s current word is that they have got no plans to release an Improved battery for the G1 inside the Uk. Some G1 customers within the US had been shipped substitute batteries – an inner memo has apparently instructed their helpline advisors to respond to complaints – which increase battery existence by using 22% without increasing the dimensions of the Cellphone.

In case you are a Uk G1 proprietor, I advise going to T-Cell’s touch Us web page, scrolling down to “ship us an email,” and filling in the shape to let T-Cell realize their clients want this carrier. With enough customers pitching in, we can call for a higher Tool for our cash. Handling your wi-fi features can help. The energy Supervisor software from the Market lets you manipulate Bluetooth, Wifi, GPS, and cellular region in a single display screen and flip from 3G to 2G, all of which make more significant the battery’s charge.

The significant drain is the 3G – the G1 wastes several energy searching for a 3G connection when one isn’t to be had (with any luck, This will be Stepped forward with the Cupcake launch). I would recommend turning it off While you’re not honestly surfing/downloading – your electronic mail, etc. It Will still sync simply nice, and In case you get notified that, as an instance, a podcast is downloading in Podweasel, You could turn it on. This introduced almost 50% to my battery lifestyles right away. Many customers can also enhance matters by calibrating the G1’s Lithium-Ion battery. It turns out that Li-Ion batteries have inner electronics that hold music in their fee level but occasionally need calibrating, and the G1’s battery frequently would not deliver ready-calibrated.


To calibrate your battery, permit the G1 to run all the way down, past the warning messages approximately low battery fee, until it turns itself off. You could want to turn it on Once more than one instance – hold going till it won’t sell electricity up in any respect. Then recharge to complete and leave on charge for at least a couple more hours. You have to discover a huge improvement in battery life. This may need repeating every month or don’t do it too often as absolutely cycling the battery reasons more wear (mainly due to heat).

The Digicam

The G1 is equipped with a 3.2-megapixel autofocus Digital camera, although unluckily, it would not have a flash. The onboard Digicam software is presently pretty limited, even though it is predicted to improve with the Cupcake Update. A miles higher Digicam app is SnapPhoto, available from the Android Marketplace – see my subsequent article on extra statistics packages.

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