TVB Tech Alert: Sprint Gets a Google Phone

OVERLAND PARK, KAN. Sprint is preparing to roll out it the first Android phone in the United States, published reports indicate. The carrier will offer the Android-powered Hero from HTC starting Oct. 11, for $180 after a $100 rebate.

Android is the open-source operating platform developed by Google for use in mobile devices, with broadcast white spaces in mind. The operating system also sports many of the features Google offers online, including Voice, Maps, Search, Calendar, YouTube and Gmail, as well as some iPhone-like apps such as Sky Map for stargazers.

The HTC Hero also features its own user interface, “Sense,” which allows a user to scroll between seven different home screens that may be customized for work, home, travel, etc. The Hero can also be silenced by simply turning it over.

Android phones have been deployed overseas. T-Mobile sold 1 million HTC G1 Androidphones within six months of putting them on sale, PC World said.

Sprint will be the first to the U.S. market with the device, while Verizon is expected to offer an Android phone by the end of the year. The Wall Street Journal reports that Motorola and Samsung will unveil Android phones sometime this month.
-- Deborah D. McAdams

August 10, 2009: “Live Station Enables Mobile Live TV”
Livestation, the co-developer with Microsoft of the Silverlight media player, has teamed up with a couple of tech partners to bring live TV to mobile devices. Livestation tapped London’s weComm to take live TV to mobile handsets, including Blackberry devices and those running on Google’s Android platform.

May 28, 2009: “More Android Features Unveiled”
Google is providing more glimpses at some of the new functions sported by the latest version of Android, the operating system it designed for use in unlicensed devices. At least 20 Android-powered mobile phones are expected to hit the market by the end of the year, reports indicate.

April 15, 2009: “Google Previews Android 1.5”
Google has released a preview of Android 1.5, the latest version of its Linux-based mobile platform. Android is the operating system designed to power broadband handhelds, including the controversial unlicensed devices approved by the FCC to operate in fallow broadcast TV spectrum.

March 27, 2008: “Google Wins by Losing
Having “failed” to secure spectrum with a $4.6 billion bid in the recent 700 MHz auction, Google is instead seeking to get it for free. The $140 billion search engine behemoth rocked the broadcast industry this week when the news emerged that it was getting into the white space fray.