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23 Nov

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Barcamp Hamburg: T-Mobile G1

November 23, 2008 | By |

  • 3:35 PM Blogging live from the presentation of T-Mobile G1
  • 3:35 PM Sadly, the presenter already promised: No phones will be given away today. I guess I’d take one ;)
  • 3:37 PM first slide: Mobile Internet has become realits, is T-Mobile’s growth engine.
  • 3:37 PM Large pink arrow pointing up. I guess that’s a good sign for T-Mobile?
  • 3:37 PM Mobile is top priority for T-Mobile. (Who would’ve thought?)
  • 3:39 PM iPhone users really produce a LOT of traffic
  • 3:39 PM How many legit iPhone users are there in Germany (i.e. through T-Mobile?) He wouldn’t say.
  • 3:41 PM There’s the large pink arrow again that shoots off the charts. Tired of it already; @scotty pointed out that the traffic per person in the shown slide isn’t actually that high. Audience asks detail questions about the stats.
  • 3:41 PM iPhone: Jump from 2G to 3G has doubled. More speed = more usage.
  • 3:42 PM T-Mobile G1 (Android phone) is much faster than 3G iPhone.
  • 3:42 PM The slide says: “strictly confidential”. Oh Rly?
  • 3:43 PM (confidential chart says no more than “T-Mobile G1 – developed for the Internet! With Google, just one click to the Google world! Android maret place, download the newest services!”. What’s confidential in a pure marketing slide?
  • 3:43 PM now the phone presentation starts
  • 3:43 PM a few screenshots (android market place)
  • 3:44 PM screenshot: shopping app
  • 3:44 PM why not really sth with value for users?
  • 3:44 PM oh, here’s user value: G1 scans product barcode and tells user where to buy cheaper online.
  • 3:45 PM DB behind the price comparison thing seems to be based on Amazon data. Not exactly sure how that works, though.
  • 3:45 PM There’s also a live stream from the session
  • 3:46 PM qik.com
  • 3:46 PM show us the phone!
  • 3:46 PM here he goes. plugging in a different projector.
  • 3:47 PM live show, projected on the large screen. fun setup.
  • 3:47 PM there’s a black and a white version.
  • 3:47 PM full querty keyboard. slide phone, the screen slides off to the side/top
  • 3:48 PM seems to have a serious click, at least it sounds like a full,deep click
  • 3:48 PM startscreen with instant messaging. fairly accurate touch scren.
  • 3:48 PM touchscreen: seems likek you have to press fairly long.
  • 3:49 PM scrolling didn’t work when he was trying to show. he has to stand at an odd angle, though, to be fair.
  • 3:49 PM you can crop pictures.
  • 3:50 PM no multi touch. sidenote: T-Mobile colleague points put that the software is actually multi-touch able, but it’S disabled due to pending patents.
  • 3:50 PM several desktops/spaces.
  • 3:50 PM one for google search, dedicated.
  • 3:50 PM “google search is everywhre on this phone”
  • 3:51 PM dedicated key for google search
  • 3:51 PM Google Search doesn’t only search the web, but also the address book
  • 3:51 PM Mixed reactions to Google default. But you can change your search engines, it’s just defaulted to Google.
  • 3:52 PM You can drag items on the desktop straight to the bin.
  • 3:52 PM Live browsing. (James Bond trailer.)
  • 3:52 PM Zooming by two buttons, zoom in, zoom out. Also a magnifier.
  • 3:53 PM That part isn’t quite as elegant as iPhone, but seems workable.
  • 3:53 PM Speed seems to be much better than iPhone.
  • 3:53 PM Browsing-wise, it looks like iPhone wins. But the full keyboard, hmm….
  • 3:54 PM Single sign-on: Once you’re logged into your Google account, you’re good to go.
  • 3:55 PM Google search button (dedicated hardware button): searches the web, apps, address books.
  • 3:55 PM T-Mobile colleague steps up, shares stories. This one about a crack in the show phone.
  • 3:56 PM US collegues wouldn’t want to use the white version for odd reasons.
  • 3:57 PM you can watch movies while the phone is closed; usually it switches back from widescreen
  • 3:57 PM closed phone = no widescreen
  • 3:57 PM tough audience. seems like folks want to find a problem with the phone, really.
  • 3:58 PM it’s gonna be fairly cheap. It’s the “iPhone for the masses”.
  • 3:58 PM Developed with HTC
  • 3:59 PM Pricing, without contract, near iPhone; with contract starting at 1€.
  • 4:00 PM This seems very odd: it’s significantly cheaper than iPhone for T-Mobile, but the customers seem to pay the same as iPhone?
  • 4:01 PM just had one to try it out. keys feel fine, the screen flip seems more flimsy than it looked.
  • 4:02 PM i didn’t intuitively find the BACK button, used the hardware button instead.
  • 4:02 PM trying to drag an image on the desktop i couldn’t, opened it instead.
  • 4:03 PM there’s not a lot of software support yet. also, the app store will be moderated in some way.
  • 4:04 PM The presenters have some odd points, but the audience isn’t more coherent to be fair. trying to find an enemy here? :)
  • 4:04 PM Who owns the killswitch for the apps?
  • 4:05 PM guys, no cheap shots from the back, alright?
  • 4:06 PM google talk, for example, will work fine; other voip services may be premium: the market place rules.
  • 4:06 PM so far it isn’t planned to be able to use G1 as a modem. there might be software support in the future.
  • 4:07 PM T-Mobile guy: So far T-Mobile is, just like other operators, pretty restrictive in the flatrates. If it’s used as modem, usage goes up. (laptop scenario instead of smartphone scenario.)
  • 4:08 PM so it’s not a flat flat rate, but it’s limited.
  • 4:09 PM T-Mobile: The risk is high that customers might use it in a laptop scenario.
  • 4:09 PM Annoying guy yells. Again.
  • 4:10 PM Question about instant messaging. Will it be allowed to write another alternative instant messaging product as an alternative to T-Mobile’s own app? So far, for example, there’s no Skype implementation.
  • 4:10 PM Seems to be pretty restrictive. Voip will probably blacklisted. (Huh?)
  • 4:11 PM Question: Can G1 firmware be compiled and installed to use the phone with your own Android flavor?
  • 4:11 PM Answer: You probably have to sign you won’t, but technically it’s possible.
  • 4:12 PM Google, one guy says, will offer developer phones. So there it’s definitively possible.
  • 4:12 PM Another round of presentation.
  • 4:12 PM (Audience member just noticed, and whispered, that the special characters on the keys follow roughly an American keyboard layout)
  • 4:13 PM Presentation: Barcode scanner. It scanned a Harry Potter barcode, shows web links for the book. Geodata isn’t enable on the showphone, so there’s no local shops that are being displayed.
  • 4:13 PM G1 will be out in Germany in Q1/2009.
  • 4:15 PM Question: Will T-Mobile kick out users that use their own, non-T-Mobile version of Android?
  • 4:15 PM Answer: Good question; probably not; however, “we haven’t thought about that scenario”. Interesting.
  • 4:16 PM Android marketplace slides. Quite… colorful.
  • 4:18 PM Seems pretty simple to write apps, according to T-Mobile folks.
  • 4:19 PM Download process: pretty straight forward. Download section, popularity ranking etc.; details page. If I get it right, it’s about 7 clicks/steps.
  • 4:19 PM Question: What kind of data is sent back to Google? Answer: “That’s a very interesting feature set” :)
  • 4:20 PM Google keeps track of your purchases.
  • 4:20 PM Also, first login requires GAIA login (global Google login)
  • 4:21 PM Address book is mirrored between phone and cloud.
  • 4:21 PM Audience is clearly divided: do we want our stuff in the cloud or our phone?
  • 4:22 PM G1 can handle other mail services. However, free push service would have to be paid by the other provided then.
  • 4:22 PM Question: Can i completely stop tracking of my usage?
  • 4:22 PM Answer: Not sure; probably you can’r completely switch everything off since you need the GAIA login.
  • 4:23 PM Question: Can users switch off personalized tracking, only anonymous?
  • 4:24 PM Answer: Good question, T-Mobile guys says he doesn’t have the transparency about this. However, if the market is as skeptical as the folks in this room, this sure is a scenario for the future.
  • 4:24 PM Question: “You marketing guys must see that in this room 90% are too sceptical about this and won’t buy the phone, what do you do about this?”
  • 4:25 PM Answer: We’ll have to see, the Google proposition is a good one, however there’s doubts of course, but we’ve seen the same doubts with web services in general. market research has shown that customers will use it and it’s not a problem for most people.
  • 4:28 PM T-Mobile: Our T-Com data loss issues are solved. Customers trust the brands T-Mobile and Google.
  • 4:28 PM The audience, again, is divided on this question.
  • 4:28 PM audience feedback
  • 4:30 PM one person: keys to small (i disagreed, i love the keys)
  • 4:30 PM the screen flip seemed flimsy to me, but T-Mobile says it’s been thoroughly tested. Sounds plausible, it’s hard to tell in just 2 sec.
  • 4:31 PM Back to the market place. App developers can get 70% of the revenue. Analytics feedback is integrated, so developers get good feedback here.
  • 4:32 PM App developers need to register so they can be tracked in case of abuse. (Makes sense. Really does.)
  • 4:32 PM Content so far is free since the payment system isn’t fully implemented yet
  • 4:33 PM Question: Will there be trial periods for apps and developer software?
  • 4:33 PM Answer: Yes, and yes. Users will be able to uninstall for 24h or so and get their money back.
  • 4:33 PM Question: Is there a developer program so you can get a phone earlier on to develop your phones?
  • 4:34 PM Answer: Probably not, so buy the phone in the UK or US.
  • 4:34 PM Answer 2: In the US Google did a competition for developers, in Germany there might be something smaller. Not sure yet.
  • 4:35 PM Q: Will T-Mobile will be the only carrier with ANdroid Phoen?
  • 4:36 PM A: Android is a free platform, so: no. But G1 phone will be first at T-Mobile.
  • 4:38 PM So iPhone won’t be played against G1, they’re for different user groups: iPhone for style, G1 as a work-hard phone.
  • 4:38 PM Battery is iPhone level, but easily changeable.
  • 4:38 PM i.e. replacable.
  • 4:38 PM Memory cards (micro SD) 8GB
  • 4:38 PM G1 comes with headset.
  • 4:39 PM Headset with USB headphone.
  • 4:39 PM Audience member: Will you sponsor our location-based art project in Cologne? Answer: Ask by email, I”ll forward it.
  • 4:40 PM T-Mobile guys ask for more feedback.
  • 4:41 PM feedback: camera seems slow; barcode scanner needs light (may have it, hard to tell). image quality with the camera?
  • 4:42 PM U.S. sales have started “mega great” ;) diesn’t have exact figures, but estimates several 100.000, a “burner”. “super good.”
  • 4:43 PM my personal impression: not quite as elegant as iPhone, but the openness of the platform should make up for it easily. We’ll have to see how the app marketplace will work out.
  • 4:44 PM T-Mobile presenter: Flexibility with G1/Android is great, expect great stuff.
  • 4:45 PM G1 can multitask (much better than iPhone)
  • 4:45 PM Headset might need adapter for headset
  • 4:46 PM prices for sale without contract won’t be shared here. (“we’d like you to buy it with a contract”, laughs.)
  • 4:47 PM T-Mobile says the prices haven’t been set yet; starting at 1€ is clear, the rest isn’t.
  • 4:47 PM Q: will T-Mobile get a revenue share in the app store? A: Can’t tell yet.
  • 4:48 PM T-Mobile wants to push for new app development, they’re part of the open source project. Developer contests will be part of this.
  • 4:50 PM Quick poll showed that not a lot of the iPhone owners have T-Mobile contracts.
  • 4:50 PM Loud guy in the back speaks up again, this time more calmly. Good :)
  • 4:52 PM Clarification about the privacy resarch: Folks out there DO care for about privacy; but as with web services, privacy is flexible, not a clear VETO. good value for users can lead to compromises.
  • 4:53 PM Android developer program (SDK) is far from iPhones, but seems to be catching up.
  • 4:54 PM T-Mobile folks keep getting attacked, audience helps out. Who would’ve thought? ;) They take it well, though. Seriously: kudos.
  • 4:55 PM My take on privacy issues with G1: It’s user choice. Be careful, inform yourself, make your choice.
  • 4:55 PM As long as you can set the privacy yourself, it’s all good.
  • 4:57 PM No flash on G1 yet (licensing problem). It’s all open source. (It’S like with Firefox, Flash needs to be installed separately. Should work.)
  • 4:57 PM Scotty points out: There’s also free alternatives for Flash, like Gnash. Good point.
  • 4:58 PM Sessions up, my laptop battery’s up, audience can give G1 another testride.
  • 4:58 PM Thanks for tuning in!

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