updated 09:30 am EDT, Fri August 15, 2008
HTC Dream Confirmed
The first known phone based on Google's Android mobile operating system has been confirmed today through two separate sources. A report in the New York Times reinforces previous rumors that the HTC Dream will be the first to run the Linux-based platform and that it will likely launch with T-Mobile in October but no later than the end of the calendar year. The launch almost entirely depends on FCC approval of the device, according to the claims, but will ideally be made public ahead of time in September.
The report also substantiates a leaked video from Tmonews (shown below) and claims the device spotted in the clip is identical to what HTC will release. Mentioned in some circles as the G1, the Dream is the same as the mystery prototype Google itself has used to demo Android in a BBC interview and will have both an iPhone-like touchscreen interface for Android as well as hardware controls. A slide-out QWERTY keyboard is available, though the device mimics the Sidekick in that the display moves rather than the keyboard. Past reports have also suggested 3G data access, which with T-Mobile would require 1,700MHz UMTS support.
An early review from Silicon Alley Insider from a separate source, however, says the device also matches the video but falls short of the iPhone it will compete against. The Dream is "big and bulky" compared to the Apple device and has an interface that purportedly isn't as intuitive as the iPhone's.
Nonetheless, the device is described as near-final and is popular at Google, which will also be releasing an updated Android developer kit to help with final development and appease software teams, many of whom have expressed anger at Google's approach of favoring 50 development contest competitors at the expense of its larger development base. The small group has often received privileged access to updated Android software, while most others have been forced to use an early version released in March.