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OpenMoko's Android phone an altered FreeRunner

updated 01:50 pm EST, Fri November 7, 2008

OpenMoko GTA02

OpenMoko's recently mentioned Android phone is effectively the company's Neo FreeRunner with a different operating system, the company has confirmed. Instead of a custom-built but basic Linux distribution, the GTA02 uses Google's Android to both give it a native touchscreen interface and access to all the features of the phone, including its 3D-capable ARM processor, assisted GPS, Bluetooth 2.0 and GPRS data.

It also includes 256MB of built-in flash and a microSD slot for storage; a 2.5mm headphone jack provides wired headset support. When the Android handset will be available is unknown. OpenMoko is said to have already launched the device but hasn't set a release date or price for the US. However, it plans to start selling phones directly to the public in 2009.

Despite the Android move, the cellphone maker has no immediate plans to join the Google-backed Open Handset Alliance that supports Android and is primarily adopting it since it follows the same free, open-source philosophy as the existing OpenMoko software but in a more publicized form.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999


    Is OpenMoko a bit lost?

    First there was a change of direction on the OS that culminated in a completely different UI, now called OM2008. Then Qtopia had a go at it and came up with the most usable release (openly available, that is...) so far; there is also the FAT OM (Fat & Dirty OpenMoko) wich is as inconsistent as OM2008 but full of disconected apps further increasing the disparity of elements in the UI. And now Android? hat's next, Windows CE?

    In any of these it takes a couple of minutes to boot the phone (why call it a phone then?), power mangement is erratic, changing the call volume is very unintuitive, desktop sync is inmature at best; not to mention a hardware platform that is at least a couple years behind current standards.

    I am all in for Open Source anything, but at this rate of development, the disparity of the different interface elements, and glacial response times, the Neo Freerunner unsuitable as a serious telephone period.

    Is this the best that Open Source has to offer? If so I will be very sad when I buy my next WM smartphone, I know it will have that distinctive smell (stench too hard?) of MS software with an outdated interface, or maybe a bolted on kludge like HTC's touch; nevertheless it will not be chained to Mr. Jobs Idea of a dictatorship where I cannot even replace my device's battery or install a new memory card...

    Ah, I could get a Treo, but then the hardware solution would realy be about a decade old, or worse yet, get an Android phone wich can also uninstall any misbehaving application (please read non-approved just like on the iPhone) and even then I would be dealing with a far from mature OS and forced to log-in to GMail just to use my phone...

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