At an Android developer's conference called Google I/O, the company handed thousands of Google Ion phones the the attending developers for free. Google Ion, of course, HTC Magic, running Android and in a fancy new outfit.
The Google Ion is obviously hardware and design-wise identical to the Vodafone-exclusive HTC Magic smartphone. However it's got the Google I/O conference logo on the back, it comes in shiny black/blue and the retail package has a SIM card with 1-month T-Mobile service, which initially led us to believe that it's c-branded by T-Mobile USA (but guess what, it's not).
The difference from the T-Mobile G1 comes with the bundled OS update (Cupcake) and the lack of a hardware keyboard.
There also seems to be more good news for Android lovers on the horizon. According to Andy Rubin, senior director for Mobile Platforms for Google and the spearhead of the Android operating system, there will be at least 18 Android-running phones on the market by the end of the year. That number might also go as high as twenty, coming from eight or nine different manufacturers.
And finally, Google announced their next Android Developer challenge. Participating developers will be able to submit applications in a total of 10 categories starting in August.
The Android users will vote the applications and rate them in order to get the 200 best in the final round.
The prizes range up to 100 000 US dollars for each category plus up to 150 000 US dollars for the three overall winners.
You can learn more about the second Android Developer Challenge here.
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