Android Ecosystem — This Week in Android


2009-09-10_105613Welcome to our newest Monday feature — Android Ecosystem! The week kicks off today with the general availability of Motorola’s CLIQ. You should be able to walk into a T-Mobile retail store and leave with this Android handset in either Titanium or Winter White color. Pricing varies due to the new T-Mobile plans announced last month. For example: the CLIQ is either $199.99 upfront or spread out over $50 payments with the Even More plan. If you go with the Even More Plus deal, expect to pay $399 upfront or payments of $20 a month just for the hardware. I’m still wondering what all of that social BLUR networking will really do to the 1420 mAh battery.

MotoBLUR is a custom user interface and we’re starting to see more of those coming to Android. HTC of course has their Sense UI but the newest that I’ve seen comes from Sony Ericsson. Here’s a look at their Rachel UI that’s allegedly set for an Xperia handset running Android 2.0. Note that the demo video repeatedly indicates this a concept for internal use only.

Concept or not, it looks very slick and fluid. We may not have to wait long to find out more because Information Week is expecting an official Sony Ericsson announcement as early as tomorrow. Suspected specs are a 4-inch 852 x 480 touchscreen, 1 GHz Snapdragon processor, slide out keyboard and 8.1 megapixel camera. We don’t see too many SE phones in my neck of the woods, but I’d go looking for one if these specs pan out.

That reminds me: folks don’t have to look too far for the Samsung Moment. This new Android handset arrives at Sprint today for $179.99 and sports a 3.2″ AMOLED display. If the device really wowed me, I’d consider getting it to switch back and forth with my Palm Pre, but I’m passing. Even though the Moment has a quite capable 800 MHz processor, I’ve got Snapdragon on the brain. While I wait for newer and faster Android devices, I’ll have to play some more with Android 1.6 on my 1.33 GHz Core Solo device — I heard that I might be able to install apps to a USB drive, so that should keep my Android curiosity going for a while.




The Rachel UI looks exactly like — and I do mean *exactly* like — the original concept user experience the Windows Longhorn digital lifestyle UX team was developing circa 2002. The transparent shadowbox effect, the picture swoop-in assembly, the music folder experience with the artist image at top, even the blue wave background is the same. It closely matches like the first set of Glass/Aero renderings from early Vista releases. Honestly, it’s freaking uncanny if this isn’t a blatant copy. (And I’m not saying that it is.)

This design work makes me wonder if SonyEricsson lifted the entire Dutch design team for this effort after they got collectively canned in Redmond.

It’s certainly cool to see this on a handset, but these are all ideas I’m sure that Sony has seen before in many incarnations on desktop explorations.


As far as I remember there was no slide-out keyboard visible in the teaser SE has put up on their website. I am wondering why don’t we have more keyboard equipped android phones, I for one would love to have one.

Comments are closed.