Android Launches with Multimedia Goodies

Obviously, the big news today is T-Mobile’s launch of the first Google Android phone - on HTC hardware. From a digital media stand point, what makes the G1 ($179, available next month) interesting is the bundled software and services. The requisite audio and videos (480×320 resolution) players are present, along with YouTube and a 3 megapixel camera. While I’m not certain what percent of smartphone owners will/do make music purchases direct from a handset, the alliance has brought on Amazon to power a resident MP3 store - consisting of 6 million DRM-free tracks. (Take that, Apple!?) Presumably, desktop software will also be provided to sync these tunes up to a computer. Although the G1 incorporates a microSD slot, supporting up to 8GB of storage.

The T-Mobile G1 comes pre-loaded with an Amazon MP3 application, giving customers a phone-optimized version of the Amazon MP3 store and the immediate gratification of buying and playing their favorite music.? Downloading music from Amazon MP3 using the T-Mobile G1 requires a Wi-Fi connection but searching, browsing, listening to samples and buying MP3s can be done wherever customers are connected to the T-Mobile network. Downloaded MP3s can be played anytime on the T-Mobile G1, PCs, Macs or any other MP3 music player.

No details yet on the capabilities of the video player (codecs) or possible support for Flash web video. And I have inquiries out to Sling and HAVA regarding their potential intentions… Stay tuned.


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