Android Phones is live and (almost) open for business

October 7, 2010 | by Andrew Kameka



The new is live and available, even though there aren’t yet any phones on the market capable of taking full advantage of it. But of course, that didn’t stop me from trying to register on the site and go to town on it.

The HD ROM I’m running couldn’t get the full sync working, but I did manage to get into the website by entering some phony information and being nosey. Logging into the website brings a tranquil experience with quick access to certain content and recommendation for apps to download. Clicking on the “Mark” button will push the link to your phone to download.

The Dashboard will give quick access to important phone functions: locate, lock, or erase it are the three most important of the set. Users will also be able to forward calls/messages and ring their phone to help locate it if misplaced nearby.


Footprints look like it could become something special. A world map appears on-screen and plots Footprints marked by the device owner, friends, and Google POI. Users can narrow down by category or location, allowing them to revisit important locations on trips or plot new ones. The well-traveled, adventurous type who use Footprints will find this to be a great way to explore on the desktop.


The People tab is a little tougher to explore since I’m not yet able to establish a link between the web and my phone. This section appears to be another place to store and manage contacts in the cloud. It also integrates with the HTC Community, so you can establish relationships with other members. Not that you needed yet another social network, but you’ve got one.


Messages are viewable online (SMS or MMS). They can also be sent directly from the website. Users can send to up to 250 recipients and attach images in MMS messages. I managed to fire off a few messages that all went off with ease – until I contacted those people who said they never received anything. I guess you have to establish a link between phone and account before it works. I look forward to testing this out on my phone once if and when it gets official support.


HTC Hub is the main event. This is the place where users can browse apps and plugins, scenes, wallpapers, sound sets, skins, and other audio files. We briefly touched on the Hub in our previous walkthrough of the leaked Desire HD ROM and the same applies here: this is where users go to get additional content. The files are easy to browse online and can be voted up or dissed in the comments.

So when can we expect to see fully operational? As soon as the Desire HD and Desire Z begin to trickle into the hands of European customers. I spoke with some HTC reps at the Android BBQ and asked if the EVO or Incredible would see an update that made the new Sense ROM and website features officially supported. I got the “That’s a possibility but we have nothing to announce” response, which isn’t necessarily a good or bad sign.

I’ve already gushed about the new version of Sense and would love nothing more to continue using it in conjunction with the website. I anticipate some cool things; I just don’t want to have to wait too long for it to happen.

Thanks, JJ