The first device marketed under Android was the HTC G1, which was released under the name HTC Dream in France in March 2009. But did you know that before that, Google had already experimented with its platform on its internal devices? If the answer is no, here’s your Google Sooner.
We are slowly approaching 15 years from android. Google will blow out the 15th candle of its operating system next November and see That a prototype of the Pixel 7 appeared on eBay recentlyHere’s an opportunity to dig for a moment into Google’s history in the field. And if we go far back in time, as suggested AndroidWe ended up with our first Android smartphone… and it’s not HTC Dream, who nevertheless inherited this nickname unofficially. This is a more secretive device developed in-house by Google: sooner.
The first Android smartphone
The Sooner is the first real device to run Google’s operating system. With the look of an old BlackBerry at the time, we were far from today’s touchscreens and even the HTC Dream that offered a keyboard and touchscreen. The version of Android that this phone had was still fundamentally different from its commercial version and then the first draft of the future Google platform. The platform that as we know it would end up dumping its competitors at the time outside of iOS: Symbian OS, BlackBerry OS, Windows Phone, and WebOS.
HTC CEO at the time, Peter Chou, admitted in an interview that this prototype was based on one of their Windows Phone devices at the time: the HTC Excalibur. So Android assets are somehow tied to Windows Mobile. As far as hardware is concerned, it sooner met the canons of time for hardware designed for “productivity”. We’re laughing today, but BlackBerry phones have dominated the “high-end” segment for a while and quickly take these codes and customize them into a design that breathes in the 2000s: a d-pad in the middle with an alphanumeric keypad and a key navigation system where we find our ancestral keys to answer or end/reject The Call.
The switches were backlit, giving it a cool look at the time. Its low-resolution screen wasn’t touch-sensitive of course, and every text entry had to be done from physical keyboard. A noticeable feature that most contemporary smartphones no longer have was their small size. It also provides a fairly nice grip thanks to the use of polymer.
An early iteration completely different from the commercial version
This is a version of the system that has never seen the light of day outside the company’s headquarters and a lot has changed between the two versions. But seeing it, we better understand Google’s initial intentions when creating the operating system. It was more of a proof of concept than a real working device, and apps developed for this smartphone were used to demonstrate the software’s performance. It was more about software than hardware here.
Instead of some usual apps like gmail where maps Which can be found in Android version 1.0, here we were entitled to some unusual apps like Quake game or another app called “Tweet” which was also present. It was not explicitly Twitter The app icon was a picture of a bird taken from someone’s house. Most of the items in the settings were just there to fill in the blank and weren’t really working.
When it comes to specifications, this smartphone won’t even shake continuous watch Presented today a technical sheet that now looks timeless: Texas Instruments OMAP850 200MHz single-core SoC (yes, like brand calculator), 2.43-inch LCD with 320 x 240 pixel definition, 64MB of RAM and Storage, 960mAh small battery, 1.3MP camera, Micro USB charging port.
Google Home Sooner // Source: Android Police
There was no Wi-Fi on board this phone and the only way to receive data here was with 2G which is pretty rare these days. The software obviously performed less well in this first version, even compared to version 1.0 released later. The app launcher was also radically different.
This was fixed and you had to use the directions panel to cycle through the featured apps which you can’t change. No customization except for the wallpaper, you had to do what was there. Now looking back we can see how far we’ve come since then, but for those who have known this amazing time when everything looked new, this smartphone will undoubtedly bring a bit of nostalgia.
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