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FAQ: What the Android G1 phone will do for you

Forget trawling the specs; we put together the essentials in FAQ-form

By JR Raphael
September 23, 2008 12:00 PM ET

PC World - After months of hype, the first Android phone is finally here. T-Mobile unveiled its Google-powered G1 phone today, putting an end to all the speculation.

You don't have to dig through all the specs and in-depth announcements, though -- we've broken down all the biggest questions and answers for you right here. Read on to get the information you need.

When's the G1 going to be available?

The T-Mobile G1 will be in T-Mobile stores and "selected retailers" in the U.S. on Oct. 22. Existing T-Mobile customers will soon be able to pre-order the phone online. The G1 will launch in the U.K. in early November and throughout the rest of Europe in the first quarter of 2009.

How much will it cost?

The G1 is actually priced a little lower than what had previously been rumored. Pricing will start at $179 with a two-year T-Mobile contract.

How much are the data plans?

T-Mobile is offering two data plan options: a $25/month plan, which includes unlimited Internet usage and limited messaging, or a $35/month plan that upgrades to unlimited messaging. You have to sign up for one of T-Mobile's voice plans as well.

What's the deal with 3G coverage?

T-Mobile says its third-generation 3G network will be live in 22 markets by the time the G1 launches. That will include all major metropolitan areas and encompass 80% of the projected consumer base. The G1 phone will be available in areas not covered by 3G, since the phone also supports T-Mobile's EDGE network.

Does the phone work with Wi-Fi?

Yes, the T-Mobile G1 will work over Wi-Fi connections.

What kind of navigation system does the G1 have?

The T-Mobile G1 features an iPhone-like touch screen that lets you use gestures to navigate through menus and do a "long-press" to open options or drag-and-drop files. It also has a pull-out QWERTY keyboard and a navigation trackball.

What music options are built into the phone?

The G1 comes with integrated Amazon MP3 functionality, letting you surf through the Amazon.com's music store and do one-click ordering. Its default music player has options to search for related material on services such as Google or YouTube while a song is playing. Of course, a third-party app could ultimately replace that player if you so choose.

What instant-messaging options are offered?

This first Android phone has Google Talk built into the platform. It also supports AOL Instant Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, and Windows Live Messenger.

Will the G1 function as a tethered modem?

The team indicates that the G1 will not have tethering functionality as of now.

What about compatibility with Microsoft applications?

As of now, the Android platform offers support for Word and Excel documents, but not integration with Exchange for enterprise e-mail. The Google team, however, indicated that third-party developers will likely create applications for Exchange support in the near future.

Reprinted with permission from PCWorld.com. Story copyright 2012 PC World Communications. All rights reserved.
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