Fun Fact: Android was originally made to be run on digital cameras

Android runs on, well, pretty much everything these days, but much of the world will remember that it got its start on smartphones. That began on the T-Mobile G1, as you all know.

But did you know that it wasn’t even originally made for phones? Andy Rubin spilled the beans in an interview at Mobile World Congress, noting that Android was actually meant to be run on digital cameras. The work was being done as early as 2004, he says.

Eventually, some digital cameras did run Android.

It’s an interesting revelation, but as his company correctly predicted, consumer-grade digital cameras were being phased out as the popularity of cameras on smartphones took hold. Of course, smartphone cameras couldn’t hold a candle to digital cameras back then, but they were still good enough for people who desired to eliminate yet another gadget from their tote bags.

Andy Rubin likely couldn’t have predicted that Android would explode into popularity just a few years later, but he did know that offering it as an open source platform free to use by anyone would disrupt the market in some fashion.

“We wanted as many cellphones to use Android as possible. So instead of charging $99, or $59, or $69, to Android, we gave it away for free, because we knew the industry was price sensitive,” he said.

Now, you can find it on TVs, bikes, inside cars, on your wrist, in your clothes, and everywhere in between — even those digital cameras it was originally destined for. Andy Rubin’s contemporary visions may not be quite as successful, but you can’t take this one away from him.

via PCWorld

Essential whiffs, managed to sell only 88,000 phones last year

Love it or hate it, the Essential Phone has been a hot topic of debate since its initial announcement and subsequently delayed launch. Unfortunately for Andy Rubin’s company, most users haven’t felt so great about the phone, and pretty much nobody bought the thing. According to IDC, the Essential Phone sold just 88,000 units in […]

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Essential sold 88,000 phones in 2017

In May of last year, Andy Rubin, the co-founder of Android, unveiled his newest smartphone venture: the Essential Phone.

While the idea was to get that device out on store shelves as soon as possible (with Sprint being the exclusive wireless carrier partner), that didn’t actually happen. Following three months of delays, the device finally went up for order in August and, since then, it’s seen a variety of discounts from its standard $699.99 price tag.

By September, word on the street was that Essential had only sold 5,000 units of the Essential Phone.

Now IDC Research Director Francisco Jeronimo is confirming some numbers on his end, tweeting out that Essential shipped 88,000 units in 2017. Shipments, according to IDC’s data, started in July of last year (even though orders didn’t go live for customers until the middle of August). Jeronimo added in his tweet that the numbers show that the “Essential smartphone is still a long way from becoming a successful venture”.

For a startup, 88,000 units might not be a bad number. And technically speaking, Essential is a startup. However, the Essential Phone was designed to go up against other high-end, flagship devices out in the market. Essential wants to go up against Samsung and Apple, and while the Essential Phone is a top-tier handset with an eye-catching design, it looks like Essential wasn’t able to really grab a lot of attention last year.

Still, the company is already working on a successor, and it will be interesting to see where the Essential Phone 2 is positioned and what the price tag looks like for this year’s model.

Did you or anyone you know buy an Essential Phone?

Essential already rolling out February security update to Essential Phone


The Essential Phone.

  • AOSP posted the February 2018 security patch yesterday.
  • Now, only one day later, Essential is rolling out a February update that includes that patch.
  • Essential Phones with Sprint SIM cards, however, will have to sideload the update.

Only one day after AOSP posted the February 2018 Android Security Bulletin, Essential is rolling out a software update to the Essential Phone that includes that security patch. That’s a quick turnaround!

However, this update only applies to Essential Phones not connected to Sprint. If your Essential Phone has a Sprint SIM, you will have to sideload the update, as the carriers have final say over when updates are pushed out. Sprint, unbelievably, hasn’t sent an update to Essential Phones since November last year.

If you do sideload the update, keep in mind that the original cable shipped with Essential Phones is a hazard, so use a different cable for sideloading.

Editor's Pick

The Essential Phone had an uphill battle ahead of it from the very beginning, debuting in a saturated smartphone market in a downturn. But with Andy Rubin at the helm, the grandfather of Android, it seemed there could be room in the industry for a new forward-thinking device.

However, Essential has been plagued with problems, including a severely delayed launch date, broken promises of durability, software glitches, and Andy Rubin himself accused of sexual harassment.

Still, the Essential Phone is a beautiful device, and you have to hand it to them for continuing to do right by their customers with fast updates like this one announced today.

Essential Phone updates will include tap-to-wake, EIS and Project Treble

The Essential Phone, a product from the “father of Android” Andy Rubin, is possibly the most polarizing device of 2017. Its launch was marred by multiple delays and lousy communication, and the camera and software performance were initially lacking. That said, you’ve got to give the company credit for pushing out a consistent stream of […]

Come comment on this article: Essential Phone updates will include tap-to-wake, EIS and Project Treble