In my guide Importing a Google Nexus phone to Australia (and other countries) I mentioned a requirement to use a proxy server otherwise Google won’t allow you to purchase. The standard URL www.google.com/phone gives a message “Sorry, the Nexus One phone is not available in your country or region”.
Using this link may allow you to purchase without a proxy www.google.com/phone/?hl=en&gl=US&s7e=
Optus have finally allowed it’s customers access to paid apps – Optus, Virgin Mobile and TPG blocking access to paid applications via Android Market.
The move comes as competition intensifies in the Android market in Australia with recent announcements by Telstra and Vodafone.
Optus unlocks access to paid Android apps
Ahead of next week’s expected launch of new Android handsets, Optus has finally enabled access to paid apps on the Android Marketplace.
“We’re very happy to let all our Android customers know that you now have access to all paid apps in the Android Marketplace.”
That simple message, which appeared shortly before noon today from Optus’ official Twitter account (@Optus), brought sighs of relief, yelps of delight and a few cries of “Too late, I already switched carriers” from Australia’s Android fans.
Update: Optus finally allows it’s customers to use paid apps on the Optus, Virgin Mobile and TPG networks (Friday 26th of March 2010)
Optus being the partner network with Google in Australia (at the moment) would seem to be the obvious choice to use with your new Android phone – at least that’s what you would think however Optus have decided to instead block all their customers and those of their resellers Virgin Mobile and TPG from accessing paid applications.
Google have offered them 30% of the app store sales sold via the Optus network but still Optus are holding out for more. I’m not sure if Google offer this to all carriers or if it’s just the carriers they partner with in each country (I suspect the latter) but this raises the whole issue of Network Neutrality which is based on the principle that if a user pays for internet access and another user pays for internet access they should be able to connect to each other at their level of access (speed for example). In this case you should be able to access the Android Market and purchase apps no matter what network you’re on (the 30% payment is neither here nor there as far as this argument).
Options if you are with Optus, Virgin Mobile or TPG to access paid applications include
- Rooting the phone and using market enabler – however this voids your warranty and you have to apply updates manually
- Put a Telstra or Vodafone SIM card in the phone – requires powering off the phone and pulling the battery each time
- If you’re under contract contact the TIO and raise a dispute with Optus – so far everyone who has done this has had their contract released early so they could move to another network – Telstra or Vodafone work fine
- If you’re out of contract move to another network – both Telstra and Vodafone work fine (Vodafone will be the new Google partner in Australia when they release the Nexus One here)
Staying with Optus and either not purchasing apps or using one of the workarounds is only going to condone this behavior. Optus have already setup their own App store (very limited content and poor ui) and natural progression will see them diverting traffic from other stores to their store.
There has been some media coverage of this but many customers are still unaware of Optus’s action.
Optus deliberately blocking Android paid apps – APC Magazine
Optus Are Blocking Paid Android Apps – GIZMODO
Paid apps in the android marketplace – Whirlpool
Information about the 30% payment to carriers
Google to Take a Hefty Cut on Android App Sales – Gadget Lab
If you’re looking at alternative sites to purchase or download Android Applications either because you’re on a network that blocks access to the Android Market or want to look at alternative options the following are some sites that have a decent range.
If you have a Google Apps for my domain (GAFYD) and a google account that you created which uses the same email address as that account you will run into the problems on any Android platform of being unable to purchase apps, link your Picasa account to your Android and so forth
My Nexus One is configured with [email protected] as my login to my GAFYD account and also my Google account that has AdSense, Checkout, Docs, Picasa Web Albums, iGoogle, Google Chrome Bookmark Sync, Sites, Talk and Webhistory which has the same email address configured. Attempts to purchase an app sees you put in your google checkout acount which is [email protected] and a different password to my GAFYD account of the same name. Andoid accepts this and asks you if you want to sync Contacts, Calendar and Gmail, if you don’t select them it won’t sync your data anymore with your GAFYD account as the Android has seen the primary email address and assumed it is the existing account.
So I created a second email address ([email protected]) that forwards to my main email ([email protected]) and added this as a second address to my Google account. Tried again the same problem existed .
The next step was to change my email address assigned to my Google account by selecting “Change email” under manage account to [email protected] after removing it as the secondary email address. After confirming the change I was able to purchase the app in one easy step!
After testing Picasa on the Nexus One was working I added a second email address to the Google account using my original [email protected] and after verifying that can be used to sign back in to Picasa on your computer. Picasa does display the [email protected] at the top however this means you can still sign back in to your Google account with your [email protected] email.
On the Android Device under Settings and Accounts & Sync Settings there are two accounts
- Sync Contracts
- Sync Calendar
- Sync Gmail
So far so good, everything seems to work with no problems!
Further information on the problem which appears like it won’t be addressed any time soon can be found on the following posts
Market should allow Google Apps users to purchase
Google Docs should be supported on Android
Google Apps For Your Domain Problems
Wavesecure is a service that allows you to backup your data, track your phone, track who’s using the phone, lock the phone and wipe all the data remotely. And to top it off the service works well and is currently free for a lifetime membership for Android users who sign up before March 31.
WaveSecure is an award-winning mobile security service that lets users protect their phones, data and privacy in the event of theft. With WaveSecure, you’ll never have to worry about losing phones again.
- Track down your phone’s location and who is using it
- Lock down your phone remotely, make it worthless to the thief
- Backup all your data, automatically and securely
- Wipe out your data remotely, protect your privacy
Available now from the marketplace.
Google has announced a Nexus One Software Update to be rolled out to all handsets over the next week, if you can’t wait follow the instructions below.
Starting today, Nexus One users will begin to receive an over-the-air software update on their phones. This update provides some great new features, and fixes a few problems that some users might have experienced, including:
Google Goggles: this mobile application will now be available directly on your device by launching it from your All Apps menu. Just use your Nexus One camera to start searching the web
Google Maps: the Maps application with be updated to a new version, Google Maps 3.4, which will include:
- Starred items synchronized with maps.google.com – access your favorite places from your phone or computer
- Search suggestions from your personal maps.google.com history – makes it easy to search for places you’ve searched for before
- Night mode in Google Maps Navigation – automatically changes your screen at night for easier viewing and driving
Pinch-to-zoom functionality: devices will now include a new pinch-to-zoom mechanism in the phone’s Browser, Gallery and Maps applications
3G connectivity: we will provide a general fix to help improve 3G connectivity on some Nexus One phones
In order to access the update, you will receive a message on your phone’s notification bar. Just download the update, wait for it to install, and you should be all set. This update will be rolled out gradually to phones – and most users might not receive the notification until the end of the week. We hope you enjoy these new features and look forward to your feedback.
Performing the Upgrade
- Make sure the battery is charged.
- Download the update from here.
- Mount the SD card on your PC.
- Rename the file to update.zip and copy to the root directory of the SD card as shown.
- Turn the phone off.
- Boot into the boot loader by turning the phone on by holding down the volume down button and pressing the power button for a few seconds before releasing both.
- Use the volume up and down buttons to select recovery and press the power button.
- The phone enters recovery mode.
- Hold the volume up button and press the power button and release both to enable the system recovery menu.
- Use the trackball to select “apply sdcard:update.zip” and press the trackball down to select.
- The update will start applying the status can be seen on the screen.
- When the update is compelte it will ask you to “reboot via menu” and using the trackball press down to select “reboot system now”.
- The radio will now be written before the reboots occur.
- The system will reboot twice, don’t touch anything just wait for it to completed.
- The normal startup screen will soon appear and the phone will soon be back to normal but with multitouch enabled and other enhancements.
Brodit have released three new car holders for the Nexus One.
Passive Holder for Nexus One
Keep your Nexus One in a passive holder while driving, and you will always have it within easy reach! The passive holder is equipped with a tilt swivel so you can easily adjust the angle of your device for easier viewing and avoiding light reflection. Attach onto the ProClip Mounting Platform.
Passive holder with tilt swivel
Item no. 511116
Active Holder for Nexus One
Keep your Nexus One in an active holder in your vehicle, and you will always have a freshly charged battery! Active holders are available with a cigarette lighter cable for connection to the vehicle’s 12 Volt socket, and for fixed installation for connection inside the dashboard. The active holder charges your battery when it is in the holder. The charging device connects to the PDA automatically when you put the PDA in the holder.
The holders are equipped with a tilt swivel, this means that you can adjust the angle of your device for easier viewing and avoiding light reflection. Attach onto the ProClip Mounting Platform.
Active holder with cig-plug (left)
Item no. 512116
Active holder for fixed installation, with Molex adapter system (right)
Item no. 513116
As expected it comes in a somewhat large box, 25.4cm x 20.32cm x 15.24cm (10″x8″x6″) and plenty of room inside for quite a few Nexus Ones.
Plenty of paper packing to stop the Nexus from moving around
Another layer of paper around the Nexus.
The freed Nexus One in comparison to it’s box.
Nexus One details.
Nexus One is wrapped in plastic.
Comes with a neat little case.
Accessories, charger, headphones, usb (micro) cable and cards on how to use it.
Nexus One battery Specifications – 3.7VDC, 1400mAh and 5.18Whr.
Micro SD and SIM card can be access by removing the battery.
Camera and flash located at the top of the phone on the rear.