T-Mobile's second Google Android phone - called the myTouch - won't have a physical keyboard, the company has revealed.
Officially called the T-Mobile myTouch 3G with Google, the phone is expected to be introduced in the US this week. The lack of a physical keyboard may be one of the biggest differences between the myTouch and the T-Mobile G1. When the G1 came out, its keyboard was seen as a differentiator to the popular iPhone, which has only an on-screen keyboard that some people find difficult to use.
While T-Mobile plans to continue selling Android phones with keyboards, the company thinks the myTouch will appeal to a different set of users from those the G1 attracts. "We're responding to feedback from people who say they think Android is great but they aren't messaging fanatics. They want a phone-first device," said Josh Lonn, director of product development for T-Mobile.
The myTouch has a 3.2in QVGA display, and the virtual keyboard can display in portrait or landscape mode. It has a 3.2-megapixel camera.
Like the G1, the phone will feature tight integration with Google applications. Users will sign in to Google and agree to the search giant's terms of service when they first turn on the phone, in a process similar to the one required by the original G1 phone.
The myTouch will feature Android 1.5 software, which has already been pushed out to existing G1 users.
T-Mobile plans to more heavily promote the personalisation options of the software. "We learned that Android offers hidden powers that were not discovered by even the most heavy users [of the G1]," said Lonn.
The operator will soon begin training store workers to help people customise their phones. They will be able to show off a few different examples of 'personas' for the myTouch. An example would be a phone that is very music-focused, featuring a user's favorite band as the backdrop on the phone's screen and placing a guitar tuner widget on the start page of the phone.
MyTouch phones will also exclusively feature an application called Sherpa that offers users information about nearby banks, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, hotels and other similar locations. Once a user accesses the application and chooses items to view, the application learns about the user's preferences.