Getting Ready for the T-Mobile G1

With just over a week before the T-Mobile G1 drops, there are a few things you might want to do to make your Android experience just a little bit sweeter. These things relate directly to your Google Account, which your G1 will connect with. When you first turn on your phone, you will be asked to enter your Google email address and password. The phone will then connect to your Gmail Account, your Google Contacts, your Google Calendar, and Google Talk.

(If you are one of the seven people without a Google Account, you can get one by signing up for Gmail. The same username and password is used for all of Google’s services.)

Update your Gmail Contacts

Your phone’s address book with sync with your Google Contacts. Your Google Contacts can be found within the Address Book of Gmail. Click “Contacts” on the left side, right above the chat window. Many of your frequent email contacts will already be listed, but you can add anyone you would like. Enter their phone numbers, addresses, and any other information you would like.

In Google Contacts, you can create groups, and assign a contact to one or more groups. You can configure your G1 to only sync some of your contact groups, so think a minute about which groups might be useful. Work, Family, and Friends groups may be in order, but remember that contacts can be in more then one group. My wife will be creating a Babysitting group that contains contacts already in Family, Friends, and others that might be willing to babysit the kids. Finding a babysitter just got a little easier: She pulls up the Babysitting group on the G1, and calls down the list until she finds a willing sitter.

Prep your Gmail Account

Gmail allows messages to be ‘Labeled’ for easier management. Labels function like tags, and filters can be set up to automatically apply labels to new mail. Your G1 can be configured to only sync mail with specific labels, allowing you to only get notified of the ‘urgent’ email and skipping all the rest. Consider the mail you get regularly, and consider setting up some filters to auto-label new email. Doing so can reduce the unwanted email alerts on your phone.

While there is a regular POP/IMAP mail client on the G1, your Gmail messages are ‘pushed’ to your phone, allowing you to be notified much more quickly. Gmail can be configured to pull mail from other accounts, or you can configure your other accounts to be forwareded to Gmail if you want faster access to your new messages.

Get familiar with Google Calendar

The G1 calendar will also sync with Google Calendar. This very capable web application has the awesome ability to have multiple calendars and sharing of calendars with others. My wife and I each have our own, and we also have a shared calendar for Family events. We both have edit rights, and can update it whenever we change our plans.

The G1 will not only work with your personal calendar, but shared calendars as well. You will be able to make the same changes as you do online, but from anywhere.

If you do not currently use Google Calendar, I recommend giving it a try. Enter repeating events for all the regular events in your life, and then add others as they come up. Entering extra information, such as the address of an appointment, will allow getting easy driving directions right from your phone’s calendar.

Get familiar with Google Talk

Google Talk is Google’s Jabber based chat program. It plays nice with Gmail, and it’s Jabberness allows you to be signed in from multiple computers at once. This nice feature will allow you to get your IMs on your desktop computer, then quickly switch to your phone and back without getting kicked off the system at your computer.

The G1 does contain chat clients for Yahoo, MSN, and other chat networks, but other networks will kick you off your computer if you log in from somewhere else. The G1’s address book will also identify which of your address book contacts is currently online, allowing a quick chat instead of a phone call.
While not as popular as other IM systems, Google Talk is fast, clean, cross platform, and nice to use. Give it a try, and you might consider a switch after your G1 arrives.

Keep an eye on

In these next few days, there will likely be quite a few announcements concerning the Android Marketplace, Android Apps, and more product reviews. Keep your eyes here, and we’ll keep you updated! If you were one of the lucky ones to get an order in during the first 4 days of preorder, keep an eye on your doorstep as well.

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Since 2007 we have offered news and opinion around Android, the mobile space, and connected homes. We aim to help users get more from their smartphones and hope to be a valuable resource for future purchases.


  1. I went into my gmail account to set up the address book a couple of days ago.

    Is there any way to tell gmail to STOP automatically adding contacts? I want the “frequently emailed” and “suggested contacts” things to just go away. Permanently. I hate them. I tried to add my brother to my address book manually and it freaked out because I was adding an email address that was already in the mile-long list of “suggested contacts.” I don’t want to go through a huge list to pick out the contact I’m adding, I just want to add it.

    It also appears that you can only list individuals, not businesses.

    Compared to Windows Mobile’s Outlook, Gmail’s address book is absolutely atrocious. I hope a friendly developer comes along and replaces it with something decent and quick, this will be the biggest pain for me in the phone switching process.

  2. Getting so close but it still feels so far away. Next couple of days are going to be pretty exciting.

    chefgon , in order for gmail to stop adding things on its own, go to contacts, and click on “my contacts”, which is the blue bar right below add person, add group. Then look to the right. Un-check the box that says “Automatically move suggested contacts into My Contacts if I frequently email them.” it’s checked by default I believe.

  3. Okay, cool. I did uncheck that while I was in there, but I wasn’t sure if it was going to be enough. My main issue was that it wouldn’t let me manually add a person because they were already in one of those lists in the form of a completely unlabeled email address. I guess they were probably in the “frequently emailed” list, which should now remain empty without that box checked.

    Now all that’s left is the ability to classify a contact as a business instead of a person. Hopefully that will be available in the Android software even though it doesn’t appear to be available on the web site version.

  4. I don’t know if this would be hardware (G1), software (Android), or both, PLEASE have a TETHERING application developed and in the store come October 22nd.

    C’mon developers I know you can easily do this and what’s even better, T-Mobile is backing it saying it IS allowed………..

  5. I am a little disappointed at the lack of developers so far…were are all the applications for the G1???? I havn’t seen anything useful yet. Besides a select few applications in the android market, many of them are trash…like the application, My Closet???? If these applications don’t get much better, I think I will be switching to and iphone or the BB Storm. Oh! and BTW, I hope phonebood 2.0 gets applied to the G1.

  6. The apps are coming… the apps are coming…

    Just hang on, they are being developed as we speak… I mean, already there are dozens of really incredible apps on the market… so many are free too!

    Check out the Developer Challenge here:

    There are some programs there that will blow your socks off (ok, not literally… unless maybe you had a bluetooth controlled fan… hmmm…).

    Anyway, keep in mind that the I-phone was out for quite a while before they even allowed developers to start developing… I think the Android OS has a great head start here!

    Also, chefgon, hang in there… I know it’s a little unconventional, and a pain at times… but so was Gmail until we all got used to it… now it ROCKS!!! Once you get it setup and start assigning contacts to groups, you’ll come around. Also, as far as the email addresses go, if you want a fresh slate, click on the “Suggested Contacts”, then the “Select All” link will check all contacts, Finally, Click the “Delete Contacts” button and you can wipe it all out… That way, as you start adding contacts you don’t get that ohhh sooo annoying error message. (Just wish when that error popped up, it would give you option to consolidate…).

    Ohhh Sooo Excited!!!

  7. I know about the Developer’s Challenge winners and some of them are pretty cool. I hope that someone will be able to fix the contacts section and add the phonebook 2.0 instead. The contacts section looks bland and boring. The music and video apps are really basic too. I’v been hearing too much information on how juddery the applications are when they are opened and the smoothness of the touch when flicking your finger on the webpages…Please fix those problems before sending us our phones!

  8. Please send us the phones, and THEN fix those problems.

    Even with all the problems I’ve heard about, and even the ones that exist that we haven’t, I am ready for this phone. Applications will come, firmware updates will fix OS problems, but I don’t want to wait for a ‘perfect’ phone to get started with what I expect to be a great phone on delivery.

  9. I keep seeing people talk about what is and isn’t out on the Android Market right now. How are people accessing the Android Market without the phone?

  10. Jeremy said:

    I am a little disappointed at the lack of developers so far…were are all the applications for the G1???? I havn’t seen anything useful yet. Besides a select few applications in the android market, many of them are trash…like the application, My Closet???? If these applications don’t get much better, I think I will be switching to and iphone or the BB Storm. Oh! and BTW, I hope phonebood 2.0 gets applied to the G1.

    I agree, and this is why I started my site. I spent day searching for them and decided to make a site with downloads. What pissed me off the most is that everyone purchased the domains “”, .net etc and dont offer ANY downloads on them. At least try to live up to your domain name ppl!

  11. i’m not too awful worried about esoteric software applications right now.

    maybe a [email protected] application would really seal the deal for me.

    how about chargers, swivel holsters, vehicle chargers and other hardware goodies to make my new phone soar at it’s primary task, a phone.

  12. Absolutely – paying for a function that most of the cheapest handsets have would be unacceptable. Primarily because it should be there in the first place, and secondly because within five minutes of purchasing an mp4 player, someone will release a multi format one…
    On the office apps front, Quickoffice have made noises, but that sounds like an expensive option (something like £50 for a complete package on S60) – would rather hear that OpenOffice is on the way.

  13. Good news for everyone waiting for the phone. I just checked the UPS website, I used my phone number as the reference, and it shows that tmobile billed UPS to ship my phone out. I just hopefully be getting by this weekend if UPS picks it up either today or tomorrow. It is listed as a 3 day express shipment. Does anyone know if UPS delivers on Saturdays or not? This is great news for everyone waiting for their phone to be delivered.

  14. UPS does not deliver on saturdays unless the shipper pays extra. And due to UPS billing system just because there is a tracking number doesnt mean the package is moving. My guess is it will sit until monday, at which time they’ll send it so it arrives on the 22nd.

    I have a problem…work is sending me to Flint MI next week and the local tmo store says they won’t be getting any (not in 3G area). This blows!!!! I was so excited for the 22nd..and now I can only hope they aren’t sold out by the time I get back to Phoenix on the 25th.

  15. Will you be able to use a Google Apps for your Domain account with the G1? Please tell me the answer is yes as I’ve spent the last few months getting all my contacts and calendars set up there. If not, is it coming???

  16. Maybe Jeremy should not get a g1
    Jeremy said:

    I am a little disappointed at the lack of developers so far…were are all the applications for the G1???? I havn’t seen anything useful yet. Besides a select few applications in the android market, many of them are trash…like the application, My Closet???? If these applications don’t get much better, I think I will be switching to and iphone or the BB Storm. Oh! and BTW, I hope phonebood 2.0 gets applied to the G1.

  17. Well don’t write off the G1 for these reasons, Jeremy. Apps will come… they won’t be as plentiful or as good looking as the iPhone, but this is only natural at this point.

    I’ve written off the G1 because I am sure I can get a better phone (hardware + software) within 4 months from now. Be it the G2 with a higher res screen, or a Tegra phone. Either way, I think the G1 is more of a developer’s phone…

    I’m confident about the apps and updates, though.

  18. reports that UK users will get the G! for FREE! WTF!!!! They want to rip off current US users who have a current contract and have been loyal for all these years, but then give it away to the UK folks? I’m sure things are a little different over there, but come on. I’m all over Android, but really pissed at T-Mobile.

  19. The contact groups on my gmail account (specifically family, friends, acquaintances) do not show up on G1. But others like “my contacts” which I did not create are there.

    How do I force “Friends”, “Family” etc on G1?

  20. Putting files on the flash drive forces the Pictures App to look through all of the folders and tag each one that could be a picture. Is there a file utility that can halt that?

  21. aware of the color of your blog….

    we all want something trendy, fancy and even bling bling, but many times, it will take away from your content and writing, and that’s what we are blogging for. you can pick beautiful colors, just keep it relatively simple, such as…

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