Android This Week: Donut Arrives; Developers Alliance Formed

gigaom_icon_google-android1There was a lot of activity in the Android (s goog) world this week. We got our hands on the latest Android phone, the HTC Hero, and it’s looking pretty darn nice. The Hero is coming soon to the Sprint (s s) network in the United States, and while it’s been available outside the U.S. for a while, the hardware has been changed for this version, most noticeably the removal of the “chin” found on the G1. A video of the Hero that demonstrates the HTC Sense interface as it runs on top of Android is available at jkOnTheRun. Read More about Android This Week: Donut Arrives; Developers Alliance Formed

Will Google’s Android Power the New Fourth Screen?

We’ve already heard of efforts to port Android to netbooks — but today it appears another, more important milestone has been reached. Moto Labs says it has succeeded in porting Android to E Ink display screens. E Ink is an electronic paper display technology with a paper-like, high-contrast appearance, ultra-low-power consumption and a thin, light form; Moto Labs has developed a way to marry Android to the E Ink development kit. And while the fruits of this labor won’t show up in a commercial product for some 12-18 months, it’s still big, big news.

What Sony Ericsson Must Do To Stage a Comeback

Sony Ericsson recently reported huge losses for the second straight quarter, for which it blamed the struggling economy. The results included a $240 million quarter loss and a 21 percent drop in phone shipments, garnering a vote of low confidence among analysts. And as Dick Komiyama, president of the joint venture between Sony (s sne) and Ericsson (s ericy), noted, the global handset market is contracting — in other words, the bleeding won’t stop anytime soon.

But Sony Ericsson faces more problems than most in that its phones don’t do anything particularly well. If it wants to avoid further losses, it needs to focus, notably on improved OS design, open systems, and flexible media integration. Read More about What Sony Ericsson Must Do To Stage a Comeback