Android Strong Growth and HTC Tattoo, Android for the Masses

IDC’s recent prediction that Android apps would quintuple is well in line with a former AdMob statement expecting a huge holidays season for the Android platform (a prediction done much before the Google’s AdMob acquisition news was out).

HTC has positioned itself as the Android market’s leader, as results clearly from the Google’s decision to go with HTC to enter into the phone-sales game (see the early review of the Nexus One). But having had a closer look at the HTC Tattoo, one of the latest HTC Android handset, based on the most popular Android platform today (Android 1.6).

Despite today’s hype is all about the Nexus One, the HTC Tattoo deserves attention because is probably the first Android phone to hit the mass market. In fact it is really consumer-friendly in price and has also a pop look.


Its ultra-thin body weights 113 grams and it contains a resistive video screen 2.8 inch (240X320), a 3.2 megapixel camera (no autofocus), a GPS antenna and a microSD expansion slot. The resistive touch-screen was probably chosen for its cost, but thefinal result is workable.


The user interface is based on the HTC Sense, originally designed for the HTC Hero. Searching in contacts, email or messages is straightforward. The social network integration allows to link contact to the corresponding Facebook profile.

It supports a number of video and audio formats, but not DivX nor Xvid yet.

While the majority of Android apps are closed source, about 60% are free of charge and many of them works fine on the HTC Tattoo, in spite of its non-standard native resolution (240×320 vs the ‘classical’ 320×480).

Update: I should have mentioned that beyond google apps strong integration, HTC Tattoo offers a twitter client (peep) , a number of widget applications, the footprint GPS-enabled application and Flash support. Last but not least have a look at some open source applications both for developers or end-users.


The HTC Tattoo starts applications quite fastly, call quality is not exciting but it is not worse than the iPhone. The battery is enough for an average user, but if you spend hours a day on call you might need to recharge it before night.


It is the very first Android mobile phone for the masses, priced around 250 euros, at least here in Italy. If you look for a smartphone to navigate for a long time you need a bigger screen, though. Also if you want to take advantage