Google unveils new ‘Twitter phone’


Google has launched a new mobile phone that links Twitter and Facebook updates to a user's contact book. The HTC Hero, which runs on Google's Android platform, is aimed at rivalling recent smartphones such as Apple’s new iPhone 3Gs and Nokia's N97 phone. The Hero lets users to view their Twitter messages on their homescreen and see friends' online updates alongside their contact details.

The mobile also features a new user interface called HTC Sense, which allows users to customise the device to their needs. This will give them more access to the information they want at a glance through widgets, customized profiles, and consolidated views of all communication with a contact, whether it be e-mail, text or multimedia message.

The HTC Hero will be available in Europe starting in July and in Asia later this summer, while a "distinct" North American version will ship later in 2009. However, pricing was not announced at this time.

Other highlights of the HTC Hero include GPS, a digital compass, gravity sensor, a 5-megapixel camera, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a microSD expansion slot.

A dedicated search button on the phone provides a more contextual search, looking through not only your contact list and e-mail but also Twitter and other areas of the device.

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