Thursday, January 28, 2010

Purchase the Nexus One in Australia
Nexus one Australia

Update: as of the 26th June, The N1 is now available (although a limited number) through Vodafone Australia on a $79 per month contract for 2 years. IMHO, its still a better deal buying directly through Google (while the store is still open).

The Google "Nexus One" phone manufactured by HTC, which made its debut earlier this month, is currently, the most advanced smart phone on the market.

Running Android 2.1 the latest version of Google's mobile OS, with a 1 GHz processor, and a high resolution capacitive touch screen, means this phone met (and exceeded) all high end requirements a smart phone should.

During Google's Nexus One announcement, it was revealed that the phone was available right now! And could be purchased by visiting provided you lived in the USA, UK, Singapore, or Hong Kong.

What about the rest of the world? We got... "Sorry, the Nexus One phone is not available in your country" Arrrgh.
Google say it will be available to other Countries (including Australia) in the coming months.

For those of you, like me, who don't want to wait several months for the latest and greatest piece of tech to arrive in Australia, (Which by then, will be considered old news to the rest of the world). I have put together a step by step guide to buying a Google Nexus One in Australia (or any other country they are not available).

This is the method I used to successfully purchase mine.

Ok, please bear in mind, that you need to have a Google checkout account in order to purchase the phone, A few people have noted that during this process they have had their checkout accounts temporally suspended until they provided ID to Google (Drivers license, utility bill in their name and address etc) to verify they are who they say they are. (In an attempt to curb online CC fraud).

Your going to need an account with Google to use checkout, so if you haven't already, I would recommend getting yourself a free Gmail account by visiting and clicking on "Create an account"
Once you have that account set up, you can now use that same account to sign up for more free Google products.

Now open a Google checkout account by visiting "" and enter all required information. Note: Make sure the billing address you specify is the same address your bank statements are sent to, it "may" also help if your default shipping address is the same as your billing address.
Also add your Australian phone number. Some people have randomly been phoned by Google to verify that they did place the order. So make sure it is one you can be reached on easily.

Once set up, a good way to check that everything is working properly is to make a donation to your favorite charity. (I donated to the Haiti relief, once that had gone through, the following day I ordered the Nexus One)

Now you need to get yourself an American mailing address that you can get mail delivered to.
I used ComGateway which is free to join.
Comgateway give you an address and phone number in Portland Oregon which also means you do not have to pay any extra taxes required by other states.
They assign you a unique suite number to distinguish your address from someone else’s.

Once you have that address, you need to add it as a "second" shipping address to your checkout account.
When I added my Comgateway address to my Google checkout account, I logged into checkout, clicked "Edit shipping addresses", and then added the comgateway address to the form on the right hand side.
I used my name (The same name I use for all my Google accounts) and the American address and phone number Comgateway supplied.
I unchecked "Make this my default shipping address" and saved it.
So I now have two shipping addresses in checkout. My default Australian address and the American address provided by Comgateway.

So now you are set to order your phone.
At the moment, you can access the URL, but you will get the message "Sorry, the Nexus One phone is not available in your country".
Google display this message to anyone visiting with an IP address that is not located in the one of the countries the N1 is available.

(Currently you can avoid the need for a proxy by using this link Not sure how long this loophole will remain open).

If the above loophole fails, you need to visit that page using an American IP address.
To do that, download and install Hotspot Shield from (it's free).
Once that is installed, turn it on and test it by visiting It should indicate you are located somewhere in the USA.
If it does, it means you can now go ahead and order your phone.

Note: Although HotSpotShield is a widely used and trusted program, I still don't like using any proxy to log into any sites, some bad untrustworthy proxies can be used to harvest user name and passwords. I would recommend changing your Google password before using HotSpotShield, then once you have finished using it, uninstall HotSpotShield from your computer and change your password back to what it was previously or something else... Just to be safe.

Navigate to
Where there once was a "sorry" message, you should now see a purchase a Nexus One phone button.
Go through the steps of purchasing your Nexus One phone.
Specify your Australian address for Billing.

When you get to the "shipping address" part of the process, your default (Australian) shipping address will automatically be entered into the form, prompting another sorry message about not being able to ship it to your Country.

"We do not ship T-Mobile service plans outside the United States. If you wish to continue with your service plan purchase, specify a shipping address within the United States. If you wish to purchase a Nexus One phone without a service plan, you may specify a shipping address in Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, the United Kingdom, or the United States."

Just click "continue with purchase" and/or "Edit shipping details" (Can't remember exactly what the link says, but it is something like that). Then choose your American address from the list.
Continue through the order process.

All going well, within 24 hours after placing your order, your phone will be on its way to your address in Portland Oregon.
Once it has arrived and been processed at Comgateway, you will receive an email notification that you have mail (this can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days... but usually within 24 hours).
Log in to your Comgateway account and get them to forward your mail to your Australian address.
Express shipping from Portland Oregon to Australia costs around $50 US dollars, some people say that priority shipping (which is around $30 US dollars) is just as quick.

I ordered my Nexus One on Monday the 18th of January, and received it on Monday the 25th of January. So all up the whole process from order to delivery took one week and cost around $650 AU dollars.
From the above instructions, it may sound like a major hassle to do, but it is really quite straight forward.

Considering lesser HTC unlocked phones (Like the HTC Dream) sell for up to AU$1200 dollars here. IMHO AU$650 (Depending on the currency exchange rate) for an unlocked Nexus One phone delivered to your door, is a great price.

Update: As of this morning (3rd Feb Australian time), less than a month after the phone went on sale, the first "over the air" (OTA) update for the Nexus One has been announced, The update should be available to all Nexus One owners by the end of this week.
The update is said to fix 3G reception issues as well as enable multi touch to the default browser, maps and the gallery.
Because I am impatient I "Manually" updated mine this morning and can confirm that multi touch - pinch to zoom now works on the Google Nexus One phone.
The touchscreen keyboard also shows signs of multi touch with this update and overall the keyboard seems faster and easier to use.
Looking forward to more OTA updates from Google

I will post my thoughts and opinions on the phone as well as a leather Nexus One case I got from Nutshell (AKA Tuff-as-nuts) soon.

Enjoy it. I am.

Update: 17 March 2010. Google have just announced that a version of the phone that is compatible with AT&T's network in the US and the Rogers network in Canada is now available for purchase through the Google store.
These networks use the same frequency as Telstra's NextG network. So if you have been waiting for a 'NextG' compatible version of the Nexus One, then your wait is over.
For NextG compatibility, when going through the ordering process, choose the following option...
"Compatible with 3G on AT&T (U.s) and Rogers Wireless (Canada)"
'Supports three 3G/UMTS bands (850/1900/2100 MHz) and four GSM radio frequencies (850/900/1800/1900 MHz)'

Google have also said they will now ship the Nexus One directly to Canada.
So the Canadians do not have to use any of the trickery we still have to. (for now at least).

Now the N1 is being offered to more countries and supports all of the major frequencies, I would expect Google to start opening the store and shipping directly to other countries such as Australia very shortly. Until they do, the trickery will continue.

PS: Just thought I would add,
Buying directly from Google is the only way to purchase an N1 at the moment. Either on contract with T-Mobile (which is not viable here in Australia), or unlocked.
They have set a very competitive and reasonable price for an unlocked phone of this quality.
Please beware of anyone offering a Nexus One phone at a cheaper price than Google can (Like the spam/scam comment I just deleted).

Unfortunately whenever there is a demand for something of value, scammers come out of the woodwork.
As the old saying goes, if it sound to good to be true....

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Haiti - Google maps updated show devastation

Over the past few days, Google has been updating the satellite imagery of Haiti, which "I hope will be valuable to aid workers", say's Sergey Brin in his blog.
In my opinion, this will give relief workers on the ground a better idea of their surroundings, and to easily spot areas that potentially have a high concentration of destruction and therefore injuries.

View Larger Map

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Twitter fails again

Yes, Twitter is down... Again.
Maybe the title should have been "The fail whale strikes again".

The reliance many sites have placed on the twitter API and its growth in popularity, sure has highlighted the issues it has with reliability.

Twitter is over capacity.

Too many tweets! Please wait a moment and try again.

Maybe time for a rethink.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Google review business operations in China

Google revealed today, that in mid-December 2009, they detected a highly sophisticated and targeted attack on their corporate infrastructure.
Originating from China, the attack resulted in the theft of intellectual property.

Although Google has not said who lead the attacks, they have stated that investigations show the primary goal of the attackers was to access the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists.

Google have been operating in China since 1999 with varying degrease of success. In the fall of 2002, Google services were completely cut off from Chinese citizens for two weeks, when they were restored, Google discovered many queries, especially politically sensitive queries, were not making it through to their servers. As a result of this forced-censorship, Google's services in China became slow and unreliable.

In 2005, Google took a serious look at their Chinese operations and re-assessed their approach.
Counter to Google’s basic values and commitments as a company and as a requirement of doing (reliable) business in China, Google have been self-censoring results on the domain since 2006.

Since these attacks, Google have decided to review commitments with the Chinese government over the filtering of and today have stated...

We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all. We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down, and potentially our offices in China.

Although China is a huge market that Google risk losing by taking this stand, the reality is that for China to succeed internationally, the Chinese Government must be able to adapt and work with international companies.

This is a huge call by Google with potentially massive consequences. One that should be supported by anyone who believes in the essential human right of free speech.

I applaud their decision and hope other companies have enough balls to follow suit.