Basking Ridge, N.J. - Verizon Wireless is expanding its Android-phone selection with the launch of LG's first U.S.-market Android phone.
The Ally features a slide-from-the side QWERTY keyboard, tactile-feedback touchscreen, and latest Android OS (version 2.1). It will be available May 20 at $99.99 with two-year service contract and after $100 rebate, which takes the form of a debit card. It will also be available for online preorder at
beginning May 13.
In a separate announcement, Verizon said it has begun offering a free barcode-scanning app that enables more than 30 camera phones to read barcodes found in ads and on product packaging, enabling consumers to access product information and product reviews while shopping.
The LG phone features 3.2-inch tempered-glass touchscreen that can be used even with the QWERTY keyboard open. Other features include five customizable home screens, MP3/WMA music player, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n/, MicroSD slot supporting 16GB cards, access to multiple social-network sites and a 3.2-megapixel autofocus camera/camcorder with flash. It also has Bluetooth 2.1 with Bluetooth stereo, file transfer and basic printing capability.
Camera capabilities include 4x zoom, macro mode, panorama mode, image editing, and ability to customize brightness, white balance, shutter sounds, and color effects.
The phone's OS supports free Google Maps turn-by-turn navigation service, available in Android phones using Android versions 2.0 and 2.1.
The phone requires a minimum $39.99/month voice plan and a data plan for $29.99/month, providing unlimited data usage.
In its barcode-scanning announcement, Verizon said its new app, developed by
also lets users request coupons offers from bar codes appearing in magazines, launch audio tours from kiosks in major cities, and link business cards to contact information or social-networking profiles.
The ScanLife app reads all major two-dimensional code formats, including Datamatrix, EZcode and QR codes, and many Verizon Wireless devices with autofocus camera will able to read one-dimensional barcodes (UPC, ISBN, EAN) found on most product packaging.
For their products to be accessed by the phones, individuals and businesses create their own two-dimensional codes and register them with ScanLife. Businesses can also submit their existing one-dimensional codes. Thousands of national and local businesses have created accounts on the ScanLife platform, the company said.