What is Android: Here is definition straight from Wikipedia – “Android is a software platform and operating system for mobile devices, based on the Linux operating system, developed by Google and later the Open Handset Alliance. It allows developers to write managed code in a Java-like language that utilizes Google-developed Java libraries, but does not support programs developed in native code.
The unveiling of the Android platform on 5 November 2007 was announced with the founding of the Open Handset Alliance, a consortium of 34 hardware, software, and telecom companies devoted to advancing open standards for mobile devices. Google has pledged to make most of the Android platform available under the Apache free-software and open-source license.
First commercially launched phone based on Android: T Mobile is the first company to commercially launch a phone based on Android on September 23. In an announcement on their website T Mobile have announced “The T-Mobile G1 with Google is the first commercially available phone to run on the ‘Android’ operating system, which empowers developers with tools to create and offer consumers applications that add value to their lives. This is one of many initiatives T-Mobile is working on to lead the industry in bringing real innovation to wireless customers.” Expected to go on sale in October 22nd it will be priced at 199$ in USA – which is similar to iPhone.
How will I benefit from Android?: Some of the key benefits which have been highlighted are:
- It will be very easy to use – Single Sign in to your Google Account, Easy to set (may not be required to touch settings), and login never expires are few usability features.
- Push based: The email, calendar and contacts are fully synchronized as they are push based - New events are pushed in real-time to your phone and any changes you make on-the-go are immediately available on the web.
- Preloaded with Google applications like – Search, Maps, Gmail with Contacts, Calendar, Google Talk, and YouTube.
- Android will also allow users to run multiple applications at once and more easily share contacts and data among them.
- It is unconfirmed but some reports say that users may be able to cut and paste text in e-mails.
- Add on applications will be most likely free or at low cost (open source advantage). Google is planning to create an Android Market where – application, content providers can display their stuff and sell. The initial handsets will be enabled with beta version of this Android market.
- It is tipped to have covered all featured of iPhone
- Developers and Mobile providers are free to join and deliver applications – which means lower cost and more applications for mobile users
This (Android) is going to bring down costs and sweep the market. Soon the Android Market will have applications and content running in to hundreds and early adopters will start rating them – and the best will be highlighted soon. As a Google Apps user this is going to be a good news for you whether you already use Google Apps on a mobile or not. If you are already using – your existing providers will be forced to offer you better service at lower cost due to competition. If you are not a mobile user yet – well go ahead and try with the new offering. Or may be you can wait till early next year when there will be many more launches on Android platform.
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