What are Your Thoughts on Google Android?

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A few months ago, I talked about how you can download the Google Android emulator. I played around with it a little bit, and it was interesting. I’m not sure if it’s something I’d want to run on a mobile device. David wrote in to tell me why he likes Android.

  • To use a baseball analogy, when Apple comes out with a product, they try to hit homeruns, but Google’s Android strategy is swinging for base hits. One good thing about the strategy is that over the next 2 years Google has many similar small announcements, it will become a greater threat to the iPhone.
  • One feature that may help differentiate the new G1 Handset from the iPhone out of the gates is its physical QWERTY keyboard. According to Garner, iPhone adoption has been “slightly hampered” by the reluctance of some consumers to adapt to a touchscreen keyboard.
  • Another key element that may work to Google’s favor exists in its ‘open’ approach to the Android operating system, which means developers can modify the operating system and develop third-party applications on the platform for free. The open nature of the software also means that Android can be quickly modified to run on many devices from the broad majority of mobile carriers.
  • In contrast, Apple has chosen a closed iPhone platform where developers cannot modify or enhance the operating system, and third-party developers must pay a nominal fee to belong to a developer group and submit applications to Apple for approval on the App Store. The iPhone OS will also only run on Apple-branded devices. However, the ecosystem which apple has created with apps and the apps store is nothing compared to what google may offer.
  • The key differences are that the Amazon store offers 100 percent unprotected DRM-free tracks, whereas the iTunes store only offers unprotected tracks from one of the major record labels, EMI. There’s still a catch, however, in that iPhone users can easily plug a pair of headphones into there handset to listen to purchased music, whereas G1 users will be unable to do the same without a USB adapter, given the HTC-developed handset lacks a traditional headphone jack.

As I said, my experience has been limited. I haven’t had my hands on an Android device. Yes, it’s open-source. But there’s nothing really revolutionary about it. I may have had issues with my iPhone… but I’m happy with it.

What are your thoughts on Google Android?


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