Google Android: iPhone’s Only Real Competition (For Now)

Categories: Google Android iPhone Java

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T-Mobile debuted the first Google Android phone, the HTC G1, at a press conference today, due out October 13 October 22. It will be available at the iPhone-competitive price of $179 with 2-year contract. On-demand coverage of the event is available here: http://announcement.t-mobileg1.com/

IGN has a brief overview on Android, its history, and its benefits. http://gear.ign.com/articles/899/899748p1.html

One of the most interesting parts of the Android platform is the Android Marketplace (which, unfortunately, is not run by Jawas). Designed to be a more open version of the iPhone App Store, Android applications are written in Java, and the Marketplace is open to any developer interested (Apple limits developer access through a fee/approval process, and screens application submissions, sometimes to the chagrin of said would-be developers).

Gizmodo has a list of Android’s most exciting apps: http://gizmodo.com/5053280/androids-10-most-exciting-apps
and there is a list of Android Developer Challenge winners here: http://code.google.com/android/adc_gallery/

While openness is appealing, the number of possible handset configurations has the potential of being a huge headache. Developing for the idiosyncrasies, screen orientations, hardware inputs, and environment specifications of dozens or perhaps hundreds of devices versus developing for a single standardized platform (in the iPhone) could mean the difference between releasing in a few months and in more than a year. It remains to be seen if a system that does not pre-qualify applications will be a good thing, or if it will just end up as a flea market of crapware.

And here’s a collection of Google Android desktop wallpapers so you can sport your Android love.