This is the first in a series of blogs that we will share with you about the increasingly popular buzzword in the mobile industry called “Android”. Given the questions that we answer daily, through our various customer interactions, this seemed like a great way to share with everyone at the same time. You have probably heard that Android is quickly becoming a player in the wireless industry but don’t quite understand what all the hype is about, so here is a quick overview.
How come all the buzz about Android – seemingly – all of a sudden?
First off a little history – In 2005 Google made a move that many thought was the search giant’s big move into the wireless market by purchasing a company called Android. While the initial purchase was largely seen as a move to combat Apple with its then pending iPhone, it was much bigger than that. It wasn’t just about one phone or one company and in November of 2007, the Open Handset Alliance (OHA) – a consortium of 47 hardware, software, and telecom companies unveiled Android – a mobile platform based on the open source Linux operating system.
What’s the big deal about Android anyway?
With the rapid growth in wireless and smart phones, one major hurdle for customers and companies alike is trying to keep cost down. Because Android is open source, the platform has many advantages for consumers and developers providing more freedom to tweak the software to meet individual needs, greater collaboration and in a way infinite possibilities from a growing open community. Some examples of the creativity with Android are Motorola’s blur interface, which uses a widget called Happenings and displays one’s social networking activity on the home screen and Samsung’s Smart Life. Smart Life comes with a social networking aggregator called “Social Hub” which manages all your social media from your texts to Facebook messages in one streamlined user interface. The Samsung Galaxy S i9000 is set to be Samsung’s first Android device this summer in Canada.
One major advantage of open source is that Android isn’t tied to any single device like Apple’s iPhone, and that strategy might very well be Android’s competitive advantage. Android also offers seamless integration with Google Apps like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Maps and Google Talk. With more and more companies using Google’s productivity tools (for email, shared docs and calendars) the intrinsic link between Android phones and ones Google account is seamless. You can draft an e-mail on your phone and it is instantly viewable in your drafts folder on the web, update an appointment on the web Calendar, and it’s reflected on your phone seconds later and see your co-workers shared calendar on your phone and so much more.
So you are probably thinking Android seems like the perfect extension to your already Google centered life and truth be told, this mobile OS is no joke. Android is already a serious player in the mobile industry and embattled in a three way race for mobile supremacy with BlackBerry and iPhone. With over 50K apps in the apps store and so many high profile devices running the Android OS in Canada (ex. Nexus One, HTC Legend, HTC Desire, Motorola Milestone and Samsung Galaxy) if you are looking for an Android cell phone make sure you get it on your terms.
In the next blog of this series we will take a closer look at the Android OS and its bell and whistles.