Tuesday, August 19, 2008
The Android Wars: The Battle for Smartphone Users Begins!
Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Talk" @ 02:00 AM
As I am sure all of you have heard the release of Google's open source operating system is right around the corner. As Jon posted yesterday, T-Mobile is having some weird special event pre-sale to kick off the release of the first Android device, the HTC Dream, and T-Mobile subscribers can expect to pick up this new handset for a mere $150USD. This is an amazing price for a touch screen smartphone.
As some of you have probably heard me say before, as of the last Android SDK release, the operating system felt more like a collection of stuff rather than a useable mobile platform. With the recent release of the Android SDK we can see a lot of that "hobbyist" feel that usually accompanies most things open source start to peel away from the device as Google shapes Android up to a viable iPhone killer.
Now I know what you guys are thinking, "Geez, here we go again! Once more we're talking about something other than Windows Mobile!" You know what? I totally feel your pain and you're right. Unfortunately Microsoft is still being incredibly tight lipped about the successor to our current generation of mobile operating system and everyone is getting antsy; especially me. I don’t know if you guys have realized this, but I’m pretty impatient. It isn’t just me either, lately I could just feel the anxiety in the air as we all sit around hoping that someone up there in the land of Redmond is taking notes and listening. And while it is fun to sit around with a head full of wishful thinking while we keep our fingers crossed and wait for better days, there are two very important things wrong with having crossed fingers all the time.
- Crossed fingers make it harder to type… a lot harder.
- Crossed fingers do not make very entertaining news stories.
So since we are hearing nothing from the Microsoft camp at the moment about what to expect of the future of our favorite operating system, I decided it would be a great idea to at least take a look at where the future of mobile devices are headed. Some could argue that the future of mobile devices came around with the release of the iPhone, and you would be totally right, but the truth is Apple has always been a closed ecosystem and there is too much control wrapped up in the hardware and software that as a consumer you will never really have "choice". You either get what Apple says you want or you get nothing and lets face it, as long as Apple has a stranglehold on the iPhone, it can never go head to head with any mobile operating system. Google offers us something completely different while giving us an open source operating system that will encourage its users to tinker and innovate and this operating system can - and will - be installed on a slew of handsets similar to what we see now in the Windows Mobile world. If there was any operating system that posed a serious threat to Windows Mobile or even Symbian, it is Android.
Will Google's operating system be good enough to eat into the consumer base of Microsoft's Windows Mobile or even Apple's iPhone platform? That remains to be seen. So while we all sit around and wait for something exciting to happen, and for the love of all things mobile and good I hope that it happens soon, I threw together this little video of me dinking around with the Android emulator. As always let us know what you think about this new fandangled operating system. Enjoy!