Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Androids Among Us

The buzz is we’ll have Androids in time for Christmas. The FCC has approved the HTC Dream, the first handset based on Google's Android mobile platform. According to an AFP report, T-Mobile will launch the device, probably in time for Christmas sales. the Washington Post reports that the HTC Dream will feature a touchscreen, Wi-Fi, a BlackBerry-style 'jogball,' a Safari web browser, and Google applications such as Gmail, Maps, and YouTube.

Meanwhile the Android Software Development Kit (SDK) is still in beta test, though Google recently released version 0.9, which it claims is “now pretty stable and we don’t expect major changes.” This is a pretty unproven platform on which companies are expected to make multi-million dollar bets. Still, the lure of avoiding paying licensing fees to Microsoft or Symbian for their mobile OS’s has induced a lot of big players to sign on with Google’s Open Handset Alliance.

Android may take a while to get its legs under it, but it’s certainly a well-funded startup and one that’s already creating huge waves in the handset market even before it’s finalized. This will be an interesting ride.

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