Android has arrived

Android Makes its Debut in T‑Mobile G1

The device won’t have an impres­sive design and it won’t be as easy to use as an iPhone, but it will cer­tain­ly be able to run a lot of inter­est­ing appli­ca­tions.

Android’s first iter­a­tion, released last week, is cer­tain­ly less of a water­shed than Apple’s iPhone debut, but then again Google has been very open about their project. While Apple has built a rep­u­ta­tion on care­ful­ly con­struct­ed excite­ment about the unveil­ing of their new projects, Google was very upfront about Android and the Open Hand­set Alliance—to the point of attract­ing doubts of the pro­jec­t’s fruition.

You can read the reviews of T‑Mobile’s/HTC’s G1 else­where; after a week there are plen­ty of good ones (and I haven’t held one myself). But here are a few of my ini­tial impres­sions of Google’s Android project itself.

I saw the Android coming five years ago... and approved.
I saw the Android com­ing five years ago… and approved.

I men­tioned that Android’s default syn­chro­niza­tion with Google appli­ca­tions is pret­ty slick, and def­i­nite­ly a way to get out of the gate quick­ly. How­ev­er, I’m not sure if that’s only for the G1 or if Android will include that in every iter­a­tion. (I only real­ly won­der because it’s not avail­able in the emu­la­tor yet.)

It will be inter­est­ing to see how the Appli­ca­tions fare; Apple has proved that there is a busi­ness here, and they have a jump start on their App Store. While Apple has attract­ed a lot of devel­op­ers, they have their own prob­lems keep­ing their trust at the moment, and cer­tain­ly for myself I’m more moti­vat­ed to write for a mul­ti-process, open-source oper­at­ing sys­tem where my appli­ca­tion will def­i­nite­ly be avail­able for users. I’m encour­aged that there have already been some inter­est­ing appli­ca­tions rolling out.

Speak­ing of devel­op­ment, it is very promis­ing to see that the Android team has released an emu­la­tor for all major oper­at­ing sys­tems. Apple’s devel­op­er pro­gram seems robust, but I don’t plan on switch­ing to OS X any­time soon. (Then again, I’d rather avoid Java, but that’s not a deal­break­er for me.)

The Android is cer­tain­ly the biggest com­peti­tor to the iPhone thus far, but it’s cer­tain­ly not just try­ing to imi­tate the super­fi­cial qual­i­ties (like, say, the LG Dare); it seems to have slight­ly dif­fer­ent moti­va­tions that have shaped the project thus far. Either way, com­pe­ti­tion is a good thing.

It seems like­ly that AT&T will be pro­duc­ing Android phones but even if so, the ques­tion is when. I’m immi­nent­ly look­ing for a new phone, so the soon­er the bet­ter; I have no plans to switch to T‑Mobile and I would real­ly appre­ci­ate the abil­i­ty to give each one of these plat­forms an even chance. :)

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