Hands-on with Android

Posted by Keith McMillan

February 13, 2008 | Leave a Comment

Wired Labs is over in Barcelona at the GSMA show, and they’ve posted this article about their hands-on experiences with Android, the much-hyped “Google Phone”.

“…judging by the crowd reaction, these ‘phones’ are the hit of the show.”

I mentioned Android briefly once before, when talking about Palm’s decline, but here’s a quick catch-up.

Google Android is an effort to create an open-source mobile/cell phone platform, onto which anyone could add their own features. Rather than having a locked in platform such as Motorola or Nokia, Android’s specs are out there to be used by anyone.

It’s a little easy to dismiss the breathless mentions of Android as just another tempest in a teacup, but the Goog claims 30 vendors on board, so maybe this will evolve into something. One day not so long ago, PCs were “IBM Computers”, then they became “IBM Compatibles”, with the claims of “100% compatible”. These days, that claim is nowhere in sight, so there’s precedent for software platforms moving from the proprietary to commodity world, why couldn’t it happen with cell phones? There are more of those than computers, it makes a certain sense.

What was Wired’s assessment?

Right now the UI is clunky and slow, but the fact that so many manufacturers are already on board means that Android is already a success.

It’s too early to tell whether Android will unhinge the handheld computer/cell phone world, but It’s going to be an interesting thing to watch.


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