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The Android buzz ramped up another notch this week with Google’s release of the SDK for Android 2.0, dubbed Eclair. Among other things, the new OS offers a combined inbox for multiple email accounts, a virtual keyboard with an improved layout and word completion, email and […]

gigaom_icon_google-android1The Android buzz ramped up another notch this week with Google’s release of the SDK for Android 2.0, dubbed Eclair. Among other things, the new OS offers a combined inbox for multiple email accounts, a virtual keyboard with an improved layout and word completion, email and contact sync from multiple accounts including Exchange, and “Quick Contact,” which enables a user to call, email or send an SMS simply by clicking on a contact photo. Android 2.0 also includes a host of camera improvements and browser upgrades including a tappable address bar and double-tap zooming.

There’s every reason to believe that Android’s tie-up with Verizon will be a real game-changer in the white-hot smartphone space. Verizon has proven that it can effectively market even lackluster smartphones, and Android will benefit in a big way from both the carrier’s ad budget and its reputation as an operator of a top-notch network.

The SDK move comes in advance of tomorrow’s expected official unveiling of the Motorola Droid from Verizon Wireless, which looks to be the first handset running Eclair — although it’s unclear whether Droid will be the name of the actual gadget, or of Verizon’s Android lineup. The nation’s largest carrier is pulling out all the marketing stops in advance of the Droid launch, including a clever commercial playing on the shortcomings of Apple’s iPhone. Motorola threw gasoline on the fire last week when it accidentally — or not — touted the handset on its web site before hastily pulling the post down.

Just when the Droid will hit the shelves is still uncertain, though. Boy Genius Report claims the device will make its debut Nov. 6 alongside another Verizon phone, HTC’s Droid Eris. Inqiusiter.com expects the release this Friday, while Gearlog’s Sascha Segan is looking for a Nov. 9 launch (Gearlog also has early photos of the phone, which were leaked by Motorola).

There’s no question that Apple currently dominates the smartphone space among high-end, data-hungry users, and the Cupertino gang is showing no sign of slowing down. But I think there’s ample room for growth in the superphone era, and I think Verizon will help Google close that gap in a hurry.

  1. The devices are coming Nov 6. Verizon has been running newspaper ads for them.

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  2. Spoke to a Verizon Rep today that told me that the Motorola Droid and the HTC Eris will be released for sale on Nov, 6th!~ She said they are in training now with them both and she said they are both awesome phones. She said the price for the Droid will be somewhere between $160.00 and $199.99 with a 2yr contract! Hope this helps! My vote is for the Motorola Droid!

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  3. Wow, everyone of these features is already on the Palm Pre. Someone with money please buy Palm, so everyone will know this is the best mobile platform out there.

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    1. I am not alone in my thoughts that Palm can’t make it alone, in spite of the fact that they have good technology. Now they are stuck between Apple and Google. Not a good place to be, and I doubt any of the device manufacturers — including Dell — will be so brave as to make the jump.

      This is going to kill both Palm and Windows Mobile. I bet that RIM looses market share next year as well.

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  4. [...] previously an investor at Mohr Davidow Ventures and CTO of ONI Systems. Next up for Vdopia is the Android platform. The company also maintains a web-based video ad business in India, where most of its 17-member [...]

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  5. [...] Calore / Webmonkey: Android Gets a Better Browser, Now With More HTML5 Colin Gibbs / GigaOM: Android Buzz Grows as Droid Launch Nears Dean Takahashi / VentureBeat: Google released second version of Android mobile software tools [...]

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  6. [...] | 8:16 AM PT | 0 comments | 0 tweets retweet » Motorola’s Droid, the first handset running Android 2.0, was unveiled by Verizon Wireless at a press event at the W Hotel in New York this morning. The [...]

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  7. [...] are some facts about Droid collected by our [...]

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  8. [...] Android Buzz Grows as Droid Launch Nears [...]

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  9. [...] Droid is the first handset to run Android 2.0 (dubbed “Eclair”), which includes new features such as a combined inbox for multiple [...]

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  10. [...] previously an investor at Mohr Davidow Ventures and CTO of ONI Systems. Next up for Vdopia is the Android platform. The company also maintains a web-based video ad business in India, where most of its 17-member [...]

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