Android Ecosystem — This Week in Android


Welcome to our newest Monday feature — Android Ecosystem! Is it just me or does it seem like Android is starting to dominate mobile news these days? Sure, there’s a new Windows Mobile version and phones that run it and we’re all wondering what Mozilla will be putting on the iPhone, but Android seems to be the hot topic.

And why not? We recently saw version 1.6 of the operating system and already there’s some good looks at version 2.0. Don’t forget that most Android phones up to now are built on similar hardware, too — just around the corner are Snapdragon-based handsets that could run at up to 1.0GHz. Of course, I’d rather use Android on a 1.33GHz CPU, but there’s a trade-off there. ;) One of those newer Android handsets might be hooked up with T-Mobile’s Project Dark — the Samsung Behold II looks to be launching on November 18th with an option to pay over time for the hardware.

Enough about hardware; what about software? Coming soon is Rhapsody for Android. The folks at Real Networks say that you’ll see, er hear, Rhapsody before the end of the year on Android handsets. Also breaking onto the Android scene this week is Agile Messenger. It’s free for the first 30-days and you can find it right in the Android Market. This app offers a single handset client for an integrated experience with instant messaging networks like MSN, AOL, Yahoo!, ICQ, GoogleTalk and XMPP servers.

Getting back to my original point about Android making more noise than other mobile platforms — do you agree? Does Google have the most momentum right now in the mobile space or is all this news just loud hype? I’m not suggesting that Android offers the best platform or experience, but it seems to be gaining speed and maturity in the market faster than everything else right now. Just my observation, which is easily arguable.



Android is getting a lot of press, but does it have more to offer other than being open-source?

I don’t see very many Android apps that replicate the functionality I’m used to on Windows Mobile-if at all. Especially where PIM is concerned. Android devices also apparently need to be rooted for full functionality…well, almost, because having a rooted device actually DISABLES some functionality as well! (Mostly to do with paid apps, though.)

That is mostly a byproduct of having very limited Android knowledge in general, though. If I knew the app library better, then maybe it would serve my purposes well-especially with one of those 4″ WVGA pocket tablets. (Too bad none of those devices seem to have a slide-out thumbboard…and don’t say G1, because that’s a phone and its screen is far too small and low-resolution.)

Don’t get me wrong, though-I want to see Android succeed. Competition is good for the market. But I can’t just plunk down for another pocket computer based on future promises, either-it has to offer me what I seek the instant I buy it, and no later.


Android is rapidly becoming a very compelling choice. I just got my Hero a few days ago and haven’t touched my Xperia X1 or iPhone since then. I then put the Sense UI hack on my G1. HTC is showing how sweet Android can be because it is both customizable and yet still consistent underneath. For example, you can put the Sense UI on top but all of the apps I’ve installed still work great, the icons and widgets integrate perfectly and the whole experience is only added to, not diminished in any way.

Android will be the one to watch when developers and consumers both see that customizability lets the manufacturers differentiate while keeping users comfortable with the OS as a whole.

Unless the iPhone gets the ability to multitask soon, it won’t be a contender for many product spaces. If you have a lot of information coming at you at once, the OS needs to help you manage it. The iPhone OS is a serious limiting factor in this regard. You have to drill down too deep to even see your information let alone manage it. With the Android widgets and other customizations you can get a rapid overview of your info without much effort, yet get to the full info very quickly if need be. This is great for business use.

I suspect there will be a bit of a division between business phones on Android and Winmo and personal phones being the iPhone. While there will be cross-over, I think the lines will be drawn right about there for the most part.

I also suspect that Android will actually be truly competitive against Winmo and not most other phone OS’s.

Brutus Beefcake

Don’t count Apple out just yet. They just had a SPECTACULAR quarter. Smashing through every analyst prediction with a phenominal quarter. Record iPhone sales, huge Mac sales (Win7 no threat). This company ROCKS !!! And just think YOU too can own a piece. Only $204 dollars per share. Get some while the gettin is good. More goodies on the way for the Holidays so save up your pennies for the good stuff fellas. What’s that Great Recession ? Apple don’t think so. woot. :-P


Glad to see another owner dump a windows phone. Good Decision. Your C Sharp skills should easily translate to Android since it is a Linux/Java phone and everybody knows that C# is basically a Java ripoff. :-P


Having just switched from WinMo 6 to Android (Hero), I’d say the buzz is very warranted. The Hero is by far the best phone I’ve ever had.

And, by the way, I’m a C# programmer by day…which is why I stayed with WinMo for so long.


It’s not the software, it really comes down to open source, the same fate which took down macs years ago now rears it’s head in a new direction, and to further this Googles spikey attitude to take all the neat tools and share them very openly with the money market of gathering your info isn’t enough to stoppeople who have talent and want to run with it from jumping on and sharing that. Its sad but true.

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