Android This Week: Droid Gadget of the Year; Browser Wars


Time this week released its list of the top gadgets of the year, and the Motorola (s mot) Droid rings in on top. The Droid was chosen for being the first Android (s goog) phone deemed good enough to be an iPhone competitor. The big screen and physical keyboard were also listed as factors for making it the top device for 2009. The Droid beat out the iPhone 3GS from Apple (s aapl) and the Barnes & Noble Nook (s bks) reader.

Meanwhile, the web browser in Android is considered to be excellent, and is often compared to Mobile Safari on the iPhone. But competition is always a good thing, so it’s welcome news this week that both Opera Mobile and Mobile Fennec (Firefox) are coming to Android. Opera Mobile has long been considered to be an outstanding mobile browser, and is even included as the default browser on Windows Mobile (s msft) phones produced by HTC. Mobile Firefox is currently in beta testing on the Windows Mobile platform, with Android support expected to begin next year.

Plus, the Droid Eris has been available on Verizon (s vz) only for a short while, but the carrier has already issued an update this week to address a number of bugs. The update, which is currently being pushed out to phones, improves the handling of text messaging and other issues that owners had reported. To obtain the update, consumers must wait until their phone indicates an update is available for download.

Also this week, T-Mobile in the U. S. is rolling out an update to the Android Market that supports charging apps to a customer’s phone account. Until now, purchasing apps in the Android Market has always required a credit card. The update is invisible to the user and is being pushed out in phases. To determine if your Market app has been updated, check the version number in the Manage Applications setting. Any version higher than 1660 contains the new feature.



The Droid an iPhone competitor? You are really jonesing for page views aren’t you? What an fooslish statement. Either you don’t know any better or you assumthe readers don’t. It is nowhere near an iPhone competitor. Not in sales volume and certainly not in capabilities. The only way it is an iPhone competitor is that people who really want an iPhone will settle for a Droid so they can be on Verizon.
The Droid can only use 256MB for apps. Seriously.
It is dog slow, you can’t even scroll the home screen without lag.
The physical keyboard is near unusable and onscreen not much better.
Syncing is terrible,
Build quality is awful Do you like your battery door?
No multi-touch.
These are just the most obvious things. There are many, many smaller issues.

If the Droid was anywhere near a competitor and I could get it on Verizon I would switch in a heartbeat. But it isn’t and I won’t. But then I’m not shamelessly flogging page views like you.

A.B. Dada

I used an iPhone for a few weeks early on, and gave it up due to the lack of multitasking.

Now most of my friends have iPhones and I always see them complaining about lag. Last night at a pub I watched TWO friends try to pull up photos from a party over the weekend and both were getting frustrated.

My G1 with the Cyanogen mod ROM is ultra fast, has apps on the SD card, root-enabled WiFi tethering, and decent battery life. I’m able to listen to a Pandora station while Google chatting and still pop over to Opera to look up information. Google Maps 3.2.1 is fantastic, too.

Am I an Android fan? Not yet. There’s still some needs, but the white hat hacker community like Cyanogen are doing fantastic things with Android, and I’d have to say it isn’t just Apple that needs to worry — Verizon, T-Mobile, Apple, AT&T, and the rest of them need to be concerned about Android’s open atmosphere. As more hackers jump on the Android bandwagon, there’ll be way more incentive to use a third party ROM than an “official” ROM.


It is not a coincidence that the top two devices in Time’s list both have Android.


No it isn’t a coincidence. they are looking to make controversial statements not based in reality just like GigaOm. It’s all about eyeballs.

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