Android This Week: Closing in on Apple; Best Mobile Web; EVO Gets Froyo

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Numbers released this week show that the rush to Android is expected to continue, with adoption expected to pass iOS by 2012. Android is predicted to power 75 million phones by then, claiming nearly 20 percent of the market share. This prediction is not a pipe dream, as Android is currently seeing 200,000 activations daily, which means 18 million new phones a quarter. This forecast only accounts for smartphones, and ignores that Android is poised to start appearing on tablets produced by some of the major players in mobile computing. The future is looking rosy for Android.

The web browser included with Android is quite good, but even good apps can be improved upon. One such app is the Dolphin Browser HD, a WebKit-based browser (like the stock browser) that adds significant features which yield a superb user experience. We shot a video review of Dolphin this week, that demonstrates the three improved interface features that combine to build a great mobile browser. Check out the video and see if you agree that the Dolphin Browser HD may be the best mobile browser on any platform.

The HTC EVO 4G phone on the Sprint network is one of the top Android phones currently available. It’s the first phone in the U.S. to operate over the Sprint 4G (WiMAX) network. Sprint was expected to upgrade the EVO from Android 2.1 to 2.2 (Froyo) in the near future, but owners were surprised to see handset maker HTC post an update to its support web site this week. The update was removed by HTC after just a few hours, but many EVO owners were able to apply it to their phones. The official update was released over-the-air by Sprint a day after the leaked version. Froyo adds new features and performance benefits over the previous version.

Related GigaOM Pro Content (sub req’d): WebKit is Great, But It Isn’t the Great Unifier

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