Android Mobile Operating System Review

August 6th, 20104:59 pm @

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Android Mobile Operating System Review

What is Android?

If you are considering a new mobile phone, you will probably have noticed the large number of handsets now run on the Android platform.  Android is the Operating System or core piece of software that controls the phone, in the same way that Microsoft Windows powers most PC’s.  It is also used to power tablets and netbook PC’s.

The Android Operating System is Open Source, and this is significant.  Being Open Source means that any developer or development company can download, modify and enhance the software for the benefit of everyone else.

With the support of Google and many of the major mobile phone handset manufacturers, there are reports that Android phones are now outselling Apples iPhone.  The Android Market is also healthy, and has over 60,000 apps available for download to enhance your Android phone, many of which are free.

Android version 2.2 (also known as Froyo) has been released, and this brings huge improvements in speed, as well as enhancing the interface and overall usability, and there are more impressive features promised for future releases.

Features

  • Open Source software being constantly developed and updated by consortium of 71 hardware, software and telecoms companies, including Google
  • Over 60,000 apllications available for download to enhance Android handsets
  • Improved interface.  Access dedicated shortcuts for Phone, Applications Launcher and internet browser from any of 5 configurable home screens
  • Supports Microsoft Exchange including Calendars
  • Supports Geo-tagging on photos.  Camcorder can now use LED flash for low light recording (if available)
  • Provides a portable Wifi hotspot so other devices can access the internet over 3G mobile network

Considerations

  • Android is a more open platform.  The release of applications into the marketplace are less tightly controlled than with Apple Store.  Always check reviews if unsure of the quality or reliability of an app
  • Although Androids browser supports Adobe Flash animations, they can slow down browsing considerably.  Some users suggest setting Flash animations off unless needed

Compare Handsets

Here is a selection of some of the best selling Android powered handsets.

All of these phones support Internet Browsing, Push Email, Calendar, and integrated Social Networking.  They also connect to Wifi and 3G networks and Bluetooth devices.  Finally, they have built in GPS satellite navigation with Google Maps, Quad band support for calls abroad and at least a 5 megapixel camera.

  • HTC Wildfire
    Small and pocket-able device
    Synchronised profiles across different social networks
    Displays your contacts latest Facebook updates as they call you
    Smaller display and less powerful processor than others in list
    3.2 inch touchscreen (240 x 320 pixels)
    Voice dialling
    Supports microSD cards for storage
    Size 107 x 61 x 12mm, weight 118g
  • Samsung Galaxy S
    Huge screen in a slender frame
    Fast processor for games and multitasking
    5 Megapixel camera also records video at 720p high definition
    Stream music to other DLNA devices
    4 inch touchscreen (480 x 800 pixels)
    Voice dialling
    Supports microSD cards for storage
    Size 123 x 65 x 10mm, weight 118g
  • HTC Desire
    Regarded as one of the best handsets
    Based on Googles Nexus One handset
    Integrates contacts across Social Networks
    Fast processor and over 100 pre-installed Android apps
    Works with Microsoft Exchange as well as GMail email servers
    3.7 inch touchscreen (480 x 800 pixels)
    Supports microSD cards for storage
    Size 119 x 60 x 12mm, weight 135g
  • Motorola Milestone
    Powerful handset
    Pinch and zoom multi-touch screen
    Remarkably slim despite built in QWERTY keyboard
    Spoken turn-by-turn Motonav directions
    3.7 inch touchscreen(480 x 854 pixels)
    QWERTY keyboard
    Supports microSD cards for storage
    Size 116 x 60 x 14mm, weight 165g
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia X10
    Stylish and sophisticated
    See all your Social Media and communications in one place with Timescape™
    Manage your music, photos and videos with Mediascape
    4 inch touchscreen (480 x 854 pixels)
    8+ megapixel camera
    Supports microSD cards for storage
    Size 119 x 63 x 13mm, weight 135g
  • Acer Liquid
    Brimming with powerful technology
    Customisable home screens
    Share music with Spinlets™ streaming service
    3.5 inch touchscreen (480 x 800 pixels)
    Supports microSD cards for storage
    Size 115 x 63 x 13mm, weight 135g

Find out more

Android Powered Devices – Androinica.com

Dedicated Android Blog – Androinica.com

Android 2.2 Platform Highlights – Developer.Android.com

Where to buy an Android powered mobile phone

Android Phones – CarphoneWarehouse.com

Android Phones – Mobiles.co.uk

Alternatives

iPhone 4.0, Nokia n900

Spinlets™ streaming service