Google Android sounds like the name of a mobile phone, but it’s actually not. The name Google Android is used to refer to the OS of the mobile phone. The market is flooded with with mobile phones these days, and consumers are spoilt for choice. So what makes Google Android so different? And why should anyone start using a totally different OS altogether?
Currently, the better known mobile operating systems in the market are Symbian, Palm, Windows Mobile and more recently, OS X for iPhone. These operating systems are all competing for market share. But the similar aspect of these operating systems is that they are all closed systems. In other words, no one else, but the companies themselves can develop applications for the OS (with the exception of OS X, which we shall discuss later).
Therefore, all mobile phones that are equipped with these operating systems have limited applications that can be installed.
Recognizing the rising trend of the open network, Google is hoping to change all that with Google Android. With the SDK (Software Development Kit) offered by Google, developers can truly innovate and come up with applications that can be installed in Google Android. We have all seen this concept taking the Internet by storm.
For instance, we see the Firefox browser closing the gap with Internet explorer. It’s able to catch up quickly because it allows developers to develop useful extensions for the browsers. To date, there are hundreds of extensions for the Firefox browser, and its popularity is still rising. The same goes for social community sites. MySpace used to be the top social community site. But Facebook became popular really fast, and have risen to be on par with MySpace. Again, it happened because Facebook started allowing developers to launch applications on its platform.
The signals are clear. The open concept works, and Google Android is looking to overtake all the other mobile operating systems. The project is now being undertaken by the Open Handset Alliance, which is a group of companies formed by Google, T-Mobile, Sprint, Vodaphone, HTC, Motorola, Samsung, LG, Sony Ericsson and other players in the mobile phone industry.
Eventually, fans can’t help but compare Google Android with Apple’s OS X. After all, the Apple iPhone is immensely popular, and it also allows developers to develop third party applications for the iPhones, and distribute them through Apple’s website. However, the OS X also has a limitation – it can only work with the iPhone. So if you don’t like the iPhone (rare, but it happens), you are out of luck.
Google Android looks set to become the leading OS. It’s just a matter of time. Already, the Open Handset Alliance is working with mobile phone manufacturers to develop Android mobile phones. So don’t be surprised to find mobile phones from major brands such as Samsung, HTC, Motorola, etc. in the near future.