Apple’s iPhone may have dominated headlines over the world, but it has a rival – Google Android.
Android is an open source operating system that all non-Apple phone manufacturers have started to integrate into their phones. Various smartphone makers including Acer, HTC, LG, Samsung and Motorola have been producing phone and tablet models using Android, with additional tweaks to impress customers.
The Android system was first introduced to the market in the HTC Dream in 2008 and really picked up when Google released its Nexus One phone in early 2010. My latest favorite Android phone is the LG Optimus P920 – which is the first 3D phone available on the Cambodian market and costs US$500, including one year warranty.
Like most decent smartphones, the LG Optimus 3D phone runs on 1GHz dual-core CPU and Android Gingerbread. This phone has a 4.3-inch crystal clear display (whereas the iPhone’s screen is 3.1 inches) and 2×5 MegaPixel camera at the back. This camera allows the phone to instantly take 3D pictures and video clips. Users won’t even need special glasses to watch a 3D clip but, without the screen, the clip will not run on your ordinary computer graphic card.
The Android market also allows you to download countless apps which are mostly free, including essential office programs and utilities. My favourites include Adobe Reader, Angry Birds, TED Mobile, IMDb, Skype, LinkedIn, LiveScore, Taptu, Dropbox, Facebook, Keepass, ScanBizCards, Wifi Analyzer, ESPN ScoreCenter, TripIt, WatsApp, SoundHound and Wapedia. You will, however, need a Gmail account to sign in before downloading apps.
The phone works in sync with Google’s Gmail, Calendar, Contacts and Google plus, while Google’s map interface and YouTube are preloaded. Android also supports most corporate email system like Microsoft Exchange MobileSync.
Sharing Internet to your laptop or other Wifi device is made easy with the phone and most Android phones come with a slot for micro-SD card to extend storage capacity.
Personally, I think that Android phones are suitable for all users and especially PC users who want more control and flexibility when using their phone as a USB storage device or copying files on or off the handset. This option will come in handy when you are not connected to the net. Android also plays flash media on websites where Apple iOS doesn’t.
All considered, I think Android phones will be competing with iPhone for a long time.