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Freedom Comes With Android OS

By: Marcus Christopher

The only question you need to ask yourself when it comes to Google’s Android operating system is whether or not you want to be free to access smartphone apps through any other provider than Apple. Apple’s iPhone has been the go-to choice for consumers wishing to access smartphone app features. Since February of this past year however, Google has released its Android mobile operating system which can run on any mobile device and accessed through any service provider.

What is Android?

It is a mobile operating system running on Linux. Originally developed for Android Inc. it was purchased by Google and the Open Headset Alliance back in 2007. Google Android allows developers to write code in Java language, which allows the control of the device through Google’s Java library. Basically allowing for open standards in mobile devices. Android allows for user reliability without artificial restrictions or limitations placed by application vendors. Now all hardware (smartphone) providers can offer applications much like Apple’s iPhones. There is no longer a limitation to which phone can provide this application service.

The Android Market, a phone-based application store, has a catalog of applications which can be downloaded and installed without the use of a PC. Previously only freeware apps were supported, now they are all supported since these paid for apps became available in February of this year. The Android Market is expanding exponentially, and at this time there are over 10,000 applications for download.

Android VS. iPhone

Google’s business model is more complex than Apple’s, yet simpler. Unlike Apple, the company doesn’t make money selling hardware and licensing the software. It a free, open source product. Google makes its money from selling ads, as well as tracking user preferences. Thus, Android is supported by third party hardware, and is limited to that third party’s abilities. Problems can arise from this i.e. - hardware makers can add features that Google does not support and alternately Android can offer features which are not available in the hardware devices.

An alternative to the iPhone and iTune programs, Android phones are not integrated into
your central desktop. This is a big advantage to accessing applications and updates without having to constantly link to your CPU. There will unfortunately be a bit of configuring with Android because it allows for different mobile providers and buying from different hardware makers. Set-up, updates, backups and software management will be implemented differently on different Android-based products. Do some research of your provider and your hardware to ensure they are working in conjunction with Android. Some models can be unlocked and used anywhere while others are locked down and can disable hardware.
Break Free

Android is expected to arrive on most new devices from various hardware providers this coming year. It will be interesting to see what differences each company provides to customize their particular product. Android is hoping that a personally customized smartphone experience will undo the restrictions and market saturation of the iPhone experience. We all new this was coming, free the information, free yourself from corporate monopolies.

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