Whoa, so the Android Market has just hit the web in all it’s glory. That’s 200,000 mobile phone apps available on instant install, with no sucky iTunes install, no messing around with synching, just a log-in to your Google account. And what’s more, my whole app install history (on multiple handsets!) is now available for viewing online anytime I need to replace or recreate my environment. Genius!
Android is now officially the No 1 smartphone platform of choice, blowing past Nokia, RIM and Apple in the last quarter of 2010 with 33.3 million shipments globally, and this latest move is going to send it into the stratosphere. Regular readers will know that we’re fans of the format because of its open nature, and the ability to take control of your mobile phone in all kinds of ways not possible before.
Take my other half’s T-Mobile Pulse handset as an example. It shipped with Android 1.6, and after a very long wait finally received an ‘official’ T-Mobile update to Android 2.1, which was buggy, slow and rendered the handset almost inoperable. So far, so bad. In the past we would have had to accept the situation, or spend money upgrading to another phone.
Cue the uber cool development community at Modaco.com. One visit to their superb Ultimate Pulse Owner’s Guide (they have guides for most major Android handsets) and I was able to download and install an awesome new Android 2.1 system, customised to remove the bugs, cut down the flab and deliver a phone which absolutely rocks. For free. And all completely legally, no jail-breaking, unauthorised hacking etc involved.
The loser is a phone service provider which failed to deliver customer satisfaction and also lost handset upgrade revenues, while the winner is an absolutely delighted Pulse owner who keeps a phone she loves with a makeover that all but makes it brand new. Actually in the end T-Mobile may be a winner too, because their image is improved (or at least not damaged) by the fact that one of their handsets still works well. This, as far as I’m concerned, is the glory of Android.
And it’s just going to keep getting better-erer!