Here comes Android

20 Aug 2008

We're barely over the iPhone dramas. Now here comes Android.

Website Venturebeat has tipped November 10 as the likely launch date for HTC Dream, the first handset powered by Google's Linux platform, Android.

HTC has requested confidentiality until that date. Then again, it could be, like the iPhone, a longer confidentiality period than needed, Venturebeat suggests. The fact that such details are being speculated about tells us the hype-o-meter is rapidly rising.

The Android matters to the mobile community because, like the iPhone, the buzz it creates will just as - if not more - influential as the device itself. Whereas the iPhone mobilized consumers into buying smartphones and jumping onto the mobile web, the Android has the potential to energize developers.

Google has already created excitement by opening up a $10 million prize kitty for new apps.

That's good news for consumers but yet another challenge for operators who want to play in apps development. Not to mention apps developers themselves, who face a choice between Symbian, iPhone, Android, LiMo(the other Linux platform), and Windows Mobile.

The phone comes with GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850/1900 and W-CDMA bands (T-Mobile's preferred apparently) and Wi-Fi b and g, according to Engadget.

Version 0.9 of the platform has been released, but that appears to fall short of the full version.

In any case, it has a screen-based, finger-touch interface, iPhone-style, and the ability to build customized home screens, including widgets.

For a better idea, Gizmodo has loaded a video tour of the emulator version of 0.9 here.

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