T-Mobile G1 Phone
Most people may recognize this as the “Google Phone” — or at least the phone everyone thought Google was going to make. Instead, Google created the operating system — Android — for this phone, called the G1. T-Mobile is the first to use this operating system for a real phone. We should see other cell phone providers come to market with Android phones.
In many ways, this is a typical smartphone. It has a full sliding keyboard, support for WiFi, 3G (where available), Bluetooth, a camera, media player, browser, and touch screen. In addition, it has integrated access to Google and some of its more popular applications, e.g., the search engine, GMail, Google Maps and Street View, and Calendar. This makes sense as Google wrote the operating system.
Android, the operating system, is really the focus of this phone. Not only was it written by Google — their first mobile device operating system — but it is open source. This should allow developers make the operating system better and to write applications that can be run on these devices.
Cell phone providers (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint) allow us to use only part of the functionality the cell phones provide. In the case of Android phone, we should be able to use and exploit all the functionality of the phones, if that is what we want. This could be a good thing . . . or not. Allowing access only to specific functionality helps the cell phone providers achieve a high quality experience for their customers (most of the time). If we can do what we wish with the phone, how stable will it ultimately be? The G1 was released in October; hopefully, T-Mobile will let us know.
Oh . . . and the price? Only $179.99 with a 2-year contract.