Web Chatter: Excitement Over Android

On the eve of T-Mobile’s launch of the G1 — the first device based on Google’s long-awaited mobile OS — we’ve seen lots of excitement throughout the blogosphere.

The Bloodhound blog has a positive review of the device, based on an early shipment. A roundup of early reviews from professional reviewers at The New York Times and Wall Street Journal (Mossberg) can also be found here.

The gist of these reviews, overall, is that it’s a good device that doesn’t stack up to the iPhone in many respects, but Android could eventually have more mass-market reach and appeal as a mobile OS. Google’s position in search could also give it a leg up in content delivery for native apps and a “continuity of services” from online to mobile.

GigaOm meanwhile brings up some interesting points about the business case for Android, its technical advantages and how it won’t stop with just mobile devices. This includes makers of other gadgets such as television set-top boxes (Motorola) that are starting to tinker with the open source code:

The growing interest in Android, which is built upon the Linux kernel, is perfectly understandable. It’s not just an operating system, but comes with middleware and key applications, making it a complete environment that can be modified for other users. It has a robust web browser (based on WebKit), the ability to handle 2D and 3D graphics, and is able to read all sorts of audio, video and image files. As a result it can be extended into any number of consumer electronic devices that needed a robust software system.

As Android rolls out to other devices, we’ll see lots of local search applications developed for it (like the iPhone). We could also see lots of social applications, given our earlier premise that social, local and mobile are a natural combination; and projections from Informa that 23 percent of mobile users will tap into social networks by 2012.

More to come on Android, its first manifestation in the G1, and our own reviews of its local search apps.

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