Android has come a long way since 2005 when Google bought a relatively unknown company called Android Inc. Over the course of half a decade Google opened up the platform and let anyone download, modify, customize, use and distribute it for free.
Freedom is the keyword that separates Android from all the other smartphones in the market. Apple keeps a tyrannical like grip on its iPhone and Blackberry are not much different. By comparison you are free to download and install any application you want on an Android phone – you are not restricted to what someone in a review department deems to be acceptable.
With this level of freedom, application developers are ditching Apple and embracing the freedom that developing for the Android brings. There are now tens of thousands of applications that you can buy – some of them are even useful! For example the default messaging system is nothing to shout about on the Android but it doesn’t need to be because there are over a dozen free apps that you can download that will replace the built in messaging system for you. This level of customization and choice isn’t available on other smartphones where the makers want to tie you down to only their applications.
Since it’s much easier for developers to create applications and because there is more competition you will find that many apps that you have to pay for on the iPhone and Blackberry are free on the Android – or at least there will be a free ‘lite’ version available so you are saving on the cost of customizing your phone.
If you are anything like the average Internet user you probably use multiple Google web services like Gmail, Gtalk, Docs and Search. While you can access these services on other phones, the Android has purpose built apps which integrate and sync seamlessly with your smartphone. For example, say you add a new contact to your address book, Android is intelligent enough to update your Google contacts list so if you ever lose your phone then all your important contact details are saved in Google’s cloud services.
Security is obviously a big factor and with smartphone usage on the rise, fraudsters and criminal gangs are actively trying to gain access to the sensitive information people store on their phones for financial gains. Although you can get some great protection software for Android you can be assured that Google has always got your back with its remote kill switch ability to neutralize any rogue apps that may have found their way on to your phone.
Finally there is the important factor of choice. With an iPhone you are limited to one model, not great if you want to express yourself. The Blackberry is aimed at business people and the designs are far from inspiring. On the other hand since the Android OS is a free operating system that can be used without royalties, many major phone manufacturers are creating Android based smartphones. You now have a choice of brand, choice of sizes, choice of features and most importantly find a smartphone that fits your budget.