"What about the Linux-based open source Android platform that
runs underneath all of the consumer-level apps and features? The
easiest way to get a feel for Android as a platform is to explore
what developers are doing with it. The G1 includes an over-the-air
application catalog and installer tied to the Android Market,
through which you can browse hundreds of Android apps and read the
reviews of other users.
"So far, all of the apps in Android Market are free of charge,
which cannot be said of the other two officially sanctioned Android
app portals run by longtime mobile app vendors Handango and
MobiHand. Selections include the usual bevy of single-purpose IM
clients and Web app front ends from sites you've never heard of --
but they also include some interesting utilities that actually try
to add functionality to the phone.
"Several apps tweak the behavior of built-in apps, such as by
adding to the default email client. Others are attempts to add
useful apps such as barcode scanning and text editing that are
commonplace on other mobile phone platforms. One of my personal
favorites is G1 Central, which alters your outgoing Caller ID to
reflect your GrandCentral phone number -- functionality not
provided on the G1 even though GrandCentral is a Google
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