The choice when buying a Smartphone; Android or not?

Not many people are aware of the fact that Android existed before it was purchased by Google in 2005. In fact the original company, Android Inc., was founded as far back as 2003, in the United States' sunny California, by Rich Milner, Nick Sears, Chris White and Andy Rubin.

The quartet had big plans for the fledgling company, but were initially very secretive about what exactly they were working on, only ever publicly stating that they were working on mobile phone software.

Despite the fact that little was known by the public at large about the actual aims and behind the scenes developments of the company, Google stepped in to acquire it in August of 2003. All the founders apart from Nick Sears stayed on to continue with their work following the takeover which raised a few eyebrows in the technology industry, leading to suspicions that Google were preparing to enter the mobile phone market.

As history has shown, this was most certainly the case, although it wasn't quite in the hardware oriented form that many had suspected at the time. Android has since grown to be one of the major mobile phone operating systems, alongside Apple's iOS, Nokia's Symbian system, and Research in Motion's BlackBerry OS.

What makes Android stand apart from its competitors is the fact that it is a completely open source development. This means that anyone who has the relevant knowledge can develop applications for the system free of charge, or adapt it to suit their own needs. While this is far beyond the grasp of most of us, it shows excellent forethought on behalf of Google, and is in stark contrast with the closed source ethos of Apple's iPhone.

So the question remains, which operating system do you want on your smartphone? Android offers a stunning range of applications for download via its Marketplace app, with a huge amount of them being offered for free making it one of the most immediately accessible operating systems ever created.

With each update comes newer, more powerful features able to take advantage of the increased processing capabilities of modern smartphones. It seems that both Nokia and RIM have fallen well off the page with their operating systems, and Windows Mobile 7 has not proven to be the success that Microsoft had hoped, leaving Apple and Android to battle it out for mobile phone superiority.

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