Google G1 Phone
The Google Phone, marketed by T-Mobile, is offered as direct competition for Apple's iPhone.
The Google G1 phone sports a 320 x 480 touch-screen, a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, Wi-Fi, 3G, a 3-megapixel camera and access to a software store that should make the other smart phones stand up and take notice. Google software andGmail are integrated into the system. Instant messaging is also built in, including Google Talk, AIM support, MSN Messengerr and Yahoo IM, though it is possible that Google Talk will be eliminated in order to not miss the release date.
The G1 is pre-loaded with Google maps and a Compass mode, which allows the owner to preview an intersection from all directions by rotating with the phone. The Google Phone screen will display a street-level image for whichever direction the phone is facing.
T-Mobile's "HotSpot@Home" service allows users to switch between it's cell network and Wi-Fi networks for better indoor service. It can also quickly switch from browsing the internet to answering a phone call.
A new mobile phone version of the Amazon MP3 music store will no doubt offer strong competition to the iTunes store on the iPhone. The Amazon tracks come without copy protection and the store is a little bit cheaper than iTunes, and easy to use too. G1 phones will be able to browse over 6 million tracks on Amazon through the T-Mobile network. G1 phones must be on a Wi-Fi network in order to download the music.
Unlike other smart phones, the Google G1 phone will support multiple browser windows open at the same time, in what the company execs have termed "Chrome Lite," after the recently released beta version of the Chrome browser for larger monitors.
The G1 is the first phone built for Google's new open-source, Linux-based Android mobile operating system. Since Android is completely open, anyone can write mini-programs to run on it. At present, there are 23 applications and 8 games available, but there are sure to be many more in the future.
The G1 phone is able to play YouTube videos, but cannot save them.
Competition is lively between the top 4 cellular networks: AT&T leads the pack with 72.9 million subscribers, Verizon holds 2nd place with 68.7 million, and Sprint Nextel has about 51.9 million. T-Mobile brings up the rear with 31.5 million. The Google Phone is expected to attract new subscribers for T-Mobile, as the I-Phone did for AT&T.